Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monsey Bochur Meets Newt

Eli Hazan of Wesley Hills meeting Newt Gingrich at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, where Eli is learning at Machon Menachem - Boca Raton Rabbinical College.

Miracles for Bounty Available This Tuesday

By Dr. Yisroel Susskind, Rockland Jewish Reporter

Are you interested in taking a chance on a miracle that could increase the material, spiritual and emotional bounty in your life? Miracles do happen. For example, I view the survival of the State of Israel in 1948 as an open miracle. Are you aware that in 1948 the vast majority of political and military pundits worldwide reasoned that the new state would not survive one week?

According to Jewish tradition, this coming Tuesday, Jan. 31, will be a miraculous, opportune time to receive blessings for plenty in our lives. I first learned of this concept four years ago, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2008.

A colleague told me that there is a kaballah (orally transmitted tradition) reaching back to the Chassidic Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rymanov that one can receive a blessing for livelihood on the Tuesday of the week of parshat Beshalach. This year, Tuesday, Jan. 31, is such a Tuesday. We will read Beshalach on Saturday, Feb. 4. How do you “apply” for this miracle? Parshat Beshalach includes a description of the mannah, that fell from the heavens and sustained the Israelites during their 40 years in the desert. All you need to do is to read verses in Exodus 16:4-36, referred to as Parshah ha-Mon, which includes a discussion of the mannah. I thought that the story was a nice sweet Jewish tale, but decided to not take it seriously.

But only three minutes after I heard the story, I received a phone call from a client, a man in his 50s who had been out of work for many months. I had been concerned about the strain he was under. He announced that this week he had gotten an excellent position and felt that he had to call me today to share the good news. Whoa! That got my attention. Coincidence? I felt drawn, for reasons that were unclear to me, to pursue more information about Parshas ha-Mon. From my colleague I next learned that this custom had been popularized by “a revered rabbi in Brooklyn,” who said that it came down as an oral tradition from Reb Menachem Mendel of Rymanov (1755-1815) via the Shinever Rov, Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam (1813-1898).

“Whoa #2”! The Shinever Rov served for 7 years as the Rabbi of the town from which my ancestors came, Stropkov, Slovakia. I am a psychologist. Later that day, I met with a Chassidic client of mine and mentioned to him the issue of Parshas ha-Mon. He told me that his grandfather had arrived in the U.S. as a penniless, Holocaust survivor and ultimately became a very wealthy man. His grandfather attributed his financial success to the fact that he began every day by reading a small portion of a book about the mannah by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rymanov. Many people read Parshat ha-Mon on a daily basis, so you can draw on its benefits for livelihood any day of the year. However, its powers to bring down blessings are particularly strong on the Tuesday of parshat Beshalach each year.

The Rymanover explains that spiritual, and not merely material, blessings come from reading about the mannah. It represents HaShem’s helping us to connect with Him through our limited intellectual powers of thought and speech; just as the mannah is a gift from HaShem that we did not earn, so too is HaShem's helping to understand him through our intellect. My client told to me that the “revered rabbi in Brooklyn” who popularized the custom in the U.S. was the Paya Rov, Rabbi Moshe Dov Weinberger.

“Whoa” #3! I am a Weinberger; both of my grandmothers were Weinbergers.

“Whoa” #4! I believe that I am a distant cousin to the Paya Rov.

At 6 p.m., I called the Paya Rov’s household, who confirmed that he had heard of the tradition from his father who had heard it from Rabbi Avraham Sholom Halberstam (the son of the Shinever Rov), who said that his father had related the tradition in the name of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rymanov. I next spoke with the current Stropkover Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Sholom Yissachar Dov Halberstam of Jerusalem, who confirmed that there is a kaballah in his family, which the Shinever passed down in the name of the Rymanover, that saying Parshat ha-Mon on the Tuesday of Parshat Beshalach is an auspicious act for receiving blessings of livelihood.

At this point, I decided to write up the story and emailed it to my list of friends. One rabbi replied that the Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote that reading Parshat ha-Mon strengthens two qualities: one’s faith (emunah) that all that we have comes from Hashem; and one’s confidence (bitachon) in difficult times that Hashem will provide our needs. The act of experiencing that faith and confidence is a vessel that brings down blessings. I have learned about three aspects of bounty. One, materially, is that Pashas ha-Mon offers a blessing for livelihood, especially, but not only, on the Tuesday of Parshat Beshalach. Second, spiritually, saying Parshat ha-Mon can strengthen our faith and confidence. Third, emotionally, there is benefit in following what stirs you emotionally.

When this story began, I did not know that this story would lead me to connections in my family’s personal history. I just felt a passionate stirring that I chose to value. So, go for it. Read Parshat ha-Mon. There is no guarantee that everyone who reads it will see a miracle. But, “you gotta play to win.” May it be that our spiritual and emotional connections to Torah and its precious words create a vessel for the ultimate bounty, with God’s ushering in the Messianic era.

Dr. Yisroel Susskind is a clinical psychologist who practices in Monsey, New York, and internationally over the telephone. Email him at

Thousands of Women Gather in Support of R' Sholom M. Rubashkin

Around 2,000 women from all walks of life gathered this past Tuesday evening in support of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin. Ateres Charna was filled to near capacity as women gathered together in unity.

Mrs. Chayale Gourarie, sister of Sholom Mordechai, MC'd the evening and her words were inspiring to all.

Mrs. Suri Gluck sang emotional and heartwarming songs.

There was not a dry eye in the crowd as Mrs. Roza Weiss, daughter of Sholom Mordechai, described her fathers arrest and imprisonment.

Mrs. Leah Rubashkin, who is a pillar of strength giving chizzuk to all, captivated the crowd with her inspirational stories and the telling of the core of her amazing inner strength through Alef, Bais Gimmel.

The evening was capped with Alyza Lewin, Esq., one of Sholom Mordechai's attorneys, who, despite the late hour, held the crowd captivated with the story of the injustice done to Sholom Mordechai.

Mrs. Chani Lipschutz was honored for her endless support to the Rubashkin family.

Finally, the evening concluded with joyous dancing.

A stunning $7,000 diamond necklace (photo below), will be raffled off on April 3rd. A $36 donation toward Rubashkin's legal defense will get you one ticket $100 donation five tickets and $180 donation ten tickets.

You can mail your donation to:
Klal Yisroel Fund
53 Olympia Lane
Monsey, NY 10952
Please write "necklace raffle" in the memo.

Dovid Poltorak Brings Kosher to Capital Hill

By Emma Dumain, Roll Call

A former intern’s crusade to bring kosher food back to the Senate bore fruit Monday with the beginning of a trial run at the Dirksen Senate Office Building’s cafeteria. Prepackaged sandwiches and salads “Made with Love” from Kosher caterer Bubbie’s Gourmet were stacked alongside standard fare. Options included a “Tuscan salad” of chickpeas, bow tie pasta and green beans, along with a balsamic chicken sandwich on flatbread. If all goes well, selections from Bubbie’s Gourmet could become fixtures of dining services offered all across the Senate side of the Capitol.

David Poltorak, an Orthodox Jew and recent Georgetown law school graduate who was then interning for freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), began his quest for kosher last autumn. On his first day, he recalled going downstairs to one of the several cafeterias and carry-outs scattered throughout Senate office buildings. “Where’s the kosher food?” he asked. The answer: There was none. Nowhere on the Capitol campus could observant Jews find a premade meal.

Poltorak was told by Restaurant Associates, the private company that runs the Senate food services, that there was no kosher food because there was no demand. “I couldn’t believe there was no demand,” Poltorak said. “My first day here, I had, like, 10 kosher friends here working in Congress as staffers, and they said they wanted kosher food but had just never bothered to ask … they brought food from home or subsided on potato chips or peanuts.” Poltorak got by on peanuts, Diet Cokes and Mike and Ike candy during the course of his internship. “It’s not my style,” he said, to bring his lunch from home to avoid a kosher junk food diet.

To continue reading this article, please click here.

Tzivos Hashem Kiosk Comes to Cheder Chabad Boys Building

The boys who participate in Tzivos Hashem of Monsey have much to be excited about!

Thanks to Yosef Hott and family a new kiosk machine was donated to MonseYouth and will be stationed in the Cheder Chabad Boys building.

Each child who signs up to Tzivos Hashem of Monsey receives an identification card with a bar code. With the new kiosk in place, the boys are now able to scan their achievement cards, check on what medals they earned, put in tickets for the auction and much more.

The kiosk has a scanner and a touch screen to enable children and teachers alike to benefit even more from the Tzivos Hashem program.