You Don’t Know
How Lucky We Are
This community’s tzedakah and generosity are legendary, but you don’t have a real sense of what it means until you are its recipient. Outsiders sometimes think strange thoughts of the Five Towns community. The truth is sometimes we insiders feel there are things amiss here too. But being part of this frum Jewish community is a special gift that we don’t appreciate as often as we should.
Our family has been going through a major health crisis this past year. My wife’s diagnosis of ALS at 39 years old has been quite a shock to me and our four children, to say the least. While I worried about going through this ordeal scared and alone, I quickly realized how wrong I was. We have been blessed with so much caring, friendship, and generosity that I will never find the time to thank everyone. So if I could, I’d like to publish a short note of thanks for a recent amazing event. [Editor’s note: See the related article on page 67 of this week’s 5TJT.]
About a year ago, we set up a nonprofit to help with the expected expenses and to try to finance experimental treatments as we look for a cure for ALS. Devorah’s good friend Sarah Hofstetter set the ball rolling with an online fundraising effort that has grown beyond expectations.
On New Year’s Eve, so many of Devorah’s friends and neighbors (most that don’t even know us personally) came out to raise money for the Shirat Devorah ALS Foundation and to give my wife chizuk while socializing. It was such a special evening to feel the love and caring from so many.
Devorah and I want to thank her amazing friends that put it all together: Chana Braverman, Ilana Kahan, Jeff Neckonoff, Cindy Shayovitz, Vicky Herman, Shanna Aaron, and so many others that volunteered their time or services to make the night as special as it was.
I’d also like to thank so many in our generous community that have made our ordeal a little less overwhelming: all the many rabbis, friends, and strangers that have done so much, and for their Tehillim and prayers.
Please keep Devorah Rochel bat Miriam Chava in your tefillot and may we all appreciate our special community always.
Petitioning For Pollard
The 5TJT has printed numerous articles and clips about Jonathan Pollard and efforts requesting his release. Please let your readers know they can sign a petition requesting Pollard’s release on the White House website at wh.gov/l0tJT (lowercase l, zero, lowercase t, uppercase JT). Scores of Five Towns residents are among the 600 people who have already signed.
Manhigut Yehudit For Jewish Values
In your recent article “Values and Justice” (From the Editor, January 3), you discussed the painful issue of the release of terrorists and the two-state solution. You conclude, “Why are Jewish values and justice thrown out the window when it comes to our own people, but strictly administered and adhered to when it comes to others? Does that make us better people, more liked, better loved? Apparently not. . . . But on the other hand, we put ourselves here and we are the only ones who can extricate ourselves.”
I would like to humbly suggest that in order to extricate ourselves, we need more people in the right-wing coalition of the Knesset like Moshe Feiglin. Moshe Feiglin and his organization Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) are trying to influence Israel to become a state that is more guided by Jewish values. Illustrating this, a recent article issued by his organization stated that Feiglin was the only coalition MK to oppose the budget approved by the Israeli government in protest of the scheduled terrorist releases. If only a few more MKs had voted with Feiglin, Netanyahu would have had to halt all terrorist releases or risk going to new elections. But, sadly, no one else from his coalition joined him.
Rob Muchnick, Manhigut Yehudit’s U.S. director, stated. “It is hypocritical in my book for MKs to refuse to stop the terrorist release by holding up the budget (which was easily doable) and then for these same MKs to go to protests against the release of these same animals. Pure hypocrisy and the playing of politics. They are simply happier to have their warm Knesset seats and all the money and prestige that comes with it than with doing the right thing.” He also quoted a Bayit Yehudi MK who said that Feiglin is a “strange bird” because he votes the right way instead of “being a team player.” But, continues Mr. Muchnick, “if every coalition MK was as strange a bird as Feiglin, we wouldn’t have to worry about giving away any of the Land of Israel . . .”
For more information about what Manhigut Yehudit is trying to accomplish and how you can help, visit www.JewishIsrael.org.