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Mobilization, solidarity and prayer: Israel's response to tragedy

Hundreds stand in line at Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv to donate blood, with more than thousands of injuries as hundreds of terrorists infiltrated southern Israel yesterday morning. Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

In the morning following the horrors of Saturday, the people of Israel were deeply affected by the staggering number of casualties, injuries and missing individuals. Questions like "How did this happen?" and "What comes next?" are on everyone's minds.

"Right now, nearly everyone I know in the reserves has already received their call-up. Could this be the start of a broader conflict involving Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah? Or perhaps with Iran?" were the concerns raised by someone, the same questions shared by many.

In light of recent events, the possibility of further developments in this direction cannot be discounted. The government has just announced officially that Israel is at war.

Nevertheless, broader mobilization following such a significant tragedy also carries a crucial and anxiety-reducing psychological impact, which may well be a calculated component of the decision-makers crisis management strategy. It is essential for people to now shift their attention to the practical question of "How can I help?" in addition to the ongoing, unanswerable questions.

The collection of blood donations continued this morning, as Magen David Adom (MDA) emphasized the emergency situation. They appealed to the public, urging them to donate blood to save the lives of the injured. All blood types are in short supply, particularly type O units, crucial for life-saving treatments. Yesterday, donation centers were overwhelmed, with some longer queues lasting over five hours. MDA is scaling up operations, opening larger stations across the country as of Sunday morning.

Amid government aid organizations and centers, heartwarming stories of civic mobilization and solidarity have emerged since the onset of the conflict. Private companies, youth and social organizations, sports associations, and individuals across Israel are stepping up to help those in need.

Social media platforms feature posts offering homes and assistance to families fleeing conflict zones. Funds are being collected to support residents of Israel's southern region, enabling them to purchase essential food and hygiene items. Donations of equipment for soldiers, dry food, portable chargers and hygiene products are pouring in.

Local WhatsApp groups have sprung up to provide general assistance based on emerging needs. The organizers of ongoing street protests, active for over a year, are collecting donations and distributing equipment to residents in the southern district. The "Brothers in Arms" organization launched a "warm meal" project for the families of those who have been wounded, setting up a center to provide food for hundreds of them.

In Ramat Gan, a collection point accepts basic supplies donated for families escaping conflict zones. The list of needed items is extensive, from hygiene products and clothing for all ages to chargers, bags, and shipping boxes. Donations include baby food, bottles, pacifiers, toys, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorants, diapers, shower supplies, bed linens, and towels.

Besides military, health and material support, there is a profound need for spiritual strength and encouragement.

Prayer communities in Israel and worldwide are uniting in prayer for Israel and peace. Prayer carries immense power. A member of our congregation received a thank you message this morning, in which someone was happy to inform her that her sister, who had been missing since yesterday morning in the war zone, was found this morning together with her two companions in a nearby settlement, where she managed to escape from the invading terrorists.

"Praise God! And probably thanks to your prayers!” she added.

Yehuda is a former mathematics and science teacher in Israel's first accredited Messianic school, based in Jerusalem, holding academic degrees in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. He joined the ALL ISRAEL NEWS staff in August 2023.

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