This will be the only post published on this site today, and maybe for a few days as we process the monstrosities happening to our people in Israel.
Like many of you, I can’t sleep.
The atrocities that have occurred and are occurring to my brothers and sisters in Israel, the worst single day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust, originally left me without words.
[Context: Israel’s death toll over 700 after surprise Hamas attacks]
We came back from our shul a few hours ago for an emergency community-wide Tehillim. I am rarely emotional and I can’t say that I’m the most spiritual person, but coming together with my community and my kids by my side, at a time when I’m feeling hopeless and useless – crying and asking Hashem for mercy on our people were the only things that felt right.
Since then, over the last few hours, I’ve been able to piece together some thoughts on what we can do, both now in the short term, and in the weeks, months, and even years ahead. Israel and its people will need our help, here are a few things we can do, regardless of where you are in the world:
- Pray / Daven with your community, with your kids, or on your own. We often deride “thoughts and prayers” because they’re often said in the media or by elected officials. That doesn’t mean it can’t have a meaningful impact on you, Israel, and the global Jewish community. Let’s ask Hashem for a speedy and successful mission in eradicating Hamas with no more casualties.
- Donate Money. In the short term, there are many opportunities to give to Israel now, from both individuals and organizations alike to support both the IDF active duty and reservists who’ve been called up, as well as the families who have had their lives & homes destroyed by the Hamas terrorists. Find the causes that are meaningful to you and give what you can. From my understanding, Israelis are now collecting food, clothing, and toiletries for IDF soldiers and reservists. Others are raising money for protective vests as many reservists won’t have the necessary protection for the battlefield.
There are a number of personal connections that I trust that are collecting on behalf of their grassroots and coordinated efforts in Israel. Here are a couple of options:
A) Venmo: @nina-sherman – See post for details on the right as her team collects goods to distribute to the IDF. This is what her team in Tel Aviv donated on Day 1.
B) Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org – Eytan Morgenstern is an American who made aliyah and has served in the IDF. He is collecting for his IDF unit directly.
C) Venmo: @ofragoldstein – Shared by Camp Moshava, Ofra is collecting specifically to purchase protective vests to protect Israeli soldiers who don’t have them.
D) Magen David Adom – Israel’s medical emergency and blood bank service has launched an urgent appeal. MDA issued the plea after thousands of Israelis turned out to give blood this weekend resulting in what they described as a “tremendous overload”.
E) ZAKA – Zaka is on the front lines helping save lives after bombings and natural disasters, but also ensures that those who have died or have been killed are buried properly and respectfully.
F) Find local organizations or appeals to help out financially.
Every dollar and shekel count.
- Speak truth to misinformation. The importance of speaking out truth to injustice and propaganda can be measured in one-on-one conversations with friends, colleagues & peers. The propaganda machine will be churning to attempt to justify the disgusting acts of raping, murdering, and kidnapping women & babies.
Speak out in person and online and tell Israel’s story. (See story embedded image below.)
All of the above are actions Israel needs now AND in the future.
As for the long term, it is important that we continue to visit Israel.
Show up and support Israeli businesses, restaurants, travel guides, hotels, and the country. Many will want to avoid visiting Israel out of fear. We can’t let terrorism win by giving in to that fear. Plan your Winter, Pesach, and Summer trips to Israel now. Our physical and financial support goes a long way to supporting our people and so many industries in our homeland.
We will continue to highlight Israeli kosher businesses here in an effort to bring more awareness to the amazing things happening in Israel when the country is not at war – and even when it is.
Praying for only good news and for no more days of sorrow for Israel.