Douglas Murray – A True Friend of Am Yisrael

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This past Shabbos afternoon, our Shul was jam packed with almost 2000 people forgoing their Shabbos shluf to hear from our very special guest Douglas Murray. English commentator, journalist, world renowned speaker, best-selling author and Israel supporter extraordinaire.

As he walked in and stepped up to the pulpit he was visibly taken aback by the atmosphere in the Shul and the roaring standing ovation.

He spoke for an hour in his eloquent English manner on all matters Israel, politics, media, religion and the IDF, including how proud we must be to have children and relatives serve in the Israeli army. He’s remarkably one of the proudest “non Jewish Jew supporters” I have ever met and wears that unusual badge with great honour.

(He confessed to being a regular “Shabbos goy” to his friends in London and Israel).

I received an abundant amount of feedback from attendees, including one from an 80 year old member who simply wrote “Rabbi, I have been coming to the Shul for now over 75 years of my life but I have never left as uplifted as I did on Saturday afternoon.”

Sunday morning I received a truly heartfelt text from Douglas Murray to say that of all his speaking engagements, he has never before felt so moved and uplifted by the crowd, the prayers and the songs.

It was a most appropriate Shabbos to host him as it was ‘Shabbos Zochar’, a torah portion we read specifically about Amalek, highlighting that we must never forget who our enemies are.

The reading in shul helped him feel that he is fulfilling his mission in standing up to evil and helping ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. He was humbled and grateful to receive the book I presented to him on Jewish Knowledge, with an inscription that reads “we hope you will find this book to be both insightful and helpful in your efforts on behalf of the Jewish People during these challenging times. The story of the Jewish people is not a story of victimhood, it is the greatest story of resilience ever told. A story of triumph in the face of hatred, freedom from repression, light over darkness. In short, only by our dedication of our timeless values, we must never be defined by those who hate us.”

When inscribing this book for him, I was reminded of a story I shared in Shul. How in the C.I.A.’s headquarters, there is a sign hanging that reads, “Every day is Sept. 12.” It’s placed there as a reminder to the agency’s staffers that what they felt right after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — the sense of outrage and purpose, of taking nothing for granted — had to be the mind-set with which they arrived to work every day.

I believe we should have a similar virtual sign in every single Jewish organisation around the world to remind us that every day is October 8. And we too, shall fulfil our mission to do whatever we can, in our own everyday lives, to ensure and enrich our Jewish experience for the sake of Jewish continuity for generations to come.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable long weekend and look forward to seeing you in Shul tomorrow,

Shabbat Shalom, Am Yisroel Chai!

Rabbi Levi and Chanie

Article by ateretcohanim


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