On Tzom Gedalya, the students at the HAFTR Middle School heard from Rabbi Eli Skaist, a lieutenant and chaplain in the IDF and rebbe at the Ashreinu Yeshiva in Israel. Rabbi Skaist spoke to the students about the meaning of teshuvah and suggested that it is a response to Hashem’s calling out to us. He challenged the students to think about what kind of year they want to have and told stories about chayalim who answered their call in heroic ways. He made specific reference to two dear friends of his, Ezra Schwartz, a’h, and Rabbi Nechemia Lavi, a’h, who were killed in Israel last year. The students were very inspired to hear directly from a chayal who is defending Medinat Yisrael on many fronts.


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