This past Shabbat, Parashat “Ekev,” we read the words:He doth execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. While still in the seven weeks of Shabbat Nachmu – Shabbat of Consolation between Tisha b’Av and Rosh HaShannah, we remain sore following the events which took place less than two weeks ago.
We are saddened by the blind hatred raising its head in the seemingly brightest parts of Israeli society – the LGBTQ pride parade in Jerusalem and that which is turned against a Palestinian home, setting it on fire, killing two of its residents and seriously injuring two others.
Yet we remain cognizant of the hopefulness expressed by young Israelis as they gathered in Zion Square – not only to speak of justice, and surely not of revenge. Rather, they gathered to mourn those who died a senseless death and regain their energies to work towards creating a more just Israeli society. The IMPJ remains steadfast by their side and by the sides of all those with the same mission at heart.
We too use this opportunity not for despair, but for action. And as we near the high holidays – the Yamim Noraim, Days of Awe, we focus on the steps we are taking as a movement and as a society to do good in our midst. Just two weeks ago, the annual “Havayah” summer camp came to a close and over 300 campers went home with life-changing experiences. We are especially proud of our “Hamulah” campers, 13 boys and girls with a variety of special needs who took an active part in the camp, contributing to the experience of all the other campers. We say Yashar Koach to the entire Noar Telem staff for their dedication and professionalism throughout the entire camp experience.
It is still very hot outside, but we are already getting ready for Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur services. This year, we will have a record number of minyanim, with a new one taking place for the first time in Ashdod. In addition, “Tlamim,” our young leadership community will conduct a first-of-its kind Rosh HaShannah service and celebration on the first day of the holiday in Tel-Aviv. If you plan on being in Israel over the High-Holiday season, please let us know. We would love to host you at one of our congregations for services and the many activities that are due to take place.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv
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