By Rabbi Rick Sherwin
A QUOTE TO CONSIDER: Our priority should be more than maintaining peace with friends; it should be to create peace with enemies.
Syria once shot rockets from the Golan Heights into Northern Israel, wreaking havoc on the Israeli citizens farming the land, conducting business, establishing Kibbutzim, and just trying to create a safe environment for their families. Syria was an aggressor devoid of conscience.
Today, Israel reaches into Syria to offer humanitarian medical assistance. Organizations such as Amaliah drive buses into Syria to pick up-triaged Syrians – especially children and women – then transport them to Ziv Medical Center in Northern Israel for surgery and emergency treatment. How ironic: the very place targeted by Syrian rockets now provides training and treatment to Syrians.
Representatives of Amaliah and Ziv Medical Center agree: “It ‘s hard to erase decades’ worth of hate, but we have to show at least who we really are. We can be proud that Israel does what no other country does.” Israel has a national conscience.
Moshe Pitchon eloquently shared Ziv’s vision this evening with a large group of people who agree that peace comes not with carrying arms, but with extending hands. It was a diverse group, with Pastor Pedro, Rabbi Pitchon, Dr. Daniel T. Layish, Dr. Fran Gelfand (CBA’s Mitzva Brigade liaison), along with a large attendance of friends in the Jewish, Interfaith, and Medical care communities.
For more details on the Ziv Medical Center, go here.
Rick Sherwin is the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Am in Longwood. He is a graduate of UCLA and was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He energetically fills spiritual services and educational programs with creativity, relevance, dialogue and humor.