Irwin wins, Silvestro runner-up in Top-8 bowling tournament

Posted on 17 October 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The biggest obstacle Deerfield Beach’s Alannah Irwin faced in the Broward County USBC Association Top-8 tournament at AMF Margate Lanes recently was keeping up with the lane changes. Then, the 27-year-old had to unseat defending champion and tournament bowler Rhoda Rodriguez, of Plantation. Irwin managed both and edged Rodriguez, 181-178, to win the Women’s Division of the tournament that featured the best bowlers Broward County had to offer.

I was just having fun and trying to watch how everyone else was playing,” Irwin said. “I was watching where I should and shouldn’t throw the ball in the lane. I had to keep up with the lane changes and see what everyone else was doing.”

It was very difficult,” said Irwin, who qualified for a second time as an adult. She reached the Top-8 seven times as a junior bowler, where she won three times – the last time coming in 2010. “It takes a real technical eye to really see what the lanes are doing and how the oil patterns are transitioning. You also see what adjustments you have to make whether it is changing bowling balls or changing your angle or the speed of the ball.”

Irwin came into the tournament with little expectations because she hadn’t been bowling on a regular basis.

This was kind of my first year back bowling in two different leagues and in two different houses,” Irwin said. “It was nice to get the (qualifying) letter. I came in with no expectations.

I was just bowling in one house, one league a year,” she added, “and was asked to bowl in a second league and said, ‘yes.’ It’s a good comeback. It was nice to win it in my second time as an adult. The last time was in 2013. I didn’t even make the top four that year. I finished like fifth.”

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions — Junior Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. Bowlers in the tournament began by bowling qualifying matches and ultimately wound up competing in a ladder format where the bowlers worked their way up to challenge the top qualifier who got a bye.

Another local bowler, Jeanne Silvestro, 59, of Pompano Beach, dropped the final of the Women’s Senior Division title match to Pembroke Pines’ Paula Rappaport, 185-156. It was Rappaport’s third win in the Top-8 and first as a senior. Her back-to-back wins in 2009 and 2010 came in the Women’s Open Division.

This was awesome,” said Silvestro, who was bowling in the Top-8 for the first time. She was the top qualifier for the final, but had to sit through two ladder matches before bowling for the championship. “That was hard. It was tiring and I got stiff. Then they bowled three games on the lanes and there was no oil left at all. It was just tough to sit.”

Still she was pleased with making her debut and reaching the final. She has bowled for the past 40 years and is self-taught. She never participated in junior bowling.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) and they have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league. Those top scoring averages earn them a berth in the annual tournament.

It was unbelievable,” Silvestro said. “I had no idea (how she’d do). I always bowled in one house, so this was the first year I bowled in two houses and when I got the (qualifying) letter in the mail, I was shocked.”

I was happy if I came in eighth,” she continued. “To qualify first was crazy. This was great. I had a great time.”

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FLICKS: First Man, FLIFF helps Hurricane Michael relief

Posted on 17 October 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Even though some American flags flew in First Man, the box office results for First Man last weekend was a disappointment. Despite casting two non-Americans in the leading roles and poor public relations from the studio, director and screenwriter Damien Chazelle has crafted an epic motion picture, without losing sight of character development in subtle ways.

The film opens with Neal Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) test piloting an X-15 rocket plane when he accidentally bumps off into outer space. Keeping his cool, Neal returns to earth safely. His domestic life is not so safe, as his young daughter is terminal with a brain tumor. A stoic man with a stoic wife named Janet (Claire Foy), Neal tries to problem solve his daughter’s illness with the same detached precision of engineering and flying an X-15.

When his daughter dies, Neal channels his anguish into his work. With the space race in hot competition with the Soviet Union, Neal commands a Gemini spacecraft, which almost spins into disaster. Showing his grit and intelligence under extreme pressure, Neal is eventually named the commander of Apollo 11 and the rest is history.

Visually, First Man does not disappoint. Enhancing actual NASA footage with computer software, First Man will be playing in mainstream theaters (as well as at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery IMAX six-story screen for the rest of this month. While there, check out the Archimedes Exhibit).

For all of its bells and whistles, the theme of First Man is how a family copes with grief. Besides the loss of their daughter, there is the loss of colleagues from accidents. The pain of grief is real, but how one deals with loss presents character. With understated nuance, Gosling and Foy have earned awards for their stoic performances. Expect some buzz for First Man when the awards season begins.

