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    Dear Vues Master
    Did everyone hit insane traffic this past Sunday night coming
    back from the Catskills? It took me over four hours to get
    back to Brooklyn & I left at 4pm. I was hoping to beat the
    Vues Master’s Note: Welcome to July 4th weekend!

    Dear Vues Master
    I read in last week’s Country Vues edition about a new
    restaurant in Woodbourne called Smash House Burgers.
    I took my family there Sunday night for dinner & we all
    enjoyed it very much. It’s a small restaurant that is not with
    the other stores in Woodbourne. It’s over the bridge. The
    food was great & the vibe was excellent. Just wanted to wish
    the owners hatzlocha! We will definitely be going back.
    Vues Master’s Note: We love hearing positive feedback about
    businesses that advertise with us. The owners are great
    young guys & we also wish them tremendous hatzlocha.

    Dear Vues Master:
    I just wanted to tell you that my family LOVES the Jewish
    & Country Vues this summer. Keep up the great work!! We
    especially love the Fun Questions & all the great articles!
    Vues Master’s Note: Thank you!!! We appreciate all feedback,
    especially positive feedback.

    Dear Vues Master
    Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Biston and his wife Bayla Rachel have
    been emissaries of the Rebbe in North Broward, Florida
    for over four decades. Twenty four years ago, their eldest
    daughter Estie became engaged to Rabbi Mendy Gutnick.
    The wedding was to take place in Florida and the many
    people with whom they had connected with over their years
    of devotion to the Jewish community, as well as family and
    friends, looked forward to attending the wedding. On the
    day of the wedding, while standing under his daughter’s
    chupa, Rabbi Biston noticed an old friend of his amongst
    the guests. This was none other than Mr. H. from Flatbush,
    a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Rabbi Biston was
    delighted yet surprised to see Mr. H. at the wedding as he had
    not responded that he was coming and he therefore did not
    expect him. He had met Mr. H. more than thirty years ago,
    when they both attended Camp Gan Israel overnight camp in

    Swan Lake, New York. Mr. H. was several years older than
    Rabbi Biston and came from a different country. Despite
    these differences, they became friends, a friendship that grew
    stronger when Mr. H. studied in the Central Lubavitcher
    Yeshiva at 770 Eastern Parkway. Though separated over the
    years by distance, the two kept in touch and would “catch
    up” whenever they would see each other. After the chupa,
    Mr. H. came over to wish Rabbi Biston “mazal tov” and
    said, “I will tell you later why I am attending this wedding.”
    A little while later Rabbi Biston found Mr. H. again and
    Mr. H. proceeded to tell his old friend this most amazing
    story: “Before I tell you the dream that I had, I must tell
    you something that happened over 23 years ago. Your father
    and I were friendly. I knew that you had been married for
    several years and still did not have any children. I decided to
    go to the Rebbe and ask him for a blessing for you and your
    wife. As I knew what time the Rebbe would leave ‘770’ to
    go home, I planned to go up to the Rebbe as he was walking
    to his car. Sure enough, when the Rebbe came out of 770, I
    approached him and asked him for a blessing for children for
    Yosef Yitzchok ben Zvetel Gitel and his wife Bayla Rochel
    bas Devorah. When the Rebbe heard me, he immediately
    said ‘Devorah Leah,’ to correct me, and then added, ‘I
    already gave them a blessing.’ ‘But that was not good enough
    for me. I told the Rebbe, ‘I want a guarantee.’ To this the
    Rebbe said, ‘You and I will dance at the wedding.’ “I asked
    the Rebbe, ‘The Rebbe will dance? But the Rebbe doesn’t
    go to weddings.’ “The Rebbe looked at me and said, ‘Don’t
    worry, we will both dance at their children’s wedding.’ “I
    asked the Rebbe, ‘Who is “we,” me and the Rebbe?’ The
    Rebbe repeated this sentence two more times. And that was
    the end of the conversation. “After Gimmel Tammuz came I
    couldn’t understand what the Rebbe had meant, just how was
    he going to keep his promise. But after I tell you the dreams
    that I had you will understand.” Mr. H. then continued his
    story. “On this past Friday night, just a few days before you
    daughter’s wedding, I had a dream. The Rebbe and your
    father Yiddel (of blessed memory) came to me. The Rebbe
    asked me, ‘Why aren’t you going to the wedding?’ At first I
    didn’t respond so the Rebbe asked me again, ‘Why aren’t you
    going to the wedding? We made a deal that we would dance
    at the wedding.’ I didn’t respond and I woke up. I did not pay
    attention to the dream. “The following night, Saturday night,
    the Rebbe came to me in a dream again, this time without
    your father. Once again the Rebbe asked me, ‘Why aren’t
    you going to the wedding?’ I responded that I have no money
    with which to go. To this the Rebbe said, ‘A chasid never
    has a problem with money.’ “I told the Rebbe, ‘But I am not
    a chasid.’ The Rebbe answered, ‘Du bist – you are.” And

