Our children need to be inspired. They must know that they are special and distinguished. Of the world’s billions of people, Hashem chose us to be part of His Am HaNivchar, His Am Segulah, His Mamleches Kohanim, His Goy Kadosh.
The Tur explains why none of the women in the midbar sinned with the Golden Calf. It is because the women felt so empowered and elevated that Hashem addressed them first at Har Sinai (and only later the men). They could not reduce themselves to sin. We need to uplift our children and impart to them the message that as children of the Avos they are here to impact the world.
While the Brooklyn Jewish Experience continues to focus on igniting and kindling the spark that may have never been ignited, we recognize that the spark that is teetering or, even worse, has already extinguished, is just as important, if not more important.
I firmly believe, however, that with the right combination of raising a child in a loving, stable family with a sound hashkafa education and a pronounced Jewish raison d’etre, our work will become obsolete. I hope and pray for the day to come.
Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer is rav of the Brooklyn Jewish Experience, a popular lecturer, and the author of the acclaimed hashkafa book “Search Judaism: Judaism’s Answers to a Changing World. He can be heard on Radio Hidabroot, 97.5 FM, Wednesday mornings at 9 o’clock and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Brooklyn Jewish Experience website is www.thinkandcare.org.
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We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.
Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.
As rav of the Brooklyn Jewish Experience, a local kiruv organization devoted to reaching out to Brooklyn’s almost 70 percent non-observant Jewish population, I also teach and counsel young adults (18-33 years old) from the frum community. These students are often indistinguishable from their frum peers. Outwardly they may appear frum, but inwardly they’re disenchanted, jaded, and alienated. Their exterior appearance is largely a façade and their feeling of disenfranchisement from frumkeit is frighteningly real. There are others that are part of our program who, tragically, already took the next step and are no longer observant.
According to the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97), Mashiach will arrive before the Jewish year 6000. This means the full range of spectacular prophecies and supernatural events associated with the End of Days must occur within the next 228 years.