Hundreds of kits containing Hanukkah items, such as menorahs and dreidels, were recently sent to Jews living in Arab countries who must “observe their Judaism secretively.”
The kits were also filled with candles, chocolate coins (gelt), and prayer texts. They were delivered to Jewish residents in Iraq, Yemen and Kurdistan, among other areas, by a special task force from the Israel-based NGO Yad L’Achim.
The Orthodox Jewish organization keeps in contact with Jews in Arab countries, and due to the large demand this year, increased the number of Hanukkah kits it typically sends out.
“Jews in Arab countries, for the most part, live in fear and observe their Judaism secretively,” said Nir, who manages the Yad L’Achim task force. “Each time, we have to find creative solutions to transfer the kits, whether the ‘Four Species’ for Sukkot or menorahs. On many occasions, we have to distribute other types of items related to Judaism, which the residents of these countries have no way of getting.”
Yad L’Achim president Rabbi Shmuel Lifschitz said, “We remember well the slogan of our organization: ‘We don’t give up on even a single Jew.’ This is also the reason we make herculean efforts to reach every Jew, man or woman, who turns to us and asks for our help in this regard.”