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I was at Beit Knesset Shir Chadash in Jerusalem for Simchat Torah, when the first sirens went off last Saturday morning. We went to the bomb shelter as a congregation and sang 'Yehi Shalom.' Simchat Torah wasn't a holiday anymore. It was now a moment. A moment of this kind of emotional dancing for our people. We sang, we danced and drank a bit of whiskey. Whiskey can help when rockets are being shot at you. That's something I learned.
Since then, I have witnessed the greatest show of national unity I've ever seen. A nation unified. That's how we respond to terror. We don't give in. We help. We say we want to volunteer and hope we don't have to. And then we look at our phones and worry.
The hurt won't go away. It will be there. Even so, there are little bits of laughter found in the tears. With that said... Here are a some of the many ways I have seen Jews in Israel and around the world the past week, as well as myself, to the heinousness. This is what you do.
Put an Israeli Flag on Your Profile Page
This is patriotism. It also gets you likes, which is more important.
Best is adding a flag to your previous profile picture, so people think you took that photo of Niagra Falls in Israel.
Worrying is very important.
Worry About Any Noise
All noise scares me now. Somebody turned on the washing machine last night. They should've warned us.
We heard the garbage truck the other day in the Modiin area and ran to the bomb shelter. Before this past week, I never realized how much noise dumpsters make. Maybe they should wait till things calm down to collect trash.
The neighbor's kid wanted gummies, and their parent told them it's not healthy. That led to a tantrum, which led to us running to the bomb shelter. The parents were right. Gummies are not healthy. The gummy almost caused a heart attack in our house.
Pray A Lot
A lot of Tehillim. What the Shir Hamalot stuff means, we still don't know. It's Hebrew. But we say it.
Charedi neighborhoods are having full nights of Tefillah and repentance. You can do that or say a chapter of Tehillim. I do the chapter of Tehillim. It's about time management.
Look at Your Phone
Watch any video. All videos work. This will help you worry more.
Your phone should be checked all day, just in case you had a moment where you thought people were good.
Share Videos of Love For Israel
Videos that will cause you to lose your American job in two weeks. It will take around two weeks for people to say they hate Jews again.
If You Have a Business - Make Sure People Know You Care
To Quote HaMosach Shel Tzachi: 'At Tzachi's Garage we here wis you during dese hard time. You all be safe. Come for oil change and we be sure to get your car taken care of right way. Only 500nis.'
Tzachi doesn't use spellcheck.
The people of our Homeland are kind, and it shines during these hard times. I have not seen kindness like this in years. People are letting others cut them in line at the grocery. Cars are stopping to let you cross the street. Tremps (picking up hitchhikers who need to get places) are abundant and very scary. Buses are stopping at the bus stops and letting people on.
The kindness is never ending.
Sing ‘Anachnu Maminim Bnei Maminim’
It's just what we do whenever we have a chance. Whether it's a wedding, a football match, or a war. It also works at protests and when your teacher shows up late to class. You can also sing it when you're in the Shuk with friends, or passing a random stranger in Jerusalem that doesn't know you're a fan of Beitar. And you sing that song with jumping.
Better yet. Watch videos of soldiers singing it in jump dance formation. That is solidarity. A circle of people jumping in unison in non-unified form. Truth be told. Seeing that touches my heart.
Share Stuff on Social Media
Anything. Share it. It's your way of helping.
What should you share? Tradition is to collage a bunch of pictures in video form to the backdrop of sentimental Mizrachi music. It should look as close as possible to a Bat Mitzvah video, but with more people singing ‘Anachnu Maminim.’
Send Go Fund Mes to Other People
Without having donated yourself.
Note: You don't have to donate to look good posting stuff.
Living. That’s how we win wars. Not letting them bring down our morale. Going out to restaurants is how we fight. That’s what I’m doing.
I've been eating a lot. I hope that helps the effort.
Soldiers Do Jewish Stuff That Saves Lives
Start wearing Tzitzit. It saves lives. I hear the story and I am touched. I see the videos of the nation united in Tzitzit and I am touched. I see it and I believe that a day will come soon where I can put on Tzitzit and not sweat. A day where Tzitzit don't itch.
All the stories are so touching.
Baking For Soldiers
Cookies. Soldiers like cookies. Chocolate chip. Truth is most people like chocolate chip cookies. I'm getting the feeling that many of the cookies don't make it to the soldiers.
The whole country is cooking. Cooking for the soldiers. Cooking for the holy people from the south. Miracles. Supermarkets aren't stocked and the country is cooking.
Not going to lie. So much food has been brought to the soldiers. They have all the good stuff. Thousands of pizzas. I'm embarrassed to say, I was by a base. I took the pizza.
If you're a kid, drawings are amazing. Nobody wants a crayon drawing from a guy in his mid-forties. Which is why I didn't draw for the soldiers. Me drawing with a crayon at this point is creepy. Seeing a man my age with a crayon is creepy.
Though, I would love to draw. It looks fun to make a messed-up illustration of a dragon that somehow represents the Jewish people, and then to have people appreciate it.
You do what you can. You give what you can. If that's life. You give it. Be it blood or cookies. I think the cookies are appreciated more.
Try to Volunteer
Good luck. You're competing with too many people.
Do Not Pay Anybody
Now is the best time to get free work done for you in Israel. Been looking to save money on renovations. Now is the time. People are finally willing to work for nothing. Whatever is needed. Right now, is the time to put up that new chandelier. Electricians will volunteer.
I've never heard so many people ask, 'What can I do?' What can you do? You can help me move my couch. And then I can use help shellacking the deck.
Ask People How They Are
Responses to Expect: ‘Amazing.’ ‘Doing great.’ ‘Awesome.’ 'Love life.'
Tell People to 'Stay Safe'
If they're not safe, abort all other questions and talk to somebody else. You don't need negativity in your life.
Respond Positively to All Questions
To quote me, 'I'm fine. They were shooting in the town next door, half a kilometer away, yesterday... Yeah. They were cheering when the missiles were sent at us. I'm doing great. I'm feeling safe.'
Note: None of your friends overseas want to hear you complaining. As long as you tell them their shooting at you with an upbeat voice, it's OK.
If you're not in Israel, you protest. Protest or have a rally. They look the same. If you're not singing 'Anachnu Maminim' I can't tell if it's pro or anti-Israel.
There are so many ways people have responded in kindness and beauty to the evil. That is one thing we can all do to pay our respects. Spread acts of kindness. That is what I learned from our people in Israel this week.
I just pray for the holy souls that have went to Olam Haba. And I pray everybody who is out there comes back safely, so that I can start cutting people off on the highway again without feeling bad.
***To Brachot and Kavod to our Holy Brothers and Sisters who went to Shamaim too soon. Words can't express the devastation and concern for the loss and atrocities. Mishtatfim BTzar Shel HaAm
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Wearing Israeli flags. Showing their support for Israel at the rally in DC. It would’ve been smarter if they brought coats. Based on experience, flags don’t work as good windbreakers.