By Adi Peled, UJS Senior Shlicha
In a time when our soldiers are called to duty, giving 100% to protect our nation, we, as civilians, are exposed to the most harrowing scenes, scenes that even horror movies couldn't script. I find myself in Israel, watching the news every day, unable to believe the reality we find ourselves in. Many, like me, choose not to be indifferent, opting not to stay at home in the face of the news but instead to serve our nation as civilians.
In my city, Kiryat Bialik, an initiative was organized by a group of residents to collect food for our soldiers and those from the border areas who had to leave their homes. A few posts were made on the neighbourhood's Facebook and WhatsApp groups, announcing the time and place where we would begin.
From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, hundreds, perhaps thousands of residents poured in. Generous citizens brought all they could: shop owners with their store's stock of drinks and snacks, clothes, batteries, toys, whatever they could contribute. I saw neighbors I hadn't seen in years, people I went to high school with who returned to their parents' homes because they didn't want to be alone during these times. Women arrived with their children to help and shared that their husbands had been called up for reserve duty, forcing them to leave home.
Throughout the day, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude from every person who came to donate, from every child's drawing that asked us to send it to the soldiers guarding us. I've always known that the strength of the Israeli people shines brightest in times of crisis, but this time was a reminder for me to keep standing strong. Despite the fear and sorrow, now is not the time to fall; we need to stay united, believe, and hope for the best. Afterward, we can deal with understanding what happened here, coping with the pain, and rebuilding for the sake of those young men and women, children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, soldiers, and soldiers who lost their lives for the beloved state of Israel. In the state of Israel.