INDIANAPOLIS — Monday was an emotional night for hundreds of Hoosiers who gathered to pray and stand in solidarity with Israel.
More than 600 people filled Congregation Beth-El Zedeck on the north side of Indianapolis.
"The last three days have brought sadness, horror, shock, anger, frustration and so many emotions that are difficult to articulate. If people say they are going to kill you, believe them. And Hamas, that's their mission. They are not interested in peace. They are not interested in two states. They are interested in killing Jews," said Rabbi Hal Schevitz with Congregation Beth-El-Zedeck.
He says the violence in the Middle East has been some of the most devastating in the last 80 years of Jewish history.
"The greatest act of violence against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. A level of fear at least my generation has never experienced," Hal said. "My sister-in-law lives there. They are safe. All of the men have been called into reserve duty."
"When Israel is threatened, we all are threatened. From the most involved of us to the least involved," said Irwin Levine with the Board of Directors for the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.
Greg Maurer just returned from Israel.
"We took off at Ben Gurion's Airport and we were on our way to JFK and about 2/3 in I started to receive a battery of text messages. I was hoping it was not true," said Maurer.
Maurer was there visiting family and friends.
"I'm concerned about the loss of my friend Ofir," Maurer said. His daughter, who is still there studying abroad is a sophomore in high school.
"If I was traveling away from Italy or Canada and just barely missed something that would be the first thought, but it never entered my mind. I’m concerned about my daughter who's still there running to safe rooms every time she hears sirens," Maurer said. “She's scared to shower in case the alarm goes off and she doesn't hear it."
"What can I say that hasn't already been said? What can I say to make this any easier? All I feel is heartbreak," said Adi Gal an Israeli Community member.
"Martin Luther King said there comes a time when silence is betrayal," Levine said.
"I feel that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better," Maurer said.
“Israel and the Jewish community pray for peace,” Levine said.