| Inbox |

Inbox: Issue 876

"Millions of people born in Eretz Yisrael find themselves drawn to chutz l’Aretz. These yordim don’t realize that Eretz Yisrael rejected them"



To the Next Level [Works for Me / Issue 875]

The recent response given by Shaina Keren to the “Wannabe Entrepreneur” hits on many ideas of what this individual can do and some ideas on how to pursue it. It does not focus as much on how to take her career to the next level and at the same time stay within the industry where she has years of experience.

The letter writer signs off as a “Wannabe Entrepreneur,” implying that she is ready for the next level. I would recommend that she consider opening up her own bookkeeping company, which is in extremely high demand in today’s economy.

By opening up her own company, she will have the ability to take advantage of today’s remote workforce. She can hire and place both $75 and $25 bookkeepers. It will come down to the time and effort that this newly minted entrepreneur wants to invest.

Benzion Zlotnick

The writer can be contacted through Mishpacha


Articulating Our Pain [Guestlines / Issue 874]

It is the rare article that reaches deep into the reader’s soul and forces them to confront their own disappointments and aspirations while recalling those special rebbeim or teachers that found you, understood you, and help make any success you might have possible. But that is exactly what Rabbi Henoch Plotnik’s wonderful piece “All or Nothing” did for me.

By masterfully articulating the pain and rejection that “out of the box” boys and girls feel when the mainstream echo-chamber simply doesn’t get them, Rabbi Plotnik, a master mechanech himself, reminds us just how important it is to seek out and recognize the attributes and self-worth of every person.

What an appropriate and timely message as we beseech HaKadosh Baruch Hu to find the self-worth and value in each of us. Permit me to close my eyes and conjecture that if my holy rebbi, Rav Dovid Trenk a”h were here, he might shout with his trademark smile and exuberance, “Rav Henoch, you got it!”

Chaskel Bennett, New York


No Need to Trek [Turkish Trail Mix / Issue 874]

I read with interest your story about Rabbi Chitrik and the wonderful work he is doing in Turkey. But I do have to correct one misstatement. According to the article, Rabbi Chitrik “lays claim to being the only rabbi who gives a daily shiur in Ladino.”

Ladino-speaking Mishpacha readers will be happy to know that there is no need to trek to Turkey for their daily Ladino shiur. Rabbi Danny Hadar, the rabbi at Temple Moses in Miami Beach, gives such a daily shiur (when he’s not meeting with President Biden).

Y. Yurowitz, Passaic, NJ


If You’re Worthy [Inbox / Issue 874]

I’ve been following the Inbox conversation regarding moving to Eretz Yisrael, and thought it might be enlightening to hear the words of the mashgiach Rav Moshe Wolfson concerning this issue.

The following is an answer Rav Wolfson gave to a man who asked, “Wouldn’t organizing mass aliyah speed up the Geulah?”

“Going to Eretz Yisrael,” he said, “isn’t as simple a matter as you are making it. We talk of going to Eretz Yisrael as if we are deciding to go. My father and the generations before him would have given ten years of their lives to be able to enter Eretz Yisrael, but they couldn’t get in.

“There is only one reason for a Jew finding himself outside of the Land: ‘mipnei chataeinu,’ because of our sins. If there is a gezeirah of galus and Hashem does not allow a person to enter Eretz Yisrael, there’s nothing that individual can do about it.

“In our generation, this gezeirah has been eased for many individuals, as the galus is slowly dissolving and melting away. Little by little, names are being called: ‘You can enter Eretz Yisrael. You, not yet — Heaven still has an account to settle — but you can travel there for a short visit.’ To the extent that an individual neshamah was relieved from the gezeirah of galus, to that degree will he be allowed into Eretz Yisrael.

“Of course, there are reasons that crop up making it impossible for one to move there — for one it’s his livelihood, for another his ailing mother-in-law — but those are cover-ups. The real reason a person cannot enter Eretz Yisrael is because he has yet to be given a visa from Heaven.

“Sometimes a person can be living in Eretz Yisrael for ten, 15, 20 years, but then he must leave. Millions of people born in Eretz Yisrael find themselves drawn to chutz l’Aretz. These yordim don’t realize that Eretz Yisrael rejected them. Like a foreign object in a body, a person who still has a debt of galus to pay will find himself ejected from Eretz Yisrael.

“People confuse Hashem’s business with our business. We bring the geulah by doing mitzvos, learning Torah, davening, and engaging in constant teshuvah. Hashem brings the Geulah through His masterful manipulations, of which we have no grasp of at all. To try to manipulate matters to bring the Geulah is to take upon oneself Hashem’s job, which, at best, accomplishes nothing.”

Baila Vorhand


Instant Relief [It’s in the Bones / Issue 874]

What a beautiful article about Dr. Raphael Levine. It is all true! Dr. Levine is extremely competent and extremely caring.

