Articles by Andy Goldfinger

Giving Care, Needing Care The Shomrei Ahuvim Support Group


Chanah loves her father deeply. She does her best to honor him and has always tried to be open and honest. She loves him so much that this afternoon she is deliberately telling him a lie.

Boruch is learning with his rebbe. He is not learning from his rebbe, rather, he is the one doing the teaching. Today he is showing his rebbe how to find Shema and Shemoneh Esrei in a siddur.

Yaakov has always been devoted to his evening learning sessions with his chavrusa. He is careful to let nothing interfere with this long-term commitment. Tonight he is staying home to spend some time with his wife.

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Two Revolutions

Some say that if you remember the Sixties you weren’t there.

The Sixties was a time of revolution – and drugs. Although I was part of this era, I am grateful that the Ribono Shel Olam (G-d) helped me get through it without frying my brain. (Although I somehow avoided doing drugs, I did once go into a movie theater full of students and noticed a rather pronounced sweet musty odor. So I can truthfully say that, although I never smoked marijuana, I did inhale.)

The Sixties was also a time of idealism. Young people were opposed to the Vietnam War. They bundled this with opposition to racism, and expected to produce a new world, the “Age of Aquarius,” which would bring peace, love, a hatred of money and property, and equal distribution of all worldly goods. The streets were filled with protests, demonstrations, and sometimes alternative forms of expression (“riots”). It was, of course, entirely coincidental that the unrest began about the time that Congress did away with draft deferments for college students and ended when the draft was repealed.

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One Night in April


It was the evening of April 24, 1979, and it changed my family’s life, the lives of many in our community, and the lives of a group of teenaged girls we did not know.

The Persian Empire had existed for thousands of years. Somehow, Persia became Iran and the empire shrank, but it did endure into the twentieth century, so that in 1971 Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi declared and celebrated its 2,500th anniversary. There was splendor, glory, and the expectation that another 2,500 years might be in store. Alas, this was not to be, and a short eight years later, it all came to an end. There were riots in the street for months, and in January, the Shah went on “vacation” outside the country. On April 1, 1979, he was officially replaced by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

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