Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fantastic Post from Daily Dose of Emuna re Tefillah

Thanks to my friend SLV for forwarding it to me!

Today's daily dose is dedicated to the refuah shleimah of Shirel Simcha bat Brane a 14 months old girl who is in need of our tefillot.  It's all happening in order to awaken us from our very deep spiritual slumber.  Please Hashem shower Shirel Simcha bat Brane with a complete healing amongst all of Klal Yisrael who are sick and suffering b'karov, b'rachamim, Amen!
One of our dear daily dose readers suggested that we take upon ourselves a mitzvah or increase our kavannah in the bracha "Asher Yatzar" to stand as a zechut for our dear soldiers, it's certainly a wonderful idea, even if it's just once a day. 
If you still haven't called to receive the name of a soldier to daven for, you can sign up to receive a name on their website:
Dynamite!  Now that's powerful.  Rabbi Shimshon Pincus ztk"l teaches us that tefillah is compared to dynamite.  And what is it made out of?  Little particles of powder that when they hit a wall.... they crumble it to pieces.  The little letters in the siddur which make up our daily tefillot when combined together with ruach haKodesh can break down spiritual walls.
The way to release this immense power is to first realize how much koach they truly hold.  They may seem like small words to us, but they have within them the spiritual ability to move mountains (to cancel harsh decrees).  Think of tefillah as having things frozen in place and not able to move unless we release it with our words.  Our davening sets things in motion.
The sly one, the yetzer hara, works endlessly to give us the impression that our accomplishments are due to our own efforts and hard work.  No, No!  Everything is from Hashem we answer him back, but our words are weak in comparison to his devilish ways.  So what do we do?  We daven in order to place ourselves back in our rightful place, a place of humility.  Our tefillot teach us emuna and bitachon and that we just couldn't do anything without the help of HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ztk"l in his sefer, "A Call to the Infinite" quotes a special tefillah from the Chovot Halevavot. One of the things mentioned in the tefillah is: "...You know what is best for me and how to provide for me. I do not express my needs to You to make You aware of them, but so that I be made to realize my dependence upon You, reinforcing my trust in You." 
And if that's not reason enough for us to work on our davening then think of it as a therapeutic session (for free!) with none other than the One who created the dilemma in the first place.  It brings one to achieve a tremendous peace of mind and adds to our total sense of well being.  It's a time to meet your emes, one on one with the One Who is in charge. Now that's dynamite!
We can only do our best and be our best. The rest is Hashem.
Trust Him and be willing to change your plans.
We choose our life - not our circumstances.

Emuna is knowing that there is a light at the end of tunnel, even though we don't see it and there's no indication of whether it is there.

