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Fighting for Our People
Mom with a View

Fighting for Our People

There are many ways to stand up for the Jewish people.


It's complicated being a Jew in the Diaspora -- to care deeply and yet not be on the front lines. To care deeply yet continue to go about our daily existence -- tending to our families, doing chores and errands, worrying about my broken refrigerator (so trivial in light of the big picture) and even sometimes going out with friends.

It's complicated for me. It's complicated for my community. It's complicated for all Jews who care. And it's particularly complicated for my son who finished his IDF tour of duty in July and is now living back home in Los Angeles. His thoughts have been pouring out.

"Soldiers dying, wounded. Many people are praying for these brave Jews who are prepared to give up their lives for the land of Israel and the Jewish people. What many people don't know are the names of these soldiers. I do. They are my friends. I served alongside them for a year and a half. Just as they fought bravely back them, so too now. When this war broke out, many people here commented that I must be glad that I finished when I did. This is not true. I would give so much to be back with my friends, fighting with them, doing what I can to protect them while they do what they can to protect me. I love them and it's killing me to sit here at home and watch them do MY job. I dread calling and getting the daily update on which of our buddies has been injured. The list never ends.

"What am I doing, living my comfortable life in California, while my friends' lives are on the line?"

"I am proud of them and ashamed of myself. What am I doing, living my comfortable life in California, working in real estate and hanging out with friends while they are getting shot, while their lives are on the line? But what should I do? Should I go back? The question whirls around my head. I haven't been called back. I'm not in shape any more. I'm not sure what role there is for me. I have lots of answers (rationalizations?), but the truth is I'm scared -- I don't want to leave my family and my life here and I also know that nothing would ever be the same. I did my time and that time is over. And somehow I need to make peace with that. I can't go running back every time there is a war. Or can I? It's complicated..."

The answers are not easy, the solutions are not obvious. So we, your brothers and sisters outside the land of Israel, do what we can. We send money, we send packages, we lobby the government and we try to impact the media. We pray. And we try to find a meaningful way to live our lives. We try to make a difference.

There are many ways to work for the Jewish people. There are many ways to fight for the Jewish people. We each have to find our unique task. We can't all be on the frontlines with guns (I for one am way too old, among other disqualifications!) But we can all put ourselves on the line for our nation. We can all live lives that matter.

And if we do, if we are really committed to helping our people -- in whatever form that takes -- surely the Almighty will hear our cries. He will know we care, and, please God, He will answer our prayers.

January 10, 2009

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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) nishant verma, March 25, 2014 6:28 PM

all of israel for all of jews

i do pray that God would guide you in the decision to move to israel which is the God given land for His chosen people, the other people can claim this as their rightful land, it is the JEWISH HOMELAND FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE...i pray for a jewish population explosion which i feel is needed. God's perfect will be done in your life. peace be upon jerusalem of God.

(3) Tobi Fein, January 13, 2009 7:52 PM

To a brave soldier

Dear Mrs. Braverman, my name is Tobi Fein (mully Fein's mom) we spent many shabbosim with your son Shia in our home both in N.Y. and in Yerushalaim, and we wanted to tell him how proud we are that he served in the army. We can only imagine the torn feelings that you have. We wish you well always...

(2) Anonymous, January 12, 2009 10:19 PM

Thought-Provoking and Inspring

Your words (and your son's words) ring so true. It reminds me that we too need to do our fighting and struggling and make sacrifices, without being forced to do so, as our soldiers are. And, it is also true, that there are many ways to work and fight for the Jewish people and we each need to make sure that we find our way to do that.

(1) Anonymous, January 12, 2009 1:41 PM

I know what you andevery other Jew can do

Move back home. Don't think that it's easy- it's very hard. But the Diaspora is not for Jews. Israel is for the Jews. I moved away from many comforts to be here. I have sons in the IDF for 3 years. I have to find new favorites, because my old ones are not here. Enough already. Israel needs to be populated with every Jew. And it's great that you pray, donate, and pray some more. It's wonderful that you raised a son who felt that serving was a duty and a priveledge. But you could be leading the community to move to Israel as a community- others have done this... Really. With all due respect for kiruv, and dedication to all Jews - the Aish way- It really is time to come home. Lead and they will follow.

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