Earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a brilliant and very effective speech to a joint session of Congress.
Like many Israelis and also many of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, I confess that tears came to my eyes during the speech – especially when the prime minister cited a pasuk from Sefer Devarim:
חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל תִּירְאוּ וְאַל תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ.
For those who missed it, here’s the full speech:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.
“We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.
“Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.
“Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.
“And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”
“We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.
“This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.
“But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel.”
As we head into Taanit Esther and then Purim, may we be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) and also the fulfillment of the Megilah’s words:
כַּיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר נָחוּ בָהֶם הַיְּהוּדִים מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם וְהַחֹדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לָהֶם מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיֹנִים.
“As the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies and the month which was turned about for them from grief to joy and from mourning to a festival; to make them days of feasting and joy and sending portions to one another and gifts to the poor.”