Welcome! I am Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of Madison, Wisconsin. "Pulpit Perspectives: My Observations as a Congregational Rabbi" is published every two weeks to reflect my observations about life in my congregation and with my members. The opinions expressed here are solely my own. I invite you to join the dialogue!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Observations from My Sabbatical Leave: Viewing Acts of Terror from Israel, a Land All Too Familiar with Terror

KIBBUTZ ADAMIT, ISRAEL – It is the eve of Israel’s Independence Day, and along with Israel’s celebrations of its 65th birthday anniversary, tonight – late – we heard news in Israel of the horrific acts of terror at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and around that city.

Those around me at Adamit, the kibbutz where I am staying (which is only 500 meters from the Lebanese border), send their sympathies to the families of the deceased and the injured victims.  They also remind us to stay calm and hold on to courage in the face of terror.

As Jews in Israel have taught us, remaining true to values in the face of threats and violence must be our goal, both as Jews and as human beings.  At the same time that we mourn losses, we stand firm in our convictions to continue life as it needs to happen for us, and not as someone else wishes to affect us.

Earlier this morning, I attended an Israel Memorial Day ceremony at the regional Junior High School.  The backdrop on their makeshift stage carried a message that I would send to you, as it carries a message of hope and persistence.

Regarding those here who have fallen for the sake of this beautiful land, that backdrop said:
“We should continue working, because they worked.  We should continue laughing, because they laughed.  We should continue loving, because they loved!  We should continue living, because they wanted to live.”

Know that I am thinking of you and all Americans as you experience this terrible act of terror, that I stand with you as your Rabbi and your friend at times of difficulty, and that I support you in all that you do to make life full and fulfilling for you and your family.

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