April 12, 2024
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April 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Lawyers are familiar with the phrase “without prejudice,” which, according to businessdictionary.com is defined as: “1) When used in a document or letter, without prejudice means that what follows (a) cannot be used as evidence in a court case, (b) cannot be taken as the signatory’s last word on the subject matter, and (c) cannot be used as a precedent.” As we begin our sentiments this week, we offer to all of our readers the opportunity to hold us to every word that we are about to write.

We have often written on the subject of marriage and the absurdity of all of the checking that goes on in the Orthodox community when choosing a proposed mate for our children. Before there is even an opportunity to speak on the phone or in person, every detail that can possibly be researched about the person is done. When our daughters met their partners, fortunately for us, way before the craziness of today’s dating world began, we remember calling the rabbi of the community that the potential suitor came from to inquire about the family. Other than that we did nothing. In three cases we trusted our daughters to choose their partners primarily on their own sense of what they felt. In all three cases we more than lucked out.

There is hardly a family that has not found themselves canceling or drastically scaling down a major simcha such as a wedding, bar or bat mitzvah, brit, engagement, or, in our case, a major birthday party that was scheduled for our daughter Naama that she had eagerly anticipated and that we had to explain to her, with difficulty, would be postponed. Even more tragic are the many cases of families that had to bury loved ones alone, sit shiva alone and not be able to visit their loved ones who were hospitalized

In the past two days we experienced a wonderment that we never would have expected to see in our lifetime. It no doubt raised the morale of anyone who was lucky enough to observe, whether an involved member of the graduate’s world or a person happening by on the street. We are speaking of none other than the Yeshivat Noam 2020 Floating Graduation. There were 86 graduates this year in the 2020 class. There was no way that the Grade 8 class of Noam was going to miss out on their big day. Over a two-day period, each graduate, with the exception of one who was out of town, was visited by the Noam Floating Graduation entourage. The entire flatbed truck was repositioned to look like the stage of a school waiting for its graduates to march right up. And march they did.

At each house that the truck visited, the graduate marched from his front door accompanied by the music of Pomp and Circumstance to a chair waiting for him in front of his house. Music blasting, the atmosphere of simcha everywhere delighted one and all. Rabbi Chaim Hagler greeted each graduate personally, addressing their growth and influence on the school and their classmates since the beginning of their days at Noam. Amazing to have a principal who has literally watched each one of his graduates grow through the many years they have been a part of the school. Following the address, the graduate was called to the podium on the “stage” to give a speech. A small step stool allowed him or her to climb up on the stage. Each speech was prewritten by his teachers for the graduate to read. Each one was personal. Following the speech, the graduate was presented his diploma by a life-size cardboard replica of Rabbi Hagler (due to social distancing, of course), and then the music began, ruach emanating from his house on the street, and especially from the dancing by the graduate and his family as well as everyone around swaying and clapping. Not to be forgotten was the planting by the Yeshivat Noam “private gardener” of the important sign stating the home was one of a Yeshivat Noam Graduate 2020, which was unveiled by none other than the graduate.

It is hard to describe how very special this graduation ceremony was. In two different cases we heard people say that it was the most outstanding graduation that they had ever been to. Surely not one of these graduates will ever forget it.

It is at this point that we need to return to the onset of this piece. Who are the young men and women that our children marry? As we said earlier, we needed to and decided to rely on the decisions made by our daughters. Wow, Chaim Hagler. There are no words to describe your enthusiasm, your sincerity and your obvious caring for each and every one of the graduates. Truthfully we do not think that you danced with as much enthusiasm at your own wedding. We have never seen you so animated, so clearly enjoying the moment of the simcha of “your children,” who are now graduates. We know about the success of the school. We know of your concern for each and every student and their families. We have been told indirectly of your readiness to be there at any time of day to be of assistance to anyone in the Noam family. But today, we saw something that we had never seen before. Your simchat hachaim (good name), literally watching your body dance without any inhibitions except to celebrate the moment. It was something that we will never forget. Truly awesome.

On an even more personal note, the last few months have been very trying for us as a couple. The virus, as most know, did not escape us. Without Chavie and Chaim we probably would not have made it through. Both Yeshivat Noam and the Glicks are most fortunate. Chavie, what an amazing choice that you made! One can see that we are slightly prejudiced. We will never forget today and wish every Noam graduate of Class 2020 much hatzlacha, but we all know that you will never have such a special graduation day in your life. Mazel tov.


Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

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