Over one hundred women travelled from Poltava, Sumy, Kharkov and Charkas to Haditch for an inspiring Hakhel gathering. Already on the buses and minivans, the women began preparing for the unique opportunity to join with other Jewish women and girls to daven at the Alter Rebbe’s Tziyon.
On the bumpy roads they learned “Keili Ata” and heard about the Alter Rebbe’s life and teachings. On arrival in Haditch they gathered in the main shule and heard about the importance of this year of Hakhel and the power of unity. They all then wrote their panim – writing for brachos for all their friends and families, and taking upon themselves good resolutions.
They walked down the long, winding steps to the Tziyon and slowly filled the holy room. One by one, Natasha, Yulya, Masha, and Tveta lit a candle, together with more and more women.
Each lighting a candle and holding her pan note anxiously. All one hundred women began singing Keili Ata in unison and the niggunim of the Rebbeim. The energy in the room was palpable as everyone repeated Tehillim and began calling out names of those in need of brachos – health, shidduchim, parnossa and more. A special prayer for safety in Eretz Yisrael was said and for the immediate recovery of all those injured in the terrible attacks of the past weeks. With tears they read their pans and then slowly made their way back up for a farbrengen.
A big uplifting farbrengen followed with songs and stories and a chance to get to know the participants from other cities.
A group of 15 young shluchos had a special program run by the Israeli girls from Poltava and Sumy. They learned about Hakhel and had a fun game and got a chance to meet their friends from other cities.
A special guest from Israel, Ruchama Rozenshtein, gave a special lecture about the importance of Jewish marriage and the importance of Taharas Hamishpocha. Thanks to her initiative, this Hakhel gathering proved to be a reality.
Special thanks go to the shluchos who arranged the program, Nechama Dina Segal (Poltava), Rochi Levitansky (Sumy) Chana Axelrod (Cherkas), Miriam Moskovitz (Kharkov) and all the other shluchos from Kharkov who came.
The women left on a spiritual high, inspired and feeling a deep sense of unity and with a resolution to make this Hakhel in Haditch for Women an annual experience.