Friday, July 4, 2014

Shabbat - A Heavenly Testament to Earthly Holiness

Dear Friends, 

We express our grief, tears, pain, shock, and profound sadness upon learning of the vicious murder of Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar earlier this week.  It is our hope and prayer that God grant their families, friends, and the whole nation a measure of comfort during this period of raw unimaginable pain.

We joined in the mourning by watching the painful funeral at the RCA conference this past week.  There, Prime Minister Netanyahu movingly stated that "[o]ur enemies sanctify death but we sanctify life . . . we prayed for a miracle but were answered only with tragedy."  He went on to add that "there is a huge ethical gap which separates our enemies from us." 

Truthfully, radical Islamic terrorism represents one of the great moral threats to the sanctity of life throughout the world.  Particularly, millions of women, children, Muslims, Christians, and Jews living in countries as diverse as Iraq, Israel, Syria, Nigeria, and Russia are persecuted daily by this terrible violent ideology.  As Jews, it is our moral obligation and imperative to join our brothers throughout the world in fighting to protect the religious value of life so fundamental to our faith.  

As we prepare to accept Shabbat, may we fulfill its spirit and law by recalling the creation of the world whereupon God, Who's very name denotes the holy source of all life, continually recreates us as working partners to foster a sense of unity, holiness, and harmony.  It is my prayer that our response to this frightful tragedy will be a redoubling of effort and renewed commitment to the values of human dignity, unity, and responsibility to each other that we hold so dear.  

Shabbat Shalom, 

Rabbi Dolinger 

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