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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Motzei Shabbos’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Light In The Darkness

Dear Rachel,

Over the last few weeks you published letters that were filled with vitriol and criticisms as readers took issue with parents whom they view as being not caring enough of their children’s eating habits, or with adults who spend lavishly on mishloach manos or simchas, and on and on.

I have a different story to put out there, one that demonstrates true ahavas Yisroel and caring. The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy seems to have brought out the best in and among us.

The Five Towns and Far Rockaway were especially hard hit by the storm, and when I urged my children who live there to come out to us in Monsey where they’d enjoy light and warmth, they answered simply, “You won’t be able to fit us all in.”

I soon learned that my son and daughter-in-law ,who were without electricity or hot water since day one of the hurricane, had opened up their home and hearts to a family of nine from the Bayswater area who had even less — for their own home had become inhabitable.

When I questioned how they could possibly accommodate all these extra people, my daughter-in-law answered that some of my grandchildren had given up their bedrooms and joined mom and dad in the master bedroom for the interim.

My curiosity was piqued; without working refrigerators and ovens, how did they manage to feed such a brood? My daughter-in-law could not say enough about the magnificent outreach of their local Chabad that was providing hot meals daily, clothing items and blankets to make life more tolerable in the cold indoors, as well as programs at the Chabad center to keep younger children entertained.

You hit the nail on the head, Rachel, when you said in a recent column, “We are creative and enterprising, compassionate and giving, and family oriented.”

Mi k’Amcha Yisroel!

Dear Rachel,

Many of us have been grossly inconvenienced, to put it mildly, by nature’s latest whoppers, beginning with Hurricane Sandy. In my neighborhood many families opted to leave their darkened homes and move in with relatives who had not lost power or had it quickly restored.

This has left empty houses vulnerable to looting since alarm systems are disabled, and sadly many a homeowner has returned to find their premises broken into. If this is not adding insult to injury, I don’t know what is. But more horrifying yet has to be staying put and realizing in the middle of the night that a burglar has let himself in with the help of the blackout.

I am reminded of an incident a close friend of mine experienced many years ago. Those were the days when many households made do with fans in place of air-conditioners. One summer Friday night my friend was suddenly awakened from her sleep and opened her eyes to the sight of a stranger standing in the doorway of her bedroom.

She froze as her heart raced wildly, while her husband was fast asleep in his own bed. She thought of just closing her eyes and pretending to be asleep but feared that the intruder had already noticed her waking and would approach to do her harm.

Almost as naïve as the man in the White House who believed that if he’d make nice to our enemies they’d become our chums, my friend rationalized that if she’ll speak softly to the lowlife he’d certainly have no reason to want to hurt her. Pulling her covers up to her chin (this being a sweltering August night, she wasn’t very tzniusdik’ly attired), she sat up and asked, “Who are you?” with wide-eyed innocence.

Must have been the last thing he expected, because the intruder turned on his heels and ran. That’s when she first alerted her husband and they both got up to check on things and make sure he was really gone. It turned out that the burglar had entered through a small space over the kitchen counter. By early the next morning a neighbor had found my friend’s emptied pocketbook discarded in her yard; her awakening had apparently interrupted the intruder’s poking around in their bedroom.

On Motzei Shabbos the young couple made out a report at the local precinct house where the officer on duty told my friend that her daring move was unwise and that she was lucky not to get hurt. The best thing to do in such a circumstance, he advised, is to pretend to be asleep. Desperate thugs can be dangerous when confronted.

The Shidduch-Shy

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

Thus begins Jane Austen’s classic marriage-themed novel, Pride and Prejudice.

To adapt the line for our world, cross out “‘in possession of a good fortune” (not a requirement) and exchange ‘“should” for ‘“must.’ “ For while it is incumbent upon men and women in frum society to marry, it appears that some who want to want to get married are held back by fears of commitment.

What are some of the unconscious rules by which these “shidduch-shy” live their lives?

Rule #1: Prepare your exit from the start.

Meshulam had always been adamant he wanted a younger girl, even though he was now 30. But he had met his match in a new shadchan his mother sent him to, who (“just trust me”) concealed Kayla’s age. Some good Jewish geography on a third date brought reality to the fore, to Meshulam’s disappointment.

“Look,” he said, “it means a lot to me to marry a younger woman. But, I like you more than a lot of girls, so why don’t we see how it goes?”

Kayla was thrilled to have a second chance, and the couple progressed—albeit slowly—to the point of a real relationship. In fact, Meshulam seemed closer to Kayla than to any other girl he’d dated. But as the time came when parents, shadchan, and Kayla herself felt a proposal should be in the works, none was forthcoming.

Finally Kayla’s parents had words with the shadchan, who had words with Meshulam, who told Kayla they had to “talk.”

It boiled down to this: Kayla was a wonderful girl; Meshulam liked and respected her and wanted the best for her. But, really, he’d always said how important it was to him to marry a younger woman, and Kayla was—older. He was sorry, but it just wouldn’t work.

Meet Meshulam, one of the shidduch-shy—who held his exit card all along.

Rule # 2: Keep yourself unavailable.

When dating, the shidduch-shy may keep her date at arm’s length. Even as the relationship progresses, she does not make extra time for its growth. Motzei Shabbos and Wednesday night work just fine for getting together.

Yitzy’s first few dates hadn’t gone well, and he wondered if the whole process might not be for him, when he met Rena. Lovely, intelligent, lively—she seemed perfect. If he had complaints early on, it was in the amount of time it took her to get back to the shadchan.

It took her a while to agree to “graduate” from the shadchan. When Yitzy pressed she said she preferred having an intermediary, which prevented things from speeding up too soon.

When finally they managed the dating schedule, Yitzy found Rena to be anything but available. Family simchas, homework, shiurim she attended, plans with friends—she was busy, busy, busy. But she had plenty of time for long late-night phone chats. At the three-month mark, Yitzy confronted Rena about the pace of the process.

“Look, Yitzy, I’m a busy, social, well-rounded person. I don’t have time to spend every minute of every day with you. You’re just too needy for me.”

Meet Rena, the Arm’s-Length Girl.

Rule # 3: The more available your partner, the more you want to run.
She’s less available? Time to be interested.

Sarah and Shmuel were making progress, even though the relationship was long-distance. Each dating event meant flying to the other’s city, and therefore entailed three or four dates over a long weekend. Just as it came time for the marriage conversation, Shmuel announced he “wanted a break.” Shocked, Sarah cried hard, then, recovering her dignity, said, “No breaks. If you don’t want to move forward, we’re finished.” Once she gave him the cold shoulder, he was interested again, and asked for another go-round.

The healthy adult usually feels closer to others reciprocally: The more you like me, the more I like you. The shidduch-shy are drawn to unavailable people, or people threatening to leave a relationship. It’s safer that way.

Meet Shmuel—who only runs after the one who runs away.

Rule #4: Insist upon a trait in a partner that’s trivial or very hard to find,
and be rigid in your dating needs.

Tevye in the Promised Land, Chapter 14: The Dybbuk

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Strangely, the person who seemed most affected by Tzeitl’s death was Goliath. Upon hearing the news, he surrounded himself with an impenetrable wall. He even found it hard to play with the children. Shmuelik said the body had to remain wrapped in a sheet on the floor of Hodel’s house until the Sabbath was over. During the Sabbath, mourning was forbidden, and Tevye did his best to remain strong. But come Motzei Shabbos, when the day ended, the children’s sobs at the funeral made everyone feel the very great weight of the loss. Little Moishe and Hannie clung to their grandfather as if he were father and mother in one. For their sake, Tevye kept his face locked in an optimistic expression. When the Mashiach came, he told them, their mother would return. With God’s help, they wouldn’t have long to wait. If they prayed hard enough, the Mashiach could come any day. All things considered, he reasoned, the situation of the dead was a lot better than that of the living. That is, if there were cows which had to be milked, and wagons which broke down in the World to Come, Tevye had never heard about it.

Tevye’s hope-filled posture paid off. After a few days, with the resilience of children, Moishe and Hannie ventured away from Tevye’s shadow to play outside with the youngsters of the kibbutz. Tevye and his daughters sat out the seven-day mourning period in Hodel and Perchik’s tiny, mud hut of a home. Goliath joined them as if he were a part of the family. He kept to a corner, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible, but owing to his size, he filled up a substantial part of the room. He was gladdened when the children mustered enough courage to venture outside on their own. It gave him an excuse to sit outside the house, where he could keep an eye on their activities. That way, he could keep out of the way, yet still be a part of the mourning.

Because her family had to eat in her home while they were sitting shiva, Hodel had to be more stringent in the kitchen. While she never mixed milk products and meat, she had become less mindful of some of the other kosher laws. Since she and Perchik normally ate in the dining hall with the other members of the kibbutz, she had to make use of the communal kitchen in preparing the meals for her family. Shmuelik boiled the utensils which needed to be purified, and he kashered the pans in a blazing fire. Perchik called the procedure a primitive voodoo, but he controlled his disapproval as long as Tevye was in the house. However, he warned that when the week of mourning concluded, the foolishness would stop.

“It may seem like foolishness to you,” Hodel answered. “But to me it is important.”

“Has your father been brainwashing you again?”

“Don’t you dare to speak out against my father,” she said in a temper.

Perchik stared at his gentle wife in surprise. She stood glaring at him in defiance, as if she were seeking a fight. Since Tzeitl’s death, something in Hodel had changed. As strange as it sounded, she felt that Tzeitl’s spirit had entered her body. Everyone knew that stories of dybbuks were true. Souls of the dead could enter a person on earth until they found rest. In Anatevka, the Rabbi had exorcised more than a few. After all, Hodel reasoned, God had not brought Tzeitl all of the way to Israel to die in her arms for no reason at all. It was enough that Tzeitl wanted her children to grow up with Ruchel and the young rabbi, Nachman, to make Hodel realize the shortcomings of her present lifestyle. She had experienced a sense of rejection in her sister’s last wish, a condemnation of the path she had chosen, but in her heart, she knew that her sister’s decision was sound. After all, what sort of Jewish tradition could Hodel pass on to the children if the basics of Torah observance, like kashrus, Shabbos, and prayer were not to be found in her house? Soon, she realized, she would be a mother herself, and she wanted to bequeath to the next generation the things which had been important to her. Not only the aroma of freshly baked challahs, but the reverence for religion which had filled her house in Anatevka with a blessing from one Sabbath to the next. After all, it was the faithfulness to tradition which made a people last. Who said that modern ideas were necessarily better than the beliefs of the past?

Time To Move!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Dear Chaya,

I’m writing this to you as my children are sitting in front of a video screen.  Sure I’m happy to see them safe and sound, but I worry about their sedentary lifestyle.  While during the summer they are active outdoors, as soon as the winter sets in, they spend most of their free time on the couch.  The truth is that they’re barely moving.  I know this can’t be healthy.  On the other hand, what kind of exercise can I offer them during the long and cold winter months?  How do I get them to move off the couch?


Singing the Winter-Time Blues

 

 


Dear Singing,


Believe me when I tell you, you’re not singing alone.  It seems that for us as parents, every season has its special challenges.  And one of the challenges during this time of year is keeping our kids active and healthy despite the inclement weather.

 

First, let me assure you that exercise and physical activity are just as important for your children during the winter months as they are during the summer.  According to the American Heart Association, children and adolescents should participate in at least sixty minutes of  “moderate to vigorous activity” every day. 

 

Sixty minutes is a lot.  With our children’s’ very busy schedules it can be difficult to achieve. However, AHA studies have shown that “increased physical activity has been associated with an increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease,”  and that, “Physical activity produces overall physical, psychological and social benefits.”  This means that your kids will not only be healthier, they will also be happier and more self-confident if they exercise regularly.  That’s a lot to consider and certainly worth the effort of coming up with creative ways for our kids to get off the couch.

 

In my practice, I’ve discovered that there are dozens of ways to increase the physical activity of our children.  We just have to focus on finding the methods that work best for our family. The following are a few ideas that might work for you: 

 

Fitness programs don’t work for kids – they’re designed for adults.  You may enjoy listening to your Ipod while jogging on the treadmill but for your children, this is not only boring it is also dangerous.  They could lose their balance.  Instead, try to turn everyday events into fun-filled physical activity.   Buy a hula-hoop or a trampoline.   Have an occasional pillow fight or beanbag-throwing contest.  Offer your child a break from homework for a brisk walk to Bubby’s house and back.  Remember the one important rule — If you want your children to be physically active, make sure they are having fun.

 

While some children do well with improvised home-based activity, others thrive on structured athletics and competitive sports.  Many communities offer Motzei Shabbos or Sunday programs in basketball, swimming, or skating during the winter months.  Take advantage of them.  While it’s only once a week, your child is likely to develop a passion for sports as well as a certain agility that is priceless.  Chances are he will also develop some lasting friendships.   

 

If you wish to make the investment and your house has enough space, you might consider purchasing children’s fitness equipment for your family.  A website called lifecozy.com offers junior sized rowing machines, treadmills, exercise bikes, airwalkers and more.  They are made of tubular steel with foam padding, and are brightly colored.  The average price of these items is about $60.  

