This past week, the Bochurim from Yeshivas Kayitz Panama helped R. Yakov Poliwoda, Shliach in the town of Boquete, inaugurate a Jewish cemetery. A fasting minyan, the group set out to sanctify the plot of land, doing the pertinent Hakafos, Tehilim and Shofar blasts. The solemn ceremony brought with it the conclusion of a long, drawn out story.
When Yakov and Hana Poliwoda moved on Shlichus, one of ther primary goals was to open a Jewish cemetery in the Municipal non-Jewish cemetery to be available to the few elder Jews in the town. Morton, a Jewish baker, passed away and was subsequently buried in the cemetery. Afterwards the Mayor promised that a Jewish section would be built around his plot.
As soon as the Shluchim settled, the acquisition of the property was secured, together with the baker’s widow, Barbara Rabkin. However, gathering a group of ten men to fast and perform the rituals became quite a challenge and postponed indefinitely.
As time passed, the Shluchim ended up buying Mort and Barbara’s bakery, turning it Kosher and an epicenter of Jewish life and activity in town.
Among other Horaos the Shluchim have received since “day one”, a Yeshivah has always been on top of the list.
After many small-ten-day camps, a 30 day program was secured this summer, together with Bais Menachem Youth Development Program and 17 Bochurim came to learn and enjoy in Panama’s beautiful settings.
It was this group’s Zechus to bring this drawn out story to a close.
Eliyahu Ezagui, Menahel of the Yeshivas Kayitz program, saw the oportunity and necessity to make this a reality. Gathering information from different Shluchim and effectively putting the wheels in motion, Ezagui commenced the procedure.
It is our heartfelt prayer that we shouldn’t need to use the cemetery and that our beloved Jewish baker, Mort Rabkin, should soon be among those that will rise, with the immediate coming of Moshiach, NOW!