Thursday, September 24, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Rabbi Kivelevitz encourages Rabbi Bechhofer to share some of the more striking points from a monograph the latter is preparing to publish in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society
Bechhofer ,appropriately in this era of Covid-19, addresses the Jewish Law's perspective on calculated risks for behaviors deemed dangerous by some authorities yet dismissed by others as benign.
Starting with the debate over mask wearing's effectiveness,Rabbi Bechhofer proceeds to offer a new analysis of the Halachic principle Shomer Pesaim Hashem based on the writings and oral traditions of the Chazon Ish.
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Monday, September 21, 2020
Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Preparation for Yom Kippur
Time: Sep 24, 2020 10:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 455 244 9680
Friday, September 18, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
A moving tribute by my cousin to our grandfather zt"l.
More than 40 years later, I still miss him. It’s my grandfather’s yahrtzeit this week, always a time for reflection and introspection on my grandfather’s life, and as his descendant, on my own. There’s an invisible love linking my children to the great-grandfather whose face they never had a chance to see, but whose heart and soul they have come to know through the stories I have told.
The stories we tell possess great power. Thestories we tell about our legacy and history are the generation connectors that become the form through which our children view their lives and identities.
I feel the power of the Biblical command: “Remember.”
There are many mitzvot that require remembrance: Shabbat, Egyptian slavery, Amalek, Zion, Torah. As Moses our teacher implores in his majestic farewell poem: “Remember the days of old, understand the years of every generation.”1 Our heritage is a continued process that will never come to an end.
And I, too, must remember and recount ...
It was Sunday, Rosh Hashanah eve exactly a year ago. I was standing in the slow-moving checkout line at Sobey’s grocery store musing about how comforting it was to come home to Toronto for the holidays when suddenly a voice excitedly calling my name broke through my reverie. I looked up to see an old friend of the family who I had not seen in years approaching me.
“Batya, welcome home! How nice to see you,” he greeted me warmly. After exchanging abridged versions of the last decade of our lives, we waved a quick good-bye as it was finally my turn at the register. Concentrating on maneuvering my shopping cart through the throngs of holiday shoppers, I was surprised to see him waiting at the exit.
“I waited for you,” he said, “because I forgot to tell you something that I know you will want to hear.” He continued, “a few months ago, I was at an international business conference and was introduced to two brothers from Toronto. I was surprised at the dichotomy between them. The younger brother was a renowned activist and revolutionary in Jewish education, an observant Jew. The older brother made no secret of the fact that he was completely absent from the Jewish scene. Some time later, I found myself seated at a luncheon next to the younger brother. I asked him how it was that two brothers from the same home turned out so differently. He replied, ‘It’s very simple. I had Rabbi Schochet as my teacher in junior high, my brother did not.’ ”
I thanked him warmly for sharing the heartwarming story about my grandfather’s impact and took my leave. In the privacy of my car, driving the familiar streets of my native town, I ruminated. I now had an unexpected treasure, a new anecdote to share with my children later this week on my grandfather’s yahrtzeit.
My grandfather—a tall, handsome, articulate, scholarly intellect who was at ease in the company of the greatest minds of his generation—had come to America with the expectation that he would assume a position befitting his stature as a rosh yeshivah (dean of a Talmudic academy). Somehow, life did not go according to plan, and he ended up in Toronto teaching in Associated Hebrew Day Schools, where he was able to switch gears and delve deep for something that would awaken the faith within his students and inspire and uplift them.
A number of yearsyeshivah education would remain involved Jewish adults with him or without him—teaching them yet another difficult passage of Talmud or explaining a discourse would not determine their life’s path. He chose instead to remain a day-school educator to make a real difference in his students’ journeys—in who they would become and how they would impact those around them.later, he was indeed inundated with offers of prestigious positions. He declined, explaining that those who sought a serious
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; a wise man acquires souls.”2
I pulled into the driveway at my parent’s house ready for Yom Tov to begin and for the world to slow down as I was enveloped in my parents’ warmth, replenishing the treasure house of my memories.
Batya Schochet Lisker is the founding principal of Bais Chana Chabad Girls' High School of Los Angeles, current executive assistant to Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky of Chabad World Headquarters in New York, and program administrator of the Machne Israel Development Fund Early Childhood Initiative.
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I'm going to add a picture I just discovered, and a link to my video about Sabba zt"l.