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September 30, 2014 / 6 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Assemblyman Dov Hikind’

Dov Hikind’s Mother Dies at 85; Burial Today

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Frieda Hikind, mother of New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, died on Noonday at the age of 95. Her funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. (EDT) at Shomrei Hadas Chapels in Boro Park.

Mrs. Hikind suffered a massive stroke last week after having been hospitalized for several weeks in Maimonides Hospital.

She was born in Czechoslovakia in 1918 and was the sole family survivor of Auschwitz.  She moved to the United State in 1947 and married Mayer Hikind, also a Holocaust survivor.

Flatbush Jews Form Civic Advocacy and Political Coalition

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Just weeks after a few Orthodox Jewish activists came out with plea a for creating a coalition of various community activists that would solidify the Jewish community’s voter base, a newly formed Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition of leading Roshei Yeshivot, Rabbanim, and community activists, was announced Thursday morning. The coalition, as noted in the press release, was formed to coordinate efforts by disparate segments of the Jewish community in Flatbush, to foster the growth and development of one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country.

The FJCC plans to address many of the civic and communal challenges that face the Jewish residents of Flatbush, including safety, zoning, quality of life concerns and emerging political issues. According to the organizers, the FJCC will also pursue the important goal of registering new voters, and encouraging everyone to vote in both the primary and general elections.

“Due to the recent citywide redistricting, it is more important than ever that our community’s voice is heard through a strong voter turnout,” said Josh Mehlman, one of the organizers. “It is imperative that we register and vote in the upcoming elections, which will have a significant impact on our lives for years to come. Elected officials pay particular attention to communities with large voter turnouts; many of our concerns will be directly affected by our participation in the electoral process.”

“Our goal is unity, because when we speak with one voice, it is a powerful and effective,” Mr. Mehlman added.

The Orthodox community in Brooklyn, which counts some 200,000 household, currently has only 3 Orthodox elected officials in government: Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Another open seat in the newly drawn 48th council district, which is highly contested in this year’s election, might get an Orthodox Jewish representative if the Russians split their vote among their three candidates and Chaim Deutsch emerges victorious in the primaries and in the November general election.

The FJCC already has more than 50 members from major shuls and yeshivas, including a group of well-known community leaders. The committee in formation includes: Avi Schron, Shimon Lefkowitz, Avi Schick, Menachem Lubinsky, Chaim Scharf, Leon Goldenberg, Abish Brodt, Elly Kleinman, Peter Rebenwurzel, Chaskel Bennett, Yechiel Landau, Yussie Zalmanowitz, Yanky Arem, Pinny Rand, Aaron Tessler, Dr. Simon Friedman, Rafi Treitel, Shmuel Kairy, Mendy Pomerantz, Yitzchok Fuchs, Lenny Wassner, Avrohom Poznanski, Ephraim Fruchthandler, Dudi Spira, Sruli Berger, Dr. Seymour Edelstein, Victor Shine, Ephraim Nierenberg, Avrohom Tikotsky, Dr. Israel Zyskind, and Josh Mehlman.

Many additional community activists are expected to join this growing coalition.

Hikind Joins Bloggers to Accuse Greenfield as a Phony Blogger

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

“I’m not insinuating that David is the only person that uses the Dov Gordon pen name, but as it pertains to politics, he is far and away the only person writing about inside baseball,” Stefanie Fedak, Greenfield’s former chief of staff, told the CityandStateNY website.

Greenfield laid off Fedak 18 months ago, and now Fedak is spilling the beans.

Greenfield confirmed Fedak’s version, according to a source close to the city councilman and who was quoted by CityandState.

However, an official statement from a spokesperson for Greenfield staged to the website, “Your story is a vicious lie being spread by an obsessed and disgruntled former staffer who was fired nearly two years ago. The Clintons have Vince Foster nuts, President Obama has his crazy birthers and Councilman Greenfield has lunatics who think he writes daily news columns while maintaining a very public 70-hour-a-week work schedule. All of these conspiracy theorists should be institutionalized.”

“Dov Gordon” is a frequent blogger for Yeshiva World News.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, far from a close friend of Greenfield, alleged that Yeshiva World’s coverage of him “mean-spirited” and “degrading.”

