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CBY's Response to the War in Israel

"Peace will come when our enemies love their children more than they hate us." - Golde Meir

Dear Friends,

Simchat Torah and Shabbat are days of celebration. They are days of study, of peace, of rest. Today, because of the cowardly actions of people who hate us for the heinous crime of being different, Simchat Torah and Shabbat became a day of terror for our brothers and sisters in Israel and a day of rage and sadness for Jews around the world.

I believe - I truly believe - that every story has two sides; but not this one. Nearly 50 years to the day after the Yom Kippur War, today’s ruthless attacks by Hamas against civilians remind us that, as much as we pray for peace, as much as our leaders work towards peace, our enemies have no interest in that goal. Our enemies, perverting the doctrine of their own faith, are committed to our destruction and find joy in the images of Jewish men, women, and children injured and afraid. They claim to be freedom fighters, warriors of God, and patriots. They are none of these things. They are terrorists. They are cowards. They are evil. They must be stopped. The world must stand with Israel and must support her in this time of need. 

Even now, leaders around the world condemn the actions of Hamas, yet urge Israel to show restraint. I am devastated. I am heartbroken. And, yes, I am angry. 

I endeavor to move my anguish into prayer, and ultimately, to action. I pray for a swift end to this uprising and to the violence of this moment. I pray that all who planned and perpetrated this coordinated attack will be brought to justice. I pray for the healing of Israel and all of its people, the dozens killed and hundreds wounded; and all those who love and defend it, wherever we are - in body, mind, spirit, intellect; for each of us individually, and all of us together. And, as our liturgy reminds us, we pray for there one day to be peace in Jerusalem and our Holy Land.

Our solidarity, support, and love of Israel will never waver and will never falter. As many have said, wherever I stand, I stand with Israel, and I pray that you will stand with me as well.

The Jewish community has, as always, moved swiftly to support Israel and I invite you to join them. The UJA Federation of New York has launched an Israel Emergency Fund where our donations will go to help provide urgent support for the victims. In the coming days you will hear more about an Israel solidarity and teach-in event happening here in Westchester at Congregation Emanu-El of Rye on Monday, October 30th at 7:00, as well as other opportunities in the coming weeks and months to show and renew the unbreakable bond we share with our sisters and brothers in Israel. And, as always, if there is any way at all that I can be helpful to or supportive of you in any kind of moment you may be having, I hope you won't hesitate to be in touch.

Wishing us all a Shabbat Shalom and a Chag sameach, for us to find moments of peace and enjoyment of our world and each other, even during, and sometimes especially during, challenging moments for ourselves and our people.

Mon, July 15 2024 9 Tammuz 5784