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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Second Lebanon War’

From Fighter Pilot to Gold Medalist

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Noam Greshuny’s story is one of triumph of the spirit.

Six years after being critically wounded during the Second Lebanon War, Gershuny won a gold medal at the Paralympics Games in London playing tennis, beating the number-one ranking player, American David Wagner 6:3, 6:1.

During the second week of the Second Lebanon War, on July 20th, two Apache helicopters on their way to an operation in Lebanon collided over Israel’s northern border. One pilot, Major Ran kochbah was killed immediately. The second pilot, Gershuny, was critically wounded. He spent months in rehabilitation, during which he discovered his love for tennis.

Six years later he made it to the top, bringing Israel its first gold medal from the London Paralympics Games and the first ever in tennis. His family and friends were at the game to support him.

When Greshuny ascended the podium to receive the medal and heard Israel’s national anthem HaTikvah playing in the background he was overcome by his emotions, shedding a tear.

Afterwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the 29-year-old athlete to congratulate him, telling him “you symbolize the victory of the human spirit over the difficulties created by the reality in which we live.”

President Shimon Peres contacted Gershuny as well, saying, “You have proved that you are good on the court as well as you are in the sky.”

When Gershuny was interviewed by IDF radio he said, “I don’t know if it had an affect on me, the fact that I was wounded for the country, giving my life and body for her. I would do it all over again, even if I knew that this would be the outcome. This may have made me happier, the fact that I am able to bring so much pride to the country.”

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

Nasrallah: We Will Strike Tel Aviv

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

In a televised speech in suburbs south of Beirut on Friday, Hizbullah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his sophisticated terror network is capable of hitting any target “in Tel Aviv and occupied Palestine”.

Nasrallah spoke at an event commemorating the completion of reconstruction and rebuilding of destruction incurred during the Second Lebanon War.  The Second Lebanon War began on July 12, 2006, when Hizbullah fired rockets into northern Israel at the same time as it attacked two Israeli military jeeps, killing 3 IDF soldiers.

According to a report in the Tehran Times, Nasrallah told attendees that “the era in which we are afraid and they are not is over,” and that his group is “capable of striking very specific targets not only in Tel Aviv but everywhere in occupied Palestine.”

He bragged that while Israel attempted to “crush the resistance” during the month-long Second Lebanon War, “the war has failed to achieve its goal”.  And in the future, he said, “for every building destroyed in Dahiya [an area in the suburbs of southern Beirut], a building will be destroyed in Tel Aviv”.

As of 2010, the Israeli government estimated that Hizbullah had an arsenal of more than 15,000 long-range rockets on its border with Lebanon.

Malkah Fleisher

Outpouring Support for Officer who Hit Danish Provocateur, Even as Damning Report Is Anticipated

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The IDF investigation of the beating of a Danish agent provocateur Andreas Ayas of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) by Deputy Bik’ah Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, will be presented Tuesday the the IDF Chief of Staff, and it appears that the report will recommend to remove Lt. Col. Eisner from office, but keep him in the army.

However, the legal proceedings against Eisner will continue, and may affect his future career. The investigation was headed by Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon.

On Tuesday, Denmark has demanded clarification from Israel about the incident and the investigation. The Foreign Office updated the Danish Ambassador in Israel about the steps taken since the exposure of the video online. President Shimon Peres attempted to minimize the damage when he said that “The IDF responded clearly, and we must await its conclusions. It’s an isolated incident that should be investigated, and we should avoid far-reaching conclusions.”

Beyond the moral aspects, the investigation also dealt with the operational conduct of the forces in the field during the event. In this respect, the report found failures, primarily in inadequate preliminary preparations for the event; the force that was sent into the area was too small and did not receive police support as required.

On Monday, 83 reserves officers and soldiers sent the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff a letter supporting the Eisner, who had been suspended from his post.

Hagit Rein, grieving mother of the late Major B’naya Rein who was killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose body was recovered by Eisner under fire, called the Army Radio to express her dismay at the way Eisner was being judged by the “media court.”

