The Reverend Dr. Wil Gafney is an Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She is an ordained Episcopal priest, a member of the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia and also a member of a Reconstructionist minyan, Dorshei Derekh Minyan of the Germantown Jewish Centre. Wil is a good friend and partner to the Multifaith Studies Department at RRC. Twice in the last few years, Wil co-taught with Rabbi Melissa Heller our course, Hevruta: Jewish-Christian Encounter through Text. Recently, she left Philadelphia to spend 40 days in Jerusalem, writing and thinking, and of course, blogging.
The curious reader who checks out Wil's blog will be rewarded, not only by the thoughtful observations and stunning photography, but also by the opportunity to see the Israel/Palestine conflict through a unique perspective. As Wil herself acknowledges in her first entry, she comes to this situation, like anyone, with "baggage." Here is Wil's description of her own:
Jerusalem is important to me as a Christian, as a woman who prays in synagogue, as a person committed to inter-religious dialogue, as a woman who seeks peace on the earth in my lifetime, and as an American voter who communicates my desire for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to my elected representatives.
The second day into her visit, Wil posts the 1948 Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. She writes,
I hold out hope that the people who produced the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel will live up to and into its promises (just as I hope we Americans will live up to and into our Constitution).
The intelligence and generosity of spirit that make Wil a wonderful teacher also make her trip to Jerusalem worth noting. I look forward to following Wil's intellectual and spiritual journey as she makes meaning out of her time in Jerusalem. You can find Wil blogging here.