May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We debated about writing this week because we have been in Florida for the past day. For most of our readers, learning that we are in Florida is nothing abnormal or special; for us, however, it is amazingly uplifting. We are here courtesy of kind, wonderful friends who lent us their apartment.

We have rarely taken vacations or enjoyed warm air at the end of January or beginning of February, and certainly not when it meant we had to purchase seven tickets to go anywhere. If we went anywhere it was to visit Grandpa and Grandma with our station wagon (not van) filled with kids, a wheelchair and our suitcases.

For us this is a luxury beyond what we are accustomed to. The reason we assume many will not understand our feelings of euphoria is because we feel as though we are living in a world where the sentiment seems to be that “one must go away” during yeshiva break. We have heard it said that it would be difficult for parents to explain to their children that they are not going anywhere as the majority of their friends are. “It’s just not fair,” they say. The best line was one we read on a local community group—that there should be a support group set up for the families that stay home.

We do hear constantly about the high cost of tuitions. We often murmur to each other that we are grateful that our children are not going to school today. Yet, in many cases, the same families that are moaning and groaning about the “outrageous” cost to send their children to school have been on cruises for the past week, at all-inclusives in the Dominican Republic, walking the streets in Jerusalem and discussing the best dairy and meat restaurants there without any concern for cost, and skiing in Aspen and elsewhere. We are aware this is not everyone; however, it sure seems to be a large number of families. Everyone talks of the ghost town in the streets where we all live, and it has never been easier to get a seat in any of the shuls that generally are packed to the hilt.

We think toward the future, where children will believe that during their winter vacation from school it is their right to go away. Few kids will ever remember the days when parents planned short day trips to spend with their kids, and going out for pizza and hot dogs and hamburgers was a treat. We know very well that there are some families living in our community who are trying hard to do just that; however, it is more and more challenging for them to maintain what they can afford and think it is the right thing to do when their “poor” children are surrounded by such opulence and wealth. Our hearts go out to such families. A touch of sensitivity from everyone around would be helpful in realizing that not everyone is able to afford to do what they do.

In the meantime, welcome back, everyone, from your wonderful vacations and we hope you have all made your Pesach reservations already. Don’t worry, there’s still time.

We will continue to enjoy our time in the sun and be grateful each day for the fact that we are able to do this. We think that if we had done it for our entire lives we would not have appreciated it as much as we do today.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

 

 

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