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Section:  Avodah   Category: Children-of-Sderot
Ahavas Yisroel Hits the Spot

Do you know what it means to live in fear? A few weeks ago on Tu Bishvat we took a trip down to Sderot with five courageous girls and a young mother of nine children (who as well as bringing a few of her older daughters brought 2 infants) who went to give a little chizzuk to the young children in Sderot's religious school. They made a beautiful Tu B'shvat carnival and gave out lots of prizes and treatsf.

The joy in Sderot that day knew no bounds. The teachers were touched to no end that people who had no reason to endanger themselves came anyway just to show support. The children were touched and delighted by the special "light" brought into their otherwise bleak existence tormented by the constant shrill of the air raid siren. How do I know they were happy? I have never in my life seen such verbal Hakoras Hatov by little children like I saw that day. They didn't stop thanking us for coming from the moment we came until the moment we left. It was an amazing sight

Driving up to the school gave us an idea of what goes on in Sderot. A security guard waited for us outside. As soon as we parked he urged us to get into the building as fast as we could since we were with little children and once that dreaded siren goes off you have only fifteen seconds to find cover before the Kassam hits. The building is quite imposing and not exactly a place to grow up to develop a cheerful demeanor. The entire façade is covered with 50 foot slabs of concrete to protect against rockets.

In a conversation with the security guard who escorts the children to school on the bus he told me that in the morning just two hours before we arrived there was a siren while all the children were all on the bus. "What happened then" I asked. He explained that technically there is nothing to do. The bus driver opens the door the bus and everyone flees for their lives trying to find shelter behind anything that looks sturdy and prays for the best.

Why do these people stay in Sderot? Whoever was able to leave did so long ago. Not everybody has enough money to buy or rent a second home and Sderot real estate is not exactly booming so they obviously can't sell.

What can you do? I will share with you two comments that I heard that day. One of the teachers commented that many secular people have come down to give aid and see the situation firsthand. However never before had a family of Charedi people not belonging to any organization come down to give chizzuk. There was no political agenda nor did they belong to any tzedoka organization. They came from the goodness of their hearts. They came to share the pain and to uplift the spirit. They came and went anonymously not leaving a name or number. They didn't bring money or aid, they brought love and caring.

The second comment was made to one of the girls who ran the carnival for the older grades. These girls as it turned out were less interested in blowing balloons and tasting different flavors of marshmallow fluff with a blindfold. They wanted to Shmooz. One of the girls asked if the people in Yerushalayim know about their plight. The girl from Yerushalayim answered "of course, we think about you and daven for you all day." The girls from Sderot broke out into a huge smile. This wasn't exactly true but hearing this answer sure made their day.

Inspired by the lessons learned that day by this brave young contingent we have decided to start a campaign for the children of Sderot. It is not about money, it is about Ahavas Yisroel. It is about writing a letter of Chizzuk. It is about sending Mishloach Manos. It is about sending a small gift that says loud and clear, "I care". Nothing will carry the name "Revach" on it. We are just a Shaliach for people who have no way of doing these things themselves. All letters, gifts, etc. will be delivered from you to them without our fingerprints on it. After all they want to know that "You" care. I have heard about an organizations raising money for psychological treatment for those children affected by the situation. I am not an expert but I think a little love from you is worth far more than many hours at the shrink.

We are working on site which should be up shortly. If you'd like to get your neighborhood, your Shul, your school, or even just yourself involved it would be a great mitzva. Let's teach our kids some Ahavas Yisroel and let's send some of it to the Children of Sderot.

For more information or any questions please email us at info@revach.net

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