Why We Are Stronger Than Fear

October 18, 2023
Lea Mordkovich

Berlin, Germany

Class of 2025

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Probably all of you saw the horrifying request of the terrorist organization Hamas. Hamas requested that as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their resistance, people opened violence against all Jews, all Jewish restaurants, synagogues, Jewish shops, and every kind of Jewish institution. This is THE sign that the conflict went out of the borders of the Middle East. This request regards all Jews in the entire world, so it includes me. 

Friday, October 13th-Day of the threat by Hamas. Like every day since the war started, I wake up, I remember, and I have to pull myself together, not break out in tears. But still, it was different. It was worse. On this day, my mother did not allow me to go to school. I go to a Jewish school. Even though we have a lot of security in and around my school, my mother was still scared of what would happen when I went out or entered my school when there was no one watching.

On this day, I took off my “Chai” chain that I've been wearing non-stop since I was in Israel in 2022. On this day, I paid attention to whether it was somehow recognizable that I was Jewish when I went out. On this day, I was scared. But it wasn’t only me. My Jewish school was empty that day. At least that's what the “Tagesspiegel”, a German newspaper, wrote about our school this Friday. The article states: “Students were scared for their safety.”

What are those mind games? Why is Hamas doing that? Has it worked? Should we be scared? Those are questions that need answers. I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I want to be careful. There are so many horrible stories that I'm afraid will happen to me. I pay attention, I don't go to school, I don't go to synagogue, and I don't go to any place where there are just a lot of Jews in one place. 

On the other hand, I think to myself, isn't that exactly what Hamas wants? Are the threats perhaps just strategies to use propaganda to weaken us, all the Jewish people around the world? What exactly is their goal? To completely turn our everyday lives around? That going to school, something we do every day without overthinking it, suddenly becomes dangerous? Or is it true? Is it really dangerous for us?

Since the 7th of October, Hamas has been attacking Israel. Nevertheless, Israel stays strong. Hamas will not belittle us with any threats or fake news just to weaken us. We are strong. Now, it is our job to spread the truth and not to believe the fake news, to make them disappear and not to let them spread.

Am Israel Chai 

Lea is a BBG, from Berlin, Germany, and is a member of ZWST.

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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