I hear about people who are going out of their minds from being at home for so long. I understand that having children at home full time while parents are trying to work from home can be overwhelming. It also gets lonely when you cannot see your friends. We all need people. So, we spend time on social networking, trying to keep in touch with the outside world.
These days we do things virtually — Zoom has become the “in” place to socialize, share a simcha, and even take a tour. Realtors do virtual tours of homes. On Shabbos I took a virtual tour of Meron in an article I read in Mishpacha magazine. The author, Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz, an Israeli tour guide, pointed out that the area around Meron is in the portion of Shevet Naphtali. The name of one nearby town is called Shefer from the berachah that Yaakov Avinu gave Naphtali, “Hanosein imrei shefer” — “He offers beautiful words.” Did you know that there is a special government department assigned the job of creating names of places in Israel that relate to Tanach? I always wondered who chose the street names in Yerushalayim and elsewhere. Everything in Israel brings us back to our roots.
On Sunday night, my husband and I watched two documentaries on Amazon Prime. The first was Jewish Journey: America, which chronicles the immigration of Jews from Europe and the Middle East through the different waves of immigration using firsthand accounts from people who remember coming to this country and what adjustments they had to make.
Then we watched a few episodes of Against All Odds: Israel Survives, which follows Michael Greenspan, a journalist for CNN, who takes on a mission to discover if Israel and the Jews survive through miracles. We saw episodes on Israel’s War of Independence in 1948; the Six Day War of 1967; an interview with Rabbi Yisroel Lau, former chief rabbi of Israel and currently the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and a Holocaust survivor; and the raid on Entebbe. All were excellent and the interviews were amazing as people recalled miraculous things that happened to them. Most of those interviewed are secular Jews and one even admitted that he had been an atheist until his miracle happened to him. Now he believes in a higher being. Greenspan even said that West Point does not analyze Israeli battles and war strategy because it defies logic. So many times, Israel has been at the brink of annihilation and miraculously Israel and the Jews have survived.
Weeks ago, I watched season 3 of Fauda. I love all the action and bravery in this series. My husband does not like it because the characters are Jews doing such dangerous missions and it’s just too frightening. He is right; I do get scared for them sometimes. But it shows how dedicated these people are and how devoted they are to Am Yisrael. Kind of like Hatzalah.
We watched the Hatzalah-Thon on Monday night and saw how dedicated these Hatzalah members are to disrupt their lives when a call comes in. Especially now, they risk their own lives to help COVID-19 patients. Kol hakavod!
So, during this social distancing time that we are experiencing, we are finding some interesting ways to spend our time. Tune in on Amazon Prime and Netflix to enjoy and be inspired.
Another Busy Week for YCQ
It was another busy week in the Yeshiva of Central Queens virtual learning environment. Students in class 3-209 began their virtual oral history reports, dressing in character and presenting their research, giving clues for their classmates to try and guess who they are. Class 3-211 and 3-212 wrote in Hebrew and drew pictures about the different berachot they say on foods. Students from kindergarten through grade 3 enjoyed a surprise science lesson and activity on simple machines around the home. Students created beautiful Mother’s Day cards in their weekly art class.
To honor the first responders in the Queens community, several YCQ families headed out to Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills to show their respect for Hatzalah and other emergency workers. The most exciting part of the week happened Friday morning when the JHS students were asked to sign into a mandatory meeting where Color War 2020, the first and hopefully only virtual Color War, broke out. Stay tuned next week to hear the results of YCQ’s Lag B’Omer JHS competitions including Torah Bowl, trivia games, Minute to Win It, team commercial, and team song. Good luck to the Red Aish and Blue Mayim teams.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org.