Pray for Peace in the Middle East

My dear friends,
I bring you greetings from the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. While Linda and I are enjoying vacation (last week we spent Shabbat evening services at Eisner Camp with our five students who are there), it is difficult to be away from our extended family during this time when Israel is once again under attack.
I have been following the news almost hourly since this current struggle began. Our prayers are for the kidnapped soldiers – their safety and prompt return. We also remain committed to Israel's security. In many ways, the world holds a double standard when it comes to Israel. The criticism of Israel's response to attacks and kidnappings – especially this morning's comments from the French leadership – overlooks the attacks that make the response necessary.
I guess they – and in a large measure, I too – hold Israel to a higher standard. I can and do defend Israel's right to act in response to its citizens being kidnapped and the missile attacks on populated areas. I am proud of Israel's actions that try to limit civilian casualties. I am also proud of our government's veto of the United Nations resolution condemning Israel.
Let us all take a moment now – and several times throughout the days to come – and keep Israel in our prayers, praying for the families of the victims and the release of the soldiers and for the peace Israel so desperately seeks.
Let the day soon come when Israelis and Palestinians will both be blessed with courageous and caring leadership and both peoples can live in peace.
Shabbat Shalom

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