Monthly Archives: January 2013

Asking my readers to help PTACH of Chicago

Please click image to enlarge

After almost 7 years of blogging, I have seen first-hand the vaule and power of an online community.  With that in mind, I’m reaching out to my readers, especially my Chicago readers (who mostly hide in the shadows) and asking that you consider attending or making a donation to PTACH of Chicago.

Personally, PTACH as been a lifesaver for one of our children.  This child’s current academic success and self-esteem is primarily due to the efforts of the PTACH staff at Arie Crown Hebrew Day School.

On February 2th, Motzei Shabbos Kodesh, PTACH is having their 27th annual “Essence Café” at 8:15pm. The event will be held at Skokie Valley Synagogue (8825 East Prairie Rd. in Skokie) and will be featuring Rabbi Paysach Krohn. Few writers, story tellers, speakers, and thought leaders are so universally regarded as Rabbi Krohn. He is the author of ten books including his most recent, “In the Spirit of the Maggid”. He has spoken throughout the world to thousands on topics as diverse as Simcha, Sholom, Education, Chessed, Prayer, Parenting, Stress Management, and Bris Milah. He is a fifth generation Mohel affliiated with Long Island Jewish Hospital and North Shore University Hospital. But it as a story teller, a Maggid, that Rabbi Krohn is most renown throughout the world. His tales and insights will be used during the evening as he leads an intimate and personal discussion titled “Passing the Flame from Generation to Generation to Generation”.

The evening includes an extremely delicious Chinese Buffet from Tein Li Chow.
If you are interested in attending this fun evening or make a donation of any amount, please click here for details or contact me directly at:
Thank you, very much!

2012 PTACH of Chicago video


The oldest thing I still wear

Before (pic from here)

I can say, after almost 15 years of marriage, there are very few things that own, let alone wear, that are leftovers from my pre-teshuva days.  My “jungle boots” have been in my possession since I was 15.  For almost 27 years they have been with me.  They traveled witht me on my NCSY “teen summer tour” of Israel, when I solidified my observance, they spent two years with me when I was learning in E”Y afer high school, went to NY with me to college, lived with me before I was married, and have survived (so far) three Uber-kids.  When we moved to Chicago, where I actually encountered real winters, I had to retire them, since they are not waterproof.  I have yet to see any weather this season that might bring them out of retirement, but I’m hopeful.

It’s funny, but even now when I put them on, there’s a certain strut in my step, memories of a young kid who felt like he could take on the world and do with politeness.  Music long forgotten plays in my head and memories of a less structured life come into play.  Even the crazy smell of them has a whiff of confidence that lingers.  I know it, nuts, right?  We all have objects that hold significance to us.  It could be your Shabbos lichter, tefillin, a sefer, a matzah cover, coffee cup, bookmark, or even a Yoda Star Wars figure (yes, I still have mine).  Some items we can only hope to pass down to the next generation.  I know that eventually I will throw these boots away, but for now I’m holding on to them, purely for nostalgic reasons.  Also, they don’t take up too much space.