During that war, B’naya Rein assembled a special force to assist damaged tanks. He was killed on that mission for which he had volunteered, and his body remained in enemy territory. At the command level it was decided that rescuing the body was too dangerous, according to the reservists’ letter. Then it was decided they lacked the necessary resources for a rescue mission.

After three days, Shalom Eisner, who was then commander of an armored battalion, heard about the abandoned body and said it was unacceptable that the body of an army officer would be lying on the ground while his parents were waiting for him at home. Eisner took a jeep, recall his fellow officers and soldiers, put on a flak jacket and went out to get B’naya. “Surrounded by burned-out tanks, missiles flying in every direction, he just went out into the field, loaded the body and brought it back.”

Lt. Col. Eisner’s supporters expressed their complete faith in him “as a man, as a friend and as a moral commander.”

Abir Sultan/Flash 90

Yori Yanover

Plagued by Charges of Ineptness and Corruption, Olmert to Keynote at J Street Conference

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

JTA reports that Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister who was a key figure in the removal of close to 10,000 Jews from their homes in Gaza, and then blundered the Second Lebanon War, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the annual J Street conference.

Olmert will speak at the pro-Palestinian state group’s gala dinner on March 26, according to an invitation sent Thursday morning to members of the US Congress. JTA obtained an invitation, and a J Street official confirmed its authenticity.

As of early Friday morning, the J Street website has made no mention of Olmert’s participation in the event, to be held in the Washington DC Convention Center from March 24-27 .

Olmert, who was forced to step down as prime minister in 2008 to face criminal investigations, is still facing corruption trials in Israeli court. But corrupt or not, J Street has found the one Israeli ‘right-wing’ politician (Olmert started his political career in the Likud Party) with whom it has a true understanding.

Although J Street describes itself as a pro-Israel organization that supports peace between Israel and its neighbors, many Israelis and US Jews, including many public figures, have said that J Street is anti-Israel, particularly in relation to the security challenges facing the Jewish state. Several US Jewish leaders have objected to J Street’s position on Israel, and have publicly disassociated themselves from the organization.

J Street has had tense relations with Olmert’s replacement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government has sought to marginalize the group for failing to support Israel’s efforts to push back against investigations of Israel’s conduct in the 2009 Gaza war, and for equivocating on Iran sanctions until late 2009.

Following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke in 2006, Olmert became prime minister and led their Kadima party to a decisive victory in elections that year. He then led negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, and now says he was prepared to make the most far-reaching compromises with the Palestinian leader in 2008, only to be turned down.

Palestinian officials say Olmert by that time was too damaged by corruption scandals for the offer to be credible.

As a member of Sharon’s government, Olmert participated in forging Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan to evict all Israelis  from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the Samaria. Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings, and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantling of the four settlements in Samaria was completed ten days later.

Jacob Edelist

Rocket Shot at Israel Lands in Lebanon

Monday, December 12th, 2011

An Arab woman was wounded in southern Lebanon on Sunday when a Katyusha rocket aimed at Israel landed short of its mark.

 

The rocket was fired from the area of Bint Jbeil, a town a mile from Israel and the site of a major battle of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, and landed on an apartment building in the Lebanese border village of Hula.  Hizbullah denies connection to the attack.

 

Two weeks ago, rockets were fired from Lebanon to Israel, the first time since 2009.  The rockets, which landed in the western Galilee, caused property damage but no injuries.  An Al-Qaida-affiliated terror group called the Abdullah Azzam Brigades initially issued a statement taking responsibility for those attacks on “the settlements of the Zionist enemy in northern Palestine,” but later retracted.

 

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been deployed in Lebanon since 1978 to serve as an observing and peacekeeping force.  Its almost 14,000 troops are charged with preventing violence and terrorism in the region.

Malkah Fleisher

Lebanon: Crossing And Possessing

Monday, November 14th, 2011

About 15 months after the Second Lebanon War, we were called up to reserve duty in the Gush Talmonim region, part of the Binyamin Regional Council. On the second Friday night, I enjoyed the privilege of leading the entire company in singing, “Shalom Aleichem.” Although there wasn’t even a minyan of shomrei Shabbat men, the soldiers pulled out their hats in honor of the song (a handful placed a hand on their heads), and all respectfully rose to their feet – including the Bedouin trackers.

