Monday, November 12, 2012
REMEMBERING THE MATRIARCH RACHEL AT ANNUAL DINNER Posted by Fern Sidman
REMEMBERING THE MATRIARCH RACHEL AT ANNUAL DINNER Posted by Fern Sidman on October 31, 2012 at 2:41pmView Blog REMEMBERING THE MATRIARCH RACHEL AT ANNUAL DINNER BY: FERN SIDMAN Despite the onerous weather predictions that heralded the coming of "Hurricane Sandy", over 200 brave souls turned out for the annual "Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation" dinner at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center on Sunday evening, October 28th. "I know that traveling here tonight was a difficult challenge for many of you because Manhattan Beach is in Zone A and is slated for evacuation, but I thank you all for showing your support for the only organization that is dedicated to preserving the gravesite of our beloved Mother Rochel and fostering Torah education and Jewish sovereignty in this area," said Evelyn Haies, the founder and president of the Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation and the Bnei Rachel Corporation. Since 1995, the Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation has held their annual dinner in conjunction with the yahrzeit of Rachel, one of the holy matriarchs of the Jewish nation, which falls on the 11th day of Cheshvan. The Torah relates that when Rachel died after giving birth to her second son, Benjamin, it was G-d who commanded her husband Jacob to bury her in this spot, 'in Efrat, on the way to Bethlehem". It was there that the voice of Rachel could be heard crying out to G-d when her people were exiled to Babylon. G-d reassured Rachel that her "children would be returned to their borders". To this very day, after 3600 years, Jews still gather daily to offer their prayers and personal supplications to G-d. This year, Rachel's yahrzeit fell out on Shabbos, but over 100,000 Jews began gathering at her roadside grave site in Israel on Thursday and Friday and returned at the conclusion of Shabbos and on Sunday. "Since introducing Rachel as the Jewish Mother par excellence, a role model for the whole world, I have become wiser and broadened my presentation," said Mrs. Haies. "From personal midos to derech eretz as a way for all of Rachel’s Children, I have chosen to spread the 7 R’s of Derech Eretz from Rachel Imeinu: Roots, Remembrance, Rectification, Righteousness, Rights, Responsibility and Redemption," she added. Honored this year at the gala buffet journal dinner were Shirley Heller, OBM, with the Rachel Imeinu Memorial Recognition Award, Rabbi Benzion Klatzko with the Rachel Imeinu Actualist Award, Hon. Ari Kagan, with the Community Leadership Award, Dov Shurin, with the Breaking the Silence Award, Chaim Deutsch with the Community Activist Award, Sgt. Richard Taylor with the Community Service Award and Dr. Leah-Yelena Shmist with the Rachel Imeinu Activist Award. In his keynote address, Rabbi Benzion Klatzko said, "As we honor our mother Rachel, we are reminded that it was she that gave us a second chance. She watched us, the Jewish people at our lowest point and still cried out to Hashem for our salvation. Her entire life was dedicated to establishing a meaningful and powerful relationship with Hashem, and that must become our mission." "Our Jewish roots are remembered from the time of Avraham Aveinu choosing The Creator and the path of chessed, to Yitzchak and Yaakov Avinu dealing with the Jewish birthright and do-right to Joseph HaTzaddik dealing with brotherly hate and transformation to self affirmation and world preservation to Moshe Rabbeinu giving the Jewish people the Torah roadmap for civilization, but it has always been Rachel Imeinu who merited establishing the return to our borders, our Torah deeded birthright, our homeland to have and to harvest," said Mrs. Haies. This year's honorees have dedicated themselves to perpetuating the memory and glorious legacy of Rachel Imeinu through acts of kindness to the Jewish people and their respective communities. As a constant supporter of many charitable institutions, Shirley Heller OBM, was honored posthumously for her unwavering commitment to the Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation. She was memorialized by Rabbi Joseph Leiner as a true 'Baalas Chesed" (woman of kindness) and spoke of the Sefer Torah that she dedicated to her son Aaron and her mother, Esther Malka Statman in Beit Bnei Rachel in Israel. "As parshas Chaya Sarah recognizes of Sarei who would become Sarah, Shirely put Hashem in her life and embraced living Torah," he said. Sergeant Richard S. Taylor, a New York City police officer is currently assigned to the Community Affairs Bureau and supervises community programs and events for the Chief of Community Affairs throughout New York City. As an active member of the Shomrim Society, Sgt Taylor has been honored by the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center Holocaust Committee for his work at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001 with Hatzolah and was accorded honors by the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush for his dedicated police services to the diverse community of South Brooklyn. "Tonight, I am her to pay tribute to the outstanding work that Evelyn Haies does in Israel and abroad in remembering our mother Rachel and for establishing a place where the words of Torah are spread far and wide," said Sgt Taylor.