Truly awaiting Mashiach and wishing everyone only good .... Orit Riter

Moving Thoughts on the Matzav as always from Hakhel

Points and pointers relating to the matzav of K’lal Yisrael at this time:
1. Today, we can see and feel the words of Dovid HaMelech that we recite daily in Pesukei D’Zimra (Tehillim 146:3) “Al Tivtichu ViNedivim Bevenn Adam She’ein Lo Seshuah…do not rely on nobles, nor on a human being, for he holds no salvation.” A ceasefire with the rabid enemy and the assurances of nedivim to put the ceasefire into place are in the real world meaningless. Rather, as Dovid HaMelech continues: “Ashrei SheKail Yaakov BeEzro Sivro Ahl Hashem Elokav…praiseworthy is one whose help is from Yaakov’s G-d, whose hope is in Hashem, his G-d.”
2. Chazal (Shabbos 10A) teach us how we are to daven--especially in an eis tzara--”Ke’avda Kami Marei--like a servant in front of his master.” What does this mean? We suggest that it means with submission, with servitude, with sincerity and with a keen awareness of the meekness and frailty of the servant in front of his All-Powerful Master. We have to stretch out our hand, we have to genuinely plead. After we have done so, we can then remember that we are not only avadim--but are also Banim Lamakom--children of a loving Father, as the Pasuk explicitly states: “Banim Atem LaShem Elokeichem!”
3. It may feel a little bit strange going about our daily business when we know how so many of our brethren first in the northeastern United States who have been affected by the hurricane, and then in Eretz Yisrael have been affected by the bombardments, have not been able to lead their lives in what was their previously ‘normal’ manner or routine. It is obviously Hashem’s Hashgacha Pratis that determines how each person is to serve his life’s purpose and his role in K’lal Yisrael and in the world every day and every moment. One thought, however, is that as we go about our daily business, we can attempt to do so in a more spiritually heightened sense: As we daven, perhaps we can try to focus more--discovering nuances in the words recited, and instilling particular meanings into the words (such asSomeich Noflim--Hashem gives support to those who have fallen, orMatzmi’ach Yeshuah--Hashem makes salvations sprout); maybe our Tehillim recitation should not be as fast; perhaps our learning should be with additional fervor and concentration; and hopefully the previously ‘wasted’moments while waiting for someone on the phone, on a line or at a light can be specifically recaptured as a zechus for Acheinu Bnei Yisrael. If we can accomplish this then it is not their lives that have changed--it is our lives!
4. HaRav Gamliel Rabanovitch, Shlita (Tiv HaEmunah, p.261)teaches that in Tehillim 20 (Ya’ancha Hashem BeYom Tzara), Dovid HaMelech especially adds the phrase: “Neranena BiShuasecha…may we sing for joy at your salvation.” This means that when a person is in a time of tzara and needs a Yeshuah--he should thank Hashem over the Yeshuah that will come. The words become an outpouring of pure Emunah. Dovid HaMelech teaches it all to us:“Tzara VeYagon Emtzah U’VeSheim Hashem Ekrah; Kos Yeshuos Esah U’VeSheim Hashem Ekrah.” We cry out to Hashem in our pain. We cry out to Hashem in anticipation of His salvation!
5. HaRav Shlomo Volbe, Z’tl, (Alei Shur, Vol. I, p.281) teaches of the importance of Eretz Yisrael to each and every one of us. It is the land about which the Torah testifies: “Tamid Einei Hashem Elokecha Bah.” In fact, the Sefer Kuzari(2:14) writes that the entire land is LifneiHashem--present in front of Hashem. Although every other country has a Malach which gives the country and the nation which resides within it its tzuras hachaim--its way of life, the same is not true for Eretz Yisrael--where there is no koach ruchni other than that of Hashem Himself. It is only Hashem Who is mashpiah on the land and its inhabitants. It is for this reason that Moshe Rabbeinu had such a tremendous desire to enter Eretz Yisrael, for although he spoke ‘Peh El Peh’ to the Shechinah in Chutz La’aretz--it simply could not match the madreiga of Hashra’as Hashechina that can take place in Eretz Yisrael. The ruchniyus is so pervasive that theBach (Tur, Orach Chaim 208) writes that in the bracha of Mei’ein Shalosh (Ahl HaMichya,Ahl HaEitzAhl HaGefen), we specifically ask Hashem that He rebuild the Bais HaMikdash, so that we will once again be given the ability of “VeNochal MiPiryah VeNisbah MiTuvah--of eating from its fruit and being satisfied with its goodness”--for by eating its fruits, we will sustain ourselves from theKedushas HaShechinah U’Metaharasah. The land is thus so Kadosh and Tahor, so holy and pure, that upon the return of our exiles, we will ingest great ruchniyus merely by eating. Hakhel Note: Now let us take a step back: The arabs are attacking our people by means of bombs, bloodshed, and hysteria. They are being mevatel our Talmud Torah, and causing a Chilul Hashem in the world by casting our people in a cruel and belligerent light. But they are doing even more; they are taking the land that is Lifnei Hashem, whose essence isHashra’as HaShechinah, and turning it into a terrorist playground, making a mockery of it to the world. For all of this we should cry--even with all the great miracles of Acheinu Bnei Yisrael being saved despite the bombs falling upon them. Let us properly reflect upon all that has happened and fathom its gravity and its intensity. In the Zechus of our doing so, may we be zoche to the nechama of the Torah itself (Devarim 32:43): “Harninu Goyim AmoVechipeir Admaso Amo--nations, sing the praise of His people for He will avenge the blood of His servants and He will bring retribution upon his foes; and He will appease His land and His people!” Bekarov Viyameinu--today--Amein!
Hakhel MIS

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

To Get the Name of an Israeli Soldier to Pray for

OUR PARTNERSHIP--MORE INFORMATION:  To all who joined during the Lebanon war and previous Gaza war in the Elef Lamate project (to pray for a soldier), the project has now begun again. For those who want names or have names to give, please log on to or call 02-581-1911/fax 02-5400771. In U.S.A please log on the above website or call / text  443-203-8592 / fax  410-558-6408

Hakhel Note:  Chazal teach us that we are to be “Nosei B’Ohl Im Chaveiro--carry the burden with a friend.”  We suggest that this means that we do not look at a group of people together and get lost within all of the faces in the crowd--but rather, carry the burden with each and every individual.  By partnering with an individual soldier, you are helping another person carry his heavy burden--Ashrecha

Rally today in support of Israel (NYC)

A rally supporting Israel's right to defend itself will be held today (Tues. 11/20) across from the Israeli Consulate.

12:30 pm - 2:00 p.m.
2nd Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets

The rally is sponsored by Stand With Us and other organizations.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Several Miracles as Reported by World Mizrachi

Update from Israel 58
Operation Pillar of Defense

Dear Chaverim

I enclose herewith our latest update. The shooting of rockets continues unabated but the miracles are unbelievable.

Two families whose homes received a direct hit that totally destroyed their home came out without a scratch because they ran into their secure room (Mammad).

A man and his wife were in their car, heard the siren, got out of their car and ran to the side of the road and a few seconds later the car took a direct hit and was totally destroyed.

Meanwhile 40,000 reserves have been called up and are waiting at the Gaza border

There has been no let up on the firing of rockets and so far today (4pm) over 70 rockets have been fired on the South.

RCA, OU and NCYI ask for Increased Torah Study Wed and Thu

Rabbinical Council of America, Orthodox Union, and National Council of Young Israel  
 Call for Torah Study for Israel this Wednesday and Thursday 

At time of great peril, when the Jewish people are under attack, Jews everywhere support those who defend them on the front lines through prayer, charity, and Torah study.  For those of us living in the Diaspora, our charitable support of the Israel Defense Forces and our heartfelt prayers for their success and safety are joined with increase in our study of Torah.  TheTalmud, Makkot 10a, states, "R. Yehoshua b. Levi said: What is the meaning of the [Psalmist's] words, 'Our feet stood within your gates, O Jerusalem' (Psalms 122:2)? What helped us to maintain our firm foothold in war?  The gates of Jerusalem- the place where students engaged in the study of Torah!"
The Rabbinical Council of America, the Orthodox Union, and the National Council of Young Israel call upon all Jews to increase their Torah study as spiritual support and merit for those Israeli soldiers and civilians on the front line of battle.  Specifically, the RCA calls upon its members to convene special shiurim, lectures and classes, in their communities on this Wednesday and Thursday, 7th and 8th of Kislev (November 21-22, 2012), dedicated to the support of the IDF and the State of Israel. In the merit of our increased study of Torah, may we merit the promise recorded in the Talmud, Sotah21a, that the study of Torah protects and rescues those who engage in it.

The learning program is one element of the larger efforts to provide chizuk to our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Israel. Those efforts will include a financial campaign, and a solidarity visit by the RCA President and Vice-President along with American Jewish leaders and representatives from the OU and Young Israel.

Bini Maryles Signature 3

Bini_Headshot 2
Rabbi Bini Maryles
Associate Executive Director
Senior Director of Branch Services; Young Israel

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Update on Operation Pillar of Defense from Federation

Federation CJA

We continue to report to you, Sunday, the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense on the ongoing conflict with Gaza, including relentless rocket fire against Israel.
Today rockets landed next to a kindergarten in Ashkelon, hit a car and the front of a house in Beer Sheva, our sister city. A fireman and two residents have suffered shrapnel injuries. School remains closed within a 40 kilometre radius of Gaza for security reasons as all children remain in shelters.
In addition to the three Israeli civilians killed on Thursday, three remain in critical condition including an 8-month old baby. Over 80 Israelis have been taken to hospital with injuries in recent days. Many more have been treated for shock and emotional trauma and the true toll of this conflict will only be seen in the months and even years to come. Hospitals are currently working with significantly reduced staff as many doctors and nurses have been called up for army service. Some 4.5 million Israeli residents, over half of Israel's population, live in rocket range and are now on alert for attacks. Over 1300 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza in 2012 alone and approximately 900 in recent days.

Photos: AP/YNET
Powerful testimonials
The steering committee of Federation CJA’s Israel & Overseas group, responsible for the planning and allocation of our funds in Israel, is currently on the ground in Israel and are conducting meetings with our regional partners in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This team of dedicated lay leaders and professionals unanimously agreed to depart on their planned trip last Wednesday, despite the rising tensions in Southern Israel, because they understood the importance of showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel. We are in continuous contact with them, and are sharing some of their “real-time” reflections, including experiencing a red alert while at the Kotel during Shabbat.
From Marian Levy (Chair, Israel & Overseas Committee):
Friday night at the Kotel. Kabbalat Shabbat. Crowded as usual, but more boisterous. A reflection of the mood of the country under attack. Watching young girls in a group quietly singing together. Find out that they are from all over North America on their GAP year, studying at local yeshiva. They form a circle and start to dance. Young women soldiers no older than they are join in with them. Fresh faces smiling, dancing and singing 'don't be afraid'.Watching young men through mechitza singing and dancing 'don't be afraid'.
Am Yisrael Chai. Don't be afraid, they sing, arms raised in the air. 
Miri talking about how we can't understand what it is like in Beer Sheva We are standing at the Kotel. We are safe. Loud speaker. Words in Hebrew. Don't understand. Everyone starts running. People are saying that the sirens have gone off.I start running too. Security is telling us to get to the alcoves. Get separated from the group. Run across from women's section through the men's section. Counting the seconds in my head. Reach the alcoves. Protected under the cover of the alcove. More and more people squeeze in. Small space. Think that maybe I will get crushed. Young girls ask for quiet. They start praying. Many are crying. More information from loudspeaker. Young woman translates for me, "This is not a practice - this is the real thing". I think that if I can bbm and I get an answer back then I will be o.k. Ellen answers. She and the others in an alcove also. Not sure which one. Two men walk in front of the alcove - yell out the names of their family. Looking for their wives. The women squeeze by. Start playing with two little children and talk to their mother. Heart pounding but was not really scared. Believe in fate. I go home in a few days. For the Israelis this is home. This is their reality.
From Elizabeth Perez (Director, Planning & Allocations):
Supposed to be 'A Different Update'…The Israeli news is full of information on the matzav (situation), and some Beer Sheva residents have taken refuge with friends and family in other parts of the country. But here in Jerusalem, Shabbat has entered. Surreptitiously emailing at the Kotel, I am surrounded by competing voices - a group of young women dancing and singing in melodic and gentle unison and a group of male soldiers to my left, beyond the mechitza, banging, clapping, their discordant yet soothing male voices bellowing Hebrew songs.
The sun is setting, sky a deep pale blue, the air is warm; the wall is before me.All is calm - wait something is happening - everyone is asked to go in the buildings for protection. We don't know why - no siren. Waiting for info.Started writing as different update - oh well.In a tunnel at the Kotel, very hot and crowded, seems we're here as a precaution, missiles hit suburbs of Jerusalem. All clear now. Beginning to move out.
The Israeli response
Up to 75,000 Israelis have now received a "Tsav 8", calling them up to army reserve service. The media in Israel is rife with “call up” stories. One reserve soldier left his new wife of half a day on Friday. They celebrated their wedding Thursday evening and the next morning he left to join his unit.
An average of one rocket is being fired at Israel every six minutes. Long range Fajr-5 rockets continue to be fired at Tel Aviv. Watch a video taken by a local resident of a rocket being intercepted over Tel Aviv by the Iron Dome system. Iron Dome has intercepted over 180 rockets headed toward civilian areas. Every anti-rocket missile used by the Iron Dome defense system costs $50,000. Since Wednesday, usage of the five Iron Dome units currently deployed to protect residential areas has cost over $12.5 million.
The IDF continues its efforts to avoid civilian casualties due to air strikes. One Israeli pilot aborted a mission when he saw children near the rocket-launching site.
Israel makes every effort to limit civilian harm, a difficult challenge as Hamas launches rockets from civilian areas. Hamas admits to using civilians to shield terrorist activitiesWatch a video of a surgical strike against an underground launching site located right by a mosque.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the Cabinet this morning, "In my talks with (global) leaders, I emphasize the effort Israel is making to avoid hitting civilians and this at a time when Hamas and other terrorist organizations are making every effort to hit civilian targets in Israel. We are a responsible government that is obligated, above all, to the security of its citizens, and we are acting in accordance with this obligation."
Israeli continues to treat Gazan civilians in need of medical care in Israeli hospitals. 99.3% of the thousands of Gazans who requested permits to enter Israel for medical treatments, were approved entry. Currently, Gazan hospitals are reported to be at 80% capacity, only slightly higher than intake during routine periods. Despite the conflict, this morning, Israel coordinated the transfer of 124 truckloads of goods into Gaza, including humanitarian supplies of food and medicine.
The cyber battle also continues to be fought. Hundreds of Israeli websites have been hacked and false images of the conflict are being spread on Twitter by Hamas-affiliated organizations.
Social media continues to be of use in Israel as food supplies were coordinated for residents in the south before the Sabbath and delivered to some families. Most families are unable to venture out from their shelters to buy food and many stores are not stocked. A prayer assembly is being organized at the Kotel today, at 4 p.m. Israel time, to pray for peace for all Israel. Posters are inviting people from "all colors of the rainbow to stand together with Israel for peace and the success of the IDF."
Over the last four days, all election campaigning has ceased, but some parties are beginning to question whether elections should be postponed. In theory, the party primaries for both Likud and Labor are scheduled for the beginning of next week. Both parties are exploring the possibility of postponing their primaries, especially if a ground campaign begins. Under such conditions, primary elections would be problematic for the candidates as well as for voters, many of whom may be called to reserve duty. The problem with postponing primaries is that by law, full party lists must be submitted six weeks prior to national elections, in this case by December 10. As a result, there are currently quiet discussions in to the possibility of postponing the national elections (currently scheduled for January 22) until mid or late February. The Knesset would have to meet in special session to approve such a move, which has only happened once before, during the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
Donate now
Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), of which Montreal is a part, has committed up to $5 million to the Israel Emergency Relief Fund for the immediate needs of the people of Israel, especially in the south, through both existing reserve funds and new contributions from Federations. Interested donors can make a contribution online or call  514-345-2600.
Our partners, Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA, The Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and World ORT, along with the Israel Trauma Coalition, continue to provide assistance where possible, delivering immediate services and assistance on the ground throughout the south. Such services include trauma counseling, financial assistance, and potentially other initiatives including bringing children in the strike zones out of harm’s way.
We stand with our family in Israel and pray collectively for the safety of all those in harm’s way and a rapid end to this conflict.
We will continue to keep you abreast of any new developments.

