From the Desk of the Director
“Yours is not to question why…” is an all familiar expression. Yet we read that Moshe implores Hakadosh Baruch Hu as to what to call Him, and that he also demands to know why the situation of a desperate Bnei Yisra’el deteriorated to the point that they turned a deaf ear.
By way of commentary, Rashi in our parsha cites the Midrash (Sh. R. 6) that poignantly describes Hashem’s response to Moshe’s plaints: “Alas for those that are gone… I really have reason to deplore the death of the Avot… Many times did I reveal myself to them by the name E-l Shad'dai, but not once did they ask me, ‘What is Your name?’”
As to Moshe’s protestation, ‘Why have You done evil to this people?’, Rashi again invokes the Midrash that records the virtues all three Avot: Avraham bought Ma’arat Hamakhpelah, Yitzhak dug wells, and Ya’akov purchased a parcel of field. Yet, adds the Midrash, despite these personal sacrifices and the fact that the Avot did not witness the fulfilment of the covenants, “none of them criticised My dealings with them.”
There are many among us who find it difficult to comprehend Hashem’s ways and to understand the agonies that oft overcome us. Yet if we recall the faith of the Avot and Chazal’s well known axiom that, “The Torah, Eretz Yisra’el and Olam Habah are acquired through suffering,” we may well take an example - and recompense.
What is NCSY B’Yisrael?
For a short recap on who we are and what we stand for in Israel…
In NCSY, we stress that Judaism means involvement; Torah study and personal religious experience should be combined with positive action and reaching out to those in need. Towards this end, NCSY B’Yisrael mobilizes teens to see beyond themselves- by volunteering in social, communal and even environmental efforts.
In short, NCSY B’Yisrael enables Israeli teens to strengthen themselves spiritually while reaching out to others, creating ever-widening circles of positive influence. NCSY B’Yisrael today is actively improving the youth culture in Israel and, by extension, Israeli society in general.
NCSY’s new Gesharim program is up and running. We invite anyone who knows Russian olim in need of bar/bat mitzvah preparation to contact us. The program organizes fun-filled activities for youth and their families to introduce them to basic concepts in Judaism.
For more information, please contact Sarah, 5667787. x245.
HOMEWORK HELPERS WE'RE DOING IT!
Tutoring and homework help available for all 4th-7th graders, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:00- 6:00, at the Center.Call Sarah for more info: 5667787 (whether you are a kid, parent, or potential volunteer) We need more Homework Helpers. B"H the helpees are coming, but we need more volunteers if this program is to succeed. Call us.
Tuesday Night’s discussion on “The Uniqueness of Being a Teen Olim” hit at the crux of what NESTO is all about. Facilitated by Mrs. Sherry Miller, the discussion took the form of NESTOers discussing issues of acclimation in school and the difficulties and successes they have experienced. The NESTOers helped Mrs. Miller complete a survey form that she hopes to publish on issues of Aliya, and then listened as she read an account from a teen oleh on his adjustment into Israeli school system (ironically as she was reading the letter, a NESTOer received a social call on her pelephone from this boy who happens to be a personal friend!). The discussion was an open, forthright, and important one, and we thank Mrs. Miller for taking the time to present to us.
Next Tuesday night, January 30, we will continue our discussion on Jews and their drink with a presentation with an expert in the field of teen alcoholism. Our presenter will bring real life cases that he has dealt with in his career and solicit the skills and insights of the NESTOers to decide the best way to deal with these actual
situations. This past Tuesday night our NESTO madrichim gathered at the Israel Center to discuss programs they would like to see implemented at NESTO and their role in planning the programs.A NESTO talent show is in the process of being formed. For more information call our office or anyone of the board members: Aviella Trapido, Jeremy Sultan, Yoel Kahn, and Michal Stillman.
Last week's "A Closer Look"
I received a number of queries as to why I chose a watermelon, technically a fruit, as my vegetable. Since are a organization that follows halacha, went after the halachic status and not the biological one.
A Closer Look
Q: Why did you come to Israel?
Q: What is the biggest challenge being here?
Q: What do you hope to bring to NESTO?
Q: And finally, if you were a vegetable, which one would you be, and why?