In light of the incredible scenes of devastation coming out of New Orleans, Israel's Chief Rabbinate has composed a special prayer for world Jewry to recite. It might constitute an appropriate addition to your Shabbat services this week.
At the same time, we should be proud of Israel's response to the disaster and its proud tradition of providing humantarian aid worldwide. Though its importance pails in comparsion to the death and destruction, I was disappointed that a live US State Department briefing last night (on CNN) proceeded to list tens of countries that had offered assistance but lacked any mention of Israel. Again, this is not an appropriate time for petty point-scoring but in any case it is vital that Americans and the world see that the strong US-Israel partnership does not flow in one direction only.