Photo credit: IKAR
New Israel Fund International Council Member Rabbi Sharon Brous, the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, a leading synagogue in Los Angeles, addressed a pro-democracy rally in Kfar Saba last Saturday night. Rabbi Brous was in Israel with a New Israel Fund study tour. She began her speech by saying that “For 12 weeks, the whole world has watched as hundreds of thousands of you, our Israeli family, have taken to the streets to cry out against this government and their attempted judicial coup. We see you fighting for democracy. For equality. For justice. Your voices are being heard not only here, but in the U.S., in Europe, and across oceans.
“I came to Israel to say to you tonight: we are with you. The actions of the government are extreme and they are an anathema to our Jewish and democratic values. But we do not despair because you are here, week after week, lifting your voices. You are our hope and we stand together with you.
“Soon we’ll sit around Seder tables and retell the story of our people liberated from Egypt after hundreds of years of brutal enslavement, from sheer darkness to light. The central task of this newly freed people was to build a new society in the Promised Land. This would be a society rooted in equal justice and the rule of law – the two best protections from tyranny. That work began millennia ago and is not yet done. We will never be redeemed until we build that just society. We won’t. We won’t be able to be a free nation in our land until we build a just society. In the words of Micah the prophet, what the Lord requires of you is only to do justice and to love goodness. And to walk modestly with your God.”