Saturday, July 5, 2014

The vote of the Presbyterian Assembly to boycott, divest and sanction American Companies doing business on the West Bank in Israel

Once again the  propaganda war continues. This column I wrote for the newspaper only touches the surface regarding the depth of feeling amongst American Jews let alone Israelis.towards the Presbyterian leadership at their recent general assembly in Detroit. The strategy of Boycott Divest and Sanction American companies and ultimately Israel itself is more than an economic weapon, rather, it is a a weapon to discredit Israel as a Jewish state. They will counter but those who choose this strategy play into the long term struggle to take Israel apart and discredit Israel as a Jewish state.
This BDS movment represents a  paradigm shift and Israel's friends need to challenge it and work towards greater education.
Thanks for taking the time to read the column. Your opinion is most welcome.
Rabbi Bloom

Monday, June 30, 2014

On the Murder of three Israeli Teenagers

“Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Blessed be the judge of truth. We recite these words from our tradition upon hearing of the death of an individual. I intone these sacred words to express our grief at the news yesterday that the Israeli authorities found the three teenagers murdered and laying in a field in the vicinity of the city of Hebron. We hoped and prayed that these boys would be able to return to their families and we watched as the Israeli army gave their frantic and best efforts to rescue them from their Palestinian captors. Does it take this kind of brutality to demonstrate to the world that Israel continues to be a victim of terrorism? Leaders will signal their outrage and others their sympathies while other leaders will remain silent. Still some of Israel’s adversaries will celebrate this brazen and despicable crime.
I know we as a congregation share in the mourning and in what must be the unbearable pain that the families are experiencing at this moment. For this reason I invite everyone to join me at services this coming Shabbat to recite the mourner’s Kaddish as we add their names to the Kaddish list for the next four weeks.
Naftali Frankel 19, Gilad Shaar 16, Eyal Efrach 19, will be laid to rest. We pray to god “hastrireyhu b’seter c’nafechah l’olamim shield them forever in your sheltering presence. And may their souls be bound up in bonds of eternal life. The Eternal is their Portion and may they rest in peace.”
Once again this tragedy calls upon us to express our support and solidarity with the people of Israel and its government. May the government of Israel use its wisdom in response to those responsible for this act. Let us pray for the parents who are grieving at this hour and that their prayers and the support they are no doubt receiving from friends, family and those around the world who reach out to them will in time to come ease their burden. “May God comfort them amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Rabbi Brad L. Bloom