Message From Our President
It has been a difficult few weeks for the Jewish people. The war between Israel and Hamas, the news coverage, the demonstrations and the increased Anti-Semitic rhetoric that we hear all around leave us feeling helpless and worried. Last Friday, there was a demonstration outside the Cleveland Jewish Federation by Pro-Palestinians protesting Israel’s measures in Gaza.
Hopefully, many of us find solace in ‘shul.’ It is a time to come together as a community of TEE members, as Clevelanders, as citizens of the United States and as brethren with fellow Jews around the world to help each other, to pray together and to hear words from our rabbi that will enlighten our spirit as well as our perspective.
In last week’s Torah portion, where we begin Deuteronomy, the last book of the Torah, Moses calls the people together. His final words to the Jewish people before they enter the land of Israel are to remind them of the major events and laws that are recorded in the other books of the Torah. It was evidently so important to Moses to reteach his people that he spends the last days of his life doing this “to insure the future of his beloved nation.”
We talk of the “Jewish Future” but we worry as the battle for Israel’s right to exist is challenged again. How do we overcome the anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel sentiment? Will Israel survive? How will we inspire our youth to care about their heritage?
Taking inspiration from the Book of Devarim, David Eliesrie wrote in a Chabad.org column that the best way to insure our future is through Jewish education. His message focused on education for our youth at Jewish day schools and supplemental schools like our Religious School. I agree, but we adults can also insure our future when we learn together at Shabbat services and when we participate in Jewish life. Let’s consider this: Jewish values enrich us; they provide us with a moral center, spiritual depth and purpose. They link us to thousands of years of tradition. What could be more important? Our future and the future of Israel depend on insuring that we and our children remain not only connected but deeply committed to our history and our traditions.
We don’t know how the current events in Israel will unfold but we have hope. As Jews have done throughout the ages, as Moses instructed the people, we put our trust in God that we will prevail. We can also do something to help. The attached link is from Keshet, the travel company the temple and individual TEE members have used for the trips to Israel. They provide volunteers to help the elderly and supplies for the IDF. Click here to read and see what you think.
Let us hope and pray that peace will come soon– one that comes from learning and “respecting every human being, living in harmony, and serving God together.”