Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Positive Aging Blog: April 2022- The Tragic War in Ukraine and Ways We Can Deal With It

The Tragic War In Ukraine And Ways We Can Deal With It.

By Harriet Epstein

For starters, there is nothing positive about the war in Ukraine being waged by Russia, and its leader, Vladimir Putin.  Russia is engaging in numerous war crimes, killing thousands, and also destroying a beautiful culture that developed over many centuries, with no provocation.  Americans are naturally upset by this disaster, but it may be even worse for older American Jews, many of whom remember stories told by grandparents and other relatives they knew as children, who spoke of the atrocities of the Nazis, and the miserable days of occupation by the Soviet Union. My ancestors once lived in Berdichev, Slavuta, and other Ukrainian villages. Many other American Jews trace their ancestry back to relatives who lived in areas that are now part of Ukraine.

One of my friends was so upset by reading the morning paper and watching the nightly news, his psychiatrist recommended not doing either. In his case, that was good advice.

But for most of us, who can and want to deal with the events, there are other approaches.  I will discuss only two. You can think of others.

  1. As a religious people, we always have the choice to pray.  Let us pray that our leaders find a way to assist Ukrainian fighters with powerful weapons, and the suffering Ukrainian people of all faiths with humane assistance of various kinds, without provoking world conflict.  And let us pray for a speedy Russian defeat and end of the war.
  2. As a practical people, let’s get out there and help. There are many legitimate organizations that are helping Ukrainian families escape, or fight and survive. Several suggestions have already been provided in our Kol Amite newsletter.  Please donate generously if you can.  When my daughter told me that the Fairfax Government Center was collecting coats, gloves, blankets, and other warm items to help Ukrainians survive the cold weather, I gave her a bunch of nearly new coats and some warm gloves.  I felt really good about that!  Many other locations are also collecting needed clothing and medical supplies.

Thanks for letting me share these thoughts.  I hope they help you while also helping Ukraine.

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