Printed from ctvp.org

Wounded Soldiers

Israeli soldiers wounded in battle have made enormous sacrifices on behalf of Israel and the Jewish People worldwide. They deserve the gratitude, respect and affection of Jews everywhere.

CTVP volunteers spend a great deal of time visiting them in hospitals and in rehabilitation facilities. When they have to spend long periods of time under care, CTVP provides them with laptop computers so they can stay in touch with friends all over. This greatly relieves the sense of isolation they often experience.

Once they have achieved a certain degree of rehabilitation, CTVP arranges special trips of a lifetime for these Israeli heroes.

iPads for Wounded Soldiers

Today CTVP distributed iPads to wounded IDF soldiers who were so grateful and appreciative to receive them.

Rabbi David Eliezrie of Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen of North Orange County, California organized a campaign to raise money for the iPads. The response he received showed the level of concern and love everyone in the States has for these great heroes of Israel.  

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Rabbi Eliezrie joined with CTVP and Professor Yehuda Adler, Chairman of the Sheba/Tel Hashomer Hospital, to deliver the iPads.

The soldiers and their families were so happy to receive them. They will enable them to stay in touch with family and friends, as well as use other programs to help them through what in some cases is going to be long and painful hospitalizations and rehabilitation. 

A mother of one of the wounded soldiers expressed her feelings to Rabbi Eliezrie and to Yossi Swerdlov of CTVP, ”On behalf of my son, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart – for your kindness, your warmth, your gifts and your love. G-d bless all the soldiers. They should be home soon. Thank you.”

This is just one of the many activities CTVP participated in that day. Our staff and volunteers were fanned out across the country, as we have been every day since the conflict began, going to bomb shelters to bring toys, treats and activities to the children to take their minds of their fear and anxiety.

We have been on the front lines bringing soldiers packages of food, warm socks and undergarments, shampoo, deodorant and other essentials to keep them as comfortable as possible.  As well, we are enabling them to lay tefillin which, they tell us, brings them great comfort as they face battle.

And, sadly, we are with the families of the soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for Israel and the Jewish People.

To help purchase more iPads for additional wounded soldiers or to help us in our ongoing activities, please visit www.ctvp.org  

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CTVP Goes to Wounded Soldiers in Hospitals Across Israel

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Chabad Terror Victims Project and Chabad Emissaries throughout Israel are visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals throughout the country. Our goal is to attend to the specific, unique needs of each individual soldier, and their families, in order to eliminate as much suffering both physical and emotional as possible.

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(Above) A soldier gratefully accepts a laptop computer brought to him by CTVP that will become his lifeline of communication through the longs months of recovery and rehabilitation he faces ahead.

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As we have visited with soldiers at hospitals like Hadassah Ein Kerem, some have told us that their tefillin were left behind in Gaza in the rush of the medical evacuation. Others have said their tefillin were burned by explosives and gunfire.

So we are bringing new tefillin to the soldiers who have lost theirs, as well as gift packages containing a Sefer Chitas, headphones to listen to music, and treats. And we sit with them, listening and comforting as they recount the trauma of their experiences in Gaza.

These great heroes of Israel who are putting their lives on the line for Israel and the Jewish People deserve everything we can bring to them – physically, spiritually and emotionally and that is what CTVP is doing. 

CTVP Launches 'Write to an IDF Soldier' Campaign

CTVP has begun a campaign for soldiers to receive letters from the people across the world expressing their support, their gratitude, and their love for our heroes of Israel.

Here is a letter that went recently:

Dear Soldier,

letter.jpgI am a high school student… The war you are fighting in the Holy Land has grabbed my full attention. I am standing behind you and believe in what you are fighting for. You are fighting for Israel, my home, and a safe haven for Jews and any others wishing to practice religion peacefully all over the world.

I thank you from the deepest place in my heart for putting yourself in harm's way for the fight against any enemy of freedom. You are my hero. I am praying for immediate peace and success in all of your missions. May G d bring salvation to all those in need and peace to the Land of Israel.

Thank you for your dedication to Israel. Love…

Click Here to Write a Letter to an Israeli Soldier

30,000 Gather at Jerusalem Funeral of ‘Lone Soldier’ from U.S.

