Thousands of protesters who gathered in Tel Aviv's Habima Square, as well as many passers-by from the city and beyond, stared in surprise at the open white boxes which were laid on the side of the road.
They were really excited when they realized what it was about: "I am moved to tears" said one of them.
The crowd that came out to demonstrate against the judicial reform, then realized to their astonishment what and who was hidden behind the anonymous boxes - a Kimcha Depischa (the traditional charity effort to help the poor fund the Passover holiday) initiative of the Tel Aviv Chabad center, and as part of it, the empty boxes were placed with basic food products next to them, while calling on the protesting crowd to participate in the packaging process.
The feedback was amazing: "At first I thought in my heart, well, just like they 'stole' the state from me, now they are stealing Habima Square from me" said a woman at the scene, "and then I said to myself: take a breath, and see what it is first, before you express preconceived opinions and stereotypes. Then they brought me to pack canned food boxes etc... It's so hard to see our people so divided, it's very hard. And here we are and all types of Am Israel are standing and packing together… I am moved to tears".
Journalist Dror Globerman also passed by and was fascinated. "I happened to pass by with my daughter on the way home from kindergarten," he said, "and I saw this beautiful thing. Today, especially these days, I think it's really important to do something together, something unifying. Bravo to Chabad for this initiative" said Globerman, adding: "There are people who need food, this is much more important than the issues that occupy us on a daily basis."
Many passersby joined the initiative and enthusiastically were packing the boxes for the needy people of Tel Aviv. "This is an opportunity to implement the well-known Hasidic saying: 'A little light repels a lot of darkness,' and we need a lot of light these days."
Rabbi Yosef Shmuel Gerlitzky, the main Chabad emissary to Tel Aviv, was surprised by the flood of feedback.
"Every year we distribute thousands of food boxes to the needy in the city," he said. "This year, in light of the social rift created within the people of Israel, we deliberately chose Habima Square, as a place where we will offer the protesters the opportunity to take part in this Jewish humanitarian, unifying initiative, thereby showing the unifying connection between all of us, all sons and daughters of a large united Jewish family.