 

Limit sedentary time.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American child spends about three hours in front of a video or computer screen every day.  Our community’s children do not have that much free time and their access is more limited.  Still, what with video games, computers, and DVD’s, many do spend plenty of time in front of a screen.  Encourage your child to set limits for herself.   Tell her that she can do her research on the computer provided that she shuts it off in an hour.  An hour later, chances are that she will be calling a friend and inviting her for a walk in the park.

 

Be a good role model.  If children see their Tatty joining a weekly basketball game and their Mommy putting that gym membership to use, they know that you and your spouse have made physical activity a priority in your lives.  You haven’t said a word, but your actions are speaking volumes.  You are giving them a lesson that will prove invaluable for life.  

 

Most important of all, remember that the great outdoors beckons even when it’s cold.  Make sure that your children are dressed in plenty of layers and that they are dry and comfortable.   Allow them to play in a well-lit area even if it’s after dark, as long as they are supervised.  Encourage them to shovel the snow (a great calorie burner!) or build a snowman.  Or join them in a fun brisk walk for the entire family.  They’ll feel invigorated and energized.  And so will you.   


 


 


Chaya Stern is a licensed RPA Nutritionist and runs a private practice in nutritional counseling catering especially to children with overweight problems.  Her training in pediatrics and internal medicine, coupled with over twenty years of experience in the field of nutrition, has made her a much sought-after authority on a variety of health issues.  For more information, call The Nutrition Spot, at 718-437-6300.

Tisha B’Av Program In Flatbush

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008


            The annual Tisha B’Av Program of Flatbush will be held in Kings Terrace (formerly Le Marquise/Alexandria), 815 Kings Highway, (between East 8 and East 9 Streets) on Motzei Shabbos, August 9 and on Sunday, August 10.

 

            For more than 25 years, the Tisha B’Av Program, together with a smaller lecture program on the 17 of Tammuz, has inspired members of the community to focus on the significance of the Three Weeks. At this time, Klal Yisrael mourns the loss of the two Batei Mikdash (temples) in Yerushalayim and other related tragedies that have befallen our nation in exile.

 

           The program begins with Maariv at 9:20 p.m. afterShabbos, August 9. Participants should bring their own siddurim and Kinos. After the reading of Megillas Eichah, Rav Shlomo Pearl, shlita, rosh kollel of the Bostoner Night Kollel in Flatbush, will present an introduction to the kinos, and set the tone for the day of mourning. At 10:30 p.m. Rav Pinchos Breuer, shlita, Rav of Agudas Yisroel Bais Binyomin in Flatbush will offer reflections on this, the saddest of all days in the Jewish calendar.

 

            The program will resume the following morning with Shacharis at 8 a.m. followed at  9 a.m. with an introduction to the kinos and explanations of selected kinos, given by Rav Yaakov D. Homnick, shlita, of Florida. Mincha is scheduled twice in the afternoon – at 2:30 p.m. and at 7:10 p.m.

 

            Rav Baruch Rabinowitz, shlita,  rosh mesivta of Mesivta Ateres Yaakov of Long Island will give the first the drasha at 12:30 p.m. Rav Herschel Welcher, shlita, of Congregation Ahavas Yisroel and of Mesifta Tiferes Yisroel will offer words of chizuk at 1:30 p.m., followed by Mincha. At 3:15 p.m., Rav Ezriel Tauber, shlita, founder of Shalheves, will offer a fascinating perspective of the moed from the eyes of one who survived the Holocaust.

 

            At 4:15 p.m., Rav Yosef Viener, shlita, rav of Kehilas Shaar Hashamayim in Monsey will focus on the tragedy of Tisha B’Av and relate it to the contemporary challenges of life in America and the world today, followed at 5:15 p.m. by Rav Shmuel Dishon, shlita, menahel of Mosdos Yad Yisroel, Karlin Stolin, who will offer a powerful analysis of how a Jew should feel on this sad day.

 

            Rav Mattisyahu Salomon, shlita,  mashgiach ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood will speak at 6:15 p.m.  Rav Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, shlita, will conclude the program with reflections on the importance of the day and implications for the future.

 

            Maariv, havdalah and kiddush levana (clouds permitting) will begin at 8:50 p.m. Participants are invited to break the fast with light refreshments.


                 


            The program is open to men and women, with separate seating. Admission is $12 per person or $35 per family. There will be no charge for those coming to the Motzei Shabbos program. Kings Terrace is wheelchair accessible. For more information, or if you would like to help subsidize the costs of running these programs, call 718-998-5822 or 718-377-7091 or e-mail torahconnections@earthlink.net.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/tisha-bav-program-in-flatbush/2008/07/30/

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