Henry Jay Karp is the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Emanuel in Davenport, Iowa, which he served from 1985 to 2017. He is the co-founder and co-convener of One Human Family QCA, a social justice organization. In this photo from 2001, he is standing in front of a salt rock in the Negev (southern Israel).
A death toll of over 2,800 and growing. Some 150 Israelis—men, women, children, the elderly—held hostage in Gaza by the terrorist organization Hamas. Entire families massacred. Bodies of dead babies. Israel is in a struggle to the death with its blood enemy, Hamas.
Being a New Yorker born and bred, I must admit that I never felt the need to fly until, as a college graduate, I joined my classmates as we boarded a flight to Israel, bound for our first year of rabbinic study in Jerusalem. It did not take long before I fell in love with the 4,000-year-old homeland of my people. Since then, I have journeyed there several times. It is my home away from home; second in my heart only to my beloved U.S.A.
As a lover of Israel, I can attest that these days a heavy cloud hangs over the Jewish people, not only in Israel but around the world. It’s a cloud of anguish, violence, fear, death, and profound grief, born of the recent Hamas attacks waged against the Israeli towns and villages on Israel’s southern border, along with the ongoing barrage of missiles fired by Hamas, targeting civilian populations as far away from Gaza as Tel Aviv. The pain of Jews is very real and very raw, as there is hardly a Jewish household, inside and outside of Israel, untouched by a personal loss because of this, the greatest mass murder and hostage taking of Jews since the Holocaust.Continue Reading...