April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Keter Torah Hosts Taanit Esther Women’s Communal Tefillah

We called out to the women in the community and they came. Approximately 200 women from the Teaneck/Bergenfield/New Milford communities joined together in Congregation Keter Torah for an evening of women’s communal tefillah on behalf of Israel. Taanit Esther is considered a powerful time for women to pray and that was the inspiration for organizing this event.

Something very special was created that evening and those who attended felt it. Rebbetzin Bassie Taubes guided us with warmth and sensitivity through each phase of the program. First we were introduced to an emotionally charged video, created by Bruriah high school senior Ariella Benovitz, displaying some of the loss and tragedy that Am Yisrael has endured in Israel in the last few months. It most definitely set the tone for where our minds were to be for the subsequent half hour of tefilla and song. The video was followed by the display of a beautiful song by Ori Moses, singing words taken from Megillat Esther itself, “Im Matzati Chein.” (Special thanks to the Savetsky family of Triple S Studios for their audio-visual expertise.) Some said that it was the first time in a long time that they felt the emotions one has when davening in Israel. Many others said they appreciated the “inspiring,” “meaningful,” “powerful” and “thoughtful” program.

Rebbetzin Peshi Neuburger offered enlightening insights to tehillim 22, the tehillim described by the midrash to be the tefillah of Queen Esther herself. That was the first of three tehillim recited responsively. Mrs. Ruchie Brander and Rebbetzin Debbie Baum joined the program in leading us through tehillim 130 and tehillim 13.

It was important for us to conclude the program on a positive note of hope for the future. The end of tehillim 13 offers these sentiments. Rebbetzin Neuburger suggests that Dovid Hamelech, through tehillim, gives us permission at times to feel a sense of abandonment by Hashem. We feel desperate and in despair when confronted by issues like those of today’s times, which threaten the safety and existence of our Holy land. Yet at the end of tehillim 13, Dovid Hamelech reminds us to keep our heads up high and believe in the power of Hashem. He becomes revealed over time, and we are instilled with feelings of hope for a salvation and times of joy that are sure to come.

This special evening embodied our duties in doing teshuva, tefillah and tzedakah. We gathered to pray, collected tzedaka for Israeli causes and headed into a day of fasting. May our tefillos be answered and may we see the coming of mashiach soon in our days.

We thank all who came to share in this event and look forward to an even greater gathering for next year.

By Meredith Yager

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