Ideas for Shabbat Gilad
Posted on December 10, 2010
This Shabbat is Shabbat Gilad, an effort to raise awareness about Gilad Shalit and do whatever we can to help him and his family. Shabbat Gilad is the brainchild of Ari Hagler who is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat. Ari has over 150 schools, synagogues and organizations throughout the world participating in this important effort.
Here are a few ideas that you can do to participate in this effort and join thousands of Jews throughout the world for Shabbat Gilad:
- Write letters to government officials asking them to do whatever they can to release Gilad Shalit.
- Make sure that people at your Shabbat table are aware of who he is, what happened and discuss ways that they can actively do something to make a difference.
- Say the special tefilla or prayer for Israeli soldiers missing in action.
- Hang up a picture of Gilad Shalit and facts about him around your synagogue.
- At communal meals and celebrations leave an empty seat for Gilad to highlight that he is missing and that our celebration is muted because he is not free.
- Have Gilad in mind when davening or praying.
- Send letters of support to the Shalit family.
- Encourage your rabbi to speak about this and/or give us class on the laws of pidyon shvuyim or rescuing captives.
- Hang up traditional Jewish sources that relate to our responsibility for helping those in need and redeeming captives.
- Gather with other schools, synagogues, JCC’s and families for a joint program.
Here are a few ways that you can help Israeli soldiers in general:
- Adopt a unit and send them pizza or a care package filled other treats.
- Knit hats for soldiers.
- Organize and host a weekly Tehillim group to pray for missing soldiers and soldiers in need of healing.
- Donate money to organizations that help support families who have lost loved ones serving in the Israeli Defense Forces and/or to agencies that provide emotional and psychological support to soldiers when they return home from active duty.
- Donate your old cellphone or calling cards to soldiers enabling them to more easily communicate with their loved ones at home or donate iPods and MP3 players to help them enjoy their time off.
- Visit recovering soldiers in the hospital or send them get well cards.
Mazal Tov to Ari and his family. I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and let us hope that as a result of our efforts Gilad will come home.