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Belev Echad

Keeping you up to date with blog posts, pictures and happenings of the belev echad trip to NYC

Our last day in New York - the trip flew by so quickly!

10388139_769838053050412_7887345169701095147_n.jpgWe checked out of the hotel and had breakfast at a private home on Madison Avenue - a beautiful house with a trampoline, basketball court, ping-pong table and pool. Achiya, who is mostly blind and can only see vague shapes, impressed us all with some great shots on the pool table! Other soldiers burned off some energy doing somersaults on the trampoline. 

At breakfast, Achiya mentioned how therapeutic it is for all of them to be together for these 10 days. Living together and spending all this time as a group has given them the opportunity to really bond with their fellow soldiers who can understand what they are going through. 

After breakfast we headed to the Empire State Building where we were given VIP passes so we didn't have to wait in line. Security is tough for soldiers who have shrapnel and metal plates in their bodies, causing the machines to keep beeping. One of the guards was giving Nadav a hard time with the security search until Nadav twirled around his prosthetic leg. The guard smiled and let him through. 

At lunch we were fought over, literally! Two people wanted the honor of sponsoring lunch for the soldiers. In the end we went to Rafaellos pizza with our host Charly Darwich. 

Later we visited the Apple store where the soldiers received gift cards from an anonymous donor. Thank you! It really gave them joy. 

We spent some time relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet in Central Park before heading to the Prime Bentley for a steak dinner. Many members of the Chabad Israel Center community joined us for dessert and to bid our guests farewell. Many tears were shed, and promises to keep in touch were made.  

When we arrived at JFK we realized that the soldiers' flight was delayed until 2am, which quickly became no problem at all, because when the head of EL-AL heard who we were, he gave us VIP access passes to the lounge where we were able to relax and enjoy the luxurious setting. 

Goodbye Belev Echad! Goodbye our heroes! See you in Israel, soon. 

A Silver Coin

 10366130_10152120196832584_6739879109153590641_n.jpgMonday morning we woke up refreshed and ready for another action-packed day. During breakfast at My Most Favorite Dessert I had a chance to speak with Rafi. He told me that he has not slept through one full night since his injury eight months ago. He wakes up nightly with panic attacks and cold sweats. In his dreams he visualizes himself being injured again, night after night. But this week, at Belev Echad, he has finally been able to sleep like a normal human being, without the nightmares and panic attacks. We have succeeded in helping him. 

We visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe's resting place in Queens, where the soldiers each put on tefillin and wrote letters to the Rebbe. The scene was poignant as they prayed for peace of mind and recovery. 

The visit was particularly meaningful to Achiya. His parents used to live in Queens, and when his mother was pregnant with him, she visited Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn and asked the Rebbe for a blessing, which she received. 

Rabbi Krinsky, the Rebbe's personal secretary for over 40 years, was waiting for us at the Ohel, the Rebbe's resting place. He had with him the "Maaneh Lashon" (prayer book for the gravesite) that the Rebbe himself used for over 40 years. All our heroes had the opportunity to pray from this holy book. 

Rabbi Krinsky also joined us for lunch, where he shared numerous moving memories and stories of the Rebbe. He was so touched by our soldiers that he decided to give them a gift - the coins that were printed on Lag BaOmer in the 40th year of the Rebbe's leadership. Each soldier received one coin, a prestigious and priceless gift. 

From there we headed to 770, Chabad world headquarters, where we received a VIP tour of the Rebbe's room and the Rebbe's shul. 

We ended the day with a trip to Top of the Rock and dinner at Le Marais restaurant for a steak dinner. One of our hosts, Joe Wolf, introduced our heroes to the entire restaurant and all the patrons broke out in song, "Am Yisrael chai!" 

A Day of Motorcycles

10268683_10152114214787584_4274178609807735701_n.jpgOn Sunday morning we were invited to a 44th floor apartment for breakfast, where dazzling views kept us glued to the windows. We also enjoyed fabulous company, including a piano-playing host, which led to an impromptu “kumsitz.” Our host played traditional Israel songs and we all sang along. 

