Have Questions or Comments?
Leave us some feedback and we'll reply back!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number)

    In Reference to

    Your Message


    There are some childhood memories that
    one never forgets. Memories that remain
    etched in your heart and soul. Memories that
    even years later can be seen in your mind’s
    eye. For me, one such memory is of a special
    I grew up in North Woodmere, where my
    parents were the Rabbi and Rebbetzin of Ohr
    Torah, at the time the only Orthodox shul in
    the area. They settled there with the dream of
    bringing Yiddishkeit and Jewish life to the
    community. Their home had an “open door
    policy”, and so many were drawn in by the
    warm and inviting atmosphere.
    Sharon was one of the many who found
    inspiration in the Rabbi’s and Rebbetzin’s
    It was spring break. Sharon came home from
    college, only to hear that her beloved
    grandmother, who was so much a part of her
    life, was diagnosed with cancer. The
    prognosis wasn’t good. The doctors didn’t
    have much hope.

    Sharon turned to my parents for support
    during that difficult time.
    Pesach was approaching. My mother a”h
    suggested that Sharon, together with her
    grandmother, Mrs. Block, take on the
    mitzvah of counting Sefira, as a z’chus, a
    Sharon and Mrs. Block began to count. One
    week, two weeks, three weeks… never
    missing a night. Grandmother and
    granddaughter counting together. Five
    weeks, six weeks, defying the doctors’
    prediction. A miracle. Seven complete
    weeks. Forty-nine days. And then it was
    Shavuos, the count was complete.
    Shavuos day. After shul, my father zt”l
    lovingly wrapped the holy sefer Torah in a
    taalis. Together with my mother, members
    of the shul and their families, we all
    marched down Hungry Harbor Road, from
    the shul towards Sharon’s home.
    My father brought the Torah into the living
    room where Mrs. Block was resting on a
    hospital bed. Even though she was weak
    and ailing, she gathered her strength and

    cried out together with my
    parents “na’aseh v’nishmah
    – I will do and I will listen”,
    the very same pledge our
    ancestors recited over three
    thousand years ago at Har
    Na’aseh v’nishmah. A
    pledge we continue to say
    The next day, Mrs. Block’s neshamah
    ascended to the heavens and returned to its
    Creator, taking with it the mitzvah of
    counting Sefira, and declaring na’aseh
    “With our young and our elders we will
    go… with our sons and our daughters…”
    (Shemos 10:9) Moshe’s words to Pharaoh
    come to mind as I recall the story of Sharon
    and her grandmother. “With our young and
    with our elders…” From the ancient
    civilization of Egypt, to the modern-day
    suburb of North Woodmere, young and old
    together, we turn to HaShem.
    Shavuos night was always special in my
    parents’ home. My father would lead a
    Torah study learning with members of the
    shul seated around our dining room table.
    At midnight, my mother would take us
    children out to the back porch. She would
    tell us that at that very moment, the
    heavens were opening up. HaShem is
    waiting for us to proclaim “na’aseh
    v’nishmah” just as the Jewish nation did
    at Sinai.
    My mother told us how our ancestors
    pledged their children as the guarantors
    of the Torah, and that now, we were the
    guarantors of our generation. HaShem
    was waiting to hear the powerful words
    of “na’aseh v’nishmah” from us. It was
    up to us to continue on with the unbroken
    chain from Sinai.
    As I looked upward, gazing into the night
    sky, I was certain that I saw the heavens
    “The giving of the Torah happened at one
    specific time. But the receiving of the
    Torah happens all the time, in every
    (Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter, the first Ger
    Rebbe; 1799-1866)
    Shavuos isn’t merely an historical event,
    commemorating the past. It marks a
    continuous commitment for each
    generation to reaffirm its acceptance of
    HaShem’s Torah. That no matter what

    comes our way, we stand ready to proclaim
    “na’aseh v’nishmah”. While the word
    “Shavuos” means “weeks”, representing
    the seven weeks between Pesach and the
    receiving of the Torah, it also alludes to the
    word “shevuah”, meaning a vow, a promise,
    for it is on Shavuos that we renew the vow
    to make Torah the centrality of our lives. In
    return, HaShem vows His eternal devotion
    to us, and keeps His promise to us as His
    chosen people.
    HaShem gifted the Torah to us, but unlike
    other gifts, it comes with the responsibility
    of “living the gift” — keeping mitzvos,
    doing good deeds and being an ohr lagoyim,
    a light unto the nations of the world.
    We learn about our nation standing at Sinai
    and receiving the Torah in Parshas Yisro.
    “In the third month from the Exodus of
    Bnei Yisroel from Egypt, on this day, they
    arrived at the Wilderness of Sinai” (Shemos
    “Bayom hazeh, on this day”. Rashi
    questions why the words “bayom hazeh –
    on this day” are used. Wouldn’t it have been
    more correct for the Torah to state “bayom
    hahu – on that day”?
    Rashi explains that the receiving of the
    Torah should be chadoshim – fresh and
    new, k’ilu hayom nesanam – as if it was
    given to us each and every day.
    Bnei Yisroel arrived to Sinai on a spiritual
    high in anticipation of receiving the Torah.
    The Chumash tells us “on this day…” Don’t
    lose the inspiration, the excitement of
    something new. Like the first time we put
    on a special outfit, drive a new car, or visit
    an exotic new country – we get a thrill. So
    too, when it comes to Torah, that special
    feeling of chadash – newness, should
    remain with us always.
    Bayom hazeh. On this day. Every day.
    Na’aseh v’nishmah. We will do, we will
    listen, we will accept. Words not just for
    Shavuos, but words for each and every day.
    Words of the soul.
    Wishing you an inspiring and joyous
    Shavuos and Shabbat Shalom!