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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 9/21/07

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

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Dear Rachel,

The gentle sound of the piano fills the air, its soothing tone effectively relieving stress while giving rise to inner peace. I immerse myself in the magnificence of the song – “ki Hashem Hu HaElokim baShamayim v’al kein n’kaveh Lecha” (Hashem is the only G-d – in Heaven above And therefore we place our hope in You that we may soon see Your mighty splendor.) – performed by the popular singer Yaakov Schweky.

How melodious the words, each syllable resonating transporting me to a planet that is ruled by calm and tranquility. Music, an integral part of my soul, can erupt and give voice to sudden song and rejoicing, and I thank the One Above for the beauty He created and orchestrated in this world for humanity to enjoy.

In Tehillim, prayers, zemiros, and at special events such as weddings, the sound of music uplifts each of us, “gladdening the heart” for the moment.

Alas, no longer do my fingers roll effortlessly over the piano keyboard, my first “love” that featured prominently in my life from early childhood on into young adulthood… For now, like a prisoner in chains, each morning upon awakening I feel the blood draining from my body.

Another day of death and murder by a man responsible for robbing me of LIFE and living.

An Agunah in Agony

Dear Agunah,

Music stirs the soul, perhaps like nothing else. Music evokes joyful memories of tender moments and nostalgic recollection. The haunting sound of the violin can make a grown man weep; the jubilant strumming of the guitar can induce one’s soul to dance in wild abandon.

Dovid HaMelech found ultimate expression of every emotion known to man in the strings of his harp. Chassidic rebbes of yore aroused spiritual longing in the hearts of their disciples with uplifting tunes and zemiros.

As I write, I am being taken back in time, to the recent past, when I had the good fortune to be part of the spellbound audience of a beloved rebbe as he danced the ceremonial mitzvah tantz with the kallah – his daughter – to the most inspiring tune of Reb Shlome’s Niggun. Man, woman and child without exception were transported to another era, to a place that transcends the here and now. Ah, forgive my diversion – for this is a letter not so much about the subject of music as it is of a tragedy of our time – the plight of a helpless agunah.

Two years and one month ago, to be precise, you wrote to this column of your heartbreak. You were a widow when a fellow from overseas courted you via long distance communication for six months. He turned on his charm and had you believing in him and in that happiness would be yours forever after. Yet within 24 hours after marching to the chuppah, he was exposed as a fraud – when, to your horror, you discovered he was not at all what he purported to be. Sadly left no alternative, you confronted reality and asked for a get within a few weeks.

More than three years have now elapsed since that time, and pathetically you languish “in captivity,” robbed of the right that most of us take for granted.

I appeal to anyone in our reading audience who may be in a position to help you out of your wretched state to get in touch via this column. Such individual would stand to reap the tremendous mitzvah of saving a life and of freeing a prisoner.

Our prayers are with you, and our hope is that you will soon emerge from your dark confines to enjoy the joyous and sweet music that will break out in celebration of your freedom.

Wishing our reading audience and all of Klal Yisrael a G’mar Chasimah Tovah!

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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