“The special prayerbook we use on the High Holy Day is called the Makhzor” | cc: wikipedia
By: Rabbi Barry Leff and Rabbi Arik Ascherman
“When they demolished our homes in the eighties, there was nothing we could do because we were alone. But, we’re not alone anymore.”
(Nasser Nawaja from the threatened village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills, during the visit of a high level diplomatic mission in August)
The special prayerbook we use on the High Holy Day is called the Makhzor, which means “cycle.” In a never ending circle, we return to the High Holy Days year after year. And yes, Susya and at least 8 additional Palestinian cave communities are again facing some of the same threats they faced over ten years ago, and almost twenty years before that. But this isn’t just, “V’ein kol khadash takhat hashamash,” (There is nothing new under the sun, Eclesiastes 1:9). As Rabbi Ascherman writes in his Rosh HaShana Thoughts, Life is a spiral, not a closed circle. Things change. “We’re not alone any more”
Because of you, we haven’t been alone either.
Your financial support, your letters, and your willingness to host us in your communities have been essential to our success. Their value is not to be measured only in terms of what we have been able to pay for with your donation or a decision influenced by your letters. We feel strengthened, empowered, and pushed by the fact that you are standing with us as partners sharing a common vision of an Israel living up to our highest Jewish values.
In turn, RHR has been able to translate our partnership into partnerships with Palestinian olive farmers and those defending their homes and lands, unemployed Israelis and those in need of public housing, Bedouin in Khan El Akhmar and in the Negev, African refugees and East Jerusalemites. Knowing that you and we stand with them, they have been empowered to stand for themselves. We have been empowered to educate young Israelis and engage the wider Israeli public.
We know that simply showing solidarity with human rights victims is not enough. In many cases we have translated partnership into concrete gains. However, the villages of the South Hebron Hills are still in danger and the current state of Israeli public opinion indicates that we still have much to achieve. With your help, we intend to do just that.
One concrete expression of your support is to join two facebook campaigns that RHR and our coalition partners have created to support the villages of the South Hebron Hills.
Wishing a Shana Tova U’Metuka, a good, sweet and more just New Year for you, your loved ones and our world.
Rabbi Barry Leff Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Chairperson Special Projects
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