Got that pioneering spirit? You’re invited to help build Israel’s periphery by planting roots in southern soil with Nefesh B’Nefesh.
Jewish Children Who Urgently Need Our Help
Two-year-old Chana and her brother, four-year-old Menachem Yosef, have been placed with two different foster-care families in Rensselaer County in upstate New York. One family is headed by a couple that has pledged to raise the child as a believer in Jesus; the other is headed by two women.
Both families hold beliefs or live lifestyles that are protected by laws we are duty-bound to respect. Nevertheless, we must question the judgment of assigning these children – whose mother has expressed the desire that they be brought up in an Orthodox Jewish environment – to these particular households. The case has taken on added urgency now that adoption seems to be imminent.
Our passionate protest is needed. The unfortunate mother, who is unable to raise the children, is understandably upset. A number of Jewish families have indicated their eagerness to adopt Jewish children. The Jewish community is privileged to have several organizations that are in place to help in such situations.
The proper handling of foster-care assignments and adoptions must become an absolute priority, and it is vital that we communicate our concerns to our elected representatives in the State Senate and Assembly.
Rabbi Noson Leiter (cell and text: 845-642-1679; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) has taken the lead in this matter. He cannot, however, carry the campaign alone. He needs help in this holy cause.
Agudah Convention 5773-2012
This year’s Agudah Convention, which had been scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend in November, was rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy. Instead, the convention was held from December 27 through December 30 at the Hilton East Brunswick in New Jersey. This year’s theme was “Our responsibilities to One Another in Times of Challenge.” Rabbi Menachem Lubinsky, of Lubicom Marketing Consulting, served as convention chairman.
The Thursday evening opening session was addressed by Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudath Israel; Rabbi Yitzchok Scheiner, Rosh Yeshiva Kamanetz Jerusalem; Rabbi Uren Reich, Rosh Yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Woodlake Village and son-in-law of Rabbi Shneur Kotler, zt”l (1918-1982), Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha Lakewood (BMG); and by Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rosh Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Far Rockaway. The session was chaired by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel.
The Thursday late night session included a much-needed meeting to discuss “New Strategies in the Shidduch Realm.” Friday morning’s session included a meeting for Agudah-affiliated congregational rabbis on dealing with the increase of divorce in the observant community. A second meeting focused on the issue of traditional circumcision rituals now under attack. A third meeting focused on building on the success of the Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas, held last August at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The Friday night Kabbalas Shabbos session was privileged to hear Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath. Rabbi Belsky, the preeminent halachic authority in the American yeshiva world, just returned from leading an important Torah support group trip to Russia. His participation in the convention was particularly gratifying to all those present, as he had recently come through a medical emergency.
The Motzaei Shabbos Centennial Banquet honored Agudah’s 100 years of service since its establishment in Katowice, Poland.
Rachmestrivka Shabbos In Lakewood
The chassidishe community in Lakewood is geared for an intense Shabbos to be led by Rabbi Chai Yitzchok Twersky, Rachmestrivka Rebbe in Boro Park. Shabbos Shemos, January 4-5, will have the Rebbe lead tefillas and tisch. Thousands are expected to participate. Special committees have been working tirelessly in preparing every detail, especially in arranging lodging and hospitality for the many chassidim who will come to Lakewood for the important Shabbos.
Today’s Rachmestrivka Rebbe is the son of Rabbi Yochanon Twersky, zt”l (1903-1981), Rachmestrivka Rebbe in Jerusalem; son of Rabbi Dovid Twersky, zt”l (1872-1950), Rachmestrivka Rebbe; son of Rabbi Menachem Nochum, zt”l (1843-1937), Rachmestrivka Rebbe who emigrated to Jerusalem in 1924; son of Rabbi Yochanon, zt”l (1816-1895), Rachmestrivka Rebbe; son of Rabbi Mordechai, zt”l (1770-1837), Chernobler Rebbe; son of Rabbi Menachem Nochum Twersky, zt”l (1730-1797), founding Chernobler Rebbe. Today’s Rachmestrivka Rebbe is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Twersky, zt”l (1899-1968), Skverer Rebbe.
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Yet all are part of one neshamah, planted in rich, verdant soil, determined to grow. May our garden continue to produce a glorious assortment of flowers and trees, each attached firmly to its roots. Our diverse southern vegetation flourishes and grows into different trees, flowers, and fruits, and a rainbow of glorious shades and hues appears. Yet each shoot is rooted in the same soil, stretching its branches and blossoms heavenward in an endless pursuit of growth and connection to the One above.
This past Lag B’Omer, we were blessed to make our first upsherin, where we celebrate our son’s first hair cut. It’s a wonderful milestone that mimics the three years that we refrain from plucking a tree’s first fruits and symbolizes the entry of the child into the world of Torah learning. It’s a clear sign to everyone; this boy is no longer a baby.
Although there are more direct and faster routes to Beer Sheva and Eilat and all the sites and towns in-between, the Basor River is one of the beauties of the Negev that defiantly justifies a diversion.
The importance of death customs has been ingrained in me since birth. When I served as a shomeret for my grandmother, I was instructed not to eat, drink or perform a mitzvah in the same room. In the shock of death, it seemed rather inane to be told it would be considered mocking the dead. My grandmother was gone; she couldn’t do those things because she didn’t exist anymore, a fact that still makes me tear up.
I would have to say that one of the most annoying things about having a newspaper advice column, aside from all these people writing to me and asking for advice, is that they frequently don’t tell me WHY they’re asking.
Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l, who passed away on 28 Tammuz, (July18) this year at age 102, spent all of his days and most of his nights learning Torah. He was the paramount leader of our generation, and inspired tremendous awe and reverence in everyone who knew him. Now, every woman has the stunning opportunity to do something in his memory. A Sefer Torah is being written in his memory and women around the world have the chance to dedicate a letter.
Due to her family situation, it is understandable that she will have more responsibilities than other girls her age, but she would benefit from having some free time and receiving more appreciation for her hard work.
For children, summer means outdoor sports, picnics, and of course, no school! Teachers and students work hard all year long – and everyone deserves a break from education over the summer. However, this two-month break can often have some pretty devastating consequences.
It was only after we celebrated the great news that we were expecting twins that we saw the first sign of problems. First of all, my wife was losing, not gaining weight, even as the babies continued to grow normally. Soon after, routine blood work revealed that my wife was suffering from gestational diabetes.
Rabbi Pinchas Gruman is the new rav of the Minyan at Aish Tamid.
One of the most respected Torah figures in Los Angeles, Rabbi Gruman has been described as “The Los Angeles link in the mesorah of the yeshiva world” by Rabbi Nachum Sauer. As a talmid in Lakewood in the 1950s, Rabbi Gruman received semicha from Rav Aaron Kotler, zt”l, and Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. Soon after, he moved to Los Angeles.
Another tree is down.
I’m driving down Lakewood Avenue, figuring that maybe, just maybe, the tree that blocked the middle of North Lake Drive has been removed, and I can go through. After all, they had a whole day. I’m sure things have been taken care of.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-50/2013/01/03/
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