David and Rachel Moshe from Ashdod, a coastal Mediterranean city where hundreds of Hamas-fired rockets landed during Operation Protective Edge, have a business decorating wedding halls. But during the time of hostilities, most of the weddings in Ashdod were delayed. The Israeli government did not allow gatherings of more than 300 people fearing that a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip could be even more dangerous if it fell in a large group of people. So, wedding providers found themselves out of work for the duration. David came to Jerusalem for a street fair organized by the municipality to encourage people to buy goods from southern businesses impacted by the war.
At the street fair, dozens of stalls lined the capital’s Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, selling everything from pineapples and school supplies to toasters. The pedestrian mall was crowded with Israelis, many of them toting young children who were off from school. “I came to support all the people of the south because they need it, and it’s the least I can do,” Dalia Nehemia told The Media Line. “I bought vegetables and electronics. I wanted to do something to help them.”
There have also been individual initiatives. Laurie Heller, a businesswoman from Jerusalem who works in philanthropy, is selling flowers out of her home for a farmer she has never even met. He lives in Tekuma, an agricultural community just five miles from Gaza.
The initiative began when Sarel Lampert, a farmer from Moshav Tekuma four miles [6.5 km] from the border with Gaza posted on Facebook that he had no way of selling his flowers, and urging Israelis to come to buy his carnations, roses and sunflowers. “It’s amazing—the whole country is being so supportive,” he told The Media Line. “During difficult times, everyone really pulls together.”
Doreen Gainsford, who has sold flowers for Lampert from her home in Herzliya, says Israelis were looking for a way to help their fellow citizens who have suffered under the past months of rocket fire. “If we can help one man get his business on track, we’ve done a mitzvah (good deed),” she said.
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Source: Excerpts of article by Linda Gradstein, The Media Line
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