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JANUARY 22 at 11:00am

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JANUARY 11, 2018


In last week’s Parsha we read how Moshe Rabeinu told the Yidden, pakod paka-

Around the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Year in Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Community Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

diti. Indeed, Hashem had remembered their plight and had sent Moshe to lead them


all now?”

Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Rabbi YY Rubinstein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Rav Moshe Weinberger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

PEOPLE 613 Seconds with Rabbi Yisroel Fuchs . . . . . . . . . . 19


out of Egypt. They believed him, anticipating their long awaited redemption. What follows is a mixture of, “Why do bad things happen? Can’t we just have it Although the Yidden were told they were leaving, their situation actually worsened and was then followed by the ten plagues. The process of redemption might have started but it was multi-faceted. They were sent to Egypt for a purpose. This included the specifics of how they would ultimately leave. The Arizal Hakadosh writes that the generation preceding the coming of Moshiach have the same souls as our ancestors in Mitzrayim. And today, we are experiencing the above emotions. Jews throughout the generations imparted to their children that, although scat-

Portrait of Hope. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

tered throughout the world, the creator would gather us m’arba kanfos ha’aretz,


from across the globe, ushering in a time of world peace. No more wars, hunger or

Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

JEWISH LIFE Sichos Avodas Levi By Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Biz Wiz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Beyond Limits - A Serial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 How to Fight Off the Flu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Cooking for the King. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

NEWS Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

Dear Readers,

jealousy. Forever. We’ve been told that our generation is that generation. We will be the ones to experience it. But there’s a process, a G-dly plan, and everything we see is happening for a purpose. We need to recognize the hand of G-d in all that we’re experiencing; this is indeed the lead up to the Messianic times. This might be the only belief still needing pure faith. Belief in a creator, afterlife and spirituality have become part of a rational belief system, not necessarily requiring us to tap into our old fashioned yidishe emunah. But, the belief in Moshiach combines physical reality with spiritual revelation. The present and the future. And for this we need faith. The prophets of old have prophesied such a time will come, and we believe in their words. Period. May we have a liberating Shabbos, Shalom.

In last week’s issue, we inadvertently omitted Photo Credit to Leba D. Photography for the Chai Lifeline Chanukah Party. Our apologies.

The Baltimore Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. All opinions expressed by the journalists, contributors and/or advertisers printed and/or quoted herein are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME, their parent company or affiliates, and may have been previously disseminated by them on television, radio, Internet or another medium. The Baltimore Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The BJH contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.



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Around the Community

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JANUARY 11, 2018

Yeshivas Kochav Yitzchok / Torah Institute of Baltimore First Lakewood Alumni Melave Malka!


n Motzei Shabbos Parshas Vayigash (December 23, 2017), 50 alumni of Yeshivas Kochav Yitzchok / Torah Insti‫־‬ tute of Baltimore gathered in Jackson, NJ, for the Cheder’s first ever alumni Melave Malka. The event was coordinated by Rabbi Daniel Skurnik, the Cheder’s Director of Development, and was hosted by alumnus R’ Avrumie Ellenbogen (1977) in the Ellenbogen home. R’ Avrumie succeeded in creating a most welcoming atmosphere, and treated his guests to an exquisite milchig spread. Rabbi Shimon Hirsch, the Cheder’s Menahel, and Rabbi Boruch Braun, 4th grade rebbi, participated in the beautiful event. In opening remarks, Rabbi Skurnik thanked those who helped organize the event. Rabbi Hirsch then addressed the crowd, pointing out that although the Cheder, in its over 65 years of existence, has grown from ten talmidim to over 700, the ahavas haTorah with

which Rav Sternhell imbued the Cheder is still woven into its fabric, and surely continues to give the Cheder a special siyata d’Shmaya. Rabbi Hirsch concluded his remarks by noting that the Melave Malka felt like a family simcha to him, one which he could not possibly miss. Rabbi Braun then shared that simply seeing how former talmidim have grown up and built beautiful yiddishe homes overwhelms him with nachas. To have some “fun,” Rabbi Braun asked if anyone remembered how he translated “ein mukdom u’me’ucher baTorah,” or how to sing certain phrases that they learned together. To his excitement, several talmidim re-

membered on the spot! Wide smiles and warm embraces filled the room, as old friends —some of whom had not seen each other in years —enjoyed each other’s company. To add further excitement to the evening, seforim and books (biographies of Rav Sternhell zt’l) were raffled off.

YKY/TI is proud that it has merited to produce so many fine B’nai Torah, who are raising beautiful families as they contribute to their communities and Klal Yisroel.

Renovations Additions New Construction



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Around the Community

By: The Associated Cohn


he Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore is pleased to announce that Laura Rubenstein and Andrew Razumovsky are this year’s Harry Greenstein Young Leadership Award recipients, in recognition of their outstanding leadership in the Jewish community. As part of this award, both Rubenstein and Razumovsky were sent to the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) General Assembly conference in LA in November, which brings together Federation professionals and volunteers from all over the world. Laura Rubenstein is a partner and a member of the leadership committee with the law firm of Wright, Constable & Skeen in Baltimore, where she concentrates in representing corporate clients and non-profit agencies in a wide

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JANUARY 11, 2018

The Associated Presents Harry Greenstein Young Leadership Awards range of employment matters. Rubenstein is involved in a variety of leadership roles throughout the Jewish community, including serving as current co-chair of The Associated’s Jewish Professional Women (JPW) Committee, which she successfully helped to relaunch in 2015. She has demonstrated dedication, passion and unmatched leadership and is an active member of the Jewish Community Center Board as well as The Associated’s Human Resources Committee. Rubenstein grew up in Baltimore, attended University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Baltimore Law School. She lives in Mt. Washington with her husband, Jason Rubenstein, and their two sons. Andrew Razumovsky, the principal of CANDA Solutions, LLC, has more than 20 years of experience in information technology, startups, security, risk management and business. He earned a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the Tbilisi

State University and completed executive education courses at Harvard Business School. Razumovsky has demonstrated tremendous leadership in the Jewish community, through his involvement with The Associated’s Baltimore-Odessa Partnership (BOP) and the Russian-Speaking Jewish Community initiative as well as serving on the board of Jewish Community Services and as a member of The Associated’s Board of Directors. He and his wife reside in Pikesville and have two children.

Both Rubenstein and Razumovsky attended the Jewish Federations of North America’s (JFNA) General Assembly conference in LA in November, which brings together Federation professionals and volunteers from all over the world. Harry Greenstein served as Executive Director of The Associated for more than 37 years, and later headed the Legacy and Endowment Department. A lawyer, administrator, and most of all a humanitarian, Harry helped our federation grow into the leader that it is today. The award, named in his honor and presented annually, recognizes young persons who display sustained leadership in service to The Associated. The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore strengthens and nurtures Jewish life by engaging and supporting community partners in Greater Baltimore, Israel and around the world



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Security Entrance at Bnos Yisroel


hen one approaches the front entrance of Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore, one is struck by the imposing new doors. Is this Fort Knox of Kentucky or the Baltimore repository of golden Jewish neshamos? Recently, Bnos Yisroel has become the recipient of a new security entrance, donated by

“We greatly appreciate Mrs. Galperin’s gift of this additional measure to keep our students secure.” The impetus for this initiative resulted from a meeting with Mr. David Johnston, Protection Security Advisor of the Department of Homeland Security. Following a thorough tour of the Bnos Yisroel building, Mr. John-

of doors, he could be stopped before accessing the building. Due to Mrs. Galperin’s generosity, this exciting summer project enabled us to begin the new school year in a more secure environment. The building entrance has been dedicated in fond memory of Mrs. Galperin’s husband, Dr. Irving O.

memories of Mrs. Galperin standing by the door waving to the girls during Friday carpool. She loved watching the girls during recess and lunch, and she especially appreciated the art projects the girls created for her. We miss her smiling face and her love of the color purple, and we think of her every day when we enter the building. May

Mrs. Gloria Galperin. “The new entrance provides our students with an added degree of safety, something of which we are always cognizant in today’s world” says Mrs. Sara Itzkowitz, Bnos Yisroel’s founding principal.

ston identified several opportunities to further secure the school’s infrastructure. Primary among these was the installation of a new security entrance, ensuring that even if an unwanted visitor were able to get through one set

Galperin, and her mother, Mrs. Bessie (Malka) Diamond. Just a few weeks ago, on Motzei Shabbos Chanukah, Mrs. Galperin passed away. With her passing, we lost a true friend. We have wonderful

the zechus of her support be an aliya for the neshama of Gloria bas Malka, a”h.


JANUARY 11, 2018

A Loving Gift from a Loyal Friend

Shabbos Mode for Traffic Lights along Smith!

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hanks to the advocacy of Councilwoman Vicki Almond and her team, the dedicated efforts of PGCC (Pikesville Greenspring Community Coalition) as well as many neighborhood residents, an exciting update is being made to the traffic lights along Smith Ave. This change will go into effect

this Shabbos, January 13th. Whereas traffic lights typically require a button press for the crosswalks to indicate it’s safe to cross, beginning this week the traffic lights along Smith Ave at the corners of Pimlico, Greenspring, Sanzo, Labyrinth, and Seven Mile will be programmed to cycle automatically every Friday evening and Saturday so

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that Shabbos observant pedestrians can safely cross the street. These exciting changes come after many months of efforts by the Councilwoman’s office working with the administration and several community groups. The effort, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Public Works, is part of a larger initiative to balance safety, engineering, and practical considerations while exploring ways to improve pedestrian safety in the neighborhoods on and around Smith Ave. The results are a thrilling example of community, elected officials, and county govern-

ment working together for the benefit of Baltimore County residents. Commenting on this announcement, Councilwoman Vicki Almond said “As our community changes, county government must adapt to its changing needs. I am committed to making Baltimore County work for everyone and this is a simple solution that improves the quality of life for so many of my constituents.” As we often hear calls to express concerns to public officials and government, it’s equally important to express gratitude at a time like this. Please consider forwarding your thanks and gratitude to any or all of the following: Councilwoman Vicki Almond -    Baltimore County Department of Public Works - Pikesville Greenspring Community Coalition -



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JANUARY 11, 2018


Around the Community

HaRav Aharon Feldman, shlita, Talks About the Life of Maran Rav Shteinman, ZT’L By: BJLife Staff Cohn


his past Sunday evening, the Agudah of Park Heights in conjunction with Shearith Israel Cong. sponsored a talk by the Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, HaRav Aaron Feldman, Shlita, on the life of Maran Rav Shteinman, ZT’L, and what we can learn from him. The Rosh Yeshiva was introduced by Reb Moshe Fulda, president of the Agudah who told the crowded Bais Medrash that the Rosh Yeshiva knew the niftar for many years and was familiar with many of his hanhogos. Harav Feldman, shlita, began by quoting the posuk of Mah Hashem Elokecho shoel ….to describe the life

of the niftar. He pointed out how mundane things meant very little to him, but that Torah and Avodah were the key factors in his life. He described his Tefilos as not too lengthy; it appeared as though they were conversations between him and Hashem. He described a man who would only eat to sustain himself for avodas haboreh and would have no desire for chocolate cake because if you eat to serve then it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you stay healthy. The Rosh Yeshiva also told some short stories to bring out the salient point: Maran lived for Hashem; every-

thing was subordinate to that goal. The Rosh Yeshiva explained that so many people went to Rav Shteinman for advice because he could totally remove himself from a situation which enabled him to have tremendous clarity and the ability to see solutions. Only a

true eved Hashem can be so dedicated to Hashem and not to himself. The crowd came away with a better understanding of the uniqueness of Maran HaRav Shteinman, ZT’L and how a true eved HaShem lives and perceives different things.




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Legal Holiday Program at Kollel Nachlas HaTorah JANUARY 11, 2018

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n Monday morning, January 1, 14 Teves 5778, Kollel Nachlas HaTorah of Congregation Machzikei Torah held a special program for all Jewish men interested in utilizing the day to increase their limud haTorah. The program began with a shiur by the Rosh Kollel of Nachlas HaTorah, HaRav Nechemiah Goldstein. Rabbi Goldstein discussed the halachos of chukas hagoyim and the implications for behavior on non-Jewish holidays. The Torah tells us bechukoseihem lo teleichu, and from this posuk chazal have derived many restrictions on the way we may behave, in order that we do not imitate umos haolam. These restrictions do not extend to things that are based on reason, such as uniforms or professional attire universally worn by doctors. Regarding refuah, there is no issur in principle of chukas hagoyim, but there is a dispute whether one is permitted to use only methods which have been determined definitively to work (boduk umenusah), or also methods which have not been shown not to work. He also addressed the issue of gifts to gentiles around the time of their holidays and how to greet and respond to them.     The large and attentive crowd at the Kollel was then addressed by Rav Beryl Weisbord, Masgiach Ruchani of Ner Yisroel. He discussed the difference between Jews and gentiles, and why we observe Rosh Hashana so differently than the way they celebrate the secular new year. Rabbi Weisbord explained that whereas am Yisroel accepted the Torah unconditionally as the command of Hashem, the umos haolam first asked what was in it to see if it was compatible with their personal desires. Therefore, while we precede Rosh Hashana with a month of focus on teshuva to keep us on the right track, among the goyim there is much discussion of new year’s resolutions, they are generally regarded as destined to fail, and the way of resolving the contradiction is to party and get drunk. The Masgiach quoted the novel approach of Seforno on Parshas Shemos, who says that after the death of the original 70 who came down to Mitzrayim, their descendents turned to derech sher-

atzim, so that Pharaoh could not believe they were related to Yosef Hatzaddik, and he wanted to expel them before they outnumbered the native Egyptians. He says that he tried to get them to leave by adopting antisemitic laws and taxes, but the Jews submitted because they wanted to stay in Mitzrayim. Only then did he enslave them. The lesson is that we must not be swayed by the surrounding culture because the Torah  is emes and the world is full of sheker. The Kollel provides an opportunity to men of all ages who have time available in the morning which they would like to engage in the most valuable endeavor – advancing their Torah knowledge in a structured way. It is particularly suitable for men who are retired, between jobs or have flexible schedules. The Kollel’s well-structured program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. every day from Monday through Friday, following Machzikei Torah’s 8:30 Shacharis, with generous refreshments available. For more information, please contact Rabbi Nechemiah Goldstein at 410-3581019 or Rabbi Yitzchok Neger at 443803-0580.



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Around the Community


JANUARY 11, 2018

Jewish Community Football League Completes Season Number 6


n Sunday, December 3rdth, 2017, with a game-time temperature of 60 degrees at the beautiful turf field at Meadowood Park, countless JCFL fans showed up to cheer on the players of Elle Remodeling and Shimz Cars, as each team vied for a win in the “Souper Duper Bowl” by CWS Meats. In an exciting game that contained a plethora of memorable plays, Elle Remodeling took home the win (49-14) and the CWS Meats Championship Trophy for the 2017 season.

Elle Remodeling Shimz Cars

49 14

The ceremonies began with a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem led by local Sephardic Cantorial talent, Yacov “The Ululator” Benzaquen. At the conclusion of the anthem and following a breathtaking stadium flyover, the game was on and Elle Remodeling was ready to take flight. Taking over on downs as a result of some strong defense play, Elle capitalized on their first offensive drive as QB Yoyo “The Human Pinball” Strauss scrambled, bought time, and found WR Shuli “The Hoch Potato” Hochman for the first score of the game. On the following drive, Yoyo intercepted Shimz QB Avi Yudkowsky on an intended cross route and after settling back under center, went back to his security blanket WR Shuli “Hoch Chocolate” Hochman for another TD.

Up by two scores, the Remodelers could smell a route coming and kept the pressure on. Shimz quickly went four and out due to tremendous defensive line pressure from Yitzy “The Truck” Siedel and Tzvi “The Pom-Pom” Haber. They were relentless, (like gum on a shoe, like white on rice, like traffic in Brooklyn) never once letting up on a rush. (Both linemen finished the day with a couple of sacks each.) After another four and out for Shimz, Elle went back on the offensive. Behind the steadiest line in the league lead by Jacob “The Humble” Benzaquen, (touted by many who live on the corner of Seven Mile and Bonnie as the biggest steal of the 2017 draft), Yoyo found WR O’ren “Ishii” Bluman for a stunning tear drop rainbow pass that could only be described as art for its mere beauty and the third score of the game. As the first half was nearing completion and Shimz was still not on the scoreboard, Elle refused to relent. On Shimz’ next offensive possession, Yoyo jumped a route and took the interception to the house behind some incredible blocking by Moshe “Friar” Tuchman and Mordi Spero “Mint Gum.” On the final drive of the half, Yudkowsky once again found himself under more pressure than Congress was to pass the Tax bill, and heaved a pass in traffic which was intercepted by Moshe “Tuch and Roll” Tuchman who then high-stepped into the end zone. (ESPN

legend Chris Berman could faintly be heard shouting “he could go all the way!”) While halftime was uneventful, Elle Remodeling’s host of the celebratory BBQ Joe “Soap on A Rope” Openden provided some much needed inspiration by promising beef hotdogs instead of chicken hot dogs at the celebration dinner if Elle won. With renewed focus and vigor, Elle was now fully committed to coming away with the win. While Shimz came to life in the second half, scoring on two impressive drives and actually outplaying Elle Remodeling from halftime on, it was too little too late. Another Elle Remodeling TD strike to Oren “Tangled up in” Bluman and a late safety from ER’s Moshe “Tuck Finn” Tuchman were just too much for the Shimz squad and when the dust had settled, Elle Remodeling walked away with a 49-14 win and the championship. Of note, season-long ER standout Josh “I’m not a hillbilly I’m just a” Resnick, was held without a TD but his blanket defense and proficient route running kept Elle in a good groove.

Elle Remodeling finished the season with a perfect 9-0 record (counting the regular season, playoffs, and the championship.) Teamwork, dedication, checking egos at the door and obviously the promise of a BBQ for the ages by Elle Remodeling and JBZ Management, were the key to a successful season. Yoyo was handed the phantom MVP trophy by lead ref Walt Johnson and Elle Remodeling was handed the 2017 championship trophy. Elle Remodeling wants to extend a thank you to all the players and sponsors as well as the refereeing crews and league committee for another successful seasons. Elle looks to continue its “Patriotesque” streak into the upcoming 2018 season and is looking forward to seeing everyone back on the field next year! (Phenomenal pictures taken by local photography talent, Rachel Mares. Rachel’s other work can be viewed at her website Her contact info can also be found on the site if you are looking for a photographer for your next event.)

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Krispy Kreme... or Not? By: BJLife Staff Cohn


ver the last few months, there has been much talk and confusion about the kashrus status of Krispy Kreme in

Owings Mills. Many people have quoted cRc of Chicago regarding the acceptability of the Krispy Kreme. BJL was contacted by the cRc this past Monday with the following statement issued: The cRc official position is that we

are no longer recommending or not recommending Krispy Kreme across the USA. We have no information regarding specific stores. Consumers should call the Rav Hamachshir (Rabbi Issacson) directly and address any questions to him.

TAG Filters Baltimore By: BJLife Staff Cohn


n Sunday the Tag Mobile Van visited three shuls in Baltimore. TAG, with a local office on Park Heights and Clarks Lane helps people filter their

devices to protect them and their families from the negative influences of the easily accessibility of the internet on these devices. This project is Managed by Reb Mayer Kleiner and Reb Tzvi Schwartz, assisted by volunteers. The TAG van made its final stop at the Agudah of Park Heights. The members of the team, assist-

ed by local TAG members, were busy helping people install filters on their internet accessible devices from the moment they arrived till they left. The team was impressed by the achdus and the sincerity they experienced in the Baltimore community and left with supper for the road on their trip back to New York.




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Rabbi Yisroel Fuchs physical, and developmental disabilities. The staff and therapists go the extra mile to find professional and creative ways to adapt to each child’s unique needs. We do not have a mold to fit into. At JEWELS, a new mold is created for each child and modified as the child grows. If you could dream about the longterm future of JEWELS, what would it look like? Moshiach should come and JEWELS will no longer be needed. Until then, JEWELS would be integrated with our community schools so that true inclusion can be accomplished. I dream of offering more types of therapy which can make a difference in the lives of our children. Why would a parent send a typical child to JEWELS The first reason that comes to mind is having your child in a classroom of 10 children with 3 staff members who are highly skilled and experienced is the first reason. Our children receive personal attention and lots of love. There are many parents who value and share our passion for inclusion. In addition, it is an amazing experience for a typical child to grow together with a child with special needs. We hope that they will develop a positive outlook for those with disabilities in the future. With tuition prices for typically developing children straining people’s budgets, how do your parents handle the high price of special education.

JEWELS will never allow finances to get in the way of a child with special needs attending our school. We ask parents to try their best and they really do. Having a child with special needs can be quite costly. We get it and that’s why we put tremendous efforts into our annual campaign each year. The annual Charidy campaign is what allows us to make JEWELS affordable for Baltimore’s children with special needs. No parent of a child with special needs should ever feel that they can’t afford JEWELS. How many staff members are there at JEWELS? There are currently 40 staff members (40 students!) comprised of Teachers, Therapists, and support staff. Where is JEWELS located? JEWELS is currently renting space in the Cheder Chabad building across from the Park Heights JCC. BH, both schools are growing, and space is tight. We hope someday to have our own home where we can continue to expand and offer more for our children. How has the community responded to JEWELS? The community has been amazing. They have embraced JEWELS and our mission. It has been heartwarming to see the people from all sections of the community step forward to offer support for JEWELS. We really feel that JEWELS belongs to our community and that people have a special place in their heart for JEWELS.

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Where were you born? Brooklyn, NY (actually, Crown Heights) What brought you to Baltimore? My wife is a Baltimore native, (Nechuma Freidman). We were living in Denver Colorado where I was in chinuch. A position opened up in TA (24 years ago) and we jumped at the opportunity. How long have you been involved with JEWELS I have been involved with JEWELS since its inception six years ago. JEWELS began as a dream to create a school in Baltimore where children with special needs can have a chance at a bright future. The Freidmans (Tvi & Shevi), The Bambergers, and my wife & I sat around a dining room table and we all said that with Hashems help, it will happen. We decided to go ahead and jump in. Currently, we have 40 Students and 40 faculty members! How are you enjoying your new posi-

tion as Executive Director of JEWELS? Incredible! It is a very inspirational place to spend your day. The children are absolutely precious. The parents are great, and the staff is off the charts amazing. They are professional and extremely caring. Mrs. Bamberger is just a wonderful person and gives her whole being and neshoma to JEWELS. Of course, I miss TA and my boys, but Hashem had other plans. After spending twenty-three years in TA, there is definitely a part of me still at TA. What made you want to leave TA and join JEWELS Many dedicated board members have been supporting Mrs. Bamberger and the school since its beginning. Since my wife and I were involved in its creation, we felt an overwhelming calling and responsibility to JEWELS. As the school grew, more needed to be done to help it develop. After asking my Rebbeim and speaking with G’dolim, we joined JEWELS. What is the vision of JEWELS? Currently, JEWELS services children ages 2 through 9 with the younger classes being true models of inclusion. We would like to see JEWELS satellite classes in local schools so that we can take inclusion to the next level. As our children grow, so will we. What types of children does JEWELS serve? JEWELS serves children with special needs and typical children. We have children with a wide variety of cognitive,





JANUARY 11, 2018


The Week In News



Brian Sacks

As seen on NBC/CBS/ABC

A few years ago we had bankruptcy because of some personal and business issues. How long do I have to wait before I am able to get a new mortgage? Tom B. – Pikesville

Bibi: Israel Thwarted Hijackings

DEAR TOM, Thanks for your question Tom. Millions of Americans had issues during the past economic crisis. Many sold their homes with a short sale, had to file bankruptcy, or lost their home to foreclosure. The good news is that this is the area that I am the national expert in. There are some programs that have recently come out that allow borrowers to buy a new home 1 day after a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale. Everyone has bumps in life and the lending industry is starting to accept that and offer solutions so you can once again be a homeowner. Your first step should be to meet with a lender and go over your options and the programs available.

Brian Sacks has helped over 5,894 families become homeowners over the past 31 years. He often appears on WBAL Channel 11 and numerous on-line sites and newspapers as a national mortgage expert. Brian can be reached at 443.471.8557 or e-mail RENTING? Free Report Reveals Renter Secrets visit

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ery dollar the Israeli government puts up beyond the original funding. The new organization will use public campaigns, lobbying, and a social media presence to promote their agenda and to combat BDS. They will coordinate with pro-Israel organizations from around the globe and focus specifically on Europe for their first couple of years.

A list has been composed by the Strategic Affairs Ministry of organizations that promote the boycotting of Israel. Gilad Erdan, the head of the department, will work with the Interior Ministry to block members of the listed groups from entering Israel starting in March. The blacklist consists of around twenty groups that participate in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is known to openly work to delegitimize Israel. Groups included on the list come from Italy, France, South Africa, Scandinavia, and the Jewish-American group Jewish Voice for Peace. Israel has been fighting the BDS movement for many years but has now designated significant funding to counter its hateful efforts. Last week, the Knesset approved $75 million to be set aside to fight BDS. The funds are to be partially used to set up a notfor-profit organization whose board will be comprised of foreign donors and local government officials. The funding for this anti-BDS organization will come partly from the Israeli government and partly from Jewish donors and communities outside of Israel. The initial $36 million in funding is coming from the budget of the Public Diplomacy Ministry but at least ten Jewish philanthropists have agreed to match that sum. Some donors have pledged $2 or $3 for ev-

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated on Tuesday that Israel has prevented hijacked airplanes from crashing into European cities. “We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries,” he told foreign diplomats in Jerusalem. “Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives,” Netanyahu said, apparently referring to plane hijackings. He did not provide specific details about the attacks Israel helped prevent. At a meeting of Israel-based ambassadors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Netanyahu said Jerusalem contributes to the security of every single member of the Western defense alliance, in that it fights both Sunni and Shiite strands of radical Islam. Besides fighting Islamic State terrorism aimed at European cities, Israel is also preventing the group from creating a second stronghold in Egypt, he noted. “ISIS is being destroyed in Iraq and


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Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways,” Netanyahu said. “In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam.” Israel further helps NATO by fighting Iran, the dominant Shiite power, the prime minister went on. The Jewish state does not only seek to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is also “absolutely committed to preventing Iran from establishing a military base in Syria. And we back our words with action,” he added, likely hinting at various airstrikes on weapon convoys and factories allegedly carried out by Israel. Furthermore, Iran plans to import 100,000 Shiite fighters to Syria as part of its quest to dominate and eventually “conquer” the Middle East, he charged. If Tehran were successful in its efforts, radical Sunni and Shiite forces would clash in Syria, sending millions of refugees to European shores, the prime minister warned. “Where will the spillover [of a Sunni-Shiite clash in Syria] happen? In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To Europe. Who’s preventing that right now? Israel? Right now, Israel alone. But I maintain that it’s a common interest that we have,” he told the NATO ambassadors during the public part of the event. Israel and NATO have cooperated on security matters for decades but recently upgraded their ties significantly. Last year, Israel opened its first office at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Israeli officials have repeatedly said that the Jewish state opposes the presence of Iran and its proxies, notably Hezbollah, in southern Syria and Lebanon. Israel has been negotiating with the United States and Russia, the main brokers in Syria, to keep Iranbacked Shiite militias and the Hezbollah terrorist group away from the border. Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said the most serious immediate threat to Israel was posed by Hezbollah, followed by other jihadist groups supported by Tehran positioned on the Syrian border. Describing Iran as a “multidimensional threat,” the

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army chief said the most worrying aspect is the Islamic Republic’s desire to obtain nuclear capabilities, followed by its efforts to achieve hegemony in the region.

Trump Threatens to Cut Palestinian Funds The Trump administration is considering cutting aid to the Palestinians Authority if it does not cooperate with Washington in Middle East peace talks. “We are reviewing our assistance to the Palestinians in light of their recent conduct, per the president’s recent message,” said a White House statement. The comments came after President Trump tweeted that he wanted to cut funding because Palestinians are “no longer willing to talk peace.” The administration was not clear on whether it will cut funding to the Palestinian people or only to the funds that are funneled to the UN refugee agency UNRWA. A White House official said that they will “continue to review the impact and effectiveness of UNRWA’s aid programs. This is prudent, and indeed, it is our duty to the American taxpayer.” Last week, U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned that the United States’ support for UNRWA would end if the PA refuses to participate in peace talks. “I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” she said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.” In 2016, the United States gave UNRWA $368,429,712. It gave an additional $357 million to Palestinian aid projects, including $290 million through USAID and $54 million for security and justice assistance. The U.S. channels its money to specific projects to try to reduce the amount of corruption and terrorist salaries it

supports. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly applauded President Trump’s support but has reportedly tried to prevent the U.S. from cutting all funds to UNRWA, fearing it will lead to further destabilization of the Gaza Strip. Since President Trump announced that he will be moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will not meet with any American diplomats on Trump’s team, including Vice President Mike Pence, who arrives in the Middle East later this month.

Moms to Be: Take Your Vitamins Mothers-to-be who take folic acid and vitamin supplements before and during their pregnancy are much less likely to give birth to a child with autism, according to a University of Haifa study. Researchers found that women who take multivitamins with folic acid before and during their pregnancy are 61 percent and 73 percent less at risk, respectively. The previous studies on the link between the regularly recommended vitamins and autism prevention have had inconsistent results. Some defects that lead to autism occur when mothers are just three to four weeks pregnant, when some do not even know they are expecting. The cocktail of vitamins, particularly folic acid, has been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing neural tube defects that may cause spine and brain problems such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Dr. Stephen Levine led the study which focused on 45,300 Israeli children born between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2007 who were all diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They then picked a random sample of children and compared the prescriptions of their moms before and during their pregnancy. ”Reduced risk of ASD in offspring is a consideration for public health policy that may be realized by extended use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements during pregnancy,” the study

concluded. The authors of the study did admit that they could not rule out other factors that may have been responsible for the reduced risk they found and said that more research on the subject is needed.

IDF’s Impressive New Intelligence Unit A new IDF unit was unveiled this past week. In a press briefing, a high ranking military official explained that Unit 3060 will function as the military’s “intelligence processor” that will be charged with developing operational data sharing tools for field intelligence officers. Although the unit was developed in 2014, its existence was kept secret until now. The unit’s tasks include processing and transferring information between intelligence gathering and processing units and the army’s operational units. Information comes in many forms today, including visual data like aerial imagery collected by drones and satellites, data maps depicting enemy movement, photographs and videos taken in the field, audio recordings and text-based data like reports. Unit 3060 has been dubbed the “Purple Unit” because it is positioned between Israeli military forces on maps which appear in blue and enemies which are marked in red. The unit has 400 soldiers and officers. They will be developing software and applications to streamline information flow. The Purple Unit has already developed an artificial intelligence software known as “Albert” which translates information to operational forces on an easy interface, similar to a smartphone app. The unit has close relationships with the Israeli tech community. EBay Israel’s chief scientist, Kira Radinsky, is collaborating with the unit and is advising their data science laboratory.



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The Week In News E. Jerusalem Called “Capital of Palestine” by Arab Leaders The state of Jordan has announced that the Arab League will be seeking international recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. After talks in Amman, Ayman Safadi, the Foreign Minister

of Jordan, made the announcement at a joint news conference with Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the chief of the Arab league. Foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the Emirates all attended the talks. “There is a political decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and we will strive to reach an international political decision to recognize a Palestinian state... with (Eastern) Jerusalem as its capital,” Safadi declared afterwards.

Abul Gheit said that another meeting is to be held at the end of the month with an expanded roster of attendees to discuss the status of Jerusalem. President Donald Trump announced on December 6, 2017 that the United States would be recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and will be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the near future. The Arab world was angered by President Trump’s decision and has come back with many protests and declarations in response. Turkey

and Malaysia have both declared that they will be opening embassies in East Jerusalem, which they are referring to as the capital of Palestine.

Hamas Terrorist Shot by “Accident”

According to Hamas, a senior Hamas figure in Gaza has been shot in the head in what the militant Palestinian group says was an accident. Imad al-Alami shot himself while “inspecting his personal weapon in his home” and was in a critical condition, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. Medical sources say Alami, a former member of Hamas’s political bureau who has close ties to Iran, is being treated at a hospital in Gaza City. Alami, who was born in Gaza in 1956 and is also known as Abu Hamam, was one of the founders of Hamas. In 2003, the U.S. declared him a “specially designated global terrorist.” It identified him as a member of the Hamas political bureau based in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and said he had oversight responsibility for the group’s military wing in Gaza and the West Bank. Alami also served for years as Hamas’s main envoy to Iran, the group’s main military and financial backer, according to the Times of Israel. He left Damascus for Gaza is 2012, a year after the start of the war in Syria. He was then elected deputy leader in Gaza, a position he held until last year.

Prolific Israeli Author Dies at 85 Aharon Appelfeld, one of the most

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The Week In News



prolific authors in Israel’s history, has died at the age of 85. His most recent book, Perplexity, was published just three months ago. Appelfeld had written 47 books and was the receiver of the 1983 Israel Prize for literature and the 1989 National Jewish Book Award for fiction. In 1997 he was appointed a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



JANUARY 11, 2018


Appelfeld was born in Romania (present-day Ukraine) and lived there with his parents until the Nazis slaughtered his mother when he was eightyears-old. He and his father were sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He was separated from his father and escaped the concentration camp when he was 13, living in the forest among horse thieves and gypsies. Much of Appelfeld’s writing was based on his experiences in the Holocaust. He wrote many famous Holocaust-fiction stories and books. His first book to be translated to English was Badenheim 1939, which is still on the syllabus of many Holocaust classes. Appelfeld said that he transformed his memories into works fiction. “I’m not writing memoirs — I’m using pieces of my own experience,” he would say. After the war, Appelfeld unexpectedly found his father’s name on a Jewish Agency list of survivors. He said later in life that the miracle of finding his father was so unexpected and emotional that he was never able to write about it. Appelfeld spent many years living in Jerusalem where he would write in cafes. He wrote once that “only in a Jerusalem café do I feel the freedom of imagination. That’s my starting point. That’s where I depart from, and it is to there that I return.” He is survived by his wife, Judith, and three children.

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ISIS Declares War on Hamas The branch of ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula has declared war on Hamas. In their signature fashion, the terrorist group put together a gruesome video in which they call on their supporters to attack Hamas. They subsequently brutally kill one of their own members on camera for allegedly smuggling weapons to Hamas. Abu Kazem al-Maqdisi, the speaker in the 22 minute video, says that Hamas “uses its smuggled weapons to empower that which was not revealed by G-d. It also fights supporters of the Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai and prevents the migration of these supporters from Gaza to the Sinai.” Al-Maqdisi is an Islamic State preacher in the Sinai, originally from Gaza. He then calls on his supporters to attack Hamas locations in Gaza because they are the “the pillars of tyranny.” The video begins with a clip of President Donald Trump saying that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. ISIS then blames Hamas for this development and for failing to fight Jews for the “correct” reasons. Hamas, a sworn enemy of Israel, has been in charge of the Gaza Strip for the past decade. The bloodthirsty terror group is, incredibly, sometimes criticized by other terrorist groups in Gaza for not being extreme enough. In August, a member of ISIS carried out the first suicide bombing against Hamas forces in Gaza in which a border guard was killed. Hamas spokesperson Salah Bardawil dismissed the video as a “Zionist production.”

Israel Restores Electricity to Gaza After more than six months, Israel will restore the Gaza Strip’s power supply to full capacity now that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to pay what they owe for the utilities.





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E X C L U S I V E LY F R O M P E Y D :

The Week In News

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JANUARY 11, 2018


outside of the pastry is topped with a mix of dried sesame and seaweed bits (nori). Need a little more flavor? Chefs offer a side of soy sauce for those who want to elevate the sushi experience even more.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has instructed the Israel Electric Corporation to increase the supply from its current 40% to its maximum capacity. The power rates had been cut significantly after the Palestinian Authority decreased their payments to Israel in an attempt to pressure Hamas to loosen its grip on Gaza. The PA announced that it will begin paying for its complete share of electricity in Gaza last week. The announcement came as part of the reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. The power bill being paid was one of Hamas’ key demands. Gazans will now have six to eight hours a day of power, compared to the two to four hours they have had for the past six months. The shortages of electricity affected many areas of life in Gaza. Water treatment facilities were not operational and healthcare locations had to be closed for much of the day.

Crossushi Want to know about a food trend that’s going to be kosher real soon? We know it’s going to be kosher because anything that’s really good ends up being made by intrepid and creative chefs in the kosher world. So here goes: the food has been termed the crossushi and was originally called the California Croissant. Truthfully, it looks like a flaky rugelach, but instead of chocolate or cinnamon inside, eaters are treated to a sushi wonderland. The French croissant hides a salmon roll with ginger and a bit of wasabi inside. The

The original sushi croissant, the “California Croissant,” was created at a Mr. Holmes Bakehouse location in San Francisco. But people have been loving the crossushi so much other stores have been offering their own version. Soon to come to Central Avenue? Well, it’s a cross between a pasty and sushi – what more can we want?

“We basically just start saying it’s stupid cold outside,” Mike Carmon, senior meteorologist at the Mount Washington Observatory, said. Mount Washington, which is in the White Mountains, sits at 6,288 feet above sea level. It is the highest peak in the northeastern United States.  Minus 36 degrees sounds cold but Mount Washington wasn’t the coldest spot on Saturday. That distinction went to two places: Eureka Nunavut, in Canada, and Jakutsk, Russia. Both recorded a temperature of minus 38 degrees early Saturday morning. The East Coast had been gripped by extreme winter conditions this week, including blistering cold, heavy snowfall and strong winds that were all generated by what meteorologists call a “bomb cyclone.” Yes, it’s really cold outside.

Trust Me – or Not?

Cold to the Bone

Want to know what the second coldest place on the planet was this weekend? New Hampshire’s Mount Washington plummeted to an astonishing minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, making it one of the coldest places on Earth. The summit was tied with the Canadian town of Armstrong, Ontario, as the second-coldest location around the globe. With the wind whipping at more than 100 mph, the wind chill on the mountain reached about 94 degrees below zero. It felt colder there than on the surface of Mars, where the temperature was minus 78 degrees.

A case of a stolen car was solved with a bit of irony last week in Virginia. A man left his car unlocked as he warmed it up one morning. But then two individuals walked by, saw the unlocked vehicle, and made off with the car. Later in the day, clever officers found the stolen car while conducting a traffic stop. They also found forged checks in the vehicle. Clearly, the two weren’t the most honest individuals. They were also not the brightest thieves. Wilmer Garcia, one of the robbers, was wearing a t-shirt with the words “trust me” emblazoned across the chest. He was charged with

auto theft and two counts of forgery. Moral of the story: not all men who wear the words “trust me” on their t-shirts should be trusted. Oh, and please lock your cars. There are many coldhearted individuals out there who can’t wait to take your warm vehicles.

Daytime Heist

This may sound like the plot of a movie, but it really happened in Venice last week. Several jewels and pieces of jewelry were on display at the Doge’s Palace, a popular tourist spot in Venice, as part of an exhibition of Indian jewelry from the Qatari royal collection. But not everyone at the exhibit was there just to look. A team of thieves, mingling with tourists, grabbed jewels from a display case. One of the thieves acted as a lookout during the heist. The exhibition displayed over 270 pieces of Indian Mughal jewelry from the 16th to 20th century. The thieves made off with a pair of earrings and a brooch made of diamonds, gold and platinum. The pieces were owned by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani. The tourists with the sticky fingers were professionals. They were able to delay the alarm system for one minute so it wasn’t triggered until they made their clean escape. The pieces of jewelry, worth an estimated “few million euros,” will be difficult to sell because of their international recognition. As such, they will have to be disassembled and sold separately. Sounds like someone stole the show.



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JANUARY 11, 2018

Torah Thought

The Emperor Has No Clothes By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

At the end of our Parsha when the Torah describes the reaction of the Egyptians to the warning of the impending plague of ‫ברד‬, Hail, the Torah contrasts the behavior of those who were fearful and those who weren’t as follows: )‫ (שמות ט כ‬...'‫ הירא את דבר ד‬, “Whoever... feared the word of G-d chased his servants and his livestock to the houses, ...‫ ואשר לא שם אל לבו‬, and whoever did not take the word of Hashem to heart, left his servants and livestock in the fields”.

The Torah does not define those who were complacent as ‘not fearing G-d’ but rather as ‘who did not take the word of G-d to heart’. Not taking the word of G-d to heart is the product of not fearing Him. Why then does the Torah emphasize the result and not the cause? The Ramban points out that specifically at the onset of the first of each set of Plagues; ‫דם‬, Blood,‫דצ"ך; ערוב‬, Swarm of wild beasts,‫ ;עד"ש‬and ‫ברד‬, Hail, ‫באח"ב‬, Moshe and Aharon are told to confront Pharaoh as he ‘goes

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out to the water’ at the bank of the Nile River. Rashi informs us that this was done with the intent to reveal Pharaoh’s strategy of deceit, who claimed he was a deity and therefore did not necessitate the normal body functions of a human. Pharaoh would take care of his most basic function in the wee hours of the morning, concealed from his people in order to maintain his guise. Moshe and Aharon would thus literally ‘catch him with his pants down’ in their early morning confrontation with him. Ramban differs and maintains that his ‘going out to the water’ refers to the custom of Pharaoh to publicly engage in some form of water sport at the river bank, openly bathing and playing to the adoration of the crowds of his people gathered to observe him. This scene is reminiscent of Chairman Mao’s historic swim in the Yangtze River in 1966 to the adulation of the masses who participated. Whether Rashi’s or Ramban’s interpretation, the question may be asked, why is this fact so significantly and repeatedly portrayed at the inception of each series of plagues? Why is it that so often the truths that are apparent to us have no impact on us? Does any one of us truly lack a belief and a fear of G-d? Yet we do sin, we do falter and lapse into a lack of consciousness of what deep down we know to be true. It is the product of not ‘taking to heart’ that which we internally know. We deflect the truth from making an impression on us and affecting us. We create ‘barriers’ of resistance. Inhibition is a trait that helps to preserve our honor. The appropriate clothing we wear the proper manner of speech we use and the good behavior we display, are all inhibitors that enhance our consciousness of our dignity and honor. On the other hand, one who is uninhibited inculcates a behavior of deflecting those internal values that serve to help us maintain our selfworth and dignity. Lack of inhibitions numbs a person’s moral instincts and desensitizes one’s accurate sense of values. One who speaks coarsely will inevitably be insensitive to others feelings. A person who can parade publicly in skimpy clothing will become immune to the subtleties of the values of modesty and self-respect. Pharaoh maintains a conversation even in the midst of engaging in his most personal of needs. Alternately,

the king arrogantly bathes publicly, displaying an utter lack of nobility and dignity. Pharaoh is the King of Uninhibitedness, epitomizing this trait of ‘not taking to heart’. It is this human deficit of ‘not taking to heart’ that thickens his outer veneer and not allowing the obvious to penetrate. Indeed his very name ‫פרעה‬ is rooted in the word ‫פרע‬, meaning exposed and uncovered. After confronting him, Pharaoh rejects their foreboding as the Torah reports, ‫ ולא שת לבו גם לזאת‬...‫ויפן פרעה‬ )‫(שמות ז כג‬, Pharaoh turned away... even to this he would not take to heart. What is this other event that Pharaoh seemed to also ignore that is intimated in this verse ‘even to this’? In a fascinating departure from the normative interpretation of the word ‫ ויפן‬as; and he turned, the Targum Yehonoson translates it to mean “and he relieved himself”, from the root ‫פנה‬, meaning to empty or evacuate. Evidently the Targum alludes to the fact that as a result of Moshe delaying Pharaoh’s daily morning regimen he could no longer contain himself and was forced to ‘relieve’ himself right then and there. This explains Pharaoh’s obstinacy and ‘super human’ ability to deflect even the most glaring of realities. He thus did not take to heart ‘even’ this embarrassing moment that otherwise should have awakened him to the reality of his puniness. One of the traits of Jews is that we are ‫ביישנים‬, commonly translated as shy. ‫ ביישנות‬though, doesn’t actually mean bashful or shy but rather inhibited, possessing a sense of contemplative hesitance. (See: ‫ שמות‬,‫כי בשש משה‬ ‫לב א‬, because Moshe had delayed) We sense the presence of G-d in all that we do. That feeling pervades our entire existence. It gives us reason to pause and contemplate. We wisely hesitate before we act, before we speak, even before we think. In a world that projects irreverence, boisterousness and lack of inhibition in dress, speech and manner it behooves us to examine our ways lest we become tainted and calloused by the atmosphere around us. May we elevate the levels of our consciousness of G-d so that awareness will inhibit us from acting heartlessly and shamelessly in our relationships both with G-d and our fellow man. May we proudly wear our trait of thoughtful inhibition in the service of G-d.



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JANUARY 11, 2018


The Big Picture

Long Live The King By Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz

While perusing the Midrash in this week’s Parsha, I was struck by a sharp comment on a seemingly innocuous verse. The Torah tells us (Shemos 6,13) that Moshe and Aharon were instructed to approach ‘Pharaoh, King of Egypt” and instruct him to let the Jewish people go. The Midrash comments on G-d’s instructions (S”R 7:2): “You must behave towards him with respect, and honor his throne, even though I must impose divine justice on him”.

