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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘son’

Thanking Our ‘Squantos’

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

It’s the classic image – the pumpkins; the berries; the squash, the turkey. It’s the beginning of a season that brings with it a sudden, exciting feeling. It’s the crisp fall air turning to gray winter; the strings of perfect, colorful leaves decorating doors and houses, the bright hues of reds and oranges. It almost feels like the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie is somehow in the air.

It’s Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving. It’s a time of gratitude. Gratitude for the freedom we have in the United States. So many Jews celebrate this holiday, thankful that after so much oppression, Jews can live peacefully in this great country.

The theme of the season forces me to think back to the very first Thanksgiving. This was a celebration the pilgrims made when they first came to America. After so many hardships in the New World, they finally harvested food and had a chance of survival. They were thankful for Squanto, a Native American, who helped the early settlers through.

These thoughts overwhelmed me with a sense of gratitude I feel the need to express. Have you ever thought about who holds up our Jewish communities? Who keeps the world turning? Whose zechuyos keep us alive? Have you ever stopped to thank the people who keep our chinuch system going?

What about thanking our gedolim?

I once heard a teacher say, “At a certain point in my life I knew more names of actors and singers than I knew of Gedolei haTorah.” It struck me. We spend our lives chasing after a society and culture which have so little to do with us, and we never stop to notice what is right in front of us. Do we ever stop to contemplate and appreciate the people who devote their lives to disseminating Torah?

Your son’s Rebbe deserves respect; no matter what grade he gave your son on his Gemara test. The rav of your shul deserves a lot more respect than chatter during his short lecture. The Gedolei HaDor deserve much more than a careless shrug of the shoulder at the news of their illness or petirah.

Most of the time we do not focus our appreciation on the talmidei chachamim in our neighborhoods – that includes the young men sitting in kollel, the balabatim who run to shiur before or after work and the retired men who after years of working are now spending their time in a yeshiva setting. How much do we appreciate the rabbanim who lead our communities? Do we thank them for their time, for their hours of service?

What generation has had access to so much – shiurim on a variety of levels, website where one can download divrei Torah, at no charge? When in our history were there any so many schools to choose from? When did we ever have so many interesting speakers, teaching Torah on a daily basis?

There is so much knowledge available, and yet, many of us don’t even stretch out a hand to grab onto it. So many opportunities, yet we don’t care. So many lessons, yet we never take them in. We chase after a government. We chase after their way of life. How many names of gedolim do you know?

This lesson is clearly evident in the Purim story. The spiritual leader of the time, Mordechai, advised the Jews not to attend to royal party. The Jews scorned his opinion, claiming he was “an old Rabbi, stuck in ancient times and unaware of the political dues they had to pay.” Then tragedy struck, and all the Queens connections were worth nothing; what saved them was following the “old leader’s” suggestion to pray and fast.

We can chase after all the political leaders we want, but at the end of the day, what will save us is the Torah learning of our talmidei chachamim and of our young children.

It’s the season. It’s Thanksgiving – let us give thanks for what we have that actually matters: our Squanto, the people who throw away careers, throw away sleep and are there, twenty four hours a day, supporting our world with Torah.

Chazal teach, “Asay licha Rav”; I’ve heard it paraphrased numerous times to, “Asay licha Rebbetzin.” Each of us needs a guide or a mentor who can see clearly when we can’t.

Alti Bukalov

Iron Dome’s Secret Components (From Toys ‘R Us)

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

There is a long, fascinating article in Hebrew about the “Secret to Iron Dome’s Success” — I will translate just a few paragraphs for you which I found fascinating:

“At the beginning of our journey [to create the Iron Dome], it was simply almost impossible.  We believed we would succeed, but the challenge was unprecedented.

In retrospect, its clear that the [time and financial] limitations imposed on the project, which seemed insurmountable, are what led to extremely creative and successful ideas.  The simplicity is not only in the design, but in the manufacturing process.  The manufacturers have told us this is the simplest rocket they have ever produced.

As scientists, its true we dream of sitting in offices with unlimited time and budgets to create perfect products.

Yet reality and limitations forced us to “break our heads.”

There are rocket components that are FORTY TIMES CHEAPER [in Iron Dome] than those we normally would purchase.  I can even give you a scoop — this is the only rocket in the world which includes parts from toys from “Toys R Us”.

One day, I brought my son’s toy car to work.  We passed it from one to another and saw that it has components that would be useful for us. More than that, I cannot tell you… (Source).


