By COLlive reporter
Driving along the dark winding road to Chevron Purim night, lecturer David Nesenoff joined four members of Chayal El Chayal as they stopped for any and all Israeli soldiers providing them with mishloach manos.
Led by Lubavitchers and former IDF soldiers Motti Botnick and Menachem Olensky along with IDF soldier Zak Huff and driven by a father of three soldiers Mendel Dubov, the five with their not so reliable GPS made their way in the sometimes not so friendly territory and terrain.
Upon reaching the Maarat Machpelah, the resting place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, a female soldier standing guard was discovered to have not yet heard the Megillah.
Nesenoff, who’s been a regular speaker at Chabad centers worldwide, stood outside in the cold night and read the entire Megillah to the single soldier. The reading was interrupted a few times allowing the soldier to investigate some sounds in the area.
Nesenoff was invited to Jerusalem by Rabbi Kasrial Shemtov and Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner of Yeshiva Mayanot. Nesenoff had given a presentation on Thursday evening to the Mayanot women’s program and then led a farbregen with the men’s yeshiva till 2 AM and continued by spending Shabbos with the yeshiva.
Rabbi Shemtov introduced Dr. Nesenoff to Botnick and the work of the Chayal El Chayal who devote themselves to IDF soldiers and specifically to the unique needs of the Lone Soldiers who have no family in Israel as they serve the Israeli Army literally alone.
“I am so impressed with Chayal El Chayal and was honored to ride along with them,” Nesenoff said. “We stopped for every single soldier we could find, even those who we’re sitting alongside the road in a jeep in the dark of the cold night. This is an organization that I highly urge all to support.”
Although it is a great mitzvah to support these soldiers, the satisfaction received by the carful that night overwhelmed themselves with emotion as they witnessed soldier after soldier who couldn’t believe that fellow Jews took the time to drive far out in the middle of the night to remember and give honor to those who protect the holy land of Israel. “The soldiers couldn’t go to Purim so we brought Purim to them and we do this type of activity every day,” explained Botnick.
After Chevron, the five in the car continued onto an undisclosed military base outside of Be’er Sheva where literally hundreds of packages of mishloach manot were delivered to every soldier on the base.
In nothing less than hashgacha protis, Divine providence, the soldier who came to the gate was the grandson of a New York rabbi who had just passed away last week and friendly with Nesenoff. The soldier was not permitted off base to attend his grandfather’s funeral and was moved that Nesenoff, who spoke highly of his grandfather, showed up in the early hours of the morning in the middle of nowhere, just by chance.
Nesenoff’s speaking tour continues as he flew on Purim day to England where he celebrated the Purim seudah meal with the Chabad of Radlett and then onto Chabad at the University of Manchester for Shabbos.
For more info , visit chayalelchayal.org