Having spent the last few hours with the parents of boys serving near Gaza, and then coming home to a siren that forced me to rush into our bomb shelter with my children, and knowing that I will be headed out to the funeral of a lone soldier in a few hours, it is safe to say that my emotions are running high.  And I am not alone – everyone is grappling with intense emotions here in Israel at the moment.

Like many of you, one of the few things that is helping me cope with this situation is knowing that I can contribute in some way, and I am doing everything I can to support our nation through our troops, delivering supplies and treats to those on the front lines. But there are several other things that we can all do (or not do) to help at this difficult time – and none of them necessitate a reach for your wallet.

So, let’s all give the following a try:

REACH OUT to people in the line of fire to see how they are doing.  A simple phone call, email, or message on Facebook goes a long way. Morale is running low – it’s been a long month of tragedies, attacks, and missiles assaults, and your compassion can boost someone’s spirit and brighten their day when they need it most. (One way to show you care is to add your photo of support here – post directly to Facebook wall!)

REPRESENT our situation and talk about our experiences here in Israel with anyone who will listen.  Be a dignified voice expressing the common needs between Israel and wherever you live (“Would we allow a terrorist organization to shoot rockets at Chicago?”).  Most importantly, be sure t challenge messages of hate and division.  We need all of the allies and moral support we can get in our painful struggle to protect millions of innocent civilians (including those in Gaza) who are constantly threatened by ruthless terrorism.

HOLD BACK any needless criticism. Right now, our boys are on the front lines and need our support – they need us all working together for them.  Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, and you may even make some great points (that fly in the face of current government policies). But please hold back any views that will divide our nation – just for a few days.  The time for critiquing will come soon enough (as they always do in this hyper-democratic country), but today, the need for solidarity is especially great. Let’s remain focused on the task at hand.

These are trying times but each of us can help make them a little bit better.  With endless opportunities to help (see this and this for donation or prayer ideas), we cannot afford to be lazy or even worse — divided.

True success is only possible when we come to terms with the fact that we will always be Stronger Together.

Please visit the official #StrongerTogether Facebook page to share pictures, videos and stories of Jewish unity: www.facebook.com/StrongerTogetherAlways

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