May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Last week we made our usual monthly visit to Montreal to spend time with our daughter Naama.

The visits, in a sense, are more difficult than they used to be because, for Nina especially, meeting so many old friends wherever she goes reminds her of how few people she knows here. Although more faces are becoming familiar, it reminds her and us of the fact that we are never going to feel as much a part of a community as we have in the past. We look around at those who have lived here for many years and wonder what it would be like for them, if they picked up stakes and lived closer to their children in Omaha. There is no familiarity with the surroundings. Our GPS is definitely put to great use here. Going somewhere in Teaneck, just a few blocks away, often requires its use, and the other day, as we drove to a simcha at the Rockleigh Country Club, we were amazed that had it not been for the GPS we would have had no idea whatsoever of where we were or where we were going.

Yesterday, while sitting on our back deck enjoying the outstanding weather, we suddenly heard very loud screaming. It turned out to be coming from a house directly behind us. It was a mother and a teenaged or older son (we think) who were violently arguing with each other in their backyard. It was so overwhelming to us that we moved inside and were visibly shaken. Thinking that if we thought it necessary to call the police we would not even know what the name of the street is behind our home. We now know that it is called Baker.

This morning, Nina stood on line at Dunkin’ Donuts where the line extended to the entrance. She turned to notice that a local rabbi was on line behind her. She has met him several times. She turned and asked him if she was correct in who she thought he was. And then reintroduced herself to him. His reaction was extraordinarily nominal and then Nina proceeded to tell him what the feeling of anonymity was like and his reaction was no reaction. This is the reason that we want to explain why we still feel “New In The Neighborhood.” We are working on ourselves to change the feeling.

Returning back to our trip to Montreal, upon our return, as we approached the New York State Thruway, we decided to stop at the first service area that we would pass. We parked at the New Baltimore rest stop and immediately noticed a group of primarily Chasidim standing in the front of the building, trying to gather together a minyan for mincha. Mordechai immediately joined the group and we both thought to ourselves that this is a sight that we have only seen in the United States of America and have never seen in Canada. Obviously, it is New York where there are so many Jews, but for those of us who are not accustomed to it, the beauty of the freedom that we have here and the achdus that is shared can be extremely heartwarming. Another moment to stop and reflect on the freedoms that this country allows us and the way that it can be so easily manifested.

While the men were davening, Nina joined the line at Starbucks to buy herself a coffee. She waited patiently as most people were not just getting plain coffee, and then after she ordered and took out her wallet she realized she only had her wallet with Canadian money in it. Her U.S. wallet was in the car.

She asked if they would take a credit card for the $2.11 purchase, which they would, and before she had a chance to react, the man directly behind her on line offered to pay for her coffee. WOW—for real? She resisted and he insisted. What an amazing feeling. Nina left the rest area with a huge smile and extremely anxious to tell her partner that she had found another admirer! A small gesture that meant so much and a reminder that little things can have a great impact on making your day special!

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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