Let Me Tell You About the Tzitzis Chaos

Let me tell you about the Tzitzis chaos. Because that’s what my entire day was about—not the sirens or false alarms, just utter Tzitzis chaos that I never imagined would be part of the wartime grind.

By Bruria Efune

Let me tell you about the Tzitzis chaos. Because that’s what my entire day was about—not the sirens or false alarms, just utter Tzitzis chaos that I never imagined would be part of the wartime grind.

It started this morning when I asked Rebbetzin Chani Klein of Chabad of Eilat if they need any help. On a normal day, the Kleins serve around 20,000 soldiers who are stationed in bases near Eilat, and have a close relationship with the local commanders. Now those bases have around 100,000 soldiers.

Chani told me that they have a huge list of things the soldiers have been asking for, like wipes and towels, and they have already cleared the shelves of all the local shops. They also need socks, underwear, energy bars, and a specific type of switchblade.

But on top of the list was sweat-proof undershirt tzitzis. Many soldiers who had never worn them before were asking for Tzitzis.

Ok I thought that should be easy enough.

First step, I posted on social media asking if people wanted to chip in. I knew you all would, the Jewish people and our friends are amazing, and of course instantly came through on this.

Then my husband called the local Tzitzis supplier…

“We are out! There are no army Tzitzis left in the whole country!”

We don’t give up here, so I contacted a friend from Meaningful Minute, and she came through, connecting me with Donny. Donny had a whole group of young yeshiva students and retirees who were tying Tzitzis specifically for soldiers. He told me about a whole network being set up if yeshiva teens tying Tzitzis for soldiers.

One problem—the lineup for them was huge. Soldiers all over the country were asking for Tzitzis.

I don’t know why or how this started. Maybe it was because of a soldier named Guy Madar whose life was saved because of his Tzitzis, or maybe it’s because soldiers understand that Tzitzis are a shield of holiness, but we were struggling to find more than a dozen to bring to Eilat.

We found a huge supplier, an incredible American guy who gives free Tzitzis to anyone wearing for the first time. He said he might have a thousand for us by Thursday afternoon. Progress, but the soldiers want them now.

We found 50 at Chabad of Ashkelon. My husband for some reason feels perfectly fine driving to there, despite the nonstop sirens and many direct hits. After many more phone calls with dedicated Chabad emissaries, we may have located another 400 in Ashdod, but won’t know until 11:00am. Is that soon enough? I don’t know.

It’s midnight, and from what I hear, there are synagogues full of women and yeshiva teens still awake, frantically tying Tzitzis and dying them green. 

The Tzitzis are a four-cornered garment, with strings at each side tied in knots to represent the 613 Mitzvot (good deeds). They’re a bright spiritual shield of holiness to blind all evil.

I hope to update you tomorrow with pictures of us bringing Tzitzis to our holy defenders and heroes on your behalf. We’ll bring them your love in the shape of the gifts you funded, and we’ll bring them G-dly protection with the Tzitzis that they asked for, and all of Israel made.

Bruria Efune has been covering the Gaza War from her home in Beersheva. Last week, she, her husband and their children packed their van up with supplies for IDF soldiers and made the three-hour drive down to Eilat, where they are helping serve thousands of troops on eight bases in the area. Read her war diary on Chabad.org.

An effort is ongoing in the US to supply army tzitzis for soldiers. To donate a pair for just 16 dollars, click here.

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