Voices from Israel: Rabbi Shai Beloosesky

Dear Friends and Family Members,

First, we would like to thank you for your care and concern; we have received many emails and phone calls during Shabbat, expressing support and love.

This morning, Sunday, Nov. 18th, we unfortunately cannot ease your mind with good news yet, as fighting in Israel’s south still goes on. Rockets were fired on both Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem during Shabbat and we are very alert to “minor” incidents on the Northern boarder with Syria as well.

Residents of the South are still in shelters, the schools are closed, streets are deserted, and IDF reserve soldiers are massively being drafted.

Israelis living north of Tel-Aviv have opened up their homes inviting residents of the south who fled the war zone to stay with them. Various organizations and local schools in Haifa have invited school children and their families from the south to do the same.

The escalating dare of Gaza’s Palestinians firing rockets on Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem – a sacred city of all religions, is a great concern for us all. Allowing residences of the south to live under such a prolonged nightmare of constant threat is unacceptable and unimaginable.

While I’m certain valid reports of the current situation in Israel are streaming live around the world, I’m not certain they reflect what each and every Israeli feels at this time. I can tell you that my children are showing increased levels of stress, as I know most Israeli children and adults do right now. Memories of the last war are surfacing and the atmosphere is one of heightened alert on all levels.

We all hope and pray for the best, yet we prepare for the worst. We pray this will be over soon without additional casualties, without further suffering.

Dear friends and family members, this is one of the times when the Jewish people come as one.

We are grateful for your encouragement; we could not do it without you. We thank you for every phone call, email, donation and show of support, we hope to be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon and share it with you.

Wishing you a good week, a wonderful day and above all, peace.

Shai and Or Hadash congregants, members and staff

Rabbi Shai Beloosesky is the Rabbi at Kehilat Or Hadash in Haifa.