October 7, 2023
Today, when I woke up, I turned on my phone. As I opened Instagram, still wanting to go back to bed, I clicked on a story, and the first thing that appeared was a video about how Israel is at war. My heart started racing. Every question appeared in my mind: “How did this happen? When did this happen? Why didn’t I know?” An inner voice tells me to calm down, to read the full story, and not just stick with the headlines. So I do just that, as it’s already 10 am, and my daily Reuters update has just come through the mail. The title reads “Hamas Launches Surprise Attack.” A mix of shock, worrying, and stress pipes in. I have friends in Israel, ex-madrichim, but primarily brothers and sisters of the Jewish people.
Today is the first time that I’m alive to witness a war in Israel. It seems like my history book isn’t static anymore and that some kid will study today's tragedy one day. Today, we woke up on Simchat Torah, and Hamas has invaded Israel. Today, we should have been focusing on celebrating Simchat Torah and Shabbat, which was robbed of us. Yesterday, I wished Shabbat Shalom to my chapter. I’m sad it wasn’t one. Today, I’m scared and checking up on my friends in Israel.
The following quote comes to mind, "Everybody, every human being has an obligation to contribute somehow to this world" — Edith Carter, (Holocaust survivor). Today, contributing seems so far and out of reach, as many of us live in the diaspora. It appears that our efforts are worthless; they are not. As Edith said, we need to contribute to this world; whether that is hosting an Israel info session or a program for teens to develop their relationship with Israel, we can take action. It comes in different ways, but even learning is a huge step.
Being so far from Israel, it seems like the only thing I can do is read the news, and there’s nothing else I can do to help. BBYO taught me this is false, even so far away, we can do so much. While the coming days and weeks are unpredictable, if this article can do something for you, I hope that is to tell you that wherever you are, no matter big or small, cold or hot, there is going to be somebody who you are connected to because of your origin. Today and every day, let’s use that power and harness it in prayer, education, and all you can think of because we hold the power of the Jewish youth.
Alephs and BBGs hold immense power and spirit. For a long time, I didn’t believe in that power, but if we don’t believe in ourselves and what we can do, then no one will. Today, we are game changers, immensely proud. With the capacity to do everything and everywhere, as we have been doing for 100 years and will continue doing for all of history, we will pray and help all Jewish youth. Today, more than ever, we are Am Ejad im Lev Ejad, One People With One Heart.
October 8, 2023
Yesterday, I woke up to my alarm, and my Instagram was exactly the same way that it was the day before that. Yesterday, my family group chat texts were about our next family dinner, and my community’s texts talked about what supplies we needed for the program. Yesterday, my biggest BBYO worry was defining a new list of how to motivate my board.
Yesterday, Israel wasn't at war, and I never imagined that could happen. Yesterday, I felt safe wearing my Star of David necklace; my political experience was based on what they proposed or said. But today, “yesterday seems so far away.” As I wear a proud Jew t-shirt, I feel like I'm exaggerating; the voice pops up that says nothing will happen to me, I'm too far away and have nothing to do with the conflict, and that voice may seem right. Nevertheless, I feel like we can still do so much. BBYO has recommended some resources available at @bbyoinsider.
Yesterday, while I was writing, I didn't find a quote I liked about the power of yesterday. All of them talked about how yesterday held no power and that we needed to focus on today, and I couldn't disagree more. Today is a brand new opportunity to enact change on what happened yesterday, not to forget but to change our world.
From what you might have read up until this point, you might have thought that this was written just to tell my thoughts, but I hope that is not the end of this article; I hope the end of this is not to sit on the Internet but to affect our everyday lives which might sound hard when in reality its simple. You are the audience for this article; you are the game-changer who can help this terrible situation.
Yesterday may seem so close or so far away; we might be powerless or powerful, knowledgeable or ignorant, but we all share one thing: yesterday is over. Today, we will finish in a couple of hours; the only thing we can change is tomorrow. Let's work towards that for a better tomorrow because we are forever united as one crew.
Tomorrow was mentioned very little in this article; it was on purpose. Tomorrow is undefined, and few things remain clear. One of them is that Israel will keep fighting and that we need to continue living and fighting for what we believe in. Tomorrow is shaped by and for us; if I define it, I carry the risk of defining it. I do not want to carry that burden, so tomorrow appears only as a resource for you to understand the power you hold, the power to enact change, and be the change you want to be in this world. Tomorrow happens here by us, so I call on you to ask yourself, what will you do with the possibility of tomorrow?
Gal is a BBG living in Buenos Aires, Argentina who is in love with outer space.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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