The 1st of Av
Aaron woke up and felt like a part of him had died. He
couldn’t explain it, but he felt it deep in his bones. It was as if he had
forgotten to do something that was imperative – that there was something
he should be doing and he hadn’t done it, and it had something to
do with his sons. In eight days, it would be the fifth anniversary of their
death, and he was already starting to feel that familiar wave of depression
coming to claim his soul. He rushed out early with Jessie to work.
He couldn’t even look at Elisha.
Elisha must have overslept, because his mother was already dressed. She
walked into his room holding Shira in one arm and her work bag in the
other and said hurriedly, “Elisha, time to get up.”
Elisha faced the wall.
“UP! UP! I need to go now and Gila’s sick and she can’t take care
Elisha moaned to himself. He knew what was coming next.
“Come on Elisha, I need you to please take care of her until Dad
can take over.”
It wasn’t a request. Shira was already on his bed and crawling toward him while his mother started picking up dirty clothes from the floor and mumbling, “There was something else I wanted to tell you. What was it?” She reached for a day-old cereal bowl on his desk. “Oh, don’t forget it’s the new moon of Av. The ‘Nine Days’ are starting.”
Elisha pretended to go back to sleep. He knew very well what day it was, and he also knew that he wouldn’t be able to do a thing if Shira was by his side all day. And he didn’t like the ‘Nine Days’. They were the final countdown to the 9th of Av – the most cataclysmic date on the Hebrew calendar, a day that marked the obliteration of Jerusalem and the Temple, twice, and a long list of other catastrophes. The 9th of Av also happened to be Elisha’s birthday, but no one was counting down for that. The ‘Nine Days’ were a mourning period, considered a dangerous time, which meant it was full of rules that stopped you from doing anything that was even slightly fun. Especially here, in Jerusalem’s Old City. With the Temple’s ruins a stone’s throw away, the mourning seemed to cling to the air, casting a black cloud of depression over the whole neighborhood.
The phone rang and Elisha’s mother went to answer it, leaving the dirty clothes and the cereal bowl by his feet on the bed.
She called over her shoulder, “And clean up this mess!”
Shira started prying his eyelids open with her tiny fingers.
Elisha pushed her hands away while raising his voice, “Stop, Shira. Stop it!”
Now she was poking his eyes out and it really hurt. In a quick move and completely by accident, he knocked her off the bed along with his mother’s pile of collected mess. Shira fell to the floor, screaming and crying, and the bowl made an even louder crashing sound. Elisha quickly jumped out of bed, but his mother was back in the room even faster. She swiftly picked Shira up while checking to see if she had gotten cut, while Elisha tried to defend himself.
“Mom, she almost blinded me!” His bare feet were surrounded by shards of glass. ‘Day One’ wasn’t going too well already.
“Get back on the bed right this second! Here, take your shoes and put them on,” his mother ordered, dashing out for a broom and calling loudly over her shoulder, “Fine! I understand that I can’t count on you to watch her. Fine; she’ll come with me.”
Elisha couldn’t help feeling relieved, but his mother seemed very upset when she returned. She passed Shira firmly into Elisha’s arms as she swept up the glass with angry movements.
“Now listen, the minute Dad comes home tell him to pick Shira up at the school.” She checked her watch and said, “He’ll be here in exactly two hours.” Shira was still bawling while his mother said in frustration, “And this really isn’t working for me,” as she walked out of the room and organized some last-minute things with rapid movements.
Elisha hastily followed after her once the guilt trip kicked in, and offered in a resigned tone, “Mom, it’s okay, I’ll take care of her; I will.”
But his mother’s mind was made up. “Sorry, but on top of everything, the last thing I need to worry about is you not paying any attention to her, especially during the ‘Nine Days’. ” And with that and a rushed kiss, she closed the front door.
Elisha knew he should feel bad, but he didn’t, because all he wanted was to see King Solomon again and Shira would ruin it. But Aaron wasn’t even around! He searched the whole house and then resigned himself to being grounded and alone. He looked at the stack of books his father had left him to study. ‘Supplementary summer vacation reading’ – right – he couldn’t even pronounce half the titles. He immediately went to his computer and started playing Flightpilot.
