Thought for Shabbat
I usually stay away from politics in the Thought for Shabbat, but it seems unavoidable this week. Israel and the Jewish community appear to have been dragged into a discussion where many feel we have no place. There have been charges against some Jews of disloyalty to both the United States and Israel. This is a familiar trope and one that should cause all of us concern—no matter what our political affiliation.
Sadly, the divisions that have deepened in US society seem to have reached the Jewish community as well. Israel was for many decades a bi-partisan issue; American Jews believed that no matter who controlled Congress or who sat in the White House, it was important for them to have good relations and strong connections with the Jewish State. Our current situation is a long-simmering departure from that.
What is worse is that this schism can potentially fracture communities, congregations and even families. Individuals and communities need to engage in serious study/workshops/seminars that help us learn to communicate with those whom we love but with whom we may have deep differences of opinion.
It is my hope that in what promises to be a tumultuous period ahead that we will remember our love for each other. What we share as a community and congregation is greater than what separates us. Let our words and actions be guided by the teachings of Aaron to “love peace, pursue peace and bring others closer to Torah.”