Hey all, Happy Chanukah—live from Jerusalem!
It has been some weeks since I have sent you an update of what is going on in Israel during the war. Although I am a full-time student, in my free time I have gotten involved with volunteering for different amazing initiatives. I bring you one here today that I really love. I know that some of you have told me that you would like to support some good grassroots causes in Israel. Well, here is one that I really like and would love to help as I have seen the magic that they create.
I’m on my way back from an army base now with singer, Yitzchok Meyer Malek, where I joined his group to spread so much joy and love to soldiers right near the border of Gaza, just outside of Sderot.
The same place where the most horrifying pogroms of October 7th happened. We hear boom, boom, and another BOOM every few minutes on base.
It’s so loud that when you enter the base they hand out headphones so you don’t ruin your hearing.
From the distance, we can see tanks in Gaza itself and gunshots being fired constantly. We are comforted to hear that the rockets we hear are from the Israeli side to Gaza. However, when I speak to one of the soldiers stationed there, a tear leaves her eyes and she says to me: “There are innocent lives on the other end of this”.
Those words really impacted me. That’s our soldiers, that’s who we are. We value lives, no matter if you’re a Jew, Muslim, or Asian. To us, you are a life, and that is something we will do anything to protect.
At the base I met another soldier, his name is Dor and he just lost his best friend in battle this week. I said to Dor, “Your friend died in order so that we can live. He died while fighting for his life. And the only way to honor Nathan’s life—is through living.”
One of the things that the group that I have gotten involved in does, is to make barbecues for the soldiers. These BBQs give the soldiers life. Coming back from fighting in Gaza can really dampen their spirits. As I was helping prepare the BBQ, I watched each tank come back to the base. The soldiers walked in worn out and exhausted. It was the most beautiful thing to see each soldier smile when they saw what we prepared for them. Yitzchok playing some songs on his guitar. We grilled some chicken, steaks, and burgers—a meal for our kings. So well deserved.
The soldiers told me that normally they receive prepackaged “inedible” food. Sleeping on cold floors, bombs falling every minute, no food, no loved ones. These soldiers need our full support.
Most things we do on earth are for fleeting satisfaction or gain. But giving to others in their time of need is something that will stay with you forever. Let me know if you want to partner with me and others to give back to the soldiers, contact me.
Or read more about the organization that I am volunteering with and send some Boulder love: