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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

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CONTENTS

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

COMMUNITY Around the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Community Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

PEOPLE 613 Seconds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

FEATURE Did You Get Your Vaccine? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

LIFESTYLES My Israel Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 World Builders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Health & Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Political Crossfire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Jewish History. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 In The Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Life Coach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Dear readers, We are living in a time of seeming uncertainty: A virus which has shown no sign of slowing. A militant Islamic government has promised revenge for the killing of their top scientist. And, in general, there’s an underlying feeling we’re in unknown territory. We are coming out of Asarah B’Teves, the day the Babylonian army encircled the walls of Yerushalayim. Interestingly, it’s symbolic of future hatred shown the Jewish people; the encirclement of outsiders forces a reality of the Jewish people as one nation. Although created by a negative force, we need to use this opportunity to enhance our ahavas Yisrael towards our families, our neighbors, shul members, and non-shul members. Each of us is an irreplaceable part of the Jewish people. Indeed, we’re taught that if even one person was missing at the giving of the Torah, we wouldn’t have received it! Practically, we each need to support each other, creating strong communities. A kind word, help finding a job, supporting community institutions, being vigilant, or even carrying a weapon… We need less I and more we. Wouldn’t it be grand if we genuinely respected and loved each other? Replacing the natural instinct of finding fault in those different than us with appreciation for each community, and each member of each community? Our history shows us that when we are in something together, Hashem grants us success in a miraculous way, if needed. Think of what a parent would give to have their children get along! That’s only a hint of how Hashem feels about us. It’s been a good few decades our leaders have told us we can finally hear the footsteps of Mashiach. Let us use this newfound energy of collectivism to be ready when he arrives. May the next Jewish fast day already be “…joy, celebration, and holidays for the house of Judah, and they will love truth and peace.” (Zechariah 8:19) Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos, Shalom

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

NEWS Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

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


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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

Police Chief Joins Baltimore’s Menorah Car Parade By: BJL Staff BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

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his year, with so many Chanukah festivities needing to be canceled or altered due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Baltimore Community was looking forward to one highlight of Chanukah that was safe and Covidfriendly, the Menorah Car Parade. Yet as the date of the scheduled event drew near, it was apparent that it could not take place on the 7th night of Chanukah as planned, as a big

snowstorm would be arriving instead. Not wanting to give up, the parade was

postponed to the 8th night. Yet, once again challenges arrived. The route

6 Teves 5781 December 21, 2020

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

To Our Beloved Community, With the help of the Ribbono Shel Olam, the medical and scientific community has developed vaccines for COVID-19. While there are some who may be wary of taking vaccines developed with such speed and lack of long-term testing, the regulatory agencies and general medical community feel it is safe and should be taken. While no medical intervention can be considered risk-free, expert opinion is clear that the enormous benefits presented by these vaccines far outweigh their risks. We, therefore, urge the members of our community to take the vaccine as soon as it becomes available, unless otherwise advised by your personal physician. Even after vaccination, for the time being it is still imperative for everyone to continue to mask and social distance. This has been a long and arduous journey for our community and for the entire world. Let us continue to daven to Hashem for an end to this mageifah and for the refuah shlaimah of the cholim in our community. B’ezras Hashem we will begin to feel the refuah from this virus and use the lessons of these trying months to build a better future. Sincerely and with great respect,

Yaakov Hopfer on behalf of the Vaad HaRabbonim of Baltimore

would need to be modified. It would not be safe to do the parade after nightfall. Once more a change of plans occurred: Menorah parade is moving up! It would be starting an hour earlier than scheduled- in just 2 hours’ time! Although email and text notifications were sent out, would everyone get the notice in time? The organizers hoped that at least half of the original cars would be able to join on the new date and time. Despite all the changes, it was one of the biggest parades yet! Over 75 Menorah topped and Police vehicles paraded through Northwest Baltimore and Baltimore County led by Baltimore City and County Police Departments, spreading the light and joy of Chanukah. Baltimore County’s first Jewish and female Police Chief, Melissa Hyatt, joined in the Parade and 100’s of people came out of their houses to watch the parade pass by. One of the spectators noted: “Every year the Parade passes my house and I am so grateful we live in this large community. But this year it hit differently, and I find myself so moved by the lights and music you filled my home with as you passed.” The parade was organized by Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum, director of Jewish Uniformed Service Association of Maryland, and Chabad Centers of Baltimore. The parade was made possible through the coordinated efforts of Baltimore City and County Police Departments. A special thank you to Baltimore City Police Major Corbett, Sgt. Smith, and Sgt. Currie; and Baltimore County Police Major Landsman and Cpt. Rogers.


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Around the Community

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

Report Identifies Millions Of Dollars In Waste In Baltimore City, County Water System By: Staff Reporter BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

A

report has identified millions of dollars in waste stemming from the joint water system in Baltimore City and County. The report was completed by the city and county Offices of the Inspectors General. There were two significant find-

ings concerning the city’s water billing system. First, there are thousands of digital water meters in the city and the county that are not fully functional. Second, there are more than 8,000 open tickets pertaining to county water accounts that have not been addressed by the city to the satisfaction of the county.

This report also highlights the fact that the city and the county have awarded over $133 million in contracts since late 2011 for the purpose of enhancing the water system. Despite the contract awards, major deficiencies persist; and consequently, the city and the county are losing millions of dollars.

Record Numbers for RAJE Online Fellowship

D

esperate times call for creative solutions. Given the closure of college campuses and the inability to safely run large in-person events, all RAJE branches joined forces this past semester for their firstever nationwide Online Leadership Fellowship. The Fellowship engaged over 160 young Russian Jews from branches in Maryland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, and throughout the New York region. RAJE Maryland, directed by Rabbi Gavriel Horan, recruited close to two dozen students for the Fellowship from across the state. Online Fellows participated in over 2 hours of programming each week for ten weeks that included an introductory Torah lecture followed by breakout discussion groups on various topics from finding your purpose, work-life balance, relationships, and happiness. “The RAJE fellowship made me

realize how fortunate I am to be part of such an amazing culture, community, and religion,” Baltimore participant, Ellie Leybengrub, said. “I now feel more secure in my faith and my connection to the Jewish people.” Each week the Fellows also met a different Jewish professional including CEOs, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who spoke about Jewish values and advice for success in career and life. This semester the online

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group was fortunate to hear separately from both Mr. Howard Tzvi Friedman and his wife, Judge Karen Chaya Friedman. Mr. Friedman spoke about his experiences of being openly frum in Washington and how it enhanced his interactions with former President Obama and others. Judge Friedman spoke about how her Jewish values of tikkun olam shape the way she views her mission as a judge and public servant. “It was inspiring to see so many young Russian Jews getting together to learn more about their heritage,” Mr. Friedman said. “Especially during these challenging times, I was amazed to see how many people were engaged in online Jewish learning.” Fellows also participated in 3-5 hours of individual one-on-one learning with a RAJE rabbi or staff member. RAJE also has several additional online classes every day of the week. Over Chanukah, RAJE Maryland ran their third online Trivia event since Coronavirus. The theme was Chanukah and Russian New Year and was attended by over 40 students. Although in-person events are difficult, RAJE

Maryland managed to do an outdoor Melava Malka last month generously hosted by Howie and Shevy Friedman that included a firepit and incredible homecooked food. Despite the pandemic RAJE Maryland continues to garner incredible support from Baltimore’s Jewish community and the Russian Jewish community of Maryland who have both been instrumental in the steady growth of the organization. “There is never an easy time to be a Jew, let alone a Russian Jew, but RAJE makes it easy to take pride in yourself and your heritage,” Fellowship participants, David Pasmanik said. David works as a foreign policy analyst for The National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry in D.C. “RAJE understands that even though we’re continents apart -- we can build a home together, even if only for a few hours a week.” Throughout the long winter and beyond, RAJE is there to connect Russian Jews to each other, to Judaism, and to the Jewish community. To help support RAJE Maryland continue their important work, please visit: www.Rajemaryland.com


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

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


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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

Restaurant Association Of Maryland Sues To Halt Dining Restrictions In Baltimore City, DC Suburbs By: Staff Reporter BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

A

fter successfully blocking an order to shut down indoor dining in Anne Arundel County, Maryland restaurateurs are suing to overturn local restrictions in Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. After successfully blocking an order to shut down indoor dining in Anne Arundel County, Maryland restaurateurs are suing to overturn local restrictions in Baltimore City and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, contended at a Friday news conference that the industry had been singled out unfairly. Tens of thousands of employees in the industry remain laid off or furloughed and nearly half

of restaurant operators reported in a recent restaurant association survey that they would close permanently in the next six months without significant financial relief. “That would mean over 400,000 restaurants closing permanently and adding even more employees to the list of those not working,” Weston said. He said that restaurants are generally built to handle indoor dining, outdoor dining and takeout. As winter weather makes outdoor dining infeasible, Weston said, local governments are going beyond Gov. Larry Hogan’s orders to deprive restaurants of what is normally a busy December dining rush. While indoor and outdoor dining are considered high-risk activities for contracting the coronavirus, state contact tracing data place them far behind working outside the home and participating in large social gatherings. In news conferences, Hogan has ques-

tioned the orders to restrict dining beyond his statewide directive limiting them to half of capacity. “Restaurants have continued to operate safely and there is no evidence linking the spread of COVID to restaurants,” Weston said. “If indeed restaurants were a source of COVID, we would have seen significant increases while restaurants were open at 75% capacity but that did not happen.” Ashish Alfred, owner of Duck Duck Goose in Fells Point, said he understands the pressure on local leaders to protect the public health but that they need to show the data behind their decisions. “We own restaurants but we are mothers and fathers, we are husbands and wives, we pay college tuitions, we pay rents, we pay mortgages,” Alfred said. “We are scared. We are confused. We are 70,000 people that, without due cause, have been left jobless and incomeless a few days before Christ-

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Josh Zaslow process. They are trailblazing the concept of how schools ought to act and react to a crisis. Making tough decisions that affect thousands of families, I believe our schools have shown incredible flexibility in adapting to “the new normal”. Moreover, teachers pivoted on a dime to fully adjust their methods of teaching our children, who also showed incredible resiliency in acclimatizing to the change.

What impresses you most about our Jewish day schools during this unprecedented pandemic? As a parent, employee, and alumni of one of our illustrious boys schools that has been around for over 100 years, I have been most impressed with the leadership, decision making, and transparency they have demonstrated throughout the entire

What do you currently do? As a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Registered Psychology Associate, I provide a continuum of psychological consultation, assessment, and intervention services to address the learning, behavioral, and mental health needs of students in schools. I also work at Tower Psychological Services under the supervision of Dr. Isaac Freidman, where I conduct comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations for children who may be struggling academically, socially, emotionally, and/or behaviorally. We specialize in evaluating school-age children experiencing difficulty in a variety of areas such as reading, writing and math skills, attention, behavior, organization, and social/emotional functioning. I consult and collaborate with the student, parents, teachers, and schools in order to identify if a disability exists, what services they may

What do you recommend for parents and educators whose children/students may be struggling in school? For many of our children who struggle academically, socially, emotionally and/or behaviorally, school can be an intense and negative experience; but it doesn’t have to be. If parents and teachers are unclear as to what the issue might be, a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation can provide all stakeholders with an understanding and clarity of their child’s specific profile of strengths and weaknesses and then use that information along with tailored recommendations to utilize the appropriate tools to address the presenting issue. The learning and self-regulation challenges children experience are real. Many of our schools possess incredible resources and programs to assist our students with unique learning needs, and it is imperative that we intervene early, and expansively assess the areas of difficulty to fully understand that child’s learning profile to gain insight into what works for them. What kind of areas do you evaluate? There are numerous reasons that a

child might struggle in school, and a multitude of facets that can affect the learning profile and ability of a given student. Each case is unique, but in general, we evaluate the cognitive, academic, social/emotional, and behavioral abilities of a student by working concomitantly with the school and parents through clinical interviews, classroom observations, questionnaires, rating scales, and formal standardized testing. Each case is different as each child is different. Learning disabilities may manifest as an attention disorder; an apparent attention disorder may actually be caused by an anxiety based disorder. Executive functioning weaknesses may exacerbate learning and attention. We identify Learning Disabilities such as dyslexia (and the various subtypes), dyscalculia and dysgraphia, ADHD, Emotional Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, Autism etc. But more important than the specific diagnosis, is what to do with all of the information, and how we can help each child succeed. How can parents/schools contact you? I am always available to consult with parents and educators to determine if a psycho-educational evaluation may benefit their child. I can be reached at JoshuaRZaslow@gmail. com; or 443-961-6163.  

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

Tell us about yourself? I grew up in Bensalem, PA, but lived in Baltimore for most of my life. My wife-Batsheva and I have five energetic and awesome children full of personality, who constantly keep us on our toes. Throughout the years, I’ve been involved in a variety of youth oriented and educational programming, be it in camps, shuls, schools, kiruv outreach, sports training with an emphasis on social/ emotional skills, big brother mentorships, teaching, and of course-psychology.

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The Week In News

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

The Week In News

Russia Flag, Anthem Banned from Olympics

Russia has been banned from using its flag and anthem in the next two Olympics and any world championship for the next two years for its involvement in a massive doping scandal. The ruling was handed down by The Court of Arbitration for Sport, a Swiss international court founded by multiple sports leagues in 1984 to mediate athletic disputes between countries.  As punishment for what the World Anti-Doping Agency called “widespread abuse of performance enhancing drugs,” Russia will be banned from using its name, flag, and anthem and from hosting major sports competitions until 2022.  The ruling means that Russian athletes will not be banned from competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, and the World Cup in Doha in 2022. Rather than wearing their national attire, Russian athletes will be outfitted in uniforms labeled simply “Neutral Athlete” or Neutral Team.” In a small concession, the Court allowed Russian athletes to wear their national colors as long as it did not resemble their flag and to write “Russia” on the uniform in small letters. RUSADA, Russia’s anti-doping body, was also fined $1.27 million.  The Court’s decision is a small win for Moscow, as the international body halved the four-year ban recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency

(WADA). “It has considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport,” the panel stated. The decision was hailed by WADA President Witold Banka as a victory despite the Court having had rejected its recommended four-year ban. “The panel has clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalized doping scheme,” Bańka said.  The ruling was met by disbelief and condemnation throughout the world by athletes and anti-doping activists who asserted that the two-year ban was inordinately lenient. U.S. anti-doping agency head Travis Tygar blasted the decision as a “weak, watered-down outcome” for “robbing sport and clean athletes.” “To once again escape a meaningful consequence proportional to the crimes, much less a real ban, is a catastrophic blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport, and the rule of law,” said Tygar.  WADA had slapped Russia with a four-year ban in 2019 after uncovering a vast doping campaign by Russian Olympians during the 2014 Sochi Games. The scandal saw Russian authorities purposely doctor testing data and manipulate results to cover up their country’s systematic use of performance enhancing drugs.  The four-year ban was subsequently appealed by Moscow, leading to Friday’s court ruling.

