Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation 1995-2011 60 West End Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11235,
16th Annual NYCitywide Commemoration of the Yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu held on 11 MarCheshvan 5771, Monday Evening October 18, 2010 at Manhattan Beach Jewish Center,
Derech Eretz in the Merit of Rachel Imeinu was the main theme of the extravaganza of lectures in Beit Bnei Rachel, the majority RCRF Jewish owned property in the Walled Rachel Tomb Complex. RCRF became active when Kever Rachel was on the Oslo chopping block. As Rabbi Menachem Porush cried, Evelyn Haies did twinning ceremonies to alert the Jewish world to the need to visit and save Kever Rachel. She initiated writing contests as testaments of past Jewish presence as well as presenting Rachel Imeinu as a role model for the whole world today. Her petitions which included statements from her Senators and Congressmen and Rav Porush and Chanan Porat's tears and the presence of a Merkas HaRav Kook's single kollel under the leadership of HaRav Avraham Shapira and Rabbi Magnus saved Rachel's Tomb and made it accessible to all. RCRF with the soliciatation of HaRav Benny Elon and Yeshiva Beit Orot was the initial and majority purchaser of Beit Bnei Rachel. This purchase, that Jews owned land south of Kever Rachel caused Kever Rachel and our properties to be included within the wall even while the wall was built in the middle of the road leaving out the Tzvi Hirsh Kalisher and the Nathan Strauss properties. RCRF with the support of HaRav Porush and a group of Hilltop kids just two years ago succeeded in re-establishing access by car. RCRF which needs a van is happy that president and founder Evelyn Haies is always given rides out of Kever Rachel and thanks all those who have gone out of their way to even drive her to her home in Jerusalem. She welcomes you to the Many RCRF sponsored classes in Beit Bnei Rachel, to visit the RCRF Museum of Jewish Aliyah and help in its development. We have celebrated many Bas Mitzvahs and this October had a first Bris in our large Reception Center. You are invited to book your simchas as well as sponsor simchas for others and lectures.
As the Chofetz Chaim inspired Shmiras Haloshen seminars around the world for a cure-all, Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation, a 501c3 has initiated talks emanating from our Loving Matriarch, Ima Rachel. RCRF has adopted the theme of Derech Eretz as an ongoing effort to develop the midos of Bnei Rachel and bring Torah, truth, honesty, unity, empathy and love to the world.
We know Laban had other plans for Yaakov and Rachel who waited seven years to actualize their love. We know both sisters were terrified of being betrothed to Esau, who lusted, terrorized and killed. We know both sisters were part of Hashem’s plan for creation. In unity, the four wives of Yaakov created the 12 tribes of Israel and were mothers of the nation of Israel. We know Yosef’s brothers were off the derech in their actions against him. But, it was G-d’s plan for survival. As Hashem promised Rachel Imeinu who was buried “on the way” to keep Bnei Rachel “on the derech” Bnei Rachel will merit Eretz Hachodesh and Redemption.
Our teacher on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, HaRav Mayer Horowitz, the Bostoner Rebbe of HaNof, was the MC when RCRF dedicated a Sefer Torah on the wide open, empty, unwalled streets of Beis Lechem in 1998. this Sefer Torah celebrated at the ZOA 1997 Annual Dinner is housed in Kever Rachel in the aron kodesh in the wall built by HaRav Goren with stones from Har Habayit until this day. As we read our 2nd Sefer Torah dedicated amazingly seven years later through the Sefer Torah Recycling Network by the Caplan family in 2005, 12 years later in Beit Bnei Rachel, HaRav Mayer Horowitz lit candles remembering his esteemed parents, explained 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. The Kavod shown for his parents and Torah are preliminaries of Derech Eretz.
Another teacher, Rebbitzen Tziporah Heller spoke on “Derech Eretz, Personal Refinement”. As the world suffers from “me-ism”, Rebbitzen Heller who gave a first shir for RCRF in 1996 when Evelyn was petitioning to save the one Egged bus attracting an 800% increase in ridership. explained that mitzvahs make a difference, that control limits and, thus, refines in eating, what one wears, how one speaks and acts.
