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    Israel Hamas war: Jewish community on Upper West Side search for answers amid deadly war

    UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — Safety is something many often take for granted, but there was comfort inside the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side Wednesday night.

    “We lost more Jews in one day this week than in any other time since the holocaust,” said Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch.

    So, hundreds of Jewish New Yorkers gathered in solidarity.

    They filled up the balcony and sat on the floor, packing out the synagogue in search for the answer to the question: what do we do now?

    “The question for us is do we want to stand up or cower,” said Rabbi Hirsch. “Do we want to participate or slink away?”

    The Israeli military said more than 1,200 people, including 155 soldiers, have died in Israel since Saturday’s incursion. In Gaza, the health ministry says more than 1,050 have been killed and over 5,100 injured. The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency says 250,000 people have been displaced in Gaza.

    “Make no mistake, this terrible act were not solely against Israel,” said Tsach Saar, Acting Israeli Consul General. “They were affronts to America and the values of the free world and indeed all of humanity.”

    Within this congregation, there was anguish for the young and worry for the old.

    Yael Steinsky’s entire family is in Israel.

    “My father is alone and he’s in a house,” said Steinsky. “Many of the houses there don’t have bomb shelters and I just keep, he has seen quite a few wars, participated in many himself. As I said for holocaust survivors, it’s terrible.”

    ALSO READ | Upper East Side resident returns to Israel for IDF active duty as war continues


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