A Life-Altering Expedition to Southern Israel

October 7, 2023, was the darkest day in the history of the modern state of Israel. It was a day full of unexpected, horrific tragedy. Over one thousand died, many were injured, families were torn apart, properties were destroyed, hundreds were taken hostage and many more appalling events took place by the terrorist group, Hamas. In the form of protests, people across the world have been publicizing their support for the terrorists inflicting these heinous attacks on Israel. Their support has caused an alarming increase in antisemitism. Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel, founder of The Land of Israel Network and The Arugot Farm in Israel, recently partook in a tour led by Rabbi Moshe Rothchild, where they journeyed to the south of Israel to witness the reality of that deadly October day for themselves.

Accounted as one of “the most meaningful journeys” of his life, Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel takes viewers first to Shokeda, a religious community miraculously protected even though being surrounded by a fully-armed Hamas. The attack fell on the Jewish holiday of Shabbat, and as Rabbi Gimpel said, “just as they somehow guarded Shabbat, Shabbat somehow guarded them” and the terrorists were unable to enter the community. Shokeda has now become the headquarters for activism and volunteering. Hundreds joyously serve the needs of the people and the soldiers who fight daily against Hamas.

The next stop, Teshuva, is a graveyard of cars gathered for the largest forensic operation in the history of Israel. Cars continue to arrive at this site so that Israelis can use technology to find remnants of the DNA of the victims of Oct. 7 in these sometimes burned-out shells of cars. Due to Rabbinic law, cars with untraceable human remains inside will soon be buried in honor of the victims, something that has not happened in human history.

Next, Rabbi Gimple goes to Rei’im, the site of the music and peace festival where Hamas invaded by land and killed hundreds,  taking hostage many Israelis. Memorials have been constructed throughout the site for the Jewish lives that were massacred at the festival. Bombs continually go off in the background, reminding visitors that this land is a war zone.

The final stop and climax of the trip was the visit to Be’eri, one of the initial communities Hamas invaded. The terrorist group shot and kidnapped Jewish families while simultaneously burning their homes. What once was a lively kibbutz is now a war-torn ghost town. Everywhere you look there’s absolute devastation and, even over two months later, the smell of death still permeates the area. The kibbutz of Be’eri stands as, arguably, the strongest recent reminder to Jews and people across the world that antisemitism is one of the most demonic mindsets one could adopt.

Amidst the extreme persecution they face, it brings the Jewish people great comfort knowing they have supporters and partners around the world like Kenneth Copeland Ministries. There’s no question that Israel must fight back to defend their people and land. We’ve always said, “NEVER AGAIN” regarding Poland and Auschwitz, but the call of our generation must be “NEVER AGAIN IN ISRAEL!” The beauty of the Jewish people is that when they’re faced with hard times, they don’t take—they give. May we give this beautiful nation and its people our steadfast love and prayerful backing during their time of recovery.

For the full video of this journey, watch here: