More Than 100 Women ‘Survivors’ Attend Inspiring Yad L’Achim Shabbaton Ahead of Tishrei HolidaysOctober 02, 2022
More than 100 brave women and 177 children participated in a special Shabbaton for survivors of Arab villages rescued by Yad L’Achim.
The Shabbaton, held at Yeshivas Tzviya in Yad Binyamin, was held this past Shabbos to help the women prepare for the holidays of Tishrei and to give them a chance to bond with other survivors.
The women, who had been picked up by chartered buses sent to towns all across Israel, were warmly greeted by a large contingent of Yad L’Achim staffers and volunteers, who were on hand to give personal attention.
After taking a bit of time to settle in their rooms, the women gathered in the main hall for inspiring programs, while the children were divided into groups of four, according to age, and provided with age-appropriate activities surrounding the Yamim Tovim.
The opening program was an hour-long concert by Limor ben Simon, who sang inspirational, uplifting songs and did the mitzvah of hafrashas challah with the women, who took advantage of the special moment to daven and ask for success in opening a new page in their lives at the start of a new year.
During Shabbos, they heard lecturers from Rabbanit Tal Sabag who shared her story of being raised by deaf parents and of her return to Torah Judaism. The survivors identified with her upbeat message that we need to look ahead and advance in our lives despite the difficulties, and on the importance of seeing the good and thanking Hashem not just for what we have, but for what we don’t have.
Rabbanit Orit Saloman spoke at length about the month of Elul, and of the desire to get close to Hashem and to pick up the pieces of shattered lives. She put a special emphasis on Hakadosh Baruch Hu’s love for us.
Mrs. Suri Kostlitz of Yad L’Achim, who organized the Shabbos, was pleased with the way it turned out. “It was a powerful, one-of-a-kind experience for these brave women,” she said. “They had the opportunity to get to know women with life stories similar to theirs. They could share their reservations with their new friends and with the Rabbaniyot. Most importantly, they had time to rest, to enjoy and to charge their batteries at the start of a new year. The feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive.”
Harav Chaim Kahan and Harav Yoav Robinson, who were also involved in organizing the Shabbos and running activities for the children, also received enthusiastic responses to the event.
The impact of the Shabbaton could be seen immediately. A “hatafas dam bris” ceremony was held for a child born born in an Arab village who’d been given a Muslim circumcision by his Arab father. Other women took upon themselves other commitments. What they all had in common was a desire to strengthen of their yiras Shamayim and draw closer to their Father in Heaven.
“The encouragement we are receiving these days from the broader public has strengthened us,” said one Yad L’Achim official. “We again remind everyone that on erev Rosh Hashana and erev Yom Kippur we will be organizing special tefillos for all of our partners in saving women and children at Me’aras Hamachpeilah. Those interested in being included in tefillos at the graves of our forefathers and in sending their names and the names of their loved ones for tefillah for a good year are invited to call the hotline at *9234.”