July 21, 2024
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Bruriah Gets Inspired by Hallel Yaffa, HY”D

The middot of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel will be carried on by at least 350 Bruriah girls. Hallel, who was murdered on June 30 by a 17-year-old Arab while she slept in her bedroom at home in Kiryat Arba, was kind, compassionate and diligent. Her passion was dancing.Hallel had a quiet confidence and clear sense of herself; caring little about what her classmates thought, Hallel would befriend less popular girls who were having difficulty making friends.

With courage and grace, Hallel’s parents Rena and Amichai addressed the Bruriah student body, faculty and school administration, not to share the details of the tragic event and its aftermath, but to impress upon the audience what all of us can learn from this tragedy and encourage ways to maintain faith when faced with a heartbreak of this magnitude.

It is difficult to comprehend the Ariel’s fortitude and depth of their faith; to agree to speak to a room full of teenage girls in a school similar to the one Hallel would have attended this year as a freshman.

Their message is clear. “Our people have and will always be persecuted. ‘B’chol dor va’dor,’ ” they said. “We don’t know the reasons behind each tragedy. Our faith has to be such that we see something good in every situation.” Mrs. Ariel shared words of inspiration and stories of the hashgacha pratit (divine intervention) that the Ariel’s recognized even during their unthinkable tragedy.

Prior to introducing the Ariels, Rabbi Moshe Rothchild of Efrat, a JEC alumnus of the RTMA boys high school division, appealed to the girls to actively seek opportunities to do chesed and not wait for them.

The Ariels visited the United States on a 10-day speaking tour to shuls and communities from Riverdale to Miami. Bruriah was honored to be the the only school on the Ariel’s itinerary.

Bruriah’s Director of Student Life Mrs. Aliza Blumenthal, who was responsible for securing and coordinating the Ariel’s visit, accepted a custom painting by Kiryat Arba artist Baruch Nachshon entitled ‘Hallel’ that was gifted to Bruriah.

The Ariels took time after their talk to speak with students, including 11th grader Gabi Goldberg, who participated in an initiative in Israel this summer as part of NCSY Give that was held in memory of Hallel shortly after her murder.

By Susan Rifkin

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