There was a time when the Land of Israel seemed far away. Not anymore. Updates come by the minute—the dull thud of rockets, the piercing sound of Red Alerts, and the cries of mothers and children running for their lives—emerging from our computers and phones as if it’s all happening next door.

We see our friends and relatives in their shelters. We FaceTime with them as they settle in, and in that moment exchange jokes or tears from across oceans. We know instantly the number of missiles fired at civilians, see their place of impact, the fires, the burn marks. All of it, as if we’re there.

The powerful technology that has become a part of It’s not the news and it’s not politics; it’s our brothers’ and sisters’ lives at stake. our lives forces us to see clearly what our brethren in Israel are living through at this very moment.

It’s not the news and it’s not politics; it’s our brothers’ and sisters’ lives at stake. We know we cannot just look away, just go about our day and pretend everything is okay. Because we feel that a part of us is there, in the Holy Land.

And it’s nothing new. The Jewish nation has always been one. As Tzvi Freeman wrote during Israel’s last major conflict in Gaza (2014), “We are one—essentially and integrally one. We have one G‑d, one Torah, one story to tell and one destiny at which we will very soon arrive. Each one of us has his or her integral part to play.”

Caring Means Doing Something About It

For the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, this oneness of the Jewish people was principally a matter of responsibility for our brothers and sisters.

The Six Day War unfolded more than 55 years ago. Just over two decades after the Holocaust, Israel was at risk of being annihilated by its neighbors—and the world looked the other away. At the Lag BaOmer parade in Brooklyn, the Rebbe addressed 20,000 children and charged them with helping in Israel’s war effort:

Your brothers and sister in the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, are currently in a situation where G‑d is protecting them and sending them His blessings, success, and rescue in an added measure so that they may emerge—and they will emerge—from their current situation successfully.

You have the unique privilege to help them. Every time you study one “Another word of Torah, another mitzvah, and you bring G‑d’s increased blessing for rescue and success.” more verse of Torah, and through your performing another mitzvah and yet another mitzvah—without missing any opportunity to do so—and through ‘Loving your fellow as yourself’— influencing your friends and relatives to also use every opportunity to spread Torah and mitzvahs—then you bring G‑d’s increased blessing for rescue and success.”

Assisting Israel’s defense of its people by learning yet more Torah each day and doing yet more mitzvahs was not an abstract idea then, nor is it today.

Because, as Tzvi put it so well, “Locality is meaningless—it’s not a case of cause and effect. It doesn’t take time for the signal to travel, it needs no medium to carry it, and it doesn’t diminish over space or time. Our entire people spread over the entire globe, from Abraham until you and me—we are all one irreducible singularity. Because a Jew feels the effect of the mitzvah. And a Jew knows we are a people above time and space.”

The Rebbe speaks to the children before the Six-Day War.

Torah Connects Us. Mitzvahs Strengthen Us

The holiday of Shavuot approaches, this year marking 3,333 years since G‑d gave the Jewish people the Torah on Mt. Sinai. This was precisely a moment beyond time and space, one at which the entire Jewish people was present, including not only future generations but the souls of converts of future generations.

When Exodus relates that the nation camped around Sinai, it uses the Hebrew singular to state that “he camped.”1 The commentator Rashi famously explains that it was because the Jewish people were at that moment like one human being, with one heart.

On the Shavuot following Israel’s miraculous victory in 1967, the Rebbe pointed out the resemblance between the Jewish people’s historic unity at Sinai three millennia ago and the moving images of Jews approaching the Western Wall for the first time in decades.

All of a sudden, all differences fell away. No longer were we religious Jews and secular ones. We did not approach the hallowed stones as archeologists or tourists but as Jews, one human with one heart.

It was the Torah that bound us together as one at Sinai, Locality is meaningless. We are all one irreducible singularity. and the Torah that granted us a corner of the world called Israel. It’s the Torah that connects the Jew wherever he or she may be to every other Jew, to our land, to G‑d. And it is through exploring its myriad texts and teachings in all their strata, and by fulfilling its mitzvahs, that we help bring G‑d’s blessings upon Israel and her people, as the Rebbe reiterated in ’67:

“‘You will dwell securely in your Land,’2 the Jews in the Land of Israel will dwell there securely. ‘And I will place peace upon the Land,’3 G‑d will draw down peace upon the Holy Land. ‘And I will be your G‑d,’4 G‑d will be our G‑d and the G‑d of all Jews wherever they may be.”

“‘And you will be for me a people,’5 every one of you, and all of us together, and especially the Jews in the Holy Land, will be G‑d’s people, whom He will lead with His “full, open, holy, wide hand” out of all difficulties, and He will bring them peace and security in everything they need.”

Pick a Mitzvah

Join your fellow Jews around the world. Take on one of the mitzvahs suggested below for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Israel.

    Torah Study Every Jew needs to learn at least some Torah every morning and every night. If you haven’t already, try our Daily Study page and learn in unison with Jews all over the world.

        Tefillin: If you already put on tefillin every day, encourage a friend to do so. If you don’t yet, now is a good time to start! Click here to find out how to put this important mitzvah into practice, or contact your local Chabad center for assistance.

            Shabbat and Holiday Candles: Shabbat is the day that brings illumination to the world, which so often—especially at times like these—seems to be dark and negative. The Shabbat and holiday candles, lit by girls and women across the globe, usher peace and blessing into our homes and represent the light we can introduce into the world. See how you can light Shabbat and holiday candles at home here.Find candle-lighting times for your hometown here.

                Charity and Kind Deeds: Put a coin in a charity box, or direct funds electronically to a charitable cause. Give a gift of money to a fellow in need or to a charitable cause, or extend a helping hand to someone who needs it.

                    Mezuzah: If you don’t yet have mezuzahs, get them now, one for each doorway in your home! If you already do have mezuzahs, it may be time to have them checked to ensure that the words on the parchment have not faded. Click here for more information about this special mitzvah.

                        Fill Your House With Holy Jewish books: Like any container, your home is also defined by its contents. Aside from those who live there, the most significant items are the Torah books lining the shelves and scattered about. They transform the environment in which you live. That’s why the Rebbe started his campaign to encourage people to fill their homes with holy books. Click here to browse Jewish books for your home.

                            Say a prayer for the safety of the soldiers of the IDF, and for all residents of the Holy Land. Psalms 20, 22, 69 and 150 are traditionally said in times of distress.

                                Purchase a letter: Be a part of a special Torah scroll written in Israel right now. Joining together to write a scroll expresses our inherent unity. One nation, one Torah, one G‑d. Moreover, a letter in the Torah places its owner in “G‑d’s book.” “At that time,” the prophet Daniel says, “your people will be delivered, everyone who is found inscribed in the book . . .”