Message from the Rabbi
May 13, 2021
The times when our brothers and sisters in Israel live under threat are particularly challenging. It saddens me when people’s safety and real lives are affected, and pundits and politicians from near and far play games and stake out positions. When the missile attacks began, I reached out to the president of our sister congregation in Be’er Sheva. It was 3.00 a.m. his time, and he answered immediately, listening to the booms of missiles and interceptions from his secure room in his apartment. Pre-school families from our partner Yozma in Modi’in have been traumatized by the missile attacks. Members of our Temple family have heard of similar Israeli experiences and shared them with me. Please reach out to those you are connected with in Israel to let them know that we are thinking of them and supporting them.
The riots and attacks coming from the Israeli Arab community are unprecedented. Seeing Jewish Israelis murdered for being Jews and synagogues burned is something we did not imagine. While there are always extremists on both sides of any equation, there is no symmetry in this situation. Israeli Jewish extremists have been immediately criticized and disavowed by Israel politicians from across the political spectrum. Israeli Arab politicians have not shown the same ethic, and the criminals of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and others have encouraged and celebrated violence against Jewish civilians.
Helping our friends in Israel feel our support is more important than ever. We will be participating in the Kabbalat Shabbat service of Ramot Shalom of Be’er sheva tomorrow morning at 10.15 a.m. our time. If you are able to join us for this study and interaction and songs and prayers, please do. We have added additional prayers for Israel and the IDF soldiers to our daily Boker Tov streams. We will provide regular updates and links as this tense situation evolves. Join us to pray for peace, to contact our friends and relatives in Israel, and to advocate for the peace and security that Israel and all nations deserve.