After producing our video, ICJA Stands With Israel, we received the following letter from Zach Millunchick, (’10).
I made Aliyah in 2011 and then went and served in the army in the tank corps for a year and four months with the Hesder program at Ma’ale Adumim. I’m now a madrich for the chutznikim (bnei chu”l) and still technically “sadir” – counted with active duty forces, though I am in yeshiva.
I personally was not called up to go into Gaza, though I had multiple friends doing border duty on the Israeli side of the Gaza/Israel border and inside during the fighting. During the war, or “mivtzah” as it was so inaptly named, I and all of my friends who stayed in yeshiva were checking news constantly, waiting for every development, waiting also to be called into the fighting.
It’s amazingly strengthening to know that back in the States you are thinking about us. I think the amount of people in my grade who have already come and joined us here (11?) is a testimony to the great work you are doing in imbuing a love of Israel in your students.
The only thing I can say is keep teaching that love of Israel and keep teaching about the more difficult and even insidious war, which is a war of demographics. A war that, thank God, does not involve killing or violence, but is important nonetheless.
The only thing that can really bring peace to anywhere is the Torah and its values of loving your neighbor and the stranger, the values of justice and love for all human beings. We need more people here who are not only Jewish, but who believe in the power of those values and ideals to change the world. Ideals that really will allow us as Jews to fulfill our God-given destiny to be a holy nation of priests.
As Rabbeinu Avraham Ben haRambam explains in his father’s name, just as the priests are set apart from the rest of the people in order to teach and lead them, so we are set apart from the world to teach and lead it. We need to believe in the power of true, Godly values of peace, truth, justice and love, which form the heart and soul of the Torah.
So I want to tell all of you – teachers: keep teaching those true Torah values, even if it’s in English class or Euro or just being an unbelievable personal example for your students. And students, learn to love Judaism, which means learn to love living a life of ideals and values. And learn to love and come join us in Israel.