Daniel Raphael Silverstein
Rabbi, educator, meditation teacher and MC/poet.

A letter to Jews around the world

Sunset over the Jerusalem Forest (Courtesy)

Sisters and brothers, you are not alone.

All of our people, Am Yisrael, around the world are feeling a great deal of grief and fear right now.

This is the hardest moment we have faced as a people in decades.

Ironically, I know from speaking to folks around the world that in some respects, it’s actually easier to be here Israel, where I am blessed and grateful to live.

Here the people are all so mobilized and busy in a million positive ways, and that in itself is giving us tremendous strength.

There is also great strength in simply connecting with one another, which is also more readily available to many of us here than for some of you around the world.

The fear is huge, the stakes are high, and thank G!d – Baruch Hashem – it is bringing the best out of people.

We all feel immense devastation, sadness and grief but we’re holding each other through it.

Everyone’s doing their bit here to stay strong, support one another and win, win, win – not only against Hamas, although yes that too, but the real victory is to make life here flourish again, and even better than it ever was before.

This massive trauma, and how we’ve responded, has given me a new perspective on how Am Yisrael made it through thousands of years of such grave challenges and persecution.

This strength we have when push comes to shove is just nothing I’ve ever seen before.

It’s truly epic.

If, like so many folks I know, you feel guilt for not suffering more, or for doing regular things, for carrying on with life, then please don’t.

Each of us living our best possible lives is actually the best possible contribution we can make.

Continuing to live as awesomely as possible in the face of trauma, cruelty and wanton inhumanity is a sacred and courageous act.

And as we do this, we’re all holding ourselves and each other up the best way we can.

Keep connecting with people here, and with each other.

Keep volunteering, donating, supporting in any way you can.

Keep praying for the safe return of our precious hostages, every single one, back to their families.

Keep praying for the safety and wellbeing of our beloved relatives and friends who are on the front lines, risking their lives to defend us and make sure we are safe.

Keep praying for our entire people, that we are safe and strong, and that we realize how incredible we are.

We make each other stronger, not because any one of us is necessarily strong on our own, but because we each have something unique, and potentially transformative, to give.

Together, we will come through this and create a better reality.

Together, we will realize just how powerful a force for good we are.

With blessings of unity, and prayers that we’ll hear good news.

About the Author
Daniel Raphael Silverstein is a rabbi, educator, meditation teacher and MC/poet. He lives in Israel with his family, where he directs Applied Jewish Spirituality, an online portal which makes the transformative spiritual wisdom of our tradition accessible to all who seek it.
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