It is as simple as Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson put it just now, in response to the terror campaign being waged by Palestinians against Israelis, with more that 150 stabbings, car-rammings, shootings, and explicit incitement to commit more acts of terror from elected officials:
The political context and solution can be discussed later, but for today: simple solidarity with the victims, innocent civilians deliberately murdered just for being Jews, just for being Israeli.
I share here a few statements made by Jewish groups during these last few days, and ask you to stay tuned in, to pray for peace, for safety, for life for Israelis and Palestinians. I ask you to take action how you see fit to save lives, to speak love, to share your dreams for and take steps to recreate the world as you believe it should be. Ours is not to complete these enormous tasks, but the Divine within each of us can make a profound difference. If and where you believe my perspective is different from yours, please see this email as an invitation to share coffee, to take a walk, to cry together. There's more than enough pain and love - and hope - to go around.
The American Jewish Committee has asked all American citizens to a sk your representatives to support a congressional resolution that urges PA President Abbas and PA officials to discontinue all official incitement. This is not a partisan request that ignores Israel's imperfect record and ongoing internal/international struggles - it is what we would - and do - call out in response to hatred anywhere. For our homeland, we will do nothing less.Please click here for the AJC links.
I also share here the statement released by the Jewish Federations of North America, the consensus group that includes every local Federation, including our own East Bay Federation:
"We are stunned and deeply troubled by the recent terrorist attacks in Israel which have continued to escalate since an innocent Israeli couple was barbarically shot to death in their car in front of their four children. We remain horrified by these acts of terror and our thoughts and prayers are with these victims and their families," said Michael Siegal, Chair of the Board of The Jewish Federations of North America. "With each of these murders an entire family is shattered and will never be the same. Our hearts ache for their loss as we hope for this violence to end."
"We continue to mourn for those who have been murdered and pray for their families, and we wish for a full and speedy recovery to all of those who have been injured. No family should have to endure such pain and suffering," said Jerry Silverman, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. "There is no possible justification for these senseless attacks and we continue to stand in solidarity with the State of Israel."
And, for those who hear "Federation" and "American Jewish Committee" and believe their statements to be biased regarding the very complicated ongoing dynamic between Israel and Palestine, I finally share here the statement by Truah: Rabbis for Human Rights:
Our brothers' and sisters' blood cries out to us from the ground. We have watched with pain and sorrow as the recent wave of terror attacks have claimed too many lives and orphaned too many children. We unconditionally condemn these violent attacks on innocent Israeli citizens. No political motive justifies murdering or injuring civilians. We call on the Palestinian and international leadership to condemn these attacks in no uncertain terms.
Friends, our hearts are simply broken, and the shock of attack after attack (4 were reported between when I started typing and right now) can immobilize.
I beg of you: don't lose hope. Stand tall and proud as Jews, as a Jewish community - and reach out to anyone you know in Israel or with Israeli family and friends. Let's model the love we pray influence our political reality, soon and in our days.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Please God, may it be so: right now.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…