The Yizkor sermon Every Rabbi in the World Should Give This Year
Last month it was disclosed that Golda Meir, before the State of Israel existed, asked the allies to bomb Auschwitz. They did not and six million Jews died. Why do I mention that today, towards the end of the Holiest Day of the year?
There are several unique features of the Yom Kippur Service which will hel explain why.
First is the Kol Nidre prayer we heard last night, which actually not a prayer at all as you know, but a legal formula asking God to let us annul all vows to GOD we made last year, or will make this year depending on what version we use. The idea behind it is God not wanting us to make viows to God rashly, that we cannot keep. Our words and vows must be considered carefully and if we make one, we need to fulfill it. My question for 5772-is there ONE vow every Jew in the world should make this coming year, of which God would approve? Is there one issue so compelling that the fate of the world rests on it? One that cannot wait until 5773? The answer is yes. Stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. That threatens Israel very existence and 6 million Jews directly, and threatens us with dirty bombs smuggled in our borders by Hezbollah terrorists. Israel is now, or will shortly be totally surrounded by Islamic Jihadiost states. Egypt soon will be, Libya will fall into Jihadist hands, Gaza is controlled by Iran backed Hamas, Hezbollah too in Lebanon in the north with 60,000 Iranian missiles, Syraia will shift from Assad to something even worse, Jordan is staring to shake and that does not even count the worst of all IRAN,
There are three other special features of Yom Kippur day we note. First is the last biblical portion our Sages determined we read on this day-the book of Jonah. Jonah was ordered by God to take action to save a city. He tried to duck his responsibility until forced to see the error of his ways and do as God commanded. The Torah says do not stand idly by while the blood of your neighbor is spilt. Isaiah says God reflects “I looked down and saw iunjustice and wondered why no one would intervene?” When the two and a half tribes in the Torah wanted to avoid entering Israel, Moses and God finally allowed them to outside of Israel, if they first helped Israel insure its ability to live inside the Land. The Torah has Moses saying “will your brothers go to war and you remain not helping them.” We can do no less.
Second, in the morning Musaf service, we find special unique features. One is the Avodah service, the magnificent depiction of the royal service of the High Priest, elegantly dressed, in great awe that one day a year entering the Holy of Holies and pleading for Israel. Throughout the two thousand years of Jewish powerlessness, hearing that Service each Yom Kippur uplifted the Jewish spirit and heart. It still moves us, plus we are blessed with Jewish power. Every Prime Minister of Israel sees it as their number one sacred task to stop another Holocaust and keep Israel safe. A very tough job, and they need our help.
Third, the second unique aspect of the Yom Kippur musaf, Eleh Ezkara,
This ancient poem depicts the brutal massacre of 10 great rabbinic Sages at the hands of the Romans, including the flaying of the flesh off the body of Rabbi Akiva, who helped lead the rebellion in 135 against the tyranny and yoke of Rome. Many sysnagogues insert reading about the Holocaust in this service.
If we don’t stop Iran, their deaths were even more in vain, and the slogan “NEVER AGAIN” means nothing.
What musty we do? What is the most important thing you can do in 5772 to insure world peace and the survival of the State of Israel?
Supporting Israel When she bombs Iran
The clock is ticking closer and closer towards the Iranian nuclear bomb capability. Rationale people realize one must take the Iranian leaders at their word when they state they plan to obliterate Israel in a “sudden storm.” "Mutually Assured Destruction does not work with a suicide bomber mentality government, as DAVID HOROVITZ said. "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, would "sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel," Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security adviser, told The Jerusalem Post. The Iranian president, he said, "has a religious conviction that Israel's demise is essential to the restoration of Muslim glory, that the Zionist thorn in the heart of the Islamic nations must be removed. And he will pay almost any price to right the perceived historic wrong. If he becomes the supreme leader and has a nuclear capability, that's a real threat."
The West’s efforts to stop Iran, through Obama’s misguided and absurd idea that diplomacy could stop them, followed by fruitless sanctions follow fruitless sanctions, has proved worthless. Aipac and Cufi are still talking about more sanctions. But a top terrorism expert, author of several key books on the subject of Iran, after a speech trotting out the idea of how more sanctions COULD work, told me when I pressed him privately asking "not if they COULD, but if there was any chance they WOULD stop Iran", he said “no.”
There you have it. Former VP Chaney was quoted in Israel News saying “Israel is likely to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if it proves necessary in order to prevent it from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction...I think Iran represents an existential threat, and (Israel) will do whatever they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security,” the former vice president told Newsmax's Chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler.”
THE USA should and could do this. We should try and convince Wahington but that may be a zochen vay-hopeless.
Israel is currently running training exercises over an island equidistant from Israel as Iran, and which has the same anti-aircraft Russian equipment as Iran.
Suppose Israel does decide to attack.
