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The Russia-Ukraine War is underway and many of us are praying and hoping for the safety of the people. Nothing is worse than life lost. Especially, innocent life. I pray we don't bear witness to any more of that in this world, which is why we focus on peace.
Here are reasons we need peace.
We Love Saying Shalom
Shalom, means completeness, wholeness, peace. It's how we say 'Hi.' We love greeting people. You know how awkward it is to say 'Shalom' to somebody you're warring with? It's almost impossible.
You can't say 'Shalom' and then shoot the guy.
Ukraine is where the great Chassidik Rebbes are. I don't know if the Russian government knows this. The Ukrainian government makes enough money off this. They know it.
Uman for Rosh Hashana
This is going to kill my Rosh Hashana plans. Rav Nachman of Breslov is buried in Uman, and many thousands of Jews go every year for Rosh Hashana. Us Jews have enough to pray for, focusing on our sins and repentance. We don't need to be by Rav Nachman's grave, praying that we also don't get hit by rockets. If we wanted to pray for protection from rockets, we would spend Rosh Hashana in Sderot.
Aeroflot has better not start charging more. I understand bad stuff happens in war, but raising the cost of flights is uncalled for, to say the least. Rise in baggage fees is collateral damage that we must fight.
It's Going to Turn into A Megilah
It's going to turn into another Megilah. Trust me. The media is already telling stories about Russia and how Trump is the cause of the war and Haman for saying America is great. How Trump has something to do with the war, not being the president of America or anything in Europe, is something the Megilah will have to explain to me.
I'm swamped with Tehillim for people. Got lists of people. Got the sick people, the army, the kids, a friend with emotional hardship. The list of names, without prayer, takes me fifteen minutes. Now, I've got to focus on another war. I'm worried my Tehillim are being spread too thin.
I think I overuse Tehillim. I'm saying Tehillim for everything now, as my go to for all prayers. I lost my digital watch, I started saying Tehillim. I was hoping to find it, and then I started praying that it is safe and doing OK. There should be a Tehillim hierarchy. Prayers for health and life should come first. At the bottom are the Tehillim for your team to win.
What is McDonald's going to do? This is what worries me. Can Russia still franchise McDonald's if we go back to Cold War relationships. No American should have to experience the world without fast food. They should never know of such things.
Let the rest of Europe and the US hear about refugees and then this can turn into a global war. They hear ‘refugees’ and they start saying, 'Oh shoot. Now we have to take in these people too? Jobs…' Jobs comes up and it’s attack time. Not even in the war, they’ll start shooting their own missiles to keep the refugees out. It can be refugees from Chile, it makes no difference. They hear refugees and that’s when the real violence starts.
More Russian Speakers in Israel
If this war continues, more Russians Ukrainians will be moving to Israel. Kibbutz Galuyot, ingathering of the exiles, is a beautiful positive thing. Even so, once they're in Israel, peace is a good thing. I’m just worried about Avigdor Lieberman getting more votes.
Ukrainians Have Never Gotten Credit for Being Ukrainians
A lot of Russian Jews moved to Israel. It's about time we started calling them Ukrainian Jews. I've never met a Ukrainian Jew that we've called Ukrainian. We always call them Russian. If anybody could just find somebody who speaks Ukrainian, that would help.
War Kills the Neighborhood
You thought it was drugs. The housing market takes a real hit with war. As cool as it is, rockets, missiles and soldiers shooting at your house, brings down property value.
It's hard to sell in a war zone. The earthquake excuse doesn't help when the earthquake is followed by bullets flying through the den.
They Are the Same People
The languages are fairly the same. I can't tell the difference between Russian and Ukrainian. Does anybody speak Ukrainian? I still don’t know.
Everybody likes matryoshkas dolls. Those lovable dolls that look like past presidents or babushkas, if grandmothers were made out of wood. That's a great doll and activity. Idea: Try opening one of those dolls. That will get their mind off war and extremely frustrated, trying to figure out why those things never finish opening. Maybe have them work on it together. They can all laugh while yelling, 'Will this thing ever stop opening?!'
The problem is that these people in Eastern Europe have too much free time. If they spent their time on matryoshkas, they wouldn't have time for war.
There is Commonality
They all hate Jews.
People Are Sharing Opinions About the War
I have heard enough uneducated opinions over the past year. It is extremely bothersome. Now I have to see these new posts from my American friends on social media. I think these people believe Ukraine is a strand of COVID. One guy at the grocery insisted I stay away from him and said, 'I don't want to catch Ukraine.'
People in Ukraine are Protesting
The country is turning into a democracy. That will just cause more people to share their opinions on Instagram and TikTok. It's a nightmare.
Soon Ukraine Will Be Part of the EU
Western Europe is supporting the Ukraine. Now, Ukraine is thinking about joining the EU. We don't need more European countries bonding. We know how that story ends.
Anything Europe scares me as a Jew.
Israel is Going to Get Blamed
They will find a way. Give it time.
I Don't Want to Hear 'Peace in The North East'
It's going to happen. It almost rhymes, so they’re going to start chanting it. Don’t call me a prophet. Call me somebody who gets annoyed very easily. It was enough hearing Vanilla Ice saying, 'Peace in the Middle East.'
Shalom Is The Reason for Torah
To quote Wikipedia's quote of Proverbs (3:17), 'Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are shalom (peace).' The Talmud (Gemara Gittin 59b) explains, 'The entire Torah is for the sake of the ways of shalom' (ibid. Wikipedia- this is a scholarly work, and we believe in scholarship at the Kibbitzer). If somebody would just tell Putin. If Putin knew this Torah, he wouldn't attack Ukraine, he would ask for it, kindly. Did Putin ask in a way of Shalom? Did he say, 'Shalom Volodymyr, would you kindly give me Ukraine'? This is what we must ask, as Jews. I've played Risk. You ask nicely for the land, and the dice work for you. Did he even ask Volodymyr why he spells his name like that?
Somebody must educate Putin and the people of Eastern Europe about Torah. We're trying to do Kiruv in the former Soviet Union. Many organizations are out there in the Ukraine and Russia, bringing Jews closer to the love of Torah and Mitzvot. You can't do good Kiruv with war, unless if you have a dynamic leader like Avraham Avinu. We don't want the Russian government getting in the way of our Outreach. And between us, we don’t need the Army of H’ getting involved in this. You don’t mess with Chabad.
Zelenskyy is Jewish. If Putin was Jewish all would be good. It would be two Jews arguing. They wouldn't get along. Their mothers would get involved. And each of their countries would be the country they don't go to. But there wouldn't be war.
They should stop the war, because Shalom is a Mitzvah. If we can just let Putin know that it’s a Mitzvah. Right now, I’m deeply worried for McDonald’s.
I hope my words bring peace.
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I was going to do Kaparos before Yom Kippur, but I chickened out.
You get it? Kaparos is the tradition of placing your sins on something else, the day before Yom Kippur, traditionally a chicken, and waiving it. He chickened out of the chicken. He might've done it with money in the end. But that would still be without a chicken.
Designated stroller parking area. Something every shul needs, so I can get through the entrance on Yom Kippur... Truth is they should have stroller parking all the time. The entrance is always blocked.
Problem: Merv and Bernie will end up parking there. They already take the disabled parking spots and walk just fine. When it comes to parking, every member of our congregation is disabled.
Side Note: Figured out why so many kids come to shul on Yom Kippur. Because they get to eat in shul on Yom Kippur.