Premier in Shul

August 10, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Victorian Premier Denis Naphtine has visited Mizrachi Shul in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield.

Community and religious leaders meet the Premier  Denis Naphtine[centre]

Community and religious leaders meet the Premier Denis Naphtine[centre]

Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant, President of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia tolf J-Wire that the Premier “was unequivocal in his support for Israel – having the right to exist and defend itself. He said he was appalled by the violent attack on the children in the bus in Sydney and said that he would do everything he could to ensure this did not happen in Victoria.”

Rabbi Kluwgant’s address to Premier Naphtine:

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our Premier The Hon Dr. Denis Napthine for taking the time to come here and address the religious leadership of the Victorian Jewish Community today. It is a show of true leadership and friendship to our community, and we appreciate it.

We are here in a house of prayer. The prayers recited in this and all Jewish houses of prayer, indeed the prayers of the Jewish People, the people of Israel, our songs, our chants, our slogans and indeed our dreams are for peace.

Rabbi Kluwgant, Premier Denis Naphtine and David Southwick MP

Rabbi Kluwgant, Premier Denis Naphtine and David Southwick MP

We pray for a time when nations will cease raising their swords against each other in war, for a time when the lamb will lie with the wolf and all will be peaceful.

We do not pray for the destruction of a nation, any nation, nor do we challenge their right to exist, we do not call for the death of the enemies of Israel, nor do we celebrate in their demise.

We live in a time when public opinion is swayed by the media and its bias, where the views and opinions of right minded Australians are influenced and swayed to a point of hatred and threats of violence here, in our very streets and neighborhoods.

Young Jewish school kids in NSW, an elderly Rabbi in WA, last night one of my sons was driving home from his studies in Kolel and a man pulled up next to him at the lights, rolled down his window, spat at him and then sped off against the red light turning his lights off and swerving into a side street.

At a time like this we need true leadership. Like the Prime Minister taking a leadership role on 18C, like you Mr. Premier calling this meeting.

How appalling it was to read the anti-Israel statement from the Greens, headed The Canberra Declaration on Gaza, appalling but not surprising. But how shocking and surprising it was to see how many signatures from the labor party, 46 and counting, were proudly enjoined and intertwined within those signatures.

Mr Premier, your government has always claimed to be our friends and to be true supporters of Israel. Your presence here today, your kind words and you open and unambiguous support for our community do not go unnoticed. And Mr. Southwick, David, my friend, your tireless efforts to bring sanity and advocacy for the people of Israel and the land of Israel are absolutely superlative.

We pray each week in our Synagogues for peace within the ranks of government. Our sages tell us that public safety and security depends on a just and respectful government. Peace does not mean that we have to agree on everything, but it does mean that we are underpinned by values such as honesty, integrity. Saying what we will do and then doing what we said we will do.

Mr Premier, The global Jewish community bemoans and is deeply troubled by the civilian deaths in Gaza. We take no joy, no pride in these casualties, but Israel is doing what has to be done to protect our people and our home.

We have gathered today to pray for peace in Israel, and we look to you as our leader in parliament to continue to do whatever you can to support this cause.

Our salutation on Shabbat is Shabbat Shalom  Have a peaceful Shabbat.  May we all merit to have a peaceful in Shabbat, for the children on a bus in Sydney, for the elderly Rabbi in Western Australia, for the Jewish people and all people living in Victoria and in Australia, in Israel and across the world.”


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