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Choose From A Variety Of Options That Work Specifically For Your Family, Home, And Car.

VENDOR SPACES STILL AVAILABLE To join our list of valued vendors please contact: Shloimie Kreindler 443-939-9979 |

DECEMBER 14, 2017




Exciting Raffle! / Special Pricing on Select Items! GUEST SPEAKERS

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ISAAC “YITZY” SCHLEIFER Fifth District City Councilman Director of the Chesed Fund Limited & Project Ezra of Greater Baltimore Inc.

DECEMBER 20, 2017

7:30PM - 10:00PM Bnos Yisroel

6300 Park Heights Ave. Maariv at 10:00PM


In loving memory of Rabbi Benjamin Katz, and for a refuah sheleimah for Asher Elmaliach, a soldier stabbed at the Central Bus Station, Jerusalem, Israel.

Endorsed by local Rabbonim. The Chesed Fund Limited is dedicated in memory of Mordechai & Rebecca Kapiloff, ‫ע׳׳ה‬. Dr. Bernard Kapiloff, ‫ע׳׳ה‬, and Rabbi Norman & Louise Gerstenfeld, ‫ע׳׳ה‬. Project Ezra of Greater Baltimore, Inc. is dedicated in memory of M. Leo Storch, ‫ע׳׳ה‬.

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DECEMBER 14, 2017

Around the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Community Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


Dear Readers, It was just under a year ago on December 23, 2016 when the UN passed their resolution against Israel. Many saw this as a last ditch effort of Mr. Obama and Kerry to stack the chips against Israel in future negotiations. I don’t think the masterminds behind this foresaw the backlash it would

Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

bring from leaders right and left. At the time, Professor Alan Dershowitz


Obama administration out on this, and a Bloomberg News editorial called for

613 Seconds with Rivka Slatkin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

JEWISH LIFE Crafts for Kids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Camp Shoresh And Its Year-Long Influence . . . . . 55 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Beyond Limits - A Serial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 The Vanishing Flame. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Cooking for the King. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71


called it a stab in the back, Democrat Party Whip Steny Hoyer called the bi-partisan agreement in moving the embassy to Jerusalem. Isn’t it amazing how less than a year later you can see the Yad Hashem in what we looked at as such a travesty? That step backward united both sides to strengthen Israel’s position, including establishing Yerushalayim as the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Many of the prophesies and midrashim describing the final challenge facing the Jewish people refer to a battle for Jerusalem, the nations of the world ganging up on the Jewish people one last time. A final rabim b’yad m’atim. It’s already happening. Let us be ready for the miracles which are to follow. Like we say in the minchah Amida on Tisha B’av “For you, O Lord, consumed her with fire, and with fire You will rebuild her.” On a less political note, studies have consistently been coming out about how addictive smart phones really are. But there is one really good use for

Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

them: taking pictures of your family on Chanukah to send to BJH (pictures@

That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Send us your fun, cute, serious or inspirational pictures for a chance to win a gift card to Tov Pizza. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos Chanukah,

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Home of the Famous

DECEMBER 14, 2017



1110 Reisterstown Rd | 410.358.2796


Around the Community

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By: Staff Reporter Cohn


lready half-a-year earlier, when Rav Elyashiv ztl was hospitalized for what would be the final time before his petirah, Rav Shteinman was recognized as his successor to the throne of Torah leadership. To us, the age of 98 might seem a bit old to begin a new job – that is, unless that new job is the spiritual leadership of Klal Yisroel, a position which was held by Maran Hagaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZATZAL of Bnei-Brak until he was Niftar a short while ago at the age of 104. Even before the passing of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv ZATZAL, who was widely recognized as the leader of the Torah world, Rav Elyashiv’s son-in-law, Hagaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita, penned a letter affirming the status of Rav Shteinman, his mechutan, as the leader of the generation: The leadership of the generation is hereby given to Maran Ge’on Yisrael Hagaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman shlit”a, all of whose actions are for the sake of Heaven… It is thus obligatory upon all to obey every word that leaves the mouth of Maran shlit”a, through which we fulfill the affirmative command, “Ve’asisa kechol asher yorucha” (“You shall do in accordance with all that they instruct you”)… Already half-a-year earlier, when Rav Elyashiv zt”l was hospitalized for what would be the final time before his petirah, Rav Shteinman was recognized as his successor to the throne of Torah leadership. And in what was considered by many as his unofficial “coronation,” Rav Shteinman appeared before the tens of thousands of attendees at Dirshu’s Siyum HaShas that summer at Tel-Aviv’s Nokia Arena to address the crowd and read the final lines of Shas. The Rosh Yeshiva walked up to the podium to the raucous singing of “Yamim al yemei melech tosif,” amid a feverish aura of drama and excitement borne out of the realization that the new official leader of the Torah

world was making his first public appearance in that capacity. In his address to the crowd, Rav Shteinman proclaimed, “We live in order to fulfill mitzvos. HKB”H will help us so that we are all privileged to reach the level where the entire purpose of our lives is to fulfill mitzvos and learn Torah.” From Brisk to Bnei Brak Rav Shteinman was born in 1914 (some reports claim 13, but 14 is the official listed date) in the town of Brisk, (also known as Brest, part of modern-day Belarus) where he was raised and reportedly enjoyed a close relationship with the Brisker Rov, Rav Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik ZATZAL. In 1937, during World War II, Rav Shteinman was forced to flee Brisk as he was in danger of being drafted to the Polish army which then controlled the town. Together with his close friend Rav Moshe Soloveitchik ZATZAL he journeyed westward to Montreux, Switzerland, where he joined in Yeshivas Etz Chaim. It was there that in 1943 he married his wife, Tamar Kornfeld A”H, a daughter of Gerrer chossid, Rav Shammai Shraga Kornfeld of Antwerp, who had fled to Switzerland from Belgium. Rebbetzin Shteinman was a descendant of several illustrious Torah figures, including the Magen Avraham, Rav Yehonasan Eibshitz and the Chiddushei HaRim. She passed away in 2002. Both of Rav Shteinman’s parents, and all five brothers, were killed during the Holocaust. During his years in Switzerland, Rav Shteinman served as a Ra”m in Yeshivas Heichal Eliyahu in Montreux. He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1946 and originally settled in Petach Tikva. Soon thereafter, he was recommended by the Chazon Ish ZATZAL for the position of Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Kfar-Saba. He eventually moved to Bnei Brak, where he lived until his petirah. In 1955 he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh La’tze’irim, (high-school) and in 1964 was appointed Rosh Kollel at Ponevezh. He would eventually found his own yeshiva, Yeshivas Geon Yaakov in Bnei Brak, which he continued to

lead until his final day. Rav Shteinman has two sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Rav Shraga Noach, is married to the daughter of Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a. His daughter Rebbitzen Rochel Devorah Berlin was Niftar on 4 Kislev 5778. Paragon of Simplicity Rav Shteinman’s home and lifestyle were extraordinarily simple and austere. Around 5 years ago, a journalist for the Israeli daily Israel Hayom, Yehuda Shlezinger, visited Rav Shteinman’s 3.5-room apartment on 5 Chazon Ish St. in Bnei-Brak, and marveled at the humble conditions, describing dilapidated closets and cabinets, and walls with peeling paint. Similar impressions were expressed six years ago by the Israeli Ambassador to Japan, Nissim Ben Shitrit, who visited Rav Shteinman together with then Bnei-Brak mayor Rabbi Yaakov Asher to discuss the efforts made on behalf of the two yeshiva students who had been imprisoned in Japan. The Ambassador noted his astonishment over the tiny residence occupied by one of the leading sages of Israel, saying, “I have never seen anything like it in my life.” For decades, Rav Shteinman slept on the plank-bed he received from the Jewish Agency when he moved to Israel. It was only recently when, due to his advanced age and frailty, the bed was replaced by a hospital bed. Rav Shteinman learned on a stool which he had elevated so that his feet would not reach the floor, thus reducing the chances of falling asleep during learning. The family received many offers to purchase the home for a handsome price, as well as donations of more comfortable and aesthetic furniture, but Rav Shteinman refused, insisting that he has what he needed and seeks no more. This remarkable level of simplicity served as an inspiration to many. One of the rav’s gabbaim told Israel Hayom of a couple that came to consult with Rav Shteinman regarding their marriage. They were embroiled in bitter conflict over the issue of whether or not to invest in house renovations. While waiting to meet Rav Shteinman, the wife took one look at Rav Shtein-

Photo Credit - Dirshu


DECEMBER 14, 2017

A Glimpse Into The Life Of The Gadol Hador, Maran Hagon HaRav Aron Leib Shteinman Z”TZL

man’s kitchen and immediately cancelled the appointment. “If the gadol hador can live this way,” the woman said, “then so can I.” A Marriage Built Upon Mutual Respect Yaakov Rosenstein, who has served as Rav Shteinman’s personal assistant for the past 25 years years, described to Israel Hayom the unique aura of peace and mutual respect that characterized the relationship between Rav Shteinman and his wife, Rebbetzin Tamar Shteinman. He said that the rebbetzin took on personal responsibility for all household chores, never even sending her husband on errands, so that he could devote himself en-



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


DECEMBER 14, 2017


tirely to his Torah studies. The Rosh Yeshiva, in turn, treated his rebbetzin with the utmost respect, always ensuring to eat his meals with her, and making a point of calling her each day from the yeshiva. Additionally, whenever he left the house, he would personally go to the rebbetzin to bid her farewell, rather than send one of his gabbaim to relay the message. The story is told that after Rebbetzin Shteinman’s petira, a family member noticed a change in the Rosh Yeshiva’s Friday night protocol. For years, Rav Shteinman would always request a second helping of fish at the se’uda, which he stopped doing after his wife’s passing. Even when the family members offered him a second helping, he refused. Rav Shteinman later explained that he does not even enjoy fish, but he would always ask for a second helping out of respect and appreciation for his wife, who labored to prepare fish every Erev Shabbos. It was out of his desire to give her satisfaction that he enthusiastically asked for extra fish each week for 60 years. A Porch Full of Kvitlech Even at 103 year old, Rav Shteinman was an address for Jews around the world, from government officials to Roshei Yeshiva to avreichim to simple balabatim, who flocked to the great sage for guidance. The door to his home was open to visitors, and throngs of people came to seek his blessing, encouragement and advice. Dignitaries seeking to meet with Rav Shteinman generally entered through the porch window to avoid the large crowds, and important Israeli officials such as Eli Yishai and Ehud Barak have been seen skipping into the sage’s apartment through the window. One of the family members remarked, “It is funny to see them jumping through the window…but this is good both for the rav and for the security guards, that they come and go quietly.” Remarkably, Rav Shteinman made time for all questions and problems that came his way, both big and small. Knesset members consulted with him for guidance on major issues that would arise in the Israeli parliament, and he met with married couples to resolve conflicts and with yeshiva bochurim and parents to discuss matters involving shidduchim. “There is nothing that is not in the Gadol Hador’s territory, that is too trivial for him,” MK Uri Maklev of United Torah Judaism told Israel Ha-

same title. His hasmada was legendary, and even when the yeshiva world goes on its customary break for three weeks in the summer, Rav Shteinman continued his regular learning schedule. As somebody close to the Rosh Yeshiva told YWN, “For the Rosh Yeshiva there was no concept of vacation or bein hazmanim.” His mission to serve Klal Yisroel continued throughout the year, and did not allow for vacation.

yom. “He has the amazing ability to absorb, analyze and probe.” New York City Councilman David Greenfield, who regularly visited with Rav Shteinman to ask shailos regarding Greenfield’s work for the klal, told YWN that the Rav would query him on even the most minute details, “HaRav Shteinman had an incredible ability to take the most complex issues and simplify it. I remember once I was very concerned about a challenging communal issue. I sat with the Rosh Yeshiva for quite some time. He asked several probing questions down to the most localized detail of the problem. After I concluded my lengthy explanation of the issue, the Rosh Yeshiva literally came up with a resolution in less than one minute.” Chaim Cohen, who served for many years as Rav Elyashiv’s personal assistant, told Israel Hayom that Rav Elyashiv described Rav Shteinman as “a pure Jew,” and often deferred to his authority. “Regarding every question that came to him in the last decade,” Cohen said, “he would first ask whether they had first spoken with Rav Shteinman. On weighty public matters, he always said that he [Rav Shteinman] should be consulted first – such as the decision of whom United Torah Judaism would recommend to the President to charge with forming a coalition, or for which candidate to vote for President of the State.” During the bein hazmanim vacation in the yeshivos, many students took advantage of the break to visit Rav Shteinman and receive his guidance and blessing. The line to his apartment extended down the stairs and outside his building and some times down the block as people wait-

ed for hours to get a Bracha from the Gadol Hador. Rav Shteinman also received hundreds of kvitlech from Jews around the world asking him to pray on their behalf. The Rosh Yeshiva refused to discard the notes, and they were kept in large heaps on the tiny porch outside his apartment. Rav Shteinman was heavily involved in tzedakahs, working tirelessly to raise funds for needy families and worthy charitable institutions. Somebody who works closely with the Rosh Yeshiva told YWN, “He lived in poverty, does not buy and does not allow people to buy for him, but he sometimes had in his pocket thousands of dollars that he received from wealthy people abroad. He had a handwritten registry and he distributed to kollelim as he sees fit. Nobody touched the money.” Another source confirmed, “Harav Shteinman assisted in raising millions of dollars each year for kolel yungerleit. Incredibly, he knew exactly where each dollar went and made sure that not a penny was wasted.” Once, Rav Shteinman experienced sharp pains in his arm, and the family feared that it was the result of his heart condition. As they waited for the doctor to come and examine him, Rav Shteinman’s main concern was ensuring they knew where all the charity money was. Even as he lay in pain facing the prospect of a life-threatening condition, his mind was not on his body, but on the tzedaka money that needed to get to its intended recipients. Rav Shteinman wrote numerous sefarim, including 15 volumes of commentaries to Shas under the title Ayeles Hashachar, and a series of volumes on Chumash and Rashi under the

Once a Talmid, Always a Talmid It is told that one of Rav Shteinman’s gabbaim once had to visit a certain family in Jerusalem, and accidentally entered the home of a different family with the same name that lived in the neighborhood. As it turned out, the man whose home he mistakenly visited was sitting shiva for his sister. The gabbai decided to stay to fulfill the mitzva of nichum aveilim, and he discovered that the nifteres’ husband had been a student of Rav Shteinman some 50 years earlier. The husband and the gabbai spent a few minutes sharing stories of the great Rosh Yeshiva, after which the gabbai left to find the family he needed to see. Later that day, when the gabbai returned to Bnei-Brak, he mentioned to the Rosh Yeshiva that he had met a former talmid. Rav Shteinman did not remember the name, but he immediately told his gabbai to prepare his things and bring him to the shiva home in Jerusalem. “If a talmid of mine is sitting shiva,” he said, “then I have to go visit him.” And so they drove to Jerusalem that very day, and Rav Shteinman sat with his talmid for 25 minutes, bringing him much-needed nechama for the passing of his wife. This was the leader of the generation, a Torah giant for whom no person’s problem was too small or trivial, whose sense of mission and responsibility extended to all acheinu Benei Yisrael, and for whom no challenge was large enough to stand in the way of that mission. Who will fill the place of the Gadol Hador – a Gadol who saw Gedolei Olam as they lived before the Holocaust? We can only hope that a leader as ledgendery and as great as Rav Shteinman will take his place, and lead us to Moshiach – may he come speedily in our times. Yehi Zichro Boruch….


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Around the Community


DECEMBER 14, 2017

The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra bring local organizations, vendors, and the community together for the 1st Annual Community Safety Expo By: Isaac Draiman


n Wednesday, December 20th, 2017, Baltimore residents are invited to attend The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra’s, 1st Annual Community Safety Expo. The Expo will be held at Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore located at 6300 Park Heights Ave and will run from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. The recent crime wave hitting the community, which has included muggings, assaults, home burglaries, and car jackings, has everyone scrambling for better ways to protect themselves and their families. Residents who attend the free Expo will be get a chance to see the numerous lowcost methods out there to help protect themselves, their families, their homes, and their cars. Elected officials, such as the mayor and Fifth District Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer, have been working

hard allocating resources necessary to deter and investigate this relentless crime spree. The community also feels a huge debt of gratitude to organizations like Shomrim and NWCP for doing their part in aiding the police. However, many people are wondering what they can do as individuals to stay safe. “The Expo will give our community a one-stop opportunity to learn and select items or services from over twenty safety and security related vendors and organizations,” said Frank Storch, Director of The Chesed Fund & Project Ezra. The Expo will include locksmiths who can provide ideas for upgrading deadbolts and making your home more secure against intruders. Home security companies who can provide various security systems and cameras will also be present to share how these systems and devices can help protect your valuables and provide important evidence to aid police in case of

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send to:

a break-in. Other vendors will display exterior lighting supplies and innovative ideas for making your house a less easy to break into, such as removing large bushes that obscure views. The Expo will also feature an auto accessory vendor who will display options for car alarms and kill-switches. Residents will have opportunity to purchase defense items like pepper spray and personal alarms. The Givati Rifle and Pistol Club, will also be on hand with information about the safe storage of firearms and other related issues. Shmuel Frankel, Esq., an event co-sponsor said, “With a minimal investment everyone can do something

to deter crime or aid the police after the fact. Everyone must do their part in making our community a safer place to live. The goal of the Expo is to equip residents to make the neighborhood a less desirable target.” There will also be brief presentations on security and safety techniques and legal self-defense by BK Blankchtein, of Masada Tactical and criminal defense attorney, Moshe Cohen of Cohen Harris, LLP. To join the growing list of vendors, call Shloimie Kreindler at 443-9399979 or email chesedfund@gmail. com. For more information about the various security and community initiatives by The Chesed Fund Limited and Project Ezra of Greater Baltimore, Inc., please visit www.chesedfund. com. For any questions or comments, please call Frank Storch at 410-3401000, 410-486-0800 x113, or email



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Around the Community

Baltimore Shomrim Thanks Baltimore City & County Police and Especially Our Community By: Shomrim of Baltimore working in the area. The team made scene, we knew the make, model and Cohn


e recognize that crime over the past few weeks has been alarming (Shomrim received no less than 65 calls in a single day!). The good news is that we seem to be making inroads, thanks in no small part to our dedicated all-volunteer responders, Baltimore City Police, County Police, and a vigilant supportive community. At the beginning of this week, Baltimore City Police posted a command center in the neighborhood, near Pickwick. They sat down to meet with Shomrim, Baltimore County Police, and various roving patrols that are

sure that we all had cross-talking radios, to allow for seamless and rapid communication between all the groups. On Monday, there were no less than five break-ins reported between 12:30 and 2 PM in both the city and County. Shomrim units responded (some to the scene, some fanning out far from the crime scene, to establish a perimeter). Two suspects were seen running from one house, and jumping into a silver vehicle. Units called out location, and descriptions of the vehicle and its occupants. Unfortunately, the suspects knew they were being watched, so they made their escape at very high (and unsafe) speeds. Thanks to the initial responders on

tags of the suspects’ vehicle. We connected the dots to a car that had been stolen previously from the 6700 block of Cross Country. Fortunately, Shomrim’s strategy of fanning out and forming a perimeter worked well. Long after the suspects thought they had eluded pursuit (and far from the scene of the crimes), Shomrim units spotted the car in question. Maintaining a quiet and safe distance, Shomrim units kept eyes on the silver car as it drove into the city, with the suspects sometimes stopping to chat with friends along the way. Our units alerted the City Police Command Center, who sent up the helicopter, and numerous units by car. When the car stopped and the suspects went into a house in Baltimore City, Shomrim gave the address to Baltimore City Police, who arrested the suspects. Shomrim were then able to ascertain that these same suspects were quite likely to have committed similar crimes in previous weeks - and, thanks to the community at-large, a general appeal was made for these suspects to be held without bail pending trial. Thanks again to your visible support, the judge concurred, and ruled that the suspects would be held without bail pending trial. In other words, these suspects will not be released before they are tried for these crimes.

Well done! Stay Vigilant! If you see something, say something! We at Shomrim want to thank the Baltimore City Police as well as County Police for their extra care and attention during this period, and their support in coordination and cooperation. We have an especial “thank you” to the community. Not only is it YOUR phone calls that alert us to potential problems, but your support for the police department has also been extremely helpful and welcome (we note that the police officers stationed in the Command Center received their fill of homebaked treats!). It is the Police-Community relationship that makes all the difference-together we can keep our community safe! Thank you all!

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We are looking for a home but can’t seem to find the money for down payment?

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Moshe and Chani W. – Baltimore DEAR MOSHE AND CHANI, Thanks for your question and it is a very common one. Let me start by tell you that there many first time programs that will provide you interest free loans and grants for your down payment. They do have some requirements based on income and credit scores.

Your home is your most valuable possession. Pikesville Allstate Agent Benjamin Jessurun offers some helpful advice to avoid a home fire:

You can also consider an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down or as low as 3% down for our new Conventional loan down payment program. There are a number of ways to also get closing cost help from the seller or even from the lender. Many buyers are able to get into homes with very little money out of pocket and often pay less for their new mortgage payment than they are currently paying in rent.

DON’T GRILL TOO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE. Especially if it’s a windy day. Also, check your gas grill for hose leaks, blockages and holes.

Your first step should be to meet with a lender and go over your options and the programs available.

CLEAN YOUR DRYER VENT TUBE. Once a year, unplug the dryer, disconnect the vent tube and vacuum it out.

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

CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTER. Change your furnace filter every three months. It not only helps prevent fires, but it also eases allergies.

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Brian Sacks Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #225050 Phone: 443.471.8557 | Cell: 443.324.8424


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DECEMBER 14, 2017





Around the Community

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DECEMBER 14, 2017

Ohr Chadash Academy’s Annual Campaign Soars to Success By: Ohr Chadash Academy


n Tuesday, December 5, more than 250 Ohr Chadash Academy “Superstudents” and more than 60 OCA “Superstaff” filed into school with superhero regalia ready to help raise $350,000 by Wednesday morning. By Wednesday 9:00 AM, OCA had raised more than $370,000 for its annual campaign from

more than 750 donors! In its out-of-the-box, hands-on style, the Ohr Chadash students, staff, parents, and board rallied a picture-perfect campaign. More than 40 volunteers helped create the atmosphere with a three-story tall banner, superhero kits for all students, staff and volunteers, an OCA gobo light, and with making calls / whatsapping / and storming social media to encourage family and friends to support the campaign. Their efforts echoed Ohr Chadash’s mission: Individuality. Community. Excellence. For the weeks leading up to its 24-hour matched campaign on Tuesday, students, teachers, and parents were sharing what makes Ohr Chadash a “Super-school” and who their

OCA “Superheros” are. From the innovative teaching methods and specials, incomparable staff dedication and care, to the outstanding teachers and friends - the message was clear: something special is happening at Ohr Chadash, and OCA’s students and parents clearly love their school. The 93% level of parent participation in this year’s campaign reflect the level of commitment and enthusiasm of OCA’s student and parent body! More than 750 individuals contributed to the 24-hour campaign from OCA families, staff, board, and our surrounding community. Ohr Chadash is grateful for everyone’s support to help OCA contribute what we can as part of Baltimore’s thriving Jewish day school community.

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By Esther Ottensosser

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he thought of Chanukah brings back memories of warm cozy nights, eating latkes and doughnuts, playing dreidel, and enjoying fun, special and creative activities. Chanukah brings a unique opportunity for family and friends to get together, more so than the rest of the year. Nothing makes these encounters more positive for the children than a well thought-out activity. These projects can create memories that last throughout the year and beyond. This idea was adapted from a post on my blog a few years back. It has been a big hit at parties, Sunday clubs, and school and camp activities and is sure to add excitement to your Chanukah activity program. Recommended for ages 5+. Here’s how you can do it at home! Try out whatever shapes you like—the possibilities are endless! Let us know how creative you are by sharing your pictures with us!

Special thanks to and Esther Ottensosser for this feature.

Cut up Twizzlers into ¼-inch pieces (approximately 12 beads per Twizzler straw).


2 3

Draw some pictures on regular copy paper or if you would like an easy download of the shapes, you can go to my website.

Fill your picture with cut up Twizzler beads.

Place a piece of parchment paper on top of Twizzlers.

4 5

Use a hot iron to fuse the pieces together.

Allow to cool and slowly and carefully remove the paper from the candy. Enjoy!



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How did you end up in Baltimore? I was introduced to my husband thanks to Saul and Toby Passe! When I met my future in-laws, I fell in love with the entire Slatkin family (husband included) and so I decided to stay and raise our family here. 

What Local organizations are you involved with? I am very passionate about my kid’s school, Cheder Chabad. It is an environment with 200+ happy children that love learning and with a special focus on instilling within the kids a sense of giving back to the community. I have a 7th grader enrolled there and 2 younger kids there as well.  What do you do for a living? Together with my husband,

we founded, a global initiative to help keep couples together and happy. We do that through 2 day Private and Group Marriage Retreats. There’s one coming up right in our backyard in Towson at the Towson Marriott on January 14 and 15th.  What can you tell our readers about your upcoming event? So much excitement is happening in Baltimore! The very first Kosher “Chopped” style Cooking

Competition is happening on Sunday, February 25th- it’s called the Charm City Kosher Cooking Competition. The grand prize is a Free Kitchen Makeover (100 Sq ft of Cabinets, Granite &Tile) PLUS $3500 in Kitchen Appliances sponsored by generous businesses that are the backbone of our local community. I’ve been recruiting contestants here that love to cook and I must say that Charm City is filled with amazing talent. Check out the ads that are circulating around town promoting the event.

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Where did you grow up? Grew up in Silver Spring, MD. Graduated from Yeshiva High School Class of 98.

What do you love most about the Baltimore Jewish Community? Coming from Silver Spring in the 80s and 90s, mostly living among non-Jews, adjusting to the Baltimore community was a transition. At first it seemed that because we’re living amongst so many fellow Jews, one doesn’t need to work as hard to make a Kiddush Hashem. But when I started to go further than my “daled amos”, I realized that my same passion for leading could be actualized right here in this great city too.

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


DECEMBER 14, 2017


The Week In News “The IDF holds Hamas responsible for the hostile activity perpetrated against Israel from the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement.

Hamas Calls for Violence

The head of the Hamas terror group has vowed to continue the Palestinians’ “Blessed intifada” until the city of Jerusalem sees “liberation.” Terrorist Ismail Haniyeh announced his continued war against Israel in response to President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “Anyone who thinks our position will be limited to demonstrations is dreaming,” said Haniyeh. In response to President Trump’s speech last Wednesday, 5,000 Palestinians held demonstrations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Iron Dome missile defense system also intercepted rockets fired from Gaza. Two Gaza-based Palestinians were killed as they demonstrated and threw rocks at IDF troops near the Gaza border. The demonstrations were praised by the terror leader. Haniyeh said that the protests show the Palestinians’ ”willingness to sacrifice their lives for the defense of Jerusalem. We will stick to the strategic plan until we reach the final point – the liberation of Jerusalem and all the land of Palestine.” Haniyeh’s comments came one day after he called on his people to perform violent acts in response to Trump’s announcement to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Haniyeh heads an organization that actively seeks the destruction of Israel. A number of rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza this past week. IDF tanks and aircraft carried out strikes against Hamas positions in Gaza in response to the rocket fire.

IDF Destroys Terror Tunnel

The Israeli army announced that an attack tunnel coming into Israeli territory from the southern Gaza Strip was destroyed last week. The kilometer-long tunnel, which was constructed by Hamas operatives, was created in the Gaza city of Khan Younis and extended “hundreds of meters” into Israel, according the IDF. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus did not specify where the tunnel ended, only that it surfaced on open farmland .6 miles from the nearest Israeli community. “We monitored this tunnel for a long period of time,” Conricus noted. The decision to destroy it came about three weeks prior to the actual demolition. Based on the level of detail in the tunnel, Conricus said that the tunnel appeared to be “very substantial” for Hamas. He added that the army holds “Hamas responsible twice – once, because it is responsible for any aggressive action coming from the Gaza Strip, and twice, because this was a Hamas terror tunnel.” On October 30 of this year, another tunnel that belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group was destroyed by the IDF. While it was being demolished, 14 terrorists were killed, including two senior commanders.  Though no terrorists were hurt in the destruction of this newest tunnel, Conricus did warn that the tunnels “can become death traps for terrorists digging them.” The IDF is now employing a new system to discover underground tunnels. The new detection technology has not been made public and the

IDF will only say that the new system makes them “confident there will be more achievements in the future.”


Life expectancy in Israel is one the rise, after having fallen a bit in the past few years. The average lifespan for an Israeli today is on average 82.5 years, with 80.7 years for men being the norm and 84.2 year for women, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. In 2015, the numbers were slightly lower. Now, Israel ranks 11th in life expectancy among OECD countries – a drop from its 8th place holdings in 2010 and 2013. Women in Israel live an average of 3.5 years longer than men. Jewish men live 4.3 years longer than Arab men, and Jewish women live 3.3 years longer than Arab women. The report also shows that among Arabs, religious affiliation made a difference in life expectancy. Druze men live 79.4 years on average, while Christian Arabs live 78.9 years and Muslims live 76.5 years. Christian Arab women live longest at 83.5 years, Druze women live an average 82.4 years, and Muslim women live 80.9 years. Education played a large role as well. 30-year-old men with high education levels in 2016 were expected to live 7.4 years longer than their peers with less than 12 years of education. Women were found to outlive their less educated counterparts by five years.

PA Refuses Meeting With Pence The U.S. accused the Palestinian Authority of “walking away” from peace in the Middle East by snubbing

Vice President Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the region. Pence’s deputy chief of staff Jarrod Agen told reporters that “it’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region.” Jarrod is referring to the PA announcing that Mahmoud Abbas would refuse to meet with the vice president of the United States when he visits Israel in the coming months in protest to the United States recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinian leaders were outraged at the historic shift in U.S. policy made last week, and several days of protests were seen in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following President Trump’s announcement. A security guard was stabbed, rockets were fired, and rocks were thrown at passing cars in response to the news. The message from the PA has been very clear. President Abbas’s diplomatic advisor said that the meeting with Pence was canceled “because the U.S. has crossed red lines” on Jerusalem. Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Abbas’s Fatah party, also said last week that Pence was “not welcome in Palestine.” It is unclear what, if any, the long-term ramifications will be on the United States’ new position on Jerusalem. Abbas has an upcoming meeting with Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo to discuss the” developments related to the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” according to a spokesperson for the Egyptian presidency.

