Please Check Back for Weekly Updates:
November 9: Standing Proudly for Israel
November 3: Raising Our Voices for Israel
October 27: Coming Together for Israel
October 19: Ways to Help Israel Now
October 12: Supporting Israel: What We Can Do Now
October 10, 2023: Ways to Help During This Difficult Time
These are very scary and difficult times. Many people in Israel have been describing being in the middle of tefillah on Simchat Torah when the sirens went off. Many communities, congregations, and families have sent off numerous beloved members and loved ones to report for duty, while the rest hurried into bomb shelters.
Israel is at war, and with that comes terrible pain and loss, which will continue to unfold. May G-d protect all of Tzahal, and all of Am Yisrael, in Israel and around the world. May we all pray for the safe return of all of the hostages and all of the chayalim.
It is difficult to wrap our heads around what is happening. But we try. We try to understand, and we try our best to do what we can to help. With this in mind, here are some ideas that we can suggest as a start:
Join: Jofa is partnering with Shalshelet Shivyoni – a new intercollegiate community dedicated to a diverse, vibrant, authentic, and inclusive Jewish future – for a Siyyum Mishnayot, a completion of learning all six tractates of the Mishna, in memory of the fallen of the brutal October 7 terrorist attacks, and in commemoration of the shloshim of this terrible day.
To participate, see our Siyyum Mishnayot post, to select a tractate to learn individually or with others, and/or register for the online siyyum, which will take place on Thursday, November 9, at 7:30 PM EST. We hope that you will join us in this meaningful effort to honor and remember the fallen. Please register in advance for the link to join the online siyyum.
Pray: Recite the Prayer for the State of Israel, Prayer for the IDF, Prayer for the Safe Return of Hostages. Say your own personal prayers; insert your own prayers during tefillah. Take a moment to thank G-d for protecting and watching over us. Now more than ever, tefillah is a place to turn, to pour out our hearts, to seek comfort. Include in your tefillot the names of the soldiers that you know.
Study/Recite Tehillim: Many people find it comforting to learn and/or recite Tehillim, whether as part of a community gathering, or on your own, or in one of the many Tehillim circles, groups, and chats that have formed worldwide as sources of spiritual support.
Sign a Shtar Bitachon: A “security document” is signed by a married man, stating that if, G-d forbid, he is missing or incapacitated, he assigns emissaries to give a get to his wife. See our post about this here.
Give: It is incredibly meaningful and touching to see and hear about the entire population of Israel helping each other. Most people who are not fighting in the IDF are helping chayalim by providing much needed food, clothing, and supplies. Because everyone quickly picked up and left their homes, there are substantive needs for funds for these fundamental things. You can support this effort by giving to any of the numerous organizations supporting both general and specific needs, including your local Jewish Federation, as well as the following — to name just a few:
Learn: Dedicate individual or group Torah learning to the safety of all Israelis, and the memory of those we have already lost.
Reach Out: If you know families in Israel, or people with loved ones who are serving, reach out to them; they will really appreciate hearing from you. People often wonder what to say, but it’s really about reaching out. Tell them simply that you’re thinking about them and praying for everyone’s safety. It can make such a difference to show someone that they have support in a situation that can feel so intense and painful.
We will add to these resources, and post to our social media and website as we learn more. Be strong and safe.
Thursday, October 12, Update:
Please register at yctorah.org/emergency to join Jofa, together with Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and a growing list of partners, this Sunday, 10/15, via Zoom, for “Prayer. Unity. Action. Bringing Our Communities Together.”
View our update, Supporting Israel: What We Can Do Now, at https://conta.cc/3rPzSyQ, for suggestions of ways to show support and solidarity, along with women’s perspectives and words of Torah and chizuk, as we help each other through this painful time.
May we hear besorot tovot.