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SERMON: Thank God We Are Israel

November 26, 2012

Amongst the daily blessings that all of us have to be grateful for on this weekend, this year we have one thing more to be thankful for as Jews. We should be thankful that Israel beat the heck out of Hamas and smashed parts of Gaza to smithereens! And if you’re surprised to hear me say that, then you ain’t heard nothing yet!

A colleague of mine told a story of Pinik Nachmani, who was a navigator in the Israeli Air Force during the Yom Kippur War. In 1973, he was shot down and captured by the Syrians and held in a prison for three years, where he was tortured. When he was released he was asked if he hated the Syrians. He answered, “No, I don’t hate them. Hatred is a weapon of the weak.” Well, I totally disagree. And I think that Judaism disagrees as well! We Jews are such “goodie goodies” … we always quote the Biblical phrase, “Binfol oyevchecha al tismach – do not rejoice when your enemy falls.” Yes, that is part of our tradition, but it is only one part of our tradition. The Jewish tradition tells us, in the words of the prophet Amos: “Ahavi tov u’snai es harah – love good and hate evil.” It is in the Book of Ecclesiastes where we are told, “Ais le’ehov v’ais lisno – there is a time to love and a time to hate.” It is our tradition that teaches, “Ohavei Hashem sinu rah – those who love God must hate evil.” Hamas and others like them are evil reincarnate. And I hate them, and I wish other Jews would as well. According to a poll taken this week by CNN, nearly 60% of the American people said that Israeli military action in Gaza was justified. But I can tell you that there are a lot of American Jews who were not amongst them. And it is those people that Eric Yoffie addressed on the first day of the war. Rabbi Yoffie is the former head of the Union of Reform Judaism. He is a leading spokesman and advocate for liberal Judaism. But on the first day of the war, he published an article entitled, “A Call to U.S. Progressive Jews: Support Israel’s Get Tough Policy in Gaza.” He wrote, “I am worried at this moment about Jews in the progressive camp.” He pointed out that progressives had expressed little outrage when Hamas was firing hundreds of rockets at Israel and he feared that “This attitude will now be translated into opposition to Israel’s current operations in Gaza.” And he went on to say, “Progressives should be outraged as everyone else … no other civilized country n the world would tolerate for a week what Israel has tolerated for a decade.” I read these words and I couldn’t believe it. We have to be concerned that there are Jews who wouldn’t support what Israel was doing? Is that possible? Hamas shoots hundreds of missiles into Israel and Israel should not have retaliated? That is “progressive?” No, quite the contrary … that is backward! That was asking the Jews to go back to what they were … all the way back to the Torah portions we read at this time of the year.  READ MORE

In light of my sermon of this past Shabbos, here is a picture of what we’re up against:


Death to all Juice

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