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11/27/2023 08:51:36 AM


Dear Haverim,


This Thanksgiving will truly be one of great gratitude because the first 50 Israeli hostages in Gaza will soon be coming home.  Although, some delay could occur, as of now, it looks like they will be released beginning tomorrow, over a four or five-day period.  We need to be prepared for traumatized women and children, who will struggle to gradually re-enter normal life.  Yes, this is a moment of joy for those released and their families, but healing will take a long time.


Hopefully, Hamas will continue to release ten hostages per day to extend the cease fire, so that Israel’s nightmare and ours will end.  But today, let us be cautiously hopeful that tomorrow, on Thanksgiving, we will experience the deepest gratitude of any Thanksgiving in the past.


Later today, I will be on a Zoom call with the White House about what the Administration has already done to facilitate the release of the hostages and what it will continue to do to make sure that all of the hostages are released speedily.  The discussion will also include other aspects of the Israel-Hamas war and anti-Semitism in America.


We’ll talk about all of these issues on Friday evening at Shabbat services when my topic will be “A Guide For The Perplexed To The Middle East” (RSVP here).  But for now, let’s just savor the hope that the grief that we have been feeling since October 7 will soon give way to a measure of joy.


Chag Sameach/Happy Thanksgiving,


Rabbi Arnie Rachlis

Wed, February 28 2024 19 Adar I 5784