'The Kaddish is a way to keep the memory alive'

Chesed Chaum Vemet helps Israeli families mourn their loved ones following Hamas' attack and calls on the public to volunteer and recite Kadish prayers for the fallen
Since Hamas’ brutal terror attack on October 7, the Chesed Chaim Vemet organization, which accompanies bereaved families throughout the country during their time of mourning, has helped more than 700 families of Israeli citizens, including entire communities.
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One of the organization's initial actions was to set up mourning tents for families from Kfar Aza who moved to Kibbutz Shfayim. In addition, dozens of organization activists met with hundreds of families in their homes, took part in their Shiva and days of mourning, and assisted families in coping with this difficult period.
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קדיש חסד חיים ואמת
קדיש חסד חיים ואמת
Dror David Amos
(Photo: Chesed Chaim Vemet)
So far, 848 Israeli victims of the massacre have been identified and buried, along with 362 IDF soldiers. There are still several dozen casualties whose identities are yet to be determined.
Dror David Amos founded the organization while still an officer in his compulsory IDF service, from which he was recently discharged after 25 years. "What stood out to me in establishing the organization is the help the IDF gives that surrounds the families of fallen soldiers and accompanies them. That's my vision, and in recent years we’ve established a national network that supports 8,000 families a year."
With the start of the war, the organization received support from Achim Laoref, an Israeli initiative that promoted the integration of ultra-Orthodox Jews into social activity in Israel. After managing and expanding the number of activists, the project established two emergency hotline centers to which information about the casualties and funeral times from all over the country is received.
The organization connects with families and communities, helping them navigate the period not only by accompanying them in mourning rituals but also by addressing logistical, emotional, and other needs.
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יום הזיכרון בבית העלמין בבאר שבע
יום הזיכרון בבית העלמין בבאר שבע
IDF soldiers in a military cemetery
(Photo: Haim Hornstein)
As part of the many home visits made by Dror and the organization's activists throughout the country, many families requested that someone recite the Kaddish prayer for their loved ones who were murdered during the year of mourning. "Requests came from all over the country, and we see it as a great mitzvah and duty to respond to them."
The organization reported that so far, 375 individuals have undertaken the commitment to recite Kaddish for a murder victim for a consecutive year, and are calling on the public to adopt the 835 Israeli residents and soldiers for whom no one has yet recited the prayer. "Those who do this will learn of the victims and carry with them the story of their life and death."
Ortal Blich, the widow of police Superintendent Vadim Blich who was killed while fighting terrorists in Kibbutz Be’eri, said, "A representative of Chesed Chaim Vemet came to my house during our difficult time.”
“When I saw him, a religious man who came especially to console and help me, I understood that even though the house is full of police officers and that the Defense Ministry helps us in every possible way during the mourning period, my request, to have Kaddish recited for my late husband, I can only express to that person, and that I can trust that he’ll do everything to fulfill it."
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Superintendent Vadim Blich
Superintendent Vadim Blich
Superintendent Vadim Blich
(Photo: Israel Police)
"’My children are still young,’ I told him. ‘I ask you to make sure that the Kaddish is recited for their father.’ The organization’s representative promised to take care of it, and later, I was contacted by the organization,” she added.
“They made sure to get his full name and the names of my late husband's parents, and assured me that someone will recite the Kaddish for him every day for a year. The fact that my husband will be remembered, and that his heroic story will live on, is a personal and humane act that gives us comfort in these difficult days."
"Kaddish is a way to keep the memory alive for a long time; it helps us combat forgetfulness. A person who says Kaddish every day, in addition to the good deeds done for the deceased for a period of a year, will remember them not only for one year but for the rest of their life," said Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, one of the founders of the Achim Laoref initiative.
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