Rabbi Sholom Lipskar
Rabbi Sholom LipskarArutz Sheva

Rabbi Sholom Lipskar, Rabbi of the synagogue of Bal Harbour, Florida, spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva about the challenging times in his community since October 7th and the inherent holiness in every Jewish soul, whether one is a practicing Jew or not.

“I look at October 7th as a shocking day that basically brought us to the reality that has been continuing for a while. I believe this is a watershed moment, a tipping point of history, in terms of the Jewish people in a Messianic era. This is the first time in my own life, which is about three generations, that every single Jew in the world has woken up to the reality that they are a Jew. They don’t know what that means to them. Many feel fear, trepidation, hopelessness, and panic. Is this country good enough for me? Even Jews in England, the Westernmost country in Europe, the seat of democracy, not Vietnam or China, and they are wondering if this is a place where they can feel safe to live in. This has happened in other parts of the world as well,” Rabbi Lipskar shares.

Rabbi Lipskar tells of people for whom Judaism was not a central part of their lives, but now, “They don't know the essential reason of why they're a Jew, but they know they're Jew, because they were born a Jew. They have no choice about being a Jew. They don't realize that there's something about it, because for God to make them a Jew without giving us an Iron Dome that can protect us historically against the enemies that are out to vanquish us, would not be fair.”

Rabbi Lipskar believes that “we are at a critical moment of Jewish history in terms of what can be done and we need to wake up to the reality. Our unity has already been threatened. There are already splinters in the unity. It's not the same unity as October 8th and the 9th. It takes a lot of intelligence for people to be able to discuss what it means to be a Jew and how to protect oneself against the onslaught of these enemies. This is not a tragic event that suddenly erupted from nowhere. We are used to this. Jews have experienced this repeatedly, but October 7th was just so barbaric and so inhuman that it really opened our eyes to a whole community. Today normal people are looking at October 7th as an important day that they were able to establish how we think as Jews, how we look at Jewishness through the eyes of the non-Jewish world. We don't look at Jewishness through the eyes of how Hashem looks at us, how we should look at ourselves, who we are, what does it mean to be a chosen person, what does it mean to be a holy nation, what does that word holy mean?”

Rabbi Lipskar claims that “we don't realize our power as Jews to hook into a powerful source that transcended all the natural forces that are against us. If you take a look at the reality, there's got to be a higher hand. The workings of Jewishness is an act that activates the soul of the human to such a degree that it goes on it's on fire.”

Rabbi Lipskar has many friends who are left-wing progressive generals in the army, and even they admit that “they have never experienced such a spiritual awakening among their soldiers. My own grandson is in the Nahal Brigade and he feels a sense of unity when putting on tefillin with his secular soldiers. Many young soldiers witnessed their brothers murdered in front of their eyes and instead of going out and not dealing with it anymore, they feel a sense of duty, a sense of commitment. They have a deep belief in Hashem and it's very evident who they are.”

Rabbi Lipskar continues to say, “We are Jews. They hate you because you are a Jew. Whether you're an American, Chinese, English, Swedish, you're a Jew. Judaism is a race, it is a religion. It is a nationhood. It is a nationality. It's everything. It is a combination, a unity, that transcends logic, because no matter how you feel, if another Jew is hurt, it hurts you, anywhere in the world. Why? What is that supernatural bond that touches the core? It's something that Hashem has placed within us. That's what happened at Sinai. Non-Jews also have laws by which they must live, but the Jew is God's representative in this world to bring holiness into this world. Holiness is not necessarily by sitting and studying 24/7, but by making their business holy, by making their kitchens holy, by making their environments holy, by making their business holy, by making their professions holy, by living a holy life, a transcendent life, a life that's based on a purposeful meaningful concept, not just living because it's a fallback position, and we can do it.”