Readers’ Matzav: Kiddush Hashem in Coney Island


coney-islandDear Editor,

I am writing to you on Isru Chag to share how proud I was on Chol Hamoed to be standing with hundreds of other Yidden in Astroland Amusement┬áPark in Brooklyn, NY. (Actually, it was the park next door, Deno’s Wonder Wheel, since Astroland, except for the Cyclone roller coaster, has closed down.) It was a beautiful site of frum Yidden enjoying the chag, demonstrating great respect for each other, and showing why our nation is as special as it is. There was no pushing, no cutting of lines, and no loud talking.

To be sure, it was a crowd that was quite diverse. There were yeshivaleit, chassidishe families, Modern Orthodox families, and everyone in between. It was a beautiful mosaic which I observed and appreciated.

So often, we take for granted how fortunate we are to be born into a nation that is as unique and special as ours. And it is easy to take it for granted or to even forget that we are a people of special character. Unfortunately, news headlines and stories are usually filled with the negative – what someone, somewhere, witnessed being done wrong by one of our people. Not often enough is it that we read about how caring, and sensitive, and truly remarkable our people are.

On Thursday, the first day of Chol Hamoed, I know that the Ribono Shel Olam was shepping nachas from the wonderful camaraderie and mentchlichkeit that was on display at Deno’s Wonder Wheel and the adjacent boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

It was no surprise to me when the gentleman who was manning the pop-the-balloon booth at the park remarked to me the Jewish holidays are one of his favorite times of the year to work at the park. People are respectful, he told me, all the children are dressed in their finest, wholesome and well-educated families gather together for some lighter moments… It is a breath of fresh air in a world filled with unpleasantries.

So to all of you reading this, smile and take pride in our beautiful nation of Klal Yisroel.

And to those who made a Kiddush Hashem on Thursday, thanks for infusing me with such joy, pride and chizuk.

A Proud Yid

Brooklyn, NY


  1. Whenever I see articles in the secular or irreligious press against frum people, I discount 3/4 of the information and I know if indeed there was something done wrong it is usually just an individual and doesn’t reflect the community as a whole. The frum community as a whole are respectful and well mannered. It is unfair to judge our communities by the irresponsible actions of some individuals.
    I am B”H very proud to be frum. I’ve also gotten positive comments from Non-Jews, especially when they observe my well mannered children.
    Positive comments or not, I am happy and proud of being part of such a wonderful nation. Mi keamcha Yisroel.

  2. It wasn’t only the people who are wonderful, but the writer too. He (or she?) chose to notice the kiddush Hashem that he saw.
    We can all choose to be that way and focus on the good, when unfortunately so many people notice the few rotten apples amongst us and forget how much good we do.
    I spent time in 2 hotels this winter amongst other frum people and both times the administration of the hotels remarked how terrific and well behaved the frum families were.
    In the merit of finding good in our brethren (and giving reasons for finding the good) may we merit the geula soon!

  3. #2 “Love being Jewish and Frum”

    Well said! It’s not only the secular and irreligious who write against frum people. Even some so-called frum people themselves love to hate themselves.

  4. Talmud Torah Kineged Kulom! What about the thousands & thousands of Bochurim and Yungerlite who sat and learn’t during Chal Hamoed? Spent time in the Bais Medrash? That’s a true Kiddush Hashem.

  5. This article is beautiful.Thank you.

    I would like to know, how do you submit an article to matzav,so that it is posted? I wish someone would fill me in how to do it.Thanks in advance.


    On the left side of the screen, you may click on one of the links under where it says “Contact Us.” Alternatively, you may simply send an email to

  6. I am just wondering if when you read about misdeeds by some individual from another group (i.e. catholic, black, etc), do you rush to say thank G-d I am not like THEM, or do you also attribute it to a few bad apples and give the rest the benefit of the doubt?

  7. That’s a real kiddush Hashem that statement. Hitler, yimach shmo, said the same thing with respect to us.
    Oh, and when we end up in the paper for crimes, we are not better then anybody.

