Most of you have heard the news from Israel. For those of you who have sent me emails asking about our family - thank you. All is well. Talia and Moti and the girls were home in the northern part of Israel, Shiri had just left work in Tel Aviv and though Ilan was at that bus stop an hour before the explosion, he is safe at his base. Nevertheless, today’s attack is personal because we all have a stake in Israel and her welfare.
Many of you have commented on the irony of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s address to the United Nations on Yom Kippur. I urge you to read the full text. When you read his speech it is alarmingly mild. Do not be mistaken, he speaks against Israel and America, but he claims to have a vision for world peace, which will put an end to the suffering of the innocent people around the world. His public words must be measured against his words in his own language and his actions. The timing of his speech is an example of duplicity. More than ever we must be careful while forming opinions.
Shabbat is about to enter Jerusalem. This is always such a peaceful moment. Yesterday sixteen teenagers from BJBE returned home from a ten day odyssey to discover their Jewish past and touch their Jewish souls. We traveled to the Czech Republic and then Israel, accompanied by the loving and attentive presence of Cantor Wolman and Emily Schwartz, Director of Youth Engagement. The power of this journey cannot be overstated. BJBE has a long-standing commitment to the Czech Republic. The Nazis decimated the city of Kolin, which is outside of Prague.
"When God created the first human beings, God led them around the Garden of Eden and said, "Look at my works! See how beautiful they are - how excellent! For your sake, I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it." (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah 1 on Ecclesiastes 7:13)
Learning the Symbols of our Sanctuary, video