1. They have no bombers, just fighter bombers.
2. Each plane would need to be refueled twice to get back safely.
3. They would get one bomb run most likely
4. There are over 35 sites, many on the far east side of Iran, buried a mile down in hardened sites.
5. So how much damage can they really do vs. a several month long USA attack with our bombers?
6. Why is this Israel’s responsibility anyway? Do you not believe Iran represents a nuclear threat to the USA? They’ll have intercontinental ballistic missiles which can reach us within a few years, and dirty bomb fit-into-a-terrorists-backpack capability soon.
7. But Obama is reluctant, the military is tired after two wars in that part of the world. Some of the Republican candidates are discussing it. On Fox news Sept 13. Romney said Obama's biggest failure as President has been his failure to stop iarn and his seventh point of his seven point plan to stop them is the US having a "serious military option on the table." Of course then there is Ron Paul who says who cares if Iran gets nuclear weapons.
It appears Israel will have to do it if their Air Force generals believe they can. There will be horrible results most likely. Gas prices may go through the roof because Iran will shut down the Gulf with mines or sunk ships, maybe the 60,000 Iranian missiles in Lebanonon under Hezbollah control and the 15,000 in Gaza will be shot at Israel, maybe the Hezbollah terrorists who have snuck into the USA illegally will be unleashed etc. Israel will be blamed, maybe Egypt, Syria etc will decide it’s a good time to pour it on. Who knows what would be unleashed. The PR against the attack will be ferocious. Two term US Senator Ruby Boschwitz R-Minnesota who served when when Israel bombed the Iraq nuclear site in 1981, told me he was accosted by a fellow Republican Senator the next day and was asked “what did you people do?” To which Sen. Boschwitz retorted a. They are not my people. I am a USA Senator and that was the sovereign state of Israel and b. You’ll thank me in a week”. Sure enough, that happened.
I attended a dinner a few years ago where Pat Robertson was the keynoter. Even then he said that when Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear sites, we need to be prepared to defend her because the pr blast vs Israel will be atrocious. Now we need to be prepared. The evidence is overwhelming that
1. Iran wants to develop nuclear bombs and is getting close. No one knows exactly how close..
2. It has stated it wants to destroy Israel. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false "Confronting the Zionist regime is a national and religious duty." "This regime (Israel) will not last long. Do not tie your fate to it ... This regime has no future. Its life has come to an end," he said in a speech broadcast live on state radio.Will Obama allow this man to control nuclear bombs and missiles? Looks like he will. “History will judge this [Obama] administration when it comes to the end of its term whether Iran has nuclear weapons or not,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Fox News in an interview. He also said sanctions are not enough to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capability.
3. Diplomacy and sanction have not and cannot stop them.
4. Even if our Navy destroyer off Iran's coat can shoot down 95% of Iran's missiles, and Israel in a few years could shoot down most of the rest, are you SO sure of technology and no human error that 0 nuclear bombs will get through? And how do we know that the US would shoot them down?
5. The USA has given no sense it feels a military campaign is urgent and Washington is now settling on “containment.”
6. Many other Arab nations have said they want nuclear bombs if Iran gets them. Is that something the USA can live with?
7. Wikiliks has shown the Saudis are begging the USA to stop Iran.
8. Golda asked the allies to bomb Auschwitz. They did not. 6 million Jews died.
Jewish and general war ethics demand that in such a scenario, a preemptive strike to forestall genocide is a mitzvah-a commandment. The Torah does not expect us to submit to armed aggression, to stand silently and passively when others seek to conquer and dominate us. The people of Israel have the right to defend themselves from attack. Indeed, we are commanded to do so: the obligation to defend and preserve our lives overrides virtually every other religious duty. Every nation must possess the right to take up arms if necessary to protect itself and its citizens against military attack.
When diplomacy fails, when our foes spurn the offer of peace that our tradition bids us to make them, when they are clearly bent upon their aggressive course, then the time to initiate preemptive action is sooner rather than later.
And if and when they do, we must make defense of that action our top priority. Save one life, you save a universe.
On Rosh Hashanah we read that Abraham thought God wanted him to kill his beloved son Isaac, but found out no, it was a test. God does not want Isaac to be sacrificed. This is our holy test. To Save Isaac and his descendants. Iran can be saved only by destroying its nuclear program until there is regime change.
If Am Yisrael chai means something
Then today, VOW
I will be the Jonah who did God’s bidding to make the world better, not flee from my responsibility
I will not let the death of the martyred sages of Israel be in vain.
I will not be like the 2 ½ tribes originally wanted to be, let those in Israel carry all the burden.
I will remember the 2000 years of powerless Jews listening to the Avbodah service of the High priest and remind myself that today, thank God, Jews are not powerless.
Stop Iran at all costs. Save Israel. Save the Middle East. Save the USA. Save the world.
Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
Rabbi Rodfei kodesh Congregation Chicago
President ZOA Chapter Chicago (identification purposes only)