Israel is at war! As always, it is the war we were forced to get into. Tens, if not already, hundreds of thousands of rockets and projectiles were sent into our skies from Gaza through the years. Millions of our citizens have been forced to run into protected rooms, The rockets were shot indiscriminately into heavily populated areas, hitting houses, schools, killing and wounding people, damaging property, leaving many with physical and psychological scars. There is a whole generation in many southern towns and villages that grew up knowing that they may suddenly hear a Red Alert sound that would mean that they have 15 seconds to run to a protected place.
Finally, the Israeli army went to deal with the cause of the unrest, Hamas. In addition to the regular army, almost 80,000 reservists were enlisted to protect our country, our people, our children. Despite the tidal wave of lies about Israel’s motivation, the attitude of our citizens, behavior of our soldiers in anti-Israeli media worldwide, there should be no mistake: we hate this war. We hate that our neighbors do not want to leave us to live in peace. We hate that the enemies hide behind their own civilians putting their lives in danger. We hate when we learn that their children are dying in the war we did not start. And of course we hate to learn that more and more of our soldiers die. In fact, we all cry together.
Because of this, every household in Israel tries to express love and appreciation to our soldiers. We, at Beit Sar Shalom were able to designate some amount of money in order to give something to IDF. I (Eugene) was given an assignment to figure out what would be the most needed items to be purchased and to find a best place where we could get more quality items (in order to bless more soldiers) for the same very limited amount of money we had. After two days of searches I stopped into a local shopping mall a few blocks away from where I live. While looking around (I hate shopping and therefore am not familiar with kinds of shops we have in that mall) I saw a store that specializes in socks and underwear. Those of you who ever been in the army know that even if you were not always given a luxury of having a shower twice a day (in our hot summers) so changing the socks and underwear may be crucial in protecting you from getting different skin problems.
I was glad to find out that this store was selling very good quality cotton t-shirts, underwear and socks that were permitted for the use in the army. The manager was very glad to hear about our desire to help our troops. Together we made a list that included two t-shirts, two pieces of underwear and four pairs of socks per package for one hundred soldiers. However, the price of this amount of items was twice as high then our budget allowed. The manager decided to double check if the source of the company can give us a discount. We were able to receive the items at 50% discount that matched exactly the amount we could spend.
After our van was filled with boxes Michael Zinn, Director of Beit Sar Shalom and I went to Beer Sheva to the major center where the donations for the soldiers were distributed. When we came there was a line of people arriving to give donations. It was very touching to see an elderly Russian Jewish woman, definitely a pensioner, bringing a shopping cart full of some goods, whatever she could find in her household, as well as in homes of several of her friends that could be of some use to our boys.
We mentioned that we had 200 hundred t-shirts, 200 pieces of underwear and 400 pairs of socks, the guy who was in charge for the distribution center almost jumped up to the celling. He said that these items were probably the most important ones in the current situation. When we were about to leave the room, a convoy of army tracks came to pick up the things to bring to the soldiers in Gaza. The commander of the convoy shouted from the entrance: “I need socks and underwear!” The manager looked at us and said: “Now you understand why I was so glad about your donation?!”
It was such an honor for us in Beit Sar Shalom to be able to put our little droplet into a huge sea of support for the IDF. We did it with the Lords help, provision and blessing. We keep praying for the safety of our soldiers and that there will be one day when both Jews and Arabs will find a peace in the only Savior Yeshua haMashiah!