How We Are Supporting Israel in Her Time of Need
We write to you to update you on what we at Temple Beth Shalom of the West Valley are doing in response to the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel.
All of us are praying for Israel, her people, and for the safety and security of everyone who calls Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel, their home. We pray for the safe return of the hostages, the safety of the Israel Defense Forces, the healing of those wounded in body and soul, and the comfort of those grieving loved ones.
This barbaric, inhumane attack by Hamas on innocent Israeli civilians is the deadliest single day for Jews since the Holocaust with over 1,000 dead already. It is also the largest attack on Israeli soil since the Yom Kippur War. Israelis and tourists of all ages and backgrounds were shot, tortured, kidnapped, and slaughtered for no rational reason other than to murder Jews.
The tragic mass murder reminds one of the Einsatzgruppen Nazi mobile killing units that shot large numbers of defenseless Jews during the Holocaust. Bodies were strewn on the streets of Sderot, a town near the Gaza border. In one particularly unbelievably sad incident, 268 young people were shot dead at the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Be’eri. More recently, it was revealed that 40 babies and small children were murdered on one Kibbutz. Unbelievably, some of the babies were beheaded.
And yet as religious Jews, we aspire to hope for a better future. We stand in solidarity with the people of the only Jewish state in the world. As the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) have expressed, “Once again, on a holy day of the Jewish calendar, the people of Israel have come under attack. Once again, the brave military forces of the State of Israel are responding and will defend our beloved Jewish state. And once again the Jewish communities of North America stand in total and complete solidarity with our Israeli brethren.”
Specifically, this is what we are planning to do to express our solidarity with the state of Israel in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy:
1. We are going to pray for the welfare of the State of Israel and all the people of the Jewish homeland at Friday night services this week and subsequently for as long as necessary.
2. We will have an Interfaith Service in Solidarity with Israel on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in the Temple Sanctuary to pray for the victims of the terror attacks and for a swift and secure return to security for all of the residents of the State of Israel.
3. I (Rabbi) am available to meet with anyone who would like to talk to me about their feelings concerning the tragedy in Israel.
4. We can also organize small groups to share our feelings about what has happened and what may yet happen. Let Helene or Charlotte know if you are interested.
5. For those who would like to donate to help the people of Israel, our Temple office will be collecting contributions and sending them to Israeli charities that will help those in need, such as the JFNA 2023 Israel Emergency Fund, Friends of the IDF Emergency Campaign, Magen David Adom and other worthy charities to benefit the State of Israel. Of course, you may also choose to donate to any charity of your choice on your own.
6. The course “Crisis in Israel” is currently running on Monday mornings at 10 am and you can still sign up for it and attend the last 2 sessions.
The Jewish tradition teaches that there is always hope. Therefore, we urge all to resist succumbing to despair. As religious Jews, we believe that a better future is possible, even if we do not yet see the path. As Psalm 30 states, “You turned my lament into dancing, you undid my sackcloth and girded me with joy.”
Steve Bold, President
Dana Evan Kaplan, Rabbi
Prayer for the State of Israel
Avinu she-bah-sha-mayim, our God in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of the people of Israel; Bless the State of Israel, the dawn of our redemption. Shield it with Your love; spread over it the shelter of Your peace. Guide its leaders and advisors with Your light and Your truth. Help them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our Holy Land. Deliver them; crown their efforts with triumph. Bless the land with peace, and its inhabitants with lasting joy.
Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces
May the One who brought blessings to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to our mothers Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, bless the soldiers of Israel’s Defense Forces, and all who stand guard in order to protect the Land of Israel. Give them strength against our enemies and strengthen their spirit to preserve their highest moral values at this time of trial. Protect them from all troubles and afflictions, so that they will return in peace and joy to their families and friends and may they prosper as human beings and citizens of their land.