Given the infanticide described in last week’s Parsha, and the bitter slavery that they were forced to endure, the Jewish people could legitimately expect to have derogatory feelings and angry emotions towards the Hitler of that generation. Yet, G-d delineated a line that must not be crossed. Moshe and Aharon had to publicly pay homage to the monarch of the land and his rule of government. This appears somewhat puzzling. What is the purpose of acting artificially respectful towards a despot like

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Pharaoh when he is clearly despised, and deserving of divine retribution? Two possible motivations come to mind. First, we all know the age-old adage, “don’t burn your bridges”. Anyone attempting to build relationships and attempt negotiations or advocacy, like Moshe and Aharon, must be able to overcome personal animosity, bite his tongue, and have a mutually respectful conversation with the other side. A second impetus might be the simple recognition of the value of any functioning government, evil as it may be, over none. We need look no further than the dreadful past two decades in Iraq to understand what occurs when there is a power vacuum and a lack of central government, even if the overthrown dictator was Saddam Hussein. It is for this reason that we are told in Pirkei Avos (3:2): “Pray for the welfare of the state, for without it’s rule of law, each person would consume his neighbor.” However, the Midrash we quoted seems to go beyond these two considerations and focus on a more intrinsic respect for government. We are told in Mishlei (21:1), “the heart of a king is in the hands of G-d”. While we definitely do not absolve human rulers from the consequences of their actions, nor do we free them from legitimate criticism, we understand that the movements of the puppets are being choreographed from above. In effect, all leaders are G-d’s emissaries to manage and direct our world. We are even commanded to recite a blessing when we catch a glimpse of a sovereign leader (O”C 224:8): “He has who given from his Honor to human rulers.” Notwithstanding legitimate grievances that one may have against a given ruler, government or their policies, we are obligated to maintain a baseline respect for their administration and laws. Even though we are obligated to advocate for the needs of the Jewish community and to fight for moral legislation, there is a line in the sand that must not be crossed. This ambiguous policy of, ‫כבדהו‬ ”‫ וחשדהו‬- respect him, yet be cautious of him”, has been followed throughout the ages. The Mechilta (Ch’13) enumerates examples throughout the bible where idolatrous and murderous rulers was at-least publicly given their due respect. Eliyahu the prophet, for

example, ran ahead of the chariot of the wicked king Achav to show deference to his rule (Melachim 1, 18:46). It follows from these examples that even when such a government has a truly evil or sinful character, there are no exclusions from following the sovereign law of the land with regards to taxes and related legislation. (Tosfos, and Rabbeinu Nissim, Sanhedrin 20b) Everything I am writing here might be obvious to the readers of this article, but it is becoming less obvious to much of the world around us. We have recently read of proposed boycotts of enshrined rituals such as the ‘State of the Union’ address, and constantly observe inflammatory talk or actions against Presidents, Prime Ministers and governments, across the political spectrum. We can of course air our grievances and disagreements, but we dare not publicly indulge in destructive and hateful rhetoric. Such actions tear apart society, deteriorate public discourse, and undermine the basic tenets of respect of law. Even without these considerations, we are plainly commanded to carefully observe a baseline of respect. Following the Oslo accords signed by then Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, I participated in many demonstrations against these agreements. I witnessed the anger, violence and animosity observed by both sides of the issue, and by the police in the middle. I distinctly remember being internally torn by the emotionally charged nature of the discourse. Eventually, in the middle of one such protest on Jaffa St in Jerusalem, I had a light-bulb moment where I understood that such acrimonious language and ad-hominin attacks could not realistically achieve any fundamental change, and I left, never to return. I do not pretend to know where to define the boundary between legitimate free speech and harmful and inciteful behavior – I will leave that to academic polemics. One thing I do know though - If we as Torah Jews, were required to display honor even to Pharaoh or Achav as rightful rulers of the land, despite their quite apparent inadequacies, we must clearly also impose boundaries on our speech and actions towards our modern-day governments, regardless of party-affiliation.



Reviewed by Rabbi BZ Karman

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in law to join him in educating the youth of America to grow in Torah. After completing his five-year stint in the Kovna Kollel, Rav Ruderman immigrated to Cleveland, and began over a half century of harbatzas Torah on these shores. After Succos of 5794/1934, Rav Ruderman founded his yeshiva in Baltimore, which he named Ner Yisroel after Rav Yisroel Salanter. In a relatively short period of time, the yeshiva added many talmidim, which numbered thirty in three years, and doubled to sixty in another two years. Ever the talmid of the Alter, Rav Ruderman not only showed paternal care for his talmidim, but was also concerned to uplift the prominence of Torah learning and scholarship. To this end, he exhorted his talmidim to carry themselves pleasantly as befitting the princes of Torah, and took care that the structure of the yeshiva

be immaculate as well. He challenged his students to reach for the greatest heights in their learning, revealing his own greatness as a means of spurring them to attain the loftiest goals. Perhaps the clearest display of his fidelity to the Slobodka principles was the manner in which he nurtured each talmid according to his own individual natural inclination. As a person who encompassed such broad Torah knowledge, he was capable of being a role model for talmidim with disparate natures, teaching them to examine all sides of issues. In his sichos mussar, Rav Ruderman stressed that his goal was not to express a new vort, but rather to inspire improvement and advancement. “At times, people meet me and mention they remember a vort I said long ago, yet they have not changed from then until now. Through this, they show that they have neglected the key and seized upon the marginal. Even if they are not in agreement on the vort, it does not detract from the shmuez, which is designed to convey the mussar concept and bring about advancement. I remember how Rav Moshe Mordechai would review last year’s shmuez. Although he was a great innovator, and certainly had new ideas since last year, nevertheless this was not the goal of the shmuez.” The first edition of Rav Ruderman’s shmuezen were printed in 5755/1995 by Rav Avrohom Reuven Askowitz z”l, who wrote what he heard during the years 5733/1973 through 5737/1977, and prepared them for print. Rav Askowitz reviewed his writings with his colleagues, and Rav Ruderman expressed his pleasure with

JANUARY 11, 2018

“Rav Ruderman is the talmid Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, as well whose character and actions are most as with the Chofetz Chaim, where similar to those of the Alter [of Slo- he was inspired by their greatness in Torah. When he met Rav Yosef bodka]” (Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky Leib Bloch of Telz at a retreat, they spent their days strolling in the zt”l) Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, better surrounding forests, all the while known as the Alter of Slobodka, had discussing Torah topics and his a shitah in which he fostered and nur- outlook on life. Rav Leib Rubin tured each talmid to progress accord- of Wilkomir (the father in law of ing to his individual natural tendency. Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman of Thus, if we study his talmidim, we find Ponovez) exchanged letters with that although they all share a common him, some of which Rav Ruderman reverence for their rebbi, nevertheless printed in his Sefer Avodas Levi. each one developed their own unique These experiences had a dramatic traits, which were not necessarily a effect on him, and Rav Ruderman carbon copy of the Alter. Yet in the would often describe the gedolim opinion of Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky, he had met or heard about, speakhis cousin, Rav Ruderman, was the ing of the lessons he learned and guidance he gained from these ilmost similar to their master. Upon his arrival in the Slobodka lustrious personalities. In 5684/1924, he married Feiga, Yeshiva at the outbreak of WWI, the yeshiva was fleeing the battlegrounds the daughter of Rav Sheftel Kramer, to resettle in Minsk. The Alter, who one of the Ramim in Slutzk. Rav Shefrecognized the young prodigy’s capa- tel was a son in law of the legendary bilities, was worried about the nega- Reb Shraga Feivil Frank, one of the tive influence that a certain roommate confidants of Rav Yisroel Salanter, may have on him, and took him in to who merited having sons in law, in adhis own home, caring for him as a fa- dition to Rav Sheftel, who led the Yether for a son. Thus, Rav Ruderman’s shiva world: Rav Issur Zalman Meltgrowth and success were a direct zer, Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, product of the direction he received and Rav Baruch Yehoshua Horowitz. from the Alter. In addition to this rela- After his marriage, Rav Ruderman tionship, Rav Ruderman studied under learned in the Kovna Kollel, under Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein, the the leadership of Rav Avrohom Durosh yeshiva of Slobodka, who saved ber Kahane-Shapira (Dvar Avrohom), his life when he was taken prisoner by from whom he learned psak halchah as well as public guidance. At the urgmarauding soldiers. In Minsk, Rav Ruderman had ing of the Kovna Rav, in 5790/1930 he many opportunities to interact with printed Avodas Levi, a compendium some of the Torah leaders of the of some of his chiddushim, which was previous generation, including Rav graced with the haskamos of the Dvar Raphael Shapiro of Volozhin, Rav Avrohom and Rav Moshe Mordechai Chaim Soloveichik of Brisk, and Rav Epstein. Rav Sheftel Kramer, who had Eliezer Rabinowitz of Minsk. In addition, he spent some time with Rav moved to America, urged his son


Sichos Avodas Levi By Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman


JANUARY 11, 2018


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them when they passed before his eyes. Over the past years, he worked on them further, refining them once again in anticipation of reprinting them. Several years ago, Machon Avodas Levi was established to publish Rav Ruderman’s writings, and to date has published his chiddushim on several masechtos, while working to complete the publication of the rest of his chiddushim. In conjunction with the rosh yeshiva’s thirtieth yahrtzeit, Rav Askowitz graciously shared his work on the sichos with the Machon for publication. Additional material was added from tape recordings as well as from other writings of additional talmidim. Many new simanim containing sichos on the moadim were added for this edition. A brief biography as well as a detailed index is included. Although the original publication followed the speaking style of Rav Ruderman, the current release was re-edited for ease of understanding, so that a wider audience, unfamiliar with his speaking style, could benefit from the sichos. The final product, which includes over four hundred and thirty pages and one hundred and seventeen sichos, is sure to be accepted as a classic sefer by the olam haTorah. A central theme of Slobodka mussar is the emphasis placed on hakaras hatov, recognizing and expressing the good that others perform for you. In Parshas Va’eira, Rashi tells us that Moshe Rabeinu was told to command Aharon to initiate the first three plagues, since Moshe had benefited from the Nile River when his mother placed him there in his basket during his infancy, and from the sand which hid the Mitzri he killed. Indeed, although the river and sand were inanimate objects, Moshe was still proscribed from causing them harm. The Shitah Mekubetzes in Bava Kama (92b) quotes the R”i MiGash as stating that his rebbi, the Rif, refrained from ruling on a case involving a bathhouse since he had personally benefitted from it in the past when he was ill. From these and other sources, Sichos Avodas Levi shows the importance the Torah places on hakaras hatov. By acknowledging the good done by others, even if it is inanimate, one internalizes this trait within his very being. Yet it behooves us to understand just why this middah is granted such

meaning. Rav Ruderman quotes the Pesikta Zuta (Shmos 1:8) which tells us, “Whoever denies the good performed by his friend will eventually deny the good done by Hashem.” A central premise of our avodas Hashem is recognizing and acknowledging the good bestowed upon us from above. For this reason, we are directed to reinforce this concept by constantly strengthening our hakaras hatov in any manner we can. To illustrate this, Sichos Avodas Levi brings a story told of the Chofetz Chaim who extended himself to help a certain new talmid get settled in his yeshiva in Radin. In reply to the question as to why he got so personally involved with this particular talmid, the Chofetz Chaim responded, “I was once staying in Vilna, and the grandfather of this talmid honored me to a great degree.” Rav Ruderman goes on to explain that the yetzer hara often tries to prevent one from feeling or expressing gratitude for another person’s favors by planting negative thoughts about the benefactor in the mind of the recipient. He told of a time when the Chasam Sofer was terribly harassed by someone, and wondered, “What favor did I ever do for him that he is hounding me to this extent?” This shmuez reminded me of an incident in the life of Rav Ruderman recorded in the biography in the preface of the sefer. A local doctor, who had long left the Torah camp, nevertheless maintained a feeling of reverence for the talmidei ha’yeshiva and continued to treat them gratis. Although his funeral was executed in a secular fashion, one yeshiva student felt compelled to attend due to the kindness shown to him by the doctor. During the proceedings, the talmid noticed the rosh yeshiva slip in and take a seat in the rear of the funeral parlor. When the service ended, Rav Ruderman approached the talmid and remarked, “You can now consider yourself a talmid of the Alter, since you understand the degree that hakaras hatov requires.” Thus, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, the quintessential talmid of the Alter, discerned how the teachings of Slabodka had indeed changed his talmid, just as these teachings affected Rav Ruderman himself. Thank you to Rabbi Pinchus Lipshutz of Yated Neeman for granting us permission to reprint their article.



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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Another L


Finding the Right Shaliach By Rabbi YY Rubinstein


ix weeks ago, half an hour before Shabbos began, my wife fell down the four steps outside our house onto the concrete below. Hatzalah arrived in what seemed like moments and it was clear that she had badly hurt her arm. We sat in an ambulance and sped towards the emergency room at South Nassau Hospital. My wife’s shoulder turned out to be dislocated, and six hours later, battered, bruised and wearing a sling, we were home. On Monday we went to see an orthopedic surgeon. After more X-rays it turned out that the arm was certainly re-located in the shoulder but the shoulder was also broken. “Think of a golf tee,” the doctor told us. “The ball sits in it. The rim of the ‘tee,’ called the ‘glenoid cavity,’ has been broken off. In fact, a third is not where it should be.” My wife would need surgery to fix it. Of course we wanted a second opinion, and we also wanted the best surgeon. The “best surgeon” unsurprisingly worked in Manhattan. We got up at 5:00 a.m. to beat the December traffic and get to our 9:00 a.m. appointment. I had checked to confirm that he took our insurance but when we arrived the receptionist gave us the bad news that, in fact, he didn’t. The hospital did, though, so we decided to pay for the consultation privately, and the operation which would follow, we were told, would be paid for

by our insurance. I must admit that I had heard about Manhattan’s legendary top doctors and when we got to meet ours he didn’t disappoint. In fact, none of the people working in the office did. They all looked as though they had been cast by some Hollywood studio for a film or TV show. My wife was as surprised as me and commented that all the men were unusually handsome and that all the women were unusually pretty. Not only did they look good, their credentials and bedside manner matched their appearance. Our new doctor, it turned out, screws back broken glenoids all day long. He even consults for a firm that makes the screws he was planning to use. (He explained he had to tell us that for full disclosure reasons and in case we thought he could get better and cheaper screws from Home Depot.) The surgery was set up for the very next day and we were sent to the other side of Central Park for some bloodwork and pre-op tests. This was American medicine at its very best: top guy, great staff, immediate surgery. Halfway to the pre-op assessment, our top doctor’s, top office manager called to say that there had been a mistake. The doctor could not accept our insurance after all, even if the operation was being performed at the hospital. We were devastated and to be

fair the lady on the phone sounded upset too. She had a solution to pass on from the doctor: we should turn around and go straight to the emergency room. Then we should say we had just seen the surgeon, but the shoulder pain had suddenly got worse and we thought the “golf ball” was falling from the “tee.” Then he would be able to do the surgery in the hospital with our insurance. I am new to the health system in the States and this all seemed very confusing. Then there was the issue that the broken bone had to be replaced within a strict amount of days or the bone wouldn’t fuse together. So the question was: should we go back and attempt a Hollywood performance in order to get our Hollywood-looking doctor to do the surgery or not? I must admit that being upset at my wife’s situation and pain as well as being scared that if we didn’t get the surgery done soon it wouldn’t work, I was very tempted to brush up my thespian skills and turn the car around. My wife, despite being the one actually in pain, was quite sure what was the right thing to do: find a different doctor. Her reasoning was impeccable. “We are frum Jews. If the Doctor requires us to lie; no matter how silly and unreasonable the insurance company’s rules are…he isn’t the right shaliach!” When we called a rov we know, he

agreed with my wife. Eventually we found an equally excellent surgeon in another hospital (who also consults about screws!) and the shoulder was repaired. Many years ago, Reb Matisyahu Salomon, shlita, was giving a schmooze to the top shiur in Gateshead Yeshiva. In it, he mentioned the thorny issue of people smuggling things through Israeli customs without declaring them. He declared that he was not going into what he described as the “halachically complicated” issue of whether Israel can levy taxes or not. Instead, he addressed the moral issue as it affects the person trying to smuggle things through. “To teach yourself to cheat and to lie and to swindle is never permissible,” he declared. Even if you are passionately convinced that there is no Jewish legal requirement to declare the ten Rolex watches you are wearing under the sleeve of your shirt or trouser leg, you have begun to think and act like a thief. You have begun to train yourself in the nefarious arts of deception and lying. Ten years or so after that shiur, I was speaking in Amsterdam, Holland. Being Scottish, international travel always requires careful examination of the duty free shops to see if there are any bargains to be had on the single malt whiskey shelves. On this occasion, there were!



