Israel plays important role

Israel plays important role

In “Message delivered: Conservative leaders pen letter lambasting Netanyahu for Kotel decision” (Sept.14), area rabbis are shocked — shocked — to find that a politician has acted in response to perceived opposition from his base. They would make Captain Renault proud to show such outrage. I don’t mean to dismiss the issue, or its importance, but we know that political decisions sometimes take longer than we might like. At a time when once bitter enemies appear to be finding common cause with the State of Israel it would be unfortunate if we let internecine fights destroy us.

However, it is particularly disturbing to hear one rabbi say, “it gets harder and harder for us to teach our children and future generations about the role Israel plays in our lives.” Setting aside the obvious inability to teach future generations anything, is this really the lesson that any Jewish leader, not already equivocal about a connection to Israel, would promulgate? In the millennia-long history of the Jewish people, would we allow any interim head of government to sever or degrade that relationship? Perhaps this is the time for such leaders to publicly review the basis for their commitment. In between marches here at home, a visit to Eretz Yisrael might be a reminder of what a world without the Jewish state once meant and how tenuous that status remains. It is good that we are all comfortable, but we should not be so comfortable that we forget what role Israel plays in our lives, and hopefully the lives of future generations.

During the High Holy Day season may we come together to change for the better.

Jonathan Hirst

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