I would like to offer my thanks to Shaarei Teffilah – Rabbi Schwartz and all the local rabbonim and rebbetzins who made Shavuos so meaningful for the adults and children of our community. I was interviewing a potential candidate for our Rebbe position and he was asking me about the community. He asked if most of our congregants davened at a regular morning minyan on Shavuos or if people stayed up for the night. While this should not be the “bar” that gauges one’s level of religiosity, I proudly shared that we had a very hard time getting a regular morning minyan as everyone had davened vosikin. I then shared that our middle-school boys had shiurim all night long and that their participation and effort were outstanding. I taught the midnight class to the boys and was amazed by their participation and desire for limud haTorah. We are tremendously proud of our students and the entire school family.
This past week was a frightening week for Klal Yisroel, as rockets and missiles rained down on Eretz Yisroel in the thousands, with limited casualties. We also watched as anti-Semitism raged throughout the country – also with limited casualties. On Fridays, I learn with a Los Angeles donor and friend. He immediately launched into a political discussion on Israel’s right to defend itself and how skewed and anti-Israel the worldview can be. I asked him if he ever considered the fact that after thousands of missiles struck their targets and many were intercepted by the Iron Dome there were very few casualties. Some may try and point to the Israeli Army and its excellent preparation or to the Iron Dome as being the source for such limited damage. I shared that in my view Israel has a membership in the G-D security firm and that it was totally illogical and irrational to believe that with so many missiles being fired there was such a small loss of Jewish life b”H.
After returning home, I had the opportunity to listen to a short inspirational message from Harav Yitzchak Sorotzkin shlit”a, rosh yeshivah of Mesivta of Lakewood, who shared that in the face of these tremendous trials and tribulations we must express our hakoras hatov to Hashem for all that He does to keep us safe. In general, hakoras hatov is a difficult concept in a “me-centered” world. It is, however, a lesson for us, that we must learn to be conscious and thankful to our spouses, rebbeim, moros, and teachers who do so much for us daily. In a similar manner I want to highlight the tremendous efforts of the Head of School search committee that has been spending so many hours on the search process. We wish them much hatzlochoh.
I realized that we have our own “Iron Dome “ security system that is reflected in the hand of Hashem. I realized that through our actions we create our own security system with the limud haTorah, shiurim, chessed, and so much more that take place in our community. Combined with our hakoras hatov we turn to and implore Hashem to keep us, our families, and the entire Klal Yisroel safe.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman