Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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ISKCON Israel Updates – October 17, 2023
By ISKCON News Staff   |  Oct 17, 2023

ISKCON News is continuing to follow developments in the Israel-Hamas war.  Details on the ground are changing hour by hour, but we are striving to bring you the latest from multiple sources.

From ISKCON Israel, “At the moment, devotees are following the instructions of the Home Front Command and are safe. Families living in the south and north of the country have moved to the center, to safer cities. Around 20 devotees are participating in the military operations [another source mentioned that three were recently drafted],” said the post.  Although there have been no casualties among the devotees, the niece of one devotee was killed by terrorists.

The post continues, “Of course, devotees of the Israeli Yatra experience anxiety, fear, and worry for their loved ones. Some families have left the country. In general, devotees unite, attend nama-hattas, and chant kirtan together. There is a vibe of unity and a spirit of service. Today, devotees gathered and performed Balarama-kavacha yajna for the support of all those who need protection and peace.

Devotees collect donations and distribute products offered to the Deities (soups, canned food, dried fruits, sweets) throughout the soldier bases. Devotees have organized the distribution of hot prasadam to the families in need, elderly and disabled people.” Devotees have resumed harinams and programs for devotees at the center.

Further instructions for devotees in Israel said, “HH Kavichandra Swami and the leadership of the Israel Yatra strongly recommend that everyone gather daily and collectively chant the Holy Names of the Lord, regardless of the location and number of devotees in your city, thereby bringing benefit to all living beings! Joint prayer is the most powerful way of help and protection for all devotees who are worried about family and friends, as well as for those who are currently in difficult situations, for defenders of the country, and for all living beings in this world and those who have left it.”

The yatra has psychological support service available and online meetings with H.H. Kavichandra Swami Maharaj and H.G. Audarya Dhama Prabhu have been a helpful forum for expressing concerns and answering questions.  It concluded, “The people of Israel as a whole are united in spirit, support each other and believe that the country will prevail. Devotees maintain the spirit of service, cooperation and surrender to the Lord. We are eternally grateful to you for your support, prayers, and kirtans.”

Many devotees around the world have asked about donations. ISKCON Israel told ISKCON News, “There is no need to collect donations yet. Glory to Krishna, all the devotees’ families and relatives are still alive. In the future, if we need to organize a donation collection, for example, to distribute prasad, [the community] will be grateful for [the help of global devotees].”