Outrage Over EU Ritual Slaughter Ban Jewish groups are outraged after the European Union (EU) upheld a ban on ritual slaughter, paving the way for the prohibition to become binding law. In the ruling, the court refused to appeal a law passed in Belgium requiring animals to be stunned prior to slaughter. Stunning animals is against Jewish and Islamic law, which require livestock to be awake at the time of their death.  

In upholding the ruling, the court rejected arguments by religious groups that the stunning requirement infringed on their religious freedom. The decision effectively outlaws all forms of Jewish and Islamic ritual slaughter in the European Union and is the first time the EU’s highest court has supported such legislation.

and religion in Europe, a core value of the EU, it also signals to Jewish communities that the Jewish way of life is unwanted in Europe,” the ministry noted. While stunning animals at the time of slaughter had already been an EU-wide requirement, meat destined for Jewish and Islamic communities had previously been exempt from the rule. Attempts by animal rights activists to close the loophole had consistently been rebuffed by the courts until Thursday’s ruling. 

“The court concludes that the measures contained in the decree allow a fair balance to be struck between the importance attached to animal welfare and the freedom of Jewish and Muslim believers to manifest their religion,” the ruling said. A slew of Jewish leaders blasted the ruling after the decision was handed down last Thursday, calling the ban a form “of religious persecution” that would effectively make religious life impossible on the continent. “This decision goes even further than expected and flies in the face of recent statements from the European institutions that Jewish life is to be treasured and respected,” said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, who heads the Conference of European Rabbis. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, who chairs the European Jewish Association, called the court’s decision “a sad day for European Jewry” and vowed to appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights. “What a terrible message to send to European Jewry, that you and your practices are not welcome here. This is a basic denial of our rights as European citizens,” Rabbi Margolin said.   “The fight continues, and we will not admit defeat until we have exhausted all our legal remedies, which is not yet the case,” added Yohan Benizri, head of the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organisations. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the legal ruling in an unusually strong statement, charging that the verdict was “sending a harsh message to all European Jewry.” “Beyond the fact that this decision harms the freedom of worship

Life Sentence for Terrorist

Stephan Balliet was handed down a life sentence by a German court, putting the terrorist behind bars for a deadly attack that could have been the worst anti-Semitic atrocity since World War II on German soil. The judges at the court in Magdeburg found him “seriously culpable” – he will be effectively barred from early release after 15 years. Presiding Judge Ursula Mertens described it as a “cowardly attack” as she announced the verdict. Balliet attempted to enter a synagogue in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur last year. More than 50 people were inside the shul. Balliet was barred from entering by a bolted, locked door. After failing to storm the temple on October 9, 2019, the attacker, Balliet, 28, shot dead a female passerby and a man at a kebab shop. He was charged with two counts of murder and multiple counts of attempted murder in a case that deeply rattled the country and fueled fears about rising right-wing extremism and anti-Jewish violence, 75 years after the end of the Nazi era. During his five-month trial, Balliet denied the Holocaust in open court – a crime in Germany – and expressed no remorse to those targeted, many of whom are co-plaintiffs in the


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The Week In News case. “The attack on the synagogue in Halle was one of the most repulsive anti-Semitic acts since World War II,” prosecutor Kai Lohse told the court. During the trial, Balliet insisted that “attacking the synagogue was not a mistake; they are my enemies.” Dressed in military garb, he filmed the attack and broadcast it on the internet, prefacing it with a manifesto espousing his misogynist, neo-fascist ideology. The government’s point man against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, called the trial “a good opportunity to bring about debate in society about anti-Semitism.” Crimes targeting Jews and their belief have risen steadily in Germany in recent years, with 2,032 offenses recorded in 2019, up 13 percent on the previous year.

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Protecting the Sea In a first, the Ivory Coast has designated a protected marine area in an attempt to protect dozens of endangered species of sea life. The protected marine area will be located in Grand-Bereby and will cover more than 2,590 square kilometers. Located on Africa’s western coast, Grand Bereby serves as an important nesting site for turtles, including several species on the verge of extinction.  The Ministry of Environment said in a statement that the protected marine area will “undoubtedly boost local tourism, creating jobs for the benefit of the community.” The move is part of the Ivory Coast’s effort to conserve its abundance of tropical wildlife. The sunny African nation is home to over 20 species of rare animals, including hammerhead sharks and leatherback turtles. 

In September, the Ivory Coast an-

nounced that it would designate five marine protected areas and is working with environmentalists to draft new regulations to conserve animal habitats. The sites marked as protected zones are said to be the Cavally River and Azagny National Park. “Levels of marine protection in West Africa are generally low, so the Ivorian government’s creation of a marine protected area is a big statement that will hopefully act as a regional exemplar,” said Kristian Metcalfe, a marine biologist and researcher at University of Exeter.

Esther Horgan, Hy”d, Killed in Terror Attack

Esther Horgan, a Jewish mother of six, was brutally murdered in a terrorist attack on Sunday evening. Horgan, 52, had gone jogging on Sunday in a forest near her home in Tal Menashe in Samaria. She had been declared missing after failing to return from her evening run, causing police to dispatch the search party that found her body.  “Police and crime scene investigators were called to the scene and have begun collecting evidence,” police said in a statement.  Horgan was laid to rest later on Monday. A well-known artist and marriage counselor, Horgan was described as a pillar of her community and a devoted mother.  Binyamin Horgan, Esther’s husband, said that they met 31 years ago and were married within a few months. “Esther first came to Israel on a

trip with her parents at the age of ten,” Binyamin said. “She fell in love with the Land and said that she had to come and live here – and she did, moving here immediately after graduating from high school.” He added, “So many people have asked me to speak about her, but how can I do justice to her in just a few words? She was simply an amazing person, full of joy in life, someone who loved everyone and everything. She was beautiful both inside and out.” Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan shared, “She was a beloved woman with a good heart who so loved to help people. She engaged in sports activities only a minute from her home yet was murdered in such an unjust and cruel way.” Dagan asked, “What kind of barbaric people, like in the Middle Ages, have the cruelty to smash the head of a 52-year-old woman with a rock?” The IDF and Shin Bet subsequently launched a massive manhunt, raiding nearby Palestinian villages and the nearby city of Jenin. A court imposed a gag order, preventing the press from reporting any details of the ongoing investigation.  Defense Minister Benny Gantz promised that security forces would succeed in rounding up Horgan’s killer. “I share in the deep sorrow of the Horgan family following the heinous murder of Esther,” Gantz said. “Security forces are already working to get their hands on the heinous killer. We will never accept a reality in which human lives are cheapened.”

First-Ever IsraelMorocco Flight

History was made on Tuesday when the first flight from Israel to Morocco took off for a whirlwind trip by a joint Israeli-American delegation that will include the signing of sever-

al bilateral and trilateral agreements, including those on aviation, tourism, health, water, and agriculture. National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat is leading the trip on the Israeli side. Ben-Shabbat, the son of Morocco-born parents, said peace is “breaking out before our eyes.” He made his remarks on the tarmac, in front of the plane, which was painted with a hamsa symbol, a hand image popular as a good luck symbol in both countries. Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump, said he hoped the renewed ties between Israel and Morocco would create a relationship as warm as the one developing between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi, following a normalization agreement signed earlier this year. Since then, tens of thousands of Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates and multiple cooperation deals have been signed by the two nations. “My hope is that this flight today to Morocco will produce the same momentum,” Kushner said. Kushner, who largely led Trump’s Middle East efforts, said the U.S. president tried to create a “rational” policy based on common goals, apparently referring to business deals and shared concerns over the threat from Iran. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that while each normalization agreement between Israel and an Arab country – three of which have been signed in the past four months, with a fourth country, Sudan, having indicated plans to soon do the same – was significant on its own, together they represented a major shift in the region. “Each peace agreement stands on its own. Each is to be celebrated. Together they represent a sea change in the Middle East,” Ambassador Friedman said. The delegation is scheduled to spend less than a day in Morocco, holding high-level meetings with Moroccan officials, including King Muhammad VI, before returning to Israel. Israel and Morocco established low-level diplomatic ties in 1994, although their liaison offices closed after the outbreak of the second Intifada. Morocco became the third Arab state this year to normalize ties with Israel under U.S.-brokered deals, and in return, the U.S. president fulfilled a


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decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its contested sovereignty in Western Sahara. Speaking at a Jerusalem ceremony alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Kushner said normalization with Morocco “will bring about a whole new set of opportunities for northern Africa and the entire Middle East.� “Our collective efforts have led to the birth of a new Middle East, where firsts and breakthroughs are now happening almost every day,� Kushner said. Morocco is home to North Africa’s largest Jewish community, which has been there since ancient times and grew with the arrival of Jews expelled from Spain by Catholic kings from 1492. It reached about 250,000 in the late 1940s, 10 percent of the national population, but many Jews left after the creation of Israel in 1948. About 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco. Around 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin live in Israel. Although ties between the two countries were suspended in the year 2000 due to the Intifada, trade between Israel and Morocco was not. Between 2014 and 2017 the volume of trade exchanges stood at $149 million, according to statistics published by Moroccan newspapers.

Israeli and Emirati First-Ever Sports Game H.C. Bat Yam, Israel’s reigning champion ice hockey team, defeated the Dubai Camels 9-6 in what was the first-ever match between professional sports teams from the two countries. The high scoring match was held at Dubai’s ice rink, an NHL-standard rink situated in the center of the Dubai Mall. Prior to the game, players posed for pictures and stood while “Hatikvah� played over the loudspeakers.  Noting the game’s historical nature, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman recorded a personal video greeting congratulating the players on being part of history. “A match, the first professional match between a team from Israel and a team from the Emirates,� said

Bettman. “We’re proud of the fact that hockey can bring people together and we wish all of the participants good luck.� Additional greetings were sent by the commissioner of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Europe’s premier ice hockey league. 

While not a popular sport in the soccer-mad Middle East, hockey has seen steady growth in both Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israel’s national men’s ice hockey team is currently ranked 34th worldwide, ahead of Spain and South Korea, and took home the gold medal for the first time in 2019’s IIHF World Championship Division II Group B tournament. Israel’s ice hockey league currently has 3 senior divisions (A, B, C) with a total of 29 senior teams. Contributing to hockey’s growing popularity in Israel is the influx of Russian emigres, who brought their love for the sport with them to the Holy Land. Founded in 2009, the Emirates Hockey League (EHL) is part of the International Ice Hockey Federation and currently has six teams. The league is currently in negotiations to bring a KHL franchise to Dubai in 2021-22.

Bibi Gets Vaccinated

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was injected with Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on national television


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The Week In News over the weekend as Israel kicked off its massive immunization campaign. The event took place on Saturday evening at Jerusalem’s Shaare Tzedek Medical Center evening and was designed to boost public confidence in the new vaccine. Wearing a black turtleneck, Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstien were both injected by Dr. Tzvi Berkowitz, the premier’s personal physician. After being jabbed with the new vaccine, Netanyahu turned to the camera and implored Israelis to get vaccinated as soon as possible. “It’s a small shot for a person and a huge step toward the health of us all,” the prime minister joked, paraphrasing Neil Armstrong’s famous utterance upon becoming the first person to walk on the moon. “We are leaving the darkness of the coronavirus, at the start of the journey to a great light,” added Netanyahu, “If everyone cooperates, keeps the rules and goes to get vaccinated, we’ll get out of this and we could well be the first country in the world to emerge from this [pandemic]. “Let’s do it together.” Netanyahu and Edelstein were placed under supervision for a halfhour before being allowed to return home. The two had decided to be the first Israelis to receive the vaccine in order to encourage the public to receive the vaccine despite widespread concerns over possible side effects. The unprecedented quick development of Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines have led to an upsurge of conspiracy theories and concerns over the safety of the drug. In a poll published by Ynet last Friday, only 24% of Israelis said that they would get the vaccine immediately, while 63% of Israelis said they planned on being immunized within the next few years.  The Health Ministry had launched an effort to mitigate such fears by paying celebrities to share photos of themselves getting their shots on social media and by arranging for question-and-answer sessions with medical experts on national television. On Sunday, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and President Reuven Rivlin were inoculated in a live feed broadcast on Facebook.  Medical personnel and people aged 60 years and over will be the first to receive the vaccination. It is

estimated that, by the end of this December, about 4 million doses of the vaccine will be available in Israel. It is not yet known what vaccines will be available to the entire population.

