gap year in israel

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by Josh Glucksman

“A few days ago, one of Israel’s worst environmental disasters occurred when an oil tanker spilled hundreds of tons of oil along the country’s coast. For all the parents reading this email who are not a 5-minute walk from the Tel Aviv Promenade, the beaches are bad. So bad, in fact, that most of the tar is not visible, but secretly tightening its deadly grip on the Mediterranean.

While the tar might be hidden from eyesight, the country’s mobilization to clean the tar is not. Thousands of volunteers from around the country have shown up to help in the laborious task of cleaning the beaches and waters. I am lucky enough to intern with an environmental organization, Green Course, and have the privilege to help Israel remedy this disaster as soon as possible. While this crisis is just another reminder of the continued negligence of fossil fuel companies, I have been especially reflective of the timing of this one in particular.

In my opinion, this spill happening near Purim might not be a coincidence. The holiday of Purim is so holy because it allows us to see that evil and good cannot exist without each other. It is the one day each year where I can see that the evil of Haman and the good of Mordechai are one and the same; the non-duality of these vehemently opposing forces.
Don’t get me wrong. This does not absolve us of the imperative to fight the good fight. But we can do that the other 364 days of the year. I am currently organizing a volunteering day with my internship and Aardvark Israel where we can soon all clean the beaches and make a difference. I will continue to help Green Course in their mission to elect pro-environmental Knesset members, stop the EastMed pipeline’s devastation, and ban Chevron energy from destroying our country. But, at the end of a very tough week, clearly with so much work to still do, there is something uniquely powerful about Purim that can help us all remember why we are still fighting. Shabbat shalom v’chag sameach!”