In addition to our fast-paced work in the south of Israel; organizing and putting together the logistics for our war relief project, distributing food and urgent equipment among our soldiers, families living in bomb shelters, as well as displaced families, we took time to drive up to Tel Aviv where you can find a new sort of “wailing wall”.
Tel Aviv’s Wailing Wall consists of photos of hundreds of Israelis who have been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and taken into Gaza as hostages. The youngest is a few months old baby, and the oldest is a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.
The magnitude of the horrific attack on October 7th is unfathomable. A Jewish nation that has the sanctitude of life embedded in its very soul is struggling to process this horrendous loss and its consequences.
The atmosphere in Tel Aviv beside this makeshift “wailing wall” is heavy and thick with sadness. Families and loved ones of these Israeli hostages come here to make their presence seen and voices heard. They want their loved ones back.
However, there are others that also come to this special place in Tel Aviv. Just random Israelis coming to support these families and accompany them in their pain and distress. Those who come to cry with those who cry and mourn with those who mourn.
Interestingly enough, up until October 7, Tel Aviv was experiencing its most divisive moments in Israel’s history. It was a place of great contention between Israelis who seemingly were on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
October 7th changed all that. It is as though the murderous hatred that came to pierce the heart of this nation awoke a sleeping giant inside the people of Israel. The giant that comes alive in times of great adversity when we face the battle for our very existence.
For most of 2023, Tel Aviv was the central place for political demonstrations, riots and division. Now this place is a place of unity, tears and prayers of Israelis who might not know each other, but embrace as if they were family. They come to support one another because in the end, we are family. We fight hard, but we love harder.
While many around the world still seek to dehumanize Israel, even after the most brutal attack on Jews since the Holocaust, we came here because we wanted to capture the human side of this horrendous war. We wanted to give voice to the stories and faces behind the staggering numbers of kidnapped Israelis.
What makes Israel unique is how tightly woven we are as a nation. If an Israeli mother stands with a photo of her kidnapped daughter, she will not stand alone. People will rally around her and raise her daughter’s photo as though she is everyone’s daughter.
That is what makes Israel tick, this togetherness that makes us feel deeply connected. Those aren’t someone’s loved ones kidnapped in Gaza, those are OUR loved ones. These children are OUR children. The soldiers protecting us are OUR sons and daughters. Hurting, traumatized and displaced families are OUR families.
This is not someone else’s battle. It is OUR battle as a nation of Israel, but it is also the battle of dear friends of Israel like you, who through generous support and firm stand took on the calling of Ruth, saying:
Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Your friendship right now means so much more than you could possibly imagine. Your earnest desire to help, to walk this path with us, your continuous sowing, uplifting, praying and carrying the nation of Israel before the Lord during these dark days is a remarkable calling – Ruth’s calling.
We’re grateful for you even as you continue to GIVE and support the ever-growing needs of Israel during this time of war.
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.