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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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My Week in Israel with Dr. Oz

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shows Dr. Oz and Rabbi Shmuley the challenges Israel faces from its neighbors in the Middle East.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu shows Dr. Oz and Rabbi Shmuley the challenges Israel faces from its neighbors in the Middle East.

The Jewish state needs more visitors like Dr. Oz, with vast global followings, to highlight the justice of Israel’s cause. These trips should never be about propaganda but rather presenting the facts as they are. Israel’s best case is made by Israel itself. I told Mehmet and Lisa, with whom I deepened an already special friendship, that I had no interest in presenting Israel as a perfect country that never made mistakes. Rather, Israel is a just country, committed to righteous action, that struggles to do the right thing amid existential threats from every side. It is a small nation that is home to a people who have vastly contributed to the positive development of human civilization yet have been victimized throughout history and now simply wish a secure place among the nations. One need not agree with Israel on every detail on policy but is self-evident when visiting that its large heart is in the right place.

It was providential that our visit to the Holy Land ended on Sunday, August 4th, mega-philanthropist Sheldon Adelsons eightieth birthday. We flew to Turkey where Dr. Oz, the country’s biggest celebrity, was to hold a press conference. As we left we called Sheldon and his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, whose addiction clinic we visited in Tel Aviv, to thank them for making the trip possible. Because that’s how it works. People who love Israel are infectious and produce other people who love Israel.

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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