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.

Dr. Daniel T. Layish
Dr. Daniel T. Layish

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.


  1. Yes, and don’t forget medics working the streets of DC on inauguration day back in January, rounded up and arrested, falsely charged with felony rioting…..Doctors Without Borders organization members working around the clock in the very worst areas of the world’s war zones of devastation and destruction, then the doctors themselves became victims from attacks. Air strikes by a country that our leader wants to form a new close alliance with, and that country is supposedly helping to fight ISIS, but is bombing civilians and others instead, other than ISIS. These examples, on purpose or by “accident”?


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