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Initial Thoughts From the March

11/15/2023 04:15:00 PM


David Kellogg

Tuesday, November 14, was a day I will never forget. Almost 100 Bet Torah members traveled to Washington, DC, to join in the March for Israel. I felt it was like voting — I was not going to change the outcome — adding only one person to a massive gathering — but it was the most I could do for Israel on Tuesday. I accomplished something. 

We boarded two buses at 6:00 a.m., and arrived at 12:30 p.m. 

Walking to the Mall we met many other supporters, bedecked in Israeli flags and other paraphernalia. Blue and white featured prominently. There was a visible -- but not intrusive -- police presence (Washington was on high alert). 

When we reached the Mall, it was probably half full. When we left at around 3:00 it was packed as far as you could see. The final count was reported to be an amazing and record-breaking 290,000. 

The speakers and musical performers (there were a lot of them) were inspiring. Members of Congress, including Chuck Schumer and newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson. Families of hostages, including Rachel Goldberg, our own Harriet Schleifer, Isaac Herzog, President of Israel, the controversial evangelical heavyweight John Hager, and the singer Matisyahu, rapper extraordinaire (and past member of Bet Am Shalom in White Plains!).

Their messages included how critical U.S. support is to Israel; how the resurgence of antisemitism (now more explicitly called "Jew Hatred') must be countered; how the hostages must be freed; how current calls for a cease-fire are like calling for a cease-fire after Pearl Harbor; and "Never Again!". The crowd was energized and frequently shouted its support of the speakers.

Walking back to the buses involved some unintended detours that added much-needed steps to our hours of sitting.

After another seven hours on the buses, we arrived back at Bet Torah at midnight. One very long day in support of the long fight for Israel.

Fri, December 8 2023 25 Kislev 5784