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My Shabbat Sermon: Let’s Talk Turkey

June 14, 2010

Let’s Talk Turkey” – June 12, 2010 Shabbat Sermon by Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg

Many people expressed the desire for me to speak about the Gaza Flotilla incident where Israeli forces were lowered by helicopter onto a ship seeking to break Israel and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza.  When the Israeli troops were attacked, they fired back leading to the death of nine people and the world going crazy.  When people asked me to speak about this, my reaction was – “what’s there to say?  We’re right, the world’s wrong.  It’s as simple as that.”  But you know what? – it’s not as simple as that!  This incident, with its worldwide condemnation, requires more careful thought on our part and that’s a lesson we learn from Moses in this week’s Torah portion.

Our Torah portion this morning describes the revolt that Korach led against Moses and Aaron.  At first Moses is stunned and you know what he does?  The Torah tells us he fell on his face in prayer.  The great Chasidic master, the Baal Hatanya, points out that Moses should have answered Korach at once with the anger he deserved, but you know why he fell on his face and prayed?  Says the Baal Hatanya, because Moses thought maybe Korach was doing this for the people’s good, maybe Korach is a messenger of G-d – maybe Korach’s right.  So Moses first fell on his face for self reflection, asking of himself: maybe Korach is right or at least partly right.

And so before speaking about this Flotilla incident, I wanted to give myself some time; with the whole world against us, I wanted to reflect on the possibility that maybe they are right or maybe they are partially right.  And I’ve done that and I’ve come to the conclusion:  Israel was right and the world is wrong – so what’s there to talk about?  So I’m not going to talk about it.  I’m going to let others do the talking.  This morning I want to share with you some quotes that I have come across from others discussing the Flotilla incident and I leave it for you to decide. READ MORE

Rabbi Wohlberg’s Sermon archive is available at www.bethtfiloh.com/sermons.

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