As tens of thousands of Jews converge on Meron for Lag b'Omer festivities, the Lehava anti-assimilation organization set up a booth on the mountainside, seeking, as ever, to raise their profile in order that more stricken families should know that there is someone to turn to.
Israel National News spoke with Bentzi Gopstein, the founder and director of Lehava, and heard of the ongoing and significant impact the organization has.
"One of the people who approached our booth today was a father whom I didn't remember, but he remembered me," Gopstein relates. "He told me: You saved my daughter. Thank G-d, today this daughter is a wonderful Jewish girl. It's incredibly moving to hear such stories.
"Just ten minutes ago," Gopstein adds, "a father, mother, and daughter were here. The daughter is going out with an Arab, but she still came here, to the kever [burial site] of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. I told the daughter, 'Donate to charity, pray, and with G-d's help you will manage to find a way out.' Tragically, this story could have happened in any sector - national-religious, haredi, Ashkenazi, Sephardi... Every day there are new cases.
"All the same, this young girl who came here to Rabbi Shimon clearly knows that at the end of the day, there is only Hakadosh Baruch Hu [the Holy One, blessed be He]," he adds. "Sometimes, a person falls, but when a diamond falls to the ground, all you need to do is polish it a bit and its luster is restored. Every single Jewish girl is a daughter of the King, not a slave girl, and that's not just a nice slogan for a billboard - it's absolutely true."
Asked why he comes to Meron, Gopstein says, "Thank G-d I come here every year to be with the Jewish People, to meet people, to give the Jewish People the opportunity to help Lehava, to speak with people. And I hope that very soon, all the Jewish People will ascend to the Temple on the Holy Mount."