On a mission to inspire, heal, unify, and pray for and with IDF soldiers, along with the families of the murdered, the captive, and wounded, 27 Chabad shluchim (emissaries) from the United States, Canada, and Australia embarked on a solidarity mission to the Holy Land of Israel. In addition, the rabbis collectively distributed $500,000 – sometimes through on-the-spot fundraisers – for communities in urgent need and for organizations directly aiding the people of Israel through this extremely difficult period for the Jewish people and the people of Israel.
The Chabad delegation is the first significant rabbinic delegation from abroad since the war began on October 7th.
“Not since the holocaust has the Jewish people suffered such devastation. The scope of the impact the October 7th attacks have had on the lives of so many, is staggering and almost impossible to put into words: the grieving, the wounded, the kidnapped, the uprooted, the upheaval. One simply cannot begin to fathom it, from a distance. But we want to try to convey what we saw as best we can,” said Rabbi Moshe Gourarie. “We were deeply moved by the way Israel has banded together, by the resilience, the faith, the fortitude of the people of Israel amidst so much pain and tragedy. As representatives of our communities, it was so important for us to leave the relative ‘comfort’ of the diaspora and let the people of Israel know that, while they are bravely serving on the frontlines of this war, we are all in this together and the Jewish people from around the world are united with them.”
Coordinated seamlessly with Chabad in Israel so as to minimize disruption on the ground, the international group of spiritual ambassadors engaged in a multi-pronged agenda, which included visiting wounded soldiers in hospitals, to praying with families mourning or awaiting news of loved ones, bringing support through song and dance to the soldiers at the army bases, and meeting with government officials.
“The Charter of Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of all Jews worldwide. They slaughtered babies in front of their parents, dragged the elderly from the beds and are holding them hostage. We cannot possibly fully comprehend the horror, but we have a message to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land: you’re not alone. We in the Diaspora stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you,” said Rabbi Gourarie.
“We must do all that we can – no gesture too small—Am Yisrael Chai.”
The 27 Rabbis have also made an urgent appeal for those who are being held captive in Gaza by Hamas terrorists.
“We call on everyone to petition government officials and pray every day for the safe and swift return of the hostages. We will continue to do all we can in our respective communities to raise money and raise spirits to enable our brothers and sisters fighting in the Holy Land to be safe, and successful, and the families of the missing to be reunited as quickly as possible. “