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July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
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Think You’re Busy Preparing For Pesach?


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On my way out Sha’ari showed me the beis medrash, the place where the guests gather together in prayer, unity and song. No matter where we might be holding on our calendar or in our Pesach preparations, there is one prayer in our hearts:

Please God, let this year be the year we no longer have to say “Next year in Jerusalem.” This time, let it be this year for all of us.

About the Author: Sarah Pachter lives in Israel and writes for a number of publications. She is the author of the book "Supermom? (Who? Me?)"


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More Articles from Sarah Pachter
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She wrote about everything in a woman’s world, from kids to husbands, and feelings including pain and grief. Writing her book, at least in my opinion, was an incredibly brave statement, one that exposed a truth that must be told.

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Q: It is unusual to find a doctor who devotes an enormous amount of energy into preventing abortions. What motivates you?

Rosh Hashanah, the start of the High Holidays, was fast approaching. I had promised myself that this year would be different. For years I have followed their activities with a mild interest, just an observer, as though their concerns were not my own, but this year, in the wake of recent media storms and false accusations, I promised myself that I would finally take a stand. I would go down to their Jerusalem office and see for myself. And I did. As I pushed open the doors of their rather nondescript office I took a deep breath – welcome to largest life saving industry in all of Israel – Agudat Efrat.

Those of you who feel the way I do will immediately relate to this: I hate having to listen to pedantic women discuss their Pesach cleaning before Tu B’Shevat is even a blip on the horizon.

I come across Yair Michaeli standing amid the bustle of an Israeli shopping mall, a clipboard in his hand. He appears to be a serious-minded Israeli haredi. What is he doing in a place like this?

Coming to Kever Rachel one cannot help but recall the traditional domed structure that once stood as a humble memorial to the greatest of women. Unfortunately a fortress like edifice of towering large concrete slabs has now replaced that familiar picture. It was here, at this holy site, that I first met Evelyn Haies, an American mother, grandmother, and globetrotter.

Throughout the years, she’d hidden her in the windowless room at the back of the house. I always wondered why we were never welcomed over the threshold. I knew her daughter had been born with a problem, but it was never discussed and I’d only caught a glimpse of her from afar before she was hurried away. Oh sure, people gossiped, as people always do, but Chedva was my friend, and I defended and respected her right to privacy.

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