Last night, as I put my children to sleep, I couldn’t help but think about the hundreds of thousands of Israelis targeted by Hamas’ relentless barrage of missiles. I thought about all the children who – unlike my kids – won’t be sleeping securely in their beds, as rockets and missiles rain down on their neighborhoods, which are only an hour drive south from my home.
Sirens, explosions, silence, screams … all have been heard throughout the night in southern Israel. This makes us ask the questions: How can we live like this? How can we go on under such circumstances?
We all know the answer. We’ve been here before. We live like this because we have no other choice. We go on living our lives, because that is what the Jewish people have always done.
Complacency is a luxury we cannot afford. Yes, the area I live in is relatively quiet – no sirens, no explosions, no deafening silence followed by screams in my neck of the woods. However, if I don’t raise the alarm bells in my heart, if I don’t feel the pain of my brothers and sisters in southern Israel, I have failed them. I have failed my country and its citizens.
As a person of faith, my first response is to pray for the safety of Israelis under attack. I pray that God will guide the hands of our leaders, lead our soldiers in battle, destroy our enemies, and ensure that all our men and women in service will return home safely.
Prayer is our greatest weapon. Yet we must also act. We must respond to the devastation in southern Israel. We can’t sit idly by while innocent Israelis are targeted by the Iranian-funded terror organization Hamas, whose goal is to wipe Israel off the map.
(As I write this article, I was just informed that the Iron Dome has been deployed near my house. A ten minute drive from my block is the Hadera power plant – the largest in Israel – an obvious target which miraculously has been spared any direct hits in previous conflicts despite being targeted repeatedly).
For many years, The Fellowship has played an integral role in securing Israel. We have funded over 5,500 hundred bomb shelters which are saving Israeli lives. Our trauma centers continuously serve men, women, and children who are suffering from shock and emotional trauma as a result of endless rockets and missile barrages.
Last night in our Jerusalem office, the phone rang at 11:00 p.m., and our dedicated staff was still there to take the call. It was the mayor of a small town in southern Israel that has been pounded by rockets and missiles. He asked for our help.
A missile had landed and destroyed the apartment building where a single mother of six and a single father of two had lived. Both families had nowhere to go. As sires blared and missiles struck, they were out on the street. They turned to the mayor’s office asking for a grant to get a hotel room to sleep in, but the bureaucratic red tape the mayor had to go through to get approval for this assistance would have taken a lot of time – time these families did not have.
The mayor knew his best shot at getting a roof over their heads immediately was to contact The Fellowship. He was correct, and within a few minutes, a grant was approved, and these families were on their way to a hotel.
As I put my children to sleep tonight, I can at least look in their eyes and say, yes, daddy is doing something to help our brothers and sisters in the south. Being part of The Fellowship, especially in these trying times, means being part of our tremendous efforts to provide security and solace to the many Israeli victims of terrorist evil – to be a soldier in this brutal war against our country and our people.
God bless Israel!
- Ami Farkas