After years of waiting, Rabbi Yakov Poliwoda, Shliach to Boquete, Panama, was finally able to inaugurate a local Jewish cemetery with the help of visiting bochurim, who arranged the unique ceremony associated with the dedication.
This past week, the Bochurim of the Yeshivas Kayitz Panama helped Rabbi Yakov Poliwoda, Shliach to Boquete, inaugurate the Jewish cemetery. A minyan of bochurim who fasted set out to sanctify the plot of land, doing the pertinent Hakafos, Tehilim and Shofar blasts.The solemn ceremony brought a cycle to a close:
Yakov and Hana Poliwoda went on Shlichus with the primary mission of creating a Jewish cemetery in the Municipal non-Jewish cemetery, to be available to the few retired Jews in the town. After a plot was recently occupied by Morton Rabkin, the Jewish baker, the Mayor promised that a Jewish cemetery would be built around his plot.
For the local shluchim, the dedication of the cemetery was the fulfilment of a long-held dream.
As soon as the Shluchim settled, the acquisition of the property was secured, together with the 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 activities the Shluchim have begun 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 cycle to a close. R. Eliyahu Ezagui, Menahel of the Yeshivas Kayitz program, saw the opportunity and necessity to make this a reality. Gathering information from different Shluchim and effectively putting the wheels in motion, Ezagui cemented 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,” said Rabbi Poliwada.