 Golani Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, of Encico, Calif., is laid to rest. CTVP Representatives Were There Giving Moral Support

Relatives and friends mourning at the funeral of Max Steinberg, a Golani brigade sharpshooter. Thousands came to his funeral on Mt Herzl, in Jerusalem, on July 23, 2014. 

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More than 30,000 mourners from all parts of Israel gathered at the Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning to pay their last respects to “lone soldier” Max Steinberg of Encino, Calif.

A U.S. citizen who volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces, Steinberg was killed last Saturday when a Hamas anti-tank rocket struck his armored personnel carrier, killing him and 12 other soldiers from the Golani brigade.

Mourners joined the Steinberg family—his parents, Stuart and Evie Steinberg; his brother Jake; and his sister Paige—who flew in from Encino, Calif.

 Relatives and friends mourning at the funeral of Max Steinberg, a Golani brigade sharpshooter. Thousands came to his funeral on Mt Herzl, in Jerusalem, on July 23, 2014. (Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Steinberg joined the IDF after participating in a 10-day Birthright trip to Israel with his brother and sister in June 2012. His father told the Los Angeles Daily News that Max had such a positive experience that he returned back to Israel a few months later to live there indefinitely.

When Max became a volunteer in the IDF, he intentionally pursued the Golani brigade—combat troops on the front lines of battle, his father said. When he was initially told his Hebrew was not good enough to qualify, he took time off to immerse himself in the language because he couldn’t imagine doing anything else in the IDF, according to his friends.

“The guys who are willing to go down that road have made some kind of personal choice,” said Stuart Steinberg. “The consequences were horrible. Not in our wildest imagination did we expect this was going to be our experience, but it’s the price of war.”

A Facebook page created to draw participants to the funeral in support of Steinberg and his family read: “Max Steinberg (may his memory be a blessing) died al-Kiddush Hashem (for the sanctification of G‑d’s name) in Gaza sacrificing his life to defend Israel. Max was a lone soldier from Los Angeles. Let’s make sure his extended family here in Israel is there to say goodbye to him and honor his life.”

On Monday, some 20,000 mourners gathered at the funeral in Haifa of Sean Carmeli, a native of Texas, after a similar campaign was launched on Facebook.

 

 

Working Nonstop to Support Civilians and Soldiers

Chabad Terror Victims Project offer entertainment for kids, and for troops, care packages and more

Chabad.org Staff   |   July 11, 2014 3:28 PM

Children in Sderot, close to the Gazan border and showered by rocket attacks, clutch activity bags handed out by representatives of the Chabad Victims Terror Project. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)Children in Sderot, close to the Gazan border and showered by rocket attacks, clutch activity bags handed out by representatives of the Chabad Victims Terror Project. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)

Shabbat has fallen in Israel after days and nights of relentless rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza, but up until the last minute beforehand, Chabadrepresentatives throughout Israel were working to bolster civilians and soldiers in Israel.

Over the past several days, those attacks have intensified, sending Israelis into bomb shelters at all hours and causing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare “Operation Protective Edge.” On Thursday, Israel massed troops at the border with Gaza and warned 100,000 Gazans in the area to evacuate immediately.

In synagogues and community centers, Chabad Houses, private homes and on social media—people have been discussing and dedicating themselves to different ways of helping, both spiritually and materially. Along those lines, Jews all around the globe are adding mitzvah observance in merit of the safety of the Jews in the Holy Land. 

As the sages say, in times of trouble, it is important to increase Jewish commitment to prayer and mitzvot.

Over the course of the week, volunteers with the Chabad Terror Victims Project traveled to highly affected areas in the south and north, trying to help in ways they could and staying optimistic about the situation.

“We have been working nonstop,” said Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov, a representative of the Chabad Terror Victims Project, to boost morale and take people’s minds off current stressors.

Earlier this week, CTVP implemented a three-pronged emergency initiative that includes (1) organizing buses to take children to the center of Israel, out of the range of the rockets and able to have a respite from their anxiety; (2) coordinating with all of centers in the region to organize activities and visits to bomb shelters to support families; and (3) keeping up a steady stream of volunteers going to the front lines to boost the morale of the soldiers, as well as give them spiritual and physical nourishment. 

