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Mitzvah Tanks hit Metro Detroit ahead of Passover after Iran's attack on Israel

Mitzvah Tanks travel through Metro Detroit ahead of Passover
Mitzvah Tanks travel through Metro Detroit ahead of Passover 02:14

OAK PARK, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Iran's attack on Israel comes a week before Jews around the world celebrate Passover, a holiday commemorating freedom from oppression.

In an effort to spread joy, rabbinical students at the international Chabad Yeshiva in Oak Park transformed 13 RVs into a "Mitzvah Tank."  

"We have to shower the world with love against hatred," Rabbi Yishai Eliefja with Chabad Lubavitch of Michigan.

Onboard the the Mitzvah Tanks, there's a library of Jewish literature along with staff who are eager to help answer any questions and provide more information about Judaism.

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

"A tank is generally a tool of war. But the truth is that our whole lives, we're battling a war of good and evil, personally and in the world at large," Eliefja said. "Our approach is that we have to conquer the world with goodness and light."

Timely after, Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles at Israel over the weekend.

"Iran wants to terrorize us, which we're showing them; no, we're going to come out there; we're fighting a spiritual battle. And we're going to continue spreading more and more goodness. So this is the perfect response for such an unprecedented attack," Eliefja said.

"Nearly all of those missiles were taken down by air defense systems. Some of those the defense systems we worked on and developed jointly with the Israeli Defense Force, U.S. military was engaged in helping to protect the Israeli civilians from this missile attack," U.S. Sen. Gary Peters told CBS News Detroit on Monday. "But what it demonstrates is that we live in a very dangerous world. We have folks who want to engage in violent acts." 

On Monday, world leaders, including the U.S., are urging restraint in the hopes of preventing a full-blown war.

"What Israel decides to do now should be thoughtful and strategic. No one wants a big escalated Middle East war. That's not good for anybody. But they also have the right to respond," U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who represents Michigan's 7th District, told reporters. 

The "Mitzvah Tank" made stops in Oak Park, traveled up Woodward Avenue to Birmingham, and then dispersed to other cities, including Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Troy, all in an effort to engage, educate, and inspire. They also handed out thousands of packages of Shmurah Matzah so every Jew in Michigan would have Matzah for Passover. 

"When we show the world that we're united, nothing can stop us because we're united as one,  we're strong, we're resilient, and we're going to persevere,"  Eliefja said.

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