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Helping Victims

From the moment an act of violence takes place, CTVP’s teams are there, forging an immediate bond with the victims and their families, bringing them financial, practical, emotional, and spiritual support as they struggle to reclaim and rebuild their lives.

We stay with all these families for as long as they need us – whether weeks, months or years. There is no end point to our help except the family’s ability to re-enter their lives successfully. Only then do we move quietly into the background, but still remain available for those times when the horror inevitably reasserts itself and help is needed once again.

This is what makes CTVP so unique, we are there for the long-term.

Arranging Shiva, Caring for the Bereaved, Bringing Comfort to Israel…

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They were heartbreaking visits. Each home we walked into of a bereaved family, that had lost a son, was a scene of anguish. 

One of our visits was to the family of Oron Shaul who was 20 years old. You may have heard of him.  Hamas claimed to have kidnapped him. The family waited in agony for word and when it came, it was the worst. He had been killed.  A CTVP delegation went to show our respects and give them support. 

Shiva1.jpgAt the home of an Ethiopian soldier, Moshe Malako,  killed in battle, his grieving mother told us how she and her husband had fought to come to Israel. Israel is their homeland, she said, and now their son has fought and died for his country. They were so proud of him, but their pain at his loss was overwhelming. 

As we sat in their tiny apartment, we could see how they were suffering physically as well. It was very hot and they had no air conditioning. We had air conditioners installed that very day. 

A family from Russia, whose son, Dimitri Levitas, too had made the ultimate sacrifice, lived in such small quarters that people coming to console them could hardly get in. Chabad immediately arranged for them to sit shiva in the Chabad House closest to their home. 

These are just a few of the grieving families we went to this week. Sadly, there are many more. 

We gave the families funds to help with their immediate needs.  We will remain with them and assist them in every way possible at this tragic time in their lives. We will stay with them for as long as they need us.

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On the Front Lines, in the Bomb Shelters, Caring for the Wounded…

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CTVP is continuing its round-the-clock work. This week we were joined by a wonderful, courageous group from Toronto led by Rabbi Mendel Kaplan of Chabad of Flamingo, Canada. 

Kaplan6.jpgOn day one the group visited the wounded soldiers in Soroka Hospital. We brought packages containing headphones for listening to music, tefillin for those whose sets were destroyed in the fighting, a Chumash, Siddur and Tehillim, and a variety of food treats. 

The soldiers were thrilled to meet with these visitors from abroad. 

The group then went to visit families who have lost their sons in the fighting. Their presence, in itself, brought much comfort and solace to the grieving parents and siblings.  

Kaplan3.jpgThe next day all of us went to the front lines, bringing the soldiers there not just hot pizza, but packages of essentials, as well as spiritual comfort, solidarity, encouragement, and gratitude. Once again the soldiers were so happy to see people from abroad. 

kpln4.jpgThen we went to Sderot, directly in the line of fire, and found that many families were out of food. The wonderful people from Rabbi Kaplan’s group went immediately to the closest grocery store and purchased and put together emergency food packages that included tuna, rice, pasta, oil, coffee, beans, flour, sugar, canned goods and other staples, as well as chicken and beef. They distributed them to the families in need. 

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The group then joined us in the bomb shelters in Sderot and made a pizza party with entertainers for over 150 children. 

The next day we all traveled north to visit more bereaved families.  During these visits the group offered and gave financial support to those families in need. 

It is hard to describe the appreciation and gratitude expressed by the soldiers in the hospitals and on the front lines, the families of the bereaved, and the children in the bomb shelters, upon meeting these visitors from abroad. 

They not only came to visit, but they jumped right in and rolled up their sleeves to help.  All of us at CTVP, and everyone they visited, want to thank them not only for their assistance while they were here, not only for the gifts they gave, but also for their mere presence which has done so much for everyone they visited and for our staff as well. 

May they be blessed with peace and good health.  

You too can help Israel, its people, and its soldiers by making as generous a donation as you can at www.ctvp.org. Thank you.

 

Senior Chabad Rabbis Visit the Wounded and the Bereaved, Doing Their Best to Offer Comfort

Senior Chabad officials paid visits this week to emotionally support and comfort the wounded and the families of the fallen in Israel's military campaign against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov with a wounded soldier. Rabbi Yosef Aronov, Chairman of both Agudas Chassidei Chabad in Israel and the Lubavitch Youth Organization ("Tzach") there was joined by Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, educational arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement which oversees the Shlichus outreach network.

