Rabbi Amy Eilberg's From Enemy To Peace

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Conflict resolution is a hard enough concept to grasp without throwing religion into the mix. Rabbi Amy Eilberg was not fazed by conquering both in her book From Enemy To Friend: Jewish Wisdom and the Pursuit of Peace. Rabbi Eilberg first decided to write her book on conflicts between faiths when she noticed her synagogue fighting ferociously about the events going on between Israel and Palestine, both in person and on a listserve. Horrified at how her peers were discussing the tragedy, she decided that someone needed to look into how to deal with interfaith conflict and that she was the person for the job. She started noticing the conflicts she engaged with in her life, she became self-aware of her triggers. Then, she started to delve into the texts on the Jewish faith, the Torah, rabbinical studies and the Jewish Midrash. From there she started looking at what theorists had to say about peace and conflict theory. The end result of her musings and research is a book that engages most of the scholarship on peacebuilding and conflict resolution that she hopes will …show more content…
Eilberg, personal communication, November 13, 2014). Her search led her to some interesting findings. She started looking into the neuroscience behind the “fight or flight” response and found that the amygdala, an “almond-shaped structure of the brain,” the part of our limbic system that is responsible for that chest-tightening, hands-fisting reaction we get when we feel threatened (Eilberg, 33). She goes on to point out that “the amygdala responds to work, stress, traffic, perfectionist instincts, and irritable colleagues as if to mortal danger in the forest” (Eilberg, 35). Essentially, our body’s response is natural, leftover from the days when it was eat or be eaten. But how does one combat this visceral reaction? How does one move from “fight or flight” to making conflict

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