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03/15/2024 11:18:36 AM


This Shabbat, Simcha and Shulamit Foxman are sponsoring the kiddush in memory of her father, Rabbi Mordecai Singer. May his memory be for a blessing.


The above quotation, in Talmudic Aramaic, literally means that pieces of land (alternatively: tree trunks) are  the same throughout the world. The phrase is used to mean that human beings, wherever they might be, tend to act the same.

A periodical edited by Jabotinsky in 1931 used the phrase to refer to blood libels against the Jews. That’s an activity in which our enemies, wherever they might be, are happy to engage.

Well, sad to say, just as you had a protest outside of the Spanish last week, so did we have here in Teaneck outside of the shul which I attend.

Teaneck is a lovely suburban community, located not far from the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey with northern New York City. Many families associated with Yeshiva University live here. We have many synagogues, Jewish  schools, and kosher restaurants. On Shabbat morning, when I walk 15 minutes to shul (called Keter Torah,) rare is the moving vehicle that will pass. 

This past Sunday, the shul had an Israeli Real Estate fair (sound familiar?) A pro-Palestinian activist Jewish resident of Teaneck, named Rich Siegel, organized a major protest with his Palestinian friends, claiming that selling of real estate in "occupied" lands contravenes American and International law. There were loud car caravans, with “river to sea” slogans blaring, that went down main thoroughfares in Jewish areas, on their way to the synagogue.  Fortunately, the police had been alerted in advance, and there was a major police protection. BH, there were no personal injuries, and minimal property damage. 

To the above mentioned Mr. Siegel, we can say the “proverb” (probably falsely attributed to Dr. Suess) “your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest will bring either flowers or weeds.” 


This week, we conclude the Book of Shemot. To the people of Israel, and to all of us in the diaspora, “hazaq hazaq ve-nithazeq.” Indeed, the ancient Massoretes, who counted every letter in the Torah, noticed that there are 164 paragraphs in Shemot, equivalent to the numerical value of the word “yis`adeka” as in the verse (Psalms 20:3) “u-mitsiyyon yis`adeka” = “from Zion He (HaShem) will support you.”  [yod=10, samekh=60, `ayin=70; dalet=4, kaf=20.] May we all derive strength from the people and holiness of Erets Yisrael.

Shabbat shalom, Rabbi Menahem White

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784