The Student News Site of Damascus High School

The Buzz

The Buzz

The Buzz

Vigil for Israel

The Montgomery County Sentinel
Photo by The Montgomery County Sentinel

   The Jewish community in Montgomery County, the U.S. and abroad, was shaken after Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack on Israel, but they were not broken. On Oct. 12, the Jewish community from a collection of Jewish synagogues and organizations came together to pray for Israel and the safe return of the hostages showing their unity and strength. 

   It was a startling sight at first, there were multiple police cars with officers outside in the parking lot, by the entrances and exits, I had never seen so much security at a synagogue before. Their lights were flashing, so all we could see was the red and blue lights while it was pitch black outside. 

   The Jewish community let the world know that this would not break them and that they would come out of this stronger. Hundreds of people came flowing in as the parking became packed. People were forced to stand in the back because there were no more seats, and the room was filled with sorrow, prayer, and song. The vigil opened with a strong speech from Rabbi Adam Raskin. A candle was lit in memoriam of the 1,300 and counting victims of this brutal assault. A rabbi stepped onto the bimah and started to sing: 

“kol ha’olam kulo, gesher tzar me’od,                       כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלוֹ גֶשֶׁר צַר מְּאֹד

Story continues below advertisement

Veha’ikar lo lifached k’lal”                                                 וְהָעִיקָר לֹא לְפַחֵד כְּלַל                                                              

(The whole world, is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is to have no fear at all) 

as the whole crowd began to sing along while the song lifted the spirits of everybody in attendance. The vigil ended with Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. 

   While not all Jews are Israeli by blood, we are all connected to Israel as the Jewish homeland. If we don’t know someone who is in Israel, we know someone who knows someone. And if we aren’t directly feeling a loss from this attack, we know someone who is. 

   The night did not come without strong speakers and well-known guests in attendance. Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin and Deputy Chief Ambassador Eliav Benjamin were among the speakers for the night. Raskin delivered an unwavering, resolute, and bold speech advocating his and America’s position that we need to stand behind Israel and will always have their backs. Eliav Benjamin on the other hand delivered an emotional and impressive speech on the brutality and evilness of the terror organization and their effect on the Jewish homeland.  The speeches generated so much emotion that congregants had to take out tissues to wipe the tears. 

   When we entered the vigil we came as our own individual selves, but when we left, we left as one community. 

   The event took place with a partnership between Adat Shalom, Americans for Ben-Gurion University, Beth Ami, Beth El (Bethesda), Beth Sholom, B’nai Israel, Bnai Shalom of Olney, B’nai Tzedek, CESJDS, Haberman Institute, Har Shalom, Jewish Studio Project, Kehilat Pardes, Kehilat Shalom, Kol Shalom, Ramah DC Day Camp, Shaare Tefila Congregation, Shaare Torah, Tikvat Israel, Washington Hebrew, as well as ADL, AJC, FIDF, JCRC, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. This partnership expresses the unity that the Jewish community has shown throughout this challenging period of time. 

*This article was written from the perspective of a participant in the vigil rather than an objective reporter

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophia Cooper
Sophia Cooper, Editor-In-Chief
Sophia Cooper is the Editor-in-Chief. She is a senior and this is her third year at The Buzz. When Sophia is not writing for The Buzz she is listening to music, practicing her trombone, drawing, or reading. Her favorite song is Before You Go by Lewis Capaldi and her favorite movie is Beauty and The Beast 2017 live action version on Disney+. Her favorite thing to write about is  international relations, current events, or Broadway news. After high school, she plans to study Journalism at a four year institutuon.

Comments (0)

All The Buzz Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *