In Israel we call them the salt of the earth just like Jesus said.
These are the men and women and their families who built this country with their own hands. They are the farmers, army officers, businessmen and leaders who turned this desert land into an oasis for family, fortune and international fame, making Israel one of the greatest places on earth to live.
Dudi Peled, the son of seven generations living in Israel, and his family, is one of these.
When Dudi talks about his family, including the two young girls they rescued, adopted as their own, and raised, his eyes light up. When he talks about his contribution to Zionism and the welfare of the people of Israel, he smiles with a confident satisfaction.
“Here in the Galilee we are joining together. Jews, Arabs, Muslims and Christians, young and old, from all the different cultures, languages and religions in this region, we work together to build better communities for our families and our nation,” he explains.
Dudi’s idea is simple, but profound because it works. He is connecting local Galilean cottage industries and small businesses to work together for the benefit of everyone. “When we come together with goodwill there is so much more that we can do for our communities,” Dudi says.
And he’s right. By bringing together the colorful variety of cultures, languages and even religions in “Galilee of the Nations,” the peoples of this lush region are experiencing just how good and how pleasant it is when Arabs and Jews, Christians and Muslims dwell together in unity, like brothers.
Like salt, Dudi’s vision is to draw out the beauty of the different peoples and cultures around the Galilee to work together in local community businesses.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I am not at all interested in business that’s only for the money. If a business does not have any positive impact on our society, our nation and our people, then I am not interested,” he says.
If Dudi is salt of the earth, then his wife Racheli is the sweet-smelling aroma of the land.
Racheli is a doctor who works with children and youth suffering from cerebral palsy. She does a job that few are able to cope with. CP is a disorder that limits a child’s muscle movements, severely handicapping them. Their care requires a lifetime of educational rehabilitation. Racheli accompanies them as they learn to lead a meaningful and productive life.
“We are able to work together with Racheli in our community efforts to help handicapped as well as underprivileged and at-risk boys and girls,” Dudi says.
The more I sit with this salty Sabra, and get to know this family, the more I began to understand what really drives their passion to help their local community.
Keep fighting like a soldier
Like too many Israeli men and women, Major Dudi Peled was severely injured in the Peace for Galilee war in the 1980s. After 11 months in the hospital battling the emotional and physical pain of recovery, he came through it changed.
With his many physical limitations, Dudi, a career IDF officer, tried to return to the battlefield. Frustrated that he was no longer able to help his soldiers and friends on the frontlines, he had to retreat, but not from helping others.
A seasoned IDF Golani foot soldier, Dudi knew full well the difficulties of life in the field. So he began developing all kinds of more comfortable and efficient equipment for soldiers. Things like woolen socks and a better machine gun holder, small things that make a huge difference when you are on the battlefield.
The idea grew and a network of 45 shops around the country became the go-to place for soldiers, their families, and anyone who wanted to support the young men and women fighting for the nation. They called the network “Ricochet,” like giving back to those who give. Eventually the IDF began incorporating their superior designs in its own standard military gear.
Secrets of the Galilee
They say that the Galilee holds secrets. Perhaps the splendor of its messianic mysteries overshadows the rich resources hidden away in its lush foliage.
By chance or perhaps fate, Dudi discovered a small family business in the Galilee that was making medicinal products from local plant extracts, which are ideal therapeutic agents for disinfecting and healing wounds.
Dudi knew this would be a tremendous help for soldiers. His shops offered these Galilean balms under the brand name Moraz, which became so popular that they built a regional production center in one of the prettiest spots in the Galilee below Mount Tabor.
Here among the wildflowers and honeybees, dozens of acres of mineral-rich gardens are dedicated to growing the medicinal plants. The state-of-the-art research and development together with onsite production assure the unique healing qualities of the Moraz balms now exported around the world as well as in Israel.
“I am a doer,” Dudi says. “Helping soldiers and their families or anyone who is struggling gives me great satisfaction.”
After our team at Israel Today heard Dudi’s story we visited the Moraz production center and their blooming fields alongside Mount Tabor in the Galilee. We were impressed and have decided to help Dudi’s efforts to support our soldiers and the Galilean communities, and make their Moraz medicinal balms available to our readers.
Dudi has recently opened a brand-new distribution center in the US, where Israel Today readers can now get 15% off every Moraz product.
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