Colors: Blue Color

In Parshas VaEira, Hashem commanded Moshe to first warn Pharaoh about the impending plague. Moshe told Pharaoh that if he refused to free the Jews to serve Hashem, “so said Hashem, ‘In this you shall know that I am Hashem.’ Behold I am going to strike with the staff that is in my hand upon the water that is in the river, and it shall turn to blood.” After warning Pharaoh, Moshe is then commanded, “Tell Aharon, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt…’” Why does Hashem specify that Aharon be the one to initiate the plague? In addition, this pattern is repeated with the next two plagues – Frogs and Lice.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in American public policy, called today upon universities to abandon “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) efforts, pending a comprehensive review to ensure that such programs do not promote antisemitic bias. A recent Heritage Foundation paper, entitled “Inclusion Delusion: The Antisemitism of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at Universities,” determined that “Rather than promoting diversity and inclusion, universities may be contributing to an increase in anti-Jewish hatred by expanding DEI staff and power.”

This past Wednesday evening, Chazaq coordinated a communal unity Tehilim event for the neighborhood of North Woodmere. Over 150 attendees gathered in person at Congregation Ohr Torah, while well over a thousand more watched online on 5 Towns Central and Hamodia.com as neighborhood rabbonim took to the pulpit to recite the sacred words of Dovid HaMelech.

Rabbi Yosef Gesser, author of Hamodia’s “Monuments to Nobility in Our Backyard, conducts a tour to kivrei tzadikim at Mount Judah Cemetery in Queens this past Friday. The group visited the k’varim of HaRav Shlomo Heiman zt”l, HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l, HaRav Henoch Leibowitz zt”l, the wife of the Chofetz Chaim, and many other Torah luminaries.

 

The Jewish community of Queens has a myriad of volunteer organizations that add to the betterment of our lives and those of our neighbors. Despite his untimely passing, the work of chaplaincy was beautifully showcased by the sincere devotion of Rabbi David Keehn z”l. Throughout the blocks of Queens there are ample chaplains – both men and women – ready, willing, and able to step up to help friends, neighbors, and brethren. The Queens Jewish Link took some time to speak with Rabbi Chaplain Mendy Coën, Director-General at the United States Chaplain Corps (USCC), and some of his team to get a better grasp of their outreach efforts to access and help others.

Back on December 2, CUNY Law Student Government Association (LSGA) passed a resolution that “proudly and unapologetically” endorsed the BDS movement against Israel and condemned pro-Israel student groups on campus. Subsequently, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez of the City University of New York (CUNY) rejected the declaration. “These organizations speak for themselves and the opinions or positions they express are entirely theirs and do not represent the views of CUNY or the majority of the 300,000 members of our community,” expressed Rodriguez. “I am focused on elevating dialogue and building bridges between people and groups of different backgrounds whose beliefs and divergent experiences and histories sometimes place them at odds. Now, more than ever, I believe it is incumbent on all of us, especially those of us in higher education, to promote tolerance and civic engagement, and to commit ourselves to coming together, hard as it may often seem, to forge mutual understanding as members of this widely diverse University community.”