While the response to our proposed mission was positive, unfortunately, due to a number of factors, the mission sadly did not come together in the end. I sincerely hope our community will find the ability to successfully organize a large mission of support and solidarity to Israel in the future.
While we may not be able to show support for Israel by traveling there right now, there remain many things for us to do, even from afar. We cannot be apathetic or indifferent to the plight of our brothers and sisters at this time. In addition to remaining informed about what is happening in Israel, sharing email and posting to social media, I encourage you to dedicate time each day to take additional meaningful action on behalf of Israel. Here are some things we can do:
1. Pray Like You Mean It– In addition to adding the consistent recitation of Tehillim, we can all make an effort to improve our prayers. Consider attending minyan more regularly, making a greater effort to come on time, pledging not to talk at all during davening, trying to truly concentrate on each of the berachos of the amidah, and speaking to Hashem in your own words. Don’t underestimate the power of sincere prayer, a power our Rabbis at least partially attribute past redemption of our people to.
I strongly encourage you to visit www.shmiraproject.com and sign up to spiritually adopt a specific soldier to daven on behalf of and keep in your thoughts.
For a list of injured soldiers in the IDF in need of our prayers, please see page 5.
2. Give Generously Now – We have all been bombarded with emails requesting funds for various needs of the IDF and it is hard to know where to direct our giving. I highly suggest that you consider the following organizations and efforts, whom I know personally and trust implicitly:
Yashar L’Chayal – Thanks in part to Glen Golish’s introduction and his great efforts on behalf of IDF soldiers, our community is blessed to have a close relationship with Yashar L’Chayal and its director, Leon Blankrot. Based on direct experience, I have great confidence in their ability to identify and fill the needs of the IDF in real time with no overhead. I highly recommend contributing generously by visiting www.yasharlachayal.org/immediately.
Friends of the IDF – The FIDF Palm Beach Region, to which BRS belongs, has adopted the Golani Brigade as our Adopt-A-Brigade Program. Their restricted emergency campaign supports the FIDF dignity program with food & clothing vouchers as well as FIDF spirit weeks for the brave soldiers of the Golani brigade to recover emotionally and physically after incredibly stressful service. 100% of the funds donated to the emergency campaign goes directly to the soldiers. www.fidf.org
Nefesh B’Nefesh – Under the leadership of our beloved Rabbi Fass and Tony Gelbart, Nefesh B’Nefesh in coordination with FIDF provides the only official Lone Soldier Program recognized by the IDF. http://www.nbn.org.il/support
One Israel Fund – In coordination with Security Chiefs and the IDF, the One Israel Fund brings basic life saving kits and security equipment to border communities who are vulnerable to tunnel infiltrations and rocket attacks. www.oneisraelfund.org/donations
If you prefer to contribute to our local Israel emergency campaign for us to distribute as a collective community, please contribute to the BRS Israel Emergency Fund or through our South Palm Beach Jewish Federation at www.bocafed.org
I want to express tremendous gratitude to those who have enabled us to donate 6 generators to the IDF as well as enabled us to help the father of a severely injured lone soldier travel immediately to be with his son. Thank you!
3. Use Your Voice –
Our Representative Ted Deutch and Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen have introduced House Resolution 107 denouncing Hamas’ criminal use of civilians as human shields. Please contact them and thank them for their leadership and support of Israel – Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (202) 225-3931, www.ros-lehtinen.house.gov; Rep. Ted Deutch 202-225-3001 www.teddeutch.house.gov
Additionally, it has come to my attention that members of Congress are being contacted by anti-Israel voices at a much higher rate than by those who support Israel. Please contact as many members of the House and Senate as possible to thank those who support Israel and encourage those who haven’t. Please visit www.AIPAC.org to contact elected officials. It literally takes a moment but can make a big difference. Don’t underestimate the power of your voice. For example, AIPAC’s lobbying efforts are largely responsible for the incredibly generous funding Congress and the Administration approved for the Iron Dome that has saved countless lives each day of this war.
As Israeli government officials as well as AIPAC made clear, the FAA ban on flights to Ben Gurion handed Hamas terrorists a victory and served to isolate Israel from the world causing great loss and damage. I suggest calling the FAA (1-866-TELL-FAA) or email them (www.faa.gov/contact) to register your dissatisfaction with their decision.
May Hashem protect our precious soldiers and enable them to succeed in their critical missions. May He protect our brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world. May we merit seeing these days of mourning and sadness culminating in Tisha B’av, transformed into a time of redemption and joy.