Monday, May 2, 2011

Rachel's Daughters

Yom sheni, 28 Nisan 5771.

It seems fitting that on the date the Israeli government designated "Holocaust Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance Day" that Osama bin Laden (may his name be erased) has been declared dead.  But this post is not about the enemies of the Jews.  It is about friends, and how they can be balm for the soul.

Last week, Baltimore and Israel converged at Kever Rachel, and then again in a little cafe in Efrat.  Two ladies from my former kehilla came to visit those of us who have already made aliyah.  Baruch Hashem, one is on her way to aliyah very soon...  and the other will follow shortly, I am sure.  Four of us went to daven at Kever Rachel, each with her own prayers.  I was davening for all of those who need a refua or a yeshua of any kind, with specific energy pointed toward Eliezer Baruch Chaim ben Rachel Leah, the beloved brother, husband and father of members of my Neve Daniel community.  (May he have a refua shelaima mehaira!)
Soon we'll all be Home, G-d willing!

At Kever Rachel, we met a lovely Iraqi lady who gave us heartfelt brachot.

After our deeply meaningful stop at Kever Rachel, we picked up another friend in Efrat, and headed for a small cafe called The Bagel Place, where yet another friend joined us.  A lovely young waitress not only gave us extraordinary service (running out to purchase a product the cafe was out of!), but willingly took photos of our happy little reunion.
Nothing like good friends to lift the spirits!

Our sweet waitress made her first hafuch bunny just for us.
After our visit, I was so happy, I went on a flower hunting spree.  These flowers are my thank you to Karen, Miriam, Sandra, Shoshana and Yehudis, as well as to Eliora.

"You think when we grow up we'll be as big as that guy?"

Frume Sarah has done an exceptionally sensitive job with this week's Haveil Havalim #314, "The Post-Pesach Edition."

Kever Rachel: the tomb of our Matriarch, Rachel
Kehilla: community
Daven: pray
Refua or yeshua: healing or salvation
Refua shelaima mehaira: a speedy and complete recovery
Brachot: blessings
Hafuch: literally "upside down," the Israeli name for Cappuccino
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