An Israeli Boy’s Dream of Peace

Rabbi's Commentary

A Fragile Peace

August 29, 2014

Dear Friend of Israel,

There’s a joke you’ll see on the Internet these days that reflects the Israeli people’s ability to inject some lighthearted humor into even the worst of times. It goes something like: What does the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel mean? It means we cease, they fire.

There’s a lot of truth to this joke. Hamas has rejected or violated 11 ceasefires during Operation Protective Edge. So, while the current ceasefire makes us cautiously hopeful – and also grateful for a time of quiet – we also have deep reservations. Historically, such truces have failed, not because of unwillingness to compromise on the part of Israel, but because of a lack of good will on the Palestinian side. How is it possible, after all, to make peace, or even to create a lasting ceasefire, with a terrorist group dedicated to your destruction? And now, with sporadic rocket and tank fire into Israel from Lebanon and Syria, we are reminded that we’re surrounded by enemies on all sides.

As we continue to pray for a lasting peace, we know that one of our most critical tasks is to help Israel on the long road to recovery. It is time to rebuild, to restore shattered lives, to comfort and reassure those who have lost loved ones or livelihoods. And we remember, too, that even as Israel has been coping with the horrors of war, there are Jewish populations who live every day under threat of anti-Semitism, terrorism, and war. In the coming weeks and months, we will be continuing our massive effort to assist Jews in Ukraine, where rising civil unrest has turned into all-out war and people are in dire need of temporary protection (which we are providing with our Fellowshiprefugee camp) and emergency assistance with aliyah(immigration to Israel).

Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, once said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” And so, with faith in a God Who can work miracles, we continue to believe that peace is possible, no matter how unlikely it may seem, and no matter how strongly our enemies may work against it. I thank each and every one of you who have stood by the Jewish people during this crisis, and who continue to reach out to those in need around the world. We are truly partners in the pursuit of peace.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

Founder and President