Following is a very moving letter written by Eliana Nathan, who is in fact the daughter of our very own Deborah Nathan, a Bat Sherut wrote as she sat by a sleeping child in the Kellet - the emergency shelter at Bet Elazraki. Tonight is the last night of her year of Sherut Leumi. She is 20 years old and made Aliyah alone last year to do this. She has worked constantly - day and night - caring for the children who have been brought to Emunah in the most traumatic circumstances. The child she was sitting with had terrible nightmares because his drug addicted mother would leave him alone in the house at night and he would wake up terrified to find he was alone. He is 7. Here is the letter she wrote...
An open letter to my kids.
I call you my kids- although I didn’t give life to you, since August last year you’ve been in my care.
Showing me how to love unconditionally, no matter how hard the situation became. You always managed to get through it with grit, determination and a lot of laughter and tears along the way.
The way Hashem has made your life has not been easy. You came to us - taken away from your ‘normal’ and brought to a new safe place.
Tonight I sit here thinking of all the crazy times we have had - the good bad and the ugly.
I bless each one of you, everyone I have had and still have in my care, a life of happiness, healing, love and smachot.
Never forget how much you are loved and cherished here.
We do everything with all our hearts and all for the life you deserve.
There have been times when we’ve had to discipline you or had to be tough, but it is all done with love in our hearts and for you. The growing you - that is yet to see the big picture.
Your parents - the people who are supposed to protect you most. They are supposed to take away bad dreams and protect you always from harm. For you this was not the case - I along with Leah, Arielle, Liraz and Rivka became your surrogate mothers. Taking on every responsibility a mother and father should have, to protect, love and help you thrive.
Now our time is ending together and we will both be moving on.
I sit here listening to the sound of your heart beat - knowing you will forever be in my thoughts and my heart.
So my beautiful beloved child- you deserve the world. Don’t forget that times will be tough but that happens in life and you’ve already endured many harsh things at your young age - most people B’H won’t ever understand or go through half the things you’ve been through. You deserve a medal for your strength.
So now I sit here listening to you sleep and will always have you in my heart forever - longing to see how you strive and thrive and always sending you love and Brachot.
Eliana Nathan, Sherut Leumi Bet Elazraki 2017/18
דבר תורה לחודש תשרי – ירח האיתנים – השביעי
We approach Tishre with solemn thoughts of repentance, worry about the future and bolstered by the shofar and the Selichot of Elul. Facing the Divine Judgement is awesome.
The Judge is not a person of flesh and blood, He is the Creator – The King of the Universe מלך העולם. From the beginning of the month we say in our prayers המלך הקדוש instead of הא-ל הקדוש. We celebrate the "crowning" of The King – יום מלכות ה'
Even the sounding of the שופר is part of the joyful announcement of the King's reign, so is the תשליך, when we go to a source of water, not only to wash away our sins, but also to ask for continued flow of blessings for the King.
In תפילת מוסף, the Musaf Prayer of ראש השנה emphasizes this central aspect of the holiday by:
מלכויות, זיכרונות ושופרות
A body of ten verses from the תנ"ך mentioning the מלכות, Royalty of HaShem, Ten mentioning that HaShem remembers all his subjects and ten, mentioning the blowing of Shofarot.
We mention the belief in מלכות ה', in the commandment of קריאת שמע, reciting
שמע ישראל ה' א-לכינו ה' אחד
We declare: Hear Israel HaShem our God is One
This is not an empty declaration. We take upon ourselves to obey the laws, the מצוות of the King.
It is quoted in the name of Rav Yitzchak Lurie, Ha'ari Hakadosh:
"לפני שהאדם יאמר "קריאת שמע" יקבל על עצמו את המצוה "ואהבת לרעך כמוך
Before reciting "Shema" on has to accept the commandments of loving your fellow,
(Loving HaSHem is not enough, you have to love each other.)
The same idea is expressed by a different school of Jewish thought.