Terrorists Killed in Explosion Two Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists died this week after their motorcycle exploded. Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Jerusalem Brigades, said in a statement on its website that the two Palestinian men died while on a “jihad mission” in the northern Gaza Strip. Palestinian media reports blamed Israel for their deaths; the IDF expressly denied their involvement. The two men were reportedly riding through the town of Beit Lahi-



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The Week In News



DECEMBER 14, 2017

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The moadim, the Jewish holidays, are the highlights of the Jewish year. In this unique work, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, nasi of the internationally acclaimed Dirshu Torah organization, analyzes Chanukah, the opportune times of Elul and the Yamim Noraim, the joyous holidays of Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres and Purim, and presents in-depth lessons on Tu B’Shevat and the Four Parshiyos.


Bahraini Delegation Visits the Holy Land Bottom Line Marketing Group: 718.377.4567

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ya when their motorcycle exploded. The terror group name the dead as 25-year-old Hussein Nasrallah and 29-year-old Mustafa a-Sultan. Both were part of an engineering unit. Islamic Jihad said that the two who died who “martyrs of preparation,” in a possible reference to working with explosive materials for rockets that the group fires at the Jewish state. Hebrew media outlets reported that within the IDF there was a suspicion that the terrorists were killed in a “work accident,” possibly from improperly transporting explosives. The blast comes amid increased tensions in Gaza. On Sunday, the military destroyed an attack tunnel belonging to the Hamas terror group, and there has been an increase in rocket fire against Israeli communities by terrorist groups, along with violent protests along the security fence against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week. Shortly after midnight last Tuesday, Israeli forces attacked Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip after Palestinians fired a rocket toward the southern city of Ashkelon, the army said. The rocket was intercepted by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery. After the rocket fire, Israeli aircraft and a tank attacked Hamas sites in the Strip, the army said, noting that it holds the terror group, which runs Gaza, responsible for all rocket attacks. Hamas last week called for a new intifada against Israel over Trump’s announcement, and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers.

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A delegation has been sent to Israel from Bahrain to promote “tolerance and coexistence” in response to the Arab anger that has erupted after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The interfaith group calls itself “This is Bahrain” and has insisted that they

have no official or governmental status, though they have the backing of King Hamad of Bahrain. This marks the first public visit of a Bahraini delegation to Israel. The Palestinian Authority has banned the group from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The delegation’s visit was organized by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, an associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center NGO. “About one-third of them are Muslims, there are Christians and two Buddhists,” Cooper notes. “It’s not a political visit so there was no request to see politicians.”

The NGO said that the trip was part of an initiative to visit many European countries and the United States. ”The initiative... is based on the principle of tolerance and coexistence, an approach embraced by the Kingdom of Bahrain and a feature of its society, and aims to visit Islamic, Christian, Jewish and other holy sites across the world,” it said. Their visit sparked a protest in an Arab village in the West Bank. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel, “strongly” condemned the cooperation between the “despotic Bahraini regime (and) Israel’s regime of occupation and apartheid.” Bahrain is one of Israel’s many Arab neighbors that have established a behind-the-scenes relationship with Israel lately, particularly in their shared apprehension towards an increasingly aggressive Iran. The Kingdom of Bahrain is an Arab constitutional monarchy, situated between the Qatar peninsula and Saudi Arabia. It is the third smallest nation in Asia.

Security Guard Stabbed A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard in the chest at the entrance



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The Week In News to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station this week before being tackled to the ground by a bystander and police. The terrorist was taken into custody for questioning.

The victim, 46-year-old Asher Elmaliach, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for surgery and treatment. “The knife, unfortunately, hit his heart. His condition has stabilized, but I cannot say that there’s not threat to his life because, like I said, he’s in serious condition,” his doctor told reporters, adding that he was unconscious and connected to a respirator. According to Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security and Strategic

Affairs, the Palestinian Authority is to blame for the attack. ”This afternoon’s terror attack in Jerusalem is a direct result of the ongoing incitement to terror by the PA and Fatah, which is working with Hamas to instigate violence,” Erdan said. “Abu Mazen continues to demonstrate that he is not a true partner for peace, and now that he has established a unity government with Hamas, he is responsible for Hamas’ murderous incitement as well. I am praying for the quick recovery of the security guard who was wounded in the attack,” he said, referring to Mahmoud Abbas by his nickname, Abu Mazen. The Shin Bet identified the stabber as Yassin Abu al-Qur’a, a 24-year-old Palestinian from the northern West Bank city of Nablus. In security video he is seen at the metal detectors, taking off his coat. He then throws his coat at the table and uses his right hand to stab Almaliach in the heart with a knife. The knife was recovered at the scene coated with Elmaliach’s blood. The terrorist had a permit allow-

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ing him to work in the “seam region,” which is only the area surrounding the West Bank and not in Israel proper. He attempted to flee the scene but was tackled before he was able to escape. Two of his brothers had served in the Palestinian Authority security forces. Additional police and military personnel have been deployed in light of the recent unrest and an assessment which measures the increased potential for violence.

Drink and Drive We’re all guilty of drinking and driving – and the car industry is going to make it even easier with a new app in GM vehicles. No, I’m not talking about guzzling a bottle of Absolut as you cruise Central Avenue. I’m talking about sipping your morning coffee, tea, latte, macchiato, caramel skinny mocha latte with soy milk... whatever! Yes, there’s something very comforting about a warm drink in your hand on a cold winter morning. And a sweet, chilled iced coffee on a sweltering summer day? Heaven in a cup! Starting this week, drivers who own 2017 or 2018 models of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac may have seen a new icon on their vehicle central computer screen called “marketplace.” That’s drivers’ new magic genie. A few pokes with the finger and their coffee has been ordered. Need to book a hotel room? Do it while driving.

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Don’t think GM is thinking of its drivers when it conceived the app.

“For most retailers and consumer brands the daily commute is the only time not accessible in a consumers’ day,” said Santiago Chamorro, GM’s vice president for Connected Customer Experience, in an announcement. “Marketplace gives merchants the ability to more safely engage with drivers and passengers in a meaningful way that provides true value for our customers.” In other words, advertisers need our attention every single second of the day. The system relies on “machine learning,” taking cues your location and from how you’ve used the Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts apps on your phone to decide which menu items to offer. Vendors featured on the app include Wingstop, TGI Fridays, Shell, ExxonMobil,, Parkopedia, IHOP, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and GM itself is also a vendor. Drivers can buy 4G data packages, extend their OnStar subscription and receive offers for parts and services while driving. We don’t know how safe it is to scroll through a menu while driving, but we’re sure they’ll get back to that later. Over the next 12 to 18 months, the service will be rolled out to a total of about 4 million GM vehicles on U.S. roads. Attention drivers, please keep your eyes on the road.

Stinky Socks Scandal Passengers on a bus in India raised a stink recently when a man with horrifically smelly socks removed his socks and shoes, permeating the bus with a pungent, awful odor. The man removed his footwear on a bus going from the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh to New Delhi and put them near the aisle. Passengers, sickened from the noxious odors, asked him to throw out his socks or put the away. But the man refused, sparking a heated confrontation that forced the bus driver to stop at several stations. Ultimately, the bus reached a police station – and the man was arrested. “He was arrested on charges of

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The Week In News causing public nuisance and later released on bail,” Una police chief Sanjeev Gandhi said. The man filed a complaint against his fellow passengers and the bus crew for harassment and insisted his socks did not smell. He left the area on another bus a day later. This story really knocks my socks off.

Castle for a Crowd In an amazing crowdfunding event, 8,186 strangers joined together to buy a crumbling French castle to prevent it from being demolished. The thousands of purchasers pledged at least $60 each on the

French crowdfunding site Dartagnans to “adopt” the 13th-century Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers with the hopes of restoring the property and opening it to the public. “La Mothe-Chandeniers belongs to thousands of users. Through this collective purchase, we believe in the preservation and development of the heritage of tomorrow and prove that the civic strength is always the great-

est,” the crowdfunding platform said. The group reached its goal of about $590,000 in 40 days and has so far collected about $790,000 from the more than 8,000 donors.

NOT SURE WHERE TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY FOR WINTER BREAK? Donors will be offered shares in a company to run the chateau set up early next year for an additional dollar for each $60 donated. For a donation of about $70, donors will receive a membership card and “access to part of the castle.” La Mothe-Chandeniers’ oldest portions date back to the 13th century. The chateau was taken twice by the English in the Middle Ages and was ransacked during the French Revolution. The nearly 5,000-acre property, which also includes almost 3,000 acres of forest, is surrounded by a moat and was last purchased by Marc Deyemer in 1981. Deyemer, tired of constant renovations, wanted to have the castle destroyed. Is a royal title included with my donation? • Destination Planning

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Number 1 for Nothing This restaurant was too good to be true. Ever dined in London’s mostsought after restaurant? According to Oobah Butler, The Shed at Dulwich is an exclusive eatery with just a street name for an address. In fact, the restaurant is almost always fully booked when you call to make a reservation. After numerous raving reviews and myriad accolades from diners, The Shed made its way to the top of


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TripAdvisor and on November 1 was crowned the number one restaurant in London – out of more than 18,000 – on the site. There’s only one problem: the restaurant does not exist. Yes, for all your TripAdvisor-philes, the site is not the most trustworthy when it comes to reviews. Butler, a prankster who loves to write about his exploits, used to earn

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a living writing positive reviews for restaurant owners. He had observed that restaurants he reviewed – for pay – would make their way to the top and set out to expose the lack of honesty on the site. “One day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society’s willingness to believe absolute [fakery], maybe a fake restaurant

is possible? Maybe it’s exactly the kind of place that could be a hit? “In that moment, it became my mission. With the help of fake reviews, mystique and nonsense, I was going to do it: turn my shed into London’s top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor.” And so the “The Shed at Dulwich” was born. Butler worked hard at his new eatery, setting up a website and filling it with pretentious descriptions

of dishes and pictures of fake but incredibly realistic looking food crafted mainly from household domestic products. In a photograph of what appears to be a plate of bacon and eggs, Butler’s foot makes a cameo as the meat, but you would never know it. Bleach tablets pose as scallops in one dish.

The budding restaurateur registered The Shed on TripAdvisor in May, adding a steady stream of reviews from friends rhapsodizing about “London’s best-kept secret.” Slowly but surely, word of this mysterious but clearly amazing restaurant spread and The Shed saw its ranking rise from 18,149 to inside the top 1,500 in a matter of months. “I realize what it is: the appointments, lack of address and general exclusivity of this place is so alluring that people can’t see sense,” Butler observed in a series of videos he made documenting the experiment. “They’re looking at photos of the sole of my foot, drooling. Over the coming months, The Shed’s phone rings incessantly.” Butler even tricked food critics, including The Guardian’s Jay Raynor, into endorsing The Shed without any of them having set foot inside. “At last: a restaurant that recognizes food is all about mood. Of all the shed-based eating experiences out there this one sounds like the best,” Raynor tweeted. On November 1, The Shed finally garnered TripAdvisor’s top spot – without one paying customer. Sometimes, when something is too good to be true, well, it just may not be true. Non appetit!

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Torah Thought

An End to the Darkness By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

‫ויהי מקץ שנתיים ימים ופרעה חלם‬ )‫(בראשית מא א‬, It happened at the end of two years to the day, and Pharaoh was dreaming... A ray of brilliant light finally appears after twelve long depressing years of imprisonment. The sequence of events that will now lead to Yosef’s sudden rise to serve in a pivotal role as viceroy in Egypt that will eventually place him in a position to resolve the crisis with his brothers, is put into motion. The Midrash )‫ (מ"ר פט א‬refers us to a verse in Iyov, )‫קץ שם לחשך (איוב כח ג‬, He placed limit on darkness.

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The moment the precisely allotted time that Yosef was decreed by God to be incarcerated lapsed, is exactly when the darkness receded. The Holy Megaleh Amukos reveals that this ‘darkness’ is reminiscent of an earlier darkness. At the onset of creation the Torah describes: ‫וחשך על פני תהום (בראשית א‬ )‫ב‬, with darkness upon the surface of the deep. This darkness, the Yalkut Shimoni )‫ (בראשית פ"א רמז ד‬informs is a reference to ‫יון‬, the Greek kingdom, ‫שהח־‬ ‫שיכה עיניהם של ישראל בגזירותיהן‬, who darkened the eyes of the Jewish people with their decrees. The reading of this portion during Chanuka is evidence that in Yosef’s release from the clutches of darkness lays the seeds for the redemption from the gloom of the exile of Greece.

What was the ‘darkness’ of their decrees? The Midrash goes on to describe one particularly unusual one. It retells how the Greeks legislated that the Jews declare in writing on the horn of a ‫שור‬, an ox, that they have no portion in the God of Israel. There were many areas of life that the Greeks impinged on that would seem do have darkened their lives more than this one. Didn’t they seek to abolish the sacred and revered mitzvos of Shabbos, Milah, and Rosh Chodesh as well as having the local governor defile each Jewish bride before she was to wed? Why was this odd decree, specifically mentioned as ‘the’ dark decree? The Great Maharal )‫ (נר מצוה‬teaches that the intent of this strange directive was meant to conjure up the sin of the Golden Calf, claiming the Jewish nation had lost its unique quality and relationship with God. What makes this allusion even more intriguing is the fact that the Midrash indicates that the Half Shekel that was submitted in the desert, after having recovered from the sin of the Golden Calf, that went towards constructing the Mishkan, served not only as a atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf but as well as penance for the transgression of the brothers having sold Yosef. )‫(מדרש תנחומא כי תשא י‬ Adding to this mystery is the fact that Yosef receives the appellation ‫בכור שור‬, first born ox, in Moshe Rab-

beinu’s blessing, a reference to his powerful leadership skills. ‫(דברים לג יז‬ )‫ובמפרשים‬ Rashi )‫ (שמות לב א‬describes how when Moshe was delayed in descending from Mount Sinai the Satan deceived the masses with the imagery of ‫חשך אפילה וערבוביא‬, darkness, obscurity and confusion, making it appear as if a dead Moshe was being born on a bier before them. The Great Avnei Nezer writes that God was testing the Jewish nation as to how they would deal with emotional stress. Would they possess the inner strength to stay the course despite the confusion and murkiness that lingered? The very first display of emotional stress in the Torah is when Kayin having been shunned in his offering before God is depicted as ‫ויחר לקין מאד‬ )‫ויפלו פניו (בראשית ד ה‬, This annoyed Kayin exceedingly, and his countenance fell. He fell apart. The greatest danger when facing emotional turmoil is the inability to go further.

he was enduring at the moment, never allowing stress to affect him. The Netziv suggests Yosef was entitled )‫פענח (בראשית מא מה‬, a contraction of two sentiments: ‫ פע‬from the word ‫הופעה‬, external presentation, and ‫ נח‬as in ‫נחת‬, calm and collected. Pharaoh observed his remarkable ability to transition from a lowly and miserable prolonged existence in a dungeon to an appearance of calm nobility, with nary a gap. He was thus ‫פענח‬, a projector of calmness. The Torah accentuates Yosef’s age at this point as being thirty years old, )‫ויוסף בן שלשים שנה (בראשית מא מו‬. The Mishna tells us ‫בן שלשים לכח‬ )‫(פרקי אבות ה כה‬, a thirty year olds attains full strength. Indeed, Yosef achieved the ultimate ‫גבורה‬, strength, that of being fully in control of his stressors.

‫איזהו גיבור הכובש את יצרו (פרקי‬ )‫אבות ד א‬, Who is strong? He, who subdues his inclination.

