Day #1: Thoughts from the Board of Rabbi's Mission to Israel, by Rabbi Emeritus Don Goor
11.27.23 | Articles, Israel
Why a solitary mission? by Rabbi Emeritus Don Goor
I’m proud to represent Temple Judea on this Board of Rabbi’s mission to Israel and grateful to Rabbi Aaronson for inviting me to represent him here in Israel. Through these words, as well as through pictures and videos, I’ll invite you to join me on this journey, to walk with me as I experience a bit of what Israel and Israelis are feeling and thinking at this crucial moment in time.
Israelis can’t say “thank you” enough. They are so touched that we are here. We are here to show support, to listen to stories, to offer a shoulder upon which people can cry. In Hebrew we say we are here to offer “hizzuk” – strength. And yet, the trauma of October 7 continues to haunt us. We don’t yet have the luxury to begin the healing process. Each day new revelations come out about what happened on October 7. Each day we see the posters of the hostages, hear their families, and share in their tears. Each day we see pictures of young Israeli soldiers killed in battle. The trauma seems to never end.
I was deeply moved today, sitting in the presence of two remarkable parents who are suffering what no one should ever suffer. Jon Polin and Rachel Goldenberg Polin, with tremendous strength and presence, shared the story of their son who texted them “I love you” as he was being carried away into Gaza, after having had his arm blown off by a terrorist grenade. They explained that Israel has two goals for this war – two goals which often clash: 1) to rid Gaza of Hamas and 2) to free the captives. While they support both goals, they desperately want their son to come home. The US government has been tremendously supportive of them and of the other families of hostages. They pleaded with us to speak the names of the hostages. To remind politicians about each person held underground in captivity. Their goal is to ensure that we do not forget these innocent individuals who are buried underground in tunnels in Gaza.