Rabbi David Arias, of Kehillat Moriah in Haifa, saying goodbye to his son as he heads off to war.
As the hours tick by, the fog is clearing and being replaced by shocking information that churns our insides. A NOAM graduate and some children and adults from our kehillot are among the many dozens of people taken captive to Gaza. Others are listed as missing. A number of kehillah members have lost loved ones – brothers, nephews, grandchildren – in villages that were overrun by Hamas for most of Shabbat. Many friends and family members of our kehillot have been fighting on the frontlines, and some have died on the battlefield.
Our kehillot in the south experienced a very dark Shabbat, especially in Sde Nitzan, just 5 miles from the border with Gaza. Despite this woeful time, our members displayed resilience and courage that we will speak about long into the future.
One after the other, pieces of bad news continue to amass, but the people of Israel are never alone. Since the outbreak of the hostilities, the spirit of volunteerism and expressions of solidarity within Israeli society have been inspiring, including in our own kehillot. The NOAM garin (army unit), who were on vacation, were called back to active service, as were kehillah members and their families. Despite the great confusion that befell us yesterday morning, Shabbat and Shmini Atzeret, a simple truth has become clear: the citizens of Israel are coming together en masse to aid in the war effort, in the rear as in the front.
The Masorti Movement has targeted four areas of action for the near future:
A community of kehillot – supporting kehillot, members, lay leaders and clergy.
NOAM – guiding, supporting and strengthening the resilience of our youth.
Strengthening the resilience of Israeli society and the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
Hasbarah and bringing information about the Israeli experience to Conservative Jews outside Israel.
We will be strong, both as a country and as the Masorti community. We will bury our dead, rehabilitate our wounded, take care of our souls and unite as one person with one heart to emerge from this crisis a stronger, united society. We are a strong nation that has accumulated many scars over thousands of year from countless blows. As catastrophic as this last blow may be, we will rebound, with the knowledge and skills gained from overcoming such calamities in the past.
ה’ עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה’ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת־עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם
May the LORD grant strength to His people;
May the LORD bestow on His people peace.
Click here to download the Prayer for Shmini Atzeret War, in English and Hebrew, written this morning by one of our kehillah members, reflecting the present war.
PS – Please consider partnering with us, especially at this time, by making a recurring monthly gift to help support the Masorti Movement’s efforts to keep Israel a Jewish state for all Jews.