Providing for Lone and Needy IDF Soldiers During the High Holy Days

We here at Stand for Israel are thankful for the brave men and women of the IDF who protect the Holy Land and its people. And we are honored that The Fellowship is able to adopt IDF battalions and provide for lone and needy soldiers. Watch as Rabbi Eckstein visits an IDF base near Gaza, where The Fellowship has provided food cards for soldiers in need during the High Holy Days.

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israeli Navy Welcomes New Submarine

(Photo: facebook/IDF)

(Photo: facebook/IDF)

Protecting the Holy Land’s shores and seas just as its counterparts do in the air and on land, the Israeli Navy is the pride of the people of Israel. It now has one more tool to defend Israel, The Times of Israel reports, as a new submarine was welcomed into port at Haifa:

The Dolphin-class submarine, which was purchased from Germany at a considerable discount, is diesel powered and is considered to be the most advanced and technologically capable submarine within the Israeli fleet.

“My friends, this is a holiday for the Navy, and this is a holiday present to the people of Israel as a whole,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech at Haifa’s port. “But there is another important dimension to this event: This sends a clear message to our enemies that Israel is determined to deal with any threat, any challenge, anywhere …”

The new submarines have engines that don’t require surfacing to acquire new air supplies, effectively expanding Israel’s naval — and, reportedly, nuclear — reach and allowing for more far-ranging and long-lasting tasks.

In 2012, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported that Israel’s submarine fleet had nuclear capabilities, of which Berlin was aware but opted to publicly remain mum in order to avoid having to defend the deals.

The submarines, according to Der Spiegel, are equipped with Israeli-designed Popeye missiles, which can carry a warhead of up to 200 kilograms. The nuclear warheads are produced at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor, the report said.

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying that it is in possession of nuclear weapons.

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 at 2:55 PM  | Stand for Israel

An IDF Soldier’s Experiences in Gaza

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel brought you news of Israel’s battle to defend its people and homeland against Hamas. Now that the war is over – for now – stories of what the IDF encountered are now emerging. The IDF blog provides the experiences of one brave soldier’s service – and survival – in Gaza:

Sgt. Avi, the commander of the Sniper Squad of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade, entered Gaza with the purpose of dismantling Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure, including the vast underground tunnel network built to infiltrate and attack Israel. “My soldiers and I were prepared, both mentally and physically. We knew why we were going in,” said Sgt. Avi. “The company commander got on the radio and said, “pick up your bags’ and we started walking …

“On our second day inside Gaza we moved to a different house; it’s safer not to stay in the same place,” said Sgt. Avi. “We were taking turns keeping watch, and I decided to join the round so that my soldiers would have more time to rest. I had just finished my shift when I realized that the soldiers were tense. One of them had heard a person speaking arabic outside the house and spotted suspicious movement.”

Realizing that there were people in the area, Sgt. Avi and his soldiers heightened their awareness. “I joined my soldiers on the roof. After a few minutes, a man about 40 years old walked out of a house nearby, and then I saw that he was holding a woman, and he was using her as a shield.”

“That was the first time I saw with my own eyes someone using another person, a woman, as a shield. I’d seen videos at home, I’d heard about it on the news, and I had believed it, but now I was seeing…

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 10:52 AM  | Stand for Israel

An IDF Mom: When the Boys Came Home

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, those of us who stand for and support Israel prayed fervently for the safety of the brave men and women of the IDF. Yet our worry was paltry compared to that felt by the many mothers whose sons and daughters were serving in or near Gaza. One mother of two IDF soldiers, Minna Felig, writes honestly and touchingly about her fears while her boys were gone, and her concerns for them after they returned:

They say that you haven’t really made aliyah until your first child is drafted into the Israel Defense Forces …

Nothing prepared me for the anxiety and helplessness that I felt when faced with 50 days of both sons being stationed near or in Gaza. Not even my two decades of living in Israel with intermittent hostilities, military operations and even incessant bombings of buses and civilian locales, during which the whole nation shared the tragedy of innocents dying. Those times were terrifying, but they weren’t personal. Somehow, living through those periods I was always able to believe that I was safe. This time it was different. My sons were soldiers, my sons were on the front line, my sons were the targets that the entire world believed the enemy was justified to kill …

During the war we waited with bated breath for news from them, or even news about them when their phones were taken away. When they were given the opportunity to call and report that they were OK we breathed a long sigh of relief and believed it was so. And when the bloody operation ended, despite the tears and grief up to the last moments before the ceasefire, we finally exhaled.

