The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 9 February 2008 / 3 Adar I 5768

Friday Night Togetherness

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
"What do you say to kids these days?"

This is what former Israeli basketball champion Tal Brody asked at a news conference launching a campaign to bring Israelis back to traditional family values.

He was referring to an incident involving a friend of his who drove Brody's son from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Not a single word passed between the two, an indication that a generation gap has resulted from an absence of family togetherness.

Working with seed money of five million shekalim from an anonymous group of American Jews, a "Family Friday" advertising campaign has been initiated to create awareness of the importance of Friday gatherings, which presumably will center around a Shabbat eve meal.

Among the different people in the group of both religious and secular Jews is former Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and former Israel Airports Authority head Gabi Ophir. The latter told the press that although it was not possible for him to be at home on Friday nights during his 33-year stint as an army officer, once he became a civilian he made sure that he was home for candle-lighting and kiddush with his grandchildren.

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