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We are all Believers

Friday, 13 August, 2010 - 10:17 am

Yesterday I had the unique opportunity to participate in a discussion with Israeli Police Major General Uri Bar-Lev, who was in New Orleans this week. During the meeting the talk turned to the situation with Iran's nuclear development. General Bar-Lev gave a very insightful analysis of the problem along with the options for resolution. He described the issue of how small Israel is and how devestating an attack would be. He described Israel's military capabilities and experience with dealing with attacks. Toward the end of his analysis he looked in my direction of said with a sincere smile "and of course we have to pray to G-d."

As I thought about this discussion later, I realized that his comment about prayer embodied a statement by our sages in the Talmud that "all Jews are Maaminim bnei Maaminim - believers, the children of believers." Here is an accomplished military man, who is not religiously observant (based on his gastronomic itinerary in NOLA), yet in wrapping up a discussion about a military matter, he invokes prayer to G-d as a component to dealing with this threat.

This brought to mind one of the central liturgical hymns we recite during the High Holidays, V'chol Maaminim - and all believe. Watching this in action one can truly declare "Mi K'amcha Yisrael - G-d, who is like Your nation, the people of Israel?"

We also had the pleasure of attending the Nemes-Ceitlin wedding this week. There was a wonderful blend of locals and out of town guests joyously dancing with each other like old friends. It was a beautiful Simcha and we wish the bride and groom a happy and fulfilling life together as they build their branch of the Jewish nation.

We welcome Sara and Yehuda Halper, who just moved to NOLA from Israel. Yehuda will be teaching at Tulane University this year.

The question of the week for this Shabbat's Kiddush Club is: Which Mitzvah cannot, under any circumstances, be performed with Kavana - intent?

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