Everywhere I go, people are taken by our efforts to bring Jewish wisdom to the masses. I was blessed to be in Los Angeles for a brief trip where I got to meet Rabbi Mayer Schmukler and Dr. Matt Hintze, two phenomenal educators.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing work that has taken years to accomplish come to fruition. I had such a moment this past week when nearly nine years of dedicated efforts at Aish seemed to come together in the most magnificent way at the first annual Aish Legacy Summit in Miami.
From Brooklyn I headed to Washington DC for a long overdue trip. I have been traveling to DC for the past few decades to represent the Jewish people on varying levels of political engagement.
As I have said often, Aish cannot accomplish our important work alone. So I was overjoyed to get a call from my close friend and Aish Executive Board Member, Louis Mayberg.
A few nights ago I was asked by a local group in Bergen County New Jersey to share words of Torah on a zoom for a group that recites Psalms together for the soldiers and captives in Israel. I was honored by the request and immediately accepted. A few hours later, one of the organizers informed me that Maurice Shnaider, the uncle of Shiri and Yarden Bibas who were brutally kidnapped with their small children Kfir and Ariel, would join us on the zoom.
This week we lost a member of our Aish Israel community. Captain Ron Afrimi grew up as a secular Israeli. In high school Ron majored in music and after graduation enlisted in the IDF.
Our goal was to make the acquisition of Jewish wisdom, which has been responsible for the establishment of ethics and morality across the globe for the past 3500 years, part and parcel of the definition of what it means to be Jewish.
At the base, the Torah was completed and every student had a chance to dance with the new Torah. Our students brought tremendous spirit and joy to the event.
Eight years ago on 11 Tevet on the Hebrew calendar, we received a call that one of our dearest faculty members, Rabbi Reuven Biermacher HY”D was slaughtered as he left the Old City of Jerusalem.
At the end of the night we had a chance to hear from President Biden who expressed his support for Israel and the Jewish Nation.