David J. Cape
Federation CJA

YI Woodmere Fund to help shul and hurricane victims

From Rabbi Billet:  
“YIW (Young Israel of Woodmere) has set up an umbrella fund called YIWSandy Relief Fund which is a separate independent account with the 501 C3 status of the Young Israel of Woodmere. The fund will be administered by Rabbi Billet together with four lay members (an attorney who has CLE training in disaster relief, two other attorneys, and a comptroller / CPA – (two of these people are past presidents of YIW)). The fund will be discretionary unless you indicate that you want the money you donate to go to one, two, or all three of the following needs :

1. The General Community Assistance fund, administered through the good offices of Achiezer, which has helped, and continues to help, everyone in all the afflicted communities including many YIW members. We have YIWrepresentatives on the distribution board of this fund. It is a very worthwhile cause.

2. The specific needs of YIW members who have been hurt by the storm but whose problems are beyond the scope of the general Communal fund or who need a supplement to what they receive from the Communal fund. This too is a very important cause

3. The YIW Repair fund will help our Shul deal with the tremendous cost of repairing our facilities. As you know our Shul served as the community center for the two weeks immediately following the disaster. This too is a very important cause.

4. You can also specifically indicate if you want your funds divided fully at the discretion of the YIW Sandy Relief Fund Committee.

There are two ways to donate:

Please go to and follow the prompts after clicking on the appropriate donation link. This option will be available starting Friday, November 16, 2012

You will receive a snail mail letter from YIW in which you will find a tear off slip which gives you all of the options. Return your check made out to YIWSandy Relief Fund in the enclosed addressed envelope

Your preferences will be fully respected.  Our Shul Treasurer, Jeffrey Resnick, will monitor all gifts and submit to the Fund's committee a spreadsheet so that they will distribute the money in accordance with the donors wishes.

One final note: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide charity on the heels of the greatest disaster our area has ever seen. We have never had an opportunity before to give to so many "poor of our own city" - which is of the highest priority in giving charity. Furthermore we dare not give only to ourselves. We need help but so do many others from other neighboring communities. The Community Assistance Fund 
of Achiezer fulfills that mission and by giving to it, you are achieving a noble end. The YIW funds enables you to help the people in our immediate community whose needs transcend the criteria of the Communal Assistance Fund or who need more than the Communal Assistance Fund can give them. This is also vital. “


Friday, November 16, 2012

Updates on Hurricane Damage

Many people still need basic necessities - please help wherever possible and needed.

