Dear friends,

Like so many others, I awoke this past Shabbat morning to the heart-rending news from Israel. And like so many others, as the hours and days have unfolded, I have struggled to contain all the emotions: fear, grief, anger, confusion, gratitude for those who are keeping others safe and bringing healing to those in need. As I danced with my community on Simchat Torah–somberly, with tears in my eyes–I felt a new appreciation for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s famous words about praying with his feet.

Like so many others, I am praying for the well-being of my own family, friends, and loved ones, including nieces and nephews who have been called back to active duty, a brother and sister-in-law and many good friends who, like millions of others–Israelis and Palestinians–must now seek shelter from bombs and missiles. These prayers come alongside our collective prayers for the safe return of those taken captive, healing for the injured, safety for innocents, and a peaceful resolution to the war as soon as possible.

And, perhaps like you, I find that in these times, I lean on my spiritual practice as much as ever. I find comfort and insight arising from meditation. I find healing in prayer, chant, and song. I find wisdom and depth in the words of Torah.

But most important, I find that now is when community matters most to me. It is in that spirit that I write today to say: the IJS community is here for you. Now, as ever, we are here for you with all of our resources: Our daily Jewish meditation sit at 12:30 pm ET or on demand; our weekly Jewish yoga studio at 11:00 am ET on Mondays; our podcasts and courses; our teachings and our teachers. We are here for you, we are here for one another, day in and day out.

These are hard days, and hard days are why we practice–together. As the Jewish people and the world make our way through this profoundly difficult time, I invite you both to lean on this community and to join in so that others may lean on you.

With blessings for well-being and prayers for peace,

Rabbi Josh Feigelson, PhD
President & CEO