The Crisis in Israel
by Executive Director, Lauren Schwartz, MSW
This is a time of uncertainty, fear, anger, pain, and sadness. The shock and brutality of the Hamas attacks have left our Jewish community in a state of emotional crisis. Regardless of the degrees of separation we have from that attack, we are–all of us–affected and are trying to process the array of feelings we are experiencing. Whether we lost loved ones in southern Israel or have family living in Israel; whether we feel connection to Israel as our homeland or are non-Jewish allies of the Jewish community, our lives have been impacted.
We all process our feelings differently. You may need time alone, or to talk to a friend. You might need to come together in community, or to turn to G-d in prayer. You may need some combination of these. Regardless of the paths you take, examining how we feel, sitting with those feelings and accepting them are part of taking care of our mental health and well-being. Taking care of ourselves is always important. For Jewish people it is one of G-d’s commandments, or mitzvot.
I have often called CJFS, the caregivers for the community. In this incredibly hard moment, we are here for you. Our professional staff is here to sit with you, to listen, as you find your way through your feelings.
It has been two weeks since the holiday of Simchas Torah when this all began. Simchas Torah is a holiday that celebrates our holy scriptures, our Torah, given to us by G-d to guide us through life. It marks the time that we finish the year of readings and begin again. And while beginning again means reading the same words over, one of the most beautiful things about Judaism to me is that in that re-reading we seek to find new interpretations, new lessons, and new perspectives. So too will our feelings evolve as this crisis does. I hope you will continue to take care of yourself.
Wishing you peace,