Thank You Letters
Speech for ZDVO Tefillah
As most of you know I recently celebrated my Bar Mitzvah. Many of us celebrating our barmitzvah are involved the Matanah project – where we choose to donate money from our bar mitzvah presents to a charity that is important to us. I chose ZDVO for my matanah.
Posted In: 30/08/17
As most of you know I recently celebrated my Bar Mitzvah. Many of us celebrating our barmitzvah are involved the Matanah project – where we choose to donate money from our bar mitzvah presents to a charity that is important to us. I chose ZDVO for my matanah.There are many reasons why I made this choice – through my parents (especially my Dad) and through all that I have learnt at school – I have a love and strong commitment to Israel. I also have learnt that without the IDF protecting Israel we would never feel secure and there would not be a homeland. I chose to honour those soldiers who have served in the IDF and who have been injured whilst serving Israel.
When I was in Israel in June this year I was privileged to visit a Beit Halochem Centre – there are 4 centres in Israel in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba. These are rehabilitation centres and are the home away from home for thousands of injured soldiers. The centres give injured soldiers the opportunity become involved in sports, in arts and are also places where physical and emotional therapy is provided. Together with my family I visited the Beit Halochem Centre in Tel Aviv which was the first centre and it was built in 1974. This was right after the Yom Kippur War.
When we were at the centre we were privileged to meet many soldiers and the President of Beit Halochem – Chaim Bar. I explained to Chaim why, like many of my friends chose ZDVO for my Matanah. Chaim was very grateful for what we do at the School to support ZDVO.
After our meeting we were then taken on a tour of the Centre – it is amazing, we visited the gym where each machine has been specially designed for soldiers who have disabilities – we saw the paintings, sculptures and crafts that were done by the injured soldiers many of whom have lost their limbs. We also visited the family area where children of injured soldiers can come after school and do arts and crafts whilst their parents are busy at the Centre. We also spent a long time watching the Israeli National, world cup basketball team training – it was amazing to see all the soldiers in wheelchairs playing basketball – they are so talented, strong and have so much determination, they are true athletes..
Our visit to Beit Halochem was an incredible experience because these soldiers have been through such difficult times and have been injured fighting for their country. All the soldiers who we met were so inspiring. Although I was really sad, they told me that through Beit Halochem, they have been given the courage to be positive.
I was fortunate to meet a soldier Ofir who was injured during operation Protective Edge. Ofir was in the Engineer brigade and his tank was hit by a Hamas rocket, whilst you cannot see any wounds or injuries, Ofir has been harmed emotionally and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress – he cant get to sleep at night, and reacts to loud noise all the time – as any noise it gives him throwbacks to when the tank got hit. Ofir is one of over 5 000 soldiers who call Beit Halochem their other home. Beit Halochem is where injured soldiers are given the confidence to carry on their lives in the most positive way.
I learnt so many things during my visit to Beit Halochem – I will try be positive– the soldiers who I met were so positive even though they had lost so much, I will try not take anything for granted – the soldiers value every minute of every day. I will always love and support Israel and honour and respect those that give so much of themselves. I will always remember those who have lost their lives fighting for Israel. I will continue doing as much as I can to support our injured soldiers and ZDVO.
Ziv we are honoured to meet you – thank you being here today, you are an inspiration to all of us, thank you for protecting our country – I hope you enjoy Sydney as much as I loved visiting Israel. A highlight of my journey through Israel was my visit to Beit Halochem. This was an incredible and inspirational experience and I hope all of you will have the opportunity to visit a Beit Halochem Centre.