On the yahrtzeit of the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli youths - Gilad Sha'er, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, Hy"d - dozens of students of Makor Chaim, the yeshivah where two of the boys learned, paid a visit to the headquarters of Yad L'Achim in Bnei Brak last week to learn up close of the organization's Pidyon Shvuyim (redemption of captives) operations.
The visit opened with welcoming remarks from Rabbi Shlomo Reisel, of the spokesman's office, who presented an overview of Yad L'Achim's day-to-day rescue work. He explained the scope of the problem and the open miracles that Yad L'Achim sees in its efforts to extricate Jewish girls from Arab villages.
Afterwards, the students were addressed by A., a member of one of Yad L'Achim's rescue units, who described the complexity of some of the operations he had been involved in and spoke movingly of the sense of mission that he and his co-rescuers felt.
"The thing that keeps me going is the fact that I know that I'm involved in the mitzvah of Pidyon Shvuyim, thereby bringing lost souls home to the Jewish people."
At the conclusion of the visit, Harav Shmuel Lifschitz, chairman of Yad L'Achim, presented beautifully bound Tehillim volumes to the students' teacher, Rabbi Mordechai Hacohen, to be given to the youngsters. He reminded them of the intense tefillos and unity that swept over the Jewish people when the boys were first kidnapped and there was hope that they might be found.
"We must continue even today to daven out of a sense of unity in the face of dangers that lay in wait for the Jewish people, and with G-ds' help we will all merit the complete redemption, speedily in our days," Rav Lifschitz concluded.
A member of one of Yad L'Achim's rescue units addresses the visiting students
Rabbi Mordechai Hacohen with the Tehillim volumes