Colors: Blue Color

A shofar blowing in May? How unusual. On Sunday morning, May 26, sunshine sparkled on the rhododendrons, irises, trees, and shrubbery in lovely Jamaica Estates and on the faces of the record crowd lined up at the starting line for the 18th annual L’Chaim 5K Run/Walk for Israel. Assemblyman David Weprin of District 24 counted to three and then Rabbi Shlomo Hochberg, rav of the Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, blew the shofar that sent the runners and walkers down the tree-lined path that wound through Jamaica Estates and trailed through part of Cunningham Park, finishing across the street from the Young Israel. Police stood guard and directed traffic. Most streets were blocked. There were volunteers along the way, encouraging runners and walkers.

On Monday, May 1, community members gathered at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills for their annual Yom HaShoah program. Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg, rav of Congregation Etz Chaim, led T’hilim and spoke briefly about the recent shooting at the Chabad of Poway. He shared that we learn multiple lessons from Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. Each of us, in our own lives, will have our own moment of kiddush Hashem. We hope it will be though living and setting an example. “I pray that we are inspired by the survivors; and I hope that when we will be called upon to sanctify G-d’s name, it will be through living.”

When we come out of Yom Tov, we should feel that we are on a higher spiritual level – different from when the Yom Tov began. We were fortunate to have so many beautiful shiurim about Pesach presented to our community that helped us all to grow spiritually. Reviewing the important lessons of Pesach now is a perfect time to help us carry them into the rest of the year.