Elisha was surprised to find that almost three hours had gone by without any interruptions to his game, and that was strange. His father should have been home an hour ago, and he was always on time. Elisha had thought he heard someone come into the house then too, but he must have been mistaken. His conscience started prodding him to take action. The school was only a five-minute walk from the house and he was already game-zombied-out. He’d go and pick Shira up himself. His mother must be climbing the walls already. Elisha was sure it was the right thing to do and wouldn’t be breaking the ‘grounding’ rules, and anyway tomorrow his one week ‘sentence’ would be over. He headed leisurely out the door and ambled slowly through the stone-cobbled Jerusalem alleyways that whispered, Day One.
The royal procession ascended Mount Moriah, dressed in its finest regalia of pure white, flowing robes with gold and turquoise brocade that glittered in the morning sunlight. The position of every court officer, musician, and servant was exact and well-rehearsed so that the procession formed the shape of a large dove with wings, simulating flight as it marched forward. From the center of the dove rose the heart-striking melodies of the royal singers accompanied by a full orchestra of psalteries, harps and cymbals.
Amid the resounding joy and splendor, the King abruptly called out, “Halt!” And then “Silence!”
The dove jolted to a standstill in mid-note with its wings extended in mid-flight.
The ministers and officers exchanged puzzled expressions as they waited for further commands from the King. After none arrived, they delegated Zabud the son of Nathan, the principal officer and the King’s trusted confidant, to investigate the cause of the delay.
Zabud approached the King’s jeweled and solid gold palanquin. With a low bow he asked, “Your Majesty, may I be of assistance?”
King Solomon responded thoughtfully, “Yes, you may, Zabud. I wish to inspect the western retaining wall.”
Zabud knitted his brows. “May I remind His Majesty that at this very moment Pharaoh the King of Egypt, Hiram the King of Tyre, and the King of Philistia are awaiting His Majesty in the Temple’s courtyard?”
“They shall wait,” the King said calmly as he rose to his feet and descended the royal deportment.
‘My Lord, but what of the New Moon celebration?!” Zabud asked, disconcerted.
“That too shall wait.”
Zabud could not contain himself. “I can assure you, Your Majesty, that there is no reason to trouble yourself regarding the retaining walls. None of the royal contingents shall be in an eagle’s sight of them.”
King Solomon set his gaze on a far-off spot and said, “Zabud, my friend, will you join me for a walk?”
Zabud reluctantly bowed low as King Solomon strode purposefully toward the retaining wall. After many strides, the King stopped, took hold of Zabud’s shoulders, and positioned him to face the wall.
King Solomon then raised his eyes slowly to the top and announced, “This is the site.”
Zabud followed King Solomon’s gaze and in sincere confusion asked, “Your Majesty??”
“Yes. This is the site.” King Solomon sighed painfully and said in a mournful voice, “I am grieved, Zabud. I am sorely grieved by this wall.”
Zabud studied the formidable bulwark of a wall. They had quarried great stones that had then been hewn into massive blocks by the master mason. Some weighed as much as 8,000 men. He could find no defect in the wall’s strength, materials, structure or appearance. He looked back at the King in complete bewilderment.
King Solomon instructed Zabud, “Look high above you. What do you see?”
Zabud craned his neck backward and saw the back upper half of the Temple. “I see the most glorious sight in the world, my King: the Temple of The One, the Temple of Peace built by Solomon, whose name is peace.”
“Zabud, my friend, did we not employ 153,600 workers for seven full years during the Temple’s construction?”
“Your accounting is impeccable, Your Majesty.”
“And did we not make gold and precious gems flow like water throughout that time?”
Zabud stared in awe at the Temple while saying, “Your kingdom transcends all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom, for the Master of the Universe has given you a wise and understanding heart.”
“And yet,” King Solomon sighed loudly, “we had no foresight when we built this wall. None whatsoever!”
Zabud considered the King’s statement and then ventured, “Forgive me, My Lord, but what foresight does one need for a simple outer wall?”
“We did not employ a Shamir, and it is a great pity.”
Zabud could not hide his astonishment. “Shamir? Why Sire, why in the world would we employ a Shamir on this wall? It does not share the glory of the Temple. It is not even an outer courtyard wall; it is merely a retaining wall. It has no holiness, no importance or significance.”
King Solomon smiled sadly. ‘And yet, it is this insignificant wall that will be called the most holy of sites for nearly 2000 years. This lowly, man-made, unadorned pile of stone blocks will be the only remaining symbol of the once-glorious Temple.”
Zabud gasped. He lowered his head in despair. “Here? A holy site! This, of all places? Your Majesty, it cannot be. Why there is nothing in this wall that bears any resemblance to the Temple or its essence.”
King Solomon nodded sorrowfully. “No. Nothing. Even our greatest hewn stones, the best work of our mortal hands, shall be humbled and buried beneath this site. And yet from the four corners of the earth, they will come here.”
Zabud suddenly shook off his deep melancholy. “My Lord, fear not. We will rebuild it immediately! I will call the Master Architect and the Guardian of the Shamir at once. We will prepare the finest precious stones from the royal storehouses, and the Shamir will –”
King Solomon gently touched Zabud’s shoulder and shook his head from side to side. “Were we to do that, the future generations would not even have this lowly scrap of a remnant. Alas, Zabud, I have seen that a dark time will come to pass, a dark time in this very month that we are to celebrate. A time when she will sit in solitude; like a widow she will weep bitterly in the night.”
Zabud rushed toward the wall. He reached forth his hand and touched the stones and then moaned softly, “I feel nothing. Nothing. It is nothing but a wall!” He then became frantic and beseeched the King: “What of your Majesty’s master plan to safeguard the Temple’s treasures? What of our Shamir garden? Surely those will survive the ravages of time and the future generations will not have to bear this terrible insult?”
King Solomon looked at him mournfully. “Perhaps. Perhaps today I shall find a worthy descendant to whom I can entrust the master plan. But until then… .”
Zabud stared at King Solomon in utter disbelief. He then asked in a low and trembling voice, “Are you saying it’s possible that everything will be lost!?”
King Solomon fixed his gaze on the ground. “No, Zabud. Not everything. The Foundation Stone shall always remain, hidden deep in the earth exactly where it is now at the center of the Temple, the core of Mount Moriah.”
Zabud inhaled deeply and then nodded his understanding. “Yes, that is a consolation…no one will know it exists.”
“Oh, but they will! Its powers may lie hidden, but like a magnet it will draw the most powerful. Many a nation will claim its site and covet it without even understanding why. The greater misery, Zabud, the irony of ironies, is that our sacred City of Peace will turn into a violent battlefield for many, many centuries.”
“WHAT?” Zabud cried out. He immediately rent his festive tunic and covered his face.
King Solomon raised his eyes heavenward and did not wipe away the single tear that ran down his cheek. Instead he drew his billowing royal robe over Zabud’s shoulder and said, “While we may be the first to shed tears at this site, we shall not be the last. For this place shall bear the name the ‘Wailing Wall.’”
“Wailing!?” Zabud said as he removed his robe. “How will they wail? For what will they wail?? I am wailing for their eyes that will not have seen and for their hearts that will not have any understanding to wail!!”
“I do not know, Zabud. However, fear not, my friend, for I have seen a wondrous thing that even my wisdom cannot comprehend. Somehow this humble site shall be a point of memory. Distant, remote and faded, but a point nevertheless.” King Solomon approached the wall, caressed the stones and then smiled mysteriously. “You cannot even fathom how future generations will rejoice when this very site shall return into their hands in a state of rubble and debris.”
Zabud shook his head in frustration. “No, Your Majesty, I cannot… .”
King Solomon took Zabud’s arm and moved him away from the wall. “Do we not have a New Moon celebration to attend?”
Zabud nodded and sighed loudly as King Solomon tucked the large tear in Zabud’s garment beneath his outer robe.
“There is a time to wail and a time to dance. But always remember, Zabud that this too shall pass. This too shall pass.”
Elisha was only a minute away from the school building when he realized that something was wrong. The school was blocked off on all sides by police cars and ambulances. Elisha practically choked on his heart as he furiously ran to find out what happened. There were police barricades everywhere, and a large crowd blocked the way in. Elisha didn’t care how he would get in, but he was going to do it. He climbed under legs and arms, pushed and squeezed, made it to the barricade and then started climbing right over it.
A policeman ran toward him shouting, “STOP! Stop RIGHT THERE!”
“No, leave me alone!” Elisha yelled.
A strained but familiar voice rang out, “Officer, it’s my son.”
Elisha’s father reached over and grabbed his hand, and then pulled him back forcefully.
“You’re hurting me.” Elisha complained bitterly as he tried to wrestle his arm out of his father’s grip, but a stern and grave stare from his father kept him put.
