artnering With Pesach
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Before we enter the final push for Election Day, February 19, I wanted to take a moment to thank the nearly 3,000 of you that took the time to sign the petition to put us on the ballot. Campaigns are a partnership between candidate and community, and the dozens of people that carried petitions and all of you who signed are the best partners a candidate could ask for. Our community turnout has demonstrated to our opposition that we are strong in numbers and strong in conviction.
While the work has only begun, I am truly grateful for your early demonstration of support, and I look forward to partnering with you through February 19 and beyond. This is going to be a tough race, but together with your help we will be matzliach!
With much appreciation,
Candidate for 31st Council District
Aged To Perfection
This letter is addressed to the NASI Project:
I am a mother of quite a few daughters and I have been reading about your initiatives and am quite impressed with the results. My oldest daughter is 22, and she just became engaged to a boy who just started shidduchim. I feel that as a result of your ads, her age was never an issue, and if anything it gave her an advantage. I feel your efforts really changed people’s view on dating older girls and especially when dating girls who are 22–23. Kol ha’kavod!
The reason that encouraging boys to consider older girls has taken off is because it really makes sense and our community recognized that. Everyone knows that today girls usually get some form of college education or coursework, and everyone recognizes how hard it is to finish that education after marriage! Everyone knows that our girls improve with age. If mothers wouldn’t be in such a panic to marry off their daughters, they would all agree that they would love to give their daughters some time to mature. I have noticed that people have been doing this already. I have a 19-year-old daughter too, and I see that her friends are not starting shidduchim as quickly as my older daughter’s friends did. My 19-year-old insists she does not want to start until after Pesach. I recently redt a shidduch to a girl her age. There was definitely some interest but the mother told me her daughter doesn’t want to start until after Pesach!
This does not mean if a great shidduch came up I would not pursue it, but I and many other mothers are not actively seeking shidduchim for our 19-year-olds. There is a very big difference between actively marketing and seeking a shidduch and listening if you have no choice because it’s too good to pass up on.
Thank you for caring about our daughters.
A Mother in Our Community
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the news that Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, one of two rebbeim of Satmar, recently arrived in Israel and headed straight to an anti-state demonstration, where he urged followers to abstain from voting in the national elections that took place this week.
Let’s see if we have this straight. Rabbi Teitelbaum has for years been engaged in vicious conflict with his brother, the rival Rabbi Aharon, over control of Satmar. The two have even committed a chillul Hashem by going to secular court to fight their war. Yet Rav Zalman Leib has nothing better to do than take advantage of Israel’s hospitality to go and publicly bash the Jewish state! How about investing the time in making internecine peace? Instead, he is bent on further dividing Jews. And why don’t the members of the Eidah HaChareidit, who joined him at the demonstration, take him aside and tell him in no uncertain terms that the conflict must stop?
It is truly lamentable that one of our leading Chassidic groups has been reduced to childish squabbling. I still cannot comprehend why, several years ago, a local yeshiva invited one of the brothers to address its talmidim before Shavuos. Why, right before a yom tov that requires unity—that demands we be “k’ish echad, b’lev echad,” as one man, with one heart—would we invite to our community someone who has demonstrated hatred rather than love?
A Better Buyer
The property the Number Six School now occupies is solidly in the middle of a residential area. The thought of having an office building, even if we call it medical offices, detracts from our community and does not belong there. The increased amount of cars and the loss of a treasured green space will only serve to decrease our property values.
The actions of Dr. Mansdorf and the school board have been commendable. They have a responsibility to see to it that the district receives the most money from the sale. We as the residents of District 15 likewise have a responsibility to ourselves and the whole Five Towns community. The proposed sale must be voted down.
Unfortunately your article did not correctly state that the JCC currently has a bid of $10.5 million for the purchase of the Number Six School. What this community lacks is a high-quality JCC facility that will be available to every resident of District 15, young and old. Furthermore, a JCC will be an asset to the whole Five Towns.
While a school may serve a limited number of girls from District 15, only a JCC will serve us all from toddler to senior citizen. A JCC will be a focal point for the whole community regardless of what shul, shtiebel, minyan, congregation, temple, or church one may go to or not.
A JCC would not just preserve the ball fields but add a pool (with separate hours for men and women), fitness facilities, crafts, clubs, camps, and support groups. A place for all of us. Our property values will only increase if the Number Six School becomes a JCC.
The first step is for us to vote down the sale of the Number Six School to the Simon Group. Let the process to find a suitable buyer for the Number Six School be reopened.
Resident of District 15
The Message Is The Same
In Rabbi Ginzberg’s “Farewell to Kaddish” last week, he cited the well-known Chazal of “Bikeish Yaakov l’galos el banav keitz ha’yamin” (see Pesachim 56a). Yaakov Avinu wanted to reveal to his sons when Mashiach would come, but before he could do so, the Shechinah left him and he was not able to do so.
At that point, Yaakov was uncertain why the Shechinah had departed and he feared that perhaps one or more of his sons was unworthy of this nevuah. In response, the Shevatim declared Shema Yisrael, that just as you, Yisrael, believe in only One, so too do we believe in only the One Hashem. Yaakov responded to this magnificent declaration with the now familiar words of “Baruch Shem K’vod Malchuso l’olam va’ed,” May Hashem’s Name be blessed forever and ever.
Rabbi Ginzberg also cites the version of the Talmud Yerushalmi (Bereishis 49:1) that alludes to this Gemara, but instead of Yaakov’s responding “Baruch Shem K’vod,” the Talmud Yerushalmi writes that he responded with “Yehei Shmei Rabba mevarach l’olmei olmin,” May Hashem’s Name be blessed forever and ever.
Surprisingly, Rabbi Ginzberg failed to “connect the dots,” as it were, and point out that according to this Talmud Yerushalmi, Yehei Shmei Rabba is in fact the Aramaic translation of Baruch Shem K’vod. (See Sefer Emes L’Yaakov on Meseches Brachos (3a), by Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, and my Sefer Maadanei Chaim on Meseches Brachos, pp. 12-13.)
Rabbi Chaim Cohen