Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Walk for a Cause, Not Against One

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Walk for a Cause Not Against One

There are three marches that have left an indelible imprint on my psyche.  The march from Sinai after the revelation that changed the course of humanity; the death march of our people to the gas chambers; and the march  across the Edmund Pettis bridge led by Martin Luther King Jr. Each of these marches took incredible acts of bravery.  Each of these marches reminds us of the strength that comes from the power of standing shoulder to shoulder with people.

This is my last invitation to you to join us as we march in the Israel Day Parade this Sunday. Unlike those who march towards violence; Unlike those who run with bombs and guns towards war; we will gather in NY with people from the around the world to walk in support of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.  No doubt there will be those who will protest this march.  Unquestionably, there will be those stand against us. But, we will walk!  We will walk for a cause not against one.

  

Am Yisrael Chai

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

“Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avinu Chai”

I can still hear the building energy of this song as we marched to the mall in Washington D.C. in 1987.  It was Sunday, December 6, 1987, the eve of the Washington, D.C. Summit between Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan.  An estimated 250,000 people demonstrated on the National Mall in an unprecedented display of solidarity for Soviet Jewry. 

This song written by Reb Shlomo Carlbach became the anthem for that march. The words,” The nation of Israel lives, our father is still alive” was what we sang.  I still get goose bumps as I recall that day.  We believed that marching would make a difference  We believed that show of solidarity made a difference.  We walked and we sang and we believe to this day that we did our part in tearing down the Iron Curtain.  

You have that opportunity now.  While it may not appear as though we are at the same tipping point, Sunday, June 3rd ,is such a moment.  With the escalation at the boarder of Gaza, the increased tension with Iran through Syria, the growing anti-semitism (disguised as anti Zionism) on the college campuses and throughout Europe, this is the time. 

Please join me on Sunday, June 3rd , for the Salute to Israel Parade.  The bus leaves Greenburgh Hebrew Center at 11:00 am.   

 

 

  

Stand with Israel

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

I get goose bumps every time I sing the line from Hatikvah proclaiming, “O then our Hope—it is not dead, Our ancient Hope and true, To be a nation free forevermore Zion and Jerusalem at our core.”  It doesn’t matter where I am, who I am with or under what circumstances I sing those words, I stand a little taller. I feel a little stronger.

Whether you agree with the government of Israel’s stance on pluralism, democracy or a two state solution, its existence is a modern day miracle. Decade after decade of war has put an enormous financial strain on its economy.  Nevertheless, it’s economy  has become one of the strongest in the world.  As war after war has taken some of the brightest and most creative of minds, Israel’s position as a hub of innovation is without question.  

Please join me on June 3rd to celebrate Israel.  For one day, lets’ put our politics aside and stand shoulder to shoulder as we  march down 5th Avenue.  There will be a bus leaving from the synagogue.  Please let us know you will be on the bus. “To be a free nation in our own land,” requires the Jewish community of the Diaspora, especially here in America, to stand with our people.  Bus leaves at 10:30 am.