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Jewish Culture

The holiday of Sukkot is coming

Moshe Unger
Posted 10/7/22

I was asked by a reader to address the recent New York Times article which alleges that Chasidic schools in New York are not providing adequate general education.  

Right now, we are in …

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Jewish Culture

The holiday of Sukkot is coming


I was asked by a reader to address the recent New York Times article which alleges that Chasidic schools in New York are not providing adequate general education. 

Right now, we are in middle of the holiday season and it’s difficult for me to go into this subject. To confront the lies, needs a different spirit and I’m not able to do so now. I hope to write about it in the next installment or the one thereafter. 

I’ll just say one thing. All the readers here, over the last five years, are witness of the falsity of the claim. Thank G-d I’ve been writing here for five years, and I’ve been educated in a Chasidic school! Even more, my Yeshiva is one of the schools who are being sued!

My English, spelling, math, and reading all come from my education in the Belz school system. I’m very happy with it and I’m sending my children also to this school. 

Lest one say I’m brilliant in some way or I’m an exception to the rule, I’ll share that I have a brother-in-law who is an Accountant and a brother-in-law who is a Licensed Social Worker. They both went to Chasidic schools, and both are highly professional and very successful in their fields. 

Of course, we didn’t learn everything in school. No high school or elementary school teaches the last course in English, everyone needs higher levels of study, but the basics are learned in school and that’s where I and my brothers-in-law learned our skills.

It doesn’t need more talk; NY Times claims one thing and here we are witness to its falsehood. Simple. However, I’ll continue this subject in the near future, G-d willing. 

We just finished Yom Kippur, which was on Wednesday this week, and now we are going into Sukkot or, otherwise pronounced, Succos, which begins Sunday night. 

Sukkot is the holiday in which we sit and eat in huts. The theme of the holiday is Simcha – Happiness and Bitachon – Trust in G-d. 

Trust in G-d is a difficult concept for Modern Man in many aspects. Trust feels like a certain submission to G-d and a certain submission to be happy with the difficulties in life. 

First, maybe submission is a good thing. At the end of the day, a person who submits to G-d and accepts that everything that G-d does is for the good even if we don’t see it, is happier in life. What wouldn’t we do for happiness? Happiness is even enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” If submission makes us happier, and it does, so be it.

However, Judaism teach-es that we need two approaches to exist in this world, submission on one hand and self-actualization on the other. We can’t exist with one without the other. On the one hand, we need to pursue the betterment of life, physically and spiritually, and we need to do whatever is possible within our abilities. On the other hand, we need submission to know that G-d runs the world, and everything is for the good. There’s a fascinating story of Kind David on this, but the words in the article are ticking up so I’ll have to leave it for another time. Self-actualization, submission, and the balance thereof are one of my favorite subjects and I’m looking forward to writing about it. 

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Comments? Email me: moshe@mosheunger.com 


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