Info about ‘If Not Now’ potluck

‘If Not Now” is hosting a potluck Hanukkah celebration at Sid Hall’s Methodist church on Speedway in Hyde Park, Austin. Kol Halev has celebrated Shabbat and other holidays there. Sid and his community have been gracious hosts and participants in our celebrations.
“If Not Now” is a Jewish organization, made up of mostly 20-40 somethings (and their older allies), devoted to Jewish values that support the end of the occupation of the Palestinian people and the creation of a free and independent Palestinian state. Some are aligned with the BDS movement, and others are not. They welcome a diverse population of participants from many religious and spiritual, ethnic and cultural, and gender identified backgrounds. I am strongly aligned with their platform and have been asked to lead prayer and teach at some of their events, including this one.
I am posting all this introduction, so that if you come to this celebration, you know what the focus will be and can come with an open heart and mind to listen and celebrate. This is not a place or time for debate, it is a celebration.
The Jewish values “If Not Now” embodies include:
Shalom Bayit- peace in the house
Hachnasat orchim- welcoming the stranger
Shalom- peace
Refuah shlaymah- complete healing
Tikkun olam- repair of the world
And many others.
Hanukkah is a challenging holiday for Jews based on its violent military story. The myth of the oil is told to drown out the murderous, militant, zealot take back of the temple in Jerusalem after ancient Greek occupation. The Jewish zealots fight, however, is not with the ancient Greeks. It is with the Jews they deemed assimilated and not worthy of the title Jew. The ancient story tells of the Jewish blood they spilled in honor of purifying the temple. For more information, read the books of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha, and the Books of the Maccabean Wars.
It is my hope, that anyone who attends this celebration, and we do hope you will attend, will come with the spirit of unity and engagement over an otherwise divisive ancient story and current conflict.
Here is the link to sign up for the potluck.
With love, Lev
PS The phrase “If Not Now” comes from the Talmud.
Hillel says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14