After the meal one of the soldiers approached me, and in a rare moment of sentimentality (an unusual occurrence on the macho Israeli landscape), he told me that the Kiddush was very nice and that it reminded him of the Kiddush that I recited back in Lebanon.

That Shabbat Nachamu of 2006 in the village of Shamah is an experience that I’m not likely to forget.

On the previous Wednesday, we entered Israel’s northern neighbor’s territory. Our visit was extended and within 30 hours, we had used up all of our food and water. Early Friday morning, we arrived in Shamah – tired, hungry, and dazed. We scattered among the local houses, where our hosts did not exactly see to our comfort. In fact, they weren’t even home.

Some of the others fared better, but my platoon’s Lebanese “hosts” were either desperately poor or had managed to take all their food with them before escaping the Zionist enemy. I thus avoided the following dilemma faced by others: were they forbidden/permitted/required to eat the non-kosher food that they had found?

Fortunately vegetable gardens are hard to move, and we were able to help ourselves to some watermelons and tomatoes. I was even happier that HaKadosh Baruch Hu planted the brilliant idea in my head of picking grapes from a vine-covered pergola. The grapes were crushed (by hand) in a plastic bag, and the juice dripped straight out of a hole into an empty bottle.

In the pitch darkness, we sat on sofas in the living room singing “L’cha Dodi” with feeling. Every few seconds someone would destroy the mood with a long “shh,” which would bring us back down to earth and remind us that we were in enemy territory and should be conducting ourselves accordingly. But in our enthusiasm, the decibels would soon rise again – and the process would repeat itself.

After somehow managing to daven by heart, the fresh grape juice was poured into a glass from the kitchen, and then I made Kiddush for everyone. Someone shared the pistachios that he managed to “smuggle,” and so we even had Kiddush b’makom seudah. (Ideally, Kiddush should lead into a meal.)

The next morning, we discovered that the grape juice had begun to ferment. Meanwhile we had no food left, and our shrunken stomachs had to make do with “spiritual food.” One of the guys took out a small Chumash, and we spent the next three hours going over Parshat Va’etchanan, theparshat hashavua. Astonishingly, the parshah seemed to have been written just for us.

Moshe said, “Let me now cross over and see the good land this good mountain and the Lebanon And Hashem commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances so that you should do them in the land to whichyoucross there[Shamah] to possess And from there you will seek Hashem, your God, and you will find Him; if you search for Him with all your heart and with all your soul to drive out nations from before you; to bring you, to give you their land for an inheritance, as this very day” (Deut. 3:25-4:38).

We had just conquered Shamah – and there we were, sitting and seeking Hashem!

“Face to face, Hashem spoke with you at the mountain from amid the fire” (Deut. 5:4).

We certainly had seen plenty of fire and mountains, but what did Hashem say to us “face to face”?

The first three chapters of the parshah contain all sorts of relevant hints, but the next chapter, chapter 6, was even more eerily reminiscent of our current circumstances.

According to some opinions (Gittin 7b), the northern borders of Eretz Yisrael reach the location of the village of Kfar Ras El Baide – where we were to spend the next Shabbat (our second and final one). This is referred to today as Lebanon (in spite of the anarchy that prevails in its south). During biblical times, this area belonged to the tribe of Asher.

Eldad Zamir

ROFEH International – Chesed With A Heart

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

When Dr. David Shashar of Ramat Gan was called out to serve in the Paratrooper reserves during the Second Lebanon War of 2006, his goal was to help heal wounded soldiers. He never thought that he would become one himself. When two Hizbullah anti-tank missiles hit the house he was staying in, killing nine soldiers, he was among the 30 to be seriously injured. Dr. Shashar was hospitalized for the next three months in an attempt to save his arm from amputation. He underwent numerous reconstruction operations over the next three years, a number of which were in Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. The Ministry of Defense referred him to ROFEH International – a comprehensive medical referral and bikur cholim service founded by the Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Horowitz, zt”l.