After breakfast, about 30 motorcycle riders were waiting for us. Special thanks to Woody and Daphna Halevy who planned the trip meticulously, and Lauren Secular who brought her entire team of Chai Riders to give the soldiers an incredible experience. We paired up – one soldier and one cyclist – and travelled the Bear Mountain area, stopping to enjoy scenic views and the beauty of Mother Nature. The soldiers and Chai Riders also used the opportunity to bond and get to know one another. It was truly one of the highlights of the trip. 

Later we attended an exquisite rooftop barbecue together with 400 young professional members of the Chabad Israel Center community. Thank you to Benzion Turk of Turk caterers for putting together another fabulous event. The food was scrumptious, the open bar flowed all night and the bonfire with S’mores was a lovely touch. But most notable of all were the friendships and lifelong connections that were formed between our heroic guests and members of our community. 

Despite Ongoing Discord, Religious Community Gathers to Honor IDF Soldiers

NEW YORK - The tension between religious Jews and the Israel Defense Force has been hotly debated and fiercely criticized in the media during the past few months - both in Israel and abroad. But for one community of observant Jews in New York, you’d be hard pressed to find it.

“Our soldiers in the IDF have shown their unwavering commitment to the land of Israel, the land which G-d gave to us to cherish and protect,” said Rabbi Uriel Vigler of Chabad Israel Center in the Upper East Side, at a dinner hosted by the community to honor wounded Israeli soldiers and victims of terror this past Friday night. “They have shown this commitment with their very lives. The most important thing we can give them is our love and admiration.”

The dinner was part of a 10-day trip organized by Belev Echad, founded by Rabbi Vigler and a host of supporters in the New York community. Now in its fifth year, Belev Echad brings wounded soldiers and victims of terror to New York City for the trip of a lifetime, to help them forget their traumas for but a moment, replete with tourist thrills and one community event after another in their honor.

“I never had much to do with Chabad, but when I see how they respect the soldiers, it challenges everything I thought about them,” said Ido Levy, an Israeli expat who attended the Friday night dinner.

Another participant, a woman with strong left-wing beliefs, was similarly surprised and walked away professing a new-found respect for Chabad.To be sure, Chabad Chassidim are known to be supporters of Israel in general, and soldiers of the IDF in particular. But this event was unique in that it brought together hundreds of people from the community to sit with the soldiers and show them how much they’re loved and how much their sacrifices mean to them.

Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, spoke at the event about the respect the soldiers deserve. Preschool children presented cards to the soldiers. Members of the community, from all across the spectrum of religious observance, came to say thank you for their courage and bravery.

“It’s amazing what appreciation can do,” said Rabbi Vigler. “It’s one of the best forms of therapy for these heroes.” Hodael Yechezkel’s mother can attest to that.

Hodael Yechezkel is one of the soldiers being honored in the program. He had been on a top-secret mission in the northern border of Israel, where a group of elite units had come together for a highly sensitive, clandestine operation against the Hezbollah. The mission was completed successfully and everything went according to plan...until they began to head back.

Suddenly, the group was ambushed with explosives and a hail of terrorist gunfire. Hodael’s jaw was broken. Shrapnel flew into his body, including his right eye, which blinded him.

Because of the covert nature of their operation, helicopters were not able to evacuate the wounded. Hodael could not scream in pain. Instead, his comrades carried him on a stretcher for hours until they reached safety.

He was then immediately sent to the hospital, where doctors began complex surgery to try and restore his vision and heal his facial injuries. Hodael still has more operations to come; his rehabilitation is not yet complete.But when his uncle, a resident of Long Island, came to see him in Manhattan as part of yet another reception to honor the soldiers in the Belev Echad delegation, he called Hodael’s mother and told her, “You should know one thing Chabad is doing with your son. They’ve given him respect.”

To his mother, that meant more than anything else.

Another honoree, Moti Shemen, was 13 years old when he was celebrating the bar mitzvah of a friend at a banquet hall in Ashdod. In the middle of the party, Moti and a buddy of his walked out of the hall, where they came face to face with a terrorist.

Armed with an M-16, the terrorist’s mission was to spray the entire hall with machine gun fire. When he saw Moti outside, he shot him twice in the leg, then in his hand - which he had raised to protect his heart from being hit. Then, unexpectedly, the terrorist’s machine gun jammed.

Rabbi Schneur Goodman, Chabad shliach in Ashdod and close friend of the family, was in the hall at the time. He told his wife, “I’m going to save Moti. If anything happens to me, know that I love you and continue to raise the children.”

