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Jewish World Review
Sept. 2, 2004
/ 16 Elul, 5764
An American question and vision
Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis
Delivered August 31, 2004 at the Republican National Convention, New York City
We are living at a most challenging time in our history one that our founding fathers could never have envisioned. Global terror and the breakdown of moral values menace our very lives.
Such threats are not foreign to me. I am a child of the Holocaust, a survivor of Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. I have experienced the degradation and the brutality of which the world is capable, but I have also experienced the healing balm of faith, the magic of compassion and love that is the bedrock upon which our great Republic was built.
Following a Holocaust memorial address to our armed forces at Ft. Hood, Texas, an eight year old little girl, the daughter of one of the officers, asked: "Rebbetzin, Ma'am, why didn't you call the army or the police to help you?"
What an American question!
How could I explain to her that in those days of darkness a uniform was the symbol of torture and murder that it was only when I encountered American soldiers and police that I discovered that these men in uniform could be trusted , that they are guardians of peace, committed to the protection of the innocent.
How different the world might have been if a man like President George W. Bush had been at the helm in those days of darkness.
Following 9/11 it was President Bush's valor and commitment to do battle against the forces of terror and evil that has ensured the safety and security of our nation. Of all the world's leaders, it was only President Bush who had the courage to raise his voice on behalf of beleaguered Israel and recognize that terror in any part of the world must be eradicated. And just this morning, we were witness to yet another horrific act of terrorism with a bus bombing in Israel. Let us pause for a moment of silence and pray for them.
More than HOPE, our president is determined to TRIUMPH over evil, and continues to labor, not only for a secure safe world, but for an America in which timeless values prevail.
The miracle that is America is not only to be found in her might, but in her faith in G-d, and it was with this faith that President Bush comforted our nation with the words of the Psalmist on that day of infamy.
"Gam kee elech b'getzal movehs...." "Even though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me..."
"Kaveh el HaShem" "Trust in the L-rd..."
We place our trust in You, Oh G-d, We pray to You to heal those who are sick with hatred; to sensitize the hearts of those who are indifferent to the cries of their brethren.
Teach us, Oh G-d, to live by Your word in truth, compassion and peace.
G-d bless America, G-d bless our President and may G-d bless each and every one of you.
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Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, an Orthodox Torah scholar, international lecturer and bestselling author, is the founder of the Hineni Heritage Center.
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© 2004, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis