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We stand with Israel

30/01/2023 09:12:56 AM

Jan30

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day and during Shabbat, a 21-year-old Palestinian terrorist murdered seven Israelis on Friday night. On Shabbat day, a 13 year old critically injured two Israelis. Both tragedies took place in Jerusalem.

Regardless of one's political views regarding Israel's elected government, we Diaspora Jews dare not stand aside silently when Israel and its citizens are under attack. Each of us needs to be prepared to be an articulate spokesperson for Israel. 

The Talmud teaches us "Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Ba'Zeh - All of Israel (the world-wide Jewish community) is responsible for each other. Interestingly, the Hebrew word "Arevim-responsible for" literally means that all Jews are "mixed together." Alternatively, "Arevim" also literally means "to be a surety, one for the other."

Whether a Jew self identifies as a hawk or dove; as religious, cultural or secular, etc., we are ultimately one group, one mixture, one peoplehood. How ironic that the outside anti-Semitic world knows how to define us, and we Jews divide ourselves into competing almost non-recognizable factions. 

During these tragic times, I encourage us to recite the prayer for the State of Israel daily (found on our website and in many Siddurim in Hebrew and English):

"Our Father in heaven, Protector and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first flowering of our redemption. Shield her beneath the wings of Your kindness, and spread over her Your canopy of peace. Send Your light and truth to her leaders, officers, and counselors. Strengthen the defenders of our Holy Land. Grant them salvation. Crown them with victory. Establish peace in the land and everlasting joy for its inhabitants. Amen!"

Rabbi Howard Morrison

Wed, 7 June 2023 18 Sivan 5783