Israel Update 2024

Important Articles

“For America’s Jews, Every Day Must Be Oct. 8,” by Bret Stephens. Click HERE to read.

“J’Accuse – An Open Letter to Hamas Apologists,” by Daniel Wolf. Click HERE to read.


Your donations are needed for the Israel Emergency Fund. Help us increase Or Zarua’s support for the life saving and essential work in Israel.

Click to donate to the Israel Emergency Fund.



Be in touch with Rabbi Bolton for any spiritual needs or for an Israel-connected conversation. Now is the time to connect and strengthen each other.

See below for videos of Rabbi Bolton reciting the Prayer for the State of Israel, Mi She’Beirakh L’Hayalei Tzahal, Mi She’Beirakh for the Return of the Captives, and Psalms 129 & 142.

On October 10, Or Zarua joined at the UN Rally in support of Israel. 

Read about the rally in a piece by our Kesher Israel co-chair, Laura Fisher.

Recite prayers for our family in Israel.

Recite them along with Rabbi Bolton, or just listen and say “Amen” at the end. Our hearts and prayers are with Israel.

Prayer for the State of Israel
The Prayer for the State of Israel asks that leaders be blessed with wisdom and those who defend Israel hands and hearts be strengthened.

Mi She’Beirakh L’Hayalei Tzahal
A blessing for all those who defend the Land of Israel and to thwart evil.

Mi She’Beirakh for the Return of the Captives
We demand their immediate release.

Psalm 129
and Psalm 142
Psalm 129 for the whole House of Israel to deliver us from this bloody war
and Psalm 142 for the immediate release of our beloved, the hostages in Gaza.

A note from Rabbi Bolton:

I am calling the attack on our family in Israel The Simhat Torah Massacre. We are now at war. The death toll is grim. The number of injured who need our prayers and medical attention sickens the heart. We are praying for the safe return of hostages.

We must be resolved to stand strong, unite with our People and support the State of Israel the ways we can from our shores.

Our family has been attacked. Our mishpakha is in mourning. Fifty years after the Yom Kippur War we have just experienced murderous violence.

We mourn with those burying their loved ones, victims of brutal attacks. Our morning minyan services (7:15am) at Or Zarua will include prayers for Israel and the IDF. We will pray for an end to bloodshed and for terrorists to be brought to justice. We will sit in vigil for the safe return of hostages who were kidnapped – Israelis, Americans, and other internationals among them.

In the name of the Five Books of Moses, the Torah of Life that we love and teach, to counter the culture of death to Jews that these terrorists teach, let’s commit to five ways to respond together:

  1. SUPPORT EACH OTHER – We, as a community, have family and friends living all over Israel including several young adults who made aliyah just this summer. Rabbi Wechsler is in Jerusalem. Let your loved ones and friends know our entire community is with them and keeping them in thought and prayer; it makes a difference.
  2. GIVE – Contribute tzedakah. The UJA-FEDERATION has started an Israel Emergency Fund, and we will contribute as a community. DONATE to Or Zarua with ISRAEL in the note. We’ll also find other organizations doing essential lifesaving and rebuilding work to contribute tzedakah.
  3. UPDATE – Stay up on the news; share it. The Times of Israel is a free English source online. Let’s keep each other posted. Send me word about your family and loved ones in Israel. Let me text or call to let them know our community is with them.
    Write me an email,, with their contact information.
  4. UNIFY – Put politics aside and decry terrorist murder and brutality. This is a brutal, murderous deadly attack by barbarian killers with no regard for life. Pray that the enemies of Israel are thwarted and brought to justice. Make this a time to raise our collective connection to Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael; let’s unify and hope the government does as well.
  5. PRAY – Let’s pray together in person at morning minyan, Sunday (at 8;45 am), Monday, Wednesday – Friday (7:15 am) and on Shabbat (9:00 am). Tuesday is on ZOOM. Recite the Prayer for the State of Israel, the Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces, Psalms 129 and 142, and a Mi She’Beirakh for the Captives along with my videos below, or listen to me recite them and then say “Amen.”

Terrorists shattered our sukkah of peace and bloodied our Torah. May justice and ultimately peace prevail.

With a heavy, yet determined heart…

Am Yisrael Chai