q2By Chanita Teitz

Following is a letter I received from Rav Yedidya Atlas asking for donations for some necessary items for the Israeli troops. As Operation Protective Edge has continued, the need is great. I am printing it for my readers and I hope that you will consider helping out with any donation, big or small. Hopefully by the time you read this, the war will be over. But there is still an ongoing need for our soldiers. Tizku l’mitzvot.

Dear Mrs. Teitz,

Shalom u’vracha. My apologies for sending this letter to you and others at this time. But as you are well aware, the imminent wartime situation that I have been speaking to people about for the last months has come. Last Tuesday morning at 3:00 a.m. the IDF launched Operation Tzuk Eitan (called in English: Operation Protective Edge) and has begun serious bombing of Gaza while significant ground troops are being strategically massed along the Gaza border. While I cannot give specifics in an e-mail because of security considerations, there is sufficient reportage of what is going on and what probably will happen in the days and weeks to come.

I have been working hard to raise the necessary funding for the religious needs of the combat soldiers stationed in the various fronts for the past months. I am raising funds for three key items that I have received repeated requests for on the command level both from units in the south around Gaza and in Judea and Samaria. The three key items are:

1. Olive green “dri-fit” tzitzit (what many of our combat soldiers in the field call: “HaShaChPaTZ HaAmiti”–the real bulletproof vest!) which the IDF Rabbinate is supplying as fast as it can but does not have the significant quantities it will need in the coming weeks as this operation expands. The need is many tens of thousands more as the operation expands together with a major call-up of reserve combat troops. Hence I am aiming to raise at least the necessary funds for at least an additional 15,000 pairs of these special tzitzit for combat soldiers in addition to what has already been stockpiled for emergency use. The approximate cost per combat company is $1,800. A full battalion is $5,000. Whatever amount you or any of your friends or congregants can do in this regard is appreciated. It all adds up accordingly.

2. Magen Yisrael Tehillim–Siddur for Combat Soldiers. The IDF Rabbinate has sufficient reserves for the next two weeks, but will need tens of thousands more to be ready by then to keep up the supply to the increase in combat soldiers involved in the operation should the IDF High Command deem it necessary to call up further units, a distinct possibility. I am currently printing 40,000 copies with plans to go into another printing of at least 20,000 more in the next days. The cost per book (pocket size and enclosed in a transparent thick plastic envelope to fit exactly in the soldier’s fatigue shirt pocket and thin enough to be comfortably under his bulletproof vest)–and per soldier–is $1.30 at current exchange rates based on a minimum printing of 10,000 copies. If anyone is interested in sponsoring 5,000 or more, there are dedication pages available to put in a text in honor or in memory of someone. Should anyone want only their dedication text(s), then the minimum printing is 10,000. Again, whatever you or any of your friends or congregants can do in this regard is appreciated.

3. The last item is not a direly needed religious item, merely something to strengthen the soldier’s morale as he is in the field even during Shabbat. And this is a package of goodies to put something sweet in his mouth and a smile on the soldier’s face as he will know that other Jews care about him. The cost per bag is nominal: only $3. I am already distributing thousands of gift packages in coordination with the necessary IDF authorities. I hope to reach 10,000 goody bags for the soldiers before this coming Shabbat. If you wish to help underwrite whatever number of bags, just let me know.

While there are other things I am working on for the needs of the soldiers, the above items are the most pressing and can be supplied in real time. If you have any questions, please let me know. I am also willing to discuss these needs on the phone, should anyone wish to do so.

If anyone wishes to send a check, please send it to: American Friends of the IDF Rabbinate; c/o David Schwartz; 5 Sutton Road; Monsey, NY, 10952

If someone prefers to make a donation via credit card, visit https://afidfr.youngisrael.org/securecontent/donate.cfm.

I thank you for whatever you can do in one or more of the above items in our critical time of need as we go to defend our Nation and our Land.

I have also attached several photos taken on my phone in the last two days (please excuse the quality) while visiting our units now stationed in the south around Gaza.

Todah u’vracha,


Lt. Colonel (res.) Rabbi Yedidya

Atlas Rabbi

IDF Central Command (res.)

E-mail yaidfr@gmail.com

It is refreshing to be able to do something positive for the soldiers in addition to our tefillos. I was disappointed that Israel agreed to the ceasefire because I want to see them completely get rid of Hamas, not just cripple it for a while. I would like to see Israel take back Gaza. At the time of the evacuation from Gush Katif, many left with the promise that they would be back. Now is the time to have the Arabs leave Gaza or be killed. As I write this, Hamas has not accepted the ceasefire. They kept fighting and escalating the number of missiles fired on Israel so the Israeli army had no choice but to continue bombing Gaza. Unfortunately there have been some Israeli casualties and we hope that there won’t be others.

Hamas is tactically shrewd in using human shields to protect their buildings, ammunition, missiles, and leaders. They know that the IDF is a humanitarian army that will avoid killing innocent civilians at all costs. One time, the army should call their bluff and have no mercy even on the women and children used as human shields. Once they realize that Israel means business, maybe the missiles will stop for good. Maybe they need a good reminder that indiscriminate killing isn’t just for our children.

When I saw the Arab mother of one of the suspects who kidnapped and murdered Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali bragging about how proud she is of her son, I realized that none of the Arabs are innocent. Such a mother is evil and raises her children to hate and to murder and to grow up to be shahids.

Let us hope that now that we are in the Three Weeks, we will have extra heavenly protection and will have an end to this war and to all wars.

Past Events

Chazaq presents Alon Anava on “My Life After Death Experience.” After a near-death experience, Alon Anava has changed his life from one end to the other. Alon Anava is a man blessed with a wide scope of talents. He has an artistic as well as an entrepreneurial spirit that has allowed him to be successful as an artist and as a businessman. He is currently a successful photographer and web developer. Alon grew up in Ra’anana, Israel, where he was intensely trained in martial arts. He later pursued his training in Denmark under the tutelage of one of the greatest fighters known today. Through intense training, Alon further developed his innate ability to be in control of his environment. Where others might break under pressure, Alon Anava thrives and rises above all chaos, maintaining balance at all times. He radiates a sense of completeness and humility without any false pretense whatsoever.

Before his life-altering experience, Alon would describe himself as, simply put, not nice. After facing death, and realizing the purpose of life, Alon transformed his very being. He diligently attends yeshiva, studying every day, and explores the depths of Torah, refining and elevating himself on a daily basis. Alon has come back with a gift. He is able to connect to our Creator in an intimate way, allowing him to also connect intimately with others and really help them with their questions and concerns.

During his free time, he shares his story in an attempt to make it as real for you as it is for him. On Sunday night, July 13, many men and women showed up for a special Chazaq event at the Young Israel of Briarwood with Alon Anava, which was dedicated in loving memory of Uriel ben Sarah. The story had a powerful impact on all those who attended.

Upcoming Events

Congregation Ahavas Yisroel Women’s League Shabbosos Of The Three Weeks Series. Given by Rabbi Hayim Schwartz. Titled Prophets of Doom and Redemption: An Analysis of the Three Weeks Haftorahs. July 19, July 26, and August 2, 4:45 p.m. Congregation Ahavas Yisroel Social Hall.

Free Weekly Summer Shiur For Women. Rabbi Zvi Lew, popular limudei kodesh educator, will deliver a new weekly summer shiur for women on various halachic topics for seven consecutive Wednesdays, July 9-August 20, 8:30 p.m. This free lecture series is open to all women and is held at Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills, 147-19 73rd Avenue. For more information, call 718-575-0594.

YI of KGH Shabbos Summer Afternoon Lecture Series. This Shabbos, July 19 at 6:15 p.m. in the shul beis midrash. The speaker this week will be George Moriber speaking on “The Coming Crisis in Quality Yeshiva Education.”

Chazaq Speakers for Women. Devorah Kigel on July 21 and Ruth Menashe on July 28 at 8:30 p.m. at Bet Gavriel Center 66-35 108th Street, Forest Hills. v

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail chanita@astorbrokerage.com.

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