Nison Gordon, zt’l
Once again your heartfelt words in tribute to the memory of your dear father continue to resonate with me. Having known and worked with him on many communal matters when he was at the Morning Journal (Der Tog) in his offices on East Broadway, and legislative issues when I was on the legislative staff of Sen. John Marchi, I got to know firsthand what “iskei b’tzibur” really meant.
Your tribute brought back many of those well-deserved memories.
T’hei zichro baruch,
Alan Jay Gerber
For the record, Mr. Fitzpatrick is not well-informed regarding Kathleen Rice’s actual voting record, especially on Israel (Editor, “Solving Problems,” December 13.) Google it and you will see that she has been in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi despite her synagogue and religious school appearances, as well as her verbal protestations to the contrary. She even called for President Trump’s impeachment in June 2019 before Nancy Pelosi began the “inquiry” into impeachment. If you love and support Israel, remember her voting record in the 2020 elections and vote Republican.
Learning for Forgotten Neshamos
Dear Fellow Yidden,
A humble suggestion, a great way to start the new year off right, and, just as importantly, to keep it going in a great way!
Perhaps we can all, when davening, learning, or saying Tehillim, ask Hashem if He can also apply these critical mitzvos to all Yidden!
To those who are currently alive but have no one to daven or learn for them, or can’t on their own, as they are unable, c’v in a coma, or they don’t know how to, or even know they are mandated to do so by the Holy Torah!
Many kedoshim from the past have no living relatives, many Yidden do not even know they are Jewish, R’l.
And for all the neshamos that have passed on already, what an incredible z’chus these tefillos and times of learning could be for their neshamos; there are countless Yidden who have no one to do this for their neshamah. These neshamos languish in the Olam HaEmes, with no hope.
This would include them and all the Jewish neshamos that have ever lived and that live now.
Just think of the jubilation in Shamayim when a neshamah stuck in a place no one wants to be, suddenly gets a reprieve! What nachas Hashem will have. Imagine the neshamos that have suffered at the hands of our enemies over the millennia, and they see as others rise to greater heights, as their family or communities give tzedakah for them, make siyums, etc.
Is there any greater mitzvah than to help all the neshamos that may not ever have a chance to rise to greater levels?
You can’t imagine the reaction of the soul of a person who is alive today and suddenly feels a desire for something more, something greater, specifically because you asked Hashem to also apply the davening or learning you are doing anyway to all those heilige neshamos as well!
Imagine after 120 in the beis din shel ma’alah, those neshamos say, “I didn’t do that mitzvah, how could it be here as an advocate for me?” And the mitzvah’s malach proudly states, “This mitzvah comes from Yitzchak/Leah of Lakewood who davened and learned for you as well!”
Imagine Hashem’s love growing even greater, if that is possible, because He sees the incredible kindnesses His children do for His other children, those they never knew or even met, or ever will!
Perhaps Hashem will let us have the z’chus to have Mashiach revealed to us, this generation that will build the Beis HaMikdash, b’rachamim.
Perhaps as a result of this massive, daily, unending endeavor, all of Bnei Yisrael will be zocheh to witness the revelation of Mashiach, not only the 1/5 like at Yetzias Mitzrayim.
Perhaps this is also a great tool to use in the yeshivos and schools, the mesivtas, all levels, to teach that the Shema is emes. We are mamash all one, unified, and bound with each other and Hashem.
There are so many Yidden who are lost, and it’s so hard for them. We can’t all do kiruv, give tons of money, or devote countless hours of time to do all the chasadim we truly want to do. This is a way, without much time (one minute a few times a day) and with zero money, that we can all be mekarev our brothers and sisters, and help every neshamah that has literally ever lived.
Every single person can do this, if it is Hashem’s will.
Please, if you can have the heart and the kavanah, even if it wavers from day to day, as we know it always does, please, please, try and do this every single day, for the rest of your life.
And please Hashem Yisbarach, recognize the love and the efforts your children put in for one another. As it is, it’s outstanding. Here we can just help those we can’t reach with the magnificent organizations we currently have. Hashem please make us matzliach, for Your sake.
Dear Ms. Herenstein,
I recently came across your article “My Journey: Talking To Hashem” (October 5, 2018). I thought it was a nice piece, well-written, and very meaningful. I thought I would reach out with how I am trying to relate everything to my situation.
I grew up Orthodox but fell off the derech in my late twenties. I have always wanted to go beyond faith, go beyond belief to see if I could one day actually talk to Hashem, perhaps connect with Him. I was always told that Hashem loves us unconditionally and wants the best for us. I never felt any of that, always feeling no connection with that fact, feeling quite the opposite — unworthy of that kind of love or relationship with this Hashem because it was always a one-sided discussion. I really tried to connect but lost all hope. I know that I was undeserving of that connection because I was such a bad person, trying to do all of the mitzvos and helping people here and there but always failing.
Recently, I have tried to incorporate my own tefillah within figuring out big life decisions and how to go about everything. I have always been so angry at Hashem for having no connection with me, perhaps feeling duped by Judaism and that no Hashem exists at all. But I feel like I need so much help these days that where would one turn when they are desperate? Perhaps if there actually is a Hashem, I could try again with communication. Sorry if I am rambling and not making any sense. I figured that, having read your piece, you might in some way relate to what I am saying. Forgive me if the text of this email might be offensive to you.
Thank you very much for your time and I hope that all is well with you.