July 14, 2024
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Teaneck Chizzuk Event Hosts Rabbi Brachyahu

Teaneck—Last week, residents congre­gated at Congregation B’nai Yeshurun to hear from Rabbi Rami Brachyahu, the rabbi of the Is­raeli city of Talmon, for an evening of tefilla and chizzuk.

“Our tefillos are still required,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky during a somber evening of Tehillim for the three slain teenagers. While Pruzansky provided introductory words of chizzuk, setting the tone for the evening, Rab­bi Shalom Baum led the mixed gathering with the recitation of Tehillim. The event provided a sense of the growing angst over the conflict in Israel. It also encouraged the community to make use of spiritual coping strategies in an at­tempt to make sense of the escalating violence and the stunning, tragic loss of three young lives. The event was co-sponsored by Congre­gation B’nai Yeshurun and Congregation Ket­er Torah.

“We do not focus on the darkness; we focus on the light,” said Rab­bi Pruzansky. “[It is] yet another aspect of our uniqueness.”

Rabbi Brachya­hu’s comments, in He­brew, described the strength and complete belief in Hashem of the three families as they waited to hear news of their sons. He said that the days between the kidnappings and the world finding out their fate were nota­ble because they were unifying. The experi­ence brought all Jews in Israel, left-wing and right-wing, dati (obser­vant) and chiluni (sec­ular), together. He also said that the way to convince people to have a good opinion of frumkeit is by behaving cor­rectly, by showing belief in Hashem, and by doing the right thing— what the three sets of parents exhibited with almost unimaginable grace throughout the ordeal.

“Strength of character, that nobility, is part of the Jewish soul,” Pruzansky said. “We know what our enemies are capable of, but to be able to live a life filled with purpose, persevere, and even thrive with a sense of enjoyment and purpose for why we are here and the idea intrinsic within us that there is nothing my enemy can do to me that will detract from that realization, is the apex of our faith.”

“It was good to just be there, hearing from their rabbi and davening together. It was healing and unifying,” said Annette Prager, a Bergenfield resident.

By Elyse Hansford and JLBC Staff

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