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For the Record on Israel

09/03/2014 12:35:02 PM

Sep3

Dear B'nai Jacob family,

Penny and I wish you and yours a Shana Tova Tikatevu V'techatemu. May you be written and sealed in the Book of Life for a year filled with health, happiness and peace!

As of this writing and as we approach the New Year of 5775, Israel is faced with a tremendous crisis. An ongoing battle with Hamas terrorists has taken its toll on our people. Missiles and mortar shells numbering 4,594 were fired from Gaza, bringing with them terror, destruction of homes and schools, injuries and deaths.

In the midst of all the pain and suffering, Hamas has been waging an immoral war, where life has no value, while Israel tries to defend herself, choosing the high road, striving to be compassionate wherever possible, endeavoring to spare the lives of innocent Gazans.

Even when  there was  military action, Israel continued to keep the Kerem Shalom crossing open. This then and now allows medical and humanitarian aid to flow. In just three days, for example. 232 trucks with 4,839 tons of goods, food, medicine and medical equipment entered Gaza. Additionally, diesel fuel and gas have been supplied.

Did you know that at the Erez crossing, since the beginning of the war, Israel has allowed 4,042 Palestinians access into Israel, and 2,874 into Gaza? Did you know that the IDF has cooperated with the Red Crescent  to open a field hospital at the Erez crossing? And, by the way, are you aware that last year, Israel hospitals treated 180,000 citizens of “Palestine?”

My point is obvious, isn't it? Israel seeks to promote life, not death. How different and unfair a picture is painted of Israel in the world's media. How amazing it is that the genuine stories receive either little or no coverage!

Each one of us is a representative of the Jewish people. Each of us has the opportunity to teach our neighbor, when he or she asks for the truth, or correct our friends, when they believe the twisted and negative reports.

Each of us can also continue to assist Israel, in her hour of need. We can give Tzedakah to such important and worthy causes as Stop the Sirens. Here is the link to donate online: https://secure-fedweb.jewishfederations.org/page/contribute/operation-protective-edge

After the war, Israel not only needs funds for reconstruction, but also monies for the treatment of millions, including children, who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This must be addressed immediately.  Here is the link to donate: http://www.ujafedny.org/news/israel-trauma-coalition-helps-israelis-cope/

Our religious school will be collecting Tzedakah to give to the Jewish National Fund for planting trees in Israel. Why, you may ask? Here is information, which is appalling. Just in the north of Israel, where 4,000 Katyusha rockets were fired from the Hezbolah in the past, approximately one million trees were destroyed in JNF forests.  An additional one million trees were also damaged, and  will most likely not survive. Just to rehabilitate this area will cost $40 million, and will take  50 years to return the forests to their original state!

We want to help! If you do, please send in your donation to the Discretionary Fund, earmarked “JNF trees”, or better yet, offer to become a “buddy” with one of our religious school students and help him or her raise extra funds for Israel. 

In the prayer, Unetaneh Tokef, we recite: Utshuva, utfila, utzdaka maavirin et roa hagzerah, that Repentance, Prayer, and Tzedaka annul the decree. We can understand how being immersed in a better life, a more thoughtful life, of change, of connection with Hashem, and with actions that are righteous will transform us, annulling the decree of who we were, to whom we can be!

L'shana Tova Tikatevu V'techatemu,

Rabbi Mitchell Kornspan

Wed, November 13 2019 15 Cheshvan 5780