Community strength

Anyone in my neighborhood will know who this (incredibly belated) post is talking about. The Rabbi and Rebbetzin of one local shul recently married off their oldest daughter, a friend of mine. The way the community has gathered to celebrate is truly inspiring. Many people went to the states for the wedding, and even more came to celebrations back here. What really touched me though, was seeing how many people have sponsored various kiddushim in their honor.

It’s clear to see how much the Rav and Rebbetzin have used their strengths to build up the community. I give the Chattan and Kallah the bracha to be able to also use their strengths to light up the place they now live in. Not like their parents do, but in their own unique way, and yet with the same strength. Mazal tov!

This article should help send a speedy and complete healing to Moshe Rephael b-n Orah and Chana b-t Rachel Leah

Simchas for all

Imagine going to an engagement party/vort. YAY!, right?

Now imagine going to a vort after a whole day of being on your feet setting up for and hostessing another party. Imagine that you’re hungry, tired, and not fond of crowds. Oh, yeah, and you don’t know anyone there. And to top it off, you are severely under-dressed.

I was SO happy for the kallah, but a small part of me was cringing for myself inside. I was sort of glad at times like that that I don’t know anyone, because it would have been almost worse if I did.

Thank you to all the people who smiled at me. I can’t say it more, or better. Thank you.

Some comfort

Although Rabbi Scheinberg was in disbelief and heartbroken, he told news crews, “Hate is something that happens in every generation, wherever it happens to be, but so does love. And love will overpower hate and the good will destroy the evil.”

Here is the less cheerful part:

Tisha B’Av update 3

There’s violence and vandalism all over today. All over.

Someone snuck into an Agudah camp (first thought– thank G-d it’s not my brother’s Agudah camp, my parents would be so scared. Second thought– but it’s a lot of other people’s brothers’ Agudah camp.) No one was hurt, but swastikas were put on many parts of the property.

A Shul in Bnei Brak was vandalized– the damage was not listed, but it looked overturned and burnt in some areas. (Second search– the Aharon Kodesh was set on fire. Chasdi Hashem, the scrolls inside are all unharmed.)

Another Shul in Modiin was booby-trapped. The doors were blocked from outside, trapping the people praying inside.

Last night, a confrontation broke out at Maarat Hamachpelah.

In all of these incidents, no one was hurt. I am pathetically grateful that the shaking has started only on physical objects, (excluding at Maarat Hamachpelah, where pepper spray was used, but no injuries are reported.) But how much longer can we expect this

Mid-conversation consideration

I arrived at shul last night for megillah reading (I walked, and it was lovely out) and sat down in an open seat with an empty chair on either side. At about five minutes before the reading was to start, I looked up to find that the four older girls who’d sat down by me, two on each side, were talking over my head. They were trying to work out why some other friends weren’t here and compare notes on which ones had a megillah reading already aranged for the night.

I didn’t mind just sitting there and letting them talk, but wouldn’t the girls be more comfortable not talking over a (however much shorter) head? I had no problems moving to the end of the row to let them talk in peace.

While I was waiting for the right time to speak up, one suddenly turned to me. “Oh! I’m so sorry. We’ve been talking over you all this time!” I rushed to tell her that it was no big problem, I didn’t mind, and I was happy to move if it was more convenient for her. But no, she continued, telling me that it was ok, I was fine where I was, and that she really was sorry. Put me in a great frame of mind for megillah reading.

Crowned with kindness

My baby brother came home from Shul this Shabbat with a new black hat. A Borsilino, too. (He seemed to find that significant. I don’t even know if I’ve spelled it right!)

Someone in the community had a bunch of gently worn hats that he no longer needed for some reason. The one my brother brought home was in such good condition that it could have been sold for a good profit. Instead, he chose to give them all away– not to a charity, or to a poor person specifically, but to anyone who needed or wanted a new, good hat.

The Torah talks about the crown of a good name. Give away a simple (or not so) hat, and get a crown. Hm, let’s see if I have any hats to give away!

Sugar and spice and everything…

I was on my way into Shul one Shabbat recently. That week there was a girls’ Shabbaton in my neighborhood, and I overheard the following conversation, which took place between one of the proctors and a teenage girl.

“So, how was last night? Did you sleep at all?”

A few polite answers, and then,

“What about the girls in your house? Are they nice?”

“They’re so friendly, and warm, and lively and cheerful and just so nice! That’s why I’m here- it’s so much fun to be around them that I knew I would have to leave to daven!”