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.”

Donald Trump’s presidential legacy includes an array of highlights, but the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett as the 103rd justice on the United States Supreme Court will forever be a notable climax. The first decision where her influence weighed heavily was passed down late on the eve of Thanksgiving, giving many a welcome surprise this past Thursday morning in a ruling that has temporarily barred New York State from enforcing the restrictive 10- and 25-person attendance limits at houses of worship in red and orange zones, respectively.

Questions of "annexation" have taken center-stage lately. Since the revealing of President Donald Trump's Peace Plan, pundits and politicians have been asking: Should Israel annex "Area C," a/k/a Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, as outlined in the Oslo Accord? Before we can answer this question, which evokes mixed feelings worldwide, we must question whether "annex" is the correct word at all.

Part 2

Continued from last week

 After living peacefully among their non-Jewish neighbors for many years, the lives of the Jews of Kittsee changed drastically right after the Anschluss. They lost their rights, were humiliated, and eventually were thrown out of their homes on Pesach. They wandered from border to border for days with no food or drink, begging to be admitted to another country but no country would take them in.