All of Israel stands with you, as you take your places on the starting line at every event. All our hopes are with you. All our good feelings are with you. All our pride is in your every stroke, your every action in every sport. Whether or not you bring home medals, you have already won medals in our hearts.
There has been quite a stir among Jews throughout the world, especially Israelis, calling for a moment of silence at the Opening Games on Friday night, Shabbat. The Olympic Committee has nixed any memorial of that sort for the 11 Israeli athletes massacred in
My dear athletes, my children, my friends, Yiddishe kinder, you can make your own memorial. You can make a memorial that will have a greater impact than any Minute of Silence could have made.
Instead of just lighting a memorial candle, you can all together LIGHT SHABBAT CANDLES, make your own kabbalat Shabbat, call out Hashem's name and proclaim the Holy Sabbath in Olympic Village. You can sing Shalom Aleichem, Malachei HaShabbat - Welcome to you, angels of Sabbath - and you can have in mind the 11 angels that are watching over you and askingYOU to give them justice.
They don't need you to win at the games. They need you to remember 11 Jewish athletes, massacred at the Munich Olympics. And there is no better way to make the entire world remember these 11 Jews, who were killed because they were Jewish, than to remember the Sabbath and try as best as you can to keep it holy. This is the most powerful memorial anyone could achieve!
If you remember the Sabbath while you are at the Olympic Games, you will be making a kiddush Hashem (sanctifying G-d's Name) on the global scale that was achieved when Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, o'h, asked his rabbi in Florida, "When do we observe Shabbat in space?" Suddenly the entire world was speaking about Shabbat and the glory of the Jewish people and their G-d.
Remember a few weeks ago when
I understand that you feel you must participate in the Opening Event. And I don't know enough about the Olympics to ask you to stay back. But I ask you to try as best as you can to make the 25 hours from tonight until tomorrow night holier for yourself and your team. I ask you to find time in between all of this afternoon's exciting events to light Shabbat candles, drink a cup of wine for kiddush, sing Shalom Aleichem together. You can even dance the hora, if that's what you know.
But make a difference in this Olympics. Remember the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered by Islamic terrorists because these athletes were Jews. Whether you are religious or not, whether you want to or not, you are representing every Jew in the world today.
Make your own memorial to
No medal, no sports recognition, no feature story in a magazine could give