A delegation of 28 shluchim from the United States met today with IDF soldiers, bereaved families and relatives of the 222 hostages. Their families begged that shluchim worldwide bring the plight of hostages to the full awareness of the public.
By Anash.org reporter
A delegation of 28 shluchim from the United States landed in Eretz Yisroel on Monday morning on a special mission to uplift, comfort and console the soldiers, the injured, and the bereaved families.
In coordination with Chabad in Israel, the group is scheduled to spend a few days in Israel visiting soldiers, the wounded recovering in hospitals, broken families who have lost their homes, families in mourning or awaiting the fate of their loved ones in captivity, and government officials.
The visit was arranged in line with Rebbe sending shluchim after Kfar Chabad terror in 5716. Then, a horrific terrorist attack in Kfar Chabad left the Jewish people in Israel devastated and the Rebbe sent a special group of shluchim to uplift them and raise their spirits.
On Monday morning, after davening Shachris at Chabad in Sderot, the group headed straight to the families of Kfar Aza, a town near the border that saw some of the worst atrocities of the Simchas Torah massacre. 55 members of the close knit community were murdered in the attack and 15 were taken hostage.
Once they arrived they went straight to the nearby hotel where the entire kibbutz is mourning and sitting shiva. The group went from family to family offering words of condolences on the unimaginable tragedy.
Some of the families shared stories of heroism and bravery of their loved ones, fighting off the terrorists till their last breath. Others shared stories about the lives of relatives who perished. Others still sat it stunned silence, unable to come to grips with the horrific tragedy.
“At times I looked away in tears, I couldn’t look them in the face,” Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf said. “They will only return if their community will be rebuilt and Hamas will be crushed.”
During a meeting with several families, Rabbi Moshe Bryski, director of Chabad of Agoura Hills, gave an emotional birkas kohanim to all the mourners.
Next, the group met with the parents and family members of the hostages. Several of the parents gave them a heart-rending report as to how the children were taken hostages. Relatives of the hostages implored them that Chabad shluchim throughout the world to bring the plight of 222 hostages to the full awareness of the public.
“All the time we were hear we didn’t hear even one rocket siren,” one of the shluchim commented. “We are sure it’s in the zechus of the Rebbe’s shluchim and this unique shlichus.
Later in the day, the shluchim will be at the Kosel joining Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz for a prayer rally for the safe release of all hostages, and for the wellbeing and success of the IDF soldiers.
The trip was arranged by Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie, Director of North County Chabad Center, Rabbi Yitzchak Wolf, Dean of Cheder Lubavitch Chicago, and Rabbi Moshe Bryski, director of Chabad of Agoura Hills.
Joining the trip are Rabbi Eli Schlanger of Bondi Beach, Australia, Rabbi Yisroel Bernath of Montreal, Canada, Rabbi Mendy Deitsch of Chandler, Arizona, Rabbi Moshe Bryski of Agoura Hills, California, Rabbi Hertzel Peer of Chabad Persian Youth, Los Angeles, CA, Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy Friendship Circle of LA, CA, Rabbi Dov Muchnik of Oxnard, CA, Rabbi Chaim Hanoka of Chabad of Pasadena, CA, Rabbi Dovid Eliezrey of Yorba Linda, CA, Rabbi Yanky Kahn of Chabad of the Valley, CA, Rabbi Choni Marozov of Valencia, CA, Rabbi Chaim Mentz of Bel Air, CA; Rabbi Zalman Bukiet of Chabad West Boca, FL, Rabbi Ruvi New of East Boca Raton, FL, Rabbi Pinny Andrusier of Cooper City, FL, Rabbi Schneur Kaplan of Downtown Jewish Center Chabad, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Rabbi Yaakov Zucker of Key West, FL, Rabbi Peretz Meir Simcha Minkowicz of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, Rabbi Yitzchok Minkowicz of Chabad Lubavitch of Southwest Florida, Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples, FL, Rabbi Yisroel Spalter of Weston, FL; Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf of Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School, Skokie, IL; Rabbi Shneur Cadaner of Quad Cities, Iowa; Rabbi Yossie Nemes of Chabad New Orleans, Louisiana; Rabbi Danny Fordham of Beth El Jewish Center of Flatbush, NY, Rabbi Eli Goodman of Chabad of the Beaches, Long Beach, NY; Rabbi Moshe Gurarie of Toms River NJ; and Rabbi Mendy Block of Dallas, TX.