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Prayer 1

Prayer 2

For your reading pleasure- Footbal vs. Succoth:

My Hut Or Yours?

Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS 

 Hut 1, Hut 2, Hut 3!!!  Is it a football game- or are we on a street during October, filled with succahs

Huts- what else does football and Succoth have in common? 

They’re both played out- outside under the bright blue sky. There are endless numbers of people stuffed together, pushing and shoving!  All around the food and beer is flowing. Everyone’s thinking the same thing- hope we get through this without getting totally drenched! 

Pretty similar, huh?  One might argue football has 2 separate teams involved. Yet most succahs have a home team and guests, as well.

 Both football and Succoth  have a halftime break, to get up, stretch your legs and to go get more  food.  And the same outlook exists with  both- have a ball and try to get back home safely. 

 Wow they really do have a lot in common!  

  At both 90% of the time everyone’s bundled up. And often most of the crowd is wishing they were watching from indoors.

 And get this- they each have the same goal. The Succoth goal is “Laishaiv Basukah” / “place your tush on a seat”- now wouldn’t you call that a touchdown?!!!!

 I’m seriously having a difficult time  differentiating them. Both even consume a large part of the fall season.

 Ok, so truth be told - a major difference does exist! Succoth is supposed to have a lot more meaning to you. But does it?

 Admittedly, there does certainly seem to be a lot of praying during both. But ultimately Succoth is about connecting to the great quarterback in the sky. The one who is really calling all the plays.

 No matter what team you are cheering for here on Earth, that -quarterback only affects  a limited outcome in your life.

 The idea is to recognize only 1 quarterback is, in fact, in there cheering for you ; looking after your best interests, and rooting for your home team or more clearly your team at home!

 No one says you can’t enjoy your ball games, your hobbies, your friend and family bonding time. But remember who gave all these things to you. That's what Succoth is a wakeup call to do -to stay connected and be grateful. To realize it’s not our houses or stuff that really  protects us.  We are really only as protected as our innovative leader wants us to be.

 Have a wonderful Succoth and a year of conscious appreciation and endless blessings!!!

 Ok now  -get ready for the Hut 1, Hut 2, Hut 3 holiday…. and go for the touchdowns-  in your hut, for all your teams,  and  most of all in your  life!!!

Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or<>



Prewar Yiddish Works Reunited Digitally



Like a family split apart by the upheaval of war, what is now known as theYIVO Institute for Jewish Research, considered the world’s foremost collection of Yiddish books and cultural artifacts, was torn apart as a result of the German occupation of Vilna, Lithuania, in 1941 and the Nazis’ plan for studying a people they determined would be extinct.

Much of the prewar collection was soon turned to pulp. But a large part was shipped to Frankfurt for an anti-Semitic institute for “the study of the Jewish question.”

The American Army recovered that material and sent it to YIVO’s new home in New York. Still, much of the collection remained in Vilna, now Vilnius, where in a gripping saga it was rescued during the war by enslaved Jewish laborers who risked their lives to squirrel away precious books, diaries, paintings and sculptures in underground bunkers, attics and crannies.

Now, 70 years later, YIVO has announced a $5.25 million project to reunite the scholarly treasures, digitally.

The Lithuanian government did not want to surrender what it considers part of its national heritage, but it has agreed to assist in having all 250,000 pages of documents and 4,200 books digitally copied and integrated into a web portal, where they will be available to scholars around the world. The YIVO collection at 15 West 16th Street in Manhattan — an archive of 24 million items that includes the immigrant Jewish experience in America as well as the almost vanished Jewish culture of Eastern Europe — will also be digitized. The project is expected to take seven years.

“These materials are Holocaust survivors,” said David E. Fishman, a professor of Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary who is working on a chronicle of the YIVO collection’s rescue. “Like a survivor, these materials were controlled by the Germans. Like a survivor, they were in hiding. The fact that they were saved is miraculous.”

Vilna was known as “the Jerusalem of Lithuania” for both its intellectual and religious eminence, though members of a nationwide community that once numbered over 200,000 Jews — half in Vilna — sometimes speak of it as if it were the Jerusalem of all of Europe. Indeed, YIVO (an acronym in Yiddish for Yiddish Scientific Institute), which was started in 1925 to foster consciousness of the rich 800-year-old history of Eastern European Jews, housed materials from across the continent.

Among the materials that will be made available are many that offer a flavor of how Jews lived: Yiddish theater posters; student geometry notebooks from a Yiddish school, complete with rough sketches; records of synagogues, rabbinical schools, charities, fraternal and professional associations and Zionist movements; early editions of Hebrew books, some dating from the 1500s; the original script of Jacob Gordin’s “Mirele Efros,” a classic of Yiddish theater sometimes known as the “Jewish Queen Lear”; missing script pages from another dramatic classic, “The Dybbuk,” by S. Ansky, in the author’s own hand; and two etchings by Marc Chagall.

Some of the materials had been hidden, crumpled into balls and covered with earth. Those will now have to be flattened, cleaned and paired up with their missing pages.

“This is cultural paleontology,” said Jonathan Brent, YIVO’s executive director.

Arranging the project involved a delicate diplomatic minuet and included meetings in Vilna with Mr. Brent, government officials and leaders of the Jewish community, which now numbers 5,000.

