One day, my oldest daughter shared with me that she had finally figured out what I did for a living. When I asked, she said, "You schmooze." I thought about it for a while and realized she was right. Not in a negative way but more so the fact that I enjoy talking to people. Earlier this morning, I interacted with somebody as I picked up my morning coffee, and he just came up to me and said I feel for you. Something simple: I didn't acknowledge that he wanted to share how sorry he was for what the Jewish community is going through right now with everything going on in Israel. The interaction was short, but the impact was profound because it reminded me that there are people who care about what's happening and are saddened by what is happening. It is impacting the community, and he just wanted to say I was thinking about you.
Today over 290,000 people gathered on the National Mall, the largest Jewish gathering ever, not including those of us who watched the livestream. Thousands upon thousands of people, both Jews and non-Jews, descended on the nation's capital to show their support for it. Israel demanded the hostages, safe return, and stand up to the antisemitism that we are seeing today. Although I was not able to attend in person, I sat and watched and reveled in the idea that not only would we be able to march and show our support as a community but also that there were others out there just as concerned, frustrated, and supportive of what we are going through. By no means does this diminish the innocent lives and the families that Hamas' October 7th terrorist actions will directly impact for decades to come. But it shows the caring and support that exists in society today. Sometimes, we don't see or feel it, but in those moments when someone comes up to you and says I'm thinking about you or makes a comment like it's awful. What is taking place in Israel today? In those moments, we get a glimpse of the humanity we are amongst.
With the backdrop of today's March for Israel, I want to suggest that if you are looking for something to do for the people of Israel, here is something for you to do…TODAY! Contact your local congressional representative to thank them for supporting Israel and the Jewish community.
Tell them how important their support is and encourage them to use their power to continue to defend Israel's right to exist and defend itself and to help bring home the hostages being held by Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza.
And if you are fortunate enough for people to reach out and tell you how much what is taking place in Israel saddens them, thank them and tell them how much it means to the Jewish community.