IDF Soldier Flees from Terrorist Israelis reacted with outrage after a viral video showed an IDF soldier fleeing from a firebomb-wielding terrorist on Saturday evening. The video filmed a standoff between a Palestinian terrorist and a soldier from the elite Golani Reconnaissance Battalion guarding a hitchhiking post near the Samarian settlement of Kedumim. The terrorist can be seen parking his car and slowly approaching the guard booth while holding a flaming firebomb.  Despite being armed, the Israeli soldier refrains from shooting the terrorist, who continues approaching undisturbed. Finally, he lights the bomb and hurls it at the soldier, who flees instead of responding. The Palestinian then speeds off unharmed.  “A Molotov cocktail was thrown at an IDF soldier near a military post in the area of the Kedumim settlement. IDF troops have launched a search for the suspect. In the event, there were no injuries or damage caused,” confirmed the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.  According to reports, the terrorist was pursued in a frantic car chase by an off-duty policeman who witnessed the exchange. He managed to get away after a nearby IDF patrol refused to provide backup and cut off possible escape routes, citing orders from superiors.  While the terrorist was subsequently arrested on Sunday evening, the video of the exchange had since racked up hundreds of thousands of views. The footage sparked outrage throughout Israel, with right-wing politicians, journalists, and pundits decrying what they said was the IDF’s overly-strict rules of engagement that left troops unable to protect themselves.   “This story is just insane,” tweeted Religious Zionist lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich. “But it’s not the soldier’s fault. The judicial system in the State of Israel that behaves like in Sodom is to blame.” Jewish Home head Rabbi

Rafi Peretz lambasted the IDF, calling on the high brass to ensure that similar incidents ended with a “neutralized terrorist.” “Dead or alive,” said Peretz. “Such a video can never repeat itself.” Already characterized by what is arguably the most stringent rules of engagement of any Western military, the IDF automatically opens a criminal investigation into any soldier who uses deadly force. The frequent probes of soldiers who used their weapons to defend themselves has long been controversial among Israelis, who allege that the policies make troops fearful of protecting themselves.

COVID-19 Fatalities & Preexisting Conditions A new analysis has found that the vast majority of Israelis who died after being infected with COVID-19 were suffering from other existing diseases.

The data was published by the Haaretz daily and came following a Health Ministry analysis of the 3,004 victims. The overall death toll has since risen to 3,111 as of Monday amid rising infection levels and fears that Israel is entering a third wave. According to the figures, 92% of all fatalities – or 2,778 people –had been suffering from existing chronic conditions. Overall, 1,019 people (34%) suffered from high blood pressure, 750 people (25%) had diabetes, 633 (21%) had heart disease, and 246 (8%) battled chronic lung disorders. Another 99 victims (3%) had a compromised immune system, including 31 (1%) with liver problems.  Like in most countries, the main victims were primarily the elderly, with the average age of death 79 and the median 81. 1,022 deaths – 33% of the total – had been between the ages of 80-89, while 759 deaths were between 70 and 79.

Firings for Corona Betting

Tyson Foods fired seven managers at its Iowa pork plant after finding that they wagered on how many of their employees would become infected with COVID-19. “We value our people and expect everyone on the team, especially our leaders, to operate with integrity and care in everything we do,” Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said in a statement. “The behavior exhibited by these individuals does not represent the Tyson core values, which is why we took immediate and appropriate action to get to the truth.”= “Now that the investigation has concluded, we are taking action based on the findings.” The wave of firings comes after a probe led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder found that senior managers had placed cash bets on how many of their workers would be infected by the deadly virus. The claims originally surfaced as part of a wrongful death lawsuit against the meatpacking giant, which alleges that Tyson failed to take the necessary precautions to protect employees from contracting COVID-19. According to court filings, more than 1,000 of the Iowa plant’s 2,800 employees had contracted the disease after managers refused to implement basic safety measures. Despite being fully aware of the coronavirus’s lethality, management forced meatpackers to work in crowded conditions without gloves and face masks.  In addition, the site’s foreman “organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees


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The Week In News would test positive for COVID-19.” Despite being warned by local law enforcement that the plant was a death trap, Tyson executives refused to shutter the factory, telling workers that they had “a responsibility to keep working in order to ensure Americans don’t go hungry.” “On one occasion, (plant manager) Casey intercepted a sick supervisor en-route to get back to work, adding, ‘We all have symptoms. You have a job to do,’” the suit said.

U.S. Charges for Lockerbie Bomber

This week, the U.S. Justice Department announced new charges against a Libyan bombmaker in the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, an attack that killed 259 people in the air and 11 on the ground. The charges were announced on the 32nd anniversary of the bombing and in the final news conference of Attorney General William Barr’s tenure, underscoring his personal attachment to a case that unfolded during his first stint at the Justice Department. He had announced an earlier set of charges against two other Libyan intelligence officials in his capacity as acting attorney general nearly 30 years ago, vowing that the investigation would continue. The case against the alleged bombmaker, Abu Agela Masud Kheir AlMarimi, is for now more theoretical than practical since Masud is not in U.S. custody. Even so, it is one of the more consequential counterterrorism prosecutions brought by the Trump administration Justice Department. “At long last, this man responsible for killing Americans and many others will be subject to justice for his crimes,” Barr said. A breakthrough in the investigation came when U.S. officials in 2017 received a copy of an interview that

Masud, an explosives expert for Libya’s intelligence service, had given to Libyan law enforcement several years earlier after being taken into custody following the collapse of the regime of the country’s leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi. In that interview, U.S. officials said, Masud admitted building the bomb in the Pan Am attack and working with the two other defendants to carry it out. He also revealed that he had been summoned by a Libyan intelligence official to a meeting in Tripoli and asked whether the “suitcases” were finished. While Masud is now the third Libyan intelligence official charged in the U.S. in connection with the Lockerbie bombing, he would be the first to stand trial in an American courtroom. After Barr in 1991 announced charges against the two other men, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, the Libyan government balked at turning them over. In 1992, under pressure from the UN Security Council, Libya handed over the two men to a panel of Scottish judges sitting in a Netherlands court as part of a special arrangement. Al-Megrahi was convicted, while Fhimah was acquitted of all charges. Al-Megrahi was given a life sentence, but Scottish authorities released him on humanitarian grounds in 2009, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He later died in Tripoli. It has long been claimed that Iran used a Syria-based Palestinian proxy to build the bomb that downed the Boeing 747, as it traveled from London to New York. Documents obtained for the film, titled “Lockerbie: What Really Happened?” suggest that the bombers themselves belonged to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. A similar conclusion was relayed to The Times of Israel in December 2013, when a former senior member of the Israeli security establishment said he was certain that the bombing was carried out by Ahmad Jibril’s PFLP-GC. Jibril has always denied any part in the Lockerbie bombing. The Pan Am flight exploded over Lockerbie less than an hour after takeoff from London on December 21, 1988, en route to New York City and

then Detroit. Among the 190 Americans on board were 35 Syracuse University students flying home for the holidays after a semester abroad.

Russian Hack Penetrates U.S. Secret Network

U.S. officials fear that Russian hackers succeeded in penetrating a top-secret network used to control America’s nuclear arsenal. The hack in question began last March and is already the worst in U.S. history. The cyberattack is believed to be the work of Russian intelligence and is the result of a mammoth espionage operation that likely took years to prepare. The attackers gained access to the most sensitive and highly guarded U.S. computer networks by inserting malicious code into Solarwinds, a popular computer software program used by federal agencies. While national security officials still do not know the total fallout of the attack, at least six government agencies are said to be compromised, including the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and State. The news that the Department of Energy may have been breached came as a particular concern, as it oversees the U.S.’s vast nuclear arsenal.  According to reports, preliminary findings show that servers belonging to both the Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration were accessed, potentially giving Moscow the U.S.’s most closely guarded secrets. A probe by cyber security officials found traces of suspicious activity in communication systems belonging to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories in New Mexico and Washington, and the Energy Department’s Richland Field Office.  While acknowledging that some networks were compromised, Energy

Department Spokesperson Shaylyn Hynes maintained that those responsible failed to penetrate critical infrastructure. “At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only, and has not impacted the mission essential national security functions of the department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Hynes said in a statement. “When DOE identified vulnerable software, immediate action was taken to mitigate the risk, and all software identified as being vulnerable to this attack was disconnected from the DOE network.” Officials are still scrambling to understand the extent of the damage and how the perpetrators managed to pull off such a sophisticated attack. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is tasked with guarding America’s cybersecurity and communications infrastructure, admitted in a report that the damage is likely “catastrophic” and will be hard to walk back.  “This threat actor has demonstrated sophistication and complex tradecraft in these intrusions,” the agency said. “CISA expects that removing the threat actor from compromised environments will be highly complex and challenging.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fingered Russia as the perpetrator of the attack, telling conservative commentator Mark Levin that no other country possessed such advanced cyber capabilities. In doing so, Pompeo became the first U.S. official to openly accuse Russia of penetrating America’s most heavily guarded platforms.  President Trump, though, has said that China is the real culprit. “The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality,” Trump tweeted. “I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because [U.S. media] is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)” Russia has an extensive history of engineering devastating cyber-attacks on sovereign countries, famously shutting off Estonia’s entire electricity grid in 2007. In March 2014, Russian malware succeeded in penetrating the


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DECEMBER 24, 2020

Ukrainian military’s entire communications network during Moscow’s invasion of Crimea.

Cheating at West Point More than 70 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are being accused of cheating on a math exam, the worst academic scandal since the 1970s at the Army’s premier training ground for officers. Fifty-eight cadets admitted cheating on the exam, which was administered remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them have been enrolled in a rehabilitation program and will be on probation for the remainder of their time at the academy. Others resigned, and some face hearings that could result in their expulsion. The scandal strikes at the heart of the academy’s reputation for rectitude, espoused by its own moral code, which is literally etched in stone:  “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal,

or tolerate those who do.” Army Col. Mark Weathers, West Point’s chief of staff, said in an interview Monday that he was “disappointed” in the cadets for cheating, but he did not consider the incident a serious breach of the code. It would not have occurred if the cadets had taken the exam on campus, he noted. Instructors initially determined that 72 plebes, or first-year cadets, and one yearling, or second-year cadet, had cheated on a calculus final exam in May. Those cadets all made the same error on a portion of the exam. Recently concluded investigations and preliminary hearings for the cadets resulted in two cases being dismissed for lack of evidence and four dropped because the cadets resigned. Of the remaining 67 cases, 55 cadets were found in violation of the honor code and enrolled in a program for rehabilitation Dec. 9. Three more cadets admitted cheating but were not eligible to enroll in what is called the Willful Admission Program.  One of the biggest cheating scandals among the nation’s taxpayer-funded military colleges occurred

in 1976 when 153 cadets at West Point resigned or were expelled for cheating on an electrical engineering exam.

Python on the Menu? There are a lot of interesting foods out there, but this one is making us ssssqueamish. Burmese python may be the newest dish on people’s tables if scientists can confirm that they are safe to eat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is collaborating with the Florida Department of Health to investigate the mercury levels in pythons to determine if they can be safely consumed.

Pythons are nonvenomous constrictors primarily found in south Florida where they have posed a serious risk to native wildlife in the region. The snake is not native to the state and began appearing in the Everglades in the 1980s when it was likely introduced as an escaped or released pet. Donna Kalil has been eating pythons for a while. She is a female python hunter and has so far captured and euthanized 473 pythons. When she catches smaller ones, about 7 feet long, she uses a mercury testing kit she bought online to confirm they’re safe to eat. Then she turns their white meat into food. First, she uses a pressure cooker to make the meat soft and ten-

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der. Later, she adds pasta sauce, chili or stir fry. She also likes turning the snakes into jerky. “It’s really good when you cook it right,” Kalil told CNN. “This would be a wonderful way to get more people involved with helping us remove pythons from the environment. It would be a good thing for people to hunt and eat them but we need to make sure they’re safe first.” Kalil spent her childhood catching and releasing snakes for fun. Despite her love for pythons, which she calls “magnificent creatures,” she emphasizes the risk they pose to Florida’s wildlife and the severe damage they’ve already caused to its ecosystem. Large pythons can even eat big prey, including humans. Pythons have been preying on smaller mammals, including rabbits, raccoons, and possums. And now pythons may be the next thing on the menu. Honestly, they’re not really my tasssste.

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Ring of Prosperity

David Flamm

O 410-616-9186 C 718-404-5598 david@flammins.com

www.flammins.com

It’s called the Ring of Prosperity and you better be pretty prosperous to own it. Harshit Bansal has earned a spot in the Guinness World Record due to his unique ring. The finger ornament is called “The Marigold: The Ring of Prosperity,” and is made up of a whopping 12,638 tiny diamonds. The previous Guinness record for most diamonds set in one ring was 7,801 gems. The Marigold weighs 5.8 ounces and features a massive floral design. Each petal of the ring’s eight-layer flower is completely unique. The massive, circular flower nearly covers a woman’s entire hand. Bansal came up with the idea for the ring two years ago during his study of jewelry design in Surat, the hub of India’s diamond industry. The dia-

mond ring was made in collaboration with his employer, Renani Jewels. “It’s wearable and comfortable. My target was always more than 10,000 diamonds. I trashed many designs and concepts over the years to finally zero in on this,” Bansal, 25, said. While there are many prospective buyers, Bansal insisted it’s not for sale – at least at the moment. “We have no plans of selling it right now,” the jeweler said of the bling. “It’s a matter of pride for us. It’s priceless.”

Social Distancing Sweater Need a little space at your next gathering? SimpliSafe is here to help. The home security company debuted its SimpliSafe Social Distancing Sweater last Monday. The sweater is adorned with snowflakes that are outfitted with a flashing light alarm system. If a person gets closer than six-feet from the wearer, lights start to flash and a screeching noise begins to sound. Sounds like a great way to keep noshing on doughnuts undisturbed? Unfortunately, the sweater is just a prototype and is not being sold to the public.

Instead, the company is giving away the same sweater, sans lights and sirens, in a limited quantity in exchange for donations to a nonprofit. If you really need your space, though, have no fear. SimpliSafe has published a detailed list of instructions for people on how to install an alarm system into a sweater. “As the experts on protection, albeit home protection, we wanted to give people a playful way to protect


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The Week In News themselves during this year’s holiday celebrations,” SimpliSafe’s Creative Director Wade Devers said in a statement. “It’s really meant to bring some lightheartedness to a time that’s otherwise proven very stressful.” And alarms and lights on a sweater are not stressful at all.

Town for Sale – Cheap

Instead of buying a house in the Five Towns, you can purchase a whole town in the Wild West. For a mere $1.6 million, a replica old-timey town in New Mexico can be yours. The right buyer will enjoy the satisfaction of owning 18 buildings across 58 acres when he or she calls the Town of Gabriella their own.

Though the town hopes to preserve the history of the American West, it rose up relatively recently, after the plot near the Datil Mountains was purchased by owner Larry Iams 20 years ago. Like true cowboys, Larry and his wife Janet proudly brought their vision for the rustic, replica settlement to life by hand, as inspired by Western towns of yore from the 1880s. Claiming to be “the largest and most authentic Western town” in the area, even the interiors of Gabriella’s buildings were thoughtfully designed to be authentic from the inside out. Included in the purchase is the town’s saloon, hotel, log cabin, dance hall, billiard hall, old-timey barber shop, and stagecoach. The space is being used for a western movie set, private parties and, naturally, “1800s gunslinger reenactment.” Sounds like good competition for Central Avenue.

Treasure Found The letter “Z” made two women

Some thingS need to be tailor made.

pretty happy this recently. Two women found a silver ornament in the shape of the letter “Z” under a bench at Eldorado Park in Las Vegas. This was no ordinary ornament. It had been hidden there for almost 10 years and netted the women $10,000. The ornaments were part of a nationwide treasure hunt, in which people are to locate four hidden items. Clues on the location of the items are outlined in The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt ebook released by David Steele in November, who placed the ornament under the bench nearly a decade ago while he was visiting Las Vegas. Interested treasure hunters need to “decode a message in any of the four chapters of the book and the message leads you to an ordinary item hidden (not buried) in public, somewhere in the 48 continental United States,” according to the ebook’s Amazon listing. “Hidden within each chapter are messages which guide the readers to 4 exact locations and describe items to be found at each location. There are no illustrations, only text. If you can read English, you can decode the messages,” the listing noted. A month after the book was released, a clue was shared on December 13 on the Twitter account of the ebook, which noted: “This is the first bonus clue for The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt. CHAPTER FOUR. Singing loudly for all to hear, if it’s a One Hit Wonder, then it should be clear, start your quest for treasure there.” The clue prompted Beth Hovanec, an artist based in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania, to use the letters from the “One Hit Wonders” listed in chapter four of the book to spell out

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the message: “North Vegas, Eldorado Bench, Silver Z.” Hovanec recruited a friend, Nancy Zitko, who lives just a few miles away from Eldorado Park where the treasure was to be found. Zitko set out for the park at 7 a.m. local time on a Sunday morning where she found the ornament at the bottom of the bench. Hovanec was given $9,000 for solving the riddle, while Zitko won $1,000 for physically finding the ornament, as per the rules of the treasure hunt, which state “an ‘accidental’ find earns only $1,000...you must solve the code for the full $10,000 prize,” according to the ebook’s Amazon listing.

Looking for some cash? There are three other hidden items to be found. “They are within 500 feet of a free, safe parking space. No hiking, boating, swimming, or any dangerous activity is required. Simply travel to the location, park, and go to the spot where the item is hidden. Get the item, and you win $10,000. “Winners must be 18 or older, but readers as young as 10 or 11 might be able to discover the methods needed to crack the codes.” In other words, please buy this book – and then maybe you can get some money out of it, too.

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Torah Thought

Journey to Gan Eden By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

Concerned that Yaakov might be dangerously startled by the news of Yosef being alive the brothers approach their young niece Serach, the daughter of Asher, to break the news to their elderly father with subtlety lest he suffer a heart attack from the shock of the discovery. According to one version she soothingly transmitted the news through the lyrics of a song she composed while playing the harp while others allege she whispered it to him while Yaakov was praying. Either way

her grandfather blessed her that in the merit she conveyed to him that Yosef was alive she would merit eternal life and be numbered among those that entered Gan Eden alive. ‫(תרגו"י בראשית‬ )‫מו יז יעויין בתו"ש ויגש אות פח כל המקורות‬ It seems a bit disproportionate that Serach would merit eternal life for doing the obvious. Could it be that in return for her skill in delivering the information so adeptly she would deserve such a magnificent reward? Almost seven hundred years later

This unidentified woman presents herself to Yoav exclaiming, “We are of them that are, ‫ — ְשלֻמֵ י אֶ מּונֵי‬peaceable and faithful in Israel, why do you desire to destroy an, a city and a mother in Israel?” )‫(ש"ב כ יט‬ The Midrash reveals that this courageous woman was none other than Serach. She is making reference in this verse to herself as the one who completed so many years earlier the vital number of seventy souls who descended down to Egypt with Yaakov. The word ‫ שלמי‬being used here in the context of completion, ‫ שָ לֵם‬and ‫ אמוני‬alluding to counting, as in ‫מֹונֶה‬.

Additionally, the reference of ‘mother’ in the verse is not emphasizing the exalted character of the city but rather denoting her own unique status as a ‘mother in Israel’, after all she was the six hundred and eighty-four year old surviving granddaughter of the patriarch Yaakov.)‫(ב"ר צד ט‬ Apparently, this remarkable woman possessed great peace-making skills as well, which she utilized so effectively in this incident. But what is she intimating in her introducing herself as the one who ‘completed’ the number of seventy souls, as if she was the finishing touch on this special group of people, and why the emphasis of her ‘motherly’ role? There are two other episodes where Serach played a critical road in the history of our nation. The first was when Moshe and Aharon performed the various miracles before the Elders to impress upon them his being sent by G-d to redeem the nation and they were skeptical. The Elders go to the elderly Serach

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and report to her what has transpired. She quickly discounted these marvels saying they are of no value. They then tell her of the phrase Moshe quoted in the name of G-d, Who had said to report to the people how ‫פקוד פקדתי (שמות‬ )‫ג טז‬, I have surely remembered you. As soon as she hears this she immediately exclaims that indeed he is the authentic redeemer. This ‘password of redemption’ was handed down by Yaakov to his sons, in identifying the true leader many years with his knowledge of this expression. )‫ ותוס' שם פרדר"א מח‬.‫(ש"ר ה יג סוטה יג‬ Why did they turn to Serach, when the sons of Menashe, Machir and Yair, were also still alive? Was there more to possessing the password than just the familiarity with it? The second episode takes place im-

mediately prior to the time they are to leave Egypt. The Jewish nation is busy for three days confiscating the booty from the Egyptians. During that time Moshe seeks to discover the location of the coffin of Yosef, as the brothers had much earlier sworn they would take it along during the eventual exodus, and bring Yosef back to be buried in his ancestral land. Once again it was Serach who provides Moshe with the precise location of Yosef’s coffin, revealing how it is submerged in the Nile river, allowing Moshe to retrieve it. )‫(מכילתא בשלח פתיחתא‬ Evidently this was a state secret that Serach was aware of and withheld from others until this propitious moment. Why was she specifically entrusted with this, and why did she hold it back?

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34 The Tunisian Scholar and Kabbalist Rav Yaakov Hadad writes in his work Beit Yaakov, that the name ‫ שרח‬alludes to the root of her soul, ‫ רבקה וחוה‬,‫שרה‬, the matriarchs, Sarah, Rivkah and the ‘mother of all life’, Chavah. ‫(בית יעקב‬ )‫סוף פ' פנחס‬ The first sin initiated by Chavah was a consequence of three temptations. And the woman perceived that the tree was good for eating and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a means to wisdom.)‫(בראשית ג ו‬

could be trusted as well, to preserve the knowledge of Yosef’s whereabouts until such time it would be appropriate to leave. After all, the descendants of Efrayim understandably rationalized their premature attempted escape from the clutches of slavery, that lead to a terrible defeat and loss of life. Finally, it was the quality of quiet and thoughtful perseverance, that Serach so masterfully displayed, as she quelled the passions of the moment when Yoav, in his over eagerness sought to quash any rebellion, and was ready to decimate the entire city of Aveil.

We are drawn to sin either because it ‘tastes good’, the urge to sate our carnal urge, or to fill an emotional need that blurs our vision, or because we are convinced intellectually it is in our best interests and a ‘logical’ choice.

The number of seventy souls that completed the ‘family’ of Yaakov represents the shleimus, the perfect model by which subsequent generations would derive their strength of character as we bring the world to its perfection in rectifying the sin of Adam and Chavah.

We are taught that in the tent of Sarah a light illuminated it constantly, there was a blessing in the dough and a cloud hovered over it protectively at all times. Upon Sarah’s demise they all parted only to return with the entry of Rivkah.

Indeed, it was this calm amidst the storms of intellectual self-righteousness, overwhelming passions and blinding emotional turmoil — that often deter us from achieving our ultimate goals, that preserved us as a nation.

The light represents clear and precise thinking, the blessed dough physical satisfaction, and the embracing cloud, emotional health, and warmth.

Serach rightfully attained the appellation of ‘mother in Israel’, reminiscent of the original ‘mother of all life’, Chavah.

Sarah and Rivkah remained steadfast in their ability never to be confused or deterred in their thinking, always maintaining clear and precise goals; never to be blinded by raw passion; and never to allow any situation to overwhelm them emotionally. They were the ultimate tikkun, the rectification of the succumbing to confusion, temptation, and stress that lead man on a new course of challenge toward tikkun.

Is it any wonder why this extraordinary woman was rewarded with eternal life, entering the Garden of Eden alive as it was originally intended?

When the brothers returned with the exciting news of Yosef’s existence, it was Search, in the image of Sarah and Rivkah, who could be trusted not to allow the emotion of the moment to erupt so dangerously in the presence of Yaakov. It was Serach again who could be counted to defy the desperation of slavery and wait patiently for the ripe moment of redemption despite the obvious pain and suffering. Serach

There is a kabbalistic custom to recite on Motzei Shabbos the verse: ‫ושם‬ ‫בת אשר — שרח‬, The name of Asher’s daughter — Serach.)‫(במדבר כו מו‬ Perhaps after experiencing the calming effects of Shabbos, which is a taste of Gan Eden itself, we prepare ourselves for the onslaught of the week ahead, and all its challenges, by remembering this remarkable, Search, aspiring to emulate her special qualities. May we maintain the calm and thoughtful demeanor of Serach in all our encounters so we may assure our success on the journey to Gan Eden!


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E EDUL ESCH EEN R Shvat 7 21 19E B Shvat 6 20 S H5 AV TShvat

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DECEMBER 24, 2020

Parsha Ponderings Parshas Vayigash

Putting “Ability” into Responsibility By Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky

I

of Yerushalayim is eating breakfast and learning Torah in peace!’”

n Parshas Vayigash, Yosef reveals himself to his brothers. After an emotional reunion, he tells them something fascinating, yet perplexing, “And now, do not be distressed, nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that G-d sent me ahead of you,” Yosef said. What a remarkable statement. One would think that Yosef would use this opportunity to demand an apology from his brothers for the terrible actions they took against him. And yet, just the opposite happened. Yosef sensed that his brothers were embarrassed, ashamed, and full of remorse for having sold him. He then took the initiative and appeased them. Why did he do that?   

My grandfather, Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l, told the following story: The daughter of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfel,d zt”l, rav of Yerushalayim a century ago, walked into the courtyard in front of their home and saw her father leaning over into a well. She watched as her father drew a small amount of water, enough for a child to hold, and handed it to a boy. He leaned back into the well to repeat the process. The child ran off to his house, poured the small amount of water into a large barrel, and ran back to the well to retrieve the next

  

small pitcher from the great sage. This unusual scene repeated itself a few times before she finally built up the courage to ask her father what

to draw water from this well,” he began. “He was leaning in to reach the pail, and he almost fell in! His father is laying ill, and his mother just

No one grows from blaming others.

he was doing. “What will people say about you?” she asked him. “You are the rav of Yerushalayim! Why are you taking time and using so much effort to draw water for this child?” The rav was not impressed. “I noticed that this child was trying

gave birth. He needs this water for his parents. “I am not worried about what people on the street will say, but I am worried that, in Heaven, they will say, ‘A child’s life is in danger, and only a few feet away, the rav

Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l, would often repeat the explanation offered by Rav Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l. True, Yosef could have pointed a finger at his brother for their mistake. But Yosef knew better. He knew that no one grows from blaming others. He took responsibility upon himself. Yosef felt that maybe he was to blame for inciting his brothers with bringing their evil reports to his father. Maybe he was to blame for his ending up in Egypt, and for that, he comforted his brothers. It was this same sense of responsibility which enabled him to feed an entire nation, and ultimately, the entre civilized world. When one thinks larger than himself, he is able to diffuse situations and shoulder great responsibilities.

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetzky is the Director of Advancement at Yeshiva of South Shore – Yeshiva Toras Chaim Beis Binyamin. He is currently compiling the Torah thoughts from his grandfather, Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l, into print, in Hebrew and English. If you have any stories or divrei Torah to share from his grandfather, or to subscribe to receive a weekly dvar Torah from Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky’s teachings, you can email him at skamenetzky@yoss.org.


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The Pros and Cons of Buying “On Paper” By Gedaliah Borvick

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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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hen choosing between buying an existing apartment and buying in a project under construction –known as buying “on paper” – most purchasers would initially prefer an already-built home. First of all, there is less guesswork, as you can see the actual apartment for yourself. In addition, when buying an existing unit, there is no waiting period: you receive the keys to the property within a few months of contract signing, as opposed to waiting up to three years when buying on paper. Upon further reflection, however, many clients often elect to buy on paper for the following reasons: (1) You can customize and design the unit to fit your particular needs and tastes; (2) You have more options – such as choosing what floor to live on and what direction you want your apartment to face; (3) You can spread your payments over a few years, which works particularly well for people planning aliyah; (4) Demand exceeds supply, therefore there are not enough existing homes for sale to satisfy the voracious market appetite; (5) In a new project, you can sometimes receive a significant price discount to market value. Let me mention an important law which protects people buying on paper: your investment is protected by a bank guarantee. It is an insurance policy guaranteeing the completion of your apartment should the developer go bankrupt. There are a number of positives to buying an existing unit, compared to buying on paper. For example, older buildings tend to have larger rooms. The flip side, however, is that old-

er apartments usually have fewer rooms. In addition, older buildings in large population centers are likely to be well located, as they were built when the cities were smaller

Some of the negatives associated with buying an older second-hand apartment are: (1) Apartments constructed before 1992 do not have a “mamad,” or a safe room made of

It is an insurance policy guaranteeing the completion of your apartment should the developer go bankrupt.

and less spread out. In comparison, new construction projects tend to be located farther away from the center of town, as few vacant plots of land in the middle of existing neighborhoods are available for new development.

reinforced concrete; (2) Many older buildings lack amenities such as elevators, parking, and storage rooms; (3) Construction technology has soared over the past decade and therefore new buildings are general-

1

ly built to higher standards; (4) New buildings have various health-related systems that weren’t incorporated into older buildings, including pollution control systems, fire escapes, and carbon dioxide ventilation for parking garages; (5) Lastly, older apartments are vulnerable to the defects of neighboring apartments. For example, even if one’s apartment has been completely gut renovated, a leak stemming from an upper floor unit will obviously cause damage to your apartment. During these unprecedented COVID-19 times, the majority of our foreign clients have shied away from buying existing homes – and yet many of them have been comfortable purchasing on paper. In contrast to buying an existing apartment, they don’t feel obligated to be in Israel to inspect the property under construction as there is no finished product to see. Nevertheless, buying on paper is not for everyone. Know yourself: if you will be agitated for three years, worrying incessantly about your apartment under construction, please resist the urge to buy. If, however, you will be able to sleep at night then buying on paper – in the right project with a strong developer – can be an excellent home-purchasing opportunity.

Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home (www.myisraelhome.com), a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at gborvick@ gmail.com.


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World

DECEMBER 24, 2020

Living With This

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By Raphael Poch

Vicki with her family

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Builders

icki Tiferet is a secular Jewish woman who lives in the town of Moshav Yuval with her husband and four children. Yuval sits directly on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, making Vicki one of the country’s northernmost responders outside of the Golan Heights. She became a volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah three years ago after being diagnosed with a medical condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints and spine that results in severe pain. “Helping others does me good,” Vicki explained. Vicki immigrated from Russia with the large wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union in 1991 when she was just nine years old. Seven years ago, Vicki began suffering pain in her spine which baffled doctors for more than three years until she was finally diagnosed with (AS). In an effort to help others where she could not help herself, Vicki became a massage therapist and now spends her days alleviating the back pain and spinal issues of others. But that wasn’t quite enough for her. Three years ago, Vicki saw an advertisement for an EMT training course and jumped at the possibility of becoming a volunteer first responder with United Hatzalah. She since has become one of the most active volun-

teers in the Hulla Valley region. In addition to her EMS work, Vicki joined the organization’s Ten Kavod (Giving Honor) project which sees United Hatzalah volunteers visit an elderly patient once a week in order to assess and maintain their health as well as spend some time with them

Every day that passes is another day closer to the time that I will have to use a wheelchair to get around,” Vicki explained. “Whenever I wake up, I need to perform a series of exercises before I can move my limbs without serious pain. It makes getting up in the middle of the night to rush out

“Every day that passes is another day closer to the time that I will have to use a wheelchair to get around.”

to alleviate the sense of loneliness that many elderly people feel. She also became the regional coordinator of the Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit (PCRU) for the Hulla Valley and Golan Heights, and she is enrolled in an upcoming ambulance driver’s training course. Due to her ceaseless desire to help others and her constant activity in the region, she was quickly appointed to become the Deputy Chapter Head of the Hulla Valley chapter and is one of only three women in the entire country to hold such a position. “Due to AS, I live with pain 24/7.

to medical emergencies extremely difficult. But I do it, and I do it with love, because the thing that keeps me healthy is the adrenaline rush that I get every time that I respond to an emergency.” (Ironically, just as Vicki said that during the phone call interview, she received an emergency alert on a nearby street and had to hang up in order to respond to the emergency.) Vicki continued to explain why she is so tenacious when it comes to responding to medical emergencies. “It does me good to help others,” she said. “I do what I can with the time

that I can still do it. I am considered by the state to be disabled, but helping others does good for my body and soul, so this is what I do. I believe that what happens with most of our illnesses is that they are somewhat diminished if we are happy and spiritually healthy. “This is my life,” she added. “This is what I live with, and this is what I choose to do with what I have been given. I choose to help others. I encourage my fellow volunteers to go out to any and every emergency that they can because you never know who you can help. I live and breathe this mission of helping others with United Hatzalah. Whenever other people or volunteers see me rushing out to an emergency or hear me on the radio report that I am en route, then they get the drive to respond as well. They think to themselves: if Vicki can do this then so can I.” Vicki added that due to the topographical challenges of her region, it is important that everyone who can respond to a medical emergency does so. “There are large distances between towns and villages here, and to get to a hospital takes a long time. So I never say to myself, someone else will go and help. I am that ‘someone’ who needs to go and help. If I don’t show up, I don’t how long it will be before the next person can arrive.”


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Health & F tness

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

Breakfast: Make the Right Choice Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN

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e all know the importance of eating breakfast. Eating a solid, good breakfast could make or break your day. What should a “healthy” breakfast include? To the average American, breakfast implies cereal and milk. However, is cereal and milk truly the well-balanced breakfast we should be eating? Breakfast cereals were originally created as a health food to help digestion. Even though breakfast cereal is a convenient food for many busy people, not all cereals make the ideal breakfast. At the start, the industry’s nutritionists were strictly anti-sugar. However, once the manufacturer opted for profit over health in the late 1940’s, the realities of competition were soon won out. By the 1960’s, children’s breakfasts had been transformed into lower-fat versions of dessert. Cereals are made by processing grains into fine flour. The flour is then cooked and mixed with ingredients like sugar, water, and chocolate. The cereal is then dried and made into shapes, such as puffs, balls, stars, and squares. The real problem with breakfast cereal is that is most cereals are loaded with sugar. “When you exclude obviously sugar-heavy foods like candy, cookies, ice cream, soft and fruit drinks, breakfast cereals are the single greatest source of added sugars in the diets of children under the age of eight,” noted nutritionist Dawn Undurraga, who coauthored the new report, “Children’s Cereals: Sugar by the Pound.” “Cereals that pack in as much sugar as junk food should not be considered part of a healthy breakfast or diet. Kids already eat two to three times the amount of sugar experts recommend.” According to Jennifer L. Harris,

lead researcher at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, children get a teaspoon of sugar with every 3 teaspoons of the typical cereal marketed to them. Many adult cereals contain just as much sugar per cup, giving you up to 100 extra calories in your breakfast. Added sugar may very well be the single worst ingredient in the modern

1960’s is consistent with the fact the sugar’s distinctive chemistry plays a major role in a cluster of abnormalities known as metabolic syndrome. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 75 million Americans now suffer from metabolic syndrome. Without sugar in our diets, diabetes might be a rare disease – as it appears to once have been.

Pay attention to serving size

diet. Many argue that sugar in moderation is harmless, however, that is generally not the case. Sugar is often the underlying cause of many diseases, particularly a condition known as insulin resistance. Sugar also plays a pivotal role in causing dental cavities, obesity, and diabetes, thus increasing the risk of developing other major chronic illnesses, such as heart disease. Some believe that sugar itself is unrelated to these diseases and that overeating in general is the culprit. However, research since the

Aside from the sugar issue, breakfast cereals often have misleading health claims and are heavily marketed as being healthy. Misleading health claims include “low fat” and “whole grain.” These products are not healthy just because they have small amounts of whole grains in them. These cereals are often highly processed foods that are loaded with added sugars. The small amounts of whole grains do not counteract the harmful effects of the other ingredients. Even more so, many cereals are

loaded with sodium. The high sugar content often masks the high sodium taste, however, the adverse effects of sodium still remain. What is considered a “healthy” breakfast cereal? When it comes to choosing cereals, don’t make any assumptions. Read the nutrition facts label carefully. While many assume cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios and Raisin Bran are “healthy,” they actually contain the same amount of sugar as Fruity Pebbles! Look for cereals that have less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Choose cereals that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber is important for a number of reasons. More importantly, pay attention to serving size. Cereals can be high in calories, and if eaten in large amounts can add up to a high calorie meal. Furthermore, use skim or low fat milk instead of whole milk to cut back on the calories. If you’re unable to differentiate between “healthy” and “misleading” cereals, stick to the safer option and skip the cereal completely. Good breakfast ideas are eggs, multigrain toast with avocado or peanut butter, fruit smoothies, yogurt with fruit, yogurt with nuts, fruit and cottage cheese, oatmeal with fruit, high fiber pancakes with berries…the list can go on and on. Use your imagination to create a nutritious breakfast that works for you. Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN, is a Master’s level Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She graduated CUNY Brooklyn College receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. She is currently a dietitian at Boro Park Center and a private nutrition consultant. She can be reached at CindyWeinberger1@gmail.com. Follow us on Instagram @EatBetterandFeelBetter.


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Did You Get Your Vaccine? TJH Speaks with Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev about the novel coronavirus, vaccinations, and strides in the scientific community BY SUSAN SCHWAMM

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s the world embarks on vaccinations against COVID-19, TJH reached out to Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev of John Hopkins University to learn more about the novel corona-

virus pandemic and the vaccinations available to fight against the virus. Dr. Bar-Zeev is a pediatric infectious diseases physician and a statistical epidemiologist who is an expert in vaccine evaluation. He trained in general medicine and then pediatrics, further specializing in infectious diseases. He is an accredited statistician and an infectious disease epidemiologist. Dr. Bar-Zeev has worked in South East Asia, the Pacific, in Africa and in the UK and now the United States. He is Deputy Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University where he is Associate

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

Professor of International Health and Vaccine Sciences. Dr. Bar-Zeev, let’s talk about what’s been going on over the past nine months. There’s a lot to cover. It feels like nine years, not nine months.

Dr. Bar Zeev

Coronaviruses have been in human populations for a long time. There are “endemic” coronaviruses that are around every year and cause seasonal colds in children. But since 2003, we have seen three major outbreaks of novel coronaviruses that have spread rapidly in major epidemics. One was the SARS coronavirus in 2003. The second was the MERS coronavirus, the Middle East Respiratory Virus, which spread in 2012. Both of those were able to be contained through public health measures, and they were not quite as infectious as the current one. This was really important because the

Lenox LenoxHill HillHospital HospitalChair Chairof ofEmergency EmergencyMedicine MedicineYves YvesDuroseau Duroseaureceivin receivin

MERS coronavirus had a high fatality. Further spread would have been really awful. Then, In late 2019, a highly infectious coronavirus emerged and very rapidly spread globally. In our modern world, large urbanized populations and rapid air travel help respiratory viruses to spread. If you think that this was a bat virus initially, and bats live in large dense communities, and individuals fly from one community together, you can see why, when humans start to behave like bats, then the virus sees, “Oh, there’s a niche for me to spread.” Like all things in nature, the biology evolved. It was

probably a number of things that led to the virus emerging with a sudden, very rapid capacity to spread. Our human population was entirely susceptible to it. There was no prior immunity to it so, it spread rapidly, to all countries. As we all know by now, the virus causes more severe disease predominantly among older age groups or persons with other existing conditions. Although we hear in the media about frightening effects in children, this in actual fact is very rare indeed. The virus is essentially a multisystem disease, but predominantly it’s a respiratory

illness, and it can present with severe respiratory disease for the elderly. We also know how challenging it has been to contain this coronavirus. With influenza, let’s say, which is a totally unrelated virus, people are generally already feeling pretty unwell when the virus peaks in the body, particularly for the first time, and they’re out of commission for a bit. So they’re not walking around, doing everything, and spreading it to others. But with coronavirus, the virus is spread from persons who have minimal or no symptoms, and peak viral shedding occurs before symptoms develop and soon


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Let’s talk about masks for a minute. Some people say that they don’t see a need for masks if they had the virus and

have antibodies. When I say there’s a reasonable debate around lockdowns, that’s really about the degree of impact that social distancing and lockdowns and the closure of economic function has. The question around masks is not quite as debatable as that. I think it’s clear that masks are important. There was some confusion in the way the information about masks was communicated early on in the pandemic. The CDC initially came out that there’s not much value in cloth masks, and only proper masks, the so-called N95, were needed, and there was a fear of overuse of those masks, and

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thriving. It’s been a difficult balance and a debatable balance. In the U.S., this debate has often been quite partisan but should be based on good science and robust and open ethical debate. Now t hat we have achieved safe and efficacious vaccines, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. At this stage, vaccines won’t replace the need for mask and social distancing, but we hope they will help the world turn a corner for the better.

What about those who have antibodies? We’ve learned a lot about this virus, but there is still a lot to learn. Humility is important in science as well. At the moment, we don’t yet have a so-called “correlate of protection,” which means that we don’t know what level of antibodies are protective. We don’t yet even know fully under what circumstances people do or don’t develop antibodies. And we also don’t know how long the antibodies last in a protective manner. We also don’t know whether antibodies are the full story. It’s likely that there are other aspects of the immune system that also provide some protection. Another thing we don’t yet fully know is what antibodies protect you from. Let’s say antibodies protect you pretty effectively from getting sick. They might protect you somewhat less from getting infected

DECEMBER 24, 2020

after the onset of symptoms, which means that people are spreading it unbeknownst to them. This means that it’s very hard to contain the virus just on the basis of staying home if you’re feeling sick. That’s why it was so hard to contain it, and that’s where the whole question of limiting human association and distancing and masking and lockdowns came into play. Of course, largescale social and economic lockdowns come with major social and economic cost to many people with huge implications for health, well-being, mental health, physical health, nutrition, dental health – in every regard of human

Israel, for a while, managed. Australia managed. New Zealand managed. South Korea managed. Taiwan managed. In the United States, it’s been very difficult, although, some places got on top of it, like New York got on top of it after the first wave and had maintained, for a while, reasonably low transmission. But fundamentally, the majority of the world hasn’t yet been infected. There is still a huge susceptible pool of people who remain vulnerable. Our ongoing adherence as much as we can to wearing masks and social distancing will protect the vulnerable people in our community. We’re still seeing deaths in the Jewish community. Not like we saw in the first wave, but we’re still seeing unnecessary deaths of people in the community in the second wave also in New Jersey and New York. It’s a waste of life, and it’s preventable by our actions.

