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Rabbi’s Blog: A Note from Netanya

06/23/2022 09:06:13 PM


Dear OZ family,


Greetings from Netanya!


We enjoyed a beautiful Bat Mitzvah celebration with our granddaughter Meira and her family. I attached a picture of Chani and her family below. (Chani was two years old when we came to OZ.)


My morning davening experience in Netanya has been quite interesting. Alisa and I are staying at Beit Elazraki, a children’s home in the Kiryat Sanz section of Netanya. I have been attending the main Sanz Shacharis in the morning and the complete hodge-podge of daveners there is fascinating. Of course there are 300 Chassidim with long payos, wearing beckeshers, but remember that Netanya is the Riviera and the Hamptons of Israel. There are always several daveners in shorts and sandals. There are many workers who come in their jeans and tea shirts.


I stand out because, while I do wear a jacket to minyan as I do at OZ, it stops just below my waste.


At every minyan a man comes mumbling up and down the long aisles, greeting everyone with his gibberish. I wrote about him a few years ago. He was apparently a profound genius as a child, who snapped and lost his mind, but he loves minyan and the entire shul embraces him. Usually, during the silent amida, which lasts about 10 minutes, he very loudly opens a can of Coke, slurps it all up very loudly and then belts out three or four stentorian belches, and he’s been doing this for decades. He recognizes me by now and we share hand bumps at minyan.


There were two Bat Mitzvah celebrations at Beit Elazraki this evening. The place really went wild. You can go to the Emunah website for Beit Elazraki to see what it was like. You see a microcosm of Israel here. The chesed is amazing. The camaraderie is outstanding, and the school looks like a United Nations with kids from many different countries. We should all be incensed with the lying canard that Israel is an apartheid state. Anyone who would see what I saw this evening, would want to shout from the rooftops to denounce the lies that the haters of Israel pronounce.


Israel is still Israel. With one week of school left, teachers went on strike, and the government went on strike again as well. Hopefully the country will soon get back on track.


We wish everyone Shabbat Shalom.


Rabbi Allen and Alisa Schwartz
Rabbi Allen Schwartz
Congregation Ohab Zedek
118 West 95th Street
New York, NY 10025-6604
Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200


Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784