Parshas Ha'azinu 5769
October 11, 2008



Rosh Hashanah was a most enjoyable experience at Daven With Dov. Shalom Yachnes davened shacharis and gave a meaningful devar Torah each day. His shofar blowing was very close to the best we have ever heard. David Love provided a Torah reading during which each syllable was distinct and the reading easy to follow. Yudi Plonka served as baal mussaf using lovely melodies and wonderful davening. The holiday was a time of wonderful prayer and a time of meeting with and sharing meals with family and friends. We are looking forward to a meaningful fast on Yom Kippur and a continuation of the davening that was filled with kavanah.

Voices From the Ezras Nashim
Gittel bas Yechiel—My Grandmother

At this time I would like to share a story about my grandmother. Grandma lived less than a half block from our apartment in East New York. She and my grandfather ran a grocery store about a block away. One block further was the shul we attended—Talmud Torah Atereth Israel. In this shul the ezras nashim was upstairs. The seats formed a u-shape from which the women could look down on the men below. There was a clear view of the bimah and the aron kodesh. Probably I will always think of this as my favorite shul.

Grandma was a tiny woman. Less than 4 feet 10 inches. She wore dresses she made from fabric purchased from the Sears catalog and a babushka to cover hair that was so long that when she let her bun down she could actually stand on her hair. Grandma was a woman of few words, but the words she spoke have had a lasting impact on my life. The following story occurred on Yom Kippur when I was approximately ten. It was the first Yom Kippur that I realized that my grandmother held a special place in our shul. She rarely attended shul preferring to daven at home or in the grocery store. Her siddur never left her side. On the high holidays, however, grandma came to shul.

On the particular Yom Kippur in question my sisters and I arrived at shul first. We took our customary seats in the second row facing north. Many women were present and there was a low level of murmuring and discussion. When my grandmother walked in all the women commented on her arrival and all discussion ceased. This quiet woman who did not speak and did not admonish changed the behavior of all those present with her presence and demeanor.

During the al chait prayers I noticed my grandmother davening with her eyes closed in deep concentration. Although her eyes were closed tears washed over her face and fell onto her dress. My eyes were on my grandmother. Later when we left shul together I asked her why she cried. After all she had never committed the list of sins we acknowledge when we read the al chait. “Miner kindt,” said grandma, “we daven for each other. Only when we are all ready will redemption come. We must remember that when one Jew sins it affects us all as if we had committed the sin. Daven Elkie, daven for all Jews.”

I am not sure that at ten I understood. It seemed hard enough to deal with myself. But grandma’s lesson sat in the back of my brain and has emerged as davening in plural when I am engaged in personal prayer and I doubt that I will ever be able to read the al chait without the recognition that we are responsible for one another in davening and in life.

Elk’s Menu for the Meal Before the Fast
October 8, 2008—9 Tishrei 5769

Whole Wheat Raisin Rolls
Cauliflower Soup
Marinated Salmon
Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas
Sweet Brown Rice Kugel
Chopped Vegetables in Honey Mustard Dressing
Honey Cake
Homemade Apple Sauce

Break the Fast Menu
October 9, 2008—11 Tishrei 5769

Orange Juice
Smoked Salmon Platters
Lettuce, Tomato and Purple Onion
Gefilte Fish
Cream Cheese

Shabbos Parshas Ha'azinu
Friday, October 10, 2008—12 Tishrei 5769

Whole Wheat Raisin Challah
Baked in the Merit of a Child for a childless couple
Please call Yehudis Halberstam at 718-972-4793 for this week’s couple
I would also like to take this opportunity to ask mechilah for using a completely wrong last name for Yehudis in the Voices From the Ezras Nashim stories about the Challah Lady
Seasonal Fruit Cup
Gingered Carrot Soup
Salmon en Croute with Colored Peppers and Onions
Pasta with Green Vegetables and Herbs
Stuffed Zucchini
Pineapple Fried Rice
Cucumber Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Banana Cake with Orange Icing

Kiddush Menu for Shabbos
Saturday, October 11, 2008—12 Tishrei 5769

Egg Salad Tuna
Gefilte Fish
Matjes Herring
Israeli Salad

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