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Rabbi’s Blog: The Message of Avinu Malkeinu

11/20/2023 01:14:46 PM


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Dear OZ family,

When hundreds of thousands of Jews gathered to protest the treatment of refusenik Soviet Jews, we knew we were in the right and no one here doubted it. We knew it was wrong to jail people for the crime of wanting to study Torah, read Hebrew, or emigrate to Israel. So we gathered to draw attention to the plight of our brothers and sisters who suffered under Soviet repression, and we made a difference. Heroes like Glenn and Lenore Richter, who spearheaded the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry must be in amazement, that today again, we need to call attention to the world, that what happened on Oct. 7 cannot be given any context and is outright wrong and evil. They must be amazed at the counter-demonstrations against an occupation that did not exist in Gaza, and against conditions that are 100% of Chamas’s own making. We must not tire from standing up for the truth.


We have been saying Avinu Malkeinu now day after day for over 5 weeks. This is an unprecedented situation, as the most protracted time we have ever said this prayer is during the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Let this prayer not become a rote part of our Tefilla. It is an incredibly powerful prayer, that line-by-line, captures the essence of what we are experiencing today. We know we are right, but we must continue to press our case, every way we can. My personal experience on the way to shul 2-3 times a day, is very positive, with the people I see. They raise their hands in solidarity and they know what is right. I know this is not necessarily the experience throughout the city, but we must continue to make those calls, write those emails, and hopefully soon see a day where God will give us what the last line of Avinu Malkeinu says: for God to do charity and chesed for us and save us. We can start by doing that for others as well.


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






Mon, December 4 2023 21 Kislev 5784