Message From Rav Amelia

Dear Etz Hayim Community,
Like many of you, I left the peace of Shabbat to videos from Israel showing a sky ablaze with Iranian drones being shot down by the Iron Dome. I heard from Israeli friends and family what it was like to be up all night in their saferooms and bomb shelters as sirens wailed, trying to reassure their children that they were safe. And, thank God, there were no casualties. 
Earlier this year, I wrote about rockets and missiles as comparable to the Angel of Death. Our tradition says that once unleashed, the Angel of Death, the Destroyer, knows no righteous or wicked. It can only kill. Likewise, the drones do not know military or civilian, Jewish or Palestinian, friend or foe. It is unlikely that Iranian leadership hoped that that their drones would result in the severe injury of a young Bedouin girl from Southern Israel, but that is exactly what happened.
I pray that wise and calm heads prevail and that there will be no wider regional war. I also pray for a future where everyone in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, citizen of Israel or not, Jewish or Palestinian, Christian or Muslim, Druze or Bedouin, will be able to look up at a night sky lit up only by stars. As anyone in Jerusalem or Rafah is able to tell you, that future feels far away. But it is the only future worth working towards.
Every Shabbat evening we bless the God who spreads the sukkat shalom, the shelter of peace, over us. May God spread that sheltering presence of peace over the Holy Land and all who call it home, speedily, and in our days.
Rav Amelia

About Us            Contact Us

2920 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204