Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter
Several weeks ago, Rabbi Binyomin (Bernard) Goldenberg passed away in Yerushalayim, having lived the last three decades of his life in Eretz Yisrael. But over his long career with Torah Umesorah, he played a vital role in radically reshaping the spiritual landscape of Judaism in America. In an exclusive interview with Mishpacha only months before his passing, Rabbi Goldenberg shared some of his recollections, opening a rare window into the history of American Jewry in the early twentieth century.
Even the birds stopped chirping, so as not to disturb the silence as the morbid events were about to begin. The bodies of the Fogels from Itamar — Udi (36) and Ruth (35), and their children Yoav (11), Elad (4), and three-month-old Hadas were to about to find their final resting place in Jerusalem. For me, and the 10,000 plus mourners, the pained cries of anguish said more than eulogies — or political promises — ever could.
There’s nothing like speaking to diplomats and foreign journalists in their own jargon. In ancient Persia, Mordechai’s knowledge of seventy languages played a crucial role in saving the Jewish People from genocide. And while there is no overt decree of annihilation today, the role of foreign languages is as important as ever for Israel in dealing with a hostile world media eager to paint it as a nation of oppressors at best, brutal killers at worst. In these tough times, it pays to speak their language.
Years ago, Purim costumes meant either Queen Esther or Mordechai — maybe Achashveirosh or Vashti for the more daring. Today, costume manufacturers will go as far as the Jewish imagination can stretch.
Boro Park residents did a double-take when they discovered Aharon Granevich-Granot in a waiter’s uniform at a local pizzeria. Was Mishpacha being downsized? Did he need more cash to marry off his kids? Or maybe, after being fired three times in one day, from Mendelsohn’s Pizza, Bagels n’ Greens, and Goldberg’s Supermarket, he should just stick to writing?