During a recent visit to Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel., I went on a trip with Encounter to East Lit. City of peace From the time of David to the Roman destruction, Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the spiritual and governmental center of the Jewish people. During the long exile, Jews longed to return to Jerusalem and wrote poems, prayers, and songs about the beloved city. In 1967, with the capture of the Old City, Jerusalem was reunited, becoming "the eternal capital of Israel." Still, the longing for peace is unfulfilled.. I saw checkpoints, military personnel, refugee camps, and neighborhoods that look very different from my own. Later, I sat and I listened to Palestinians tell their stories and speak about their realities of living in Jerusalem. I listened to their stories and I listened to their pain, and my heart broke as each of them told a room full of Jews what it is like to be Palestinian in Jerusalem.
As I listened, the speakers became my mothers, my sisters, my sons, and my brothers; I could see myself in each one of them. We must strive to always see each other as created in the image of God, because when we do, we treat each other with love, dignity, and respect. As the day was ending the words of one speaker, a teenager, remained in my head. He said, “I am a human…” Those words stayed with me the rest of the day and I came home and wrote this song.
I am human and I am free
Watch me fly above the trees
You can hear my cry and you can hear my roar
But you can’t take away my soul
We’ll fight and we’ll cry and we’ll even abide
We’ll say goodbye just to stay alive
And the day will come to have dignity again