On May 8, many Rabbis, perhaps 75 in all, gathered at the Merchants Gate of Central Park, at Columbus Circle, to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary with Rabbis For Human Rights. This is a busy spot in New York, it is an entrance to Cental Park, with people going to and from work, pedi-cabs waiting for fares, tourists reading maps and sitting on the steps of the monument to the Maine, teens leaving school, lots of foot and vehicle traffic etc.
It was very moving to be there with singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman and Rabbi Simkha Weintraub of the National Center for Jewish Healing as they lead a traditional Mincha (Afternoon) Service, right there in street with the blessed chaos of New York swirling near-by. Passers-by stopped to listen and watch. The rain came and went. Two trees for peace were symbolically planted.
Rabbi Gordon Tucker presented an excellent teaching based on a a commentary on Israel’s Declaration of Independence developed by the RHR Human Rights Yeshiva in Jerusalem. His teaching and the RHR mission is clearly posted on their website.
It stregnthens hope to share this possitive and moving experience with friends, especially during these times which are so full of suffering and violence around the world.