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Tuesday
Feb102015

ANASH-SHLICHUS: Dor Bitton

 “What motivates me is the Rebbe saying that each of us is a shliach. That everyone is a shliach means that it makes no difference where you live and what you do for a living. You constantly have a shlichus from the Rebbe to carry out. Only you know and sense how to carry out your shlichus in the best possible way.”

Name: Dor Bitton

Age: 27

Occupation: Kollel student

Location: Tzfas 

Every Friday night after the Shabbos meal , at a time that religious Jews are nodding off on the couch while looking into a Likut Midrashim on the parsha in the best case or a religious newspaper in a less optimal case, dozens of young men from the Chabad community in Tzfas go out, prepared with kiddush kits, and walk about parks, public gardens and street corners. They seek those people whom everyone else prefers to carefully avoid, groups of youths who are drinking, smoking and worse.

The young Lubavitchers greet them warmly and the youth, whether out of boredom or because they appreciate their caring, are happy to cooperate. They make Kiddush, eat something, listen to a d’var Torah or Chassidic tale, and once in a long while they even visit the home of one of the Lubavitchers where a Chassidic farbrengen ensues.

Many of Anash volunteer for this Mivtza Kiddush in Tzfas. Some of them have a regular route while others have specific locations around the city. They all get Kiddush kits which include grape juice, refreshments, pictures of the Rebbe, and brochures. Dor Bitton is the person behind this mivtza.

Where did you get the idea?

“It began in the winter. On my way from farbrengens or shiurim that took place Friday night after the meal, I frequently noticed groups of kids hanging out. Since my father-in-law, R’ Shmaryahu Harel, does outreach like this regularly, I thought I should copy it here in Tzfas.

“I went to the supermarket on Friday and bought a bottle of grape juice, some cake and chips and spoke with Ron Masinter, a member of the community, and we went out together. The response was incredible. Everyone responded, they made Kiddush and they sat and listened to what we had to say. We continued on to the fire station where the firemen also welcomed us warmly. We realized that there was a serious niche here.”

***

Bitton grew up in Arad. After the army, he began taking an interest in Judaism with the help of R’ Refael Bousi and R’ Shmuel Lavie. He went to yeshiva in Ramat Aviv and from there he went to yeshiva in Tzfas. He went on to K’vutza, marriage and now lives in Tzfas.

“When we discovered the potential, we checked things out, mapped out the areas, located the places that the youth prefer, and got to work. During the initial weeks we learned about sad situations that surprised even us. We met boys and girls from religious families or children from broken homes. We found kids who were literally starving including those who came from homes where there was a Shabbos meal going on but they opted to stay away. We sat with these kids for hours and spoke with them into the night.

“You sit with these kids and you see that often what they’re missing is warmth and love. They’re looking in the streets for what they’re not getting at home. There is also the phenomenon of rebellion in adolescence. Oftentimes, children are unwilling to accept things from their parents and teachers, but when it comes from the outside they are more receptive.

“Since the beginning of the mivtza, many positive relationships have been formed between us and the kids. Some of Anash have invited boys to their homes and these kids have advanced significantly. It’s all thanks to the spark ignited there on the street on Friday night.”

What motivates you?

“What motivates me is the Rebbe saying that each of us is a shliach. That everyone is a shliach means that it makes no difference where you live and what you do for a living. You constantly have a shlichus from the Rebbe to carry out. Only you know and sense how to carry out your shlichus in the best possible way.

“I personally go on mivtzaim every week. I’ve had a route for years, but I felt it’s not enough, that I can give more at this time of my life. That’s what pushed me to start this project Mivtza Kiddush. I said to myself, people are traveling to the ends of the world to find lost souls. Meanwhile, there are lost souls right here downstairs and you’re going to farbreng with friends?”

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