This week, I marked the twenty year milestone of our wedding anniversary. On Monday, I also returned from a special trip to Israel. My trip was very spontaneous. I never imagined that I would travel with Baby Baruch to Israel. I made a ticket, when my beloved Grandmother passed away one month ago, because I felt the urge to visit her grave on the Mount of Olives. This trip felt like a dream!

My last visit to Israel was twenty years ago. As I walked up the steps to Maarat Hamachpella, prayed at the tombstone of Mama Rochel and kissed the Western Wall, my eyes brimmed with tears and my heart overflowed with gratitude. Twenty years ago, I was a carefree young girl, praying to find my partner in life and to build my own home for Hashem. B”H, soon after I became a wife and then a mother. Today, I visited with my daughter Chaya, studying in Israel and my past students (my spiritual daughters), Ariella and Mazal. I cried with Mama Rochel for my dear children. I prayed for all of our daughters to build their own Jewish homes in the right time.

In the last 20 years, I have spent countless hours mothering my ten children K”H and teaching Jewish girls about their important role as the future mothers of our people. There are times that I feel overwhelmed. My to do list doesn’t end. I can’t imagine how I will get through the day.

The Torah lessons that I teach became alive in Israel. I recalled the meaning of the word “Yisroel”. Each Hebrew letter of the word “Yisroel” stands for the founding fathers and mothers of our nation: Yud – Yitzchok & Yaakov, Sin – Sara, Raish – Rochel & Rivka, Alef – Avraham, Lamed – Leah. We, the people of “YISROEL”, possess the greatness and strengths of our Fathers and Mothers and this gives us the strength to follow in their footsteps.

I didn’t realize how much my soul needed this trip until I stood at the holy sites of our Matriarchs and Patriarchs in Maarat Hamachpella in Chevron and Kever Rachel in Beit Lechem. I felt their loving embrace. I felt that I had come home again to my loving and holy great – great grandparents. I knew they were giving me the strength to carry on my mission to inspire Jewish girls to become a strong link in the chain of Jewish history. We are the daughters of Sara, Rivka, Rochel and Leah and we can unlock and activate all their strengths, already etched very deeply into our souls.

On Shabbos in Bat Ayin, Meir Rhodes begged us not to leave. I promised him that I would take home a piece of Israel with me and I would never forget my Shabbos in the Holy Land. I will continue to make my part of the world – a “HOLY LAND”. I will remember that the lives of our Matriarchs and Patriarchs give us guidance and strength in our own journey. I will pray each day that G-d’s promise to Avraham for the redemption should be fulfilled. May we celebrate Purim in the Beit Hamikdash and finally realize our greatest dream to come home to our HOLY LAND with true peace forever!

With Best wishes for a Happy Purim,
Nechama Laber