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Aviva Zacks translated four posts from an occurrence this summer that is a prime example of how Israelis take care of one another.

Everyone knows how Israelis take care of one another as if everyone is one big family. Here is a story about exactly that.

The invitation culture in Israel is such that parents invite friends to their son’s bar mitzvah or daughter’s bat mitzvah, and no one is expected to respond. There are no seating cards, so when they arrive, everyone just sits at any table. The problem is that the parents have no idea who is actually coming to the party and who is not.

Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks

Occasionally, things go wrong. Maybe it’s a bad date because everyone is away at a different event or trip, or the child is simply not very liked by his peers, and nobody wants to come.

But when this happens, Israelis show us their lovingkindness for strangers. Someone from the event hall — the caterer or the DJ — posts a message on large Israeli Facebook groups, both local and national, and people from all over come to celebrate with the boy or girl. They bring gifts, they dance, they eat and they simply show up so the child doesn’t have to celebrate alone.

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Here are four Facebook posts I have translated from one such occurrence this summer:

#1

Attention residents of Modiin and surrounding areas: Currently, there is a bar mitzvah happening in the Move-It hall in Yishpru [an area of Modiin]. No kids came to the event to celebrate with Itamar.

Anyone from the area who can come over and celebrate with him will be blessed. Come make this event the happiest it can be!

We are counting on you, please share with as many people as you can!

#2

Many kids and parents have arrived at the bar mitzvah at Move-It. Within half an hour, the hall is packed with no more room, and outside it’s also full and nobody else can enter.

It’s amazing how quickly everyone has mobilized!

#3

The nation of Israel at its best! Simply champions and angels!

We are in Yishpru in Modiin at Move-It and thousands of people have arrived to celebrate with a bar mitzvah boy after an announcement that there were no guests. 

So very moving! They are already blocking the entrance.

Friends, good for you! No one else needs to come.

#4

No more posts about empty event halls. I am volunteering with a lot of love.

To all the parents who are making parties for their children and including friends from school: You invite the children, and before the event, we will make sure to remind the parents and get a good picture of the situation so we can help solve the issues before the event, so that all the children come.

Send me a message, and in the coming days, I will give you the phone number.

Free, without charge. Just volunteering. 

Aviva Zacks is a former Akiva (now Farber) Hebrew Day School teacher who made aliyah to Israel. She reports from Israel for the Detroit Jewish News.