When he turned on his computer following Simchat Torah and saw the horrific news coming out of Israel, Rabbi Avromy Super knew he had to act. Living on the Caribbean island of S. Lucia—thousands of miles from Israel—knew his best option was to focus on inspiring those around him to do more mitzvahs. As director of Chabad of S. Lucia, he recalled the Tefillin Campaign launched by the RebbeRabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—during the 1967 Six-Day War and decided that would be his focus.

“I will get a pair of tefillin to the first person who commits to start wrapping every day in honor of our brothers and sisters in Israel,” the rabbi posted on X (formerly known as Twitter.)

The response was overwhelming. The initial post was seen more than 130,000 times, and reposted again and again. It has also spurred tons of interest as more than 1,000 men have signed up. “It’s gone way beyond me and my initial tweet,” he said.

Part of that success is due to “Dan’s Deals,” a popular online bargain-shopping site run by brothers Dan and JJ Eleff. Though JJ Eleff of South Florida doesn’t follow Rabbi Super on social media, when he logged on to his account last week, Super’s tweet was right there near the top of his feed.

“I thought it was amazing, so I reached out to Rabbi Yochonon Klein, a scribe here who runs an organization called Healing Hearts,” says Eleff. “I asked him if he has any tefillin in stock, and he said he has 30 pairs. So Dan and I decided to sponsor those 30 pairs.”

The first person to receive a pair was Ryan Adams of Long Island, N.Y. Adams said he had wanted to wrap tefillin for a while, but it never felt right, until he saw Rabbi Super’s post.

“It didn’t seem [appropriate] to half-heartedly commit to saying a prayer everyday with ‘All my heart and all my soul and all my might.’ Then I saw the carnage from the attack and the hate online that followed, and I felt powerless,” Adams told Chabad.org. “I have been a victim of anti-semitism. I have been jumped and mocked and discriminated against for being Jewish, I know how quickly and insidiously this kind of language embeds itself in people’s minds.”

Since putting on tefillin each day, Adamas says he is “more spiritually conscious.”

“I feel more centered and tethered, and it is flowing into my personal and professional life. As the world swirls and twists around me, I am grounded—a necessary and valuable trait in this moment,” he said.

The demand for tefillin has already outpaced its supply
The demand for tefillin has already outpaced its supply

Online campaign spurs demand, raises over $400,000

As the first pairs were being accounted for and delivered,the Eleff brothers posted information about the campaign on their website and linked to Rabbi Super’s initial post, and began coordinating their activity with him. Within hours, those 30 tefillin were spoken for and many more were requested.

Now, the Eleffs have an even more ambitious idea: to get sponsors for 1,400 pairs to be given out free of charge to people who are committed to wearing them every day in honor of the 1,400 who were murdered by Hamas.

Currently, more than 2,600 men have requested their own set of tefillin to be able to fulfill this mitzvah daily.

Each pair costs around $400; funds are being raised to help offset the costs. More than $439,000 has been raised to date.

For JJ Eleff, the project is particularly meaningful and personal. When he was a 21-year-old yeshivah student, he went to help run a Pesach program in Poland. As the March of the Living was the following week, he made it a point to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau while the event was going on, stand outside the crematoria and ask men if they wanted to wrap tefillin.

“When a passer-by began yelling at me, the principal of a boys’ school from France had his students surround me,” Eleff recalls. “I didn’t know what was happening or why he was doing that. Then the teacher told them, ‘This is how we defeat Hitler, this is how we beat the Nazis and show them that we won and they lost. That G‑d is on our side.

“And all the boys who hadn’t already put on tefillin did so,” Eleff says. “That has always resonated with me. This is what we do when faced with a tragedy, and we are now living through the worst national tragedy since the Holocaust.”

The campaign that Super began harkens back to the Six-Day War in 1967 when the Rebbe established the Tefillin Campaign, encouraging Jewish men all over the world to don them.

“It started 60 years ago and is now a global phenomenon,” says Super. “I’ve seen people online who aren’t Chabad encouraging their friends to put on tefillin. They just want to do something, and they know that this can spiritually affect the war.”

“I think this is the most beautiful thing,” he said. “This is what we can do.”