A Brief History of Israel’s International Humanitarian Aid Unit

And the dust returns to the ground As it was, And the lifebreath returns to Hashem Who bestowed it.




(the israel bible)

July 26, 2020

2 min read

On July 6th, 1989 a bus headed from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was hijacked by a terrorist who took control of the wheel and ran the bus off the side of the road and down a cliff in what will be forever remembered as Israel’s first suicide terrorist attack. Sixteen people were killed and dozens injured. It was the first of its kind but was also followed by many more years of similar types of terror attacks.

After the survivors were evacuated from the valley near the town of Tellz Stone, dozens of volunteers arrived on the scene of the tragedy to tend to those who were killed (may God avenge their blood). They also went to ensure that they received a proper burial according to Jewish law. 

Several months after that harrowing event, Yehuda Meshi Zahav founded the ZAKA – International Search and Rescue Organization, united those good-hearted people who were committed to the sacred work of saving lives and honoring the dead.

And thus, from that tragedy was born an Israeli humanitarian aid organization that eventually went international – ZAKA.

31 years on, thousands of ZAKA volunteers routinely scramble from tragedy to disaster – with passion, dedication, and diligence. They are always ready to tackle the task at hand, save those who can be saved, and honor those who couldn’t make it.

The volunteers have been together for 31 years working in tandem with all of the rescue and security agencies at the forefront of the events that occur in the State of Israel.

31 years of the unique ZAKA spirit of volunteers who sanctify God’s name both in Israel and throughout the world.

31 years for an organization that changed society worldwide with the concept of ‘Chessed Shel Emet’ (giving based on truth).

31 years for an organization that has demonstrated organizational capability, operational and logistical efficiency in saving lives and honoring the deceased in disastrous events throughout the world.

31 years of cross-border activity and work. Their name, their work, the professionalism and the dedication of ZAKA volunteers has come to be recognized worldwide.

31 years of endless love, dedication and activity of ZAKA volunteers for the people of Israel


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