On the morning after the Simchas Torah attacks on Eretz Yisroel, while others were cut off from family and not knowing what to do, Rabbi Zalman Traxler, shliach and Rabbi of the Artist Quarter Minyan, Tsfat, knew what action needed to be taken.
The morning after the Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah attacks was Isru Chag in Eretz Yisroel. While others were cut off from family and not knowing what to do, Rabbi Zalman Traxler, shliach and Rabbi of the Artist Quarter Minyan, Tsfat, decided to take action.
Known for years as the biggest mivtzoim presence in the Old City of Tsfat and the Artist Quarter Minyan, standing outside in all types of weather and having hundreds do key mitzvos coupled with caring guidance, Rabbi Traxler was told that there was a group of new arrival reserve soldiers who had just been drafted into action nearby. They had been summoned back to active duty with little notice or planning. They ran immediately to their new station, before being fed or taking care of essentials and they needed someone to fill both their physical and spiritual voids.
Rabbi Zalman and Chana Traxler sprang into action. Rabbi Traxler relays, “my brother, Rabbi Menachem Traxler called with Alex Katz from Colel Chabad. They said that there was a large group of reserves up north near Tzfas about to go to the front lines and that they were very hungry and thirsty. I picked up 30 pizza pies, many cases of water, many loaves of bread and zoomed off to go deliver. The pizza was gone in about 30 seconds and the water soon after, so I called Shlomo Lebowitz and Levi Dovid Greenberg to bring over and additional 30 pies and many more cases of water, bread and spreads. We danced with the soldiers and put tefillin on them, giving them Chizuk before they went out to win this war.”
“One if the commanders was thrilled that we came with pizza and water for the soldiers, so he filmed us. Afterwards, he hugged me for a very long time. These soldiers are very very anxious, most anticipate going deep into northern enemy territory. I sang ‘Mosiach Moshiach Moshiach,’ with them. Team Traxler gave them a lot of good energy and strength. May Hashem protect them.”
The Artist Quarter Minyan, Tzfas, now have a small team of people who’ve returned to the soldiers several times. The difference to the soldiers is remarkable beyond words, each and every time.
Those who were bochurim in Montreal and went to Greenberg’s Pharamacie on Decarie Blvd. for mivtzoim may recall how even in the 1990s Mr. Greenberg would tell over what started him on his journey of putting on Teffilin. “Someone came over to me in 1967 and said that the Lubavitcher Rebbe announced that putting on Teffilin would save a Jewish soldier’s life. Since then, of course, I never refuse.” Even 30 years latter he would gladly put on Teffilin and relay the story. The same, of course, is true of Shabbos candles, as long as they are lit before sundown.
If you would like to sponsor more pizzas or drinks you can do so by taking part at https://artistquarterminyan.com/campaign/pizza-for-soldiers, or by Zelle or PayPal to [email protected].