Over the course of the past few months, tensions within the Jewish community have been stirred by vociferous disagreements regarding whether or not the nuclear agreement with Iran should be supported. As I mentioned in a sermon early this summer, I as your rabbi, maintain a policy to refrain from using the pulpit to push a political agenda. Everyone has the right to a political opinion, and everyone has the capacity to become informed through channels other than the synagogue.
That said, as our congregation is affiliated with the Reform Movement, I do think there is value in sharing the response made by the Reform Movement last week. This response was the result of extensive consultation with experts from across the political spectrum in both the United States and Israel. At the core of this report are two extremely important points.
Firstly, we need to be cognizant of the fact that regardless of whether congress votes to support or reject the agreement, there will be a “day after.” The statement emphasizes that, “It is essential that this debate not be allowed to create a lasting rift between Israel and the U.S., between North American Jews and Israelis, or among American Jews.”
Secondly, we need to watch our tone. As the statement says, “We call upon . . . those on all sides of the debate tamp down their rhetoric. If the debate is allowed to weaken the U.S. – Israel alliance, or further sharpen partisan divides over what it means to be ‘pro-Israel,’ Israel will be less secure.”
I encourage you to read the entire response from the Reform Movement and consider some of the important points that are brought into the debate over this extremely complicated issue.