Parshas Nitzavim 5768
September 27, 2008



This will be Daven With Dov’s first Rosh Hashanah. It seems as though the tasks are endless, although preparations both physical and spiritual for the High Holy Days always take much time. The last two weeks have been filled with the installation of hurricane resistant windows and doors, the arrival of new chairs and machzorim for each of the upcoming holidays. In the expectation that time is not going to permit an additional Elk’s page for the High Holy days I would like to wish each and everyone who reads this page a kind and gentle judgment from the Supreme Judge. May we each be inscribed for all that is good in life and with the knowledge and understanding that the Abishter has only our best interests in mind.

I would like to use this last Elk’s Page of 5768 to ask mechilah of all those I have harmed this year whether knowingly or unknowingly and also to grant mechilah to all those who request it from me.

Voices From the Ezras Nashim

Especially during the High Holy Day season there is a desire in most of us to enhance our performance of mitzvahs. Not just to do them, but to do them with additional fervor and meaning. It is a time for round challahs filled with raisins, for perfect esrogim, for silver candlesticks, for the best china and linen. Most of the time hidur mitzvah seems to encompass not just a beautification of the mitzvah, but a beautification that involves the expenditure of funds. Sometimes we have the ability to buy the best and sometimes we do not. At all times, however, we have the ability to invest ourselves in the performance of the mitzvot in our lives.

One night each week I serve as the mikvah attendant at our local mikvah. Women who observe this mitzvah are scrupulous in attending to all the details of preparation for immersion in the mikvah. They recite the brucha with kavanah and often read the special prayers for before and after immersion. During my night this week two things happened that I would like to share with you.

A woman told me she would like to say the special prayers before and after immersion. She read the first prayer and immersed. Upon leaving the water she said the second prayer. Then there was a period of silence. When she turned to me to escort her back to her room there were tears in her eyes. She told me that although she said these prayers regularly she normally read them only in Hebrew. Tonight she noticed that there was no one in the waiting room and so she also read them in English. “They are beautiful,” she commented. “So rich and meaningful. I say them in Hebrew, but it is not my first language and I really lost sight of the meaning until I also read them in English tonight.” This to me is hidur mitzvah--the extra moment to explore the meaning of our prayer. To recite it in loshen kodesh and then to make sure that we appreciate its content and beauty by reading it in a language we understand.

The second incident brought tears to my eyes. A woman came to the mikvah and while waiting for a preparation room commented that she had a most difficult year. She said that she did not understand the reason for the personal trials she suffered, but that she was sure that the Abishter would not cause something to happen in her life that was not for the best. When I took her into the mikvah a bit later she immersed and as I held up her robe to provide her privacy she began to sing the brucha. The tears rolled down my face at the sweet gentleness of her voice. This is hidur mitzvah. She completed her immersion and as she climbed the stairs out of the mikvah said “I love it when I’m kosher.”

Mikvah is a beautiful mitzvah for women and one that we are capable of making more beautiful by the investment of ourselves. May each of us invest all of our mitzvot with love and sincerity. May our mitzvot bring peace to those we love and a favorable judgment from the Master of us all.

Elk’s Menu for Parshas Nitzavim
September 27, 2008—27 Elul 5768

Whole Wheat Challah (baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple)
Please call Yehudis at 718-972-4793 for the couple of the week
Seasonal Fruit Cup
Chumus and Vegetable Strips
Salmon in Maple Mustard Marinade
Onion Quiche
Herb Roasted Potatoes
Stewed Corn with Okra and Tomatoes
Orzo Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Lemon Pound Cake

Kiddush Menu
September 28, 2008—28 Elul 5768

Egg Salad
Tuna Salad
Gefilte Fish
Matjes Herring
Chickpea Salad
Israeli Salad

Rosh Hashanah Menu
September 29, 2008—29 Elul 5768

Whole Wheat Challah –Round with Raisins
(baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple)
Please call Yehudis at 718-972-4793 for the couple of the week
Vegetable Soup
Sea Bass with Vegetables and White Wine
Leek and Celery Pie
Mashed Butternut Squash
Beets in Maple Horseradish Glaze
Spinach Souffle
Escarole and Edamame Salad
Avocado and Tomato Salad
Honey Cake

Significant Omens

Apples and Honey
Braised Carrots
Leek and Celery Pie
12 Caret Black-eyed Pea Relish
Mashed Butternut Squash
Medjool Dates
Fish Head
Beets in Maple Horseradish Glaze

For the Second Night we use a new fruit for the Shehechyanu
Monstera Delisiosa

Second Night
September 30, 2008—1 Tishrei 5769

Whole Wheat Challah –Round with Raisins
(baked in the merit of a child for a childless couple)
Please call Yehudis at 718-972-4793 for the couple of the week
Parve Chicken Soup
Breaded Tilapia with Lemon Caper Sauce
Tuna Steaks
Vegetarian Chili
Braised Carrots
Yerushalmi Kugel
Israeli Salad
Lettuce Salad with Fine Herbs and Homemade Dressing
Honeycake with Homemade Applesauce

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