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Zichrono Livracha - Yitzchak Rabin

11/01/2017 12:01:10 PM


Rabbi Kathy Cohen

Today we remember Yithzak Rabin, Israel’s amazing statesman who was murdered minutes after speaking at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Shot by a fanatical Jew who did  nit agree with the peace process, Rabin’s death reminds us that fanaticism among all people is dangerous. I remember feeling outrageous shock as I heard the news. How could another Jew kill one of the few men willing to take steps toward creating peace in the Middle East.  I believed that the peace process was probably as dead as Rabin. Everything he taught, everything he stood for, irreversibly damaged by the shot of a gun.

Twenty two years later we are further from our goal of peace than we were on that fateful day. More bloodshed has ensued. More lives lost. Can we not find our way back tpo the path that Rabin forged?

I remember the wonderful eulogy that President Clinton delivered that day. I share part of it with you as we remember this man of great vision and attempt to fulfill his legacy.

“Now, it falls to all of us who love peace and all of us who loved him, to carry on the struggle to which he gave life and for which he gave his life. He cleared the path and his spirit continues to light the way. His spirit lives on in the growing peace between Israel and her neighbors. It lives in the eyes of the children, the Jewish and the Arab children who are leaving behind a past of fear for a future of hope. It lives on in the promise of true security. So, let me say to the people of Israel, even in your hour of darkness, his spirit lives on and so you must not lose your spirit. Look at what you have accomplished, making a once barren desert bloom, building a thriving democracy in a hostile terrain, winning battles and wars and now winning the peace, which is the only enduring victory.

Your prime minister was a martyr for peace, but he was a victim of hate. Surely, we must learn from his martyrdom that if people cannot let go of the hatred of their enemies, they risk sowing the seeds of hatred among themselves. I ask you, the people of Israel, on behalf of my nation that knows its own long litany of loss, from Abraham Lincoln to President Kennedy to Martin Luther King, do not let that happen to you. In the Knesset, in your homes, in your places of worship, stay the righteous course. As Moses said to the children of Israel when he knew he would not cross over into the promised land, "Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, for God will go with you. He will not fail you, He will not forsake you." (President Bill Clinton)

Sat, October 24 2020 6 Cheshvan 5781