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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Jewish New Yorkers Express Shock & Concern Over Iran’s Missile Attack on Israel

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Edited by: Fern Sidman

The Jewish community in New York City was left shaken and deeply concerned following Iran’s missile attack on Israel over the weekend, igniting fears for the safety and well-being of loved ones in the besieged Jewish state.

Chaim Goldstein, like many others, expressed his fear and worry for his family’s safety as news of the attack spread. “Of course, I’m scared for my family and their well-being,” Goldstein shared with The New York Post as he left Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights.

The shocking news of the invasion was broken to worshippers at the synagogue, many of whom had not been aware of the situation due to Sabbath restrictions. According to the report in the Post, the revelation prompted immediate reactions, with one man sprinting across Eastern Parkway to check on his family in Israel.

Amidst the heightened tension, a police presence was stationed outside the synagogue as a precautionary measure, calling attention to the gravity of the situation and the need for heightened security measures.

Rabbi David Sholom Pape, 79, expressed his concerns about Iran’s attack, describing it as a “suicide mission.” “I just pray that Hashem should take care of the Jewish people and that the hostages should be allowed to return to their home,” Rabbi Pape told the Post, as he reflected on the seriousness of the situation and the potential global implications.

The news of Iran deploying hundreds of suicide drones, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and rockets in the attack came as a shock to many, although some expressed a lack of surprise given Iran’s history of hostility towards Israel, according to the information provided in the Post report. The strike, which involved approximately 200 drones, marks Iran’s first-ever direct attack on Israel and comes in the wake of heightened hostilities between the two nations. As per the Post report, the attack follows Israel’s airstrike in Damascus, Lebanon on April 1, which resulted in the killing of top Iranian generals.

For many Jewish New Yorkers, the news of the attack hits close to home, as they have family and loved ones residing in Israel. Samson, a 26-year-old who declined to provide his last name to the Post, expressed concern for his family’s safety and emphasized the daily rituals of prayer and communication with relatives in Israel. “We call every day to find out how they’re doing. We pray every day for our brothers and sisters in their holy land,” Samson shared with the Post, highlighting the deep connection and sense of solidarity within the Jewish community.

However, amidst the concern, there is also condemnation for the scenes of celebration in Tehran following the destruction caused by the attack. As was reported by the Post, Samson chastised the Iranians who were seen celebrating, denouncing their actions as “horrible” and emphasizing the cruelty celebrating violence and destruction. “War is terrible. War is cruel. We want the war to stop. Anyone dancing anywhere for missiles dropping is cruel,” he asserted, during an interview with the Post. His remarks echoed sentiments shared by many within the community.

Moshe Frank, 38, told the Post that he attributed the celebrations to a culture of hatred towards Israel perpetuated by the Iranian government. “The Iranian people have been brainwashed to hate Israel,” Frank declared as he expressed hope for de-escalation and a return to peace in the region.

In the heart of Crown Heights, 18-year-old Goldstein finds himself caught in the midst of the turmoil, having moved from Israel to New York City just one month before the Hamas led October 7th surprise attack, as was indicated in the Post report. On that day, 1200 Israelis and others were brutally massacred and 250 were taken into Hamas captivity in Gaza.

Despite the physical distance separating him from his family back in Israel, Goldstein remains deeply connected to the ongoing conflict, pushing for peace and an end to the violence that has plagued the region. “We should live in peace together, just like the Arabs and Jews lived in peace,” he exclaimed to the Post.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum, a pillar of the Crown Heights community, draws strength from his faith amidst the chaos. Reflecting on past trials, Rabbi Weinbaum recalls Iraq’s missile campaign against Israel in 1991 and the divine protection that guided the nation through those dark times. “The same God who protected us then is still around. He didn’t go anywhere and he will protect us,” Rabbi Weinbaum affirmed when speaking to the Post.

In a poignant twist of fate, Rabbi Weinbaum’s 18-year-old daughter, having traveled from Israel to Crown Heights to celebrate Passover with her father, finds herself in the midst of uncertainty, the Post report added. Yet, Rabbi Weinbaum remains unwavering in his belief that she is safer in Israel than in New York City, a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the Israeli people amidst ongoing threats.

As tensions escalate, Mayor Eric Adams reassured New Yorkers of the city’s unwavering support for the State of Israel. “New York City unequivocally stands with the State of Israel,” Mayor Adams said, as was pointed out in the Post report.

Acknowledging the significance of the assault for Jewish New Yorkers, especially with Passover fast approaching, Mayor Adams emphasized the city’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its Jewish residents, the report in the Post noted. In response to the heightened tensions, additional NYPD resources have been deployed to Jewish communities and places of worship across the city as a precautionary measure.

Jewish leaders in New York City have joined Mayor Adams in condemning the attack, with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reaffirming the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s defense against Iran. Also mentioned in the Post report was Mark Treyger, a former Democratic city councilmember representing south Brooklyn and a member of the Jewish caucus. He echoed these sentiments, describing the attack as a “sobering reminder” of Israel’s ongoing struggles since the outbreak of the conflict on October 7th. Treyger described the relentless nature of Iran’s aggression towards Israel, highlighting the regime’s support for Hamas terrorism and its direct assault on a key ally and democracy in the region.

As the world watches closely, the actions taken by New York City and its leaders send a clear message of support and solidarity to Israel during this challenging time. With Passover on the horizon, the Jewish community in New York City remains steadfast in its resolve to stand with Israel and ensure the safety and security of its people, both at home and abroad.

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