Interview with Rivka Liron Bat Cohen: Zionist, Writer, Poet, Videographer, Aliyah Advocate
I met Liron when she posted a great video about Jerusalem on a Facebook page. Contacting her and asking for an interview felt like the only thing to do. Here’s a young lady who devotes so much of her time and energy to the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. Why would I not want to get her opinion? Liron agreed to the interview right away. Here’s the interview:
Me: Please tell me about yourself: Where were you born? Where do you live? What are your passions in life?
Liron: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia (yes there are Jews there). I am currently studying Public Relations and film at Boston University and living in the Boston area. My passions in life…well, Israel and the Jewish people are my main passion and what I dedicate my life to. I thank G-d that I was blessed with passions for film-making and writing, but ultimately I use these gifts to help the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland. Besides my work, I have other passions. I hike and love to be outdoors…There are two ways to know G-d, through learning Torah and through nature. I try to fill my life with both. I spend a lot of my time in the mountains, among the trees…I hope to eventually move to the mountains in Israel.
Me: Why do you want to make Aliyah? Do you feel all American Jews should do the same?
Liron: Israel is the future of the Jewish people, and I want to be a part of building that future. Right now, while I am “visiting” Galut-as I like to say-I am only here so that I can have the skills to bring back to Israel when I am done. I want to be part of the Redemption and I want my children to live at home, to not grow up strangers in a strange land as I did.
Ideally, I’d like all Jews to be in the Land of Israel. I push for everyone I know to make Aliyah and I am never happier than when I hear of a Jew moving home to Israel. I make a few exceptions, however, for people who are on “shlichuts” or missions. Eventually, I’d like them to be in Israel, but if they are doing good things for the communities that they live in, I’m willing to wait a little for them.
Me: What do you think of the Arab-Israeli conflict? Are we right and why?
Liron: The Arab-Israeli conflict is an unnatural conflict caused by outside forces pushing us against each other. Jews have the right to live in our indigenous homeland and have our own government. Anti-Semitism will always exist. The best way to combat it is to do what you know is right. In this case, with us and Israel,we are right.
Me: I understand you love poetry. Can you share what you feel is your best poem with me?
Liron: I actually began to write this poem thinking it would be about my tshuva process. The “waking up” was supposed to be the realization of truth in Judaism. When I finished writing, I realized that my tshuva process and the Land of Israel were so interconnected that even if you did not recognize the tshuva story within the poem, it was still relevant to my own journey.
I wake up
To the rock covered hills
To the olive trees and lined caravans
To a sunrise in Samaria
My empty sleep has ceased
Truth has ended slumber’s term
Is there anything more beautiful
Than this land, these people, these rock covered hills
These olive trees and lined caravans
This sunrise in Samaria
Awake, my soul, from your slumber
Sing out Modeh Ani
A new morning has come
I join my spiritual nation
The marriage of our two souls seeks out the fruits of its consummation
The people of Israel and the land
Combine under the Chuppah of Heaven
And make a house for their kingdom
I have also done a little spoken word poetry, which you can see on this youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Me: I’ve seen your videos. They’re really amazing! Where can people find your work?
Liron: Thank you! You can find my vimeo page at http://vimeo.com/
You can find her other writing at itsjustsomethingtothinkabout.