July 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

The NORPAC In-Person Mission to Washington: Because We Must

Few Excuses

There are precious few valid excuses to miss the upcoming NORPAC in-person mission to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 10. It is the least we can do to help the 7 million Jews who live in Eretz Yisrael.

Esther Obligates Us to Go

Esther had a valid excuse to avoid approaching the government (Achashverosh) to advocate for her people—it involved danger to her life. However, after persuasion from Mordechai, she placed her life on the line and saved her people. Now it is our turn, to do our part to make a case for Israel directly to over 90% of the Senate and House, at dramatically lower risk.

Yoma 35b tells of three people who overcame serious challenges. First, Hillel overcame dire poverty to emerge as a great Torah scholar. Second, Rabbi Eliezer ben Charsom was not distracted by his extraordinary wealth and focused almost exclusively on building himself up as a Torah scholar. Finally, Yosef Hatzaddik overcame unrelenting pressure from Eishet Potiphar to sin. The Gemara concludes that Hillel obligates the poor to study Torah, Rabbi Eliezer obligates the wealthy to study Torah and Yosef obligates us to resist even the fiercest temptations. These people overcoming their great challenges eliminates all excuses.

Similarly, Esther obligates us to advocate for our people to our government. If Esther overcame her excuses, we hardly have a reason to shirk our responsibility to do our part for Am Yisrael. In addition, dozens of NORPAC volunteers and donors devote 100s of hours to developing and maintaining NORPAC as a foremost political action committee strengthening the American-Israeli alliance. These very busy professionals carve out time from their responsibilities to act as responsible Jews. They obligate us to follow their stellar example.

Countering the Anti-Israel Element

Finally, I presume almost all—if not all—Jewish Link readers are infuriated at the very vocal and aggressive anti-Israel (read: Jew-hating) element in Congress. Most of you likely voice your frustration and outrage at their antics with family and friends. The NORPAC mission to Washington, D.C., is one of the few ways to combat the Squad’s shenanigans effectively. If you don’t take the opportunity to lobby Congress, you have no right to complain. If you care about Israel, walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Otherwise, the talk is meaningless.

Conclusion—NORPAC:
We Go Because We Must

As a teenager, I asked my parents what they did to help Jews during the Holocaust. My parents were in their early 20s, during the early 1940s. My parents were ashamed to say they did nothing. I could see the terrible discomfort on their faces. I promised myself I would never place myself in that position of having to admit to my children that I remained silent when the Jewish people were in grave danger. This sentiment drives 100s of your neighbors and me to attend the NORPAC mission every year to Washington, D.C., no matter what. We go because we must. On top of it all, spending time with family and friends is a most enjoyable day! You will never regret attending!

To register for the trip, visit www.norpac.net.


Rabbi Haim Jachter is the spiritual leader of Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck. He also serves as a rebbe at Torah Academy of Bergen County and a dayan on the Beth Din of Elizabeth.

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