OU Statement on the Situation in Israel

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08 Oct 2023

The horrors experienced in Israel these past days are indescribable.

Our hearts are broken by the grief of the hundreds of families who have suffered the losses of loved ones, by the pain of the thousands wounded, and by the trauma of entire communities whose sense of security has been upended. We share in the agony of the hostages and their families as they find themselves in the hands of hate-filled captors who do not behave as people.

What can we say? What can we do?

We must pray to G-d. Everyone as an individual and every community should recite with frequency and intensity Psalms 20, 83, 121, 130 and 142.

We must show support financially. Many responsible organizations are raising funds that will provide for real needs. Give wisely and generously.

We must show support personally. Reach out to your family and friends in Israel – even those who you are not regularly in contact with – and share words of care, support, and concern.

We must show support communally. Join your community’s rally for Israel and your shul or community’s Tehillim gatherings.

Finally, we must draw strength and hope by reminding ourselves of who we are, replaying in our minds and on our lips the words – the value statements – we sang over and over again on Simchas Torah.

ברוך הוא אלקינו שבראנו לכבודו והבדילנו מן התועים. Blessed is our G-d Who created us to bring Him honor, distinguishing us from those who are so lost that they act like animals and bring no honor to G-d.

תורת ד’ תמימה משיבת נפש. Hashem’s Torah is perfect, restoring the soul.

עוצו עצה ותופר דברו דבר ולא יקום כי עמנו א-ל. Enemies of the Jews: Hatch your scheme – it will be foiled; share your plan – it will fail. G-d is with us.

אחינו כל בית ישראל הנתונים בצרה ובשביה. Our brothers and sisters throughout the whole house of Israel who are in distress or captivity, may Hashem have compassion on them and lead them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, and from oppression to freedom.

אני מאמין באמונה שלימה בביאת המשיח: I believe completely in the coming of the Moshiach, and though he may delay – and there may be much pain and suffering during that delay – we await his coming every day.

We must always draw strength from who we are, from the magnificent Torah values that we celebrate, and from the strength and care that we provide each other.

בצפיה לישועה קרובה, with hope for imminent salvation,

Mitchel Aeder

Rabbi Moshe Hauer
Executive Vice President

Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

PS: We will be sharing in the near future opportunities for things that you can do to materially make a difference, both through charitable donations and possible volunteer opportunities.