By Chanita Teitz

It was with sadness and a heavy heart that I heard on Sunday morning that Ariel Sharon died. The man that I remember spoke in Hillcrest many years ago. He was a fighter, a man who believed in the land of Israel and the nation of Israel. He was a man who encouraged Jews to move to Yesha and to Gaza. What happened to you, Arik? When did you start conceding defeat, agreeing to give back land to terrorists, uprooting the very people you encouraged and admired and, in effect, causing your own downfall?

There are people–10,000 of them from Gush Katif, plus Jews from all over Israel and around the world–who find it hard to forgive you. But we are not to judge you. We can only pray for your neshamah. You have suffered eight years in a coma and we have suffered with you. “The mighty has fallen” and our nation has paid in blood. Gaza became a launching pad, a hunting ground. The siren wails, 15 seconds, then boom! A rocket crashes. Is anyone hurt? Was anyone killed?

Did you hear the sirens, Ariel? Did you hear the rockets crash? Did you cry with us? We cried with you and for you. You have paid for your mistake for eight years. We will continue to pay the price for this mistake until someone brave and strong like the Ariel Sharon I remember will say “enough!”

Israel is ours. We will not uproot any more communities. We will live in all of Israel. We will build for our children and our grandchildren. No Palestinian Arab state will rise in the heartland of Israel!

Ariel Sharon, a soldier, a general, a statesman, strong and brave and human, fallible–a tragic hero. Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

– – –

When I think of Tu B’Shevat, I think of my father’s yahrzeit just two days before. I remember vividly what I was doing when we got the call that my father was niftar. I remember my children’s reactions. They were frightened at seeing me crying. Quickly we had to make plans to farm out the older kids and we took our youngest with us. Very early the next morning, we flew to Chicago.

In those days before cell phones and before unlimited long-distance calling, I used to call my parents on Thursday nights and Sunday mornings. A few days before his passing, it was Tuesday night and I had a sudden urge to call. My father answered because my mother wasn’t home. I spoke to my father for a few minutes and then said that I’d call again on Thursday and hung up the phone. Immediately, I was struck with regret that I hung up so soon. Why didn’t I speak to my father a little longer? I even thought that I should call back but then I said to myself, “Daddy will think I’m crazy,” and I pushed the thought out of my mind. I never got my chance to talk to my father again.

About a month ago, we were at a sheva berachos and I was sitting at the table with a friend and I told her about this weird feeling I had to call my father back and talk to him some more. Did I have a premonition? Do we get signs or messages and do we act on them or ignore them? My friend revealed a similar feeling when her mother passed away. What do you, my readers think? Have you had premonitions? Have you taken them seriously? What did you do? I am very interested in researching this phenomenon. Let me know about your experiences.

Jewish Heritage Center Learning

Come join other yeshiva high-school boys from throughout the Kew Gardens Hills community for our Wednesday-night learning and chulent. Explore and debate exciting learning and hashkafah topics while enjoying great food and friendship. The JHC Teen Division learning program will take place Wednesday night at 9:15 at the Jewish Heritage Center, 68-29 Main Street. For more information, questions, or to register, e-mail jhcteens@ or call 646-461-0390.

Shevach Chesed Stars Enjoy A Sushi Sensation

Although the winter cold has arrived with a vengeance, the Shevach students are warming the Queens community with their numerous acts of chesed. In recognition of the many hours that the girls have dedicated to others, Shevach’s chesed program held an exciting event. Headed by Rebbetzin Chani Grunblatt, assistant principal, and the four senior chesed heads–Rachel Bakst, Chani Bruckstein, Rivka Sara Noy, and Devora Panish–on Tuesday, January 7, Shevach’s kitchen turned into a Japanese “sushi-making haven.” Students who had displayed outstanding dedication to chesed were provided the opportunity to learn how to make sushi.

The girls had performed more than 35 hours of chesed on average during the past two months, with some even completing close to 60 hours. As one senior remarked, “I love doing chesed, and it was really nice that the school gave us recognition for our hard work. We all had so much fun!”

Led by “professional sushi maker” Mrs. Miriam Krohn, limudei kodesh associate principal, the students were given a demonstration with step-by-step instructions and individual guidance. The program culminated with a delicious lunch, as the girls enjoyed their creations.

As Rebbetzin Rochelle Hirtz, Shevach’s principal, often states, “Chesed is a hallmark of Shevach High School. And this achievement is one that we are particularly proud of.”

Chesed Opportunity

A single mother in our community is marrying off her third child and needs help to make the wedding. A special fund has been set up to help her with the wedding expenses.

If you would like to contribute, you can make a check payable to Yeshiva Madreigas Ha’Adam. Please write “Chosson Kallah Fund” on the check. Checks can be mailed to Miriam Milgrom, 67-14 172nd Street, Hillcrest, NY 11365.

If you have any questions, you can call 917-826-1176. Tizku l’mitzvos!

Bnos Malka Parent Association Tea And Cookies

The frigid temperatures this week were no competition for the warm and wonderful atmosphere at the Bnos Malka Parents Association annual membership tea. The unique program is always open to all Bnos Malka mothers free of charge and provides a lovely evening of food and fun. Those brave enough to face the elements were treated to a delightful evening at the home of our gracious host, Mrs. Galit Pollack.

The event started with a lavish buffet of salads and dessert prepared by Bnos Malka mothers. The spread included leaf salads, slaws, and other delicious vegetable offerings, and the desserts were tasty and attractive. There were cookies of every type, pecan bars, chocolate lava cake, and–perhaps most appropriate for the weather–warm apple cider. Kudos to Mrs. Risa Zicherman, who coordinated all the delicacies.

Yocheved Landesman, a second-grade English teacher, shared divrei Torah that related to the theme of the year at Bnos Malka: CHANGE. The school is concentrating on the idea that “change begins with me,” and CHANGE is an acronym for various traits the school wants want to instill in its students, such as Confidence and Honesty. Ms. Landesman’s dvar Torah gave the parents a glimpse at the lessons taught in school, so that the parents could continue to bring those values to life in the home.

The next part of the night was the sweetest, as Mrs. Rachel Hayoun from “Cakes from Rach” (and a Bnos Malka parent) took center stage. She distributed differently shaped sugar cookies that she had baked and an array of colored icings. Mrs. Hayoun then demonstrated how to make a border, fill the cookie, and create different designs using the icings. She showed a number of techniques to make flowers and hearts out of the icing and brought along an assortment of embellishments, some edible and some purely for decorative purposes, but all beautiful. The women were soon busy creating beautiful and unique cookies.

While this program is always a crowd-pleaser, this past week’s tea was such a success that the women didn’t want to leave. They were shocked to look at their watches and see it was approaching 11 p.m. The PA is busy throughout the school year enhancing student life; it is nice to see that they also take some time for the enjoyment of the mothers.

Motzaei Shabbos Programs For High-School Boys

Each Saturday night, the Jewish Heritage Center offers exciting and innovative programs for yeshiva high-school boys, providing a much-needed healthy forum where they can enjoy downtime while cultivating creativity and talents. Their many varied programs will include break-dancing instruction, jamming sessions, mixed martial arts, and much more. Of course, there will be good food to round out the experience. All free (suggested $10 donation to help defray costs). For more information and to register, e-mail

Stay Strong With Chazaq

Chazaq proudly presents “Heed the Call of the Gedolei Yisrael!” Bring your device and get protection on the spot by professional technicians offering free assistance. Protect yourself, your family, and your future. Get the new cutting-edge VCF filter ( designed especially for the frum community. Instant installation at the event. (YouTube filtering is available for those who must have it.) They will also be providing filters for smartphones (iPhone, Android, BB) and regular phones, Wi-Fi removal for laptops and phones, and advice and guidance on customizing a filter that will not compromise your business or personal needs. Sunday, January 19, 5:00—10:00 p.m. Beth Gavriel Center, 66-35 108th Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375. For more information, call 917-617-3636, e-mail or visit

Mazal Tov . . .

To Rochelle and Simon Blitz of Jamaica Estates on the bar mitzvah of their son Zachary. 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

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