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ng the COVID-19 vaccine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center this week

then there was the fear that there wouldn’t be enough for healthcare workers. Some of that messaging, in retrospect, could have been handled more wisely. As a result, it triggered a whole wave of backlash really in terms of, “Well, masks aren’t even effective,” and then subsequently even other things, saying masks are harmful and so on. There’s no truth to the idea that masks are harmful. In general, when masks are used properly, they not only reduce onward transmission from somebody who happens to be shedding the virus, but they also, admittedly to an incomplete degree, protect the individual wearing them. That effect is important, because it’s multiplicative. So, in other words, let’s just for the sake of argument say that a mask halves the rate of onward transmission – it reduces the onward transmission by 50% from somebody who has the virus. And let’s just for the sake of making the numbers easy say that it also reduces the rate of infection in somebody susceptible by 50%. Then the combined effect of everybody wearing masks, both the people who are shedding and the people susceptible, is 50% plus 50% of a 50%, so masks become very effective when everybody uses them. Even if imperfect on an individual level, the combined benefit to the population is greater than the benefit of any individual interaction. And so, you end up with a so-called efficacy that is good, that’s solid and strong and substantial in reducing public transmission of the pandemic. Put that together with the distancing and so on, then you can really manage to contain the virus, although, admittedly, it’s come at a big cost. Some places have managed to contain the virus.


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DECEMBER 24, 2020

48 and shedding the virus for a few days. Infection and disease are not the same thing. People who have had COVID-19 may well be protected themselves from disease for some months, yet we don’t yet fully know how well protected they are from infection or transmission. As time passes, that level of protection might decline. Say some, or even many, people in the community who had it had it in the first wave in March or April or whenever it was – now we’re a fair distance from then. People who had antibodies previously are now finding that their antibody levels are lower or non-detectable. Again, we don’t know what that means for them. Perhaps they’re still protected through other mechanisms in the immune system, T cells and so on. But perhaps they’re not, and perhaps the same question applies to them. Are they susceptible to repeat infection or not? So until we know that information, we should be thoughtful about relying on past infection as a sign of protection because we don’t really know what it means. A lot of these questions are being answered. There’s more information every day, literally hundreds of papers of week being published. We’ve learnt so much in the last months. But still, despite how much we learn, there’s always infinitely more that we don’t yet know. It’s important to remain humble about that and important for the scientific community to remain humble and not to think that it’s the holder of all knowledge. I want to say one other thing about criticism of science in general in the Jewish world. Beyond 2,540 years ago or so, the world used to be “frum.” I don’t mean just Jews. As secularism and with it scientific development spread through the world, science took over as societal

holder of knowledge in some respects. I think that there’s room, rightfully so, to criticize that. Science isn’t about what is known with certainty. Science is about what we can tell tentatively. It’s not about knowing the truth. It’s about testing what we think, what we assume. Its about knowing how uncertain to be. I’m not talking about issues of emunah. I’m talking about our simple understanding of the world and how it works. Science is just methodological humility about what we know or even can know. With science, particularly new science on coronavirus, we’re learning as we go. And we make mistakes. That’s what scientific progress is about. With this pandemic, we are seeing the development of science, warts and all, in real time. It’s good for society to see that science

sively funded research into this virus in a way that really has led to where we are now, --which is that in less than a year we have a plethora of vaccines with huge global health implications and new technologies in vaccines. And that’s all happened just now, rapidly but rigorously, fast but carefully, methodically. The vaccine candidates were ready within weeks of discovery of this pathogen, and that says a lot for science as a successful public health tool, and for the previous work in the field that was done in the last couple of decades. It took these months to evaluate them, and that’s good. It’ll be important that that work continues, particularly around vaccine safety, which is obviously everybody’s major worry at the moment. But the fact that we are where we are is a big

A nurse holds up her vaccination record card after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine this week

was not widely licensed and used: the mRNA vaccines. Some examples of those vaccines are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The vaccines use a chemical process to produce a molecule called mRNA. mRNA is a messen-

“But still, despite how much we learn, there’s always infinitely more that we don’t yet know.” doesn’t know everything. And it’s especially good for the frum community to see that science doesn’t claim to know everything, that science is humble in that regard. We only think, for now, that we know what we claim, but we could be wrong, inherently so. There’s a lot that we don’t know. And that’s good. How do you think Dr. Fauci handled the outbreak so far? I don’t want to make comments personally about anybody in this whole thing. This is about public health and society, not this person or that. However, I do think the overall handling from the scientific community point of view has been very good. I think they’ve made decisions, and they’ve explored avenues. And they’ve mas-

testament to the scientific community, and particularly to the American scientific community, given the massive developments that have happened here. Let’s talk about what’s on everybody’s mind right now: the vaccines. First of all, there are a lot of vaccines out there right now. There are ones that the United States has invested in and developed, and then there are others around the world that are also excellent, some of which the United States have also supported. The basic classes of the vaccines, the two so-called frontrunners at the moment, are the novel platforms, the ones with technology which have not been widely used before. It’s been in development for a long time, but it

ger molecule that all living cells use to convert genetic code into proteins, which are the functional elements of cells. The vaccine delivers a code to the human cell. The human cell then reads off that code and produces a molecule. That molecule looks exactly the same – because it’s coded exactly the same – as a spike protein on the coronavirus, which is the bit that attaches to the human cell when it infects a human cell. RNA degrades very quickly, so the RNA from the vaccine is gone pretty much straight away. It also never enters the nucleus of the cell, so any ideas that it messes with the genetic code of humans is nonsense. The process is chemical rather than biological. No virus is given to the recipient, and

the body’s own natural processes produce the protein. This process normally happens trillions of times a day in animals. The body’s own constructed mimic of the spike protein is presented to the immune system which learns to recognize it, and is thus prepared to fight the virus. This way, when the cell sees the real deal, the real protein, it already knows how to fight it. That’s a very clever mechanism. Because no infectious particle is used, the vaccine is also inherently safe for persons with weakened immunity. The fact that RNA is an inherently unstable molecule and degrades very quickly is good, but it also is a major challenge in terms of delivery and efficacy. That’s why it needs that ultra-cold, sub-freezing transport to make sure it doesn’t degrade. It’s difficult because not every facility has options for ultra-refrigeration. But the advantage of the platform is that potentially you could make it against anything. Say, lo aleinu, a future pandemic with higher fatality. A vaccine could be tailor-made and scaled up quickly. There is also ongoing research examining these vaccines against cancer cells. The other big class of vaccines are the adenovirus-vec-


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at the other side. AstraZeneca is the only company that declared they will sell at cost, that is they will not make a profit from this vaccine. There is much to say about vaccine financing, economics and politics, but that is for another discussion.

A truck being loaded up with the vaccine at the Pfizer Global Supply facility in Portage, Michigan, last Sunday

tored vaccines. In brief, a common-cold virus is modified so it cannot replicate or produce onward infection. But it also carries the genetic code for the spike protein. It delivers the genetic code to the body, and then, much like the mRNA vaccines, the body produces the spike protein and presents it to the immune system. Because both these classes of vaccines use the body’s natural mechanisms to present the novel protein to the immune system, the immune response is broad-based, invoking different arms of the immune system. Examples of the adenovirus vaccines are the one produced by Oxford AstraZeneca and the Russian Gamaleya Institute and Johnson & Johnson. They don’t require the same degree of ultra-freezing. Additionally, these vaccines are very scalable and can produce billions of doses. There are other classes of vaccines also, like protein subunit vaccines. These are still undergoing human trials. We also have older-style killed vaccines, which are very similar to, say, a flu vaccine, where they take the coronavirus and they kill it so it can’t cause an infection. Together with an immune stim-

ulant, this results in immune response also. The advantage of these vaccines is that we have used these technologies on a widespread basis before. Those are being produced in China and in India, and they also require normal

Will there be a mix of vaccines available in the U.S.? Yes. There will be a mix. But I don’t think that people will get much of an individual choice, in most part, of which vaccine to get because it’ll depend on what’s available locally. Initially, only limited numbers of people will be able to get the vaccine in the first instance. In a few years, perhaps, people will be able to choose which vaccine they’ll be able to get but we’re not there yet, and we’re not

limited number of people I can recruit because I’ve got a limited budget and limited staff. But if I had staff of 100, I could do 10 times as many people simultaneously. And then I can have a much bigger study, and it would finish quicker because I’d be following up with 100 people, not following up 10 people at a time. By making the studies very large, we can make them shorter. That’s the first reason. The second reason is that, in so-called Phase 3 trials, we examine protection against disease. When a disease is relatively rare, it takes a long time until you find cases. And so it’s much harder to do a vaccine trial in a short time. But in the middle of a pandemic when everybody’s getting disease, it’s all over the place and you’re seeing high infection rates, then the

“The vaccine candidates were ready within weeks of discovery of this pathogen.” cold chain. They’re probably not in the first instance going to be widely available in the U.S., but they’ll be a very important slice of the global vaccine landscape. Normally, we produce maybe 300 million doses a year of a vaccine. Now, we need billions and billions of doses. We’ve never seen anything of this scale. Companies have had to invest in advance, before they knew their products even work, in producing massive amounts of these vaccines. That takes a lot of risk and a lot of cost because you could end up with a wasted investment. And that’s why this required such massive advance investment in the process, in building the physical factories and so on. You had to have commitment that there will be purchase power

going to be there for a while. We’re lucky that we have access to any vaccine. How long generally does it take to develop a vaccine? Usually, it takes 10 to 15 years or more, depending on the vaccine. And here, we’ve done it in less than that – in months. That raises eyebrows, obviously, but it’s also a phenomenal achievement. The reason that it’s been possible to do that isn’t because they’ve been cutting corners. One reason that it’s possible to do that is because there’s been very, very heavy investment in these vaccines. Let’s say I’m running a vaccine trial with my staff of 10. I have 10 people to recruit people, to vaccinate them, to follow them up, to make sure things are safe, and to do all that stuff. There’s a

disease events accumulate rapidly in the trial population. It doesn’t take years and years until you get a case of meningococcal disease, let’s say. With COVID-19, within a few months, you see a big difference between vaccines and placebo in rates of disease. Truthfully, the fact that the infection is prevalent is actually in our favor. It means that we can determine vaccine efficacy quicker. In places like New Zealand, where there are now no cases, or in China, where they stopped seeing cases, they couldn’t do vaccine trials. They had to do trials in Brazil or in other places where there was still a lot of transmission. The third reason why it took such a short time to produce a vaccine is that normally a company will run

its own trial and then amass all the data and then come to the regulator for approval. The regulator can then say, “No, we don’t like what you did there. Go back to the drawing board. Start again.” That doesn’t happen now, because now, everybody’s in it together. The regulators were part of the planning for the design of the trial and defining the outcomes. The trial methodology is already known. You save time with the red tape. We also have the same safety monitoring board across all the trials in the United States, except for Pfizer’s. And so, as soon as there are results, they’re already reviewed, and safety signals across trials are viewed in combination, which is important. Now, a biological license from the FDA – which can take months or a year – can happen in weeks because the regulators have been part of the process all along. The FDA has very high standards of review. Are there any risks associated with the vaccines? They had a lot of people in these trials, so they were able to amass quite a lot of safety information quickly. But there are some things that we still don’t know. We don’t know long-term outcomes, because we haven’t followed them for the longterm yet. So yes, people are right to say we don’t yet know the long-term impact, or how long the effect of the vaccine will last. There is reason to think it will be sufficient, but it’s important to follow up trial participants over time. Additionally, we don’t know about very rare adverse events. Let’s say that every trial covered 30,000 to 40,000 people. And let’s say there were six trials, which means that was 240,000 people in the trials. If half of them got the placebo, only 120,000 of them were vac-


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The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

Vaccines aren’t safe just because we say they are. It’s not a hashtag. It’s not propaganda. It’s a big effort to demonstrate vaccine safety. It’s our obligation as a scientific community to demonstrate that to the public. And it’s right that the public demand that. The past few months have been very hard for all of us. In the scientific community, they have seen huge strides in combating the disease. What are your thoughts on that? This is a challenge which has been very sudden, very dramatic. It’s been unsettling in many ways to suddenly be faced with this, but in a way, I’m very thankful that it’s a condition that, as infective as it is, I’m thankful that we don’t have a disease that’s causing children to die very often. I’m thankful that we’re not seeing the mortality in Africa and in other settings that I was really fearful of seeing. There are blessings among all of this also. It has also reminded all of us how vulnerable we are and how vulnerable our social structures are. This has given us an opportunity to build the infrastructure for defense against pandemics that will occur in the future. This is not the final pandemic that we will see. The last major pandemic was 100 years ago. That’s

true. But we’ve seen very major outbreaks that almost became pandemics in the last 20 years several times, coronavirus, ebolavirus, Zikavirus, West Nile virus, novel influenza. It’s inevitable that there will be more, and some will be truly pandemic. The fact that we’ve got this trial run, if you like, for the future when we will have a really bad one is really important. It will advance the science and will advance community engagement and community awareness. One of the important things that this has highlighted for me is that science is a tool and how we use it depends on how we are as a society. If we distribute vaccines equitably and fairly, then we will achieve better, equitable outcomes. It’s important that science sees itself in a humble way, that it does its job well, and also that it realizes the importance of community engagement and really thinks about how to function ethically and justly within a society. Only then can the benefits of science really be distributed to everybody that needs it. Science by itself isn’t going to save us. Science gives us a tool, and then we, as human beings, have to work out how to do what’s right. With the help of the Al-mighty, our values as human beings, as always, will be what gets us through.

