Parshas Beshalach
 February 7, 2009 - 13 Shevat 5769


Voices From the Ezras Nashim

On a very cold blizzard filled January 1st many years ago my father left the hospital where my mother labored to bring their third child into the world. Mom had been in labor five days and things were not going well. The doctors advised Dad that there was nothing more to be done and that it was likely that neither my Mom nor the baby would survive. As was customary at the time Dad was not allowed to be with Mom during the delivery even when things looked so dire.

Dad did not know what to do. He decided that he would go back to our Shul in Brooklyn and just wait. There were no cell phones and neither the Shul nor our home had a telephone. He thought he would wait in the Shul and perhaps do some chores before he headed back to the hospital.

When he entered the Shul he heard loud and unhappy women’s voices coming from the Shul basement which housed the social hall. He arrived in the basement to find the Shul Sisterhood in tears and confusion. The ladies had come through the winter weather for a meeting and had hung their coats, almost all Persian Lamb, in the Shul closet. Sometime during the meeting the heavy wet coats proved to be just too much for the wooden bar on which they were hung. The bar broke and all the coats landed on the floor. The ladies did not know whose coat was whose. Confusion reigned.

Dad arranged a row of chairs and seated the ladies. He then held up the coats one at time and found its owner. He continued until all the coats were returned to their rightful owners. The ladies showered him with bruchas.

Dad repaired the bar in the closet and set off for the hospital. The snow continued to fall and driving was dangerous. He arrived at the hospital expecting the worst. Much to his surprise he learned that his third daughter had arrived safely in the world and that Mom would be all right.

Several days later, while Mom and baby were still in the hospital the ladies presented Dad with a gift certificate for books from the Jewish Publication Society. One of the books Dad selected was entitled “The Breakfast of the Birds and Other Stories.” The very first story in the book was a midrash relating to Parshas Beshalach, which happens to have been my Dad’s Bar Mitzvah Parsha, about the birds who entertained the Jewish children in mitzraim while their parents worked as slaves for Pharoah. Over the years my Dad read it to me, I read it to my children and to the children in many of my religious school classes. The book remains a treasure for me and a reminder that HaShem works in ways that are filled with wonder.

Elk’s Menu
Parshas Beshalach
February 7, 2009—13 Shevat 5769 

            Whole Wheat Challah

Baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple. To participate in this mitzvah please call Yehudis Halberstam—718-972-4793 for this week’s names.
Fresh Strawberries
Potato Leek Soup
Salmon en Croute with Sautéed Spinach and Onions
Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli and Chickpeas
Red Wine and Maple Glazed Carrots
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans
Arugula and Radicchio Salad with Dates and Feta Cheese
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Pineapple Upside Down Cake

February 7, 2009—13 Shevat 5769

Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Gefilte Fish
Parve Chulent
Matjes Herring
Chickpea Salad

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