Magen David

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Magen David


Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation


Kever Rachel

URGENT: "Stop The Encagement Of Rachel's Tomb"

Remembering Rachel

An Appeal to World Jewry, by Evelyn Haies, President Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation, and Beit Bnei Rachel Corp

On February 1, 2006, Shevat 3, Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation hosted a wonderful shiur at our house, Beit Bnei Rachel adjoining Kever Rachel by a corridor the army had us build on what we named Derech Chaya Rachel. Atara Gur spoke to a group of women about the Jewish Mother who was buried "on the way". She spoke of Rachel's ohel in Beis Lechem as a house of bread, provisions, family, unity as presented in a special Siddur Rachel Imeinu, compiled in 1911 by a Yerushalimi. It was sad and demeaning to have been blocked from traveling directly via Hevron Road as was the custom or Jewish Pilgims for 3600 years. It was inspiring and comforting to learn of Rachel's midos and the prognosis for a better world.

On February 8, 2006, Shevat 10, our group returned for our weekly Wednesday, 10:10 Egged Bus ride to our 11 am shiur. It was shocking and brought tears to my eyes and pain in my heart and soul to find the corridor we built smashed and our houses disconnected from Kever Rachel and without access. The weekly shiurim by the women of Efrat in memory of Sarah Blaustein HYD and by the women of Bat Ayin as well as the kollel hosted in our house were not allowed as Beit Bnei Rachel was disconnected after five years. In the areas about Rachel's Tomb, thirty foot cement walls encaged the once spacious landscape so famous in so many Jewish homes just a three minute walk to Gilo and so near Talpiot and Ramat Rachel.

There were walls with the cement from the Mahmoud Abbas' cement factories, to the north, west and east and soon to be in the south, double walls, a tangled and strangling web of walls in the face of the Nathan Straus property purchased by this great benefactor and builder of Israel who survived the Titanic sinking in 1912 and with grateful philanthropy provided soup kitchens for the poor, centers for the sick and childcare. He bought this property in 1924 with great accolades from all Israel. His good deeds merited the town of Netanya as well Straus Street in Jerusalem named after him. There are walls in the middle of the Kalisher property bought by the pennies of those who suffered pogroms and may not have survived the Holocaust, their only memorials, used as a parking lot and then as a military base when Oslo brought Jihad to Bethlehem where so many have fled. Furthermore, there are walls possibly dividing my property, owned together with many Americans like the Jews worldwide who hold Kever Rachel so dear to their hearts.

Can you imagine America putting mud up to the face of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin or any of its nation builders? Montefiore, Rabbi Kalisher, Nathan Straus are among Israel's recognized great. Furthermore, Israel's Patriarchs and Matriarch are praised for millenniums by all peace loving people.

As I was crying, Atara Gur went on with her shiur in the room Sir Moses Montefiore, the first Jew to buy land in Great Britain, ending the anti-Jewish land laws in 1831, created in 1841 when he expanded this world recognized and dearly beloved Jewish holy site with the blessing of the Ottoman Empire.

My heart not only aches for the sweet peaceful ohel that now contains the remnants of Kever Yosef, also allowed to be encroached upon during the Oslo failure to regard the handshake on the Whitehouse Lawn on September 28, 1995 signed by PM Rabin which contained an Amendment to make 29 Jewish sites fully accessible and Kever Rachel, Kever Yosef, Shalom Synagogue in Jericho and Maarat HaMachpelech to be fully in Jewish control.

The soldiers who live in our houses which will become a future Museum of Jewish Aliyah are disheartened by this destructive change. They explain that this is to save Kever Rachel from the fate of Kever Yosef but in fact it was the encagement and encroachments that led to the destruction of Joseph's tomb. Militarily and obviously, the further apart we are from Jihad, the more secure. Our land goes back 375 feet from the road, the kever, the soldiers barracks and to reduce that distance is to put our IDF, tourists and worshipers in harm's way.

Just as recently as Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 1998, RCRF dedicated a Sefer Torah and the road in front of Rachel's Tomb was filled with 3000 plus including the Rabbi of Holy Sites, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi Bejamin Levene whose father walked from Nachlaot to visit the women prisoner's under the British Mandate occupation in Beis Lechem, the chief Rabbi of Gilo Rabbanite Goren and the Bostoner Rebbi as well as other famous personalities. A second Sefer Torah was donated seven years later, this past Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 2005 for our Beit Medrash in Beit Bnei Rachel.

