By Chanita Teitz
I want to share the “plane letter” I wrote to my grandson Boruch, who left for camp S’dei Chemed in Israel. The message it contains is applicable to anyone traveling to Israel.
I can’t believe that the little boy who used to run around my house is now going off to Eretz Yisrael for the summer of a lifetime!
In past generations, Eretz Yisrael was a place people only knew from a distance—from Chumash and Navi. It seemed like a dream to ever get there, to actually see the land or walk in it. That is why those who finally reached the shores of Eretz Yisrael literally fell to their knees and kissed the ground.
You are living in a blessed time when travel is available and parents can afford to send their children to Eretz Yisrael. A non-Jewish broker I once dealt with was shocked that I had children living and learning in Israel. “Isn’t it dangerous?” she asked me. Even with the danger, we Jews have not stopped going to Israel or sending our precious children there. That alone is an inspiration. Don’t take this opportunity for granted, and make sure you thank your parents.
By the time you arrive, I know that you’ll be exhausted but at the same time the excitement will be so great that you’ll get a second wind. Take in everything that you see and hear. Even from the sky you will be able to see the city of Tel Aviv, the palm trees and the sea. Try to relate everything you see to whatever you have learned in Chumash and Navi. These are not just ancient stories but this country is alive both with the old and with the new. If you use your imagination, you can almost see the Jewish nation living in the times of Tanach as you walk in the footsteps of Klal Yisrael.
You will see the glory of our ancient country when Dovid HaMelech made Yerushalayim his capital and later when the Beis HaMikdash stood on top of the very mountain in Yerushalayim where Avraham and Yitzchak went to the Akeidah. Now you can be witness to the world that this land is our land for over 3,000 years.
Israel is a land of contrasts—ancient and modern. The new, modern cities existed in Tanach and are still called by their ancient names. And the streets have ancient names, too. Ancient names on new streets filled with modern buildings, cars, buses, and trains. Modern superhighways, high-tech all around. And then you see an Arab walking with his donkey, an Arab shepherd with his lambs and goats.
Use your imagination to see the past. Can you imagine a Jewish family living during the time of the Beis HaMikdash? Maybe the father was a Kohen going to work in the Beis HaMikdash. A mezuzah is on their door, the son is a bar mitzvah boy putting on his tefillin, while the mother is baking challah for Shabbos and the little girls play kugelach or, as they call it, chamesh avanim. We are connected through time with our people.
Boruch, if you seek out this connection you will find it at the holy places and in the modern places. You will find it in the cities and you will find it in the fields, in the mountains and in the deserts.
Zaidie and I wish you a safe trip and a great summer! Together with the ruchniyus you will have a lot of fun too! We love you!
Some Bubby tips:
Drink, drink, drink water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
Wear a hat when you are outdoors to prevent heatstroke. And that’s another reason to keep drinking.
Stay with your group and don’t wander off by yourself. It’s a Jewish country, but there are still Arabs around. Stay safe.
Thank the soldiers who guard your group. Talk to them and try to get to know them. Buy them a drink. Tell them how proud you are of them.
Take lots of pictures.
Daven for all of us. v
Starting this Shabbos at 11:20 a.m., R’ Marcus of Kehilas Ishei Yisrael (KIY) will be giving a daf yomi shiur at KIY with the beginning of Pesachim and will continue the shiur every day of the week at 5:40 a.m. before Shacharis at KIY, 70-10 150th Street.
KIY will be starting a weekday Shacharis minyan at 6:25 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and at 6:20 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. The freshly brewed coffee is sponsored l’zchus refuah sheleimah of Tzipporah bas Chana Anat.
This Shabbos, June 29 at 5:30 p.m. the Young Israel of KGH will present the third lecture in its summer Shabbos afternoon lecture series. Orie Shapiro, Esq., will speak on “Hey Dude, You’re Sitting in My Makom Kavuah: Reserved Pews for Religious Jews?” All men and women are invited. The shiur will be held in the beis midrash of the youth building, 150-05 70th Road.
On Tuesday, July 2 there will be the third annual BBQ at 136-01 72nd Road in Kew Gardens Hills to benefit Kids of Courage. For more information, visit www.kidsoc.org.
Due to the overwhelming success of the last workshop series, Perel Abramowitz will be doing a second 7-part series on self-parenting, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. (a preview began this week) at the Kehilat Sephardim, 150-62 78th Road, second floor. For more information and to register, contact Rebbetzin Ora Nisanov at 516-250-9652 or 718-969-1855 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Hold the date! Mrs. Chana Silver, a popular teacher at several seminaries in Jerusalem, as well as a lecturer for Aish Hatorah’s Discovery Programs and Ner L’elef Kiruv Training, will be giving a shiur in Kew Gardens Hills on July 9 at 8:00 p.m. at 72-23 139th Street.
For Your Information
According to the New York State Association of Realtors, home prices have risen for the seventh consecutive month. “Strong buyer demand coupled with a tighter supply of homes has helped drive the statewide median sales price up for the seventh consecutive month,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, NYSAR CEO.
For potential sellers in our area, buyer demand is high and we are beginning to see an increase in new listings. If you have been thinking of selling, today’s sellers’ market is the right time to put your house up for sale. v
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage, with offices in Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows. For all your real-estate needs in Queens, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.