It is shocking that Eretz Yisrael in 2020, a man can still be persecuted by Arabs for being Jewish, with tragic results. Reuven Michaeli moved to Israel 43 years ago with a dream of turning a deserted piece of Israel green, while replanting Jewish roots, absent from the region for centuries.
He purchased a barren plot in Northern Israel and turned it into a successful farm. He became the leading grower of Kalaniot flowers in the world and employed tens of Jews in agriculture. This Oleh had made it big in Israel.
Everything went downhill recently with three consecutive tragedies. His wife of more than 40 years, who he considered his best friend, got cancer and passed away, leaving him devastated. Then he was diagnosed with cancer himself.
Luckily his precious fields gave him a sense of purpose in life. One day before harvest season was to begin in January, he went out to the field and saw that his entire field was poisoned.
The feared Arab mafia from nearby villages had demanded “protection” money from him. When he refused to be blackmailed, he was told in no uncertain terms that he was making a very bad decision. Now because of them, he was in financial ruin. He was also forced to fire his employees, many of whom had been with him for decades. He now owes more than 3 million shekels (approx $885,000). If he doesn’t start paying, he will lose his home and field. The farm he toiled on for decades had become a part of him and losing it would be the equivalent of losing his identity. He is losing the will to live and there is worry that these three tragedies have put him into a state of mind where he may take his own life.
Leading Chabad Rabbanim from all over the world, such as Tzvi Grunblatt, Chief Chabad Rabbi of Argentina, Chabad of north Israel Rabbi Shimshon Halperin, and Rabbi Yeshayahu Hertzel, Chief Rabbi of Nof Hagalil, who know this special farmer personally, are begging for help to save his life and identity, allowing him to start over while re-hiring his unemployed Jewish workers.
They have written Hascamas for him and are giving brachos of “All good things materially and spiritually”, to those who help.
Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin who has first-hand experience with having his life almost destroyed, in part due to anti-Semitism, is actively raising awareness of this crucial campaign. To learn about taking part in this incredible mitzvah, click here.