Dear Readers,

As I write these words, our brave troops are gathered at the Gaza border preparing for an imminent ground incursion to protect and defend our nation. Thirteen hundred Jewish men, women, and children have been killed; more than 3,000 have been wounded; and 150 hostages have been kidnapped. Each of these horrific numbers represents a family full of loved ones, and an entire world.

Meanwhile, a barrage of rockets continues to rain down on the cities of Israel.

I’m sure just like you, I find myself incessantly checking my news feed, fearfully wondering what is happening right now in our homeland. In moments of greater clarity, though, I remind myself that keeping up with the latest news will do little to help. Instead, I try to push myself to take on an extra mitzvah, learn a little more Torah, give more charity, or say an extra chapter of Psalms. These can be my spiritual contribution to stand with and support my brothers and sisters in our Holy Land.

Indeed, it is heartening to see how in Jewish communities around the world, individuals are mobilizing to help. Massive undertakings are underway to provide material aid and spiritual mitzvot for the sake of our brothers. Witnessing these acts of unity truly makes me so proud right now to be a Jew. I wrote about some of these endeavors here. Please add your own contribution—what acts of light are you seeing in your community? Sharing will encourage and energize all of us to do more.

In this week’s Torah portion, Noah, we read about the huge flood that destroyed the world. Ironically, Hamas has named their attack against us, "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood."

The Hebrew word for flood, mabul, also means “disorder” and “confusion.” The Hebrew word for ark is tevah, which also means “word.” When the world is churning, threatening to drown the spark of humanity and vitality within us, we can protect ourselves by building a tevah, by increasing the word—the words of Torah and the words of prayer.

In times like these, the Rebbe would reiterate the infinite power of every mitzvah and the need for every person’s contribution. Let’s do our part to help our brave soldiers from the raging and horrific flood of evil around them by increasing our acts of light.

When the situation feels so dark, and the hatred is rampant, we need to remind ourselves that the light of the Jewish soul will forever shine brightly, until we finally usher in the time of complete peace for all mankind.

With heartfelt prayers and wishes for the safety and security of all our brethren in Israel and the world over,

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW