“Leading a delegation of 45 to visit families in all of Gaza’s settlements to be with them during this tragic period doesn’t take courage, it takes heart,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) as he embarks on a solidarity mission to Gaza next week. “We have to ease their suffering, and calm their souls. It would be radical and extreme to allow them to feel isolated.”
Friends, neighbors, relatives, have asked mission delegates how they can travel to Gaza, where more than 4,000 Qassam rockets have fallen, where terrorists target mothers and children in drive-by shootings. And a mother whose most radical agenda, to date, has been carpools and doing homework with her five children says, “How can I not try to comfort mothers in Gaza who face an uncertain future? Who face carpool duties in the shadow of terrorists? Who tuck their children into bed with lullabies that are punctuated by the sounds of rocket fire as night falls?”
“Forty-five individuals have chosen to suspend their lives and businesses for a week: judges have rearranged dockets, doctors have rescheduled patients, entrepreneurs have postponed conferences and meetings,” Hikind said. “For what? Because Gaza isn’t a pinpoint on a map; it’s 8,500 people with hopes and dreams. They go to work just like we do. They go to school just like we do. They go to synagogue to pray for the safety and well-being of their families, just like we do. They come home to dinner. And they go to sleep just like we do. But unlike us, their synagogues are pounded by mortar fire. The walls of their homes may be pock-marked by automatic weapons fire. And they have buried wives, husbands, parents, children who have been murdered on school buses, in minivans, and in their own homes.
“This is the start of a full fledged campaign by rabbis and organizations to send a steady stream of congregants and delegates where they are needed most, with the Jews of Gaza, who need us now more than ever.”