But the crisis wasn’t over and it is not clear when it will end. Those moments of vivid reality, the horror of destruction and death, of killing and being killed, those pictures and experiences will never leave their memories. It seems like yesterday that my son’s biggest complaint was an…

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 8:42 AM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday: Because of Your Great Compassion


(Photo: IDF)

(Photo: IDF)

Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. (Nehemiah 9:19)

An IDF soldier prays atop a hill overlooking the Holy Land. We thank God for not abandoning His children – especially those who defend Israel and her people. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 1:52 PM  | Stand for Israel

Photo Friday: Under the Sun

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

I have seen something else under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

An IDF soldier and his partner, Herman, watch the sun set over the Holy Land they serve and protect. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 1:22 PM  | Stand for Israel

Breaking News: IDF Soldier Wounded by Stray Fire from Syria

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

The Syrian government’s war with Islamist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels continues to reach across Syria’s border with Israel. Yediot Achronot is reporting that an IDF soldier stationed on the Golan Heights was wounded by stray fire that crossed the border into Israel:

An IDF soldier was wounded Monday evening in light condition from a bullet fired from Syria, north of kibbutz Ein Zivan. He was evacuated to a hospital in northern Israel.

In recent weeks, while the fighting has raged on the other side of the border fence, stray mortar rounds and artillery shells have exploded in Israeli territory. The most recent incident occurred last Thursday – when the air raid siren was sounded in the northern Golan Heights …

The IDF has said that it sees the Syrian Army as the authority responsible for all cross-border fire into Israel.

We pray for the soldier’s recovery, and that God will give His protection to the brave men and women of the IDF who are protecting protecting Israel from threats on all fronts.

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Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 11:33 AM  | Stand for Israel

77-Year-Old IDF Soldier Took Fight to Hamas

(Photo: Channel 2 screen capture)

(Photo: Channel 2 screen capture)

Israel is unique in that its young people are required to serve in the IDF. Even Israelis in their forties still often serve in the reserves, something many did during the latest war against Hamas. But The Times of Israel brings this amazing story of a man who served in Operation Protective Edge, and whose service has lasted for 59 years … and counting. Meet Nahum Gilboa, the oldest combat soldier in Israeli history:

Having first served as a reservist in the IDF’s 1956 Operation Kadesh in the Sinai Peninsula, Gilboa donned the IDF’s green uniform this summer in the Paratroopers Brigade. He’s served in the IDF for a staggering 59 years.

Gilboa, a farmer from Lachish, a community near Kiryat Gat, told Israel’s Channel 2 news he enjoys his time with the younger soldiers, and that reserve duty – and hard work on the farm – help keep him young.

His family doesn’t object, Gilboa said, “it’s part of who I am.”

Gilboa said he has a reserve duty ID card that expires in 2017, and he hopes the IDF will let him renew it.

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Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 11:11 AM  | Stand for Israel

IDF on High Alert in Golan Heights

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Stand for Israel has been reporting on the developments across Israel’s border with Syria – of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters doing battle with Syrian forces. Israel is well aware of what is going on, and the IDF is on alert in the Golan Heights:

As a result of the fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the level of alert was raised on the Israeli side, an army spokesperson said Thursday, without confirming that it had been increased to the highest level.

The announcement followed several incidents in the area, including the capture and execution of 160 Syrian soldiers by the Islamic State, gruesome pictures of which appeared online Thursday, and the abduction, also Thursday, of 43 Fijian U.N. peacekeepers by al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Nusra Front at the Quneitra crossing with Israel, where fighting has raged this week between Syrian rebels and government forces.

Please pray for the return of the captured U.N. peacekeepers, for God’s protection over the brave men and women defending Israel in this dangerous situation, and for God’s peace over all of His people.

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Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 11:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Soldier’s Account from Gaza: How Hamas Used Human Shields

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, reports of Hamas using human shields have surfaced, along with evidence of the terrorist group’s dastardly tactics. In the video above, an IDF soldier – Lt. Adam Landau – gives his firsthand account of Hamas’ use of human shields during his time serving in Gaza:

On several occasions, Lt. Landau saw Hamas operatives using civilians as human shields. “Once, we started to look for a terrorist who we knew was in a specific house,” he said. “Suddenly, a small boy appeared, and the terrorist grabbed him and escaped with him.”

“They shot at us from mosques, schools, and of course from civilian houses,” Lt. Landau said. “In the end, if they shoot at you from a mosque, You see a family’s house and you see the clothes hanging outside…And behind all of this is a terrorist holding an AK-47, shooting at you.”

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 3:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
To a Blessed and Sweet New Year

At Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), we look back on the past year and ahead to the year to come. I am grateful for and humbled by the generosity and kindness shown by The Fellowship’s friends, and ask that God will bless each of you in the coming days.

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