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Rabbi’s Blog: Israel is Family

11/01/2023 02:18:04 PM


Dear OZ family,


Yesterday was a very hard day for our people. Every captive, every soldier, every Israeli that has to hide in a safe room as hundreds of rockets soar overhead (8,500 in the last 3 weeks), is family. I have included with this message a list of 12 soldiers who were killed yesterday and this adds tragedy to a grieving nation. I have also included the names of the children who continue to be held hostage. Where are the outcries against such savagery? The world sniffs slightly over the years at Arab outrages from plane hijackings to terrorist and suicide bombings, to the 1972 Olympic murders, to hundreds of acts of terror and savagery over the years, mainly concentrating on Israel’s response. The free world settled 78 years ago for nothing less than unconditional surrender form Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, and Israel cannot settle for anything less than what guarantees that her citizens will no longer have to cower daily in shelters as they are doing right this moment. She cannot settle for anything less than assurances that “Never Again” in the very least applies to the atrocities the world has seen, from Oct. 7th.


As sure as there is Holocaust Denial, there is already denial in many places of what took place. We must fight lies with truth, and hold supporters of Chamas responsible for backing such heinous atrocities. We must continue to call our elected officials to insist that our country’s support for Israel does not wane. We are a peace-loving people, but in the Arab world, they see our retreats as signs that their terrorism works. This time must be different. There was no occupation of Gaza for 18 years. They fought, as they always have, to take over the entire country, and all these protesters screaming: “From the river to the sea….” profess genocide.


This Shabbos at Seudah Shlishit, the Daf Yomi will have a Siyum of Seder Nashim, the third Seder of the Talmud, for the sake of Israel, her soldiers, the captives, and all her brave people. Dr. Joe Offenbacher just returned from a week in Israel, training Israeli doctors in trauma treatment, and Max Korenman just made Aliyah at a time when his people need him most. We hear amazing stories of chesed and service that is very heartwarming. Iya Samet and some friends heard of an Israeli girl who was supposed to have a Bat Mitzva celebration, but the venue suffered a direct hit by a Chamas missile. They made a full Bat Mitzva celebration for the girl, and brought great joy to her family.


Nava and Ariel Brandwein were blessed with twin girls yesterday. Mazel Tov to all the Silton’s, Brandwein’s and Wildman’s. We all know how amazing they all are, would you believe that Nava, the day she gave birth to twins, gave her Tuesday Night Learning Program shiur over zoom! What an inspiration. May they continue to have abundant Nachas from their amazing family. Mazel Tov to Jay & Zohara Taragin on the birth of a grandson, to their children Barak & Zahava. Mazel Tov also to Paul and Pia Rubin on the birth of a grandson, to their children Aliza and Eli. May we have many reasons for Simcha and inspiration in these difficult times.    


Stay well 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 | Fax 212.663-3635



*3 minutes of prayer every day for the 24 children held captive in Gaza-*

He who blessed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah , bless our children who are captives in Gaza and bring them home safely, without any harm.Let his angels dwell among them wherever they are and send his messengers who will be surround them, take care of all their needs and peace of mind and return them to their home soon.

(To the women) Please, God full of mercy, hear the cries of the mothers of your people, as you heard the cry of Rachel our mother for her sons, so hear our cries and return the children of your people to their homes quickly, without any harm, without any sorrow.

And these are the names of the 21 kidnapped children:

1. Eitan ben Bat Sheva
2. Ariel Ben Shiri
3. Kafir ben Shiri
4. Abigail Bat Samdar
5. Ella Bat Maayan
6. Dafna Bat Maayan
7. Sahar Bat Hadas
8. Erez ben Hadas
9. Ofri Bat Hagar
10. Neve Ben Adi
11. Yahal Gani Bat Adi
12 Noam daughter of Sharon
13. Aviv Bat Doron
14. Raz Bat Doron
15. Emma Bet Sharon
16. July, daughter of Sharon
17. Amelia daughter of Daniel
18. Ohad Ben Keren
19. Yuval Ben Hagar
20. Uriah ben Hagar
21. Amit Ben Tal
22. Gal Ben Chen.
23. Lake Bat Chen.
24. Tal Ben Chen.

And all their family members who are in captivity with them. Our hopes are not lost to miracles and wonders. Bring back our children by a miracle, hear our cries, have mercy and forgive us for our sins, have mercy on our children, and return sons to their borders.

The IDF released the names of 13 soldiers killed in combat yesterday:

  • Staff Sgt. Roei Wolf, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Ramat Gan.
  • Staff Sgt. Lavi Lipshitz, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Modiin.
  • Sergeant Adi Danan, 20, a commander in the Givati brigade, from Yavne.
  • Staff sergeant Halel Solomon, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Dimona.
  • Staff sergeant Erez Mishlovsky, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Oranit.
  • Staff sergeant Adi Leon, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Nili.
  • Corporal Ido Ovadia, 19, a fighter in Givati, from Tel Aviv.
  • Corporal Lior Siminovich, 19, a fighter in Givati, from Herzlya.
  • Staff sergeant Roei Dawi, 20, a fighter in Givati, from Jerusalem.
  • Corporal Asif Luger, 21, a fighter in the armored 77th battalion, from Yagur.
  • Lieutenant Ariel Reich, 24, an officer in the armored 77th battalion, from Jerusalem.
  • Sgt. Pdaya Mark, 22, from Otniel, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade.
  • Sgt. Roy Saragusti, a platoon commander in Givati ​​from the Nahal Haroeh farm.

Mon, December 4 2023 21 Kislev 5784