April 14, 2024
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Chabad’s Rabbi Moshe Gourarie Returns From Rabbinic Solidarity Mission to Israel

With Avi and Orit Baruch of Kiryat Netafim, parents of 22-year-old Adi who was killed by a rocket in Sderot on the way to her army post. (Credit: Chabad Toms River)

(Courtesy of Chabad of Toms River) On a mission to inspire, heal, unify and pray for and with IDF soldiers, along with the families of the murdered, captive and wounded, 27 Chabad shluchim from the United States, Canada and Australia embarked on a solidarity mission to the holy land of Israel. In addition, the rabbis collectively distributed $500,000—sometimes through on-the-spot fundraisers—for communities in urgent need and for organizations directly aiding the people of Israel through this extremely difficult period for the Jewish people and the people of Israel.

Laying tefillin on an injured resident of Kfar Aza. These tefillin survived a fire that was set by the terrorists and burned the rest of the house to a crisp. (Credit: Chabad Toms River)

“Not since the Holocaust has the Jewish people suffered such devastation. The scope of the impact the Oct. 7 attacks have had on the lives of so many is staggering and almost impossible to put into words: the grieving, the wounded, the kidnapped, the uprooted, the upheaval. One simply cannot begin to fathom it from a distance. But we want to try to convey what we saw as best we can,” said Rabbi Moshe Gourarie. “We were deeply moved by the way Israel has banded together, by the resilience, the faith, the fortitude of the people of Israel amidst so much pain and tragedy. As representatives of our communities, it was so important for us to leave the relative ‘comfort’ of the diaspora and let the people of Israel know that while they are bravely serving on the front lines of this war, we are all in this together and the Jewish people from around the world are united with them.”

Humanitarian aid, such as diapers, baby formula, shampoo and food staples being distributed in Sderot for the residents remaining there. All shops are closed.
(Credit: Chabad Toms River)

Coordinated seamlessly with Chabad in Israel so as to minimize disruption on the ground, the international group of spiritual ambassadors engaged in a multi-pronged agenda, which included visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals, praying with families mourning or awaiting news of loved ones, bringing support through song and dance to the soldiers at the army bases, and meeting with government officials.

“The charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of all Jews worldwide. They slaughtered babies in front of their parents, dragged the elderly from the beds and are holding them hostage. We cannot possibly fully comprehend the horror, but we have a message to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land: you’re not alone. We in the Diaspora stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you,” said Rabbi Gourarie.

“We must do all that we can—no gesture too small—Am Yisrael Chai.”

Handwritten letters from schoolchildren in New Jersey with messages of hope and encouragement being delivered to the soldiers stationed in southern Israel. (Credit: Chabad Toms River)

The 27 rabbis have also made an urgent appeal for those who are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas terrorists.

“We call on everyone to petition government officials and pray every day for the safe and swift return of the hostages. We will continue to do all we can in our respective communities to raise money and raise spirits to enable our brothers and sisters fighting in the Holy Land to be safe, and successful, and the families of the missing to be reunited as quickly as possible,” said Rabbi Gourarie.

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