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Letter from Israel

The day after the attack in Manchester I wrote on the HEMS Facebook page about how the Keshet lower grade school in Kfar Vradim, Israel,  reached out to their “twin” King David school in Manchester.  The Keshet students sent them a picture of the children holding signs that said:  “Our thoughts and hearts are with you.”

 And I wrote:  “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Manchester.  It is too upsetting to think about how someone could do this.  I look up to the mountains–does my help come from there?  For me now, it’s only seeing children showing love and concern. They really deserve a better world than what we have today.”

 Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg shared thoughts about how to respond to the shock, anger and hurt by making it a better world.   He wrote: “I encourage us all to mark this bitter and sad day through special generosity and kindness towards children and young people.”

 Today in Israel we are marking Jerusalem Day, Yom Yerushalayim, as the day when Jerusalem was united after the 6-Day War and the Jews regained ownership of the Temple Mount.  But how can it be a happy day when we think about Manchester?

 This year, Jerusalem Day in Israel is not a happy day, but it does remind me of a few things.  It reminds me to thank God we have our own military in Israel to fight evil and defend us.   It reminds me that we will never accept those who want to divide humanity with truly, truly, senseless hatred and murder.   And it reminds me that we will never give up hope for unification — of Jews and people who reach out to others to help build the world as we want it to be — filled with good deeds and kindness.

 Rabbi Paul Arberman

May 25, 2017