4 Shvat 5781 / Sunday, January 17, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bo
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The Pizza Patrol    

The Pizza Patrol

Our soldiers in Hevron couldn’t believe that some middle-aged American doctor was taking time on his vacation to bring them love, admiration and piping-hot pizza…




“Jerry, sit further back; if I have to shoot out the window, you won’t be in the way.”


My father, grandfather, and their driver visited the burial site of our forefathers, the Machpela Cave in Hevron. Yoav, a former IDF special-forces soldier, was the driver. Dad and grandpa were in Israel for our son’s brit milah (circumcision) earlier the same week.




Days after the violence erupted with an attempted murder on a soldier, my father insisted, “That’s it, I’m going! I’m going to show my support.” He gazed into the eyes of my grandfather to see if he was coming, and the feeling was mutual. In his mid-80’s, grandpa was determined to make a strong presence for our soldiers guarding the area. But why?




The three cruised from Jerusalem to the Machpela Cave, driving at a later hour to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the Arab population. Yoav continued to explain possible emergency scenarios such as what to do if they get attacked. Sounds intense, huh?


For my dad and grandpa, Israel is no longer a ‘tourist’ destination, it’s their home even though they haven’t yet made Aliyah. Both of them have lost track as to how many visits they’ve made. Israel is a part of them. They also use Facebook to fight anti-Semitism and to expose other people both Jew and non-Jew to the unreported reality here in our land. Not what you see on the news.





As they arrived to Hevron they soon made contact with the city’s spokesman David Wilder. Armed with a Glock and techelet tzitzit (blue dyed tzitzit fringes) Wilder took them both on a journey that neither they nor Wilder would ever forget.


The first stop was the pizzeria. The shop is connected to the cities gift shop where one can indulge on a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from Hevron Heights winery called “Issac’s Ram. HIGHLY RECOMMENED FOR SHABBAT (order at: onlykosherwines.com).


“Give me 10 extra-large pizzas!”, my grandpa ordered with a smile. Quickly the small pizza shop which had been quiet the last few days due to the violence was now bursting with activity. In a short while the shop had 10 steaming cheese pizzas ready for delivery. My dad, a high-risk obstetrician was going to do an unusual delivery that day, but it didn’t’ include any baby. With great alacrity they all got back to the car and started their search for soldiers on patrol and at base.


Post after post soldier after soldier pieces of pizza were handed out to IDF combat soldiers from Givati, paratroopers, and the Israeli police. All of our soldiers, no matter what their ethnic background was, couldn’t believe some middle-aged American doctor was taking time on his vacation to bring a bunch of infantry troops some love, admiration, and piping-hot pizza.




They could have just written a check and let someone else do the job. When I asked them what made you take the time to do this, they said the following, “Soldiers don’t have time to think about anything except their job. Grandpa and I just wanted them to know that people from very far away love them.  The whole world is so against us, and we as Jews all share and unite in something, KEEPING ISRAEL STRONGER… We need them to know they aren’t alone. It’s not enough to have a strong army physically but also motivated with morale.”




My grandfather also had some of his own thoughts to share, “It’s simply an expression of love to our soldiers and our country. It is also a good thing for those that give and you can’t imagine the expressions of joy that come to their faces. But it’s not for everyone, I’ve got nothing to lose so I went, but I wouldn’t suggest young families to do this sort of thing because of the danger involved.”


As my father related to me, initially the soldiers were in shock, “Everything was so tense security-wise, I made sure to open up the pizza boxes beforehand so they knew it wasn’t a trap. But they were so humble not feeling that they deserve any special recognition for doing their job.”


Whether it’s an Emuna CD, book, piece of pizza or a simple thank you the affect lasts a lifetime. The next time you’re in Israel skip the camel riding and tea drinking with Bedouins and thank our soldiers. This is what gives our brothers in arms strength when they need to put it all on the line. Be a leader and may you merit to show your children the real meaning of Hafatza (the distribution and spreading of Emuna)…. Ahava (love). And until you make it to Israel, you can help us do the job and Donate to Emuna Outreach.

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