In two weeks, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) kicks off its three weeks of international films, parties and merry making. To coincide with the screening of Return of the Hero, FLIFF will be hosting a French Garden Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

The opening gala is always a special event, but this may be the most important. Given the natural disaster of Hurricane Michael and its devastation of the Florida Panhandle, 50 percent of full price general admission tickets sales will be dedicated to relief efforts for Mexico Beach. The Hard Rock Auditorium can seat 3500 seats, so there is the potential to raise $21,000 dollars to help our Florida neighbors to rebuild their lives. To purchase a ticket, please visit this website — www.fliff.com/movies and scroll down to Return of the Hero.

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CLERGY CORNER: An Act of God

Posted on 17 October 2018 by LeslieM

Our prayers go out to those who experienced the devastation of Hurricane Michael. In the aftermath, we pray for the restoration of the communities in the Panhandle. We continue to pray for our community as well through this season. When one part of our state is hurting, we all share the pain together.

I know that the phrase “act of God” is one used by insurance companies and will continue to be used regardless of my commentary. As a person who advocates God for a living, I do feel that I can weigh in on this phrase and its usage as well as challenge the people who use this phrase to broaden their perspective.

When a tornado devastates a town we call it an “act of God.” When a river floods acres of farmland, we call it an “act of God.” When an earthquake hits a poor nation killing tens of thousands of people, we call it an “act of God.” It seems that we avoid the word “God” in public lest we offend anybody, yet atheists, agnostics and believers alike use the phrase “act of God” when a tornado, flood, earthquake or a hurricane devastates their community.

Let us talk about times when you do not hear the phrase “act of God,” and you probably should. When my family rented kayaks and explored the mangroves on the gulf coast. I was so overwhelmed by God’s creation evident with the wildlife that I called it an “act of God.” When I went hiking with my Boy Scout troop through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and saw the majesty of snow top mountains in the heat of the summer, I couldn’t help but call it an “act of God.” When snorkeling in Key West with my church’s Youth Group near a natural reef with schools of colorful fish surrounding me I could not help but call it an “act of God.” We reserve the phrase “act of God” when we talk about the devastation of nature but what about nature’s splendor?

I know, in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, neighbors are going to pull together and help each other and form a lifelong bond. I call this an “act of God.” I know that families will mourn the loss of their home but come to a profound realization that they are blessed with their family who are safe and sound. When the gratitude of family eclipses the loss of material items, this is what I call an “act of God.” I know that people from all over the state and country will come from churches, synagogues and mosques lending a hand, praying and setting aside their divisions for the purpose of doing “acts of God.”

God created nature and nature seems to have a mind of its own. Hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes have been our constant companions and when we experience “acts of nature” we respond with “acts of God.”

I grew up in a state where blizzards happen in the winter and tornados happen in the summer. I went to college in a community with a river that flooded almost every spring after the thaw of snow and ice. I did my pastoral internship literally on the San Andreas Fault and experienced an earthquake. And, for the last 20 plus years, I have lived in Florida and can recall several hurricanes.

I am pretty sure blizzards and tornados occurred in Minnesota long before my family settled there. I know that the Red River of the north flooded Fargo, North Dakota long before there was a place called Fargo. The San Andreas Fault went through the San Bernardino Mountains long before San Andreas and San Bernardino were even born. And you can bet Florida always had hurricanes even before we started naming them.

The only thing more constant than “acts of Nature” is God. Like “acts of Nature,” God has always been our constant companion. In the wake of natural disaster, it is my prayer that good things will happen. And when that does, then I will know what to call it. It is an “act of God.”

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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BUSINESS BEAT: Company Roots: KEITH

Posted on 11 October 2018 by LeslieM

Periodic column on companies that grew up with our community

By Karen Lustgarten

When she was 13, Adolphine “Dodie” Keith remembers heading out on survey and mapping jobs with her father, William “Bill” Keith, along with his crew and watching how the work was done for construction projects.

Mr. Keith began making a mark on South Florida in 1956 when he joined the Broward County Engineering Department as a surveyor. Then, in 1972, he started the engineering firm Keith & Schnars. It would become synonymous with Broward’s growth.

His firm helped plan Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and bought the land and developed the route for the Sawgrass Expressway. It was responsible for planning Parkland and the redevelopment of Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach and Boca Raton. They surveyed 390 miles from Florida to Georgia and bought 4,000 parcels of land for a Florida Power & Light transmission line.

In 1998, Mr. Keith established Keith & Associates, his own Pompano Beach-based civil engineering, planning, surveying firm. Daughter Dodie grew up to become a professional surveyor and mapper working in that capacity for her father.

By the time Mr. Keith died in 2006, he had spent his life working towards the development and improvement of the south Florida community and giving back to it, helping improve the county’s infrastructure and way of life. Dodie Keith-Lazowick succeeded her father as company president and managing principal.

Under her leadership, KEITH, as the firm has been rebranded, has grown to include civil engineering, surveying and mapping, subsurface utility engineering (SUE), urban & comprehensive planning, landscaping, permitting, construction management and construction engineering inspection.

I work in the development field, so believe growth is good,” she said. “Dad always taught me respect for the community. I try to make projects better for both the residents and the city.”

The Ft. Lauderdale airport, a key KEITH client since her father’s early days, is a case in preservation. A huge African Baobab tree was set to be cut down when a new airport runway was being planned. Dodie proposed a slight redesign shift in the runway plans that preserved the historic tree.

Dodie helped draft the Pompano Beach 2020 business plan and Mayor Fisher’s stimulus task force. Her firm helped raise funds and advocated to pass the Pompano Beach bond referendum for capital improvement projects that will revitalize the city.

KEITH is at work on several major construction projects you are witnessing around Pompano Beach to revitalize the city. Successful advocates for permitting and approvals, staff has coordinated the site plan approval process through the city and provided civil engineering design, project management, permitting coordination, planning, surveying, construction management, infrastructure convergence and roadway improvements, assessments and recommendations.

Among the projects you notice are the following: the pedestrian-friendly Pompano Beach Blvd. streetscape, Old Pompano Area streetscape improvements, as part of the Downtown Connectivity Plan, MLK Jr. Blvd. streetscape improvements, MLK Blvd., the Pier Parking Garage, John Knox Village and in-kind site design services to preserve the Sample-McDougald historic House/Museum.

Coming up: The new Mullet Alley — turning an existing parking lot in the Old Pompano area into a lively plaza — awaiting the site plan design and development approval.

I enjoy Pompano Beach. It has a different feel than other cities and we want our own distinct city identity in South Florida,” says Dodie. “Pompano Beach is a community-based and family-oriented place. Our parks and roadway projects, for example, help give our city its own identity as a community.”

As a business community leader, Bill Keith was committed to causes he cared about such as the Broward Urban River Trails and homelessness. He was founding chair of Broward Partnership for the Homeless helping people stabilize their lives. Dodie is the 2018 board chair and a fundraiser.

Dodie’s son Alex and daughter Elizabeth serve as third generation professionals at KEITH. Alex Lazowick, a civil engineer, is executive vice president, and Elizabeth, with a marketing degree, is corporate manager, overseeing more than 100 employees in five state offices. They are committed to the company values established by their grandfather and mother. With young children of his own, Alex sits on the board of the Parks Foundation of Broward County, raising funds for Broward County parks.

The business transition plan has the 3rd generation taking over KEITH with Alex stepping into his mother’s role as president, “so, hopefully, I can sit on Pompano Beach watching the sunrise,” said Dodie.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com

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FLICKS: The Samuel Project & The Walking Dead Day

Posted on 11 October 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Looking for a positive experience at the movies? The Samuel Project opens this weekend and it could be the film for you. Starring Hal Linden (as the curmudgeon Samuel) and Ryan Ochoa (as the artistic Eli, the Grandson), The Samuel Project is about individuals who cross generational and cultural divisions.

Eli is an art student who is given an assignment to tell a story through his craft. His grandfather, Samuel, considers Eli’s art as a bunch of “doodles.” One afternoon, Eli is recruited by Samuel to go see an elderly Jewish woman on her deathbed. Revealing an emotional crack in his grandfather’s stoic persona, Eli realizes he has a personal story to tell about his grandfather surviving the Holocaust.

The subject is serious, but the humor is respectful. Director/writer Marc Fusco presents Eli and Samuel’s behavioral quirks in an endearing way. Like a good Hallmark channel type movie, politeness triumphs over pettiness and the grand finale builds to an agreeable climax. While there is no kicker in the end, stick around and watch the animated credits.

This Saturday, Oct. 13, the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library acknowledges the popular TV show The Walking Dead with its Walking Dead Day, which celebrates nine seasons of the zombie apocalypse on the AMC Cable Channel. At 2 p.m., there will be a screening of a classic black & white Val Lewton terror movie starring Frances Dee and Tom Conway, released 75 years ago. (Due to licensing agreements, the title cannot be revealed; however, there are plenty of flyers available at the library.)

