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Volume 1, Issue 1 | Volume 2, Issue 1 | Volume 3, Issue 1
Volume 1, Issue 1

This newsletter is dedicated for a refuah shelaima for all the Israeli soldiers and to all those in need of a complete and speedy recovery.

Dear Friends of Operation Refuah,

I would like to thank all of you for joining Operation Refuah, a worldwide grassroots organization that promotes Ahavat Yisrael · Love for one's fellow Jew - in an attempt to bring merit to the ill and bountiful blessings to Klal Yisrael.

Volunteers the world over have expressed their enthusiasm for Operation Refuah. Mr. Saul Behr of South Africa says, "I think that Operation Refuah is an admirable initiative, and I believe that it can have a profound effect on this world." States another volunteer, Dr. Art Segal of South Carolina, USA, "The idea of love for our fellow Jews regardless of where or how they worship and for Shalom Bayit in the Jewish community is spreading due to the pamphlets and posters of Operation Refuah."

Each of every one of is making a big differennce in this world by increasing Ahavat Yisrael.

Some of you have been kind enough to distribute our brochures, posters, and scrolls in your communities, which serve as reminders to practice the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha - Love Your Neighbor as Yourself. (If anyone would like brochures, posters, or scrolls for their community please e-mail us

Jews from Austria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil (thank you, Mr. Versiani!!), Canada, England, France, Gibraltar, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the United States, and Uruguay have signed our "Chaverim Kol Yisrael - All Jews are Friends" scroll/petition thereby signifying their renewed commitment to the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha. M.A. Jacobs, our volunteer in Israel who goes to the Kotel every Rosh Chodesh to read the names from our scroll and pray for the ill in the merit of those who have dedicated themselves to the goals of Operation Refuah, explains, "It's a very special, rewarding, and satisfying feeling to read the names and be part of the effort. People go to the Kotel for many different reasons, but when I take the names to read there I get the feeling that I'm taking all the people behind those names and all their aspirations with me." For the text of the scroll (or to sign your name and country) see our website e-mail us.

Others have participated in our cholim name-exchange project where tzedaka has been given in the merit of someone else's loved one - a most meaningful way to fulfill the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha. (A very special thanks to a very special woman in England who has graciously given tzedaka and prayed for numerous cholim.) One woman wrote to us about her mother, whose name was given to another Jew so that tzedaka could be given in her merit, "I believe that because of you and people like you she is doing better..." For further information on this project please e-mail us.

The compassion that we show toward each other through practicing the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha has tremendous potential to bring good things for all of us. We would like to share a special "V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha Moment" that we received at our world headquarters:

"Awhile ago a speaker who I had heard previously and briefly met was coming to speak in my community. Even though it meant going by myself (something I loathe doing), I decided to go and hear her. I was sitting at a table with many other women, acquaintances, and new faces, and as I am rather reserved I just sat I my 'emotional lonely corner' feeling like a sore thumb. Anyway the speaker arrived and proceeded to go to her place in the front. As she did, she passed me, recognized me, and just put her hand on my shoulder. Well that small
- what she might consider insignificant - gesture cheered me up not only then but whenever I recall the incident. So Ahavas Yisrael is the small things as well as the mind-blowing ones (like establishing a fantastic organization)."
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Here is a short story to inspire us to continue our efforts toward fulfilling the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha:

On one occasion, when Rabbi Finkel (of Lithuania, 1849-1927) was leading the congregation in prayer, he kept stumbling on the pronunciation of words. Those present were amazed, since Rabbi Finkel always pronounced each word precisely. The congregants soon understood the reason for the Rabbi's uncharacteristic difficulty. There was a mourner in the synagogue who had difficulty reading Hebrew, and when he read from the prayer book, people laughed or smiled. In order to lessen the mourner's embarrassment, Rabbi Finkel acted as if he could not read any better. (From LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR, by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, 1977, published by Aish HaTorah, Jerusalem)

These stories and others reflect the words of Operation Refuah participant James K. Feldman of Ohio, "Any Jew can do a mitzvah for any other Jew at any time - it is only necessary to indicate to G-d a willingness to serve and then look around for that special moment. An opportunity will present itself every time!" A much admired Rabbi once said, "We must never overlook - indeed rather greatly emphasize the so-called 'small and unsophisticated' things that each modest congregation, moreover each individual, can and must do - beginning with the old, yet ever-anew, Jewish way, collectively as one people and also as individuals...."