An ox, on the one hand is an extremely powerful creature, the king of domestic animals ):‫(חגיגה יג‬.

Strange how the Mishna doesn’t emphasize his ‘evil’ inclination?

Yet it is volatile, the epitome of rage and distress ).‫(ברכות לג‬.

The word ‫ יצר‬can alternately mean distress, as in )‫ויצר לו (בראשית לב ח‬, and it distressed him. True strength perhaps lies not merely in controlling the emotions that set one off, but more significantly in containing the resulting stress that so often leads one to spiraling despair and despondency.

The lapse of calm that resulted in the frustrated attempt to replace Moshe is symbolized in the young calf, the potential ox.

The brothers were blinded by their emotions and couldn’t see Yosef for who he truly was and only saw him as an impediment to their comfortable relationship with their father. Yosef on the other hand never allowed the strife he faced to impair his balance. He had an unusual ability to continue to view the world with a happy demeanor no matter what difficulty

Yosef shackles the power of the ox, achieving in the process an unparalleled nobility and leadership qualities. ‫יון‬, the Greek empire believed in the potential of man to develop tremendous capacities of wisdom and talent. But it could never transcend man’s natural limitations in his psyche. We adamantly refuse to surrender to emotion, and affirm that there is nothing we can’t conquer. Just as our intellect can comprehend a Torah, logic beyond the finite realm of this world, so too can a Jew



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


DECEMBER 14, 2017


rise above the greatest emotional challenges that might limit mortal men. Such is the power of our soul, an entity the Greeks are unwilling to concede. The Greek philosophy seeks refuge from the confinements of the ‘human condition’ in the distractions of art, music, humor, sport and entertainment. But it is only a bandage, sooner or later the ugly head of annoyance will reappear. Unless one is ready to transform one’s character he is doomed to defeat.

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When Moshe descends he observes the tumult and remarks, ‫אין‬ ‫קול ענות גבורה ואין קול ענות חלושה‬ )‫קול ענות אנכי שומע (שמות לב יח‬, Not a sound shouting strength nor a sound shouting weakness; a sound of singing/playfulness I do hear. (‫(עיין תרגום‬ ‫אונקלוס והאבן עזרא‬ Moshe exclaims it is neither a sound of effort to overcome nor of submitting to defeat, but rather an attempt to invent distractions that will distract them from their stress. King David in describing this episode of weakness writes: ‫וימירו את‬ ‫כבודם בתבנית שור אכל עשב (תהלים קו‬ )‫כ‬, They exchanged their Glory for the likeness of a grass-eating ox. They sought the “tranquility” of a cow out to pasture rather then put themselves to the yoke of self-improvement. The Megaleh Amukos reveals the word ‫ עשב‬is an acronym for ‫ברצונם‬ )‫עקרו שור (בראשית מט ו‬, with a whim they maimed an ox. This was the deeper intent in words Yaakov Avinu implemented in reprimanding Shimon and Levi, admonishing them for allowing their will for comfort to disable the mighty and noble Yosef who is likened to an ox. The Greeks want us to proclaim on the horn of an ox that we are limited to the nature we are bound to, like an incensed ox that can’t control

his outbursts of distress. They seek to feed us ‘grass’ in order to placate and calm us artificially. We refuse this notion emphatically and present as proof that mighty ox, Yosef, who overcame by pure determination the greatest obstacles in maintaining his nobility and achieving true happiness. )‫החלש יאמר גבור אני (יואל ד י‬, The weak will declare I am strong! This, the Midrash states, is the battle cry of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his children who took on the mighty Greek empire. We may be meek but with strong resolve can overcome our greatest deficiencies. We need not pasture in foreign fields to find satisfaction and pleasure. It is within our power to discover our greatest strengths and with it supreme joy. The light of Chanuka must illuminate ourselves in our own eyes to see and discover that greatness that lies within each one of us. Accepting the belief that we can overcome despite our weaknesses, ‫גיבורים ביד חלשים‬, the strong into the hands of the weak, is what will enable us to see with accuracy the difference, ‫בין האור ובין החשך‬, between the light and the darkness! If one takes the numerical equivalent of the letters (675) in each phrase adding to it the number of letters (15) adding 1 for its total, one arrives at 691, which is the equivalent of the description of the original darkness that was, ‫על פני‬ ‫תהום‬, upon the surface of the deep. The only way to crawl out of the depths is by realizing how truly capable we each are. A Freilchin Chanukah!



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The Big Picture

Silent Light


DECEMBER 14, 2017


By Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz Chanukah is often called the ‘festi- nate our miraculous victory, wouldn’t val of lights’, and for good reason. As we proceed with ‘bigger is better’ and one drives down any street after dark, allow for glorious, powerful fires? the myriad of flickers emanating from Why stop at small candles? the windows of every Jewish house, One of the other famous questions are a beautiful, glittering testament to surrounding Chanukah deals with the our salvation some 2,300 years ago. glaring lack of emphasis on the wars As the festival proceeds, these flickers fought by the Maccabees against the get more numerous as we publicize Greeks and Hellenists. While we menthe miracle of the non-ending oil in tion these miraculous battles when reciting Al Hanissim during our davthe Temple. It is for this reason that one law ening, clearly our practices and ritual regarding our candles is somewhat are focused more on the less promipuzzling. We are told that our candles nent spectacle of the Menorah in the must consist of only one wick. If we Temple. Several reasons have been prohave more than one wick, we are conWishing You And Your Family posed for this shift in focus. Some structing a ‫מדורה‬, a A bonfire, and not a Happy And Healthy New Year candle. Surely, if we want to dissemi- simply suggest that this was simply a

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pragmatic decision in order not to anger the gentile nations by demonstrating our military victories over their armies. Others (See Taz O”C 427:3) highlight that military victories can be explained in natural ways, whereas the extended burning time of the oil was clearly supernatural. There is another critical theme behind this de-emphasis of the series of battles. In many areas of life, we, like the Maccabees, encounter people or cultures whose philosophies and opinions are antithetical to ours. At these junctures, we often contemplate how to interact with such individuals. Often, ‘live and let live’ is the appropriate approach, especially when we are not directly impacted by the disparate party. Sometimes however, we are put into direct conflict with those that oppose us, and we cannot sit still allowing our integrity and value-system to be compromised. There are two ways we can deal with such opposition. First, we can choose to fight back and attempt to defeat their misguided approach. Grabbing the bull by its horns, and taking to the streets to fight back is unfortunately sometimes necessary. However, there is often substantial collateral damage with this route. As with the Maccabee’s battles with the Greeks, there are casualties, and the effects of such ‘wars’ on the communal psyche can be long-lasting. Then there is of course the opposite approach. Instead of attempting to destroy the bad, we can amplify the good, and in this way, overpower the forces of evil. Few people can resist the allure of pure, authentic purity and righteousness, when they see it. This is presented by the lights of the Menorah that positively shine and light up the darkness. Our Rabbis are highlighting how we need to ideally approach our foes. Fighting internal wars to defeat perceived evil in our midst should not be the preferred go-to, only a tool of last-resort. Fighting constant ‘wars’ is not only an awful ideological path, but simply an impractical and pointless route. How many people do you know who were convinced to keep Shabbos by being pelted by stones or soiled diapers? Shining the beautiful light of Torah and living a life of integrity out in the open will accomplish infinitely

more. Which brings us to the candles themselves. Fire is an enigmatic force of nature that has two opposing effects. When left small and under wraps, it shines light to the world, enabling life as we know it. If however, it is given free reign and left to grow and expand without guard, it will destroy and consume all in its wake, as we unfortunately see occurring in California. I believe this is the message we can take from the limitation placed on the Chanukah candles. Like the de-emphasis of the battles, we are being instructed that our approach to counter evil be one of increasing light and good in the world, not one of drawing swords. But even that light and fire must be carefully tempered. Even a positive ‘bren’ within us can easily get out of control, and instead of merely shining light, consume all that is around it. Unbridled passion can be destructive. We are therefore instructed that the light of our Menorah be a silent, gentle flicker that softly radiates light and warmth, and not a bonfire, a form of fire that can easily consume all around it. I am writing this article sitting on a train returning from the massive funeral for Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman zt”l. Rav Shteinman embodied this silent, humble, gentle fire radiating out to the Jewish people. He was not a proponent of antagonistic politics, nor a believer in sectarian demarcation lines. His sole goal was to radiate the pure light of Torah to the masses, to all walks of life, and to allow this light to naturally permeate and dissipate any negativity and ill will. How befitting is his unfortunate passing, as an introduction to the festival of light. As we celebrate Chanukah, one passage from the words of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook eloquently sums up this lesson from the candles: “The pure righteous people do not complain about evil, they instead add righteousness. They do not complain about apostasy, but rather add belief. They do not complain about ignorance, but rather increase knowledge”. Have a safe and happy Chanukah!



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Kislev 25








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Kislev / Tevet 5778






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Notable Quotes

DECEMBER 14, 2017

“Say What?!”


I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from the leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran go around international sanctions, and who helps terrorists, including in Gaza, kill innocent people. That is not the man who is going to lecture us. We will not be a party to that. The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations. And the United States will not be lectured to by countries that lack any credibility when it comes to treating both Israelis and Palestinians fairly.

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- U.S Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at an emergency meeting of the Security Council that was convened over Trump’s announcement last Wednesday

Towards the end of the speech on Israel today, President Trump began to slur his words, leading some to speculate that he may have been wearing dentures … or as Trump calls dentures, “fake chews.”

- Prime Minister Netanyahu, at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, when asked about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Israel of being a “terrorist state”

There was an error. - Uber, after charging a customer more than $14,000 for a 21-minute ride

Well, one of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends who are Jewish and rabbis. - Roy Moore’s wife, responding at a rally last Monday to an eleventh-hour claim that her husband is an anti-Semite

- Seth Myers

Ireland will be collecting $15 billion from Apple in a settlement over back taxes. Ireland will receive the money on Friday, and Guinness will have it all by Monday. - Conan O’Brien

Russia was banned from the Olympics. But Russia doesn’t mind – they said they’ll just invade some other teams. - Jimmy Fallon



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DECEMBER 14, 2017

42 We are heartbroken by this attack on our city today and by the allegations being made against a member of our family. Our family, like all families, is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all New Yorkers. But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials during this investigation. Today, we have seen our children, as young as 4-years-old, held out in the cold, detained as their parents were questioned. One teenage relative was pulled out of high school classes and interrogated without a lawyer, without his parents. These are not the actions that we expect from our justice system, and we hope to see better in the days and weeks to come. We also ask the press to respect our privacy and to give our family time to grieve this horrific development. - Statement by the family of the Islamic immigrant terrorist who tried detonating a suicide bomb in Manhattan on Monday

Sorry our son tried to blow up a lot of you on your way to work today, but the cops were kinda rude to us after that and we want answers. - Ex-CIA analyst and radio host Buck Sexton in a tweet, mockingly summing up the above statement

According to a new poll, 71 percent of American men believe they face pressure to act interested in sports. “Not us!” said the New York Giants. B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

- Seth Myers

Let’s talk about Jeff Flake – did he sign a check today, $100, to Jones, right? What did he say, “Put country ahead of party"? Come on brother, if you’re gonna write a check, write a check. Don’t give the man $100! Are you kidding me? Hey Flake, this is why your approval rating in your home state is like 11 percent. No, man, you’re a total embarrassment - Steve Bannon, while campaigning in Alabama for Republican Roy Moore, commenting on Republican Sen. Jeff Flake giving a $100 donation to the Democrat candidate

I’ve been trying to tell Donald since day one, “Come talk to me, man ... I’ll tell you what the Marshal wants more than anything” ... It’s not even that much. I ain’t telling you what it is; I will tell him [Trump] when I see him. - Dennis Rodman, talking with the Guardian about his friend Kim Jung Un, or “the Marshal,” as Rodman affectionately refers to him

Once upon a time, the Palestinians were the only game at the propaganda casino, a marvelous tool for Arab leaders to divert attention from domestic failures. Then came al-Qaeda. And Iraq. Iranian empire-building. The Arab Spring. The oil price collapse and the rise of ISIS, with its butcher-shop caliphate. The civil war in Syria, with half a million dead. And, not least, the region-wide confrontation between decaying Sunni power and rising Shia might. - Ralph Peters, New York Post, explaining why the promised demonstrations didn’t materialize after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

A New York woman is suing her surgeon claiming he was on his cellphone during her operation. In response, the doctor said, “For your information, I was Googling ‘how to perform surgery.’” - Conan O’Brien

There’s a G-d. And she’s unhappy. - Tweet by Neera Tanden, former advisor to Hillary Clinton, in response to a news story that Rupert Murdoch’s home was burned in the California wildfires

Just evacuated my house. It’s like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively. Stay safe everyone. Dark times. - Tweet by a Hollywood actress, blaming the California wildfires on the “doer of all evil”



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Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or ‘30s that looked and seemed as if it, filled with the music and art and literature that was emerging, would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died. An entire world was plunged into chaos. So you got to pay attention – and vote. - Barack Obama making comparisons to the early days of the Nazi party and imploring people to vote, the day after President Trump made his historic speech about Jerusalem

It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region. - Vice President Pence’s deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, after Fatah announced that Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with Pence next week and that he is “unwelcome in Palestine”

Two guys tried to rob me, and I killed one of them, maybe the other one, the bullet hit him, too. I hope so. - 84-year old Korean War veteran Don Lutz telling a local TV station in Pennsylvania what happened when two intruders broke into his house last week


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Twelve Diet Cokes a day? If he drinks this many, what is this doing to the brain?

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- CNN’s Brook Baldwin – in the moments after the attempted terror attack in New York on Monday – talking about a report in The New York Times that President Trump drinks 12 Diet Cokes a day

Amazon is now making it possible to create a shopping profile for your cat. Yeah, all you have to do is go to Amazon and type in “I am single.” - Conan O'Brien

This morning, Vladimir Putin announced he’s going to run for re-election. Then this afternoon, he announced he won.

An Italian winery is releasing five limitededition bottles of Hello Kitty-themed wine for the holiday season. It’s the perfect gift for your alcoholic niece.

– Conan O’Brien

- Seth Myers



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30 30

OCTOBER29, 29,2015 2015| The | TheJewish JewishHome Home OCTOBER

Hey Underlings, If you didn’t send in your Chanukah pictures to TJH yet remember to send them. Maybe you can win some ice cream or something like that. See page 10 for details. But tread carefully: I don’t generally like it when underlings read other parts of this magazine. Happy Honoocuh! Your Favorite Centerfold Commissioner

All About Oil 1. What is the standard size of a barrel of oil? a. 5 kiloliters b. 76 liters c. 42 gallons d. 55 gallons 2. One fifth of the oil shipped worldwide passes through which checkpoint? a. Strait of Hormuz b. Panama Canal c. Suez Canal d. Black Sea Port 3. Which U.S. city is built on top of a major oil field? a. Houston b. Los Angeles

c. Anchorage d. Miami 4. Which of these states is not in the top five oil-producing states? a. Alaska b. Texas c. Oklahoma d. New Mexico 5. How much did a gallon of gas cost after the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo? a. $5.76 b. $3.23 c. $2.12 d. $1.89 e. $0.55

6. Which country is the world’s biggest producer of oil? a. United States b. Russia c. Saudi Arabia d. United Arab Emirates 7. What is ethanol? a. It is a type of oil which is extracted from the ground without causing adverse environmental impacts b. It is an alcohol c. It is oil which is ethical d. It is a natural gas

 Oily Answers per day. Saudi Arabia produced 11.59 million per day, and Russia produced 10.53 barrels per day. 7. B- Ethanol is a clear, colorless liquid. In the U.S., over 80% of ethanol is produced from corn. (When you fly over the heartland and see millions of acres of corn fields, it’s not just because corn is a great BBQ side dish.)



sian Gulf. Iran borders the Strait of Hormuz to the north, and the United Arab Emirates and Oman’s Musandam Peninsula border it to the south. 3. B 4. C 5. E 6. A- In 2013, the U.S. produced 12.31 million barrels of oil

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1. C- A barrel of oil’s refined products includes about 20 gallons of gasoline, 12 gallons of diesel, and 4 gallons of jet fuel and other products like liquefied petroleum gases and asphalt. 2. A- The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow strait located between the Gulf of Oman and the Per

DECEMBER 14, 2017


 Wisdom Key 6-7 correct: You must be Prince Salmin Abba Abdul Achmad Hassan bin Tzbir al Waheed 3-5 correct: You are regular unleaded. 0-2 correct: Slip on an oil patch and bang your head?

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015





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

1. Wait until Saturday, drive to the auto parts store. Buy a case of oil, oil filter, kitty litter, hand cleanser (don’t forget a little tree air freshener). Write a check to the auto parts store for approximately $50. 2. Stop by 7/11 on the way home, buy a case of beer. Write a check for $20. 3. Drive home with oil and beer. 4. Open beer, enjoy it. 5. Spend 30 minutes looking for the jack stands. 6. Find the jack stands (finally) under the kid’s pedal car, jack the car up. 7. Open another beer, drink it. 8. Place drain pan under engine. 9. Look for 9/16” box end wrench for drain plug 10. Give up looking ten minutes later, find crescent wrench. 11. Unscrew drain plug. 12. Drop drain plug into pan of hot oil. Splash hot oil

Tighten drain plug with crescent wrench, but this time, it’s slippery. Bang your knuckles on the frame while tightening drain plug. 26. Throw crescent wrench across the garage in anger. Throw a fit because crescent wrench hits bowling trophy (which wife wouldn’t let stay in the house). 27. Open another beer and drink it. 28. Clean hands, bandaging where needed to stop blood flow. 29. Pour in five quarts of fresh oil. 30. Lower car from jack stands. Smile at your handiwork. Open another beer and drink it. 31. Move car back to discover oil puddles you missed; apply more kitty litter to missed areas. 32. Test drive car to make sure oil doesn’t leak. 33. Get pulled over a block from the house by local police, get arrested for DUI. 34. Call loving wife and bail bondsman. 35. Next day, get car out of impound yard. Cost: $50 parts, $20 beer, impound fee $75, bail $1,500, DUI $2,500 minimum. T o t a l : $4,145 (but you know the job was done right!)

DECEMBER 14, 2017

1. Pull up to Jiffy Lube or Valvoline Instant Oil Change when the mileage reaches 3,000 miles since the last oil change. 2. Drink a cup of coffee while they change the oil. 3. 15 minutes later, write a check, and leave with a properly maintained vehicle. Cost: $29.99 oil change, $2.00 coffee. Total $32.00

onto your hands and face in the process. 13. Crawl out from under car, wipe hot oil from hands and face. Throw some kitty litter on the spilled oil. 14. Open another beer while watching the last drops of oil drain. 15. Spend 30 minutes looking for the oil filter wrench. 16. Give up looking for oil filter wrench, crawl under car, and hammer a flat-head screwdriver through the oil filter and twist it off. 17. Crawl out from under car, splashing hot oil everywhere from newly made holes in oil filter. 18. Cleverly hide used oil filter in trash to avoid those pesky environmental penalties. Open another beer. 19. Install new oil filter, making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to the gasket. 20. Pour the first quart of new oil into engine. 21. Oops! Now remember the drain plug (removed in step 11). It’s still swimming in the now-warm oil in the drain pan. 22. Throw more kitty litter on the quart-sized oil puddle on the floor. 23. Open another beer and drink it. 24. Find drain plug with a minimum of spillage, hand-tighten in drain plug socket. Drink beer. 25. Crawl under car (getting oily kitty litter embedded in neck and arms).


Redneck vs. Regular Oil Change

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


DECEMBER 14, 2017


Dirshu Filling the Mussar Void

Gedolei Yisroel Urge Daily Mussar Study as Dirshu Kinyan Chochma Program Embarks on Masechta Avos By Chaim Gold The passing of the elder Mashgiach of our generation, HaGaon HaTzadik, Rav Dov Yaffe, zt”l, Mashgiach of Yeshivas Knesses Beis Chizkiyahu has left a great void in the mussar world. For over sixty years, Rav Yaffe, whose sheloshim was recently marked, served as a mashgiach leaving an indelible positive impact on generations of talmidim though his shmuessen, his sefarim and his personal guidance. The Mashgiach always spoke about the importance of learning mussar. He understood how the yetzer hara always finds ways to discourage a person from learning mussar. Rav Dov and numerous other Roshei Yeshiva and Mashgichim urged their talmidim to carve out a daily seder in limud hammusar so that not a day will go by without having the elixir of limud hamussar to enable a person to combat the constant enticements of the yetzer hara. “The Yetzer Hara Always Tries to Minimize the Importance of Inner Avodah” Mussar is one of those things that most people realize that we need, but somehow it gets pushed to the side because usually there is no scheduled time and specific limud for it. Over the past year, thousands of participants in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program have added Dirshu’s Kinyan Chochma mussar program to their daily learning regimen. This daily, scheduled immersion in mussar has resulted in tremendous benefit in their avodas Hashem. In Dirshu’s Sefer Chizuk, published in honor of Dirshu’s 10th Anniversary, the Mashgiach Rav Dov Yaffe, wrote about this very matter. He wrote, “A person must remember that the yetzer hara always tries to minimize the importance in a person’s own eyes, of inner avodah, of working on oneself and improving one’s middos. Often the yetzer hara magnifies the importance in one’s eyes of things that are not directly related to one’s inner avodah, such as assisting others or reaching out to estranged Jews. These are all important but the daily inner work of avodas

HaRav Dov Yaffe, zt’l, attending a Dirshu Chizuk event (b).jpg

HaRav Elimelech Biderman addressing a Dirshu Kinnus Chizuk in Ashdod .JPG

Hashem is the primary task that each person has and that is why the yetzer hara always tries to minimize its importance and convince a person not to engage in learning Torah and mussar… (Sefer Chizuk Chapter 7)”. “How Worthy it is to Learn Masechta Avos With Rabbeinu Yonah” The Kinyan Chochma program was established almost a year ago at Dirshu’s International Convention that celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Dirshu’s founding. The program was established at the behest of the leading Gedolim who felt that chizuk was needed in daily mussar learning. As in all of Dirshu’s programs, tests are given on the material and a stipend is awarded for excellent results. In his warm letter praising the Kinyan Chochma program, the Mashigach of Lakewood, HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Salomon, shlita, writes, “The obligation to learn mussar daily is well known, as Rav Yisrael Salanter explains at length in his sefer Ohr Yisrael, in the

name of the poskim. It does not require a haskama. Nevertheless, because of its great benefit, the yetzer hara tries to find all kinds of excuses to deter a person from learning mussar. “Therefore, how great is the joy that the Dirshu organization has added a mussar program to its existing programs to encourage and make it easier to learn mussar every day…” HaGaon HaRav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, Mashigach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas and Rav of Beis Medrash Emunas Yisroel wrote about Kinyan Chochma: “The importance that our earlier sages attached to learning works of yiras shomayim and mussar is well known. Nevertheless, the yetzer hara tries to get us to neglect learning mussar, to the extent that even bnei Torah overlook it. “We must therefore feel indebted to Dirshu for encouraging Jews the world over to strengthen themselves in this…” Hagaon HaRav Chaim Walkin, shli-

ta, Mashgiach of Yeshiva Ateres Yisrael wrote, “How worthy and fitting it is to set aside even a small amount of time every day to learn Masechta Avos with the commentary of Rabbeinu Yonah. Rabbeinu Yonah was one of the towering Rishonim, from whose words and mussar we continue to derive life…” A New Kabbalah, a New Person… A New Decree! The well-known Chassidishe Mashpia, HaRav Elimelech Biderman, shlita, asked, “Why did Chazal place Masechta Avos which is all about middos tovos in the order of Nezikin? The answer,” he said, “is that anyone who doesn’t work on his middos is the greatest mazik!” Rav Biderman continued with the following fascinating story that transpired with Rav Yechezkel Levenstein, the famed Mashgiach of Mir and Ponovezh. “A person who had been married for a long time and had not yet been blessed with children came to Rav Yechezkel for a bracha. Rav Levenstein advised him to accept upon himself to learn mussar every day for just ten minutes. The person agreed and within a short time thereafter he was blessed with a child. Rav Yechezkel explained, ‘This was not any sort of miracle. The reason he was blessed was that when a person undertakes a good kabbalah, he becomes akin to a new person. Even if a decree of childlessness was decreed on the old person that decree will not apply to the ‘new person’!’” If a person wants to bring pnimiyus into his life, if he wants to become the proverbial ‘new person’ now is the time to join Dirshu’s Kinyan Chochma Program. “Learning Avos with Rabbeinu Yonah,” explained HaGaon HaRav Shimon Galei, shlita, “brings much light into a person’s life. Dirshu has done a great thing by promoting this limud. Dirshu has always promoted Torah, now they are culminating their work by promoting derech eretz that is kadmah, that comes before Torah!” To join Kinyan Chochma please call, 888-5-Dirshu or e-mail,

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DECEMBER 14, 2017

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

Our daughter has always been an independent spirit who has to do things her own way. She has a problem “following the pack” and almost always needs to make a statement very often to prove her independence. Growing up, if all her friends had long hair, she insisted on cutting hers short. If everyone was attending a specific camp for the summer, she was the one who had to try out the new camp – it seems, almost, to be different.

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We never had much of a problem with her need to set herself apart. We understand that some people are just wired that way and need to find their own way in life, independent of what the group is doing. We supported her individuality and her ability to think for herself, rather than just follow everyone else’s ideas of what’s appropriate. And we even at times applauded her confidence that enabled her to do things her way. But now we’re having a situation that we’re having a problem supporting. Even from the time before Sarah decided it was time to start dating, she always had very strong feelings about the whole “resume thing.” She found it absurd, argued that it said nothing about the real person and felt it was a silly trend that has gained traction over the years and that no one has bothered questioning why it has become a given these days. Yes, she’ll admit that one would like to know the types of schools and camps a person attended to get a sense of where they are holding, but she feels much of it is silly and almost demeaning. Her feeling is that no resume will ever tell her what a person is truly about and she doesn’t want anyone judging her based on a piece of paper. Now that she wants to start dating, she absolutely refuses to put together a resume. It’s almost become her “cause.” As we’re trying to arrange dates for her, of course the first thing everyone asks for is her resume and we have nothing to give them. We’re hitting a wall, and Sarah refuses to cave in and allow us to create our own resume just to get the ball rolling. She is stubborn and has dug in her heels on this. We believe she is hurting herself very badly and will pay a price. Sarah believes that she has to stick to her guns on this one. What do we do?!



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DECEMBER 14, 2017


The Panel The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. et Sarah be Sarah. Give her time and opportunity to meet people. It’s not worth it to jeopardize your relationship for the sake of a shidduch resume. Sarah will deal with the world in her own way and deal with shidduchim in her own way. She probably senses that she needs to explore and develop on her own as a young adult before she commits to marriage and responsibilities. She is not in a rush so why are you in a rush to start her with dating? Accept who she is and that she will take it her own way and in due time. If you push her to date and put together a resume for her, she will probably communicate negatively to all who are involved – shadchanim, guys she is set up with, and general community members. This will not be good for her or for you. Just let it go and when she gets serious about pursuing marriage possibilities she will probably get it together on her own. There is plenty to focus on now – trying out career possibilities, education and developing other interests.


own ideas and basically couldn’t care less about what other people say or do. My guess is that Sarah has never caved into peer pressure or other people’s ideas of what is right or wrong or appropriate vs. inappropriate. I guess the good news is that we all know of lovely couples who did happen to meet on their own and went on to form beautiful marriages, never having to put pen to a resume in the first place. Though it’s not as commonplace as it used to be, look around and discover that it can and still does happen. Hopefully this will be the way that Sarah ultimately meets up with her bashert. If she doesn’t have a resume, she is clearly minimizing her opportunities for being “set up,” though it won’t entirely rule everyone out. However, I would imagine that if enough time goes by and Sarah finds herself anxious to move on and meet someone special and notices that all her friends who did create resumes are being set up with and ultimately marrying wondering guys, she may have second thoughts about this whole “resume thing.” But she’ll have to come to this conclusion on her own. If you try badgering her about it, I’m guessing it will only have the very opposite results from what you are hoping for.

Another Mother Miriam Stern rom one mother to another, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we both must recognize when we are dealing with a daughter, and even an adult daughter, who has her


The Shadchan Michelle Mond our daughter is in good company. There are many people


who agree that the whole idea of a shidduch resume is ludicrous. Here is the only problem, which you may want to explain to your daughter. Similar to the way a recruiter searches for employees for a company and finds it crucial to have a page of information describing the candidate to pass along to the potential company – a shadchan is there to help search for potential spouses for single men/women. Unlike a recruiter, a shadchan is generally working hours of her time completely voluntarily towards the cause of helping singles find their other half. If shadchanim do not have a page of basic information handy, they will be spending hours longer of their own time going back and forth to both sides answering basic questions. The shadchan would be busy asking and passing along all the basic information that would have been helpful if it was all written down on a sheet of paper in the first place, which would include references, so the person could make calls to someone who knows her personally to find out more about her. A shadchan would rather spend all that extra time searching for potential matches for your daughter rather than doing all that extra unnecessary legwork. In short, this is why the “shidduch resume” came about. Basically, it helps convey the basic information the guy would hear about her anyway just in a more precise, organized and time-efficient manner. Do I wish singles would be able to meet each other on their own and there would be no need for shadchanim or shidduch profiles? One hundred percent! Frankly, if I had one

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

View it as the price of admission to the vast world of dating.

wish, this would probably be it. However, in frum society today, this has become the norm (whether we like it or not) and to not have a shidduch profile when everyone else does will put her at a disadvantage. Here are some practical tips that may appeal to her. (1) Start out without a resume and see where that goes. She may get tired of repeating the same basic information over and over to shadchanim because she refuses to put it all down in writing (which essentially is what a resume is) and will end up deciding to make one for convenience; (2) Have her try to meet people on her own. Encourage her to go to singles events for people her age and Shabbos meals to those who host singles and hopefully she will meet someone there on her own; (3) Have her write her

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.





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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


DECEMBER 14, 2017


own resume, but using own personal flair. She can use her choice of color, font, and template to her advantage to make it unique. She can make the layout however she wants so she can have a page with her basic info yet be able to still express her individuality at the same time; (4) If all else fails and she is really interested in dating yet won’t create a resume, put one together for her and send it out to the shadchanim you think would be helpful. Then she can meet these shadchanim in person to get a sense of who she is. When a good idea comes up, just present the idea to her. She doesn’t need to be involved in the whole resume process to begin with. Hatzlacha!

The Single Tova Wein


can certainly relate to and understand Sarah’s reluctance to participating in the resume reality. For some women, it makes us feel like commodities. Somehow, our very personhood feels lost in the process and we start worrying that we are seen as the schools we went to or the camps we attended wherein, in reality, a resume says absolutely nothing about our core values, our innermost feelings, are personalities and our quirks. Unfortunately, very often, this piece of paper is what can

sometimes make the difference between getting our foot through the front door or not. So, one way to look at it would be to view it as the price of admission to the vast world of dating! You might want to explain this to Sarah in this way, thereby giving it a different spin than the one she probably holds onto now. Who wants to limit their opportunities regarding dating? It’s hard enough without adding any limitations! So try to have to friendly conversation with Sarah and see whether she is able to look at it any differently. It’s her call. She may still try to proceed the old fashioned way, which may work for her. But if that doesn’t pan

Life is often “easier” for rule-following children and their parents.

out, don’t be surprised if she eventually decides to grin and bear it and join the resume club after all!

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

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ife is often “easier” for rule-following children and their parents. Some children seem to go with the flow and do not question rules or authority. Girls are wearing their hair long? Great! I love long hair! Time to write a shidduch resume? I don’t really agree with it, but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. It’s not a big deal. Yet, other children have to find their own way. Independent-minded children and adults question the rules. They especially question or buck when the rules seem flawed. Parents of stron- minded individuals often wish life could be easier for their child or that they could somehow protect their child from the hardship their individuality often creates. While you support Sarah, you know that this quality of hers may make dating more challenging. Sarah has always done things her way, and it looks like dating

will not be any different. And while I can certainly understand how her actions and decisions can be interpreted as “stubborn,” I encourage you to reframe viewing her as “digging in her heels” into someone who “thinks outside the box” and cannot conform to a societal norm that can be painful and hurtful to many people. Based on your description of Sarah, my guess is that pushing the issue too hard may only further motivate Sarah to date without a resume. There’s not much to do other than support her decision. Doing otherwise may alienate her. Keep communication open and check in with her every so often. Instead of telling this independent woman what to do, you can explore what her process will look like. You can get a sense of her plan and if

at any point she would consider going the resume route should the old-fashioned way not be working to her advantage. It seems like you and your husband have done a wonderful job of supporting Sarah’s individuality. Many parents would have tried to place her into that box, placing societal values and their own personal needs above their child. Try to view this time just like Sarah’s hairstyle. She usually figures it out for herself and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. Let her know that you are supporting her and will be there for her every step of the way. Hopefully, she will meet someone this way, as a good number of people still do. If the “old-fashioned” way is not working, hopefully through the open communication and support you will have established, Sarah will feel comfortable approaching you should she need to veer off course. Actively think about and visualize Sarah in your own mind as a very capable, creative and successful

young woman who will meet her bashert in the way she sees fit. Being that she has just started dating, I think you have some time to relax and allow Sarah the space to do this her way. See where it takes her. If in six months to one year you notice that she is not going out on dates, you will be able to reevaluate as a collaborative team. Best of luck, 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.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


As the shammash lights all the other candles on the Chanukah menorah, Shoresh reignites the flame of Yiddishkeit for thousands of Jews

DECEMBER 14, 2017




By Naomi R. Wein


America. Opening just four years after the founding of the world renowned Aish Hatorah in Israel, Shoresh serves as a bastion of Jewish education in America for the thousands of members who have joined their myriad functions. Due to its tremendous success and progress, many other outreach programs throughout the United States have since consulted with the leaders of Shoresh, drawing upon their experience and the influence they wield. Shoresh will be open for its thirty-ninth summer this year but its roots bring us back to a highly devoted communal leader who laid the groundwork for the program and influenced its founding. Rabbi Moshe Kosman, a”h, a wise and distinguished scholar, served as the beloved rabbi of the Frederick

community shul for fifty years. He led the community in understanding the significance of being Jewish and cultivated a love for Judaism in his congregants. At the time he noticed that come December time the Jewish children of Frederick who attended public school would hear their friends talk all about their upcoming holiday and the ways their families celebrated. When the teachers would turn to their Jewish students and ask, “What about your upcoming holiday? Tell us about what Chanukah means to you,” she would face rather uncomfortable responses. “Well, we don’t really know what Chanukah is all about. I mean, we light a menorah, but I don’t know why or anything…” It seemed to Rabbi Kosman that Jewish education and guidance was

needed and would be appreciated in his community. At this time, Dr. Robert and Margary Edelman, two wonderful members of the Frederick Jewish community, recognized a need for a Jewish day camp for the children of Frederick. “Why should we be sending our kids to the local camp?” they wondered. “Why shouldn’t our kids be able to spend the summer with other Jewish children?” And so, in July of 1979, Camp Shoresh opened for its first summer, housed in the Edelman backyard. Although the idea originated with Rabbi Kosman, the camp was actually started by his son, Rabbi Avi Kosman, along with his son-inlaw, Sam Finkelstein. Sam Finkelstein was the first director of Camp Shoresh, later succeeded by his

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hile families in every neighborhood are enjoying their Sunday afternoon Chanukah party, Camp Shoresh is hosting its Chanukah carnival for the campers and their parents. We’re heading into winter! What bearing does a summer camp have on a cold, dark afternoon in the middle of December? When it comes to Camp Shoresh, the answer is everything. Shoresh is a camp that guides and inspires its campers, as well as their families, throughout the entire Jewish year with its many events, activities, and routine Torah classes. Set in the suburban countryside of Frederick, Maryland, just fifty miles west of Baltimore, Shoresh is one of the largest and most successful organizations of its kind in

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DECEMBER 14, 2017

56 brother, Rabbi Dave Finkelstein. The camp started out as a small backyard day camp with just nineteen kids and offered a fun-filled summer program for children to intermingle with other Jewish children. But the camp really took off. The families of Frederick were impressed by the exciting program of great activities, as well as with the Jewish awareness it created. As the camp grew, its goals expanded as well, as the staff utilized the opportunity to share Jewish concepts with their campers. The parents appreciated this aspect of the camp, as well. The Frederick community had always sustained true Jewish pride and really cared about Judaism. Now their children actually had the opportunity to learn and grasp Jewish knowledge and customs which they had not been previously privy to. When the camp outgrew the Edelmans’ home, it was moved to the back of the Frederick shul. Rabbi Kosman was a magnificent man, and he served his community with dedication for so many years. With his passing last fall, he left a truly rich legacy, and along with it, the beloved Shoresh, which has since grown exponentially from where it began as a small endeavor in the Edelmans’ backyard. Three years after the small day camp’s inception, a remarkable personality who had frequented the Kosman home, Rabbi David Finkelstein, joined the staff of Camp Shoresh. Rabbi Finkelstein, or Rabbi Dave, as he is affectionately referred to by Shoresh members, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and was studying in Ner Yisroel High School in Baltimore when his brother, Sam, married Rabbi Kosman’s daughter. He then got to know Rabbi Kosman and visited a lot, often spending Shabbos and yom tov meals with the Kosman family, and, of course, with their guests. Rabbi Dave was taken with the sincere interest in Jewish customs displayed by the Frederick community members. “I remember once being at the Kosmans’ table for a meal close to Sukkos,” Rabbi Dave recalls, “and Rabbi Kosman was sitting and explaining the meaning and beauty of the upcoming holiday to a guest

who had never seen a sukkah at all before. ‘Wow!’ the guest exclaimed. ‘That sounds amazing! Can you come and help us build one, too?!’” Rabbi Dave was awed with the sincere appreciation and thirst for Jewish ideas in the community, and he wanted to join the summer camp endeavor that would help his fellow Jews learn what they didn’t yet know. Rabbi Dave joined the camp staff, and in 1985, he became the director. He, along with his marvel-

that emanates from every part of the program. The wonderfully dedicated and exuberant staff fill the air with energy, their love for each child apparent. A donor who visited the camp one day observed the campers singing lively camp tunes and having a great time. “Did they put on this show just for me?” he asked incredulously. “Not at all,” he was told. “You can pop into Camp Shoresh on any given day and you’ll see smiling faces, great activities, and sheer de-

“As fellow Jews, we need to stop putting up walls and start building bridges to connect to one another.”

ous crew, built a camp that imbeds Torah lessons and growth within an action-packed program of fun and recreation. The children enjoy themselves and learn about various mitzvos along the way. Camp Shoresh is a place where Jewish interest really flourishes, not just because the kids learn about wearing a kippah and baking challah, but because of the joy and sheer delight

light all the time.” Every minute at Shoresh is exciting. “What is it about this camp?” one parent wondered. “My child turned down a trip to Disney World in the summer because he wouldn’t miss camp.” When children become attached to their beloved camp, their parents become intrigued as well. They say, “If learning about Jewish observance can make this kid so en-

thralled, I want to learn more about Judaism, too.” Rabbi Dave quotes the pasuk in Malachi that states, “V’heishiv lev avos al banim, the fathers’ heart will return through the children’s.” The children’s excitement drives their parents to further their own education. And that is how the summer camp really generates a world of Jewish thought and interest in the families it caters to. Rabbi Finkelstein explains that there are more factors than the fun and excitement that really prompts the interest in learning about Judaism. A lot of effort is put into building bonds with the families and creating an environment where the parents can feel safe and secure about their children’s education. Many people possess a preconceived notion that observant Jews may appear antiquated and disconnected from other, “normal” lifestyles. But then the parents come to the camp. They see Rabbi Dave and Rabbi Tuchman, the assistant director of the camp, wearing sports caps and T-shirts out on the fields, they feel they can relate to them. “The parents also see that we’re not changing their kids or making decisions for them in terms of Judaism and their lifestyle. We’re just teaching them knowledge of Judaism.” As families or individuals grow in their Jewish knowledge and feel they’d like to start observing some mitzvos, the rabbis show them how to perform the mitzvos, help them in their observance, and support them all the way – but they don’t make any religious choices for anybody.

More than the Summer

A bunk at Camp Shoresh

About five years after Rabbi Finkelstein joined the camp, the thought arose, “Hey, why only in the summer? Why don’t we conduct educational events throughout the year?” And so, with his ever-present liveliness and passion for Jewish outreach, Rabbi Dave set out to organize Shabbatons for Shoresh campers throughout the year, Chanukah get-togethers, and various social events. Shoresh works yearround to achieve its goals for the community. “The summer is the engine that drives the machine,”






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DECEMBER 14, 2017


A Camp Shoresh challah baking event

says Rabbi Dave, explaining how the summer camp engages the children in the program, but it’s the events throughout the year that continue to fan the flames of Yiddishkeit in their souls. Teen classes were formed to convene weekly and discuss Torah topics, and a big-brother-and-sister program was developed where older campers or counselors were paired up with younger campers to help them learn more about mitzvos. In 1993, Rabbi Finkelstein organized the first teen trip, a two-week trip to Israel, for his teen members. It was a most incredible experience, and every year since then the teen group, ranging from ninth graders through college students, have had wonderful trips following a threeyear cycle: one year to New York, the next year to some other location, and the third year to Israel. These trips are truly memorable experiences and open the youths’ eyes to Jewish lifestyles in different parts of the world. “We really got to see Jewish communities in all different places, getting a glimpse at different sects of Judaism,” enthused Brielle, a post-seminary Shoresh member. “The Jewish communities in New York are so much bigger than ours in Frederick, and it’s amazing to see such large Jewish congregations. What also really touched me was the hospitality of Jewish families in the places we visit. They so readily open their homes to us, perfect strangers,

On the Camp Shoresh trip to Israel

and host us for a few days!” One year, while in Israel, a girl asked permission to spend one Shabbos with observant relatives of hers in Bayit VeGan. After Shabbos, the girl described how the men were wearing white shirts, suits and big black hats. And then she told Rabbi Finkelstein that they informed her that her great-great-grandfather had been a big tzaddik. “They said his name was Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld,” she said, slowly getting the whole name out. When Rabbi Finkelstein’s face lit up, the girl exclaimed in disbelief, “Rabbi, you know of him?!” Upon return from one of the teen trips to Israel, when the parents came to meet their children in the airport, they announced to Rabbi Dave, “We’re very mad at you!” “Mad at me? I just took your kids on a largely subsidized trip to Israel for ten days! How can you be mad at me?” “But that’s just it,” they complained. “You took our kids to Israel, and they learned all about being Jewish, but we also want to go to Israel! We also want to learn about our Jewish roots!” And so, adult classes were arranged for the parents to learn more about Judaism. That year fifty adults learned how to read Hebrew, and their eyes were opened to the beauty and breadth of the Torah. The following year Shoresh hosted their first family Shabbaton. Parents, along with their children, were

invited to participate in an uplifting and enriching experience together as a family. From the advent of the adult weekly learning sessions, Shoresh became a full-family program, now featuring family Shabbatons and yom tov gatherings, as well as many social events and individualized guidance for each family. “From baby to Bubby” Shoresh provides Jewish education and enriching experiences for the whole family. “What Shoresh does is provide a way to network with other Jews and learn from each other,” explains Becca, a veteran Shoresh member, now living in Baltimore. “They set up a lot of partnerships. After Shabbatons, they can set you up with another family to visit and learn more from.” On a personal note, Becca, who started at Shoresh at age 4 and shifted from camper to counselor when she was seventeen, describes her soul connection to Shoresh. “When I was going to college, I knew I had to be in a Jewish community, and I had to be able to keep up my involvement with Shoresh. When deciding where to live, I felt I wanted to live in Baltimore so as to keep up with Shoresh.” The far-reaching influence which Shoresh wields in its all-encompassing family outreach is accredited to a remarkable personality, Phran Edelman, the warm and esteemed camp mother at Shoresh. After marrying into the Edelman family of Frederick, the original founders of

the summer camp, Phran joined the camp staff, initially as a volunteer, and then later as a full-fledged staff member. Today she holds the title of Director of Operations at Shoresh. An incredibly dedicated and selfless woman, Phran tends to all the children in camp. She oversees every Shoresh child’s summer experience, as well as every Shoresh endeavor. She is the one who attends to all the myriad details that go into running such a large and far-reaching organization. She’s what Rabbi Dave calls “a logistical whiz” in the way she scrupulously orchestrates each event and Shabbaton, from catering and sleeping arrangements to activities and programming. Dismissing these enormous tasks as “not so hard,” Phran states that the most difficult part of her job is evoking participation. “People’s schedules are so overbooked these days. With swim lessons and soccer practice, and all kinds of family-time sort of obligations, everyone has something else to occupy their weekends with that it’s hard to accommodate people’s schedules when planning various events,” she notes. Phran, along with Rabbi Dave, try to accommodate their members’ busy social lives. But what truly “wins over” their participants and compels them to find the time for Shoresh functions in their lives is the unconditional warmth and acceptance that is imparted by the directors and the entire Shoresh


“What is it about this camp?” one parent wondered. “My child turned down a trip to Disney World in the summer because he wouldn’t miss camp.”

way, and at their own pace. In the camp, as well, while Rabbi Finkelstein seeks to educate the children about Judaism and how mitzvos are performed, he doesn’t push anyone to take on anything they don’t feel ready for. He warns the campers to think carefully and to advance at their own pace. One year on the second day of camp, a group of young girls showed

Shoresh campers davening

camp, Shoresh actually grew into an all-encompassing program. But what really helped the camp expand its horizons was the purchase of the sprawling 107-acre campus just 16 years ago. The spacious grounds boasted a large community center, a ‘50s diner, a full challenge course complete with a zip line and rock climbing, a playground, a dance studio, a pool, and loads of sports

fields. Camp Shoresh was equipped to enrich the lives of many more campers. Rabbi Finkelstein drove up to an hour in each direction from the campgrounds located in Adamstown, a suburb off of Frederick, knocking on doors to recruit campers. The camp continued to grow, and as it did, the programs throughout the year expanded, as well, to meet the needs of the hundreds of families thirsting for Jewish knowledge and holiday experiences. Teen groups developed in several neighboring towns. Shoresh now services Jewish communities across Maryland, in Gatersburg, Potomac, Baltimore, Silver Spring, Olney, Columbia, as well as in Leesburg and Ashburn, Virginia. Shabbatons are organized throughout the year in several of the communities, and that’s besides for the grand annual family Shabbaton which is open to everyone and the two Shabbatons held on the campus during the summer for campers only. Yom tov with Shoresh is inspiring. Shoresh hosts Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah on the campus for those who’d like to participate in an authentic yom tov experience. With Yeshiva bochurim present to liven up the dancing, the hakafos are moving. Over Chanukah, there are always three Shoresh celebrations, held in three different communities, each complete with entertainment for the kids and socializing opportunities for the whole family. Shoresh members are eagerly awaiting the upcoming Shavuos event, as Shoresh will be conducting a Shavuos gathering on the campus this year for the very first time. To-date, over one thousand families are affiliated with Shoresh with close to 500 children registered in the camp this past summer. When asked what enables Shoresh to keep growing in both numbers and its festivities, Rabbi Finkelstein accredits his exceptional staff and their commitment and dedication. “Staff members come to Shoresh and stay. No one just comes and takes a job at Shoresh as a resume builder.” People who work for Shoresh mean it, and pour their whole selves into it.

