Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bicycles and Air Conditioners

Dear Friends, BS"D
Today we gave out four (4) off-road bicycles.
Not Merkava 4 tanks. Not armored personnel carriers. Not jeeps. Just 4 bikes.
And four (4) air conditioners. We split the cost with Uri Hirschman, a true philanthropist and great friend of the IDF, who has been doing similar things as Yashar Lachayal for over 30 years.
The story ???
Leon received a call last week from a base near Maale Adumim, can’t tell you exactly where. SO of course he went last week to check it out. This is what he found:
The base: It is a storage facility for tanks, APCs, artillery, trucks, amphibious vehicles and more. Every vehicle is checked daily to make sure it is combat ready. Many of the newest tanks are hidden away in caves. We kid you not.
It is sprawled over hundreds of acres of hills and valleys.
There are not enough jeeps to carry the soldiers from place to place to do the maintenance. HENCE THE BICYCLES.
The soldiers: Most of the soldiers are young men and women with all kinds of disabilities. They could have chosen NOT to serve, but they all wanted to serve. These young men and women felt a responsibility to fulfill their duty to serve Israel. So the IDF found them a place. On this base they do whatever they can. Most of the disabilities are physical, so the bicycles will help a lot. Some of the disabilities are "financial." Two examples:
Boy: He comes from one of 15 siblings, 1 sister, 13 younger brothers. Father is out of work. Literally no food in the refrigerator. By serving, there is one less mouth to feed at home. Rafi, his commander, always sends him home with either food, or food coupons from his own pocket.
Girl: Parents have no money. When her unit went on a 2 day "all expenses paid holiday," she didn’t go, because she didn’t even have a shekel to buy a soda at night, and was too embarrassed to mention it.
No, these soldiers do not fit our normal profile: warriors. But are they any less warriors, fighting the shackles that keep them from being the best they can be???
So today we delivered 4 bicycles. If you were there, you would have thought that we just won the war for them single handed.
Just another example of how Yashar Lachayal works:
We get a request.
We check it out personally.
We fulfill the need in a timely manner.

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