Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of the Jewish nation is the fact that despite the diversity that exists within us, we are truly one people, brothers and sisters at heart. This is the case both in good times and certainly in times of pain and heroism, the likes of which we are living through now.
The nature of the current crisis is that we are all living through this pain together, regardless of where on the globe we find ourselves.
Certainly Israel is in pain, and the challenge might at times feel more tangible, but there is no disputing that the hardships, loss and fear are felt all across the Jewish Diaspora.
This war, and the resulting tragedy, is multi-faceted in ways like few other episodes in Jewish history. Hundreds of captives, destroyed communities that have literally been burnt in ways that we thought and hoped would have been confined to a distant past, scores of killed civilians and soldiers and so many more injured and scarred for life. And with it, we have seen a massive surge in dangerous antisemitism threatening people, communities, families, campuses and Jewish institutions and organizations around the world.
But with every hardship, it is our responsibility also to find the light- and indeed there is light. The light is realized in forums like that which is taking place in Washington today and countless others here in Israel and elsewhere. Initiatives that have brought communities together from different backgrounds, people who we knew that until only several weeks ago stood at complete odds with one another on the painful issues that divided Israeli society. And just like the people of Israel have come together, the long-standing fears about the chasms between Israel and the Diaspora have almost completely faded as we were again reminded that we have a common destiny.
Your presence in the heart of the American capital is not just a practical display of support- but a spiritual one as well. It is a recognition that solidarity with the Jewish state is at the very heart of who we are as a people.
It is our fervent prayer that this gathering will provide a clear and unwavering statement to the world that we as Jews stand strong and proud in the face of all types of threats and dangers.
May it be Hashem’s will that we will be emboldened during these types of challenges and that our unity will be clear both to our enemies – but as importantly serve as a statement to us as Jews that not just in times of struggle, but that at all times we are one people, with one heart.
Yashar Koach to all involved in making this happen and we wish you only success in this blessed endeavor.