Mr. Brent wanted Lithuania to send the materials to New York, since it felt YIVO was the owner. But when Lithuania balked, he said: “I proposed to Lithuania that we hold moot the question of ownership. Our job is to preserve materials for future generations and make them available to scholars worldwide who can make sense of these materials. We’re able to create an electronic bridge over a troubled stream.”

Ultimately the Lithuanian Central State Archives, with a fund of 200,000 euros (about $250,000), will assign four employees to describe, restore and digitize the documents. YIVO will pay an additional two employees (it already has pledges of $375,000 for the project). YIVO archivists will make periodic trips to Vilna to supervise the cataloging and digitization, which will take place at the Lithuanian Central State Archives and the Lithuanian National Library.

“The Litvaks’ culture and history constitute an integral part of Lithuania’s culture and history, so we are interested to preserve these documents because they are part of our heritage,” Mantvydas Bekesius, a vice minister in Lithuania’s foreign affairs ministry, said in an email, using a term for Lithuanian Jews.

The Lithuanians, perhaps eager to cement their image as an enlightened democracy in the wake of the Soviet Union’s breakup, have been extraordinarily cooperative, Mr. Brent said.

The breakup of the collection started with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg and his subordinates rounded up Judaica collections for their so-called research institutes, but they needed people who could expertly analyze Yiddish works and so forcibly drafted intellectuals like the Yiddish poets Abraham Sutzkever and Shmerke Kaczerginski to sift through the material and pack it. Just as the Jews were selected for deportation to concentration camps, books and documents were selected for shipment to paper mills.

But over several years Sutzkever, Kaczerginski and others stuffed thousands of books and documents — including works from another important Jewish collection, the Strashun Library — inside their clothing and smuggled them into the Nazi-demarcated Jewish ghetto. There, they were hidden behind apartment walls, beneath floors and in a ventilated bunker 60 feet underground that had been constructed by an engineer for his paralyzed mother. After Vilna was liberated by the Soviets in July 1944, those workers who had not been killed at the Ponar mass murder site unearthed the hidden papers.

But they had to rescue them all over again because the Soviets under Stalin, trying to wipe out any ethnic chauvinism, started to destroy the collection. Some items were smuggled to New York, and some were hidden in the basement of a Catholic church by a gentile librarian, Antanas Ulpis.

Starting in 1989, about two-thirds of the surviving collection in Vilna was shipped in crates to New York for copying and then returned. But that was the age of Xeroxes and microfilms, which are not permanent and cannot be easily disseminated worldwide, and the new project will include the material that was not sent over then.

Worldwide access, Mr. Brent said, is the beauty of digitization, something the scholars who assembled YIVO decades ago could never have imagined.


In Golan, Imagined Risks Become All Too Real




Preparing for New Risks in Golan Heights

EIN ZIVAN, Golan Heights — The updates poured in by two-way radio and cellphone as Tomer Lahav’s pickup sped around this kibbutz near Israel’s cease-fire line with Syria one recent evening. Mortars were falling on Ein Zivan. A car broke through the nearby Quneitra border crossing. Two armed infiltrators killed, 20 residents injured, a child — or was it two? — missing.

Mr. Lahav, head of the kibbutz’s civilian security team, dragged his 14-year-old son across a grassy plaza, though his knee wound, like the rest of it, was imagined, as part of a training exercise. “Razi, climb into the back,” his father told him. “I have to take you to the ambulance.”


The drill was the most intense anyone here could recall, after weeks in which real fighting in Syria had repeatedly spilled across the fortified fence. A worker at a winery on the kibbutz was nearly paralyzed by a tank shell, Ein Zivan’s orchards were hit several times and seven recent alarms ordered the 300 residents to seek shelter from incoming fire.


Israel’s quietest frontier for four decades, the Golan Heights is now seen by some experts as its most volatile and unpredictable. Syrian insurgents, some aligned with Al Qaeda, have seized border villages, along with the crossing at Quneitra, and the United Nations forces that patrolled the demilitarized zone have mostly evacuated their posts. Late last month, Israel shot down a Syrian plane that entered its airspace.

As an American-led coalition targets the Islamic State with airstrikes, Israelis are waiting, warily, for what seems like an inevitable escalation near, if not on, their turf. The military at the end of 2013 added a new division focused on the growing threat. Now, local tourism is in trouble and people are increasingly on edge.

“The sky has become cloudy, more black or gray,” said Eyal Ben-Reuven, a retired major general with experience in the area. “It’s like a huge bottle with gas surrounded by candles. You just need to push one candle and everything can blow up in a minute.”

The military would not provide details about the events it calls “zligah” — Hebrew for “spillover” — other than to say there have not been more than 100. A senior official in the new division, speaking on the condition of anonymity under military protocol, said the chief concern is how Israel’s 1974 cease-fire agreement with Syria would be upheld “if there’s no sovereign military on the other side.”

“Now we’re planning for a different type of threat,” he explained, “the terror and Islamic extremist threat.”

Analysts here believe that the myriad fighting forces in Syria are, at this point, uninterested in engaging Israel. But they also know that the Nusra Front, the Qaeda-affiliated group controlling towns in sight of Israeli territory; Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia backing the Syrian Army; and the Islamic State, also called ISIS, all consider Israel an illegal occupier of the Golan. Even a mistake — an errant shell that kills a family on a hike — could set off a conflagration.

 “I can’t say that I am afraid 24 hours a day, but today I don’t have any security of what the other side can decide to do against me,” said Udi Arnon, who has been living in Ein Zivan since 1972 and lately keeps a flashlight by his bed. “This is a crazy paradox: You have a big wall; on one side they fight and kill each other, and the other side you have the flowers and the birds and the children laugh. I can’t sleep quietly.”

Israel captured the Golan, a strategic plateau of lush hills, from Syria in 1967. After the 1973 war, it returned a small section, which became the United Nations-patrolled zone. Israel and Syria remain technically at war, and the world does not recognize Israel’s 1981 annexation of the 444-square-mile area.

The Jewish population has doubled to 30,000 in the past 20 years, most people drawn not by ideology but by financial incentives, stunning landscapes and rural quiet — the last two now punctured by an imposing high-tech border fence and the soundtrack of steady shooting beyond. There are also about 22,000 Druze, a native sect that mostly shuns Israeli citizenship but volunteers for its military.

For the Druze, the developments in Syria have direct repercussions. Apple farmers are unlikely to be able to export to Syria through Quneitra this year, which Asaad Safadi, a warehouse manager, estimated would reduce the annual $100 million market by about $7 million. Hundreds of Druze usually attend university in Damascus; this year it is “tens,” according to Salman Fakhreldin, a local activist.

At the Valley of Tears, a 1973 battle site, two middle-aged men stood on an old Israeli bunker with binoculars trained on the billows of bomb smoke. They declined to give their names for fear it could hurt their relatives on the Syrian side, but said they come every day to watch the war.

The latest fighting, the men said, has been in a government-controlled village at 1 o’clock from the lookout point; the insurgents have the villages at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Recently, the men added, the opposition seemed to have replaced its pickup trucks with motorbikes to race along the road by the fence.

At another lookout, atop Mount Bental, a group of Christians from Norway held hands in a circle and prayed for the destruction of the Islamic State. (“Stop them, Lord; stop them and crush them.”) Nearby, other tourists practically tripped over two members of the United Nations Truce Supervision Office, who have planted their telescope on Bental since abandoning their post on the Syrian side after Nusra insurgents kidnapped other international observers.

For Israeli Jews, the situation has all but erased the debate over giving back the Golan to make peace with Syria, something that came close to happening as recently as 2010. Imagine, people said over and over in interviews, if that deal had gone through, and Nusra or Islamic State insurgents were near the Sea of Galilee rather than across a deep valley in the Golan.

Golan residents are steadfast about staying, but unease is seeping in. Giora Chepelinski said visitors to his chocolate factory, who provide 40 percent of its revenue, were down about 75 percent this September from last. On Monday night, only one of Ein Zivan’s 48 guest rooms was occupied. Many spoke of the situation as surreal: The August day the winery here was hit, a midwife from Ein Zivan helped deliver the baby of a Syrian woman, one of more than 1,300 refugees treated in Israel since April 2013.

Mr. Lahav, the kibbutz security chief, said his budget was doubled this year, and that Ein Zivan and the state spent another $50,000 to turn an old bomb shelter into a modern “war room” with closed-circuit cameras, cots and a closet full of machine guns. Israeli soldiers regularly join Ein Zivan’s apple-pickers now to boost confidence, and Mr. Lahav does three to five patrols daily rather than one.

It is hard to be a bystander to someone else’s war, said Mr. Lahav, who dismissed the word “zligah” — spillover — as “political.”

“It hurts exactly the same if somebody meant to shoot at you or didn’t mean it,” he said. “But our response is not the same.”

Last week’s drill started with live-ammunition sharpshooting for the 22-man security team, including a 58-year-old poultry worker, a man who makes insoles and the driver of a tour jeep who said he had a single client in the past two months. Hours later, they were combing the kibbutz alongside soldiers to mock-ensure all the residents were accounted for.

As they huddled over maps between houses, the familiar sound of shooting erupted not far away. “That’s real,” Mr. Lahav said. “That’s not training.”



Does corporal punishment transform kids into better people?


When N.F.L. player Adrian Peterson was indicted by a Texas grand jury for reckless or negligent injury to a child, parents were forced to confront their own discipline methods. The Minnesota Viking’s star used a “switch,” a narrow, leafless tree branch to beat his 4-year-old son after he misbehaved. The boy had red welts on his legs and buttocks.

The question that countless mothers, fathers, educators and talk show hosts are asking is: Is this considered child abuse or is it a private matter between parent and child when discipline is required?

I have heard the discussion go back and forth. Many parents have recounted their own experiences with having been smacked, potched, slapped, even belted when they were kids. Some insist it’s the only way to get your point across, especially when your child crosses the line. Playing with matches, running into the street, defiant chutzpah and disregard for rules requires a real smack on the backside. Others are emphatic in their response. They speak about emotional scars left long past the sting of the slap or the red welts disappeared.

What does Adrian Peterson have to say?

“I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son... I never ever intended to harm my son. I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child…I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal has always been to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.”

Why Hit?

Peterson believed that physical punishment is the correct way to keep one’s kids in line based upon his own upbringing. He sincerely assumed that beating a child was not only an appropriate response but even the best method of keeping children off the street and out of trouble. He explains that he attributes most of his success in life to the physical way his parents disciplined him.

The controversy is not limited to Peterson’s culture. Many parents today hold onto that same conviction. A mother who attended my parenting classes told me that when she got home and tried to implement the discipline techniques we studied, her husband began to ridicule her. He told her that his parents and her parents never had to come to a class to hear about parenting methods. “All you need to do is give the kids a potch just like our parents did. We turned out just fine. Sometimes they need a good slap to learn their lesson and believe me they will start listening”.

70%of Americans believe in corporal punishment. Parents, who like Peterson were physically disciplined as a child, are fond of quoting “Spare the rod spoil the child,” based on the verse in Proverbs, “He who spares the rod hates his son.” What is the Torah view? Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe a leading Torah authority and parenting educator explained: “We must remember that there are two sorts of rods -- violent ones and pleasant ones. Why read the verse as a requirement to beat the child, when there are other ways --better ways -- to encourage and guide a child’s growth?”

The shepherd’s rod was used to lead and guide, not to beat. We can inspire our children through the positive force of growth and encouragement rather than the negative force of our fists.

Rabbi Wolbe added: “In previous generations, the situation was different. Children were more tolerant and could more easily accept spanking. Today, however, our children’s whole environment is suffused with rebellion.”

It does not take much to push a child away and find that he has grown totally disconnected from his family. Seeking refuge, children become easily immersed in the world of iPhones and internet. Parents helplessly try to pull their kids back after having been exposed to negative values that run counter to all that they’ve struggled to teach them. Rabbi Wolbe considered hitting a child as if a parent has put a stumbling block in front of that child, driving him to rebel.

Unaware of these teachings, hitting now becomes a way of life.

Frustration can also lead to striking and potching. Mothers and fathers who fear that their kids are making bad choices and are in danger of becoming rebellious hit their children. Some parents are just overstressed. They snap under the strain of life. Noise, mess, bills, job tensions and fights with a spouse feel like a pressure cooker filled with worries. Unable to handle it all, they find that physical punishment becomes the go-to parenting technique when things feel out of control. Never having been taught alternative discipline methods, these parents continue the legacy of pain. Is this the birthright we wish to transmit to our children?

The Effects

We cannot ignore the anguish that these children endure. Studies say that children who are beaten feel sadness and low self-esteem. They have difficulty sleeping, periods of anxiety, aggressive outbursts, high risk behavior, diminished concentration, discord with peers, and great dislike for authority. Wounded children, whether hurt emotionally or physically, carry battle scars for life.

If you insist that a whole generation was raised with being hit when disciplined, I will respond that I have never in my life met a child or adult who told me that they felt greater love for their parent after being slapped. Even if you are trying to make a strong point about safety or rules that have been transgressed, know that there are better alternatives to hitting. Hurt by a parent’s hand, the trust that this child had for his mother or father becomes seriously diminished. Maybe the child will grow compliant but inside an angry storm is brewing. Rage is simmering.

This pain breeds hatred, or a barrier of stone is placed upon the heart, preventing a relationship to flourish. Often the child anticipates the moment when he, too, can strike someone who is smaller or weaker than him. Sadly, those who were beaten as children usually end up beating others. (And let us remember that verbal abuse and humiliation leave painful blisters on the soul as well.) Tragically, the cycle continues.

We must ask ourselves what the point is when we give physical punishments. If it is to better our child and teach him well we have failed miserably. Striking another human being is wrong. Striking a child is inexcusable. Usually no one is watching or brave enough to take a stand. You must answer, though, to yourself.

A Different Approach

While changing ones ways is difficult, it is not impossible. And when we realize that we may be salvaging the relationship we have with our child and preventing years of painful regret, how can we not try? We cannot alter our yesterday but we can create a better tomorrow. Transformation begins with the desire to change and the recognition that hitting, striking, potching and slapping kids is not part of our family legacy from this day forward. This doesn’t mean that we become overly permissive and look away at bad behavior. It does mean that taking parenting classes, learning how to discipline effectively and having a good role model and teacher (Rabbi, Rebbetzen, and educator) to speak with is crucial. Knowledge is power. It also means that we are now taking responsibility for our behavior. And if help is needed, we will find the courage to take the first step.

We have the ability to choose how to react to our children’s misbehavior. As Yom Kippur approaches, let us resolve that we want to teach our children by example how to live with dignity and respect for others, and that we build rather than destroy. In a world filled with so much family brokenness it is up to us to provide a sense of loving wholeness. Not through striking our children and pushing them away. Rather through thoughtful and firm discipline that creates a home filled with a sense of security and peace.




Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or<>



On Rosh Hashanah, A Breath of Life

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
(Published in The Forward, September 2014)
In the year that we are now parting with, 5774, it became dangerous once again to be a Jew.
Israel, subject to sustained missile attack, discovered how hard it is to fight an asymmetric
war against a terrorist group ruthless enough to place rocket launchers beside schools,
hospitals and mosques. It found itself condemned by large sections of the world for
performing the first duty of any state, namely to protect its citizens from danger and death.
Anti-Semitism returned to the streets of Europe. One hundred and twenty years after
the Dreyfus trial, the cry “Death to the Jews” was heard again in Paris. Seventy years after the
Holocaust, the call of “Jews to the gas” was heard in the streets of Germany. There were times
when it felt as if the ghost of a past we thought long dead had risen to haunt us. More times
than was comfortable I heard Jews say, “For the first time in my life I feel afraid.”
Let us stay with those fears and confront them directly. We are not back in the 1930s.
To the contrary, for the first time in the almost four thousand years of Jewish history, we have
simultaneously independence and sovereignty in the land and state of Israel, and freedom and
equality in the Diaspora. Israel is strong, extraordinarily so. The success of the Iron Dome
missile defense was the latest in an astonishing line of technological advances — not just
military but also agricultural, medical and commercial — designed to protect, save and
enhance life.
Israel has lived with the disdain of the world for a very long time. Even the most
lukewarm among us knows that it is infinitely preferable to have a state of Israel and the
condemnation of the world than no Israel, no Jewish home, and have the sympathy of the
The unity Israel showed during the Gaza conflict was deeply
moving. It reminded us that in a profound existential sense we remain
one people. Whether or not we share a covenant of faith, we share a
covenant of fate. That is a good state to be in as we face the Yamim
Noraim, when we stand before God not just as individuals but as a
As for anti-Semitism, rarely has it been more self-evident that the hate that starts with
Jews never ends with Jews. The most significant enemies of the Jews today are the enemies of
freedom everywhere. Worldwide we may feel uncomfortable, anxious. But there are parts of
the world where Christians are being butchered, beheaded, driven from their homes and
living in terror.
As for Muslims, one prominent academic recently estimated that of the hundreds
dying daily, at least 90 per cent were doing so at the hands of their fellow Muslims. Bahai are
at risk. So are the Yazidis. So in other parts of the world are Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and for
that matter atheists. No historian looking back on our time will be tempted to call it the age of
“Whether or not we
share a covenant of
faith, we share a
covenant of fate.” Which brings us back to the Yamim Noraim. There is a
note of universality to the prayers on Rosh Hashanah and Yom
Kippur that we do not find on other festivals. On other festivals
the key section of the Amidah begins, Atah bechartanu mikol
ha-amim, “You chose us from among all the nations.” The
emphasis is on Jewish singularity. On the Yamim Noraim the
parallel prayer begins, “And so place the fear of Lord our God,
over all that You have made… so that all of creation will worship
You.” The emphasis is on human solidarity. And human
solidarity is what the world needs right now.
One message resonates through these days: life. “Remember us for life, King who
delights in life, and write us in the book of life for your sake, God of life.” We sometimes forget
how radical this was when Judaism first entered the world. Egypt of the Pharaohs was
obsessed with death. Life is full of suffering and pain. Death is where we join the gods. The
great pyramids and temples were homages to death.
Anthropologists and social psychologists still argue today that the reason religion
exists is because of people’s fear of death. Which makes it all the more remarkable that –
despite our total and profound belief in olam haba and techiyat ha-metim, life after death and
the resurrection of the dead – there is almost nothing of this in most of the books of the Bible.
It is an astonishing phenomenon. All of Kohelet’s cynicism and Job’s railing against injustice
could have been answered in one sentence: “There is life after death.” Yet neither book
explicitly says so.
To the contrary, King David said in a psalm we say daily: “What gain would there be if
I died and went down to the grave? Can dust thank you? Can it declare your truth?”
Almost at the end of his life Moses turned to the next generation and said to them:
“Choose life, so that you and your children may live.” We take this for granted, forgetting how
relatively rare in the history of religion this is.
Why so? Why, if we believe the soul is immortal, that there is life after death and that
this world is not all there is, do we not say so more often and more loudly? Because since
civilization began, heaven has too often been used as an excuse for injustice and violence
down here on earth. What evil can you not commit if you believe you will be rewarded for it in
the world to come? That is the logic of the terrorist and the suicide bomber. It is the logic of
those who burned “heretics” at the stake in order, so they said, to save their immortal souls.
Against this horrific mindset the whole of Judaism is a protest. Justice and
compassion have to be fought for in this life not the next. Judaism is not directed to fear of
death. It is directed to a far more dangerous fear: fear of life with all its pain and
disappointment and unpredictability. It is fear of life, not fear of death, that have led people to
create totalitarian states and fundamentalist religions. Fear of life is ultimately fear of
freedom. That is why fear of life takes the form of an assault against freedom.
Against that fear we say from the beginning of Elul to Sukkot that monumental psalm
of David: “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the
stronghold of my life. Of whom then shall I be afraid?” On Rosh Hashanah we blow the
shofar, the one mitzvah we fulfill by the breath of life itself without needing any words. On the
first day of Rosh Hashanah, the “anniversary of creation,” we read in the Torah and haftorah
not about the birth of the universe but about the birth of Isaac to Sarah and Samuel to
Hannah as if to say, one life is like a universe. One child is enough to show how vulnerable life
is – a miracle to be protected and cherished. On Yom Kippur we wear the kittel, a shroud, as if
to show that we are not afraid of death.
Never before have I felt so strongly that the world needs us to live this message, the
message of the Torah that life is holy, that death defiles, and that terror in the name of God is
a desecration of the name of God.
“The emphasis of our
prayers on the Yamim
Noraim is on human
solidarity. And human
solidarity is what the
world needs right now.” The state of Israel is the collective affirmation of the Jewish people, a mere three years
after emerging from the valley of the shadow of death, that Lo amut ki echyeh, “I will not die
but live.” Israel chose life. Its enemies chose the way of death. They even boasted, as did
Osama bin Laden, that the love of death made them strong. It did not make them strong. It
made them violent. Aggression is not strength; it is a profound self-consciousness of
weakness. And the main victims of Islamist violence are Muslims. Hate destroys the hater.
Today it is not just Israel or Jews whose freedom is at
risk. It is the whole of the Middle East, large parts of Africa and
Asia, and much of Europe. Therefore let us approach the New
Year with a real sense of human solidarity. Let us show, by the
way we celebrate our faith, that God is to be found in life. The
love of God is love of life. Let us take to heart King David’s
insistence that faith is stronger than fear. No empire ever
defeated the Jewish people, and no force ever will.
May God write us, our families, the people and State of
Israel and Jews throughout the world, in the book of life. And
may the day come when the righteous of all nations work
together for the sake of freedom, peace and life.

Maximizing Your One Shot at Life 
How to create the life you want.


Steven Sotloff, the Jewish freelance journalist who was decapitated by ISIS, sent us all a message leading up to Rosh Hashanah. In a letter smuggled out by a former cellmate in May, he penned his thoughts to his family. A cousin read his words to the 1,000 mourners who attended the memorial service in Pinecrest, Florida.

“Live your life to the fullest… Everyone has two lives. The second one begins when you realize you only have one.”

We are approaching the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. It is time to take stock, to recognize that we have only one life and need to make each day count.

Spiritual Check-Up

Elul, the Hebrew month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, is a time set aside for spiritual self-examination. We scrutinize our values. We think about the way we treat others, speak to both strangers and family, and whether we have lived with a compassionate heart. We ask ourselves if we have set aside real time to forge a relationship with our Creator. The ultimate question of ‘who am I’ and ‘how is this world better because I am present’ is pondered by taking a long, hard look within.

Sometimes we come up deficient. It is painful to confront the image that stands before us in the mirror. We cannot believe how bitter or negative we have become. Scenes from the past year that were buried away now pop up and we are troubled by the tones we used or words that were said.

This past summer, I had the joy of having my daughter and her family spend a few weeks with us in our Long Island home. They live in Israel and everything was new and exciting to the children. As I was taking my 6-year-old granddaughter out to the main avenue in town, I knew that she would be meeting many people for the very first time. I explained to her the importance of saying hello with a smile.

“Bubby, I think that some people are allergic to a smile. Do you think so too?” she asked.

I had to laugh but realized that there was much truth in this child’s observation. Time passes, we become jaded. We forget how to smile and appreciate daily moments of joy. A critical eye strips us of seeing life as a blessing. We complain, we blame, we whine, we point fingers, we judge, and we bring negative energy into our homes. We rush our kids along so that we can finally have some quiet, not realizing that we are missing out on life’s sweetest moments. If we are serious about making this world better, the place to begin is within ourselves.

What is the secret to successful change?

Mindfulness is the first step. Become aware of your daily interactions. Are most of your conversations putting others down, sarcastic responses, or impatient retorts? Have you become more connected to your iPhone than to the people in your life who need you most? When was the last time you shared a word of appreciation or encouragement-especially to your family?

If we are brutally honest with ourselves, we may feel shame with the way we have acted – screaming at the kids, overblown anger at our spouse, being a source of malicious gossip that hurt others and sullied our souls. Some of us made wrong decisions that caused incredible pain. As long as we keep rationalizing our bad behavior we will never confront ourselves.

Step 2 requires a sense of embarrassment that propels us to take action.

Instead of just living with self-humiliation or rationalizing our bad behavior, this is the point where we can make real change happen. We take the discomfort and use the emotion as a positive energy to embark upon a new path. Life is about asking ourselves how can I take this moment and create a better me. What must I do right now so that I won’t remain nursing my wounds and bitter regrets? Let’s think about our triggers. Making a plan on how to react next time we are faced with a frustrating personality or situation will help us recalibrate.

Transforming oneself can be a most difficult challenge. Sometimes we change because we want to grow, other times we don’t really want to change but we recognize that we must. Either way, if we take our passion to create the life we want, we have the ability to rejuvenate ourselves. A spiritual makeover keeps us moving forward. Stagnation leads to depression of the soul.

Keep Climbing

The best way to reach new heights is to make a plan and keep on climbing. And while we climb we will probably fall. Don’t be afraid of failure. Of course there will be times that we will still yell, share some juicy gossip, or seem uncaring to our spouse. This doesn’t mean that we should give up or that our attempts to be better were for naught. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity for change. We will not completely alter ourselves overnight. God who created us knows this and is most patient with us, His children. He wants to see that we are not callous and indifferent. Every parent desires a connection with his child. When we turn towards God and attempt to better ourselves, we are expressing our desire to reconnect with our Father. We are displaying the value we place on the gift of soul that we have been given.