All the very best,
Sheila Nashofer, Editor
Operation Refuah Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 1 Top ^
This newsletter is dedicated to a refuah shelaima for Menachem Mendel ben Batsheva Rochel and to all those in need of a complete and speedy recovery.

I would like to welcome all the new subscribers to our email newsletter and at the same time thank the many kind individuals who have already participated in Operation Refuah in numerous ways.

As you are aware, Operation Refuah's goal is to promote Ahavat Yisrael (Love for one's fellow Jew) through hands on projects that promote the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha (Love your neighbor as yourself). We know that this mitzvah is considered to be the very foundation of our Torah and thus has tremendous potential to bring good things to our world.


Hot off the press is our latest poster entitled "Rx for the Soul" - V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha.· We all know how important it is to take good care of our physical body, but we must not neglect our essence - our soul. The mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha will not only keep our souls in "tip top" shape but will also benefit others around us.

Operation Refuah is also distributing a complimentary "Klal Yisrael Prescription Memo Pad." This unique pad reminds you to make "V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha" a part of your day and is great for jotting down mitzvahs (good deeds) you hope to fulfill each day!  (Ed. Note: At this time, the pads are "out of stock.")


Our Chaverim Kol Yisrael scroll continues to circulate and grow worldwide. This unique scroll states that we are indeed One People with One Heart and One Soul. All who sign on agree to focus on the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha in their daily interactions in an attempt to bring bountiful blessings to Klal Yisrael, including refuah (recovery) to all who are ill. Please check the Operation Refuah website for full details on how to add your name and have it read at the Kotel.  


Our brochure contains a ten-point suggestion card on ways to fulfill the mitzvah of "V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha" daily. The brochure also offers the opportunity to participate in our "cholim name exchange project" whereby tzedaka is given in the merit of a refuah shelaima (complete and speedy recovery) for someone else's loved one - a true fulfillment of  Ahavat Yisrael.


Join the Operation Refuah campaign by mailing us a get well or friendly greeting card that we will distribute to hospital patients, nursing home residents, and the homebound. Knowing that someone else cares can really brighten up someone else's day.


Join with fellow Jews the world over by lighting Shabbat candles this Friday (check candlelighting time in your area) and praying for blessings for Klal Yisrael and refuah for all who are in need of recovery. May the light of these candles spark peace and harmony around the globe.


We invite you to share your "V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha Special Moment" with us. Write us about an incident where someone did this mitzvah for you and made a difference in your life (or day!). With your permission, we will print some of the anecdotes we receive on our website as well as in Operation Refuah newspaper articles. You may remain anonymous if you wish.

Here are a few special moments that will hopefully inspire you to create some of your own:

When my daughter was nine months old, I sprained my ankle so badly that I couldn't put much weight on it.  Although I was able to take care of her, there was a period when I couldn't put her into or lift her out of the crib.  Friends organized themselves to come before and after her naps and lift her for me.  These were clearly busy people who came just to lift her for me. As a mother, I'd like to believe that my daughter was so cute that they came just for the privilege of holding her, but I know they were motivated more by a desire to help me than by the opportunity to hold my baby.  Their acts of kindness made a trying time more manageable.

One day in school I noticed my friend walking around with a lot of hats, in and out of boxes. It seemed that it was "hat day" that day and all the children were supposed to come to school wearing a hat. I asked my friend what she was doing with so many hats. And this angel replied, "I am going around the classrooms to see if any children forgot their hats at home. If so, I am happy to loan them one of these hats for the day!"

Sometimes helping someone can be difficult....but keep in mind this thought of Rabbi Z.  Pliskin:

"When you are trying to do good deeds and difficulties arise, realize that the difficulties actually serve to increase the merit of your good deeds."


All the very best,
Sheila Nashofer, Editor
Operation Refuah Newsletter

Volume 3, Issue 1 Top ^
This newsletter is dedicated to a refuah shelaima for Alta Chana bas Breindel and to all those in need of a complete and speedy recovery.

