February 26, 2024
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‘Don’t Say Oof, Just Say Kuf’

W. Orange’s Dr. Joe Rozehzadeh urges community to recite Tehillim Perek Kuf (100).

The entire Jewish world has been grieving together with Jerusalem’s Paley family, whose sons, Yaakov Israel, 6, and Asher Menachem, 8, were murdered in a car ramming attack in their neighborhood on Erev Shabbat, February 10.

A video from the shiva shows the boys’ mother explaining to a group of children who were paying a shiva call how they could best honor the memory of her sons.

Dr. Joe Rozehzadeh of West Orange, one of the millions to see the video, was so moved that he felt he needed to take action. “Someone forwarded me a video of a shiva call with the mom with a picture of her two kids, with kids saying what they were going to do,” he said in an interview with Nachum Segal on JM in the AM on Tuesday morning, February 21. “The mom said, ‘Here’s what we say in our family: ‘Don’t say oof, just say kuf.’ Every time there was something wrong, this is what they said.”

She was speaking about the Israeli tendency to say “oof,” their version of the American “ugh.” In the Paley family, they would never complain. Instead, they would say perek kuf of Tehillim. The saying “Don’t say oof, just say kuf” was started by Yaakov, the 6 year old.

Rozehzadeh continued, “I was really in tears, and I thought, ‘Everyone has to know how strong she is. She just lost two kids. I have to publicize this. Everyone has to say this perek of Tehillim, every day, whenever they can.’”

And so a new Tehillim initiative was born.

“We can all learn from this young boy that when we are down, worried or in pain, we can focus on gratitude instead and turn to Hashem with perek kuf in Tehillim,” the flier being circulated about the initiative says.

Rozehzadeh is encouraging everyone to say chapter 100/perek kuf of Tehillim. How frequently should it be said? “Say it whenever the feeling comes across and you want to show gratitude and recognize what He does for us,” said Segal.

Rozehzadeh added, “During the highest point of covid, my rabbi said we should say [kuf] 100 times a day.”

“The key to a happy life is to be thankful,” said Segal. Reciting Tehillim is one way we can express our gratitude, he noted.

Rozehzadeh said, “I’m a dentist; people come to me in such pain and I take out a little nerve and they feel better. A little thing can help so much and we should feel thankful for even those little things. You [really] don’t know the effect it has and what will make a difference.”

“You don’t realize how the smallest of things, any tiny little thing, can make such a difference in someone else’s life,” continued Segal.

“It’s all min hashamayim. Everything happens for a reason. We have to be thankful. Don’t say oof, just say kuf,” Rozehzadeh said. “It’s in honor of the memory of Asher and Yaakov, the two boys who were murdered. And for all terror victims.

“One little perek of Tehillim can provide some comfort to the family … the two little boys for their zechut and also for a refuah sheleima for their father [Avraham Noach ben Yehudis], who is still critical in the hospital. He doesn’t even know about his two kids.”

Rozehzadeh and Segal discussed the importance of Tehillim in elevating us in our daily lives and giving proper thanks to Hashem.

Segal summarized that they had discussed “utilizing Tehillim to give us a boost and give proper gratitude to the one above, and now we have a directive from the mother of these two boys who were killed in the terrible terrorist attack on Erev Shabbat in Yerushalayim that everyone stop and say the 100th perek of Tehillim—Mizmor l’Todah—anytime and every time, all day long if you wish. As Joe just described, it can be 100 times a day. And you’re fulfilling the recognition, the gratitude, that we need to have for the one above.”

Rozehzadeh added, “We just need to go from strength to strength and just daven, and do chesed, and please say Mizmor l’Todah in memory of these two kids, and all terror victims, and for a refuah sheleima for the boys’ father, Avraham Noach ben Yehudis … Again, don’t say oof, just say kuf as much as possible during the day.”

Segal continued, “I want to encourage anyone who’s proficient in Tehillim, those who are Tehillim experts, you may want to release something specifically for chapter 100.

“It’s Rosh Chodesh Adar. Mi shenichnas Adar, marbim b’simcha—and one of the great joys, one of the great simchas is doing things for others. It makes you feel wonderful. It makes you feel great when you’re able to do something for other people, so please incorporate that into today, add it to our daily lives and I hope all the enthusiasm about chesed that we’ve spoken about really resonates … around the world,” concluded Segal.

By Jill Kirsch

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