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Rabbi's Week in Review - 10/24/2023

10/24/2023 12:42:52 PM


In our response to the horrific terrorism inflicted by Hamas against Jews in southern Israel, our ongoing concern for the hostages and innocent Israelis and Palestinians has not changed much since last week. The need to express feelings and the struggle in how to respond to these events remain.

We also remain concerned about the welfare of Jews and Muslims here in the United States. As of this writing, we do not know the perpetrator or the motive for the murder of the president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit. That the murder took place has raised the level of fear within our Jewish community.

I continue to seek out space for our Congregation Kol Ami family to share feelings, without the need for definitive answers. I have, with purpose, put my own political views on hiatus until all those under threat of violence are on safer ground. Yet, as I led a study last Shabbos on the different strains of Zionism dating back to the mid-19th century, I posed the question I think remains important even amidst our confused feelings: What does Israel mean to us, the Jewish people?  

Is it solely for the need to have a safe harbor for our physical survival? Is it to fulfill a religious/messianic goal embedded in our relationship with G-d? Is it to be a light to the nations — a moral center that reflects the best of our Jewish values?

As we fight for Israel in whatever way we strive to do so, let us not lose sight of what Israel means to us, and how we achieve the Israel we desire for our people going forward. 

Mon, December 11 2023 28 Kislev 5784