When we feel helpless and afraid, we turn to Jewish wisdom, ritual, and community for guidance and grounding. With our eyes and our hearts locked on Israel, please consider the following.
- Pray. If you are in town, please make every effort to come to Holy Blossom this Shabbat. (Friday, 6 pm. Saturday, 10:30 am.) It will be good to raise up our voices together in prayer. If you are out of town, find the local synagogue this Shabbat. They will be strengthened by you, and you will be strengthened by them.
- Give. There are real needs on the ground, which must be met with urgency. Above are a number of worthy causes you might consider.
- Connect. With the endless technologies at our disposal, we must overwhelm the loneliness, that Israelis are feeling right now, with contact. Many have family and dear ones in Israel. Reach out to them regularly. We may wish to write to our former Shinshinim, young Israeli emissaries, or to our sister Reform congregation, Even Yehuda. Please click here to visit our website and add your voice to the many members of our community that have already started a campaign of comments online. We have already seen responses to these online comments from people in Israel and know that our comments are reaching them. Or, if you choose the non-digital route, you may choose to write a beautiful handwritten letter to an IDF soldier, to a North American teen or rabbinical student who is studying in Israel this summer. Just drop your letter off at the Temple office, and we will make sure it reaches whomever you are addressing. Please specify the recipient on the envelope.
- Gather in strength. Our calendar is now turned to the three weeks of mourning for Jerusalem and the ancient Temple. We read an excerpt from the biblical Book of Lamentations each day. The themes of pain and anxiety, violence and isolation are on every page. The author of Lamentations turned to God and asked “Aicha?! How?!” without expecting an answer. In the question, in the calling out, there was some measure of comfort. So may it be for us when we gather with friends and loved ones now. Let us ask our questions, even when there is no answer yet to be found. Let us speak of Israel often, with compassion, and in ways, which unite and strengthen the Jewish People.
“May a new light shine upon Zion and may we all soon be deserving of its light.”
(from the morning prayer service)
Rabbi Yael Splansky