Amo, today a man walked into my office trying to get me to buy an ad for CYN (Chabad Youth Network) in his community directory. Turns out he is a Jewish South African. I told the guy that since the war in Israel started, I am on a rampage, getting as many people as possible to put on tefillin while having you guys in mind. Today there is no such thing as someone saying no to put on tefillin. In the end, he didn't really sell me on the ad but I sold him on tefillin—and his daughter will be joining Torah 4 Teens!

I don't know how many people are reading this blog, but I can tell you, Amo, that all my students and any teens involved in any program directly or indirectly at CYN, know all about you, what you're doing and are praying for you. Many of the students asked me if you can come visit our classes when you come back!

Last night at a board meeting we started with Psalms for the soldiers and again the discussion is...Amo! Ha, you're probably laughing at how much you are the center of attention here. Truth be told, we love you and are very proud of you.

Last we heard was a report this morning – a few hours before Shabbat in Israel – that Amo's getting ready for Shabbat, perched on a mountain lookout, very tired but, thank G‑d, doing well. We heard about the tough confrontations he had last night and how it was a success. We also heard how much he's enjoying the nosh that was sent by his friends in Israel and he's waiting for more. Grandma says he always had a sweet tooth...

We heard that Amo asked about the news headlines, as the boys are getting a sense that things might be slowing down. Although those are the vibes in the media, the feelings of the soldiers, he says, is steadfast—and committed to finishing the job that they went there for and safeguarding Israel's borders.

Amo also asked about getting more socks and stuff for "his boys."

Amo, as I am typing this now it's already Shabbat in Israel so we cannot call any of our friends and contacts there now for updates. I am reminded of last Shabbat at Chabad Gate, when I walked into the synagogue and Rabbi Schochet asked me what we have heard and if there was any news etc… In his speech he spoke about the soldiers and the work they must do on Shabbat and how we here have to strengthen in our mitzvot, specifically in Shabbat observance, for the sake of the soldiers.

Be safe and I hope your prayer service and singing tonight is uneventful—but with the same joy, inspiration and incredible enthusiasm as last week's L'Cha Dodi!