How Dan’s Deals Is Bringing Tefillin To Thousands of Soldiers



    Name*

    Email*

    Message

    Shifra Vepua

    How Dan’s Deals Is Bringing Tefillin To Thousands of Soldiers

    From Beis Moshiach Magazine: How Dan’s Deals, Chabad Chevron, a “Teffilin bank,” and an “ordinary Crown Heights guy,” are fortifying the spiritual front in Israel. We know that everything on the side of kelipa has a parallel on the side of kedusha. In response to the recent tragedies in Eretz Yisrael, we have witnessed various resolutions from Jewish leaders and the international community at large • Full Article, Photos

     

    By Jonah James, Beis Moshiach Magazine

    Dan’s Deals, Chabad Chevron, a “Teffilin bank,” and an “ordinary Crown Heights guy,” are fortifying the spiritual front in Israel.

    We know that everything on the side of kelipa has a parallel on the side of kedusha. In response to the recent tragedies in Eretz Yisrael, we have witnessed various resolutions from Jewish leaders and the international community at large. Some have suggested compromising on settlement territories, others have suggested more aggressive ground invasions in Gaza, while others have resigned to soporific chants like “Ceasefire! (Now!).”

    While we must certainly make our hishtadlus b’derech ha’teva, including unwavering military commitment to shleimus ha’aretz, which the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach so strongly encouraged, we cannot lose sight of the necessary spiritual response.

    The Jewish world received a clear reminder of this import from an unlikely source following October 7: Dan’s Deals, the discount consumer agency, guaranteed to sponsor a pair of tefillin to any Jew in the world who committed to wearing them every day.

    Currently, over 7,000 tefillin have been sponsored in this monumental initiative. The campaign launched when the Rebbe’s shliach to the island of S. Lucia, Rabbi Avromy Super, promised on Twitter to give a free pair of tefillin to the first person to respond, in the merit of the 1400 martyrs killed.

    Dan’s Deals then partnered with the Healing Hearts organization in Florida, where sofer Rabbi Yochanan Klein sent the initial 30 pairs of tefillin. Over a million dollars was then raised in online campaigns to donate one pair of tefillin for each victim, and it soon became apparent that far more people sought to put on tefillin than expected. The initiative expanded, with sofrim working on overdrive for the campaign, and international tefillin bank organizations soon joined in.



     

    18,000 soldiers are waiting for their own pair of tefillin

    Meanwhile, on the frontlines of the war, Rabbi Yossi Nachshon, the Rebbe’s shliach to Chevron, has been working tirelessly to provide over 2,300 pairs of tefillin since Simchas Torah to Israeli soldiers and civilians. The operation involves an international network of sofrim, sponsors, and boots-on-the-ground mesirus nefesh.

    In total, eight shluchim serve the communities and security forces stationed in Chevron and its surrounding areas, including Kiryat Arba. Chevron is a unique shlichus, says Rabbi Nachshon, because “100 percent of the city is shomer Torah u’Mitzvos. Many men in the community learn in kollel all day.” In addition, these shuchim work directly with IDF bases to provide soldiers with their spiritual needs before they go to the battlefield. IDF commanders regularly invite the shluchim to assist with Yomim Tovim and Sefer Torah dedications, as well as with neiros Shabbos kodesh and hafrashas challah events.

    Directly following October 7, Rabbi Nachshon witnessed a series of events that unfolded with open hashgacha pratis, which ultimately led to the tefillin distribution at its current scale.

    While driving a Mitzva Tank through villages near Chevron, Rabbi Nachshon met Moshe*, who lives on a yishuv with his wife.

    A few weeks later, Rabbi Nachshon received a phone call from a foreign number; he was surprised to find out that Moshe was calling, not from his yishuv, but from an Israeli jail cell using a monitored phone.

    “Rabbi, I was arrested over something petty. Now, I am in jail, and my cellmate needs his own pair of tefillin. You are Chabad, so I wanted to call you as soon as I could!”



    Hesitant to just give away a pair of tefillin for free, Rabbi Nachshon called Rabbi Eliyahu Zikri, shliach to Lyon, France, and an active partner in a tefillin bank that donates to those in need.

    “Rabbi Zikri immediately wanted to know not just about Moshe’s tefillin, but how many Jews in the whole jail were ready to put on tefillin. So I called back the prison, and five more inmates sought their own pair,” said Rabbi Nachshon.

