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Shortly after their engagement, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ztz’’l (the former Sephardic chief rabbi ofIsrael) surprised his wife with a small wrapped box. It contained a plain piece of paper bearing Rabi Akiva’s famous promise: “One day, I’ll buy you a Jerusalemof gold.” Surviving on the barest of necessities, the couple built a golden palaceof Torahfor their family and the klal — turning their home into an address for Jews across the Israeli spectrum.
The message of Shavuos — “naaseh v’nishma —we’re ready to do Your Will, whatever it may be” — wasn’t an intellectual concept in the Reisman home. It was an axiom the family lived by. Even though four out of the eleven children were developmentally disabled, there was no hashkafic angst, no bitt erness or self-pity. Never questioning Hashem’s decisions, the Reismans built a happy home with a bedrock of bitachon, creating stability amid disability.
Shavuos 2005 My first Yom Tov married! Nesanel and I decided to stay home so he could learn in yeshivah at night. I made my first roast ever — followed the cookbook instructions to the letter, because Mommy’s were too vague. Also cabbage kugel, three salads, creamy baked fish, and chocolate cheesecake. I managed to bentsch licht on time, but don’t ask what the kitchen looked like. I must have used every single mixing bowl and spoon I own, both milchig and fleishig.