Those with personal connections to the gedolim in Israel know that they are extremely busy: Many of them wake while it is still dark to begin their Torah learning for the day, then spend long hours until late into the night inundated with the requests of others. They open their offices to widows and orphans, and hear their tales of pain. They have given advice or blessings to those who are living in poverty.
Nothing could have prepared them for October 7th.
Since the Simchas Torah massacres and the displacement of thousands of Southern and Northern Israeli families, Israeli rabbanim have been overwhelmed with stories of incomprehensible grief. Single mothers who had babies and husbands ripped away from them by Hamas. Families who ran for their lives with only the clothing on their backs.
And so, a group of Israel’s most esteemed gedolim (including Rav Naftoli Nussbaum, Rav Reuven Elbaz, Rav Chaim Feinstein, and more) united to discuss and to make an urgent plan to help the community of Ofakim, one of the towns which was most devastated by the October 7th massacre.
The rabbanim have written an emotional letter to the public and put their official stamp on a fundraising campaign run by Vaad HaRabbanim. Funds raised go toward families who are injured, have lost a loved one, and are displaced and without belongings during this tremendously painful time.