An Open Letter to IDF Chief Lt. General Kochavi

Honorable Lt Gen Kal Kochavi,

Happily we read on Arutz 7 (9 May 2019 Newsbrief 10:36) that you said, “The word I am most connected to in Hebrew is the word “Soldier.” It’s a pure expression of giving. When you put on a uniform, you become equals. The most beautiful thing of all is that soldiers belong to everyone.”

Beautiful words, reflective of the same feelings abiding deep in our hearts. On our own initiative, my wife and I had been raising funds to help the soldiers with schluckers, kneepads, facemasks, thermal undergarments, gloves, t-shirts, caps, backpacks, etc. For six years we operated within the rules provided by LIBI, always obtaining permission for each purchase and for each delivery of the merchandise to the various bases. With help from mann Christians in Switzerland and some in Germany, we were able to donate items to over 56,000 soldiers of many units throughout the country. It was the best job of our lives, and keeps us vibrant in our retirement years. Then, with the arrival of your predecessor, who replaced LIBI with Yahad, it all went bad.

Our input and efforts suddenly meant nothing. Our love was discounted and we were treated as though we were dishonorable people. Yahad called us and declared that they were the only legal entity able to receive donations for the soldiers and that we should send all the money to them and they would make sure the soldiers got what they needed. Right, like that will ever happen. Yahad changed the rules and robbed us of, like you said, “the soldiers who belonged to us”.

We’ve suffered in silence since Yahad took over and have been waiting and praying for your arrival, hopeful that you would restore our, the public’s, connection to the soldiers.

Your words gave us much encouragement. Please restore the integrity of the previous system. If some people broke the rules, they should be punished and banned from further participation; but those of us who abide by the rules and truly help the soldiers should be encouraged and praised, not abused and dishonored. Please restore LIBI as the approving authority because they understood the difference.

Sincerely and with respect,

Yeriel and Gabrielah Evenpinah

About the Author
Describing their life as an adventure with God, Yeriel and his wife Gabrielah, met God while living far out in the wilderness of Alaska, then followed His leading to eventually go to Romania where they spent six years doing social work and helping the elderly Jews of the Falticeni/Suceava area before making aliyah. When they made aliyah they gave up their other citizenships, claiming Israel as their only home.