By Chanita Teitz
There is so much to write about, so much to say. A whole month has gone by. Rosh Hashanah, Israel, Yom Kippur, back to New York, Sukkos. Meals, meals, meals; so much food! I sent in the pre-Rosh Hashanah column and then saw the deadline schedule for submitting my column for the rest of the month. I often get announcements the week of the event, and with a yom tov schedule which is moved up, I knew I couldn’t get things in on time. But don’t think that my mind wasn’t racing with all the things I’ve done and want to tell you about. So I’ll spread my musings over several weeks.
In the meantime, let me start by telling you about our quick trip to Israel. We left right after Rosh Hashanah, in that horrible stormy weather. The rain and the wind had us sure that we’d be delayed. And the whole point was to get there for my father-in-law’s yahrzeit on the day after Tzom Gedaliah. If we would be delayed a day, my husband wouldn’t be able to get there in time. But surprisingly, we took off. The fast was shorter since we were flying eastward, and by the time we got into our rental car, it was dark and the fast was over.
Instead of being tired and hungry, though, we were invigorated just to be driving in Israel, always exciting and breathtaking as we ascend the mountains toward Yerushalayim. The best part of arriving is being greeted with equal excitement and enthusiasm by our dear grandchildren. The hugs and kisses go all around, the shrieking and jumping up and down, each one talking at once, wanting to show us everything.
This time we didn’t do much traveling, preferring to spend quality time with our children and grandchildren. We did drive up North to visit my brothers, but we didn’t do our usual Dead Sea trip. Actually, I never like driving by ourselves to the Dead Sea. Once we leave the environs of Yerushalayim, the road is almost deserted and I hate being the lone car on a long stretch of empty road.
Aside from pizza night and burger night with the kids, Akiva went to daven at the Kotel every morning, and I joined him on Friday morning. Our son Dovie gives a Friday morning shiur, which Akiva was able to attend, and then Friday afternoon he joined Dovie and our grandson Elchanan for their weekly football game. Dovie decided a while ago that Elchanan needed an outlet. Organized sports are not encouraged in the chareidi communities, but Dovie, being American, sees the value in kids having something to do rather than just hanging out on the streets.
So he started playing ball with Elchanan on Fridays, and lots of other boys now join them at one of the schoolyards. Dovie is teaching them how to play American football.
Friday night, together with Elchanan, Rachelli, and Shoshie, we davened at a very nice Carlebach minyan. I just can’t describe how much more meaningful davening is in Eretz Yisrael. We are davening for Eretz Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael. When we ask Hashem to protect our country and we are actually there, the words are alive. And together with the heartfelt melodies and enthusiastic singing at a Carlebach davening, the whole experience is on a different level.
Yom Kippur went by pretty quickly, and before we knew it we were eating, packing, and getting ready to leave. As exciting as it is to arrive, leaving is heartbreaking. Everyone is sad. Everyone wants us to stay and so do we. So I tell them that we’re not saying goodbye, just l’hitraot, see you again. And we leave quickly so we don’t all start crying.
L’hitraot, everyone. I’ll continue next week with some more musings!
Just before Sukkos, I received this announcement from Bais Yaakov of Queens. Bais Yaakov students are working on enhancing their character and middos tovos throughout the day. After Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff, rav of the Kew Gardens Synagogue, addressed the junior high at their Yom Iyun, the students wanted to say thank you in a special way. The general studies department, headed by Mrs. Sarah Bergman, principal, and Mrs. Karen Reisbaum, assistant principal, suggested a unique way. As part of the general studies department’s service learning and character-building effort, the girls would be able to beautify the rav’s shul sukkah as he beautified their learning with words of inspiration during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah. The eighth-graders designed and hand-made decorations for the shul’s sukkah. The decorations were magnificent. The students learned about the importance of being makir tov and helping the shul make its sukkah mehudar for the chag.
On Motzaei Shabbos, October 20, at the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, 83-10 188th Street, the National Council of Young Israel and the YI of Jamaica Estates are proud to present the Shalom Workshop: Making Good Marriages Great! Couples are invited. Sushi will be served. Presenters are Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Executive Director Shalom Task Force; and Esther Friedman, MSW, Director, Shalom Workshop. Pre-registration is required for this program. $15 per couple for nonmembers of the synagogue. For more information or to register, please contact 212-929-1525 ext 112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or register online at www.youngisrael.org/marriage.
A singles event will be taking place on Sunday, October 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Queens Jewish Center, 66-05 108th Street in Forest Hills. It will be a night of comedy and pizza. Comedian Stuie Rappaport, winner of the Jewish Week’s comedy contest, will be performing. $12 per person. To register or for more information contact Lori at QJCSinglesEvent@gmail.com.
Also on Sunday night October 21 at 8 p.m., Chazaq and Eshel Avraham present a special lecture by Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn, “Yearning Upward, Searching Inward.” Men and women are welcome. Free admission. Location: Congregation Shaare Tova, 82-33 Lefferts Boulevard, Kew Gardens. This event is dedicated in loving memory of Yaeer Netzer Nissianian ben Avraham and Tzipporah. For more info call 917-733-4441 or e-mail Info@Chazaq.org.
The Shiur HaChodesh for women by women will begin again on Wednesday, October 24 at 7:45 p.m. at Congregation Etz Chaim, 147-19 73rd Avenue, KGH. The speaker will be Prof. Smadar Rosensweig speaking on “The Destiny Narrative in Sefer Bereishis.” Suggested Donation is $5.00. For more information contact email@example.com.
N’Shei Ohr Moshe is pleased to invite you to join their eighth membership brunch-and-learn on Sunday, October 28, at 9:45 a.m. at Congregation Ohr Moshe, 170-16 73rd Avenue, Hillcrest. Guest Speaker will be Mrs. Jackie Jacobowitz speaking on the secrets and mysteries of the mitzvah of hafrashas challah. RSVP to Beth Friedman 718-591-4143 or Ruchie Schechter 718-591-4441. Couvert $40, Sponsor $60.
To Judy Mandelbaum and family on the petirah of her father.
To Dr. and Mrs. Marc Silverman on the bar mitzvah of their son Shlomo on Shabbos, chol hamoed Sukkos.
To our children Deedee and David Weiss on the upcoming bar mitzvah of our dear grandson Mordechai.
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows. For all your real-estate needs in Queens call 718-263-4500 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also, continue sending your events and other announcements to my email two weeks before the event so I can make my deadlines and get your information into the timely column.)