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Ruchama and Liat met at a post high school seminar in Rechasim in northern Israel and quickly became friends. Liat was a recent ba’alat teshuvah and now that she was so much more religious than her family she wasn’t comfortable returning to her parents’ home any more. Ruchamah realized this, so after they had finished their studies she asked her parents if Liat could come and stay with them for a while.

Her parents didn’t hesitate for a moment and shortly afterwards Liat moved in with them. As time passed they helped her find a job as well and she became one of the family. She kept up her contact with her own family and remained on good terms and they were happy with the arrangement she had made.

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Several years later Ruchamah found her bashert and the wedding plans were in full swing. Liat was wondering what she would do afterwards and where she would live but she was extremely grateful and thanked Ruchama’s parents for the many years they had taken her under their wing. They stared at her in surprise. What was the farewell speech for? They would hear nothing about her leaving just because Ruchamah was getting married. She was like a child to them “You’re not leaving our house until it’s your turn to go to the chuppah,” they told her.

True to their word she remained with them until a wonderful shidduch was made and her parents were happy attendees at the chasunah Liat had dreamed of and Ruchama’s parents were happy to arrange.

A few years went by and Liat and her husband were blessed with a girl and then with twin boys… during the week before Rosh Hashanah… a three-day Rosh Hashanah at that and a three-day yom tov in Israel is a rarity that gets everyone in a panic even under normal circumstances.

How would Liat and her husband cope with this double bris over Rosh Hashanah? Who would help them? However much their parents were willing to assist they had no idea how to arrange such a thing and they knew they couldn’t even help prepare the food as their kitchens and other keilim weren’t kosher.

Once again Ruchama’s family came to the rescue. This time her older brother Shlomo and his wife Rachel stepped in and offered to have the bris in their home – which of course involved having Liat and her family with them for the three days of Rosh Hashanah as well as organizing the bris and seudah – but that’s the kind of family they all are, thanks to the upbringing they received.

The families stayed in touch and celebrated each other’s simchas together as the children all grew up. One by one Shlomo and Rachel’s children were finding their zivugim but several of their children overtook their eldest son, Avraham. He didn’t find sitting in yeshiva all day easy but he loved helping everyone and was a volunteer in many organizations. His standard of Yiddishkeit remained at a high level but still, not learning in a ‘good’ yeshiva made it difficult to get suggestions of girls he might want to settle down with.

He wanted to marry a very frum, tzanua girl from one of the traditional Bais Yaakov seminaries – but most of them wanted ‘top boys from top yeshivas’ and he wasn’t considered one of them. He returned many times from first and second dates dejected that the girls that were suggested to him were not in any way the kind of girl he wanted to build a family with.

The family all davened at kivrei tsaddikim and tried traditional segulos to beg HaKadosh Baruch Hu to send the right girl for Avraham, a girl he deserved and who deserved him with his good, pure loving nature.

One day Liat called. She had seen all of Rachel and Shlomo’s children grow up into wonderful, kind, thoughtful and helpful teens and adults full of middot tovot and she knew Avraham well. Her neighbors, a charedi family with Chassidic leanings had heard her speak about her ‘adopted’ family frequently and when she suggested Avraham for their daughter they were more than happy to let the couple meet.

He returned from their first date with a broad smile. Two more dates and he had changed from a slightly despondent bochur to a contented, elated young man who felt his future was now secure.

Hashem had answered his tefillos – Leah was his true zivug.

And Liat was delighted that she had been able to start paying her ‘family’ back for all the chesed they had done for her.

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