Several years ago when I had a problem, my husband, Elliot, who was already a patient of Dr. Levine, suggested I go to him. Dr. Levine asked a few questions about my lifestyle in general the first time I was there so that he could see the whole picture and ascertain why I was having the issue that brought me to see him. After examining me, Dr. Levine gave me an injection and immediately wanted me to see if I felt better. I was a bit hesitant and said, “You just gave me the shot a minute ago.”

He replied that if he got the correct spot, I would feel better right away. And so it was!

Dr. Levine is truly an amazing doctor. Elliot and I wish Dr. Levine the best of health and hope he will continue to practice medicine for many years to come.

Phyllis Katten,

Kew Gardens Hills, NY


Emotional Curriculum [Guestlines / Issue 873]

I would like to thank Rabbi Shimon Russell for his article about the four S’s, as I found the information to be extremely helpful, insightful, and informative. I do, however, want to address Rabbi Meir B. Kahane’s claim about schools being unfairly targeted.

Generally, do our schools provide a safe environment where all students feel safe to ask complex questions without being ridiculed or put to shame? Do we know how to skillfully honor and respect all emotions? If a student is acting up, do we embrace it as an opportunity to understand why they’re reacting, or do we label it as chutzpah, and demand that they finish their work?

I have personally have seen the latter happen too often.

Yes, our schools do a wonderful job at providing an educational curriculum and ensuring that those needs get met. But what about providing a psychological or psycho-educational curriculum? That, to my knowledge, has not been done yet, and that’s partly where we’re at fault. If we aren’t teaching our children about emotions and how to manage them, then what are we really giving them?

Academic education is important; it’s vital to get around in today’s ever complex world, but what’s even more important is teaching our children how to tolerate distressing emotions and how to manage them. It baffles me as to why psycho-education is not part of the curriculum.

Principals, teachers, and mechanchos, I’m imploring you to consider adding psycho-education to your curriculum, and to give your students a most valuable gift that can be life-changing and impact them for the better. (And, of course, it goes without saying that it must be done in an age-appropriate way.) But to deny our students this gift... is simply unfair.

Hopeful for Change


Shocking Response [Special Circumstances / Double Take — Issue 873]

Like many who responded to the Double Take story “Special Circumstances,” I was saddened by the lack of empathy and sensitivity of the mechutanim to the predicament faced by the mother of the special child.

But to be honest, my jaw dropped when I read the letter from the anonymous “C.F.” who emphatically pronounced that all potentially disruptive special-needs children, without exception, without any consideration for families’ challenges or the well-being of the children, should be left behind. Period.

The lack of grace in such a response from a fellow Yid is, frankly, shocking.

Azriel Ganz, Woodmere, NY


What Planet Do They Live On? [Special Circumstances / Double Take — Issue 873]

There were issues with the behavior of both parties in the Double Take story “Special Circumstances.” However, what struck me was this line from the character Shevy: “Listen, Ma, my children have literally never encountered special-needs children before.” I would like to know, what planet is this family living on?

I realize my family’s situation may be slightly unusual: my children have both an uncle with Down syndrome and a cousin on the autism spectrum. That being said, even as a young child, I myself remember encountering (and subsequently getting used to) special-needs children and adults in my neighborhood and shuls. How has the family in the story managed to avoid doing so?

As a parent, I try to capitalize on “teachable moments,” such as meeting a person who looks or sounds different, to speak with my children afterward about what we just experienced and explain it in an age-appropriate manner.

I would advise the character Shevy to work out her own discomfort about interacting with people with special needs and to make sure her children are adequately prepared for this very common type of encounter in the future. It really is a life skill.

T. Z.


All Your Parents Want [Summer Split / Double Take — Issue 870]

I know summer season is over, but as Yom Tov season approaches, your Double Take story featuring sibling rivalry over bungalow accommodations is replaying itself again and again in my brain. That’s because in all the discussion among your readers, there was one character who was never discussed: the mother!

Now that Yom Tov is coming, I’m thinking about that mother who is willing to cook three meals a day for her entire extended family, just for the nachas of having them all together. And how do her children pay that back? By squabbling who gets the better accommodations.

Now too as Yom Tov approaches, I’m planning menus and anticipating the nachas of having all the kids under one roof (or succah) and instead of appreciating all that I’m doing for this nachas, I’m hearing comments like “Who’s getting the guest suite? Who’s taking the Mussaf shift? My son can’t sleep with hers because he snores,” etc.

Kids, please, your parents work so hard to make you happy and all they want in return, is simply to see you happy under their roof! Give them some nachas and put up with a bit of discomfort so they can enjoy their children and grandchildren. Your guest conditions may not be perfect, but what could be more perfect than doting grandparents?

On behalf of all the hosting parents out there, I remain,

Just a Yiddishe Mamme


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 876)

Oops! We could not locate your form.