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Purim in the Shadow of October 7th
March 22, 2024

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It’s the question that’s on all of our minds.

As Purim approaches, our hearts are heavy with the weight of recent events. How do we celebrate a holiday centered on happiness when our hearts are broken, and Israel is at war? How are we supposed to experience the joy of Purim when we know there are innocent men, women, and children still being held captive by Hamas? How can we possibly revel in simcha when so many families bear the scars of loss and struggle and have empty seats at their tables, while soldiers are risking their lives daily in Gaza and beyond? Getting into the spirit of Purim is a very a difficult balance to strike living as we are amidst a backdrop of hostility with acts of intolerance repeatedly directed against our community.

Much like September 11th, October 7th is a date forever imprinted on our hearts, a day that marked a profound shift in our reality. There was life as we knew it before the Simchas Torah terror attack, when things may not have been perfect, but they certainly seemed to be manageable. And then there is everything that came after October 7th, an existence where, months later, we continue to wake up each day knowing that our worst nightmares have come true.

Much as we might like to go back to October 6th and hit pause, we’ve all had to find ways to go on and even amid the uncertainty, we have all discovered glimmers of hope and resilience. We’ve witnessed communities rallying together, demonstrating unwavering kindness and support, and organizations like Amudim standing as beacons of hope, offering assistance and guidance when it is most needed. The acts of chesed and kindness that we’ve seen have been incredible, with people stepping up in many different ways to do their part for the war effort.

Amudim was honored to be of assistance in the early days when travel was difficult, and to play a leading role in a massive effort that brought multiple planeloads of supplies to Israel. On a broader scale, we’ve witnessed members of the Jewish community at large of all ages saying Tehillim en masse, launching fundraisers, and sending dozens of missions to Israel to show support, pick fruit, tie tzitzis and more. The power of unity, as we have all held onto each other for strength and support, has helped us navigate through adversity, while acts of kindness and compassion have been a source of solace and comfort during these challenging times.

It’s hard not to see certain parallels between the ongoing situation to the work we do at Amudim. Day after day, we encounter individuals whose lives are marked by unimaginable hardships, having endured trauma and victimization in horrific ways. Sadly, some of those they expected to be their staunchest advocates fall short, dismissing their struggles with platitudes like "just get over it" or "I'm sure that never happened." In other instances, victims of abuse and addiction find themselves isolated and alone, while those who perpetrate harm are often shielded and even supported by society.

For nearly ten years, Amudim has helped people through times of crisis, being there in any and every way possible to steer them towards the lifesaving care that will lead them to a better tomorrow. We understand the difficulties of navigating against the currents of public opinion, and are grateful to witness the gradual but significant changes taking place.

Throughout this challenging year, we've become intimately familiar with pain and solitude, and, we will need to once again tap into our wellsprings of compassion and our inner reserves of simcha as Purim approaches, even if the happiness of the day is somewhat diminished because of the ongoing situation in Israel. Yes, we will sing and dance and let joy overtake us, but we will also continue to keep the soldiers, the hostages and acheinu B’nei Yisroel in our hearts and daven for their safety and for better days ahead. And just as each one us will find a way to make Purim as festive as possible under the current circumstances, I ask you to make room in your hearts, not just on Purim, but on every day of the year, for those whose lives have long been darkened by mental health issues, abuse and addiction.

Let us all continue to use the extra sensitivity that we have drawn on to help our brothers and sisters in Israel to be there for those who are silently suffering within our own communities. And by offering support and understanding, we can all look forward to brighter and happier times ahead, confident in the knowledge that we were there for each other during our time of need.

Week Ending March 22, 2024
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Each week, Amudim fields calls covering a wide range of crises and addressing various human concerns, including addiction, depression, abuse, health and domestic emergencies and many others. We track the calls and breakdown of issues for many reasons, foremost of which is to consistently improve and strengthen our knowledge and ability to address community’s needs.

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Celebrate #Purim with purpose and compassion. 🎉
Remember to honor each person’s journey.

Support #Amudim’s mission to foster a community of care this Purim and make your donation count towards a brighter future. Let’s make this Purim not just memorable, but meaningful.

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