Israel- How You Can Help

This past week in Israel we have unfortunately heard the term "miklat", shelter used over and over again. Each time that a rocket is about to fall, the residents of the city under attack have to seek refuge in the shelters which were built specifically for this purpose. In some cities, residents are living in the shelters because they don't know when the next rocket will be launched. Some shelters are empty rooms packed with people, others are equipped with exercise equipment and many have been turned into day camps and mini amusement parks during the day to keep the children occupied during this difficult time.

Where does the term "miklat" come from?

It is actually from this week's Parsha, Parshat Masei, Bamidbar 35:9-15. "God spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to B'nai Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of C'naan you shall designate cities for yourselves, "arei miklat", cities of refuge shall they be for you and a murderer shall flee there- one who takes a life unintentionally. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, so that the murderer will not die until he stands before the assembly for judgment. As to the cities that you shall designate, there shall be six cities of refuge for you. Three cities shall you designate on the other side of the Jordan, and three cities shall you designate in the land of C'naan; they shall be cities of refuge. For B'nai Yisrael and the convert and resident among them shall these six cities be a refuge for anyone who kills a person unintentionally to flee there."

Only the court had the right to decide if a murder was committed by accident or on purpose. Until the trial would take place, there was a fear that a close relative of the person who was murdered would want to kill the perpetrator. To prevent him from doing this, the Torah provides these cities of refuge where the perpetrator is safe and cannot be harmed.

How unfortunate is it that today innocent residents of Israel, men, women and children, Jews and non-Jews alike who have not even committed an accidental crime have to leave their homes, hide out and fear for their lives? How fortunate are we that we understood this reality and built buildings which include "miklatim" so that we can protect our citizens during this difficult time.

What can each of us do to help Israel at this time?

  1. Recite appropriate chapters of Tehilim (Psalms) such as Psalms 20, 83, 121, 130, 142.
  2. Attend synagogue services on Shabbat and pray with added kavana, intent/focus specifically during the Prayer for the State of Israel, the Prayer for the Soldiers, Sim Shalom and Oseh Shalom.
  3. Call friends and family in Israel to show your support.
  4. Attend pro-Israel rallies to show the world that you care.
  5. Respond to media that is clearly biased.
  6. Support Israel financially. Torat Reva Yerushalayim, in addition to our annual campaign which is currently underway is working on organizing special shiurim, Torah study classes for residents of Northern Israel who have been forced to evacuate their homes due to rocket attacks and are now staying in Jerusalem.

Please contribute to this special project! Checks can be made payable to Torat Reva Yerushalayim. Please earmark your contributions "Evacuated Israelis". All donations are fully tax deductible.