Numerous people gathered at the University of North Florida Monday night to pray and stand in solidarity with Israel after a surprise attack from Hamas caused carnage in the Middle East.
More than 900 Israelis have lost their lives in the attack that Rabbi Shmuli Novack said happened on what was supposed to be a joyous Jewish holiday.
“We started getting folks coming in and sharing very very sad details. In the beginning, It’s like okay, maybe he’s a little bit exaggerating. And this trickle becomes a torrent of devastating, terrible news,” Novack said.
Avi Zaguri told News4JAX his brother’s home is near the battlegrounds.
“The Palestinians bomb his house and thank God he was safe because he was in a shelter. And thank God he got all his kids, his family and his wife. My family is also safe but you know, everybody’s concerned and very scared from the situation,” Zaguri said.
The house was not destroyed, according to Zaguri, but the home received a considerable amount of damage from the impact.
“More Jews died on that day than on any day since the Holocaust. Just to put things into proportion. This is something perhaps that folks don’t really grasp the severity, the impact, how massive the devastation the pain and the tragedy is,” Novack said.
Novack has been in contact with his family and said they are doing okay.
Another prayer vigil is planned for Tuesday night in Mandarin.
There was also another rally held at the Duval County Courthouse to stand with the Palestinians.