At grave risk to his own life, Rabbi Goodman went outside and pulled Moti into the hall, where his daughter quickly applied a tourniquet to the wounded leg. In the meantime, the terrorist had thrown two grenades into the building but they failed to detonate and police were able to apprehend him.

“Moti literally took the bullet for his community,” explained Rabbi Vigler. “How can we not make this effort to show our respect?”

The best thing you can give to us is to say 'thank you'

10367139_783196155037950_7839940661664957787_n.jpgWe began the day with breakfast at My Most Favorite Dessert, on the Upper West Side. Everyone was able to order whatever they wanted - a real treat. 

From there we went to New York's latest attraction, "The Ride." The Ride is a bus tour that combines New York scenery and landmarks with state-of-the-art audio and visual technology for a full-body experience. The city becomes a stage, and soon you can't tell where the street ends and the show begins. We were joined by a rapper who even included some Hebrew words, just for us, in his rapping. 

Later we visited Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, where we got to see all kinds of Guinness world records come to life! From the weird to the wonderful to the downright creepy, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 

We also saw the Broadway show Aladdin, something that does not exist in Israel at all. It was quite spectacular! 

Our day ended with a private reception where the entire community welcomed up. Ambassadors Ron Prosor and Danny Ayalon were there as well. Hodel summed it up best, when he said, "Now that we are injured, what do we want? The best thing you can give to us is to say 'thank you.' When we hear the community simply thank us, that does wonders for us and encourages us to continue with our recovery."

Injured Israeli Soldier: This Trip Was My Motivation to Continue

By Rochelle Ginsburg

10369880_782297128461186_3266762074918547267_n.jpgNEW YORK - Achiya Klein, an officer in the Israel Defense Force, was working with his unit on a recently-discovered terrorist tunnel between Gaza and Israel, 20 meters underground, when an explosion rocked the tunnel and knocked him unconscious.

“When I woke up, I couldn’t see anything,” said Klein. “But I felt my all of my body and I knew I was in one piece.”

Achiya was instantly blinded and horrifically burned. Five of his comrades were also injured in the blast and he was evacuated to a nearby hospital. Three days passed before he regained consciousness and the long road to recovery could begin.

“One day my father came to my room [in the hospital] and told me I was chosen to be part of a delegation to America. [He said] I have to be healthy to go.” He still could not see and had undergone multiple surgeries, but the excitement of a trip motivated Achiya to keep going. A month and a half later he was able to go home.

Today, six months after the violent blast, he’s in New York City as part of Chabad Israel Center’s fifth annual Belev Echad program, a 10-day trip honoring Achiya and nine other injured Israeli soldiers and victims of terror. The trip is a whirlwind of fun and support, a much-neededrespite from the physical wounds and emotional scars that plague these young heroes daily.

“Belev Echad accomplishes more than what any doctor can do,” said Rabbi Uriel Vigler, director of Chabad Israel Center and founder of Belev Echad, at a private dinner for the honorees on Wednesday. “The greatest form of therapy is when we say thank you to these soldiers and show our appreciation, when we tell them how much their sacrifices mean to us.”

“We all feel so privileged to be in one room with heroism, with courage” said former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Danny Ayalon at the dinner. “I give many speeches as part of my career but I was never as emotional as this evening.”

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor underscored the bravery of these soldiers. “They experience the bitterness of war and carry wounds that will never heal. You can be proud of this next generation, that they will take us from strength to strength,” he said. “We have to be strong, resolute and determined to defend ourselves, because no one else will do it for us.”

This determination is no more apparent than in Achiya’s statement during his speech at the event. “I’m still an officer in the army,” he said proudly. “We are still working in Gaza to find all the tunnels. We know there are at least 25 of them.

”The Belev Echad trip includes a visit to Ground Zero, helicopter ride over NYC (an especially meaningful experience for one soldier whose last two helicopter rides were evacuations under fire), Wall Street, the United Nations Building, VIP tour of Yankee Stadium, cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Broadway show, shopping sprees, museums, day trip to Bear Mountain on specialized motorbikes, Lag Baomer celebrations and numerous events with the community in their honor.

