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Shalom from Israel! I used to live in Edison and now I am a proud Israeli citizen and resident. The situation here is very tense. Everyone knows someone who is down in Gaza fighting for us. Everyone has experienced a tzeva adom (red alert) at least once in the past few weeks. Everyone is on edge about possible kidnaps, airstrikes, and the war.

Despite all this, life goes on here. People still go to work and sit in the same boring meetings. Kids still go to the parks, and people still go shopping and see movies. Life must continue here or the terrorists win.

The reason I am writing to you is to urge you to help life here to continue. Tourism and aliya are a big, big part of helping us continue daily life. Many businesses rely on tourism to  survive. When people are too scared, they stop coming and businesses die. Please help these amazing Israeli businesses stay open and come visit! Times might be tense, but 85 percent of Israel is still considered safe. Thinking of aliya? The more people that move here the better!

When you make aliya, you are not only coming to an amazing place but you are fulfilling a mitzva to live in Hashem’s chosen land. You are also saying to the terrorists “This is my land! This is my home, and we are not going to leave!” This is a powerful message we need to keep sending.

Please also pray for the land of Israel and our soldiers who are keeping us safe.

Matla Rivenson-Schleider
Beit Shemesh

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