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Rabbi’s Blog: OZ: Trip to Israel - Day 1

05/28/2024 02:39:23 PM

May28

Dear OZ family,

Greetings from Israel!

We’re about to dine with OZ alumni at our hotel. This will cap off a full day of holy activity in the Holy Land. I call it holy activity even as we performed simple mundane tasks.

These tasks were performed for people and businesses who have had to put their basic needs and activities on hold for months at a time. We also painted “Am Yisrael Chai” on public shelters. Everyone who passed us said “Kol HaKavod”, and were very thankful for giving color to a painful reminder of their daily struggles.

Tomorrow we will begin the day at the Shiloh winery. We are now in a two week window where they need the work that would normally be done by soldiers who are on reserve duty.  From there we are going just down the road to the ancient site of Shiloh. Thousands of animal bone fragments have been found and they have not found any pig bones, evidence that this was an Israelite site.

From there we will go further down the road to Eli, where we will visit with some bereft families, with gifts for the children, and support for the household. We are also dedicating a Sefer Torah in memory of one of the soldiers. At the end of the day we are serving dinner at an army base, to 300 soldiers. This is in memory of Peninah Arbesfeld - Zissel Peninah Leah bas Rav Chaim z'l, who came up with the idea some years ago. This has recently become a very popular way to show appreciation to our brave and selfless soldiers, may they all return safely to their families.

Stay well and healthy,

Blessings from Jerusalem

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784