Jewish festival are a time when families come together, but while Jewish families around the world are celebrating the festivals, our dear IDF soldiers continue to stand guard, bravely protecting and defending Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. At Or Lachayal we make sure to bring the joy of each festival to the soldiers in the field, to give them a feeling of home and make it possible for them to celebrate and fulfill the mitzvot of the festival.
This program includes the distribution of special individual festival kits for each festival, as well as the organization of parties and festival ceremonies at bases all over the country.
Bringing light to the soldiers – Chanukah
- A personal kit of every soldier, including a chanukiya, candles and a dreidl. (Project goal: 40,000 kits with a compass or other military graphic. Project cost – $120,000)
(כפתור הוסף לסל 3$ ליחידה עם אופציה של כמות יחידות לבחירה)
- Sufganiya for every soldier. (Project goal – 180,000 units. Project cost – $90,000; $4.50 per unit)
(כפתור הוספה לסל 0.50$ ליחידה)
- Organizing Chanukah parties and barbecues in the individual units (Project goal – 100 parties. Project cost – $50,000)
כפתור הוסף לסל 500$
Bringing joy to the soldiers – Purim
- Mishloach manot food parcels for every IDF soldier and Border Police policeman.
(Project goal – 150,000 parcels. Project cost – $450,000. $3 per unit)
(יעד 150,000 עלות פרויקט 450,000$ יחידה אחת 3$)
- Organizing Purim parties and the reading of Megillat Esther on the bases.
(Project goal – 50 parties. Project cost – $105,000. $2,100 per unit)
Bringing Jewish freedom to the soldiers – Pesach
- An extensive campaign before the festival, to distribute food and clothing vouchers to needy and lone soldiers
(Project goal – in keeping with donations. Cost – $100 per soldier)
We will also distribute special boxes of three hand-made round shmura matzot for each soldier for Seder night – so that they can fulfill the mitzvot in the best possible way. This is a large-scale country-wide project, aimed at reaching every soldier and commander in the IDF. In addition, we are planning to hold public Pesach Seders at IDF and Border Police installations (project goal: 120,000 boxes of 3 matzot. Project cost $540,000; $4.50 per unit)
Bringing the Tishrei festivals to the soldiers – Elul, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot
- During the Jewish month of Elul – days of Hashem’s closeness and forgiveness, Rosh Hashanah and the Ten Days of Repentance, we hold inspirational walking tours of Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter of Old City and the Western Wall. Thousands of soldiers participate in these events, which include guided tours, discussions, lectures and workshops on the festivals. The high point of each event is undoubtedly the late-night recital of the Slichot prayers beside the remnant of our Beit Mikdash – the Western Wall. During those special, emotional moments the unity within us is revealed, bursts forth and breaks down barriers. (Cost of each tour program – $2,600)
Before Rosh Hashanah we will distribute hundreds of shofars to IDF field units, so that they can fulfill the most important mitzva of the first day of the Jewish year.
(distribution of shofars: project goal – 300. Project cost – $19,500. $65 per unit)
- Sukkot – During this festival we also make a major effort to bring the joys of this festival and its mitzvot to the soldiers. Since this is a seven-day festival, large-scale logistics preparations are required, including the purchase, transportation and construction of huge sukkot that will enable whole companies of soldiers to sit together in a sukka. These sukkas give the soldiers a real festival feeling and help them fulfill this special mitzva and feel at home… (Project goal – 100 large sukkas. Project cost $250,000. $2,500 per unit)
- Lulav and etrog campaign – The four species: the lulav, etrog, myrtle and willow are the hallmarks of Sukkot. In order to complete the festival atmosphere, we provide lulav-and-etrog sets to soldiers who will be on base for the festival. (Project goal – 5,000. Project cost – $70,000. $14 per unit)
- Simchat Beit HaShoeva – In commemoration of the great joy during Sukkot in Second Temple times, we hold “Simchat Beit HaShoeva” celebrations every evening during Sukkot, with music, singing and dancing. The Mishna tells us, “Whoever has not witnessed a Simchat Beit HaShoeva has not seen true joy in his life.” Or Lachayal uses this opportunity to be good to the soldiers and holds Simchat Beit HaShoeva events at IDF and Border Police bases during the days and evenings, with the best music ensembles and singers. The joy that radiates from the faces of the soldiers is worth all the effort and fills us with energy for our activities all year long. (Project goal – 200. Project cost – $94,000. $470 per unit)