July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Please Hashem, Not Again

I knew nothing until I arrived in shul on Yom Kippur 1973 to hear the ladies “buzzing” about something. No it can’t be, I thought to myself.

Here we are in 2023 and, again, the unthinkable. Until just a few minutes ago I had no idea of the numbers, the devastation, the total animalistic acts—kidnapping children, families. We always knew that these people were inhuman, with their goal to annihilate every person in the State of Israel, but did we dream that they were so ready to actually put words into action?

So now what? We all know about the myriad Tehillim groups that have been formed; the special tefilot which we are encouraged to say; the overwhelming number of organizations that are collecting money, goods and whatever can be thought of to show support to our Israeli brothers and sisters and, in particular, the chayalim. Support groups have popped up, caring for local residents whose Israeli husbands, sisters, sons or daughters have gone back to fight. I was particularly impressed with a physician I visited who told me that he was a dual citizen and was trying to figure out how to join other doctors leaving their practices and positions here to support the tremendous need in the hospitals in Israel. In his case it would mean canceling 23 surgeries which he had scheduled in the next two weeks. How long would it take to possibly reschedule, and is that at all fair to his patients who have been waiting for who knows how long to have their procedures done?

Everyone feels torn in some way. Parties and smachot scheduled for the next little while are taking on a new twist, keeping in mind what our brothers and sisters in Israel are living through while we find time to celebrate. I just saw a video of a couple marrying in Israel on the street with their immediate family and a rav. No one was dressed in wedding finery; the only voices of simcha were a few people passing on the street. I am sure that many of you saw the video of a chayal watching his new son’s brit from where he was stationed, with his chayal family standing around him answering “amen” to the brachot. Watching on a small phone screen as the baby received his name and the father recited “Lehachniso l’briso shel Avraham Avinu,” and all of his fellow soldiers danced around him. Let us hope that this new little future chayal will be reunited with his father quickly.

Flights are canceled; people who were there for the chagim are having difficulty finding a way to get home; some have canceled future trips and others have even gone so far as to bring their children spending their gap year in Israel back home.

Big news for everyone! Israel is not going anywhere. For those who are regretting their children’s choices in making aliyah, their desires to go to seminaries or yeshivot, be proud. Of course we as parents worry, but who would have thought that in the U.S. there would be terrorists entering shuls and killing people?

This will pass. It may take a very long time, but Eretz Yisrael is our home. It is the only place that we have to run to. Continue to plan trips, send your children to learn, volunteer in Israel and spend money there. They will need a tremendous amount of support in every way. Perhaps for many the greatest support that will be needed is psychological support. Many are living through trauma of unfathomable proportions. Call your friends living in Israel each day, buy Israeli products, and even more necessary is to contact your senators and congressmen and tell them to get off their high horses and support Israel no matter what. Senator Cory Booker experienced it firsthand. As I heard him say, he had never experienced such fright on the faces of people (Americans and Israelis) squished together in their hotel’s stairwell. Somehow, he managed to find a quick flight out.

Continue with plans to make aliyah, and maybe at this time some of the prime real estate that you thought you never could afford will drop in price. Grab it. (Am I naive?)

If you own blue and white flags, proudly display them in front of your homes, attach them to your cars, and instead of greeting your neighbors with a hi or good morning, how about starting off the day with the intent of greeting everyone with an “Am Yisroel Chai?”


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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