Jerusalem Journal 1

Rosh Hashana 5767

My Dear Young Israel Family

In my Bulletin message, I said little about our k'lita (the process of absorption for new olim), and so, I thought with this New Year, as we all look forward to new beginnings and adventures, I'd share with you, from time to time, some Bienenfeld happenings.

Nefesh B'Nefesh does a wonderful job of facilitating the process of k'lita, but sooner or later, you do have to deal with the bureaucracy in Israel. I must say, though, and contrary to what you may have heard, we have had only pleasant experiences in dealing with the bank, post office, and other various offices. So long as you're patient (I just bring along a sefer or listen to a shiur), the people we've dealt with have been wonderful. Of course, mentioning that we're new olim certainly doesn't hurt.

Yaakov Mosheh is adjusting quite well. His gregarious self endears himself to everyone, from cab drivers to real estate agents to soldiers at the Kotel. With looking for a place and the everyday household needs, Yocheved is keeping quite busy. Without a car, even small matters take a great deal of time. The upside is that one can never get too much of the sounds and sights of Yerushalayim. The walking is an experience everyday.

As for myself, my day begins with minyan at 6:15 AM in Yemin Moshe. Responding to e-mails and other incidentals keep me busy until we set out for whatever errands are planned for the day. Not having to prepare d'rashos and shiurim for the holidays is an adjustment for me. True, the anxiety and tension are not there, but I nonetheless miss the deep satisfaction I always feel when the study and delivery are done. Hopefully, be"H, I'll find such opportunities here.

Over the post week, I participated in two significantly contrasting events. Fortunately, I was able to be present and spoke at the funeral of Julius Krantman in Petach Tikva. We should all remember the extraordinary person that Julius was along with his remarkable legacy. And then, just days ago, Yocheved and I attended the wedding of Liora Krantman, Stanley's daughter here in Yerushalayim. A funeral and a wedding. Such are the mysterious and uncanny flow of events that so often characterize so much of our lives. Life is a curious mixture of the happy and sad, the joyous and the tragic. We may never know why things happen when and the way they do, but that existential ignorance of the "why" should never discourage us from contemplating and acting upon the "what." By asking what are we now to do; by wisely and courageously responding to the events of our lives, we discover depths of meaning and purpose that would otherwise elude us. All events come to teach us something, and when we allow ourselves to become students of our life's experiences, we become better people and come closer to understanding our unique reason for being.

I know our community has had to endure some heartrending events. I pray along with you that the coming year bring only good health and sweetness to everyone.

Our community in general and our Shul in particular have always shown the sensitivity and courage, the wisdom and generosity to respond. May we all learn from our past, fix the mistakes, and launch a new year of exciting religious growth, filled with chesed and Talmud Torah.

Yocheved and all the Bienenfelds join me in wishing one and all a kesiva v'chasima tova.