By Chanita Teitz

As if Hurricane Sandy and the Nor’easter weren’t enough for us to handle, now we have to deal with Israel at war, with missiles reaching Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim. Actually, Israel has been virtually at war since 1948, but each new battle is another pounding on our nerves.

Those of us who were spared the brunt of the storm were grateful. Even though so much chesed has gone forth from every community to help those in need, we go to bed in our warm homes and for the most part go about our normal routines.

In Israel, those who live far from the southern cities near Gaza, the cities of S’derot, Netivot, Ashdod, and Ashkelon, had rachmanus on the families being bombarded daily with missiles. But they also went to bed in their warm houses, their children tucked in their beds while other children slept in shelters.

Now the residents of Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim are experiencing the panic, fear, and nerve-fraying reality of running for shelter in 15 seconds. Those of us with family there have another thing to worry about.

How much is Hashem placing on our shoulders? How many challenges can we handle? They say that Hashem doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Hashem must have a huge amount of faith in us. Are we really as strong as He thinks we are?

Hashem, please keep us strong and make us stronger day by day. Give us the endurance to get through every challenge you send us, individually and as a k’lal. Continue giving us the conscience to keep feeling for one another so we can help each other, give chizuk to each other, and continue to believe in You and in Your goodness and in Your love for us.

Let us continue to help those in our communities who need our help and let us daven for the safety of those who live far away and are in danger.

Yasher koach to the five Queens Hatzalah members who, among others from various neighborhoods, went to Israel to take over for Magen David Adom personnel who were called to the army. They have been manning ambulances for a week. Let’s hope that there are few casualties.

Interestingly, I just read that the name for this current battle is loosely translated as “Pillar of Defense” but in Hebrew it is called “Amud Anan” referring to the clouds that protected Bnei Yisrael in the midbar.

Some anti-Israel commentators are saying that Israel uses Biblical names for its offenses in order to make it look like it’s divinely approved, allowing them to “murder” innocent civilians. Actually the opposite is true. The Arabs are the ones who murder innocent Israelis in the name of religion. The references to Torah attests to the fact that even the leaders of a secular government know their roots and that Hashem gives the ultimate protection.

Local News

The sounds of reading can be heard throughout the halls in Bais Yaakov of Queens. The eagerly anticipated “reading buddy” program began again this year, as third- and fourth-graders come together with first-graders to read and share in the joys of literacy. Every other week, Miss Zakatinsky’s first grade meets with Mrs. Silber’s third grade. Mrs. Schonfeld’s first grade meets with Mrs. Wander’s third grade. Mrs. Cohen’s first grade meets with Mrs. Barg’s third grade, and Mrs. Ginian’s first grade meets with Mrs. Geiger’s fourth-grade class. After the buddies met and did a “getting to know you” activity, the buddies picked out books and the older buddies read to their younger buddies. The girls cherish these new friendships and can’t wait to meet together to read more books, do various projects, and share in the joy of reading.

The program was created with a few key goals in mind. First, it creates camaraderie and friendship between grade levels, which adds to the already warm atmosphere at Bais Yaakov. Second, it allows for the older buddies to practice their reading-aloud skills, while the younger buddies are read to, which is also integral to their learning process.

As part of Bais Yaakov of Queens’ “Kids to Kids Connect” Project, Mrs. Esther Kirschbaum delivered the handmade cards and sweet treat Shabbos packages to the Achiezer drop off at Sh’or Yoshuv and the Young Israel of Woodmere. Both places’ volunteers were amazed at the effort and sensitivity of the Bais Yaakov girls. Packages were distributed to children as they came in to pick up food for Shabbos, and for the packages that went out, sweet treats were included in all of them.

The feedback was gratifying. It was even more meaningful when the school was called by complete strangers who took the time to praise the students as the callers thanked them for caring and thinking of their children. We are so proud of them all!

Upcoming Events

This Sunday night, November 25, CHAZAQ and Beth Gavriel present renowned lecturer Charlie Harary, speaking on “Chanukah and the Secret to Greatness.” Refreshments will be served at 8:00 p.m. and the lecture is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Men and women are welcome! Admission is free, at Beth Gavriel Community Center, 66-35 108th Street in Forest Hills. For more information, call or text 917-617-3636 or e-mail

On Monday, November 26, at 8:30 p.m. there will be a shiur for women presenting Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller on “Chanukah.” No admission fee at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel, 147-02 73rd Avenue, Kew Gardens Hills. Prior to the shiur there will be a dinner with Rebbetzin Heller, during which she will be giving a more informal, interactive shiur. Past dinners have proven to be very exciting. Cost is $45 and space is limited (20 to 25 women). If you are interested in joining in this intimate setting, please contact Linda Frankel at or 917-710-3617 as soon as possible.

Mazal Tov . . .

To Rabbi and Mrs. Yehuda Shmidman of Kew Gardens Hills on the engagement of their son Yitzchok to Hindy Max, daughter of Rabbi and Mrs. Shimon Max of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Mazal tov to the grandparents, Rabbi and Mrs. Shmuel Niman and Rabbi and Mrs. Moshe Kamin of Kew Gardens Hills, and Rabbi and Mrs. Avraham Max of Brooklyn.

To Dr. and Mrs. Akiva Weichselbaum of Kew Gardens Hills on the engagement of their son Noah to Allie Mayer of Lawrence. Mazal tov to the grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. David Weichselbaum of Kew Gardens Hills, and the entire family. 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

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