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A YOM KIPPUR WAR MESSAGE FROM RABBI SHUCHAT

BY HANNAH SROUR

 

 

 

 

“Yom Kippur will never be the same again,” begins a message written by Rabbi Wilfred Shuchat in 1973. This past week, on October 6th, marked the 48th anniversary of the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, one of the greatest threats to the State of Israel since its independence in 1948. There to bear witness to the conflict was none other than Rabbi Shuchat, who wrote back messages to the Congregation as it unfolded (full letters at the end).

 

 Rabbi Shuchat was honoured with a sabbatical soon after celebrating 25 years with Shaar Hashomayim and went with his family to spend the year (from July 1973 through the summer of 1974) in Jerusalem. Though Rabbi Shuchat returned to Montreal for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, he went back to an Israel embroiled in war.

 

 

 

The words Rabbi Shuchat wrote in his messages to the Congregation as the Yom Kippur War progressed deeply reflect the severity of the situation, while also foreseeing its lasting impact and significance. “For the past two weeks I have been living in the very center of those dramatic events that will determine Jewish history for the future and will certainly have a momentous effect upon the course of the world.” 

 

 

Writing on October 23rd, 1973, just two days before it officially came to an end, Rabbi Shuchat offered three conclusions to be drawn from the War as Israel, the Jewish Diaspora, and the world moves forward, the third of which is a resounding and heartfelt declaration of the bond between Israel and the Diaspora as one Jewish people.

 

 

 

 

 

READ:  A message from Rabbi Shuchat, War Letter from Israel

 

From the Rabbi Wilfred Shuchat Archives, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim

 

Get in touch with us! Claire Berger and Hannah Srour at museum@theshaar.org  

Monday, October 18, 2021 12 Cheshvan 5782