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Standing with Israel Today

Standing with Israel Today

How to help Israel at such a dark time.


We’ve been down this road before. For every exciting world event, there is always a uniquely “Jewish” impact.

The euphoria of the “Arab Spring” of 2011 is no exception. While the world watched and cheered as people rose up against dictators in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and other countries, newly-emboldened activists started cutting Egypt’s gas lines to Israel, cutting off energy supplies to the Jewish state.

Then on August 18, 2011, the terror escalated. Over a dozen terrorists, originally from Gaza, some wearing Egyptian army uniforms, walked past an Egyptian police checkpoint, entered Israel from Egypt and started murdering Israelis. (It seems their goal was to kidnap, echoing the 2006 kidnapping of 18-year-old Israeli Gilad Shalit, who is still in captivity.) Seven Israelis died in the attack.

Egypt and Gaza have exploded in anger at Israel. The proximate causes are the actions that Israel has taken to defend its citizens. (In the ensuing fight on the Egyptian border, three Egyptian police officers were killed, and in Israel’s subsequent bombing of terrorist sites in Gaza, according to Hamas, 10 terrorists and two innocent bystanders died.)

But the outpouring of fury speaks to a deeper, long-seated hatred of the Jewish state. (Egypt is, after all, the country where the smash hit “I Hate Israel” by Egyptian crooner Shaaban Abdel Rahim has been a favorite song for the past decade.) In Egypt, people have flocked to the center of Cairo to burn Israeli flags and shout for “death to Israel.” The Cabinet Committee that governs Egypt right now announced its intent to withdraw Egypt’s ambassador from Israel. And Egyptian presidential candidates are vying to outdo each other in condemning the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, Hamas has unleashed a barrage of attacks on Israeli cities from Gaza. Over 80 rockets from Gaza landed in Israel in the day after the attack on the Egyptian border. An Israeli toddler, a 9-year-old boy and others were injured when their house in the town of Ofakim was hit. Boys studying at a yeshiva in Ashdod were wounded when their school was hit. And 38-year-old Yossi Shoshan was killed in Be’er Sheva as he raced home to check on his pregnant wife, while that major Israeli city was deluged with rockets.

How to Help

This is such a dark time for Israel and its supporters. How shall we stand with Israel now? What can we do?

Here are seven ideas to connect with Israel today, both practically and spiritually. Try to focus on one suggestion each day, for a week of connection with the Jewish state.

  1. Perform a mitzvah

    There is a strong mystical belief in Judaism that we can elevate our state of national protection by performing Jewish commandments. Resolve to take on one additional mitzvah today. You might want to experiment with keeping kosher, or light Shabbat candles.

  1. Study some Torah

    Jews traditionally undertake to learn a portion of Torah in order to strengthen our connection. Make a decision today to read one extra Jewish-themed work this week, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel, and in memory of those who have died in terror attacks.

  1. Stay informed

    Many news outlets try to compete by reporting news in sensationalist ways, which can make it hard to figure out what is really going on. Keep informed by including some Israeli news sources in your reading. ( Also, keep an eye out for unbalanced or distorted coverage through sites such as .

  1. Find a connection to Israel within yourself

    Israel is such a diverse, exciting place, there is a way for everyone to connect. If you are an art aficionado, check out Israeli museums on the internet. For sports, start cheering for an Israeli team. With social networking sites, making connections with people in Israel is as easy as a mouse click, and can lead to rewarding, long-lasting friendships as well as a feeling of kinship with the Jewish state.

  1. E-mail your political representative

    Get to know the name and e-mail address of the politicians who represent you in your local and national politics. Contact them to tell you how you feel. If Israel is important to them, let them know. You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of pending legislation; just let your representative know that you care about the Jewish state.

  1. Say a prayer

    Jews have always turned to prayer in times of danger. You can recite prayers in your own words, or experiment with more formal prayers. (Many people recite Psalms in difficult times; Psalm 119 is one that many people recite specifically in times of risk.) Alternately, you can write your own prayer and have it placed in the Western Wall, the remnant of our ancient Temple in Jerusalem. It can be exciting to know that your own prayer is in such a sacred place.

  1. Give of yourself

    Donate your time to a Jewish cause. Contribute your efforts to help the Jewish community. Pledge tzedakah to a Jewish or Israeli charity to help make the world a better place. In Judaism, giving of ourselves to improve our community and our world is one of the most profound ways to connect. Particularly when we are worried about Israel, worried about our fellow Jews, this is a powerful way to introduce some light into the darkness of current events.

August 21, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 18

(15) rahul mehta, January 10, 2012 1:22 PM

We support israel

We in india have been going through similar terrorism acts like Israel and fully support your stand. We need to stop these terrorists from further hurting our people in any way possible. They are worse than animals. laughing and dancing when innocent women and children, this is disgusting.

(14) John McMahon, August 23, 2011 2:56 PM

Christians support Israel.

As a Christian, I know that we have a deep respect for The Holy Land and pray that God will protect Israel from all serious harm. This is mentioned in the bible many times. Jerusalem is His precious and eternal city and hell will never prevail against it. I pray that the messiah will come soon and free, not only Israel, but the world from the Islamic terror and evil which appears to be accelerating.

(13) Vadim, August 23, 2011 7:38 AM

One more way to help

You left out one more way to help - choose to buy Israel's products. Your money will help keep another person working and earning in Israel.

(12) Ruthie, August 22, 2011 6:22 AM

make aliyah

Wheneve a Jewish life is snuffed out by a terrorist act the only answer is to infuse our homeland with another one, ten, hundred, thousand Jewish lives. The fight against terror is a physical one. Although we are a fraction of the world's population, we are the majority of Israel's population. Let's all work harder to keep it that way. Connect to Israel by connecting to Israel. Literally. Come Home. We need you. All of you.

(11) Anonymous, August 22, 2011 4:14 AM

Jewish Unity--The Magical Connection

Well there is no magical connection because G-d is not a magician. But if one has ever had to depend on G-d and G-d alone for their help, one would learn pretty quickly how a prayer can keep one safe from harm. Reading and reciting Psalms, praying, giving charity and performing any type of mitzvah does make a difference in not just the spiritual but the physical realm. Just because one cannot see the help G-d sends with their natural eyes, does not mean that help was not sent by G-d at your request. Sometimes you just don't always recognize right away the help that was sent. But the more you look for the movement of G-d, the more you can become accustomed to seeing the unseen miracles of G-d, the protection provided to the Jewish people. Maybe when you ask yourself what help is some of the things mentioned in this article, you might want to keep in mind G-d's interpretation of who the Jewish people are versus some of the various other interpretations out there. I certainly have more confidence in G-d helping Israel right now than any of the policitians now in office. Of course, to me, what is the point in being Jewish if you don't want the G-d of the Jews or to believe in how G-d said things work in this world and just how G-d manages the running of this world? What is the point of being Jewish if you don't want to pray and believe in the Shema? Doesn't it say to pray for the peace of Jerusalem? So I would think Jews would want to at least come together in unity to at least do that much. If Jews cannot even come together to pray in unity for that, then maybe that is one reason why so many Jews cannot see the unseen movements of G-d and are searching for answers to their problems elsewhere.

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