Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Supporting Israel...

Someone said:
"The various rallies that have been held round the world give much chizuk to Israelis and they truely appreciate it."

As an Israeli, I can honestly say that I :

1) Did not even hear of your rally
2) Don't get 'chizuk' from them.

Personally, I feel they're quite useless and are there to make the attendees 'feel' as if they are doing something to help, while not doing much to help
Do most Israelis think this way?

I won't speak for the people living there, but as an American I, too, sometimes think that we take the easy way out when it comes to supporting Israel.

Take Tehillim, for example. They are being said for the sake of Israel in every corner of the Jewish world- from GoldaLeah's liberal congeration to the shteebles of Brooklyn. But what for? Does saying an extra chapter or two of Psalms really do any good? Or is it just so much flag waving, a way to wear your support for Israel on your sleeve? I address this question specifically to people who make a fetish of saying tehillim, but can't be bothered to show up in shul on time, or to say their prayers with a minyan - if at all.

And even if we do concede that rockets are diverted when Jews recite the right combination of Hebrew words, is this the best way to help Israel? Whatever magical power the Psalms possess, the Rambam affirms that "the community's prayers are always heard." (Rambam, Prayer 8:1) So, along with adding Psalms to the services, shouldn't we be making an effort to join minyanim - men and women alike?

And what about rallies? They have two purposes: (1) letting the media and politicians know that Israel has supporters in the disapora; and (2) providing courage and confidence to the soldiers, together with those who are dodging missiles and sending their sons and daughters into battle. Certainly, the first purpose obtains -some of the time, at least- but what about the second?

Israeli readers, we'd like to know: Are you, and your friends and neighbors keeping track of the rallies? And does this really do anything to help you manage the large and small stresses of war?

No comments: