Rabbi’s Message: Feb. 1, 2015

Support the State of Israel 

Eretz Yisrael nikrat chaim / The land of Israel is called life.
Avot d’Rabi Natan 34

B’li atzmut musarit v’ruchanit lo titakhen atzmut l’amit / Without intellectual and spiritual independence, there can be no national independence.
David Ben Gurion

V’nikrat Yerushalayim ir haemet/ And Jerusalem will be called the city of truth.
Zecharia 8:3

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
He’s criticized and condemned for being alive
He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin
He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in
He’s the neighborhood bully

Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for him. He was supposed to feel bad
He’s the neighborhood bully

Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what it was written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the neighborhood bully

Excerpted from “The Neighborhood Bully,” by Bob Dylan (from the Infidels album). Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music. Read all the lyrics here: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/neighborhood-bully

Chevra,

I’m sure that you are aware of the polls that purportedly show diminishing support for the State of Israel amongst American Jews. You are certainly also aware of the massive attempt by Israel’s enemies to falsely smear Israel with bogus charges of apartheid and genocide and the obscene attempt to create an analogy between the Nazi Holocaust against defenseless law-abiding Jews and Israel’s highly restrained efforts to defend its population from the scourge of maniacal Palestinian Islamic terror, which includes a wide scope of violence—from the rockets and terror tunnels of Hamas, to murdering davening rabbis in their shul with meat cleavers, to almost daily attacks with knives, fire bombs, and rocks, to running over Jews with cars.

Even with much of the world hypocritically and cynically condemning Israel and appeasing the most belligerent and violent human rights–abusing Islamists, Israel almost miraculously continues to thrive and make tremendous advances and contributions to the whole world in science, literature, prosthetics, archeology, agriculture, water conservation and irrigation, medicine, cell phone and computer technology, environmental conservation, and much more. Even while under siege Israel remains an oasis of freedom in the midst of one of the least free regions in the world, maintaining the high standards of a free democracy through protecting by law the rights of all citizens of the State of Israel including its Arab/Muslim population.

Israel is also the best insurance policy that every Jew in the world holds. No longer are Jews defenseless. In the dark days of the Shoah, there was no Jewish armed forces, no Jewish jets piloted by the best pilots in the world, no Jewish special forces, and no Jewish State to offer safety, refuge, and home. As I write this following the murder spree enacted by Muslim fanatics against the French magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of Islam’s founder Mohammed and a subsequent massacre at a Paris Kosher market on erev Shabbat, which followed a wave of Muslim violence directed at Jews, French Jews are in large numbers claiming their benefits under this “State of Israel insurance” and fleeing France for refuge in Israel.

Almost all of us have health and auto insurance. We have this insurance by paying a fee each month to our insurance carrier. How do we pay for our State of Israel insurance policy? Of course we can make financial contributions. However, a more valuable payment is through our open and vocal support for the State of Israel.

I suggest you join the Zionist Organization of American as I recently have. In a recent Shabbat service we had the pleasure of being addressed by Liz Berney, the Director of the Queens/Long Island branch of the ZOA, which was very informative. Vote for the ZOA slate in the elections of the World Zionist Congress (which you can do once you join).

Of course the State of Israel is not perfect. Much progress needs to be made on establishing religious pluralism in Israel and in breaking the unfortunate near monopoly unfairly held by the Orthodox on Jewish religious life. The more involved and the more support we offer the State of Israel, the louder our voices will be heard on this issue.

I look forward to our congregation being known as an Israel activist congregation.

Am Yisrael Chai! B’Shalom

Menashe

 

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