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The escalation this week of terrorist attacks on Israel from Gaza has, once again, brought to our attention the daily risks Israelis face and the importance of our support for Israel and all Israelis. Please see below for an important message from ARZA Canada and the Union for Reform Judaism.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird issued a statement on Wednesday, November 14, making clear “We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats. Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation. Just last weekend, more than 100 rockets rained down on civilians in southern Israel from positions in the Gaza Strip. Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.”

I hope you will join us this Shabbat as we pray for the safety of Israel and that peace will soon be realized.

Shabbat shalom.

Mark S. Anshan

In response to Israel’s military efforts to stop the barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, and the subsequent escalation in violence, today the arms of the Reform Movement, representing 1.5 million Jews in North America, as well as numerous professional organizations and affiliates, are joining together, calling for support for Israel.

The Reform Movement has long been an unwavering voice for Israel and today we reaffirm our staunch support for Israel in this moment of crisis. ARZA Canada has been in touch with the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), and today our prayers go out to all those affected by the violence, as we hope for a speedy resolution, and a lasting peace. The entire Reform Jewish Movement is working together to provide support for Israel’s people who find themselves in the line of fire from Gaza rockets, including those in our communities.

We pray that the day will come when our brothers and sisters in Israel can live in peace, without the fear of rockets landing on their homes and schools, and with the prophets’ vision for peace fulfilled. Today, sadly, is not that day.

For your information attached are some Frequently Asked Questions about the current situation in Israel prepared by the Religious Action Center.

As we gather this Shabbat…

As we gather this Shabbat, each in our own community, we will be united in our grief and pain over the violence this week in Israel. We weep, as our mother Rachel wept: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping! Rachel is weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for them, for they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

To our prayers this Shabbat we add a prayer for Medinat Yisrael – the State of Israel – and for her people, our brothers and sisters.

From Psalm 122:6-9

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may those who love you prosper! Let there be peace in your homes, safety within your borders. For the sake of my people, my friends, I pray you find peace. For the sake of the house of the Eternal our God, I will seek your good.

Eternal God, grant blessing to the State of Israel, created to fulfill an age-old dream and to be a haven for the oppressed. Protect her people with Your grace, shelter them with Your peace, and grant them deliverance from the violence that surrounds them. May they live in harmony with one another and with their neighbors. May the bonds of faith and fate that unite the Jews of all lands be a source of strength to Israel and us all.

Here is a link to other prayers for peace in Israel

To download the “FAQ About Pillar Of Defense” document please click here.

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