Message from Federation re current situation in Israel

Federation CJA

For the first time in over 20 years, rockets fall in the Tel Aviv area. We continue to provide additional updates to you regarding the rapidly escalating situation in Israel, with as much information as possible gleaned from our sources on the ground in the south of Israel, and our partnerships with numerous organizations.

The southern cities, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Yavne, and our sister city of Beer Sheva, have been subjected to a targeted barrage of rockets, many of which have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, but others which have directly hit homes and a school. Montreal's local JFC-UIA representative and on-site Director, Israel & Overseas, Arie Levy, shares his personal account of the situation today in Beer Sheva with us: “This morning has been ever so difficult…I can’t even imagine what would be if we hadn’t had the Iron Dome system in place right now. During the last siren, passengers from a city bus fled to our building. People caught in the street seek refuge. Things are not getting better. Most people are not coming to work since their children are at home and any big gatherings are not permitted right now.” The south of the country is dealing with life put on hold in all aspects, and this region is emptying out, heading northwards; schools are closed and hospitals in the region have been put on emergency-only footing.Since Wednesday’s targeted killing of Hamas military leader, Ahmed Jabari, and the launch of Israel’s operation, “Pillar of Defense”, intense rocket fire has escalated in the south of Israel with more than 200 missiles having been fired into Israel from terror groups in Gaza. As residents of an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi were attempting to flee to safety this morning, their home was directly hit by a Grad missile, killing three—Aharon Smagda, a 40 year-old father of three, Yitzchak Amselam, 22, and Mirah Scharf Cohen, a 25 year-old, pregnant mother of three—and injuring four others including an eight month-old now in critical condition. In a separate attack, three Israeli soldiers have been wounded, one seriously.
As part of “Pillar of Defense”, Israeli air strikes in the Khan Yunis region have resulted in the deaths of three additional Hamas operatives and they have struck over 200 targets in Gaza. Leaflets have been dropped in Gaza by Israel urging residents to stay away from launching facilities and weapons depots—many of which are adjacent to kindergartens, mosques and gas stations. Although most Hamas missile depots with missiles that can hit Tel Aviv have been destroyed by Israeli air force strikes, only a short time ago, two rockets were fired on the Tel Aviv area. According to an IDF spokesperson, one did not hit the ground, and the second hit an open area near the city of Rishon Letzion, 12 kilometres south of Tel Aviv. No damage or injuries have been reported. Tel Aviv braces itself with multiple red alerts as they unfortunately enter into the circle of violence. Defense Minister Barak said this morning that “difficult days are ahead”.
Our own group of Montreal delegates, part of Federation CJA’s Israel and Overseas Committee, are currently in Israel. Their security continues to be our top concern and they have been safely moved to Jerusalem. We are in regular contact with them, and will be reporting back to you with their personal accounts of the situation.
In Montreal, we continue to: proactively partner with all levels of law enforcement—municipal, provincial and federal; liaise with intelligence forces; and actively monitor and evaluate the impact of the situation in Israel on our community and institutions. Based on our experience, we expect demonstrations locally from anti-Israeli groups. Thus far, activity has been minimal and localized.

Photos: AP/YNET
The Jewish communities of North America have agreed to an initial commitment of up to $5 million to respond to families and support the immediate needs on the ground. Aid includes much needed funds for victims of terror, injury and loss of home and property, as well as ensuring the physical and emotional safety of children in affected areas—removing them from danger and continued exposure to rocket fire, and providing much needed moral, physical and psychological support. Federation CJA, partnering with these Jewish communities, has opened an Israel Emergency Relief Fund to accept donations on behalf of our extended family in Israel. To make a contribution to the Israel Emergency Relief Fund pleaseclick here now or call  514-345-2600.

As the situation is currently very fluid and quite tense in the region, we are monitoring and will keep you updated as more information becomes available via email and on our Federation CJA website. Up to the minute updates are also available on the CIJA website,, and CIJA Facebook page. We also encourage you to post messages of support on our Federation CJA Facebook page,, to our extended family in Beer Sheva and beyond, as they endure a level of terror that we can barely fathom.
Let’s direct our collective attention, prayers and support in any way we can to our people. We hope and pray for their safety and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them at this very difficult time.

