Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Positive - and Brave - Actions

It was great to see the photos and report about the Chabadniks who visited soldiers on the border of Gaza. All the Chabad sites had reports which were taken from

The report, by Yossi Swerdlov, was well written and quite moving. It must be an amazing feeling for the soldiers - who don't know what tomorrow will bring - to see the Chabadniks and know that the people of Israel have not forgotten them.

An excerpt from the article:

As we drove down, we chatted among ourselves, cognizant of the importance of the mission we were carrying out and only tangentially acknowledging the potential danger we might be in. That didn’t matter to us. What mattered was the soldiers. We were carrying tefillin, pocket-size tehillim (books of Psalms), sandwiches, hot potato burekas, sweet rugelach, and our enthusiasm, encouragement and deep respect for their courage and bravery -- everything we could think of to make the day a little better for the young people we were going to see.

As we approached the area designated a military zone, we requested permission to enter. When the officials saw who we were and why we were there, they let us in.

It is hard for me to describe to you the looks on the soldiers faces as they saw us coming (we went to several areas along the front lines and each time the reaction was the same). Over and over they grinned at us, repeating with complete astonishment in their voices, “We can’t believe you’re here! We can’t believe you’re here!!”

The atmosphere along the front lines is tense, but excited. Right now they are in a holding pattern as they await orders and that in and of itself is nerve-wracking, but you can also see that they are relieved, happy to finally be moving ahead and doing something.

Everyone was happy to lay tefillin, confident of the spiritual boost this would give them. Every soldier also received his own pocket-size tehillim to take into battle with him. You could see on their faces how moving this was to them and how deeply they appreciated the extra bit of spiritual protection this would provide for them.

One way that we can support these brave men and women is to go to PizzaIDF where you can donate pizza or burgers to soldiers. I have mentioned this organisation previously which is run by an ex-Aussie Menachem Kuchar.