  8. To #13
    You sound like a typical frum-basher. Do you want to compare?
    How many gemachim do the non-frum communities have?
    I hope Matzav will put this in- but how many unmarried teenagers in our communities are parents as opposed to the rest of American society?
    How many in our communties are carriers of the HIV virus?
    How many are murderers and suicide bombers?
    And don’t tell me about frum drug addicts, abusers and people who commit suicide because people like you will automatically always say that we hide the problems and sweep them under rugs and therefore we don’t hear how bad it is. Let me tell you, you got it all wrong. Nobody can keep any secrects in these tight knit communities, eventually all the secrets leak out to such an extent that even innocent behaviour that appears suspicous is dissected under our communties microscopes.

    I will be brutally honest and admit that sometimes problems are ignored, even though they ARE KNOWN because people have a tendancy to think that problems eventually go away and the person will change(i.e. she’s seeing a psychologist, his behaviour is not that bad etc.)
    I was in the mall yesterday and while in the elevator, I heard two teenagers disussing an incident. One was showing the other from where a teenager jumped off from to commit suicide. They were chuckling about it and spoke in a very nonchalant way. Yes I said right then and there burach sheloh asani goy. These were very well bahaved teens, totaly not rowdy and had good manners as well, however their heads and hearts were totaly different than a frum G-d fearing Jew who shudders at the very thought of anyone taking their lives. Now I know these teens are just two individuals and I don’t want to be judged by how some individuals in our communties act, however, my experience in dealing with people who are not frum is that while there are a lot of different levels of derech eretz that goyim have which can put some in our community to shame these very same people can act and think in such a way that we, who are the Am Hanifcher are horrified. The fact is, for all the derech eretz and freindliness a lot of non-frum have, the moral depravity of this generation is bad and keeps on getting worse.
    All in all, despite our shortcomings as all humans have, we frum Jews are way ahead of the rest of society.

  9. #16- That’s real intelligent, any debate is met with “apikorus”. Good talking to you.

    #17- You have no statistics to prove anything, only anecdotal evidence of things you were taught to fear about the outside world. The truth is that MOST people out there are nice, kind people, who also contribute to charity, raise good families, etc.
    Oh, and the reason you think there are no “drug addicts, teens, etc” in yoyur communities is that anyone who deviates just a bit is labeled and thrown out. It’s like saying “catholic priests do not abuse children, because the ones who do are not catholic.” You can’t have it both ways. Matzav would probably censor it if I listed all the cases of crimes/chillul Hashem committed by memebers of the frum community in 5 years, but it’s not hard to find. My whole point was, we should stop glorifying ourselves when compared to others because we have plenty to work on ourselves.

  10. #2/#17 “Love being Jewish and Frum”:

    Well said. Thank you for putting down your thoughts. They made a deep impression on me. I think everyone should learn from your positive attitude.

    I am proud to be a JEW. The elite nation and Am HaKodesh.

  11. to #18
    Forget the statistics- have you no common sense or are you deliberately putting on your blinders and comparing our pure and holy nation to the unfortunately very immoral society out there?
    I have not written in my previous post that non-frum people are not nice, nor well mannered. In fact I have mentioned that the derech eretz and freindly attitude that they display can put some in our community to shame. Neither did I say that all non-frum people are immoral, however whichever way you look at it, religious Jews in are brought up with thoughts of serving Hashem in purity and that is precisely why the kids who contaminate themselves with unpure substances and behaviours are thrown out so that they cannot ruin others and are only integrated back into our communities when they have done teshuva. So that being the case, these kids are thrown out of our mainstream educational systems, as you yourself admitted. If there were that many as yo you make it seem then the our schools would either shut down or not throw out these kids who veer out of the fold.
    Yes, every child who veers off the derech and every person who commits a major sin is a tragedy, but these are a minority otherwise they would not be the outcasts.
    Please do not state that the outside world is not devoid of morals as you are burying your head in the sand. From the way the women dress (or rather, they don’t) without any decency, to the empty words of their music(if you can call it that) to their violent and terribly immoral movies and the rest of the culture that goes with all of that. Sorry, it is devoid of decency, a bottomless pit of self serving that slowly is causing every new generation to sink lower in the mud.
    And of course you are right with your last sentence, we do have plenty to work on ourselves as individuals and as a community. That’s why we are still here on planet Earth- to work on ouselves to become better people.

  12. Indeed a kiddush hashem. Very nice piece. Too bad they are in America, they belong in Eretz Yisrael. But still very commendable.


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