In a race we closely watched, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach lost the NJ 9th District race to his opponent Bill Pascrell 76.1% (97,646) to 22.8% (29,214).
Posts Tagged ‘NJ’
Liad Arussy sent us this image of a collapsed tree in Fair Lawn, NJ, after Hurricane Sandy. She wrote: “Once stood so strong, now fallen in shame.”
Lying on its side, the tree is not dead, and the slab of grassy soil that was lifted along with its roots is alive, too, only not upright.
I hope whomever it is at the Fair Lawn municipality who is deposited with the responsibility of up-righting the uprooted trees will come over quickly, dig up the hole in the ground and replant this magnificent tree. I hope the orange ribbon, wrapped around the tree like some natural crime scene, doesn’t mean that the tree is slated to be hauled on a big truck and taken to be sliced up into convenient wood slabs.
We have enough wood, what we need are living, breathing trees.
Events In The West: This Shabbos Judy Klitsner of the Pardes Institute in Yerushalayim will be the scholar-in-residence at Emek Beracha in Palo Alto, CA… On November 16, EDOS in Denver is hosting Rabbi Shalom Hammer as its scholar-in-residence.
Kollel Updates: The “Wednesday Night Kollel” has resumed at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Valley Village, CA… “Thursday night is Parshah and Cholent night” takes place at the Linked Kollel in the Pico-Robertson area of L.A.
Mazel Tov – Birth: Derek and Lynette Brown, a daughter (Grandparents Andrew and Joli Altshule).
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Mazel Tov – Births: Matt and Ariella Rosenblatt, a son (Grandparents Elon and Renee Winkler)… Nota and Tova Berger, a daughter… Eli and Dini Goldman, a daughter… Rabbi Naftoli and Devori Berger, a daughter… Rabbi Aryeh and Tehila Rosenfeld, a daughter… Rabbi Moshe and Miriam Chill, a son… Rabbi Yonasan and Tirtza Quinn, a daughter… Rabbi Moshe and Chaya Kupfer, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Baruch and Elaine Kupfer)… Michael and Dina Spirvak, a son (Grandparents Eddie and Debbie Herbst)… Saul and Melissa Ives, a daughter (Grandparents Robert and Annie Ives)… Yosef and Alana Adelman, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Rivie Adelman; David and Ruth Adatto)… Yitzy and Libby Weiss of Toronto, a daughter (Grandparents Ira and Judy Weiss)… David and Rikki Mazlin of Yerushalayim, a daughter (Grandparents Steve and Renee Mazlin; Shmulik and Beverly Kroll)… Nesanel and Hadassah Zhivalyuk, a son (Grandmother Elianna Weiss)… Benyamin and Adina Benarouche, a daughter (Grandparents Israel and Jacqueline Benarouche; David and Marlene Eisenberg)… Yosef and Naomi Manela, a son.
Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Isaac Goor, son of Avi and Pamela Goor… Nosson Rubnitz, son of Rabbi Moshe and Estie Rubnitz… Shmuel Khoshbakhsh, son of Nasir and Jackie Khoshbakhsh… Yaakov Gewirtz, son of Yossi and Carrie Gewirtz.
Mazel Tov – Weddings: Sarit Pogrow to Yisroel Thaler… Mordechai Stern, son of Rabbi Eli and Robin Stern, to Sori Raizman of Chicago… Avi Zuman, son of Dr. Betzalel and Devorah Zuman, to Rivka Feder of Lakewood, NJ.
Mazel Tov – Birth: Mat and Shiri Twito, a daughter.
Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Zoe Levin, daughter of Dan Levin and Galyn Susman.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Welcome: Eliot and Sandy Klugman, formerly of Palo Alto, CA
Mazel Tov – Birth: Chili and Yocheved Birnbaum, a daughter (Grandparents Stan and Cathy Hoffman).
VALLEY VILLAGE, CALIFORNIA
Mazel Tov – Births: Avi and Rachel Wizenfeld, two daughters (Grandparents Isaac and Cecelie Wizenfeld)… Aryeh and Ellie Freylicher, a son (Grandparents Alexander and Ritz Freylicher).