 

             In addition to helping people find the best doctors in Boston, ROFEH offers over a dozen fully-equipped apartments for patients and families, daily home-cooked kosher meals, translation services, transportation, appointment assistance and more to over 600 Jews visiting Boston for medical treatments each year. Perhaps more impressive than the technical services they offer, however, is the warmth and personal support everyone receives at ROFEH.

 

 

ROFEH building at 1730 Beacon Street, Brookline, Mass

 

 

“Everyone at ROFEH was extremely helpful,” Dr. Shashar recalled. “The apartments were exactly what we needed – homey, warm, and big enough for the entire family. When you come from abroad during a difficult time, you want to feel like you have a home. It’s a huge mitzvah.” Today Dr. Shashar has regained much use of his arm and he is able to continue to practice medicine – thanks in part to the warmth and support he received at ROFEH. 

 

Built from the Bostoner Rebbe’s love of every Jew and his sincere desire to help them, the ROFEH organization was a trailblazer in the field of medical referral organizations in America. The Rebbe, zt”l, once remarked: “It’s the only place in the world where you have a dozen apartments available for visitors. They’re not only given a bedroom, but a community support system, including the shul, the davening, the Shabbos and the singing. It gives them a new life!”

 

 

Bostoner Rebbe, HaRav Naftali Yehuda Horowitz, shlita

 

 

Today, HaRav Naftali Y. Horowitz, shlita, has taken over the Bostoner kehillah in Boston directly in his father’s footsteps. “Bostoner Chassidus’ philosophy is intimately connected to chesed,” Rav Naftali explains. “What could be more spiritual than helping your fellow Jew – refuas ha’nefesh u’refuas ha’guf?  The Rebbe, zt”l, always felt that he was a shliach of HaKadosh Baruch Hu, who placed him here in Boston for a very good reason in order to help his fellow Jews. He viewed his work at ROFEH as one of his main missions in life.”

 

             Under the capable direction of the Rebbe, shlita, ROFEH has recruited a talented new executive director, Rabbi Nachum Leib Sacks, to help expand their operations in order to continue the Rebbe zt”l’s life’s work. ROFEH is currently designing a comprehensive program to provide regular transportation to and from hospitals, as well as entertainment and outlets for families and children who are often forced to spend long amounts of time away from home.

 

 

Rabbi Sacks, Executive Director of ROFEH International

with Dr. Fred Mandell of Children’s Hospital

 

 

             “Our mission is to create the most dignified and respectful manner to provide our patients with a home away from home while they are in Boston,” Rabbi Sacks said. “They don’t feel like they are in a foreign place, and that gives them the strength to go on during these trying times. The physical needs of the patients are benefited when they have their family’s support. At ROFEH, we are supplying the families with physical and emotional support to, in turn, help the patients.”

 

In commemoration of the upcoming first yahrzeit of the Rebbe, ROFEH’s annual dinner in November is devoted to the legacy that the Rebbe left behind. His legacy remains in the hearts of the countless baalei teshuvah he inspired throughout the years, in the two kehillos that he founded based on his philosophy of love for every Jew, and in ROFEH, an organization that redefines what chesed is all about. 

 

“The staff was so helpful, reliable, efficient, and organized in every way,” one mother from Israel recalled. “They work on such a personal level with so much care and concern.

 

Accommodations were perfect to a T – from the beautiful apartments down to the home-cooked meals and Havdalah kits . . . They really do it with a heart – it’s not just business as usual. I can’t begin to tell you how nourished and well cared for we feel. You should never need it but if you do, ROFEH is there for you.”

 

Bostoner Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Y. Horowitz, zt”l

 

 

ROFEH International is carrying on the vital work of the Bostoner Rebbe, zt”l, to ensure that every Jew in need of medical assistance has a home away from home in Boston.

 

To reserve a seat at the upcoming ROFEH Legacy Dinner or to purchase an ad in their journal, please contact Rabbi Sacks at: ROFEH International: 1710 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445-2124, phone: 617-566-1900, or e-mail: rofeh@rofehint.org.

Gavriel Horan

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/rofeh-international-chesed-with-a-heart/2010/10/13/

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