Ha Rav Benjamin Levene, grandson of “A Tzaddik in our Time” who was on the dais in the 1998 Torah Dedication Ceremony participated in our Rosh Chodesh ELUL Torah reading and shofar blowing, remembered when we could not come to Kever Rachel during the Jordanian occupation as well as when we reclaimed it in 1967. He spoke of when his grandfather Reb Aryeh Levin a”h walked to visit the woman prisoners in Beis Lechem during the time of the British occupation. Geula Cohen noted that Rav Aryeh couldn’t take us out of prison, but brought freedom to us. One of his greatest traits was respect for people in need even with weaker ways of observance. He never belittled; he saw greatness in their little acts influencing them to advance in the right derech. He saw Rochel Imeinu as a role model of caring, kindness and a big heart. She was true Derech Eretz.
The great storyteller Rabbi Hanoch Teller who just released his new book, “Too Beautiful” chose the topic “Derech Eretz – Honorable Mentschen”. He made mention that little considerations mattered. Being late stole time. Writing Thank You Notes made a difference.
Rabbi Yonason Alpren said that when you go to a kever, you don’t just go to cry and pray, you go to find the “straight path”, to contemplate the way to wake up, be straight with Torah application. Caring, sharing, working, striving, persistency, endurance were some of the traits of Rachel and her descendants.
Roy Neuberger noted author and past RCRF dinner participant emphasized the hardships and challenges Bnei Rachel face. As Rachel Imeinu stands for love, motherhood, good deeds and creation, there is a wicked world that believes in world domination, child suicide, mutilation, murder, decapitation and nuclear destrucution.
After an Inspiring summer in Beit Bnei Rachel, RCRF convened its 16th Annual Commemoration of the Yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu. Rabbi David Fohrman was the Keynote Speaker He said that a Yahrzeit was an emotional time. Rachel Imeinu's Yahzeit was an emotional time from when Yosef Hatzaddik passed his mother's grave going into exile. It is an emotional time today in Israel as 70,000 went to her grave as well as RCRF enjoyed a full house at MBJC.. Rabbi Fohrman emphasized her legacy of hard life, pain, theft of her husband, rivalry, barrenness. and through this Bnei Rachel has developed their true identity, He links the Esther and the Joseph story and the eradication of terrible wrongs of expulsion, theft and destruction. NYS Assemblyman Steven H Cymbrowitz received the Community Leadership Award for his activities of presenting Holocaust studies to the public schools. Lev and Roza Rivkin received the well deserved Rachel Imeinu Chessed Award, Rabbi Shimon Golding received the Community Service Award. Actualist and Writing Contest Awards were introduced by Malky Grunwald , granddaughter of Evelyn Haies, who had celebrated the First Bas Mitzvah at Beit Bnei Rachel on Rosh Chodesh Elul 2007, experiencing the challenges her mother faced since purchase of this property and before as a fighter to save Kever Rachel. Her painting on Derech eretz is truly noteworthy with its branches including Derech Eretz and its long path expressing the Jewish experience of V'shavu banim l'gvulum. Participants were from Prospect Park Yeshiva, Shulamith and SKA. RCRF is continuing the Writing Contest: Submit Rachel stories, poems, artwork . The theme is Derech Eretz in the Merit of Rachel Imeinu. The deadline is November 15 , 2010
BOOK YOUR SIMCHAS WITH RCRF IN OUR LARGE RECEPTION CENTER AND BEIT MEDRASH.
Attend our Wednesday Women's classes with Atar Gur our Rachel Imeinu scholar for over 7 years. Register for our Learn and Pray sessions with Bonnie Linder. Watch for our future special events. Your donations will help RCRF achieve a daily women's presence in our property as well as support our Special events and help develop our Museum of Jewish Aliyah. Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Benny Elon is overseeing a vibrant kollel in RCRF funded and majority owned Beit Bnei Rachel.
links: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/2440 Live interview with Evelyn Haies.
Elul - The Concept of Avos & Imahos and the Attributes of Rachel Imenu -
Rabbi Leff: Special shiur given at the Israel Center - a reapeat of a shiur given for "Rachel's Children" in the home of Evelyn Haies at Kever Rochel on Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5769
PS: Malky Grunwald who had the first Bas Mitzvah in Beit Bnei Rachel with all the difficulties of an initiator is the artist who painted the Kever Rachel- Derech Eretz picture which had so many requests by buyers. We are making canvas board copies. Evelyn Haies is availalble for interviews and to lecture and tell the amazing story of her Kever Rachel Reclamation work that has made access for all Rachel's children.