Posted by JewishMom
Every year, 12 people who have made a great contribution to Israeli society and the Jewish people are selected to light the 12 torches that kick off Independence Day at Mt. Herzl. In Israel, this is a HUGE honor, and this year I was so thrilled to find out that Rabbanit Chana Henkin, the director the Nishmat Center of Advanced Torah Study for Women, and the mother and mother-in-law of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin HY”D murdered in a terror attack last year, was to be honored as one of this year’s torch-lighters. My husband works at Nishmat, so Rabbanit Henkin is a person I have known and admired for almost two decades.
Here are Rabbanit Henkin’s powerful and moving words from before she lit the torch*:
I, Chana Henkin, daughter of Yaacov Eliezer and Fraida, of blessed memory, of the Lazarus family; wife of Rabbi Yehuda Henkin; mother of Rabbi Eitam Henkin, mother-in-law to Naama Henkin, the holy victims of terror, may Hashem avenge their blood…
I light this torch in honor of the women who study Torah, who in their learning create a link in the chain of our tradition and partner in building the spiritual strength of the State of Israel…
In honor of women Torah scholars, the Yoatzot Halacha, who connect the world of the bet midrash to a world of service and compassion, who connect between love of learning and love of people.
In honor of the words of the prophets, which are being fulfilled before our eyes: “Ki mi Tzion tetzei Torah u’dvar Hashem mi Yerushalayim.” (From Zion will come forth the Torah and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.)
In honor of my 2nd family, the family of bereavement (who mourn a family member taken from them), “In the building of Jerusalem, you will be comforted.” AND FOR THE GLORY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, “U’ltiferet Medinat Yisrael!”
*This translation is based on the one that appears on Nishmat’s blog