web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » Judaism » Torah »

‘Hurricane Season’

Cohen-Rabbi-Dovid-M

A mentor once said, “Hachaim Zeh Lo Picnic” which translates to “Life isn’t Easy.” I was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan during Sandy. We didn’t lose electricity, barely felt a thing. This was not the case for our neighbors in Seagate, the Five Towns, Teaneck and many other places. Many from our community have volunteered and we are in the midst of completing a $1 million communal campaign to help make a tiny dent in all the financial ruin.

Despite these efforts, connection for me only comes when I reflect on the birth of my oldest child, who surprisingly and shockingly entered our world with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Those first few days were incredibly difficult. All thoughts of the future were frightening and overwhelming. The challenge for us was to stay afloat (no pun intended) and re-gain equilibrium – as I imagine the challenge for many is at this very moment. The good news is that with time things got much better and much easier, even though it’s not always a picnic.

I think it crucial in times like these that we share our feelings and express ourselves. It’s healthy to acknowledge the fear and doubts and to lean on others for support. Chazal teach, “daaga blev ish yasichenu l’acher – worry in the heart of man should be expressed to others,” a source for the field of listening professionals or minimally to have good friends and solid family relationships.

Yaakov introduced Maariv, the evening prayer. In the darkness of night, when there is a tremendous lack of clarity, Yaakov, who represents us, Bnei Yisrael, cries out to Hashem. Hashem is the address we can always turn to no matter how dark the darkness and despair. The synthesizing of chesed with din, the enmeshing of these two phenomena emanate from our father Yaakov, who prayed from the darkness.

My daughter, who is six, informed me she voted in her mock school election for Mitt Romney. She said he’d be a good friend to Israel and “lower the price of taxis.” Unfortunately, the prices of “taxis” or “taxes” are likely heading in the other direction, at least for those in higher income brackets. Even so, one must remember the maxim introduced by Rav Yitzchak Hutner z’l in a famous letter to a struggling student, “lose the battle, but win the war.” We have lost some battles of late, but we must always keep our “eye on the prize” and fight to the finish where a splendorous redemption awaits us just beyond the horizon.

 

About the Author: Dovid M. Cohen, Esq., is rabbi of Young Israel of the West Side in Manhattan (www.yiws.org).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “‘Hurricane Season’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
False Alarm 2
Rocket Fire Returns to Southern Israel – Again!
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

Our right to exist and our form of self-government were decided by the ruling parties.

It is clear that Tosafos maintains that only someone who lives in a house must light Chanukah candles.

More Articles from Rabbi Dovid M. Cohen
Torah Curtain (detail) (2011) by Mark Podwal Fabricated by Penn and Fletcher Courtesy Yeshiva University Museum

There are three Jewish crowns: the crown of Torah, the crown of priesthood, and the crown of kingship.

Shimon Peres speaking at funeral service for Gilad, Naftali and Eyal

“Am HaNetzach Eino Mefached Mi Derech Aruka” (An eternal people doesn’t fear the long journey).

The first month of 2014 has brought an intense high and a profound low.

At some point I noticed an arresting picture on his wall and discovered that his maternal grandfather was Rav Dovid Lifshitz.

There is always some tension surrounding Super Bowl Sunday as one decides whether to watch the big game with friends or go it alone. I have a friend who makes a compromise. He watches the first half with friends – or, as he explains, “the novices,” those who aren’t “real” fans – but the second half, generally the more intense part of the game, he watches alone.

It’s been a rough few weeks. It began with the news of a heinous crime just blocks from where I live on Manhatan’s Upper West Side: a nanny viciously took the lives of her two young charges. Hurricane Sandy came next, contributing additional loss of life and financial devastation of a magnitude never before experienced by our East Coast brethren.

I once heard a story about a single man struggling to find a spouse. His main challenge was his insistence that a potential mate permanently welcome his widowed mother into their marital home. A friend suggested that he speak with the great authority, Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt’l. The man shared with the Rav his delicate predicament. The Rav validated the man’s approach as acceptable. Sometime later, the man met his bashert, the special woman willing to live with his mom. They returned to Rav Shlomo Zalman for his blessing. Surprisingly, the Rav called the man aside and told him that they cannot live with his mother anymore. The young man was shocked. After all, on the previous visit, the Rav had supported his desire to find a woman who would accept their living with his mother.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/hurricane-season/2012/12/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: