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Read below for messages and videos about the war with Hamas

December 9, 2023

Click here to read a PDF of Rabbi Weinblatt's sermon Chanukah and the Anti-Jewish Jews or click below to watch!

 


Have You Called Congress Yet?

 
Anti-Israel activists are calling members of Congress and telling them to abandon Israel. Make your pro-Israel voice heard by calling your elected officials to make clear you stand with our ally Israel against Hamas terrorism!
 
Click below to get the contact information for your congress people and to spread the word today.
 
Click HERE for your congress contact info.
 

 


11/15/23
 
Yesterday, nearly 300,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington DC in solidarity with Israel and more than 250,000 watched online. The energy was electric, with over 400 from our B’nai Tzedek community participating! As Tovah Feldshuh put it, "While a minyan of Jews normally has ten thousand opinions, today we stand together, with one single message: Am Yisrael Chai!"
 
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog thanked the North American Jewish community for showing such strong support. "In Israel's darkest moment, you said, 'Hineni, I am here'. We are here - for the Jewish people. And as you stand with us, we stand with you!"
 
We heard from the families of hostages, including the parents of Omer Neutra and Hersh Goldberg-Polin and others, who called for immediate action to #BringThemHome. We heard from the leadership of both the House and Senate, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who talked about his pride in being the Jew to hold the highest office in American history, along with faith leaders from many backgrounds who pledged support of Israel and the Jewish people.
 
Prayers were sung with hundreds of thousands of voices, thousands of Israeli flags, countless hugs, and many tears shed. It was a historic day for the Jewish community. We made our voices heard.
 
Am Yisrael Chai!

A Letter from Rabbi Weinblatt – Why Attending the Rally is so Important
 
11/10/23
 
I am sure that you, like me, have been shocked and disgusted by images of the horrific, sophisticated, coordinated yet barbaric, savage-like acts committed by Hamas terrorists on Simchat Torah. Their level of brutality and cruelty defies imagination, not to mention the kidnapping of 240 hostages – many of them children, women and elderly. 
 
Israel is currently fighting to eliminate the threat Hamas poses to Israel, and not just to it, but to the entire western world. Yet, as if oblivious to reality, inexplicably, instead of universal condemnation of Hamas, hundreds of thousands march in pro-Hamas demonstrations in the streets of America and Europe. Signs with pictures of the hostages are torn down. As Israel ramps up its response to the terror unleashed from Gaza on October 7, anti-Semitism is rampant on college campuses. Social media is inundated with vicious anti-Jewish rhetoric and distortions. While we mourn the loss of any and all innocent lives, in the face of all of this many of us are feeling helpless, intimidated and fearful.
 
Until now those who malign Israel have dominated the conversation and have been vociferously expressing their opposition to Israel. 
 
We dare not be silent in the face of such outrageous hatred of our people. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for us to stand up, speak out and fight back.  
 
While our brothers and sisters in Israel are on the frontlines, courageously facing the threats posed by Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and others, the least we can do is let them know they are not alone. In the face of such pervasive anti-Semitism, the least we can do is raise our voices and not allow those who hate Jews to be the only voices our politicians hear. The least we can do is show up and be counted.
 
This is why I urge you, implore you, and beg you to come to the historic rally for Israel on Tuesday, November 14 from 1 – 3 pm on the mall in Washington. As one of my colleagues put in a letter to his congregation, “There is nothing that you can be doing next Tuesday that is more important than standing together in our nation’s capital.” 
 
Now is not the time to be afraid. We must show mass support, unity and solidarity at a time such as this, so that our political leaders know that we stand with Israel. We must come together so that we may draw strength from each other. 
 
Some of you may recall the mass demonstration on behalf of Soviet Jews in 1987. It changed history and led to the opening of the gates of emigration of Jews behind the Iron Curtain. I went to the rally and joined 250,000 others. Symcha and I took our children Ezra and Margalit with us when they were nine and seven years old. To this day, they still talk about the impact it had on forming and strengthening their Jewish identity.  Going with my father who took me out of school to go to a rally in front of the White House during the Six Day War made a significant lasting impression on my understanding of what it means to be a member of the Jewish people. This is why I encourage you to come on Tuesday and bring your kids. Taking them out of school for this one day might just be the most important thing you do for them. They will long remember this day – more than anything they will do that day in school.  
 
Planes have been chartered from LA and Denver and elsewhere. Over 100 buses will be coming from New York alone. Buses are leaving from Connecticut, Cleveland and elsewhere at 5 am in the morning. All we need to do is go downtown. Quite simply – change your plans. If you have a meeting, reschedule it. If you have a doctor’s appointment change it. Miss work. Take your kids out of school. I guarantee you, you will not regret it. 
 
Please click HERE to register for the rally and get all pertinent information.
 
Make me proud. Let us make history together. 
 
 
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt
 
Look for a detailed email on Sunday morning with full information about where we will meet, logistics, how to get a bracelet to expedite entry to the rally, to register for our whatsapp group and other details.  

 

 

Watch Rabbi Weinblatt's interview with NBC regarding the war with Hamas by clicking HERE.


 

Click the videos below to watch Rabbi Weinblatt's sermons addressing the War with Hamas.

There is No Other Hand
October 20, 2023

Actions Have Consequences
October 21, 2023


October 17, 2023

 
Last week was the saddest and most difficult week the Jewish people have experienced in most of our lifetimes. I was gratified by the large turnout of so many congregants who filled our sanctuary at services on Friday night and Saturday morning. We kept having to add more chairs to accommodate everyone, as we all sought comfort in being together and from wisdom, strength and reassurance from our tradition. Cantor Kapell and I adapted the prayers and added some special songs and readings to reflect the special somberness we all felt. When it was time to rise for the Barchu I asked everyone to hug the person next to them. It was an amazing moment which allowed us to feel the bonds that tie us together.  
 
I hope that this Shabbat we will once again come together as a community. This Friday, after our Friday night dinner, we will have a speaker from the Friends of the IDF who will talk about the current situation in Israel. A representative of the Friends of the IDF will also speak after the Kiddush, following services on Saturday morning. To register for the dinner, please click here. To attend the dinner, reservations must be received by Wednesday, as we may not be able to accommodate people who register after tomorrow. 
 
I continue to urge you to contribute to the various efforts we have highlighted who are helping Israel and Israelis recover. In addition to the specific charities doing worthwhile work, please be sure to contribute to the Federation of Greater Washington, which is part of the national Israel Crisis Fund set up by the JFNA and is seeking to raise $10 million for the effort. Click HERE to donate to this fund.
 

October 13, 2023

Dear Congregants,
 
We are aware of the current security concerns and are working closely with police, security personnel and beyond to ensure the safety of the congregation.
 
For those of you who wish to carpool to the rally in D.C. tomorrow, we will be meeting at the synagogue and departing at 11:00 am for the Friendship Heights metro station and then getting off at Metro Center to walk to Freedom Plaza. We will have Israeli flags and scarves to hand out. If you are coming directly to the Freedom Plaza, look for the B'nai Tzedek banner to join with fellow congregants.
 
Donations can be made to the Israel Crisis Fund through our local Jewish Federation by clicking HERE.
 
Thanks to your support, we were able to get medical equipment to my nephew, who is a doctor with the IDF on the front lines! Take a look at the short video clip below.
 
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt
 

October 10, 2023

 
Dear Congregants,
 
I, like all of you find myself fixated on the news coverage of the atrocious and vicious attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel. 
 
I have been in touch with our members who have family in Israel and with our shaliach, Ido Naaman, with whom I spoke yesterday. He flew to Israel on Sunday to join his unit in the IDF. He told me he had met up with his tank unit and they were on their way to the southern front, and that soon they would most likely not have their cellphones. I let him know we are with him and all the members of the IDF as they prepare to do what must be done to eliminate the threat posed by Hamas, the regime that controls Gaza.
 
For those who are looking for historical analogies to comprehend the magnitude and severity of the attack, forget 9-11. Forget Pearl Harbor. Forget the Yom Kippur War. In its sheer brutality, ruthless, indiscriminate slaughter of Jews, it is Kishniev. It is Chelmicki, Poland in 1648. It is Mainz and Speyer during the Crusades when Jews were rounded up and burned alive in synagogues. It is the Einzatsgruppen raping, killing and wiping out entire villages of Jews. 
 
And the response to Nazi Germany, the only way to defeat Nazi Germany was Dresden. There were no TV crews in Dresden or social media postings seeking to evoke sympathy for the population trapped there. The Allied Forces knew what had to be done to defeat the enemy, and they did it. 
 
And so, back to our historical analogies, Gaza may very well come to resemble Dresden in order to defeat the forces of evil, in order to wipe out the regime which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state and of Jews around the world. It may be the only way to eliminate a regime which brain-washes its people to hate and slaughter Jews and Israelis, and celebrates those who do so. 
 
We must remind others and ourselves of the total lack of civility, decency, or humanity of the invaders from Gaza. We have seen the images of the innocent victims being killed or carted away. One can only imagine the horrors that will be inflicted on the women held in captivity. We have already seen how babies and children taken from their mothers’ arms are being taunted, tormented and tortured by their captors.  
 
Now is not the time to call for a cease-fire or to “mourn the tragic loss of life on both sides”, or to blame the animal-like barbarism of Hamas terrorists on a “cycle of violence” or on the “occupation.” Gaza’s residents could have chosen the path of peace after Israel evacuated all its citizens from there, but instead chose to seek to wipe out Israel. The only Israelis in Gaza at this time are the hostages captured by Hamas. 
 
In light of this, I urge you to participate in several opportunities to show solidarity with the people of Israel in their time of need.
 
1. At 2 pm today, Oct 10, the Zionist Rabbinic Coalition will sponsor a zoom call with Israeli security and intelligence expert, Yossi Kupperwasser and a representative of the Embassy of Israel. To sign up for the call, please register HERE.  
 
2. On Thursday evening, October 13, B’nai Tzedek is co-sponsoring a vigil with other area synagogues at Har Shalom at 7:30 pm. www.Harshalom.org/IsraelVigil  
 
3. Show your solidarity and support by coming together as a community – Come to Shabbat services this Friday night and Saturday morning as we seek to draw comfort from each other, from our tradition and from being together as a community.
 
I am working with community leaders and the JCRC to hold a community-wide rally later this week downtown, and will send out word to you about it once the details are known and finalized. 
 
Other action items: Reach out to family and friends in Israel and let them know we are united and stand with them. Let our elected officials know of your support for Israel, and express appreciation for their stand. Monitor the media and social media for distortions and misreporting, and call them out on it. 
 
A number of worthwhile organizations are soliciting contributions to help meet critical needs. I will send a list in our next update. In the meantime, my nephew, Avi Gabbay is a doctor and has left his wife and young children to volunteer and lead a team of medics on the front lines. Ezra caught up with him and asked him what he needed. Without hesitation he requested three handheld sonogram units that plug into iPhones so they can do surgery and quickly triage injuries. Each one costs about $3,800 and there is a source in Israel that he and Ezra have contacted. If you can and would like to make a contribution for the purchase of these units, which will be put to immediate use in the southern region, please send a check to B’nai Tzedek, and indicate it is for medical equipment. Should there be more collected than is needed, we will forward the extra funds directly to the Israel Emergency Fund. For more information about the device, click HERE.
 
Let us pray for the safe return of those held captive, for a refuah shelemah for those injured in the attacks, and for the safety and well-being of those serving in defense of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.  
 
Rabbi Weinblatt
 

October 8, 2023

Dear Congregants, 
 
It is difficult to find the words to express the depth of the emotions felt at a time such as this. Some that come to mind are: shocked, devastated, worried, concerned, anguished, sad, angry, devastated, outraged, horrified, heartbroken.  Our feelings of despair are prompted by the scenes of the sheer brutality, cruelty and animal-like behavior of the Hamas terrorists who are indiscriminately gunning down and murdering anyone they can, taking children, babies, elderly, men and women captive.  And equally disturbing are the scenes of those Palestinians and Arabs who celebrate with joy and rejoice at the barbarous atrocities.  
 
The unprovoked, unjustified attack launched on a sabbath that was also a Jewish holiday is a stark reminder of what Israel faces and why it must be so vigilant in doing whatever is necessary to protect its people and to not allow attacks to go unanswered. 
 
It has often been said – Were the Arab armies to lay down their arms for a day, nothing would happen, but if Israel were to do so, the response would be brutal and immediate. Sadly, we now know that this was not just rhetoric, or a talking point, but true.  
 
The one emotion we must feel at a time such as this, in addition to everything stated at the outset is solidarity, solidarity and unity with our brothers and sisters in Israel.   
 