Letter to Our Son After Shabbat

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Dear Son,

I hope you had a Torah scroll with your platoon for Shabbat, and that you heard the Torah reading. The Parsha of Toldot begins, “These are the generations of Yitzhak, Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak.” Now this is very strange. When the Torah says, “These are the generations of Yitzhak,” we are ready to hear about the offspring of Yitzhak – Yaakov and Esav – yet the verse continues, “Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak.” Why talk about Avraham? He’s the father not a son! From this, we learn that the father is in the son. The father is passed down to his son and grandchildren from generation to generation. That’s how I feel, right now, as if I am with you on the outskirts of Gaza, waiting for the orders to wipe out Hamas and the other hornets’ nests of terror based in schools, mosques, hospitals, homes, and underground tunnels under the city, where they are hiding like cockroaches in the dark.

Over Shabbat, I remembered back to the Gulf War. Just before the missiles started falling on Tel Aviv, I had been called to milluim and was doing reserve military duty in the all Arab city of Tulkarim. You were maybe nine months old at the time. When the first missiles were launched, soldiers with beards received an order to shave, so that gas masks would fit better in case the missiles were armed with chemical heads. So I shaved. I didn’t tell your mother, thinking I would surprise her when I came home on leave, and sure enough, when I knocked on the front door several days later, the second she saw me, she gasped and retreated back into the living room, startled, as if some strange frightening caller was standing at the door. But the minute you saw me, you called out, “Ba!” and came crawling like a rocket, recognizing me immediately, even though I didn’t have a beard. When I picked you up, you were as happy as could be. “These are the generations of Yitzhak, Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak.” Father and son. Son and father. We’re the same.

So know that I am with you. So is your mother. The whole Shabbat, she waited for the moment she could turn on the radio to learn what was happening. Of course, when the warning siren suddenly sounded in Yerushalayim on Shabbat evening, and a distant boom shattered the tranquility, that brought the war even closer for your mother. More reservists were called up during Shabbat, and we heard rumors that troops would be sent to the north as well, but wherever you are, and whatever you end up doing, know that ever role is vital, whether it be that of a pilot, or the soldier that loads the bomb on the plane, the controller in the computer room, or the “jobnik” who folds the emergency parachute. King David made sure that everyone in the army of Israel received the same share of the booty, the soldiers that fought in the front, and those who stayed behind to guard over the camp.  “All for one, and one for all.”

Because I am in you, like Avraham was in Yitzhak, I know many of the things you are feeling. Even though you have received the finest training, going into battle is not an easy thing. You have a sensitive and caring soul, and even though you are as big and strong as Samson, in civilian life you wouldn’t hurt a fly. But as we learn in this week’s Torah portion, sometimes Yaakov has to dress in the clothes of Esav to bring blessing to the world. At his mother’s urging, to receive his father’s blessing, Yaakov puts goat skins on his arms, so that when his blind father embraces him, he will think it is indeed his eldest son, the hairy hunter Esav.

Rabbi Kook explains the story represents the victory of the forces of good over the forces of evil. Yet to triumph over the wicked Esav, the holy and righteous Yaakov is forced to resort to cruelty and deception.  Though it goes against his inner nature, Yaakov takes up the characteristics of Esav, the hunter, murderer, schemer, and warrior, to insure that the blessing of Avraham comes to the world through its proper channel.  Like today, when the Nation of Israel is forced to adopt Esav weapons of killing and war, it goes into battle not for the sake of destruction, but to bring an end to all killing and wars. Not out of a beastly passion for killing and war, like that of our enemies in Gaza, but out of the knowledge that this is the only way to make the world a better place. The arms and armies are like the arms and armies of Esav, but the voice is the voice of Yaakov. We fight when we have to, not for the sake of killing, but to put an end to all killing and bloodshed.

When we have to, we take up the rifles of Esav, but we are still Yaakov inside, guided by the light of the Torah. We have no other choice. In a world that lives by the sword, we have to take up the sword too. We cannot merely sit and pray for miracles. One of the commandments of the Torah is “Milchemet Mitzvah,” the mitzvah to go to war to defend Jewish life and to conquer the Land of Israel and keep it under out own Jewish sovereignty. You, my dear son, are engaged in a “Milchemet Mitzvah” twice over – defending the lives of the million Jew under rocket fire, and fighting enemies whose goal is to conquer our Land.

