Readers Write: An open letter to the Port Washington Jewish Community and our friends

Readers Write: An open letter to the Port Washington Jewish Community and our friends

These are unprecedented times. We have witnessed horrors we never thought are possible in these modern times. And yet they happened; and were recorded for us to witness them with our own eyes.

If you’re angry, good! If you’re panicking with anxiety, not so good…

Here’s how I see it. These are dark days. However, they are also good days. Because the world is finally recognizing the truth of the situation in the Middle East, and that’s a good thing!

People have woken up.

“I’ve been transformed; I’ve wizened up” are the refrains being broadcast daily by leading liberal thinkers and security leaders.

Hillary Clinton just said in an interview, when she was asked if she’s pushing for a cease-fire in Gaza: “Those who are asking for a cease-fire do not understand Hamas. The world has changed”.

The Hamas memo calling for Jihad against Jews everywhere on the Friday after the massacre made it abundantly clear to the entire civilized world what their true colors are, and this is pure unadulterated hatred of Jews, everywhere in the world, unrelated to any particular plot of land.

We finally believe what they say explicitly in their charter that their goal is the annihilation of all Jews in Israel, followed by the annihilation of all Jews everywhere, followed by world conquest to be controlled by their distorted anti-Islamic version of Shariah law.

What also is good is unprecedented unity in Israel and beyond. I’m heartened by the unity in Israel between all Jews, right and left, religious and secular.

The enemy reminded us of the truth: there are no two types of Jews. We all look exactly the same to them. And thankfully, now, we all look the same to each other as well.  (See my article: Labels are for suits, not Jews:

I’m heartened by the unequivocal support coming out of Washington and from capitals throughout Europe and around the world. We recently saw the heads of state of the US, the UK, France, Italy, and Germany personally visit Israel during war time, this is unprecedented!

I’m heartened by all the mitzvahs and good deeds being done around the world in support of Israel and our soldiers on the front lines. I’ve been receiving random phone calls and texts from people wanting to stop over to Chabad to lay tefillin, or to join prayers.

Special. I would not be a Chabad Rabbi if I did not make a call to action to visit our website Mitzvah page.

Every one of us needs to “enlist” – we are all being called up to serve. Soldiers perform many types of duties. Some are combatants who need to fight on the front lines. But the army also has doctors, nurses, supplies, chefs, chaplains, the list goes on. All of them are enlisted. We are all part of the army of Israel at this moment. We support with our charity, and with our mitzvahs.

I’m urging all people of good faith who care about our Israel, and who insist on living in a world that is a place of goodness rather than tyranny, to pray and to increase in random acts of kindness each and every day.

I’m urging everyone not to obsess with worry and anxiety. Please don’t overdose on how much news you watch. By all means, check the news a couple of times a day but spend the rest of your time with good things. Do extra mitzvahs. Study extra Torah. Do more random acts of kindness to friends and strangers alike.

May G-d bless Israel in this important battle for its survival, along with the victory of goodness over tyranny for the entire planet. May G-d bless President Biden and the members of Congress for their clarity and unwavering support. May G-d bless the forward-thinking, progressive Arab states who joined the Abraham Accords, in the recognition that progress, and success are the way to go, rather than dwelling on victimhood and fomenting hatred.

It is my fervent hope that these accords pick up steam soon to expand to include all Arab countries seeking peace and prosperity.

With prayers that G-d who is the ultimate “Guardian of Israel, who does not slumber nor sleep” protect Israel.

G-d bless Israel. G-d bless America. G-d bless all good, peace-loving people.

Rabbi Shalom M Paltiel

Chabad of Port Washington

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