Rivka bat Yael Update: Mazal Tov, It's a Boy!

On April 20th, 4-year-old Rivki Razel fell from the roof of her Jerusalem home while watching Israeli Independence Day fireworks with her father. Please add Rivka bat Yael to your prayers.

Right after I gave birth 6 weeks ago, I had an intense, high resolution, adrenalin-clear dream.

In my dream, Yael Razel (Rivki’s eema) was overjoyed after giving birth to a baby boy (her first son after 3 daughters). And Rivki was in the dream too, alongside her eema, healthy, bright-eyed, smiling, just like she had never fallen off that roof on that nightmarish Independence Day.

I’m not a prophetess or a Moroccan grandmother. The vast majority of my dreams remain dreams, and in most cases, it’s better that way. But unlike most of my dreams, I couldn’t stop thinking about this one. It seemed so clear, so real.

So on my first day home from the hospital when I saw Yael picking up her 2 younger daughters from nursery school, I rushed over to her. At that point, Yael was in her 9th month of pregnancy and had already spent 10 weeks- all day, every day- at Rivki’s bedside. And she looked it. Yael looked drained, tense, down. So unlike the pre-accident Yael, who was like walking sunshine.

But when I told Yael about my dream, I saw a flash of the old Yael. She smiled that old smile and affirmed the dream with a heartfelt “B’ezrat Hashem!”

Yesterday, for the first time in a month, I ran into Yael again at the health food store. She didn’t respond to my “Shalom” and just looked blankly in front of her. What was wrong, I wondered. After a few seconds, she turned to me with her old sunshine smile and said, “Sorry I didn’t respond, I was in the middle of a contraction…”


The day before I saw Yael I had gotten an update on Rivki’s condition, which I heard had been improving slowly but surely. Rivki has started sitting by herself, and week by week her speech has been becoming clearer and more fluent. She seems to be mentally all there, not a small thing following a traumatic brain injury, but she still isn’t walking on her own, and spends 5 nights a week at Alin Hospital (she spends 2 nights a week at home) where she is on an intensive rehabilitation therapy schedule.

In other words, while there has been tremendous, and even miraculous progress, little Rivka bat Yael is still desperately in need of our prayers for a speedy and complete recovery.

But there was one other question I really wanted to ask Yael directly. Rivki is one of my daughter Moriah’s best friends in nursery school, and she has been eagerly awaiting her return since the accident. So between contractions, I asked Yael: “Any chance Rivki will be coming back to nursery school this year?”

I assumed the answer would be a tentative “We’ll see, maybe after Passover?” but I was really surprised and encouraged by Yael’s optimistic response: “We hope so. She wouldn’t be coming full time, of course. But maybe she’ll start coming a few times a week after the High Holidays?”

Thank G-d! Baruch Rofeh Cholim!

And this morning, I screeched with joy when I heard even more good news.

Last night, on Rosh Chodesh Elul, Yael gave birth to a healthy baby boy!

A dream come true for the Razels and for me too.

I once learned that Rosh Chodesh Elul is one of the most important days of the year, a day when a person’s fate and reality can switch from one extreme to the other. From sickness to health. From sadness to joy. From darkness to light.

And I pray that this birth of a long-awaited son on Rosh Chodesh Elul is a sign of the abundance of health, blessings, and good news awaiting Yael, Yonatan, Rivki, and the entire Razel Family this coming year and always.


  1. Miriam futterman

    AMEN and Mazol Tov!!!!!!

  2. mazel tov to the razel family! may they raise their little baby boy to torah, chuppa and ma’asim tovim! we are still davening for rivki for a complete refua shlaima.

  3. zahava & yaakov wolstein

    mazel tov!
    zahava and yaakov wolstein

  4. ronny and chaya rosenberg

    I love you both so much and cannot wait to see you and hug you

    mazal tov mazal tov mazal tov

  5. Ayalah Haas

    MAZAL TOV – What blessed news!

    We love the Razel family, and we are thrilled about the new birth.
    We continue to pray for Rivka bat Yael… may she help teach her baby brother how to walk, run, and enjoy life as children heartily do.

  6. So well written, thank you. Mazal tov!!!

  7. Amen and mazel tov! Beauifully written!!

  8. Amen. Please, Hashem. More miracles. Please!

  9. Thank you for being the bearer of good news! Sweet new year!

  10. Sharon Saunders

    B”H we have such a supportive community! May we only hear good news!

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