Leading rabbi moved by US ambassador's speech

'Strengthening the bond between the US and Israel doesn't only strengthen us against Iran, it also builds up US society,' says Rabbi Eliyahu

Eliran Aharon ,

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of the northern Israeli city of Tzfat, praised US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, for his recent speech at the unveiling of the Pilgrims’ Road near the Old City of Jerusalem.

During his speech, Friedman said the discovery and unveiling of the tunnel, which links the historic city of David to the Temple Mount, was important not only as a Jewish archeological treasure, but also held significance for the United States.

Friedman went on to link the foundational values of the United States to the Israeli capital city.

"The spiritual underpinnings of our society in which we honor the dignity of every human life comes from Jerusalem,” said Friedman.

Days later, Friedman echoed this sentiment at the US embassy in Jerusalem’s celebration marking the 243rd American Independence Day.

Rabbi Eliyahu later said he was moved by Friedman’s comments.

“We grew up living in the reality that ‘The Torah shall go forth from Zion, and the word of God from Jerusalem’,” said Rabbi Eliyahu, citing the biblical verse, “and that verse relates to the entire world. “When we say it, it has one specific meaning. But when they come and say that the root of all of their values is from here, from Zion, that really follows the verse ‘And the nations shall see thy triumph, and all kings thy glory.’”

“His comments [Friedman’s] fit with what the vice president [Mike Pence] said during his address to the Knesset, exactly in those words. He said ‘We Americans are a successful people because we adopted your values’. And President Trump himself, too, said as much in his Passover blessing. Finally, the world recognizes this, thank God.”

Rabbi Eliyahu emphasized that the strengthening of the US-Israel relationship was important not only for Israel, or for cooperation in practical issues of policy, but also had a positive effect on American values.

“The closeness of ties between the US and Israel is mutual; it doesn’t just strengthen us against Iran; it also gives values to American society. We aren’t just economies, running after money, we’re also value-based societies; we have values and we fight for them and it is very important for every American child to grow up knowing that American society isn’t just about materialism and economics, but also is a society with values.”




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