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rabbi donath's Message

Rabbi Jeremy DonathOver the course of the past year, so much has transpired that gives us reason to celebrate. The shul has experienced a tremendous influx of growth, as many new families have moved to town, and started getting involved. We have already transformed the youth area of our shul into a place our kids will be excited to play in, created a new website and Facebook page and enhanced our programming. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Darchei Noam community! 

At Har Sinai, the Jewish people not only received the aseres ha’dibros, the ten commandments, but chazal tell us that they also received the Torah she’baal peh, the oral tradition. The gemorah in Eruvin 54b describes the process in which Moshe learned the Oral Tradition from G-d and taught everything he learned to the Jewish people. Moshe first heard the laws directly from G-d. Then Aharon entered and Moshe taught Aharon all that he had just learned. Subsequently, Aharon’s sons, entered and Moshe taught them all that he had learned. After they were done, the Zekenim, the elders entered and Moshe taught them everything. Finally, the rest of b’nei Yisrael entered and Moshe taught them the torah. By this time, Aharon had heard the entire torah 4 times, his sons had heard the Torah 3 times, the elders twice and bnei yisrael once.  At this point, Moshe exited the room and Aharon now taught everyone else remaining what he had learned. When Aharon finished teaching, he left the room and his sons taught everyone remaining all that they had heard. The zekenim then completed the process by teaching the rest of klal Yisrael what they had learned, so that in the end, everyone had heard the entire Torah at least 4 times. 

The Ohr Ha’Chaim asks: Why didn’t Moshe just gather everyone in a room at one time and teach each of the 4 different groups the entire Torah 4 times since Moshe had heard it directly from G-d and he knew it best? The Ohr Ha’Chaim explains that the process was necessary to make sure that the transmission of the mesorah had been practiced and rehearsed. After Moshe taught all of bnei yisrael the Torah, he left and now it was Aharon’s task to be able to teach everyone else the exact same Torah. If he veered one iota from what they had all heard at least once from Moshe, the people would recognize the deviation and make the necessary correction. In essence, each group of students was equipped to “check the work” of their teacher.  It was this process which was practiced by all of klal yisrael, and which needed each distinct group’s contributions that would ensure that a pristine transmission of the torah from one generation to the next would take place. 

The Darchei Noam community finds itself at an exciting time. The community has grown and now there are many different demographics in the shul with various outlooks and backgrounds represented. In my opinion, this is the essence of what being a community is all about: different people of various backgrounds communicating with each other and working together as a cohesive unit towards a common goal: turning the shul into a place where one can find meaning, connect spiritually and socially, and make a difference in each of our individual lives and in the community around us. 

The shul is now at the cusp of making the transition from a shteible in a basement to one that is a central destination for so many people. We are thrilled to be able to incorporate new families who are eager to take Fair Lawn to new heights into the fabric laid down by the founding families. The gemorah’s model for ensuring the perpetuation of anything sacred, is to have different types of people working together and communicating with each other at each step in the process to ensure continuity. That is our goal, and this is our template for success.

Darchei Noam would like to welcome you to the community. The shul welcomes your time, your energy, your ideas, and your commitments as we embark on this journey of building a beautiful community together. If there was ever a time to find out how one can participate and contribute to the growth of the Darchei community, that time is now! 

Rabbi Jeremy Donath


Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784