Before I start, I want to give credit to our editors and production team for pulling off something that we would never typically do in a normal week. Because of the timing of the massive rally in DC on Tuesday, I asked our team to hold open and empty a significant number of pages and reserve them for coverage of the event. We would never normally want to go into a deadline-day Wednesday morning with so many pages of the paper empty. But we did it. You can see the results on pages 40-48. We will also have additional items on the rally in next week’s edition, as there just wasn’t enough time to get everything in this week.
I believe our regular readers have noticed that our paper’s look and feel has changed somewhat since the October 7 Simchat Torah massacre by Hamas and the ensuing war between the IDF and Hamas. Along with the rest of the Jewish people, I, along with our editors, were all in a near-paralyzing state of shock in the days after the attacks, and in response, I decided that our paper’s look and feel had to change significantly to match the new world. Since our first edition after October 7, our front cover has had a completely different look and feel. In addition, we added a new section entitled “Israel at War,” which runs before our Community News and divrei Torah, and I and our editors are committed to keeping this section strong for as long as is necessary to the war effort, a phase we pray will end soon.
As both a publisher and avid reader, I am both awed and heartened by what I have been seeing and reading within our pages these past few weeks about the many, many chesed and volunteer efforts and campaigns going on in virtually every corner of our readership and well beyond…and which is continuing on a weekly basis. Literally not a day goes by when I don’t hear about some new initiative, effort, campaign, drive, event, etc. dedicated to helping our brethren in Israel. While it may be hard to keep track of all of them, I am not cynical about any of them and only wish to encourage others who are thinking of doing more to help both here and in Israel to take action. Don’t just sit there! A critical lesson I have learned is that there are so many creative, meaningful ways one can help … so don’t hesitate.
I also want to use this space to point out that a meaningful number of our advertisers have updated their ads in a myriad of ways to recognize the current war and the attack on Israel. We even had a few advertisers who paid for ads that were focused solely on the situation in Israel and didn’t even promote their businesses or services at all. I almost couldn’t believe it. Wow!
In these pages you will see many pics from the DC Rally but not as many from the neitz (dawn) Shacharit/Rosh Chodesh minyan that took place outside of the White House at around 6:15 a.m. (and I believe it was the first-ever outdoor neitz Rosh Chodesh davening outside the White House). I was privileged to attend and receive an aliyah at this special minyan. Along with 2,000+ people, the davening was led first by Nader Bolour of Englewood, one of the main organizers and sponsors of the minyan, with the Hallel being led by singer Beri Weber. Although I haven’t been to many neitz minyanim, I am proud to say that there was something very powerful and extra meaningful davening in the early morning light by the White House. And especially since this davening was meant to kick off a day where so many of our people were coming together for one purpose—to support the State of Israel in a very key time of need. Although it was certainly cold that morning and I had to put my winter coat over my tallis, I think the only thing that will stay with me was the warmth of the davening, singing and dancing. Looking back, it was the right and perhaps the only way to start the rally day. I am fairly certain most of the thousands who were there with me would agree.
(Special thanks to Seth Gerszberg and Nader Bolour of Englewood for arranging for both the buses down from Englewood on Monday night/early Tuesday a.m. to the White House, for the minyan itself, and for the sponsored breakfast post-minyan. I also owe an additional thanks to Uri Abramov of Hillside and Dan Rubinoff of Teaneck for giving me a ride home as well.)
By Moshe Kinderlehrer/
Co-Publisher, The Jewish Link