12th Year Anniversary of Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation Torah Dedication
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Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5770, Derech Chaya Rachel,
Rachel's Tomb Complex, Bris Lechem, Israel
It was a beautiful crisp morning when participants began walking the walled in road to Beit Bnei Rachel just a few feet past Kever Rachel. We remembered the wide open street where HaRav Mayer Horowitz was the MC 12 years ago. The double wide street was crowded with several thousand as we danced with the first RCRF Sefer Torah and cried because this was the way it was supposed to be and it was difficult for life to be normal for Jews even in Israel. Evelyn explained the walled in corridor as like an umbilical cord to Mother Rachel and finding solace and promise in her ohel was a force of strength, the roots of the past nourishing the present and solidifying the future.
The Gross/Caplan Sefer Torah donated to RCRF seven years later was read by a minyan that consisted of the Bostoner Rebbe, HaRav Mayer Horowitz, former MK Rabbi HaRav Benyamin Elon, the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eli and his students, Moshe Burt of the Torah Recycling Network and artist Moshe Braun who came with his painting of Kever Rachel in warm comforting colors and others. As more woman came the women's section behind the mechitza expanded.
The Dvar Torahs that followed related to the Haftorah of Isaiah 66:1-24. HaRav Benny who quoted. "As a Mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you and you will be comforted in Yerushalayim." That is why so many were coming to Rachel's Kever, especially on Rosh Chodesh. From only one bus in 1998 there were now because of the petitions of RCRF 8 double #163 buses many times with standing room only as well as tour buses and private cars. He said that we are in return comforting Rachel Imeinu by giving her this house, Beit Bnei Rachel and applauded the achievements of Evelyn Haies who overcame so many obstacles and Atara Gur who received The Rachel Imeinu Scholarship Award. Women can attend Medreshet Chaya Rachel and Ruth classes every Wednesday at 11am to be followed by a class by Nechama Nadborny, author and illustrator of "The Twelve Dimensions of Israel."
HaRav Mayer Horowitz , the Bostoner Rebbe of Har Nof, who lit candles remembering his esteemed parents, explained that Rosh Chodesh was a festival for women today because of men's sin with the golden calf. Women should not sew nor do heavy work on Rosh Chodesh. In the end of days it would be a festival for both men and women when all come to worship the L-rd as well as all nations.
Moshe Burt indicated the Torah we read was one of two torahs donated from Maryland, USA. He recalled the pain he felt he felt five years ago when he could not reach Beit Bnei Rachel because as a cohain he could not pass through the Kever and the use of the street which we now call Derech Chaya Rachel was forbidden. Today he walked down the street and was happily within the Beit Medrash of Beit Bnei Rachel reading the Torah with a minyan in a full room. He sadly recognized that Rachel Imeinu still had much to cry for and asked for a refuah for our recovering IDF injured on the flotilla, Boris ben Illaina, Yotam ben Dorit, Ido ben Illana, Ro’ee ben Shulamit, Dean ben Svetlana, Daniel Lazar ben Tina Taabal Leah.
The ceremony ended with dancing and a L'Chaim. As we viewed a Museum of Jewish Aliyah panel it was indicated that it was 12 years ago after the RCRF Hachnosat Sefer Torah dedication that Kever Rachel was opened 24 hours a day.
We are again accepting submissions for our Writing and Art Work Contest. Topics include, Rachel Imeinu as a role model for the whole world, The Rachel in My family, My Miracle Rachel Story. Save the Date, October 19, 2010, 11 MarCheshvan 5771 for our 16th Annual NYC wide commemoration of the Yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu and Jewish Mother's Day. Celebrate your Bas Mitzvahs and simchas at Beit Bnei Rachel. Volunteers Welcome.