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JANUARY 11, 2018


One of my favorite whiskies was being sold at a bargain price per bottle and inevitably I thought to myself, “Why not buy two bottles?” I checked to see how much you could legally bring into the UK and found that spirits were limited to two liters. The bottles containing the whiskey I wanted were maddeningly in bottles of one and a half liters. You could also legally bring two bottles of wine and there was an allowance for cigarettes too. I wondered if I could offset my allowance for these against the frustrating extra liter of whiskey that the two bottles I wanted produced. I asked a salesperson and he said he wasn’t sure, advising me to buy the bottles and ask when I got to the UK. That’s struck me as a great idea and then a brainwave hit. I travel a lot and there are always Jews on every plane. All I needed to do was find one who wasn’t bringing any whiskey with him and ask if he

would take one of mine. That way, the whole thing would be completely legal. As I took my seat on the aircraft and looked around I was amazed to

lem. Then the voice told me that even if there was an issue, the rules were frankly ridiculous. You should be allowed to use your wine and cigarette allowance against your whiskey one;

I nodded to myself and could almost taste the whiskey I would be enjoying on Shabbos over the months ahead. find an astonishing statistical abnormality. There was not a single Jew that I could discern anywhere to be seen. Not one chareidi, Mizrachi or chiloni anywhere. (I suspected the captain must have been Jewish). A little voice in my head began to reassure me that I was worrying too much. The Dutch shop assistant wasn’t sure if there even was a prob-

it made perfect sense. Lastly, the voice pointed out, I was wearing a baseball hat and, as this was in my pre-beard days, they would probably not even know I was a Jew, so there was not even a worry of chillul Hashem! I nodded to myself and could almost taste the whiskey I would be enjoying on Shabbos over the months

ahead. Then another voice, in a familiar English accent I had listened to in mussar shiurim for seven years, echoed in my mind, “To teach yourself to cheat and to lie and to swindle is never permissible.” In the end, I declared my “contraband” at customs much to the amusement of the officer who smiled, complimented me on my honesty, and explained that they were really interested in bigger fish than me before sending me on my way. My wife was, of course, quite right. We are frum Jews. If someone requires us to lie, no matter how silly and unreasonable the rules he’s telling us to bend are, “he isn’t the right shaliach!”

Rabbi Y Y Rubinstein is a writer and author who speaks all over the world. He lives in Inwood.


B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


“Say What?!”

- Jimmy Fallon

If (life’s) not good today, forget about it. Tomorrow, it will be better. Look at it that way.

JANUARY 11, 2018

The Golden Globes were last night! Everybody’s talking about the big speech Oprah made — and a lot of people say she should run for president. But it’ll be weird at her State of the Union, when Congress keeps checking under their seats for a free car. “YOU GET A CAR AND YOU GET A CAR!”


Notable Quotes

– 103-year-old Mary Todisco, who was born in Boro Park when Woodrow Wilson was president, talking with the Daily News about the secrets of her longevity

I watch my weight — no sugar, honey. - Ibid

About halfway through Michael Wolff’s new book on Donald Trump I had the sense that all this was familiar. As the pages flew by – and the reading is both alarming and delicious – the sense of deja vu became even more pronounced. At the three-quarters mark, I realized where I had read all this before: William L. Shirer’s The Rise and the Fall of the Third Reich.

If anyone wants to ask any questions on politics or conflicts, ask this guy. Bye bye. - Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha who brought a life-size, cardboard cutout of himself to a press conference on Monday before walking out

- Richard Cohen, Washington Post, making the increasingly common and sick comparison by the left that President Trump is like Hitler

– Alan Dershowitz, on Fox News, talking about the new left-wing talking point that President Trump is not mentally fit for office

– Outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had abysmal approval ratings, in an interview with NJ Advance Media

How is Jerusalem different from Ramallah, really? – What an Egyptian intelligence officer asked several influential talk show hosts in Egypt, while urging them not to stoke rage over President Trump’s declaration that the U.S. considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel and that Ramallah would be a fine capital for the PA, according to recordings received by the New York Times


B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

What they’re trying to do, though, is now that they couldn’t criminalize political differences they’re trying to pathologize, to psychiatrize, political differences. They’re trying to say, “Oh maybe we can’t get him on crime but we’re going to show that he has mental problems, that he’s disturbed.” The guy on CNN today was talking about he has Alzheimer’s and he should be subjected to a neurological exam. That is so dangerous. That is what they did in the former Soviet Union. I was involved, represented some dissidents in the Soviet Union who were sent to mental hospitals. They did it in China. They did that in apartheid South Africa.

It’s incredibly frustrating to think to yourself, “Wow, if this guy were not in the race, we’d win this thing.” And I absolutely believe if Trump had not gotten into the race I think we would have won.

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



JANUARY 11, 2018


It’s pretty remarkable that over at Haaretz they believe [imprisoned arch-terrorist] Barghouti will bring peace, but that belief in prayer as something legitimate is idiotic. Rogel Alpher and his friends will respect every custom they meet on a trip abroad, will go to sporting events in Spain and cheer Messi at the top of their voices from the stands as if he can hear them, but when Jews turn their eyes to Heaven and ask for rain, they freak out. And I am not even addressing the wonderful commentary of the Rambam, who explains that prayer is intended first of all for man, and its goal is to open our hearts. In short, I’m sorry to tell our friends at Haaretz, but as a believing Jew for whom the prayers for rain have always been exciting, I will continue together with the entire Jewish people to pray for rain. May we have a good and rainy winter – with G-d’s help.

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

- Facebook post by Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in response to an article in left-wing Haaretz by Roger Alpher stating that “anyone who prays for rain is an idiot”

I dunno. I’m drunk. I don’t know where I’m at. - Michael Lester of Florida to a 911 dispatcher when he called to say that he is driving drunk and should be pulled over

There is this idea that some people seem to have that socialists believe we should all be walking around wearing burlap sacks. That’s not true. Everyone deserves to be wearing a nice coat like Bernie Sanders. – Micah Uetricht of Jacobin Magazine responding to Sen. Bernie Sanders wearing an expensive $600 coat at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration

I don’t know why everybody is making such a big deal about it. If I’d killed a big buck I could see it, but it was just a doe. - Bertha Vickers, 100, of Mississippi, talking to a local newspaper about her recent deer kill on a hunting trip. She turned 100 on January 9, 2018

He wants to be very careful to protect his sources. Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier. -Josh Levy, attorney for the founder of Fusion GPS, which created the false “Trump dossier,” during a Senate Judiciary Committee interview in August, according to a just released transcript of that interview

My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth at this point. - “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff responding to President Trump’s criticisms of his book on NBC’s “Today”



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



The grand jury room looks like a Bernie Sanders rally. Maybe they found these jurors in central casting or at a Black Lives Matter rally in Berkeley.

JANUARY 11, 2018

I have good news. First, most American children are going to live far better than their parents did. Second, large gains in the living standards of Americans will continue for many generations to come.

- How one unnamed witness described Robert Mueller’s grand jury to Richard Johnson of the New York Post

– Warren Buffett in an op-ed in Time Magazine

- Melvin Carter III, incoming mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, talking about the national anthem during his inaugural address

I think most Americans would support the president on this. We don’t like to see our money going to countries that burn our flag. In Pakistan, they incarcerate Christians… They put Dr. Shakil Afridi in jail for 33 years. He’s the guy that helped us get bin Laden. They looked the other way when bin Laden was there over a decade. Yeah, Americans agree with the president. We ought to quit sending good money after bad. And what I discussed with the president – I have an idea for using some of that money at home. We have bridges, roads that need repair. Keep that money at home and put it to rebuilding our infrastructure here at home. - Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), on Fox News supporting President Trump’s threat to cut off financial aid to Pakistan

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

Our national freedom song is an ode to slavery.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 11, 2018


TJH How Cold Is Cold? 60° Californians put on sweaters (if they can find one) 50° Miami residents turn on the heat  40° You can see your breath; Californians shiver uncontrollably; Minnesotans go swimming  35° Italian cars don’t start 

freezes; Miami residents plan vacations further south 15° French cars don’t start; cat insists on sleeping in your bed with you at night 10° You need jumper cables to get the car going 

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

25° Boston rivers freeze; Californians weep pitiably; Minnesotans eat ice cream; Canadians go swimming 20° Politicians begin to talk about the homeless; New York City water

You gotta be kidding A trucker stops at a red light and a man catches up to him, knocks on his window and says, “Hi, my name is Yanky and you are losing some of your load.” The trucker ignores him, the light changes, and he proceeds down the street. At the next light, Yanky again catches up and says, “Sir, you are losing some of your load.” The trucker ignores Yanky again and continues down the street. At the next red light Yanky catches up, all out of breath, knocks on the window and says, “Are you deaf? I keep telling you that you are losing some of your load!” The trucker looks at Yanky and says, “Hi, my name is Chaim, it’s snowing, and I’m driving a salt truck.”

0° Alaskans put on t-shirts

-20° Cat insists on sleeping in pajamas with you; politicians actually do something about the homeless; Minnesotans shovel snow off roof; Japanese cars don’t start

-10° German cars don’t start; eyes freeze shut when you blink

-25° Too cold to think; you need jumper cables to get the driver going

-15° You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo; Arkansans stick tongue on metal objects; Miami residents cease to exist

-30° You plan a two week hot bath; Swedish cars don’t start

5° American cars don’t start

32° Water freezes 30° You plan your vacation to Australia 


-40° Californians disappear; Minnesotans

button top button; Canadians put on sweaters; your car helps you plan your trip south -60° Congressional hot air freezes; Alaskans close the bathroom window  -80° Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



1. What are the frozen water parts of the Earth system called? a. b. c. d.

Iceosphere Cryosphere Arctictosphere Polarsphere

2. What is dry ice made from? Water Snow Carbon dioxide gas Nitrogen gas

a. Expands b. Contracts

a. b. c. d.

4. Approximately what percentage of the world is covered by ice sheets and glaciers? a. b. c. d.

10% 25% 35% 60%

6. The expiration date for many foods is based on the food being in a freezer which is set to the correct temperature. What is that temperature? a. b. c. d.

5. What is a piece of ice that breaks off from an iceberg called if it’s an iceberg less than 6.6 feet

 Answers

 Wisdom Key 5-6 correct: Forget about ice, you are on fire! 3-4 correct: You are slightly a cheap freezer.

3. 2. 1.

B- This is why standing water in your pipes will cause them to burst if they freeze or why when you put a can of soda in the freezer it eventually explodes. C B- The word “cryosphere” comes from the Greek word for cold, kryos.








24°C 18°C 4°C −18°C

0-2 correct: Sometimes when people hit their heads they forget information. Just put a growler on your head for a few minutes every day and your wisdom will slowly come back to you.

David has a large ice cube sitting in his freezer when he leaves his home in the morning. When he returns at night, he discovers that the ice cube is gone. Believing that there must have been an intruder, he calls the police who arrive, investigate and reach a conclusion that there was no intruder. What happened? See answer below

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

Riddle me

Bergy-bit Mini-glacier Cube Growler

JANUARY 11, 2018

a. b. c. d.

across with less than 3.3 feet showing above water?

3. As ice freezes it:


Ice Trivia

The freezer stopped working at some point during the day and the ice melted.





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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters, I

I’m dating a man named Josh, who I am very interested in. When we are together or even on the phone, he is wonderful. He is kind, interested in what have to say, interesting, and a perfect match for me. When we are out on a date, I never feel the urge to get home already and call it a day. I’m never bored. When we’re on the phone, I sometimes feel as though we can sit on the phone for hours and still not run out of things to say to one another. I’ve never had an experience like this before. It’s just great.

Here’s the problem. Josh is a very different person around other people. I couldn’t wait for my parents to get to know him in the way that I know him, so that they would understand what I’m so excited about. But when he comes around, it’s almost like I don’t recognize him. He’s very shy, almost uncommunicative. The same is true with my friends. I arranged a “double date” with my best friend Caren, who is married. I couldn’t wait for Caren to meet him, since I was talking so much about him. On the date, it almost seemed like a veil came down, and he was, I hate to admit, but almost like a total dud on the date. Caren is very sweet and I’m sure she didn’t want to tell me how she really felt about Josh, but I could tell that she seemed confused about what all the fuss was about.

I think we’re getting close to the point where it wouldn’t surprise me if Josh proposed. We do talk in generalities about the future. I can definitely see myself making a life with Josh. But I am a sociable person and know that we won’t be living in a bubble. I picture myself having an open home with lots of guests on Shabbos and all that jazz. I’m seriously worried that I won’t be able to live the full, social life I’ve always envisioned with Josh. It concerns me. Yet, I’m not sure that this should be a deal breaker for me and Josh. Any thoughts about whether this is reason enough to break off with Josh, or even better, how I can help Josh sparkle in public the way that he sparkles with me?

Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions.

Our intention is not to offer any definitive

conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration.

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

I don’t understand what is going on with Josh. I’ve tried to gently bring this up with him and ask him why he presents so differently with my parents and other people than he does with me when we are alone. He really didn’t get into it too much, didn’t react as though my concern was any big deal, and just said that he gets shy in public.


The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. think both of your questions are misplaced. There is an issue that needs dealing with together as a couple. If the relationship is progressing seriously and this is an obstacle in taking it to the next step, work on it together with professional help. You care enough about him to want to invest in this. You can tell him that very carefully so that you can explore the future together. You need to be very respectful of his social issues when broaching this to him and you shouldn’t make it seem that he has a problem. It’s about the relationship and its progress. It’s not about getting him to


sparkle or deal with his shyness. Be prepared for learning things about him and about yourself in the therapy room. This challenge is not a deal breaker. Both of you will have to own this challenge if your relationship is to go further. You may find it worthwhile to revise your expectations if you care about him very deeply. And he may need your active support that is unconditional.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. irst and foremost: congratulations on finding that one in a


million guy who is kind, attentive, and respectful of you, the guy with whom you never run out of things to say; soon you’ll be finishing each other’s sentences. NO! You do not discard this treasure because he is, by his own admission, shy in public. Bear in mind there are guys out there who are natural raconteurs, who perform well in front of an audience. If you consult your “musthave” list, I would imagine “gift of gab” ranks lower than “bleached white teeth.” Josh sound like a keeper – albeit a timid one. If you are bothered by his stage freight, observe his behavior in a less intimidating environment – perhaps, his own living room or best buddy’s Shabbos table. Getting him to sparkle

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Shy people take time to warm up and tend to behave more “appropriately” when they feel safe and comfortable.

may be a by-product of his comfort and confidence. With time and his partner’s support and encouragement, Josh may reveal his most

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Shy people take time to warm up and tend to behave more “appropriately” when they feel safe and comfortable. But Josh will probably never be the life of the party and if that’s something that has always been important to you in a major way it must be taken into consideration very seriously and determined whether it’s something you can happily overlook, as you enjoy so many other wonderful qualities from him.

The Single Tova Wein


ow important is it to you that your future husband impress other people? Because that is basically the isYou sue we are dealingWishing with here. Clear-

You’re the only person who Josh really has to impress.

ly, when you are alone with Josh, he is a homerun in your presence. It sounds like you are totally happy with him and there is nothing lacking in your relationship. How many women can honestly say that their husbands make them feel so appreciated and heard? This is very special. No doubt, if the two of you were living on a desert island, there would be nothing to talk about. You would know for sure that Josh is the one. Your concern relates to the impression he makes on others and that they are not truly getting a And Your Family glimpse into his wonderful char-

JANUARY 11, 2018

Tzipporah Feldman t sounds like Josh is a very special guy, certainly, someone who shouldn’t be discarded so fast. However, we all have to be true to ourselves. There are some women who naturally want quiet husbands. They are so very out there on their own that it works out great for them to have a husband who is a great audience in public arenas. The pressure is off the husband, and the woman gets all the attention. Does this sound like you? Can you be the main star in public and the spokesperson for your coupledom and feel comfortable in that role?

Or, have you always pictured yourself with the type of husband who can sit at the head of your table, run the show, be entertaining and gracious to all, and allow you to sit back and glow in his stardom? For some women, this role for their husband is very significant and something that they always dreamed of having. Without it, they would somehow feel as though they are missing out on a key ingredient to their marriage! Think carefully and determine whether or not this is important to you. Not anyone else, but you alone. If his shyness will always leave you feeling frustrated, it is something to be taken seriously because you can’t make Josh into someone that he is not. Mind you, it’s important for you to realize that with time my guess is that he’ll warm up to your family and friends and definitely reveal more of his “sparkling” personality, at least more so than he does now.


charming persona – a dazzling reflection of the “stars” in his wife’s loving eyes.

