On Wednesday evening, December 28, Rena Greenberg led a challah bake at the Young Israel of Queens Valley in memory of her daughter Bryna Brachah bas Aryeh Yaakov a”h, to show hakaras ha’tov and to raise money for Chai Lifeline.

Mrs. Greenberg guided everyone step-by-step as they formed their own challah dough. Then, while the dough was rising, Rebbetzin Miriam Krohn, Limudei Kodesh Principal of Shevach High School, shared an inspiring shiur. She related a teaching of Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz. Routine is our friend and at the same time our enemy. Human nature loves routine. We like to know what we are doing each day and where we are going. At the same time, routine can make us act without thinking, and our actions can become rote. Musar teaches us that people need to know where they are now and to have goals for the future and to figure out how to accomplish those goals.

We need to think for ourselves as much as possible. We also need to set standards for ourselves. She shared a story about her daughter-in-law, who had set the standard of not shaking hands with a man. When she was faced with a situation of passing a driving test, and the instructor extended his hand to shake hers and tell her that she passed, she explained that it was more embarrassing for her. She appreciated what he does, but she doesn’t shake hands. He asked why, and she explained that Orthodox Jewish women only touch their husband. He said that this was beautiful and she taught him something.

If you set a standard for yourself, then you break the routine.

She then shared how mothers call her for shidduch references and they often ask about the girl’s ability to cope with situations. Rebbetzin Krohn noted that it’s important to be resilient.

She noted that change is hard, and the ability to change makes us what we are. It defines our character. In Baruch SheAmar, we recite every morning that Hashem decrees and He does. This means that we should be thinking that we accept His decree and ask Him to allow us to rise above it. We embrace the good and accept challenges, and we ask for resilience to rise above them.

Following this, Mrs. Greenberg spoke. She shared special thanks to Mrs. Krohn for her support, and she noted that Mrs. Krohn was her teacher and the teacher of two of her daughters. She then expressed her tremendous gratitude to Chai Lifeline for all that they did for her family during her daughter’s illness and all that they do for klal Yisrael. She also thanked Rabbi and Rebbetzin Marcus of the Young Israel of Queens Valley for all their support. This is the second challah bake gathering for Bryna Bracha. The first was last year for a r’fuah sh’leimah. When Rena asked her daughter if it was okay to do it, Bryna said, “Absolutely.”

Mrs. Greenberg related, “She just wanted to do good and generate good.” This year’s bake was a z’chus for the neshamah of Bryna Brachah bas Aryeh Yaakov. Last year they raised $3,000 for Chai Lifeline. Mashiach should come and no one should ever need it.

In Bryna Bracha’s lifetime, she generated so much merit. Mrs. Greenberg said she is thankful for knowing her daughter, and she impacted so many of us. She was a role model of a Jewish woman. Baking challah is a special mitzvah for a Jewish woman. “When you do the mitzvah of challah, you bring brachah into your home.”

The event ended with everyone reciting the hafrashas challah brachah aloud and then davening their own private t’filos. It was very moving and inspiring, and the neshamah of Bryna Brachah bas Aryeh Yaakov should have an aliyah, and her family, friends, and our community should be comforted.