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‘A Mother’s Heart’

The Jan. 2 Lessons in Emunah column, “A Mother’s Heart,” is such a beautifully written and touching article.


The message of emunah and bitachon conveyed from a baby to its mother is one of the most sensitive ways I’ve seen of presenting a sometimes difficult concept, and it is sure to resonate with many people in a most positive way.

Menachem Moseson
(Via E-Mail)

  Real Role Model

Daniel Retter’s “Briana Goldberg: Complete and Unshaken Faith in Hashem” (Jan. 2) left me in tears.

It surely must have been a difficult thing for Mr. Retter to interview one of the Har Nof massacre widows so soon after her husband was brutally taken from her, yet he did so with aplomb and succeeded in portraying Mrs. Goldberg in all her quiet and unassuming dignity.

She is a real role model for all Jews.

Chani Silverstein
(Via E-Mail)


Voting Makes A Difference

In Elliot Resnick’s interview with the OU’s Josh Pruzansky (“Securing Funding for New Jersey’s Yeshivas,” Jan. 2), Pruzansky is asked to discuss his determination to get voters to vote.

If I may elaborate, voting is a right but also a duty. It certainly is at least a moral duty to participate in a democracy’s decision-making process.

There is a French proverb: “Les absents ont toujours tort” (“It’s always the people who aren’t there who get the blame”).

As Pruzansky explains, every vote counts and is counted.

Vote for whomever you want – but vote. It does make a difference.

Dr. Elie Feuerwerker
Highland Park, NJ  

Europe’s Future

Re Rabbi Berel Wein’s “Europe Reverts to Anti-Semitic Form,” op-ed, Jan. 2:

France is already gone. Hitler danced with joy when France fell to the Nazis without putting up much of a resistance. France has fallen again and now the Muslims are dancing with joy.

Goodbye to Europe if France epitomizes what has and is happening on that continent. European countries will survive, but as Muslim dictatorships under a caliphate.

Toby Willig

Of Large And Small Shuls

Re Barry Katz’s “The Case for Big Shuls” (op-ed, Jan. 2):

When a neighborhood has a burgeoning Jewish population, it seems natural for a congregation to mobilize a building fund, lay the cornerstone, and pour concrete for a sizable facility. Once complete, it offers the aesthetics, acoustics, and décor that in effect delare, “This is our home; we’re here to stay.”

But what happens when children of members choose to move out of their parents’ neighborhood in search of affordability, space, and privacy? What happens when the popular charismatic rabbi retires, makes aliyah, or passes away and the successor cannot fill his predecessor’s shoes?

With the Orthodox cost of living in America having become a monthly budget battle, this generation recognizes that the lion’s share of its expenses will go to building yeshivas and mikvaot. Without these two institutions, there is no Orthodox Jewish life. Davening can take place in apartments if there are no other options.

The shtieblech may not have stained glass windows, memorial plaques, murals, pews, chazzanut, or history, but along with affordability they offer an intimacy that allows members to get to know each other fairly quickly.

A disclaimer: I am a member of both Kehilas Ishei Yisrael and Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills across the street. The former rents space in the basement of Yeshiva of Central Queens and the latter is a freestanding building. The former’s rabbi, Shmuel Marcus, teaches at Beis Medrash L’Talmud, a unit within Touro’s Lander College For Men, while the latter’s rabbi, Yoel Schonfeld, also has leadership duties at the Orthodox Union and Vaad Harabonim of Queens.

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