As we continue to reel from the horrific and heinous acts of terror in Israel, I would suggest a few things:
- As I said, keep your heads up and your spirits as high as you can. Remain hopeful. Israel can and will prevail. It won’t be without great pain, but with the strength of her military, the unwavering support of the United States, and the help of God, she will be victorious.
- For your own health and emotional well-being, try to limit the time you spend watching the news and following social media. I am not saying we should ignore the suffering of our people, but news and social media have become increasingly focused on evoking emotional responses and generating click-bait. In what seems like the blink of an eye, one can easily find that they’ve been glued to their phone or television for hours at a time, working themselves into states of panic or depression. This is unhelpful.
- To that end, I personally have avoided watching any of the video footage that has been posted on X (formerly Twitter), IG, Reddit, etc. I read legitimate news articles but avoid viewing videos of the awful cruelty, knowing that once seen, it can’t be unseen.
- Rather than following the situation on social media, I suggest these three credible sources of information (again, try to limit your news intake to once or twice per day).
- Avoid the “conversation” threads on social media with people who seek to justify these heinous acts citing “context” and “moral equivalencies” with Israeli “apartheid” and “genocide” against the Palestinians. If I’m being honest, in some ways I find this far more upsetting than the attacks themselves. There is NO moral equivalency between a defense force that does everything in its power to target enemy combatants and avoid civilian casualties, and a terrorist organization that deliberately targets civilians, murdering and kidnapping women, children, and the elderly, and then using their own civilians as human shields to try and escape retaliation. Don’t engage in those conversations, don’t read these disgusting posts or opinions, as you won’t change them and only upset yourself.
- Join your community tomorrow evening (Tuesday, October 10th) at 7:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Family JCC for a community vigil in support of Israel.
- Continue living your lives. Go to work, hug your loved ones, take time to unplug, relax, and enjoy whatever simple pleasures you can.
- And keep coming to synagogue. Keep bringing your children to Preschool and Torah School. Come to services. Now more than ever is a time to embrace community, and lean on each other for strength.
We will get through this. We will remain strong. We will remain Jews committed to each other, the State of Israel, Torah, and God.
If anyone feels they need to speak to me personally, I have broad shoulders and large ears. Many of you have already reached out and continue to do so. Understand that this is emotionally difficult for all of us, me included, and I will do my best to respond as quickly as I can.
With much love,
עם ישראל חי/Am Yisrael Chai/The People of Israel Live!!!