Soldiers in Old City
Soldiers in Old CityIsrael News Photo: Flash 90

Dozens of IDF soldiers were honored on Shabbat by the Chabad Israel Center of the Upper East Side and the Chabad Terror Victims Project. The soldiers, most of whom fought and were badly wounded in Operation Cast Lead or in the Second Lebanon War, are visiting the U.S., making stops in New York City, Washington, D.C., Long Island, and Niagara Falls.

The event took place in Manhattan, at Congregation Orach Chaim on Lexington Ave. and 95th St. Rabbi Michael D. Shmidman, who leads the congregation, said that “the Rambam (Maimonides) teaches us that one who is prepared to stand to save the life of a fellow Jew is considered Kadosh (holy). Orach Chaim is honored to host these Giborei Yisrael (heroes of the Jewish people).”We are very excited to welcome these heroes. I am certain that we will all walk away awed by their strength of character and humbled by their courage

Speaking to Phyllis Chesler of Pajamas Media, Orach Chaim President said that the congregation is “very excited to welcome these heroes to Orach Chaim, especially at this most difficult time for our homeland. I am certain that we will all walk away awed by their strength of character and humbled by their courage. I hope that we are all invigorated to l'taken olam (repair the world), to do something to better the world. We at OC have always been thankful to our US Military and also to the members of the IDF, those currently serving and those who have served in the past, as it is they who have protected us and our peoples' ability to freely worship and serve G-d.”
According to Rebbitzen Bat-Sheva Vigler, who helped organize the trip, “being with these guys gives me the opportunity to be part of something that is so much bigger than anything I've ever been involved in. They never complain. They are such good spirits. One soldier wakes up every morning with excruciating pain in his leg. He takes a pain pill. He is the life of the party. He makes everyone else happy. The airline misplaced another soldier's luggage, it never arrived. He said: 'Look, I have two eyes, two legs, two arms, I can live without luggage.' They are walking on canes, they have mechanical hands, bandaged limbs, and still they have amazing, positive energy. You should see them singing and dancing with the kids.”