As part of a special field trip conducted for dozens of Yad L'Achim survivors – Jewish women rescued from Arab villages – a visit was held at the Kever Rachel compound, in honor of the anniversary of the Matriarch's death, being marked these days.
"The emotions felt by the women survivors are powerful," a Yad L'Achim official said. "One women said she felt as if she'd reunited with her own mother after a prolonged separation."
Another survivor, who gave birth to two children in an Arab village and was trying to rescue them, said: "We know that Rachel cries for her children, and we too are hoping that our children will return from the villages, from Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Gaza." She was referring not just to her children but to those of other survivors in Yad L'Achim's care whose children have been left behind.
During the outing, and in honor of the hilula of Hagaon Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt"l, the survivors stopped at his grave and offered heartfelt prayers. The veteran survivors recalled emotional visits to Harav Ovadia Yosef in his lifetime that Yad L'Achim had arranged and the blessings that he bestowed upon them and their children.
The special day concluded with the survivors and their escorts participating in a festive meal expressing thanks to G-d that they merited to return to their borders.