Are Jews indigenous to the land of Israel? A Torah-based exploration with Rabbi David Seidenberg

Join Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg for this special discussion — The Torah’s Indigenous Wisdom about the Land of Israel/Palestine: what it means for the Jewish people, and what it can teach us about pursuing peace in a time of war. 

Judaism’s cycles and rituals are deeply keyed to the land and ecology of Canaan/Israel/Palestine. Yet the Torah is adamant that the Jewish people originated from Mesopotamia and became a people in Egypt, not Canaan. Why did the Torah insist on a story that portrays the Israelites as being not indigenous to their land? What does this teach us about how the rhetoric of indigeneity can be abused, and how it could be properly used? In our own time, when “indigenous” is a label used to delegitimize the “other side”, we will explore how talk about being indigenous can instead create a foundation for coexistence.

Come for a deep dive into a subject that is too often thrown about in a shallow way. We will focus on how validating one people’s story can help us recognize other people’s stories as valid. All political persuasions and relationships to Israel and Palestine are welcome, and all are invited to come with an open mind and an open heart.

No pre-registration required.

Free for members, suggested $10 donation for non-members.

Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg is the creator of and the author of Kabbalah and Ecology, and a scholar who has written and lectured about the problem of indigenousness in academic and community settings. He is known for his work on indigeniety, “The Third Promise.” David was a devoted member of Chochmat when he lived in the Bay area. He is also the scion of a Palestinian Jerusalemite Jewish family whose Gidau emigrated from Palestine to the US in 1910.


Dec 18 2023


8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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