Yom Rishon, 23 AdarI 5781
Sunday, 7 March 2021
Edinburgh D'var Torah inspires UK-wide Jewish Medical Appeal for Gaza

In a D’var Torah for Shabbat Massei, Saturday 26 July 2014, the chair of the Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community, Norman Crane, contrasted God as divine planner allotting parcels of land with God who teaches us to lead a good and purposeful life: “the Bible does not begin with the story of the Jews, but with the origins of humankind,” he said.

Although Israel “remains in the hearts of us Jews,” Norman deeply condemned and regretted the present actions of the State of Israel in Gaza. “Israel is part of our family, and we have to deal with Israel as we would a member of the family who has committed heinous crimes. Do we stop loving them because of those crimes? No. Rather we try to find ways of reproving and correcting them from inside the family fold and accept some of the guilt for ourselves.”

Norman called for Liberal Jews to widen our sphere of influence with regard to Israel, and moderate the arrogance which says that whatever Israel does is right. “There will be no change in Israel until the Jews of the world make it clear that there must be a moral change within Israel”, he said.

The D’var Torah was well received at the Shabbat morning service. In the week that followed Shabbat Massei, Norman addressed the community in the August issue of Lulav. “The crisis has deteriorated dramatically since my D'var Torah,” wrote Norman. Launching the community’s Kol Nidre appeal two months early, he announced Pikuach Nefesh: Jewish Medical Aid for Gaza to support the work of Physicians for Human Rights–Israel. The appeal is supported by the community’s rabbi, Mark Solomon, and by its council.

The Edinburgh Liberal Jewish Community has been associated with Physicians for Human Rights–Israel since 2008, when support for PHR–Israel was recommended by Liberal Judaism. PHR-Israel are now delivering truckloads of medical aid to Gaza and report that the Gaza health system is on the brink of collapse.

The Community in Edinburgh invites all Jewish communities in the UK to contribute to saving lives in Gaza. They have enlisted the help of the New Israel Fund to send online donations made through this appeal direct to Physicians for Human Rights–Israel

To make your donation, click on Pikuach Nefesh: Jewish Medical Aid for Gaza.