#Volunteering with #Sarel – Today we prepare kits for wounded soldiers who might need an IV. The intravenous kit was tubing, needles, alcohol swatches, gauze and tape put in a plastic bag and sealed. We created an assembly line of volunteers that any automotive factory would be proud of. We completed 100s of kits – albeit with mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel very good about helping put together life-saving equipment, but on the other, I feel sad that these kits are needed – that our young soldiers are being wounded every day by vicious terrorists who have no regard for human life.

I’m angry that many in the world do not know or refuse to believe how compassionate the Jewish people are. Before 10/7, there was a group living in the #Gaza envelope called Paths for Peace. Whenever needed, they would meet Gazans at the Eretz crossing and drive those who needed medical treatment to Israeli clinics and hospitals. After 10/7, some of these same Gazans who had been treated by Israeli medical personnel went on social media against Israel and praising Hamas. The feelings of betrayal run very high.

Later half our unit of volunteers left our base. These volunteers are parents of “lone soldiers” who have flown to Israel to help with the war effort. Many of these parents haven’t seen their children for many months, but hoping to get the opportunity. Lone soldiers leave the comfort of their homes to serve in the #IDF without any support of their families. I think about Max Steinberg z”l, an American-Israeli lone soldier killed in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 Gaza War Operation Protective Edge. Max grew up in Los Angeles about 35 minutes from me. He was a sharpshooter in the Gideon Battalion of the Golani Brigade. He was buried on Mt. Herzl and 30,000 people attended his funeral. A few years ago, I had the privilege to visit his gravesite and say #Kaddish for him. The section where Max is buried is filled with IDF soldiers who have fallen, be it the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1967 War, or Yom Kipper War. These young people are a loss to the country. When I met the lone soldier parents in my unit, I said a silent prayer for each and for the safety of their children.