Upon the return of the Grade 9 Israel trip, Rabbi Avi Greene, Ed.D, Scheck Hillel’s Upper School Director of Hebrew Language & Judaic Studies, shares an experience from the Grade 9 Israel Trip which reflects how “Kol yisrael arevim zeh b'zeh, all of Israel helps one another.”
We just returned from visiting the families displaced by the recent fire in Mavoh Modi’in; this is the moshav begun by Rav Shlomo Carlebach. We arrived with members of our Grade 9 class to deliver some of the food we collected while working with Leket Israel, a food bank for Israel’s needy. I was unsure about what we would find in regard to the feelings and mood of the community. This was an amazing opportunity to visit with and help people who had lost nearly everything, but I was concerned about how our students might be affected coming into such a situation.
We met with members of the moshav, who shared a bit about the community’s history and their own experiences with Rav Shlomo. As we heard from several members, I was struck by two things: First, the positive nature and upbeat spirit of each person who spoke to us, as they discussed being hosted by families in Yad Binyamin and their hope to rebuild the moshav. Where children played, there was an almost carnival-like atmosphere; food was available and music was playing. While people were certainly concerned about when and how they could rebuild, they were focused on the future and not on the tragedy.
Secondly, I was struck by the sheer number of donations available. Clothes, bedding, cribs, food, toys and games, and so much more were dropped off by people who had no connection but wanted to help. Amazingly, they said that the room full of items held only the things that had been dropped off that morning; similar donations had arrived each day. It was a beautiful example of kol yisrael arevim zeh b'zeh, all of Israel helping one another.
Many of us have been lifted up by the tunes and stories of Rav Shlomo, and this is an opportunity to help and give back at a time when his students and followers could use it.