A Jewish Quaker Speaks On Pacifism

This week’s guest, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes herself as “a pacifist, a poet, a Jewish grandmother, [and] a bubbe.” She became a Friend in 2006, when the Israeli-Hezbollah war began. “I couldn’t sit back and watch the carnage of that war and do nothing,” she recalls. “I had witnessed pacifism with awe among Quakers. I saw them walking the talk.”

“The Quakers served the oppressed,” she says, “and I was impressed.… I wanted to be part of a place that honored pacifism. I did not, do not, have a conscience for war. It is not the answer.” Since October 7, she has been absorbing everything she can about the war in Gaza, “trying to figure out… why are more people not outraged witnessing this carnage? Where are Quakers now?”

4 thoughts on “A Jewish Quaker Speaks On Pacifism

  1. I am also a Jewish Quaker and I stand with this “bubbe”. You can see a piece I wrote grappling with my Jewish identity in the face of the current hostilities in the Winter 2024 edition of the Northern Yearly Meeting Journal: https://northernyearlymeeting.org/publications/nym-journal/ My wife, yet another Jewish Quaker, was instrumental in the creation of the public minute on Israel and Palestine that you can find in the Social Justice section of the Madison (WI) Friends website: https://madisonfriends.org/ She and other Friends have been actively raising their voices about this issue in our community. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. This was an especially powerful witness to me on this Maundy Thursday. Although I do not observe the occasion as I did for many years in Protestant Christianity, its themes continue to penetrate my heart and animate my mind, and those themes of painful parting from those we love, including both those who give themselves to us and for us and those who betray us and seek to take life from us and from others, are echoed in the testimony of our Jewish Friend. Let us wail and moan tonight for all the children of every age who are being taken from their loved ones and loving ones in this season. But let us also live in the hope that is the rising of Spring from the darkness of Winter’s night.

  3. We’re wrestling with what it means to live the peace testimony in my monthly meeting and in the veterans oriented organization I serve.
    This Jewish friend speaks my mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on Friendsjournal.org may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.