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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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A Dance To Remember

Kodish-061413-Dancing

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?”

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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Kodish-061413-Dancing

Yet all are part of one neshamah, planted in rich, verdant soil, determined to grow. May our garden continue to produce a glorious assortment of flowers and trees, each attached firmly to its roots. Our diverse southern vegetation flourishes and grows into different trees, flowers, and fruits, and a rainbow of glorious shades and hues appears. Yet each shoot is rooted in the same soil, stretching its branches and blossoms heavenward in an endless pursuit of growth and connection to the One above.

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