Thursday, May 26, 2011

Daily Maariv Minyan Time Change

The first daily Maariv minyan at Tzemach Tzedek is now at 9:15 PM and will remain so until Shavuos. The second minyan remains at 9:30 PM.

Following Shavuos for approximately a month there will only be one minyan at 9:30 PM because of the late zman.

House for Sale in Pleasant Ridge Area

A beautiful colonial on a 3/4 acre magnificent property with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 updated bathrooms is available for sale on Gladwyne Court in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood close to Beis Menachem and walking distance to Tzemach Tzedek.

The home has an in-ground freeform concrete heated pool on its sideyard and a large deck over an expansive yard. Updated dining room, living room, den, with stunning built-ins, brick fireplace, hardwood floors, central air, 2 car garage, and new finished basement.

For more information, please call 917-414-5167.

Board Approves Sale of Colton School

By Alex Taylor, Rockland Journal News

SPRING VALLEY — The East Ramapo School board voted 5-2 Wednesday night to sell the Colton Elementary School building (located at 40 Grandview Avenue in New Hempstead) for $6.6 million as the school district moves closer towards adopting a contingency budget.

Interim Superintendent Joel Klein said today the building will be sold at its assessed price to the Bais Malka/Hebrew Academy for Special Children, which currently holds the building lease. The deal is estimate to take at least eight weeks while the district awaits its "requests for proposals," or RFP.

The Colton School was closed last June despite protests from the community. The school, which formerly housed 300 or so fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students, is currently leased to Bais Malka for $3.8 million over a five-year period.

In March, the school board voted 5-0 in favor of having the Colton School appraised. The 2 a.m. vote occurred after four board members had left for the evening, drawing criticism from the public school community that the sale was a favor to the Ultra-Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish community in the district, which largely sends its children to private yeshivas.

But Klein said the sale was a good move for the cash-strapped district.

"I think it makes total sense," he said. "We are in desperate financial situation. We do not want to cut any more programs."

Sefira - A Personal Journey

By Rabbi Yossi Soble, Rockland Jewish Reporter

In some way we are all travelers in the midst of a journey. Whether it is a physiological, social or economic destination, conscious or subconscious, we are all heading towards something. Judaism’s deep wisdom provides insight and tools that help us appreciate and maximize this common experience of life.

The Torah relates that while the Jewish people were on their way out of the slavery in Egypt toward the revelations and the giving of the Torah at Sinai they counted the days. Chassidus clarifies that the counting of these 49 days was actually an intense process of personal spiritual growth and refinement. Each day corresponded to the elevation of a specific and subtle emotional wavelength. Our ancestors transformed themselves out from under the dark and base influences of Egyptian culture to a monotheistic and holy nation. They became ready to act as the catalyst and vessel for an unprecedented Divine experience and mission. This transformational process of counting has been codified into Judaism’s observance.

We are now observing these 49 days of counting, the y’mai sefirah, which occur between Passover, celebrating the exodus and Shavous, celebrating the experience at Mt. Sinai. We count every night after the evening prayer service, the number corresponding to the following days count. This custom, in parallel to the message that we are to elevate and refine ourselves during this period gives us another. Life is not simply traveling from point A to point B but rather is an imperative opportunity to be actively involved with our purpose and goal while on its way. This crucial insight can also be found in modern psychological theory.

Victor Frankel a neurologist and psychiatrist, augmented by his personal experience and observations of holocaust survival, developed a therapeutic approach called logo therapy. At a point in his career when his theory was facing considerable opposition the Rebbe encouraged him to continue on (To see this amazing story in depth please search for Victor Frankel on Due to the Rebbe’s intervention his theory ultimately was accepted and has become widely acclaimed and referenced within the psycho-therapeutic world. One of the basic tenants is that to thrive in life man must be consciously connected to a higher purpose. This similar message of sefira applies to both our national and individual Jewish purpose.

Our Jewish purpose as articulated and clarified in Chassidus is the mission to bring the world toward universal recognition and knowledge of G-D. This has been and is achieved through commitment to Torah and observance of its Mitzvot in all places and conditions. It will soon be fully effected through the coming of Moshiach. The Jewish Tzaddik who will herald in a new spiritual world order as a culmination of our national activities.

Our historical achievements as the Jewish nation reflect a continuous commitment to this purpose, even if at times it was a minority. As individuals, we also have had and do have the ability to integrate this revolutionary purpose into our daily lives. Interestingly, Chassidic philosophy explains that the Jewish purpose is not simply a spiritual or metaphysical goal, but rather touches upon all aspects of the material world and physical life.

Within the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt the Torah exhibits the relationship between the Jewish purpose and the physical world. As the plagues were coming to an end G-D gave the Jews a seemingly peculiar command. The instruction was to go to the Egyptians and take all types of valuable goods from them. The Torah teaches us that miraculously inspired, the Egyptians were happy to give these items to the Jewish people. The Jewish people became enriched and, due to additional booty collected after the splitting of the sea, it says each Jew had no less than 90 donkeys to carry all his possessions.

Chassidus explains this teaches us an important principal regarding our journey toward our purpose as Jews. The Jewish people in Egypt simply desired freedom; they were not concerned about material possessions. However G-D’s command to take possessions illustrates that the point of our travels is not just passing through but rather in refining and elevating all the material and physical possessions around us. Allegorically this corresponds to the full wavelength of life’s experience not just the sublime and spiritual. This is the wisdom we can learn from today.

As each of us finds ourselves somewhere in the journey of life we can find great purpose in our Jewish identity. Through integrating that purpose into our lives, by studying the Torah or performing a Mitzva within our reach, we actualize our individual contribution to the Jewish goal. The Rebbe has told us that the sands of the hourglass counting down to the coming of Moshiach are down to the last granules. We have the tools to make our every day count toward this essential Jewish purpose; it’s in our hands to take advantage of it.

Cheder Girls Marching in The Great Parade

Video: R' Tzili Ehrenreich

Cheder Boys Marching in The Great Parade

Video: R' Tzili Ehrenreich

Welcome Larkins!

Welcome to Shaya and Ariella Larkin on their move to our community (Beuna Vista Road, Pomona)!

Cheder Chabad of Monsey Wins Another $40,000!

Cheder Chabad of Monsey received 8,061 votes and won $40,000 in the second round of the Chase Community Giving contest which ended at midnight last night!

Together with its first round winnings of $25,000 the Cheder won a total of $65,000!

Thanks to everyone that voted and solicited votes from others!

Tutoring Available

Rabbi Silber will be available in the summer months for students who would like to receive tutoring or Bar Mitzva lessons (Maamer and/or Laining).

This may be an opportunity for a student who may need some advancement in skills before the coming school year.

Reasonable rates. First come first serve. Rabbi Silber can be reached at 773-805-2770.

No Children's Program at Tzemach Tzedek

Due to the MBCM out-of-town Shabbaton, there will be no children's group at Tzemach Tzedek this Shabbos, Parshas Bamidbar.