“MetLife” Stadium- K’shmo Kein Hu

The Hashgocho Protis in the naming of an American football stadium
By: D. Trenk

On August 1, 2012, the largest celebration of Jewish learning in perhaps more than two thousand years was held in of all places… a football field.

Of course, not just in any ordinary sports arena, but in a marvel of a complex built with the incredible ingenuity and sophistication of our modern age.

Completed in 2010, and at a construction cost of 1.6 billion, MetLife Stadium is the most expensive and largest stadium ever built in the history of American football. 116-foot-wide high definition video screens, thousands of plasma sets positioned throughout, and the highest quality sound system are but some examples of the impressive technology utilized in the stadium.

We must ask however, if there is some irony in rejoicing over our ancient spiritual treasure, the handbook of how to live upright lives humbly with G-d, in an arena that so loudly boasts of its own grandiosity.

As every schoolchild learns, Har Sinai was chosen just for its modest size. Yet, here we find ourselves at Kabalas HaTorah 2012 embracing the very biggest and best, with all its clamoring bells and whistles, that America has to offer! How do we make sense of this?

Interestingly, the situation could have been worse.

For we find a curious and odd back-story behind the naming rights to the new stadium before it settled on “MetLife” just last summer in August 2011.

To quote from its entry on Wikipedia:
Allianz, a financial services company based in Germany, expressed interest in purchasing naming rights to the stadium. The proposal was for a period of up to 30 years, and was estimated to be valued at somewhere between $20 million and $30 million USD. However, it sparked protests from New York’s Jewish community and the Anti-Defamation League, which opposed the move due to close ties in the past between Allianz and the government of Nazi Germany during World War II. No agreement was reached and talks between Allianz and the teams ended on September 12, 2008.
If this were successful, could anyone have thought to host the Siyum HaShas in a stadium carrying the name of a company closely associated with Nazi Germany?
As if things couldn’t get any more disturbing:
On June 10, 2010, it was reported that an internet dating site marketed primarily to married people seeking adulterous affairs made a 25 million dollar offer to name the stadium after its own website.
A stadium named after an internet site proudly facilitating one of the three cardinal sins! Can you imagine the utter contradiction in having the Siyum Hashas hosted there?

On June 27, 2011, it was reported that insurance company MetLife entered discussions to purchase naming rights to the stadium. The new name, “MetLife Stadium,” became official when all parties signed a 25-year deal on August 23.

So yes, the stadium is big and bombastic. But at least it’s not named after Nazi sympathizers or brazen adulterers. This just to catch a glimpse into the behind the scenes guiding hand of Heaven and what possibly could have been.
Read more “MetLife” Stadium- K’shmo Kein Hu

Parenting Teleconference with Rabbi Horowitz – Thursday Night Jan. 20th – “The Art of the Deal – Negotiating Effectively with Your Kids”

PARENTING TELECONFERENCE with Rabbi Horowitz – This Thursday Night Jan. 20th “The Art of the Deal – Negotiating Effectively with Your Kids”

Join Rabbi Yakov Horowitz and Rabbi Avraham Mifsud for a 30 minute live telephone parenting conference call titled:

The Art of the Deal: Negotiating Effectively with Your Kids

When raising children, effective negotiation helps to create healthy, open dialogue, and is a very beneficial relationship builder! On the other hand, if children feel their concerns are consistently unheard and/or dismissed, they tend to withdraw from their relationship with you. This is without a doubt one of the biggest “risk” factors – one as parents, you want to avoid. RELATIONSHIP is Job One.

When: Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Time: 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST

Conference line: (712) 432-1001

Access code: 464447411#

Time on the conference will be dedicated to YOUR questions! Email your parenting questions to: am@NASOamerica.org by 6:00 p.m. Thursday, January 20th, 2011 or click here to post them online.

This call is sponsored by The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES and NASO: National Association for Support & Outreach

How Should We Format Beyond BT Meet Ups

We’ve previously had a few Beyond BT Shabbatons and Melava Malkas and those involved got much Chizuk out of it.

We would like to schedule a Beyond BT meet up every 2,3 or 4 months.

It can be on a Moetzae Shabbos, a Sunday or a Weekday night.

We can have it in NYC, Queens, Long Island, New Jersey, Monsey and we can rotate the venue.

We can discuss specific topics among ourselves, have a Rav give a shiur on a relevant topic, have a facilitated discussion, get together to eat and Shmuz.

Please comment below if you would like to participate and what format and venues you would prefer. You can also email us at beyondbt@gmail.com


I once again have the privilege of co-chairing the Achdus Chinese Auction which will be held this year at the New York Hall of Science on Motzei Shabbos, November 10th. Now, most of us that live in Jewish neighborhoods on the east coast are aware that this time of the year is “chinese auction season”. It seems that there is a different chinese auction, (or two, or three) every other day. Achdus, we believe, is different, very different.

The idea for the Achdus auction was developed four years ago when administrators from two different schools, the Bais Yaakov of Queens and Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe, realized that they were each planning to run their own chinese auction. They hit upon the idea of combining their auctions thereby lightening the load on the community calendar and enabling the pooling of the respective resources and talents of two administrative and parent bodies to produce one amazing joint fundraiser — Achdus! We believe that this joint fund raising concept is unprecedented.

We have worked extremely hard to produce an elegant, fun evening with great games, delicious food and amazing prizes. There’s really something for everyone: fine jewelry, travel, Artscroll Shas, electronics, trips to Israel, judaica, gift certificates and “Achdus Auction Exclusives“, unique and fun prizes that can’t be found anywhere else. For example:

The Kosher Supermarket Blitz
The winner of this special prize will have five minutes alone in a fully stocked kosher supermarket. The store will be closed to the public as the lucky winner races against the clock to fill his/her shopping cart to overflowing with a bountiful array of kosher groceries. I’m sure this will end up being a phenomenal YouTube moment!

Give Me Two Scoops and Make it Personal
Many of you are familiar with Max & Mina’s Ice Cream store in Kew Gardens Hills. They are famous for their wild flavors such as lox, potato chip fudge and Ring Ding, have been written up in the New York Times and have been named no 1. on the list of Top 10 Unique Ice Cream Parlors in America by the author of Everyone Loves Ice Cream. The winner of this “Achdus Auction Exclusive” will be able to help create their own flavor that will appear on the flavor board and be served up at Max & Mina’s. Anyone up for a scoop of Chewy Teshuvah Chocolate Chunk?

Up, Up and Away
Hop aboard and bring a friend on your private one hour aerial sightseeing tour of New York City. Traffic will crawl beneath you as you glide safely above the City that Never Sleeps.

This year’s Grand Prize is a Kosher Caribbean cruise for two. As old man winter has finally begun awakening from his slumber, imagine yourself surrounded by turquiose waters aboard a Five Star luxury cruise liner with award winning gourmet Glatt Kosher dining, complete spa facilities, top notch entertainment, women’s Israeli dance classes, Shiurim, Daf Yomi, Minyanim, Mixers and much more. The Grand Prize includes two round trip tickets to point of embarkation and $1,000 spending money.

Those of you who are in the metro New York area, please join us this motzei shabbos and stop me to say hello, I’ll be the one running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Those of you who aren’t local, please take advantage of the opportunity to support two great schools, the achdus concept and the chance to win some amazing prizes by purchasing your tickets today.

For a list of all the prizes and to order tickets, check out our website at achdusauction.com

**Today, November 5th, is the last day to take advantage of the early bird bonus ticket packages.**

Getting Real and Going Global

One of the things I’ve loved about the whole “Beyond Teshuva” experience has been the ability to meet so many of our fellow bloggers and commentors at live events. We have two such events on the horizon:

Beyond BT Melava Malka in Eretz Yisroel

Mark has already landed in Eretz Yisrael and will be in attendance at the melava malka, moetzae Shabbos, May 26th from 9:00-11:30 in Beit Shemesh at the home of contributor Menachem Lipkin.(I’m stuck here holding down the fort. Man do I need a new agent) For location details and directions, please email msl at lipkinfamily-dot-com.

Shabbaton in Passaic

Preparations are under way for the Passaic shabbaton tentatively Scheduled for July 20-21, please e-mail us at beyondbt@gmail.com if you’re planning to join us.

Good Shabbos and Good Chodesh.

Celebrate Lag B’Omer This Monday Night

This Monday night begins Lag B’Omer, about which Rabbi Yehuda Prero at Torah.Org tells us:

Lag B’Omer, the 18th day of Iyar, also corresponds to the date of the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, one of the great sages from the era of the Mishna. Although the death of a great sage is usually not marked with rejoycing, but rather with sadness, we treat Rabi Shimon bar Yochai differently. The Zohar in Parshas Ha’azinu tells us that on the day Rabbi Shimon passed away, a great light of endless joy filed the day, because of the secret wisdom he revealed to his students. That secret wisdom was written down and recorded in the holy Zohar. The happiness on that day was to him and his students like that of a groom while standing under the canopy at his wedding. On that day, the sun did not set until Rabbi Shimon had revealed all that he was permitted to. As soon as he was done, the sun set, and his soul returned to its Maker. Because of the happiness back then, we celebrate with happiness now, as well.

A friend emailed in the following:

Hi Mark: The organizers (Carlebach minyan) of the following event in Monsey have told me they welcome participants from any location. We attended last year and it was quite pleasant– many families, couples and young singles, several playing instruments and singing. The site was a private backyard with ample space, and a lake. I don’t know if you have any means of putting this on the blog somehow, but it generated such soothing feelings last year that I think many BT’s would enjoy it. If it can’t be posted, well, perhaps word of mouth, especially to the music playing crowd as they encourage anyone to bring an instrument. There is no admission fee, but contributions are appreciated.

Here are the details:

Mon, May 15: Lag Baomer Bonfire The entire community is invited to our Lag Baomer bonfire. We will be at the Schubin home, 61 Wesley Chapel Road on Monday, May 15. We begin with Mincha at 7:45 PM. Please note this is the evening of Lag Baomer. Bring a blanket or a chair and marshmallows. Questions or directions, click here to contact the organizers.