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Earlier in the afternoon, my kindergartner came to me with tears in her eyes, holding the head of a glowing orange marigold in her hands. She had brought it home from school excitedly in honor of Shavuos, dutifully watering it before and after Yom Tov.

“Look,” she whispered, “it’s broken. Will my flower still grow?”

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I gazed at the small plant that she had lovingly transplanted in our front yard, its stem immersed in a spot of rich, dark soil.

“Tehila,” I said gently, “this flower won’t live much longer because it’s not attached to the roots anymore. But hopefully the rest of it that you replanted will be okay.”

“Will it grow a new flower, Mommy?”

Im yirtzeh Hashem, sweetie. Hopefully a new flower will grow soon.”

A mere fifty years ago, Atlanta was a spiritual desert, a place that did not know the meaning of religious Judaism. Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, changed the face of our southern city, planting seeds so a verdant orchard would grow. Now, under the capable leadership of Rabbi Ilan Feldman, other rabbanim, and the Atlanta Scholars Kollel, day school, high school, and adult Torah education is flourishing. Im Yirtzeh Hashem, my child, new flowers will continue to grow soon. This was a night to remember, a night where I could almost hear Mashiach’s footsteps. I will always remember this spectacular dance in the beautiful garden where Klal Yisroel, Hashem, and Torah united as one.

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