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

In the Blink of an Eye

I am confused as to where I should begin. Sitting here in the confines of my lonely and empty house I cannot help but think of what is going on in the Ukraine.

What am I doing and what should I be doing to help our brethren so many miles away? Their lives are being torn apart. Is it fair that we are just sitting in our homes doing what we normally do each day while they are going through such torment? Yes, we are all being bombarded with emails asking us to donate to the cause. Not all of us are in a position to give the way that we would like to.

Am I not doing the same thing that my parents did when Germany was invaded by the Nazis? Did the Jews in the United States do as much as they could to try to make the world realize the atrocities that were taking place? Did the government leaders do what should have been done quickly enough? There will be a rally in Teaneck to show support for the Ukrainians. Of course it is necessary to constantly show support, but there must be more.

So far, for once this is not a war against the Jewish population. Mr. Putin wants it all for himself. His arrogance is mind-boggling. Two weeks ago none of us were as concerned because the idea of a war in the Ukraine seemed unbelievable. Who would be so dumb as to really do such a thing? In the blink of an eye we are in the midst of what could turn out to be something even more disastrous than it already is. It is very scary. As a doer I am frustrated that we are only watching from the sidelines.

As I awoke Monday morning I received an unimaginable text message. It informed me of the death on Sunday evening of a close family friend who was hit by a car as she crossed the street directly around the corner from her own home in Jackson, New Jersey. Sabrina Reinhart Ben Porat was a former Montrealer whose life was filled with caring and giving to others. She was a well known social worker who lived in Borough Park for many years.

I will never forget the day that her mother called me and told me that she and George (Sabrina’s father) had no idea of what to give Sabrina for her 50th birthday, and miraculously were making her a wedding. Sabrina had never been married. She was known to take care of everyone else’s children, her nieces and nephews, doing whatever was necessary to make people happy. Lo and behold a wedding took place which my Mordechai and I had the honor of attending.

Who was the chattan? Rabbi Eliezer Ben Porat was a widower with 11 children (you did not read that incorrectly). He was the principal of a school in Ottawa and it was as though Sabrina had found her real calling. I remember her telling me that she only wished that Eliezer had more young children at home. I think that his youngest was 5 at the time. She loved being a mother and became a loving, caring, concerned parent to every one of the children.

In their later years the Ben Porats moved to Lakewood (Jackson), and Sabrina relished her role as a clinical coordinator and licensed clinical social worker at CHEMED of Lakewood. She was known to be everyone’s “bubbie” in the neighborhood. Just a few weeks ago she chatted with me in my kitchen until late in the evening after attending the wedding of her nephew locally.

Sabrina’s brother Hank and his wife, Zahava, live in Teaneck and it was Hank, together with his son, who accompanied Sabrina to Eretz Yisroel for her burial. Her husband, Eliezer, was in Israel at the time of the accident. Their hope was to make aliyah shortly.

How can anyone explain to her parents, George and Gloria, who are just about 90 years old and the most amazing, “with it” couple, that this devastating, horrendous tragedy makes any sense? It happened in the blink of an eye.

Do any of us have a clue of what will be five minutes from now? We all think that we are in control. Trust me that none of us are in control of our lives. Again I remind everyone of the importance of hugging and loving and saying everything that needs to be said today, now. No one knows what the future holds. Concentrate on the beauty of the moment. Concentrate on being alive. For those in the Ukraine, we will all continue to pray for them; for the Ben Porat and Reinhart families, we cannot feel your pain but we can also grieve for such an amazing woman whose light will shine on forever.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected].

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