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Rabbi’s Blog: Netanya - Leaving on a Jet Plane

07/13/2022 09:43:46 PM


Dear OZ family,

We just boarded our flight to JFK. It’s never easy to say good-bye to our family in Israel. We attended smachot here and we look forward to soon celebrating smachot in New York as well.

I caught a sunrise minyan today at the Sanz Shul in Netanya that started at 4:55am. Travel in Israel is very precarious right now because of President Biden’s visit, so we had to get a very early start.

I have been writing often about how much Israel shares in common with America. Now we will both have an election in the beginning of November that everyone is saying, is an opportunity to save the country.

I’m not sure to what extent Israel is in such dire need for salvation, but I did see, up front and close, how children, under the most disadvantaged of backgrounds, are taken in with welcoming arms and open hearts. So many nationalities and races are represented at Beit Elazraki. A Korean woman who works at the home was amazed in the Sanz neighborhood, at how many children here, share a very common Korean name, Kim Doo.

Since I’m on the topic of humor, a vulture just boarded the plane with one raccoon draped over each shoulder, and he was stopped by the flight attendant, who chided him with the rule that there is only one carrion per passenger.

Then the captain announced that this is a non-stop flight to New York. This made me very nervous. If it’s non-stop, does that mean that we all get off by parachute? A final announcement bid everyone to get on the plane, and I told the Rebbitzen that Evil Kneival can get on the plane. I’m getting in the plane. Just a little (very little) humor to console myself for leaving Israel.

It is with a heavy heart that I will join the Slotkin’s for shiva later today. Renee was such a dear friend and our community will find it difficult to compensate for his kindness, innate goodness, optimism and integrity. We also just missed the funeral for Avi & Aviva Henoch’s son Divi, who died in a tragic accident. The Henoch’s will sit for the day at the home of Rabbi Brian Thau, a former assistant rabbi at OZ, in Beit Shemesh. The shiva will continue in Riverdale and we will send information on that as it becomes available.

My next message will be from New York I”YH.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784