The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis—stands with Israel as it engages in Operation Swords of Iron and mourns the loss of life and prays for the wounded and captured. On Saturday, October 7, 2023, the holiday of Shmini Atzeres and Simchas Torah in Israel, Hamas launched an unprecedented large-scale surprise attack against Israel, brutally attacking and murdering hundreds of civilians. The fates of over a hundred hostages that Hamas says it captured lie in the balance. Tragically, terrorists turned this holiday into the bloodiest day in the history of the State of Israel. With the horrific images emerging from Israel, this terrorism touches everyone on a personal level.

The Rabbinical Alliance of America calls on politicians and civil and religious leaders around the world to stand in solidarity with Israel as it mourns its dead, heals its wounded, hunts for its captured citizens and responds to the terrorists to prevent them from committing similar criminally violent acts in the future. For example, United States President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday and said that Washington “unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza.” President Biden continued, “I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the government and people of Israel,” he said.

Mayor Eric Adams stated, “that New York City has the largest Jewish population in the world outside Israel, and we stand side by side with Israel every day-but we do with extra resolve tonight.” The mayor in reference to a pro-Hamas rally that started in Times Square and that moved through the streets of the city to the Israeli Consulate General’s Office commented, “[a]t a moment when innocent people are being slaughtered in Israel, it is disgusting that this group of extremists would show support for terrorism. I reject this. New York City rejects this. Do not use our streets to spread hate.”  

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, condemned these despicable acts of terror. He said, “this attack against Israeli civilians occurred on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, one of the joyous days on the Jewish calendar marking the conclusion of the High Holiday period. This is not only a crime against humanity but a sacrilege against all that is holy by attacking on a religious holiday. The human element here is heartbreaking. How cowardly is it to attack unarmed innocent people who are celebrating life, living and joy? Many of these victims were in the prime of their lives, full of energy and optimism. The Rabbinical Alliance of America cries for the victims and yearns for a time when mourning will be no more. The organization is confident that the Israeli authorities will take the necessary steps to apprehend and to bring to justice all of the terrorists involved in these egregious crimes. At the same time, we call upon all decent people around the world to join us in condemning this cowardly act of murder and sacrilegious attack on Simchas Torah.”

The Rabbinical Alliance of America further calls on people to pray for the lives of the captured Israeli civilians, for the health of the thousands of wounded and for the Israeli soldiers who will now put their lives in danger to protect Israel from terrorism. May the Lord protect and heal them.

Additionally, the Rabbinical Alliance of America calls on people across the world to engage in acts of compassion and generosity as a tribute in memory of the victims of terror. Rabbi Mirocznik said, “let us act in a kinder fashion and deal more generously and gently with all the people with whom we interact. In that way, we will honor the memory of the terror victims in a respectful and dignified manner.”

“We further pray that all who harbor evil in their hearts will realize the error of their ways and channel their negative energy in a positive direction to help make this world a better and more equitable place for all people. May He who makes Peace in His Heavens make peace on His Earth and may He decree that such acts of terror, bloodshed and murder be no more.”