Fayetteville Rabbi opens up about Israel-Hamas war's effect on his congregation

Monique John Image
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Rabbi of Fayetteville's Beth Israel Synagogue weighs in on war
Rabbi Dov Goldberg says his loved ones near Jerusalem are living in fear.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Leaders of the synagogue in Fayetteville are speaking out about how their congregation has been affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Rabbi Dov Goldberg and members of the Beth Israel synagogue told ABC11 that following the war in the Middle East has been overwhelming and that they fear for their friends and family in Israel.

"The visceral impact is powerful and then to discover that the death toll was the largest single-day death toll since the Holocaust ... leaves one speechless, emotionally bereft. Of course, there's always anger..." Goldberg said.

Goldberg said that because so many Beth Israel members have strong ties in Israel, the attacks hit close to home -- especially for loved ones in the Israel Defense Forces.

"No one is more than one degree of separation from knowing someone who was involved and of course, now with call up of reservists, everyone has friends and family who are in the military who are being called up into reserve service if they weren't already active duty," Goldberg said.

He also expressed remorse for Palestinians who have been killed and weren't affiliated with Hamas. But Goldberg said he supports the war that Israel has been leading against Hamas after the terror group's attack.

"Israel has always taken great care to attempt to the degree possible -- and the degree possible is never enough anywhere, but to the degree possible to limit civilian casualties..."

He also credited the United States for stepping up as an ally to his homeland.

"I think what the United States is doing is helping Israel not fall into the potential trap of losing any of what it's about," Goldberg said.

Beth Israel is having ongoing conversations with its community about the conflict. Anyone interested in learning more about the Israel-Hamas conflict at the synagogue can visit its website.