HELPING ISRAEL FROM ABROAD

1) Buy Israeli products and services.
With the Israeli economy suffering, go out of your way to support Israel's export trade. http://www.shopinisrael.com, http://www.usaisrael.org, http://www.yeshashops.com, and http://www.israeliwishes.com allow you to but Israeli products directly. When in the grocery store, look for brands like Elite, Telma, Osem, and Ahava beauty products -- even if you have to pay a few more dollars for Israeli products. Ask the supermarket manager to order these items specifically. Buy Israeli wine to bring as a gift when you visit friends. Home Depot and other stores have many made in Israel products -- especially plastics. http://www.israelexport.org lists the names of products sold in the USA.


Merely by changing spending habits WE can inject some 7 billion shekels a year into the Israeli economy - for a net gain of 20,000 new jobs.  How?  By making sure to spend only $50 each month on Israeli products.

The Jewish Agency, the World Zionist Organization, and the White and Blue Mission of the Israeli Manufacturers Association have begun a joint campaign to promote the purchase of Israeli goods abroad.  Arutz-7's Hagit Rotenberg reports that the $50-a-month shift could lead to a 3% increase in Israel's industrial sales.  Purposeful spending of this nature, it is thought, could also lead to greater solidarity and identification with the Jewish state. 

Israeli-made products can be found on these sites:
http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/sh-il.htm
http://www.israeliproducts.com
http://www.jewishuniverse.org
http://store.yahoo.com/israelnationalnews
http://www.shopinisrael.com
http://www.usaisrael.org
http://www.yeshashops.com
http://www.israeliwishes.com
http://www.25waystohelpisrael.com/
http://www.ziondirect.biz
http://www.gabrielirubin.co.il

2) Speak out!
The next time you hear something that puts down Israel, don't wonder to yourself, "What is anyone going to do about it." No Jewish organization or Israeli consulate can fight the propaganda war on every front, so don't assume they will. You be the "anyone" and pick up your pen or keyboard and start writing. Write a piece you for local newspaper, set up information tables at your high school or college, or simply talk to people. Be a roving ambassador for Israel by explaining the true facts to everyone you meet. Even the cashier in the supermarket needs good information. You never know how your contribution may affect someone else's views. The possibilities are endless. The worst thing that one can do is to remain quiet in times like this. So do something!

3)Pray
Pray to G*D to bring peace to the land. Pray for Israel's leaders who need wisdom. Pray that they continue to do what is best for Israel in spite of international pressure. Pray for the safety of Israeli civilians who are targeted by suicide bombers. Pray for the protection of IDF soldiers as they root out every last terrorist. Ask G*D to heal Israel's wounded soldiers and civilians and to thwart future terrorist attacks. And pray for the Arabs to realize the true nature of their leadership and doctrines that teach hate and murder. Regardless of your level of observance, you can add a request for Israel to your regular (or even irregular) prayer regimen. No prayer goes to waste. You can send prayers via the Western Wall at www.thewall.org. Cry out for G*D's compassion -- because the gates of tears are never closed. And remember: HE is in ultimate control. He has done miracles before and will do them again.

4)Get the facts.
The Internet is a great resource for getting an accurate picture of what is really happening in the conflict. For crucial background information, read "Israel: A History" (by Martin Gilbert), "From Time Immemorial" (by Joan Peters), and "Myths and Facts" (by Mitchell G. Bard) -- online at http://www.usisrael.org/jsource/myths/mftoc.html 

5)Phone Israel.
Pick up the phone and make a solidarity call to your Israeli friends and relatives. If you don't know someone personally, ask someone who does. Call that person in Israel and assure them that you share their pain and understand what they're going through. Commend that person for having the courage to live in Israel now. Let them know they are not alone!

6)Protest bias in the media.
The media has a powerful influence on public opinion and government policy. When you discover a piece of bias, immediately contact the news agency and complain. Keep your remarks respectful and stick to the facts. Build a list of e-mail addresses of friends and colleagues, so when you discover bias, you can alert others to also file a complaint. There is power in the number of responses, even if your specific letter is not printed. You can join a media watch email list at http://www.HonestReporting.com which gives guidelines for how to be effective in contacting the media, and has over 25,000 subscribers protesting biased news against Israel.

7)Give Tzedakah.
Give some charity every day for Israel. Encourage others to give charity for Israel, too. A list of worthy causes is online at: http://www.jewishcharitiesonline.com. One person wrote; "Because our church has been forced to cancel their annual trip to Israel, we are sending our money anyway to the tour guides and bus driver."

8)Empathize with terror victims.
As you are lying in bed at night, imagine what it's like to be the sister, child or parent of someone who yesterday was full of life, and today is nothing but scattered bones and flesh. It's a mitzvah to cry and feel another's pain. A full listing of terror victims - and suggestions to help - is online at: http://www.walk4israel.com and http://www.projectonesoul.com.

