TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Horrified leaders gathered in Times Square Monday to show support for the Israeli community in New York City, reeling over the lives lost during Hamas' surprise invasion of Israel over the weekend.
Americans linked arms with Israelis as they sang the Israeli national anthem Monday night in an attempt to find solidarity with one another after Israel's darkest day.
Some Israelis, now stuck in New York, had friends who were killed during the attacks.
"Why did they take my friends," Israeli Eden Abu said. "What did my friends do to them?"
Abu is in New York on vacation. Otherwise, she would have been at the desert party where Hamas murdered 260 Israelis. She had friends there, and says one was taken hostage by the terrorists. Another, she believes, was murdered.
Back in New York, she says she watched in horror on social media as her friend's lifeless and naked body was carted away by Hamas.
"Why did they take them. They went to a party, they went to enjoy and suddenly everything changed to, I don't know, hell," Abu said. "What is that? They took little children, parents with the children, old women. Why did they do that?"
In Golda Meir Square, Mayor Eric Adams and city leaders lit candles arranged in the shape of a Star of David and denounced the inhumanity of Saturday morning's surprise attack.
"And it will go down in history as one of the most draconian disgusting acts you could ever witness," Adams said.
When asked who had lost loved ones this weekend, nearly half of the people gathered raised their hands.
Many of them were Israelis who had been visiting for the Jewish holidays. Now, they are struggling to find flights to go home. It's safer in New York, but their hearts are in Israel.
Some, like Alex Kryzhnovsky, need to get back so they can fight.
"I got friends who got killed, I got friends who are missing," Kryzhnovsky said. "I'm trying to get back as fast as I can. I'm not a person who cries but I've been crying the last few days man."
"I want my friend back," Abu said. "And I don't believe it's going to be. I hope, but I'm not going to lie to myself."
There are more Jews in New York than in any other place on the planet outside of Israel.
In Crown Heights, thousands also gathered on Eastern Parkway Monday night.
The Hassidic community may have been 5,000 miles from the war, but they could not feel closer to Israel.
"People are shaken to the core, and they want to do something," Chabad spokesperson Rabbi Motti Seligson said. "That's what everyone is here for."
For those who cannot actually pick up a weapon and fight for Israel, the message that was spread is that they are not helpless.
So, they collected funds. They prayed for healing and protection. The orthodox community encouraged to repay killing with kindness.
Earlier on Monday in Kew Gardens, Queens, the Jewish Community Relations Council rapidly came together held a vigil outside the Queens Public Library with local, state and national leaders.
Hundreds gathered in anger, grief and in solidarity. The hearts and spirits of those holding blue and white Israeli flags, and "I Stand with Israel" signs are experiencing the greatest pain they've ever felt.