We love Israel.
As Joshua and Caleb reported thousands of years, it is a good land!
As you may have heard in the news, there is a boycott out against Israeli goods, particularly those from Judea and Samaria, or what is politically known as the “West Bank”. Judea and Samaria is the heartland of Israel. It is where most of our Bible stories took place. This is where the patriarchs lived, and where the Tabernacle stood in Shiloh. In fact, if you visit Shiloh today, as some of my extended family has, you can still see millions of little pieces of pottery shards everywhere that go back to the time of the Tabernacle.
Sadly, the European Union has chosen to label products coming from Israel’s heartland with a yellow boycott sticker. (Didn’t we see Jewish people labelled with a yellow star in Europe in the past? It’s sickly familiar).
If you also feel strong feelings for Israel, you may be wondering, what one can do about this boycott.
During Nazi Germany, before the horrors of the concentration camps began, there was a slow gradual increase in anti-Jewish laws and regulations. In fact, at the beginning there was a boycott against Jewish businesses in Germany.
I would like to think that if I lived in Germany during those terrible times and there was a boycott on Jewish businesses, that I would have gone out of my way to purposely support these Jewish businesses even if it would be inconvenient.
Well, there is a wonderful organization that has created a way for people in other countries to help support businesses in the heartland of Israel, defying the current boycott. This is a project that our family has recently signed up for and I’d like to share about it with you!
This organization is called Lev HaOlam. What they do is this: every month they put together a box of Israeli products from Judea and Samaria and send them out. You can sign up to pay a monthly payment to receive each month this “surprise” box of Israeli goods. Here is a lovely video explaining how it works:
We heard about Lev HaOlam through some friends of ours and finally we decided to sign up a month ago. This month, we received our first mystery package!
I had been waiting in anticipation for this package to arrive and was so excited when it came! Malachi was excited too, when I told him this special box came all the way from Israel! We decided to wait until Daddy got home for lunch to open it together.
And here is what was inside our box this month. Another neat thing about this box is that it also comes with a sheet of paper explaining who made the products, so it feels more personal that way.
Inside there was…
A bag of halvah pieces. These are like candies made from sesame. This bag had three flavours: chocolate, vanilla and pistachio. The packaging was all in Hebrew, but we were able to figure that out. 🙂
Next, was a jar of honey from the land of milk and honey…This honey is specifically from the Golan Heights.The Golan Heights is one of Israel’s last wilderness areas. The bees made this honey from the wild flowers growing in that region.
An assortment of dried fruits and nuts from Israel, just in time for Tu B’shvat.
A set of bookmarks with Bible verses on them in Hebrew and English. These are made by a lady who lives in Shiloh. She and her husband made Aliyah to Israel from Australia.
A pair of pretty earrings. These earrings were made by a lady in Judea whose family members (the Fogel family) were brutally murdered in a terrorist attack 5 years ago. I remember reading about this sad story in the news. She helps take care of the surviving children and also makes jewellery such as these earrings.
And a pretty scarf. I already wore this one as a tichel on Shabbat.
It was so much fun opening our box. I can’t wait to find out what next month’s box will bring! A lot of these items also make lovely gifts and we want to be able to use some of them that way.
Now, you may be wondering about the price for this endeavour. It is on the costly side, and you can find that on Lev HaOlam’s website. However, we see it as an opportunity to support families in Israel, and we get blessed in return with these lovely items. I know of some families who split the cost of the box in half and then split the products between them.
Altogether, I think this is a productive and fun way to take action against the boycott of Israel.
What do you think of this idea? What are some other ways that you try to support Israel against the boycott? I also like to notice if there are Israeli products in the grocery stores where we shop. This week I found grapefruit at Costco that was a product of Israel. The special aspect of Lev HaOlam is that it specifically supports the heartland. Although of course, it is good to support Israel in any way we can.