David J. Cape
Federation CJA

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beautiful story of talmidim who volunteered to help hurricane cleanup

From Rabbi Baruch Lederman's ShulWeek email:

"Kum na..."   "Please rise (father)..."  (27:19)
When Yaakov was garbed in Esav's clothing, he was still polite and respectful of his father. He was still Yaakov inside. His
goodness could not be suppressed. The goodness of tzadikim (the righteous) still shines even in the most incongruous situations,
as the following true story illustrates:

November 2012 is a month that shall live in infamy in the Northeast, with the Superstorm Sandy hurricane, followed by the Nor'easter
snow storm. Though I now live in San Diego, I grew up in New York. I have many friends and family members there. Houses and cars
were submerged in water. People found snakes and fish inside and around their houses. Salt water did extensive corrosive
damage. One of the areas particularly hard hit was Far Rockaway, New York.

Each day in the aftermath of the storms, carloads of talmidim (students), 15 to 30 to 60 strong, from the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva (RSA)
drove to Far Rockaway to assist those adversely affected.  They schlepped, they cleaned, they loaded [belongings], and in some
cases they unloaded [carloads of holy books, water-damaged beyond repair, needed to be disposed of in a proper dignified
manner].  They all returned each day weary and a little sore, but satisfied that they had done a little something to ease the pain of
fellow Jews in need.

One evening, after a day of cleaning, a group of talmidim returned from a day of cleaning. It was time for Mincha (the afternoon
prayers), so they headed straight to the Young Israel of Queens Valley for services. When they got to the lobby of the shul, it dawned
on them that they were clad in dirty, dusty, grimy, sweaty work clothes. They didn't feel it was respectful to enter the main sanctuary of
the synagogue dressed like that. At that moment Rabbi Peretz Steinberg, Rav of the Young Israel of Queens Valley walked into the
lobby and found the bewildered talmidim. He noticed their hesitation and asked them what was on their minds. They explained their
predicament - the awkward dilema of the need to daven mincha versus the inappropriateness of their garb.

Rabbi Steinberg eyed the sorry looking crew and exclaimed, "Not only are you worthy to enter the sanctuary, you deserve to sit at
the mizrach vant (eastern wall. considered the most prestigious seats), because you just returned from helping Acheinu Bnai Yisroel
(our Jewish bretheren) in their time of anguish.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Masbia Urgently Needs Volunteers to Package Meals

Masbia is in dire need of manpower to package thousands of meals daily to
be distributed to thousands of residents in many communities throughout NY
who were negatively affected by the storm. Just show up! 11am-6pm.

1372 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11230

*Site Manager:*
Shlomo Shuchad

*General Manager:*
Moishe Brisk
(ph) 718-972-4446 x210

PLEASE CALL 718-972-4446 x208,

A way to help people who lost everything in the hurricane

1. We just came from Shor Yoshuv in Far Rockaway and they really need our help. The supplies are getting low and people keep coming. As you all know people lost everything. Right now they're in need of water bottles, formula, blankets (all sizes), twin sets of linen, canned foods, pastas, the list goes on.....there are women there who are in charge of the stock and you can call them for an update on specifics of what they need.

Please call for information: ..
TOVA 516-721-6121 or LISA 516-313-9483

2. Dear Friends,

Since last week's hurricane, many people in my area have
lost their homes, clothing, vehicles, everything. I am lucky enough to not have
lost anything, but only to not have power in my home for 11 days now. There are
thousands of people worse off than I am.

I wanted to help those who need help badly, and quickly
worked with my friend Dave Weinberg to create

On our spare time, we partnered with local relief
organizations and have been working with a few corporations to get access to
gift cards in bulk sent to the local organizations who can deliver them to
those in need ASAP.

The request for gift cards came directly from the relief
orgs on the ground, and we agreed that this would be a great way to easily help
those who lost so much. Read more about why
gift cards make sense in these relief efforts.

We are asking for individuals, schools, organizations,
synagogues, churches, etc. to come together and raise funds for this purpose.

This is a grassroots effort where ALL the funds are going
directly to aid. We are not taking in a cent. We are mainly facilitating and
promoting this transaction.

Please consider donating and sharing this website with the
people and organizations around you. It's a worthy cause, and the people in NY
need it desperately.

Thank you.

~Dani Klein
Founder:  |
Founder: SocialCity Marketing