Rabbi’s Musings & Amusings

Perfectly Unbalanced

Perhaps the most underappreciated honor that one can receive in shul is to do hagbaha - raising...

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 If I was making supper for my family, it would consist of Cheerios every night. The only choice would be: with milk or just plain cereal? My wife, however, aside from deciding what to make for supper, and investing the effort to actually make it – with multiple children, baruch Hashem, invading our home – she also has to contend with ungrateful children who don’t approve of that night’s supper. (You thought this only happened in your house?)

Our son Avi became a bar mitzvah on Thursday evening, 26 Cheshvan 5781. Unfortunately, my father-in-law was not feeling well enough to attend the Shabbos event, so Avi and I went to visit him in Lakewood on Thursday afternoon.

May 1945. Liberation day finally arrived. Chaim was more dead than alive, but he had survived. Although he had suffered terribly and lost almost everything, he had outlived Hitler. So many times throughout the war, he had given up hope; there was simply no way he could go on. The odds of his survival were practically zero, and yet, in each situation he somehow survived. It was as if a divine hand was guiding him in the miserable darkness.

 You won’t find “Lower East Sider” in a dictionary. If you Google those words, you’ll get some entries about prices of apartments and other various news about the Lower East Side. But for the tens of thousands of Jews who grew up and lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there is significant meaning. In fact, those old timers take it as a great compliment to be a “Lower East Sider.”

 By now, the beautiful holiday of Sukkos feels like a somewhat distant memory. The leaves have changed into their splendor and august colors, and are beginning to rapidly fall from the trees. Our clocks have been adjusted to Eastern Standard Time, and the weather has become markedly colder.