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Are there any people who should not be getting these vaccines? Well, at the moment, we’ve not had any sort of specific contraindications other than the generic, usual ones. There are some population that have not yet been studied in trials, like women who are pregnant, or children younger than 16. Given that there are hundreds of thousands of people in vaccine trials, there will have been among them women who were pregnant at the time or who fell pregnant

soon after, and there will certainly be data that’s emerging about them as a subgroup. But they weren’t actively engaged in recruitment. So it will be important to see that and follow up on that to see if there is anything emerging from that subgroup. Trials in these groups will occur, now that we have safety data from the first Phase 3 trials. The vast majority of people who we are targeting initially with this vaccine are older adults. Older people in general don’t have as good health. They end up in hospitals with problems. All it takes is for somebody to put up a Facebook post, “My grandfather got the vaccine yesterday, and today he’s been admitted to the hospital with a stroke,” and somebody from the Philippines who says, “Oh, me too,” and somebody from Italy who says, “Oh, me too.” And then that creates a panic. This will happen even though those people might have ended up in the hospital with a stroke anyway because that’s what happens to those in that age group. But suddenly, it looks like the stroke was associated with the vaccine.. Those things can be very damaging to vaccine uptake, and it’s very important that the scientific community has the mechanisms to explore those things. They shouldn’t dismiss them and say, “Oh, that’s nonsense. Be quiet,” but they should actually say, “Okay. Well, here’s our data on event rates in the elderly,” whether it’s with heart attacks or strokes or developing diabetes or falls and fractures or whatever it is. We need to know that those things are being monitored and tracked and that we’re monitoring them among people who receive the vaccine as well so that we can reassure the public about those things. Or indeed that we discover real harms too, even ones that are rare or that were not anticipated.

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Should governments mandate the vaccine in order to open up their cities, countries, or villages? Should schools mandate it for their student body? That’s not a scientific question. That’s an ethical and a political, sociological question. I’m no more qualified to answer that than anybody else, but I would say that these types of questions are very important to debate and that there will be a range of reasonable opinions on such questions. The fact that they are all reasonable and that they vary is an important thing. There isn’t a black and white or right and wrong to this. There are a lot of things to consider. One of the things,

for example, when you’re talking about mandating it for school entry, is that COVID-19 differs from the measles. Measles is generally a childhood disease. It can affect older people, too, of course, and it’s very, very infectious – much more than COVID. COVID-19, in general, is not dangerous for children. So the question of mandating schools here would not be really for the benefit of the children directly. It would be in order to reduce community transmission. Children are not necessarily known to be the key drivers of COVID-19 transmission in the community. Maybe in the school setting, they might be. But most schools that have complied with pods and bubbles have managed to contain any outbreaks. But should nursing home staff be required to receive vaccine? That’s a much more reasonable suggestion. In general, when you force people to do things, you get a backlash. Even if it’s right to do it, it’s not necessarily wise to do force people to do things. We need to be inclusive and engage with communities and encourage good behavior and encourage vaccine uptake much more than we’re doing now, much more collaboratively than we’re doing now. Mandating by law won’t necessarily achieve the outcomes we want.

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cinated in the trials. So if there’s a rare event that happens 1 in 100,000, we might have seen it, but we might not have seen it because we only had 120,000 people in the trial. And so, safety surveillance of the vaccine will still continue and will need to continue until we get to the point where millions of doses have been given. In that regard, those results won’t come from the Phase 3 trials. They’ll come from Phase 4 studies. This is the case for all vaccines and drugs, not just in the context of pandemics. Like with many things, especially when it comes to vaccines, it’s a question of the balance of risks. Vaccines have inherent but very rare risk of serious adverse events. There are common mild side effects – and I’m not minimizing them – but these side effects are transient. The risk of the vaccine is only half the calculation. There is real risk from not vaccinating also: the risk of COVID-19 disease. In the case of older adults or those with other medical conditions, that risk can be very serious indeed.


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Centerfold

A December to Remember Down 1. Propels the U.S. into WWII 2. These brothers finally get it right in 1903 and take off. 4. Every worker hopes for one this month. 6. Ben’s book about weather predictions, humor, proverbs, etc. 8. Impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice 9. Completely deaf by the time he wrote his Ninth Symphony 10. Alcoholic beverages outlawed in the U.S. 13. First 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution 15. African-American woman who sparked the Civil Rights movement in Alabama when she refused to go to the back of the bus Across 3. Many were eaten this month 5. Currency of the European Union 7. Tea overboard in the Boston Harbor 11. Winter begins 12. Third span across the East River in NY City opens to traffic in 1910

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14. First state to adopt the Constitution 16. Despite his foreign last name, ______________ van Buren is the first U.S president born in the U.S. 17. This once powerful republic broke apart on December 8, 1991

Across: 3. Jelly Donuts 5. Euro 7. Boston Tea Party 11. Winter Solstice 12. Manhattan Bridge 14. Delaware 16. Martin 17. USSR

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Down: 1. Pearl Harbor 2. Wright 4. Bonus 6. Poor Richards Almanac 8. Bill Clinton 9. Beethoven 10. Prohibition 13. Bill of Rights 15. Rosa Parks

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K 30 MINUTES-- Time it takes the

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human body to give off enough heat to bring a half gallon of water to a boil

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50,000- Number of scents that the brain can remember

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3 TO 7 YEARS- The lifespan of an average human hair 1 IN 12 - Percentage of men who are color blind

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40 POUNDS- Approximate amount of dust that a person inhales in their lifetime

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70% - Amount of body that is water 100 MPH- Speed that air rushes through your nose when you sneeze 150 - Days an eyelash lives before it falls out

Riddle Me This? A magician was boasting one day at how long he could hold his breath underwater. His record was underwater for 10 minutes using no equipment and with no air pockets!” The magician told the kid that if he could do that, he’d give him $10,000. The kid did it and won the money. Can you figure out how? Answer below

500,000 Amount of sweat glands in your feet (that 500,000explains some things, does it not?) 1,000,000- Number of filters on each kidney 1,000,000 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000Approximate number of atoms which make up the human body 2.6 MILLION LIGHT YEARS FROM EARTH - Distance between Earth and the Andromeda galaxy, which is the farthest object visible with the naked eye

You Gotta be Kidding Me! Patient: Doctor, I think I need glasses. Teller: You certainly do! This is a bank. Patient: My hair keeps falling out. What can you give me to keep it in? Doctor: A shoebox. Patient: Doctor, you must help me. I’m under such a lot of stress. I keep losing my temper with people. Doctor: Tell me about your problem. Patient: I just did, didn’t I, you fool?!

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six minutes. A kid said, “That’s nothing. I can stay

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100,000 MILES MILES- Approximate length if all of the blood vessels of an average-sized adult were laid out in a line

DECEMBER 24, 2020

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20,000 Approximate number of times a day 20,000that the average person blinks

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Serious Body of Work

Answer to riddle: The kid filled a glass of water and held it over his head for 10 minutes.


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Notable Quotes

DECEMBER 24, 2020

“Say What?!”

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Yes, yes, yes. G-d love you, man. You’re a one horse pony. I’ll tell you. - Joe Biden asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy if he still thinks the allegations against Hunter Biden are Russian disinformation

Imagine your nightmare health emergency. You’re on vacation with your family when suddenly you double over with shooting chest pains and lose consciousness.

I’m counting down the hours ‘til he’s gone. I plan to pull him out of there by his hair, his little hands, and his feet.

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- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, during a meeting with her leadership team, as reported by Politico

Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building. - Jeremiah Jeffries, chairman of San Francisco’s school renaming committee and a first grade teacher, explaining to the San Francisco Chronicle why Pres. Lincoln’s name should be removed from a public school

Uprooting the problematic names and symbols that currently clutter buildings, streets, throughout the city is a worthy endeavor. Only good can come from the public being reflective and intentional about the power of our words, names and rhetoric within our public institutions. - Ibid.

I didn’t feel a thing, well done. Make no mistake about it. It’s a medical miracle. - Vice President Pence, after getting the COVID vaccination

You wake up strapped in the back of an ambulance racing to the emergency room. Paramedics hover over you trying to keep you calm. “You’ve had a massive coronary,” they shout over the sirens, “but we’re going to take good care of you. You’re about to see one of the best doctors in the country. In fact, Whoopi Goldberg just said this person should be the next Surgeon General.” So you slump back onto the stretcher deeply relieved. Maybe you’re going to make it after all. Moments later they wheel you into the hospital and there she is, the famous doctor they just told you about. But something is wrong. She doesn’t have a stethoscope. There’s not a chart or an EKG machine in sight. Instead, she’s turning on what appears to be an overhead projector. “Jill,” a nurse yells, “There’s a patient here. What do we do?” “That’s Dr. Biden to you,” the woman replies icily and then launches into a slideshow on equity and diversity in Delaware’s Community College system. Tucker Carlson, Fox News, explaining why Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, should not be referred to as “Dr. Biden”


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56 Remember, I was the runner-up to Biden, and we got a few votes, Elizabeth Warren got a few votes. A number of progressives won seats to Congress. Those voices of millions and millions of people deserve representation in the Biden cabinet. And if you’re asking me if I’ve seen that at this point, I haven’t. – Sen. Bernie Sanders on CNN, lamenting the fact that Joe Biden has not picked enough cabinet members from the radical left wing of the Democrat Party

You should be happy because if we don’t change the trajectory, we’re going to go to shutdown and then your business is going to close. And that, my friends, is a real problem. Worry about that because that is a real worry. - Gov. Cuomo, during a press conference, dismissing restaurant owners’ concerns that the in-door-dining shutdown is ruining their businesses

This was theft by a thousand cuts across six dimensions and six battleground states.

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- White House advisor Peter Navarro, in a 36-page report on election fraud, titled, “The Immaculate Deception”

If we can’t run a fair election, then this Republic, it will not stand. If we get an illegitimate and illegal president in Joe Biden on Inauguration Day without him being cleared of being president by illegal votes… This country will make or break itself based on how this is handled. I do not have a high confidence in our institutions at this point that they are going to handle this well. This is a problem that needs to be investigated or this country is going to be in deep, deep trouble. - Ibid, in an interview on the “The Cats Roundtable,” WABC 770

I’d like to say very bluntly our mission is to redistribute wealth. A lot of people bristle at that phrase. That is, in fact, the phrase we need to use. - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a news conference, while talking about the New York city school system

I’m going to continue to fight for our most vulnerable communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, for our health care workers, for our essential workers, for incarcerated men and women to be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine. – Radical left “squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass), on CNN

Beloved Esther...you were taken from us by such a cruel and malicious hand just because you were a Jew living in her land. The people of Israel will not be broken because the government will deliver an appropriate response to this murder. The prime minister will announce today [Tuesday] that the government is doubling the settlement of Tal Menashe and is giving a proud Zionist answer to this terrible crime. We will never break. - Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan speaking at the funeral of Esther Horgan, who was murdered in a terrorist attack near her home on Sunday

I would not. No. I would not rule it out. - Chris Christie, when asked by conservative host Hugh Hewitt if he’d rule out a 2024 run for president if President Trump decides to run

However, to some Black disability rights activists, like Anita Cameron, Helen Keller is not radical at all, “just another, despite disabilities, privileged white person,” and yet another example of history telling the story of privileged white Americans. - From a Time Magazine article about Hellen Keller

MORE QUOTES


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Who needs him anyway? If [they] wanted to, they would’ve probably finished it. But in this case, his wife asked me, and I immediately gave the order to let him out of the country to be treated in Germany... This is a trick to attack the leaders [in Russia]. - Russian President Vladimir Putin at his end-of-year press conference when asked about a report that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) poisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny

- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after getting the COVID vaccination this week

Jerusalem must remain united but with a place within it for a Palestinian capital. – Israel Defense Minister and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, in an interview with a Saudi Arabian newspaper

He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo, man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.

DECEMBER 24, 2020

That was a small jab for a man, a huge step for the health of us all. May this be this successful. Go out and get vaccinated.

– ESPN’s Charles Barkley criticizing Brooklyn Nets player Kyree Irving for refusing to speak to the press

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Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

I know this is unconventional but I figured I’d ask the Navidaters since I read it every week on Shabbos.

My sister is in shidduchim, she’s 28, and a great girl but has yet to find “the one” – we’re waiting super eagerly to have a simcha! I’m in 8th grade and have been in

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class on Zoom all year so far and there is a girl in my class who uses her brother’s account. He sometimes comes in the room and I have noticed him multiple times. I have nonchalantly asked my classmate about him and I have learned he is the right age and in a great yeshiva. I want to set him up with my sister. Is that crazy? If so, how can I go about this without it being super awkward? Tzippy*

Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration.


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The Panel The Rebbetzin

The Shadchan

Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. ou are a concerned sister and that is to be commended. Your caring shows. You have noticed a boy who you think is the right age and goes to a good yeshiva. There is more to a match than that, however. Middos, values, aspirations, personality, and communication styles are important qualities that have to fit. Respectfully suggest to your parents that they look into your friend’s brother for your sister. That should not be awkward. I am sure that they are diligently doing their best to help your sister meet suitable young men and will welcome possible candidates. They will do their homework and work on it in the way if they think it’s a possible fit. They may consult a shadchan, a neighbor, or a community leader to suggest the shidduch to the parents of the boy. It is very common for a shadchan and the original person who suggested a match to be two different people. The idea may come from a younger sister or someone else but the person to set them up will be another party. I imagine that your comment about awkwardness is directed at your relationship with your sister. If you feel awkward about sharing the idea with her, let your parents tell her that you thought this boy might be suitable for her. I imagine that they will tell her after they do their research. The main thing is to communicate openly with your parents and take your cue from them as far as your sister is concerned. They know her for 28 years and talk to her about shidduchim all the time. You would feel wonderful if indeed you turn out to be the shaliach for your sister’s shidduch. Remember that people date many other people until they find “the one.” Nonetheless, your sister will appreciate your thinking of her.

