Saturday, October 19, 2019

As we prepare for Sukkot, we understand that part of the symbolism of our sukkahs is the fragility of life, and knowing that, we can look upward and see the night stars while we enjoy a holiday meal with friends and family.

Underneath those same stars we are witnessing what cannot be considered anything less than a catastrophe of human suffering not seen since World War II. Hundreds of thousands of refugees, coming largely from the civil wars that have torn the maps of Syria and Iraq to shreds, have taken their toll in terms of human lives.

We say with pride that Israelis, largely through the charity group IsraAid, are on the ground in Greece and Serbia/Croatia distributing clean water, food packages, warm clothing, medical and even psychological assistance, just like they have done when earthquakes have crippled Nepal and Haiti or when tsunamis have devastated Thailand and Japan.

Israel, a small nation that not only has taken in its share of the Jewish dispossessed, but has even flown missions to places such as Ethiopia and Yemen to bring Jewish refugees home, is not shying away from a disaster that involves large numbers of Muslims who are looking desperately for a way out, a way to find shelter from the storm of war.

And according to news reports, the refugees from Syria, Iraq and other Muslim nations have been receptive, if not grateful, to the help coming from Israeli volunteers and professionals, both Jews and Arab.

This is what Israel does, and continues to do. During this season, when we eat and perhaps even sleep in our sukkahs, we should be reminded that the safety and security of our world is very much in Hashem’s hands. But on the ground, facing the devastation, Israel is there to set up that medical tent, itself a sukkah of sorts, to do what it can to repair this so fragile world.

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