If you know the why, you can live any how.’ – Friedrich Nietzsche’

 If there is one woman who has learned this lesson, it is Miriam Peretz. This brave woman is the epitome of Israel’s saga of the growing list of bereaved families. Two of her sons, Uriel and Eliraz, fell in the line of duty. Yet, Miriam continues to stand defiant, she has never lost hope and as she continues to share her painful story with many, her optimism nourishes and inspires us allHermon

Major Eliraz Peretz, 32, of Golani Brigade, was killed in 2010 in an exchange of fire with terrorists who were planting explosives along the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip. It is in his memory that his relative, Mr. Henri Sebbane set up “Tsahal Pizza” dedicated to serving and eventually “adopting” Battalion 12 of Golani Brigade in which Eliraz had served

What started  four years ago  as merely pizza deliveries to soldiers in various parts of the country, soon branched into a much bigger and more significant operation. Personal packages full of delectable delicacies were prepared and personally delivered to the soldiers in the Battalion. Two and a half years ago, Henri and “Tsahal Pizza,” also took upon themselves to organize and finance the Golani Race.  This race, in which six hundred Battalion 12 Golani soldiers of various ranks and duties participate, takes place once a year. The event is of great importance in helping forge a more cohesive  relationship and a stronger bond between the soldiers

Recently, commanders of other battalions in the Brigade turned to “Tsahal Pizza” in a request to further help soldiers who come from underprivileged homes where the living conditions are sometimes unbearable.  Without much lingering,” Tsahal Pizza” enlisted the help of other organizations and businesses. Some of the families in need received ovens, washing machines and other help in the form of gift certificates towards purchasing basic and essential supplies

Last night, I had the honor to accompany Henri and other volunteers to a Channukah candle lighting ceremony at one of the Golani Brigade bases. As in the past couple of years, Henri and “Tsahal Pizza” arranged for the delivery of sufganiyot, the traditional jelly donuts served on Channukah, to be given to the soldiers. I was watching the young men, almost too young to assume the responsibilities that lay ahead of them as they were  gathered and seated all around us in the sports hall of the base. Their soft eyes were filled with aspirations and a strong determination to defend their people, their Land and our future

Like Miriam Peretz, like the Maccabees and many other heroes in Jewish history past and present, these young men seemed to have found and grasped the meaning of their lives

When I left their base a few hours later, I was elated, infused with a new hope, a belief and deep faith in our future here in Eretz Yisrael. I was comforted and soothed by the realization that these young men seemed to be very aware and well acquainted with the “Why” in our reality here in this Land. And with such knowledge in their possession,  I am confident that they will gain the answer of the “How!”  G-d Bless them all