The Power of Helping in Hard Times

The Power of Helping in Hard Times

Hachnosat orchim. Bikur cholim. Gemilut chasadim. Tzedakah.

Welcoming strangers. Caring for sick people. Treating others with loving kindness and compassion. Donating money and other items that people need.

These are just a few of Judaism’s core values, and they are all are focused on helping others, especially in times of need. The Jewish people have countless ways to talk about helping. We have these words and make these distinctions because our ancestors knew that helping others is one of the most powerful ways to find meaning and stay strong in challenging times.

As Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks noted, “what matters is not how long we live, but how intensely we feel that life is a gift we repay by giving to others.”

Treating others with kindness isn’t just a core Jewish value. It’s also a powerful way to take care of ourselves in difficult times. Research has found that helping others can reduce stress, improve our moods, help us feel less lonely and more connected, and increase our sense of gratitude — even in difficult situations.

Since the start of the war in Israel, many Jews across Israel and throughout the world have been working hard to support adults and children in need, including family members, friends, and strangers.

In Israel, families and children have been working hard to support Israelis who were forced to leave their homes by welcoming them with food and warmth. In one town, kids gathered clothes, toys, and books for adults and children who were forced to leave their homes with no time to pack. Other families cooked chicken soup, baked challah, offered to babysit for younger kids, tutored older kids and helped them with their homework.

In the United States, kids have been holding bake sales, setting up lemonade stands, and selling friendship bracelets to raise money for friends, family, and charities in Israel. They’ve also been attending rallies and making cards to send to soldiers and their family members. In New York City and Boston, high school students traveled to their local airports to cheer on Israelis who were flying back to Israel to help with the war effort.

How do you help others in stressful times? Here at PJ Our Way, we’d love to hear about all the different ways you and your family practice the core Jewish values of kindness, compassion, and caring for others! Please leave a comment below or send us an email at


kid avatar
Mar 31, 2024 @ 12:07PM


אם ישראל חי

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Feb 06, 2024 @ 7:06PM


I help by baking cookies for the homeless, creating toys for animals at the zoo, being kind to my friends and putting money in our tzedaka box for charities.

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Jan 02, 2024 @ 6:44PM


Let all help and remember to see the light

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Jan 01, 2024 @ 5:54PM


###I want to help.

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Dec 17, 2023 @ 1:15PM


Caring and kindness is always a right thing to do for those who are in need of it! I feel very bad for all the soldiers who were sent to fight in war...and the people who have been forced to leave their own homes without having time to pack all the things they need! And the families who's loved ones have been killed :( Helping is the right thing to do now!!!

kid avatar
Dec 10, 2023 @ 11:29AM


To whoever is reading this, try the best you can to help. Please.

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Jan 08, 2024 @ 7:35PM



kid avatar
Dec 03, 2023 @ 2:03PM


Listen and help

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