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Supporting Israel

UPDATES ON ISRAEL

As each day passes, we are hearing more about the horror and crimes that were committed by Hamas terrorists on Israeli citizens.

The number of Israelis murdered by Hamas terrorists has surpassed 1000 with over 2700 injured. Terrorists also abducted at least 150 civilians, many of them women, children or elderly. Over 4500 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Terrorists also attacked young Israelis attending an outdoor music festival, firing guns, lobbing grenades and firing sniper rifles at attendees as they fled in panic. At least 260 innocent festival-goers were massacred and many more were abducted. The war crimes committed by Hamas terrorists are barbaric and cannot be excused.

We have also seen a light shine through this darkness. Israelis have come out of their homes to support each other; they have united to provide food, support and love for each other. People lined up around the block to donate blood, to help the wounded; food, water, toiletries and other needs were handed out en-masse to soldiers and the needy; young mothers whose husbands were called up for military service were offered support and assistance and people opened their homes to strangers who had to evacuate towns near Gaza. These mitzvahs and acts of kindness show the good and love that Am Israel have in our hearts. And we can help too!

What can you do?

Many people are asking what they can do. Perhaps the best answer comes from someone living in Israel. She offers these eight suggestions:
 
1. Prayer. There are a number of gatherings, vigils, and tehillim-groups taking place across the city. Praying together is much more effective than praying alone.

At Beth Tikvah, this Shabbat will be a Shabbat of Solidarity with Israel. We are organizing a special Friday night 5:15PM gathering with our clergy leading us in songs of hope, tribute, unity, and strength.

2. Donate. Please look out for opportunities to give. Many coordinated efforts are underway through community organizations, including UJA Federation’s Israel Emergency Fund. Rabbi Grover and Rivka Campbell are in contact with friends and family in Israel who have shared the urgent need for financial assistance. Rabbi Grover will be sending funds directly to those coordinating volunteer efforts to provide soldiers with the essentials, dinners delivered to army bases, new clothing for soldiers who were called up and had no time to pack, and much more. Should you wish to contribute, please donate to Rabbi Grover's Discretionary  Funds:
https://www.bethtikvahtoronto.org/payment.php


3. Write. To your government representative and express your support for Israel and the criminality of what was done (kidnapping civilians, to start...). At the moment, there is widespread political support for "using every means necessary to defend ourselves", but the moment that that switches and the media begin to portray us as the aggressors (as some already have in their usage of the  terminology of "the cycle of violence") then the political winds change, and there will be a pressure for us to stop our retaliatory operation for the sake of a "ceasefire" and "peace".

History has shown that this cessation of fighting is only a lull for our enemy to regroup until the next time, whether in future weeks, months or years. We need to be allowed politically to carry out the necessary measures militarily so that this devastation NEVER EVER happens again.

4. Help the hostages: Contact the International Red Cross and demand that they visit the Israeli hostages who include the elderly, women, children and infants. Reports of rape, torture, abuse and brutality are rampant. Demand that the IRC does its job.
https://www.icrc.org/en

We are looking into the best person to contact.

 
5. Post.  Post the positive. The victories. Do not give the enemies a "win" and a psychological boost by posting their heinous acts. Moreover, these videos often show the humiliation and degradation of innocents. It is dis-honouring their creation "in the image of G-d" to show them in this state. Please refrain from doing so. But DO post your support for your brethren in Israel and the brave soldiers who are defending our homeland.

In a few posts we have recently seen, good people have innocently written about the "evil" that is out there in the world. Evil here is not a concept, but a specific set of people (and people who support those people - see videos of their own atrocities posted by these criminal monsters) who kidnap, rape, torture and murder innocent people. THAT is the evil. Hamas is the evil. And we must outline and articulate it in its full heinousness so that there can be no claims of moral equivalence or a "cycle of violence" or any such nonsense.

Therefore, when you are writing, you write with as much specificity as the context warrants.  Thank you in advance for your support of this morally justified war that is being waged by the Israel Defence Forces in response to the horrendous war-crimes perpetrated on the civilians of Israel. May Hashem keep our soldiers safe from harm.  

If you are on Instagram, check our "Letters Beneath the Iron Sky"

https://www.instagram.com/beneath.the.iron.sky

And contribute your own story to lettersfrombeneaththeironsky@gmail.com

 
6. Support.  Support the initiatives to have our precious hostages returned to us unharmed. It is my understanding that there will be a public campaign with relatives of those captured appealing to governments and likely the U.N. in order to put pressure on the terrorists to release their family members. OUR family members. Add your name to petitions, call or write to your political representatives and support other initiatives to assist in fulfillment of this goal.

7. Connect.  Reach out to friends, relatives and even strangers who reside in Israel to express your support. Reach out to those who have close family ties to Israel as well.  It means more than you will know. 

8. Speak.  Do not remain silent. What transpired is monstrous. It is vile and it is criminal.  Anyone defending the heinous terrorists or rationalizing their murderous slaughter of innocents, including babies and grandmothers, should receive a strong response. And if these are your "friends", I would humbly suggest you consider the quality of your friendship. Moreover, speak proactively.  Talk about this with your friends and relatives. Make them aware of the situation and mobilize them to "care" about Israel and their brethren - in whatever way is most meaningful to them. We are one people - no matter where we live.
 
כל ישראל עֲרֵבִים זה בזה
All of Israel (the Jewish people) are responsible one for the other.

Fri, 23 February 2024 14 Adar I 5784