NEW YORK – The Rabbinical Assembly mourns the death of the Israeli soldiers who have lost their lives defending Israel and its people under Operation Protective Edge and offers its deepest sympathies and condolences to their families at this difficult time.
In response to these deaths, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, said:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of these brave soldiers, among them two American citizens, Max Steinberg z”l and Sean Carmeli z”l. We continue to pray for the safety of IDF soldiers as they continue to put themselves in harm’s way to dismantle Hamas’s infrastructure and destroy the tunnels being used by terrorists to infiltrate Israel. During this harrowing time, we recall the words of the traditional prayer for members of the IDF: May the Holy, Blessed One preserve and rescue our soldiers from trouble and danger, and send blessing and success for their every endeavor.
Additionally, we are grateful for and express thanks to the United States government for its ongoing support of Israel’s operations to defend itself from Hamas, especially to Congress, which has recently doubled the allotted funding for Israel’s highly successful Iron Dome missile defense system and passed unanimous resolutions of support for Israel in both the House and the Senate. We are encouraged by Secretary Kerry’s trip to Cairo and hope that he can work alongside the Egyptian arbitrators to help arrange a just and secure ceasefire as soon as possible between Israel and the Palestinian people.
Rabbi William Gershon, President, added:
We mourn for the many lives lost during this conflict, and yet in the midst of tragedy we are inspired by the strength of Max Steinberg z”l, an American who voluntarily enlisted in the IDF, and Sean Carmeli z”l, who insisted on fighting with his unit despite an injury that could have let him stay home. Their bravery on behalf of the Israeli people is admirable, and their deaths are a loss to our entire people. As we grieve for our fallen soldiers we also recall the tragedy of the civilian deaths of the past few weeks and offer our condolences to the families of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost loved ones. We pray that Hamas, the instigators of this conflict, will soon be isolated, removed from power and structurally dismantled so that Israelis and Palestinians can once again live free of fear.