    with that the dream ended. I did not pay any
    attention to this dream as well. “The next night,
    Sunday night, I had yet a third dream. The
    Rebbe came to me and asked, ‘Nu, why aren’t
    you going to the wedding?’ I responded, ‘It’s
    too difficult financially.’ The Rebbe answered,
    ‘Du vest haben di gelt – you will have the
    money.’ With that I awoke. “That day, Monday
    morning, I went to work and met a friend along
    the way. He said to me, ‘You look worried.’ I
    told him that I hadn’t slept in a few nights. My
    friend said to me, ‘I want to give you $400 to
    go to Florida and take a vacation.’ I responded
    that I didn’t have the time to go to Florida for a
    vacation. But my friend insisted, ‘You can even
    take a vacation for one day.’ “That afternoon
    when I came home, my wife suggested that I
    call the Bistons to wish them ‘mazal tov.’ After
    all, their daughter was getting married in two
    days. I then said to my wife, ‘Maybe I should
    go to the wedding instead of just calling them.’
    I called my friend and asked him if his offer
    still stood. ‘Of course,’ he said. I called the
    airlines and booked a ticket, then booked a
    hotel in Florida for the night. The total price
    was $300. I called my friend back and told him
    I would only need $300. His response was,
    ‘How could you go to a wedding and not bring
    a gift? Give the extra hundred dollars to the
    bride and groom.’ “And here I am,” concluded
    Mr. H.
    Vues Masters Note: Wow!! What a story.

    Dear Vues Master:
    I just read an article by Rabbi Elimelech
    Biderman Shlit”a that said that the Nefesh
    HaChaim writes, “There is a great concept and
    a wonderful segulah to remove and to abolish
    all dinim, hardships, from oneself…and no one
    can harm him, not even in the slightest way.
    The segulah is that a person should put in his
    heart that Hashem is the true G-d, and there is
    no other force in the world at all… [When one
    perceives this] he doesn’t pay attention and
    give value to any force that’s in the world. He
    devotes his pure thoughts solely to Hashem,
    the singular Master, bless Him. [When a person
    thinks about this] Hashem will help him, and
    all strengths will have no power over him.
    They won’t be able to do anything negative to
    him at all.” When he realizes that they are not
    real forces, they lose their power over him, and
    he will only receive Hashem’s kindness. The
    Nefesh HaChaim’s descendants practiced this
    wonderful segulah, and they told the miracles
    that happened to them, when they focused on
    it. Reb Chaim Volozhiner’s great-grandson was
    the Beis HaLevi of Brisk zt’l. His son was Reb
    Chaim Brisker zt’l, and his son was Reb Velvel,
    the Brisker Rav zt’l. We have three stories
    from them, on this subject: The Jewish section
    of Brisk had gates at both ends. One day, the
    police closed both gates so no one could leave,
    and began checking each store, one by one,
    to see whether anyone was selling products
    without reporting it to the tax collectors. One
    shopkeeper ran to the Beis HaLevi and told

