Starting last month, and for the second year, Handmaker residents have been enjoying monthly Better Together Intergenerational meetings with Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA) and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) teens.
A quick pivot was made on programming for the meeting with THA Students on Wednesday, October 11 from what was originally planned in order to help residents and teens begin to process and give weight to the still fresh events of October 7 in Israel. The teens and residents sang together, and then sat down to talk and collaboratively put feelings and thoughts to paper. The thoughts below came from attendees of that meeting, which Rabbi Cantor Emily Ellentuck and Rabbi Yosef Lopez from THA will share with our partner communities in Israel:
- Israel is strong and brave. When they are down, they pick themselves up. They listen to the birds and the wind of the trees. Israel is the freedom of all. Israel always blesses the people and picks them up again. Israel has a strong military with lots of kind people. We wish you and pray every day for you to stay safe. Do not forget you are strong and brave, and let courage lead the way, stand tall and know who you are. One quote I tell myself if I am having a hard time is “Have Courage and be Kind no matter what”. We are praying, singing Hatikvah, and so much more. Please stay safe and I know you can get through this.
- I pray that the children of Israel will be safe through this war, and all the hostages brought back from Gaza unharmed. I hope that the IDF will be safe and win the war.
- I pray that the people of Israel don’t suffer. I pray that the hate fades away and everything can be peaceful. I hope that the children of Israel can play without worry and without becoming orphaned.
- We pray and we hope for the protection of those who cannot protect themselves, & for those who are protecting others, for those who have lost their lives we hope it was a peaceful death, we pray for strength in their final moments, we hope for those who have gotten injured that they heal, we pray for all the separated families, we pray that the people missing that they will be found, we pray for these things.
- I pray for the people that are hurt and I hope that the war ends, and Israel stays strong.
- O’ Lord may the country of Israel, ravaged by war and hatred return to the peaceful country of peace and love it once was, and may the innocent men, women and children who have done nothing to fight back, be returned from the hands of captivity and return to their homes, and be united with their family and friends, and we hope this war can be extinguished and that when it ends everyone hurt by this war will return to a land of flowing milk and honey.
- Why can’t people come together? This is the question that people ask, but no one knows the answer. All we want is peace. שלום. שלום means hello, goodbye, and peace. I think that means that peace is always there but sometimes it is not as strong.
- The time that should be happy turns to sadness. The cheer and dance turn to mourning. The time of happiness and time in synagogue becomes the time of worry.
- We pray for those whose lives are being lost in a senseless war that only brings destruction and death. May our “God above” help us and the whole world to find a peaceful solution.
Means to me
A free people
To live forever
On the sea and desert
A prayer for all of you
-from Handmaker, all of us
God protect and bless the people of Israel
Make it so the suffering may cease
Give them food and water
Shelter and beds for all
Help them through this troubled time
Help them make it out alive
Let Israel prosper and joy
Please God help Israel defeat Hamas
Help all the innocent people