Together, the two visited soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces that were wounded in Operation Protective Edge and recovering at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

They came bearing warm words and gifts from the Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP), which assists Israelis who have fallen victim to war and terrorism.

One of the soldiers told them that his pair of Tefillin was left in an army tank that was targeted in the heart of Gaza, where Israel is targeting Hamas rocket launchers and terror tunnels.

The rabbis immediately took out a new pair of Tefillin and gave it to him as a gift. Although he was severely wounded, he managed to lay Tefillim on his arm and head and pray for his colleagues in the line of duty.

Earlier, Rabbis Aronov and Kotlarsky traveled to Moshav Kfar Azar near Tel Aviv where they visited the Shiva home of 20-year-old Staff Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz who was killed in a Hamas ambush in the Gaza Strip.

They were joined by Rabbi Menachem Kutner of CTVP and RabbiLevi Gopin, Director of Chabad in the village and who was a friend of Pomerantz and hosted his Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13.

The soldier's mother Colonel (Res.) Varda Pomerantz, former head of the IDF's casualties department, said she has been in contact with Rabbi Aronov over the years and praised Chabad's work with soldiers and terror victims.

At the funeral, Varda Pomerantz played an audio recording of her last phone conversation with her son. He said he left a farewell note in case something happened to him. 

In that final message written on his cellphone, Daniel Pomerantz wrote: "I'm so happy I was born to this family ... Stay happy for me."

Rabbi Kotlarsky told Mrs. Pomerantz that he was touched by her eulogy for her son that was publicized in Israeli media. "I read it again and again and it brought tears to my eyes," he said.

The Pomerantz family said it appreciated the condolence message delivered in the name of the Shluchim, adding that the notion that the worldwide Chabad community is mourning with them gives them strength and inspiration.

Earlier in the day, Kotlarsky and a group of rabbis visited the Pomerantz family from Kfar Azar in central Israel; they were sitting shiva for their son, Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz. 

Care Packages to Israeli Soldiers Bring Relief & Appreciation

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CTVP, Chabad centers in Israel and abroad get staples to the IDF, and encourage other good deeds


What do Israeli soldiers say they really need right now? Clean socks and soap. But what would they want right now, if asked? A cold drink, their favorite snack, maybe even ... a slice of pizza.

For combat soldiers in Gaza and at the border in the blazing desert heat of Middle Eastern summer, a small taste of comfort and home goes a long way.

People have been asking how to help, and there is a tangible way to do so. Around the world, people have been organizing care packages for soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, raising funds for supplies and staples, such as socks, shoes, snacks, T-shirts, shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries, wipes and mosquito repellent. Many of these packages also include a note or letter from supporters around the world, especially from children.

It’s a way to stand with Israel from afar.

Individual Chabad centers abroad have been organizing their own efforts in this regard almost from the time Israeli troops were called up. For example, Chabad of Cote S. Luc in Canada, Directed by Rabbi Mendel Raskin & Rabbi Shalom Ber Sternberg , helped jump-start a campaign where the comunity was able to donate money for packages that were then delivered by Chabad's Terror Victims Project.  

Volunteer Gruny Tzvin wrote on the blog for the effort, “Today I personally went to deliver our packages at the border. What an amazing experience...thanks to all of you for the opportunity please continue to support so we can keep helping our soldiers and the small businesses in the south. All personal messages are so appreciated by the soldiers so keep them coming---I print them and put them in the packages.”

As pictured below, Chabad emissaries around Israel, as well as representatives of the Chabad Youth Organization in Israel and its Chabad Terror Victims Project are delivering much needed staples and treats in their regular visits to bases just outside the Gaza border, and are requesting aid from all who wish to assist in the effort.(To assist click here)

The Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—encouraged mitzvot and positive action to help bring peace and goodness into the world. Individual good deeds, no matter how small they might seem, perpetuate the legacies of those who have fallen and ensure the continued safety of all those under attack.

Those wishing to write a letter and dedicate a mitzvah to IDF soldiers can click here to participate.

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A volunteer from Canada brings some smiles to soldiers

Soldiers unpack boxes of much-needed goods sent by supporters.

Soldiers unpack boxes of much-needed goods sent by supporters.