Mazel Tov – Engagements: Yehuda Jawary, son of Ron and Beth Jawary, to Sarah Klein of Silver Spring, MD… Bina Mintz, daughter of Phil and Sarah Mintz, to Yoni Oscherowitz, daughter of Errol and Marlene Oscherowitz.
Mazel Tov – Birth: David and Jessica Ribner of Washington, D.C., a daughter (Grandparents Drs. Moshe and Marilyn Levi).
Despite damage and loss of power, Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis in areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy are redoubling their efforts to reach out in their communities and provide a helping hand to Jews in need.
According to a report on Chabad.org, Chabad rabbis are keeping their Chabad houses open and functional, even without electricity.
Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Atlantic County, is keeping tabs on his community through social media, and has been sighted riding around the streets of Atlantic City, NJ on a construction truck stocked with provisions such as food and water. His Chabad House has erected a makeshift soup kitchen without electricity, and is sending volunteers to provide whatever assistance they can throughout the community. Rabbi Rapoport has even established a relief fund to provide financial assistance to victims of the storm.
He’s even planning a communal Shabbat dinner this week.
Rabbi Yisroel Stone, co-director of Chabad of the Lower East Side in Manhattan, reported a total lack of power and water in his chabad house, but has been providing rides and food to Jews in the area.
In Long Beach, N.Y., Rabbi Eli Goodman said his family is safe, but their apartment is destroyed. The water in the synagogue’s social hall is “head high” said Goodman, director of Chabad of the Beaches and educational director of the local Bach Jewish Center.
The Chabad House of South Brunswick, NJ will be postponing its 10th anniversary celebration to focus on providing relief assistance, dropping off the kosher food meant for the party around town instead, for those in need.
Volunteers for the Rabbinical College of America-Chabad Headquarters of New Jersey and its Rutgers Jewish Outreach program also handed out kosher food, in their case to students of Rutgers who had been evacuated from their dorms.
Senior citizens also saw a ray of light courtesy of Chabad, with Chanie Zaklikovsky of the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe, NJ distributing self-heating kosher meals at the local senior center on Wednesday.
Rabbi Zalman Duchman and his family, of Chabad of Roosevelt Island, NY, spent their post-hurricane time offering support to the elderly, even inviting patients from the long-term medical facility on the island over for a lunch.
Race For The White House (I)
I fear we will come to rue the day Israel didn’t seize the opportunity for peace President Obama presented over the past few years. Obama enjoys the trust of the Arab world well beyond any Republican, including Mitt Romney, and could have served as an honest broker these past three and a half years if only Israel had let him.
Mitt Romney may make tough statements, but the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world don’t have any confidence in him and that is crucial.
Race For The White House (II)
I was outraged by the ADL’s Abraham Foxman’s comment as quoted in your front page news story last week (“Romney’s Remarks on Peace Prospects Draw Muted Response from Jewish Groups”).
Foxman was critical of Mitt Romney’s suggestion that at the present time the cause of peace in the Middle East would best be served if we were to “kick the ball down the field.” Foxman responded: “To let it fester is not in the best interests of Israel.”
I wonder what planet Foxman is living on. The only hope Israel has is Mitt Romney in the White House. It never fails: every four years Foxman runs interference for the Democratic presidential candidate.
Race For The White House (III)
Reader George Rubin’s assessment (Letters, Sept. 28) that two-thirds of Jews will be voting for “a Democratic Party that no longer exists” was loudly confirmed by the farce at the Democratic National Convention when the motion to re-insert Jerusalem as Israel’s capital into the platform was met with a vocal “no” majority (even though Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared the motion passed by a phantom two-thirds vote).
The Democratic Party has indeed been hijacked by cadres of radical leftists whose fealty to Jews and Israel is non-existent and the two-thirds of Jews who will be voting for Obama are blind to this reality.
Race For The White House (IV)
On Sept. 11, Islamic terrorists killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens along with three other Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Yet there has been no sign of any genuine outrage on the part of the Obama administration.
Instead, President Obama callously dismissed this atrocious event – along with the recent wave of violent anti-American Muslim demonstrations – as simply being a “bump in the road.”
