Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A synopsis of what I've been writing to my clients... by Chaim Friedman, of LeChaim Tours, expert tour guide in Israel

Thank you for your response and we here in Israel appreciate all your prayers and concerns.
We are trying our best to go through our normal routine here is Israel. Of course it is nerve-wracking when you have relative and neighbors in the army serving in the Gaza area.

Since I have now a lull in my tour guiding schedule due to cancellations, I am busy catching up with paperwork and also helping out when I can.
On Monday my wife and I travelled south and volunteered for 4 hours at a rest area used for soldiers currently based in the Gaza Strip area.

This site, completely run by volunteers and with items donated, is providing meals, fresh BBQ food, snacks, sandwiches, cold and hot drinks, ice cream, waffles, lounge areas, massages, haircuts, hair washes, showers, cell phone charging stations, tefillin and prayer area, and handing out new underwear, socks, and toiletries.
More than a thousand soldiers are stopping by every day. My wife spent hours slicing onions, tomatoes, and melons, and I was with the clean up crew constantly clearing tables and keeping the site tidy.
And yes, as a siren went off, we followed the procedures, and after the expected booms, we went back to our jobs.

It is so much better being there and helping others rather that sit at home and be frightened by the barrage of images shown on TV.

Helping others is our way of coping. It was an amazing and heart warming experience.
War is never pleasant. The stress is very high especially since we know so many kids fighting in it. I see this battle as a continuation of the War of Independence we have been fighting since 1947. We pray this war will end soon and all of our soldier return safely. It is a privilege to be living here, our ancestral homeland, helping create an incredible country. Unfortunately, we continually have to fight for this privilege. I served in the Israeli army and now my son is in basic training in the Paratrooper brigade. If we will unfortunately need to do this again, it will be his turn to be in the middle of it.  “God will give might to his people; God will bless his people with peace.” (Psalms 29:11)
From: "Chaim Friedman"