In His Death, Israeli Soldier Saves the Lives of Five People
Israeli soldier Shoham Ben Harush was seriously wounded in the battle against Hamas terrorists on October 7. Despite being taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, he soon died of his wounds. However, he wanted his life to make a difference for others and expressed his desire to donate his organs. As a result, through his death, he saved the lives of five people: a forty-eight-year-old received a heart transplant, a fifty-nine-year-old received a corneal transplant, a sixty-one-year-old received a liver transplant, a fifty-seven-year-old received one of his kidneys, and a sixty-nine-year-old received the other. Shoham Ben Harush’s sacrifice for his country went far beyond the call of duty.
Praise God for Ben Harush’s kindness, and please pray for his family as they mourn his loss.
Ultra-Orthodox Men Enlist to Serve in the IDF
Usually, very few ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) men enlist in the Israeli Defense Forces. They receive an exemption from the country’s mandatory draft. This privilege often causes strife between secular or less religious Israelis, all of whom have to serve in the military or some other national service. The exemption is available to the ultra-Orthodox so they can study Torah full-time at yeshivas (religious schools) nationwide. However, since the start of the war, thousands of Haredi men have signed up to serve or have initiated local aid operations. This desire stems from a tradition of giving aid and help within Haredi society. Their support also reflects a historical coming together of several different groups within the wider Israeli and global Jewish communities following the massive tragedy of October 7.
Rabbi Moshe Rabad grew up in a Haredi community and enlisted in the military. He now serves as the chief rabbi of the Air Force. He started receiving inquiries to serve from Haredi men in his community right after Hamas’ attack. He explains:
I turned to the army and they said to me, “If you bring us a list of 50 Haredim who agree, we will open something for you.” This was last Tuesday at 4 pm. We set up a meeting at 9 pm and I brought them a list of 300. By the beginning of the week, I had 1,000 and people continue to sign up to help the army with whatever they need.
One young man who recently signed up to serve said, “At the end of the day they want to kill us and we need prayers and weapons.”
Please pray for these men who have challenged tradition and left their families to serve alongside secular Israeli soldiers. Together, they can protect the land and people of Israel.
Israel and the United States Heighten Security around Eilat
Israel’s southern resort town of Eilat has received increased attention as Israel and the United States have moved Navy boats to the Red Sea. The Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen has launched missile and drone attacks toward the area. Usually, Eilat is a fun destination town full of vacation hotels, serene beaches, and places where people go to relax. Now, the city, which is usually home to 50,000, is overwhelmed with tens of thousands of displaced Israelis from southern communities near Gaza and towns in the north near the Lebanese border. This past week, the Arrow air defense system intercepted a surface-to-surface missile, the first use of a long-range missile defense system in the war. The rocket was launched close to 1,000 miles from Eilat in Yemen. Israeli Defense Forces also remain vigilant along the northern border with Lebanon, where Iranian-backed Hezbollah has increased its rocket, missile, and mortar attacks against Israel.
Please pray for peace and calm in Eilat, where many traumatized people have sought refuge. Please pray for their safety and Israel’s defense systems.
BBQ Dinner Encourages Soldiers, Spurs Gospel Conversations
Our wartime ministry involves serving several thousand (of the half a million) displaced Israeli civilian families who need food, supplies, appliances, and more. In addition, we have extensive outreach to soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces wherever we hear they have a need. Since October 7—thanks to the Lord and your support—we have provided more than one thousand soldiers with necessary supplies, including tactical gloves, watches, thermal underwear, blankets, and bottled water.
Last Thursday, we had the opportunity to help at not just any base but specifically where our dear co-worker in the Lord, Mark, has been called up for reserve duty. To bless him and his fellow soldiers, we planned and prepared all the fixings for a barbecue dinner for 120 people. On our drive over, we found out the soldiers wanted their friends at the base next door to feel included, so they had also invited them to join.
The Lord took this “oops, extra people” moment, stretched the food, and used us to feed more than 200 soldiers a hot BBQ meal! They all expressed tremendous gratitude and curiosity about why we cared so much about them and took this effort to bless them. Many had very fruitful conversations! We are so grateful to show the love of Jesus to these people serving in harm’s way to keep us and our families safe during this time.
Please pray for
- the Lord to grant us further conversations about Jesus with soldiers wherever we go
- believing soldiers like Mark to be bold about proclaiming Messiah among their fellow soldiers
- the families of soldiers to be safe while they are away serving