Rabbi David Katz, Executive Director of the Israel Heritage Foundation, is visiting Israel with a delegation who have come to tour, to visit, to support, to express solidarity.

Rabbi Katz tells that, “It's my third time here. I came a week after October 7, with Congressman Van Orden from Wisconsin, I came the second time with a mission of boys and girls coming to help and this time it's a group, including a holocaust survivor, Rabbi Weinstock from New York Board of Rabbis, a few ambassadors, Christians, different people that are coming to see what's going on, to be in solidarity with the people who are fighting the war, giving courage to the families of the hostages.”

Rabbi Katz laments the fact that, “Unfortunately the world does not see what's happening here, what's going on here. I'm going back 30 years when the first rocket went over civilian people here in Israel. People were sitting Friday Night by a Shabbat table, a family of five children who were having a Shabbat meal. People were learning Torah, singing Shabbat songs, the wife was bringing good food to the table and the siren goes on and we had to run for shelter, sitting in a basement without air."

Rabbi Katz continues to say that, "The regular American person doesn't understand what's going on here. Could we imagine a congressman sits with his family on Sunday evening and a siren goes on and he has to run for shelter, how would they react? What would they do? This is my question. This is happening here in Israel and is a question of politics. People are hostage here in Israel [and there are] questions if the IDF is fighting and a lot of soldiers were not home for seven months and were trying to control them. This doesn't make sense to me.”

On world pressure, Rabbi Katz says that, “The world has to understand that Hashem God created the world that we should live in the world. If people don't get along, you can always negotiate and I will never ever say how to negotiate, what to negotiate. Killing people, taking people for hostage, taking a people from different countries and taking them for hostages, because they want to gain control on something. This is unheard of.”

Rabbi Katz is very concerned about the rift in the Israeli society, as it was before October 7th, and asserts that, “We're in a time between Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) and we all know Rabbi Akiva lost 24,000 student. The entire Jewish Nation has to express more achdut (unity). It's very important that everybody has to respect each other. Torah scholars have to respect the non Torah scholars and the non Torah scholars have to respect the Torah scholars. Every person has their own views; Hashem gave a mind for everybody, but the most important thing is respect and when we respect each other, we become stronger."
He is determined that, "When we respect each other, we will have more divine help. When we sit in in the US and there are protests one side against the other side, this doesn't send a good message to the world, especially in time of war. This is a special time of war when we need to be together. So I think the message to Israel is we have to put all politics aside. We have to make sure the hostages come home. We have to make sure that the IDF could go home to the families, reunite and start having Shalom. We should be able to go on with our routine life and not what happened and how we're acting.”

Rabbi Katz is visiting Israel with a Holocaust survivor and believes that the current message is, “That we always have to respect the older ones and listen to the older ones. Listen to what happened in 1940. What happened during the Shoah (Holocaust) and maybe we could find something why the Shoah came. How we could better ourselves knowing that this shouldn't come and this will make us never ever feel or never ever go through what they went through. Unfortunately October 7th did bring a lot of memories about what happened during the Shoah, during World War II, and our job is to look and to understand, to better ourselves that it should never happen again.”