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JANUARY 11, 2018


acter, which is evident to you, due to his shyness in a larger group setting. Must that be so important to you? What if your parents never witness the

conversationalist that you seem to enjoy regularly? I’m guessing that if you’re happy, they will be happy for you and trust that you

know what you’re doing and why you picked Josh. The same goes for your friends. Surely they trust you to make a wise choice in your husband, and though they can’t necessarily experience firsthand what you experience, they

will take your word for it and see that you’re happy. You’re the only person who Josh really has to impress and it seems to me that he’s done a fine job of that! Focus on your wonderful chemistry and happiness together. The rest is just noise!

that he will one day “sparkle” publicly as he does privately, then this sounds like a match made in heaven. But if you go into this thinking and praying and hoping that he will change because his shyness deeply disappoints you or leaves you feeling empty inside, then I think you owe it to yourself and to Josh to slow things down and think very deeply before getting engaged. All the best, Jennifer

Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@ You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists


ithout meeting Josh, it is impossible and even unethical to say what exactly is going on. Solely based on what you’ve reported about Josh in your e-mail, his behavior and shyness is making me think of social anxiety. You can google “social anxiety” and you will find no shortage of information. You may or may not see whether Josh’s public behavior meets some of the criteria. For the purpose of my response, let’s call it “public shyness.” It seems as though Josh is either personally unfazed by it or doesn’t have much insight or ability/desire to speak with you about it. A conversation about it seems to only scratch the surface of what is going on. This is a confusing situation, and I understand why you wrote into the panel. On the one hand, you really like Josh and he is so wonderful. He fulfills you on so many levels. On the other hand, when you see Josh in more public settings, he is not the man you know. Additionally, there is a breakdown in communication around his different public persona. Whether consciously or subconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly, Josh puts up a bit of a wall when it comes to your feelings on the matter. So, there’s two issues here. The first is the “public shyness,” and the second issue is the breakdown in communication coming from Josh. Some women move forward with a man who is quiet or shy and that is a fine choice for those women. One key ingredient, I believe, is a spouse who is open to talking about how it

may impact his beloved with his beloved. This conversation is necessary to keep you feeling happy and securely attached and connected to your husband. Without this, feelings of loneliness and rejection often take root. The other necessary ingredient in order to move forward in this relationship is complete acceptance of his shyness. We can’t go into any relationship with the expectation that our spouse will change. We go in with open arms and full acceptance. In other words, you’ve got to be into him, all of him: the Josh he is when alone with you, and the Josh he is in public. My recommendation is for you both to go into couple’s therapy (short term) to talk about this issue that has now come up between the two of you. The therapist will help the two of you talk about this and hear what each of you need. He or she will help you open up the dialogue around Josh’s “public shyness” and keep the communication up and running in a positive, non-threatening way. If something is going on with Josh (and remember, I really don’t know what that is secondhand, through an e-mail) that will hopefully come to light in the couple’s therapy. Should Josh be interested and open, he can begin his own therapy. (If this is social anxiety, there are wonderful treatments found to be effective for many people.) If you know in your heart of hearts that you can accept and love Josh exactly as he is, with no expectations

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home




Portrait of

By Tammy Mark “Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world” -Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a)

ments in some of the more complex and elusive degenerative diseases, and they want to offer hope for those struggling and waiting for their own cures. Lastly, Jennie and Gary want to spread the word about the importance of genetic screening for all future parents. “We really want to spread awareness so it doesn’t happen to other people,” Jennie explains.


ennie and Gary Landsman were married in March 2015 in a small ceremony at the home of a childhood friend. A second marriage for both, the two were eager to move forward and start their new lives together. Jennie had a young son, Michael, from her previous marriage, and both Jennie and Gary knew they wanted to have a big family. Jennie’s first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, but she got pregnant again soon after. A yoga instructor and martial arts teacher, Jennie was fit and active and had a perfectly normal pregnancy. Benny came into the world on June 27, 2016 with a bit of excitement – born

on the way to the hospital in Hatzalah – but was otherwise perfectly typical and healthy. His parents gleefully brought him home from the hospital the next day. Though Benny was very colicky at first, Jennie knew it was quite common and saw no reason to be concerned, especially once that phase had passed. At 2 ½ months Benny turned into a happy and cheerful baby. “One of those easy babies,” says Jennie. “He turned into this chilled, yummy, delicious kid – and he still is.” It wasn’t until Chanukah of 2016 that Jennie and Gary thought of anything different. They were getting ready for a Chanukah party at home and Jennie’s sister was lending a hand and helping with baby Benny. “At some point she said to me, ‘Does he always need this much support?’” Jennie recalls, “It hadn’t even occurred to me. He was just turning 6 months, he was still little, and you don’t expect much at that age. She was noticing he needed more head support than she thought made sense.” Over the next week Jennie started

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ennie and Gary Landsman are desperately trying to save the lives of their two little boys. At the very same time they are hoping to save others through their plight. This past summer, the Landsmans received the devastating news that both their one-year-old son Benny and their newborn baby Josh were afflicted with a genetic mutation and diagnosed with Canavan disease. Informed that it was an incurable, degenerative and fatal condition, Jennie and Gary went home to figure out how to make the most of their precious time before the disease overwhelmed their precious babies. Canavan disease is a rare genetic disease that affects the ability of the brain to send and receive messages. Children with Canavan disease are unable to sit, stand, walk or talk. As degeneration progresses, many children will lose the ability to swallow,

develop seizures, and become blind. After arranging all possible therapies and available medications in their best attempts to slow down the disease, the Landsmans discovered one more thing they could do. There was a possibility of gene therapy – a treatment full of promise for a cure that was still stuck in the lab. The miracle they were praying for was actually out there, but it was $1.2 million away. Desperate to try her very best for her children, Jennie set up a GoFundMe campaign and posted it on Facebook. A little over a month later, through tremendous community effort, the Landsmans are coming closer to their goal and to their miracle each day. Their plight is a bit more than personal; the Landsmans also have messages of awareness and of hope that they are intent on spreading through their campaign. The Landsmans’ goal is threefold. Of course, there is the immediate and overwhelming desire to save the lives of their children. They also know that securing the successful treatment for Canavan disease will lead to advance-

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


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JANUARY 11, 2018


to watch little Benny. She spoke to a friend, an occupational therapist who works with infants, who suggested Jennie get Benny evaluated. Benny was approved for both occupational and physical therapy. Although he couldn’t sit up on his own, his doctor wasn’t nervous; Benny had been meeting all of his milestones up until that point and was still in the range of normal. Jennie was told there wasn’t anything to worry about. Soon after that, however, Benny plateaued – he went from meeting all of his milestones to not sitting up and not rolling over, save for a few times by accident. Any parent intent on watching a child hit expected milestones can identify with the concern of a delay at any stage of development. “With every single day that passed I started to get more and more nervous because my instincts kind of kicked in that something’s not OK. But you also don’t want to believe that things aren’t OK…so you’re not sure,” she says. When Jennie took Benny to the first neurologist, he suggested they wait and see how Benny would do with the physical therapy and to check back in a month. One month later she went to another more knowledgeable neurologist who basically said the same, and that every child develops at their own pace. Benny was making eye contact and was responsive and charming, and exhibited no indication of cognitive delays at that point. The Landsmans followed up repeatedly with the doctors. As the months passed, different issues began to appear. Jennie took him to an ophthalmologist to address what seemed like muscular issues with his eyes. Since his vision was still fine at the time, it was simply

explained as an immaturity. It was at that point that the Landsmans went to another neurologist, the head of pediatric neurology at a major hospital, who finally sent them for a complete battery of tests. “The bloodwork was hard,” recalls Jennie. “We had to go back a few times because it was too much blood to take from the baby at once.” Jennie was now pregnant with Josh, but anxiously and dutifully completed Benny’s testing over several visits. The results eventually came back in a urine test; children

scary.” When the doctor called back he explained that results had been trickling in and that they found something. He said, “I can’t see you today but I made you an appointment with a geneticist – can you go today?” Jennie and Gary went in to see the geneticist that same day with Benny and their newborn Josh in tow. “She gave us so much time, was so so sweet,” says Jennie. “I didn’t even comprehend why she was giving us so much time, preparing us in a way…” “She just came in with a sad face,”

"I would pick up my baby and I would just fall apart - how many more times can I pick him up and hug him? How many more times am I going to nurse him? How many times am I going to rock him in this chair?"

with Canavan disease do not break down everything properly in the body which results in an excess of something called NAA in the urine. The phone call from the doctor came on the morning of July 31. “We got some of the test results in – give me a call…” was the message on the answering machine at 7:30 AM. The Landsmans promptly called the office to find out that the doctor that called them was on vacation. “That was when my heart sank,” recalls Jennie. “He’s calling me from vacation – that’s

adds Gary. That was when they first heard of the disease. “She told us that she thinks it’s Canavan disease. We both sat there like, ‘OK, what does that mean?’ We’d never heard of it,” says Jennie. “She goes on to tell us that it’s when the child is missing an enzyme and the brain can’t function normally.” Jennie asked if it was possible to give Benny the missing enzyme, figuring it was a simple resolution, until the doctor explained that it was unfortunately not simple at all.

It was at this moment that Jennie and Gary were told the words that no parent should ever hear. The doctor told them that there’s no treatment, no cure – there’s nothing they could do. The disease is fatal and children with the illness don’t live past the age of ten. “I can’t even describe the state of being that we were in – we were just completely shocked. It was so shocking because you have this seemingly healthy baby who was delicious and bubbly and yummy and doing everything OK – and then suddenly he’s not OK.” The geneticist then proceeded to tell them that they wanted to do a genetic test to confirm the gene mutation and that they needed to test twoweek-old Josh because there is a 1 in 4 chance of Josh having the disease. “Of course, you know, you just want to disappear when you hear things like that…I was hysterically crying at this point. So was my husband,” shares Jenny. “Then we went home to wait for the results. It was a very painful two weeks.” On August 14, on Gary’s birthday, they received the results that both of their baby boys tested positive for Canavan disease. “You don’t want to go on – your whole world goes dark.” Jennie describes feeling like she was in a hole for a few days. “You wish you weren’t here anymore.” Jennie also had a hard time bonding with Josh. “You’re scared – you’re like I’m supposed to sit here and fall in love with this little person to say goodbye? It didn’t make sense; such an unnatural place to be in. Normally you’re bonding with your baby and here I was being terrified of being heartbroken. I was already heartbroken, but even


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home




ennie and Gary made the very conscious decision to fight hard against the prognosis; they

know that early intervention is critical. Benny has 4-5 therapists per day coming to help keep him where he is, with a daily schedule that includes physical, occupational, feeding and developmental therapies. The medications that the boys are currently on will help slow down the degeneration. They saw a difference pretty quickly with Benny, with improved gross motor functions right away and other very small changes – and every little thing makes a difference. Five-month-old Josh started therapy as well to get him to do as much as possible before the degeneration starts to kick in, and thank G-d he’s much further along than average. “They’re really pushing him to do more and move further faster. We’re hoping that he’ll retain those skills as he gets older.” Most remarkably, the Landsmans also found the well-respected researchers who developed the gene therapy customized to treat Canavan disease and they are desperate to fasttrack funding to bring this gene therapy out of the lab and into the hands of patients. The family now has reason to be both joyous and hopeful; the gene therapy they are hoping for is a real solution and becoming more of a reality with each dollar. Gene therapy works by introducing genetic material into cells to compensate for abnormal genes. If a mutated gene causes a necessary protein to be faulty or missing, gene therapy may be able to introduce a normal copy of the gene to restore the function of the protein. A gene that is inserted directly into a cell usually does not function,

so a carrier is genetically engineered to deliver the gene instead. Viruses are often used as carriers because they can deliver the new gene by infecting the cell, and scientists have found viruses that do not have a function and cause no harm. Since the gene that makes a certain enzyme is mutated and non-functioning in Canavan patients, they can insert the missing gene into this virus. The virus will go and “attack” the body, photocopying itself in the body so that the body can then produce the enzyme. “G-d created everything for a reason – so what’s the point of a virus that doesn’t do anything? Well, scientists can modify it; put the gene in that they’re missing. The virus attacks the body and photocopies the gene into each cell,” marvels Jennie. Gene therapy has proven successful in treating other diseases with missing enzymes. Scientists have cured genetic blindness. This past year they cured two children with another brain disease called ALD, where children are missing a different enzyme. These cures take time and money to develop, and rarer diseases simply do not get as much attention or funding as others. “It’s been done and it’s very doable. They’ve created this gene therapy, this virus, and they’ve tested it – they just need to make it. They have it for Canavan. It’s sitting there – they need to produce it and make it available for humans. It’s been figured out in the animal models and it’s been incredible,” Jennie says. Jennie is very hopeful. “There is

actually some recent funding that went into Canavan and they’re slowly doling it out; it’s not being fast-tracked. What we’re doing is we are raising the money to fast-track directly to bring the treatment to patient use and out of the lab. If we do that, our kids will be able to have the medicine – which is crazy.” “The biggest hope is that it will cure them,” she says. “In past trials, 13 years ago, they stopped the disease from progressing. With the newer ones on the animals, the body was able to repair itself from the damage – so we don’t know. Potentially they can actually be cured and live normal lives. If it doesn’t go to our most hopeful scenario and it just stops the disease, then that’s huge! It will save their lives. They may still be disabled, but it won’t make them worse every year and every day.” Jennie explains, “Because it’s degenerative, every single day there’s more damage to the brain – so every day makes a difference.”


hen Jennie posted the GoFundMe information on her Facebook page on Thanksgiving morning, she didn’t do anything further. Close friends and family shared and forwarded the link through social media, email and WhatsApp. Benny and Josh’s cause touched so many people and the response has been overwhelming and very uplifting to the Landsmans. People have reached out from all over – one company making a custom play table for Benny with supports. Their local Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn ordered a special needs shopping cart

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more so – it was becoming more and more painful as I got to know him.” Those days following the diagnosis were painful and difficult for Jennie. “I would pick up my baby and I would just fall apart – how many more times can I pick him up and hug him? How many more times am I going to nurse him? How many times am I going to rock him in this chair?” until one day she realized, “I’m going to look back down the line and have good memories from one year with Benny and no good memories of Josh.” She decided she had to make a change. “OK I’m not thinking about tomorrow – I’m going to think about the next hour – I’m just thinking about right now and I’m just going to enjoy this minute right now. And that’s what I did.” It was a constant exercise in gratitude. “Anytime my mind would start to wander, what’s my life going to look like in three years from now? I would push myself back. I would sit there and try to just think about what I have and what I appreciate – it was like a really big test.” “Benny is still a joy,” gushes Jennie. “Benny presents like a five-month-old, but cognitively he’s a little bit further than that. He knows everybody, knows how to play peekaboo, he laughs at things – he’s like this happy guy who just wants to play and have fun. We enjoy them – even if it’s just hanging out with them and playing a game or bath time, you just enjoy the every day. “