Set on a fictional Caribbean island, this noir classic eschews gore and decapitations to set up a fearful mood. With a very modest budget, the techniques of light and shadows have influenced modern filmmakers. Evidence of Val Lewton’s production values can be found in modern classics like It, The Sixth Sense and Halloween. The images from this film are haunting.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the AMC cable channel, the first 20 people to attend the screening at 2 p.m. will receive artifacts from a box that mysteriously arrived at the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library. After screening the 70 minute movie, there will be a Walking Dead Day Trivia Contest, hosted by this reporter, as well as volunteer extraordinare Lita Andreano.

Walking Dead prizes will be awarded to individuals who finish in first, second and third places. For those who want to study for the Trivia Contest, the answers can be found within the Walking Dead television show, the previous movie being screened, horror literature, monster movies, and Halloween culture and rituals. Like The Samuel Project, the emphasis is not doom and gloom, but entertainment and fun.

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CLERGY CORNER: Clergy appreciation

Posted on 11 October 2018 by LeslieM

Since 1992, the month of October has been Clergy Appreciation Month. It is designed for you to encourage and thank the religious leaders in your life. You should let your pastors know that you love them and support them. In addition, let them know why you appreciate their hard work and labor of love. We tend to always hear about all the Ministers that mess up or make a mistake, but we don’t hear very much at all about all the good things that are happening in churches all across the country. Pastors are saving lives, helping families, feeding the poor, and helping hurting people and we do it with God’s help. The scriptures I have here are ones that you really need to pay attention to and apply them to your life.

HEBREWS 13:7

7 Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. NLT

The ministry provided by pastors and their families is very unique. God has chosen them to watch over His children and take care of the spiritual well-being of their congregation.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-13

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. NLT

When a pastor becomes worn down and worn out, the very souls of his congregants are at risk. Pastors and their families live under unbelievable stress and strain. Their lives are played out in a glass house, with the whole congregation and the whole public scrutinizing their every move. They are expected to have model families, to be wonderful people, to always be ready to help, to never have problems, and to have all the answers you need to keep your own lives on track. These are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are let down when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems sad, lets us down, or totally burns out. That is why God teaches us to identify and honor His servants.

1 TIMOTHY 5:17

17 Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. NLT

The good news is that you can make a difference! Clergy Appreciation Month is one way you can return the favor and encourage your spiritual leaders and let them know that you care about them.

There are four easy ways to help your pastors and their families feel appreciated:

1. Buy them a card

2. Buy them a gift card to a restaurant, movie theatre, or department store

3. Share with them, in writing, how much they have blessed you and helped you and your family

4. Encourage others to do the same. Show appreciation and honor your pastor and his family this year. It will encourage them more than you ever may realize.

Tony Guadagnino is the pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-428-8980 or visit www.clfministries.org.

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Knighton rushes for school record 348 yards

Posted on 04 October 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Jaylan Knighton put in a good night’s work as he ran for a school-record 348 yards on 26 carries and four touchdowns as Deerfield Beach topped Taravella, 44-8 at Coral Springs High last Thursday night.

The 5 ft. 11 in., 190-lb. junior eclipsed the Bucks’ previous single-game record of 332 yards which was set by Marc Renaud against Northeast on Nov. 9, 1991, in just one half of the football game.

Knighton said he didn’t even know that he was on the brink of a history making performance. He hoped to be the Bucks’ single game record holder before he graduated.

I always wanted to do that,” Knighton said after the game. “It was one of my goals and I accomplished it.

In the fourth quarter, my coach told me I needed 20 more yards to break the record,” Knighton added. “I pushed and with two carries broke the record. I want to thank my offensive lineman and team for pushing me every day in practice.”

Knighton’s yardage tied him for sixth all-time in Broward history with LeCorey Robey of Flanagan set against Ft. Lauderdale in 2004. The county record is 405 yards set by Sheridan Hills’ Frainy Alfrena in a 2008 game against Highlands Christian.

He deserves this because he has put in the hard work,” said Deerfield coach Jevon Glenn, whose team improved to 6-0, 2-0 in district and extended its consecutive victories in district play to 17 over four seasons.

If you think about the incredible backs that we had here at Deerfield Beach, Renaud, Steve Feagin and Brandon Powell just recently,” Scott continued, “to set himself at the top of those names, it’s an accomplishment that I’m very proud of.”

The Bucks will face a difficult test this Friday as they host St. Thomas Aquinas.

Taravella, which entered the game with a 1-0 record in the district and 3-1 overall, pulled to within 12-8 on a Logan Rubin 29-yard scoring pass to Vantraveous Williams. It was all Deerfield after that. The Bucks defense also stepped up big as it intercepted Taravella on four of five pass attempts in the second half.

The Bucks finished the game with 554 yards, while Taravella was held to 121 total yards, 25 coming on the ground.

The Bucks led 24-8 at the half with two scores from Knighton of 16 and 56 yards. The other was a 26-yard pass from Derohn King to Bryce Gowdy. King also tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Raphael Williams. Brandon Dorlus added a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Foster, Mascatello, Smith team for win in PBMGA

The trio of Jim Foster, Bob Mascatello and Willie Smith, their blind draw partner, shot a 121 and took top honors in the Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association tournament on Sept. 26 at the Pines Course at Pompano Municipal Golf Course.

The team won the two best ball of threesome tournament on a match of cards with a back nine score of 60.

The team of Pete Strychowskyj, Max Walker and Roy Wilhoite also shot a 121, however they shot a total of 64 on the back nine to finish second. The team of Chuck Brown, Bart Valerio and their blind draw partner, Bob Mascatello, shot a 123 to finish in third as they also won a match of cards with a back nine score of 60.

The closest to the pin winner was Joe Patchen.

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FLICKS: The Final hoopla of Adventures in Charity, FLIFF cultivates Florida locals

Posted on 04 October 2018 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

In the motion picture industry, the last weekend in September features box office doldrums. Halloween season is starting to rev up, while some of the summer blockbuster movies enjoy their final big screen moments on the smaller screen. This is why for the past six years I have departed Deerfield to attend “Adventures in Charity” in Orlando.

The Adventurers Club in Disney World opened when Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was playing on the big screen, circa 1989, and closed when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was released in 2008. A controversial business decision, Disney made plans to convert Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. The plan was successful, though many Adventurers Club members were displaced. [The Adventurer’s Club was a themed nightclub in Pleasure Island with theatrical entertainers in this part of Disney World]. Nature abhors a vacuum and for four years, there were reenactments. However, it wasn’t until 2013 with the creation of Adventures in Charity, that I started making the pilgrimage to the Holiday Inn Resort by Lake Buena Vista to attend. The show was so good that my 94-year-old mom has joined for the last five years.

Under Chairman Robert Croskery’s financial leadership and the dedicated attention of the Adventures in Charity Board, the Adventurers Club lived on, but with the mission of helping charities. This year, they raised $25,000, more than double the amount of the previous five individual charity event totals. Proceeds benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Texas Civil Rights Foundation, the Actors Fund, the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation and the Dravet Foundation.

Each year, this author donated “A Cinema Dave Adventure Pack” which featured my four published books and various unique artifacts from “The Cave of Cinema Dave” [Dave’s house], including a mini crystal head vodka bottle autographed by Dan Aykroyd.

With budget limitations, cast member Graham Murphy scripted an adaptation of club bits and featured songs. This was a true Ma & Pa operation as Graham’s wife Emily filled in as secretary/event decor and swag coordinator. The spirit of adventuring lived on.

Adventurers in Charity ran its full course last Saturday night, almost to the day of the 10 year anniversary of the original club’s closing. It was still a bittersweet moment, as many of us accepted that our club has now folded; tears were shed.

Still, being a true adventurer, there had to be one last act of defiance. Last Sunday at 1 p.m., a flash mob of 21 adventurers visited “The Edison,” the steampunk replacement artifice of our beloved club. On cue, we all sang a rousing version of the Adventurers Club all-purpose theme song. Our building and our annual charity weekend are history, but the spirit of the Adventurers Club lives on…

The Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival will be born again this Nov. 2. There will be an emphasis upon Florida locals. While Connie Francis has already been announced, Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack) and Woody Woodbury have been added to the list of attendees. Woodbury owned a nightclub in Ft. Lauderdale 45 years ago and made movies with Fred MacMurray, Ernest Borgnine, Jerry Lewis and baseball legends Mickey Mantle & Roger Maris. Expect the spirit of adventure this FLIFF season. For more info., visit www.FLIFF.com.

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CLERGY CORNER: Strive to be a man

Posted on 04 October 2018 by LeslieM

On Yom Kippur, the High Priest performed the intricate and nuanced service in the Holy Temple. At the conclusion of it all, the Torah offers its final stipulation: Nobody may be present with him at the time. The High Priest must be there all by himself.

But why? Why does the Torah care so much if someone else was with him in the sacred space of the Temple?

Similarly, when G-d summons Moses to ascend Mt. Sinai to receive the second set of Tablets to bring down to the people on Yom Kippur, He instructs Moses: “Come up in the morning to Mt. Sinai… And no man should ascend with you. No man should appear on the entire mountain.”

Why? What’s the big deal if someone else ascends the mountain?

When the greatest Jewish leader is introduced to us for the first time, the Torah tells us that he left the palace where he was raised, went out to his brothers, and observed an Egyptian beating a Jew to death. The Torah says these words: “He turned here, and there, and he saw there was no man. He struck the Egyptian and buried him in the sand.”

This is the deeper meaning in the famous Mishnah in the Ethics of the Fathers, quoting the great sage Hillel: “In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man.”

It is the source of the expression, “Be a Man!” But what exactly is the meaning of his teaching of Hillel? If everyone around me is behaving like a beast, I should still be a Mentch? Obviously! Do I need Hillel to teach that to me?

The Chassidic masters explain that Hillel was teaching us something deeper. How do you become a real man? A real person? How do you reach your potential? If you strive to be a man, you have to imagine that there is no one else. I have a task to do right here, right now, that nobody else in the past, present, and future, can achieve.

Every man is obliged to say,” say the Sages, “the world was created for me.”

This is not narcissism. It means that I matter. I matter for real. There is something only I can achieve in the world. And the whole world is waiting for me to bring that light into the cosmos.

For what you have to do in this world, there really is no man besides you.

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetian Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen:Torn apart

Posted on 04 October 2018 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Within the last several days, I’ve started this column a half dozen times. But with events moving faster than it takes a palmetto bug to scurry under the furniture in Florida, I’ve had to change its course that many times. I think I have alighted on its final theme: Senator Flake’s small “stitch” in the fabric of our country, citing his sad lamentation that it is being “torn apart.”

In a review of the book, The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War by Joanne Freeman in last Sunday’s book review section of the New York Times, the reviewer, began: “So, you think Congress is dysfunctional? …there was a time so polarized that politics generated a cycle of violence in Congress and out of it that led to the deadliest war in the nation’s history.”

Freeman unearthed an 11 volume document written between 1828 and 1870 revealing several of the most extreme physical clashes, almost to the point of murder that occurred on the senate floor leading up to and after the Civil War.

The review ends, “Freeman doesn’t make explicit comparisons between them and today. She doesn’t have to: a crippled Congress, opposing political sides that don’t communicate meaningfully… a seemingly unbridgeable cultural divide. Sound familiar? All that is missing is an Honest Abe to save us.”

From my own personal life experience and background, I easily honed in on the most significant truism above: the lack of meaningful communication. Meaningful communication is a skilled art that escapes many people especially during high tension emotional moments when dealing with the very core of their rigid belief system.

We all have rigid belief systems. That’s what makes us who we are. And how we handle these differences in belief systems, when it comes to relationships with others, is a function – not of our IQ but of our EQ – emotional intelligence. This is described by Daniel Goleman in his book of the same name and his many other subsequent writings on that and related subjects. It is a lesson in how to deal with people with whom you disagree without causing deadly combat. It’s not a secret, but you’ll have to read it for yourself.

Calling people derogatory names, demeaning them in public utterances and lashing out with damaging stereotypes rallies a crowd. And it also emboldens hatred of what is being sold as “the other.” This is so especially damaging because it is unnecessary when often those who engage in that kind of rhetoric have legitimately positive accomplishments to hype, which, alas, is boring compared to the hostile spate of playground warfare.

And so, Jeff Flake took the small step of displaying a willingness to be open-minded. But in the context of Congressional “steps” taken, it was an enormous step as he plowed through the vitriol wafting over the committee. Was it the elevator experience, or the sounds of a country being “torn apart?”

At this writing, there is no clue regarding the final outcome of the Kavanaugh nomination. So much of it went wrong on both sides. But there is much to say about the power of one vote, and much to say about the need to lower the rhetoric, to reach across the aisle, and to recognize that we are indeed living in a country that is being “torn apart,” and is crying out for leadership to bring us together.

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