“You can criticize me; that’s not the issue, we can all be criticized at times,” Hikind said in an interview with the website’s Nick Powell. “This is way beyond that … this is someone with an agenda. … One of the most interesting things is, there’s one person who’s always very popular with Dov Gordon: David Greenfield.”

So who is Dov Gordon?

CityandState searched but did not come up with a final answer.

Powell wrote, “City & State searched public records for people named Dov Gordon, but was unable to identify anyone with that name who admitted to writing for Yeshiva World.

“A report by journalist Ross Barkan refers to a Dov Gordon as the spokesperson for an organization called Save Flatbush, which ran an ad in the Jewish newspaper Hamodia condemning the City Council’s proposed redistricting of south Brooklyn.

“The report, including an interview with this Dov Gordon, was posted on Barkan’s blog in February, two months after Pete Appel had speculated whether Greenfield might be Dov Gordon. City & State sent an email to Save Flatbush asking if the Dov Gordon that worked for the organization also wrote for Yeshiva World, but received no response.

“The Flatbush Jewish Journal also posted a letter to the editor from someone named Dov Gordon in late January. The letter criticizes unnamed elected officials for failing residents in a redistricting process that had allowed the community to be divided up.”

Hikind Defends His Blackface Hoop Player Purim Shtick

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Brooklyn New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind had “a lot of fun” by dressing up as a black basketball player on Purim, but now that the party is over, so is the fun.

He invited a professional makeup artist to his home on Purim to help him with his costume, complete with an afro wig, sunglasses, an orange jersey and – of course – brown face paint.

“I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players. Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player,” Mr. Hikind explained to the Politicker website. “It was just a lot of fun.… The fun for me is when people come in and don’t recognize me.”

Dozens of people streamed in and out of his house to enjoy the Purim party, where his wife dressed up as a devil, which is probably what many people, black and white, are calling him today.

Jews dress up as just about anyone on Purim, from Arabs, to Haredi Jews, political figures, clowns, priests – everything. But recreating a stereotype of blacks is the farthest point away from being politically correct, especially for a Jewish politician,

Hikind sees no problem with his costume.

“I can’t imagine anyone getting offended,” he told Politicker. “You know, anyone who knows anything about Purim knows that if you walk throughout the community, whether it’s Williamsburg, Boro Park, Flatbush, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, people get dressed up in, you name it, you know, in every kind of dress-up imaginable.

“Purim, you know, everything goes and it’s all done with respect. No one is laughing, no one is mocking.”

Hikind told a WCBS 880 reporter that it “never crossed my mind for a second” that the costume might be offensive, and added, “If I was black, on Purim I would have made my face look like I was white.”

The New York Times reported Monday that Assembly Democrat, Deborah J. Glick of Manhattan, took to Twitter to state her objections to the costume and wrote, “Assembly member Dov Hikind in blackface was beyond offensive. A Purim party shouldn’t be cover for insensitivity.” City Councilman Mark Weprin posted on Twitter a simple question: “What was Dov thinking?”

Jewish Press Endorsements – November 6 General Elections

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

U.S. President

Last week we urged readers to support Governor Mitt Romney for president. Essentially we argued that Mr. Romney seems to be someone who can be relied on to nurture and enhance the special, decades-old U.S.-Israel relationship.

On the other hand, once freed from the dynamic of the American electoral process, President Obama, we fear, could well revert to his original stated position that “When there is no daylight [between the U.S. and Israel]…that erodes our credibility with the Arab world.”

For that reason, and because of the continued weak state of our economy, Mr. Romney is the preferred candidate.

U.S. Senate

In the race for the Senate in Massachusetts, we endorse Scott Brown (R) for reelection. He is a stalwart supporter of Israel and distinguished himself with regard to the Goldstone Report, calling attention to the deplorable human rights records of Israel’s enemies and urging severe and effective sanctions against Iran. In the Senate race in Wisconsin we support former governor Tommy Thompson (R). Thompson has long been vocal about his support of the Jewish state and has called for serious sanctions against Iran in order to thwart its nuclear program. Meanwhile, Thompson’s opponent voted as a congresswoman against the four major sanctions-expansion bills from 2006 to 2011. In the Ohio Senate race we endorse Josh Mandel (R), who in his currently position as state treasurer authored a law providing for the divestment of state pension funds from companies doing business with Iran and has been vocal in his support for an undivided Jerusalem and the right of Jews to build homes anywhere in that city.

U.S. House of Representatives (NY)

Grace Meng, 6th CD (Queens) deserves the support of Jewish voters. She is a vocal proponent of a strong Israel and will be a reliable friend in Washington. Though she is not prepared to completely dismiss President Obama’s record on Israel, she straightforwardly says he could have done more and been a better friend to the Jewish state and that she has problems with his “’67 lines” formulation. Hakeem Jeffries, 8th CD (Brooklyn, parts of Queens), in his interview with The Jewish Press editorial board, displayed a deep interest in foreign affairs and a keen understanding of Israel’s need for an undivided Jerusalem as its capital and why a return to the ’67 lines is not an option. He would be a valuable asset in Congress. Yvette D. Clarke, 9th CD (Brooklyn), has developed her views on the Middle East and has become a stalwart voice for accommodating Israel’s needs in Congress. Jerry Nadler, 10th CD (parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan) has always been there for Israel and the special needs of the Jewish community and is an important congressional presence. Elliot Engel, 16th CD (Bronx) has always been a staunch and key advocate in Congress for Israel and the Jewish community. In the congressional race in the 9th CD (Englewood, NJ) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gets our support. Though he has gained notoriety as a celebrity rabbi, he possesses a formidable intellect and a deep grasp of a wide range of issues. There can be no doubt that when it will come to dealing with matters of concern to our community, he will be there for us.

New York State Assembly

Assemblyman Peter Abbate, 49th AD (Brooklyn), has delivered crucial services to the Jewish community in his district, including funding for senior centers and social services organizations. He has also been a leading advocate for giving rabbinical students access to the Tuition Assistance Program and has received an Outstanding Legislator award from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, 46th AD (Brooklyn), has more than earned reelection. He is the first Russian immigrant to serve in the Assembly and has been a great friend to the Jewish community in his district, helping to found the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations, which has been a crucial resource for immigrant families. He has also supported programs that have lowered the cost of prescription drugs and helped toughen penalties for criminals who victimize the elderly. Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, 45th AD (Brooklyn), has long been a strong voice for us and a staunch advocate for Jewish social service organizations that provide legal and financial services and help feed the hungry. The son of survivors, he has been a leader in educating children about the horrors of the Holocaust and has been a great friend to survivors and their families. Assemblyman Charles Lavine, 13th AD (Nassau County), is president of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators. He has been a great friend to the Jewish community in his district and across the state on a variety of issues. A strong supporter of Israel, he helped lead the fight to pass New York’s Iran divestment law. Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, 37th AD (Queens), is the chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee and is one of the state’s leading advocates for children, the elderly and the infirm.

‘Who Takes Care Of Whom?’ – Three Letters

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

For the past two weeks my column has been devoted to the plight of seniors who find themselves incapacitated and in the unfortunate situation of being placed against their will in nursing homes. For various reasons, their children are unable to care for them or engage proper help to safeguard their well being.

The response has been enormous – I received countless letters expressing various ideas and offering suggestions. Obviously, it is impossible for me to publish all of them, but I do thank all those who have taken time to write and share their thoughts. The following are just three examples of the letters that reached my desk:

Letter #1: A Senior’s Perspective

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I read with great interest and deep emotion your response to the children of the elderly, incapacitated mother who struggled with the decision to place their mother in a nursing home against her will. I am seventy years “young.” As a matter of fact, I just celebrated my birthday last week. I am part of a group of friends ranging in age from 70-80. We each live alone because we are either widowed or divorced. We often discuss this very situation: What would happen to us if, heaven forbid, illness took over and we would no longer be capable of caring for ourselves? What would our children do?

Sadly, none of us could say with certitude that our children would care for us and not place us in a home against our will. Even those among us who have some savings (as I do) have this fear lurking in our minds. Nowadays, children do not wish to be bothered with the care of elderly parents – even though they may hire companions and nurses’ aides, they do not want the responsibility of monitoring such help. I know from whence I speak. Unfortunately, I have only too often witnessed this.

