Talya Woolf

Ripples in a Pond

October 24, 2023

Today’s headline on Times of Israel: Army says sea-borne Hamas infiltration thwarted, several terrorists reported killed

For the past week, I have been getting messages from a variety of people checking up on me. From the United States, Australia, Africa, Europe; the outreach from everyone, Jewish, Christian, non-denominational – it’s incredible. But what struck me particularly hard are the messages from one of my best friends in Michigan (it’s a tier, not a position).

My bestie has reached out to me several times in the past week at the oddest hours, asking how I’m doing or how I’m holding up. For me, it’s late morning; for her, it’s the wee hours in the middle of the night.

At first, I didn’t ask why she was awake. Earlier today, I did.

She responded, “I haven’t been sleeping well… I keep waking up.”

I know that she is worried about me. To help her feel better, I sent her a picture of us from last year during a visit to my old home. And boy, do I miss her.

But the realization suddenly dawned on me: this war involves more than just Israelis. It’s such a basic idea, but sometimes the simplest concepts take the longest to accept and internalize.

This war also involves those who love us, are related to us – wherever they may be. They (you) are not just bystanders. The war involves dozens of countries around the world who have missing citizens and kidnapped and murdered family members, and it suddenly entwines people who never previously thought twice about Israel.

Image by B_C (pixabay)
  • The ripples of the war in Israel extends to those who met us once in a bar in Houston, felt a kinship and stayed in touch.
  • It reaches people who once worked with us in a suburban Detroit restaurant after 9/11 and remained acquaintances.
  • It involves those with whom you connected with in high school, whose wedding in Japan you attended, who you don’t speak with often, but think of each other regularly.
  • The ripples reach those who only met you briefly in Africa, but still check in and offer their home as a safe place to stay since “there’s no anti-semitism in Rwanda.”

I’m sad to say that this war – with the long and poisonous Hamas claws – reach even to you, the willing reader.

The pointed claws pull at your shirt, rip the fabric, and grab your heart. They pierce the skin, then rip your heart from your chest while it still beats; they blow your face off, then drag you out kicking and fighting – just like they dragged Israelis through the bloody floors, soaked and ripped clothing, and houses of those raped, murdered, and broken.

The war does not just touch only us here in Israel. Devastatingly, it touches all of us who are human.

But this is a lesson we must internalize and quickly. This lesson is exactly why it is vitally important to stand together – AND USE OUR VOICES – against disgusting, horrifying, subhuman behavior from human beings filled with hatred for Jews.

NOW is the time to use your emotions for good.
NOW is the time to be angry for the right reasons.
NOW is the time to take a stand.
NOW is the time to go public on social media and say:


I stand with Israel.
I stand with humanity.
I stand for love and respect.

I stand here against anti-semitism.

And. I. will. not. budge.



About the Author
Talya Woolf is an eight-year Olah with four spirited children and a fantastic husband. She is a writer, American-licensed attorney, handgun instructor, amateur photographer, and artist. She is politically confusing, Modern Orthodox (though she doesn't dress the part), and ardent Zionist (ZFB). She enjoys spending time with family, friends, running, photography, and reading about highly contagious diseases and WWII.
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