Rabbi Urges at Rally: Don’t Be Afraid


“All of the world is a narrow bridge and the key is not to be afraid,” Rabbi Gregory S. Marx told those gathered at  this week's Israel rally, quoting Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav.

Editor's Note: Rabbi Gregory S. Marx of Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen delivered the following invocation at the Israel solidarity rally on July 23. 

Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav once wrote, “All of the world is a narrow bridge and the key is not to be afraid.”  These words, put to music ,are sung by IDF soldiers before they go into battle.  They strengthen their hearts and their minds and I ask each of you gathered today at this rally to find that similar strength and faith.

We are called upon not to “be afraid.”

We lovers of Israel must…..

·      Not be afraid of those who hate us solely because we love Israel.

·      Not be  afraid to stand with our brothers and sisters who have to run into bomb shelters with only seconds to spare.

·      Not be afraid to defend Israel as it seeks security and deterrence.

·      Not be afraid to travel to Israel and dance on the beaches of Tel Aviv and pray in the shuls of Jerusalem, despite the fear of the airlines and the FAA.

·      Not be afraid to comfort and strengthen those who are living under siege in Sderot and our sister city, Netivot

·      Not be afraid of the violent protests, laced with anti-Semitism across the globe, with the goal of forcing us to cower and hide.

·      Not be afraid to sing Hatikvah with a lump in our throat and hope in our heart.

·      Not be afraid to say that we, I am proud of Israel for her strength and her restraint.

The Talmud teaches, “Israel is Bnei Adam.  We are like one person. When one part of the body suffers, the entire human being suffers.”

If recent events have taught us anything, it is that when the people and the State of Israel suffers, we here in the Diaspora suffer.  Our fates are inextricably linked. 

Ribbono Shel Olam, O God, strengthen our resolve to stand in support of Israel.  Strengthen the hands, hearts and arms of the people of Israel, who are charged with her defense.  May God protect them from all trouble, and danger.   May God support them and grant them success.  May God grant peace in the homes and hearts of all.

All of the world is a narrow bridge, and the key is not to be afraid.  Not to falter.  Not to waver.  Not to cower.  But to stand up with hope and faith, declaring proudly, “Am Israel Chai.” 


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