By Chanita Teitz
Life is sad. Not all the time, but happy occasions are fleeting moments that are over quicker than the blink of an eye, and then all that’s left are memories. Memories are good, but they are also sad, because they bring feelings of longing.
I know it sounds like I’m writing a real downer this week, but I am writing from my heart, and my heart is split between my children who live here and my son and his family who live in Eretz Yisrael.
Our son was here for a week to visit with us, my mother-in-law, and his siblings, but a week goes by too quickly. He hasn’t been back in six years, since our younger son’s wedding; until now, he didn’t want to leave my daughter-in-law alone with the children. This time, her mother was there to help her, so he took the opportunity to visit.
Although they have established themselves in Israel—Dovie gives shiurim in Bayit Vegan and teaches boys in several yeshivos in Yerushalayim, and Daniella is a beloved seminary mechaneches at Darchei Bina—they do miss family and often say that what the children miss most is having grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby.
I am happy that they are living in our homeland and are enriched by the kedushah, but I miss them too. The hardest part, though, is not the everyday missing them; once everyone is resettled into a daily routine, we’re OK. But when we have to say goodbye, we can’t let go. When Dovie arrived last week, I was already thinking of how I would say goodbye.
So we do our best to avoid it. We don’t say goodbye, just “we’ll see you soon.” We’re looking forward to visiting them. But although we speak every day, there’s nothing like being there.
So cherish all the good times in your life and enjoy your family every day if they live nearby. Build strong relationships with your grandchildren and have nachas watching them grow.
A week goes by too quickly.
Chazaq Melave Malka With Kol Acheinu. On Motzaei Shabbos, January 11, Chazaq held its first ever melaveh malkah with Kol Acheinu, a group of Gerrer Chassidim from Boro Park, which has been active in various kiruv activities for the past year and a half. The event took place at the Beth Gavriel Community Center in Forest Hills. Yaniv Meirov from Chazaq welcomed and thanked the large crowd for attending the event despite the rain and then introduced Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Klein to say a few words. Rabbi Klein spoke about the parashah and, in particular, the importance of having emunah. Rabbi Klein’s words left everyone deeply touched and intensely motivated.
Following Rabbi Klein’s powerful lecture, the crowd split into groups of ten for a half-hour learning session. One participant declared, “This will be a night I will always remember.” After the learning session, everyone enjoyed some pizza and sushi, which were followed by music and dancing. The melaveh malkah had an unbelievably great impact on all those who attended.
Due to popular demand, another melaveh malkah is scheduled to take place on February 1. For full information, please call 718-285-9132 or visit www.CHAZAQ.org.
Chazaq Hosts Rabbi Uri Zohar. “Once a movie star . . . now a leading rabbi!” On Tuesday, January 14, Chazaq hosted a special evening at Congregation Ohel Simcha in Flushing with Rabbi Uri Zohar, a man who once attracted thousands to the movie theaters and now attracts thousands to the Torah way of life!
The event began with words of introduction from Yaniv Meirov, the operations manager of Chazaq, and was followed by Rabbi Zohar’s lecture. The rabbi spoke about his life and then encouraged the crowd to participate in a questions-and-answers session. There were also two videos shown at the event about the vital work that the Lev L’Achim organization does in Israel.
Chazaq Filterthon. On Sunday, January 19, a Queens “Filterthon” event took place at the Beth Gavriel Center in Forest Hills. Five technicians installed Internet filters and answered technology questions at no charge.
Chazaq Presents Renowned Lecturer And Author R’ Yehoshua Kurland Live! “Dating and Marriage,” Sunday, January 26. Refreshments will be served at 8:00 p.m. Lecture scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Men and women are welcome. Admission is free! The lecture will take place at Beth Gavriel Community Center, 66-35 108th St., in Forest Hills. For more information about this and other upcoming events, call or text 917-617-3636, e-mail Info@Chazaq.org, or visit www.CHAZAQ.org.
Cinema Utopia: Look Into My Eyes. Filmmaker Naftali Gliksberg sets out to investigate what anti-Semitism looks like today, crossing two continents to see how people react to direct questions about their attitudes towards Jews, Israel, and the notion that there is such a thing as anti-Semitism. It is a startling personal journey of painful discoveries as he explores representations and impressions of Jews and Israelis around the world.
Anti-Semitic stereotypes vary in the forms they take: they are often subtle, but the filmmaker also comes face-to-face with cold hatred packaged in eloquent rhetoric. As he visits individuals in Poland, France, the United States, and Germany, Gliksberg discovers that people’s responses to his pointed questions are often a mixture of their own culture, some version of history and a certain collective psychology. Look Into My Eyes shows us that anti-Semitism’s existence is disguised at times, but it is still often alarmingly present.
Gliksberg’s interviews with a former neo-Nazi couple in Germany, a French comedian, and an American white supremacist unearth some shockingly candid opinions. Without resorting to cliché and hyperbole, the director has made a remarkably intelligent, controversial, and chilling film.
Look Into My Eyes was featured at the Human Rights Watch International Film Festivals in New York and London. A viewing will take place Saturday, January 25, at 8:30 p.m., at the Utopia Jewish Center, 64-41 Utopia Parkway in Flushing. For reservations, call 718-461-8347.
Singles for Singles Event. “The Hot Cocoa Café: Winter Getaway Edition.” Sunday night, January 26 in Kew Gardens Hills. 6:30–9:00 p.m. (approx.) The cost is $17, space permitting ($5 off for first-time registrants until January 23). Advance payment is required. Exact address to be provided to registered participants the Wednesday before the event.
Other qualifications besides good middos and other “givens”: Gentlemen (29-40) who are koveii ittim laTorah and daven three times a day (preferably with a minyan) and college educated women (27-40) who wear skirts and dresses only and plan to cover their hair after marriage. Light refreshments will be provided.
Registration requires an e-mail to Singles4Singles@gmail.com, with the date of the event you are registering for in the subject line, and your name, age, brief hashkafic description, where you are from, your favorite travel destination, who referred you, and a phone number to reach you in the body of the e-mail. For more information, call 347-674-3833 or visit Singles4singles.net. v
Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.