Michael, Benny and Josh

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Benny and Josh

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


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JANUARY 11, 2018


specifically for her and Benny, which Jennie is insisting should be shared with others who need it. Fundraisers have sprouted big and little – from a neighborhood girl baking cookies to sell door to door, to shul and school tzedakah projects, to the Pa-Kua Martial Arts studio running “Benny and Josh” classes internationally. Acts of kindness, such as families sending meals and local girls doing chessed hours at night to help with bedtime and the boys, help Jennie and Gary tremendously and they appreciate it all. “People are really incredible and beautiful. People that don’t know me hear and they want to help however they can,” Jennie says. The collected funds are going through Rechav Lev, a local charity in their community of Marine Park which officially declared that they are raising money for the cure for Canavan. As of January 2, the campaign has raised $725,595 of the $1.2 million goal – and the funds are already being disbursed to the labs, researchers and doctors. Though not able to have an exact timeline, the Landsmans expect that the cure for Benny and Josh could happen within a year. The treatment is already in the process of production but they must keep it going in order for the miracle to fully come to fruition. Jennie and Gary are very excited to see a cure for their boys, but also for the larger picture of hope for others. Though Canavan affects approximately 1,500 children currently, successful gene therapy will help Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS patients come closer to cures. By studying a disease with a single gene, scientists can apply findings to more complex diseases and have used Canavan research to help apply gene therapy to more complex diseases. Since they affect the brain in a similar way, the hope is they’ll be able to use similar treatments, modified for those diseases. The Landsmans passionately want to promote an even wider awareness for genetic testing. The fact that some illnesses can be predicted and possibly avoided through comprehensive genetic testing is a message that the Landsmans are hoping to impress upon the community. Being a carrier of a genetic disease means that even though one may not show any symp-

toms, it is still possible to pass that disease on to one’s child, r”l. Genetic disease only occurs when both parents are carriers for the same disease, with

your options and what more you can get tested for – just to make those choices. You can choose not to, but you should know what you’re saying yes or

"It was so shocking because you have this seemingly healthy baby who was delicious and bubbly and yummy and doing everything OK - and then suddenly he's not OK."

a 25% chance of having a child affected by the disease. Jennie had been tested before she got pregnant with Michael and thought she was tested for everything relevant – Canavan was on the Ashkenazi panel at that time. She had it done through her doctor’s office. Due to a clerical mistake, a full panel was not ordered. Her results came back negative for all – that Jennie was not a carrier for any of the diseases – but everything wasn’t tested for. Jennie thought she was fine and never thought about it again. Gary never got tested since Jennie was told she wasn’t a carrier. “I was very young and uninformed. There is a short panel with 40 diseases that they test for and the long with 200. You should really know what you’re getting tested for and know

no to,” Jennie says. “When I got my results, I wish I was informed. You just trust the doctor and don’t think twice about it.” There are organizations that focus on genetic testing especially for Jewish families. Dor Yeshorim works on an anonymous basis and tests potential couples for genetic compatibility. Participants do not know their results or what diseases they may be carriers for, as the goal is to prevent any stigma on the individual. Individuals are given numbers to use to call in when asking about compatibility with a potential spouse. Jscreen is a broader testing service that provides results to each individual and is done through a simple saliva sample. Jscreen tests for approximately 200 diseases. Some doctors will even suggest getting test-

ed before every pregnancy. As genetics is an ever-growing field with much advancement, testing has become more and more accurate over the years. “Maybe something else can be prevented – why risk it If you can be informed? Go to a genetic counselor – go to someone who’s really an expert in the field – that would be my message from my experience,” advises Jennie. “Obviously, this is very rare, but it is so devastating and I would never ever, ever want to see anybody go through that – not the family and not the children.” She hopes that all parents could connect to that feeling of wanting to do anything they can for their kid or their family. “I want people to feel connected to Benny and Josh – they’re both these delicious babies and nobody deserves what they have. It’s a very devastating and scary disease; it’s a downward spiral that these normal kids who are enjoying life will have taken away from them.” As for older brother, Michael, now 7, Jennie says it can be very difficult for him, with sadder days and happy days where he’s just not thinking about it, because he’s a kid. For her and Gary, it’s a roller coaster ride. They are both living day by day and minute by minute, trying to focus on the now and spending time with the boys. “We’re going through it together.” Benny and Josh’s story has touched hearts of family, friends and the extended community, but also reached a broader audience with a recent segment on “Good Morning America.” Though the Landsmans have gotten so far, they worry about the campaign slowing down just as it’s getting closer to the cure. “It’s amazing what the community has done but now we need others to help and keep it going. That’s what’s going to get us to literally save their lives. It’s not like some magic hopefulness, it is really already figured out. It’s there and it’s so close… we just need to get it to them.”

To donate to unlock the cure for Benny and Josh, go to https://www. For more information about genetic testing visit or



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JANUARY 11, 2018 | The Jewish Home

From the Fire

Parshas Va'eira Misplaced Mercy By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf


rom the outset, our parsha seems to send mixed messages. On one hand, it begins (Shemos 6:2), “And G-d, Elokim, spoke, va’yidaber, to Moshe,” using the word for speech implying a harsh tone and the Divine name implying strict justice – din. But the pasuk then quickly switches gears and continues, “And He said, va’yomer, to him, ‘I am Hashem,’” using the word for speech implying a soothing tone and the Divine name implying lovingkindness and mercy – rachamim. The Zohar explains that immediately after Moshe challenged G-d regarding the Jewish people’s suffering (ibid. 5:22-23), “Why have You hurt this nation?... From the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed this nation...,” Hashem meant to convey to Moshe that there were two very different but simultaneous processes going on. On one hand, Hashem used the words “And G-d, Elokim, spoke,” to show that He was acting with din with the Egyptians – that they were about to suffer the consequences for their cruelty. But Hashem was also telling Moshe that He was acting completely differently with the Jewish people. He said “I am Hashem,” using the word yud-key-vav-key, to show that all of the Jewish people’s suffering was about to come to an end, that within their suffering, He was preparing to treat them with great mercy. The Jewish people’s redemption was at hand. That is why He then used the four expressions of redemption (ibid. 6:67), “I will take out... I will redeem... I will take...,” and “I will bring.” But when Moshe relays this message to the Jewish people, the Torah says (ibid. 9), “They did not listen to

Moshe because of their shortness of breath and the hard labor.” Based on this, Moshe makes an argument to G-d using an a fortiori – kal vachomer deduction – to argue that Pharaoh will also not listen to him (ibid. 12): “If the children of Israel did not listen to me, how will Pharaoh listen to me?” The commentaries have great difficulty with Moshe’s logical derivation. Let us understand one basis for this difficulty. It would have been understandable if Moshe was commanded to deliver the same message in the same tone to both the Jewish people and Pharaoh.

king of Egypt, [they were commanded to tell him] to take the Jewish people out from the land of Egypt.” Hashem told Moshe to deliver messages appropriate for each recipient. The beleaguered Jewish people desperately needed encouragement, hope, and love – rachamim. We needed to hear the four expressions of redemption. We needed to hear that we had a bright future in Yerushalayim and in Eretz Yisroel, a land flowing with milk and honey. Our Egyptian oppressors, however, needed words of rebuke, plagues, and punishment – din. The ability to encourage and

The only way we can turn darkness into light is by seeing the goodness in other Jews, encouraging them, and treating them with rachamim.

It would then make sense to ask, “If my own people will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh?” But Moshe was commanded to send a completely different message to each recipient. The Arizal explains that Hashem’s message of din was meant for Egypt and His words of encouragement and love were meant for the Jewish people. On one hand, He told Moshe and Aharon (ibid. 13) “concerning the children of Israel” with the message of strength, compassion, and redemption quoted above. But “concerning Pharaoh, the

strengthen the Jewish people is so important that in the introduction to the Zohar it says that a person may only enter the chamber of Moshiach if he knows how “to turn darkness into light and to make the bitter sweet.” One must know the way of rachamim. He must see the good in the Jewish people in order to encourage them. That is the way Hashem wants His leaders to act in order to strengthen us. But the wicked must be dealt with using strict justice, rebuke, and “a strong hand and an outstretched arm.”

Unfortunately the world has completely confused these two approaches. When it comes to the Jewish people, they speak with din, judging the Jewish people’s efforts to live and protect themselves in the harshest possible light. They condemn the only democracy in the Middle East, beset by animalistic terrorists on all sides, and from within, at every opportunity. But when it comes to terrorists and backward Islamic extremists, they speak with a soft voice, with kid gloves, afraid to offend the delicate sensibilities of murderers. The reality our world does not understand today is that when one shows compassion to the wicked, this will not “turn darkness into light and make the bitter sweet.” Although much of the world makes itself blind, we have seen that this rachamim only strengthens evildoers by showing them that good people are weak and will do nothing to stand up for justice and righteousness. It was reported that ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria and not afraid of America or England. The only nation they fear is Israel and its soldiers. The only way we can turn darkness into light is by seeing the goodness in other Jews, encouraging them, and treating them with rachamim. May we merit to treat each other right and may we see much more than ten plagues visited upon those who work to destroy us with the arrival of the complete redemption, may it come soon in our days! Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, is the founding Morah d’Asrah of Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, NY, and has served as Mashpia in Yeshiva University since 2013.



B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M


JANUARY 11, 2018


Biz Wiz

Virtual Success By Azi Rosenblum

A friend forwarded me this image/ meme that was making its rounds in social media and on WhatsApp. (At this time, please take a moment to review the contents of the image, introspect briefly, and make some sort of noise or gesture to express your astonishment and concern for the fate of the world.) After an initial moment of dismay, I decided I needed to dig a little deeper on this. So, I turned to Google, the wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc (this will be important a bit later), and began my research in the world’s biggest library that has no library books to lend. Firstly, I want to point out that while the other statements in this image appear to be true, I am not 100% sure it’s true of Bitcoin. Having said that, let’s dive into the topic. Is this true? Is a whole new reality emerging in business? Are todays leading companies built on… nothing? FACTS: In 2001, the top 5 publicly traded companies (by Market Cap) consisted of 1 tech company (Microsoft), and 4 others (GE, Exxon, Citi, and Walmart). 2006 had a similar breakdown with some change in the players, and 2011 still only featured 1 tech company (Apple) but 3 of the 4 other slots went to oil companies, mainly because oil had soared to $100 a barrel compared to $30 in 2001 and about $60 currently. As of 2016, you guessed it – 5 out of 5 are technology (Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon & Facebook). Interesting, but is it surprising? It shouldn’t be. Technology growth and the use of technology in every industry and aspect of life is no secret. The shift in market leaders is simply a reflection of the technological industrial

revolution that has taken place over the last few decades. So, I dug a little deeper, trying to understand this viral image by comparing the growth and structure of the pre-tech era’s industry giants and that’s when I discovered that while it may be interesting, there is nothing new happening. Let me explain. When I think of a timeless international brand, my mind immediately goes to Coke. No silly, not THAT coke, I’m talking about Coca-Cola (Not-So-Snapple Fact #1 - did you know that from 1886 to 1903 Cocaine was one of the ingredients in Coca-Cola?). That’s when I discovered that Coca-Cola is the world’s largest soft drink company that owns no bottling plants outside of North America. That’s right! Coca-Cola makes the syrups, but the mixing, bottling, and distribution is handled by over 275 independent companies with over 900 facilities worldwide through a sophisticated franchise model that dates back to 1889. So, it seems to me that while the meme certainly notes an interesting trend, it’s also misleading in the sense that it implies there is a fundamental change in how huge businesses grow and operate. Hotel chains have always grown by buying up local and regional hotels. Restaurants, grocery chains, accounting firms, consulting firms, and the list goes on - when they grow on national or international scales, they are often made up of layers of holding companies and buyouts, mergers and acquisitions. What the technological industrial revolution has created is a powerful platform from which to launch and grow a brand at a scale and speed that

has never been possible before. Uber is a network of independent drivers and passengers linked by a platform that creates a convenient and efficient user and driver experience. Amazon, Alibaba and Airbnb all created a platform for their network of clients and suppliers to connect. Facebook made social engagement convenient, while offering one of the most accurate platforms for targeting customers for advertising and selling information about their behaviors using the data they “share” on the site. What they all have in common is that they are each a platform and a brand, and what that platform/brand does is just a detail. Their real objective is to connect the supply and demand and take their share of the volume. This all leaves

me with two points to ponder. First, a reminder that platform, process and planning are a critical requirement for any business to scale up and be ready for volume and rapid growth. Second, we really need to make sure we are teaching our kids computer science and programming, so we don’t end up as the world’s smartest people with no computer programmers. Azi Rosenblum is a business consultant and the founder and CEO of RemSource, an outsourced provider of administrative and bookkeeping services for small businesses. To suggest a topic or ask a question for a future #BizWiz column, email BizWiz@

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Mental Health Corner


Yosef, age 15, has recently become obsessed with the appearance of his neck. It seems to him that the veins in his neck are overly visible and he obsesses over this for hours on end. In an attempt hide this flaw, he wears shirts with tall collars, tilts his head in such a way that his veins are less visible, and he applies substances to his neck that camouflage his veins. When he confides in others, they always fail to see any difference between his veins and those of other people, but Binyamin is convinced that they are saying this just to make him feel better. Binyamin has Body Dysmorphic disorder or BDD. BDD is a mental health disorder where a person has persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or grossly exaggerated flaw in his or her appearance. BDD has nothing to do with vanity! These are people who have an irrational belief that their appearance is grotesque and they want nothing more than to look like everyone else. The disorder is that they really do look like everyone else but are convinced that their appearance is abnormal! Obviously, it is not uncommon for people to be unsatisfied with some aspect of their appearance, but for most people it does not significantly affect their ability to function whereas individuals with BDD have their lives overtaken by their obsessions. Here are some behaviors that you might see in someone with BDD: • Frequent mirror checking • Avoiding looking in the mirror • Changing clothing to mask the imagined flaw • Skin picking to “fix” the flaw • Excessive grooming • Constantly seeking reassur-

ance about their appearance • Seeking corrective surgery As you can see, BDD is very similar to OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). In both disorders, there is an obsessive and intrusive thought, and there is a compulsive act that one does in an attempt to minimize or eliminate the obsession. However, individuals with OCD often understand that their obsessions are irrational, but individuals with BDD usually are convinced that their fears are true. It is analogous to someone who is looking in a distorted mirror and is convinced that the mirror is flawless. The typical age of onset is during adolescence or early adulthood and affects males and females equally. The cause of BDD is unknown, and as with many other mental health disorders it is probably due to a combination of one’s genetic predisposition and the environment that one lives in. BDD can be a risk factor for the development of other disorders, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, health problems (due to behaviors such as skin picking) and eating disorders. Treatment often involves therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Untreated BDD can be psychologically painful, but through treatment by a competent and experienced mental health clinician the symptoms can be brought under control. You do not need to live your life with such anguish and torment. This is a service of Relief Resources. Relief is an organization that provides mental health referrals, education, and support to the frum community. Rabbi Yisrael Slansky is director of the Baltimore branch of Relief. He can be contacted at 410-448-8356 or at



“Listen, Raizy, if you have the time, how about coming over once a week so I can help you out?” Raizy looked startled. “Is that a thing?” I hesitated. I wasn’t sure what the school’s policy was on teachers giving private tutoring. So I improvised. “Call it mother-helping. You can wash dishes while I help you study. And I’ll ask Mrs. Ring just in case.” Mrs. Ring was the 11th grade advisor. Raizy still looked doubtful. “I’d have to ask my father …” she said. “But I’d really appreciate it.” The fact that she hadn’t shrugged off the offer made me certain that she wanted to improve her grades. “Great,” I said, smiling at her. “Let me know the verdict.” As Raizy turned away, I called after her, “Raizy, I don’t mean to make things harder for you.” She turned, and with a small shake of the head said, “You’re amazing, Mrs. Marks. Thank you.” And with that, she left the room. I called Mrs. Ring that night and asked her for her opinion on the matter. After discussing it over the phone and speaking to the principal, Mrs. Greenstone, briefly the next day, I got the tentative go-ahead. “As long as the other students don’t start complaining and think you’re showing favoritism, it’s fine with me,” Mrs. Greenstone said.

“Let’s see how it goes. Maybe this will encourage Raizy to try harder in all her classes, not just Chumash.” Apparently Raizy was failing most of her subjects, not just mine. It surprised me. Raizy was intelligent and sincere, and I wondered why she didn’t take her schoolwork more seriously. “Try not to push her so much,” Mrs. Greenstone advised. “Take it slow and we’ll see how it goes.” Raizy arrived at half-past seven the next Thursday. Raphael had already come home for dinner and gone off to night seder an hour before, and Yehuda was fast asleep. I had just finished putting a load in the dryer when there came a knock on the door. I opened it to find Raizy standing there, looking uncomfortable. “Come in, come in!” I said, wheeling backwards to give her room to enter. “You must be cold.” The temperature had dropped drastically in the past couple of days. Frost coated cars in the morning, and jackets were now a must. Raizy stepped inside, shrugging off her coat. “You can just put that on the couch,” I said, gesturing to the side. “Let’s move into the kitchen.” “Mrs. Marks, your home is so nice,” Raizy said, following me into the kitchen. “Thank you.” “But it doesn’t look like you need

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

“Mrs. Marks, if we connect the brownies to something we learned, can we get extra credit?” I smiled. “Yes. But no far-fetched answers.” The student I’d given the test papers to finished handing them out, and everyone fell silent. It was Monday morning, and my class was having their first Chumash test. I did some other work while they wrote down their answers. Every so often I scanned the room to see if a hand was raised or if someone looked like they could use help. I’ll admit, I’m not an easy tester. I don’t ask for spit-back information – I make my students think. Though that probably wasn’t the kindest thing to do to them on a Monday morning, so I’d brought them brownies as a peace offering. The next day, I handed them back. Only one girl had failed, and I put a note on her test to see me after class. So after all the other students had left to lunch, Raizy Weiss came up to my desk, looking nervous. She’d already failed several quizzes and gotten low marks on assignments. But it had been little over a year since her mother had passed away, and I’d wanted to give Raizy chances to prove that she was trying. A failed test, however, I couldn’t drop as easily. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Marks,” she said

before I even opened my mouth. “I just didn’t spend enough time studying. I’ll try harder next time, I’ll -” I raised a hand, and she stopped. “Raizy,” I said kindly, “That’s what you’ve been telling me after failing all your quizzes and homework assignments.” I gestured at her test paper. “Look, I know this isn’t you. I know that you can do so much more than this. You don’t need to pass with flying colors, but putting in at least some effort would help you a lot. I know you’re busy at home, Raizy. But your main job right now is as a student.” Raizy shifted, looking uncomfortable. “Mrs. Marks, I really do have time. It’s not like I’m watching my siblings after school. They’re either over at friends or my older sister takes care of them. And my father comes home early to make dinner.” Well. I’d thought Raizy had been trying to take over for her mother, or something noble like that. It didn’t occur to me that she was acting like a regular teenage girl who didn’t want to do schoolwork. “Okay. So can you tell me why you aren’t studying?” I asked gently. She shrugged. To my dismay, her eyes started welling up. Although I’d been teaching for several years, I’d only gotten tearful students a handful of times. It was disconcerting and made me feel horrible. So I switched tactics.

JANUARY 11, 2018

Part V


JANUARY 11, 2018






B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M



any help cleaning,” Raizy commented, looking around. I grinned at her. “I cleaned up for you.” Raizy frowned. “Mrs. Marks -” I laughed. “Don’t worry, the kitchen needs help.” Which was true – I hadn’t yet cleaned up from dinner, and the sink had already accumulated dozens of dishes since the last time I’d emptied it. “Alright,” I said as Raizy put her bag down on the table. “We start with pasuk alef.” “Pasuk alef?” Raizy asked, confused. “But we’re nearly up to the next perek in class.” I raised my eyebrows at her. “What’s the point of starting from where we are in class? You’re not there yet. Pasuk alef.” As Raizy started on the dishes, I read aloud the pasuk, asking her to translate. Then I gave an explanation with mefarshim and read the pasuk again. I did that for ten pesukim, then asked Raizy to switch. “You don’t know where the dishes go,” I pointed out, picking up a towel. “I want you to read alef through yud, translate, and read the Rashis.” Raizy sat down, looking half-nervous, half-determined. But she did it. With help, of course, but she went through each pasuk. And so began our weekly ritual. We caught up to where the class was a couple of weeks later, and soon Raizy began scoring well on her quizzes and assignments. And I could count on the fact that Thursday night would end with a clean sink. “But it’s not really helping anything!” Raizy said one evening. “Sure, I’m doing better in Chumash, but I’m still failing all my other subjects!” She scrubbed viciously at a pot. I flipped a page in the Chumash, noting Raizy’s neat translations written between the lines of the pesukim. “Are you studying?” “Yes! Well, sort of.” “Are you handing in complete homework assignments?”

“Mostly!” “Raizy.” I bit back what I wanted to say. I hadn’t wanted to do school work any more than she did when I was in High School. “Have you tried studying with friends?” “Yes. But we just end up talking.” I grinned. “Then maybe find some friends whom you can study with and actually get stuff done. That would help things, no?” “I suppose.” The water stopped running, and Raizy reached for a towel. She knew where most of the dishes went by now. “Raizy, you’re a smart girl. You just need to stop procrastinating. Like now. I asked you to tell me what the Ramban says on pasuk vav.” Raizy sighed. “It’s another machlokes.” I paused. I could hear that disinterested note in her voice, and I didn’t like it. “Another machlokes? Tell me, Raizy, what’s a machlokes to you?” “A fight over something.” “Ah.” I tapped the Chumash. “So you think that these machlokos are just squabbles between great Torah leaders?” Raizy looked askance. “No, of course not!” “Then what are they?” Raizy thought for a moment, placing a cup back into its cupboard. “People fight over something they care about. These gedolim are trying to share their explanations on Torah, trying to give clarity.” “Right. And although opinions seem to clash, we know there are ‘Shiv’im Panim L’Torah,’” I said, quoting the famous chazal. “Torah is a diamond; it’s multifaceted. What appears as disputes to us are just different sides of the same gem.” Raizy shrugged. “Okay.” “So what does the Ramban have to say on pasuk mem-beis?” Raizy paused. “I’ve forgotten.” I couldn’t really blame her for that. A month later, Raizy passed her second Chumash test with a 90.


JANUARY 4, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Health & F tness



How to Fight Off the Flu By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN

JANUARY 11, 2018


there are some things you can do to help prevent catching the flu. 1. Flu shot. Getting the annual flu shot can go a long way. Many are skeptical of the flu shot and nervous that it will only make them sick, however, the CDC urges all, especially the elderly, children,

phone is covered in germs. Always wash your hands before eating, touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and when you get home. The same goes for your kids. School and the workplace is usually where you pick something up and these chances

You may notice that when you are sleepdeprived the common cold tends to come on quickly.

and pregnant women, to get the flu shot. 2. Wash your hands. Germs are everywhere. You may think germs only get passed when someone directly coughs or sneezes on you but you have to realize germs are everywhere. Whether you want to believe it or not, even your

can be reduced by simple handwashing. 3. Get enough sleep. You may notice that when you are sleep-deprived the common cold tends to come on quickly. Sleep deprivation is an open invitation for the common cold. And there’s science behind that. During sleep,

your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Cytokines are vital characters during an immune response. They have a role in inflammation and fighting off infections. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies are also reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. The average adult needs a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 4. Take it easy. Chronic stress releases hormones that suppress our immune system. Stress results in high levels of cortisol. Cortisol suppresses inflammation during an immune response. If levels are high for a long period of time (due to chronic stress), the body develops a resistance to cortisol and doesn’t respond appropriately. Although most people are immune to stress, try to be as stress-free as possible – for your immune

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

niffling, sneezing, coughing – it’s that time of year again. With the wind blowing and the cold temperatures eating at your bones, your risk of getting sick is getting higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every five Americans catches the flu each year. The CDC officially announced that the flu season has begun this year. The flu season lasts longer than you think. It can run up until March. Flu symptoms can be mild or severe. Symptoms generally include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches and chills. If you suspect you have the flu see your primary care physician for a flu test. Once diagnosed with the flu, your doctor might prescribe Tamiflu. Unfortunately, Tamiflu is only effective if started in the first 48 hours of the virus. So if you suspect you have the flu, get it checked out right away. Tamiflu doesn’t lessen the symptoms of the flu, it only shortens the duration of the virus. If you catch the flu, there’s not much you can do other than take Tylenol or Motrin, drink fluids, and get plenty of rest. Luckily,

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 4, 2018



JANUARY 11, 2018


system’s sake. 5. Exercise. Moderate exercise is shown to help your immune system fight infection. Exercise also helps relieve stress thus indirectly boosting your immune system. At the same time, exercise can help reverse some of the damage caused by sugar intake. Although it’s a little tougher to exercise when the weather is colder, try to do as much indoor activity as possible. If you are unable to join a gym,

exercise can be done at home too – running up and down steps, jumping jacks, jumping rope, work out videos, or just about anything that gets you moving. 6. Diet. What you eat definitely has an impact on your immune system. Vitamin C is famous for its immune boosting powers. So load up on vitamin C-rich foods. This includes citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and red peppers, garlic, broccoli,

spinach, and ginger. Vitamin D also helps regulate the immune system and is thought to boost your body’s natural defenses against diseases. Great sources of vitamin D are yogurt, milk, eggs, and salmon. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a role in a healthy immune system. Almonds are the best source of vitamin E. Whether you feel a cold coming on or not, try making these changes to prevent anything worse. The flu is

not something you want to catch and if these small changes can help prevent the flu, it’s worth a shot. Stay healthy and stay warm! Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN, is a Master’s level Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She graduated CUNY Brooklyn College receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. She is currently a dietitian at Boro Park Center and a private nutrition consultant. She can be reached at

Chessed campaigns in good taste B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

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JANUARY 4, 2018 | The Jewish Home



We Now Interrupt This Broadcast... By Allan Rolnick, CPA



JANUARY 11, 2018


interrupt our usual broadcast of fun tax stories for something a bit more serious. We shouldn’t need to tell you much about the nuts and bolts of the new law — the lower tax rates, lower deductions, and new “qualified business income” rules for pass-through

vice is even more important. Most tax professionals do a perfectly good job of putting the “right” numbers in the “right” boxes on the “right” forms. But then they call it a day. Our real value comes from delivering the proactive concepts and strategies that most tax and financial advisors

It’s much more fun to talk about how celebrities use offshore tax havens or harken back to taxes in the 1980s.

businesses. The news is already full of those discussions. Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be putting together material explaining how the new bill could affect you. But we’re going to do things a little different from everybody else. Most of those news outlets will be writing about how much you’re going to owe under the new law. And that’s important. But we’re going to focus our effort on how you can pay less. And in the end, that ser-

simply overlook. Of course, we’ll also be highlighting some of the more absurd aspects of the new law. For example: under the old law, you could exclude a whopping $20 of income per month for expenses related to riding your bike to work, so long as you weren’t getting other pretax transit benefits. The new law lets the air out of that benefit. And how much will putting a nail in that benefit save the Treasury? Austin Powers fans, channel

your best Dr. Evil voice and say it with me: “one ... million ... dollars.” A rounding error, at best. Here’s another one you might like a little more. Under the old law, Code Section 162 said that members of Congress could deduct up to $3,000 per year for their living expenses while they’re away from their districts. At this point, though, congressional net worths are hitting all-time highs (Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte, who started two software companies, is worth $315 million). And congressional approval ratings are hitting all-time lows, hovering somewhere around 11%. So the new law eliminates that little boondoggle. 2018 promises to be a busy year, full of opportunity and promise. So count on us to help you navigate the new rules, as you ring in the New Year. And don’t forget, we’ll be here for your family, friends, and colleagues, too.

Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

n Sunday, October 30, 1938, Mercury Radio Theatre fans who were listening to Ramon Racquello and His Orchestra were interrupted by a news broadcast reporting an odd explosion on the planet Mars. Soon after, they learned that a cylindrical object had fallen on a farm in Grovers Mills, New Jersey. The radio audience listened in horror as a pulsating Martian emerged from the cylinder and obliterated the crowd with heat rays. Soon, an entire army of Martians had invaded New York, and very real panic had spread across the country. Last week, something a bit similar happened in the tax world. (Well, except for the Martians, heat rays, and destruction of Gotham.) After just six weeks of consideration, the House and Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the biggest restructuring of the tax code in 31 years. We don’t usually use these emails to discuss “hard news” like the new tax bill. It’s much more fun to talk about how celebrities use offshore tax havens or harken back to taxes in the 1980s. But this new tax bill is simply too big to ignore. And so we


JANUARY 11, 2018


Gluten Free Recipe Column by Mrs. Elaine Bodenheimer

Coconut Meringue Bird’s Nests What You Will Need:

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

4 egg whites ½ tsp. cream of tartar 1 cup sugar 1 cup sweetened coconut- divided 1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding 1 cup pareve creamer 1 cup pareve whipped topping- whipped 1 cup jelly beans or candy coated almonds Preparation: 1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. 2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl with mixer on highfro 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 Tbl at a time, beating constantly after each addition until stiff peaks form. Beat an additional 3 minutes or until mixture is glossy. Gently stir in ½ of the coconut. Spoon mixture into 14 rounds, divided between 2 parchment-covered baking sheets. Use back of spoon to shape each into 2 ½ inch round, and make a depression in center of each mound to resemble a bird’s nest. Sprinkle remaining coconut around edges; press gently into egg white mixture. 3. Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour or until meringues are dry and coconut is golden brown. Cool completely on baking sheets. Meanwhile, beat pudding mix and creamer with whisk for 2 minutes until pudding is thick. Fold in whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to use. Spoon pudding mixture into meringue nests just before serving; top with jelly beans or almonds.

Recipies from:

Cooking King forthe

Reports abound this winter of colds and flu circulating through families, offices and schoolrooms. But it doesn’t have to be so. Preventive measures such as hand washing and stress management help our bodies resist and fight off germs and viruses. Sensible diets and immune boosting foods found in our kitchen can be put to work to keep us healthy and active. And if one does succumb, then the pantry holds many healing ingredients to help one through.


by Renee Rousso Chernin


JANUARY 11, 2018

Golden Milk

According to Prevention Magazine, the same oils that give garlic its unmistakable scent are deposited by the bloodstream into the respiratory tract. There, they inhibit cough and cold microbes, and they are effective decongestants. Lemon juice reduces and thins mucus, which makes it easier to unclog a stuffed-up respiratory system. Lemon juice, high in vitamin C, also alters the body's pH, potentially making it less hospitable to viruses and bacteria.

The deep gold colored spice, turmeric is one of newest darlings of the healing foods phenomenon. It touts anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties. Prevention magazine reports* that it might be a preventative against Alzheimer’s and other studies suggest that it can reduce cholesterol, improve digestion, and stimulate the immune system. In short, it’s an amazing spice. This recipe includes ingredients in your kitchen that will help your body absorb turmeric and its active agent curcumin. One is black pepper and the other is fat, provided by the addition of milk. In studies honey and cinnamon have shown effectiveness in fighting external and internal infections.


3 cups water 5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved 2 inch knob fresh gingerroot, sliced thinly ½ cup honey, to taste ½ cup fresh lemon juice


1. In a large saucepan, bring water, garlic and ginger to a boil. Turn off the heat when the water boils, and add honey and lemon juice and stir well to combine. 2. Strain. Drink warm each morning to build immunity or sip 1/2 cup three times a day while suffering a cold or stuffy nose.

* ask-dr-sanjay-gupta-are-there-certain-foods-can-help-me-avoid-d


2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


2 cups water 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste ¼ cup dairy milk, coconut or almond milk

1. In a medium saucepan, simmer herbs and water together for 10 mins. 2. Strain liquid through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer into two large mugs. 3. Add honey and milk. Drink daily while suffering a cold or stuffy nose. RubyLaskerDesigns

B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

Garlic Immuni-Tea Recipe

Experience makes a difference.

MAKE SURE YOUR REALTOR HAS IT!! Barry Nabozny 410.977.7600



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