As many of us know, on Saturday morning (Oct. 7) Israel was viciously and brutally attacked in a coordinated act of war on Israeli soil. Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization which controls Gaza, has claimed responsibility. The fact that Hamas chose to launch this attack on the holy days of Shabbat, Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah should be lost on no one; it echoes the brutal attacks in the Yom Kippur War, 50 years and 1 day ago, and similar instances where the Jewish state is targeted on days of Jewish religious observance.
More than 3000 rockets have been fired indiscriminately as terrorists came by land, sea and air. As of Monday morning (Oct. 9), at least 700 Israelis have been killed, over 2200 are wounded and many are unaccounted for. These numbers are expected to grow. Horrifically, Israeli citizens have been kidnapped—including women and children—and taken into Gaza as hostages. It is absolutely clear that civilians were targeted. We have seen images of their dead bodies strewn in the streets and their vehicles. In one report from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, terrorists surrounded and attacked a gathering of more than 1000 children at Kibbutz Re’im, throwing grenades into tents and shooting indiscriminately. Many of the missing right now are these children.
We stand with Israel on this dark day. Unequivocally. And we condemn this brutality. Unequivocally.
Israel has the right to defend herself against this brutal and vicious attack. There should be accountability for those who perpetrated it and freedom for the captives they have kidnapped. Unquestionably. world leaders have come forward to declare their condemnation for this act of terrorism and pledge solidarity with Israel. Our Louisville Jewish community, likewise, stands firm in our resolve against this heinous brutality.
Many of us have family and friends in Israel and we hold them in our hearts. We mourn those whose lives are lost. The entire nation has been called up to protect Israel from this incursion and we stand in solidarity with the people of Israel in the burgeoning hours of this war.
Many of us prayed for Israel on Shabbat morning, “Grant peace in the land and happiness to all its residents.” For many, these words were said through tears.
We will be announcing a community gathering shortly to come together in this time of need.
Am Yisrael Chai.
JEWISH FEDERATION OF LOUISVILLE
JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel
THE TEMPLE ADATH ISRAEL BRITH SHOLOM
Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner
Melanie Pell, Chief Field Operations Officer
AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE
Signers Note: Many of the Jewish individuals and institutions in our Community are observing Shabbat and the Holidays at this moment. We respect that they cannot review or sign on to these statements for religious reasons. We will reissue these statements after the close of these holidays to give these Jewish organizations an opportunity to join. Remember, it was the design of the terrorists to attack during these holidays to threaten our solidarity in Israel and the diaspora. They will not succeed.