Recently, I had the privilege of volunteering in Israel with “momentum” on their mother supporting mother’s mission. There were 20 mothers of lone soldiers from around the world, some Israeli mothers, and the rest of us were individuals who simply cared and felt the need to be there and help. In total, there were about 80 women from around the world. Although I didn’t know anyone beforehand and there was a war, my heart told me I needed to be there, to offer any help I could, to witness, and to share.
During one of the darkest times in Israeli history, I witnessed a glimmer of light. It was an experience unlike anything I had ever encountered before. Hearts were shattered, and the pain and loss were evident. The needs were immense, and I had the privilege of assisting in various areas, meeting a multitude of different people. I won’t delve into the time spent in bomb shelters or the nightmares we witnessed firsthand, etc. What I want you to understand is that amidst all the pain and suffering, there existed an extraordinary beauty that surpassed anything I had ever seen.
No one argued over politics; Israel stood united, with everyone working together. Israeli flags adorned every corner, and the love and kindness strangers showed erased any sense of unfamiliarity. People thanked me with tears in their eyes for simply being there. Families of hostages walked from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, surrounded by love and support. Throughout this walk I engaged in countless conversations with Israelis, and amidst the crowd, we were one voice with a clear message: bring them home.
Even in the face of pure evil, the people of Israel stood strong, refusing to let fear dictate their lives. They supported each other, and “ordinary” people were doing extraordinary things to help their communities.
Together, we will overcome. They will rebuild what has been damaged, and I pray that they will emerge even stronger than before.
I bear witness to the light of Israel, a land of resilience, courage, and unwavering spirit. Its people stand united, bound by shared dreams, and an unwavering love for this land.
In the face of darkness, they remain a beacon of hope. They do not want to be in this war. They want peace.
Hamas and other terrorists may break our hearts, but they will never break our spirits. This Hanukkah, let us ensure that our light shines even brighter. With all that is happening in the world, it is easy to feel depressed, alone, and hopeless.
However, there is a light within each one of us. We must set aside our differences and stand strong together, supporting one another, for united, I truly believe we can accomplish anything. Challenge yourself to do something, obtain a goal, and share some light. I witnessed this unity in Israel, where people of all faiths and backgrounds came together time and time again.
This Hanukkah let’s challenge ourselves to do one thing that will light up this world with an act of kindness. Let each of us be the shamash, and light up the darkness. Let each of us light and share the flame we carry within.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Hanukkah.
Am Yisrael Chai. Israel lives on.
Founding executive director of Atlanta Israel Coalition, social media junkie and singer in my shower.