Colors: Cyan Color

“Looking at the mildness of the symptoms that we are seeing, currently there is no reason for panicking as we don’t see severely ill patients.  I also checked with the hospital, some of the hospitals in my area, and one of the biggest hospitals only has one patient currently that’s COVID-positive on a ventilator, and they don’t know if it’s Delta or if it’s Omicron.  We acknowledge that it might change going forward, but the hype that’s been created currently out there in the media and worldwide doesn’t correlate with the clinical picture and doesn’t warrant to just cut us off from any traveling and ban South Africa as if we are the villains in the whole process.  It should not be like that.”

In 2019, the Queens community mobilized to elect moderate Democrat Melinda Katz to the Queens District Attorney’s office.  In 2021, the Nassau County community mobilized to elect Anne Donnelly as their DA. The necessity of that mobilization has become far more obvious this past week than it was at the time, but the electorate of those communities can breathe a sigh of relief that other communities cannot.

This week we are celebrating Chanukah. It commemorates the single small jar of tahor olive oil that miraculously burned for eight days. The olives that were pressed to make that olive oil may well have come from the nearby Mount of Olives – Har HaZeisim. The oil had to burn for eight days because the kohanim had become tamei through contact with the dead. To become tahor and be able to prepare new olive oil, they had to go through a seven-day process that involved being sprinkled twice with a mixture of water and the ashes of a parah adumah – a red cow, a process that took place on Har HaZeisim.

Almost at the beginning of the Torah, we are taught that Hashem placed man in the Garden of Eden, l’ovdah (to work it) and l’shomrah (to guard it). G-d gave us the responsibility to use the earth and its resources to grow, to build, and to innovate. He also commanded us to preserve the planet as a legacy for future generations.

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

Izzy, come over,” he yells across the beautiful, renovated shul. “Sit. Please join us for Shalosh S’udos.” I had just met Yaakov on Friday night when I decided, for the first time, to daven at the Young Israel of Briarwood. It was very difficult for me to walk in, given the sentimental value there. YIB was the shul that my parents, especially my mom, adored. Mom was very active in the sisterhood and always spoke with such excitement about upcoming shul activities. Mom loved engaging in conversation with Rabbi Kaufman zt”l. Rabbi Kaufman was part of our family. In fact, Rabbi Kaufman was part of everyone’s family.