A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
In memory of the bride who never reached the chuppah, Nava’s pure white wedding dress was restitched and now serves a double purpose. One part of the fabric, cut and sewn into a parochet, covers a Holy Ark. The white and gold parochet installed in Kever Rachel, on the Fast of Esther, Navah’s birthday, is where hearts are unburdened before their creator. Women ask for intervention from Rachel Imenu – beg that their destiny be secured.
The other part of the fabric is a billowy, embroidered canopy used at weddings by young couples who remember the eternal bride. Beneath the chuppah, a glass is stepped on zecher l’churban, a reminder of the destruction of the Temple. Jewish couples vow to raise families, transforming tragedy into a firm commitment to instill Torah in their homes. Encouraging proliferation of large families is a time-honored response, an acknowledgment that destruction breeds reconstruction.
Another memorial to Navah is an artfully decorated bridal area in the mikvah at Har Choma, overlooking Kever Rachel. The interior, with a pomegranate theme prominently featured on enlarged hand painted tiles covering two walls, is exquisite. The comfortable, colorful room is a pleasant, welcoming addition to any bride’s first mikvah experience.
Unlike the Tenth of Tevet, where the purpose of fasting is repentance, the Fast of Esther is a day of prayer. In the story of Purim the Divine is concealed; acclaim of the miracle was reserved for future generations. Our daily existence in Israel is a constant round of miracles, some evident, others hidden. I pray that our survival will continue to be guided by Divine intervention, miracles acknowledged by the confused as well as those who value their Jewish identity.
Communal recognition and worship of the God of Israel is vital if we are to turn our fast days from experiences of mourning, repentance, and prayer into occasions of joyous celebration.
I await the shift of climate eagerly.
About the Author: Faigie Heiman is an accomplished short-story and essay writer and the author of a popular memoir titled “Girl For Sale.” Born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, she has lived in Israel for more than fifty years.
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Erev Yom Ha’Atzmaut, 2012: As I return from a visit to my elderly mother in the northern part of Jerusalem, the bus winds its way through ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. The stone buildings along the route are colorless shades of sand and grey, some new, some old and blackened with age. Men and women rush through busy streets, expressions of pain and joy, helpless and hopeful looks defining their faces.
Turning on the news Thursday night, I expected to hear the wretched daily tally of Kassam/Grad rockets shot from Gaza to into Sderot or Ashkelon; instead, breaking news streamed across the screen about a terror attack taking place that very moment at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav.
Zaida’s presence follows me on my early morning walks to the park. Sometimes I imagine indulging in conversation, asking him what happened to those wondrous days following the Six-Day War, when the entire country belonged to us and our biggest problem was how to fill the vast areas that had fallen into our hands with Jews.
Covered with sand and dust, his face the color of chalk, my husband resembled a nomad, shirt ripped, clothes and shoes much the same as one who just crossed a desert. Choked with emotion, he could barely speak when he returned late Thursday afternoon, the fourth day of the Six-Day War, from his first experience at the newly liberated Western Wall.
The most esteemed of all the king’s men, dressed in royal robes, his head crowned in jewels, was mounted on the white stallion. Zeresh could never have imagined the rubbish destined for disposal on the disgraceful Jew hauling the royal carriage would land on her own wicked spouse, Haman.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 – The close of another day that I had hoped would be the beginning of an epitaph, the inscription commemorating the end of this war. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, another day of enduring news of rocket fire, wounded, and dead.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/tevet-to-adar-random-thoughts-from-a-rainy-fast-day/2007/02/28/
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