One of the advantages of being a local journalist is that you learn about the amazing people and organizations in our community, and people sometimes approach you with inspiring stories. This week, I was privileged to hear about a miracle that happened in our community this past Shabbos, Parshas Noach.

Mrs. Dina Schoonmaker, well-known speaker in Eretz Yisrael, is offering an inspiring series of in-depth classes on the sefer Mesilas Yesharim by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal (1707-1746). The following is a summary of some of the key points from the shiur on Tuesday, October 25, that focused on Z’rizus in the sixth chapter of Mesilas Yesharim. Z’rizus means alacrity. This includes alertness, being time-conscious, and being focused on what you are doing. We are all supposed to strive to possess this midah.

On Sunday evening, October 30, Let’s Get Real With Coach Menachem featured Rabbi Mordechai (Gary) Neuman, New York Times bestselling author. Rabbi Neuman began by citing a study with 430 women and 200 men. They were interviewed about what happily married couples are doing versus failed couples. All successful couples have their marriage as their priority. Failed couples kind of forget about their marriage. Successful couples continue to work on their marriage. They are always learning. He noted that he doesn’t say “happy couples.” Being successful doesn’t mean you will always be happy.

On Motza’ei Shabbos, October 15, Chazaq hosted all-night learning for Hoshana Rabbah at Yeshiva Ohel Simcha. Speakers included Rabbi Mordechai BenHaim, Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, Rabbi Reuven Ibragimov, Rabbi Yaakov Rahimi, Rabbi Uri Lati, Rabbi Igal Haimoff, Rabbi Eliyahu Maksumov, Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, and Rabbi Meir Gabriel Elbaz.

On Tuesday evening, October 25, the Navigating the Medical System Lecture Series launched its first virtual lecture of the season, featuring Dr. Mel Breite, Founder and Director of the series. Dr. Breite shared that this is the 11th year of the program and he thanked various individuals who have helped since its inception. He included Councilman Jim Gennaro who was instrumental in helping Dr. Breite to initiate this informative program.