The images we're witnessing from Israel are gut-wrenching and profoundly distressing. In this digital age, where everything is documented, we are confronted with the stark reality of what's unfolding. As I watch these harrowing videos, my thoughts inevitably turn to my own children and elderly grandmothers, as if they were in those very situations, may God protect us.
This isn't about "my family in Israel" or "my friends in Israel." I personally don't know anyone in those videos, yet I feel an inexplicable connection to each of them. Every Jew in Israel, every soul suffering there, is my family.
The brutal acts committed by Palestinian terrorists, invading homes and ruthlessly murdering the innocent, shake us to our core. The inhumanity displayed, including the unspeakable acts of violence and mutilation, are images we will never be able to forget.
When the terrorists invade communities, and commit savage murders of innocent men, women, and children in their homes and public spaces, going from house to house, forcibly removing people, killing children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children, raping women in the presence of their friends and families, then mercilessly mutilating the deceased, kidnapping elderly and young alike, while live-streaming this all on social media, it serves as a stark and haunting reminder of the evil that exists. There can be no room for hesitation. There is no question about what is going on.
This is a horrific pogrom and massacre of Jews on a scale not seen since the Holocaust. Its death toll is equivalent to ten 9/11s in Israel.
I express my gratitude to our Governor Kristi Noem, for her resolute statement of support of Israel and her well wishes, to the members of our delegation Senator John Thune, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds and Rep. Dusty Johnson for issuing resolute statements of support for Israel, to our Mayor Paul TenHaken, and Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum, for their strong words of encouragement and support.
The Jewish people have endured centuries of persecution, from Pharaoh in Egypt, to the Nazis in Germany. But through it all, we have prevailed. Our enemies are no more than footnotes in the ash heap of history. Today too, despite the immeasurable pain, the Jewish people will be strong. In this critical moment, standing in their ancestral God given homeland, with the help of Almighty God, the Jewish people will once again be victorious. Am Yisrael Chai.
We can offer prayers for our brethren in Israel, perform extra mitzvahs in their merit, and generously contribute to charity.
May the Divine Healer bring healing to the wounded, ensure the safe return of hostages, and protect the brave men and women of the IDF. As it's written, "The Guardian of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers..." and "and I shall grant peace upon the Land..."
Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz Blog
Serving the spiritual needs of the South Dakota Jewish community. Based in Sioux Falls and travels the state.