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Rabbi Rafi RankBy the CyberRav—Rabbi Rafi Rank

Shabbat Shalom, Everyone.  CyberRav here with a bit of Aural Torah for you!

I want to tell you about a little Israeli town called Sdeort.  It’s a town of about 19,000 people.  By comparison, Plainview, NY, is a town of about 28,000, so you can imagine just how little a town like Sderot is.  Most of the residents are immigrants from Morocco, but there are also people there from Kurdistan and Romania.  It is not a wealthy city.  It is about on kilometer, or a half mile from Gaza. 

Sderot has been in the Israeli news daily since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.  Why?  Because Gazan terrorists have made it a favored target of their Kassam rockets.  The city has been hit with over 6500 rockets, each triggering a tzeva adom, a “Red Alert” warning that gives everyone 15 seconds to scramble from their offices, classrooms, factories, and homes into some secured location where they can be sheltered from the oncoming bomb.  15 seconds is not a lot of time, but having to do this day after day, and sometimes multiple times per day is a tremendous amount of trauma.

The response of the Israeli government to the shelling has been tepid at best.  Some sympathy visits by politicians to the area for support have taken place, but the passivity of the government has been remarkable and many have seen it as a betrayal of Zionist principle.  How can Jews allow attacks on Jews to take place daily without some commensurate counter attack?  Israel, however, had its reasons for restraint, as the very complex and delicate peace talks have unfolded.

All this has come to an end with Israel’s massive air strike against the leadership of Gaza, Hamas, which has both funded and orchestrated these attacks.  The military goal at this time is to destroy the infrastructure that has allowed for these attacks to continue.  At this time, calls for a truce or cease fire are premature.  The democratically-elected government of Israel, accountable to its citizens, is under and obligation to protect its citizens from attack, and must do so vigorously.  In reality, the Hamas-led leadership of Gaza is under the same obligation to its citizens, but has done an extraordinarily poor job of advancing their material or emotional wellbeing.

It was the 19th century General William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army who once said, “War is hell” and it was as true during the time of the Civil War as it is in Gaza today.  May this war end soon, but not before those who choose to terrify others are silenced, and the means by which they terrify others destroyed.  God bless Israel and the brave men and women of the Israel Defense Froces.

This is Rafi Rank, the CyberRav, wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and encouraging you to spread a little aural Torah around your Cyber community!

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