Colors: Purple Color

 A Parents’ Story

We are blessed to have a beautiful family, with six wonderful children.  Four of them have special needs.

A story we heard long ago about the Netziv, Rav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, has framed our perspective and given us the ability to feel truly blessed.  At a siyum upon completing his famous sefer, The Ha’amek Sheila, the Netziv told his talmidim that as a young boy he had been less focused, until one day he overheard his father telling someone that he was upset about his son’s inattentiveness.  Realizing the pain he was causing his father was the push he needed to turn things around, to become a serious student. “Imagine,” he said to the assembled, “if I had not heard about my father’s distress. I would have grown up, living as a good Jew, and would have died without ever having written seforim. In heaven, I would have been asked where The Ha’amek Sheila was and I would have thought they were mistaking me for someone else. We each have a purpose in life. Boruch Hashem, I was fortunate enough to overhear a conversation which helped put me on the right path.”

Rabbonim, Singers & 500,000+ People for Shidduchim at TuBavTogether.com, plus what did Rav Chaim Kanievsky say about this year’s Tefillah?

This coming Sunday, July 25, is the day of tefillah for Tu B’Av. At 12:00 p.m. EST,
join over 500,000+ Jews around the world uniting together in tefillah for shidduchim - “Tu B’Av Together”

One moment. 500,000 Jews across the globe. Together for shidduchim. That is Tu B’Av Together.

College of Staten Island and Programs in Biochemistry and Chemistry at the CUNY Graduate Center

 City University of New York was once a bastion for free and safe public higher education. Among its stakeholders, Jewish New Yorkers flocked to the lecture halls of City College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and Queens College and received excellent preparation for careers in law, education, engineering, business, the humanities and the sciences. I myself have been fortunate to be a faculty member at the College of Staten Island and the CUNY Graduate School for nearly 50 years. My wife received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Queens College. We and our fellow Jews belong at CUNY and demand that all communities and stakeholders in the University are welcomed and treated fairly. Today we feel less than welcome at CUNY.

The past Shabbos, exactly one month after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, search efforts were officially ceased, bringing a close to one of the worst disasters in Florida history. It was two days later that the final unaccounted victim, Estelle Hedaya a”h, 54, was identified by her younger brother Ikey, bringing the total to 98 fatalities. This moment culminated a month of heart-wrenching t’filos for the Jewish community that committed to bringing peace to each affected family. Nobody who was found deceased is believed to have survived the initial collapse.

When tragedy strikes, there is often no rhyme or reason. Yet we often find unsung heroes who rarely desire recognition or accolade. Jews, in particular, have long found Florida as a refuge from the chaos and fast-paced life elsewhere, and many have settled on its shores to ride out their golden years. The Surfside Champlain South Towers oceanfront condominium collapse last Thursday, just north of Miami Beach, has left 12 confirmed dead and 149 victims unaccounted for, as structural flaws are revealed and an investigation before a grand jury appears imminent. Most apartments in this complex had a mezuzah affixed on their doorposts, and during wintertime this condo has a much higher occupancy rate. There remains a concern that there are duplicate names on the unaccounted list, as both English and Hebrew names might have been reported to the rescue team.

Astronauts really are made of the right stuff. They are exceptionally bright, have complex technical skills, are in outstanding physical condition, and have perfect vision. They are also exceptionally courageous, reliable in case of an emergency, and trusted with highly prized secrets. Their missions into space helped transform the present into a better tomorrow. Many, interestingly enough, are Jewish.