Guarding the Sanctuary: New Initiative to Provide Protection for Israel's Synagogues
As usual, Rabbi Eli Mansour’s message in last month’s issue (“In order to Raise our Children Properly, We First Need to Raise Ourselves”) was right on target. The days of “Do what I say without question” are over. From my experience with working with young adults, I have learned firsthand that our ability to teach children and get them to follow what you say is greatly diminished when your actions are not in line with your words.
Children can readily recognize inconsistencies, and children with inconsistent parents become more upset with their parents than children whose parents are consistent. Parents who do one thing but expect or demand the opposite from a child are more likely to have discipline problems and more likely to punish their children more often to overcome the influence of their own behavior.
As Rabbi Mansour so skillfully put it, teaching by example affects behavior far more than telling your children what to do. For example, if you tell your kids not to smoke, but you don’t follow your own advice, your children are more likely to light up once the opportunity presents itself. The parent does not have to say, “Watch this,” or “This is how you should behave.” The child learns best by observing.
I realize that what I’m stating here is not “breaking news,” but we probably all can use a reminder every now and then.
Booming Business of Hesed
Our community is truly blessed by having so many fine organizations whose sole mission is to help others. It was nice to read about the four hesed organizations (SBH, Misaskim, Chaveirim, and Shelly Cohen Bridal Gemach) that were featured in last month’s article, “The Booming Business of Hesed.” These charitable operations provide tremendous and much-needed services to our entire community, and should not be taken for granted. You can be sure that every person in the community has either received some type of assistance, or knows of a relative or friend that has received assistance, from one of these organizations.
I, for example, recently celebrated the marriage of my daughter. My wife and daughter were able to find the most beautiful gowns at the Shelly Cohen Bridal Gemach. They were even more impressed with the patience, advice, and suggestions that they received. This hesed organization turned what could have been a nerve-wracking episode into a most pleasant experience that we will cherish forever. Thank you.
I was so happy to read your very informative article last month about community organizations
that evolved through acts of hesed. With your permission, I would like to inform your readers of one more organization that has evolved over the past few years with an amazing track record I think your readers will enjoy knowing about.
The Mitzvah Man Foundation started a few years back through the nonstop tireless efforts of our
current CEO, Mr. Michael Cohen. To date, over the past three years we have recorded over 29,000 acts of hesed. Be it a Holocaust survivor getting assistance with putting on tefillin in the morning, an elderly widow receiving Shabbat flowers, or a pregnant mother getting assistance with juggling family duties, The Mitzvah Man Foundation’s volunteers have made a difference in hundreds of people’s lives within the community and beyond.
As President of the organization, I am proud to say that our Board of Directors makes sure that a
standard level of transparency is held throughout all our operations. If your readers would like more information, they can visit our web site at http://www.themitzvahman.org/ and see all the great work we are doing.
The Mitzvah Man Foundation
I would like to comment on the letter to the editor by Martin R. that appeared in the July issue in regards to having armed security guards in our synagogues. I understand Martin’s concerns that the presence of armed security officers in our shuls might intimidate some congregants, but overall, I think people feel much safer knowing that they are being protected. Just a few weeks ago, a suspicious person tried to walk into B'nei Yitzhak, but the security officer refused to allow the man to enter the synagogue, and had to forcibly prevent him from entering the building. Fortunately, B’nei Yitzhak had a competent security guard on duty. It is imperative that all of our synagogues and yeshivot have armed security guards on staff. I think the congregants who do feel nervous about having armed guards on duty will eventually grow accustomed to it and appreciate their presence.
I was disappointed to hear that the parah adumah that was written about in last month’s issue (“Parah Adumah discovered in Lakewood”) was disqualified because it recently gave birth to a black calf. I was unaware that the red cow is deemed pasul [invalid] once it gives birth. It is surprising, though, that after it went through so many tests and inspections, nobody realized that the cow was pregnant. How is that possible?!