The IDF is making headway in Gaza at the expense of Israeli lives, Jewish lives, all for the safety, and freedom of the only democratic nation in the Middle East: Israel. As the media is constantly churning out harrowing images, videos and reports of the situation , many of us can only stand and feel helpless at the thought that there is not much to do to help our soldiers in Israel, who in truth, are not fighting solely for The Land of Yisrael but all of its children as well. That includes those in the diaspora.
In the last few days people have been mustering strength in union and solidarity to provide its troops with provisions, foodstuffs, and other necessaries all donated by local business and the goodwill of people who hope to aid its brethren. From free coffee to kebabs offered to IDF soldiers free of charge in Yerushalyim to falafels being delivered to soldiers on the front lines, the citizens of Israel have been doing what they can, where they can, to help the nation and is defenders in their hour of need.
Yet, surely you might think that there is nothing much that one can do in Vancouver, which is so far away from all the turmoil of a country that might have not even ever been to. I assure you that you are wrong.
Community. That is the thing that has held the Jewish people together in the most difficult of times throughout history, however complex the mosaic or to what degree one identifies as Jewish, it is the one thing that has made Israel a reality and continues to keep it one today. You might be wondering, so what does this have to do with aiding the IDF?
It is as a community, whether in person or online, that people who are in the diaspora can help Israel in its cause for freedom, and an end to rocket fire. Spread the news of Israel’s conflict, but also try to denounce media sources that report faulty and obviously biased interpretations in whatever way you can. Always criticize anti-semitism in whatever form or wherever it is found, as it is the breeding ground of hatred, but also that of the falsification of facts. Write and inform others, constantly.
Organize community events that aim to educate both Jews and non-Jews of the realities of what is happening in Israel. The key to success is education. By giving others knowledge of Hamas and what it really is, but also of Israel’s cause you do a great deal of good. Yet, more importantly another aspect of education is that of individual learning. Learn about your culture, learn hebrew if you can and most importantly learn of the history of the Jewish people. Try to connect with various Jewish sites in Vancouver, from the Community Centre, to the different shuls, regardless of the fact that it is the Orthodox shul or Temple Shalom.
Try to understand that however far you are, there is always something that you could do to help. Aish for instance even recommends keeping in contact with people in Jerusalem, donating to various Israeli charities, and even the IDF.
The bottom line is that there is a myriad of things that one can do, regardless of the fact that they are far away. The most important of these is to be a community, one that stands together as always throughout the history of the Jewish people.