December 2, 2023
Cantor Hanan Leberman of Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Carlos. Photograph by way of San Diego Jewish World

Cantor Hanan Leberman of San Diego’s Tifereth Israel Synagogue bade his congregation an emotional goodbye Sunday as he ready to return to Israel to affix his IDF Reserve unit making ready for no matter could come within the struggle with Hamas.

He mentioned his relations will rendezvous at his spouse’s former dwelling in Philadelphia. From there, he’ll fly alone to Israel.

Leberman informed many scores of viewers on a Zoom name that he anticipates he can be again together with his army unit by subsequent Shabbat — Friday evening.

He associated that he first realized of the carnage wrought by Hamas on residents of southern Israel when he acquired a telephone name from his spouse — which he knew will need to have signaled an emergency as a result of ordinarily she wouldn’t have used the telephone on Shabbat.

His spouse known as from a bomb shelter. Subsequent, he realized {that a} shut good friend had been killed attempting to rescue hostages from Hamas terrorists.

By no means earlier than have Israelis been so united and decided to rid the world of Hamas terrorists, he mentioned. There have been Haredim, who usually search exemptions from army service, attempting to affix the Israeli Protection Drive to assist, he mentioned.

Individuals too younger or previous to serve within the army are volunteering in some ways, together with sitting shiva with the households of the roughly 1,300 folks killed in Hamas’ shock assault.

The unity consists of “Haredi, secular, settlers and left-wing Israelis,” Leberman mentioned. The emergency struggle cupboard led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now consists of member of the political opposition, together with former Protection Minister Benny Gantz.

He famous that Ecclesiastes says there’s a “time for struggle, and a time for peace.” Israelis are united that that is appropriately a time for struggle, a time to guard their neighbors from additional annihilation by their enemies.

He mentioned the distinction between the present scenario and the pogroms of the previous is that at present the Jewish folks have a nation with a military to guard them.

“In Israel, everybody believes it’s the proper factor,” Leberman mentioned. “Even some Arabs are in settlement.”

Leberman expressed dismay over the “lies and spin” he hears from “pro-Palestinan, pro-Hamas folks.”

Hamas has some 200 Israelis hostage, he mentioned.

“There’s no purpose why Israel ought to give its water and electrical energy to a inhabitants that harbors Hamas,” he mentioned.

Households of hostages and the lacking are forcing themselves to take a look at Hamas movies that present horrific photographs of killing, to see if their relations are among the many proven victims.

He mentioned that reasonably than receiving credit score for allowing Gaza civilians to maneuver to security south of the Wadi Gaza, worldwide media criticize Israel.

But Israel is among the few international locations — maybe the one one —that in warfare warns the enemy the place it’s planning to assault, in order that civilians can get out of the way in which.

If Palestinian civilians are nonetheless killed on this struggle, he added, “the blood is on the palms of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran.”

Whereas he feels unhealthy for the Palestinians — particularly the youngsters — he mentioned he feels worse for these Israeli youngsters, moms and aged who have been slaughtered by Hamas final Saturday, Shabbat, a day that’s alleged to be one in all peace.

When your enemies are barbaric, he mentioned, you need to take care of them.

Requested by way of Zoom chat the place folks ought to donate, he talked about that within the brief run such organizations that deal with the wounded as Magen David Adom and Hatzalah.

Later, he mentioned, there can be a necessity for donations to teams providing remedy for many who can be traumatized by the struggle. There additionally can be a necessity for donations to assist rebuild the southern a part of Israel, the situation of Sha’ar Hanegev, the partnership area for the Jewish Federation of San Diego County.

Leberman lives in Jerusalem, however flies to Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Carlos a number of instances a yr to function a cantor and as a instructor.

Donald H. Harrison is editor emeritus of San Diego Jewish World. A model of this report initially appeared there.