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When it comes to making decisions, education is key. The more one knows about Judaism, the more qualified he is to make informed decisions regarding the path he takes in his Jewish observance. “Good, knowledgeable Jews make good, knowledgeable decisions,” says Rabbi Finkelstein, and he’s there to help good Jews become good, knowledgeable Jews – because Rabbi Dave believes that we are all good Jews. This highlights another source for Shoresh’s all-around success in its achievements: Shoresh embraces Jews of all backgrounds and of various levels of observance, without any judgement or condescension. The staff at Shoresh reaches out to each member with love and respect and creates a culture of unconditional acceptance and kinship. “When I meet a couple, right away I’ll talk about what we have in common. I’ll talk about business, about the Orioles. You have a degree from Penn? I have a degree from John Hopkins,” Rabbi Dave explains. Drawing on common ground, Rabbi Dave makes everyone feel comfortable with who he is and with who they are. He sees the good in everybody. “No one made us judges to decide who is a good Jew and who is not,” Rabbi Finkelstein firmly states. He feels frustrated

up to camp wearing only skirts. When Rabbi Dave inquired about their sudden change in attire, the girls exclaimed with admiration, “Oh, we want to be like Shani and Dini and Shevy [their new counselors]!” Rabbi Dave wouldn’t accept that. “Go back and put on the pants you usually wear. You can’t rush into things because someone else does that. Do what works for you, what makes sense to you.” Beginning as a small backyard

DECEMBER 14, 2017

Building Bridges, Not Walls

that so many people don’t realize this and thus make others feel uncomfortable and criticized for their level of observance. “As fellow Jews, we need to stop putting up walls and start building bridges to connect to one another,” he says. At Shoresh this positive energy and sense of unity is palpable. People from across the strata of Jewish observance join together to learn and grow, each in their own


staff. With the simple goal in mind of offering educational Jewish experiences, every Shoresh event is marked by its open-minded and non-judgmental culture regarding lifestyles and religious observance. “Shoresh doesn’t tell you what to do or what kind of life to lead,” says Brielle. “Nobody forces you to do anything. They just teach you how beautiful Judaism is and then give you the resources to follow through when you’re ready.” Rabbi Finkelstein confirms Brielle’s sentiment as the very goal of the organization. “We’re not here to tell people what to do. Our goal is to enable people to be more informed so that they may make more educated choices to help them on their Jewish journey.”


DECEMBER 14, 2017

60 When it comes to camp counselors, Rabbi Finkelstein looks for young men and women who can be positive role models for the campers. Originally, these counselors were brought in from nearby communities, such as Baltimore and Washington, which had more of a nucleus of observant Jews. At this point, many of the staff members are former Shoresh campers who are delighted to come back and give over the care and guidance they were shown. In a way, these counselors can connect with Shoresh campers on a most intrinsic level, as they can fully appreciate the challenges their campers face on their Judaism journey. When a camper complains that when he tries to wear a kippah in the public school he attends the other kids in his class bully him, his counselor can truly relate, as he had experienced such encounters in the past as well. Of course, the numerous Shabbatons and expansive programs all

require a great deal of money. While the neighboring cities of Baltimore and Washington recognize Shoresh as a highly successful organization and a beacon of light for so many communities, the federations in

tertainment, Rabbi Finkelstein has to raise a large portion of the two million dollar budget himself. It isn’t an easy task, but nothing stops Rabbi Dave. In fact, if a former Shoresh camper is getting married and does

“Good, knowledgeable Jews make good, knowledgeable decisions,” says Rabbi Finkelstein, and he’s there to help good Jews become good, knowledgeable Jews.

these cities cannot assist Shoresh, since it is located in the town of Frederick. Frederick itself doesn’t have a federation. Aside from two significant fundraising events, a family barbecue and a Night of En-

not have the means to pay for all the wedding expenses, Rabbi Finkelstein will step in and help raise the money for her. Rabbi Dave will also see to ensuring that members who wish to further their Jewish educa-

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tion have the financial backing to do so. The Shoresh scholarship funds help finance tuition for Jewish Day schools, as well as seminary fees for students who would like to study in Israel. A truly determined man, Rabbi Finkelstein shares how he was always a competitive person who thrived on winning and achieving goals. “I used to really play sports seriously. After I tore my ACL a few years ago, I realized I would have to give up sports. I told myself that I would take those same qualities of tenacity and determination and channel them towards my outreach programs. I would not let anything get in my way, not let any need get past me, but rather I’d ‘step up to the plate’ and with the help of Hashem and make it happen.” Hundreds of children and Jewish families can attest that Rabbi Dave and his dynamic team have been making it happen, one candle, one soul, at a time.

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Mental Health Corner By Rabbi Azriel Hauptman Sarah expected to be accepted into the high school of her choice. After all, she had excellent grades and came from a nice family. She was shocked when she received an apologetic letter from that school informing her that she was not accepted. Sarah was completely blindsided and fell into a depression. She lost her appetite, had trouble sleeping and became very irritable. Her parents were surprised by her reaction. It is certainly painful to not attend one’s school of choice, but why was she overreacting? Before we even attempt to explain Sarah’s reaction we must first point out that a similar reaction is recorded in the Gemara (Taanis 23a) concerning the great Tanna, Choni Hama’agel. The Gemara relates that Choni fell into a slumber that lasted many years. Not knowing where he was, his community assumed that he died. When he woke up many years later, he was not recognized by the new generation. (This was before the advent of Gedolim pictures!) He came to the Bais Hamedrash and said, “I am Choni Hama’agel!” Nobody believed him and

therefore did not accord him the respect that he deserved. He felt so dejected that he davened to Hashem that he should die and Hashem accepted his prayers! The great Amora, Rava, said that from here arose the adage, “Either companionship or death.” There are many profound lessons to be learned from this Gemara. One of these lessons is that it is extremely painful to not have your true value recognized by others. Why indeed is this true? Why do we feel such emotional pain when our standing in our social circle is jeopardized? Isn’t is enough that we know our own self-worth? As with human nature in general, it is not always easy to understand our behavior. We do know that Hashem created us with an innate desire to be part of a group. This is why solitary confinement is considered a form of torture. Belonging to a group is beneficial for our survival, as raising families, doing Mitzvos, and making a living cannot be properly accomplished when we are isolated. Once we

have this need to be connected to a group, our sense of value and worth become intertwined with membership in that group. When we are not allowed to be part of our group of choice, we are not simply being denied the benefits of being a member of that group. Rather, we are receiving a message that we are not desirable and do not have value. The intellectual knowledge that the cause of this specific rejection was not due to our value and worth does not necessarily diminish the emotional pain. Our emotions judge a situation without heeding our intelligence and therefore the feelings of rejection can be felt acutely even when we fully understand the real reason for not being accepted. In Sarah’s case, the knowledge that there were simply too many qualified applicants and that someone needed to be denied acceptance does not prevent the pain of rejection from consuming her. Some people, such as Sarah, internalize rejection. This reaction leads to depression and other internal emotions. Another reaction

would be to externalize the rejection by viewing those who rejected him as being very mean people. This reaction can lead to aggression. Someone who is already dealing with a mental health disorder is especially at risk, since the disorder can make one predisposed to experiencing trauma from the rejection and that the rejection can exacerbate those preexisting conditions. The understanding that rejection is painful should help us feel compassion for those who are experiencing that pain. It should also inspire us to reach out more to our friends, families, and neighbors. The more people we befriend, the fewer will have to suffer rejection.

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

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DECEMBER 14, 2017

The Pain of Rejection



“Good,” said Raphael, stopping at a red light. “I got another client today, and it sounds like the case will be complicated.” “Fun.” “Oh, yeah. And my mother keeps reminding me to visit my grandmother. I should really do that soon ….” Raphael’s grandmother lived in a senior nursing home. As far as I knew, the only mitzvah she kept was lighting Shabbos candles. I had met her several times before, though not since we’d moved to Baltimore. “Why don’t I come with you?” I suggested. “I haven’t seen her in ages. And I’m sure she’d get so much nachas from seeing Yehuda.” Raphael nodded. We arrived at my sister’s house and Raphael went in to get Yehuda. I stared out the window, wishing, not for the first time, that I could be the one my son saw first. That I could be the one to first hold him. Then I gave my head a shake, ridding the thought. It didn’t help anyone to feel sorry for myself. I knew I should be grateful to have a son and content with the many blessings he brought to my life. But as Raphael marched back across the lawn with Yehuda snuggled against his chest, I felt that creeping gloom begin to settle over me. “Say hello to Mommy, Yehuda!” The side door was open, and Raphael was lowering Yehuda into his car seat. Yehuda gargled a hello at me, and I smiled. We named him Yehuda

after my great uncle, who had passed away six months before he was born. But we also chose the name out of our immense gratitude to Hashem. Raphael finished buckling him in, slammed the door shut, and then took his seat behind the wheel. “Next stop: home.” Raphael made sure Yehuda and I were settled at home before hurrying back to work. After putting on a tichel, I spent the next twenty minutes making Yehuda a bottle and putting him down for a nap. One side of Yehuda’s crib functioned like a door, swinging open to allow me to reach in and out with ease. It latched firmly when closed, so I had no worries about it opening and Yehuda falling out. Once I was sure Yehuda had really fallen asleep, I went about straightening up the house. At home I used a motorized wheelchair, which helped me get around faster and, when Yehuda was up, carry him around without needing to use my arms to move the chair. The steady whirring of the motor filled the house as I did the dishes, put a load of laundry in, and made myself lunch. Moving around in a wheelchair took patience. I couldn’t go as fast or maneuver as well as I wanted, and picking up anything off the floor was a nightmare. But it was far better than being stuck in a bed all day long, which I’d had to do for several months after my accident. After the chores were done, I settled down to grade this week’s quizzes. This was the part of teaching I

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

The bell rang. I turned sharply towards the clock on the wall. Forty-five minutes had passed already? “Alright, girls. Hachana on pasukim chaf and chaf alef for tomorrow. Have a good day!” My class called out thank-yous as they grabbed their books and raced out to lunch. I began gathering my own things together. Raphael would be coming in less than five minutes. Nearly three weeks had passed since the first day of school. We had slipped into a routine and I found myself more comfortable in my position. I had memorized a quarter of the girls’ names already, which I considered a phenomenal achievement. “Thank you so much, Mrs. Marks!” My head jerked up to see Raizy Weiss standing in front of me, flanked by two of her good friends, Leah Rothstein and Shoshana Kraus. “You’re very welcome!” I replied. The girls wished me good day and hurried off to lunch. Raizy was one of those real sweet girls who never acted out and treated her peers with respect. I could tell she was a bright girl – she answered questions well in class – but when it came to assignments and homework, she was already doing poorly. Of course, it was no mystery. The answer had been handed to me before school started, when we were given background information on our students. Raizy’s mother had passed away a little over a year ago, and I assumed

it was one of those “I need to take over for my mother” cases. I knew she had an older sister in Ma’alot, but I didn’t know how often she was around to help with the younger children. Which meant Raizy, being much too responsible and mature for her age, was taking care of her siblings instead of doing schoolwork. I sighed and left the classroom. I would talk about it with Mrs. Ring, the 11th grade advisor. Maybe she’d be able to do something. The halls were empty with everyone at lunch. This made it easier for me to wheel hastily to the school entrance. The lobby occupied meandering students, as well as a couple teachers. One student rushed to open the front doors for me as soon as she saw me. “It’s all right,” I said hastily. “You don’t need to -” “It’s fine, it’s fine,” she said, smiling. The smile irked me. I didn’t appreciate it when I was given unwanted help. I had worked hard to learn to open doors on my own. That was a pride I wasn’t ready to give up easily. But in her mind, she was doing a chesed, so I gave her a thank-you and a forced smile. Then I made my way to Raphael who was parked alongside the curb. “Sorry I’m late,” I told him as he helped me into the car. “It’s fine,” Raphael said, but I could tell he was anxious to get moving. Once we were settled in the car, I told him a bit how the morning went, then asked how his work was going.

DECEMBER 14, 2017

Part III

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


DECEMBER 14, 2017


disliked the most. Not only because I saw how little some of my students studied, but also because it was so dull. One sheet after the next, marking the same questions. That’s why several years ago I created an “Ask your question!” box. I let the girls ask any question they wanted, allowing them and me a release from the monotony. I peered at Leora Sanders’ question: Have you ever owned a pet before? I replied saying that while I had always wanted a Labrador, I’d gotten stuck with a rock. That was the most my parents ever allowed me. I supposed I wasn’t that responsible as a child. Question from Bracha Falks: Why were there only Ten Commandments? I was interrupted by a shrill wail from Yehuda’s room. I glanced at the clock on the wall and frowned. He should have slept for at least another hour. My alarm grew as he continued

to scream; not a scream of abandonment or anger, but of pain. I grabbed for my cellphone, then moved as fast as I could to Yehuda’s room. The wheelchair moved quickly, but it didn’t come close to functional legs. I hated how slow I was moving. My baby was shrieking. I wished my legs would just work so I could run to Yehuda. I banged open the door to see Yehuda on his tummy, one of his legs wedged between two bars. His face was screwed up, his fists clenched. I hurried toward his crib. “Yehuda, it’s okay! Mommy’s here!” I closed my hands around his leg, firmly but gently wiggling it out from where it was stuck. The skin was red and Yehuda was still screaming. I quickly opened the crib so I could reach in and pick him up. I cuddled him close, trying to soothe him even as I calmed myself. This wasn’t the first time it had happened. Yehuda had

started moving more in his sleep, and already he’d gotten himself stuck a couple times. However, Raphael had always been there to run to him. “Hashem,” I whispered. “How am I supposed to care for my child if I can’t use my legs?” Ironically, it was at this moment that I recalled Mrs. Greenstone’s words in that interview months ago: her request that I tell my students how Hashem does everything for the best. As I held Yehuda tight, I felt relieved that I had refused. No one could just tell you something like that. I certainly wasn’t feeling it now. Yehuda’s sobs turned to hiccupping, his face pressed against my shoulder. I rubbed his back, wondering if I should call Raphael. But it didn’t look like Yehuda was in pain any more, just scared. He was moving his leg fine, and the red mark had faded. I didn’t need to put this on Raphael’s mind until he got home. But when Raphael did come home, I saw that what he needed was sympathy, good food, and a break from any heavy topic. So, I tucked the event aside as I set down a glass of ice water with his meal. Yehuda gurgled happily from his high chair, babbling nonsensical words that made us both smile. “How’s he liking the mush?” Raphael asked. That’s what he called Yehuda’s new “Carrot-flavored” baby food. I spooned a dollop of it into Yehuda’s mouth, and he smacked his lips. “Fine, I think. Can’t understand why.” I peered at the nutrition facts. “Yuck.” Yehuda turned away from the second spoonful. “Oh, come on,” I pleaded. “I didn’t mean that. It’s very yummy and very good for you. Here.” I did a choo-choo train, and Yehuda swallowed reluctantly. After the last spoonful, I threw the jar in the trash. “Alright, baby. Bed for you.” Then I paused. Might as well bring it up now while he was eating. “Raphael, he got stuck today.” Raphael frowned. “Again? We need to buy those breathable bumpers from Walmart.” I twisted my rings around my fin-

gers. “Yeah.” Raphael studied me. “Is anything else wrong?” “Nothing new.” He waited. I wiped Yehuda’s face with a damp cloth, then said. “He was screaming, Raphael. And I couldn’t run to him.” Raphael still said nothing. “It’s just so frustrating!” I burst out. “So horribly frustrating that I can’t walk, that I can’t even stand on my own! I hate being so dependent. I hate not being able to do things. What if next time it doesn’t end well? What if Yehuda seriously hurts himself and I can’t get to him in time?” I turned to Raphael, whose face was sympathetic. “I don’t understand, Raphael,” I choked out. “I just don’t understand. Hashem planted me with useless legs and a beautiful child. They both came from Him for the good. But I don’t understand.” “I don’t understand, either, Avigail,” Raphael said. “But Hashem wouldn’t give you a child if He thought you were incapable of caring for him.” He had said words like these shortly after Yehuda was born. After I had suddenly realized how difficult it would be to raise him. I stared as Yehuda banged on his tray with a plastic spoon. “I’m scared, Raphael.” Raphael leaned his elbows on the table. “I know.” We sat for a few moments in quiet, listening to Yehuda’s chattering. “I suppose the only thing left to do is daven,” I said. Raphael cocked his head. “You can talk to Mrs. Isenheart.” I nodded. Mrs. Isenheart was a divine gift that had dropped into my life after my accident. A paraplegic herself, Mrs. Isenheart had given me invaluable advice and support as I got used to my new way of living. “That’s a great idea. I’ll do that.” I took a deep breath, then straightened. “Would you like some chocolate cake? It’s still warm.” “I’d love some.” Yehuda gabbled his agreement.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


By Yerachmiel Tilles


continue singing. Several times, between tunes, the Rebbe spoke words of Torah. The evening passed delightfully, and the chassidim present had all but forgotten about the disappearing Chanukah candle. It was nearly midnight when the harsh sound of carriage wheels grating on the snow and ice exploded the tranquility. The door burst open and in came a chassid who hailed from a distant village. His appearance was shocking. His clothes were ripped and filthy, and his face was puffy and bleeding. And yet, in stark contrast to his physical state, his eyes were sparkling and his features shone with joy. He sat down at the table, and with all eyes upon him, began to speak excitedly. “This isn’t the first time I came to Mezhibuz by the forest route, and I know the way very well. But there was a terrible snowstorm this week, which greatly slowed my advance. I began to worry that I wouldn’t get here in time to be with the Rebbe for the first night of Chanukah. The thought disturbed me so much, I decided not to wait out the storm, but to plod ahead and travel day and night, in the hope that I

could reach my destination on time. “That was a foolish idea, I must admit, but I didn’t realize that until too late. Last night, I ran into a gang of bandits, who were quite pleased to encounter me. They figured if I was out in this weather, at night, alone, I must be a wealthy merchant whose business could not brook delay. They demanded that I surrender to them all of my money. “I tried to explain, I pleaded with them, but they absolutely refused to believe I had no money. They seized the reins of my horses and leapt on my wagon. They sat themselves on either side of me to keep me under close surveillance, and then drove me and my wagon off to meet their chief to decide my fate. “While they waited for their chief to arrive, they questioned and cross-examined me in great detail, searched me and the wagon, and beat me, trying to elicit the secret of where I had hidden my money. I had nothing to tell them except the truth, and that they weren’t prepared to accept. “After hours of this torture, they bound me and threw me, injured and exhausted, into a dark cellar. I was

bleeding from the wounds they had inflicted, and my whole body ached in pain. I lay there until the evening, when the gang leader came to speak with me. “I tried to the best of my ability to describe to him the great joy of being in the Rebbe’s presence and how it was so important to me to get to the Rebbe by the start of the holiday that it was worth it to endanger myself by traveling at night. “It seems that my words made an impression on him, or else he was persuaded by my adamancy even under torture. But whichever it was, thank Gd, he released me from the handcuffs, saying: “‘I sense that your faith in Gd is strong and your longing to be with your Rebbe is genuine and intense. Now we shall see if this is the truth. I am going to let you go, but you should know that the way is extremely dangerous. Even the most rugged people never venture into the heart of the forest alone, only in groups, and especially not in a storm and at night. You can leave and try your luck. And I am telling you, if you get through the forest and the other terrible conditions

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

t was the first night of Chanukah. Outside a snowstorm raged, but inside it was tranquil and warm. The Rebbe, Rabbi Baruch of Mezhibuz, grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, stood in front of the menorah, surrounded by a crowd of his chassidim. He recited the blessings with great devotion, lit the single candle, placed the shammash in its designated place, and began to sing HaNairot Halalu. His face radiated holiness and joy; the awed chassidim stared intently at him. The flame of the candle was burning strongly. Rebbe and chassidim sat nearby and sang Maoz Tsur and other Chanukah songs. All of a sudden, the candle began to flicker and leap wildly, even though there wasn’t the slightest breeze in the house. It was as if it were dancing. Or struggling. And then, it disappeared! It didn’t blow out; there was no smoke; it just was not there anymore. It was as if it flew off somewhere else. The Rebbe himself seemed lost in thought. His attendant went over to re-light the wick, but the Rebbe waved him off. He motioned to the chassidim to

DECEMBER 14, 2017

Vanishing Flame





DECEMBER 14, 2017


safely, unharmed by the ferocious wild beasts or anything else, then I will break up my gang and reform my ways. “‘If you actually reach the outskirts of the city, then throw your handkerchief into the ditch next to the road, behind the signpost there. One of my men will be waiting, and that is how I will know that you made it.’ “I then became terrified all over again. The hardships I had already endured were seared into my soul, and now even more frightening nightmares awaited me. But when I thought about how wonderful it is to be with the Rebbe at the menorah lighting, I shook off all my apprehensions and resolved not to delay another moment. My horse and carriage were returned to me and I set off on my way. “There was total darkness all around. I could hear the cries of the forest animals, and they sounded close. I feared that I was surrounded

by a pack of vicious wolves. “I crouched down over my horse’s neck and spurred him on. He refused to move in the pitch blackness. I lashed him. He didn’t budge.

“We followed that flame all the way here. I kept my end of the bargain and threw my handkerchief at the designated place. Who knows? Perhaps those cruel bandits will

And yet, in stark contrast to his physical state, his eyes were sparkling and his features shone with joy.

“I had no idea what to do. At that moment, a small light flickered in front of the carriage. The horse stepped eagerly towards it. The light advanced. The horse followed. All along the way, the wild animals fled from us, as if the tiny dancing flame was driving them away.

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change their ways, all in the merit of that little light.” It was only then that the chassidim noticed that the Rebbe’s Chanukah light had returned. There it was, burning in the elaborate menorah, its flame strong and pure as if it had just been lit.

Rabbi Baruch was born in 1753 in Mezhibuz, the town from which his illustrious grandfather, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, led the chassidic movement which he founded. Rabbi Baruch was the son of the Baal Shem Tov’s daughter, Adel, and her husband, Rabbi Yechiel Ashkenazi. He was one of the pre-eminent Rebbe’s in the generation of the disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch and had thousands of chassidim.

A master storyteller with hundreds of published stories to his credit, Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder of Ascent of Safed, and managing editor of the Ascent and Kabbalah Online websites. This article has been reprinted with permission from

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By Allan Rolnick, CPA


Good Guys Share $ 175 Million Refund

DECEMBER 14, 2017


know bureaucracy abhors a vacuum. In 2009, the IRS decided to do something. After a series of public forums and comments, they launched the Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) program. The new rules required preparers to: 1) sign up for a Preparer Tax Identification Number, 2) pass a 2.5 hour test, and 3) complete 15 hours of continuing education per year. Naturally, the

dead horses). Preparers felt like they were being forced to take a test to prove they could do something they had done, in some cases, for decades. So three of them sued to shut down the program. And they won – the court agreed that the 1884 law didn’t give the IRS authority to regulate an industry that didn’t even exist when it was passed. (Oops.) The IRS suspended the RTRP

Everyone was happy with the RTRP, except the people subject to the new rules (and maybe those long-dead horses). IRS charged a fee for the program, which started at $64.25 per year. And they based their authority to do it all on an obscure 1884 law regulating representatives of Civil War soldiers looking for compensation for dead horses. Everyone was happy with the RTRP, except the people subject to the new rules (and maybe those long-

program. But they kept charging the PTIN fees, even though the program the fees were supposed to finance had ended. So, one year later, a different group of preparers filed another suit to recover those fees. Once again, the court ruled in their favor. This June, the court decided that PTINs aren’t a “service or thing of value” justifying a fee. The

IRS can’t charge fees for PTINs, “because this would be equivalent to imposing a regulatory licensing scheme and the IRS does not have such regulatory authority.” (Don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress to give it to them.) And yes, the IRS has to give back all the PTIN fees they’ve collected. That was $175 million when the plaintiffs filed their complaint; but it could be as high as $300 million now. Chalk one up for the good guys, right? Well, sure. But here’s the real lesson: most tax preparers, credentialed or not, focus on putting the “right” numbers in the “right” boxes on the “right” forms. They do a great job of telling you how much you owe – but nothing about how to pay less. And that has everything to do with attitude, not credentials. So make sure you have a plan when you’re ready to save — and remember, we’re here for your family, friends, and colleagues, too! Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 yea rs 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

pril 15 hasn’t always been the national exercise in self-flagellation that it is today. Up until the 1940s, you could just waltz into your local IRS office and they would do your taxes for you. But those days have long since passed. You’re still welcome to do it yourself, if you need more stress in your life. But how will you know if you’re paying too much? Even software like TurboTax can’t guarantee you’ll get it right. If you don’t know how to use it, the program just helps you make the same expensive mistakes faster than when you made them with paper and pencils. If you’re like most Americans, you just throw up your hands and call a pro. That begs a new question: who to call? Certified Public Accountants and Enrolled Agents have traditionally dominated the field. But up until 2010, anyone with a pencil could call himself a tax preparer. (Most of them use computers now — but, surprisingly, not all. Hey, some people still carry flip phones, too.) That seems like an obvious vacuum in today’s regulatory environment, considering that in most places, you need a license just to catch a fish. And we all

Gluten Free Recipe Column by Mrs. Elaine Bodenheimer


DECEMBER 14, 2017


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

mini- sufganiot What You Will Need:


Vegetable oil ¼ cup granulated sugar ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 1 ¼ cups Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake Mix ¼ cup packed brown sugar 1/3 cup seedless preservesmixed until smooth ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 2 Tbl. butter- melted 1/3 cup non-dairy creamer 1 tsp. vinegar 1 egg- beaten

1. In deep fryer or 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees. In shallow bowl, mix white sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. 2. Mix remaining ingredients in electric mixer until smooth. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Carefully drop balls, one at a time, into hot oil. Fry about 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Immediately roll into cinnamon-sugar mixture. 3. Fill pastry bag with preserves, and pipe through plain hole tip into the cooled sufganiot. Enjoy! Makes about 17 doughnuts.

Recipies from:

Cooking King forthe

Chanukah is the time we want to be with family and friends, of course enjoying good food together. Filling your freezer with these two make ahead latke recipes will help take the pressure off dinner plans.They are not heavily fried, an added bonus. To make ahead, freeze latkes in one layer until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag for up to one month. To serve, pop frozen latkes into a preheated 400° oven in one layer for 10 minutes. They will also keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

Spanakopita Latkes with Tzatziki Sauce

dairy / makes: about 20 / active time: 30 minutes / total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black or white pepper 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled vegetable oil, for frying


1. Finely grate but do not puree, potatoes and place in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently squeeze the water from the potatoes, dripping the water into the same bowl and place the squeezed potato into another bowl. Pour off most of the potato water from the first bowl, reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons settled on the bottom. Add this to the potatoes in the second bowl. 2. Add the green onions, eggs, flour or instant potatoes, dill, lemon juice, spinach, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Mix well. Add more flour or instant potatoes as needed until a loose ball can be formed with the mixture. Fold in crumbled feta cheese. 3. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat. Pour in enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan by about ¼”. Test by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil. When it sizzles the oil is ready. Mound mixture in a heaping tablespoon or ¼ cup measure and carefully place into the hot oil. Flatten gently with a spatula or back of a spoon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes depending on size, until golden brown. Using a fork, turn latke over to brown the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. 4. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil as needed to prevent latkes from sticking and adjusting temperature to maintain and even heat. Serve warm with Tzatziki Sauce. Tzatziki Sauce: In a medium bowl, toss 1 English Cucumber, shredded, with 1 Tbls Kosher Sea Salt and let sit 20 minutes. Rinse and drain well. Spread cucumber over clean kitchen towel. Wring towel out over the sink to remove as much moisture as possible from the cucumbers. Return cucumbers to bowl and add 1 Cup Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt and 1 Tbls Fresh Dill, chopped. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving. (Keeps in refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.) pareve / makes:14-16 latkes / active time: 30 minutes / total time: 50 minutes


1 (32 ounce) bag frozen cauliflower 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 medium onion, minced 2 eggs, beaten 4 tablespoons flour or cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black or white pepper vegetable oil, for frying

Preperation: 1. In a large pot heat 4 cups water over high heat. When boiling, add the cauliflower and garlic clove, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until fork-tender, soft enough to be easily mashed. Drain well. 2. Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl and coarsely mash. Stir in the onion and eggs. Add the flour or cornstarch, baking powder, salt and pepper to create a thick cake-like batter. 3. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat. Pour in enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan by about ¼”. Test by dropping a small amount of the mixture into the oil. When it sizzles the oil is ready. Mound mixture in a heaping tablespoon or ¼ cup measure and carefully place into the hot oil. Flatten gently with a spatula or back of a spoon. Cook 3 to 5 minutes depending on size, until golden brown. Using a fork, turn latke over to brown the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. RubyLaskerDesigns

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

Cauliflower Latkes

DECEMBER 14, 2017

3 medium russet or baking potatoes, peeled 6 green onions, thinly sliced 2 eggs, beaten 4 tablespoons flour or instant potatoes ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried dill 1 tablespoon lemon juice


by Renee Rousso Chernin


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Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-14-17  
Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-14-17