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Devastated but undeterred

Dear Kol Ami members and friends,

I am devastated. Over the weekend, as we were dancing and celebrating our Torah, hundreds of Israelis were being murdered. This is the greatest number of Jews killed in such a short period of time since the Holocaust.

I have long been a peace activist and supporter of Palestinian freedom and Palestinian state-building. I am also a citizen of Israel and a lifelong Zionist. I am the daughter of a Jewish refugee from Morocco to Israel. 

My father and mother before me also dedicated themselves to peace with Israel's neighbors. Peace is the only true security for our people. And I know we can do it, make it happen. I have full faith in the people of Israel that they can find the creativity and the will to do what is necessary to provide a safe and healthy place for both Israelis and Palestinians to thrive. This is where I stand today and where I have stood my entire life.

I pray for innocent civilians in Gaza. Too many have suffered under the hands of terrorists. And that is what Hamas is. A violent terrorist organization that harms both Palestinians and Israelis.

Therefore when you see people standing in solidarity with Palestinians right now? Please know it is not really Palestine they support but rather Hamas. And Hamas is out for blood.

When people chant "from the River to the Sea"? This means all Jews, Zionists, would be expelled or murdered. This is not a plea for a 2-state solution. For Hamas, the only solution is no Jewish presence in the Middle East: full stop. Anyone supporting Hamas right now also has this site/sight in mind: a Middle East purged of Jews.

Where are we supposed to go? Jews deserve the right to live. In peace and safety. In our ancestral homeland and wherever we are allowed to live around the world. Allowed to live.

But we are not safe. Even here in the US we have armed guards when we gather in large numbers. I have never in my life prayed the High Holiday prayers without an armed guard outside.

I stand with Israel because I am Israeli. Israelis are my family. But they are also OUR family. The Jewish people are one nation, one tribe, one people and we will not sit quietly as we are kidnapped, murdered, raped, and held hostage. We will not be silent in the face of pogroms.

Please do not be silent. Speak up for your people. Defend your people. Your words and actions are important.

If you hear someone claim Israel is a colonizing force, that Israel is a white, European colonizing force?

Say No! This is misinformation. Speak up. We are indigenous to Israel. Our tribe. Our people.

And we have survived for 2000 years all over the world.

If you hear Jewish deaths being justified?

Say No! Speak up.

And if you hear people saying Palestinians have no right to the land.

Say No! They too have a claim to the land. They have legitimate claims that need to be addressed by Israel...and the other nations in the region. We do not need to become monsters to be safe. We do not need to deny the existence of other people to affirm our own!

Please join me this week in standing with our Israeli siblings, standing for peace and safety for both Israelis and innocent Palestinians.

Join me in donating: Today I believe this organization, Hatzalah/emergency services, will do the most to save lives. They help everyone.

Join me in standing in solidarity: This Tuesday night the Seattle area Jewish community is joining together in person and online: Vigil for Israel: Support Solidarity and Hope, on Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm at Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

Join me in prayer: This Friday night at 7:30 pm we will hold a special Shabbat service to pray for the peace of Israel and Palestine. To pray for the innocent people impacted by war. We will pray for fallen IDF soldiers, for the fallen of our people, the families who are begging for the safe return of their families.

Most of all: please join me in hope. Tikvah! We are not safe as a people, we are hunted down and slaughtered--as we have been for over 2000 years and we will never give up. Never. Those before us did not lose hope and we cannot lose hope. Israel is built upon hope.

These words are alive in my heart today:

As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope - the two-thousand-year-old hope - will not be lost: To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

(Hatikvah/The Hope)

Many blessings,

Rabbi Kinberg


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