Monday, November 4 was a day of celebration for the soldiers of the Telem base located just outside of Hebron. Joyous singing and dancing could be heard throughout the region as they welcomed their new synagogue, graciously donated by the Leo V. Berger Fund through its President Harvey Schwartz. While dancing with the Torah scroll, they all suddenly disappeared, it happened in seconds—leaving the other celebrants baffled. The alarm had been sounded, there had been a stabbing attempt at the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Hamachpela), and the soldiers were the first ones to respond.
The visiting delegation was stunned. Moments before they had been privy to seeing a drill of such nature and now they were experiencing the readiness in real time. A living proof that these brave young men and women are on call 24/7.
The mission of the Telem base soldiers is to ensure safety and security for neighboring communities, and to safeguard major roads so travel can be safe and accessible to all. These defenders are the first responders for any terror-related incidents that occur on the highways or in the surrounding communities which were evident at the event.
The ceremony continued with the ribbon cutting and the unveiling of the plaque and the synagogue was used for the Minchah prayers.
The Leo V. Berger Fund, led by its Israel based President Harvey Schwartz, recognized the spiritual needs of the soldiers and not only their physical prowess. Therefore, they have already dedicated two synagogues (the other one being to the undercover anti-terror base) and numerous sifrei Torah to ensure that the spiritual wellbeing of the defenders are being taken care of.
These donations were made possible through the Warrior Torah project of the International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) which facilitates sifrei Torah (many brought from synagogues from outside Israel) dedications to army, navy, and air force bases, the dedication of synagogues on Magav bases and the purchase of tefillin and mezuzot for bases.
Both sifrei Torah on the Telem base synagogue were donated via this project and dedicated by families from Boston, U.S., and Melbourne, Australia.
“There is no greater honor than dedicating a synagogue on a military base in Israel. To watch these fighters who guard over Israel and her people 24/7, 365 days a year dance with the sifrei Torah with their rifles hung over their backs proves to us that the Jewish nation is strong once again.” said Harvey Schwartz.
The event concluded with handing out tefillin sets for the soldiers. A humbling moment for all present was the dedication of one of these sets to the family of a fallen soldier from the base that were present at the ceremony.
May G-d continue to protect and watch over our Defenders! For more information about the Warrior Torah Program visit WarriorTorah.org.