Must our Brothers Fight Alone? A Cry To World Jewry

Shluchim Blog

Must our Brothers Fight Alone? A Cry To World Jewry

by Uriel Vigler - New York City

July 18, 2014

In my weekly blog I usually try to connect current events with the weekly

parshah, but this week I struggled. So much has already been written about

the war in Israel. The differences between Hamas and the IDF have been

explored at length. Hamas puts children directly in harm's way, while

Israel goes to incredible lengths to protect civilians. What more could I


So I texted my friend, Fred, "Got any ideas for my blog this week?"

He shot back, "I love your blog! Reading them is the highlight of my week!

But the last few weeks you've been too militant."

"What do you mean?" I asked.


"Every week lately you've been writing about Hamas! First Hamas kidnapped

the teens, then you wrote about the UN, and then the need for Israel to use

more force. I love your blogs that are personal and relatable, but I find

the war blogs irrelevant to my life."

In this week's Torah portion the tribes of Reuven and Gad

ask Moses to grant them land outside of Israel where they will have plenty

of pasture for their flocks. Moses reacts strongly and angrily. "Will your

brothers go to war and conquer Israel while you remain here peacefully?" So

the tribes promised to leave their families and join the war, which they

did years later when Joshua conquered the land. They left everything behind

to help their brothers and sisters.

Our nation is at war. I spoke to my sister-in-law today. She wishes her

children could start sleeping properly at night without being woken by

sirens with less than a minute to get to a bomb shelter. My cousins in

Israel are all traumatized, as are their children. It is only because of

the incredible miracles we are seeing that we haven't had thousands of


There's no doubt about it, Israel is under attack. Hamas hates every Jew in

the world, make no mistake about it. If they could, they would happily send

rockets flying at us as well. This war is not just Israel's war. It is our


Moses' resounding cry should reverberate in our ears. "Shall your brethren

go to war while you stay here?!" Should our brothers and sisters in Israel

face this war alone while we sit here comfortably in our penthouses?

 In fact, this week I logged onto our Belev Echad Facebook page, which we

only started a few months ago and haven't marketed yet. I noticed that

Hamas supporters had attacked many posts with virulent anti-Semitism and

despicable words. So yes, the war is personal.

If we can't fight physically, we can fight spiritually. The very minimum we

can do is some extra mitzvot for our soldiers. Put on tefillin for Israel.

Put up a mezuzah. Choose to eat a kosher meal. Give extra charity. In fact, we've set

up a website where you can donate to send care packages to IDF soldiers in

Gaza to help lift their spirits. Do a mitzvah for Israel right now!

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Uriel Vigler leads the Chabad Israel Center on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Center

sponsors Belev Echad, a program that brings wounded IDF soldiers to New York, for a 10-day reprieve.

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