    The tefillin were then sponsored by French donors, however, an unforeseen issue presented itself: no dangerous items are allowed inside prison, and a retzua from a tefillin strap could, G-d forbid, be used as a strangling device.

    “I had to contact Yad L’Asir, an Israeli organization experienced at working directly with jails, and I soon learned that the shlichus would require amplified efforts. In order to gain access to this jail to distribute the tefillin, I would need to provide tefillin to all jails in the region,” said Rabbi Nachshon. “This way, no prisoners from any of the seven jails would feel left out.”

    The initiative expanded. Rabbi Zikri contacted Rabbi Shmuel Gurevitch, a fellow shliach to Lyon, France, and 30 more pairs of tefillin were then shipped. To take a personal part in the campaign, Rabbi Gurevitch and an assembly of French sponsors then visited the prisons themselves in Eretz Yisrael.

    While distributing tefillin to prison cells is a uniquely challenging avoda, distribution to soldiers on the frontlines requires even more extensive coordination. Many of the soldiers seeking tefillin operate inside Gaza, and shluchim need direct contacts with IDF security personnel to accomplish their shlichus.



    “A woman called me a couple of weeks ago – she explained that her husband is fighting in Gaza, and his tefillin, r”l, burned during a combat mission,” said R’ Nachshon. “I had to drive to the Zikim base, where an IDF commander with a 24-hour security clearance could let me deliver the tefillin to the soldier. When the soldier arrived, he was overjoyed that I had waited by the border all day to give him his tefillin.”

    The Zikim base lies on the most southwestern border between the Gaza Strip and Israel proper and is a hotspot for Arab-Israeli clashes.

    Following the massacres, Rabbi Nachshon received IDF clearance to travel to Kibbutz Be’eri and other kibbutzim ravaged by terrorists. “I was getting calls from Jews on kibbutzim begging for their first pair of tefillin,” said Rabbi Nachshon.

    “From the day after Simchas Torah, soldiers stationed in the south were calling to make hachlatos for the mitzva of tefillin. Never in my life have I seen so many people here desperately seeking tefillin. Everyone is realizing it is literal hatzalos nefashos,” said Rabbi Nachshon.

    It is also important to remember that many civilians are now seeking tefillin because their tefillin were destroyed in the massacres. Access to sofrim in these regions is not necessarily simple; thus, it is the shluchim on the ground near the Gaza Strip who are rectifying this desecration.

    Back in Chevron, soldiers are clamoring for tefillin, many for the first time. On any given day, Rabbi Nachshon reports that he can give out over 100 pairs of tefillin. Currently, over 10,000 pairs of tefillin have been sponsored just through Chabad of Chevron. The numbers are staggering, because the koach the Rebbe gives is l’maala min ha’teva (=above nature).

    “This is not my own initiative,” Rabbi Nachshon emphasized. “It is a global campaign with thousands of partners.”

    “For every pair of tefillin donated or sponsored, I write a duch to the Rebbe with the soldier’s name and mother’s name asking for the Rebbe’ bracha on behalf of the soldier.” This not just gives the soldier an extra measure of protection, but also allows Rabbi Nachshon to keep a record of the soldiers, so he can follow up with them over the phone with a daily idea from a sicha or story on the parsha.

    Currently, over 18,000 soldiers are waiting for their own pair of tefillin. Even old pairs of tefillin can be donated to a soldier in need. Every day, sofrim check used tefillin en masse for their kashrus so they can be sent to the frontlines. Many soldiers send back a photo with their tefillin from Gaza, to show their sponsor their profound appreciation.

    The overwhelming response to these global initiatives represents an even wider phenomenon; more Jews are awakening to Torah and mitzvos than seen in recent decades, displaying an achdus that is all too necessary. Furthermore, the unity has not only been limited to mivtza tefillin.



    Mezuzah Bank By “An Ordinary Crown Heights Guy”

    Tzvi Rappaport, a self-described “simple guy from Crown Heights,” recently launched an enormous, mostly independent, mezuza distribution campaign to soldiers in Eretz Yisrael. With a Google Spreadsheet, a few phone calls, donations, and a connection with a mezuza wholesaler in Monsey, 1331 mezuzos have now been hung in soldiers’ homes and IDF bases. More than 40 rabbis have been involved in the effort across some 37 IDF bases.

