The news out of Israel and Gaza, and the Song for the Month

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we follow the news this week out of Israel and Gaza. Many of us have family members and friends in Israel, and we fear for their safety. Some of us have friends in Gaza, and we fear for their safety, too. I know that for many of us, it is profoundly painful to turn on the news or visit our usual news websites, knowing that more terrible news may await.

Within this community our politics may differ, and our interpretations of this latest round of military action — its causes and its consequences — may differ, but I know that we are all united in a deep and heartfelt wish for peace. We all pray that those with decision-making power for the region manage to broker a cease-fire in the short term, and work for a true solution for a just peace for the long term.

Please know that if this situation is raising fears and anxieties for you, about your loved ones or about the region in general, I am here and happy to listen. Call or email and we’ll find a time to connect.

I have chosen, as our Song for the Month during this month of Kislev, a setting of two verses from Tanakh which describe the coming era of peace for which we yearn. The text comes from Isaiah 2:4: “And nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore.”

The words are

לֹא-יִשָּׂא גוֹי אֶל-גּוֹי חֶרֶב, וְלֹא-יִלְמְדוּ עוֹד מִלְחָמָה.

Lo yisa goy el goy cherev, Lo yilm’du od milchamah.

You can listen to me sing these verses at the the post Song for the Month of Kislev.

We will sing this song during Shabbat services this week, as an expression of our fervent prayer for peace in the Middle East and everywhere. May it come speedily and soon.

I wish you every blessing,

Reb Rachel

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