"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
As we write this letter, our hearts are heavy with the weight of ongoing violence and war. Our land has become a battleground, and our people are the casualties. The sirens have become the background music to our lives, and the feeling of safety has become a distant memory. In times like these, it's important to remember our roots and the promises made that led to the formation of this homeland.
Over a century ago, the Balfour Declaration on 02 November 1917, paved the way for the realization of a national home for the Jewish people in then-called Palestine. It was a defining moment that promised a sanctuary for us, a place where we could live, work, and raise our families in peace.
The climate that led to the Balfour Declaration was highly complex. Under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, the British government became increasingly amenable to the idea of a Jewish homeland. Various factors influenced this stance, ranging from political expedience to a genuine moral obligation felt towards the Jewish cause. The document was a political and diplomatic milestone that laid the foundation for the modern state of Israel.
Yet, the recent war that erupted on 07 October has shattered that sense of security and disrupted the lives of so many in our community.
Let us share with you the heartbreaking story of Sivan Cohen, one of the thousands of stories that are ripping the heart of our nation at this time. Sivan and Yaniv had been inseparable for the nine months they were together, building a life at Kibbutz Reim. On that fateful day, they were enjoying a party at the kibbutz, a brief respite from the stressors of daily life. When the sirens blared, Yaniv's first instinct was to reassure Sivan, suggesting they were just missiles and would soon pass. As the reality of the situation unfolded, Yaniv and Sivan found a place to hide although he wanted to stay back with the security team to fend off the assailants.
They both sought cover, tending to injured individuals along the way. Yaniv, even after sustaining injuries, picked up as many people as they could in their car and continued to drive them to safety, dodging bodies strewn on the road. As they reached the military base, they were separated, lying on opposite sides of a vehicle for cover. Yaniv uttered his last words to Sivan, telling her he loved her and was sorry. Hours later, Sivan learned of his death, and now she lives with the unbearable pain of losing someone who loved her unconditionally.
Sivan's story is one of countless others that show the horrifying personal toll of the current conflict. Lives are being destroyed, families ripped apart, and dreams turned into nightmares.
Now more than ever, we need your support. Your donation could help us offer much-needed medical, financial, and emotional support to people like Sivan who have been tragically affected by the war.
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Our fates are interlinked in times of strife and peace, and we sincerely hope that you choose to stand with us during these trying times.
"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace."
With heartfelt gratitude,
Barry & Batya Segal