I just got back from an amazing day at the frontlines.

We went to bring smiles to the faces of the soldiers, and I am happy to report that we surely accomplished our mission. Several teams of volunteers of Chabad Youth Organization of Israel went out today with lots of gifts for the soldiers. We gave out warm socks, thermal underwear and lots of nasharai (snacks). These were items that were donated to us online via Chabad.org and Chabad-Lubavitch websites from across the globe.

When I was a child there was a song they taught us in camp... It began with:

"To love your fellow Jew, just the same as you...
He may be far from me, across the widest sea,
Still I'll always love him just the same..."

Today, I saw this song spring to life.

There was a sense that we are all united, all over the world, by our shared purpose Here we were, in some far corner of Israel, near the borders of Egypt and Gaza. We were messengers bringing gifts to soldiers on the frontlines from people around the world, from the four corners of the globe. The smiles these gifts and messages brought to the soldiers' faces were truly a sight to behold. There was a sense that we are all united, all over the world, by our shared purpose and history and by our deep connections as Jews.

It may seem surprising that a pair of underwear and toiletries would make a soldier so happy, but as one of the soldiers put it: "I did not have a chance to take a shower in days; these simple pleasantries are truly G‑d-sent."

Another soldier commented on the Israeli snack called Bamba that we gave out: "Wow, this really reminds me of home."

But the most popular reaction was: "Beemet, mishehu shalach et zeh michutz laaretz?" "Really? Someone sent this from overseas?!"

They were so happy and so touched to know that people from everywhere around the world not only care about them and are thinking about them, but also went to the trouble of sending them the packages.

I left the area with a memory that will be with me forever. A group of smiling soldiers. Their smiles were shouting out to me:

Am Yisroel Chai – The Jewish People Live!