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Rabbi’s Blog - Israel: On Duty, On Guard

10/12/2023 11:57:07 AM


Dear OZ family,


Every Jew is in the Israel Defense Forces now.  Some are going house to house to free hostages, some are freeing the world from Chamas’s deadly violence, some are guarding the border, and some are on reserve duty. Some are praying, some are saying Tehillim, some are raising money for army bases, some are volunteering to fill in for so many reservists. Some are dedicating chesed activities to the success of Tzahal, and we are all trying to make ourselves and everyone around us to be better. We must also be in the armed forces of standing up for the most moral army in the entire world.


You used to have to be smart to get into Harvard or Yale. Any other nation of the world would never stand for what Chamas has done for close to 20 years. Most nations of the world, especially in the Arab world, would just indiscriminately kill every man , woman and child in response to what Israel just experienced. Be prepared to hear about disproportionate numbers and moral equivocation, from the BBC, CNN, MSNBC and the like. We need to fight alongside Tzahal to make sure the word is out on social media that there is no moral equivalence between Chamas’s actions and Israel’s response.


There must be a price to pay for morally vacuous politicians and students, who continue to proudly stand with Chamas. They must be marginalized and shunned, just as surely as would shun the Ku Klux Klan if they would publicly gather on the steps of a University or in Times Square and advocate for lynchings. There are still dozens of hostages whose lives are hanging in the balance and these unscrupulously, morally corrupt people side with the savages. When the people of Gaza elected Chamas as their leaders in 2007, Chamas threw Palestinian Authority leaders off of rooftops. Their stated goal of Israel’s annihilation, continues to be their reason for existence. Nothing short of a total defeat and eradication of Chamas is acceptable at this time.


Israel is united in this resolve, and this unspeakable tragedy has brought Israelis together. During Covid, we couldn’t attend Minyan at all, and then when our worlds slowly opened up, the habitual lack of attendance caught on and shul attendance slackened off. Now we have noticed that many people are making the extra effort to attend Minyan, and take part in more shul activities. This has every indication of also becoming habitual, as we all build back, which we have done so many times, and we will do again.


Chamas continues to show their true colors by calling for a day of violence against Jews all across the world tomorrow. We will not be deterred. We will be on our guard, but we can’t let them defeat us. Our Shabbos activities will proceed unabated, and we are told that every single NY police officer is on call tomorrow to protect us. If the arc of history bends towards justice it surely offends against the savagery the world has witnessed this week. Our goodness, our Mesirus Nefesh, our generosity, and our resolve will make us prevail.


Be strong 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






Mon, December 4 2023 21 Kislev 5784