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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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A Place To Call Home

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She had mezuzos affixed, air conditioner units installed and appliances such as a microwave oven and a refrigerator put in.

The place soon became a hive of activity.

There were shuirim for men, shiurim for women and weekend retreats for yeshiva bachurim.

True joy…

However, this joy has been very short lived. It is now overshadowed, by the usual…internal strife.

Evelyn is saddened. “Instead of focusing my energy on all those who need my help I’m busy with lawyers and legal fees. I know this is just a test…but it hurts…” and I see her lips tremble ever so slightly.

Of late there is a debate over who has control of the house.

“Thankfully, I have all the documents, and copies of all the checks attesting to the fact that I am the rightful owner of this house. I also discovered that behind my back those contesting my ownership of the house tried to resell it!”

They were asking for an astronomical price.

Gently sidestepping the issue, the politics, and the arguments I wished her well and expressed the hope that for all our sakes the truth be established quickly and painlessly.

Then I asked her about her dream for the future.

“I want the house that I bought to be used as a home for all of Klal Yisrael, because after all we are all one people and all connected to Rachel. It should be a place where Jewish history is taught, and Rachel is remembered. And most importantly it should be the building blocks towards bringing the geula.”

Last, but not least, I want to know how her family feels about a wife, mother, and grandmother who had dedicated most of her life to Rachel Imeinu.

“My husband, children and grandchildren have been overwhelming supportive. They understand my drive, and this is perhaps the best place to thank them, because without their support I would never have succeeded.

And so we say goodbye with a prayer on our lips that G-d finally wipe away Rachel’s tears so that we can all come home…this time for good!

Translated by Chavi Ehrentreu.

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

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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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/a-place-to-call-home/2012/11/09/

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