Israel | what can we do?

Wednesday, 11 October, 2023 - 4:38 pm

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

The news from Israel is ever more devastating as more gruesome unspeakable details begin to unfold. 

The pain is unbearable. It will become even more unbearable as the awareness of the enormity of the tragedy starts to be realized.

Scenes that have not been seen since the Holocaust awaken the global Jewish consciousness to the existence of antisemitism that we thought had been relegated to ‘Never Again’.

Many people are asking ‘what will be’? 

Upon the conclusion of the Yom Kippur war, Rabbi Yisroel M. Lau (who later became chief Rabbi of Israel) visited the Rebbe and said that people are asking “What is going to be?” The Rebbe answered, ‘One shouldn’t ask, ‘What will be?’ We should ask, ‘What are we going to do?’

In that vein, I would like to share a call to action. 

As this is not a time to be paralyzed with pain or fear. 

This is time for action.

There are various concentric levels of action needed.

The leadership, the army and the citizens of Israel.

And then there the many Jewish people like me (and most of those to whom my email is written), who live outside of Israel.

Each of us must be active in the appropriate way as needed.

May G-d bless the leadership of Israel in their excruciatingly difficult decisions so that they make the correct moral and holy choices for the betterment of our people and humanity. 

May G-d bless the heroic army of Israel to be successful, safe and victorious as they implement what needs to be done to bring peace to the region.

Blessings to the emergency response teams in Israel and to the burial teams. May G-d give them the inner fortitude and all other resources to carry out their critical angelic work.

And let us take a moment to recognize the ongoing crisis mode into which the civilian citizens of Israel have been thrust.  

Many have lost loved ones, sent their breadwinners to the front lines, and are related either by blood or friendship to someone taken hostage. 

To all of these are all circles of people, living in the holy land of Israel, who are all engaged in concrete action, each one at their level of responsibility, we say CHIZKU V’EIMTZU ‘be strong and courageous for Hashem is with you’

But what can we – those of us living outside of Israel - do now for Israel? 

Staying glued to our phones in solidarity to glean any piece of positive news possible is an understandable reaction. 

But staying updated is not enough. We must not let it usurp all our time and energy as we ought to direct our main efforts to our vital responsibility to engage and help.

(Be especially careful not to watch everything that is being posted. Watching clips that the enemy has produced is intended to sow panic, fear and paralyze us and fellow humans of the civilized world from taking concrete actions against the diabolical agents of evil terror. Experts are all warning strongly against contributing to the enemies’ efforts by watching their fearmongering inhumane videos).

Help we can. And must. In the ways available to us.

In physical ways 

Chabad of Thailand’s Rabbi Nechemya Wilhelm has been busy coordinating and facilitating the return of young travelers who have been called up to their army units.

There are multiple organizations that need funds for the soldiers, the emergency workers, and for the families that have their lives disrupted.

And we can help in spiritual ways, based on our holy traditions.

Firstly, we need to be strong in our faith and optimistic about the blessed outcome of this war.  

We are an eternal people. We will continue to exist and will continue to flourish, because we have Hashem on our side. We will continue to be connected to our Torah and our faith, and we will continue to be connected to each other! 

Our enemies want us to give up.

Every Jew who lives in Israel is a giant and a hero simply for living there.

Those of us who live outside of Israel (for the myriad legitimate personal reasons that exist), need to understand in our minds and feel in our hearts the Divine promise that Israel belong to Am Yisrael – to each and every one of us. 

G-d has created heaven and earth and chosen to give Israel to the people of Israel thousands of years ago.  

Our being positive is critical.

The books of Kabala point out that our positivity down here creates a Divine mirroring of positive energy from Heaven.

Secondly, we need to deploy our spiritual ‘weapons’. 

Torah teaches us (and history has repeatedly demonstrated to us) that the physical protection of each one of us — and, indeed, our very collective destiny! — is intrinsically connected to our spiritual activism.

When we pray or dedicate a good deed to our brothers and sisters in Israel, we create a spiritual defense shield for them that will help them through difficult and dangerous times.

In that vein, we have gathered below some of the directives that the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, shared with the Jewish people worldwide during times of crisis in Israel; positive action we can each take for Israel and its people.

The true essence of the Jewish people is in full view as around the world Jews come together in unity to pray, do mitzvahs, send Tzedakah and show solidarity with the Jews in Israel.

Beneath our superficial differences, we are all united. 

We are ONE people. 


May Hashem protect our soldiers who are putting their lives on the line to protect our people and our land.

May Hashem bless and protect our hostages wherever they are and may they swiftly be reunited with their families safe and sound.

May the wounded be healed completely and swiftly.

May all our brothers and sisters in our Holy Land be able to live together in safety, security and Shalom.

And may all Jews world over be able to live openly and proudly Jewish lives in safety and security.


Am Yisrael Chai!

We Want Mashiach Now!

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

P.S. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or just to chat.

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