    him that he’s afraid the police might catch him.
    The Beis HaLevi told him to stay with him, and
    together they studied that section of Nefesh
    HaChaim, because the Nefesh HaChaim
    assures that the awareness that everything is
    from Hashem is a segulah for protection. They
    kept reviewing this piece, over and over again,
    until people came to them to tell them that the
    police had left. Miraculously they forgot to
    check his store. The miracle was clothed within
    the rules of nature: The police were checking
    store after store. When they reached this man’s
    store, they decided to stop for a break. They
    made a little mark on his shop to remember
    where they were up to. When they returned,
    they thought the sign implied that they had
    already checked that store, so they moved on
    to the next store. This is how he was saved.
    And it was in the merit of the recognition
    that everything is from Hashem. The second
    story happened with the Beis HaLevi and his
    son, Reb Chaim of Brisk zt’l. The Russians
    conscripted Reb Chaim Brisker zt’l to the
    czar’s army. The Beis HaLevi traveled with his
    son to the army headquarters, and throughout
    this trip they studied the segulah of the Nefesh
    HaChaim. An army doctor gave Reb Chaim a
    medical checkup and said that he was exempt
    from the army, without offering an explanation.
    The third story happened with Reb Velvel zt’l.
    When the Nazis invaded Poland, the Brisker
    Rav acquired false passports, and traveled with
    his family from Warsaw to Russia. As they
    neared the Russian border, a Nazi ran towards
    them shouting wildly. Just then a Russian
    soldier appeared, and the Nazi fled. The
    Brisker Rav told his family, “The entire time
    that we traveled, I was focused on the Nefesh
    HaChaim’s segulah. This is how we were able
    to travel the long distance from Warsaw to
    the Russian border without any disturbance.
    However, when we reached the border, I felt
    confident that we were safe and I forgot to
    focus on the Nefesh HaChaim’s counsel. That
    is when the Nazi appeared. I quickly refocused
    on the segulah, I began thinking about how
    everything is from Hashem, and the Nazi ran
    away.” Everyone should strive to remember that
    everything is from Hashem. This awareness is
    a protection. In addition, if someone is already,
    unfortunately, going through hard times, but
    he remembers that it is all from Hashem, this
    awareness has the potential to remove the
    hardships, or to lessen them. His recognition of
    the ‘à, Alufo shel Olam, sweetens the situation,
    and alleviates the yesurim.
    Vues Master’s Note: Thanks so much for

    Dear Vues Master:
    A poor man once came to the home of Rav
    Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, the Rosh Yeshiva
    of the Kaminetz Yeshiva, and asked for a
    donation. Rav Boruch Ber could only find a
    small amount of money to give, and he gave it
    to the man with his apologies for giving such

    a small sum. Rav Boruch Ber then asked the
    man if he was going to go home, and the poor
    man responded, “Yes, Rebbe, this is my last
    stop today.” Rav Boruch Ber, together with
    two of his students, insisted on accompanying
    this man home. All along the way, Rav Boruch
    Ber gave him a lot of Chizuk with words of
    encouragement and other kind words. The man
    was delighted with this honor. Later, when
    his students asked why he had given this man
    such Kavod, Rav Boruch Ber replied, “Who
    can understand the depths of a poor man’s
    shame when he comes to ask for a donation?
    He loses part of his health and calmness when
    he stretches out his hand to beg for help. Yet,
    when he receives a nice donation, he not only
    receives some money to help support his family,
    but he also feels encouraged by the compassion
    that is shown to him. Therefore, the health
    he lost returns to him. Today, I did not have
    a lot of money to give him, and the Halacha
    is that if I don’t have, I am not obligated to
    give. However, I was still obligated to replace
    the health he lost when he approached me for
    a donation, because I had a small part in his
    shame. Therefore, I decided to escort him and
    give him honor and Chizuk, because this would
    also serve to restore his health!”
    Vues Master’s Note: Wow! What a story!!

    Dear Vues Master:
    Many parents today send their children to
    camp, and whether it’s a sleepaway camp, or a
    regular day camp, or even if you’re not sending
    anybody away to camp, there’s a beautiful
    idea that I think resonates with me very much,
    and I believe it will resonate with you. Rav
    Shimshon Pinkus, ZT’L says, that if you have
    a cup of water, and you want to heat it up, in
    order to do so you need to create a mechitza.
    You can’t put the water on the fire because the
    fire will become extinguished. There’s a desire
    to heat up the water, but it can only be done
    through a mechitza. So you have a pot, and
    the pot gets heated up from the fire, and then
    the pot will warm up the water. And I think
    one of the ideas that he’s expressing is, that
    sometimes to bring two things very, very close
    together, you need a little bit of a separation
    to do so. And I think that’s very true in human
    nature as well. Sometimes when people are
    together all the time, they take each other for
    granted. Whether it’s parents and children, or
    siblings, or spouses. You know people, when
    they’re always together, they take each other
    for granted. And you don’t feel that connection.
    And you don’t appreciate the connection. But
    when you separate the two, suddenly that
    brings you closer than ever before. Hopefully,
    IY”H, everybody will have a very safe summer.
    A summer where Hashem protects us all. A
    Summer of Aliyah, of Kedusha. A summer
    when we refresh ourselves so that IY”H, when
    the new year starts, and the new school year
    begins, everybody can come back feeling like
    they’re ready to go to become the best they can

