Delray Orthodox Synagogue
DELRAY ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE
"A Jewel of a Shul"
7319 W. ATLANTIC AVENUE
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA 33446
RABBI MENACHEM JAROSLAWICZ
BERNARD LEIBMAN, PRESIDENT
ROCHELLE RUSH, SISTERHOOD PRESIDENT
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What a difference a week can make.
Last Shabbos, Rabbis at over 400+ Shuls around the country were united in presenting one theme for their Shabbos D’rashas, the Torah’s most extensive description in Parshas Vayechi of our forefather Jacob’s preparations and circumstances in leaving this world.
As difficult a subject as it was, we approached, with a great deal of sensitivity, the discussion of death and dying, wills and the afterlife in a program designed by Rabbi Elchonon Zohn, President of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha (“NASCK”). We all walked away from Shul that morning inspired, informed, and recognizing the need to plan for the future we all, without exception, must face.
As a follow-up to Shabbos, my brother Isaac (a well-regarded lawyer and expert in this area) will be giving a lecture this week, on Monday night at 7:30pm. The class is entitled, "21st Century Medical Advances, Your Elder Years and Halacha." Isaac will conduct an interactive and informative discussion on some of the Halachic challenges we all now face in light of rapid (and generally wonderful!) medical advances. You will receive practical information that you need to consider for the future of your stay in Olam Hazeh, your family and your legacy. He will include an overview of “Living Wills” and “Halachic Wills,” especially under Florida law.
Isaac does not run a probate practice, but is primarily a business and corporate litigator and trial lawyer. However, for over twenty years he has done substantial charitable legal work for the national Jewish community, including serving as the Director of the Aleph Institute’s Center for Halacha and American Law and serving as a co-founder of the popular website: JLaw.com.
Isaac has contributed to the drafting of many of the end-of-life forms still used and distributed nationwide by the O-U, and handling many end-of-life, autopsy and cremation cases for the South Florida Jewish community. He has been regularly called upon by many chevra kadisha organizations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Rabbi Zohn and NASCK often consult and partner with Isaac on cases, too.
Come. Everyone should walk away with something useful – and important -- to think about.
* * *
Last week, we were also informed of a great loss to DOS and our extended community. Leo Rosenson, a friend, a DOS founder and supporter from the very beginning and a true Tzaddik Nister (hidden Tzaddik), was taken from us. And so suddenly.
Leo and I were just talking last week about how he was going to come over to our home for a Shabbos meal when he was to get back from his short trip to New York. He was going to participate in the Bris of a great grandson.
In addition to the open Chessed for which he was so well-known, he was also a hidden Ba’al Tzedakah bar none. His unassuming façade was the perfect camouflage for the number of people that he regularly helped, quietly and unbeknownst to anyone.
Leo Rosenson, A”H, will truly be missed by all. May his soul be bound up in the bond of Eternal Life.
* * *
In the very beginning of this week’s Parsha we read:
“Vayakom Melech Chadash Al Mitzrayim,” (And a new king arose over Egypt!). From one day to the next, things may not have looked different, and yet nothing was the same.
This week we, too, were witness to the seating of a “new king.” From one day to the next, from business mogul to President of the most powerful entity on earth. On the surface, things may not look that different, but we have already come to see that things are not the same.
Yet the rules of “mentchlichkeit” and “unity” can never change. Our obligation as proud Jewish Americans is to set an example for our fellow citizens, and the rest of the world, that Torah attributes are never to be compromised. Just because you may not yet understand why G-d chooses to do what he does, does not make the choice “wrong.” The Creator is in control, He sees everything. And He loves us, his creations, more than words can say.
We also have a Halachic obligation to respect Malchus, the mighty office itself, and to work from within the system, respectfully, if we want to make any changes.
What a difference a week can make ....
Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Menachem Jaroslawicz
Tribute Dinner 2016