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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

11/10/2023 05:00:46 PM


Rabbi Josh Whinston

On October 7th, the Jewish world was changed forever. We all woke up to the reality of Israel’s security failure and the catastrophe of nearly 1,400 Israelis murdered and 240 people taken as hostages into the Gaza tunnels and bunkers. Most of the hostages remain unaccounted for.

Even in the midst of my father’s decline and death, my attention was pulled toward the East. Before me my father was dying and across the ocean so were my people.

The current tragedy weighs heavily on people across the globe, and it is imperative that we do not lose sight of the human suffering caused by this war. Like many in our congregation, I believe in interpreting our sacred texts in the broadest and most inclusive manner possible. However, it is important to acknowledge that Judaism is not a universal religion. We have never held the belief that all people must ultimately become Jewish. Instead, we consider ourselves a distinct people bound together by a sacred covenant.

In light of this, I have made the decision to travel to Israel in the upcoming week. Our people are hurting and in distress, and they need to feel our support, especially during this critical time. Alongside my colleagues, I will visit grieving families, those with loved ones held hostage in Gaza, and contribute through volunteer efforts, such as assisting with the harvest. I will maintain regular communication with all of you to provide updates on the trip. Furthermore, I will share my experiences during our Climate Action Shabbat on November 17th.

If there is anything I’ve learned in life it is that showing up is the most important thing we can do for each other. In this moment, I need to show up for our people.

Sat, June 15 2024 9 Sivan 5784