| The Moment |

The Moment: Issue 999

The soldiers, who would be heading back to Gaza after their short break, loved the concept, and the song caught on

Living Higher

ON a post–October 7 trip to Eretz Yisrael, Joey Newcomb visited an army base during dinner. The soldiers gathered around the guitar-strumming, chassidic American singer, and a full concert ensued, the songs ranging from Israeli medleys to traditional tunes of tefillah.

At one point, Joey introduced his own song, “Im Yesh Mikveh, Yesh Tikvah.” But first he shared with the soldiers the teaching of Rav Nosson of Breslov that “mikveh” connotes “tikvah — hope,” and that Hashem gave us the mitzvah of mikveh to make us realize there is always hope.

The soldiers, who would be heading back to Gaza after their short break, loved the concept, and the song caught on, quickly becoming the highlight of the evening as they sang it again and again. Eventually, Joey left the base, happy to have provided some much-needed chizuk to battle-worn soldiers.

Several weeks later, Joey received a video from an acquaintance of his who had met the rabbi of the army base Joey had visited. When the rabbi learned that the man knew Joey, he excitedly asked him to send him a message. The concert was great, the rabbi relayed in Ivrit, but he only realized its real effect several weeks later.

A hitherto nonreligious soldier told the rabbi that since the concert, he had started visiting the mikveh and davening daily, reconnecting with his Creator and injecting a bit of desperately needed hope into his life.



“If you can’t shut your phone in middle of davening because you may miss a phone call… If you can’t shut off the phone when you go learn, because you may miss a text and someone will have ta’anos on you l’olam va’ed… If you can’t talk to your wife without putting away the narishe phone… If you can’t live a life that is a basic, normal Torah life… then you know you did too much hishtadlus.” 

—Rav Chaim Mayer Roth, rav of Sterling Forest Sefard in Lakewood and av beis din at Beis Din Maysharim, at the inaugural shiur for Lakewood’s working bnei Torah.


Happening in... Columbia Law

Contrary to basic physics, a boiling hot cholent can actually succeed in cooling hot temperatures. Or at least a group of Columbia Law students argue so. As anti-Semitic sentiments simmer throughout college campuses nationwide, Columbia Law’s Society for the Advancement of Law and Talmud (“SALT”) took a creative approach in combating the world’s most ancient bigotry.

They sent out an email invitation to the whole school, inviting all to join a “farbrengen.” Attendees were not disappointed upon taking their first-ever taste of a burning hot stew that included but was not limited to meat, beans, barley and onions. As the distinct smell of a heimishe cholent wafted through the halls of the elite institution, students leisurely gathered around SALT’s table, enjoying an Erev Shabbos treat.

As of now, the Constitution provides no provision mandating cholent equality for all Americans, but these newly exposed Columbia Law students may be heading off to Washington to lobby Congress to consider otherwise.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 999)

Oops! We could not locate your form.