“It is a real life lesson for us about being stubborn, being obsessed about something, and going for it until the end,” said Racheli Fraenkel, whose son was one of the three murdered boys.
A determined young Israeli named Naveh Schindler recently realized a longstanding dream, dedicating a Torah scroll in memory of the three young boys murdered by Hamas terrorists in 2014.
Schindler, 18, sold enough candy over the course of roughly eight years to raise the $35,000 (100,000 NIS) needed to purchase Judaism’s holiest item.
At the age of ten, Schindler, from the village of Bruchin in central Israel, was deeply affected, along with all of Israel and many throughout the world, by the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel (16), Gilad Shaer (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19). The boys were snatched by Hamas terrorists on their way home from school. Following a massive manhunt, along with continuous prayer sessions, the boys were found murdered 18 days after their abduction.
Following the story, Schindler took upon himself to raise the large sum needed to donate a Torah scroll in memory of the boys. Over eight years, he worked hard selling candies and snacks to friends, at his school and in his youth movement, called Bnei Akiva.
At the beginning of February, a ceremony that included hours of dancing, music, a festive meal and speeches from community leaders was held for a packed house at a synagogue in Bruchin. “It was so emotional,” Schindler said, according to Aish. “We actually did it!”
“When you went around the village, announcing that you would dedicate a Torah scroll in our synagogue in the memory of the three boys, none of us took your dream seriously,” Schindler’s mother said at the Torah dedication ceremony, according to Aish.com. “But, you worked nonstop, and did everything to make it happen.”
As people saw Schindler’s determination, he was able to recruit other sellers. “You would give your friends boxes full of candies and each afternoon they would return them empty but full of coins,” his mother continued.
She credited her son for staying focused for the long haul. She shared that once, after Schindler stood for hours selling candy at an event, the money got lost. “You didn’t throw your hands up and give up,” she said. “You just said, with God’s help you would get there in the end and that’s what you did.”
Schindler based his tenacity on a Torah philosophy taught by the Hassidic master Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: “There is never a reason to despair in this world, to get down and give up hope.”
Speaking at the event, Schindler shared, “So many people said we wouldn’t succeed but nothing can stand before the will to succeed. Anything is possible when you really want to achieve something important to you.”
In attendance were the parents of the three boys. “There are no words to describe how much we as families thank you,” Naftali’s father Avraham Fraenkel said, praising Schindler’s “vision, kindness, determination, faith and hard work.”
Racheli Fraenkel, Naftali’s mother added, “There is something very inspiring our youth have to teach us here about being audacious and unflinching, [and] not giving in. It is a real life lesson for us about being stubborn, being obsessed about something, and going for it until the end. Pieces of candy, popcorn and ice pops, this boy and his friends turned them into a Sefer Torah.”