Rabbi David Wolpe’s Rosh Hashanah sermon this week was entitled “The Most Important Question in the World Today” -- a sermon he said every rabbi in America should be giving -- in which he announced that this year he is a single-issue voter: “I will vote for whichever candidate seems likelier to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Time posted an abridged version of the sermon; the full sermon is available at the Sinai Temple website and it is worth listening to in its entirety, since it includes several important points not set forth in the shorter published version.
One is his single-sentence response to those who think Jews are obsessed with the Holocaust: “What can it possibly mean to be too concerned with the fact that a half century ago a third of your people were killed -- and the only reason they were not all killed is that you won the world war?” He continued as follows:
How can you think about that too much? Especially when those enemies have not disappeared from the earth. This is what everyone should be talking about. There is nothing more important. ... If you have not made noise about this; if you have kept quiet, you have a role to play.
Rabbi Wolpe made an observation whose implications have not yet been fully addressed: “I warn you ... the Western world is becoming accustomed to the idea that Iran will get a bomb ... And once Iran gets a bomb, the world will never be the same.” The sermon closed as follows:
From the perspective of Jewish history, there is no possibility that the enemies of the Jews could be given a weapon of such potency and that any Jew could sleep well at night. … We don’t have the luxury of a shameful obliviousness or indifference. …
Abba Eban, the great Israeli diplomat, said there are things in Jewish history too terrible to imagine, but nothing too terrible that it hasn’t happened. This is too terrible to imagine, but that does not mean that it cannot happen. So I beg of you: don’t forget this; don’t ignore it, and don’t keep quiet about it. …
This isn’t a small threat; this is everything. And even if it starts with Israel, as we know from history, it never ends there. The enemies of the Jews become the enemies of the world. That is an iron law of history. So don’t think this will go away. It is not only our task, but it is surely our task.
I leave you with two words: Never Again.
The sermon is 19 minutes long. Listen to it all. And then act accordingly.