April 20, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

One Happy Purim Story for a Very Hard Time

Almost 25 years ago, I met Miriam Adani, the director of The Kever Rachel Heritage Fund. She was a woman with the mission to keep the doors of Kever Rachel open for Jews from all over the world to pray. We return to our mother, Rachel Imeinu, in tough times for comfort. It is the reason I tell this story now.

The fighting and terror attacks during the second intifada in 2000 closed Kever Rachel for 41 days until 40 frustrated women walked from Hebron to the site! The soldiers there could not believe how these women faced danger to come home to Rachel Imeinu. The army opened the doors, and the women prayed, and then the soldiers brought them back to Hebron in armored vehicles. At that time, Miriam and her supporters fought to establish a Jewish presence at Kever Rachel. She knew that the only way to achieve this was by always having soldiers protecting the Kever. She met with members of the government and army generals to actualize this goal. With the help of God, they agreed, and Miriam has supported the soldiers there ever since with everything necessary to help make them feel loved and appreciated.

In December during the second intifada, members of my shul, Congregation Beth Aaron in Teaneck, decided to go on a mission to Israel. My role was gathering the toiletries, candy and other items intended for people we met along the way. The children wrote letters and cards to the soldiers. Miriam and I coordinated our shul’s purchase of Kever Rachel “Shema” cards and small Tehillim. In Israel, we instructed our congregants’ children to give the cards, Tehillim and candy to the soldiers we passed.

On the bottom of the “Shema” card was Miriam’s cell phone number. A chayal who had received the card and candy from one of the young girls was so moved by this small gesture that he called his commanding officer and told him about it. The commanding officer called Miriam asking whether she did this for all the soldiers. She said she planned to give mishloach manot to the soldiers on Purim. He asked, “Would you give it to my troops?” She said, “Sure, how many?” He said, “10,000.” Miriam optimistically said, “Yes!” From then on, the Jewish communities and schools in Bergen County and other communities became partners with Miriam and raised the money for the 10,000 packages. The only space large enough to pack 10,000 shloach manot was an airplane hangar. The pilots in the air looked down and thought there was an attack on their hangar because they saw so many soldiers coming to pick up their packages from the hangar. Baruch Hashem, no attack, only Purim joy!

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. One commanding officer called Miriam and 10,000 soldiers received packages during the dismal time of the intifada!

This has been an ongoing project since then. This year for Purim, it is even more crucial to bring a smile to the soldiers who have been selflessly defending Israel since October 7th, away from their families for so long.

You can be a part of this great mitzvah in which more than 10,000 soldiers will receive mishloach manot. We keep the prices low because every penny goes to the soldiers’ packages, with no administrative costs. We did it once and with God’s help, we certainly can do it now!

$18 fleece neck warmer, gloves, mishloach manot, and a megillah.

$50 fleece jacket, gloves, mishloach manot, and a megillah.

Donate at https://www.keverrachelheritagefund.org

Or you can send a check to Kever Rachel Heritage Fund, 6602 Park Heights, Baltimore, MD 21215

Donations are tax-deductible.

 

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