Photographer Gives Glimpse Into Indomitable Spirit of Am Yisroel

Photographer Dovber Hechtman traveled to restricted sites in Israel and to the Gaza border documenting the destruction he witnessed and the unbeatable spirit of Am Yisroel he experienced.

Photographer Dovber Hechtmen traveled to some of the restricted sites in the Gaza envelope to document the atrocities there. He photographed soldiers as they headed into Gaza to fight the war, and presents here a gallery of his weeklong journey witnessing the devastation and simultaneous unbeatable spirit of the Jewish people.

“We started in the settlement of Be’eri with special permission granted to us,” Hechtman relates. “I photographed the terrible horrors and the destroyed homes, shuls, Sukkahs reamining there from Simchas Torah, the house of a soldier close to Chabad who was murdered.

“From there, we continued with three bochurim from Crown Heights who came to do mivtzoim together at a military base on the border. The group we were with were about to enter Gaza- I was allowed to publish only individual photos of soldiers entering Gaza.

“From there, we went to the site of the Nova festival, where many people were killed. We recited tehillim at the memorial site. We continued to a huge military base where Israel serves food of all kinds to the IDF soldiers leaving Gaza for a few hours to get a break from the battlefield.

“We met a man who told us he managed to save more than 30 people from the party in Re’im and he showed us the route he took on Simchas Torah. We then went to Zaka, to visit the incredible volunteers, and continued on to Chevron, to Me’aras Hamachpeila. We managed to distribute more than 10 pairs of tefillin to soldiers entering Gaza and to the Magav officers guarding us in Chevron.

“We had the zechus to write a letter in the Sefer Torah in a yishuv near Gaza and join the community in partaking in the celebration. To conclude the trip, we visited the rehabilitation center for casualties of the war. We spent time with the injured soldiers and handed things out, including two pairs of tefillin. All in all, it was a heartbreaking and simultaneously inspiring and uplifting trip.”

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