A Yom Kippur sermon warns American Jews of Israel’s growing messianic rule

by | Sep 27, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Over the past year, many American rabbis have described Israel’s government as extremist and warned American Jews that it has the potential to undermine Israel’s democratic norms.But few have called out this government as pointedly as Rabbi Sharon Brous, who in a barnburner Yom Kippur sermon Monday (Sept. 25) accused Israel’s new right-wing government of harboring a messianic agenda that aims to turn the country into a fascist theocracy.
One of the United States’ most influential Jewish clergy, Brous is a co-founder of IKAR, a nondenominational Jewish congregation in Los Angeles launched in 2004 that has grown to about 1,200 families. Those who attended IKAR’s Yom Kippur service, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, applauded frequently during her remarks, which she titled, “This is the Moral Earthquake.”
Brous also spoke about Israel’s politics in terms of a metastatic tumor, saying at one point, “This government’s radical legislative agenda has landed the body on the examination table and it would be a travesty to diagnose a life threatening spinal tumor as indigestion.”
“This was the shofar blast that needed to be heard,” said Jeremy Barnett, a member of IKAR, referring to the ram’s horn blown by Jews during High Holiday services.
Barnett, who sits on the board of an Israeli nonprofit that serves at-risk youth, watched online and ca …

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