As my supporters rally to my events at Kever Rachel and for Kever Rachel in America, and as my Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, Congressmen, State and Local Legislators, Governor Pataki of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have praised my work and it is five years since they inaugurated Jewish Mother's Day on MarCheshvan 11 recognizing Rachel Imeuni as a model of the good ideology and a role model for the whole world, I have faith that these walls will come not slice up Jewish owned property bought not for selfish purposes, but bought for the sake of the Jewish people and public good.

Golda Warhaftig, the daughter-in-law of the highly esteemed Zorach Warhaftig who was instrumental in saving thousands of lives of Polish Jews in war encroaching Lithuania and was one of the twenty-five to sign the Declaration of Independence also helped alleviate my despair as she gave a Tu B'Shvat Shiur for RCRF as she has for so many years. She spoke to us of how our land produces for us and that its abundance of fruits, grains, olives and all the abundant ingredients of our Seder for the New Year of Trees comes from Eretz HaKodesh. As we said the blessings for the many species and for wine, we despaired that it was not in our lovely renovated house with Beit Medrash, Reception Center and Apartments. We made do without our tables and used borrowed chairs to display the abundant fruits, grains and wines brought by our guests. We sang with the strength of Miriam who led the Jews in the Exodus with Shira Beshalach and we were re-Jewvenated, proud and yearning, believing that these ghetto wall will not hover over our beloved Mother of Israel in Israel.

As Jeremiah 31 was quoted at the Memorial for the loss of the 2800 a week after the September 11, 2001 attack in the USA, Yirmiahu 31 is on our minds in Israel. Rachel is crying; she is pained by the encagement of her burial place of 3600 years; she is saddened by the sorrow and shame of her faithful children, visiting and crying no matter the self-imposed difficulties.

As I continue to cry, I continue to dream. I dream that this Rosh Chodesh Adar, Wednesday March 1, 2006, tens of thousands join us in reading the Bnei Rachel Sefer Torah with recognition of our roots, rights and the redemption of the Jewish righteous who have shown us the way to be a light for all nations. I dream that Rachel Imeinu will reap the nachos of our visit with Torah, praying and singing in the house inhabited by 50 Jewish soldiers who will know peace in their time. As Americans recognize the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of their escape from death, starvation and victimization in foreign lands, Rachel Imeinu is the Lady Liberty for Jews coming home to the land of Rachel, Yosef and Benjamin, Naomi, Boaz and Ruth, David and Solomon, the Jewish freedom fighters and survivors of from where we were chased and where we were chased back.

As Mother Rachel, Mother of Israel comforted the IDF who marched to free Israel after the Husseini massacres of 1929 and 1936 and the European Holocaust, let her not be encaged now. Let her love embrace us as only the Jewish self-sacrificing mother can.

RCRF, an organization for the preservation of Kever Rachel and the reclamation of her generations, sponsors many weekly shiurim at Kever Rachel and Beit Bnei Rachel, is planning a Museum of Jewish Aliyah on the Bnei Rachel properties. As our dreams are the dreams of Rachel Imeinu, Klal Yisrael and those seeking a better world, Please Express Your Distress and let us stop this abusive encagement which will only bring danger on the footsteps of Jerusalem and let Israel be strengthened by self-love, goodness and unity.

As Rachel Imeinu was buried "on the way" to advocate for her children and an end of their hardships and exiles, let us advocate for she who was called Mother Israel in times of distress. Let us rally with Torah and simcha this Rosh Chodesh Adar so the walls will not encage the area so near to the large population of Jerusalem and the area that will be the most visited Jewish tourist site in Israel, the area about the holy site of the burial of Rachel Imeinu where so many over the centuries have seen their prayers answered and their dreams actualized.

For more details, or for media interviews, please contact Evelyn Haies, President of Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation at cellular # 050-856-3898.

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In Israel, please contact me  "Mark (Mem, Reish, Kuf) Burt (Beit, Aleph, Reish, Tet)" Ramat Beit Shemesh 99010 by email for donation instructions and address information.

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