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A Message from the Clergy

Posted on May 18, 2018 by Rabbi Jonah Zinn

Dear friends,

It has been an extremely difficult few days for all who care about the people living in Jerusalem, in Gaza, in Israel and the West Bank. As your clergy, we are heartbroken and we are torn. There is a part of us that feels the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem was a moment of historic import where our country officially recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of our Jewish homeland. And there is a greater part of us that believes the opening of the U.S. embassy was an act ignoring 70 years of diplomacy based on an understanding that both Jewish Israelis and Palestinians have powerful attachments to Jerusalem that still need to be negotiated and resolved. We are concerned for the well-being of the nation of Israel and all of its people, who have faced real threats to their safety and security for these past 70 years. We are, of course, deeply disturbed by the deaths of so many people at the Gaza border. We are filled with questions.

What are we to do?

  • We believe it is possible to be a Jew who cares deeply about the sovereignty and security of Israel AND who cares about the dignity, rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.
  • We believe that a two-state solution is the only viable option to ensure that these two peoples are able to live in peace, but we are despairing that this solution seems to be falling further and further out of reach.
  • We believe that we, as Americans and as Jews, have both the right and the responsibility to educate ourselves about the situation and to engage in advocacy and action to bring about the future for Israel and the Palestinians we envision as moral and right.

To assist each of us in moving from the paralysis of inaction and uncertainty, we offer a variety of resources with which to begin to educate ourselves. While not an exhaustive list, these articles are a starting place to help us each sort out the facts, opinions and ideas that can lead us to making just decisions and taking just actions:

Finally, we want to invite you to join us next Friday evening, May 25 for our 6 pm Shabbat worship. Our prayers will be directed in part towards the peaceful resolution of this most recent conflict, and Rabbi Bennett will offer some reflections on current events in Israel. If you have specific questions you would like Rabbi Bennett to address, please email them to [email protected]

L’shalom,

Rabbis Bennett, Goldstein, Zinn, Stiffman and Cantor Warner

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