These are days of reconciliation between us and God. Take a few moments, right now, and make a decision that will transform your life. Embrace your ability to change. Choose a kindness a day, one less hurtful response, one more smile when you feel depleted and want to scream, one more mitzvah that stretches your heart and soul. We have only one life. Start living it now.


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If you would like to speak, host or receive emails please contact:

Chana Epstein- 295-2537,

Chana Bienstock-569-4077 or Marcia Behar 374-0741-



If you would like to speak, host or receive emails please contact:Chana Bienstock-569-4077-

Marcia Behar 374-0741-Chana Epstein- 295-2537

A Kesivah V’chasima Tova 5774/2013-14



Jan 4/3 Shvat–Bo- Zev and Yola Ash, 413 Marlborough Rd., Ced

Jan 11/10 Shvat-Beshalach-Yossi and Elaine Farber, 333 Buckingham Ct., Ced

Jan 18/17 Shvat–Yitro-Elliot and Miriam Safer, 390 Arbuckle Ave., Ced

Jan 25/24 Shvat-Mishpatim-.Chaim and Rina Halbfinger, 324 Buckingham, Ced

Feb 1/1Adar I-Terumah-Alan and Shuly  Rubel 254 Oakwood Ave. Ced

Feb 8/8 Adar I-Tetzaveh- Robert and Esti Levinson,  444 Argyle Rd., Ced

Feb 15/15 Adar I- KiTisa- Don and Hedi Well, 484 Argyle Rd., Ced

Feb 22/22 Adar I- Vayachel-Chaim and Michelle Grosser, 386 Barnard Ave., Ced

March 1/29 Adar I-Perkudei- Stuie and Tzippy Nussbaum, 508 Redwood Ced


Mar 8/6 Adar II- Vayikrah- David and Simone Greenbaum, 571 Albermale Pl., Ced

March 15/13 Adar II – Tzav- Zvi and Malky Nathan, 421 Rugby, Ced

March 22/20 Adar II- Shemini –Zev and Evy Guttman, 588 Park Ave. Ced.

March 29/27 Adar II – Tazriah –Dovid and Shoshana Kestenbaum, 366 Summit, Ced

April 5/5 Nissan – Metzorah – Yehuda and Malya Kunstler, 346 Forest Ave., Wdmr

Wishing you a kosher and fraylichen Pes

Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst

Women's Iyun Tefila Shiur















Rebbetzin Weinberger's Shiur

Rebbetzin Weinberger's shiur for women will resume on Tuesday, October 15/11 Cheshvan at 11:00 a.m. 


Ohel Sara Amen Group in memory of Sarit Marton a'h
The "Ohel Sara" Amen Group
in memory of Sarit Marton a'h
This week's shiurim and chabura schedule:
The "Ohel Sara" Amen Group
in memory of Sarit Marton a'h
cordially invites all women to attend our
Spring Learning Series. 

This week's Shiurim & Chabura  schedule
is as follows:

Sunday, May 4, 2014
9:30 AM   Chabura - Garden of Emunah
Monday, May 5, 2014
9:15 AM    Chabura - Hilchos Brachos
9:30 AM    Rabbi David Fohrman
1:00 PM    Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller - The Maharal of Prague
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
  9:15 AM   Chabura - Rav Schwab on Tefilah
10:00 AM   Rabbi Tzvi Flaum - Chumash
11:15 AM   Rabbi Tzvi Flaum - Pirke Avos
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
9:15 AM    Chabura - Rabbi Eric Coopersmith - Teleconference
1:00 PM    Mrs. Chavi Alpert - The Gra
2 Forest Lane
Lawrence, NY
Entrance on Broadway
There is no admission charge to attend any of our programs or shiurim





Sunday, March 2, 2014 - ROSH CHODESH ADAR BEIS

8:15 AM   Brachos
9:00 AM   Hallel
9:30 AM   Rabbi Yossi Wallis, CEO of Arachim


Monday, March 3, 2014 - ROSH CHODESH ADAR BEIS

8:15 AM   Brachos
9:00 AM   Hallel
9:30 AM   Rabbi Dani Staum





Rabbi Fohrman's Shiur- New Time

Rabbi David Forhrman's Genesis Unveiled series resumes this Saturday evening, February 8th. Please note the new time of 7:15pm.


The AIPAC program, From Woodmere to Washington will follow the class at 8:30pm. 



Esti Stahler

Parshat Tzav

Parshat Vayishlach

Parshat Lech Lichah

Parshat Noach 2012 


Parshat Breishit 2012, Parshat Nitzavim/Vayelech  Parshat Naso Parshat Behaalotchah Parshat Shlach



Rabbi Eytan Feiner
Rav Meir Goldvicht'halotcha.mp3'halotcha.pdf
Shira Smiles -massey-the-grand-scheme.mp3
Past Shiurim at Ohel Sara Amen Group
Second Anniversary Program 2007
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger on Sarit Marton's Yahrtzeit Dedication:
Midos, December 4, 2007

