December 2022

Dear Chevre,

This morning I signed a call for a Christmas Truce in Ukraine, along with Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other religious leaders across the United States. This call is inspired by the example set in 1914 during the First World War when roughly 100,000 German and British soldiers along the Western Front declared an unofficial truce during Christmas. They ceased hostilities for a period of time. Reports recall British and German soldiers sharing food and holiday drink, singing carols and even playing soccer together. It was a moment so shocking to the world's expectations that it continues to reverberate in our collective imaginations over 100 years later. (And Fred Small memorialized the incident in a powerful folk song.)

Even our own top military leaders are advising that a military victory will not bring an end to Ukraine's tragic situation. The future of these relationships runs through the negotiating table, whether people like that idea or not. In the meantime, does it really make sense to be pouring billions and billions of dollars into destroying human lives and the infrastructure of homes, hospitals, utilities, roads and more that sustain life? 

What is happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking, and I know many of us are feeling deeply for the people suffering the onslaught. I would be glad for them to have a Christmas Truce, and find a way to an on-going truce while adults work out the conflicts through words, not weapons.


Sending light and love to all,

Rabbi Julie

Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir, Heart of the City