    possibly be.
    Vues Master’s Note: There is nothing like

    Dear Vues Master:
    The Brisker Rav was once asked: Tehillim
    says that תצמח מארץ אמת. Why then is there
    so little truth in the world? The Rav answered
    “Because people don’t want to bend down to
    gather it.”
    Vues Master’s Note: How true is that!!

    To whom it may concern,
    This past week’s issue contained an article
    by R’ Moshe Taragin regarding the changing
    landscape faced by American Jews in a post
    10/7 world. It contained the usual statements
    about how the US is just another stop on our
    way to EY, how it’s no longer safe for Jews
    in the US and how it’s time for us all to pick
    up and move to Israel. All arguments we’ve
    seen before and the veracity of which can
    and has been debated for many years. That’s
    all well and good and while many find this
    line of reasoning an insult to the wonderful
    kehilas and organizations we’ve created in the
    Diaspora, which have spread the light of Torah
    and made a kiddush Hashem across the world,
    as a g-d fearing Jew I don’t take issue with the
    argument that Israel is the Jewish homeland
    and that we will all find our way there in the
    times of Moshiach. What I found shocking
    and disturbing however was the following
    Some Israelis wish that life in America becomes
    less secure for Jews, to encourage more rapid
    Aliyah. I am uncomfortable wishing discomfort
    or antisemitism upon any Jew, regardless of
    where they live and independent of whether it
    inspires their return to Israel. Such calculations
    are better left to Hashem
    Now I’ve always suspected that many Israelis,
    especially Olim, harbor a sense of resentment
    towards American Jews. I think its because
    they perceive us as not having made the same
    sacrifices they have for klal yisroel, or at least
    towards the state of Israel, a claim I take issue
    with as we’ve supported the state with billions
    of dollars in private donations (never mind
    lobbying for government aid and political
    support) over the course of Israel’s existence.
    So to actually see it written out for me to read
    that yes, many people in Israel hope our lives
    in America become worse and our existence
    more precarious was a shocking admission
    of something I’ve suspected for a long time.
    The real shocker was that R Taragin does not
    condemn this line of thinking outright. He says
    “hes uncomfortable” with wishing us harm
    here in the States. Not that he doesn’t wish
    for this to happen, but that its not ideal. Words
    matter, as we’ve heard so many times since
    10/7, and R Taragins refusal to condemn this
    reasoning is reckless and disturbing given the

    challenges faced by yidden worldwide.
    Let’s rephrase his statement and see how it
    looks. “Many people think October 7th was a
    good thing, but I’m uncomfortable calling it
    a good thing. G-d will decide if October 7th
    was a good thing”. Pretty messed up right?
    If that statement came out of the mouth of
    literally anyone on earth it would be met with
    disgust and condemnation. I think reading a
    statement like the one contained in R Taragins
    article may cause many Jews in America to
    reconsider their staunch support for Israel.
    Perhaps people will start thinking that maybe
    we don’t have an ally in the middle east,
    maybe all the Israelis think we are good for
    in US is our money and political support and
    they don’t truly care about our safety and well
    being. Maybe we need to spend our dollars
    and political capital shoring up our defenses
    stateside, as we clearly don’t have anyone else
    to do it for us.
    It’s possible I’m misreading the tone and
    content of R Taragins article. After all, he
    taught at Columbia and I’m just a guy from
    Brooklyn. I sincerely hope that’s the case. It
    would be a shame if after all the “acheinu bais
    Yisroel” of the last nine months people started
    to think that supporting Israel is not in the best
    interest of Jews living in the Diaspora. That
    would be a great tragedy for Klal Yisroel and
    potential disaster for Jews across the world.
    P.S.- This is in now way an attack on R
    Taragin personally. My daughter, a recent
    oleh, is friends with his daughter and attended
    his school in Israel. I know him to be a good
    and ehliche yid and a big talmid chacham. I
    just think the line of thinking he presented and
    refused to condemn in the strongest possible
    terms needs to be snuffed out for the well
    being of Jews in America, Israel, and across
    the world.
    Avrami Szlafrok, Woodmere/Brooklyn NY

