Dear Friends,

I know you join me in my deep concern and prayers for our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel. More than 275 rockets from Gaza have exploded in Israel since Israel’s assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, on Wednesday. Tragically, three Israelis were killed in a rocket strike on Kiryat Malakhi on Thursday. Some of the rockets fired Thursday landed in Holon and Rishon Letzion, where my wife has relatives. Two rockets were aimed at Tel Aviv but, fortunately, landed in the sea. In speaking with our new co-youth advisor at Temple Sinai, Anat Katzir, an Israeli who just moved to Tenafly, I learned that many residents of the south have fled north to stay with relatives or friends. She also mentioned that many of her fellow reservists in the IDF intelligence services were called up. 

The name of the current IDF operation in Gaza is “Amud Anan.” It means, “Pillar of Cloud” and refers to the “Pillar of Cloud” through which God protected our people as we fled from Pharoah’s armies at the Red Sea.  May God protect our people now as God did then, help bring a quick end to the shelling by Hamas and Operation “Amud Anan” with as little suffering as possible.

If you would like to make a donation to help those who are suffering from the rocket attacks in Israel you can give to the Jewish Federations of North America Israel Terror Relief Fund.

Meanwhile, we are privileged to have Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the immediate past-president of the Union for Reform Judaism, join us at Shabbat evening services at 8:00 p.m. to begin his weekend with us as our scholar-in-residence. Rabbi Yoffie has been a tireless advocate for the State of Israel throughout his career, including a number of years when he served as the Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. I highly recommend reading the piece he wrote on the current conflict that was published in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, today.

And please join us tomorrow evening at 8:00 p.m. when Rabbi Yoffie will speak at services; at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning (free bagels and coffee included) and Sunday morning at 9:30 when he will speak about Israel at a breakfast sponsored by our Brotherhood. Now, more than ever, it is important that we come together as a community.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Jordan Millstein