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Lone Soldiers/Kibbutz Sa'ad

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     As we all saw on the news last week there were over 450 rockets fired towards Israel. Our brothers and sisters that live on the border of Gaza are living in a war zone.

    The bravery, courage and the resolve of these people is humbling and a tremendous example for all Am Yisroel.

    We spoke to Ronit Bart, our dear friend and former Raleigh resident, who lives on Kibbutz Sa’ad, which is located less than 2 miles from Gaza.

    As soon as the rockets started firing into Israel, she left with her 13-year-old son to Jerusalem because she did not want him to go through another war.

    Ronit is the Head Counselor of Garin Tzabar, which is a group of 28 Lone Soldiers that live on Kibbutz Sa’ad.

    As a former Lone Soldier myself there are no words that can accurately describe this role. Ronit is a mother-like figure to these brave soldiers while they are living away from their family and proudly serving in the Jewish army.

    Her soldiers serve in some of the top units in the IDF.

    Over half of them are combat soldiers and each of them has an important job. For example, one of Ronit’s soldiers is a female combat soldier protecting the Iron Dome; another one is a tank driver that is on high alert to enter Gaza at any moment, and one young woman is a medic  who is actively traveling along the Gaza border. (Some of the pictures of Ronit's soldiers are attached.)

    Ronit told us that this upcoming weekend there is a Garin Shabbat, which means her soldiers will be back at the kibbutz to spend time together with their Kibbutz family. The theme of the weekend is to integrate the Lone Soldiers with the entire Kibbutz community. The soldiers come from Thursday night to Sunday morning and Ronit has a full list of activities for them, including eating at a nice restaurant, an arts workshop and challah baking to prepare for Shabbat. One of the main activities scheduled will be a simple lunch on Shabbat afternoon where everyone is able to have a nice picnic and enjoy pizza, falafel and G-d willing a few hours of quiet. Ronit told me the total cost for this weekend is between $2,000 and $2,500.

    The kibbutz is not asking for one nickel, but I think this is an important and a tangible way for us to show solidarity with both the soldiers and the civilians that are on the front lines of defending the Jewish people. Any additional money raised  will be used for counseling the children at the kibbutz school that just had to go through their latest round of rocket attacks. I always tell Ronit that we want to help and that we want to see if we can do a bigger project together.

    It is painfully clear that the residents of Kibbutz Sa’ad are living on the front lines and we as Jews have an obligation to do everything, we can to support them.

    During these difficult times it is a good opportunity to reach out and ask who would be interested in helping me sponsor a bigger initiative at the kibbutz. If you are interested in the long-term project, please contact me or my Dad directly.

    All donations go through the synagogue, so your donation is tax-deductible -- and every penny goes directly to Israel.

    הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד (Behold how good and how pleasing / for brothers (people) to sit together in unity.)

    Best, Daniel Rosenberg

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