Photo Credit: Flash90

There I was, Simchat Torah, dancing with my kids with one hand, hugging a Torah scroll with the other.

Then, all of a sudden, a screech coming from behind the mechitza, from the women’s section of the synagogue.


Azakaaaaa.” “Siren!!!!”

But now what? Here we are in this synagogue, comprised, by the way, almost entirely of English-speaking immigrants to Israel, in a situation that we never experienced before.

Sure, there have been sirens before, but not on a day like Simchat Torah where there are many hundreds of people praying. Where do we go? The mamad (bomb shelter) is not big enough for all of us!

All I could think at that moment was “This is Jewish history in a single second! Running to a bomb shelter hugging our sifrei Torah. We’ve seen this before. Many times. And here we are again.”

Then the rumors began circulating nonstop. I won’t even repeat here what the rumors were. Some ended up being accurate, others less so.

I asked my rabbi if I could turn on my phone simply to calm my nerves. Of course, the answer was a clear no.

So we waited. The anxiety levels were through the roof.

The people around me told me to calm down. That there was nothing I can do and my nerves are pointless.

My response? “I can’t calm down! What if the rumors are true? What if I come back from Shabbat and we have 75 dead?!”

Seventy-five. That was the craziest number I could think of. Seventy-five.

As I write this, we are past 900 dead and counting. Sadly, that number is expected to grow significantly.

For perspective, the deadliest day of the Yom Kippur war, we have less than 350 casualties.

There has never been a deadlier day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust. I’ll let that sink in.

The questions are endless. How did this happen? How did we not know about this? How did our intelligence fail so badly? Now what? Over 100 taken hostage to Gaza! How do we deal with that?

Then the brain starts to play the blame game. That’s human instinct.

It’s a nonstop battle to focus on spreading any tiny bit of positivity I can think of. Stop blaming. Stop speculating. And stop watching those horrific videos for G-d’s sake!

“Focus, Hillel. People depend on you for hope!”

And so that’s what I decided to focus on, spreading hope while trying my best to balance that with my personal responsibilities as a husband, father, son, and brother.

So what positivity could there possibly be?

Well, I’ll summarize what I told my followers.

I told them that it’s ok to not be ok. None of us are ok right now.

With that said, I told them, please try to see beyond the horrific news. Take a broader perspective for one second.

Things are changing. History is writing itself before our eyes. Israel has total support from the entire world. If you read the news, all you see is how everyone hates the Jews. Because that’s what gets clicks. But Israel has more global support than any time I can remember.

Public opinion is also changing. I see it first hand on X. For every nasty reply I get, and there are still many, I get over 100 supportive messages, including from Elon Musk himself who has publicly declared his support for the Jews and Israel.

Elon Musk has now replied to two of my tweets, both times in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

Every time I open the news, I expect or hope to read a positive headline: “Israel announces it will not stop till Hamas no longer exists”; “Israel announces its territory is 100 percent safe and free of terrorists”; “Hamas begs for a ceasefire, Israel rejects its request”; or anything positive.

But every time I open the news, the headlines keep getting worse. So how is this a positive thing?

Well, for starters, we will win this war. How do I know? Because we’ve won every war. Yes; we paid a steep price and this war is no different. We’ve already paid the steepest price. But we will win.

But here’s the thing. Maybe I’m wrong but I get the impression that Israel and the IDF are doing what needs to be done and not talking about it. If that’s the case, and I truly believe it is, it’s the right way to go.

What good comes from publicizing what we’re doing militarily? I want to believe Israel declaring that this is a war and not an operation, means we are doing things differently this time.

Don’t be fooled by the radio silence and by the headlines that would have you believe that the only side attacking is Hamas and the IDF is sitting around doing nothing. I promise you, that is not the case. I don’t know any more than you, but I know in my heart that we are doing what we need to do.

The way I see it, every day that passes, every terrifying headline, every disgusting picture or video in my feed, is one step closer to the positive headlines, the achievements of the IDF, and the eventual victory.

And one more thing.

When this is all over and when we finish our national mourning, please understand that the rules of the game have changed. No more Hamas ruling Gaza, no more Israel sitting on the side as Gaza receives weapons from Iran. No more rockets. Hopefully no more Hamas.

This war is horrible but if we try, as hard as it might be, we can step back and realize, despite the horrible unbearable pain we are all in, the day after will bring Israel more strength than we’ve ever had.

We will win this. I know that sounds impossible because we’ve lost so much already. But we will win and we will make sure that what was, will no longer be.

Meanwhile, I know how hopeless you feel, like you can’t do anything. Well, you can. You can do many things.

If you have money to donate, donate it. (See my post for endless organizations to which you can donate.)

If you don’t have money to donate, try to reassure your friends and family.

If you don’t have the emotional strength to do that, then turn on your computer, open X or if you don’t have an account, open one (yes; I am serious) and share what’s going on here.

Don’t think for a second your words can’t make a difference. All it takes is one post, one person to share that post, and you could potentially make a significant dent in the public discourse.

Please trust me on this. Speak your truth on the internet. Pretend you have the world’s biggest megaphone because that’s what social media, and specifically X, is. Use it. If nothing else, use your words.

Listen, we are all broken. But please understand that as hard as this is to say, there is positive momentum right now in favor of Israel and the Jewish people. Don’t let this moment go to waste.

Force yourself out of bed (my next mission after finishing this post!) and do what you can. You have more power than you think.

We are in this together and we will win this, no matter how long it takes. We have no choice.

As a nation, we’ve gotten through much harder times. They hurt. We lost so many. But we are here and we are not going anywhere.

I have said this a hundred times. This war isn’t going to end with Israel. I would bet everything I have in this world that this war is the beginning of something way bigger that’s coming.

Trust me, the Jewish people will survive and come out of this stronger than ever. Stronger militarily, stronger diplomatically, stronger nationally, and stronger socially. We will unite and we will win!

Hang in there. You’re not alone. I am with you. We are all with you.

Most importantly, Hashem is with you!

That was my message to my followers and that is my message to you. We will prevail. It will be a bittersweet victory. A victory accompanied by endless pain but a victory nonetheless.

Each one of us can do our part and do our best because that’s all Hashem wants from us.


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Hillel Fuld is a tech blogger/vlogger/podcaster, startup marketer, online influencer, and public speaker. He has been featured on several tech publications and does keynotes on tech marketing worldwide.