How Do We Respond?

by Rabbi Erin Boxt

I received an email from a congregant yesterday morning expressing anger and frustration. He had just heard CBS News explain that the “situation in Israel and Gaza began yesterday with the killing of a high ranking Hamas leader.” His frustration is shared by me and many, many others. What was really behind his anger was a request for what to do next. How should he respond? Well, I recommend writing letters, emails, tweeting, and sending Facebook messages/links. We need to respond in as many ways as is possible – as long as we are also being fair in our responses. When we feel that others are being inappropriately unfair, we need to take a step back, breathe, and make sure our responses are fair and clear.

Yesterday, I was on a conference call with the Atlanta Israeli Consul General. Here are some facts:

  1. Since 2009, 2,500 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel (from Gaza).
  2. In 2012 alone, 750 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel (from Gaza).
  3. In the last 24 hours (as of the time of the call), 250 rockets have been fired on the South of Israel and Metro Tel Aviv (from Gaza).

These are facts, not opinions. If we, as Americans, could imagine what would happen if the United States was bombarded with this kind of rocket barrage, could we also imagine what our response would be? Would we be encouraged by world leaders to  sit back and do nothing? Of course not. We would act. Israel has been under fire for quite some time, and now she is responding – with the support of our U.S. leaders, as it should be.

If you feel the journalists are not presenting a fair assessment of what is going on, write down specific times anddates of the unfair reporting. Write letters, send emails outlining exactly when it occurred. Follow the news from a variety of sources (online and offline). Never depend on one source – because all of the news sources out there carry some sort of bias.

May each of us continue to hope and pray for a day when all civilians (Israeli and neighbors) will live in a time of peace. Let us encourage our government leaders to support all innocent civilians. Remember, a human being is a human being – and each of us has the right to live in an environment that is safe and in which we may live our lives as we choose.

Rabbi Erin Boxt serves Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, GA.

Originally posted at Rabbi Boxt’s Rabbinic Journey