Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Toldos
2 Kislev 5773/November 16, 2012

In case you are concerned that this country has a lack of faith, especially with recent efforts to take G-d out of the Pledge of Allegiance, let your heart not be troubled. Insurance companies are insistent that they will not compensate for ‘an act of G-d’, which includes the recent hurricane. [Isn’t blind faith beautiful?!]
I was told that the morning after the storm, the headlines on one of the local newspapers read “G-d hates us!” While it is definitely encouraging to note how they believed it to be in act of G-d, one must wonder what happened to all the agnostics. Shouldn’t the headline have read “Random hates us!” In addition, on a beautiful summer day when the markets were up and things seemed peaceful, was there ever a headline that read ‘G-d loves us!’
But it seems not everybody believes in G-d. This week when we received our bill from the electric company we noticed that they charged us a late fee for last month. Guess why we paid late? Because we had no electricity! What a brilliant tactic! So while banks are allowing a grace period because of the storm, the electric company is not. I guess they live by the old creed ‘In G-d we trust; all others pay cash!’  
As believing Jews we turn to our faith as we helplessly hear about the trauma and tragedy that ravaged the homes of our brethren in Far Rockaway, Seagate, Bayswater, and other communities. The beauty of our people shines through as busloads of people from surrounding communities, and even as far away as Baltimore, altruistically gave of their time and efforts to help fellow Jews. But for those who have to be the recipients of that altruism the pain must be overbearing. We must at least think about their pain and keep them in our tefillos. At least our lunch shouldn’t taste as good knowing how much they have lost.
I believe that the best perspective on the recent events was summed up by R’ Eli Oelbaum, one of my in-laws’ distinguished neighbors in Lakewood, who – when asked during the week of the storm if he had power – replied, “I have electricity, but I learned this week that I have no power!”

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
   R’ Dani and Chani Staum

720 Union Road • New Hempstead, NY 10977 • (845) 362-2425