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A Special and Urgent Message
Rabbi Boxman regarding Israel
“Ode Lo Avda Tikvatenu”
“We still have not lost hope”

By now I’m sure you are aware of the critical events that are unfolding in Israel. Over the last 3 months, Israelis of all political persuasions, from right to left and everything in between, have protested and demonstrated in the streets to save their democracy.
Without going into all the details, the Israeli public is protesting the attempt by the Netanyahu government to overhaul or as others might say eviscerate the judiciary, meaning the Israeli Supreme Court, thus eliminating any real check on the executive and legislative branches in Israel. Israelis fear that a tyranny of the majority will leave minority rights unprotected and that the current ultra-orthodox and ultra-nationalist government will impede upon the rights of non-orthodox Jews, women, Israeli Arabs, LGBTQ+ individuals and also seek to annex the West Bank without giving equal rights to its Arab population. For weeks, hundreds of thousands of Israeli’s and Jews around the world, including world leaders such as President Biden, have urged its elected leaders to pause the proposed legislation and seek to find common ground to bring the country back together.
Earlier this week, an unprecedented National strike paralyzed the entire country finally causing Netanyahu to pause the legislation, until the Knesset reconvenes after Israel Independence Day in late April. The events which were spiraling out of control and on the verge of causing a civil war, have calmed a bit, but the situation is far from resolved. As Jews the world over watch in horror as the greatest achievement of the Jewish people in 2,000 years teeters on the edge of collapse, we ask ourselves what is our role, what is our responsibility, what is our obligation to help save Israel from violent internecine political turmoil? 

To answer these questions, I invite you to join a National webinar sponsored by the Reform Movement addressing these very questions. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, URJ President, Rabbi Josh Weinberg VP of the URJ in charge of Israel affairs (who was just here at CKT this past Sunday) and other leaders will host this vitally important webinar, tomorrow, Thursday March 30 at 12:30 pm. If you would like to tune into the webinar, please register using this link Saving Israeli Democracy: Emergency Briefing on Israel Confirmation.

At CKT, we will watch together as part of our weekly Talmud 101 class. All are welcome to join us at 12:30 pm for the webinar. I recognize this is not an optimal time given work schedules, but if you care about the future of the Jewish state, I urge you to watch and learn. If you can’t join in live, I’m sure it will be recorded for viewing at a later time. Also for those of you who missed Rabbi Weinberg’s masterful presentation at CKT addressing this same topic, you can watch the recording here Rabbi Josh Weinberg at CKT at your convenience.
At CKT, as part of our mission statement, we affirm the fact that we value our relationship with the State of Israel. So much of our programming, including 6 congregational trips to Israel, demonstrates this vital relationship. I urge you to be informed about what is happening and why it matters so much. I urge you to support the efforts of world Jewry to protect Israel’s democracy, to bridge the political and social chasm which threatens to permanently divide Israel and turn Jew against Jew.
Finally, I invite you to join us on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 pm for an evening of Israeli music, food and drink at our “Beit Café” in honor of Israel’s 75 birthday. More than ever, we need to come to Israel’s defense and celebrate her many accomplishments in the last 75 years. Look for more details on our Beit Café coming soon.
Indeed we are a people who have survived more than our share of disasters, even those self-inflicted. I believe in Israel’s desire to live up to her best aspirations, to fight valantly for a just, democratic and free country where human rights are protected and the rule of law applies to all. In the end, I believe Israel will be a stronger, better and ultimately more united nation.
  “Ode Lo Avda Tikvatenu” . . . “Still our hope is not lost”.
  Rabbi Bradd Boxman