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Rabbi’s Blog - Oct. 15: Mesopotamia, Mazel Tovs, and More...

10/15/2021 12:30:00 PM


Dear OZ family,


Rashi was quite the Zionist in his commentary. He dedicated his very first comment to justifying our place in the Holy Land in light of the claims of the nations that we usurped it from the Canaanites. This week’s Parsha informs us that when Avraham arrived in Canaan after his trek from Mesopotamia, that by then the Canaanites were in the land (Bereshit 12:6). Rashi writes that this implies that the Canaanites were not always there. In fact the Canaanites along with all the descendants of Cham, settled in Africa, while the other two sons of Noach, Yafet and Shem, settled respectively in Europe and the Middle East.


Rashi says that Canaan conquered the land from the descendants of Shem, and when it was time for us to possess our ancestral heritage, Canaan, joined by a chorus of nations, made their claim. History repeats itself, and Israel has to constantly defend itself like no other nation. The worst human rights abuses are ignored in places like Syria, Libya, Lebanon, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and Yemen, by people who single out Israel for condemnation, boycott, divestment and sanctions. I have written before about Ben & Jerry’s shameful divestment form Israel. A message of protest can be left at the parent company, Unilever, at 407-734-3032. Boycotts of Jews have historically had the goal of de-legitimizing and worse, and that is exactly the plan here, to isolate the one democratic nation in a sea of instability and tyranny. Our voices must be louder than those who hate us.


Please join me in wishing Mazel Tov to Michelle Roufa & Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz and their families upon the celebration of Noam’s attaining the age of Bar Mitzvah, and  join me also in wishing Mazel Tov to Robbie & Johanna Herskowitz on the birth of a grandson, to their children, Jacob & Jessamyn. We wish Mazel Tov to Andrew Greenby on his upcoming marriage to Dorit Ziv, and for celebrating his Aufruf at OZ this weekend.


Please join me also in extending condolences to Illana & George Lloyd on the passing of Illana’s mother, Renee Bensimon. There will be a Minyan for Mincha and Ma’ariv on Sunday and Monday at 6PM at 350 CPW Apt. 10A.


We also extend congratulations to our member David Schoen upon his appointment as the Chairman of the Board of the Zionist Organization of America. Rashi would be proud.


Be safe.   Be healthy.   Be excellent.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz




Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635



Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782