The Jerusalem Post reports:
Sometimes good things come from bad. This summer’s war, with a boost from Rabbi Yitzhak Grossman of Migdal Ha’emek, helped bring some secular and ortohdox Israelis together.
Last Thursday, a Torah scroll was dedicated in honor of the 8th Paratrooper Battalion at Grossman’s Migdal Ohr Yeshiva.
The unit’s 600 soldiers, most of them secular, had stayed in the yeshiva’s dormitories before leaving to fight in Lebanon in July and made it their home base during the three subsequent weeks when they went in and out of the battle zone.
Grossman, an Israel Prize laureate often referred to as the “disco rabbi” for his work reaching out to youths at clubs, blessed each fighter when they first set out, praying for their safe return. All 600 came back unharmed.…
Grossman saw to the soldiers’ needs, providing necessities like food and clothing and making sure recreational facilities like the swimming pool were at their disposal. He also helped the unit acquire additional equipment such as knee pads.
“It was amazing,” said Sharon Ohana, a member of the paratrooper unit. “He said, ‘Anything you need, just tell us.'”…
Ohana spoke about staying on the campus. “That was also amazing. We’re not used to [religious life] normally,” he said in a phone interview.
Although the yeshiva students were not there, the staff were, and the soldiers were invited to join them for prayers and in laying tefillin (phylacteries) if they wished. “You feel something inside you and it makes you feel different about their [the religious] world,” said Ohana. He said he and his comrades felt at home at Migdal Ohr and stressed that no one pressured them to participate in religious activities. [Consider this a note to Aish, Ohr Somayach, Heritage House, Chabad, etc.]
“To meet those people, for me and for other soldiers, was something very special and new since we don’t live that kind of life,” Ohana said. “That anyone in Israel would do that, say ‘come into my place and do what with it what you want…,’ personally, I will never forget it.”
It occurs to me that Rabbi Grossman is the closet thing to a bona fide saint Judaism has.