Rabbi Asher Pizem of Chabad of Sderot talks to children stuck inside all day because of the situation. Seated in front of him is Rabbi Prus of Kfar Chabad, Israel, and to Pizem's right, with the orange balloon hat, is CTVP staffer Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)

Following a notification that the center of Israel is no longer considered a safe destination, the decision was made to stop busing children there—and instead, the carnival games and performers were taken south to bring much-needed diversion children near their homes.

So on Thursday, a group of rabbis and CTVP volunteers went to hard-hit Sderot in the south with entertainers for the children, including clowns and balloon makers. They also brought them games and treats, offering them a respite from what’s happening.

Chabad Rabbi Chaim Nochum Cunin, visiting from Chabad West Coast Headquarters in Los Angeles, prays with a soldier. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)

“We do what we can to bring happiness,” said Swerdlov.

Joining Swerdlov and Rabbi Aharon Prus of Tzerei Agudat Chabad Headquarters Israel in Kfar Chabad, Israel, and Rabbi Chaim Nochum Cunin, visiting from Chabad West Coast Headquarters in Los Angeles, were Rabbi Moshe Pizem and his son, Rabbi Asher Pizem, both of Chabad of Sderot, Israel. They all shared in keeping the kids busy.

Working to Boost Morale

The group also went to visit soldiers on the front lines and at bases. They wrapped tefillinwith many of them standing beside tanks and army paraphernalia, and recited prayers for their safety. CTVP representatives also offered soldiers care packages, including food and toiletries, and spent time just talking with the men and reassuring them.

 

The rabbis brought pizzas to Israeli Defence Force reservists with certain dietary restrictions beyond the kosher standards of the army. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)

The rabbis also went out and bought pizzas to a group of reservists who follow special dietary laws above the standard kashrut of the army.

Cunin recounted one particular soldier’s response to the Chabad visitors: “We sit here like it’s [the mournful day of] Tisha B’Av, and then you come along and it’s like [the joyous holiday of] Simchas Torah.”

The rabbis all reiterated what the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—said about the Jewish nation: “Regarding Israel, the Torah states that it is a ‘land upon which G‑d has His eyes at all times.’ ”

Many Chabad communities are holding “lend an arm for Israel” campaigns—urging men and boys to don tefillin, a mitzvah the sages say strikes terror in the heart of her enemies.

 

Cunin wraps tefillin with an Israeli soldier surrounding by tanks and other military equipment. (Photo: Meir Alfasi)

In 1967, prior to the outbreak the Six-Day War, the Rebbe introduced what was to be the first of the 10 “mitzvah campaigns” (“mivtzaim”)—the campaign to don tefillin with all Jews.

Mirroring the Rebbe’s call, Chabad emissaries are redoubling their efforts to encourage their community members to share the mitzvah with people who may not lay tefillin on a daily basis.

And everywhere, women and girls are encouraged to light Shabbat candles.

Chabad.org has offered a list of practical action to assist Israelis, as well as some inspiration from the Rebbe here “What Can I Do to Help Our Brothers and Sisters in Israel?”

 

Swerdlov, left, and Prus aboard tanks to assist soldiers wrapping tefillin. (Photo: Meir Alfasi) 

 Photo Credits: Meir Alfasi

 

 

Family Asks for Prayers for Kidnapped Soldier

Friday, August 1/Erev Shabbos 5th Av/9:30 am Israel Time

Just one and a half hours after the start of the humanitarian truce, a Hamas suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel near Rafiach and blew himself up near soldiers in that area. HadarGoldin.jpg

In the ensuing chaos Givati Brigade 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin of Kfar Saba was kidnapped. Two other soldiers were killed.

A large infantry force including Special Forces is moving into the area going house to house to find Hadar. 

Our hearts and our prayers are with Hadar, the soldiers searching for him, his family, all the IDF soldiers, and all of Israel.

Please pray for Hadar ben Chedva Leah. May he come home safe and secure.

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