September 18, 2006

by Andrew Silow-Carroll
Havdala and headscarves

A few weeks back Yudel and I got a chance to meet and study with some faculty from an Israeli Arab teachers college who were on a two-week tour of the U.S. My account is online.

The mood in the room is warm and comfortable. Habayib, in her white head scarf, chats quietly with an Orthodox woman in a fashionable cloche hat. The Muslims listen politely as the Jews sing Shabbat zemirot; most greet their hosts with “Shabbat Shalom” and depart with hearty cries of “Shavua Tov” and invitations to visit them in Israel.

A few of the Jews linger long after Havdala, agreeing it was a moving event but wondering what it means in the wider scheme of things, with Israel facing Islamist rejectionists on at least two fronts, with madrassas from Tehran to Jakarta teaching jihad, and Al Qaida having fractured into a number of smaller but no less bloodthirsty cells.

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