Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rabbi stands up for CUFI

Going to War Against Your Friends - Rabbi Aaron D. Rubinger- June 10, 2008
Deuteronomy 21: 10 (“Ke Teze”) begins “When you go out to war against your enemies …..” Rabbinic commentators have asked: “Why must the Torah state ‘against your enemies’? Who else would you go to war against?!”. Apparently, the Torah felt it was necessary to add those words “against your enemies” lest, in foolishness, we go to war against those who are our friends. The great wisdom of this Torah verse, sadly, has been demonstrated by those in our Jewish community who have wrongfully gone on the attack against Pastor John Hagee, one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Christian world.
What exactly is a “friend?” My favorite definition of a friend is the one “who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” The rest of the world walked out on Israel when the Israeli government took the wise and necessary step of bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981. That worldwide hysteria against Israel for undertaking a military action necessary for its national security must have come as a shock to the Jewish State. Where were Israel’s friends and supporters to defend Israel’s action? Sadly, they were nowhere to be found. Yet a brave and solitary voice came forth from San Antonio, TX., that of Pastor John Hagee who stood up for Israel, defended Israel, in fact, applauded Israel.
Since then Pastor Hagee has repeatedly proven himself not only to be a great friend to Israel but to the Jewish people. As important as Pastor Hagee’s enormous amount of fundraising has been for Israel’s social needs, far more significant has been his long time political support, especially his creation of Christians United For Israel, the most important and influential Evangelical voice in Washington DC. Pastor Hagee created CUFI precisely in order to prevent a second Holocaust perpetrated against the Jewish people by the virulent anti-Semitic regime in Iran. What dearer a friend could we Jews have in this world?

Those who would so eagerly seize upon a single statement - one that is theologically troubling for those of us who have departed from ancient Biblical belief - and to exploit that statement in order to expunge an entire lifetime of devotion and dedication to Israel’s survival, are either fools, or else have a particular political agenda that blinds them to just how critical John Hagee’s friendship has been and still is for the State of Israel.
I have and will continue to have profound gratitude to Pastor Hagge for his genuine friendship and sincere love of Israel and the Jewish people. We Jews have so few true friends in this world that to go on the attack against one of our dearest friends strikes me as being so bizarre that it borders on the suicidal. I hope that Pastor Hagee is aware of how deeply appreciated and loved he is by the people of Israel. May God bless him and strengthen him for all that he is doing to safeguard Jewish lives.

Rabbi Aaron D. Rubinger
Senior Rabbi Congregation Ohev Shalom
Orlando Florida

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