I am deeply pained by — and mourn — the loss of life already inflicted and I lament the many further tragedies that will befall both Israelis and Palestinians in the days ahead. Our Sages teach: “Whoever destroys life, it is as if he destroyed the world; whoever saves life, it is as if he saved the world.”
Our synagogue stands with Israel in its fight to protect its citizens and suppress terrorism.
Hamas is an anti-Semitic terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Islamic Jihad is Iran’s subsidiary in the Gaza Strip. While the causes of this latest round of bloodletting are complicated (as is everything in the Middle East) — and do not lend themselves to soundbites — there is no justification for the purposeful targeting of civilians. Every rocket fired from Gaza constitutes a war crime. No country would — or should — tolerate indiscriminate attacks on its civilians.
Our tradition teaches, “All Jews are responsible one for the other.” Of all of the many Jewish values I have endeavored to convey in the 17 years we have been together, this is at the heart: When one Jew is attacked, all are attacked. When one Jew feels pain, all are pained.
We pray for a speedy end to the current bloodletting. We pledge to continue our work towards coexistence and a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Sha’alu shlom Yerushalayim — Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure.
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch