Jewish Heritage Center Chinese Auction
The Jewish Heritage Center is having its annual Chinese Auction at the Shaare Tova Ballroom, 82-33 Lefferts Blvd, Kew Gardens, on Saturday, December 9th at 8:30 PM. Admission is $18 (which includes a Free $20 Raffle Ticket) and $10 for children 3-13. It’s a great organization and there is a hot buffet, valet parking and lots of exciting prizes (and there will be lots of BTs there).
The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.” It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), was freed from his imprisonment in Czarist Russia.
Aish has lots of audio files about Chanukah, most of them can be listened to online for free.
The religious atmosphere in our home began to change in 1977, the year that Anwar Sadat, the late president of Egypt, made his historic visit to Israel. What seemed to overshadow Sadat’s visit was that of two other individuals—my older brothers. Murray and Gary had spent several weeks in Ireland shooting a television documentary. Since they had never been to Israel, on their way home, they decided to stop by. While at the Kotel, they were approached by Rabbi Meir Shuster, a veritable legend who is responsible for bringing thousands of wayward Jews back to Judaism. He spends hours every day at the Kotel approaching Jewish kids who seem spiritually lost. He met my brothers, and asked them a few of his usual questions: “Are you Jewish?” “Do you know what Shabbat is?” “Have you ever seen a yeshivah before?” Ten minutes later, they were sitting in the office of Rabbi Noach Weinberg, rosh yeshivah of Aish HaTorah, then a fledgling school for newcomers to Orthodox Judaism. After spending a half hour with the rabbi, they decided to check in for an extended stay, joining the fifteen college-age men who made up the entire student body at the time. After a couple of weeks Murray came home to finish the documentary while Gary stayed on, eager to soak up the wisdom of the Torah.
Recently we’ve been witness to a new phenomenon, namely Baalei Tshuvah retaining a part of their former lifestyle. Whether it’s rappers or beatboxers, boxers or otherwise, they continue to supposedly use their talents and “flip it to Kedushah.” That never happened in the old days. In the old days in Hadar Hatorah Reb Yisroel Jacobson made you cut your long hair off and conform to the rules of Yeshivah. Yes, you could keep your musical instrument, but you played Chabad Nigunim and joined a Chasidishe band. If you were an artist you focused all of your energies into painting the Chasidic lifestyle. Today you do what you want, all the while staying frum, of course, and giving the youth the insipid idea that the two go together, and that pop culture will have no influence on their practice of Yiddishkeit.