Author of "Embracing Auschwitz" and "Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times." Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism and 2019 Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Commentary. Musings of a rabbi, journalist, father, husband, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and self-proclaimed mensch, taken from essays, columns, sermons and thin air. Writes regularly in the New York Jewish Week and Times of Israel.
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
In This Moment: Our Community Gathers
In This Moment
We were filled to the back of TBE's social hall this evening for our rally for israel. There were easily a thousand in the room. It was both emotionally draining and uplifting to come together as a community with feelings so raw. Thank you to the Stamford and Greenwich federations for making it happen. See the News 12 report.
The front page of Yediot highlights President Biden's speech, which is being called one of the most important ever in the annals of the US-Israel relationship. Here he warns other parties that if they think they can take advantage of the situation, "I have one word: Don't." You can read the text here.
"On a personal note, the endless sequence of story after story, alternating between superhuman profiles in courage and testimonies of unspeakable horror have been profoundly impactful. I find myself tearing up multiple times a day. It's wildly difficult and fiercely emotional to listen to unthinkable reports of those who have been brutally murdered, along with seemingly impossible tales of those who have been heroically saved. One poignant story involves a couple, both reserve army officers, who hid their twin toddlers and confronted the terrorists. They managed to eliminate seven of the savages before running out of ammunition and succumbing themselves. However, their children did survive. Another family recounted a harrowing ordeal where terrorists tried to force them out of their home by setting it ablaze. Locked in their safe room with terrorists at their door, the family was forced to endure the heart-wrenching cries of their dog as it perished in the flames....A startling detail emerged today: Each Kibbutz has its own security squad. Several months ago, the army reclaimed these security squads’ arsenal of heavy weapons, such as M-16s, and left them with mere pistols to defend their Kibbutzim, asserting there was no longer a need for more substantial firepower."
This is what my phone has looked like over the past five days. The "Red Alert" app pinged your phone every time a rocket launched toward Israel, and it tells you where it is aimed. It's nothing like what Israelis experience, but it is jarring nonetheless, and when it kept us up all Friday night because it wouldn't stop vibrating, I knew something bad was happening.