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Monday, July 31, 2006

Synagogue fills with prayers for Mideast peace

Bais Menachem: More than 100 gather to show support for Israel and to remember the innocent

By Jessica Ravitz
The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people packed Bais Menachem, synagogue and home of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, on Sunday night to pray for peace in the Middle East.
"Judaism teaches us . . . there's a time for everything," Rabbi Benny Zippel said. "A time for joy, and a time for tears. . . . Tonight, it is a time for prayer."
The people came to show solidarity with Israel in its battle against Hezbollah. They also prayed for the innocent lives lost in southern Lebanon.
Earlier Sunday, an Israeli airstrike in Qana killed 56 Lebanese, most of them women and children. Israel approved a 48-hour halt to air attacks in light of an international outcry.
Laura Green, director of the United Jewish Federation of Utah, said there are many unanswered questions about what had happened in Qana, but she spoke of the pain she feels about the latest news and about the loss of innocent civilians. And she emphasized the value Judaism places on life.
"We are trained to value every moment on this Earth," said Green, who returned Friday from a trip to Israel. "When a horrific thing occurs like what occurred this morning, we can only hold our breath and pray."
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff also spoke, his voice cracking throughout as he remembered his trip to Israel one year ago.
He recalled his visit to a Jerusalem synagogue, his witnessing of an Israeli soldier sobbing at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, and the words from then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who told Shurtleff of his yearning for peace and for an end to all killing.
"I had so much hope, rabbi," Shurtleff said, turning to Zippel, and then the audience. "My prayers continue with you."
jravitz@sltrib.com

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