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Ta Shema: April 27, 2023

75 years. It’s hard to believe that our timeless Holy Land can be so young in the eyes of modernity. This past weekend, we celebrated the miracle, the blessing, the homeland, and the ongoing project of Israel. Thank you to TOI, UJA, Wilmington Jewish Film Festival, and PJ Library for dreaming and planning along together as a team. Approximately 200 people from across Jewish Wilmington united together to celebrate our pride in Israel. 

After the Yom Haatzmaut event, the WJFF kicked off with a haunting film about righteous (and unrighteous) gentiles who hid a man during the Holocaust. The festival is ongoing but Yasher Koach to Debbie Smith, her executive committee, and the many volunteers who make the festival a success. 

It is impossible to not link one historical event to the other; that is the Holocaust to the founding of the modern State of Israel. By experiencing both poles on Sunday, it solidified for me the importance of community and celebrating when we can. 

We are linked to all that came before us and all who will come after. We remember and mourn for those who have passed, as well as celebrate for those who can no longer. We bridge our fears with our joys so that our joys will always carry us through when times are hard. 

Below is a prayer that captures the complicated ways we remember and celebrate—that our very existence is a miracle and something won by our own hands. 

May we continue to come together as a greater Jewish Wilmington community and family for these milestone celebrations and always. 

May there soon be peace in our Holy Land and worldwide. 

Prayer for Israel between Demise and Rebirth

by Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein

May we remember that our faces are mirrors of each other, our fears are mirrors of each other’s, our hopes are mirrors of each other’s, and all of our children will inherit everything we are.

May we remember our shared past, our shared ancestors, our shared heritage, our shared grief at the destruction of our home twice before, our shared journeys through millennia of exile, our shared pride in who we are and all that we have achieved, wherever we found ourselves, and now here.

May we remember that our being here is something no human can explain or understand.

May we remember that we are responsible to those who came before us and those who come after us.

May we remember that it is very, very easy to destroy, but infinitely harder to build.

May we remember that there is no future for any of us without all of us.

 

B'Shalom

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784