Rabbi Menachem Kutner, director of Chabad’s Terror Victim Project in Israel, who encourages the soldiers and victims of terror in their hospital rooms and handpicks the honorees of each trip, pointed to the broader power of these visits. “Your support and solidarity are the answer to our enemies. When we are together, united, we have the strength to overcome everything.”

Belev Echad is a project of Chabad Israel Center on the Upper East Side in conjunction with Chabad Terror Victims Project. Bios of the honored soldiers and victims of terror, as well as photos and videos in a running blog of the trip, can be found at www.chabadic.com/BelevEchad.

Live at Time Square

1798680_782353495122216_2691633562590081160_n.jpgWe breakfasted at Tiberias in midtown - a tasty and satisfying start to the day. Israeli Ambassador Danny Ayalon surprised us with an impromptu visit. He spoke beautifully, conveying his gratitude for the sacrifices they have made for our nation and our Land. The guests were deeply moved by his words. 

At Alef-Bet Preschool, the children were eagerly awaiting our visit. They had prepared a presentation for the soldiers which we enjoyed immensely. The children sung a medley of songs and presented the guests with cookies and special cards containing messages of love and appreciation. The children and the soldiers danced together, singing "Am Yisrael Chai!"

Our next stop was the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. On the way, I had a chance to speak with Nadav, who told me about his injury. He and his unit had been setting up and ambush for a group of terrorists, but they were discovered and terrorists shot an RPJ missile straight at them. Nadav was severely injured and his leg had to be amputated. Despite the trauma, he is still happy! What a hero!

Later in the afternoon we were invited to the NASDAQ as VIPs, where we got to see the closing of the market with the bell. We also saw ourselves live in Times Square, on our way to Madame Tussauds wax museum. The wax museum gave our heroes the opportunity to let loose and have plain old fun! Hopefully, for a short time, they were able to escape their painful reality and just focus on hugging Hulk. 

We ended the day with a lovely dinner at a private home. We sat on the 2500 square foot terrace, along with about 60 community members, eating authentic Persian food from Colbeh, laughing, chatting and simply getting to know one another. 

Parents Being Told Their Son Died

IMG_1371.JPGGabriel Plotkin and Yaara Bank-Plotkin very generously and graciously opened their home to our soldiers this morning, treating us to a delicious and heartwarming breakfast. Yaara spoke, explaining that under normal circumstances she wouldn't host anybody just weeks after giving birth, but she didn't want to miss out on the honor and privilege or hosting our visiting heroes. She thanked the soldiers profusely for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of the entire Jewish nation. 

After breakfast, we took a helicopter ride over Manhattan, giving us a literal bird's eye view of the city. Achiya Klein recalled his previous helicopter trips, both of which were part of his evacuation after severe eye injuries. Today he is blind in both eyes. Today's pleasant and peaceful ride felt like a small "rectification" of sorts, for his previous helicopter experience. 

On the bus I was able to chat with Ronnie who shared some of his experiences with me. When a missile hit his army base, his best friend was killed. Ronnie was injured to severely that the medic treating him initially told everybody he had died, and Ronnie's parents were told that their son had been killed! He was transported to the hospital just to make it official, and during transport he actually fell off the stretcher because he was not properly secured. A senior doctor noticed that he was not, in fact, dead, but in a deep coma. Ronnie lay unconscious and unresponsive for 67 days before miraculously waking up and beginning the long road to recovery. 

The lift on our bus malfunctioned today, so six friends lifted Zion, who is in a wheelchair, on and off the bus as needed. We drove on to Century 21, where Isaac Gindi was waiting for us. Isaac gifted each soldier with a $500 gift card on behalf of the Gindi family, for which the soldiers were extremely grateful. What a treat. Thank you!

After shopping, shopping and, yes, more shopping, we continued on to Ground Zero. Our visitors were able to identify strongly with the 9/11 terror attacks that we suffered here in America. 

We ended the day with VIP tickets to Yankee Stadium! An exciting end to a fantastic day. 

Welcome at JFK!

10294238_764995613534656_5903300166756559136_n.jpgBelev Echad got off to a fantastic start today as we met out soldiers at JFK airport with spontaneous singing and dancing. Even though most people had family plans because of Mother's Day, many community members drove to the airport to give our heroes the warm reception they deserve. 

