In the middle of nowhere, a group of Israeli soldiers guarding the nation’s border with Jordan prepared to meet the Sabbath Queen with a canned Passover Seder.
But facing the holiday with army-issue rations was not a pleasant prospect. So as the sun began to sink closer to the horizon, the men put their heads together.
Who could possibly provide a decent meal for these guardians of Israel on the eve of the Festival of Freedom – out in the middle of nowhere?
“Call Chabad,” advised one of the soldiers. Quickly someone Googled a number and came up with Rabbi Shimon Elharar, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and head of Chabad of the Dead Sea.
A quick conversation ensued. Food he could provide; of course he had the contacts.
But who could get it to the soldiers in time for the holiday? They were, after all, literally in the middle of nowhere. Just about inaccessible. The sun was nearing the horizon. No Jew could make that trip and get back in time without desecrating the Sabbath.
And the soldiers could not leave to pick it up.
Enter a hero named Azmi, a righteous Arab Gentile who certainly will have his place in the World to Come. Azmi picked up the food from a restaurant where Passover preparations had been made.
At 6:30 pm, Azmi delivered the food to a position designated by the soldiers, just in time for them to set up before the start of the special Passover Sabbath seder.
“Today by chance I met an IDF soldier at one of the checkpoints at the Dead Sea,” Rabbi Elharar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. Hearing his voice, I asked if he had been among those who were assigned to guard the border on Friday night and when he said “yes,” I asked how the seder had gone.
“What a huge smile lit his face!” the rabbi said. “He said ‘Yes indeed, the messenger made it on time. We were so amazed. We had a great holiday celebration.
“Wow – Chabad really is everywhere.”