A U.S. ambassador has been viciously slain, and all our president can say about this heinous act is that it is “a bump in the road”? Indeed, instead of condemning this terrorist attack in the strongest words, it seems Obama has been too busy engaging in damage control in an effort to deflect the fact that these events demonstrate just how much of a failure his policy of accommodation, appeasement and apology toward the Muslim world has been.
Perhaps a different U.S. president would have gone on national television to express in no uncertain terms his outrage over the incident. Most likely he would have demanded the resignation of those State Department officials responsible for the security of our ambassadors in the Middle East and North Africa. He would have pledged to hunt down the murderers of our ambassador.
In the final analysis, what Americans need is a president who is unafraid of standing up for our principles rather than one who apologizes for them.
Brian J. Goldenfeld
Woodland Hills, CA
Race For The White House (V)
Mitt Romney is the same as Barack Obama, at least based on their past actions. Despite this, if we think clearly and rationally, carefully examining the evidence, we will conclude that we need to vote for Romney. There are many reasons, each one by itself sufficient, to reject a second term for Obama. Here are just a few:
Scores of people are dead as a result of the Fast and Furious scandal. Congress is contemplating suggesting the attorney general of the United States resign. The American voter should kick Obama out of office because of what we already know about this scandal.
In addition, the American deaths in Libya, along with the UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s lies, are full justification for the American people to vote Obama out of office.
Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg, mashgiach ruchani of Yeshiva University’s SBMP (Irving I Stone Beit Midrash Program) was born and raised in Philadelphia. Rabbi Weinberg currently lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife and three daughters.
KG: You have been educating students for a long time? How did you make the transition to educating the public?
RW: I feel very fortunate to have been blessed with opportunities to speak beyond my “official” teaching positions. When we lived in Teaneck, I had numerous opportunities to give Shabbos derashos and shiurim in our young couples shul. From there I began speaking in someone’s home in Bergenfield on Thursday night, and as the shiur grew, we moved it to Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck. The Thursday night parsha and chassidus shiur has been one of the highlights of my week for the last 2 years. The shiurim were well received and it has led to invitations from other communities, schools and camps to share the messages of our Torah.
What is it about your messages that you think resonates with younger audiences?
While it may seem somewhat obvious, I have always tried to speak to the heart of my audience. I once read a great quote from the Bendiner Rav (who was a son-in-law of the famed Gerrer Rebbe, the Sfas Emes). He said in the name of his grandfather, “Just as a person from England only understands English, so too the heart only understands the language of the heart.” I have tried (and continue to strive) to learn to speak and teach “the language of the heart” to all who are open to learning it. The shiurim I give are always filled with a wide-range of Torah sources ranging from the words of our sages to the writings of the great Chassidic masters and Mussar giants. If you offer a wide range of approaches and ideas, hopefully everyone finds something to leave them feeling inspired.
What message do you hope young audiences come away with?
There is no doubt that we live in spiritually trying times. The challenges facing today’s youth can be extremely overwhelming. I try to inspire people to believe in themselves and to strive for true greatness. We have come so far as a people and to see people lose confidence in their ability to make a difference is a real tragedy.
What do you think educators can learn from camp programs?
I love the camp atmosphere! I wish our schools would adopt some of the great benefits of informal Jewish education and try to incorporate them into the regular school year. In truth, I would love to see grades removed from all Judaic Studies classes and allow students to study the Torah for its sake. While I certainly understand the challenges of doing so, it troubles me that we have turned Torah study into just another class. Our students have to see Torah as the basis of their very lives and not some external system imposing itself upon them. Camp creates a great opportunity to grow spiritually as the religious experiences are usually presented without the pressures of a formal school environment. The past two summers I have headed a post-Israel learning program for young women returning from seminary. Their enthusiasm for Torah and religious growth is remarkable and they are a great pleasure to teach and spend time with.
What do you see as the main philosophy in chinuch?
