Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, the Chief Rabbi of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, is calling for unity amongst the people of Israel on the right and the left, during these divisive times. In a letter Rabbi Rimon penned and sent to the residents of Gush Etzion, he called for a special prayer of unity to be recited during the Fast of Esther, this coming Monday, just before the holiday of Purim.
Rimon wrote: “The Fast of Esther is a day of unity. I call upon each and every member of the People of Israel to focus on what unites us.” Rimon added: “Let’s use this day to pray for all of those in Israel that are going through difficulties, especially the families who have recently experienced loss as a result of terrorist attacks. We will make an effort to find the things that unite us, stop the slanderous speech, and find the good in our surroundings.”
Israel is currently suffering from almost two months of left-wing protests against judicial reforms being advanced by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. The protests are highly partisan and are being supported by opposition politicians. On Wednesday, protesters called for a “Day of Disruption” and police were compelled to use stun grenades and water cannons against protesters blocking the Ayalon Highway.
On Wednesday, Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, was in a Tel Aviv hair salon when protesters blockaded the storefront and threatened to enter, shouting the slogan, “Finish the mission”. She was taken to safety.
The country is also reeling from a wave of terrorism that has driven some Israelis to riot in Arab towns that are the source of terrorism.
The call to unity is especially fitting on the holiday of Purim which is joyous and on which Jews send gifts of food to friends and neighbors,
Rabbi Rimon urged congregations to include the following prayer after the Torah reading on Monday morning:
מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם, יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב
הוּא יְבָרֵךְ וְיִשְׁמֹר כָּל אֶחָד וְאַחַת מֵעַם יִשְׂרָאֵל,
יִתֵּן בְּלִבֵּנוּ לְהַבִּיט בְּעַיִן טוֹבָה עַל הַכֹּל,
יִתֵּן בָּנוּ אַהֲבָה גְּדוֹלָה עַל כָּל אֶחָד וְאַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל,
וְנִזְכֶּה לְאַחְדוּת אֵיתָנָה וְלִגְּאוּלָּה שְׁלֵמָה בְּקָרוֹב בְּיָמֵינוּ,
He who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
He will bless and protect each and every one of the people of Israel,
Let our hearts look with a good eye on everything,
May his son give great love to each and every one of Israel,
And we will gain solid unity and a complete redemption soon in our day,
and we shall say amen.
Gush Etzion Regional Council Chairman and Yesha Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman added: “These days, strengthening the unity of the people of Israel is the ultimate task. Despite our differences, we are one people. God forbid, we should let our differences tear us apart from the inside. We need to be attentive to each other and not let what divides lead us into the abyss.”