“American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel”

March 8th, 2023

Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist for The New York Times, featured Rabbi Sharon Brous’s most recent Sermon, The Tears of Zion, in his op-ed, “American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel”

The JTA News just ran an article that offered a revealing glimpse into this reality. It quoted a Los Angeles rabbi, Rabbi Sharon Brous, as beginning her sermon on Israel last month with a content warning to her congregants: “I have to say some things today that I know will upset some of you.”
“Every American rabbi knew what she meant: Israel has become such a hot-button issue that it cannot be discussed without taking sides for or against Netanyahu’s policies.

As Rabbi Sharon Brous told the JTA News, “You have a wonderful community, and you love them and they love you, until the moment you stand up and you give your Israel sermon.” She said the phenomenon has an informal name: “Death-by-Israel sermon.”

Death-by-Israel sermon. Never heard that before.

What makes the situation even more incendiary is that the fault line on Israel — pro- or anti-Netanyahu — often overlaps with the fault line between Democrats and Republicans, and we know how explosive that divide is.”