Thursday, June 19, 2014

#BringBackOurBoys

Who are our boys? 



Pictures courtesy of Jewnews.co.il


Video from the Kotel this week as 25,000 gathered in prayer - Achenu Kol Beit Israel - "May God be merciful to our fellow Jews who wonder over sea and land or who suffer from persecution and imprisonment. May God soon bring them relief from distress and deliver them from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption."

Post by Liat Mayerfeld.

My Shabbat Message:

Shalom Shaarei Kodesh,
I am sure most of you are aware of the kidnapping of three young men in Israel, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, by terrorists last week.  The story has gone viral, along with a hashtag (#BringBackOurBoys) and other protests.  Unfortunately, Israel has, at times, become a divisive issue amongst many Jews, but the humanity of Israel, the plight of these three young boys, has galvanized and unified our collective Jewish nation.  I for one and not surprised by the reaction by Jews around the world.  There is a famous quote, Kol Israel Arevim Zeh BaZeh - Each Jew is responsible for one another.  How can we be responsible?  There are a number of reactions that we can have such as action through advocacy, financial and moral support, and of course, through prayer.  At our minyan this morning, as we concluded our Torah service, we recited the words Achenu Kol Beit Israel:  "May God be merciful to our fellow Jews who wonder over sea and land or who suffer from persecution and imprisonment.  May God soon bring them relief from distress and deliver them from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption."  I have sang these words hundreds of times, but never had I been so moved by this prayer than by watching this video from the Kotel taken this week (click here to view the video and to learn more about Gilad, Naftali, and Eytal).  I am attaching a prayer written by Rabbi Tamar Elad Appelbaum for these young men.  I hope you can join us this Shabbat morning as I'll be leading a special "70 Faces of Torah" text study and discussion in lieu of a sermon on the issue of Pidyom Shvuyim, Redemption of Captives.  What does our tradition teach us about this important task?  Are there limits?  I also hope that you can join us on Monday evening at the Boca Raton Synagogue as the South Palm Beach Jewish community will gather together for a rally in solidarity with Israel to show our support and concern for the welfare of these three young men.  I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom - and may our boys be returned to us swiftly.
Rabbi David Baum