What words can I share with you? What can I possibly say that you haven’t already heard, read, watched or said to yourself? Our emotions are in complete turmoil, ricocheting between grief, rage, fear, defiance and hope.
Pieces of our souls have been murdered. Fragments of our hearts have been kidnapped. We feel the pain of the wounded and weep with the mourners. When people ask us if we have relatives in Israel, we answer yes. We have seven million brothers and sisters. We walk around on the verge of tears.
What comfort can I give you when I can barely comfort myself? When I searched for something to offer for this Shabbat message, my first instinct was to simply write Am Yisrael Chai and leave the rest of the page blank. The people of Israel live. And we will continue to live no matter what they throw at us. Just like we have continued for 3,000 years.
Then I thought maybe I should just write Shma Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad. Because we truly are one. One people, one nation, one family.
But then I discovered these two intimate, personal videos made by friends of mine in Israel. Small human moments that we would never see anywhere else. Small Jewish actions that are taking place in thousands of garages, shopping malls, warehouses, homes and even on the streets.
And I was comforted. And inspired. And enlightened. As I hope you will be too. One loving act is worth a thousand words. And a helping hand is the most beautiful prayer of all.
The first video was taken by my close friend, Mark Kornblatt, an American Jewish filmmaker who moved to Israel five years ago with his wife and two adult children. His son, Jacob just finished his reserve training and has been recalled.
As you will see, the important thing is not to be afraid.
The second video was taken by my colleague and dear friend, Rabbi Daniel Bouskila, International Director of the Sephardic Educational Center in Jerusalem. His son, Ilan is with his infantry unit on the Gaza border. His daughter-in-law Kayla is with her search-and-rescue unit in northern Israel.
May we all be Shabbat angels and help and hold each other.