July 24, 2024
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July 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As reported recently by Aish.com, Jerry Seinfeld and Mark Schiff performed four shows at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv for 32,000 people over two days. Schiff commented at the opening of his show that people would say to him, “Hey Mark, aren’t you scared about going to Israel with all the problems they are having now? Aren’t you frightened?” He said, “I’m married over 25 years; nothing frightens me anymore.” People applauded and laughed. And then he said that he, without thinking about it, let out the following words which just popped into his head (forgive us for saying this), “Screw those guys, screw them.” Apparently the applause was deafening. He repeated it again even louder and there was an even greater response. He said, “We are Jews and we are here to stay. Not for now but forever.” Seinfeld and Schiff discussed, as they landed at Los Angeles airport, that although they were home, their real home was in Israel.

Several years ago during the Intifada, we tormented ourselves, asking what we could do to help Israelis at that terrible time. We remember walking on Ben Yehuda seeing signs that said “Welcome, Brave American Tourists.” As a result, we decided to do the little that we were able: We brought 38 vendors from Israel, wined them and dined them, and made sure that they would have the best possible opportunity to sell their merchandise at the least expense to them. Ten thousand people came and brought them much comfort and assured them with the knowledge that in chutz la’aretz we are thinking of them and praying for their safety. As one of the vendors said at our closing party, she “wished that Israeli radio and TV were present to see how much people in Canada care about them.”

Once again, our countrymen are hurting. Perhaps not to the same extent as during the Intifada, but our good friends from Ben Yehuda have been in touch with us. The streets are empty. The restaurants are empty. Today, Nina spoke with Shmarya Richler, a close Montreal friend who moved with his wife Lainie to Efrat 20 years ago (they were then a young couple). Shmarya and Lainie have recently opened a store on Ben Yehuda called “The Muffin Boutique.” They sell yummy, healthy muffins and other delicious items as well as do catering. As Nina spoke with Shmarya, he told her that there was no one walking in front of his store, and this was at 7:30 p.m. during the Xmas holiday when one would expect the streets to be busier than usual. In actual fact, the greatest number of visitors to Israel right now are Christian tourists. The Israeli Department of Tourism has acknowledged, as well, that Christians are Israel’s largest group of visitors during the year and even that number is not what it generally is. The Muffin Boutique has made it their mission to provide free meals to any chayal who comes into their store, any border policeman and basically anyone who is working to protect us. After thinking about this for quite some time, we decided that it would be easier to bring people to Israel to shop and at the same time show our support to the many storekeepers who are now pondering what their future will really be. Nina has been working together with El Al and a hotel in Israel to desperately try to put together a package that would be reasonably priced, to encourage as many people as possible to visit Israel and once again show our brothers and sisters that they are not alone in these difficult times. The trip is scheduled to leave February 9 and return on February 15. The dates were chosen because it is President’s weekend. Any particular requests that people may have, such as extending their trip, will be accommodated as much as possible, as long as the flights are available on the return at the same price.

The Richlers are waiting for you in their store. Avi Ben David in his store King David Treasures, Uri Shekalim at his store, David and Dan in their store, Dina in her jewelry store, and every other storekeeper from wherever they come are hoping that you will show them your support. We are imploring you to do this. As is the case with most mitzvot, there is no question that you will derive much more satisfaction than you can imagine.

To learn more, call Nina at (201) 366-9106 or [email protected].

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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