Statement from Rabbi Steven Schwartz on Israel

April 14, 2024

Dear Beth El family,

In a week’s time we will sit down with family and friends at our seder tables to celebrate Passover. The Haggadah tells the story of ancient Israel and its exodus from Egypt, but also reminds us that in each generation an enemy will arise with the intent of harming Am Yisrael, the Jewish people. Sadly, that is an eternal truth of Jewish life, but at certain times we experience it in a more direct and profound way. We are living in one of those times.

Last night’s attack against Israel by Iran reminds us of this fundamental truth once again. Like Jews everywhere, our thoughts this morning are with the land of Israel and our brothers and sisters who live there. We are grateful for the strength of the IDF and the courage of its soldiers, for the support of the United States and other allies in Israel’s defense, and for the incredible resilience Israelis have shown day by day since the October 7th attacks.

We continue to pray for the return of the hostages, and we look forward to a day, God willing, when Israel will be able to dwell securely and in peace. In the words of the great prophet Micah, we know with faith that a day will soon come when “… they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not take up sword against nation, and they shall never again know war.”

And in the eternal words of the Psalmist: “May God give strength to the Jewish people; may God bless the Jewish people with peace.”

Rabbi Steve Schwartz

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