The Prophet Micah taught: God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what is required of you – to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
Despicable acts are being committed against women and children, from the Egged Bus discrimination to the ongoing violence in Beit Shemesh. Although the Beit Shemesh acts are those of a minority, due to the involvement of high ranking Israeli elected officials, these incidents are receiving international attention.
We are deeply distressed by these acts that are so contrary to the teachings of our Torah and choose to make our voices heard in the hope that others will also join in the effort, offering encouragement to the Israeli government to take further steps to stop the ripple effects of this violence and distortion of Torah values.
We commend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres for speaking out against gender segregation in Israel. Each of us is created in The Divine Image.
This is not only a gender/women’s issue; it’s an issue for the soul and future of the Jewish people.
To quote Rabbi Yakov Horowitz of Israel: “As the colossal Chilul Hashem and distortion of genuine Torah values is escalating, it is incumbent on decent Jews worldwide to do our part to distance ourselves from this behavior and loudly proclaim that this is not the way of our Torah. It is of paramount importance that we do so not only before the media and the world at large, but also that we explain this to our impressionable children in the starkest of terms. Our work with children and teens over the years has clearly indicated that “Hate Does not Have an Off Button” – meaning that the toxic message of intolerance is one that has long-term harmful effects. Many people in our community insist, “Everyone understands that these are a small bunch of radicals who do not have the support of any rabbinic leaders.” But that is simply not the message resonating around the world nowadays. The 1% is getting all the media attention due to the passiveness of the 99%.”
The paralysis needs to stop! As we conclude our celebration of Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication, let all of us, as individuals and collectively, dedicate ourselves to serving as a shamash – as those who spread light!