Producing strength

Esther and Itai Lachman continue making unique all-natural cosmetics. 'My first-grade daughter doesn’t leave home for long periods of time.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Producing strength
Producing strength
Lev Haolam

In about a week, citizens in over 40 countries around the world will receive packages with products from Judea and Samaria sent by the Lev HaOlam Organization that fights the boycott against Israel and Judea and Samaria. The products are being sent to Israel supporters around the world and were made in Gush Etzion, Samaria, Judea, the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, and other places.

These packages will also contain a novel and unique product from a new place: Organic hand cream with Etrog (citron) extract from Moshav Shuva near the Gaza border. The moshav is only 7 kilometers from the border itself and its residents have experienced a difficult summer as have all those living near the Gaza border. The producers of the hand cream explain that production has become quite a challenge on a backdrop of incendiary terror.

Esther and Itai Lachman, parents to five children, started their cosmetics business nine years ago.

“I was pregnant with my daughter and I started to learn about medicinal plants. I uncovered how much of the cosmetics industry is based on poisonous and unnatural chemicals and wanted to find a natural solution that wouldn’t harm my children. When I couldn’t find any available, I started to make my own cosmetics for myself and my baby out of my kitchen.” Neighbors in the moshav noticed the scents and creams that Esther made, and word began to spread. “Already after just a year, I started making larger quantities in our shed and within three years the business doubled and tripled.”

Lachman's lab, that employs only women
Lev Haolam

The Lachman couple decided to name their business “Arugot” (garden beds). Esther explains that she learned of the special nature of the Etrog fruit by reading the Rambam. The Rambam is the most famous doctor in Jewish history and he spoke quite a bit in praise of the Etrog. Its extracts have amazing anti-aging effects, are therapeutic, and renew the skin.

“In the Rambam’s works you can find many references to the medicinal qualities of the Etrog,” says Esther. “Especially now during the fall and winter months, when the skin tends to dry and crack, it is important to take advantage of these qualities. The Etrog can give nourishment and renewal.” The unique cream made by Esther takes extracts from the oil of the seeds of the Etrog. “The cream is based on cold pressed organic natural oils from the Etrog and the Yemenite Etrog, as well as olive oil, pomegranate, and a complex of vitamins.”

However, even with the growth of the business, the family has also experienced struggles in light of the security situation in southern Israel. “Since last summer, we have faced major struggles- also within the business. Many groups from Israel and abroad have cancelled their visits to our small visitor center. On a more personal level, both us and the children are always treading carefully. We constantly hear explosions in the background and many fires have started nearby due to the arson kites sent by terrorists from Gaza. The air outside smells of smoke most of the time.”

Lev Haolam

The seven kilometers that separate the moshav from the border, leave the residents only 7 seconds to reach a shelter in the case of rocket fire. “Seven seconds to get to a shelter is utterly impossible. Our children are between 1 and 11 years old and during a Red Alert siren each of them may be somewhere else. My first-grade daughter hasn’t left the house for a long time. The situation has had a strong effect on her.”

In spite of these issues, Esther says they still have strength and will continue living in the moshav. “On a daily level and also at a deeper level - we have strength. We believe and see the great importance of living here, especially during difficult times, and we talk about it with the children. We weren’t born here, but instead we came here to strengthen the local Jewish community.”

Esther and Itai came to the moshav as part of a group strongly connected to the land of Israel. Members of their group deal with many issues related to ecology and the Torah of the land of Israel. “Our goal is to bring the blessings and plenty of the plants of the land of Israel to the world of cosmetics.”

Within two weeks, thousands of Israel supporters abroad will receive Esther and Itai’s cosmetics, along with other products from all over Israel, in packages sent by ‘Lev HaOlam.’

“Behind every product made in Judea, Samaria, or near Gaza, there is a story of determination,” explains Attorney Nati Rom, Founder of ‘Lev HaOlam.’ “Despite the attacks of the BDS Movement abroad and despite living under constant threat of terror and rocket fire, people continue to produce and live their daily lives. Personally, I find this worthy of tremendous respect. We are happy, to be able to provide people on the other side of the ocean with these amazing products from producers who had every reason to give up but refused to do so. We believe that through our work in Lev HaOlam, we have the ability to support Jews being terrorized for the sole reason of being Jews in the land of Israel. I am absolutely sure that their steadfastness will defeat the boycott and terror.”

Esther Lachman
Lev Haolam
Atty. Nati Rom
Lev HaOlam