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Rabbi’s Blog: OZ: Trip to Israel - Day 3

05/30/2024 07:23:53 PM


Dear OZ family,

We just completed the last program of our mission, and we spent time at two amazing organizations in Beit Shemesh. One is Lev Lachayil, which is run by Rabbi Dudi Winkler, who recently spoke at the shul.

I don’t need to stress how crucial it is to support our soldiers at this time. Lev Lachayil makes a home for the “Lone Soldier” in Israel, and cares for them like family. When we left the army base last night, the soldiers told us Chazak v’Ematz, be strong and courageous. I answered them that our people need them to be strong as well, but that it’s ok, when not on the battlefield, to be weak and vulnerable. So many young kids have seen such unspeakable acts, that they literally can’t speak about it. I have a list of wounded soldiers by alphabetical order with hundreds of names and that only comprises letters aleph through daled.

In addition to all these physically wounded soldiers are so many more who are emotionally scarred, and Lev Lachayil is indeed family for them. We also volunteered at a place called Ezrat Achim and their multi-faceted work for the community and for soldiers is incredible. 

This was an amazing three days and I am so happy that the memories have been preserved by a great videographer, Max Federman, a long-time friend of Ari Hirsch. 

Stay well and healthy.

Am Yisrael Chai 

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784