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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Divrei Torah’

Azkara Held For Rabbi Yoseph Oziel

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The Shul of Bal Harbour, 9540 Collins Avenue in Surfside, held an askara (commemoration) marking seven days since the passing of Rabbi Yoseph Oziel on Tuesday, July 10. Minchah services were followed by divrei Torah from prominent rabbis and concluded with Arvit.

Rabbi Oziel was the beloved and highly regarded spiritual leader of Hechal Shalom-Sephardic Congregation of Surfside. The rabbi was a respected talmid chacham and rav and had opened a kollel in his synagogue only two months ago. He was 42 years old.

Rabbi Oziel is survived by his devoted wife and eight children. His wife is expecting their ninth child.

The grief-stricken community is trying to put together a trust fund for the family. Please contribute by mailing your check to: Young Israel of Bal Harbour, POB 545985, Surfside, Florida 33154. Please make a notation that you wish this contribution to go the Oziel family.

Reflections On The Eighth Yahrzeit Of Rabbi Sholom Klass, zt”l

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

         The years move forward and your eighth yahrzeit (10 Shevat) will soon be here, my dear father. Eight years without you, my rabbi, my father, my guidepost. Eight years is a long time to go without hearing your wonderful Divrei Torah; without having you at our Shabbos table, or sitting at yours. But the loss is not just ours.
 
         It is really a loss for Klal Yisrael. Many people who used to turn to you for answers to their questions have told us that they have not found anyone whose responses were as clear and erudite, and who accepted every query so willingly. The best that I can do is tell people that many of the hundreds of answers that you gave can be found in your three volumes of Responsa of Modern Judaism.
 
         I sit here at your desk, in your office at The Jewish Press and your Gemaras and your seforim are still on the shelves all around me, just as you left them. Sometimes your grandson Shlomo comes in to borrow one. He works here now, writing and interviewing. How happy you would have been to see it. I can picture the smile that would have lit up your face as he reached for a Gemara. But you wouldn’t have let it go at that. You would have engaged him in a regular shiur before he left the room, sefer in hand.
 
         That was always how it was. You were so happy to see any one of your grandchildren, but the visit had to include words of Torah. And of course you trained them to always give the source. That training serves all of them very well. Whenever Zevie or Dovid gives over a piece of Gemara they are quick to say where it can be found. But it is not only your grandchildren – even Rafi, your great- grandson, always gives the origin, and I smile and thank you in my heart.
 
         In these past eight years, more great-grandchildren have been born and almost every family has a Sholom named for you. Several of your great-grandchildren have married and have children of their own, your great-great-grandchildren. Shandee is a grandmother. Yes, your beloved granddaughter Shandele has grandchildren of her own.
 
         At The Jewish Press we try to carry on your legacy. You worked so hard, and your labor bore fruit. You wanted to spread Torah throughout the land and you did. I still meet people who tell me that they are observant Jews today because of The Jewish Press. You also worked tirelessly on behalf of Eretz Yisrael. Half of your grandchildren live in Israel, and that, too, is in large measure in your zechus.
 
         I watch in growing dismay and horror the unfolding of disturbing events in Israel. I can only imagine what you would be writing today in answer to the dire situation that threatens the very existence of our beloved homeland. You always said that the pen is mightier than the sword and I know that your pen would have been a powerful weapon.
 
         The loves of your life were Torah, your family, the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. You devoted your life to further these values. And today with the help of Hashem, all of your children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren live Torah lives.
 
         You used to say, “Yaakov Avinu lo met -Yaakov our forefather did not die,” but just a few weeks ago we read that he did in fact die. You liked to explain that one who leaves children and grandchildren, who follow in the path of Torah, truly never dies.
 

         In your zechus, may we continue to succeed and may you be a melitz yosher for all of us and for Klal Yisrael.

Loss

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

         Just days ago millions of people’s lives across the country were impacted by severe unrelenting weather in the form of snowstorms, torrential rains, hurricane force winds and tornadoes. Many, including myself, found themselves at strange airports, waiting endlessly for information about their delayed flights. If and when they would take off, could they get back to work or home to the families waiting for them?

 

         Many of us literally ended up going nowhere. We lost time.

 

         Thousands of people who had not traveled experienced other aggravations due to considerable property damage. Roofs were torn off  homes, basements flooded, electricity cut off, cars wrecked, etc. All no doubt have been hit hard financially. Those people lost money.

 

         Most of us were angry, frustrated, annoyed, miserable and scared. We felt victimized. We felt sorry for ourselves.

 

         It’s a sad fact of life that other people’s tragedies are often the only way we gain true perspective. It’s the only way we get the very sobering wakeup call that we have let ourselves be stressed by relatively minor events and situations. That we have no business to “sweat the small stuff.”

 

         I write this as I hear the news of the massacre of students on a Virginia campus.

 

         The previous day’s coverage of the bad weather -that deservedly received much media attention due to its severity and life-threatening nature – pales in comparison to this day’s news.

 

         How minor and irrelevant lost time and lost money is when viewed in the context of lost lives. Especially if those lives were stolen by blind, unyielding hatred, as has happened all too frequently in Israel.

 

         With Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day approaching, I dedicate the following poem to those n’shei chayil,  murdered by terrorists,   who lost their lives al kiddush Hashem  by living in Eretz Yisrael - and to the soul mates who courageously survive them.

 

 

Loss


 


It’s been several years since you were taken away,


But the pain still sears me as if it were yesterday,


I know you’d insist that I get on with my life,


That I stop grieving, and get another wife.

 

But I’m doing all right, as best as I’m able,


Being Abba and Ema and keeping the family stable,


My job, and our children, keep me too busy from thinking


It’s mostly on Shabbat that I feel myself sinking.

 

For as I make Kiddush and glance at your chair,


It hits me like a fist – you’ll never ever sit there,


Never again will I enjoy the feast you worked hard to prepare,


Nor smell the fragrant flowers you arranged with such care.


 

Nor see your proud smile, as the kids say their Divrei Torah,


It was you who truly created our festive Shabbat aura.


We are often invited out – but I’m not yet in the mood,


So we eat our meals at home – I buy prepared food.

 

Who knew that sunny morning as you went out the door,


That was to be the last time,that you’d return no more.


I try in vain to remember if I said goodbye to you that day,


How could I know blind hatred was going to take you away?

 

You were murdered by a youngster raised on jealousy and hate,


Fed a diet of violence that only bloodshed could sate.


His handlers watched in safety – they themselves don’t care to die,


As their pawn – so disposable – blew himself to the sky.

 

And he took you with him. He stole away your life.


He stole my children’s mother. He stole away my wife.


He aborted our happy future, shared moments that will never be,


Leaving despair and emptiness, a shattered family.

 

I know you’ll be upset if I don’t move on.


I know I have to accept that that you are truly gone.


I promise, that I’ll work on letting go of my sorrow,


But I can’t, not todayI’ll try again, tomorrow.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/loss/2007/04/18/

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