The soldiers guarding the ancient city of Hevron are responsible for maintaining security in a flash point area which is constantly targeted by Arab terrorism.
The Border Police soldiers guarding the Cave of Machpelah (the Cave of the Patriarchs) are on the front lines, facing stone throwing, stabbing attempts, and explosives on a near-daily basis.
Many of the Border Police soldiers guarding the holy site are based in a small military outpost nearby, where until recently they had no place to relax and enjoy themselves while between shifts. In an area so dangerous that the soldiers cannot leave their protected quarters for even a short time while not on duty, their free time had been spent in their barracks, talking with each other or on their phones.
After Yashar LaChayal was alerted to the situation, the non-profit organization sponsored a new rec room for the Border Police in the Machpelah area. The room is fully furnished with comfortable couches, a large television, an X-Box, a billiard table, and a kitchenette where the soldiers can enjoy food, coffee, and other beverages.
On Tuesday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on base, attended by representatives of the Border Police command, Yashar LaChayal, the Green Berets organization, and the Jewish community of Hevron, who also contributed to the rec room.
Yashar LaChayal Executive Director Leon Blankrot affixed the rec room’s mezuzah to its doorpost as the room was officially opened for use by the Border Police soldiers.
A soldier from the unit said it best: “Now, instead of every soldier on break going to his room and playing with his phone, he will be able to hang out with everyone in the rec room – and this will increase the feelings of being at home and togetherness!”
The soldier's officer concurred, “These guys deserve everything – in the past year and a half, this group has had to contend with over sixty terrorist attacks!”
Speaking at the event, Blankrot told the Border Police soldiers, “When you are standing alone in some guard post, always know that there are people throughout the world who are standing with you.”
Yashar LaChayal's expenses are paid by a donor family, allowing the organization to use all donations for programs to assist those injured in the line of duty, soldiers from impoverished families, and bereaved families of the fallen, and others.