Then there are financial considerations as well. Although the children may not be willing to admit to it, they often fear that the cost of caring for their parents (although it would be coming from their parents’ estates) would cut into their inheritance. Unfortunately, this too I have seen. So when your article appeared, we were glad you brought the issue to the fore, especially when you quoted the Yiddish proverb, “Ein mama ken aushalten tzen kinder, uber tzen kinder kennen nisht aushalten ein mama” – “One mother can care for ten children, but ten children can’t care for one mother.”

I just hope that some of those “busy” young and middle-aged children who don’t have the time to visit their elderly parents will re-think their conduct and attitudes. Often, my friends and I tell each other that G-d should spare us from ever having to need our children. One of my friends, who is seventy-seven, and whose condition demands that she make regular doctor’s visits, shared with me that when it comes to going to her physician, there is always a discussion among her five children as to whose turn it is to take her. That “back and forth” discussion is mortifying and very painful to her. She has very often told them they shouldn’t do her any favors, that she’ll take a cab and go by herself, but then they become indignant, and things become worse. No matter which way she turns, she can’t win.

So once again, thank you, Rebbetzin, for bringing this problem to the fore – it’s long overdue. I just hope that the children of the elderly will read it and absorb it!

Letter #2: Solutions That Have Worked

Dear Rebbetzin:

I love your columns and your books and I thank you for all I’ve learned from you. I read this column with interest as I was in a similar position before my mother of blessed memory passed on four years ago.

My sisters and I solved this dilemma in a way you did not mention, so I thought I’d write you about what worked for us.

We tried the local Jewish Home Services but found the people they sent didn’t relate well to my mom nor she to them. Since all the alternatives were equally costly, we settled on hiring me as my mom’s professional helper. I was already helping a retired rabbi in her neighborhood and I had half a day available, so I took on my mom as my second client. Because I was working in a paid position, I was able to have more patience with my mom than I did in the role of daughter/helper. Also, this alleviated any guilt on the part of my sisters who lived in distant cities for their inability to visit more than a few weeks a year. My salary came from my mom’s savings and Social Security. The savings were to be our inheritance, so we all shared equally in paying my salary.

We carried on this way for a few years. When my mom needed more, we found a university student in her 40′s who was attending graduate school. She needed a place to live, so in exchange for her board, she was a companion for my mom in the evening, and in case of emergencies, she could call me to come over. This also worked well until my mom needed the additional help of nursing staff.

She spent her last year in an assisted living apartment, as she could no longer climb the stairs at home, which was a necessity. She also had much more stimulation from the activities at the facility than I could provide for her on my own, so it all worked out very satisfactorily. She had not wanted to live in such a facility, but finally remarked that it was the best place for her in the end. This was a huge admission on my mom’s part; it taught me that though parents are adamant against leaving their homes, if they have to be carried out and end up in a decent facility that is the last confining for them, they may eventually realize that it is the best place.

I just wanted to share this. It is an idea that many people overlook for many reasons, but I think it is a great solution for those whose savings allow for it. In this regard, many states used to provide stipends for family members who spent regular working hours with parents as their helper, and it’s good to check with state agencies about this possibility.

Letter # 3: City and Communal Help

Dear Rebbetzin:

There are many city and community agencies to help this woman with regard to her mother. Her lack of funds should in no way impede her access to care. The Department for The Aging website – www.nyc.gov/html/dfta/html/home/home.shtml – should lead her to sources within her zip code. If her children use a computer and Google NYC Department for Aging, they can access a panoply of services. Furthermore, her local assemblyman’s office in Boro Park should be able to direct her to both Jewish and community services. (Assemblyman Dov Hikind serves the 48th District – Boro Park, Dyker Heights, Kensington, and parts of Flatbush. Address: Dov Hikind, New York State Assembly District Office, 1310 48th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219. Phone: 718-853-9616. Fax: 718 436-5734.)

Regrettably, the writer’s problem is not unique, but help is available. Good luck!

Remembering Gush Katif

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

           Tisha B’Av is approaching, and with it, the awe-inspiring and painful memories I felt in when I visited Gush Katif, on a mission with Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

 

Three years ago I wrote to Anita Tucker, apologizing for never having offered her my personal support.  She had poured out her heart in an e-mail on Tisha B’Av, relating how she had just bought a used treadmill.  “I really feel just right on that walking machine – it fits our present situation perfectly.  I extend endless energies to move forward and no matter how hard I try and how much effort I exert I always end up in the same place.”


            June 2005 was a ridiculous time to pick myself up and go to Gush Katif.  But I sensed and knew what was at stake.  And I’ve never been able to fool and deceive myself when reality stares me in the face.  I remembered a short note I carry with me in my wallet.  The Klausenberg Rebbe, who lost his wife and 11 children during the Holocaust, once said that he thanks G-d that when Jews suffered so terribly he suffered with them and was not spared.  I picked up the phone and called Hikind’s office.  I booked my ticket and told my children, “I HAVE to go.”

 

 


Morag, Former Settlement in Gush Katif

 


            I think about Gush Katif every day.  The orange ribbon, faded and tattered, hangs from my car’s side window.  An orange bracelet hangs over a picture frame.  My e-mail address is l’zecher hachurban.  I have unbelievable, breath taking, moving and heart soaring pictures of Gush Katif, a world that was maliciously destroyed.  Did one have to be a Biblical prophet to see the ramifications and disaster of that destruction? 

 

In my mind I can still see Rav Avrohom Holtzberg from Crown Heights holding on to a tallit-wrapped Torah, on the plane and on the buses, carrying it until he could deliver it to one of the yishuvim.  I can picture the meals, the speeches and emotions at Neve Dekalim, whose mayor when addressing the crowd closed with the words, Hashem oz l’amo yeten, Hashem y’varech etchem b’shalom.  I see the beautiful shuls, homes and greenhouses.  I remember being welcomed with the sound of children singing heiveinu shalom aleichem in Netzarim; rushing to Sderot to offer support when a rocket fell in a living room, when it was not yet business as usual. I remember the cemetery, the davening mincha and saying Tehillim there.  I close my eyes and envision Kerem Atzmona where trees and shrubs were planted in honor of Suzanne Davis by her family.  I still have a picture of two of her grandsons lovingly and carefully planting one of those trees.  And all the time the words, Al kol eileh andal takor et ha’tikvah…” resound through my head and bring me to tears. 

 

 


Neve Dekalim, Former Settlement in Gush Katif

 

 

The unforgettable kumzitz we participated in brought back memories of kumzitzim in front of Har Hertzel when I attended seminary in Bayit VeGan.  I remember the unforgettable faces of the children being taught by the Zilberman method.  I see the gigantic nursery at Atzmona and hear the “come back in six months and you’ll see how everything’s grown, etc.”  And finally I remember the sea at the aptly named, Shirat Hayam

 

And the shuls, the shuls, the shuls.  I can’t speak for the Almighty, but I was all for blowing them up so that they not be used for the filthy purposes they are now being used for.  I can’t argue about kedushah rishona and kedushah shniya and all the justifications, both on the left and on the right. 

 

To me it seems simple.  The Arabs have one goal in mind – to destroy us.  Their faith is absolute, they are determined, and nothing stands in their way.  Think of leaving your children in a car to be blown up at a checkpoint as long as it also kills Israelis.  The terrorists at Entebbe were angels compared to the Arafat-bred Palestinians of today.  We tremble before them, instead of trembling before G-d.  They know it, and they smirk as we play into their foul hands.  The plain fact is that we have lost our resolve and are unfortunately, often governed by Jews who are not Jews.  The Jews in Gush Katif  lived ON the sand – the geniuses who maliciously removed the Jews of Gush Katif from their lands and homes – live with their heads IN the sand. 

 

 


Shul in Netzarim, Former Settlement in Gush Katif

 


            I walked around Gush Katif, looked at the people, the skies, the sea, the greenhouses, the nurseries and shuls.  Every day I listened to their stories and their mesirat nefesh, theirpurpose and total belief in G-d and in what they were doing.  They had an inner glow about them, a nachat ruach. The same look many Israelis had in the late 1950s and 1960s when I had the zechut to live in Israel and to sense what the people of Gush Katuf were feeling – hatzneia lechet im Elokecha. 


