R’ Fischel Shachter
R’ Fischel Shachter

By Chanita Teitz

I’m going on a “Bubbie vacation.” That’s a working vacation, traveling to your kids, wherever they may be living, to help out. In my case I’m going to Israel to see my new grandson and help with him and the rest of the brood. My daughter-in-law was at a beit hachlama, (a hotel, spa, rest home) for new mothers for a few days last week and my son managed to hold down the fort at home. By the time I arrive next week, Daniella might be ready for another vacation. I hope I’ll be able to help her so she can rest and relax.

Daniella is a well-loved mechanechet at the Darchei Bina seminary in Bayit V’Gan, which means that she is a hashkafah teacher and guidance counselor. I’m sure that some of her students will help out until I get there. And my granddaughter Rachelli is a big girl now who babysits and is a big help. The older kids walk the younger ones to school and pick them up after school. In Israel it isn’t unusual for a 5-year-old to walk a 3-year-old to gan.

The big question is, will I need an extra suitcase? How do the airlines expect Jewish grandmothers to travel with only one suitcase?

I just hope that the weather is nice, sunny, and warm. I am so cold here that I just feel like hibernating. Even on a sunny day in Yerushalayim in the winter, the apartments are cold, even with heat. The stones, which keep things cooler in the summer, are freezing in the winter. But then you’re motivated to go out and get warmed up in the sun!

Past Events

Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills was honored last Sunday by a visit from Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum, well-known author, lecturer, and founder and director of Midreshet Berot Bat Ayin. Born in Denmark and a former resident of Kew Gardens Hills, she had arrived in the United States that very morning as part of her annual visit to raise awareness of and funds for the school. Hosts Aurora Goldberger and S. Malkah Cohen were delighted to join some two dozen women who braved the cold to welcome the rebbetzin and hear her inspiring talk on “Forgive and Let Live: A forgiveness workshop for spiritual self-healing and ahavas Yisrael.” Attendees came from a variety of backgrounds and ranged in age from teens to grandmothers.

Holding a grudge has a negative effect, not just on our emotions and relationships with others, but even on our physical health. Rebbetzin Siegelbaum cited medical sources ranging from the Rambam to recent scientific studies and shared stories from the Torah and commentaries on how to handle anger, both in ourselves and from others. Techniques were discussed on how to handle several situations, with simple methods that most of us can handle and also highly spiritual concepts that we can aspire to.

The climax of the afternoon was an emunah healing exercise. The rebbetzin led us in meditation to help us remove negative emotion from our bodies. Many women found this to be an eye- and heart-opening experience, as they learned how to manage negative feelings.

A healthy, light collation with a Tu B’Shevat theme was served, allowing attendees to say many different blessings.

The rebbetzin has left some copies of her two-disk CD, “Online with Hashem: Meditations on the weekly portion, the Book of Vayikra,” for sale through Aurora Goldberger, 718-793-4921, for those who could not attend her lecture. These meditations have a well-earned haskamah from Rabbi Eliezer Raphael (Lazer) Brody, director of Emuna Outreach, himself a noted author and lecturer.

Rebbetzin Siegelbaum maintains a weekly blog, Women at the Crossroads, at rebbetzinchanabracha.blogspot.com, and has over 20 shiurim recorded at KosherTube.com.

This past Sunday night, January 27, Chazaq hosted renowned lecturer Rabbi Fischel Shachter live at the Beth Gavriel Community Center in Forest Hills. The rabbi spoke to the many men and women in the crowd about overcoming anger. For a full listing of upcoming Chazaq events and programs contact 718-285-9132, e-mail Info@Chazaq.org, or visit www.CHAZAQ.org. Save the date: Sunday night, March 3, for the big Chazaq event; full details coming soon.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing taharat ha’mispachah refresher courses are now available in the Kew Gardens Hills area, in the Tov Shul. Presenting a shiur for women on “The Secrets of a Happy Marriage and the Mitzvah of Marital Intimacy” at 68-58 147th street (in the basement), Mondays at 8:00 p.m.by Rabbanit Tzvia Khiyayev.

Also join the spring semester of “Study the Stories of the Torah with the Insight of the Ramban.” This shiur is being given by Dr. Michelle Levine, associate professor of Bible at Stern College. The Spring Semester commences Tuesday, February 5, 8:15 p.m. It is held at the home of the Graubards, 136-84 71st Road. All levels are welcome. The cost is $100 per semester (10 sessions). For more information contact Susan Amin, 718-591-0431, or Rochel Graubard, 718-793-0176. This shiur is being given in association with Women’s League Congregation Ahavas Yisroel.

The Women’s Amein Group of Queens presents Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff, mara d’asra, Kew Gardens Synagogue Adas Yeshurun. Topic: Living Purim in Today’s Times, Rosh Chodesh Adar, Sunday, February 10, at Young Israel of Hillcrest, 169-07 Jewel Avenue. Schedule: 8:15 a.m. (sharp!) Birkos HaShachar, 9:30 a.m. speaker. Berachah party to follow. For further information, call 347-453-2539. v

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage, with offices in Kew Gardens Hills and Fresh Meadows. For all your real-estate needs in Queens, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail chanita@astorbrokerage.com.


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