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    ANZAC Day address 2016, Mount Scopus

    Address by Rabbi Raymond Apple at the 2016 ANZAC Day commemoration at the Jewish graves, Commonwealth War Cemetery, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem.

    Mt ScopusThe First World War ended more than a lifetime ago.

    Australians and New Zealanders who fell in combat are buried in many places including here.

    Those buried here are especially remembered every year on Anzac Day.

    This year that tradition is harder than usual, because it is Pesach.

    We are pulled in two directions, chag and anti-chag.

    The chag calls us to celebrate the great, memorable achievements of civilisation over the past century.

    The anti-chag reminds us of the world’s great, memorable failures.

    Especially the distinct lack of success of the United Nations’ pious declaration in 1945 that it would save the world from the scourge of war.

    Everywhere there are conventional battles; the cruel conflicts that tear nations asunder; the terrors of noon and night; the wars of words; the outlaws who can’t or won’t be reined in.

    The anti-chag philosophy doesn’t know how to hold back the hatreds, how to eliminate the enmities, how to counter the cruelties.

    It only sees countless bodies mounting up and lives being maimed or destroyed.

    What about the chag philosophy – does it have an answer?

    It does.

    It simply says, “See the face of a brother before you. Let him sit under his own vine or fig tree with no-one to make him afraid!”

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