After years of secrecy, the esteemed Yahalom Special Forces Unit is stepping out of the shadows to assume a leading role in the IDF’s fight against Hamas. Yahalom is at the forefront of tunnel warfare in the IDF and is responsible for finding and destroying Hamas’ deadly infrastructure. The Unit has played a pivotal role in executing some of the most daring and heroic operations in the ongoing conflict in Gaza. It utilizes cutting-edge technologies, including robots and drones, to discover tunnels, protect the lives of kidnapped civilians hidden in the tunnels, and tackle the formidable challenge posed by Hamas.
Unfortunately, in this war, the Unit’s fighters also encounter events that are mentally challenging to deal with. The soldiers are exposed daily to extreme and dangerous situations that evoke painful emotions. On October 7th, they participated in fierce fighting, witnessed devastation, and, in the first weeks, acted as the IDF’s bomb squad, examining the bodies of murdered citizens to allow ZAK”A personnel to approach and
handle them. Later, they experienced intense combat in Gaza, mainly underground, suffered the loss of fellow soldiers and friends, and saw many wounded.
Each fighter reacts differently to these events, and there is no single right way to respond to them. The mental recovery process from such traumatic events is termed “processing combat experiences.” This is the official designation for the treatment of combat trauma or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
In the IDF, most of the Special Forces Units are supported by foundations. This allows the units’ alumni to stay involved and assist when needed. Yahalom Unit is supported by an experienced and well-established foundation – Yahalom Foundation. The Foundation was established to provide support to the soldiers and their families in both routine and emergency situations.
Establishing and operating a therapy program for PTSD is undoubtedly one of Yahalom Foundation’s most important missions. In recent weeks, the Foundation has begun assembling therapy teams that will provide response and support to anyone needing help in coping with the war and its aftermath.
For this, we need your help! More than a thousand soldiers need your support! The costs are significant; each Battle Experience Processing Group can cost upwards of US $7,000, and the Foundation plans to run about a hundred such groups.
The Talmud says: “Kol Israel arevim zeh baze” – “All of Israel are responsible for one another.” It’s now our responsibility to help those who braved the elements and Hamas’s deadly tunnels to save Jewish lives and keep Israel safe.
Thank you on behalf of Yahalom Foundation and Yahalom Soldiers!
*The Foundation is a registered non-profit organization in Israel with a 46A tax exemption certificate and through JGive has a 501(c)(3) exemption