June 24, 2024
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The Fight of Our Lives, Am Echad, Lev Echad

No matter our age or moment in life, from children to seniors and everywhere in between, we are one people today, our hearts beating in sync with one another. The Hamas attacks that began on Simchat Torah morning have touched every Jew deeply in our souls. In our vast community networks, nearly every single person is walking around with a grave sense of personal loss and fear. While we might be processing all this in different ways, we are united by the love in our hearts for Israel, for the land and the people, many of whom are our own relatives and friends. We are united in grief and pain, but are also united in resolve that the fight to come is both just and essential.

While the horrors are as terrible as other wars, never again is now. The Jews are not defenseless. We are one people and we know what has to be done.

The Jewish people are allied with other peoples and nations who believe in living life b’simcha. We have been heartened by outreach from communities, governments and individuals around the world who see our tragedy as their own, who find that looking in the face of this enemy is looking at pure evil. People of faith believe in a world that grows only with our acts of chesed and charity, not with murder and horror. We did not start this fight in Gaza, but we now know what has to be done.

In addition to knowing what our fight is and why, we also know how to support those going into battle. Many of our loved ones have gone off to war without packing or knowing when they will come home. We all intrinsically know that something we can do is to shop and send supplies. We also are all looking for worthy charities to send our contributions. We also know we can daven, rally for Israel and speak with our elected representatives. In these pages, our goal is to uplift and to provide context, to share insights and to help our entire people share the burdens that we are all carrying.

We have dedicated our cover page and the first 55+ pages of our paper this week to letters, news, analysis and reflections from Israel at war. We feel intrinsically that this was the right call and what our readers want right now. On our many platforms on social media as well this week, we have worked to share stories and vignettes of use to our communities, to help bring together our vast networks of chesed to work together. We will continue to do so, and we invite our print readers to join us online on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. It is our goal to bring goodness and kindness online and to fill these spaces with the amazing stories and accomplishments of our brothers and sisters, here and in Israel. And to let you know, as well, how to join them.

We are one people with one heart. We daven that Hashem hears our prayers for victory and redemption, speedily in our days. Am Yisrael Chai.

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