Colors: Blue Color

Midrash L’man Achai, under the leadership of Rav Shmuel Z. Kleinman, gave its talmidim an inspirational Rosh Chodesh Shevat experience. The students were invited to a formal seudah that included divrei chizuk from veteran mechanech Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman. The esteemed mashgiach of Yeshivas Ohr HaChaim in Kew Gardens Hills illustrated his remarks with a poignant story of a thirteen-year-old bachur with a striking life lesson, “The most valuable gift that this boy received for his Bar Mitzvah was his watch,” related Rav Finkelman, “because it reminded him that time is ticking, and we do not get the minutes back. Life is time.” The mashgiach followed on the discussion of the importance of time, noting, “American has a whole industry of killing time.” This was said about people not knowing how to use the time that they are given wisely and succumbing to the pressures of the theater industry where a person can get lost in the world of the screen for hours on end. “To us, every minute is valuable,” said the Rav, giving pointers to the students to use every minute appropriately starting from how we conduct ourselves on Rosh HaShanah – the brain center of the year – translating into our actions throughout the months that follow.

Tu BiSh’vat is a Jewish holiday in the Hebrew month of Sh’vat, which marks the “New Year of the Trees.” Tu BiSh’vat is not mentioned in the Torah. Its source can be found in the writings of our Sages in the Mishnah, in Maseches Rosh HaShanah: “There are four new years: The first of Nisan is the new year for kings and for pilgrim festivals. The first of Elul is the new year for tithing of cattle. The first of Tishrei is the new year for years, for Sh’mitah and Yoveil, for planting and for vegetables. The first of Sh’vat is the new year for trees, according to the ruling of Beis Shamai. Beis Hillel, however, places it on the 15th of that month.” We follow the rulings of Beis Hillel for two main reasons:

“A once-in-a-lifetime experience” was the common sentiment expressed by Emet Outreach students about the week-long learning program they joined at Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), the renowned yeshivah in Lakewood, New Jersey. A group of 16 eager participants, from Emet’s Higher Level Men’s Division, were fortunate to earn spots at the Lakewood Fellowship Winter Program. This initiative was spearheaded by Torah Links, the outreach arm of BMG, and was geared towards “highly motivated, accomplished young men who’ve demonstrated a commitment to exploring Judaism.” Emet has sent a few students to learn in Lakewood in the past, but this was the first time Torah Links hosted an exclusive program for Emet’s college students and young professionals. “We’re truly honored to have sent students from the Emet Olami Beit Midrash to learn at BMG,” said Rabbi Akiva Rutenberg, Emet Co-Founder and Director. “This program represents our goal to grow with our students and to provide higher-level learning opportunities as they build their abilities and incorporate Torah study into their daily lives.”

In the forefront of the stripped classical architecture of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, and with his hand firmly on a Bible, Donovan Richards, Jr. was ceremoniously inaugurated this past Friday, December 31. It is within these walls that the Queens Borough President centers the operates of civic life for all of Queens.

The punch in the eye that Blake Zavadsky received on Monday followed the assailant’s asking, “Why are you in our neighborhood?” The victim was wearing a hoodie with the logo of the Israeli Army while shopping at a Foot Locker in Bay Ridge with his friend Ilan Kaganovich.