In the blessing of the new month, we recite Chaverim Kol Yisrael–May the entire people Israel be united in friendship. We said those words just last week as we brought in the month of Sivan. It is so difficult and must be said that in the last few days, we have witnessed blatant hatred for the State of Israel and for the people of Israel. Social media quickly became the place to hide behind a screen and demonize each other; friends and colleagues “blocked” the “other.”
In this time of need for the people of Israel, where are the messages of friendship and inspiration, as our prophet Zechariah teaches, we are “prisoners of hope”?
As I write from Philadelphia this week, I received a text message from friend, Pastor John Paul Foster, of Faithful Central Bible Church. As I have written many times before, his community and my community are different–in theology, in demographics, and in liturgy.
Yet, the bond that has brought us together over the last five years has been that of Ahavat Yisrael, the love of Israel. As rockets reigned over the people of Israel–so many of our families and friends sleeping in bomb shelters, Pastor Foster simply wrote, “Checking in on your family and your Sinai community, and praying for Israel.”
That message from Pastor Foster and Faithful Central Bible Church is welcomed. I have not only heard him speak that love, but I have witnessed his love of the land and the people in action.
Chaverim Kol Yisrael–Today is the day that we must seek out our friends. Today is the day that we need chizuk, strength. Today is the day that we must speak to people, and not screens. Today is the day where each of us must use our voice to defend the people Israel.