Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, says the Jewish State will survive the threat to its existence presented by Palestinian Authority terrorism.
Oren told attendees at the 40th anniversary dinner for the Rabbinical College of America, “In these times of great [happiness], when we gather together to celebrate institutions of learning, it’s sometimes difficult to realize that the Jewish people and Israel today face challenges every bit as daunting and seemingly insurmountable as any that has confronted us at any stage of our thousands of years of history as a people.”
The Israeli ambassador, an alumnus of the yeshiva years ago, spoke before some 400 participants. Rabbi Moshe Herson, director of the institution, described the 40 years of Jewish programming that marked the yeshiva, which began as the Achei Temimim Lubavitch yeshiva in Newark, New Jersey.
“We started in a family apartment just 15 minutes away from here,” Herson told Chabad.org in an interview prior to the event. “Today, a great number of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries around the world are coming out of Morristown,” home to the current Rabbinical College.
Oren noted that his own son, who currently lives in Shanghai, China, regularly attends Sabbath services at the local Chabad House.
The ambassador also described for the dinner crowd how, during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, “there was a group of Chabad rabbis dancing and singing and giving out food,” in the midst of a barrage of enemy fire from Hizbullah terrorists. He was a personal witness to this event, he said – his own unit was facing tank fire and Katyusha rocket attacks at the time.
“You are the reason we have been able to overcome all these challenges,” he said.
Oren received an honorary law degree during the dinner, which also honored lawyers such as former U.S. Attorney Jonathan L. Goldstein, Arnold H. Chait, and Laurence Reich.