Tomorrow night and Wednesday Jews observe Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.
What is most important for the Jewish People at this time is to strive with full hearts to be all that we are meant to be.
Focus on what we are called to. These are critical times, and what we decide to do – and to be! — at one juncture or another has significant import.
For Jews in America, the task is close to overwhelming.
To hold on to proud Jewish identity in the face of growing anti-Semitism.
To stand up for Israel, as anti-Zionism — which is organically connected anti-Semitism — also increases. To make an effort to know Israel, and to correct disinformation.
To treasure Jewish values and retain the ability to set them as a priority over progressive values.
Pray for America, and for her capacity to move past the current existential crisis.
For Jews in Israel, much is at stake.
To embrace the Jewish State, as a state that proudly exemplifies Jewish values. Without those values, what are we?
To hold fast to our rights in the Land, building and growing in the areas of our ancient heritage. Claiming our rights to Har Habayit (the Temple Mount).
To avoid surrendering what is in our best interest in order to please the world – this is a thankless endeavor. And to squarely face the fact that making concessions does not bring peace or make us safer – but to the contrary, weakens us. Our spines must stay strong.
To be resilient enough, and committed enough, to face problems in Israeli society and strive to ameliorate them – even as facing those problems with honesty may be painful.
With it all, to be a light unto the nations – providing medical advancement and technical expertise, reaching out to others in times of trouble, helping in a thousand ways to make the world a better place.
A monumental task, and a necessary one. One step at a time, with the help of Heaven.
May you have an easy fast, and may our prayers be heard.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.