    Dear Avrumi
    Thank you for your very important
    correspondence. I completely concur about
    the importance of being vigilant and precise
    in both the way we articulate ideas and
    the way we speak to others. I am grateful
    to you for sharing your impressions. Your
    comments were written with concern and with
    menshlikeit. I can tell from your comments
    that you are deeply committed to Eretz Yisrael
    and of course to our people. It is my pleasure
    to meet you – even from afar. Hopefully we will
    meet in Yerushalayim.. or in Gush Etzion.
    Regarding your comments:
    Sadly, there may be some Israelis who don’t
    fully appreciate the vibrancy of Jewish life
    in the US and the immense dedication which
    Jews have for Israel. Generally, this is
    prevalent among Israelis who haven’t visited
    the US or don’t have family there. Given
    their lack of exposure, they sometimes reach
    inaccurate conclusions about US Jewry or
    don’t fully appreciate their engagement with
    Israel. This attitude is unfortunate and should

    be corrected in strong language. I have often
    tried to convey this message to Israelis who
    may not fully appreciate the American Jewish
    However, I believe you may have
    unintentionally misinterpreted my comments.
    I did not claim that some view the rise of
    antisemitism in the USA as chas v’shalom
    a punishment for lack of commitment or
    dedication to Israel. That opinion should be
    corrected in much stronger language than I
    I was specifically discussing the impact of
    antisemitism upon Aliyah. Some people,
    with whom I disagree, have viewed this
    phenomenon as providing favorable results.
    According to their theory anything which
    catalyzes a more complete and quicker Aliyah
    is welcome. Again, not as a punishment for
    lack of commitment to Israel, but as a method
    to hasten Aliyah.
    Responding to this idea – that antisemitism
    has a favorable impact upon Aliyah – I wrote
    that I am uncomfortable with this position and
    with wishing any discomfort to Jews, even if
    it possibly serves a larger purpose such as
    Though I disagree with this position, those
    who support it can certainly point to various
    statements in Chazal and in our Masorah
    which suggest or allude to the fact that when
    we become too comfortable outside of Israel,
    persecution awakens us to return home to
    Israel. According to this approach – again
    one which I disagree with- the ultimate value
    and benefit of living in Israel “justifies”
    whatever unfortunate suffering was necessary
    to achieve it.
    Again, about this attitude and only this
    attitude I wrote:
    “Some Israelis wish that life in America
    becomes less secure for Jews, to encourage
    more rapid Aliyah. I am uncomfortable
    wishing discomfort or antisemitism upon
    any Jew, regardless of where they live and
    independent of whether it inspires their return
    to Israel. Such calculations are better left to
    On a completely different note, and
    unrelated to any possible misunderstanding
    of my comments, I don’t like using the word
    “condemn” regarding other Jews. I think we
    could all benefit from softer ways of speaking
    about other Jews with whom we disagree.
    When an errant idea warrants a more
    powerful response than the phrase “ I am
    uncomfortable” I think we should try to find
    something less vilifying than condemnation.
    Thank you again for bringing this to my
    attention and for your concerned response
    Kol tuv and with hopes for continued Ahavat
    Rabbi Moshe Taragin

    Dear Vues Master:
    Rabbi Shalom Schwadron once told an
    amazing story that he heard from a Jew in

