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Rabbi’s Blog: Soldiers, Support, and Senator Lieberman

03/29/2024 03:22:52 PM


Dear OZ family,


Every Friday night, I approach the podium with trepidation as I prepare to read the names of soldiers who were killed since the previous Shabbos. I spoke earlier with Akiva, who has a week off from his duties in Gaza. He is so cheerful and optimistic, of what Hashem has in store for Israel in this season of miracles. Zakai has been given his leave from Miluim and he nonetheless signed up to be with his base. These are ordinary people doing extraordinary things, in extraordinary times. (I have been asked not to use the full names soldiers on active duty).


The Rabbinical Council of America has embarked on a plan to get 180,000 letters written to the White House, over this weekend, in support of Israel. Directions for this are attached below (and at


Also, this Sunday, in commemoration of the 180 days of captivity of the hostages, there is a rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at noon (flyer attached below and at It’s hard to believe that half a year has passed since the barbaric acts of Oct. 7th, and the nightmare continues for Israel. Calls for immediate cease-fire from academia, the press and politicians ring hollow, with their silence regarding calls for the immediate release of all hostages. Jewish life doesn’t matter to these people. In fact very few lives matter to them, in Ethiopia, Syria, North Korea, Congo, or other places where tens of thousands of people are being starved, destroyed, or snuffed out, because these things are not being done by Jews.


This week , there are 6 names to read. Those are 6 families and 6 worlds. Every life is so precious to us, and every death for Chamas is celebrated as a trophy to hold up on a pedestal to the world.


In addition to these soldiers, we mourn one of the last sane voices in our government, who was able to put integrity above politics and discretion above partisanship. Joe Lieberman was a living and walking Kiddush Hashem, and his loss is a great blow to the Jewish community. I remember the demonstrations of support for the Soviet Jewry movement back in the 1970’s, when hundreds of thousands of us would crowd this plaza for a cause we knew was worthy and just. The cause of Israel today is equally just if not more so, and the times call for us to even with more steadfast resolve stand up for Israel because of all of the opposition she faces.


While Chamas continues to declare, that when given the opportunity, they will replicate the acts of Oct. 7th again and again and again, and with their refusal to release the hostages, with missiles that continue to rain on Israeli cities by Iran proxies, and with Chamas terrorists forcing their civilian population to shield them from reprisals, perhaps the Jew haters demonstrating against Israel can tell us what they would do, given what Israel currently faces. There are no easy answers, and while individual names tragically  continue to be read on Friday nights, we hope and pray that in the end, what Mordechai told Esther will ring true for us today, the relief and deliverance will come to us, come what may. Let each and every one of us do our part to deserve such Divine beneficence.       


Stay well and healthy

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street

New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200




Sat, April 13 2024 5 Nisan 5784