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Rabbi’s Blog - Israel: Thankfulness & Commitment

10/16/2023 11:55:28 AM


Dear OZ family,


I’m on the phone much of the day with Israel. As I write this, the entire Yerushalayim environs are in their safe rooms. I get red alerts on my phone, and they have been ringing non-stop. This not only affects population centers near Gaza, but major cities, like Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. That means that children are in lockdown, because they can’t venture away from home for longer than the time it takes a missile to travel from Gaza to their city. For Moshe and his family, that is 40 seconds. For Chani and her family that is 60 seconds. Chani had not heard a siren in a few days and ventured out this morning to a park, across the street from her house, for the luxury of some outdoor air and some sun.


Sirens and a thunderous boom permeated the sky, as the iron dome caught the missile mid-air. Then there is the danger of falling shrapnel. They scampered safely to their safe-room, where 9 people huddle into a room that is about 10x14 feet. No country can sustain such trauma, and we must be at the front lines, explaining to everyone that the suffering of Gazans now is entirely of their own doing. Their leadership care not one iota for their own people. If they did they wouldn’t shoot missiles from their people’s homes. If they did they wouldn’t force these people to sustain the damage and peril of return fire. If they did they wouldn’t dig up water pipes to use as missiles to shoot indiscriminately over Jewish population centers. They are a cult of death and they glorify in death. This is nothing new.


What is astonishing is the morally reprehensible response that we see in elite academia, some of the elite media, and some extremely morally obtuse politicians. They will be reminded of their support of such evil.


But what we should certainly do is thank our representatives at all levels who stand with Israel. You can find your representative using this link:, or via AIPAC at


For now, Chamas’s evil has had a similar effect on our grandchildren in Israel and hundreds of thousands of students in Israel, as Covid. There is no school. Zoom classes have begun. Chani has 8 children in school, but she doesn’t have 8 devices for them to use zoom. School is more than 60 seconds away from home so they can’t attend. We have also seen the opposite effect of Covid on shul attendance. Minyanim are booming, and live shiurim are back on. This is a good time to commit to being there. Our new season of shiurim and lectures begins tonight, every night of the week. Also, late Ma’ariv begins tonight at 7:45pm. You can attend a shiur before that and a shiur after that. Our response to the hate is going to be Torah, Avodah and random, endless acts of Chesed and kindness.     


Chodesh Tov.

Stay safe and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz




Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street

New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200




Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784