In November 1948, just six months after Israel declared independence, Jerusalem became divided. The Jewish people were completely and painfully cut off from the Western Wall-the focal point of Jewish history and existence. So when the old city of Jerusalem returned to Jewish hands in June of 1967, the celebration knew no bounds. Finally the city was unified, and the Jewish people unified in celebration.
As the fiftieth anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification approaches, the Afikim foundation has set out to create another type of unification – one that unites the Jewish people around the writing of a special Torah scroll. In communities throughout the world it is common for individuals to "buy a letter" in a Torah scroll because by contributing to its cost, they share in the mitzvah of writing it. The Afikim foundation is taking this idea and adding a unique twist to it: anyone can ‘purchase’ a letter, but instead of buying it with money, they purchase it with good deeds.
The goal is once again to unify the Jewish people around the ideals that we hold dear. Mor Keshet, a staff member at the foundation explains, “People have pledged to do all sorts of acts of kindness, some small scale and some large scale. Either way they are committing to doing one good deed at a time in order to make the world a better place. We have had managers of companies commit to doing something that benefits their staff, and we’ve had children commit to helping an elderly neighbor bring her groceries home. On the website, anyone can read the kindnesses that others have committed to doing. By using everyone’s good deeds to ‘purchase’ letters in the Torah we are unifying all the contributors. This project is proving to be very meaningful for all the people involved.”
For thirty six years, Yad Eliezer has been uniting people from around the world to help poor families in Israel. Whether it’s donors from numerous countries, volunteers in our Jerusalem warehouse or teenagers raising money in southern Israel, we all care about the welfare of our disadvantaged community members and work together to come to their aid. Political, ideological, religious and social differences are no longer relevant when we reach out to help one another.
Yad Eliezer is proud to partner with the Jerusalem50 project. We invite participants to sponsor the Feed-A-Baby program which provides essential nutrition to needy babies in Israel during their first year of life. By doing so, each contributor can ‘buy’ a letter in this unique Torah scroll and make a meaningful difference in families’ lives.