To keep informed as to what is happening in Israel, we suggest you look at:
- The Jerusalem Post
- The Times of Israel
- The Blog of the Israeli Defense Forces
- Palestinian Media Watch
For ways to support Israel now, more than ever, click here.
Our traditions have always seen the power of prayer as part of our response to the events of life – and certainly with regard to Israel. For prayers for Israel – and all those in her land (Jews and Palestinians) click here.
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Fires of Hate
While we in the United States were celebrating Thanksgiving, fires burned throughout Israel. Some were actual fires, but there was a fire of hate also done by those who issued death threats against Reform Jewish leaders. Some of the fires, it appears, were set by arsonists – and the flames that destroyed so much are a reflection of the ongoing and unresolved crisis that exists between Israel and Palestinians. Lest we despair that this is part of an endless cycle of conflict, however, we should be heartened that the Palestinian Authority sent firefighting crews to fight the flames alongside Israeli firefighters.
If only that was the only flames that Israel faced we might day dayenu, that’s more than enough. Sadly, however, another Reform congregation faced a different kind of fire, when a synagogue in the central Israeli city of Ra’anana was vandalized overnight Wednesday-Thursday. Sprayed in red on the outer wall of the synagogue were the words, “The divine presence will never leave the Western Wall.” Also painted was a reference to the Biblical verses in the book of Ovadiah, which speak of the destruction of Israel’s enemies at the hand of a vengeful God. A phrase scrawled on the knife appears to refer to a Jewish legal obligation to kill traitors. In addition, envelopes were left with death threats directed at Reform Jewish leaders in Israel and the States.
You can support our fellow Reform Jews in Ra’anana by donating here.
In Haifa, the Leo Back Educational Center – affiliated with the Reform movement – is assisting 60 families whose homes were partly or fully destroyed in the fire. You can help restore their lives by donating here.