Tishrei 5784

Dear Friends

At this truly terrible time of war in Israel as we are all suffering and struggling with what has happened and is still happening, I would like to share with you some thoughts and suggestions.

The Jewish people are one family and we feel each other’s suffering. We mourn for all those who have been killed, we long for the healing of the injured and the safe return of the hostages and of course we worry about what is still happening and what may happen next. All these feelings flow from the love that we feel for each other. Many of us also may be concerned about our antisemitism here at home and may be feeling vulnerable and unsafe.

As we struggle with these feelings, we turn to our faith and belief that has nourished and sustained us through so many dark times for the strength and resilience that we so desperately need.

In the words of the Pesach Haggadah:

וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְלָנוּ. שֶׁלֹּא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד עָמַד עָלֵינוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנוּ, אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר עוֹמְדִים עָלֵינוּ לְכַלוֹתֵנוּ וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם.

It is this Torah that has stood by our ancestors and us. For not only one enemy has risen up against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise up to destroy us. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, delivers us from their hands.

Let us reflect on that faith and our feelings and reach out to each other in support and companionship. In particular I would like to offer myself as a listening ear for any of you who may be struggling as I am.

We may also be feeling helpless and at a loss as to what to do. I find that the best response to this feeling and to challenge in general is positive action. In that spirit I would like to suggest and encourage some concrete actions. Actions whereby we can express and affirm our faith, bring positivity and good into the world and help and support our brethren in Israel.

  • By publicly and proudly demonstrating our unwavering support for Israel and our concern for its welfare.
  • In times of trouble we increase in Davening and in Torah learning. Public prayer and Torah learning is the strongest tool in our arsenal!
  • Please add in your personal observance, every Mitzva that we perform adds holiness and goodness to the world and tips it towards good. At this time of evil and darkness good must prevail. Please choose one extra Mitzva and commit to doing it from now on.
  • Tzedoka is ingrained in the basic nature of the Jewish people and is one of the pillars on which the world stands. Please make a donation today to provide concrete help to Israel. Many very worthy charities are raising funds and I’m sure you have seen a number of appeals. For ease of use I can recommend these that I am aware of, of course there are many more equally worthy:

May we merit to see the end of all our suffering with the coming of Moshiach now!

Rabbi Daniel

Click here for more information and what you can do to help