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    This week marks the
    much-anticipated and
    highly celebrated time
    on the Jewish calendar.
    Yeshiva Week has
    become such a fixture
    and institution that it
    now has a Wikipedia
    entry defining it as “the informal term for a

    vacation period occurring annually in mid-
    to late January, in which many Jewish day

    schools and yeshivas afford time off to their
    students. It is primarily a North American
    In truth a more apt name would be “No
    Yeshiva Week,” as schools and yeshivas
    close while many students and their families
    go on pilgrimage to Florida, Mexico, the
    Caribbean and other exotic locations, while
    others enjoy a staycation. What began as
    Yeshiva Week has morphed into Yeshiva
    Weeks, with different states and institutions
    no longer coordinating the time off and
    intentionally staggering it to avoid overlap,
    a fascinating phenomenon in its own right.
    Our community is a primary destination
    that feels the impact of Yeshiva Week. Local
    cynics describe preparing for it as one might
    for a hurricane. We load up on supplies
    early, hunker down, assume it will be
    difficult to be out and about, and wait for the

    storm to pass before emerging.
    But the truth is, there are many beautiful
    aspects to welcoming so many fellow Jews
    to our South Florida community. For me, I
    look forward to meeting and greeting guests,
    love seeing familiar faces and old friends,
    colleagues, and acquaintances, and
    genuinely enjoy learning about new people
    and the places they are visiting from.
    Nevertheless, for some visitors and local
    residents, Yeshiva Week can be challenging
    and frustrating when waiting on lines,
    looking for parking, or struggling to get a
    table. In general, whether we see the beauty
    and blessing, or instead focus on the
    frustration and aggravation, is really all up
    to us.
    Dovid HaMelech teaches us (Tehillim
    ֭ מִ ֽי־הָאִיׁש הֶחָפֵ֣ ֑ ץ חַיִּים :life to secret the) 13:34
    is who man the is Who, א ֹהֵ֥ ֥ ב יָ֝ מִ֗ ים לִרְ אֹות טֹֽוב׃
    eager for life, who desires years of good
    fortune? The simple interpretation of the
    passuk and its advice has the question mark
    after the words “Liros Tov.” Who is the
    person who wants to live a long life, loving
    days and seeing good? And then Dovid
    gives the answer: A good long life is
    achieved when one guards his tongue from
    speaking evil…”
    Rav Nissan Alpert, however, encourages us

    to punctuate and interpret differently. Place
    the question mark after the words he’chafetz
    chaim, who wants a long and good life? The
    answer is ohev yamim liros tov, one who
    loves to fill days with seeing good.
    The quality of our lives is determined by
    the attitude that we bring. Liros tov, look for
    the good, see the positive. There is a
    phenomenon that psychologists call the
    “Missing Tile Syndrome.” When a person is
    in a beautifully tiled room, his eye is not
    drawn to the ornate tiles or to the detailed
    labor. Rather, if there is one tile missing in
    the whole room, the natural tendency is to be
    drawn to and focused on that tile. We tend
    to fixate on what is missing, on what is
    lacking or deficient, instead of emphasizing
    the beauty, the abundance, or the plenty.
    Our Jewish world too often has a culture of
    criticism. We suffer from the Missing Tile
    Syndrome, drawn to what we think is wrong
    or missing, instead of focusing on the
    abundance of blessing. Yeshiva Week(s)
    presents a fantastic opportunity to be liros
    tov, to bring parts of the Jewish world
    together, to form relationships and enjoy
    each other’s company while on vacation.
    We can focus on the blessings, the
    opportunities and the good, or we can be
    fixated with hyper criticism on what is
    frustrating or wrong.
    There is always more we can do to
    make each other’s lives even more
    pleasant. Here are some suggestions:
    To our Yeshiva Week visitors:
    We hope you have a safe and smooth
    trip down here and enjoy your time in
    our community. We are very excited to
    welcome you and to benefit from the
    influx of your energy, enthusiasm and
    participation. We are grateful you have
    chosen to visit our community and to
    support our local establishments and
    attractions. If we can be helpful in any
    way during your visit or can offer any
    hospitality, please don’t hesitate to reach
    If you don’t mind, here are a few
    reminders that may be helpful during
    your visit:
    • Unlike the Beis HaMikdash, our
    restaurants don’t expand based on the
    pilgrimage of Jews. Our proprietors
    and their staffs are doing the best they
    can. Please be patient, understanding
    and courteous, and please be generous
    with your tips, since the waiters are
    doing the best they can during an
    overwhelming time.
    • While you feel that they may do
    things differently or even better “back
    home,” and you may have the best
    intentions in sharing feedback in real
    time or later online, please be patient
    and supportive of our local proprietors,
    especially while they are trying to
    manage an overwhelming mob of

    patrons. Please don’t feel obligated to
    share your feedback and suggestions
    online or offline, particularly if you
    aren’t here full time, as it can
    negatively impact our friends’
    • Please note and be sensitive to the fact
    that while you enjoy our many kosher
    dining options and kosher
    supermarkets, it is the local residents
    who support them all year long and
    enable them to be available to you
    when you visit.
    • Please observe all parking rules and
    regulations and don’t double park.
    The white lines are not suggestions;
    your car should be between them.
    • Our shul has many minyanim each
    morning and each evening. Please
    attend one of the listed minyanim and
    don’t assume a new minyan should be
    formed based on the time you arrive.
    • In South Florida, life moves at a little
    slower and more relaxed pace. If the
    light turns green and the person in
    front of you doesn’t step on the gas
    within a millisecond, be patient, take a
    deep breath, take in the palm trees,
    and enjoy being on vacation.
    • If you encounter a line, see it as an
    opportunity to spend time with others
    in your group or to read, learn, or
    listen to a shiur. Talk to the person in
    front of you or behind you; they are as
    eager as you to get to the front.
    • When shopping at the local
    establishments, please only enter the
    check-out line when you have
    completed your shopping. Leaving
    your cart in line while you run back
    and forth to fill it and using it as a
    place holder is discourteous and is not
    our definition of online shopping
    • If you enjoy the minyanim, shiurim,
    learning opportunities, programs,
    mikvahs, eruv, or kashrus available in
    our community, please feel free to
    express your gratitude by making a
    contribution of any amount to our
    Tomchei Shabbos or Chesed Fund
    that can use help and support.
    Over the course of your stay, please come
    say hello and introduce yourself. If you are
    considering moving here, please let us know
    if there is any way we can help or any
    questions we can answer. We would love to
    get to know you.
    Sincerely, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg