Monday, October 25, 2004

"Get here while you still can!"

Tonight is Rochel Emanu's Yahrziet. On my past trip to Israel I got to visit Rochel on Tu B'av. (I'll dig up some pictures.) But two years ago I did get to visit her on the Yahrziet. I wrote about it in an essay for Kumah. Here's an excerpt:
I was fortunate that my trip coincided with Rochel Emanu's Yahrzeit. So I was off to visit her in Bethlehem along with thousands of others. And while I was at it, I stopped off at Maarat Hamachpela in Hebron too. Consider davening Mincha there and saying - the G-d of Avraham, the G-d of Yitzchak, and the G-d of Yaakov - they're all right here! The Chazzen skipped Tachanun due to Rochel's Yahrzeit. Well that got someone at the back of the room upset and they started quarrelling. It was getting rather loud. Then a man named Yitzchok, with curly white hair, a short gray beard, titzis on top of his shirt, and the warmest smile I've ever seen, made shalom between the two and quieted things down. Yitzchok preceded to discuss Maarat Hamachpela and how it's the entrance to Gan Eden. Regarding aliyah he told me "The Medrash says that only one-fifth of the Jews got to leave Egypt." He continued, "so too when Moshiach comes only one-fifth of the Jews will be allowed to leave Golus. So why not get here already and count yourself in!" The scary part is well over one-fifth of the Jews are already in Eretz Yisrael!


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