Puttin’ On Shabbat – Shalom Rav / Blue Skies
From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon
On its borders, Israel maintains pressure to withstand her enemies and pursuers. Skillfully and strategically, Israel navigates her way towards a unique brand of normalcy for all its inhabitants. But, nothing is normal about closing schools in Tel Aviv, shutting down universities in the south, and putting out fires in Sederot, because terrorists launched missiles indiscriminately at Israel to wreak harm and mayhem. Alerts and sirens sound throughout the day and night, and the children are growing up in fear.
In any other place, such missile fire and threats would be intolerable. The rest of the world would condemn them all. But, in the Middle East, Israel’s right to exist is at the root of her enemies’ constant pursuit to destroy her. That is why the U.S.-Israel relationship is vital. The U.S. is Israel’s greatest ally and, as an IDF general once said to our Beth Israel group, “Israel is the U.S.’s military force in the Middle East.” Aid to Israel is not about Israel versus her neighbors; it’s about securing Israel, the only democratic state and reliable U.S. ally in the region.
AIPAC continues to provide helpful information and updates. From our AIPAC regional director, Elias Saratovsky, we know that “Iron Dome has intercepted over 90 percent of the rockets headed toward Israeli population centers. Rockets that could have crashed into Israeli homes, hospitals, schools and senior centers have been shot down thanks to this remarkable, life-saving defense system.”
As Shabbat comes, there’s no guarantee that Israel will have rest. As Shabbat comes for us, pray for Israel’s peace, and support AIPAC and organizations that secure the U.S.-Israel relationship.
From Mishkan HaNefesh (Machzor for the Days of Awe):
Avinu, You who are high above all nation-states and people —
Rock of Israel, the One who has saved us and preserved us in life,
bless the State of Israel, first flowering of our redemption.
Be her loving shield, a shelter of lasting peace.
Guide her leaders and advisors by Your light of truth;
instruct them with Your good counsel.
Strengthen the hands of those who build and protect our Holy Land.
Deliver them from danger; crown their efforts with success.
Grant peace to the land,
lasting joy to all her people.