Rabbi Nissel on Tefilah, November 2007 Topic
Rebbetzin Shira Smiles, December 2007 Topic
Debbie Greenblatt, Michtav M'Eliyahu: Midat Harachamim, October 15, 2007
Debbie Greenblatt, Michtav M'Eliyahu: Midat Harachamim, October 22, 2007
Debbie Greenblatt, Michtav M'Eliyahu: Midat Harachamim, October 31, 2007
Esther Wein and Rachel Baron: Chahashemesh L'Yaakov, July 31, 2006
Esther Wein Musaf Rosh Hashanah September 6, 2006
Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky September 2006
Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, June 26, 2006
Rebbetzin Sara Meisels Rosh Chodesh Elul Divrei Bracha 2006
Rebbetzin Abbey Lerner Rosh Chodesh Iyar 2006
Rabbi Dovid Weinberger on thefirst of Chanukah 2007presenting the Sefer Middos
2nd Anniversary of the "Ohel Sara" Amen Group
Rebbetzin Judy Young a'h speaking at a Rosh Chodesh Elulprogram in Great Neck

Mitzvah Blessings

Sundays only at 8:15am at 386 Felter Avenue, Hewlett.
Women gather to recite and hear at least 100 morning blessings so as to fulfill the mitzvah of doing so. If you know of someone who is ill, please feel free to call and provide the group with the Hebrew name, so that those who are present may pray for him or her. Haidee Blumenthal (516)295-5431

Beryl Wein
Beryl Wein - Click here for this Week's Parshah
Local Mikvehs
Congregation Mikveh of South Shore, 1156 Peninsula Boulevard, Hewlett (516)569-5514
Hebrew Community Service Mikvah, 1121 Sage Street, Far Rockaway (718)327-9727
For Jewish Holidays Only: Aish Kodesh Mikvah. Woodmere Boulevard in Woodmere. Speak with Sandy Polansky to make a reservation. (516)459-2298
Congregation Bais Medrash. 504 West Broadway, Cedarhurst. Speak with Rebbetzin Spiegel(516)569-1971
Join Our Email List

Hewlett Woodmere Library - 1125 Broadway, Hewlett 516-374-1967
Peninsula Public Library - 280 Central Avenue, Lawrence 516-239-3262 l
Children's Movies: Sunday at 2:00pm
Story Time: Mondays at 4:15 pm (3-5 Year Olds) - a half hour program of stories and a short film.
Book Discussions: Tuesdays at 6:30 pm (Grades 4 - 7)
Registration - January 12
Program: February 10
The Theif Lord By: Cornelia Funke
Registration - February 9
Program: March 24
To Be Announced
Toddler Time: Thursdays at 10:30am (24 - 35 months) - A lively half-hour of songs, stories, fingerplays, movement and a short film for a child accompanied by an adult.
Mother Goose: Fridays at 10:00 am (12-23 months) - Programs of songs, finger plays, nursery rhymes and board books for very young readers accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
Parent-Child Workshop: Thursdays at 10:00-11:15 (12-35 months)
A special program that encourages parents to play, sing and do finger plays with their children. Specialists in the fields of Speech and Hearing, Behavior and Development, Nutrition, and Dance/Movement are available at various sessions. Registration is required and is being accepted in the children's room.
Book Talking with Arnold Rosenbaum: Wednesdays at 1:00pm
The Defining Moment - FDR's First Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter. January 31
Economic Problems Facing the Middle Class .Mr. Rosenbaum will present his thoughts on the socioeconomic problems facing the American middle class. March 14
If Music Be The Food of Love...Shakespeare In Love: Sunday, January 7 at 2:30pm. New York jazz vocalist Christiana Drapkin celebrates the beauty and power of William Shakespeare's poetry and presents it in lively, sometimes haunting, jazz arrangements. The songs are direct quotations from Shakespeare's plays. Tickets required.
Picasso and American Art: Monday, January 8 at 1:00 pm. Picasso is acknowledged by many as the central figure of the modern movement. Art historian Mary Vahey will examine the sometimes worshipful, sometimes testy relationship between American artists and the Picasso, the immensely inventive Spaniard.
A Rockette Remembers: Wednesday, January 17 at 1:00pm. Corliss Whitney, the honorary historian of the Rockette Alumnae, shares poignant stories about her years as a Rockette during the 40's and 50's.
Laugh Your Way to Health - Humor Therapy: Wednesday, January 24 at 1:00pm. A presentation that will focus on the latest studies that scientifically prove and explain how and why laughter IS the best medicine.
Berman Does Merman: Sunday February 4 at 2:30pm. Songs and stories celebrating Ethel Mermans brilliant career will be brought to PPL by vocalist Lisa Berman. Tickets required.
India...Exotic and Ancient Land of Contrasts: Thursday, February 8 at 1:00pm. Through lecture and slides, Sally Wendkos Olds will guide you on a journey to another world of exotic beauty and ancient splendor.
Great Lyricists and/or Poets: Wednesday, February 14 at 1:00pm. Arnie Rosenbaum will share the poetic lyrics of Ira Gershwin, Alan J. Lerner and Larry Hart. You decide if the great lyricists of the 20th century really were master poets.
Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall - An Artists Country Estate: Monday, March 19 at 1:00pm. Ines Powell, Metropolitan Museum of Art educator, will present an illustrated lecture which will bring together many of the architectural elements and design features of Tiffany's extraordinary country estate in Oyster Bay.