Monday, December 19, 2011

What's in a Hat?

The trunk of my car
Dear Knitters,
In the past few weeks, your hats have gone out to cold soldiers serving in Hebron, the Golan and the Negev. The soldiers have been very, very grateful and I, too, want to say: thank you!

Many of the hat knitters have fascinating personal stories that they've shared with me over the years. They are at least as touching as the fact that your hats keep on coming. As a Chanukah gift, I'd like to share two recent ones with you.

1. From a woman in Canada who has sent many hats over the years:

I picked up this last batch of hats from a lady who lives in a retirement village in Toronto. The lady who heads up this project is 79 years old. She is a holocaust survivor with much life experience. At one of the camps during the war, she and her sister were split up -- she risked her life by grabbing her sister from the arms of a nazi and saved her sister, and the stories go on. She is assisted in this project by a 97-year-old and a 90-year-old. These 3 ladies and about 15 others have knitted 180 hats for our project.

2. A woman in New Jersey, U.S.A. included this letter to soldiers in her latest hat shipment:

Dear Soldier,
I have been making hats for the IDF 3 years now. This year the hats have a special meaning to me. Ten days before my father Isaac’s yarzheit I decided to do something special. I made a commitment to make 10 hats in my dad’s memory.

My father controlled the port in Sudan, Africa. The paperwork for anything imported or exported from the port ran across his desk. My father was killed because he was a Jew and aided Jews in many different capacities. He died after purposely being run down by a Muslim driver. The driver jumped off the truck before the impact.

During one instance a group of Yemenites were fleeing to Israel but got lost. My father hid them among the bags of grain on the ship and they escaped to Israel. My mother (may her soul rest in peace) told me another instance. Prior to Passover a shipment of matzo arrived. The inspector refused to release the matzo because of the Star of David on the boxes. The Star of David had to be covered. My father painted each box in the shipment so that the Jews could receive them in time.

In conclusion, my father represented the embodiment of selflessness (with his very life), loyalty, love and respect for the Jewish people.
I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your service. May G-d bless you.


A family photo from Sudan