By Chanita Teitz
I read a lovely post this morning about American tourists who were eating in a restaurant in Israel when some chayalim came in. When the chayalim were ready to pay their bill, they were told it was already paid and the tourists had left them a lovely letter thanking them and blessing them with safety and hatzlachah.
All summer long, I’ve read many similar posts of chizuk and achdus. It is heartwarming and sometimes moves me to tears. We feel so good inside when we read these messages that I sometimes forget that a war is raging and that watching soldiers dancing and Jews breaking down barriers that separate us is really only a momentary joy–a fleeting, almost magical, oasis in the reality of world upheaval, anti-Semitism, terror, and war.
It’s a welcome feeling because otherwise we would obsess with worry and fear. It allows us to go about our daily lives with hope. If only we could sing and dance and smile all the time, life would be perfect.
Travel warnings have been posted for Rosh Hashanah travelers, because secular Israelis like to vacation chutz l’aretz for the chagim. This year it is not just the Middle East that is dangerous; European locales and even Australia are also on the list.
This morning Fox News showed a clip of a journalist who was sent to a college campus asking students to sign a petition in support of ISIS. It was one of those spoofs to see who would sign and if any of the students would object. At least 12 or 13 students signed. Some asked questions, but it seemed that many of them didn’t even know what ISIS is or they just didn’t care. How is that possible? Do they really think that by supporting the terrorists, we can get them to stop?
Haven’t they studied about Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler and how it didn’t stop him? Are these college students partying so much that they don’t know what is going on in the real world?
This Rosh Hashanah, as always, daven like your life depends on it–yours and the lives of all of Klal Yisrael. We are fighting the war with our tefillos as much as the chayalim are protecting us on the ground. Ceasefire notwithstanding, the war continues on the streets of Belgium and England and France, in Miami, and even New York.
May we all be inscribed in the book of life and peace.
Upcoming Events
Parenting Classes. Join together weekly to view the parenting course of Rabbi Leib Kelemen. This is a 28-hour lecture series on child-rearing from a Jewish perspective based on Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe’s teachings, presented by Rabbi Leib Kelemen. Meet each week on Wednesdays, 2:15—3:15 p.m. from September through April (approximately) at the home of Miriam Solomon, 138-37 78th Road. Next class is October 1 (continuing after Sukkos).
Rav Keleman is the author of many books, among them Permission to Believe: Four Rational Approaches to G‑d’s Existence; Permission to Receive: Four Rational Approaches to the Torah’s Divine Origin; and To Kindle a Soul: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Parents and Teachers. He is also the translator (from the original Hebrew) of the classic text on Jewish pedagogy Planting and Building: Raising a Jewish Child, by Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, and the author of dozens of journal articles. Please contact Miriam at with any questions.
Annual Tea of the Erna Lindenfeld Hachnosas Kallah Fund of Queens. Monday, November 10. Hold the date!
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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