Sure is a funny title - Blog stew. Well, stew is usually a combination of all sorts of ingredients - so it is with this blog - a few different subjects not really connected to each other, except that they are all here together under the same roof.
First: You may remember that a few weeks ago I posted an article about Dr. Aharon Abraham and his wife Ruth Malka, who were remarried at Ma'arat HaMachpela following their conversion. Dr. Abraham's story is nothing less than amazing; I realized that after first reading about him and later, meeting and speaking with him.
A couple of days ago I filmed the doctor, who told, in an hour, his life story. It is incredibly breath-taking and inspiring. Some of his perceptions, as he describes them, almost make your hair stand up. It is highly,highly recommended, an hour very well spent.
Second: At the beginning of this past week Chabad marked 'yud-tet kislev' - the day the Ba'al HaTanya was miraculously released from a Russian jail. (It is also the birthday of Menucha Rochel, his grand daughter, who lived in Hebron for almost 50 years and is buried in the ancient Jewish cemetery.) Below is a short video of some of that celebration, here in Hebron.
Third: A few days ago I posted a blog called 'How to beat the freeze' and wrote about one of my daughters' illegal activities - giving birth to twins, thereby breaking the building freeze. Well, it happened again. Another daughter, who lived in Beit HaShalom until they were expelled a year ago, gave birth early this morning to her fourth child, a sweet little girl. Mazal Tov.
But this birth has more to it than meets the eye. A number of years ago I began researching my family history, a subject I knew almost nothing about. I won't go into all the details, only that which is relevant to the present story. I discovered my great-great grandfather, named Leon (Aryeh Leib) who came to the United States from Prussia in the 1850s with two sons, Samuel (my father's grandfather) and David. Leon Wilder died, by the Hebrew date, on the 7th of Tishrei, three days before Yom Kippur, in 1899. My daughter Aderet, who gave birth today, was born on the 7th of Tishrei.
Leon's younger son, David, was named after his grandfather, David Wilder. This boy died at the age of 15, in 1871. The date of his passing is 23 Kislev, today, the same day Aderet gave birth to her new daughter.
Oh, did I mention that both Leon and David are buried at the "Machpelah cemetery' in New York?!