Yom Sheini, 22 Iyyar 5779
Monday, 27 May 2019
Read Rabbi Danny Rich’s Pastoral Letter on Israel and Gaza

7th August 2014

Liberal Judaism chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich has sent a Pastoral Letter to every member of a Liberal Judaism constituent community on Tisha B’Av 5774 and the 100th Anniversary of the declaration of Britain’s entry into the First World War.

After discussing the events of the past, Danny used the letter to break his silence on the recent flare up of tension and ultimately war between Hamas located in Gaza and the State of Israel.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.

In the letter, Danny writes: “In truth the reason I have been silent is because, like so many, I am conflicted.

“My friends and family in Israel tell me they are scared and will support their Government in ‘ending the threat of rockets’ but any decent human being is anguished by the death, destruction and humiliation inflicted on the Palestinians by Israeli armoury.

“In these circumstances it is hardly surprising that an estimated 90% of the Israeli population support its Government’s actions or that Hamas receives heroic press from Palestinians and others. Fear breeds hate and ignorance nurtures extremism.”

Danny concludes the letter by quoting Rabbi John Rayner: “It is not enough to pray for peace. We have to work for it: to challenge those who foster conflict and refute their propaganda; to ascertain and make known the truth, both when it confirms and when it runs counter to conventional views; to denounce injustice, not only when it is committed against us but also when it is committed against others; to defend human rights, not only our own but also theirs; to insist that peace requires sacrifice – of pride, or wealth, or territory; to practise and promote the way of moderation, compromise and reconciliation; and to build bridges of respect and understanding, trust and friendship, across the chasms that divide humanity.”

Read the full four page letter by clicking here.