The front row of the barricade gave a clear view, and Elisha quickly tried to absorb the confusing scene in front of him. Several of his mother’s autistic students were standing outside the building, including Robert Sharvit and Sarah Weizman, or ‘Sicko Sarah’ as the mean kids in the neighborhood liked to call her. Three paramedics were attending to them, but it didn’t seem like anyone was hurt. That was before he noticed two stretchers. Little Naomi, the youngest kid in his mother’s class, had a large gash on her forehead and seemed unconscious. Lying next to her was another student Elisha didn’t know, but his leg seemed to be crushed. Elisha’s eyes opened wide in panic and then he shouted as loud as he could at his father who was right beside him.
His father answered in a steady and detached voice. “I don’t know, but it’s serious.”
Elisha yelled urgently, “Where’s Mom and Shira?!”
His father firmly held his hand and with a clenched jaw he said, “They’re inside the school building.”
Elisha heard his own voice ring out, “NO!” as he tried to break free and run again. But his father tightened his hold.
“Elisha, stop it. The police have everything under control.”
But Elisha could tell that his father didn’t believe a word he was saying because his father was nervously scanning the rooftops in every direction. Elisha followed his father’s line of vision and could see groups of men dressed in army black with flak jackets, helmets and machine guns. Their movements seemed ant-like as they climbed to the rooftops of all the surrounding buildings and joined other groups of ants. Whatever was happening, it was clear that his own mother and his little baby sister were in some kind of terrible trouble.
It happened in slow motion, really. There was a trembling of the very stones they were standing on. Everyone fell to the ground. It was a sound that was louder than ears were made to absorb. It was painful. And then it went completely silent. The smoke was so thick that it looked like it was nighttime and his father was running into it.
Police were shouting, but Elisha didn’t hear anything. More people were running and screaming, but Elisha couldn’t hear their voices. Their faces were masks of horror. There were rocks and building parts all over the place where the school building was supposed to be. There were dead looking ants everywhere. It was worse than any terrible dream Elisha could ever imagine and that’s why he knew it was horribly real. He felt his entire body gripped with the pain of wanting to let out the screaming cry trapped inside him. How could this possibly be happening to his mother, to Shira, to the sick kids in the school, to all of those ants? He couldn’t understand this black silent dream with frantic and injured people running in every direction. He got to his feet to start running after his father, but in the midst of the dark confusion he had a thought, a very clear thought, and he started running in the other direction. He was running faster than he had ever run in his entire life, and his own thoughts were flashing by even faster. Why hadn’t he kept Shira at home? Why had he let his mother leave the house? Why hadn’t anyone warned him? How can everything be GONE!
Elisha was home in seconds. He knew exactly what he wanted to do while knowing he was breaking every rule in the book and worse, not even knowing if he could do it without Aaron by his side. He heard himself repeating with a thumping heartbeat sound in his brain, it’s got to work, it’s got to work, it’s got to work, but first, he needed to find the Ispaklaria key – that strange triangular piece of metal with all the symbols that had his ‘lifeline’ on it and that belonged to Aaron. It was the only way the Ispaklaria would work – it was his only chance! Where in the world did Aaron keep it? Elisha dashed straight into Aaron’s room and searched for it frantically, hoping that ransacking Aaron’s room wouldn’t somehow make the Ispaklaria key malfunction. But it has to work! He found it in a bottom bureau draw tucked into a sock and ran full speed with it into his bedroom. He had never ever tried to align the Ispaklaria key with those strange symbols – the ones that were two notches over from where the Ispaklaria had always been stuck (or ‘childproofed’ according to Rav Kadosh). The Ispaklaria key was shaking so hard in his trembling hand that he couldn’t even see what he was doing. It’s got to work, it’s got to work, PLEASE work! He could also hear King Solomon’s warning being played back perfectly in his head: “The third illusion of time – ‘5766-5777’ – is the Hebrew calendar years for your present lifeline to date, Elisha, son of David, son of Jessie. But it is the most dangerous illusion of time to tamper with. If there ever is a face to face meeting of your two selves at different ages, you will destroy both, and your energy will merge with the Timeless Reality. So do not attempt it, unless it is worth dying for.”