Dear Friends of Operation Refuah,

We would like to share with you a very exciting event that took place this past Tisha B'Av. On this day, thousands of people who visited the Kotel (Wall) were able to sign the Operation Refuah scroll and their names, in addition to the names generated through this website, were brought and left at the holiest spot at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The Chaverim Kol Yisrael scroll, which reaffirms that we are indeed One People with One Heart and One Soul, is one of Operation Refuah's many projects that encourage a rededication to the mitzvah considered to be the very foundation of our Torah - V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha (Love Your Neighbor as Yourself).

We at Operation Refuah felt that Tisha B'Av, a day in Jewish history that is replete with tragedy and misfortune, was a most auspicious time to make this declaration of Achdut (Unity) and Ahavat Yisrael .

We would like to thank our wonderful volunteers both in the United States and in Israel who made this event and other previous events possible: Mrs. Susan Roth, Mr. Ron Antoci, Mr. Effie Lahav, Mr. Yisroel Cohen, Mrs. Sheila Nashofer, Mr. Alex Flomin, Mrs. Doreen Czinn-Aaronson, Mrs. Hadassah Goldsmith, Mr. and Mrs. M. Jacobs,, Mr. and Mrs. S. Polsky, and Rena Cohen.

To date, we have received names for our scroll from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Gibraltar, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay.

If you have not signed our scroll , please do so on our website or by e-mailing us at On our website you will also find our brochure and posters. If you would like complimentary copies of any of these items for yourself or to distribute in your community, please let us know and we will be glad to send them to you. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all those who have already distributed our material in their neighborhoods.


On our website you will notice a new opportunity to send get well wishes to hospital patients, nursing home residents, and others who are homebound. If you do not have access to the web, please e-mail us at for more information about this project so that you can add a smile to someone else's day!


As always, we encourage you to send us your special V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha moment...when someone made a meaningful impact on your life by fulfilling the mitzvah of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha. Your anecdote will serve as an inspiration to others as well as show how this mitzvah has the awesome power to turn around someone else's life for the good!

We would like to share with you a beautiful gesture of V'Ahavta L'Reyacha Kamocha that we received from an Operation Refuah participant:

"I can't remember the details, but I'll always remember the feeling: I was walking through Nachlaot in Yerushalayim, just a little bit lost but not worried about it. I felt good to be in Yerushalayim, and Nachlaot itself is a special place. As I walked and wondered what direction I should be going, I saw an older woman walking in the other direction. I considered asking directions, but decided against it. Instead, I smiled and greeted her with one of those "meaningless" remarks asking how she was. I thought I was doing something for her with the greeting. She responded with a smile and started telling me that she was fine, great, in fact. She said G-d had blessed her with so much, and she even told me some of the blessings. (There was nothing unusual, just life.) Then she walked on. After meeting her, I all but skipped onward. She had given me such a feeling --- I was almost flying."

One's simple words can have a very positive impact on someone else's attitude. Here is another anecdote that shows how NOT saying anything can also make a difference:

"Someone once gave Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1991) a ride in his car from his home to his yeshiva. As Rabbi Feinstein was leaving the car, the driver accidentally closed the door on his fingers. Despite his great pain, Rabbi Feinstein did not emit a sound and calmly proceeded to the door of his yeshiva. Some of his students who had witnessed this rushed over to assist their teacher, who was obviously suffering. One of them asked Rabbi Feinstein why he did not say anything to the driver. 'He was kind enough to drive me to the yeshiva. How could I embarrass him?' he replied." (From LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, quoting the book BASTION OF FAITH).

We would like to close with the special thoughts of Coby, a very talented singer and great supporter of Operation Refuah:

"Over the past years I have done numerous concerts throughout the US and various parts of the world. I have tried to dedicate at least one song to Operation Refuah during each show, however not every show is conducive to this due to time constraints and such. I do want you to know, however, that over the past years mentioning Operation Refuah time and time again has truly had a profound impact on me in that I am cognizant of the mitzvah of ahavas yisrael each and every day now. I want to thank you for bringing a mitzvah that was in the back of my mind to the forefront where it belongs. I will, bli neder, continue to mention the organization and its importance whenever I can."

Thank you, COBY, for your kind words!

We invite not only singers but all of you to continue to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael in your communities because THROUGH AHAVAT YISRAEL, WE HAVE THE POWER TO TURN THINGS AROUND!

All the very best,
Sheila Nashofer, Editor
Operation Refuah Newsletter
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