    The mezuzos are mehudar – the strongest shemira for those who need it most. Each mezuza costs 56 dollars, and there are zero transactional costs. This means all funds raised have been going directly to soldiers’ mezuzos. Moreover, requests for mezuzos come through the soldiers themselves, via rabbis who coordinate on behalf of IDF bases.

    “I wanted to ensure soldiers are getting high-quality mezuzos. So, before any batch is sent out, I send a picture of the mezuzos to a sofer in Eretz Yisrael who I know is yerei Shamayim,” said Tzvi.

    “This way, the sofer feels confident in the kashrus of every mezuza that he sees. Then he coordinates with shluchim to deliver them straight to bases.”

    With over 1300 mezuzos sent, this means that tens of thousands of soldiers living at the bases receive protection.

    More than anything, this initiative truly epitomizes grassroots development; with a bit of ingenuity and a few convenient connections, over 1300 soldiers, and more every day, receive the life-saving spiritual defense they need.

    “I realized the power of the individual with this project – I don’t have any experience with this sort of initiative. I just made a few phone calls,” said Tzvi.

    “Now, there are mezuzos going up all over Israel, including Gaza. An IDF commander recently made a video hanging one of our mezuzos in Gaza. He said the mezuza demonstrated that this war is not just a military battle – it is about eliminating evil from earth and letting goodness prevail,” Tzvi recounts.

    Perhaps most powerfully, Tzvi spoke with the mother of a hostage who had received one of his mezuzos. “It is difficult to describe in words the connections being built, when you are seeing the mezuzos being sent to hostages’ families,” said Tzvi.

    Indeed, in times of healing, Yidden naturally seek out each other for support; Chassidus describes neshamos as akin to individual flames separated from one fire. Even as they seem to flicker independently, they are in truth totally united. Naturally, then, our previous bouts of fragmentation fall to the wayside before a little light. How much more so when the light is intensified.

    On a collective scale, we are seeing the effects of this rekindled Jewish unity. As Eretz Yisrael and the Yidden’s claim to the land became the spotlight of global media in recent months, the nations of the world responded sharply; some condemned our sacred yerusha, while others lent their support.

    In a sicha from Shabbos Bereishis 5752, the Rebbe explains this phenomenon as part of the transition to Yemos HaMoshiach. The Jewish servitude to the nations is finished, not just as an abstract concept, but in a recognizable reality. We may still see a natural world that seeks to oppress us, but in truth, we are not compelled by their castigation or even support. Even our perceived enemies are in the process of purification, rendered complete when “I will make the nations’ speech refined so that they all call upon Hashem and serve Him as one.”

    Moreover, our connection to Eretz Yisrael does not rest within the clutches of the United Nations, the Knesset, or America, but it comes from Hashem. The difference now is that the birurim are finished and the nations seek the voice of Torah, as the Rebbe explained in a sicha from Shabbos Mishpatim 5752 that “we are already seeing a beginning of the influence of Melech HaMoshiach on the nations.”

    Therefore, it is necessary to explain to our Jewish brothers and sisters, who are more unified than ever before, that Eretz Yisrael is our gift from G-d, and it is not to be divided and shared at the behest of politicians. The Rebbe emphasizes that the nations themselves want to hear the Torah’s unequivocal response. B’derech efshar, we can also assert that the United Nations, more than any other intergovernmental entity, will be receptive to this message, as the United Nations’ establishment came from the Rebbeim’s refinement of the Western Hemisphere (Shabbos Mishpatim 5752). Im yirtzeh Hashem, we will soon see the perfection of the entire earth with a flood of G-dly knowledge, like water that covers the sea.

    *Indicates a name changed for privacy

    (To directly sponsor or donate a pair of tefillin to a soldier, Chabad of Chevron can be contacted via WhatsApp at +545690067. Mezuzos for soldiers and hostages can be sponsored directly at charidy.com/idfmezuzah)

    *

    Beis Moshiach magazine can be obtained in stores around Crown Heights. To purchase a subscription, please go to: bmoshiach.org

     

    158

    Never Miss An Update

    Join ChabadInfo's News Roundup and alerts for the HOTTEST Chabad news and updates!

    Tags: ,

    Add Comment

    *Only proper comments will be allowed

    Related Posts:

    How Dan’s Deals Is Bringing Tefillin To Thousands of Soldiers



      Name*

      Email*

      Message