August 1, 2006
Hundreds of Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva students in Israel have volunteered to spend their summer vacation, which begins after Tisha B’Av (this year, on August 3), helping Jews throughout Israel to fulfill the biblical commandment of putting on tefillin (phylacteries).

“Year round many of the yeshiva students utilize their precious extra time between studies to encourage people to put on tefillin,” said Rabbi Yisroel Brod, coordinator for the Chabad-Lubavitch Youth Organization's campaigns during Israel’s war with Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. “But now that they are going on vacation, the vast majority are devoting their time to this effort fully, instead of taking time out for their own selves."

As part of the effort, both civilian Israelis and armed forces personnel will be encouraged to put on tefillin.

Specially designed posters advertising the initiative point out that the mitzvah of tefillin strengthens the country, especially the army, and that when a Jew dons tefillin, it puts fear into the hearts of Israel’s enemies.

Just the before the Six Day War in 1967, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, launched the now ubiquitious Tefillin campaign by encouraging Jewish men everywhere, especially Israeli soldiers, to perform the commandment of donning tefillin. Quoting biblical assurances, the Rebbe emphasized that fulfilling this commandment anywhere in the world would help protect Israel during the war. “‘And all the nations of the world will see that the name of the Lord is upon you,’" the Rebbe quoted, adding, "when it is obvious that these are Jewish soldiers whose leader is G‑d, the 'Lord of Hosts,' then, ‘they will fear you' and 'they shall run from you...’”

Perhaps tellingly, during the past weeks photos of Israel Defense Force soldiers at the northern front donning tefillin through Chabad's efforts have been widely distributed by international news and photo agencies.