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Crisis in the Holy Land: In the Media

Chabad – both in Israel and in the Diaspora – galvanized to aid their Israeli war-beleaguered brethren. Read how some of these activities were portrayed by the mainstream media.

The County Star - CA
Israeli physicist and historian Zeev Rav-Noy preceded his Sunday lecture on the history of Israel with the announcement that he had received news of a tragic personal loss. His nephew had been one of five soldiers killed Saturday when a Hezbollah missile destroyed an Israeli helicopter in Lebanon. "We live in a dangerous neighborhood. People are trying to kill us," he said to one questioner. "Our most important ally is justice. And even with all our troubles we've had, Israel loves justice because it is on our side."
The Daily Kansan - KS
Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel lives by the motto that “labels are for shirts and not for people.” “The greatest challenge today, especially with American youth, is simply the myths and confusion that strongly exist,” Tiechtel said. “It is simple confusion of people on the role of Israel today.” “We are told in the Jewish religion that the greatest weapon to combat darkness is light,” Teichtel said. “In this situation the best we can do is good deeds and educate our brothers.”
Daily News - CA
"We have teamed up with an organization in Israel that offers food and shelter for families forced to move out of northern Israel," said Rabbi Choni Marozov of Chabad of SCV. "They provide financial and emotional help." The nearly $6,000 donated by Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valley Chabad congregants in the past two weeks is earmarked for the Colel Chabad emergency relief fund in Israel.
Jewish News - NJ
In a show of solidarity with Israel, a young Chabad couple at Princeton University has sparked a Jewish unity initiative they hope will catch fire on campuses across North America and around the world. When the scroll is completed, it will be sent to an academic institution in Israel as “a tangible expression of our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.”
Australian Jewish News
Rabbi Chaim Kaplan says he will never forget the day that Hezbollah began barraging Israel with Katyusha rockets. “I got my life back, but I didn’t get it back just for myself. I got it back to help others,” he reflects. And so, Rabbi Kaplan has spent much of the past four weeks praying with soldiers on the Lebanese border, providing comfort to Israelis in bomb shelters and supporting the war effort in any way he can. “The only way we will win this war is if the whole Jewish world pulls together.”
Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA)
Rabbi Gersh-Meir Burshtein remains skeptical about the possibility of anti-Semitism. Burshtein, who heads a Chabad-sponsored community center, school and synagogue, rejects the idea that the Hezbollah-Israel conflict will cause a spike in anti-Semitic sentiment in Armenia. He said he has walked the streets of Yerevan in Chasidic garb for more than 10 years without confronting bigotry.
The Press-Enterprise - CA
Rabbi Schmuel Fuss, a Hasidic rabbi in Riverside, said the Chabad Jewish Community Center is encouraging donations to support Chabad soup kitchens in Israel. "Chabad has expanded soup kitchens to people in shelters," he said. "Many of our volunteers have been hit by shrapnel or injured driving around. It's absolute self-sacrifice to drive around these cities in northern Israel. ... War is not good for anybody."
The Collegian - PA
Jewish students across the country and across the world. The national Jewish student organization Chabad on Campus is compiling a "Unity Torah" to be sent to Israel. "This is a very tangible way to show support," said Rabbi Nosson Meretsky, director of Chabad at Penn State. "Each student contributes a dollar, and it shows that we are all one family. The completion of the project really shows support and it makes a very powerful and important statement," he said.
Reno Gazette Journal - NV
"We wanted to do something for Israel," said Sarah Cunin, educational director at Chabad, where nine children, ages 2 to 9, gathered Thursday. "We discussed in prayer how every good deed has a positive reaction globally." "We just want to bring a smile to the soldiers' faces, so they know that the Jews who don't live in Israel still think about them and appreciate them," said Orian's mother, Estee Raviv.
The Jewish Herald-Voice - TX
“We are gathered here today to offer peaceful ammunition in support of Israel and Jews everywhere through our prayers, charity and Torah study,” announced Rabbi Goldstein to the standing-room-only crowd of Israeli flag-wavers, day campers and attentive children. “And it is here that we pray especially for a peaceful resolution, and mourn the unnecessary loss of life, on both sides of the conflict.”
Jerusalem Post - Israel
Chabad have printed a million copies of Psalms, which were being distributed to residents and IDF soldiers in the North, it was reported on Tuesday. "During our activities in the North we discovered there was a huge demand for psalms," said Habad spokesman Rabbi Menahem Brod.
Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA)
College students around the world are sponsoring the writing of a Torah scroll to show solidarity with Israel. Students are purchasing letters of a 304,805-letter scroll that will be sent to an academic institution in Israel upon its completion by a scribe in November. The effort is part of Chabad on Campus’ Unity Torah campaign.
Salt Lake Tribune - UT
A standing-room-only crowd packed home of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah to pray for peace in the Middle East. "Judaism teaches us . . . there's a time for everything," Rabbi Benny Zippel said. "A time for joy, and a time for tears... Tonight, it is a time for prayer." The people came to show solidarity with Israel in its battle against Hezbollah. They also prayed for the innocent lives lost in southern Lebanon.
The Boston Globe - MA
Michal Finkelstein , a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University's Sefat affiliate in northern Israel, said this sense of solidarity, of people feeling they are not alone, is an important ingredient for overcoming trauma. The Habad movement of Orthodox Jews is delivering truckloads of sandwiches and children's games daily across the north -- except on Shabbat.
The Jewish Review - OR
Two young women counselors at Camp Gan Israel in Portland are living on tenterhooks, uncertain about the fate of their homes and friends and loved ones in Israel. Chaya Ceiitlin and Devora Neeman both make their home with their families in Tsfat, Israel, which has come under fire by Hezbolla rockets in the ongoing fighting between the Islamic terrorist organization and Israel. "Everyone can do something," she said. "Pray or do mitzvoth to bring positive light to the world."
The Photo News - NY
Children at Camp Gan Israel spent the past week decorating cards and preparing care packages for soldiers in Israel. “It feels really nice to be doing something for the soldiers who are helping the land of Israel,” said Joshua Nathan, 8, of Circleville, as he placed chocolate bars and a prayer for protection into his package. His card read: “Dear Soldier, Thanks for protecting the land of Israel. We care about you here in America! Love, Joshua.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews leave an Israeli mobile artillery unit after visiting soldiers in the northern village of Fassuta, near the Lebanese border.
CNS News
This should be a peak season for the parks and guesthouses in northern Israel. But instead of hikers and picnickers, the parks are being used as temporary military staging grounds. Rabbi Hertzl from the Habad arrived in a van at one such camp to distribute tefillin (prayer paraphernalia) and cakes. He said he wanted to encourage the troops who have not yet seen the fighting. "We came to lift up the spirits [of the soldiers]," said Hertzl. "The spirit is high anyway. It's serious."
Community Press - OH
Chavi Mangel, the daughter of Rabbi Yisroel Mangel with the Chabad Jewish Center, traveled to Israel as part of a six-week educational tour of the country. Mangel said visitors to the Chabad Center do not see the battle as someone else's concern. "It's wondering what we in Cincinnati can do to help," he said. "We want to show them they are not alone." He said this is accomplished through prayer and positive deeds.
Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA)
Rabbi Yossi Lew, associate rabbi of Chabad’s Congregation Beth Tefillah in Atlanta, said prayer has been an important part of his shul’s response to the situation. He also has directed congregants to the Bible for historical insight into Israel’s enemies. “It’s about time we stand up to the word that doesn’t care about Jewish blood, and we declare that Jewish blood is not free. Jewish blood must be defended,” he said.
The Associated Press (AP)
Israel's Ambassador Arkady Mil-Man, center, carries a Torah in the Jewish Community Center in Moscow, Tuesday, during a ceremony held in support of Israel. At right in the background is Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.
An Israeli soldier prepares to pray with an ultra-orthodox Jew near the Israeli village of Avivim after coming back from the frontline near the Lebanese village of Manur al-Ras.
FS View - FL
Hyman explained that the outbreak of war between Israel and Lebanon has hit close to home for many Chabad House members. "We're just making a special prayer for the troops and their families, considering our rabbi is personally affected," Hyman said. "We have family and friends that are over there and some are fighting in the war."
Greenwich Time - CT
Rabbi Deren, of Chabad said his cousin, Rabbi Kaplan, was injured by Hezbollah rocket fire near Safed, Israel, where Kaplan heads up Chabad programs. Deren said most Chabad rabbis have refused to leave their villages and are trying to coordinate relief and supply efforts for residents. "There have been thousands and thousands of direct hits, and its an act of God there aren't more casualties," Deren said.
A Chabad Jew prays with an Israeli soldier in front of a tank near the Israeli town of Avivim, on the border with Lebanon
Sun-Sentinel - FL
Yakira Tahan, of Aventura, said she is letting her 15-year old son, Elad Simantov, stay in Israel in a Chabad Lubavitch program. She said he could stay, along with his 65 American fellow campers, who aren't leaving, either. "We believe the solidarity we give Israel helps. I'm telling you, the kids don't want to come home, they don't even want to hear it," she said.
