click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

President Bush's Speech
Mom with a View

President Bush's Speech

This is not a political blog, but in a world that so uniformly condemns us, we need to be grateful for our few friends.


This is not a political blog. I really don't care which side of the aisle you favor. In fact some of my best friends are…I'm not stumping for McCain or Obama or Hilary.

But I have to say that, corny thought it may sound, President Bush's speech to the Knesset brought a tear to my eye. It seems that many wish that the Members of Knesset would be as pro-Israel as this America president.

In a world that so uniformly condemns us, we need to embrace our few friends, and be grateful for their courage, their loyalty, their commitment.

Remember we're not talking politics. Or discussing policy.

Friends may make mistakes. But friendship is a precious and rare commodity. And friendship when you are not the most popular kid on the block is even more special.

"Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you." This was and is a particularly strong statement. It seems to have brought the house down and well it should. It's comforting and reassuring not to be alone. It's a morale boost. It gives us strength.

But even more empowering than Bush's statement of political support, more than his anti-appeasement stance and his recognition of the futility of talking to terrorists and more than his clear assertion of our partnership in this war against evil, were his affirmations of religious belief.

In the President's mind (and words), the establishment of the state was "the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David, a homeland for the chosen people, Eretz Yisrael."

And later, "Soulless men took away lives and broke apart families. Yet they could not take away the spirit of the Jewish people, and they could not break the promise of God."

Are we as clear on our right to the land as Mr. Bush? Are we as willing to proclaim it publicly? Although we may differ in our understanding of what exactly begins the redemptive process, we all agree that the land was a gift from the Almighty. Or do we?

In a world where religion is discounted and books on atheism are bestsellers, the President's viewpoint is particularly meaningful, refreshing and courageous.

Not only should we appreciate his forthright statement of conviction, we should learn from it. We don't need to cower in the shadows (Or cover our mouths as we whisper the word 'God').

From Bush we can take strength and be unafraid to invoke our 'ancient' religious right to the land. In his famous explanation of the first verse in the Torah, the preeminent commentator, Rashi, teaches us that the Torah begins with the statement that the Almighty created the heaven and earth so that when He gives us, the children of Israel, the land of Israel, we will all know it was His to give.

It was, and is, the Almighty's to give. And He has given it to us, His children, explicitly -- along with awesome responsibility that goes along with it. There is no stronger claim to the land. This Thursday the American President reminded us of our claim, our privileges and our obligations.

He helped deepen our pride and commitment, and our sense of ownership. He encouraged us to continue our mission and to trust in the Almighty. He could have been speaking from the pulpit…

We should, of course, recognize this without Mr. Bush having to remind us. But we are only human. And the constant barrage of attacks from the world around us takes a toll. We may even get discouraged.

Yet when the President said that we are "a light unto the nations that preserves the legacy of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob," we can almost believe it.

May 17, 2008

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 72

(72) Anonymous, May 25, 2008 11:56 PM

calm down everyone! take the good and don''t trust the bad!

For heaven''s sake, can everyone please calm down! None of us really know how sincere Bush was, so let''s just appreciate his words, yet stay cautious. Mrs. Braverman seems to just be trying to find the positive in a world full of corruption, not such a bad idea!

(71) R.L. Drown, May 24, 2008 6:53 PM

Emuna Braverman comments

What a thoughtful and sensible presentation by Emuna Braverman. She grasps the reality of friendship without the trappings of political necessity. Many folk disregard the biblical admonotion by Moses, to "Not revile or curse the judges" (Exod.22:28). Freedom of speech does not give us permission to castigate, demean, or accuse our leaders of being liars when it cannot be clearly proven to be so. Thats called by the sages "lashon hara." I recently heard a long time associate of President Bush say, I have never heard him tell a lie. Whatever he is he, he does not willfully lie. Regardless what the media reports or misrepresents by so called analysis, we should remember that fairness and justice require us to be tolerant and honest in our opinions of leaders. We may disagree about policies and procedures, but we should accept our friends for who and what they are, our friends. We dare not assume that we know what was meant when someone said something, and we assessed it to be something rather than was plainly stated by the spokesman. Thats hypocrisy. Anyway, I applaud President Bush and his courage and words in behalf of Israel and Jews. Sounds a lot more like friendship than the usual Bush Bashing by Presidential detractors. I also applaud Emuna Braverman for her insight and courage. She is true to her Hebrew name, and is a braver woman than some (men). Ron

(70) David Cohen, May 22, 2008 1:19 PM

Secretary of Defense Gates an appeaser?

What''s good for Mr. Obama is good for Bush''s own cabinet.

Gates: U.S. Should Engage Iran With Incentives, Pressure
By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 15, 2008, Page A04

The United States should construct a combination of incentives and pressure to engage Iran, and may have missed earlier opportunities to begin a useful dialogue with Tehran, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday.

"We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage . . . and then sit down and talk with them," Gates said. "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can''t go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."

(69) Anonymous, May 22, 2008 6:28 AM

Amazing what a single thought can do.

Thank you Emuna for your honest opinion. I am glad there are human beings, still out there, that can see the good in other''s words and deeds. As one commenter said in passing, that President Bush met with the Saudis to discuss increasing oil production, however President Bush is quite aware that the Saudi nation is not guilty of the 9/11 attack on America otherwise he would not be sitting and discussing business with them. Some Americans need to see the forest for the trees and get educated properly. Bush would no more sit with known terrorists then the moon having green cheese! Words maybe "cheap", however when they are from the heart, for good''s sake, then it''s worth more then everything put together especially if the result that comes of it benefits all life here on this planet. After all is said and done, deeds do indeed speak louder then words.

(68) Anonymous, May 22, 2008 3:39 AM

George W. Bush is no friend of Israel, His address to the Knesset was a disgrace and a distortion of facts for the purpose of discrediting an American contestant for the presidency with the Jewish voters of the United States. Members of the Knesset who applauded the outlandish charges made by Mr. Bush did not serve the best interests of the Israeli people. For President Bush''s comparing "appeasement" to an American candidate''s intention to open diplomatic relations with those countries with whom the U.S. disagreed was an insult not only to Barack Obama, it was an insult to every Israeli hero that met with Arafat, including Begin, Rabin and Sharon.

Bush''s war in Iraq was not a war against terrorism, not a war to protect Israel, but a war to control the oil wealth of Iraq. The war against terrorism was in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden still roams and threatens. It has increased the numbers of terrorist organizations that have associated themselves with bin-Laden, and it has created a greater danger, not only for Israel, but for the entire world. Bush is no better than Carter, who accused Israel of practicing Apartheid.

Let us never lose sight of the fact that Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazzen, was, for a long time, second in command to the chief Palestinian terrorist, Yasser Arafat, and the fact that he does not wear a kaffiyeh, dress in a military uniform and carry a sidearm, makes him no more trustworthy than he was as Arafat''s adjutant.

It is not easy for me to criticize my president to people in foreign nations, but as one might say in a court of law, he opened the door to the criticism. He has lied to the American people for more than seven years, and now he is lying to our allies as well.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment