I write this piece pretty late on our deadline day—as is my custom lately—but I felt I had to share a bit about the past few days and the first non-Yom Tov-filled week since late August.
Please don’t misunderstand me—the yom tovim were all very special and beautiful, but as I and our staff know, the days surrounding the yom tovim were all a big rush to make sure we were able to produce our editions, with very little time or energy left to do much thinking or breathing. I know many amongst our readership feel this way about their own personal and work lives over the past month or so as well.
(Note: When I started writing above, I was planning to write about the past few days, but as I am running out of time and space, I am only writing about what happened this past Sunday. What a Sunday it was!)
I woke up early on Sunday morning and drove with my friend Yehudah Perlowitz up to Woodcliff Lake, in northwest Bergen County, to run in my first ever official 10K run. Although I have not been running as regularly as I would like and have never run more than six miles, Yehudah convinced me that I could do it and although my heart, mind, and body were all saying no pretty loudly, I somehow agreed to it. Thankfully, it was a pleasant morning and although it’s still a bit hard for me to believe, I was able to successfully complete the 10K without stopping once, although the hills in Woodcliff Lake were definitely a challenge for a relative novice like myself. I finished 67th out of 71 runners and felt I should have been given an award for being the heaviest runner to finish (I am told this category of runner is called the Clydesdale category). Unfortunately, I received no awards except kudos from family and friends.
While I was running up and down the hills and as a diversionary tactic and mental game, I was checking the doors of the homes we passed by and was in near-shock at how many mezuzot I saw. Mezuzot adorned easily half or more of the homes I ran past. I never knew that Woodcliff Lake had so many Jewish families living on 10K running routes! I am also not sure why I would have known that prior to Sunday, but I look forward to including more news from Woodcliff Lake’s clearly growing Jewish community in the future.
I finished the 10K with Yehudah’s help (and I believe he has by now deleted the video shot by his father which may or may not show him pushing me across the finish line….as long as no copies exist of that video, we are all fine.) and rushed home to shower, change and attend the Cohen family sefer Torah dedication at the OU/Yachad Teaneck office. While unfortunately I didn’t get there in time to fill in a letter, I did catch the last of the speeches and was able to dance and participate with the Cohen and Saibel families who dedicated a Torah in memory of their wife and mother, Debby, z”l. (See cover pic and article on page 16)
This sefer Torah campaign had been announced at the Jan. 2020 Yachad NJ dinner at which our family was honored and I was really happy to see it come to fruition. It was a pleasure being there with all of the Yachad staff and leaders and nice to see and speak with so many fans and readers of The Jewish Link.
After the Torah dedication, I rested for a bit, as I could literally no longer stand anymore due to the aforementioned 10K, and then went off to Lakewood for the wedding of my oldest first cousin’s oldest son. At this point in contemporary Jewish life, I believe that everyone has, at minimum, some first or second cousins living in the greater Lakewood area, if not actual siblings or children there. It was a beautiful affair and I enjoyed being there with my parents and sisters but I still couldn’t get over the fact that my first cousin (the father of the chosson who is around my age), was making his third wedding in less than a year. (He married off two younger daughters first!) I don’t know how many would be able to manage marrying off so many children in one year but he and his wife certainly handled it with aplomb! Wow! Mazal tov to Levi and Mali Dolgin on Gershon’s wedding! It was definitely quite the simcha!
On a much tougher and more challenging endnote, I do want to mention that my father-in-law Rabbi Dr. Mordechai Glick is unfortunately now struggling with advanced lung cancer, in addition to other issues, and I and our family members have all been cycling in and out of the hospital these last few days, weeks and months. (See also my mother-in-law Nina Glick’s heartfelt short piece on page 79). Recently, I have had some very powerful conversations with my father-in-law about life and suffering and will share them in the future but for now, all I ask is that people daven for him. His name is Rav Mordechai Feiva (not Feivel) ben Dvorah Leah.
Last but not least, my wife and I want to invite and welcome all who can attend this Sunday’s A Time for Brunch event in Teaneck at the Soclof home from 10 a.m. to 12 noon (See ad on page 36). As my wife and I are HASC parents for 7-8 years now, HASC staff alums and parents of a HASC staff alum, we know firsthand—and better than most—how special HASC is for the families that send their children there and how important an organization it is. RSVP at teaneck.camphasc.org and we hope to see you on Sunday! If you can’t make it, please consider making a donation.
By Moshe Kinderlehrer/