Elisha steadied the Ispaklaria key with fierce determination and slowly and forcefully aligned the sparkling blue Choshen stone to the third group of etched symbols. It wasn’t… it wasn’t deadlocked as usual onto the rainbow beam symbols. It moved! Instantly and smoothly. It worked. And just as fast, a solid black beam crashed into the Ispaklaria and then enveloped his entire room. There was no rainbow field of vision to walk into. Instead, something horrifying was suddenly everywhere. His entire room was dark grey and distorted with thousands of ghostly images of himself, walking in different directions. There was a loud ringing in his ears, and his eyes started to flutter at the barrage of moving silhouettes. Each ghost-like image seemed to be a different him at a different age. What should he do? His heart started thumping wildly. It’s not going to work without Aaron! A still small voice almost eluded him, and Elisha frantically shouted out in every direction, “Saba Gabriel???” The speaking silence was calm and soothing.
“Just hold on to your mother. When you find her, hold on and do not let go!”
A strong shadow of himself with a purple aura attached itself to him. It was smothering him to death. Elisha felt like the last oxygen in his lungs and brains was used up. And then there was the familiar sensation of being caught in a tight-necked bottle.
Rav Kadosh awoke to a suffocating smell of mint and mothballs and the sound of clinking china in a nearby room. He discreetly opened one eye and immediately thanked God to find himself tucked safely into his own bed at home with the Western Wall aglow through his bedroom window. Although ‘safe’ was relatively speaking. He knew a scathing reprimand concerning his health would be forthcoming from his good wife, Bruria. He remembered all too well the searing feeling when his heart somersaulted inside his chest and the pain of the impact when his body hit the cold stone floor. Bruria would of course blame him and not Elisha, who was undeniably the one responsible for giving him a heart attack. Funny, though – except for his mind feeling fuzzy around the edges, he didn’t feel very ill at the moment, and he wasn’t in a hospital. So maybe it hadn’t been so bad after all.
The door to his room slowly cracked open. Bruria was surely peering in to check up on him. Rav Kadosh sat up as straight as he could in bed. He watched as the door swung wide open. Then, though he adjusted his spectacles twice, he was sure he was hallucinating. Otherwise he couldn’t fathom why on earth his wife was ushering Esther Epstein into his sickroom! Then it hit him so forcefully that he unintentionally gasped. So it had been that bad. Not that he wasn’t prepared to meet his Maker but if the Avarshina, their illustrious Phoenix, was about, it surely meant she had resuscitated him and delayed that meeting.
“Well, I’m so glad to see you looking so much better!” Bruria exclaimed happily. But then, turning serious, she nodded toward the doorway: “Yehuda, you of course know our good neighbor, Esther Epstein?”
Yes, and better than she knows herself, Rav Kadosh thought. He knew only too well that Esther Epstein was totally unaware of her Avarshina side and didn’t have the slightest inkling that she was empowered by The Name as an emergency lifesaver for the ‘36’. He only hoped to God that Bruria didn’t know either. Otherwise she’d realize he was now indebted to the Avarshina for saving his life.
Mrs. Esther Epstein shuffled into the room at a painfully slow pace and then plopped down into the chair that Bruria had offered her, letting out a deep wheeze from the exertion. She recovered her breath, and then rasped out slowly,
“I vouldn’t vant to trouble you, but I am havink heart surrgerry later today.”
Bruria elaborated, “Esther came the other day to receive your blessing for a full recovery, but it was just as you had a ‘fainting spell’,” she glared at him. “I insisted that she must come back today before she’s admitted.”
Rav Kadosh nodded in alarm. He completely understood the gravity of the situation. Now was NOT the time to be losing an Avarshina. The Nine Days had started! Professor Bezalel’s life was still hanging by a thread. And with Elisha running around as a rampant health hazard to all the ‘36’, they were all at severe risk.
Esther Epstein waved a hand slowly in front of her face, “Vell, it iz only a pacemaker. And zhey tell me zhat zhey do it zhese days in just a few owerz, I only neet to stay vone day at zeh hospital.”
Rav Kadosh did not like the sound of it. Surgery wasn’t just extremely risky during the Nine Days; it bordered on suicide.
Esther Epstein looked at him through her triple-magnification glasses and said firmly, “It can’t vait.”
Rav Kadosh closed his eyes and took a small leather-bound book from the nightstand. He slowly flipped through the well-worn pages and started reading psalms in a soft whisper while focusing on his distinguished guest so that they might converse privately.
Rav Kadosh made it clear that he was eternally grateful to the Avarshina for coming to his rescue. The Avarshina made it clear that she was very tired. Rav Kadosh could understand that; she had been extremely busy lately. No. That’s not why she came. A golden fiery aura suddenly blazed and then receded.
It was the Wall. The Western Wall on the 9th of Av. For fifty years she had guarded her most important nest. Every 9th of Av she would descend and listen to the Scroll of Lamentations being read at the site of the destruction. Waiting. Waiting for the moment that its ashes might show some spark of life. But now the weakening vessel in the form of Esther Epstein was failing her. How would she ever make it up and down the stairs this year to reach the Western Wall Plaza right after having heart surgery? How would she push her way through the crowds of people to be in touching distance of the Wall?
Rav Kadosh rubbed his long white beard. He understood. It was time for the Avarshina to pass on the eternal gift.
She believed she had found a new dwelling place.
Rav Kadosh waited, hoping she would reveal a name. Instead, he heard, ‘With a daughter of the Queen of Sheba who has risen from the ashes twice in her youth with her own wings. She will be ready to receive the eternal gift on the next new moon of Tammuz.’
Rav Kadosh sighed. The next New Moon of Tammuz. He started reciting his psalms at an increasingly fast pace. As Guardian of the Wall he must ensure her safe passage and access this 9th of Av, and that would not be an easy task. The Western Wall on the 9th of Av attracted crowds like the Superbowl. Then it dawned on him: Bruria was the perfect solution. He slowly closed his book and assured Esther Epstein that, with the help of the Master of the Universe and the services of his good wife, she would reach the Wall this 9th of Av. There were enough catastrophes coming their way without adding another one. Rav Kadosh gave a deep sigh as he collapsed back into his propped-up pillows. He bowed his head and with deep concentration intoned, “May the One, Who Is, Was, and Will Be, grant you a full and speedy recovery.”
Bruria let out a sigh of satisfaction and went over to fluff up her husband’s pillows.
Esther Epstein nodded her head gravely in gratitude as Rav Kadosh added to the silence, “And this year, you just might find the faintest of embers among the ashes, waiting for you.”
The midday sun was shining into the room, and the Jerusalem stone walls were glowing with their warmth. But the brightness was eclipsed by the sight of Esther Epstein bracing herself against the armrests of her chair, struggling mightily to her swollen feet, and shuffling out of the room to a golden fireworks display that a millennium’s worth of Fourth of Julys couldn’t have equaled.
Elisha was choking hysterically in the darkness. He felt like he was being squeezed to death by a boa constrictor. The tight-necked bottle sensation had never lasted so long. Why wasn’t he being exploded out the other end as usual? Because it’s not working. He shouted to himself just as he tumbled straight onto the living room sofa. He gasped for air and flopped onto the floor, reminding himself that this was right. This is exactly where he wanted to be, in his own home, and hopefully just a few hours earlier, in the present. He quickly looked around the house. His mother and Shira were already gone! His peripheral vision caught a glimpse of his open bedroom door and he jumped in fright – he could see his other self’s elbow playing Flightpilot. His mind was reeling. He had to avoid himself! He came too late! He’d have to try it again! He ran back into the living room looking for the Ispaklaria’s reverse shadow. Where was it? It should have been right behind the sofa on the other side of his bedroom wall, but it wasn’t even there. There was no way back! Elisha painfully realized that he was trapped. Why had he come at a time that was too late! He couldn’t stop them from going to the school! BUT…his frenzied frustration suddenly turned into focused adrenaline and he ran out the front door and sprinted with all his might back to the school building.
Rhonda Attar was born and educated in the U.S. (M.S. TV/Radio) and made Aliyah to Israel where she became a leading figure in the Israeli television industry launching 10 TV channels – 6 in Israel and 4 worldwide. In addition, Mrs. Attar is very involved in community work. Mrs. Attar and her husband, Rabbi Meir Attar, are the co-founders and directors of Tomer Devorah in Kochav Ya’akov dedicated to Mitzvot Bein Adam L’chaveiro. The Tomer Devorah complex includes a Beit Knesset, 24/7 Beit Midrash, Kolel Chatzot, mikveh facilities and financial aid programs. Mrs. Attar also runs the Women’s Beit Midrash in English where she teaches on a regular basis.