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Last week a shocking incident occurred in Central Florida. Jeffrey Bush, a 36-year old resident of Tampa, was asleep in his family home. Suddenly, a 20-foot-sinkhole opened up under him. Bush awoke. He screamed for help as he, his bed and the furnishings of the room were swallowed up.
Brother Jeremy heard the cries and ran to help. He jumped in to pull out Jeffrey, but it was too late. Everything was gone.
Rescue workers found no signs of life. The sinkhole was unstable and growing. Officials deemed the structure to be unsafe and extremely dangerous. Engineers were called to demolish the house.
Jeffrey Bush is presumed dead under the rubble. His brother and wife and baby daughter miss him dearly. He has been swept away.
The idea of the earth opening and consuming either people or property is truly horrific. It is an event of biblical magnitude. It brings to mind the story of the aftermath of the Korach rebellion.
Unfortunately, there are many among us who are swallowed up and unavailable to their loved ones and do not even have a sinkhole to blame. The frenzied pace of life in our times often creates overscheduled, overbooked and overextended individuals who want to have it all. Their marathon is the rat race.
There are business, social and civic obligations. There are meetings, coffees and teas. There are breakfasts, brunches, luncheons and dinners. They go from early morning to late at night, but fail to get ahead. They are on a merry-go-round.
There are families that almost never have a meal together. There are children who rarely see their father or mother. There are couples who connect in fleeting glances en route to activities.
Traditional Shabbat observance has always been a saving grace for Jewish families. It has served as a quintessential oasis of rest and refreshment and an antidote for the stress of life. However, even this special day has, in many cases, been compromised.
Exhausted parents hurry through Friday night dinner anticipating a good night’s sleep. Little ones who have largely been ignored during the rush of the week often vie for attention. Unfortunately, tantrums and tears often follow.
Shabbat day can also be problematic. Adults crave a long nap. Children want to visit the park. Tempers fray. Patience wears thin. Often older siblings, Shabbat groups in the synagogue or Saturday babysitters take up the slack. Soon the sun sets, Havdalah is made and the hectic cycle continues.
There are pivotal moments that should grab our attention. The awareness of the fragility of life is just one of them. A person being sucked into a sinkhole may be an extremely rare occurrence, but sudden heart attacks, strokes or accidents are not.
Life is short. Use it well.
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Rewind sixty years to 1953.
Television was considered kosher by most and featured the likes of Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, George Burns, Red Buttons, Perry Como, Arthur Godfrey, Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Jack Webb as Joe Friday on “Dragnet” and many others who provided great memories.
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.
The annual ritual has begun. Preparations are officially underway for Florida’s 2013 hurricane season. Weather forecasters air their dire predictions. Store shelves sag under planks of plywood, generators and other supplies. Many residents stockpile water, canned food and batteries.
Rabbi Pinchas Weberman gave the invocation at the Republican Executive Committee of Miami-Dade County at the group’s May 9 meeting. The event took place at the Renaissance Ballroom, located at 5910 S.W. 8th Street, in Miami.
The students of Aventura-Turnberry Jewish Center in Aventura volunteered to stock the shelves of the Kosher Food Bank on Sunday, May 19. Co-chairs for this project were Heather Romeu and Deborah Thaler, parents of ATC children.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
South Floridians held their breaths last week waiting the outcome of a frightening situation. Three children were abducted in front of a Miami grocery store. Two of the little ones were 6 years old. The other was 5.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-swallowed-up/2013/03/15/
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