A New York City-based rabbi in Jerusalem is speaking out about the tumultuous reality of the Israel-Hamas war, saying the conflict is impacting everyone from children to elderly adults.
Rabbi Ari Berman, president of New York City’s Yeshiva University, appeared on “Mornings On 1” Tuesday from Jerusalem and recalled the moment he understood the country was under attack amid Sukkot celebrations.
“The air raid sirens went off one time, two times, three times. We have our prayers and the Iron Dome, which gave us a real sense of protection. But we knew we were under attack,” he said.
The conflict hit home when Berman's son was called up for military service. Observing the Sabbath, they didn't carry electronic equipment, and his son had to retrieve his phone to learn of his mobilization, a situation shared by thousands more in Israel.
As the fighting only continues, Berman said he is fearful everyday thinking of his son and the young soldiers defending the country.
“There's nothing more on my mind. Every family, every block, every community has sons and daughters mobilized. It's a serious moment for Israel—an inflection point. We're proud of our children defending our country, yet profoundly concerned,” he said.
Berman, reflecting on the imagery he has seen from Israel and the Gaza strip, stressed his belief that Hamas is a terror organization that needs to immediately be dismantled.
“Hamas is ISIS. This is brutality, depravity. Elderly, children—the images, the stories—this is an evil that needs to be neutralized. Not just for Israel, but for Palestinians under their cruel rule and for the world,” he said.