We presented each soldier with a rose and a balloon, and loaded up their luggage for the drive back to Manhattan. Traffic was heavy but we finally arrived at the welcome party, hosted in a beautiful home on the Upper East Side. About 30 people were waiting to greet us, and we all enjoyed getting to know each other. 

Later we took the soldiers to the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere, the luxurious Central Park Marriot, where they will be staying for the duration of their trip. We hope they settled in well and have a good rest, ready for the non-stop experiences we have in store. 

 

Farewell to our hero's!

farewell.jpgIt was hard to check out of the hotel on our last morning; the soldiers had so many good memories from their time there. But the pull of a delicious breakfast, hosted by Elizabeth and Jerry Zimmer, got us hustling.

We visited Ground Zero, and the new museum there. Our ten guests have all been victims of terror themselves, so visiting the site of America’s biggest terror attack was particularly meaningful.

From there the soldiers did some last minute shopping at Century 21, Wall Street and Soho, after which we went to the Intrepid and Grand Central Terminal for a tour of the subway system.

A farewell reception at the Chabad Israel Center drew many of the community members who became friends with the soldiers during their visit. Each of the soldiers spoke for a couple of minutes, sharing some of the highlights of their trip.

Nati eloquently put everyone’s thoughts into words. “The helicopter ride was awesome, and the motorcycles were incredible, and the bowling was magnificent, but all that pales in comparison to the true beautiful of the trip—meeting and bonding with the wonderful community, and experiencing the outpouring of love.”

All good things must come to an end, but our airport parting was very emotional. Nobody wanted to say goodbye, but it’s never really goodbye—it’s “till next time.”

A Visit To The Amish

golani.jpgAn early start was in order for our trip to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. We began with a panoramic tour that included Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Elfert Alley. We were so grateful to Issy Bank who prepared our breakfast and lunch which kept us going for the entire day—thank you!

We spent time at the important historic landmarks in Philadelphia, including the famous Liberty Bell—one of the most poignant symbols of American freedom. We also visited Constitution Square, Constitution Hall and the Rocky Steps.

Driving out of the city, we headed to Lancaster County, home of the Amish. An authentic Amish buggy ride through the farm country allowed us a glimpse into their lives without modern technology, running water, telephones and appliances. It was fascinating.

Our evening ended at the Prime Bentley where our hosts, Gabe Plotkin and Yaara Bank-Plotkin lavished us with a delicious feast. We stayed on the restaurant rooftop till well after midnight chatting, drinking, singing, and enjoying the small amount of time we have left together. What a magnificent end to a magnificent day.

Motorcycle Sunday

motor.jpgSunday morning, as the soldiers left the hotel they were greeted by 40 enormous motorcycles and the Chai Riders. The motorcycles were parked in a no-standing zone and a police officer asked us to move them. When we explained that they were for the wounded soldiers, the policeman asked for an Israeli flag and allowed us to keep our motorcycles there until we were ready for take off.

We spent the entire day on motorcycles and the soldiers bonded with the Chai Riders. We ate breakfast and lunch in two different, but equally beautiful, scenic spots. We did bring along a minivan in case anyone got tired, but as Nati put it, this was by far the best day of the trip!

Thanks to all the Chai Riders, and to Lauren who brought Belev Echad and the Chai Riders together. Many thanks to Woody and Dafna Halevy who did the entire ride three weeks ago to help us map out the day.

To top off a fantastic day we dined at Le Marais—one of Manhattan’s most upscale kosher restaurants. Our host, Joe Wolf, invited ten of his friends to join us. One of them turned out to be world champion boxer Yuri Foreman. During dinner Yuri spoke. He told the soldiers that although he fights professionally, he is nothing compared to them—true heroes. “I am humbled to be in your presence,” he said, “You are truly incredible.”yuro2.jpg

Joe Wolf, our gracious and generous host, spoke. Everyone in the restaurant heard that they were dining with a group of wounded Israeli soldiers—courageous and brave men who risked their lives for us and our country—and they stood up spontaneously to sing and dance with our guests. What a phenomenal end to the day. 

Havdala in Time Square

ts.jpgWe moved our Shabbat morning services to a much bigger location in anticipation of the crowds our Belev Echad guests usually draw. Cantor Ari Klein and the Neshama Acapella Group lead the spirited services which over 400 people attended. The soldiers were each given an aliyah, after which we all danced and sang “Am yisrael chai.”

