Home > Columnists > Arik Ascherman > Shana Tova-For A Sweet Year as Full of Human Rights as the Pomegranate is Full of Seeds | Arik Ascherman

Shana Tova-For A Sweet Year as Full of Human Rights as the Pomegranate is Full of Seeds | Arik Ascherman

About The Author

Rabbi Arik Ascherman is the president and senior rabbi of Rabbis for Human Rights. Follow him on Twitter: @RavArik

I started to write these words flying back from Washington DC to join my family for Rosh HaShana and am hurriedly completing them before the holiday begins.

At the invitation of the Rebuilding Alliance, I participated in a Senate briefing along with 15 year old Aysar Nawaja from the endangered village of Susya, my colleague Alon Lifshitz Cohen from “Bimkom” and the Alliance staff. It wasn’t a very logical thing do, and it means that my Rosh HaShana message this year is simple. However, before standing before God on Rosh HaShana to plea for a good year for myself, my family, my people and my country, I needed to plead before an earthly tribunal for the survi val of Susya and other endangered communities.

I do want to inform you that Torat Tzedek – Torah of Justice is now a registered Israeli NGO, and that the New Israel Fund has agreed in principle to accept tax exempt donor advised funds on our behalf. I will let you know as soon as the arrangements have been completed.

Please take a look at:

  1. Who By Bulldozer and Who At Gunpoint” My remarks from the Senate briefing also serve as Rosh HaShana Thoughts 5778. As always, if you click on to the Times of Israel website, like, share and/or comment, it can help to maintain visibility. From my latest Times of Israel blog piece, you can access the divrei Torah I have written for most of the recent sabbaths, on topics including the eviction of the Shamasna family from Sheikh Jarakh, the contrast between PM Bibi and the Talmudic Rabbi Bibi regarding asylum seekers, and the soldier who punctured my tire while I was accompanying shepherds in Uja.
  2. “SISO” included in their High Holy Day booklet an essay of mine on the “U’Vakhen” addition to the High Holy Day Amidah, and a meditation that can be recited before “U’Vakhen.” There is also a poem from David Grossman, and many other materials that can make the High Holy Days more meaningful. Click here for English, and here for Hebrew.
  3. Please find below a dvar Torah for Shabbat Shuvah, written by Torat Tzedek intern Micah Friedman after joining me accompanying shepherds from Uja, in the Jordan valley. Michah comes to Torat Tzedek via “Achvat Amim.”
  4. Please also find below the most updated version of my itineraries for two upcoming North American speaking/fundraising tours, Oct. 15-29 and Nov. 20-Dec. 10. Please contact me for more information about existing events, to schedule additional events, and or regarding your travel plans to Israel: ravarik@gmail.com.

Shana Tova-For A Sweet Year as Full of Human Rights as the Pomegranate is Full of Seeds,

Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Founder and Director
Torat Tzedek-Torah of Justice

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