Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, happening today and tomorrow, should be a joyous time — a moment of reflection on the harvest, Torah and all we’ve accomplished during the High Holidays.
Instead, our hearts are heavy with the news that Israel is at war.
Early on Saturday, Hamas launched an attack on Israel, sending rockets and militants across the border. So far, the death toll includes more than 200 Israelis and thousands more have been injured. The attack caused Israel to retaliate with their own rockets, killing around 200 Palestinians and injuring nearly 2,000 in Gaza.
“We are at war,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, and warned that a “prolonged and powerful campaign” is ahead. Families are describing the scene as “utter chaos.” You can read reporting and breaking news on our partner site JTA, who are working around the clock to report the latest information.
Our thoughts go out to all Hey Alma readers affected during this terrifying time.
May the memory of those killed be a blessing. May there be healing for all who have been injured, in body and/or mind. May the violence cease, swiftly and soon.