Three ICJA rabbis, Rabbi Matanky, Rabbi Ehrenfeld and Rabbi Gross, headed to Washington, D.C. on September 9 to join a gathering of 400 rabbis from across the country in what was the largest political gathering of Orthodox rabbis since the historic Rabbis’ March in 1943.
The advocacy trip was organized by the OU and the Rabbinical Council of America—of which Rabbi Matanky is honorary president—in cooperation with AIPAC. Speakers all emphasized the idea that the Jewish community’s voices must be heard against the Iran deal that supports a regime that sponsors worldwide terror and threatens the security of Israel, the United States and the entire world.
Following the rally, our ICJA representatives joined the hundreds of rabbis participated in lobbying meetings with U.S. Senators and Representatives to urge them to vote against the Iran deal.
Rabbi Matanky, who offered a prayer for U.S. armed forces at the rally, says, “Even though it appears that the vote on the Iran agreement has already been decided, it is still very important to make our voice heard for those of us in a position to publicly convey our opinion to our national leaders.”
Still, though, says Rabbi Matanky, the trip was not merely symbolic. “The issue of the Iran threat is not over. There are a lot of details that American government needs to finalize, so it’s important that our voices are heard.”
Rabbi Gross says he joined the mission because it offered an important opportunity to join hundreds of rabbanim from around the country to voice pain and disappointment in a bad deal with a country that seeks our destruction. It was also an opportunity to say Tehilim together and to daven to Hashem that He continue to watch over His children and protect us from our enemies. “I want my students to know that as b’nei and b’not Torah, we always take this two-pronged approach. On the one hand we do our hishtadlut through advocacy and lobbying on behalf of Israel, while remembering that ultimately the security of Israel and the Jewish people is in the hands of Hashem, and we must always remember to daven on their behalf,” says Rabbi Gross.
Rabbi Ehrenfeld says, “It was important for the politicians who oppose this deal to see the support that they have from the collective Jewish community, as well as the specific communities that were represented by their rabbis. It was even more important for those Congressmen who support this deal to be shown our disappointment in them and to inform them that they have done nothing to ensure us that this deal makes Israel and America safer.”
He adds, “Although it appears that this deal with Iran will not be overturned by Congress, there is still a moral and religious obligation to speak up and make our voices heard. Even though we may not have the ability to stop this evil that legitimizes a country that sponsors terrorism the world over, we cannot and will not stand idly by and do nothing. And if, or when, this deal takes effect we must find strength in our communities and continue to trust in G-d that He will protect the State of Israel.”