 

Cold drinks and snack foods bring relief to the Israel Defense Forces.

Cold drinks and snack foods bring relief to the Israel Defense Forces.

 

 

An IDF soldier displays a child's message, tucked into packages of food.

An IDF soldier displays a child's message, tucked into packages of food.

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CTVP Volunteers Busy Packing  

 

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Thankful Soldires Enjoying their Gifts and Pizza 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CTVP Gives New Tefillin to Wounded Soldiers Who Lost Them in Battle

Jewish Press: 

Wounded soldiers receive new tefillin from CTVP to replace his set that was destroyed in clashes with Hamas. 

“This is the most important gift for my son."  

Teffilin6.jpgWounded IDF soldiers whose tefillin were destroyed in clashes with Hamas received a pleasant surprise in the hospital on Wednesday with a brand new set presented by Chabad's Terror Victims Project, the Kikar Shabbat website reported.

Several troops told visitors in the hospital that they were without their tefillin, and the Lubavitch House in Paris responded quickly to help fulfill a request to replace them.

Members of CTVP visited the soldiers the same day with a visit and a gift of new tefillin.

One woman from Pisgat Ze’ev, in northern Jerusalem, said that her son, who suffered injuries that required the amputation of one leg, learned in Chabad while in Morocco.

“This is the most important gift for my son,” she said.

Based on Aricle by By:

Published: July 23rd, 2014 in the Jewish Press 

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In Their Great Moment of Need: Visiting Bereaved Families

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CTVP representatives are attending the funerals of the soldiers who have lost their lives in the defense of Israel, and comforting and assisting their bereaved families. They are bringing the families the message that people around the world care about them and love them. That they deeply appreciate the great sacrifice their sons have made, and are praying that they are comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

We will remain with these families through the shiva and for as long as they need us. We are there to bring them comfort support, and help as they struggle to reclaim and rebuild their lives in the face of the terrible heartache and trauma they are going through.

Our support will continue with them for as long as it is needed -- whether it is for days, for weeks, for months, or for years.

There is no end point to the help CTVP provides except the family’s ability to re-enter their lives successfully. Only then do we move quietly into the background, but still remain available for those times when the horror inevitably reasserts itself and help is needed once again.

A Determined Resolve as Israel Buries Its Fallen Soldiers Amid New Casualties

Seven IDF soldiers killed during the day’s fighting with Hamas in Gaza

An IDF paratrooper at the funeral ceremony of Sgt. Benaya Rubel, at the Holon Military Cemetery. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)
An IDF paratrooper at the funeral ceremony of Sgt. Benaya Rubel, at the Holon Military Cemetery. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

JERUSALEM—As funerals for soldiers killed in battle over the weekend were held throughout Israel, the Israel Defense Forces announced that seven more ground troops and officers had died on Monday. As family, friends and fellow soldiers gathered to mourn the fallen, there was a determined resolve that was palpable everywhere.

One of the soldiers was identified as Staff Sgt. Yuval Dagan, 22, of the Golani brigade and from Kfar Saba, where his funeral was held in the early evening. The identities of the others have not yet been released. Today’s battles brought the toll in “Operation Protective Edge” to 25 since Thursday, when the IDF began its ground incursion into Gaza. More than 100 have been wounded and taken to hospitals.

Throughout the day, there were signs of certain solidarity all around the country—with the families and friends of the fallen, with soldiers on duty, and with the millions of Israelis who continued to be subjected to missile fire and underground tunnel attacks by Hamas terrorists.

More than 12,000 mourners gathered at an 11 p.m. funeral in Haifa for Sgt. Sean Carmeli, the Texas-born Golani soldier who was killed in fighting on Saturday. Fans of the Maccabi Haifa basketball team had posted a note on their Facebook page, which by early evening had acquired 25,000 “Likes” and shared more than 10,000 times: “Sean Carmeli was a lone soldier, and we don’t want his funeral to be empty.”

The post also invited readers to the military cemetery in Haifa’s Neve Davidneighborhood “to come give final honors to a hero who was killed so that we can live.”

The name of the seventh of 13 Golani brigade troops killed over the weekend was released by the IDF. Moshe Malko, 20, a Jerusalem native, was laid to rest today at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in the nation’s capital. He is survived by eight siblings. The other six soldiers whose names have been released are: Maj. Tsafrir Baror, 32, of Holon; Capt. Tsvi Kaplan, 28, of Kibbutz Meirav; Sgt. Gilad Yacoby, 21, of Kiryat Ono; Sgt. Oz Mendelovich, 21, of Atzmon; Carmeli; and Max Steinberg of Beersheba. Carmeli and Steinberg, hail from Texas and California.

Rabbi Aharon Prus of Lubavitch Youth Organization of Israel helps a soldier dontefillin. (Photo: Meir Dahan)

As funerals were held and announcements of new casualties were made, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries around the country spent the day comforting mourners and assisting those under attack. In addition to the work of shluchim, thousands of Chabadfamilies in the southern towns continued to reach out and lift the spirits of soldiers and individuals living near Gaza.

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, director the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Israel, again emphasized the importance in encouraging Jewish men everywhere to don tefillin,pointing to the “Tefillin Campaign” launched by the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—before the Six-Day War in 1967, noting that: “The nations of the world will see that the name of G‑d is called upon you, and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)

‘They Want to Go Back’

As the number of wounded grew, so did the number of visits to soldiers sent to Israeli hospitals.

Rabbi Aharon Prus of the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Israel spent much of the day with soldiers at the Soroka Hospital in Beersheva. “Our purpose is to encourage the soldiers, who are literally placing their very lives on the line to protect the Jewish nation living in Israel. They represent us all, and our job is to encourage them so they can do what they need to do and come home.”

Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov, center, of the Chabad Terror Victims Project delivers packages to soldiers withEli Katz, right, a volunteer from the United States. (Photo: Meir Dahan)

“Even though they lost comrades, their desire to succeed does not end,” continued Prus. “I just left the hospital—there are funerals today and more tomorrow, but they want to get better and continue their work where they left off. It’s amazing.”

Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of the Chabad Terror Victims Project, also spent the entire the day with the wounded at Soroka Hospital. Reflecting on today’s funerals, Kutner noted that “it’s so very sad and tragic. The people are very tough, but everybody knows that, in Israel, if you want to stay safe, we need to pay a very, very expensive price.”

“It’s the situation every few years in Israel, and if our soldiers fail, there’s no chance to be in another situation. Hamas wants to kill us—men, women, children—everybody.”

“We know that everyone is thinking about the soldiers,” Kutner continued, “and praying that G‑d will save them, and that they will come back alive and healthy. One wounded soldier asked me to take his name and pray for him. He said, ‘Pray for me on Shabbat, and think about me and my friend.”

“People can do a special mitzvah for the soldiers ... we all need to be doing something special.”

Rabbi Menachem Kutner of the Chabad Terror Victims Project hands a soldier at the Gaza border a much-appreciated treat. (Photo: Meir Dahan)

 

CTVP, Birthright, A Rabbi & his Family from Florida, & a Rabbi from Santiago, Chile...

A group of brave young people from Taglit-Birthright Israel: Mayanot bus 720, joined with Chabad Terror Victims Project in a unique project, organized by CTVP, to bake challahs for Shabbat for the Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

These young people came to Israel despite the present dangerous situation and, with CTVP’s help, they had the opportunity to connect in a very special way with the worldwide Jewish family and especially with their brothers and sisters on the front lines. 

Rebbetzin Chaya Rochel Lieberman organized and oversaw the baking of the challahs which produced 65 mini challahs. Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov of CTVP spoke to the group, commenting to them on their courage and their solidarity with Israel by coming at this perilous time. 

The challahs were packed into bags with a bottle of wine and Shabbat candles provided by FridayLight.org This was done with the help of Rabbi Yitzchak Minkowitz, his daughter Chaya, and his son Peretz Meir Simcha.

The bags were then distributed to the deeply appreciative soldiers at an undisclosed military outpost by Rabbis Swerdlov and Kutner of CTVP, the Minkowitz family, and Rabbi Menashe Perman, Chabad Shaliach from Santiago, Chile.

The group also distributed other foods, danced and sang with the soldiers, and helped them put on tefillin – all in an effort to show them the gratitude and love that the whole Jewish world has for them.

We pray for the safety of the soldiers and all the people of Israel. Shabbat Shalom.

 

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The value of support

Ynetnews.com reports on how Chabad strives to play a key role in lifting the spirits of Israelis - soldiers and civilians - in the face of the enemy threat.

By Rabbi Aharon Pruss

Published: 07.17.14, 18:52 / Israel Jewish Scene

No, he wasn't a Lubavitch member. But he was a lovely man, and the last thing he did before he died was to go, on his own initiative, to support and encourage tense and anxious IDF soldiers just meters from Gaza.

Dror Hanin, of blessed memory, was a Beit Aryeh resident killed Tuesday night near the Erez checkpoint by a mortar fired by Hamas terrorists. He did not live there, nor had he received an IDF call-up order. He simply chose not to stay in his own protected space, but took the initiative to encourage the troops, and paid for it with his life. 

Chabad and IDF troops (Photo: Meir Dahan)
Chabad and IDF troops (Photo: Meir Dahan)

Not two hours had passed before rumors spread that a Chabad Hasid had been killed in the incident. Chabad youths have been visiting the deployment sites for soldiers, armed with treats, messages of support and the option of performing a mitzvah or two that would be good for the soul in these tense times. They were there in Suez, Tyre, Sinai, Metula and Rafah, and now also in the rocket-battered South and IDF congregation areas near Gaza.

They focus on three central activities: with the soldiers; in shelters offering succor to stressed and worried civilians; and specific activities for the children.


Photo: Meir Dahan
Photo: Meir Dahan

On Monday, the atmosphere on the Gaza border was tense and heated, as was the weather. In the background were constant explosions from IDF troops shelling Gaza and, at the same time, the whistle of Qassams passing over our heads on their way to an interception by an Iron Dome. I and the young Chabad members, together with the directors of Chabad house for the southern communities, are also active at the outposts of Israeli soldiers awaiting the possibility of a ground incursion in Gaza.

Armed with treats and letters and drawings of encouragement, we walk through the quicksand to reach every soldier. Sometimes we need to display flexibility and youthful spirit, scrambling up APCs to meet another soldier and another soldier. This time it was a soldier from kibbutz in the north. To our surprise, it is precisely this kibbutznik who is the one to ask, "Do you have phylacteries?" I adorn his hands with the black straps, and am moved to tears when he declares "Hear O Israel". 

Photo: Meir Dahan
Photo: Meir Dahan

Chabadniks are privileged: we receive our own call-up orders in every of one the scattered Chabad houses, bringing encouragement to Jewish communities all over the world. Thus, the residents of Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva could this week open care packages of toys and stationery collected by children from the Jewish community Durban, South Africa, and the soldiers could be uplifted by children's drawings and letters calling on them "to be heroes and strong like Samson" that come constantly from across the United States. 

I will not lie to you. The fear is always present, and events with such painful outcomes as the one on Monday only serve to heighten it. Someone might teasingly enquire what happened to the promise that "an emissary of a mitzvah cannot be harmed", but I'm not an accountant, certainly not one for God. I make sure I have the maximum protection possible, but know this is a small contribution to the war effort.

Perhaps because of the hug/chocolate/drawing /tefillin/ words of encouragement from me and other volunteers, the soldier will fight better. 

An ordinary person might think that we are suffering from some kind of mental disorder, that we are obsessed with action and only looking for the explosions and the smell of gunpowder. Believe me I would give it all up. I would always take pastoral quiet over a barrage of mortars and the noise of sirens rising and falling. 

But I know that they need us, that more than a million Israelis have practically "moved house" to a shelter or reinforced room. When a support team arrives to spreads a few words of faith and hope, and when the floor of the shelter is transforms from a carpet of bored and scared children to a circle of happily dancing ones, this is real ammunition in the battle for people's spirits. 

Rabbi Aharon Pruss is ann activist for CTVP and the coordinator for Chabad activities with IDF soldiers and the residents of the south.

 

 

 


 

 

Israel Expand Gaza Operation as Casualties Mount

Israel Expands Gaza Operations as Casualties Mount

 

 

17 IDF soldiers killed over the weekend; prayers for the wounded and for the safety of all

 
A wounded Israeli soldier is carried into Soroka hospital in the southern city of Beersheba. (Photo: Flash90)
A wounded Israeli soldier is carried into Soroka hospital in the southern city of Beersheba. (Photo: Flash90)

Seventeen IDF soldiers were killed and scores wounded in Gaza on Saturday, while terrorist rockets continued to rain down on population centers in Israelthroughout the weekend.

The Israel Defense Forces “substantially expanded” its operations in Gaza on Saturday and Sunday, with the goals of continuing to dismantle terrorist tunnels into Israel and destroying the Hamas infrastructure, according to an IDF spokesman.

The 17 soldiers who were killed in Gaza on Saturday and early Sunday brought the total number of Israeli military fatalities to 18 since the start of the ground offensive on Thursday night.

Four fallen soldiers on Saturday whose names were released include Major (res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, and Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, were killed after a Hamas terror cell infiltrated Israel through a tunnel and opened fire on an IDF patrol. On Saturday evening, a Hamas gunman emerged from a tunnel in southern Gaza and opened fire on IDF soldiers, killing Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20, of Holon, and injuring another soldier. 2nd-Lt. Bar Rahav, 21, from Ramat Yishai, serving in the Engineering Corps, was killed as a result of the activation of the Trophy missile defense system in a nearby tank. The IDF is investigating the cause of the tragedy.

Thirteen soldiers from the Golani brigade were killed overnight in fighting in the Shejaiyah section of Gaza City. The families of the dead have been notified, but their names have not yet been released.

Their funerals of the four soldiers who died Saturday and 1st Sgt. Eitan Barak, who was killed overnight Thursday, were scheduled to be held in their home towns on Sunday.

The growing conflict has seen an increase in activities by Chabad-Lubavitchrepresentatives and organizations in Israel on behalf of soldiers and citizens alike. Chabad leaders spoke of the “urgent mobilization” of emissaries and volunteers, who have been working around the clock to strengthen and encourage the spirit of residents and soldiers deployed in combat areas.

Rabbi Amitai Yemini, director of the Chabad Israel Center in Los Angeles, left, and Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of Chabad Terror Victims Project visited last week with Mordechai Yemin, a wounded soldier (Photo: CTVP)
Rabbi Amitai Yemini, director of the Chabad Israel Center in Los Angeles, left, and Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of Chabad Terror Victims Project visited last week withMordechai Yemin, a wounded soldier (Photo: CTVP)

At least 51 Israeli soldiers, some seriously injured, are in Israeli hospitals. Working closely with IDF and hospital officials, staff and volunteers from the Chabad Terror Victims Project visited the wounded, who had been taken to the Tel HaShomer hospital in Ramat Gan. While visiting many of the newly injured, they brought a computer to Mordechai Yemin, so he could communicate with his family; Yemin was the first soldier hospitalized last week and was immediately visited by CTVP volunteers.

Following the hospital visit, CTVP staff drove to Ashkelon, where, along with Rabbi Menachem Lieberman, co-director of Chabad of Ashkelon, and Rabbi Moshe Vilenkin they visited children in five bomb shelters, bringing them toys and gifts. They also helped entertain the kids, who have been in and out of shelters now for two weeks.

After that, they headed to the Gaza border, where due to a temporary ceasefire they were permitted to visit with troops, bringing them shampoo and other items that had been specifically requested by the IDF.

“From where I'm standing, we can see straight in to Gaza, alongside the tanks,” said Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov of CTVP. “In addition to delivering supplies, we’re putting on tefillin with the troops. Several soldiers told us, ‘You have no idea how much this means to us.’ We hope all these boys come home safe.”

Rabbi Menashe Perman, director of Chabad of Chile, helps a soldier don tefillin. (Photo: CTVP)
Rabbi Menashe Perman, director of Chabad of Chile, helps a soldier don tefillin. (Photo: CTVP)

Encouraging Prayer and Good Deeds

Meanwhile, emissaries are joining together with thousands of Chabad households in the southern towns to provide whatever spiritual and material means they can provide to lift the spirits of soldiers and individuals living near Gaza, according to Rabbi Yosef YitzchakAharonov, director the Lubavitch Youth Organization in Israel.

Aharanov emphasized the importance to encouraging Jewish men everywhere to dontefillin, pointing to the “Tefillin Campaign” launched by the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, before the Six-Day War in 1967, noting that: “The nations of the world will see that the name of G‑d is called upon you, and they will fear you.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)

Throughout the world, Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis have been continuing nonstop in their encouragement of prayer and good deeds on behalf of the Israeli soldiers and all people threatened by ongoing missile attacks, while maintaining a positive spirit, reminding them of what the Rebbe 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.’ ”

Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowitz, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, left, and Rabbi Menashe Perman, director of Chabad of Chile, right, volunteered with Chabad Terror Victims Project staff to deliver packages to troops before Shabbat. (Photo: CTVP)
Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowitz, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, left, and Rabbi Menashe Perman, director of Chabad of Chile, right, volunteered with Chabad Terror Victims Project staff to deliver packages to troops before Shabbat. (Photo: CTVP)

 

 

Visits to Soroka Hospital and to the Airforce Base.

