Monmouth Torah Links

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! — Corona Update and Thought

Dearest Friends, 


When I first sent out an email about our
Shul closing, I wrote — 


current plan is to reopen Wednesday, April 1st for Shacharis at


That would be tomorrow. 


How much wishful thinking and naivety that
statement had.  


The painful reality is that as of now, it
does seem that our Shul will be closed over Passover. 


But this time I will not even attempt to
offer a date that we will reopen. 


For a good reason. A reason that has a
message of hope. 


Sadly, many students this year will be
missing important graduation ceremonies. But I hope that parents and friends
will not forget to give them a sacred graduation gift tradition — 


A copy of Dr. Sueuss’ classic


“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”


Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose . . .”

Sounds exciting! 

Except, sometimes we get stuck in — 

“The Waiting Place…

… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting . . .”


That is where we are today. 

The Waiting Place. 


But as Jews we know how to wait, wait with trust and hope, confident in the
One, the only One, who ultimately controls the destiny of the world and every
individual in it. 


The Torah tells us about the journeys of the Jewish people in the desert


“It also happened sometimes that the cloud
remained only from evening until morning, . . . and they journeyed forth; or it
remained for a day and a night . . . and they journeyed forth. Or it remained
two days or a month or a year . . .At the behest of God did they camp, and
at the behest of God did they journey forth
; they kept God’s charge”

 (Bamidbar 9:21-23)

On this the great Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch wrote — 


  “This is is the teaching of the journey through the
wilderness, from which we learned for all time to follow God’s guidance with
devotion no matter how incomprehensible it may seem to us . . .He requires of
us to remain steadfast in an undesirable situation: nevertheless,
we accept and fulfill with joy whatever He commands us


For beneath the shepherd’s staff of His
, we will always be happy, and it is our faithfulness and obedience to God
that bring us happiness . . .  along mysterious paths; to wait and
 for Him patiently, or to follow Him boldly — all according to the
direction of His guidance.”


So, we just don’t know. A day? Two? A Month? Please God, I hope very soon.


But hang in there — this too shall pass . . . 


“Somehow you’ll

all that waiting and

You’ll find the bright

where Boom Bands are


With banner flip-flapping,

once more you’ll ride

Ready for anything under
the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!”


Hang in there —  you’re that kind of a guy.  

May all the pain end, and the day of riding high come very, very


With deep pain for the suffering and deep hope for our future, 

Rabbi Yitzchok Oratz

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