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Rabbi’s Blog: Remembering Rachel Imeinu z'l

10/26/2023 06:06:14 PM


Dear Friends,


Today is 11 Cheshvan, which according to tradition, is the Yahrzeit of our matriarch, Rachel. This is considered an auspicious day to pray for people in great need.  Since her son Yosef was also kidnapped, Rachel’s name is especially associated today with prayers for the 200 hostages who remain in Gaza. We must add action to prayer for the greatest effect (see note below). There are so many activities that are offered to make ourselves better and to help anyone in need. There is an Israel Update with Micah Halpern at 6:45pm. There is a Community Wide Women's Challah Bake tonight at Lincoln Square Synagogue at 7:30 pm. There is Daily Kitzur Shulchan Aruch each morning, Mishna Yomi each evening, and more. There are many learning opportunities throughout the Week to join with hundreds of others for the sake of Israel. Minyanim are steadily getting bigger and bigger, and volunteerism is at a high peak. 


Rachel refused to be consoled over the loss of the tribes of Israel (See Yirmyahu 31:14), just as Yaacov refused to be consoled over the loss of Yosef (Bereshis 37:35). That’s because Yaacov and Rachel both felt that they were not permanently lost, and that they would be found again. We must pressure everyone we can to press the case of the hostages. That includes the Red Cross as well as our elected officials. I am including phone numbers and a simple message to send to those who represent us. We ought not to be consoled of anything until we have brought all the hostages back to their homes and loved ones.

May we only hear good news from Israel. We hear that the Prime Minister of Italy wants to return the vessels of the second Temple to its rightful owners-the Jewish people. It has made the news that he publicly declared his intention to return the vessels to Israel. This is symbolic. One hostage is holier than all the vessels of the Temple, but such a return would be a powerful symbol of our eternal connection to our homeland long before the advent of Islam.

Am Yisrael Chai

Stay safe and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

The families of the hostages are asking us to call our elected officials to help bring our hostages home - this is something concrete that we can do (in addition to prayers etc). Please take a moment and call our elected officials so they can help put pressure on Hamas.

Make a calendar event and call each of our elected officials every day. It’s a 30 second call - “Hi, this is X, it’s Day 18 and I’m calling to ask you to bring the hostages home. Maybe I won’t need to call you tomorrow.”

Mayor Eric Adams
  • Phone: (212) 788-3000

Congressman Jerrold Nadler
  • Phone: (212) 367-7350

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
  • Phone: (212) 486-4430

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Phone: (202) 224-4451

Gov Kathy Hochul
  • Phone: 1-518-474-8390

Council Member Gale Brewer
  • Phone: (212) 873-0282
Mon, December 4 2023 21 Kislev 5784