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Monday, October 19, 2009

Invocation - AIPAC Summit Gala Reception



by Rabbi Isaac Jeret

La Costa Resort / San Diego, CA

October 19, 2009

She-Hekheyanu V'Ki-manu V'Hee-gee-yanu La-Z'man Ha-Zeh ... God has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us unto this moment ...

With this magnificent blessing, Jewish families and communities have marked throughout the ages occasions of celebration and moments of purpose, acknowledging the uniqueness of each for the individuals participating and the precise circumstances at hand, neither of which would ever have aligned before, as they would never arrive again, and the specific consequences of their interaction unknowable before beforehand and impossible ever to generate again.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are blessed to live in the greatest country ever imagined in the course of human history. And, indeed, every American endeavor of enduring virtue has benefited greatly from the unique wisdom, born of the unique experiences of the vast array of the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses who sought refuge on America's shores.

Only several decades ago, our country's Jewish community was the epitome of these tired, poor, and huddled masses, often barely escaping the tyrannical and genocidal clutches of hateful ideologies and tyrants whom, we learned from our unique historical experience as Jews, far more often than not, tend to seek to enact their threats against the objects of their hate and scorn if ever they achieve the means and are afforded the opportunity to do so.

My friends, as leadership is valuable and significant only in situational context, so is wisdom. Thus, when we enter ™the halls of Congress, visiting with respected leaders and their knowledgeable staff-members, sharing our passion for the U.S./Israel relationship, lobbying our representatives regarding important legislation, and urging an appreciation on the part of our elected officials for the nuances of the Jewish State's noble struggle to survive so many thousands of miles away, we do so not as American citizens biased and clouded by a dual allegience, and thereby unable to see clearly that which is in our country's best interests, as cynics and even bigots would suggest of us. Rather we do so, first and foremost - and always, as proud and devoted Americans, contributing our unique wisdom - born of our own experiences over the last 2,000 years of our exile from our Homeland - to the task of ensuring that America identifies swiftly and with clarity who our friends are, who our mortal enemies are, and what we must do, right now, to ensure that we defend our country and those with whom we ally ourselves in the spirit and challenge of liberty and toward the strategic virtue of defending it against those who seek its destruction and our own.

Barukh Ata Ado-nai Elohei-nu Melekh HaOlam Shehecheyanu V'Kee'ma-nu V:ee-gee-yanu La-Z'man HaZeh ... Blessed are You, God, our God, Sovereign of all time and space, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us unto this moment - and, Who may well have brought us here to America for this very moment, a moment requiring the wisdom earned of a unique Jewish historical journey, a moment in which our country may need Israel as much as Israel relies upon the United States, a moment that needs us - right now - to make the difference that only we American Jews can make. - Amen!