Anguish Amidst the Joy

Gov. Christie signing resolution
Gov. Christie signing resolution
Yesterday started well enough, with the Governor signing a joint resolution by the New Jersey Senate and Assembly congratulating Israel on her 65th birthday. We are fortunate that there is bipartisan support for the State of Israel, and she has become one of New Jersey’s largest trading partners. Hopefully Israel will have even stronger ties with the Garden State in the years ahead. The feeling of goodwill at yesterday’s signing bodes well for this future relationship.

Later that day all were shocked by the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon. At this time we still don’t know who the perpetrators are, but it is an attack on America and our values. Boston is the cradle of liberty, and the Boston Marathon is an iconic event attracting thousands of runners throughout the entire world. This brazen and cowardly act of terror is a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our fight against the forces of barbarism. Unfortunately this is a fight for the long haul.

Yesterday evening we celebrated Israel’s Independence Day, but with a note a great sadness. Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations are preceded by Yom HaZikaron, which commemorates the loss of thousands during Israel’s numerous wars. Greater MetroWest held such a commemoration on Sunday evening.

Noa in concert
Noa in concert
During the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration last night, Lori Klinghoffer, our president, stated to the standing-room-only crowd at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the horrific explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, on Patriots Day of all days. On Yom HaZikaron, as we memorialized those who perished defending Israel as well as those who have been victims of other terrorist attacks, it is even more difficult to comprehend this tragic reality. May the memories of those who lost their lives be a blessing and may all of the other people who suffered injuries from this senseless act of violence make a speedy recovery.”

Next Lisa Lisser, chair of the Legow Family Israel Program Center, which sponsored the Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut events, presented Noa, the guest artist. Her marvelous music was punctuated by the clapping of hands during the performance. Much rauch (spirit) was displayed. Tonight’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration continues, featuring the Hebrew Experience at the YM-YWHA of Union.

We have much to be thankful for on Israel’s 65th birthday. While living under decades of terror and constant warfare, Israel has blossomed into an oasis in the midst of the desert. But even as we celebrate, we mourn the loss of innocent lives to terrorism whether in Israel, Boston, Afghanistan, or other parts of the world, where the forces of evil defy the civilized world.

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