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RCA and OU Call for Commemoration of Israel’s Olympic Athletes Slain in 1972
The IOC Still Has Time to Act, Our Synagogues Surely Will
Policies Headlines
Jul 26, 2012 -- Today, the Rabbinical Council of America, representing more than 1000 member rabbis, and the Orthodox Union, the largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization in the United States, issued the following statement:

Today we join with the global Jewish community, political leaders, and leaders of the media and sports communities in formally calling upon the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in commemoration of the eleven athletes from the State of Israel who were slain by terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

It is not too late for the IOC to relent from its stubborn and unsympathetic refusal to grant this moment of silence to memorialize the violence perpetrated against innocent individuals and the self-described values of the Olympic movement.

Irrespective of what the IOC may do, we in the Orthodox Jewish community will commemorate these fallen innocents in our congregations. As we are presently in the most mournful time on the Jewish calendar - the nine days leading up to Tisha B'Av, on which we commemorate the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem and many other tragedies of our people - we will enter our synagogues this Friday evening, the very evening that the Olympics opening ceremonies will take place to mark the saddest Sabbath of the year.

The leadership of the RCA and the OU urge our rabbis and congregations to mark a moment, on the eve of Shabbat Chazon and prior to Kabbalat Shabbat, to mourn the tragedy of the slain Israeli athletes - through the recital of Tehilim or the special Tefila composed by Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of Great Britain - the host nation of the Olympics.

May the families of the fallen Israeli athletes, and all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, know comfort and consolation.

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