Dr. Shlomo Tichoshinski in his study of the Mussar movement in Lithuania describes the preparation for Rosh Hashana in the Mussar Center in Kelmo:
"אמרו חז"ל "אמרו לפני מלכויות כדי שתמליכוני עליכם
Recite the verses of מלכויות in order to establish my reign over you.
Why does God the King need to confirm his reign?
The king of flesh and blood is a real ruler when all his servants and subjects unite to serve him.
This is the power of royalty. (The subjects are the source of power)
In the same way we have to practice the מצוה of "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" during the entire year and thus establish unity amongst us, the people of HaShem, His servants and thus we shall be able to recite truthfully מלכויות, declare Him King and He will accept with grace our זכרונות. He will remember us and give a good year.
May we take these words to our hearts so that we merit a
כתיבה וחתימה טובה לכל בית ישראל
During Shlomo Kessel's very successful visit to Brazil this summer, our representative in Sao Paulo Miri Wajsblat was elected President of Emunah Brazil. All at World Emunah wish her much success in her endeavors on behalf of Emunah's children and look forward to welcoming her and her board on their forthcoming leadership mission to Israel in December 2018.
Click here to watch the short video, which appeared on "Shalom Brasil"
A wonderful unifying and empowering event recently took place at the Emunah Neve Michael Children's Village. In a giant marquee, erected on the basketball court, more than 400 dedicated educators and therapists, national service volunteers and house parents from all five of Emunah's children's villages, have gathered for a unique seminar, in preparation for the new year, which begins this Thursday. Staff gathered to learn and grow, to be enriched and empowered in anticipation of another year treating many of Israelis most vulnerable and children and families.
Over the last few months, we have suffered the loss of three very dear friends and members of Emunah
Ruth Medding z"l Nina Ormonde z"l Rabbi Emanuel Quint z"l
My relationship with Ruth goes back nearly 60 years. I remember dancing at Ruth and Peter’s wedding just a couple of days before my second child Romy was born. The Meddings made Aliya a number of years before us and welcomed us into their home whenever we came to Israel prior to our own Aliya.
Ruth came from the prestigious Feiglin family. They were one of the pioneering families of the Australian Jewish community, settling first in the rural community of Shepperton before coming to Melbourne. During all that time they kept Yiddishkeit alive and contributed to the development of the Jewish community in Melbourne before and after the influx of holocaust survivors.
Resulting from an accident in her youth Ruth suffered from serious back trouble, but was always cheerful and never complained and continued to be active until her health deteriorated.
Ruth was very active in Emunah in Melbourne and after making Aliya continued her involvement with Emunah and excelled as treasurer of World Emunah for many years.
Her legacy is a wonderful and devoted family – children, grandchildren and great grandchildren - who I am sure will be a source of comfort to her beloved and devoted husband Peter. We wish them all long life and may Ruth’s memory serve as a role model and inspiration.
Honorary President World Emunah
Nina Ormonde z"l
A dedicated member and leader of Emunah, first in the UK and after making Aliyah at Bet Elazraki. Nina will be missed by many colleagues, friends and of course, children and graduates.
Known as Grandma Nina’, Nina Ormonde was involved with Emunah for more years that can be counted. First in her native England and since her Aliya together with her husband Mark in 1983 to Netanya, she not only dispensed hugs and kisses, but also taught cooking to the older girls living in Emunah Bet Saba Elazraki. ‘These girls do not have a mother to teach them what are healthy foods and how to cook for a family,’ she used to say. ‘So I come once a week and show them.’
Nina was a dedicated worker and fundraiser. She was instrumental in raising funds for Emunah Bet Saba Elazraki, knew the children by name and worked tirelessly to help produce the annual Bar/Bat Mitzvah party for the children.
She will be missed by her many colleagues, friends and of course, children and graduates.
Rabbi Emanuel Quint z"l
Following is a link to the very moving obituary written by Greer Fay Cashman https://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/In-appreciation-Rabbi-Emanuel-Quint-561936
Rabbi Quint z"l a highly respected member of the Emunah Family, is survived by his wife, Rena, his children, Menucha Chwat, Naomi Silverman, Jodi Patt and David Quint, his sister June Koch and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in Israel, America and England.