Israel’s Ambassador to the United States recently attended Shabbat services at our synagogue, Congregation B’nai Tzedek. He clearly is comfortable in a synagogue – something that unfortunately cannot be said for all Israeli diplomats.
It was truly an honor for us to have him at our services. His message was very a very simple and profound one. Ambassador Meridor told a story about Prime Minister Golda Meir who spoke to a group of American Jewish leaders during the height of the Yom Kippur war. Those of us who remember that time recall that it was a very dark period in Israel’s history, as Israeli troops were caught by surprise and the outcome was not yet definite. Golda told the delegation of American Jewish leaders that the best thing they could do would be, “Keep your children Jewish.”
That message is as true today as it was then. Hearing these words from the soft spoken Ambassador of Israel, especially in the context of a service when we celebrated the bar and bat mitzvah of two children, was especially poignant.