A Chabad House sign was put up on Wednesday in the most unlikely location – in the heart of Gaza where the war is currently raging against Hamas.
The Chabad House sign was proudly hung in a building in Beit Hanoun which has been damaged in the fighting and is surrounded by rubble, thanks to the efforts of a group of bochurim (yeshiva boys) and a student in a Yeshiva in Tel Aviv.
The bochurim are a group of Chabad emissaries sent from Yeshiva Oholei Torah in Crown Heights to serve in the Chazon Eliyahu Yeshiva in Tel Aviv. The Yeshiva caters to previously secular students, many of whom are currently serving in the IDF during the war.
Mendel Zaltzman, Levi Lachkar, Berel Lipsker, Mendel Zavdi, Mendel Apfelbaum, Shmuly Vilenkin, Binyomin Lipchik, and Shmulik Serebryanski, have been assisting the Yeshiva’s students and residents of Tel Aviv during this challenging time of war.
The soldiers who are fighting in Gaza return for 24-hour breaks, and the bochurim celebrate (farbreng) with them and offer support and inspiration.
This week, Mendel Zaltzman had an idea. Hearing from the soldiers that they have a ‘base’ in Gaza where they meet to pray and where they put on Tefillin, Zaltzman thought that it should be named as the local Chabad House.
Together with Berel Lipsker and Levi Lachkar, the three organized the printing of a large sign, and IDF soldier and Yeshiva student Yossi Jacob agreed to hang the sign on his next mission in Gaza.
“Yossi has been arranging Minyanim and helping the others put on Tefillin, and being mekarev (doing outreach with) his fellow soldiers,” Mendel Zaltzman told COLlive.com. “He was very excited to hang the sign and ‘establish’ the first Chabad House in Gaza,” he said.
The soldiers will be continuing to move south in Gaza, Zaltzman said. “They plan to raise the sign in the next location they go to as well,” he said.
This report first appeared on the COLlive.com website.