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Rabb's Blog - A Note from Netanya

08/09/2023 01:10:44 PM

Aug9

FROM THE RABBI'S DESK


Dear OZ family,

Greetings from Netanya!

After a week in Netanya, we have seen a microcosm of this great city in the bustling nighttime activity of Independence Square, the phenomenally busy Ir Yamim mall the Mediterranean shore as well as the Sanz- Klausenberg complex. Every imaginable type of Israeli is here and they all get along swimmingly.

The beach is shared wonderfully without incident or complaint. The mall is packed with a broad spectrum of shoppers and every single store has a large Mezuzah. The food court has washing stations for Netillat Yadayim, and the Sanz Beis Medrash has every type of worshiper you can imagine. This is all a mere introduction when you consider the kids at Beit Elazraki. The 400 kids span every single shade of skin color and every one of them is color-blind.

It boils the blood to hear ignorant people in the West calling Israel an apartheid State. I just took Moshe’s kids to the Einstein Park in Netanya. Arabs in full traditional dress take their kids here and they play alongside Israeli children. Israelis who emigrated from Ethiopia know this is their homeland and all the children play together.

Where in the Arab world can Jews in clearly Jewish dress feel such comfort? They can in the countries that realize that peace with Israel is in their best interests. But in countries like Syria, Iran and Lebanon, not to mention in every single city run by the Palestinian Authority or Chamas, no Jew could openly express themselves. Yet only Israel is singled out for condemnation.

Whether it comes from Ben and Jerry’s, the op-ed pages of the New York Times or perfidious letters to the Washington Post written by Israeli politicians, they are all mischaracterizing this great country. Some out of ignorance, some out of sheer anti-Semitism, and some in order to gain political power. I have been speaking to a large swatch of Israelis in this trip and there seems to be a trend to the understanding of the political chaos enveloping the country, and our enemies are certainly paying careful attention.

I will follow up with these observations in my next letter. In the meantime, I wish everyone a pleasant day and good health.

Stay well.

Rabbi Schwartz

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784