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Archive for the ‘Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi’ Category

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Over the past week, thousands of women around Israel have read and watched and and forwarded on Keren Ohr Denan’s incredible dream which she shared at last week’s class of Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi. Once you read Keren Ohr’s intensely moving story, you will understand what all the fuss is about. Tissues ready, set, go!

Three and a half years ago I received a gift. That gift came in the form of a dream. I dreamt that dream at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Yehuda Denan several months after diagnosed with Leukemia


It took place a month and a half after we got the news that my little boy, just a year-and-a half old, Yehuda, was sick with leukemia, cancer of the blood. That same night I slept at the hospital in the same bed as Yehuda Yoram, who was still nursing. Before I fell asleep that night, I looked at him and saw an amazing baby with no hair, no eyebrows, no eyelashes because of the treatments. And I fell asleep.

I see in the dream the image of a large woman coming towards me, and the image has no face. A large woman with great light and great warmth.

And I say to her, “Sara, my dear mother, who began the building of the Jewish people. Please give me the strength to pray for my son.”

And the image of another woman arrives. A large woman with great light and great warmth. And I say to her, “Rebecca, my dear mother, you brought down the spiritual abundance of Sara, so that the candle was always lit and the tent was always open and the dough was always a success. Here is one of your souls, there is a child here who needs your prayers. And I am just a small mother and I cannot pray on my own. I need your help.”

And two other figures of women arrive.

“Rachel and Leah,” I say to them, “you established the Jewish people. Here is a member of the Jewish people who needs personal redemption. Help him.”

Many, many more women arrive. And I say to them, “Holy women of Egypt, in your merit the Jewish people was redeemed from Egypt. Help me.”

“And more and more women arrive. The Jewish women from the Spanish Inquisition, and the women of Auschwitz, and a very large circle of women forms, a circle of light and power and warmth. And a circle of dancing and prayer forms.

And then I look to the side and I see two women who are standing to the side.

I look again and I see that one of those women is my mother, and the other woman is my sister-in-law. And both of them have a Jewish home, even though it is a home where not all of the Torah is observed, nor Shabbat. And they stand to the side. And I say to them, “Come, join the women’s prayer. Come. Join the dancing of the women, join the women’s strength,” and they join as well.

And at that moment I wake up. I am full of tears and tremendous laughter. And at that moment it was clear to me, even though it was only a month after he had fallen ill, and we only knew that we had two years of treatments ahead of us, and we didn’t know what the future would hold. But we knew that it was good.

I am here at Hadassah Ein Kerem and I am not alone, a little mother with her son.

I knew that no matter what happened to my child and no matter how difficult it would be, I had the strength to cope, because they were with me. The Matriarchs were with me. All of the Jewish women were with me. We are not alone.

And this is what I want to pass on to you. Especially at this time when every person has a crisis and something missing, we need to know that we are not alone. They are with us. We only need to let them come in, to bless us, to be with us, in our Jewish essence.

Thank God, in a month we will be celebrating Yehuda Yoram’s 5th birthday. Thank God, we finished his treatments a year ago. Here and there he has follow-up, but thank God he is a very, very happy child. Just like his name “Yehuda,” every day he says “Toda” (Thank You), and every day he laughs.

Keren Ohr with her son, Yehuda

He remembers a little bit. “I was sick with Lochemia” he says. He pronounces it “Lochem-ia,” God fights for me.

We remember a lot. And we take from this whole experience that we are not alone.

Story courtesy of www.Parasha.org
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Watch Keren Ohr tell her story in Hebrew…

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Rabbanit Yemima and me at my daughter's bat mitzvah. Photo by Sarah Fefer

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Litvish and Chassidish and National Relig-ish.

Breslov-niks and Kook-niks and Aish-niks and Chabadniks.

So what am I?

While I draw inspiration from all of the above, more than anything else I am a dyed-in-the-wool and darned proud Yemima-nik.

And I’m not alone. Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi has tens of thousands of students. A major Israeli newspaper, Makor Rishon, just named her the “3rd most Influential Religious Woman in Israel” and she is widely recognized as the most popular Orthodox female lecturer in Israel.

Furthermore, I want to clarify that if I have every said or written anything that has inspired you, you have Rabbanit Yemima to thank. This blog and JewishMom.com is little more than a slanted mirror that reflects out to the English-speaking world the tremendous light that is HaRabbanit Yemima Mizrachi.

So imagine how shocked I was to see the two-inch-high headline in the Maariv newspaper this morning stating: “Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi has Ruled: It is Permitted to Hit a Child on the Hand, accompanied by the subtitle “Innocent Educational Advice or Incitement to Violence against Minors?”

The article that follows this bombastic headline is actually very balanced. It says that in her class this week Rabbanit Yemima very sternly warned her students that it is absolutely forbidden to hit a child on the face. She quoted the Gemara which states that “if a person slaps a Jew, it is as though he is slapping the Shechinah, the Divine Presence.”

Rabbanit Yemima went on to explain that it is permitted to give children a light slap on the hand in three cases: 1. When a child hurts animals 2. When a child is violent towards others 3. When a child uses filthy language.

In response to Rabbanit Yemima’s class, the director of the Israeli Counsel for the Protection of Children, Dr. Yitzchak Kadmon, stated this week that “Her declaration is an illegal incitement to violence against children.”

Radio Kol Chai commentator Yedidya Meir, a fellow addict of the weekly transcriptions of Rabbanit Yemima’s classes, told his listeners this morning that the Maariv headline had made him laugh out loud. He explained: “The entire Torah of Rabbanit Yemima is love and education. And the number of cases when children did not get hit because of her is tremendous.”

And that is what is so ridiculous and borderline surreal about this whole story.

Today, thousands of mothers, including me, are better and more devoted mothers to their children because of Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, who teaches us that every Jewish child is the Holy of Holies.

So in the name of all my fellow Yemima-niks AND our children as well, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, Rabbanit Yemima. For everything.

Rabbanit Yemima for Hebrew Speakers…
Click to receive transcriptions of Rabbanit Yemima’s weekly classes (in Hebrew)

Click to register to watch Rabbanit Yemima’s Weekly Class (In Hebrew, occasionally with English subtitles).
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