Our hearts are broken and our souls are grieving.
As rabbis from different denominations and movements, we do not all share the same beliefs, practices or theology.
Yet at this critical time, we are united.
We are united in our sorrow.
We are united in condemning the horrific attacks that occurred last Shabbat, October 7, 2023.
We are united in our resolve to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who are fighting to defend themselves.
We are united in condemning the hate-filled terror organization, Hamas, whose stated purpose is the annihilation of the state of Israel and to murder and eradicate Jews and Christians.
Caught off guard, attacked by terrorists from the depths of hell, our brothers and sisters suffered some of the most gruesome atrocities committed against our people and any people in recent history. Prior to the surprise unprovoked attack, we could not fathom what our ancestors lived through during the pogroms and the Holocaust, but now, sadly, we are witnessing and reliving chapters from our past. Horrific acts of violence that we thought were inconceivable in the 21st century, including the murder, torture, and kidnapping of babies, children, women, and the elderly, and worse have been committed.
We ask in shock and bewilderment – how could this happen? How can people be filled with so much hatred that they are driven to murder people they do not know just because they are Jews, or because they live in the land of Israel? And we ask how can any decent person possibly justify or rationalize the murderous actions of Hamas?
We call upon all good people to join in condemning Hamas.
We call upon all people of conscience to recognize the threat posed to all by a totalitarian terrorist organization and of the moral imperative and need to eliminate this threat.
We thank President Joe Biden, Secretary Antony Blinken, members of Congress, our public officials and other international leaders who have expressed support for Israel and recognize its right to defend itself and to eliminate once and for all the threat posed by Hamas.
We support our brothers and sisters in Israel and the members of the Israel Defense Forces who are now responding to the slaughter and torture of innocent civilians and the capture of hostages, as they battle to eradicate the evil perpetrators of these heinous crimes and protect the citizens of Israel. Regrettably, there will inevitably be casualties of this war because Hamas purposefully operates within the midst of the civilian population and hides behind human shields, and we deplore the loss of innocent life. The blood of Gazan civilians is on the hands of Hamas terrorists who care more about killing Jews than about protecting their own people.
We hope and pray that the vision of the Hebrew prophets shall come to pass, that “all shall sit under their vine and fig tree, and none shall make them afraid.”
IN THE NEWS
Local Rabbis Join Rabbinic Letter of Unity and Solidarity With Israel (Washington Jewish Week)
Rabbis express unequivocal solidarity (The Jewish Standard)
Over 1,000 American rabbis join forces to support Israel (The Jerusalem Post)