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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘NJ’

Language of The Heart: A Conversation With Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Weinberg

Friday, September 21st, 2012

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.

Karen Greenberg

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Presidential Politics: Readers Face Off

No Impression

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.

Robert Gelb
(Via E-Mail)

Democratic Loyalty

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.

Myron Hecker
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.

Eli Ross
(Via E-Mail)

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.

Our Readers

278 Rabbis Ordained in NJ

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

More than 280 graduates, their family members and friends joined together at the Rabbinical College of America in New Jersey to celebrate the hard work and dedication of a group of rising young Jewish leaders. Some 14 countries were represented in the student body of newly-minted rabbis, who over the last few years have been preparing to lead campus Chabad Houses, synagogues large and small and Jewish communities throughout the world.

“This is the culmination of their studies,” said Rabbi Mendel Solomon, the program’s director. “It’s our farewell and blessings to them on their sacred missions.”

The graduates’ work will impact communities near and far, he explained, as they apply their years of training to outreach and care for Jews and non-Jews alike.

Having already gone through several rounds of testing, the new rabbis began their day with one final test by former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who then affixed his signature to their ordination certificates. Later at the graduation ceremony, the keynote speaker – who flew in from Tel Aviv just for the day – talked about leading by example, Jewish continuity and achieving unity in their missions.

“This event in Morristown is part of the unbroken chain of Jewish spiritual leadership,” he declared. “And this is what bought me here today to be here with you.”

“We’re very honored and appreciative of his presence,” said dean Rabbi Moshe Herson, “and we’re extremely thrilled for our graduates, who have dedicated so many hours of study and outreach to reach this milestone.”

The 50-year-old school, whose ordination program began 15 years ago, last ordained a class five years ago.

“And based on the past success of our graduates throughout the world in reaching out to so many hundreds of thousands of Jewish souls, we have no doubt that they will continue in the same vein and be even more successful,” stated Solomon.

Levi Perelmuter, a student from Long Beach, Calif., who is continuing his post-ordination studies at the central Lubavitch yeshiva in Brooklyn, N.Y., spent a year in the New Jersey program. He and his classmates studied practical applications of Jewish law and the intricate details of Judaism’s dietary restrictions.

Now, “we’re ready to move on to the next step,” he said.

Rosa Solomon came from Overland Park, Kan., to watch her two sons, Eitan and Yosef Goldberg, receive their certificates. A child of Holocaust survivors, she was also moved by the chance to hear Lau, a fellow survivor, speak.

“He’s a personification of survival and continuity,” she said, adding that she sees similar tropes in her family as her boys carry their involvement with Jewish tradition forward. “For us, it’s very emotional.

“When you go out into the world, the principles and the guidance the Rebbe put into these yeshivas goes with you,” she continued, referring to the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Sruly Edeman of the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn entered the program four years ago. Now 25, he said he’s learned how to answer tough questions and more about being a leader. Currently, he’s using talents in teaching others.

“It helped me a lot,” he said, adding that his father also studied in Morristown. “I’m not ready for my own community, but I intend on it one day.”

For Chaim Rosenstein, 22, Sunday was extra special. He got engaged to Daniela Lerner, of Woodmere, New York, in the morning, and in the afternoon graduated from the program. Rosenstein, who studied in New Jersey for two years and spent a year at Chabad of Berlin, said the event was momentous in part because of the community he was joining.

“Being a part of so many others, not only the hundreds of others that graduated today, but among the thousands of emissaries around the world that represent Lubavitch” is powerful, he said. “To do acts of goodness and kindness, to bring redemption and help people [develop] a closer feel for their roots” is the ultimate goal.

As for Lerner, who watched supportively, the day was also doubly meaningful.

“I got engaged this morning, and my [groom] is graduating with [ordination] today,” she said. “I think the whole thing is very beautiful. Because he can go help other people, teach other people and help spread Judaism around the world. I think it’s very important to keep Torah going throughout the generations.”


‘Kill the Jews’ Spray Painted in Monmouth Heights, NJ

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Yesterday, September 6, residents of a neighborhood in East-Central New Jersey awoke to find swastikas and hate-filled slogans spray-painted on cars, sidewalks, fences, mailboxes and houses.

The words “kill the Jews” and swastikas defaced the Monmouth Heights neighborhood of Monmouth County, which is located in East-Central New Jersey.  Approximately 75,000 Jews live in Monmouth County, with several tens of thousands of Jews located in the Monmouth Heights neighborhood.

Keith Krivitzky is the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County.  He told The Jewish Press that while there are certainly Jewish families in the Monmouth Heights neighborhood, he didn’t think there was a higher concentration there than in the rest of Western Monmouth County.  “In fact,” Krivitizky said, “there isn’t even a single synagogue in that neighborhood,” although there are many elsewhere in the county.

While the choice of location may have been puzzling, the timing was less so.

In what some could call an act of prescience, the Monmouth County Federation had provided a “security preparedness workshop” to synagogue representatives and Jewish organizational leadership just hours before the attack occurred.  Krivitzky explained that there are “ongoing security awareness events and discussions throughout the year, but the workshop held on the evening of September 5 was set in advance of the Jewish high holidays,”  a time when Jews are more visible and, perhaps, more vulnerable.

It’s a tricky balance to ensure that the Jewish community is able to present a “warm and welcoming face, but at the same time we have the need to remain security conscious,” said Krivitzky.  He also said that while “the hate-graffiti was shocking, we have a great, longstanding relationship with the Manalapan Township Police Department and we have complete confidence that they will devote all the necessary attention to resolving this incident.”

The Monmouth County Board of Freeholders issued a press release condemning the hate wave.

Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said “Religious persecution in any form is contrary to the founding principals of America.  While we’d like to think the treatment of the Jews during World War II taught us right from wrong, the sad fact is the lesson was lost on some people. I personally find this kind of vandalism despicable.”

The Manalapan Township Bias Crimes Unit is working on the investigation which has been labelled a hate crime.

Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni assured The Jewish Press that although he could not provide details on the record because the investigation is ongoing, the Prosecutor’s Office, working in coordination with the Manalapan Township Police Department, is fully engaged.

Krivitzky said that the Manalapan Township Public Works Department were brought in and “all traces of the offensive attacks are gone.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Corrie Decision

I’m gratified that the Israeli Supreme Court resisted what had to be strong international pressure to come down hard on Israel in the Rachel Corrie prosecution (“Israeli Court Dismisses Charges in Corrie Suit,” news brief, Aug. 31).

So-called peace activists can choose to flout Israeli law and push Israel’s security envelope, but the world now knows that there can be serious consequences for such choices.

Leah Kaufmann

Tischler Bros. Pro

I was really taken with the article on Avraham and Moshe Tischler, who are challenging, respectively, New York politicians Dov Hikind and Simcha Felder in the upcoming Democratic primaries (“The Tischler Brothers Tout Their Commitment to Public Service,” Aug. 31). It was a breath of fresh air.

The traction their efforts are getting seems to me to reflect a broad disillusionment with entrenched politicians who have long been able to bamboozle the community and orchestrate their own reelections. That these two young men would attract the kind of attention they have leads me to believe the needs of the community rather than the interests of the politicians may soon predominate.

Anita Geller
(Via e-Mail)

Tischler Bros. Con

It is sad that The Jewish Press has become an enabler for those who are trying to make a joke out of the campaigns of Dov Hikind and Simcha Felder. These are two serious, seasoned and well-qualified politicians who have produced so much for our community. They – and we – deserve better than the quixotic whimsy offered by the Tischler Boys no matter how cute it all seems.

Aaron Rosen
(Via E-Mail)

Ahmadinejad Trumps Obama

I totally agreed with your take on the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (“Iran’s Tet Offensive?” editorial, Aug. 31).

Sapping U.S. will was certainly one of the things Iranian President Ahmadinejad had in mind in when he succeeded in having the summit held in Tehran, where he would host most of the countries of the world as well as the secretary-general of the UN. It certainly put the lie to President Obama’s claims about the efficacy of sanctions to isolate Iran and force it to change course on nuclear development.

I think it is clear that Ahmadinejad is calling Obama’s bluff, believing he has no stomach for military action.

David Earle
New York, NY

Chizuk From Op-Ed

Re Meir Weingarten’s Aug. 24 op-ed article “Is ‘Gotcha!’ a Jewish Value?” about those who took advantage of the El Al pricing mistake:

Though I did not personally buy a ticket, I think I would have if I had been able to plan a trip to Israel right now. I am embarrassed to say I never thought about the points made in the article, and it has opened my eyes. Yasher Koach for bringing attention to this; hopefully others will be as affected as I was.

Coincidentally, a close friend called me before I read the article to say he had purchased an item at Home Depot. He used the self-checkout register and it rang up one cent. He asked me what I would have done. I actually paused for a second before answering him. I guess I really needed the chizuk provided in Mr. Weingarten’s article.

Fortunately, my friend did the right thing and went to the manager, who looked up the right price – $19.99 – which my friend then paid. He said he never could have walked out of the store knowing he had taken advantage of the mistake.

Jack Becker
(Via E-Mail)

Obama And Israel

A number of recent columns and letters to the editor threaten grave consequences to Israel if Obama is elected to a second term. Interestingly, I recall hearing the same ominous predictions prior to Obama’s first term, and in most regards those predictions were wrong.

President Obama, while lacking any notable warmth toward Israel or its leadership, has pursued policies that have been largely favorable to Israel when judged by the standards of previous administrations.

So now there is a new argument as to why a continued Obama administration would be disastrous for Israel. The argument goes that in a second term, with no further need to court voters, Obama would be free to reshape his Middle East policy into something more toxic to Israel’s interests. As reader Misha Gold put it most recently, “I have yet to hear from anyone why a reelected President Obama will continue to act as a friend of Israel when there is no longer a political reason to do so.”

Our Readers

Events In The West

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

On Wednesday, August 1, Dayan Aharon David Dunner will be the featured speaker at L.A.’s Siyum Hashas at the downtown Music Center Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. There will be a hookup with the tens of thousands of men at the national siyum in New Jersey.

More Summer Learning: Beth Jacob San Diego’s SEED program begins on Sunday, July 22… L.A.’s Anshe Emes will hold their annual Chofetz Chaim SEED program beginning at the end of July… The Valley Torah High School Alumni Association kollel continues through Monday, August 6.

Shul Update: After a protracted and controversial struggle, Chabad of North Hollywood, located in the Sherman Oaksarea of the San Fernando Valley, succeeded in obtaining approval from the Los Angeles City Council to proceed with the expansion of their current facility.


Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Baila Ertel, daughter of Rabbi Shmuel and Chaya Ertel.

Mazel Tov – Wedding:Michael Denise to Michal Backer.


Mazel Tov – Births: Moshe and Shifra Hager, a daughter (Grandparents David and Judy Hager)… Rabbi Dr. Raphy and Miriam Hulkower, a daughter (Grandparents Walter and Joann Hulkower)… Rabbi Eliezer and Beracha Cohen of Lakewood, NJ, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Gavriel and Grace Cohen; Rabbi Shlomo and Robin Goldberg)… Avrohom and Chany Stern of Lakewood, NJ, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Eli and Robin Stern)… Lavie and Amanda Klein, a son (Grandparents Shmuel and Tzipporah Klein; Isaac and Ahouva Shapiro)… Rabbi Avrohom and Russi Morgenstern, a daughter… Yoily and Leah Rosenberg, a son (Grandparents Meyer and Raizy Brief)… Shmuli and Ruti Berger, a daughter (Grandparents David and Carol Berger)… Zev and Naamit Nagel, a son (Grandparents Ronnie and Cheryl Nagel; (Great-grandparents Jack and Gitta Nagel).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Samuel Ellenhorn, son of Joshua and Edith Ellenhorn… Mickey Cooper, son of Dr. Aharon and Odelia Cooper… Yossi Schlesinger, son of Fred and Clarisse Schlesinger.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Sivan Platt, daughter of Dr. Arthur and Yaffa Platt.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Shimmy Bayer to Leeor Nahum… Ronit Derovan, daughter of Norman and Wendy Derovan, to Daniel Gorenshtein of Brazil… Tova Jacobs, daughter of Dr. Jerry and Ahuva Jacobs, to Moshe Lerer of Teaneck, NJ… Daniella Weiss, daughter of Isaac and Joyce Weiss, to Shami Reichman of Toronto.

Mazel Tov – Weddings: Phillip Marcus, son of Norman and Florence Marcus, to Pamela Kleinman… Avigdor Kessler, son of Hessel and Miriam Kessler, to Ariella Tzion… Batya Rotter, daughter of Dr. Arnold and Leah Rotter, to Gidon Winter of Melbourne, Australia… Daniel Kosberg son of Stephen and Miriam Kosberg, to Barrie Zigman, daughter of Arnold and Rosalie Zigman of Long Beach, CA… Tali Okrent, daughter of Dr. Derek and Batsheva Okrent, to Ted Smolar… Ilana Kellerman, daughter of Drs. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, to Jordan Moss… Adam Silverstein, son of Neil and Leslie Silverstein, to Rena Kolom of Lincolnwood, IL… Daniella Wasserman, daughter of Steven and Karen Wasserman, to Eli Hami, son of Brouria Hami and the late Yosef Hami… Melissa Gellman, daughter of Meir and Robin Gelman, to Mark Genet.


Mazel Tov – Births: Dan and Beth Nash, a daughter (Grandparents Carl and Sharon Nash)… Jay and Israela Kimche, a son (Grandparents Eli and Yona Sternheim)… Josh and Devorah Walker, a son.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Michael and Elana Wenacour.


