Held at Caffit restaurant Wednesday 19th May 2021
This was the first time that the class had met in person since the Corona lockdown began 15 months previously, and so it was a doubly happy occasion to be meeting together and also to be completing the Book of Daniel.
A small committee of 3 – Rhoda Mark, Lori Abrams and Sue Hausdorf, planned and organized the very successful event.
In less than a month it will be seven years since ‘the 3 boys’, yeshiva students 16 year olds, Naftali Frankel, and Gilad Shaer, and 19 year old Eyal Yifrach, were kidnapped on 12th June 2014. They managed to send a message before they were mercilessly killed. Despite a huge search, their bodies were not found until 30th June, 18 days later.
Many communities had been reciting psalms for the boys ever since their disappearance and It was during the time of the search that Ronda Israel began teaching a class, explaining the meanings in Psalms, and Samuel 1 and 2 in honour of the boys. The class was a great success, and since then she has continued to teach through Kings 1and 2, Proverbs, and now the Book of Daniel. Her class has grown with participation of many more students, who donate as they wish, and this adds up to a significant weekly income for Hadassah Israel.
Ronda began by welcoming everyone, including our newest Hadassah member, Carol Cahm, who recently made aliya.
Since we were meeting during the ‘Guardians of the Wall’ military campaign against Hamas, Rhoda Mark began the proceedings with brief instructions for where to go for shelter incase of a siren warning.
Lori Abrams, acting as mistress of ceremonies, introduced Zenia Cohen, who told us about the story and customs of learning Torah, from sources found in the Talmud.
Cynthia Barmor read the prayer for protection of our soldiers and Bnai Israel, both in Hebrew and English, especially imperative at this time.
Co-Chairs, Rose Scharlat recited Psalm 122, on the joy of returning home to Jerusalem and praying for peace in our Holy City, and Ellen Shemesh recited psalm 20, that asks for deliverance before a battle.
Linda Levine had compiled an excellent and thought provoking overview of the Book of Daniel. From Daniel’s experiences to the prophecies and interactions with angels, and then her own thoughts on us not knowing our fates in today’s world without prophecy. All we can do today is pray to God for the best, most positive outcome.
Then Rivkah Cooper, current English Speaking Chapter's Liaison for Hadassah-Israel, read the final chapter, Chapter 12, of the Book of Daniel, and our teacher, Ronda Israel, continued with a review of the chapter and what it means.
She told us that whatever hardships we experience, we will survive because God is keeping us safe. The angels foresee the coming of the Messiah, and this is the first time that resurrection is mentioned in Judaism. The good will be rewarded and the bad will be punished. Daniel is told that he needs to know no more, and that he should go to his grave and wait for the Messiah and the end of days, when everyone will arise again.
She ended with a bracha for us that we stay safe and healthy during these uncertain times, and reminded us of the 3 boys who were murdered by terrorists.
Sue Hausdorf thanked everyone for coming, and thanked Ronda for the preparation and effort she puts into the classes. Thanks also went to the 7 sponsors, and those who had donated extra on the ticket. All money goes directly to Hadassah Israel.
Finally, Rhoda Mark, recited a special blessing for completion of the Book of Daniel.
Dorothy Friedman explained the idea behind special lyrics to the song ‘You are my sunshine” that had been written by Linda Levine, and dedicated to our appreciation for Ronda’s teaching in a way that we look forward to and enjoy. Everyone received a copy of the words and the song was sung loud and clear. Ronda was presented with a copy decorated with graphics by Bonnie.
Then a delicious lunch of Pasta, salads, pizza, and fish and chips was served outdoors on the restaurant’s picturesque veranda. An Iron Dome anti rocket system was standing 2 hiltops away from us, for protection.
Article by Marion Stone