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Israeli soldiers receiving free coffee and pastries at national restaurant chains as strange diners pay their bills

By Mason White 3:13 PM August 4, 2014
Soldier’s note that his food was fully paid for by a donor 

By: Aryeh Savir
Israeli soldiers are reporting that they are receiving free coffee and pastries at national restaurant chains after fellow diners secretly pay their bills, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

The outpouring of love shown to the IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge has become legendary.

The fighting soldiers have received countless donations and gifts, visits by Israelis from across the country, musicians and rock stars have come to entertain, anyone with a helpful profession has donated time and abilities, and scores of strangers have come to visit the wounded at hospitals.

The extent of the love has become so magnificent that spokespeople for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said Wednesday, that the four wounded IDF soldiers who are hospitalized, have been overwhelmed by visitors.

According to a statement released by the hospital, doctors and family members have asked well-meaning Israelis to refrain from visiting wounded soldiers without coordinating those visits with the families.

There are further reports that IDF units at the Gaza front have been forced to re-donate their food donations to local communities around Gaza because they have too much.

One story exemplifies this phenomenon.

Asher Malka, 35, a father of four children and a programmer at a high-tech company, was called up for emergency reserve duty early Friday morning over two weeks ago. He left immediately, and spent the next week training for his entry into Gaza.

On Wednesday, he was sent by his unit to visit a wounded comrade at the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. He said that throughout the visit, a constant stream of strangers entered the room, wishing the wounded soldier well, thanking him for his service and offering him gifts. He was loaded with food and gifts.

His story only gets better. On the way back to his unit, he stopped with another friend for a short break at a coffee shop. They were instantly presented with bread and pastries on the house.

Later on, they were served desert, paid for by a woman who had already left. When they asked for the bill, they received a note that read: “It’s moving and delightful to see you! Thanks for everything! Your bill has already been paid for, with much love!”

Asher told that Tazpit News Agency that he was simply awed by the VIP treatment they received. “I was shocked,” he said. “We didn’t expect such an outpouring of love. We received a real hero’s welcome. It felt good to know that the nation is behind us.”

This story is just one of numerous accounts of citizens coming out to help and show support for their fighting men and women in the IDF. At times of crisis, all of Israel becomes one family.