April 16, 2024
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April 16, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

New in the Neighborhood Everyone is Included

Yes the parade was great; we loved every moment. It didn’t hurt that we were able to sit in the grandstand on that hot day, but we only agreed under the condition that we were allowed to scream and yell when we saw our grandchildren and any other group that we were familiar with marching.(Actually that requirement was only for the female member of this duo.)

In Montreal on Yom HaAtzmaut there is a parade downtown which one cannot compare in any way to what took place here. We never would have known or noticed but we were informed that less people participated this year in the parade than in the past both as spectators and as marchers.Apparently some parents were hesitant to allow their children to march after the tragedy that occurred at the Boston Marathon.We sincerely hope that the same parents are just as diligent with their children when it comes to crossing the street and using their telephones, riding their bikes and using their phones, and texting while driving.

In our former life, we were known to have an inclusive household. Every neighbor on our street was invited for a Yom Tov or Shabbat meal whether or not they were Shomer Shabbat.And, more importantly, people with disabilities were warmly greeted and accepted wherever they were.

One year we were organizing a Yachad Shabbaton taking place at a local synagogue. When it came time for the aliyot there were many baalabatim from that particular shul who were disturbed that Yachad members were approaching the bimah. They refused to allow them to have any participation in the davening, opening the Aron Kodesh, or walking along next to the Sifrei Torah. Without hesitation, when we realized what was going on, we walked the group out of the shul to another one several blocks away where we knew they would be more warmly received. Inclusion must be for everyone.

As we stood on Sunday in the bright sunlight and guzzled down bottles of water, we were excited to see all of the different school groups and the different ethnic groups. We kvelled as the Jewish motorcycle group revved their engines as they drove by; the wonderful representation of Chai Lifeline and Kids of Courage; we applauded the Christians for Israel; and we were saddened by the two members representing the Jericho Jewish Center, quite elderly (and once the shul that Nina’s parents attended). We were excited for the kids who flew in all of the way from Los Angeles and San Francisco and the marchers from Detroit.And then it suddenly it hit us. Are we missing something here? Where are the kids from the more right-wing yeshivas? Where is the representation from Lakewood? Where is the representation from the Chofetz Chaim community? Where are the more right-wing communities? Do they honestly believe that by taking off one day from school on a beautiful Sunday afternoon their children will be less frum? Are they concerned that by partaking in this wonderful day of support for our country—the one that welcomes all of us no matter which stripes we wear—they might catch a drop of true “tzioni feeling?”

We used to laugh when our son would suddenly be told that there was school in his yeshiva on a Motzei Shabbat in the winter because there was a Montreal Canadien’s game and suddenly shiur was scheduled in order to insure that no one would watch the game. Where is our achdus? Where is the feeling of inclusion in our community? Shame on all of the schools and groups that chose not to partake in such a wonderful outpouring of support for Eretz Yisroel.

Let us hope and pray that the day will never come—as it did in Germany and so many other parts of Eastern Europe—that suddenly everyone tried to rush “home” to the only country which is actually their own, where they were welcomed and cared for. How foolish not to acknowledge our good fortune and celebrate with all of us.We guess that in some communities inclusion is an exclusive club.Too bad for them.

About the Glicks – Rabbi Mordechai Glick enjoyed a long career in the rabbinate and academia – serving as the rabbi of a number of shuls in the Montreal area and teaching psychology full-time at Champlain College. Nina Glick led Yachad in Montreal for over 10 years and was closely involved in the Special Needs Community.  The Glicks have three children in the NYC area daughters and sons-in law  living in the Teaneck, Bergenfield area together with nine grandchildren.  They have participated frequently in the OU Marriage Retreat

by Mordechai and Nina Glick

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