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Rabbi's Blog: 5K Shlep + More!

08/22/2022 11:28:46 AM



Dear OZ family,

Congratulations to team OZ for receiving the Best Fundraising Team Award, the second year in a row at this year’s 5k schlep. That is an annual race that the Rabin Medical Center in Israel sponsors to raise funds for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer research. Alisa was interviewed after the race and very movingly pointed out that in living memory, certain diagnoses of these cancers translated to a very pessimistic long-term prognosis. Thankfully, so much recent successful research has significantly enhanced and extended survival rates. Much of that research is performed at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel, and it is a great comfort to know that our support saves many lives and enhances the quality of many lives. We thank all those who joined us in the fundraising efforts, as well as those who joined us in the race itself in Central Park.


Before Shabbos, I invited everyone to the Kiddush for the three recent additions to our family. The third addition, a girl born to Esti and Aaron, was named Nechama Sarah, this past Shabbos. Nechama captures the essence of the end of Av, which is prefixed, “Menachem Av”. Both names, Nechama and Menachem, bear the meaning, consolation, as we move past the three weeks of mourning for the Temple and Jerusalem, to the month of Elul. Menachem was also the name of my father, Zichrono L’vracha, and  Sarah was the name of my mother, Zichrona L’vracha, as well as two of Aaron’s paternal great-grandmothers.


Aaron and Esti had another intention as well. I remember that Esti’s final project in her first year at the School of Visual Arts was about Sarah Schnirer, the founder of the Beis Yaakov movement. Esti’s project told a visual story about someone she admired very much, and I must say, the story Esti told captured the full essence of the person, in a full and measured manner, with realistic reverence. Esti and Aaron also both greatly admire the life and writing of Nechama Leibowitz, who taught two generations of rabbis, teachers, and Jewish leaders, how to plumb the depths of a biblical text with skill and agility. Both of these great Torah personalities did not bear children of their own. A verse in this week’s Haftara teaches that our students are like our children, and by that measure, these two women left the world with considerable progeny. Nechama Sarah Feldman bears both their names as well, and we look forward to watching her grow in an environment of loving devotion, boundless chesed, and shalom bayis, all defined by the timeless values of Torah and yiras shamayim.      


Be well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz



Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635





Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784