A vigil was held in Bend Wednesday night to honor Israel as the war with Hamas escalates.
“Our hope is for peace, for an end to the suffering and dignity and to acknowledge that there are no heroes here,” said Temple Beth Tikvah Rabbi Johanna Hershenson. “There are no heroes. There are no winners. This is only a time for grieving.”
Air strikes between Israel and Hamas continue as the death toll rises.
“We’re coming together to do what any community in mourning does. Come together to say to one another, ‘We’re not alone as we mourn and are afraid of what’s happening in Israel with the terrorism that Hamas is inflicting,’” said Temple Beth Tikvah board president Cere Fingerhut.
With the Hamas attack over the weekend and the rise of anti-antisemitism worldwide and in the United States, many of those here are becoming fearful — even of events like this.
“It makes it hard to know that you’re safe to worship. In all of our events, we have to hire armed guards to make sure that our babies are safe and that we are safe, and it’s hard,” Fingerhut said.
Those who gathered held candles, listened to speeches and mourned together.
“Giving each other comfort and support because it can be lonely, given how small the Jewish community is in the world, to know that there are people who care about you and recognize your sadness at a time like this and your fear,” Fingerhut said.
The vigil concluded in song and prayer.