Mazel Tov – Engagement: Jessica Attia, daughter of Albert and Mazu Attia, to Aaron Wolf of England.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: David Goode to Rifkah Krolikowski.


Mazel Tov – Birth: Shai and Robin Attia, a son.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Heshy and Chaya Fried.


Mazel Tov – Birth: Avi and Debbie Erblich, a son (Grandparents Baruch and Leah Erblich; Leslie and Michelle Levin of Las Vegas).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Aaron Mamelak, son of Dr. Aaron Mamelak.

Mazel Tov – Weddings: Ariella Tzion, daughter of Yonaton and Liora Tzion, to Avigdor Kessler… Dina Ackerman, daughter of Zoltan and Martha Ackerman, to Moshe Franklin of NY.


Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Talya Schreiber, daughter of Alan and Judy Schreiber.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Nurit Hirsch, daughter of Dr. Fred and Pia Hirsch, to Matt Rotbart, son of Dr. Harley and Sara Rotbart.


Mazel Tov – Birth: Gavriel and Avigayil Rudnick, a daughter (Grandmother Ruth Hyman).

Jeanne Litvin

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Inaccurate Characterization

In his July 6 “Charming Nation” column, Dov Shurin wrote that the only death caused by Saddam Hussein’s Scud attacks on Israel during the 1991 Gulf War was that of a man who suffered a heart attack – a man Shurin characterized as an opponent of Shabbat road closures.

The truth is that man was not someone who opposed any Shabbat laws. He was a fine, Orthodox, God-fearing Holocaust survivor who had seen most of his family killed in Europe. His heart gave out when the Scuds started falling and air raid alarms were sounded.

He happened to have been a friend of mine and it was very disturbing to read Shurin’s claim that he had been against Sabbath observance.

Amy Wall
New York, NY

The Times Already Lost It

Re “Is the Gray Lady Losing It?” editorial. June 29):

The question really should be “When did the gray lady lose it?” While certain sections of The New York Times continue to be credible, the news, editorial and op-ed pages lost any credibility years ago. The motto of the Times should be changed to “All the news we choose to print” from “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Those looking for accuracy and balance should turn to a paper like the Wall Street Journal.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, MD

The Roberts Decision

Reams of analysis and debate will doubtless be generated in response to the incoherent and inexplicable legal finding by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts validating Obamacare (“Not the Supreme Court’s Finest Moment,” editorial, July 6).

The 2,700-page bill was passed through bribery, intimidation and funding falsehoods, though no one in Congress actually read it. Former speaker Pelosi’s (in)famous diktat “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” speaks to the hubris of the Democrats in Congress.

This mammoth legislation is the harbinger of an anticipated flood of new regulations to be administered by thousands of new bureaucrats enforcing the new rules still being written.

As for Chief Justice Roberts, his decision to deliver such a convoluted decision will set back the Supreme Court’s reputation for years.

Fay Dicker
Lakewood, NJ

Handful Of Fanatics

Re “Haredi Men Arrested in Yad Vashem Vandalism” (news story, June 29):

Neturei Karta is a small (albeit vocal) group that is in no way representative of the haredi community as a whole.

On the one hand, from a haredi perspective the Holocaust is seen as just another chapter in the history of persecution, albeit more efficiently executed and more recent. That is why haredim generally do not observe such commemorations as the Warsaw Ghetto anniversary, subsuming it instead in the general mourning on Tisha B’Av. This does not, however, mean haredim in any way approve of such offensive vandalism as was perpetrated by this handful of fanatics.

On the other hand, there is certainly a feeling in the haredi community that a wholly exaggerated cult of the Holocaust has become a sort of substitute religion for those estranged from Torah Judaism. Haredim object to this negative definition of one’s Jewishness by reference to the hatred of others rather than pride in one’s heritage.

Only someone completely prejudiced against haredim could consider these nutcases as being in any way representative of the greater haredi community – but unfortunately such an attitude is all too common.

Martin D. Stern
Salford, England

Making Our Own Choices

As the brouhaha over the Internet continues, I would like to make a few comments to those who vehemently oppose the Internet in Jewish homes.

New York City is home to many Jewish institutions but also, lehavdil, to a number of obscene and lewd establishments. Should Jews be prohibited from living in New York because they might be tempted to frequent such places?

We can use our two legs to take us to perform mitzvos, but we can also use our two legs to take us to commit aveiros. Shall we cut off our legs because they might take us to sinful places?

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a vacuum – but we do have the ability to know the difference between right and wrong and the strength, imparted to us by our parents and teachers, to follow a moral and ethical way of life and to make the correct choices for ourselves.

Pesach-Yonah Malevitz
Los Angeles, CA A

Shabbos In Midwood

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