Not only am I and you mother with you. Our whole nation is with you. The Torah is with you. Avraham and Yitzhak and Yaakov are with you. The G-d of Israel is with you. Uproot the evil, my son. Go with a clean heart and a clear conscience. For G-d’s honor. For the honor of Israel. For the sake of the world.

Hazak V’Amatz,


Tzvi Fishman

Letter to Our Son in Gaza

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Our 22-year old son has been re-stationed with his Golani brigade to a makeshift base at the outskirts of Gaza. I am very proud that he has the chance to uphold the honor of Hashem and Israel, and I know he is proud too. In my mind, there is no greater, holier, and transcendental mitzvah than fighting in the Israel Defense Forces, in defense of the Nation of Israel, to wipe out the enemies of Hashem.

The soldiers who are willing to put their lives on the line for Am Yisrael are the true heroes of holiness, just like our holy heroes of our past, Avraham in his war to save Lot; Moshe Rabainu in his wars against kings who rose up against us on our way to the Promised Land; Yehoshua Ben Nun in his conquest of the Eretz Yisrael; and others like King David and the Maccabees, all of whom will be fighting alongside our soldiers when the order comes to enter Gaza and annihilate Hamas. When the occasion demanded, these holy heroes all closed their Gemaras and strode off to war, just as the Torah commands, for the honor of Hashem and Israel.

What do you say to your son as he waits on the outskirts of Gaza? This is the SMS message that I sent him:

Dear Precious Son,

Your mother and I, as well as your brothers and sister, are all very proud of you, and proud of all your friends who are with you, and proud of all the IDF soldiers who are prepared to fight and destroy the enemies of Hashem. Just as our hearts are with you, the whole country is with you. You are acting on our behalf. I wish I could be there with you.

I know you probably didn’t have time to pack any books to take with you when orders came to head south, so I am sending you a little something from the Rambam, which I am certain you know, but which is always good to read over again. May these words of Torah protect you and your comrades, and lead the forces of Israel to a swift and decisive victory over our enemies, with the hope that you will have the green light to finish the job until the very last terrorist in Gaza is destroyed. And if you receive orders that don’t seem right to you, orders that endanger you and your fellow soldiers, lest “innocent” civilians be hurt – don’t listen to them, but do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your friends over every other consideration, for there are no innocent civilians in Gaza, and the laws of the Torah, and the laws of guarding Jewish life, override the “what will the goyim say?” considerations of man.

In the Laws of Milchemah, The Rambam writes:

“A man should not think at the time of war his wife, nor of his children, nor of his possessions, but he must free his heart of everything and set himself to the battle. And more – he should think that the entire existence of Israel depends on him… For everyone who fights with all of his heart, and with the intention to sanctify the Name of Hashem, is promised that he will not be harmed… and he will merit the Life of the World to Come.”

Therefore, my precious son – be not afraid. Put your trust in Hashem, for you are bringing honor to Him and His Nation. We love you and will see you soon at home, when the enemies of Israel have been crushed.

Tzvi Fishman

Events in the West

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Events in the West: This Shabbos YICC in the Pico-Robertson area of L.A. hosts Professor Isaiah Gafni, a leading Jewish historian, as its scholar-in-residence… The West Coast OU Torah Convention in L.A. is scheduled for December 20-23.

Kosher News: Nature Valley Dark Chocolate and Nut Trail Mix Chewy Granola bars bear an unauthorized OU… Wegman’s gluten-free double chocolate brownie cake mix has an OU – but it is OU-D… The CRC in Chicago reports that packaged barley has been found to have three types of bugs. They have created a process for you to rid other brands of this. Geffen barley is the only barley that doesn’t require the process.

The Jewish Press in Stores: If you don’t see The Jewish Press where you expect to see it, ask the cashier where your favorite newspaper is. Stores sometimes move the papers in order to set up a display.

Super Storm Benny was created to assist Jewish families in communities on the East Coast facing catastrophic destruction from Hurricane Sandy. You can participate in the rebuilding by donating appliances, kitchen equipment, baby gear, furniture, computers, bed and bath supplies, siddurim, Chumashim, and toys. All products should be new and in their original packaging. The deadline is Sunday, November 18. A 40-foot truck will drive across the country with the donations. You can also donate via credit card by visiting www.TeamBenny.net, or by sending a check to Ladies Bikur Cholim, 444 N. Detroit St., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Super Storm Benny is sponsored as a zechus for a refuah sheleimah for Binyomin Chaim ben Faigie Sarah.


Mazel Tov – Births: Moshe and Tzirel Regal, a son (Grandparents Rabbi Yossi and Sari Naiman)… Baruch and Ruchi Giberstein, a daughter (Grandparents Shlomo and Gila Giberstein)… Shai and Chana Samet, a son… Eric and Sarah Abitbol of NY, a son (Grandparents Alan and Etti Lowy; Sonia Rosenberg)… Yaakov and Rivki Tangy, a daughter (Grandparents Avraham and Tzafi Vickman)… Rabbi Jason and Lauren Weiner, a son (Grandparents Sidney and Marcia Teichman)… Jeffrey and Rina Barak of Encino, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Mark and Michelle Barak)… Shlomie and Ruti Hauer of Monsey, NY, a son (Grandparents Shmuli and Goldie Hauer; Great-grandmother Frida Berger)… Shloimie and Aliza Zeffren of Teaneck, NJ, a son (Grandparents David and Mira Zeffren)… Rabbi Moshe and Nava Adler, a son (Grandparents Benny and Audrey Adler; Great-grandmother Lilly Adler… Yisroel and Miriam Wohlgelernter in Israel, a daughter (Grandparents Dr. Daniel and Eileeen Wohlgelernter; David and Judy Hager)… Rabbi Shmuel and Elkie Einhorn, a son.

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvahs: Jake Garfinkel, son of Marty and Candice Garfinkel… Justin Hanelin, son of Jonas and Cari Hanelin.

Mazel Tov – Bas Mitzvah: Elisheva Gofman, daughter of Yasha and Nancy Gofman.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Shoshana Gres, daughter of Jerry and Debbie Gres, to Yosef Caplan, son of Jeff and Gale Caplan of Agoura, CA… Naftali Trainer, son of Rabbi Label and Lori Trainer, to Rochel Pollak of Valley Village, CA.

Mazel Tov – Wedding: Saadua Liberow to Rebecca Kukurudz.

Congratulations: To Abbas Restaurant on its grand opening on La Brea.


Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Eli Zadik, son of Yossi Zadik and Anne Bakar.


Mazel Tov – Birth: Chaim and Samantha Hirsch of Hollywood, FL, a son (Grandparents Yisroel and Corinne Blumenstein).

Mazel Tov – Bar Mitzvah: Alex Silberstein, son of Adam and Taaly Silberstein.

Mazel Tov – Engagements: Rochel Pollak, daughter of Rabbi Yehuda and Devora Pollak, to Naftali Trainer of L.A… Alisha Tal, daughter of Avi and Julie Handelman, to Yochanan Zomer of Yerushalayim.


Mazel Tov – Birth: Rabbi Danny and Sara Wolfe of Albany, NY, a son (Grandparents Mike and Cindy Wolfe).


Mazel Tov – Births: Mordy and Golda Fast of Yerushalayim, a son (Grandparents Steve and Ruth Fast)… Yona and Ariella Margolese, a daughter (Grandparents Melech and Chani Genauer).

Jeanne Litvin

Fight over Circumcision Dividing German Parliament

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Left-wing German MPs are threatening to oppose their government’s attempt to keep male circumcision legal in Germany. More than 50 MPs from three parties are now proposing that parents should have to wait until their son is 14 so he can give his informed consent to the operation.

Last summer, a regional court ruled that circumcision could amount to criminal bodily harm.

It should be noted that circumcision is by far less painful and traumatic to an 8-day old infant than it is to a teenage boy.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Noam Shalit Wants to Replace ‘This Bad Government’

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Noam Shalit has officially thrown his hat into the political arena and is running for a spot in the Labor party.

In his letter to voters, Shalit writes that he has five years experience in running public protests in his efforts to release his son [Gilad] from being held hostage [by Hamas].

Shalit led a very successful 5 year PR campaign to pressure the government to get his son released “at any price”.

The public relations firm Rimon-Cohen-Shinkman was involved in the campaign behind the scenes, flooding the media outlets with “Free Gilad” messages.

Shalit stated that his new goal is to get rid of the current [Likud led] government that he feels is “bad:.

There was no mention in his letter, that is was this “bad” government and specifically Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that actually succeeded in getting his son Gilad released, at the terrible price of freeing a thousand terrorists in return.

Maybe Noam has a point.


Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/noam-shalit-wants-to-replace-this-bad-government/2012/11/10/

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