            Why use the word disengagement – disengagement from what?  It seems to me that we “disengaged” from our core, our Jewishness.  G-d and I never “disengaged” from each other.  He and my people, my fellow Jews are the essence of my being.  They are what defines us as Jews.  The Jews of Gush Katif truly defined themselves as Jews.  I said it then and I’ll say it again, that G-d will surely punish us for what we have done and for what we permitted.  During this period of time we cry for what our enemies have done to us throughout the ages.  To that we must now add what we have done to ourselves.  I see it as no coincidence that the expulsion was planned for right after Tisha B’Av


            I wanted to share with Anita Tucker that before I had read her e-mail, I had read a fascinating article by Yosef Y. Jacobson entitled “Intimacy in Flames.”  I wanted to share parts of it with her, to emphasize our bitachon, our optimism and everlasting love of G-d, and to try to offer some words of comfort to her.   


            The Talmud relates a profoundly strange incident that occurred moments before the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash:  When the pagans entered the Holy Temple, they saw the cherubs cleaving to each other…the “Holy of Holies” was seen as the spiritual epicenter of the universe.  Two golden cherubs – two winged figures, one male and one female – were located in the “Holy of Holies.” These cherubs represented the relationship between the cosmic groom and bride, between G-d and His people.


            Tradition teaches that when the relationship between G-d and His people was sour the two faces were turned away from each other, as when spouses turn from each other in anger.  When the relationship was good, the cherubs would face each other.  And when the love between G-d and His bride (Israel) was at its peak, the cherubs would embrace “as a man cleaves to his wife.” 


            When the enemies of Israel invaded the Temple…there they saw the cherubs
embracing each other.  They dragged them out of the Temple and into the streets, vulgarizing their sacred significance. This seems bizarre…the relationship between G-d and His people was at its lowest possible point, for that was the reason for the destruction and the subsequent exile.  The Jews were about to become estranged from G-d for millennia.  The manifest presence of divinity in the world, via the Temple in Jerusalem, would cease; Jews and G-d would now be exiled from each other. 


            Yet, paradoxically, it was precisely at that moment that the cherubs were intertwined, symbolizing the most profound relationship between G-d and Israel.  How are we to understand this?


            Rav Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezrich gives the following explanation:  Based on the injunction of the sages that a man ought to consort with his wife prior to leaving home on a journey, the Maggid suggested that G-d, prior to His long journey away from home, expressed His intimacy with the Jewish people.  Prior to the onset of a long exile, the cherubs were intertwined, representing the intimacy preceding the journey. 


            What the Chassidic master was attempting to convey through this dazzling
metaphor…was that at the moment of the destruction, G-d impregnated (metaphorically speaking) a seed of life within the Jewish soul; He implanted within His people a piece of Himself.  And for two millennia, this “seed” has sustained us.  The groom may have seemingly departed and been consciously concealed, often to an extreme, yet a piece of His essence was embedded within the Jewish people; a spark of divinity was sown into the Jewish heart. 

 
            Many empires, religions and cultures attempted to demonstrate to the Jewish
people that their role in the scheme of creation has ended, or that it had never begun, luring them into the surrounding prevailing culture.  But the intimacy they experienced with G-d just moments before He “departed” left its indelible mark.  It imbued them with a vision, a dream and an unshakable commitment.  Throughout their journeys, often filled with extraordinary anguish, they clung to their belief that between them and the Almighty existed a covenant.  They not only absorbed the “seed,” they fertilized it, developed it and transformed it into a living organism. 


            At the moment the Temple was about to be engulfed in flames, redemption was
born.  The intimacy between G-d and Israel at that fateful time produced a hidden seed that would eventually bring healing to a broken world.  The acknowledgement of generations of sages that Moshiach was born on the ninth of Av is testimony to the intimacy that has accompanied the milieu of estrangement and exile. Now we simply wait for the birth. 

Nachamu, nachamu ami, yomar Elokeichem

             I thanked Anita for showing the way.  And I thanked her for letting me pour out my heart to her and to G-d on that Tisha B’Av


            Tisha B’Av is again approaching.  Our situation seems bleaker, and even more
frightening.  I wish I could rise to the level of Rabi Akiva who laughed as he saw wolves walk on Har HaBayit.  But I am mired down in the here-and-now, fearful and lost in the destruction. 


            Yet, I feel and live that “seed of life” within my Jewish soul that Hashem  implanted in all of us.  It will continue to sustain me, to nurture me, and to help us all light up the darkness. 


            And in front of my eyes, I see the image of the people of Gush Katif and I remember.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/remembering-gush-katif/2009/07/29/

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