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Parents of Kidnapped Students Heartened by ‘Book of Mitzvot’

Monday, 23 June, 2014 - 1:04 am

South African Member of Parliament joins CTVP for a day of goodness and kindness

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Yesterday, Sunday December 22, Chabad Terror Victims Project (CTVP.ORG) staff and volunteers, accompanied by MP Jack Bloom, a Jewish member of the Gauteng Provincial Parliament in South Africa., visited families in Israel whose lives had been recently shattered by terror and violence.

 

Our first stop was with the family of Shlomi Cohen A'H, a soldier who was killed by sniper fire last week near Rosh Hanikra in northwestern Israel, on the border with Lebanon. A Lebanese soldier fired at least seven bullets at his IDF vehicle.

 

(See:  http://www.ctvp.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2436207/ )

 

Shlomi,  who was 31 and the father of an 11-month-old-baby girl, lived in Afula. His grieving wife, Maayan, his parents, and his in-laws were deeply moved by our visit, especially by the fact that we were accompanied by Jack Bloom who came from so far away. Shlomi’s wife talked about how very much she appreciated our being there and the fact that Mr. Bloom was thinking of her and her family and sharing in their pain. She said this tangible way of demonstrating solidarity with them was very powerful.

 

Because neither set of parents is in a position to be able to help out, we gave Maayan financial assistance. She told us it will go a very long way to help them. She was extremely moved and appreciative. She just kept saying “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it! This is so important for me and my daughter.”

 

We will, of course, follow up with Maayan and be in constant contact with her. We know once the initial shock has worn off she will need us even more and we want to continue helping her in any way we possibly can.

 

After we left the Cohen's we went to visit four Israeli soldiers who were recently wounded, two very seriously, when their tank exploded during a military exercise.  They were members of Division 401’s 9th Battalion and were evacuated by helicopter to the Rambam hospital which is in Haifa.

 

(See: http://www.timesofisrael.com/4-idf-soldiers-injured-in-tank-accident/

 

We brought them gifts, prayed with them, and sang and danced to lift their spirits. They will all be added to our list of Israel Defense Forces soldiers who we assist, especially as they are all from poor families who were struggling before this accident.  

 

One soldier’s father is completely out of the picture, another’s father was killed in a motorcycle accident five years ago, and a third is from a family that made aliyah. He is one of seven kids and his parents have been unable to find work.

 

The soldiers were so very grateful for our visit. They were moved that Mr. Bloom took time off from his busy schedule in Israel to visit with them and help lift their spirits.

 

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