April 21, 2024
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April 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

(Courtesy of Mosdos Kever Rachel) Sometimes outreach programs have helped bring Jews back to their roots with only a little chicken soup and a Shabbat dinner. Miriam Adani, director of the Kever Rachel Fund, Inc., understands this principle of kiruv but, currently, instead of chicken soup it is Chanukah sufganiyot, jelly doughnuts. Her motivation for her work is honoring the soldiers who serve to protect Israel and the site of Kever Rachel.

Miriam has worked to teach the soldiers who guard this site the historical significance of what they are doing there. Many of the soldiers understand their service is in the very dangerous “Palestinian” area of Beit Lechem. Their lives are threatened every day by the people seeking to destroy the kever and the soldiers who protect it. Miriam knows very well what is likely to happen if the soldiers are no longer present at this site. During the Al Aqsa intifada in 2000, Joseph’s tomb became a target of militant soldiers. The Israeli soldiers withdrew. The Palestinians destroyed another sacred site of the Jews. Miriam knows that this is likely what would happen here.

Kever Rachel has daily visitors seeking comfort from their matriarch Rachel Imeinu. When Rachel died, her husband, Yaakov, saw the future of the Jewish people after the destruction of the First Temple. He buried her along the road the Israelites would pass as they were forced into exile in Babylon. The midrash shares that the only one Hashem heard crying for His people was Rachel, praying that one day all the Jews would return to Israel. Her tears for her children are why Jews from around the world come to seek her as their agent to Hashem.

Miracles abound at Kever Rachel. Here are some examples:

Lior Tzadok, one of the officers who served at Kever Rachel, came to pick up care packages from Miriam’s home. He told her he was married for five years and doesn’t have children. She said, “You are at Kever Rachel; pray!” He said, “Do you know I am not religious?” I do not know how to pray, but in my own words I spoke to God.” After two months he informed Miriam that his wife was pregnant. After he told Miriam, he went to Kever Rachel to thank God for hearing his prayers. From there he went and bought a Tehillim with the picture of the Kever Rachel on the cover. He had twins, a boy and a girl. Since then he has been observing Shabbat.

This is my story of a Kever Rachel miracle:

In December 2000, during the intifada, members of my shul, Congregation Beth Aaron, decided to go to Israel. I helped congregants prepare gifts for people we would meet. Children wrote letters to soldiers. We collected toiletries, candy and stuffed animals to be given out. Miriam Adani arranged for us to have Shema cards and small Tehillims to hand out to soldiers. I suggested the kids on the bus hand out the Shema cards and candy. On the bottom of the card was written Miriam’s cell phone number. A soldier who received his card called his commanding officer and told him about the little girl who gave him candy and the card. The officer called Miriam and asked whether she does this for all the soldiers. She said the next holiday was Purim and she was planning on giving mishloach manot to the soldiers. He asked, “Would you give it to my troops?” She said “Sure, how many?” He said “10,000.” Miriam optimistically said “Yes!” From that point on, the Jewish communities and schools in Bergen County, New Jersey, and other communities who support the fund worked hard and raised the money for the 10,000 packages. The 10,000 packages were prepared in airplane hangars. There were so many soldiers picking up their packages that the pilots thought there was an attack on the hangar. This story explains the power of one. One girl gave candy and a Shema card to a soldier. One soldier gave a call to a commanding officer. A commanding officer called Miriam and 10,000 soldiers received packages during the dismal time of the intifada.

Miriam is our contemporary Rachel Imeinu. Her efforts throughout the year are focused on bringing joy to these brave men and women keeping watch on the mother of the Jewish people. This chesed will frequently encourage a discovery of what it means to be a Jew. This article is written with the hope that you will become the one who makes a miracle. To support the Kever Rachel Fund, Inc., contribute through Paypal: open your account and go to “SEND. Use [email protected] on the line for “SEND MONEY” and a confirmation will follow. Send checks to Kever Rachel Fund, Inc., 6602 Park heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215. To contact Miriam Adani at Kever Rachel Fund, Inc., email [email protected] and discover other chesed programs you can be a part of at Kever Rachel.

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