    London. While the rabbi was traveling there
    to collect funds for Chinuch Atzmai, he met
    A ba’al Teshuva who had served in the British
    Navy. This man got wounded and went through
    rehab and received a large stipend from the
    British government for his disability. He
    slowly became stronger in his observance of
    Torah and Mitzvot until he became a full-time
    learner of Torah. He was able to live on the
    government stipend. Every three years, people
    receiving this stipend had to have a hearing
    to determine their continued eligibility. The
    man related what took place: “After his next
    hearing, he said they decided I was fit to work
    and were canceling my stipend. I submitted
    two appeals, but both were rejected. I did
    some research and found there was a way to
    appeal the committee’s decision by presenting
    the case to the military court.Whatever they
    decided was final. “ I went to ask my rabbi, the
    one who made me a ba’al teshuva, if I should
    attempt the appeal. I was already rejected
    three times, and it didn’t seem likely that the
    military court would override the decision.
    My rabbi said, you need to do your hishtadlut
    and you don’t need to lie about anything when
    doing it. When you appear before the judge,
    imagine you’re talking to Hashem. Tell him
    everything that’s bothering you and why you
    feel you should continue getting that stipend.
    When the day arrived, I stated my case and
    what I was doing with my time. “The judge
    said, ‘you’ve already submitted three appeals.
    You want to sit in your synagogue and waste
    time while upstanding British citizens support
    you? You’ll be acting like a parasite.’ “I’m
    not a parasite,” I replied. We connect to our
    Father in heaven by studying the Talmud. It
    fills us with inner joy and satisfaction and
    happiness, and if you take that away from me,
    you’ll be taking away all the meaning in my
    life. I went through a very difficult rehab as a
    wounded war veteran, and I really don’t think
    that I should be robbed of my meaning in life.
    The judge, along with two others, left the
    courtroom for ten minutes and then came back
    and said he would grant a lifelong stipend.
    The lawyers were astounded. Just before
    this, the judge was calling the man a parasite
    and now he completely changed. The judge
    explained many years before this, he was the
    commander of a submarine in the submarine
    corps. One day during a standard mission in
    the Atlantic, World War II broke out and they
    were told no boat could go in or out of any
    ports because it would be immediately sunk
    by German torpedoes. They were stuck there
    for a full year. They rationed their reserves
    of food and everyone became demoralized.
    None of the soldiers had any reason to get
    out of bed. The judge said, ‘One day, I
    entered the place where the soldiers sleep
    and I heard singing. I was shocked. It came
    from three men learning Talmud. I couldn’t
    believe there were still happy people on the
    submarine. After listening outside their room
    for ten minutes, I went in and asked them
    what they were doing. They told me of the
    satisfaction and purpose that their learning

    brings them, and I was so impressed.’ The
    judge then turned to the lawyers and said,
    “every country needs such people for a rainy
    day. Those who are inside the water yet know
    how to keep their heads above. They elevate
    the entire nation. Because of them, we could
    continue to smile even in difficult situations.
    That is why I rule in his favor.” We make
    hishtadlus whether or not it seems like the
    best option, and we hope that Hashem will
    bring the results.
    Vues Master’s Note: Kiddush Hashem!

    Dear Vues Master:
    They were מטמא the kohen who was to
    burn the parah aduma. Immediately after
    the Mikvah he did the הפרה שריפת. He
    didn’t wait until nightfall. This was done
    held who להוציא מלבן של צדוקים intentionally
    a יום טבול may not do the הפרה שריפת Chazal
    had a קבלה that even a יום טבול is considered a
    פני יהושע יומא The שריפת הפרה for איש טהור
    to פרה אדומה picked Chazal why asks ב‘ ע“א
    prove their point over the many other מצוות
    where they also disagree with the צדוקים ?
    is פרה אדומה because ,answers פני יהושע The
    where the צדוקים were the מחמירים Chazal
    are trying to tell us not to follow the צדוקים
    even if they are the מחמירים. Not always are
    חומרות the right thing to do.
    Vues Master’s Note: You know what Frum
    stands for Fil Rishus Veinig Mitzvos!

    Dear Vues Master:
    In an Eastern European country, chassidim
    came before their Rebbie with the news that
    the government imposed steep new taxes
    on salt and liquor. “We can manage with
    the additional cost of salt because, after all,
    how much salt does one need?” they said.
    “But how will we afford to buy liquor with
    such an exorbitant tax?” The Rebbie replied
    that he will write to one of his חסידים in
    ישראל ארץ and ask him to pray at the קבר
    Within .אבי אבות שותה היי״ש, לוט הצדיק of
    a month, the government rescinded the salt
    tax, but left the liquor tax in place. The רבי
    said to his disappointed חסידים:” It seems that
    the חסיד in ישראל ארץ took a detour to סדום
    and instead of seeking the intercession of לוט,
    turned to his wife.”
    Vues Master’s Note: He davened to a Statue?