“As part of my work with a group called Faith Commons, I facilitate inter-religious conversations. I was making a dual-narrative trip to Israel and Palestine. I left with my mom from Dallas, Texas on Friday, October 6th. We landed in Tel Aviv on Saturday, October 7th at about five o'clock local time. We were the last flight that was allowed in because war had already broken out. I didn't know any of this. I flipped on my phone to text my husband and say we were there. And that's when I found out and everything blew up from there.”
Mara Richards Bim, episode 31
Mara Richards Bim, a theater professional turned seminary student, boarded a flight on Friday, October 6, 2023, to facilitate interfaith dialogue between Israel and Palestine. While she was in flight, Hamas attacked.
We discuss her harrowing journey, what it was like in the first hours and days of the war, and the impact of violence and hatred for both Israelis and Palestinians.
But, as Uplifters, we also look for a path forward, one of deep listening, empathy, and courageous conversation.
Please listen and share this important conversation.
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- Introduction (00:00 - 02:17): Aransas introduces the podcast and its guest, Mara Richards-Bim, setting the stage for a discussion about Mara's remarkable journey.
- Mara's Background and Mission (02:17 - 06:26): Mara describes her background in theater and the founding of Cry Havoc Theater Company, which focused on tackling challenging social issues. She outlines her transition to theological studies and her goal to work in the interfaith space.
- Mara's Trip to Israel and Palestine (06:26 - 14:27): Mara shares her experiences during a dual narrative trip to the conflict-ridden region, emphasizing the importance of interfaith dialogue and understanding. She highlights the rise of Jewish nationalism and Christian nationalism, which paralleled her experiences.
- Challenges and Conflict (14:27 - 17:57): The conversation delves into the challenges of addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict, distinguishing between critiques of governments and joy at civilian suffering. Mara emphasizes that Hamas does not represent all Palestinians and condemns the violence on both sides.
- Addressing Hate and Misunderstanding (17:57 - 21:46): Aransas and Mara discuss the rise of hate, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, and how it contributes to conflict. The importance of extending love and concern to both Muslim and Jewish communities is emphasized.
- The Path Forward (21:46 - 24:48): Mara discusses the need for the United States to play a role in fostering dialogue and peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Faith communities are key players in this process.
- Finding Common Ground (24:48 - 27:19): The conversation shifts to the importance of focusing on shared values across religious traditions, such as compassion and kindness, to build bridges between communities.
- The Role of Empathy (27:19 - 28:54): Mara and Aransas discuss the significance of empathy, understanding, and experiencing human stories in fostering peace.
- Taking Care of Oneself (28:54 - 30:30): Mara shares how she coped with the emotional toll of her experience, highlighting the importance of seeking therapy, setting expectations, and finding joy in moments of respite.
- Uplifting Conversations (30:30 - 38:13): The episode concludes by reflecting on the role of uplifters in engaging in challenging conversations, promoting connection, and inspiring empathy and understanding.
- Closing Remarks (38:13 - 38:16): Aransas and Mara exchange closing thoughts, expressing their commitment to more love, compassion, and courageous conversations.
Thank you so much for being here! Let’s keep rising higher, together, 💓 Aransas
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