Can Ahavat Chinam (unconditional love) really counteract the Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) that has brought tragedy and destruction to the Jewish People? Can the commitment by thousands upon thousands to the mitzvah of "Love your neighbor as yourself" (V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha) change the world? Operation Refuah says ABSOLUTELY! And they're counting on Jews around the globe to sign their names to it.
For the past two years, Operation Refuah, the world's biggest project to mobilize Jews to practice the mitzvah of "Love your neighbor as yourself", has been circulating the Chaverim Kol Yisrael (All Jews are Friends) scroll around the globe. Men, women, and children from as far as Spain to Singapore, France to Australia, Argentina to Israel, and many other countries have joined American Jewry in signing their names to this scroll. In doing so, participants reaffirm that the Jewish People are indeed One People with One Heart and One Soul and rededicate themselves to the pivotal mitzvah of loving one's neighbor.
During the Three Weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av, a time of mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple, Operation Refuah is urging all Jews to especially focus on this mitzvah and has initiated a massive campaign to sign on more names to their scroll. All names that are received will be placed in a specially designed container at one of the holiest sections at the Kotel. In addition, teenage representatives from the "Kids for Kids" organization and Operation Refuah volunteers will read as many names as possible at the Kotel. Some names will also be read at other holy sites in Israel during the Three Weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av.
As founders Sheila Nashofer, Hadassa Goldsmith, and Sara Wilansky explain, " It is most auspicious that these public declarations of Ahava (Love) and Achdut (Unity) be brought to the Wall – the only remnant of the Second Bait HaMikdash that was destroyed perhaps because of a lack of this love and unity – and that the names be brought at the time period in history when this destruction occurred. Now, as Jews in Israel and around the world are besieged with tragedies of all kinds, we must join together to bring about what is need most – unity and love for each other. This is, and has always been, our greatest strength and protection from all troubles."
Susan Roth, founder of the Eshet Chayil Foundation that sponsors Operation Refuah, has worked relentlessly to establish an enormous presence for this vital project in the streets of Israel. Through a coordinated effort with a committee of volunteers, she has ensured that there will be almost two dozen booths in both the largest malls and bus stations in the ten major cities in Israel geared at adding signatures of commitment to the scroll. Mrs. Roth explains, "It is important to show the world that the Jewish People are one. Only if we are united as a people can we fulfill the purpose for which we were chosen – to be a light to the nations."
To sign the scroll and/or for more information about Operation Refuah's campaign, please visit www.operationrefuah.org or
toll free at (877)- TO-UNITE,
Operation Refuah is dedicated in memory of Sandra Lynn Baruch, a true woman of valor.