Mordechai1.jpgChabad Terror Victims Project went to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva to visit Mordechai, a medic in an IDF combat unit. He had gone on leave but had come back to his base to return some equipment.

Because of the possibility of a ground war, he was asked to get back into uniform right away, retrieve his equipment, and stay on base prepared to go into action.

A mortar hit the base shortly thereafter and Mordechai was severely wounded.

He is now recovering in the hospital. When we saw him, thankfully, he had made enough progress that he was able to ask us to help him put on tefillin. which we were very glad to do. Given his wounds it was not easy, but we were able to, and his joy and appreciation could be seen in his eyes and on his face.

mordechai2.jpgWe then danced and sang with his father, who was keeping aconstant vigil at his bedside, and said the verse from Tehillim that corresponds with his name as a hope and plea for a complete recovery: Chapter 118, verse 16: “Hashem’s right hand is raised triumphantly; Hashem’s right hand does valiantly.”

Mordechai is continuing to recover and we ask that you please pray for Mordechai Chai ben Bracha Yehudis so that this brave soldier and hero of Israel will achieve a full recovery.

We also visited an Air Force base in the immediate area. The pilots and support personnel there are working round the clock with tremendous courage against the terrorists in Gaza.

We brought them our deep gratitude and treated these great heroes of Israel with gift baskets filled with food and other essentials. 

We continue going to bomb shelters around the country, bringing help, comfort and hope to frightened children and their families, and we are visiting soldiers on the front lines continually as well.

Visiting with us were Rabbi Amitai Yemini from Los Angeles and Rabbi MeshiZahav from Ramat Hasharon.

Our work will continue unabated, no matter the danger, until the rockets stop falling on Israel.

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Brave South African Jews Join CTVP on the Front Lines

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Monday, July 14, 2014: a group of people, visiting Israel from South Africa, joined with Chabad Terror Victims Project in the south of Israel.  Ignoring the danger to themselves, they visited children in the bomb shelters bringing them stuffed animals along with smiles and encouragement. The children were thrilled to have these wonderful toys they could hug and find comfort from. 

Then the group brought pizza and other food to the IDF soldiers on the front lines. The soldiers were helped to put on tefillin and there was singing and dancing. 

It was a truly moving and very emotional experience for the visitors, the children and the soldiers. 

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Update From the Front Lines

Update From the Front Lines

 DSC 7545 Medium As rockets continue to shower down on Israel, we just wanted to give you an update on the situation and let you know what CTVP has been doing and how your donations are helping us help others.

CTVP has been working non-stop, around the clock, since the campaign began. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said the campaign will continue and expand R'L.

We had just begun bussing children to Kfar Chabad to keep them safe from the rockets when we were told by the Israel Defense Forces not to do so.

They said that it is now not safe even in the center of Israel. There is really no place to hide other than in the shelters. Since we cannot bring the children to a safe place, we all decided we are going to go to the children, no matter where they are, including cities like Sderot -- cities that are right in the line of fire. 

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Today we brought clowns and balloon artists to the children in the areas receiving the brunt of the rocket attacks. Thankfully, we were able to distract them from the sirens and the explosions of falling rockets.

We brought the children games and treats and organized activities so their minds can be taken off the fear and anxiety that is pervading everything in Israel today. 

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 Our teams are also going to the soldiers on the front lines. We are offering them support and the knowledge that the entire Jewish world is behind them. We let them know how deeply everyone appreciates the great sacrifices they are making, and that we understand the grave danger they are facing.

Today we brought them pizza, ices, and other special treats, something that seems ordinary but not in these extraordinary circumstances -- not on the front lines of a war zone. We are also providing toiletries and other everyday necessities that we hope will make them more comfortable. We are tending to their spiritual wellbeing as well by helping them put on tefillin, which is having an enormous emotional impact on them and giving them strength for the difficult days they face.

We will be back out in the field every day for as long as necessary.

 

 

 

 

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