Dear Readers,

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been interviewing people from Israel. By hearing their stories, we get a better feel for the tragic suffering that resulted from the barbaric events on Oct. 7, and we understand more about the personal ramifications of the ongoing war on our brothers and sisters. Their perspective also inspires and invigorates us to take on more mitzvot as we hear about the rock-solid unity of our nation, and the numerous beautiful acts of faith and kindness, even amid the hardship.

Two weeks ago, I interviewed the shlucha in Eilat who explained what help was being offered to the massacre victims. Last week, we featured a fascinating interview with the wife of an Israel Defense Forces’ officer about her struggles, coping mechanisms and what she asks us to do on her behalf.

This week, closer to home, I interviewed Rabbi Levi and Nechama Haskelevich from the University of Pennsylvania. The video of this Chabad rabbi went viral, reaching close to 2 million views. He was wrapping tefillin on a campus student just as a group of protesters marched by, chanting for the destruction of Israel. It was a remarkable contrast between those who seek our destruction and this beacon of light and pride in being Jewish.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be interviewing more people about their extraordinary stories. These interviews are all part of our podcast Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories.

You can now sign up, by clicking here, to get updates whenever another extraordinary episode—and they’re all extraordinary—drops. And after watching any of our episodes, please don’t forget to share your feedback. I love to hear from you!

With heartfelt prayers for the safety of all our brothers and sisters in our Holy Land and for the immediate return of our hostages ...

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW