From time to time, I come across issues that are not directly related to my Blog topic, but due to my own sense of priority I feel compelled to share these experiences with our readers. In this instance, the subject is meaningful to me. The subject is Israel.
This past Friday, Governor Crist, visited Temple Beth Am in Jupiter. It was always my feeling that Governor Crist was a committed supporter of Israel. On Friday he told our congregation a story about his experience in Israel. While visiting the Western Wall in 2007, he prayed for the protection of Florida from hurricanes. Believe it or not, this is a true story. While on the trip, a friend encouraged him to visit the Western Wall, aka Wailing Wall, and to insert a written prayer into the wall. Governor Crist did just that. In his prayer, he asked the Lord to protect Florida from storms that year. It is important to point out that thereafter Florida was hurricane free in 2007. When one of the Governor’s friends told him he was going to Israel in 2008, the Governor gave him a similar note to put in the wall. For a second year in a row, our beautiful state was hurricane free. This year another friend went to Israel. The Governor contacted him and requested another prayer be placed into the wall. The 2009 hurricane season is over and wallah! No storms. I hope that when Governor Crist moves onto the national stage, most likely as a Senator, he will continue to send his prayers for Florida's safety to the Western Wall.
On a more serious note, the Governor's visit was a rousing success. Although the crowd wanted to hear about the recent international reports on Israel and Palestinian relations, the Governor wisely chose to be more general and positive in his discussion about the significance of the relationship between Florida and Israel. He acknowledged the 800,000 Jewish voices in Florida who want assurance that the US will not abandon Israel. He reiterated that he will continue to fight to keep our relationship with Israel strong.
In closing, Governor Crist addressed the tragic shootings in Jupiter which took place on Thanksgiving. He asked for prayer and healing for the families. His attention to this issue showed how concerned he is about local community events as well as national events. Overall, the Governor’s speech was moving and sincere. I am honored that I had the pleasure of sitting with him; praying with him and hearing him speak about a subject that is near to my heart.