As I see it, we have to face the harsh reality that the lure of secular society is tugging at the hearts and minds of today’s youth. We therefore have an absolute obligation to make Judaism as meaningful and attractive as possible. If we can’t inspire our children and students to believe that our relationship with our Creator is our greatest gift and privilege, then we risk losing the future of the Jewish people to the fast-paced hedonistic world around us. As a teacher, I have to know that at the end of the day, each student will choose the lifestyle that he or she wants to live. Sadly, forcing a student to be obedient to Torah will only last until he reaches an age where he can sever those ties. We must show the next generation the great beauty and depth of meaning and purpose that accompanies a religious lifestyle. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld of Yerushalayim was once asked to give a letter of recommendation for a new yeshiva opening in his neighborhood. He responded that he would only do so if the school felt confident that Mashiach could be a graduate of their program! We need our students to be proud Jews and feel that they have endless potential to impact the world around them.
Presidential Politics: Readers Face Off
As a Jew and a strong supporter of Israel, I sometimes think there is just no hope for some of President Obama’s detractors. He instructs the dunderhead Democratic Party apparatchiks to restore to the party platform references to an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and says that this reflects his personal view as well.
Yet the big story for you and others was that the reference was taken out in the first place. Doesn’t this tell you that he means it when he says he will always have Israel’s back? What do all of you want from this man? Even the unprecedented increase in military aid and intelligence cooperation with Israel during his presidency makes no impression at all.
I accuse Jews who continue to support Barack Obama of maintaining a loyalty to the Democratic Party that exceeds all other loyalties. I accuse them of a blatant blindness to the danger confronting Israel because they have hitched their wagons to the Democrats and nothing else comes closer to their hearts than that symbiotic relationship.
I would be much more cautious in my accusation if Obama took the time and trouble to at least pretend he is a friend, but he doesn’t. His loathing of Benjamin Netanyahu is public, open and undisguised. The trap, for us as Jews, is to quibble about Netanyahu’s policies instead of seeing the reality of the horrors that are looming.
Obama blithely speaks publicly about Israel returning to the 1967 lines and instead of withdrawing 100 percent of their support, Jews debate internally about Netanyahu’s policies. Should such a catastrophic move be forced on Israel, will it really matter who the prime minister is?
We no longer have a Zev Jabotinsky to sound the alarm, but I’ll gladly settle for Bibi’s warnings in this crisis. I envision Mitt Romney as a strong and honest supporter of the Jewish state, but the overriding point is crystal clear: Barack Obama is nowhere near that position and, accordingly, should not get the vote of any Jew who loves Israel and fears for its safety, well-being and future.
New City, NY
‘Lies And Misrepresentations’
I voted for John McCain on 2008 and am leaning toward Mitt Romney this year, but I simply cannot stand the misrepresentations and lies about President Obama’s record thrown around by so many in the frum community.
It was Obama who, in his 2009 Cairo speech that everyone loves to trash, told the Arab world that the Israel-U.S. alliance is unbreakable. Obama backed Israel during the Goldstone Report and Gaza flotilla controversies. Obama has increased defense and intelligence aid and cooperation to and with Israel. Last year Obama literally stood against the international community at the UN and said “no” to a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.
As for Obama’s 2011 statement that U.S. policy supports a return by Israel to the 1967 lines “with land swaps,” that is precisely what American policy has been since the Six-Day War. George W. Bush said that any final settlement would have to take into account realities on the ground – meaning Israeli population centers that have been developed in those areas over the past four decades – and this is what Obama meant when he spoke of “land swaps,” as he immediately elaborated when his initial remarks were met by a firestorm of criticism.
Besides, anytime Israel and the Palestinians have negotiated, it’s about the 1967 lands won by Israel in 1967. What territories does even the most vociferous Obama hater think they’re talking about? In fact, Israel has already given back most of the territory it won in ’67 – namely, Sinai and Gaza.
Barack And Bibi
The fact that Obama and Bibi don’t get along has no bearing on the state of the U.S.-Israel relationship – Reagan did not like Begin or Shamir and he’s regarded as a pro-Israel president (by the way, Reagan condemned Israel at the UN and held up arms shipments to Israel – two things Obama has never done), and Bill Clinton detested Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s first term in office, to the point of meddling in Israeli politics by sending his campaign gurus to Israel to work on behalf of Ehud Barak, who defeated Bibi in 1999.