By Chanita Teitz

The jetlag has finally worn off, but with the days getting colder and dark earlier, I feel like falling asleep early, too–unlike in Israel where we kept going until late at night. The streets were hopping wherever we went, particularly in the days before Sukkos, where makeshift “shuks” were set up in every neighborhood, with vendors selling the arba’ah minim and sukkah decorations. Our older grandson, who for years has been making and selling “kushiklach,” lulav holders, partnered this year with his younger brother who did the selling in the Bayit V’Gan shuk.

Most of our time was spent with our grandchildren, taking them anywhere. We love to take them to Katsefet, an ice cream parlor on Rechov Herzl. Those grandchildren who went with my husband to daven at the Kotel got to go to Sam’s Bagels for breakfast. The kids also loved visiting us in the apartment we rented. I even made supper for them once, and they took turns sleeping over. This is what they miss throughout the rest of the year.

But the most fun this year was going bowling in the shopping center in Talpiot. We had a great time and I even bowled pretty well. One strike, one spare, and only one gutter ball!

Akiva and I took a tour with Arieh King, former Knesset member and director of the Israel Land Fund. We took his tour last year to the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods and this year we concentrated on visiting Nof Tzion, opposite Har HaZeitim, which is planned for 300 apartments, of which 96 are built. We met three of the current residents who all spoke positively about living there among Arabs. For the most part, there is harmony. The Arabs and the Jews help each other.

They stressed, as did Arieh King, that we have to build everywhere, and unfortunately Jewish construction in Yerushalayim and in Yehudah and Shomron is limited by the government. Arabs are building illegally as well as getting permits for legal construction, while Jews are waiting indefinitely for permits to build. No one is stopping the illegal building. The only way to stop this is for Jews to buy land all over Israel and build.

Arieh King compared Yerushalayim to an onion. An onion has layers, and the sweetest part is the heart. Yerushalayim is surrounded by neighborhoods which are its layers, and the heart of Yerushalayim is the Har HaBayis, the Temple Mount. By building and living in all parts of Yerushalayim and beyond, we are protecting the Har HaBayis, more important today than ever before considering the UNESCO declaration that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall are not Jewish property and have never had any connection to Judaism.

From Yerushalayim, we drove to Gush Etzion to the intersection where Gilad Sha’ar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped and murdered two years ago. The spot is named Oz V’Gaon, using the initials of the boys’ names. We drove into the forest preserve off the road and met with Nadia Matar, founder of Women in Green, who spoke to us about settling and living in all of Israel. If we don’t buy land and build and live throughout Israel, including Yehudah and Shomron, the Arabs come and become squatters on our land. Nadia explained that the word in Hebrew for the people who live in YESHA is mitnachalim, wrongly translated to English as settlers, which has the negative connotation that we are settling on land that is not ours. Mitnachalim comes from the word nachalah, our inheritance of the portions of Israel that were divided between each tribe and family. Mitnachalim–we are inheritors of the land of Israel.

It was an informative tour, and I applaud the brave people who are determined to live in these areas. They are our first line of defense, the layers surrounding the heart of the Jewish people.

The sukkah where we ate in the Old City had a beautiful silkscreen print of the Yerushalayim skyline with the words in Hebrew: “Yerushalayim, harim saviv la, v’Hashem saviv l’amo–Jerusalem, mountains surround her, and Hashem surrounds His people.”

Like the layers of an onion, surrounding our heart and soul, may Hashem continue to surround our people with his love and protection in these turbulent times.

 

News From Shevach HS

Students Aim for the Stars with Chesed Blastoff. Before the break for the yamim tovim, the multipurpose room of Shevach High School was completely transformed into an outer-space themed extravaganza. Senior chesed heads Tzipporah Schonfeld, Leah Shapiro, Shani Sommers, Chavi Steinberg, and Batsheva Twersky, under the leadership of Assistant Principal Rebbetzin Chani Grunblatt, were able to bring this year’s chesed breakout to a whole new level. Planes, rocket ships, and stars with every student’s name imprinted on them lined the walls.

Truly eye-catching was the year’s chesed theme and artistic logo emblazoned on the front wall. Taken from Tehillim, the theme of “Ki Gadol Ad Shamayim Chasdecha,” (For Your kindness is as great as the heavens, Hashem) certainly motivated the girls to extend a helping hand to others, as a way of emulating Hashem’s great acts of chesed.

To further inspire the girls, Ms. Breindy Hershkowitz, coauthor of My Life on Wheels, came to Shevach to share her perspective on chesed with the student body. As one who through no choice of her own is forced to be a recipient of chesed, her words were an eye-opener to the girls. Among other thoughts, she conveyed how one’s attitude when doing a chesed makes a strong impression on the recipient, and how one can see every situation as an opportunity to do chesed. In the words of freshman Chana Deitsch, “I am usually inspired by speakers, but never to this degree! I walked away inspired, moved, and with several new ideas on life. It was amazing to see her perspective! Thank you so much.”

Ms. Hershkowitz ended her presentation with powerful words on the importance of tefillah, and how having a positive mindset makes a big difference. Her message hit home and the energy in the room was palpable. Im yirtzeh Hashem, this breakout will give the Shevach girls the enthusiasm to surely take Shevach’s 5777 chesed program above and beyond.

Shevach Students Look Forward to an Electrifying Year. As the Shevach student body entered their multipurpose room on Friday, October 7, they were treated to a real surprise. The MPR was glowing. Mishmeres heads Baila Neuman, Perel Schwartz, Hindy Siegel, and Tamar Yushanayev, under the guidance of Miss Elka Feder, had darkened the room, hung small lights from the ceiling, and placed a glow-in-the-dark cup on each chair. In the front of the room was a shining logo of a large lightning bolt encircled by a plug.

The Mishmeres heads introduced the year’s Mishmeres theme of “Ashrei Adam Oz Lo,” or “The Power of Speech.” They pointed out how appropriate this theme is, as the letters of the current Hebrew year; taf shin ayin zayin, spell out the word oz, which means power. The energy was palpable as the girls danced to the catchy mishmeres song, after which the heads explained the significance of Mishmeres. Although the primary focus of Mishmeres is shemiras ha’lashon, promoting ahavas Yisrael is an integral part as well. The heads related that a good way to achieve ahavas Yisrael is by “sparking” friendships, and including others in our “circuit.”

The creative heads also introduced a brand-new learning-buddy program, in which each student received a hilchos shemiras ha’lashon pamphlet together with inspiring articles, which she will learn with her partner once a week. Each girl went home with her own glow-in-the-dark cup, as well as a glowing sense of excitement and motivation for an electrifying year!

 

Upcoming Events

Carlebach-style Davening every Friday evening at Yeshiva Kesser Torah, 72-11 Vleigh Place. Minchah 10 minutes after candle lighting. Men and women are welcome.

Singles Shabbaton. Friday, November 11, 1:00 p.m.—Saturday, November 12, 8:00 p.m. All ages and backgrounds are invited. Focus will be on ages 20s, 30s, and 40s. Separate groups for different ages. Please bring several copies of your shidduch profile. Great price! No refunds whatsoever. Register today. www.eventbrite.com/e/inspiring-shabbos-in-queens-for-singles-and-shadchanim-tickets-27862586747.

An oneg with Orthodox singles is planned. Quality shadchanim will receive your profile, and will try to introduce you to appropriate people during and after this shadchan-focused event. Come dressed to possibly date! Everyone should be able to meet on Shabbos.

Video Presentation Featuring the Extraordinary Mrs. Tammy Karmel. “Your Priceless Inner Self.” Sunday, November 13, 8:00 p.m. 72-23 139th Street (side entrance, downstairs). Suggested donation: $5. (Can be from ma’aser money–goes to Tammy’s medical expenses.) Refreshments and socializing after the shiur. L’ilui nishmas Rav Shmuel ben Aryeh Leib, a’h.

Erna Lindenfeld Hachnosas Kallah Fund of Queens Annual Tea and Musical/Comedy Performance. “Never Say Never” written by Zisi Naimark. Monday, November 14, 7:30 p.m. Electchester Electrical Building, Parsons Boulevard and Jewel Avenue in Flushing, New York. Dedicated to the memory of Slava Frenkel, a’h, Admission: donation to hachnassas kallah.

Mrs. Shira Smiles: “Miriam: Midwife, Mother, and Model for Our Lives.” Wednesday, November 16, 8:00 p.m. at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel, 147-02 73rd Avenue, KGH. Free admission. Donations to Tomchei Shabbos of Queens are welcome.

The Young Israel of Jamaica Estates Hosts Chief Rabbi of Uganda. Rabbi Gershom Sizomu is the leader of the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda. Sunday, November 20, 7:30 p.m.

Worldwide Event for the Yahrzeit of Rachel Imeinu. “Tefillah: The Ultimate Connection” presented by Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rebbetzin Tehila Jaeger, and Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller. Introductory remarks from Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, shlita. Motzaei Shabbos, November 12, 8:30 p.m. Congregation Ahavas Yisroel, 147-02 73 Avenue, KGH. For women and girls. Suggested contribution $18. All proceeds go to aniyei Eretz Yisrael.

 

School Open Houses

Lander College for Men. Sunday, November 13, 1:00—4:00 p.m. For more information visit lcm.touro.edu or call 718-820-4884.

Central (Yeshiva University High School for Girls). Sunday, November 13, 9:30 a.m.—12:00 noon. For more information, visit www.yuhsg.org/openhouse.

Bnos Malka Academy. Sunday, November 13, 10:00 a.m.—12:00 noon. For more information, call 718-268-2667.

Yeshiva of Central Queens Kindergarten. Sunday, November 13 10:00—11:30 a.m. For more information, call 718-793-8500, ext. 313.

Bais Yaakov of Queens. Wednesday, November 16, 9:00 a.m. For more information, call 718-847-5352.

Mesivta Chofetz Chaim. Sunday, November 20, 2:15 p.m. For more information, call 718-263-1445 or e-mail mesivta@rabbinical.org. v

Chanita Teitz is a real-estate broker at Astor Brokerage in Kew Gardens Hills, serving the entire Queens vicinity. For all your real-estate needs, call her at 718-263-4500 or e-mail chanita@astorbrokerage.com.

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