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SHEMINI/HA-CHODESH 5784

04/05/2024 01:27:25 PM

Apr5

To my dear friends in Montreal,

A couple of nights ago, we witnessed here in Teaneck another disgusting, noisy protest of the “River to Sea” crowd. This was I believe the 4th such attempt at intimidation here since October 7. This time, their motive was really despicable, as they came to interrupt a presentation in a local shul, given by members of Zaka. How could any decent person complain against Zaka: the organization that recovers dead bodies and body parts, with the aim of bringing to a proper burial? Until Oct 7, Teaneck was a quiet, pleasant suburban community. 

As I stood outside the shul, together with a thousand Jews, I kept thinking of last week’s haftarah, taken from the Navi’ Ezekiel chapter 36, where HaShem promises: “I will sanctify My great name...which has been defiled among the nations...and I will gather you from among the nations and bring you to your land...and I will give you a new heart and a new spirit...and you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers…..you shall not have hunger…and I will increase the fruit of the trees and the grain of the fields… and I will resettle the cities, and the destroyed places will be rebuilt...and the desolate land shall be like Gan Eden.”

When I was on the Teaneck ”mission” to Israel in January, I witnessed the devastation of the settlements outside of Gaza, and look forward to their rebuilding, according to the words of Ezekiel.

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This Shabbat is known as HaChodesh. We read a 2nd Torah, where HaShem tells Moshe that the month of Nisan, the month of the exodus from Egypt, will forever be the first month of the calendar. When I first became the Rabbi of Chevra Shaas, I was advised to include in my weekly derasha a few sentences in Yiddish, to accommodate the “old timers.” By the time I left Montreal, very few people remained who understood Yiddish. As a vestigial remainder, I would recite the Molad of the new moon in “mamme lashon.” So, here it is for the coming month of Nisan, in Yiddish:

“der moylad vet zayn montog bei nacht, fuftsig un zibn minoot mit zibn chalokim noch tsen.”

Or, in English, the molad for Nisan will be Monday night, 57 minutes and 7 chalakim after 10.” 

[Shortly before the Molad, on Monday afternoon, will be the eclipse.]    

“Der Molad vet zayn” “the Molad will be…” is the title of a musical album by the late Cantor Seymour Rockoff.  The implication of the title is that although things might be difficult now, we are confident that the new month will bring a better situation.  

 

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This week, Hazzan Dr. Yehoshua and Anne Haimovici are sponsoring a kiddush in honour of the upcoming marriage of our “not so kleiner hazzan anymore” Yehonatan to Miss Chaiy Bodek of Teaneck. I have met her, and can testify that she is a “kallah na’ah va-chasudah.” We have all witnessed how Yehonatan has developed into an outstanding Talmid chacham. Mazal tov, and hatslacha rabba. 

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On 29 Adar, Simcha Foxman observes the yahrzeit of his mother Chaya Necha bat Yaakov v’ Kaila a”h. We thank Simcha and Shulamis for donating several much needed Chumashim in her memory. 

2 Nisan is the yahrzeit of my wife Sorah Devorah bat Yehoshua v’Raizel a”h. May the neshamot have `aliyah.

Shabbat shalom, shalom `al Yisrael

Rabbi Menahem White

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784