Sunday, October 16, 2005

Operation Band-Aid … and a Time to Give

October 12, 2005
by Rachel Saperstein, Neve Dekalim/Jerusalem Gold Hotel

The purity of “chessed”, loving kindness, lies behind the concept of Operation Band Aid. According to the Jewish philosopher Maimonides the first degree of charity is employment, to make an adult self-supporting. The second degree is total anonymity between the giver and the receiver. To be able to give is the pleasure, and to be able to receive in a dignified way is the morality of this form of charity. For the giver there is no letter of thanks, no certificate of appreciation, no dinner in one’s honor. One gives for the sake of giving.

For many years the farmers of Gush Katif were given the privilege of donating green vegetables to all the soup-kitchens in Israel. The large number of charity collectors who made the long trek to Gush Katif are witness to our generosity. Our children were constantly raising funds for cancer research and aid to the blind and disabled. Amounts raised in Gush Katif were often greater than the national average.

The concept of the “gemach”, a free loan society, was an outstanding feature in Gush Katif. Diapers, baby formula, “simcha” supplies were loaned and returned. Families sponsored “gemachs” for every need. And every act of charity was done without fanfare, to preserve the self-respect of the recipient.

Today the people of Gush Katif, homeless and without jobs, are themselves in need of monetary aid. Farmers, teachers, business people are idle while the once prosperous Gush Katif area, whose exports brought millions of dollars into the national coffers, lies in ruins, its people scattered in hotels, dormitories and tent cities.

Today each family must pay a daily fee for the room into which it has been forced. Belongings are stored in ship containers for which we pay an exorbitant fee, ‘punishment’ for our not having surrendered earlier. We are forced to continue paying mortgages on homes reduced to rubble.

The government of Israel has paid limited compensation to a very few of the people of Gush Katif. There has been little government help, only pronouncements and promises. Now we are being threatened with expulsion from our hotel rooms after the holidays. Many of our fellow Israelis believe the lies of the government. Only those who know the truth have come to our aid.

Today the proud, brave people of Gush Katif are reaching out to you for help. Operation Band Aid is just that, a band aid on a gaping wound. Each family receives an envelope with 500 shekels to use for small items – a newspaper, bus fare, a toy for a child.

This Yom Kippur please set aside funds to aid the people who held on despite years of bombardment to save Eretz Yisroel, only to be evicted and abandoned.

May this New Year bring us joy. May each family enjoy the pleasures of a home, a job, loving family and friends... and above all, good health.
Tax deductible dollar checks can be sent to:

Central Fund for Israel
Rehov Hagoel 13
Efrat 90435
earmarked for: Operation Band Aid

For shekel checks:
Women in Green
POB 1269
Efrat 90435
earmarked for: Operation Band Aid

No comments:

Search the Muqata


Related Posts with Thumbnails