Ben Zoma would say “Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As it stated, Psalms 119:99 – I have gained understanding from all my teachers, for Your testimonials are my meditation”. (Ethics of the Fathers; Chapter 4)
If you have been following the Breslev website and enjoying the many inspiring articles published weekly, you may be curious to know more about their dedicated and talented writers. This is the first in a series of essays which will introduce you to a few members of the incredible team who volunteer their time and efforts to spreading Hashem’s Light.
Racheli and her husband, David, made aliya to Israel from Miami, Florida a year and a half ago, but it’s been a long journey in more ways than one. It all began more than three years ago with a book by Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita (may he be blessed with a long and good life), called “The Trail to Tranquility”. Something in the book ignited a flame in Racheli’s soul and she sought out Rabbi Brody for advice through his renowned blog, Lazer Beams. One thing led to another and before long Rabbi Brody and his staff were on their way to Miami for a speaking tour. Racheli encouraged her husband to assist the Rav in whatever he needed while in the area. David arranged lectures, scheduled meetings, helped with Breslev book sales and even became their personal driver. At the end of the visit, Rabbi Brody sat with Mr. and Mrs. Reckles and advised them to prepare a 3 to 5 year plan for making aliya.
Racheli’s first reaction was “No way!” to aliya. The thought had never even crossed their minds. Yet, this suggestion must have penetrated their hearts because for no apparent reason they found themselves seriously making plans. The toughest part was informing family and friends who could not comprehend their decision. Even their Israeli relatives were perplexed, questioning why anyone would willingly give up ‘the good life’ for a life in Israel. David and Racheli Reckles realized that there were more important things than the materialism of western culture. They knew this was the right choice for the children, their 3 precious little boys, who would grow up in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, with the Torah values they had come to love and appreciate.
Meanwhile, as preparations for the big move were underway, Racheli began to write for the Breslev website, of which Rabbi Brody is the English Editor. She had previously been writing for a different online publication and decided that this was where she should redirect her creative energy. Rabbi Brody agreed and has been publishing Mrs. Reckles’ wonderful, thought-provoking pieces ever since.
When asked what message she would like to convey to the readers, Racheli responded without hesitation – Aliya! She feels that everyone should make aliya as soon as possible. Every day she is more and more thankful that she is here in Israel to raise her family. She admits that was not an easy transition; there are challenges, and scores of them. She not only gave birth to her fourth son, B”H, several months after arriving in a new country, but she is often left alone to care for her rambunctious brood. Her husband, with gratitude to Hashem, is now Breslev Israel's Program Director, and is occasionally gone for weeks at a time assisting the Rabbi Brody on his overseas trips. Their work is invaluable and staying true to her beliefs, Racheli is willing to selflessly accept this self-sacrifice for the greater good.
Racheli can’t stress enough how living in the Holy Land and observing Torah and Mitzvot (commandments) has changed their lives for the better. She sees Divine Providence occurring every day and says the struggles can only make us stronger. The secular influences they left behind can potentially cause so much damage to one’s soul they are grateful for the privilege of bringing up children in this wholesome, pure existence.
We pray that Racheli, David and their beautiful family (blee eyin hara) will be blessed with abundance and all of Hashem’s blessings. May Racheli continue to bring kedusha (holiness) into the world through her informative articles and inspire each of us along the way!
Rabbi Shalom Arush (right) blessing two of Racheli's four sons, with husband David at left