web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Zohara

Lessons-logo

Share Button

Zohara was born in Morocco. With her husband, she raised a large family. A busy woman, she always seemed to find time to help others in need.

Her daughter, Aliza, told me of the many sleepless nights her mother spent nursing babies. That is not unusual in itself, were it not for the fact that many of the babies she nursed were not her own.

Zohara lived in a cohesive but poor community of Moroccan Jews. She let it be known that if there were any mother who could not nurse her child, she was prepared to help that mother. In addition to feeding her own babies, she would always be available – day or night – to feed other babies as well.

Zohara was not just involved in this great chesed work. Though not wealthy, she managed to help those less fortunate – with food and other needs.

Twenty years ago, Zohara’s holy neshamah was returned to Shamayim. Her daughter, Aliza, rightfully refers to her mother as a tzaddeikit. After her mother’s petirah, Aliza decided she wanted to find a way to honor her mother’s memory in a way that would reflect the selfless life she had led.

And so with my daughter, Shani, I waited to meet Aliza. This was a day I longed for. I was shopping for a wedding gown for my youngest child.

There are many ways to shop for a bridal gown. One can purchase or rent one. Another option is going to some of the many gemachim that carry gowns free of charge or for a reasonable price. The gemachim provide the bride with the possibility of finding a gown without paying the huge expense of a new one. (The word gemach is an acronym for gemilat chesed, an act of loving-kindness.)

My daughter and I decided to first try our luck with a gemach. We were told of one run by a woman named Aliza. She had a variety of gowns on display in a Jerusalem seminary for young women. The seminary generously supplied the space for this purpose.

Aliza took us into a small room, full of wedding gowns. She discussed the type of gowns that might appeal to Shani, transforming my daughter into a bride before my eyes.

Aliza does not charge any fees for the gowns she displays. She does it for the pure joy it brings her, and in the knowledge that it brings an aliyah to her mother’s neshamah. She suggests that anyone who borrows a gown from her should consider making a small donation to help her update her supplies. There is no obligation or pressure to do this.

After trying on many different styles, Shani found a gown she liked. But she still wanted to check out other places before making her final decision. Aliza told Shani not to feel uncomfortable about it. She told her she took pleasure in meeting a new kallah, and in fact presented my daughter with a lovely gift for her new home before we left.

I asked Aliza what made her decide to open her gemach.

She pointed to the sign on the door. This gemach was named Zohara, after her mother. The word Zohara means light, brilliance, splendor. The name not only describes her mother’s character, but also the image of a bride on her wedding day.

Aliza, like her mother, is a special woman. In addition to her gemach for wedding gowns, she also runs a gemach that helps disadvantaged families with their daily needs. Aliza’s name is also very appropriate, as she brings joy to others.

May she continue to do chesed.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Zohara”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Debbie Garfinkel Diament
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

I insisted that one decoration, a dancing sevivon (dreidel) man, remain hanging in recognition of the chag. Some in my family questioned the appropriateness of this decision. Was it proper to have decorations hanging in what would soon become a house of shiva?

Lessons-logo

Shimon’s early years were not easy ones. His mother struggled to support both of them. She never acquired the knowledge needed to help her son through school years filled with homework and tests.

Chaim (not his real name) was walking down the street, feeling very discouraged. It seemed that lately, the news was filled with stories depicting the disparities, distrust and dislike between the different streams of Jews living in Israel. Much of it revolved around the different religious affiliations or non-affiliations that people adhered to. There were times when Chaim felt the situation was hopeless, with no way to bring people together as a cohesive group – despite their differences.

Like many religious Jews, our bookshelves contain a variety of sefarim. Among the sifrei Mishnah, the Gemara, the Chumashim, among others, there is one sefer that has special meaning to my family and me.

The rav was not a wealthy man, but earned enough to live comfortably. He earned his money by serving as the rav of a religious community in Yerushalayim. He also received some royalties from sefarim he had written over the years. He was well known, and many people approached him for a berachah, advice and help. They were not turned away.

Like many children, some of my grandchildren tended to rush through the berachot they recited each day. Somehow, the first few words were inclined to run together. The last few words often got swallowed up, especially those that were part of berachot made before eating something they really liked.

I never thought I would see the day when “Yossie” would smile. He was not an unhappy man, but rather very serious in demeanor. He never said hello, or any words, to his customers other than those absolutely necessary.

We first met Shlomie (name and some details have been changed) over 20 years ago. He davens in our shul, and he and my husband share a love of photography. Over time, we got to know each other well.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/zohara/2012/06/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: