Dear Friends and Supporters,
Slavery takes many forms and Pharaoh appears in many guises. Today, Israelis are enslaved by fear and anger. A faltering economy leaves us fearful for the future. The growing number of unemployed and working poor are trapped between an economy which cannot provide them a living wage and a government which is cutting away their safety net. Israelis and Palestinians have each suffered so much that they can only see themselves as victims and the other as Pharaoh.
Pharaoh dominates when our own anger and fear render us incapable of recognizing the image of God in every human being. We in RHR dwell among our people and identify with the tremendous diffi culties facing us from within and the terrible threat from without. However, we are determined to do our part to uphold the values of Torah even in these dark times. We believe that by standing for keushah (holiness) and honoring God’s image we build hope for the future.
Out of this faith, we (either alone or in coalition) have in recent months lobbied against budget cuts harming the Israeli poor, sent volunteers to work in a school in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev and sent food relief to besieged Palestinians. On Tu B’Shvat supporters from abroad joined us for ten days of Torah study and replanting uprooted Palestinian trees, trees destroyed by Palestinian arsonists, and planting trees in areas threatened by expropriation. RHR has demonstrated with Israeli workers about to lose their jobs, organized the first Israeli fact fi nding mission to the Balata refugee camp after the Israeli army pulled out and helped bring a new prefab clinic to the Jahalin Bedouin. We have sent inquiries to the army and lobbied against the legalizing of hostage taking. RHR has contributed to the growing awareness of human rights abuses among Israelis, educated about Judaism and human rights in the Israeli school system and spoken at kibbutzim, parlor meetings, etc., about realities in the fi eld which do not always make the newspapers.
Please continue to be our partners for a better future. May Passover’s message of freedom bring renewed hope and faith to all the world.
Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann
|Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman
Happy are those who act justly, who do right at all times (Ps. 106:3)