Skip to main content

Standing with Israel





I just got off the phone with Oren Marmerstein of the Israeli Embassy.  It’s one thing to read headlines, to debate politics.  It’s another to speak to someone who is regularly contacting his parents and family as the rockets are falling.  Many of us in our congregation have loved ones and dear friends in harm’s way during this difficult time.  This is a time for prayer and for doing what we can to show support.  Oren shared with me information that he can access at the embassy.  He watched a video from the cockpit of an Israeli fighter jet.  He could see how the Hamas target was situated right in the middle of a civilian area, with innocent people acting as human shields.  From the cockpit, the pilot was ready to launch a missile at the target, but suddenly he saw two civilians.  Immediately, he asked permission to abort so as not to harm innocent life, and his commander instantly ratified the request.  Oren told me how a standard policy of the IDF is to literally call the Palestinians in the apartment buildings shielding Hamas outposts, urging them to get away because the area is about to be attacked.  The IDF even sends text messages to warn the people of danger.  The moral strivings of the IDF compared to the cowardly tactics of Hamas are astonishing.  I’m certainly not one to white-wash the failings and shortcomings of the Israeli government or the IDF.  There are many.  But the moral strivings of our people in Israel are real and so little understood by most of the world.  One way we can support Israel is through our sharing of what we know about Israel’s struggle to do what is right in the midst of impossible circumstances.  Another way is to lend financial support to Israel.  Click here for a list of organizations that you can donate to in order to help.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The New Idolatry

I want to tell  you a story about a long-time friend of my parents.  I will refer to him as Joe.  They have known each other for many decades.  Practically grew up together.  He’s in his eighties now.  He has survived lots of health crises, including many years of respiratory problems, Type 2 Diabetes, and triple bypass surgery.  Several years ago, my family was visiting with his family.  We had a wonderful time all together.  We ate  out at different restaurants a few times. And Joe loved a good meal.  Time and again, he ordered truly, decadent meals:  grilled cheese done to perfection for lunch. Deep fried chicken for dinner.  Lasagna another night.  For breakfast he ordered gooey cinnamon buns heaping with cream-cheese icing.  And when he got the most amazing donuts for us all, and then ate half the box, followed later by cheese fries, I finally felt the need to say something to good old Joe.

“Hey, Joe,” I said.  “I really hope I’m not out of line here, but you know all these wonder…

The Importance of Keruv

I would like to teach us all a very important value in Jewish life known as Keruv.Keruv literally means ‘to bring close,’ ‘to draw near.’Throughout our history, the word “keruv” has meant the endeavor to bring close all those among are people who are, for whatever reason, feeling far away from the community.Keruv is a beautiful Jewish value that is all about welcoming.It’s the heart and soul of what has sustained us as a community for generations.The Jewish value of Keruv goes a long way back in Judaism. It seems that many of the great biblical figures were also especially concerned with Keruv. And their lives and stories teach us much about how to draw other people Karov, close to Judaism.
There was Aharon, the High Priest, the brother of Moses, for example. Our tradition tells us that he just had a magnificent talent for Keruv. When the Mishnah talks about Aharon, it says that he was Ohev Shalom v’Rodef Shalom, Oheiv et haBriot, umekarvan latorah: that he loved peace and pursued peac…

The Deadliest Poison: When Anti-Semitism Infects Liberalism

This past summer, the national Black Lives Matter movement released an official platform outlining several of its policy proposals in its efforts to end the war on black people in this country.  Among its proposals, it used the platform as an opportunity to attack Israel, calling it an “apartheid state.” The platform also stated “The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”  Last January, at the annual National Gay and Lesbian Creating Change Conference in Chicago, a pro-Israel reception was initially shut down by the conference organizers, bowing to pressure from anti-Israel groups.  When the reception eventually got the green light, their event was stormed by an angry mob trying to shut down the Jewish and Israeli event following their Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat services.  Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, the rabbi of the LGBT congregation Beit Simchat Torah in NY, and an …