November 2, 2018, 24th of Cheshvan 5779
Dear Rabbi

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide news and viewpoints from Israel, I'm sharing remarks of Israeli Rabbi Mishael Zion reflecting on the meaning of the events in Pittsburgh. Rabbi Gordon Tucker discovered his talk and translated it so we can share it with you.

We hope you find the remarks of interest and useful to you. For more information like this, be sure to check out "Blogging from the Bimah" on our webiste. And, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out to me at
Gideon Aronoff
Executive Director
Gordon Tucker
Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Israel Center
When a person dies, among our obligations is that of paying tribute to that person’s life. This mitzvah is even more urgently felt when a person has been wrongfully killed. The 11 victims of the mass murderer in Pittsburgh are now both the objects of our mourning and the subjects of eulogies that pay honor and respect to their lives as human beings and as Jews.  

Rabbi Mishael Zion, a rabbi and educator in Jerusalem, felt yet an additional moral imperative, and that was to give testimony about the nobility of the Judaism that these victims practiced, along with hundreds of thousands of other American Jews in their movement.  

In doing so, he tried to bring to the attention of the Israeli public (the piece was written in Hebrew) crucial facts and values that, regretfully, are often overlooked or deliberately ignored in Israeli society. 

As such, his piece is not only a fitting eulogy for the victims, but an important statement on behalf of the Judaism that Masorti holds dear and seeks to bring to Israeli society, despite all the obstacles in the way. In that spirit, we bring you this translation of his piece as “Show Up for Shabbat” approaches.
  Rabbi Mishael Zion

" Everyone carries around a multiplicity of identities. My American one, I tend not to speak of. In any event, it’s readily detectable. But years spent in Israeli playgrounds taught me that it is much better to say “I am a second generation Jerusalemite”. Or, if an ethnic identity must be revealed, then I am entirely Dutch. But an American Jew? That’s not something of which to be proud.
And in general, American Judaism is not something that Israelis like to think about with any seriousness. Certainly not the liberal sort. Until, that is, they are killed because they are Jews, and because they are liberals. And thus, even amidst the pain, and notwithstanding the freshness of the mourning, this is a significant moment in which to stop and think for a moment about the American Jewish liberal community, members of whom died as martyrs last Shabbat. "
The Masorti Flower, Perach Ha Masorti, the name of our newsletter, reflects a teaching by Chaim Nachman Bialik about the flower, seed and fruit of Agada and Halacha . Read it here .
Don't Forget: Masorti is now on Twitter and Instagram in addition to Facebook.
Be sure to follow us there to keep up with all that's happening at the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel.