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Help Israel Now

Help Israel Now

In difficult times, we can't continue as if nothing has happened.

by

These days, I have been wondering a lot about what it was like to be an American Jew during the Holocaust.

Was it possible for life to go on as if nothing happened?

Was it possible to read the headlines, groan, sigh, and throw up one's hands in disbelief -- and then flip to the sports page?

Today, Israel is in deep distress.

Is it possible for life to go on as if nothing has happened?

The Torah says: "Do not stand by while your fellow Jews blood is spilled."

But what can we do?

- Can we stop the suicide bombers?

 

- Can we restart the peace process?

- Can we bring back the dead?

- Can we wave our hands and make all the evils in the world disappear?

The answer, of course, is no, no, no and no. And while it's true that we may not be able to stop the suicide slaughterers or make evil disappear, we can still take action and live life differently. Here are 11 suggestions for how:

 

1) Pray for the recovery of wounded victims. Send an e-mail to Prayers-InjuredVAT@yahoogroups.com. They will send you regular updates with the names and status of people who have been injured in attacks.

2) Get involved. Sign up with honestreporting.com and raise your voice against media bias. Contact AIPAC (American Israel Public Action Committee), ZOA (Zionist Organization of America), or other groups to find out ways you can make a difference for the Jews of Israel.

3) Feel their pain. While you are lying in bed at night, imagine what it's like to be the sister, child or mother of someone who yesterday was full of life, and today is nothing but scattered bits of bone and flesh. It's a mitzvah to cry and feel another's pain.

4) Forget about March Madness. If you love the NCAA college basketball tournament, this year, ignore it. Instead, fill your mind with thoughts of your fellow Jews. Perhaps spend the hours normally reserved for watching big games reading a book about Jewish history, or Judaism. See a recommended reading list at http://www.aish.com/literacy/reference/recommended_books.asp

5) Get the facts. The situation in Israel and the Middle East is very complicated. The only way to really know what's going on and develop informed opinions is to get the facts. In addition to http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/middleeast/ , some great websites are aipac.org, us-israel.org and memri.org. Three excellent books are "Israel: A History" by Martin Gilbert, "Myths and Facts" by Mitchell G. Bard (http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html), and "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters.

6) Help families who have lost loved ones to terrorist killings. A Long Island couple who just couldn't go on as if nothing had happened started the Israel Emergency Solidarity Fund. Check out their website at walk4israel.com.

7) Pray for the Jewish people. All Jews are in this together. If you attend synagogue regularly, make sure to include the safety of Jews everywhere, particularly in Israel, in your prayers. If you don't attend regularly, set aside a few minutes a day and pray for the well being of your fellow Jews.

8) Attend one less movie or dinner a month. Once a month, instead of going out to dinner, to the theatre or to a movie, do something Jewish. Attend a class or lecture about Judaism, perhaps volunteer at a synagogue or some other Jewish organization. Just do something - anything -- to deepen your bond with the Jewish people.

9) Tap into the power of Psalms. There is a time-honored custom for Jews to gather and recite King David's' Psalms in times of distress. These are times of unimaginable distress. Once a week, say a few Psalms together with your family, or even gather some friends together to recite Psalms on behalf of Jews in Israel. English translations of Psalms are available at any Jewish bookstore, or at artscroll.com. Some appropriate Psalms for these times are numbers 83, 87, 121, 130, 137 and 142.

10) Go to Israel. I was at the shiva home of Malki Roth, a 15-year-old girl who was blasted to pieces with her best friend in the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem. Malki's father, Arnold, asked that I deliver a message to the Jews of America. "Tell them we love it here," he said. "Tell them that life in Israel is wonderful. Tell them to come, to visit, to join us. Tell them we love it here."

11) Invite a Jew to your Seder. At such difficult times, Jews need to reach out to one another. Passover is coming and this is a wonderful opportunity to think about a Jew who may be alone, in need of an invitation to join your Seder.

Whatever you choose to do, whether an idea from this list or an idea of your own -- whatever you do -- just don't continue living as if nothing has happened.

Published: March 16, 2002


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Visitor Comments: 20

(20) Noa Benperlas, September 21, 2003 12:00 AM

H-shem is King

Shalom, First I must address Anonymous's comment from 4/27/2002 titled "Get active" - she makes a strong point and I do like her powerful suggestions on how we really can make a difference in the lives of Israelis. I do, however, seriously disagree with the way she calls Rabbi Apisdorfs suggestions ridiculous. To pray to our Creator to help in ways that only He can is what all of us should be doing with any spare moment we have! I know it is hard, even for us who are religious, that much more for those who don’t believe in the power of prayer, we get caught within the caos of everyday survival ourselves and then we rationalize what does prayer really do. We might think I have to go out and DO something. But reading Psalms outloud and praying with our whole hearts IS doing something! When we study Torah and Jewish history we see the jewish people could never really get out of any of their pursecutions by actions alone. It was always thanks to prayer and fasting or purely H-shems great mercy and kindness that saved us. So when we sit and ponder, study, or become “more Jewish”, as Rabbi Apisdorf suggested, we begin to truely feel Israels pains as though their pains ARE our own because THEY ARE! And that is when we can shed tears while we are praying and beg H-shem to help Israel and help us help Israel. What I mean to say is both must be done side by side. Prayer and action. Bezrat H-shem this Rosh HaShana we will all be standing and declaring H-shem is King and on Yom Kippur I know I will be praying that H-shem forgive me and all of Israel with His grand mercy and kindness and that this next year will bring Mashiach.

I would like to leave my e-mail and hear from anyone who is serious about taking action to HELP ISRAEL NOW! Together we are always stronger. NOAZART72@hotmail.com

Peace for Israel and for the world along with a new year full of mitzvot, health and happiness for all of us

Bezrat H-shem. Shalom



(19) Jennifer Anaforian, August 7, 2002 12:00 AM

found bumper stickers

BumperTalk.com -- ISRAEL Section

(18) Dave Schwep`, April 12, 2002 12:00 AM

Support Israel stickers - ?

In addition to contacting our government officials encouraging and exhorting our support for Israel, we desire to be well learned and versed so that we can persuasively articule the truth in conversation that will inevidently come up regarding this present crisis.

Does anyone know where Bumper Stickers can be purchased that declare 'Support for Israel', or 'Americans for Israel', or even a simple Israeli flag sticker - - - - ?
Thanks!

(17) Anonymous, April 9, 2002 12:00 AM

What about doing Teshuva

There is new group being started at yahoo groups. The URL is
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/teshuva/

This group is designed to help Jews around the world make small improvements and get support and encouragement in the process. If we can elevate ourselves even a little perhaps we can arouse the compassion of the Ribono Shel Olam and Jewish Lives can be spared. Please join in now and help make a difference.

(16) Bob Hathaway, April 1, 2002 12:00 AM

Non-Jews support for Israel

Thank you for your great suggestions on how to show support for you. Your suggestions were addressed to Jews but I am sending these to all that I know who support Israel too. Believe me, you have tremendous support amoung non-Jews who serve the same G-d. I pray for you many times a day.

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