Yom chamishi, 4 Av 5770.
They have touched thousands of lives in very positive ways. Rabbi Adler is a sought-after speaker, and was a dynamic and well-loved congregational rabbi in the United States. Besides giving over wonderful Torah in an inspirational manner, Rabbi Adler is arguably the Jewish nation's nearest equivalent to Jonathan Winters. (For the younger crowd, Winters was Robin Williams' comedic mentor.) A punnier fellow you'll never know.
Okay, Rabbi... now that I've mentioned you first, I want to talk about my dear friend, Rivkah.
I know that Rabbi Adler will agree with me that one of the best things he ever did in his life was to marry Rivkah. (She and I agreed years ago during a shiur we both took that if we had gone to school together, the teacher would have had to separate us.)
"Rivkah" and "love of Eretz Yisrael" mean the same thing.
Rivkah has wanted to make Israel her home for many years. During the time that this desire could not be fulfilled, she channeled it by helping hundreds of other people make aliyah, or at least keep the "bren" for aliyah alive in their hearts, through the Baltimore Chug Aliyah. She educated and sympathized, strengthened and empathized -- and wept copiously when she sent her "chicks" out of the nest. She admitted that it was because she was happy for them, and also that she was sad for herself. As she used to say, "Every time I send one of you to Israel, there is one less person here who can understand me." She expected that it would be well into the decade before she would have the chance to make aliyah.
But Hashem makes miracles. And years ahead of schedule, Rivkah and her dear family are finally Home.
This time, we -- Rivkah's chicks -- were crying as much as she. First at the NBN Welcome Ceremony, and then at the Baltimore Welcome Party given by those hosts par excellence, the Schamroths.
Below are some photos of that special gathering. May many more of our friends be inspired to join us very soon. May those who have been inspired for a long time find the obstacles cleared from their paths, for only the best reasons; and may they gain strength from Hashem if they must continue to wait. Remember, if you long for Israel with all of your hearts, you are counted as if you already dwell here.
Torah: The totality of Jewish learning is encompassed by this word.
Shiur: Torah lecture or class
Eretz Yisrael: the land of Israel, special to Jews because it was the land given as an inheritance by G-d
Chug: club, society
Bren: Yiddish for a burning love or desire for something
Aliyah: immigration to Israel