9)Visit Israel.
Go to Israel on vacation, to study, or to visit family. Encourage your local organizations to sponsor trips -- study tours, religious tours, Bar/Bat Mitzvah tours. It can be for 3 days or 10 days. Spend as much money as you can afford in order to help the economy. Hotels, stores, restaurants are lacking tourists -- precisely what the terrorists seek! Talk to others about the beautiful landscape of Israel, about the unique feeling of thousands of years of Jewish existence in Israel. Visiting Israel will show Israelis that you really care, and will make a tremendous difference to your own sense of connection. Make your motto: "Tourism against Terrorism!"

10)Fly the Israeli flag.
Put an Israeli flag in front of your home, church, etc. Let everyone know that you are proud of Israel. Put an "I Support Israel" bumper sticker on your car. Wear a combined American/Israeli flag pin on your lapel. If you can't find an Israeli flag, make one yourself, or ask your kids to draw one, and display it in your car window or office.

11) Know your enemy
The Arab world tends to say one thing in English, but a very different message in Arabic. Blood libels and fabrications of Israeli-sponsored massacres are common. Memri (http://www.memri.org) provides important translations of the Arabic media. And the Center for Monitoring Impact Peace tracks Palestinian compliance with peace agreements (http://www.edume.org).

12) Unity!
When we stop arguing amongst ourselves and work together, then we can stand united against the enemy, and the Almighty with us. Jerusalem was destroyed because of people speaking negatively about each other, so that is the way we can rebuild Jerusalem. Let us abstain from saying (or listening to) anything bad about any Jew, any group of Jews, or even the Israeli government unless it is constructive critique. The only way to stand against our enemies is to become one with each other -- to lay down our differences and work together.

13) Holocaust education.
With the rise of anti-Semitic incidents around the world, and the state-sponsored anti-Semitism in Arab countries, it is important to see the warning signs before a crisis happens. Learning about the Holocaust helps us appreciate the depth of anti-Semitism and its root causes. Excellent information is online at http://www.anti-semitism.com. Squelch all anti-Semitic language everywhere you are. Stand up against this terrible hatred -- no matter what the consequences.

14)Visit your Congressman.
Form a concerned citizen's group, and then make appointment to sit with your Congressman for an hour in his Washington office. Then rent a bus and go! He will see how seriously his constituents are about the Mideast issues.

15)Teshuva!
Ultimately, the reviving of our devotion to the Almighty is going to bring about the reviving of the land, and our people as a whole. If we can elevate ourselves even a little, it can arouse the Almighty's compassion and Jewish lives can be spared. Each individual who does teshuva (repentance) brings Israel one step closer to redemption.

16) Make a small repair.
If you've had an argument with someone, simply forgive them, and then ask G*D to forgive His people.

17) Donate blood
When you are in Israel, donate blood. With all the recent attacks, there is a great shortage. To give blood is to give life, and shows a deep solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.

18) Support Magen David Adom                                                                     Israel's medical emergency service is severely financially strapped and in need of ambulances. Months of terror have stretched MDA to its maximum capacity, while exposing its rescue workers to extreme danger and great sacrifice. Get your synagogue or school to start a campaign to defray the cost of an ambulance. Or contribute on-line at: http://www.magendavidadom.org. Jewish lives depend on it.

19) Aliyah! Make Israel your home
You can have a great effect on what happens in Israel by living there. A large influx of educated, entrepreneurial Jews from Western countries will give Israel a major boost. Israel is the place where a Jew is truly at home and can maximize his/her Jewish potential. Start making plans to move when things quiet down (or even now if you're brave).

20) Learn Hebrew
Call your local synagogue and find out about Hebrew classes. This will build your bond with the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

21) Learn Torah
Through the learning of Torah, the world is brought to its senses and the Jewish people are protected. Make a commitment to a specific increase in the amount of time you learn each day. Attend a class about Judaism, or pick something from the recommended reading list at http://www.aish.com/literacy/reference/recommended_books.asp. The impact of even a few extra minutes of Torah learning is enormous. And teach Torah to your children!  

22) Say the Shema
The Shema (Deut 6:4) is like the Jewish "pledge of allegiance," a declaration of faith to One G*D and an affirmation of commitment to Israel and the Jewish people. It is the first prayer that Jewish children are taught to say. It is the last words a Jew says prior to death. It is the ultimate expression of Jewish conviction, the historic proclamation of Judaism's central creed. It is traditionally said twice each day: once in the morning and once at night.

23) Yearn for redemption
The Torah tells us that for the Jews in Egypt, it wasn't until "We cried out to G*D, that He heard our voice and saw our affliction." We had to hit rock-bottom, to see there was no other option but to turn to G*D. If need be, He will bring every force against us, and strip us bare of every possible escape, in order to bring us the realization that He is the only answer we will ever have. Actively yearn for the redemption and the coming of Moshiach. 
 

 



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