In the midst of our own trauma, grief and anguish, we do not lose sight of Judaism’s supreme values of chesed and rachamim, loving kindness and mercy.
We protest and pray for the release of all the hostages and for their safe return to their longing and desperate families. We pray for a minimum of casualties in the IDF, and among all civilians, in Israel’s war against the terrorist organisation Hamas. We pray for strength for everyone, across the whole of Israel’s society and the Jewish world, giving shelter and support to the tens of thousands evacuated from their homes and to everyone traumatised and grief-stricken by Hamas’ barbaric attack.
Our God is the God of all life. We pray, too, for the safety of all the many, many thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians caught up in this horror, who desperately need food, water and medical aid. Their plight is unimaginable. They desperately need a safe escape route from the fighting. We ask and pray for a humanitarian corridor to be established, maintained and safely supervised. We pray for a better future of life, hope and freedom for them too.
Our prayers are with the remarkable people who devote themselves to saving lives, wherever they are. We pray for everyone who, despite the fear and hostility, recognises the image of God in all the victims of this terrible conflict and who works for healing on all sides.
Even as continued fighting seems inevitable, we pray that a better way will swiftly be found than war with all its unspeakable horrors, so that Israel and its neighbours can live together in safety and peace, with life and hope for everyone.
Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg
Register for our ‘Chesed (kindness) in Turbulent Times’ event this Wednesday 25th October 7pm on Zoom. Via the registration link here.
As you can imagine, the medical services in Israel have been extremely stretched with so many critically injured. Magen David Adom has launched a fundraising appeal so they can continue to deliver urgent medical care.
Listen to New London Synagogue member, Noam Sagi, on BBC R4 This Morning here, starting at 2:40:11. Noam’s mother, Ada, was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Noam speaks with incredible hope and compassion. It’s a powerful piece, especially for those of us who need to feel the light in the darkness. As Rabbi Jeremy Gordon says: “Noam is extraordinary. He gets it from his mother.”
Below are the links to a number of charities supporting Israel at this time:
The Times of Israel has published this article listing ways you can provide support.
The JLC has a dedicated community resource portal online with links to information, events, fundraising and important resources to support you during this difficult period. The portal is updated daily and The JLC is working closely with their membership as well as other community organisations to ensure they can share information clearly and accurately. Please visit the portal for more information www.thejlc.org/israel
Click here for information on helping navigate issues in the workplace issues arising from the current situation in Israel.
Click here for a video on parenting in times of crisis.
Click here to register for a Jewish learning event about our foremother Rachel – we will be collecting. money for Magen David Adom for this event.
Click here to read Rabbi Jonathan in The Times.
Click here to listen to Rabbi Jonathan on BBC’s Pause for Thought.