June 15, 2024
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June 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Hakarat Hatov to West Orange’s Rabbi and Rebbetzin Spivak

It’s 12:30 p.m. on Shabbat afternoon. There’s a knock at the door. During this time, we wonder who it could be. We open the door to the smiling faces of Rabbi Marc and Debra Spivak, the rabbi and rebbetzin of Congregation Ohr Torah in West Orange, New Jersey and our neighbors and friends. It is so nice to catch up, even for a short time.

Each Shabbat, they go to congregants’ homes to say hello and ask how they are. They visit different neighborhoods each week. But they also do so much more.

Rabbi Spivak runs a Zoom minyan every morning and evening, including Kabbalat Shabbat.

He brings insight as well as tefillah, speaking about Hodu, reading Tehillim and making a Misheberach for those who are ill. The rabbi prepares each day to offer learning and encouragement to all those who participate. People join the minyan from near and far.

The rabbi does all of this in addition to his full-time job as director of technology at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, New Jersey. He, unfortunately, has had to do too many funerals lately but, gladly, he is also able to do brissim. He meets with each bar and bat mitzvah child virtually, spending time and getting to know them.

The rebbetzin also has a full-time job and yet she is able to offer spiritual insight and comfort to congregants.

Rabbi Spivak prepares incessantly for every opportunity to bring his congregants, and the greater West Orange community, opportunities to bond and share at this difficult time. He has brought us Israel Virtual Live, a series of Zoom virtual tours of Israel each week, to learn and love the land of our heritage, to experience virtually what we cannot, at this time, do live.

The rabbi and rebbetzin have four wonderful sons. They, too, are engaged in community events. The Spivak family has given our community so much of their time, dedication, caring and love.

Prior to COVID-19, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Spivak would regularly have members of the community over for Shabbat lunch or dinner. Now they go door to door.

We are blessed to have them. May Hashem give them strength to continue their good work.

By Annie and Sam Goldfischer

 

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