|A LETTER FROM A CHRISTIAN FRIEND -
To My Beloved Jewish Friends
By Julie Winkelman, April 30,2002
|Because of you, I'm a better person. Thank you for your endless wealth of wisdom, passion and desire for life. As an American and a believer, I've lived in Jerusalem for the last two years. It's been a difficult two years as I've watched you suffer, morn, and even die. I want you to know that with every death that came to you, a piece of my own soul was taken. Every time a bomb went off, I would lose my breath and fall to my knees. I've felt helpless at times, but would pray with all my strength. Often, I was depressed by what I witnessed, but it was your tenacity, your will, and your stubborness for life that shook me back to reality. You never stopped, you never quit, and you never gave in, or gave up. You are a people of the greatest strength I've ever witness-ed. Your emotions are so real and your purpose stedfast. I love everything about you.
On Shabbat, I would listen to you sing. In my heart, I sang with you. I would shop at your stores and bring with me a smile and a heart to bless you with. Though I know very little Hebrew, we still seemed to communicate well. I know I'm a foreigner in this land, but you never made me feel that way. Instead, you welcomed me. I took advantage of it and came as close as I could. I watched you dance in the streets and pray at the Wall. I watched you hold hands and kiss on the cheek. I watched the many different people pass on the streets, the children playing in the parks. I watched the soldiers protect the land and the police guard the city. I celebrate all of your holidays and bought flowers on every Shabbat. Though I was on the outside, my heart was always on the inside, right next to you.
As I prepare to go back to America, I want to leave you with this. My lips will always speak a blessing of you. I will always stand for the truth of your bravery, patience and goodness. I will stop anti-Semitism wherever it shows its ugly head and I will never forget you as long as I live. Truly your G-d has become my G-d and your people, my people. I love you with a fervent love and will always stand with you. No matter the cost. I hope, trust and pray that I will have the privilege of living with you, once again. Shalom and many blessings.