On November 4, 1995 (12 Cheshvan), Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a fellow Israeli at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. The months preceding his murder were darkened by discord, incitement, and hate speech. It was disagreement in its most destructive form.
Every year since, Israelis and Jews around the world have struggled to mark Yom Rabin, the Hebrew date of Rabin's assassination. Some teach of peace, some learn about democracy, some ignore its significance altogether.
We believe it’s time for a new tradition.
Our goal is to make Yom Rabin the Jewish Day of Healthy Argument. A day on which Jews worldwide host events and programs that embrace healthy arguments.
Arguments that help us talk openly about our disagreements and understand each other’s perspectives. Arguments that build bridges rather than deepening divides. Arguments that teach us that we can live together, despite our differences.
Without it, we have no way to formulate policies that serve a diverse variety of interests and populations, nor will we have the resilience to maintain diverse communities. Yom Rabin presents an excellent opportunity to hone our individual and collective skills of healthy argument and to do so in a way that reaffirms our commitment to living together in peace.
Healthy argument can provide one crucial antidote to such escalation, channeling societal conflicts into greater cohesion, problem-solving, and capacity to find ways forward together. We are excited to join with other organizations in marking Yom Rabin as a Day of Healthy Argument and to offer tools to help communities confront, honor, and learn even from enduring and passionate differences.
We believe that our differences can enrich our learning, deepen our relationships, and prompt personal growth. Yom Rabin reminds us of the crucial need to engage with those with whom we disagree in accordance with the Jewish value of mahloket le-shem shamayim (loosely translated as ‘constructive disagreement’).
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