Dror Zicherman spoke right after the services, describing in detail how he was attacked. A terrorist at a checkpoint was asked to remove a suspicious looking jacket, but instead he detonated it which killed Dror’s commanding officer and wounded Dror severely.

Next up was Ziv Yitzchaki who was a member of the Golani brigade. His unit was called upon to secure and remove the body of Roi Klein, the soldier who jumped on a grenade in order to save his soldiers’ lives and died with the words “shema yisrael” on his lips. Ziv is in a wheelchair due to injuries he sustained while removing Roi’s body.

After the soldiers spoke, the children of Alef-Bet Preschool presented each soldier with a card they had written for them. All around me people were crying as these young children sang for our brave heroes.

A delicious lunch was a great opportunity for community members to get to know the soldiers on a more one-on-one basis, and many people confided in me that they came away feeling stronger about their own worries and tribulations after speaking with the soldiers.

After Shabbat we had a grand havdallah service in Times Square. Yechiel Tzanani said the havdallah service, and all eyes were upon us as we broke out in song, singing “Hindi ma tov…” – “How good it is to love on another and to be together…”  How good, indeed!

 

A Friday Night to Remember

ddddd.jpgFive hundred members of the Chabad Israel Center Upper East Side community gathered to celebrate Shabbat eve with our ten honored guests, all of whom are victims of terror. This annual Friday night meal is one of our most popular Shabbat dinners year-round. In fact, the event began well before Shabbat with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. After all, how better to get into the Shabbat spirit than with a l’chaim?

Together we prayed the kabbalat Shabbat services, after which the guests of honor were directed to the main table where they were waited on and served like royalty for the rest of the evening.

After the soup, Nati Hatzkor shared his story. Almost everyone became teary-eyed as Nati showed us his prosthetic leg. He twirled it around and played with it, telling us that despite everything he’s been through since his injury, the joy he was experiencing this Friday night was complete.

Noam Nakash was extremely emotional when he shared his story. He had never spoken in front of so many people, but we held on to every word. Noam told us how absolutely amazed he has been by the outpouring of love and support he has been shown on this trip. Noam told us, “When I was in the throws of rehabilitation, feeling depressed and beaten after losing my leg, Kfir Levi, who came to the Belev Echad program two years ago, visited me. Kfir suffered a direct hit from an RPG missile and had to have his entire body reconstructed through 140 operations. When I realized how well Kfir was doing—happy and smiling—despite his injuries being so much more severe that mine, it gave me hope for the future.”shabbat.jpg

When Albert Sabbah told us about his injuries, everyone cried. Albert put himself directly in harm’s way (he was run over by a taxi) to stop a terrorist attack and protect dozens of nearby civilians.

Lastly, Andre Peck spoke. He has been paralyzed from the waist down for the past 11 years and received the highest medal of honor from the IDF for his bravery. Andre had been shot, but still he chased down and killed four terrorists, becoming even more severely wounded in the crossfire.

The evening continued with song, dance, laughter, and most of all, love, appreciation and admiration for our courageous guests.

He Prayed for His Family—Not for Himself

tefillin.JPGOn Friday we travelled to the Ohel—the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which is in Queens. We all wrote letters to read at the Rebbe’s gravesite, where we prayed individually. Albert Sabbah shared his happiness at being there so he could pray for his family. “It’s a chance to unburden myself and really pray for everyone,” he said. In fact, the entire group was very emotional during our time there, and everyone put on tefillin. Unfortunately, three of our soldiers—aside from their own problems—have mothers with cancer for whom they were grateful for the opportunity to pray. 

I noticed that Dror Zicherman was very moved when he emerged from the Ohel, so I quietly asked him what he had prayed for. “I prayed for the wellbeing of my mother, my family and my friends,” he explained.

“What about you?” I asked, “Did you pray for yourself?”

“I’m fine the way I am,” he answered.

I was shocked. Dror suffers from pain on a daily basis, yet he considers himself happy enough to pray only for others. Wow—what an enviable attitude!22222.JPG 

From the Ohel we travelled to Chabad Headquarters where we spent time in 770 and had a private tour of the Rebbe’s room, where he used to counsel those who sought his advice. It was a spiritually and emotionally intense day, after which we were very ready for Shabbat.

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