To that end, we said special prayers at our service on Saturday morning and our Simchat Torah celebration on Saturday was unlike any we have ever had before.  We only took out one Torah scroll – the one that was rescued from a Jewish community in Europe that was destroyed during the Holocaust.  The first hakafa was done silently.  Subsequent ones were subdued, but we concluded the last one with the singing of a rousing, “Am Yisrael Chai!” – The people of Israel lives!  The symbolism conveyed what we were all feeling and made a powerful and lasting impression on all who were there. 
 
I want to prepare you for what to expect in the upcoming days as Israel prepares an all-out response and may seek once and for all to defeat Hamas. 
 
  • While the initial press coverage in most outlets has been positive and sympathetic, do not expect that to continue once Israel begins to respond. 
  • Expect to hear terms such as: “cycle of violence” and “Israel launching a ‘disproportionate response.’”    
  • There will be efforts to evoke sympathy for the enemy, as Hamas hides behind civilians and uses schools and hospitals, some affiliated with UN organizations as launching pads for their rockets.   
  • Attempts to explain that the reason for the attack is because of frustration over the so-called “occupation” should be rejected outright.  The only Israelis in Gaza are those being held captive as hostages by Hamas.   
  • Rather than chose the path of peace after Israel vacated the Gaza Strip, Gaza instead aligned with the murderous regime in Iran, who is behind the attack, and who wish to prevent Israel from making peace with any of its neighbors in the region.   
  • There will be a solidarity rally for Israel, and the enemies of the Jewish people will also be out in full force with their lies and distortions. 
 
How to respond, and what you can and should do: 
 
  • Write to Senators, Members of Congress and the White House thanking them for their steadfast “rock solid” support for Israel. 
  • When a media outlet or social media posting misrepresents, misreports or distorts what is going on, speak up – respond, call or write and let them know it is unacceptable. 
  • Watch for information about a community response or rally in support of Israel, and COME TO SYNAGOGUE on shabbat, and should we hold any special service or vigil.  
  • The cost of the war and the damage it has done will be significant.  Our local Federation, in cooperation with JFNA, the Jewish Federations of North America has set up an “Israel Crisis Fund”.  Please support and contribute by donating - Israel Crisis Relief - Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (shalomdc.org) 
 
Three final things to keep the attack in context once you hear apologists trying to justify the attack.   
 
  1. Ever since Hamas took control of Gaza after Israel vacated the area in its entirety, rather than develop a peaceful haven and invest in its people, Hamas chose to build infiltration tunnels, purchase and launch rockets, send balloons and kites to set fires across the border in Israel, brainwash its people with hatred and the most vile anti-Jewish propaganda and do whatever it can to terrorize and murder Israelis.   
  2. Hamas’ activities are funded and supported by the repressive regime in Iran, the biggest sponsor of terrorist activities in the world.   
  3. Israel’s response will be strong and unrelenting and will not be pretty, as it most likely will seek to inflict a fatal blow to Hamas so that it will be eliminated and no longer be a continuous threat to Israel.   
 
One final note, many of us have friends and relatives in Israel, and some of them may be serving in the armed forces to defend the country.  Several of our nephews have been called to active duty.  Our shaliach, Ido Naaman is on his way to join his tank unit in battle.  We pray for the safety of all those in Israel and for the safe return of those being held captive.   
 
May we stand strong and united with the people of Israel. 
 
Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt 
 
Feel free to post and share this message with others. 

Symcha's Message

Symcha Weinblatt
Dear Sisters,
 
We are all closely following and deeply disturbed by the horrible events happening in our beloved country, Israel. The Hamas monsters have brutally murdered and gunned down anyone they could. They did dastardly things to women, seized elderly women, pregnant women, babies and children as well as men and anyone they could grab to take hostage to Gaza. The brutal, barbaric acts of hatred committed against Israelis are unthinkable. The stories that are coming out are horrible and frightening. Israel is fighting for her future and safety, and in their battle against evil is fighting for all of us. 
 
One thing we can do, and which is traditionally done, especially by women in a time of crisis is to recite Psalms. As a result, I would like to ask each of you to take time and pray for the safety and health of the soldiers, of those held captive and for the people of Israel. With your support and prayers, and with God’s help we will prevail and win, and move from darkness to light, from disaster to redemption. 
 
Here are the psalms to recite, click the number to go the psalm: 83121142143.
 
Let us pray for the safety of all of Israel. 
 
Women praying are strong. 
 
Amen
 
Symcha Weinblatt

To stay informed, I recommend:
 
 
 
Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784