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The Moment: Living Higher

The numbers tattooed onto his left arm — engravings of the murders at Auschwitz — were still there. Slowly, the Rav wrapped the holy straps around them

Monday, September 18, 2017

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When the school secretary at Far Rockaway’s Yeshiva Darchei Torah called the student’s mother, it wasn’t because his head was hurting or he’d forgotten lunch. His pants had torn and the boy was sitting in class in an uncomfortable position, embarrassed at the possibility of the hole being noticed. The distraught mother was unable to leave work, so the secretary reached the father, who said he would leave work and go home to find a new pair of pants.

When the father was leaving Darchei later that morning, he met Rabbi Avrohom Bender, vice-principal of the elementary school. He shared what had happened to his son, relating that as a child, he’d also had a similar humiliating experience.

Later that day, Rabbi Bender was spotted at Suit Central, a local clothing store, buying two pairs of pants in every single size. This way, if a boy ever rips his pants, he won’t have to feel shame, even for a moment.

Because there’s no price tag on the pride of a Jewish child.

5 Out of 10 

Rabbi Dovid Bashekvin  

Help me complete the Top 10. I’ll start with the first 5.

My Top 5 Simanim

Why stop with apples and pomegranates? In addition to the classic simanim, there is a custom to develop new simanim that express your wishes for the coming year (See Magen Avraham 583:2)


1.Raisin and celery — Attributed to Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Baltimore, this is likely the most well-known of the new simanim. It is accompanied with the heartfelt prayer for a “raise in salary.”

2. Animal Crackers — For those too squeamish to have an actual goat head on the table, this is a clever alternative. If you are too squeamish to have a fish head on your table — just deal with it, and be happy no one is actually going to make you eat it.

3. Peas — Can’t a brother get a little peace? Peas may not win the Kids Choice Awards, but they are a sweet way of asking for peace.

4. Schnitzel — A request “she’nitzal me’oiveinu” — that we should be saved from our enemies. It may not be the most creative siman, but it’s a great excuse to have schnitzel.

5. Lagavulin — My personal favorite. It’s likely the most expensive siman and it’s for the 21 and older crowd, but if you enjoy scotch, this might be the most enjoyable way to ask for brachah without boundaries — “lo gevulin.” L’chayim! (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 678)

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