Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Country represents the benevolent land that welcomed my grandparents as they fled from persecution and provided them with the freedom to raise children and grandchildren committed to Torah and mitzvos.

Country also represents hitching rides to Woodburn on days off from working the kitchen at Camp Heller and Friday afternoon drives up Route 17 trying to figure out who is in the car in front of you by the magnets on the back of their van.


Country represents the sprouting of our nation’s home in the Promised Land where we are immigrants but we are finally home. Where we begin to picture the redemption and work together to bring about kvod shamayim.

Country also represents the only music you may be able to find on the radio if everyone else is using your Spotify on your drive down to Florida for Pesach.

Most importantly, country represents the implicit challenge and simultaneous responsibility to learn how to get along, share values, care for one another, humble ourselves, be a part of something bigger, compromise, connect to our past and improve upon what we have been given. 


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Asher Yablok is the principal of Ohr Yisroel of Bergen County, director of Olami Together and a sought after Mohel at