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May 16, 2021

A Statement From the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami

The Miami Jewish community maintains a very unique and special relationship with our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel. So many of us have friends and relatives who are currently sleeping in bomb shelters and trying to assure their children that they have nothing to fear, even as unceasing barrages of rockets are raining down upon them. Though this current cycle of violence is quite complex and began as a result of multiple issues that led to nightly rioting in East Jerusalem, we must recognize that the responsibility for the deterioration of this situation is the sole responsibility of Hamas and the terrorist regime in Gaza. As we pray every day for an end to the violence and a restoration to normal life in Israel, we nevertheless affirm Israel’s absolute right to defend herself and her citizens.

As rabbis we are devoted to bolstering Israel in every way we can, and to supporting our community here through this traumatic period. We deplore the wave of anti-Semitism that has arisen as a result of the news coming out of Israel, and we are committed to working as a community to eradicate this insidious evil from our midst. In this difficult moment, we know our brothers and sisters feel isolated and alone. Just as we always have, the Miami Jewish community is, and will continue, to communicate to the people of Israel that we stand with her at all times, and that our prayers are with them. We support them with our feet through our missions, with our hearts through our philanthropy and tzedakah, and with our souls through the pain we feel whenever they are in danger.

This past Shabbat we read the Book of Bamidbar, where we learned how the Priests and Levites were given the responsibility of guarding the Mishkan from inside the partition and from outside. Once the Holy Temple was built, the Priests were given the job of guarding the walls of the Holy of Holies, and the Levites were commanded to guard the walls of Jerusalem. When the First Temple was destroyed, God declared through the prophet Isaiah that angels would be stationed upon the walls to watch over the Jewish people and welcome them back one day. Today, as we are living in the age of the manifestation of our people’s return to our ancient homeland, we pray once again that God will station angels to watch over the people of Israel at this painful time; as Isaiah proclaimed, “Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen, who shall never be silent by day or by night. O you, the LORD’s remembrancers, Take no rest.” (Isaiah 62:6) We too shall not remain silent in defense of our people and our sacred homeland, the State of Israel.

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