Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

The MOST Important Mitzvah: What we can do to help #BringBackOurBoys

We Love you we miss you, please be strong. Hold on.

As we heard those anguished words from Rachel Fraenkel, we all asked ourselves, what can we do to help? The most important thing to do as Jews is to do something. TO JEW IS TO DO!  Among the many things we can do for Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad: Sign, Write, and Pray:

  1. Sign THIS PETITION to influence the US government to maximize its efforts on behalf of the boys.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/demand-release-16-year-old-american-student-naftali-frenkel-kidnappers-palestinian-terrorists/Qy2N4R2H

  1. WRITE LETTERS of support to the families of the boys.

http://www.onefamilytogether.org/letters-of-support/

  1. Use social media (with hash tags) to educate the world and spread the message.

4. Pray for the boys: Any time, recite Psalms 142 and 143 or any other    prayers on behalf of the boys and our IDF soldiers who are out 24/7 looking for them.

bring back our boys

Maimonides (1135-1204) notes in his Magnum Opus “The Mishneh Torah,” Laws of Gifts to the Poor, Chap. 8

Pidyon Shevuyim (Ransoming of Captives) takes precedence over supporting the poor and clothing them. There is no greater Mitzvah than Pidyon Shevuyim, for the problems of the captive include those of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked and one who is in mortal danger.   One who ignores the need to redeem captives, transgresses the following commandments:

  • ‘Do not harden your heart against your needy kinsman’ (Devarim 15:7)
  • ‘Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbour’ (Vayikra 19:16)
  • ‘You shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight’ (Vayikra 25:53)
  • ‘You shall surely open your hand to him’ (Devarim 15:8)
  • ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Vayikra 19:18)
  • ‘Rescue those who are drawn to death’ (Mishlei 24:11) and many others.”

The first Jew, Abraham, dropped everything to redeem his nephew Lot and his family. He risked his life together with his 318 followers to try and save Lot’s family (Genesis 14:12-16).

And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed… And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan. And he divided himself against them by night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.”

We learn from this story, and the importance that Miamonides (and many other rabbinical sources) place on rescuing hostages that we must do whatever we can do, wherever we are, to try and bring our boys home. Just as “all of Israel is responsible for each other” imagine if these were your loved ones. Unfortunately, we don’t need to imagine. These are our loved ones. Rifka Fraenkel pointed out the silver lining of this tragic situation. She mentioned that the families were:

 Full of thanks for everyone involved. It is very important for us to say, these days we feel a tremendous (embrace) of love and support from all over. People send us so much prayer and love and good energy, it keeps us strong.

She also requested that, “Everyone continue praying. Continue all the good deeds, just pass it on.”

boys mumsPhoto:  “The Mothers of the Boys” from the Facebook page,

“Bring back our Boys”

May the IDF, with God’s help, bring ‪#‎EyalNaftaliGilad a speedy salvation together with the rest of Israel. ‪#‎BringBackOurBoys

About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He is the author (and illustrator) of the internationally acclaimed Zionism curriculum; “For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Education” (fifth edition, 2017, Koren) and is at present working on his next book, a history of the Jewish people. Tuvia has a doctorate in Israel education. His dissertation title is: “Through the Soldiers’ Eyes: Exploring the Influence of a Birthright Mifgash on the Israeli Soldier Participants.”
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