PURIM post from 2 years ago -

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March, 2004 -

The Israel Purim Solidarity Mission - to Teaneck

This Purim, join others from Eretz-Yisrael.  Show solidarity and give chizuk to our brothers and sisters in Teaneck, Ir Hakodesh, who struggle daily against immeasurable challenges and hardships.

Tentative Itinerary (Teaneck travel schedule subject to changes due to “the matzav”):

Day 1 (Thursday March 4) Taanit Ester - Leave Ben Gurion 1AM; Arrive in Newark 5AM.

·         Bus will take us for shacharit at the “the Kotel” (Main Sanctuary in Bnei Yeshurun Synagogue)

·         Merkaz Ha’ir (Cedar Lane).  Bring plenty of Shekel to support the local Jewish shops.  In Teaneck, even thriving businesses are under pressure to do better.  The variety of Israel food items in Teaneck far exceeds anything you could possible find in Israel itself.    

·         Armored bus to remote Yishuvim across the Green Line (Newbridge Road).  A few short years ago, Bergenfield was a tiny Yishuv with barely a dozen families.  Now, thanks to the dedication of modern day Maccabees, this area has exploded into a thriving makom torah. 

·         Tunnel excavations.  Our archeological guide will take us on an underground journey through ancient Teaneck.  We will see remnant of a three bedroom homes and a non-kosher restaurant.

·         6:00PM: Mincha-Maariv and breakfast.

·         8:00PM: Check into the Teaneck Marriot-Inbal for a good night’s rest.

Day 2 (Friday – Erev Shabbat):

·         7:30 AM: Shacharit in hotel

·         8:30 AM: Breakfast: Lazy Bean Café.  

·         11:00AM: (lecture) Ruth Atar is the president of the Teaneck women’s activist organization, “Women in Mauve.” This organization provides much needed emotional and political support for families who are overwhelmed by the pressures of decorating their oversized homes.   

·         1:00PM: Leave for comprehensive tour of holy sites and kivrei tzadikim.  Bring your Tanach.

·         1:05PM: Return to hotel for lunch.

·         1:30PM: We will visit a local support group for Parents who Survived Carpool.”  You may think getting a child to school in Bergen County is less dangerous than in Yehuda v’shomron.  Well try asking the other parents in the carpool if you can switch days!  Parents will share harrowing tales.    

·         6:00PM: Mincha-Maariv followed by dinner.

·         8:00PM: (Shiur) “Teaneck she-nishbah l’bein ha’akum.”  We will hear an inspirational Shiur on the special significance of Teaneck in Torah Shebe’al Peh:

·         10:00PM: Lights out

Day 3 (Shabbat)

·         7:45AM: Hashkama Minyan American style (Remember to wear a tie; Kohanim: keep your shoes on) Be prepared for an unusually long and heartfelt Tefilah for Sh’lom Hamedina and for Tzahal. 

·         9:15AM-2:00PM: Lunch-Kiddush Hop.  No need to spend the big bucks for the Inbal Shabbat buffet lunch.  In Teaneck, one need only show up at shul(s) in order to eat to one’s heart’s content.      

·         2:30-4:30: (Chavruta learning)“Mitzvot Hateluyot Ba’aretz.”  We will study halachot which are uniquely applicable to Teaneck.  We will examine T’shuvot related to “live-in” housekeepers, Pesach kitchens, third dishwashers, and, of course, Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut.     

·         Kriat Hemegilah.  Retell the story of Purim as it was meant to be told - In Galut! 

·         Mesibat Purim (Leave your Chivas in Bet Shemesh.  Only “Single malt” scotch will pass the strict spiritual standards of this passionately monotheistic community. 

Day 4 (Purim Day)

·         7:00 AM: Shacharit and Kriat hamegilah in The “Great Synagogue” (Roemer)

·         11:00 AM: Matanot La’evyonim.  To fulfill our mitzvah of matanot la’evyonim, we will visit and provide relief to a Teaneck family with financial strains that we in Israel can barely imagine.  The father of this family will show us the tear-stained tuition statement ($40,000!) from his children’s Yeshiva.  Were it not for our urgently-needed financial support, this fine family would be forced to downgrade their Pesach accommodations in Miami from “deluxe” to “standard” (Lo Aleinu).

·         1:00PM: “Adopt a Dumpster.”  It is no secret that Teaneck families are under unrelenting pressure from all sides to stop “expanding in the territories.”  They face oppressive zoning regulations, high-priced contractors, and hostile neighbors (who unfairly object to three-story mansions obscuring all of their available sunlight).  Despite these challenges, committed Teaneck families refuse to compromise on the mitzvah of “Ufa’ratzta” – the requirement to expand one’s home in all four directions on a bi-annual basis.  In a symbolic show of solidarity with these pious Jews, we will “Adopt a Dumpster.”  The dumpster will bear a blue and white plaque with our names and the family will send us weekly updates of progress of their construction.     

·         4:00PM: Seudat Purim (at Dougies).  Get good and drunk or you may get caught up in the spiritual fervor of the moment and decide to stay in Shushan.

·         8:00PM: Depart Newark for Ben Gurion Airport.  

“It was truly inspirational.  I went on the mission to give them chizuk and I found that they were the ones who were giving me chizuk.”   (Chaim Wizotsky, one of last year’s mission participants)

“Missions are the best thing ever.  My wife was stuck at home with the kids for five days while I hung out with the boys, drank like a goy and ate like a pig.”     

(Chaim Wizotsky, shortly after his wife, Malka Wizotsky, left the room)

All meals will be Glatt-Mehadrin (as we are far too holy to trust the hecsher of the “Rabbanut” (OU). 

There is no chashash of tevel, orlah, or any other mitzvah having to do with eretz yisrael, for that matter. 

Families whose children are spending a “shanah bechutz la’aretz” are welcome to invite their children to join us on any of our tiyulim.

For pricing and registration information visit us at: Venahaphochutours.co.il

(written by Josh Lipsitz)

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