Getty Images
Israeli soldiers read the Torah Scrolls as they pray next to their 155mm artillery gun as the barrage against Hezbollah targets in South Lebanon continues on July 20, 2006 from a forward base on the outskirts Kiryat Shemona, Israel.
Torrington Register Citizen, CT
Eisenbach said that the lessons of the three weeks of fighting in Israel and Lebanon, was for people to send love and kindness to those caught in the conflict with their prayers. He ended the ceremony by wishing for true peace in Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza and everywhere else in the Middle East. He says he wants the conflict to end so that all innocent civilians will be able to live peacefully.
Palm Beach Post - FL
Dozens of people packed into a small room at the West Palm Beach Chabad to recite prayers. The message of the evening — a call for action and support for the state of Israel. Rabbi Muskal encouraged the group to turn emotions into prayer, charity and a voice to inform others of what is happening in the region. Whatever the outcome, said Kornfeld, "we want to show the people of Israel that we have not forgotten them."
Cape Cod Times - MA
Rabbi Yekusiel Alperowitz of the Chabad Jewish Center of Cape Cod called on American Jews to remain steadfast in their support of Israel during yet another dark chapter in the Jewish state's history. ''Jews over here as well should know that through our faith and good deeds over here we can contribute to the victory of our friends and colleagues over there,'' Alperowitz said.
The Alligator - FL
Jewish students and Gainesville residents united for peace at the Lubavitch Jewish Center, which hosted a special service that evening to pray for Israeli safety. Americans can help support Israel's goals through goodwill, Goldman said. "Everyone wants to do something over here," he said. "The way to respond is with prayer, acts of kindness and good deeds."
The Journal World - KS
Lawrence resident Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel is paying close attention to news from Israel. His parents are there. “My other reaction, on a more practical level, has been to get together a number of people to pray and commit extra acts of goodness and kindness,” he said. “That is the way we can help a person on the other side of the world.”
World Net Daily - OR
But a Katyusha scored a direct hit on their house last week while no one was home. The rocket penetrated all the way to the lower level of the structure and actually landed on their son's bed. It split into two pieces; one exploded, the other didn't. Security forces found a picture – entirely in tact – of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late leader of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, under part of the rocket that hit the bed.
Ynet New - Israel
Kutner, the head of Chabad's Terror Victims Project, immediately set into motion to round up the required goods. The rabbi was able to meet the family upon arrival in Petah Tikva from the north replete with diapers, baby formula, toys and even a new doll for two-year-old Leah. "When she was in the hospital," said Yedida Mor, "we tried to find a doll like this, but we couldn't. When she opened the box and saw what she'd gotten, her eyes lit up like glimmering stars.
Daily Bulletin - CA
Rabbi Sholom Harlig said he would urge his congregation ‘‘to add in their prayer, do good deeds and be kind to each other.'' Because bombings had forced many residents from their homes, rabbinical students had been mobilized to distribute food for Sabbath services to shelters across northern Israel, he said. ‘‘Prayer and charity -- it brings an extra blessing from God,'' he said.
Flint Journal - MI
Rabbi Weingarten learned that a Kassam rocket landed near a school in Tzfat, where his son, Mendel, is spending six weeks in a study program and touring Israel. "Thank God, he is all right," said Weingarten. Weingarten said there is no plan to have Mendel return home early. "Absolutely not, not from our perspective," he said. "We would not want him to leave behind all our brothers and sisters (Israelis)."
Rivky Kaplan of Sefat, Israel, tells Michele Norris about rocket attacks that injured her husband and damaged her home
Associated Press (AP)
But more than 500 college-age students who belong to the Lubavitch will attend a dozen yeshivas in Israel starting next month. "If we were not to go, the message we would be sending is one of despair," said Levi Schectman who will study at the Chabad Lubavitch Mayanot Yeshiva in Jerusalem. "The fact that we're going strengthens the people who have to live through this; it boosts their spirits."
Canadian Jewish News
The Chabad movement was always to be seen helping wherever they could, both spiritually and practically to both soldiers and civilians in the northern area. Now the hostilities are at an end Chabad are continuing their two-pronged. Chabad’s Home Front Emergency Campaign today is also providing temporary housing to residents flooding back to northern Israel, nourishing food baskets and other essentials, assistance to senior citizens and those who are housebound; also comfort to the grieving families and orphans of fallen soldiers and civilians.
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