Michelle Mond hat is so nice of you, Tzippy! I’m super impressed that in the flurry of navigating COVID school, at-home learning, and Zoom quizzes you are managing to think outside of yourself. That is to be commended! I love that although you are still in grade school you like to read our column. Hopefully you are gleaning insight that will help you in many areas of life, but not shidduchim yet! In regard to your specific question, setting up your classmate with your sister, I would advise you to hand this idea over to your parents. One of the many shidduchim I’ve been zoche to make also had an interesting twist along the lines of your situation. After the glowing couple got engaged, I arrived at the l’chaim. People were wishing me mazel tov on the shidduch and a young girl approached me and said, “I was the shadchan, too!” Confused, I asked her for more details. The following is the story: This awesome seventh grade girl, whom we’ll call Chani, was the chosson’s next door neighbor, and the girl he was engaged to was Chani’s “big sister” in the local big sister/little sister program. In this program, post-seminary aged girls who sign up get paired with a middle schooler to take them out once a week and serve as a mentor. Chani mentioned to her parents many times that her “big sister” should go out with the boy next door, but nobody took her seriously! Now that they are engaged, since Hashem clearly had used me as the kli to bring their shidduch together, she still felt very much a part of it, and told me this story. So, Tzippy, back to your situation. If you feel that your parents are not taking you seriously, show them this week’s Navidaters column. Show them the story of the seventh grader who tried to make a shidduch and nobody listened. Hashem can make a shidduch come from anywhere. In May of 2014, a UPS delivery man was the

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Start thinking right now what your shadchan fee should be

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and did not know how to appropriately navigate the system, so I figured the best thing I could do was daven to HaKadosh Baruch Hu and try to get my sister’s name out in the community. I spoke to my friends, my friends’ parents, the lady behind me in Gourmet Glatt – anyone who was willing to listen to me knew all about my sister, her accomplishments, and what she was looking for in a boy. Although at times it felt like I was speaking and no one was truly listening, I did not

Rena Friedman zippy, you are incredible for keeping an eye out for your older sister as she continues in the tekufah of shidduchim. I am sure your dedication to helping her find her zivug is something that means a tremendous amount to yourself and to your sister as well. I have an older sister who spent years in shidduchim, and I remember just wanting to solve what I believed was her “crisis.” However, I was young

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and having shidduchim redt. I wish you and your sister much hatzlacha and encourage you to take the leap to what could be the beginning of the end to your sister’s time in shidduchim.

The Zaidy Dr. Jeffrey Galler ave you ever wondered what the Navidater columnists do in their spare time? For the last month, we have been secretly surveying 50 junior high school yeshiva girls, asking them, “What kind of work would you like to be doing in ten years?” Our results were very interesting: *5 girls wanted to become speech therapists. *5 girls wanted to become occupational therapists. *5 girls wanted to become physical therapists. *5 girls wanted to become physicians or dentists. *5 girls wanted to become dental hygienists. *5 girls wanted to become teachers. *5 girls wanted to become computer pro-

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Pulling It All Together The Navidaters

grammers. *5 girls wanted to become graphic artists. *3 girls wanted to become lawyers. *3 girls wanted to become accountants. *2 girls weren’t sure what they wanted to become. *1 girl wanted to become an astronaut. *1 girl planned on winning the lottery and staying home to bake cookies. Interestingly, not even one young lady expressed an interest in becoming a shadchan. So, the field seems to be wide open and might be an excellent career path for you. Meanwhile, it’s great that you would like to help your older sister. (Are you sure that you don’t have an ulterior motive? Do you secretly look forward to getting your sister out of the house, and moving into her bigger bedroom, with all that extra closet space? Come on, you can tell us. We’re the Navidaters. We’ll keep it confidential.) Anyway, make your friend your co-conspirator and proceed cautiously. First, make sure that your two subjects don’t already know, and dislike, each other. Second, very quietly and casually assess if your sister and your friend’s brother might be interested in each other. Third, bring your parents into your clandestine plot and ask them to get a professional shadchan involved. And start thinking right now what your shadchan fee should be. I’ll bet your mind is already racing with the possibilities.

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ear Tzippy, Thank you for writing in to The Navidaters! And thank you for reading every week! I think it’s great that young people like yourself read our column (with their parents’ permission, of course). It’s never too soon to open up a dialogue with your children about healthy relationships. On a separate note, I am super

impressed by you! You saw a guy, thought of him for your sister, and then went so far as to execute this email. Exemplary! Shidduchim come from Hashem. There are special people in the world, you amongst them, who take time out of their lives to think of oth-

ers. I hope that your thoughts and efforts are deeply appreciated by everyone involved. I suggest mentioning this to your parents and asking them to take it seriously. So much goes into a shidduch so we need to work on monitoring your expectations (i.e., if it doesn’t work out, you’re OK...and if your parents don’t agree to look into it, you’ll also be OK). Tzippy, you may be a natural

shadchan. It’s a tremendous mitzvah. And if you find you have a calling for this because of Zoom school and Corona...then a shadchan is born. Amazing! Tizku l’mitzvos...and I know in my heart of hearts that you are going places! You’re a special girl, Tzippy. Your email warmed my heart and put a gigantic smile on my face. Thank you and all the best to you! Sincerely, Jennifer

Jennifer Mann, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and dating and relationship coach working with individuals, couples, and families in private practice at 123 Maple Avenue in Cedarhurst, NY. She also teaches a psychology course at Touro College. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516-224-7779, ext. 2. Visit www.thenavidaters.com for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@gmail.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.

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Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

DECEMBER 24, 2020

allow that to get me down or distract me from achieving my goal. About two months ago, I was speaking to a more recent friend of mine who is not so familiar with my sister. Although she had only met my family briefly, I went along with my mantra and asked if she had any ideas for my sister. She responded with the classic “your sister sounds so great. I really wish I knew someone. I will keep thinking!” Slightly disappointed, as I have only heard that line about a million times before, we continued our conversation. To my surprise, a few days later, I received a text from this friend with a description of a boy. Following the description, she

wrote, “This wouldn’t be a good call for your sister, right?” Although her hesitation was not reassuring, I took every suggestion for my sister seriously and kept my eyes peeled to the screen as I read the detailed description. It was an awesome idea. I quickly replied, “Actually, I think it could be great!” The shidduch was redt, and not long thereafter they went on their first date. To make a long story short, chasdei Hashem, they are seriously dating and iy”H we look forward to sharing besoros tovos in the near future! So, to answer your question: no, your idea is not crazy at all. Actually, I wholeheartedly support it. Hashem is mizaveg zivugim and if He is giving you the potential to be His shaliach – take advantage of the opportunity! I suggest reaching out to your rebbetzin, a teacher, or someone who you believe will listen to your idea and have them redt the shidduch. They –whoever “they” is – always say age is just a number, so why shouldn’t that apply when it comes to being a shaliach of HaKadosh Baruch Hu? Each and every one of us has an achrayus to actively play a role in thinking of ideas for those around us

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If He is giving you the potential to be His shaliach – take advantage of the opportunity.


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Political Crossfire

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The Best Way for Biden to Unite the Country By Marc A. Thiessen

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oe Biden promised in his victory speech to “unite us here at home” and told Trump supporters that he wanted to “put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, [and] see each other again.” There’s one simple way he could show he is serious: give President Donald Trump credit for the stunning success of Operation Warp Speed. On Monday, the first Americans were vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. This is the greatest public health achievement in history. Until now, the record for the fastest vaccine development was four years. Operation Warp Speed did it in nine months. Critics mocked Trump when he pledged a vaccine by the end of the year. After the president announced in May a Manhattan Project-style effort to develop, manufacture and distribute “a proven coronavirus vaccine…hopefully by the end of the year,” MSNBC’s Brian Williams interviewed one expert who assured him that timeline was “preposterous” and that Trump was a “POTUS in Wonderland.” Another expert told Bloomberg News that it would be “virtually impossible,” while an NBC News “fact check” declared that “experts say that the development, testing and production of a vaccine for the public is still at least 12 to 18 months off, and that anything less would be a medical miracle.” Well, we got our miracle. How? The genius of Operation Warp Speed was the decision to run the vaccine development process in parallel rather than sequentially. The Trump administration invested about $10 billion in eight vaccine candidates – purchasing hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines before they were proved, clearing away regulatory hurdles, and putting a four-star general, Gus-

tave Perna, in charge of logistics and distribution. The administration pledged $1.95 billion for the purchase and nationwide distribution of 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, which began this week. It also provided $955 million to support the development of Moderna’s vaccine – which will likely receive FDA emergency approval this

backs. But because the administration spent billions to buy vaccines before the clinical trials were over, it is now able to distribute upward of half a billion doses of vaccine over the coming months – first to the most vulnerable Americans, and eventually to all. As Moncef Slaoui, chief science adviser to Operation Warp Speed, explained to me in an interview, “Between the

It was like ignoring the moon landing.

week – and another to $1.5 billion to support large-scale manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine. It also pledged to purchase 100 million vaccine doses each from AstraZeneca ($1.2 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($1.46 billion), and Novavax ($1.6 billion) – all of which are in final, Phase 3 clinical trials. This strategy was not without risks – the government provided about $2 billion to Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline for 100 million doses of their vaccine, which recently suffered set-

first quarter and the second quarter of 2021, the most at-risk populations will have been, I hope, immunized.” This, he said, “should decrease dramatically the burden of this disease on society in general, because…most of the burden of the disease is on a high-risk population.” By next summer, the worst of the pandemic should be over. In addition to vaccines, Operation Warp Speed simultaneously invested in revolutionary COVID-19 treatments – including Regeneron’s and Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody therapeutics –

that have been shown to help reduce the severity of disease. While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proved about 95% effective, these antibody treatments can provide a backup for Americans who still fall ill with COVID-19. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of modern medicine. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague, former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, told me, “We’ve never really had this level of development work undertaken over such a short period of time with so many successes. This is a singular achievement. I can’t think of any historic proxy.” So why has Biden refused to acknowledge it? On Monday night, in a speech hailing his electoral college victory, he ended by noting that we had just passed a “grim milestone” of 300,000 COVID deaths. But he said nothing about the historic vaccinations that were administered that same day. It was like ignoring the moon landing. Biden has criticized Trump’s pandemic response failures, so why not give the president credit for this unadulterated success? Because that would mean acknowledging that, for all Trump’s flaws in managing the pandemic, he is also responsible for ending it. And Biden is saving that credit for himself. Perhaps, given Trump’s terrible behavior, Biden is in no mood to praise the president. But it’s not about Trump; it’s about Biden delivering on his promise to reach out to his opponent’s supporters and bring Americans together. If he truly wants to unite the country, he should give credit where credit is due – and pledge to continue Operation Warp Speed. (c) 2020, Washington Post Writers Group


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Jewish History

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FDR, the Nazis, and the Jews of Morocco: A Troubling Episode By Rafael Medoff

Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Anfa conference in 1943

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he normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco and the U.S. recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara have stirred interest in the history of Morocco’s Jews, including during the Holocaust years. Unfortunately, some pundits, in their enthusiasm over these developments, have misleadingly portrayed the Allied liberation of North Africa in 1942 as the simultaneous liberation of the region’s Jews from their Nazi and Vichyite persecutors. That narrative papers over the harsh reality of what happened after the Allies’ victory. The full story of how President Franklin D. Roosevelt treated the Jews in Morocco and elsewhere in North Africa is a deeply troubling chapter in his administration’s history. On November 8, 1942, American and British forces launched “Operation Torch,” the invasion of German-occupied Algeria and Morocco.

In just eight days, the Allies defeated the Nazis and their Vichy French partners in the region. American Jews expected that the liberation of North Africa would also mean liberation for the 330,000 Jews there. In 1870, the French colonial authorities in Algeria had issued the Cremieux Decree, which granted equal rights to that country’s Jews after centuries of mistreatment by Arab rulers (although it did not affect the Jews in neighboring Morocco). When the Vichyites took over North Africa in 1940, they abolished Cremieux and subjected all of the region’s Jews to a range of abuses, including restrictions on admission of Jews to many schools and professions, seizures of Jewish property and occasional pogroms by local Muslims that were tolerated by the government. In 1941–1942, American Jewish newspapers carried disturbing reports that the Vichyites had built “huge concentration camps” in Mo-

rocco and Algeria to house thousands of Jewish slave laborers. The prisoners endured backbreaking work, random beatings by the guards, extreme overcrowding, poor sanitation, near-starvation, and little or no medical care. According to one report, 150 Jews scheduled to be taken to the camps were so fearful of the conditions there that they resisted arrest and were executed en masse. With the Allied victory, North African Jews — and their American coreligionists —expected the prisoners to be released and the Cremieux Decree reinstated for Jews living throughout the region. The American Jewish Congress optimistically predicted that the repeal of the Vichy-era anti-Jewish laws would follow the Allied occupation of North Africa “as the day follows the night.” But President Roosevelt had other plans.

Meet the New Boss At the beginning of “Operation

Torch,” the Allies captured Admiral François Darlan, a senior Vichyite leader. FDR decided to leave Darlan in charge of the Allied-occupied North African territories in exchange for Darlan ordering his forces in Algiers to cease fire. Many prominent liberals in the United States were appalled by this decision. “[It] sticks in the craw of majorities of the British and French, and of democrats everywhere, [that] we are employing a French Quisling as our deputy in the government of the first territory to be reoccupied,” an editorial in The New Republic protested. The war was supposed to bring enlightened democracy to areas that had been under the boot of fascism – not keep the old tyrants in power. Not only was Darlan still in power, but he also retained nearly all of the original senior officials of the local Vichy regime. Darlan did dismiss one Vichyite of note, Yves Chatel, the governor of Algeria, but promptly re-


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FDR explained that he wanted to make sure the Jews would not “overcrowd the professions.”

It’s striking that the president of the United States was so quick to believe the wildly exaggerated numbers – and to conclude that German hatred of Jews therefore was justified.

American Jews Speak Out As the weeks turned into months and as the fascists remained in power in North Africa, public criticism of the Roosevelt administration intensified. Near-daily reports by I. F. Stone in PM featured headlines such as “U.S. Policy in North Africa: Why State Dept. Holds Up Repeal of Nuremberg Laws,” and “Hull Admits Anti-Fascist Prisoners Still Being Held in North Africa.” Repor ts in the New York Times and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Daily News Bulletin began citing, by name, the camps where North African Jews and political refugees were being enslaved – including one that was just five miles from where “American troops, dedicated to end government by concentration camp, live.”

portant character have been made in the[ir] political and economic situation.” The statement reminded the president that he had pledged “action to insure [sic] that the four freedoms shall without further delay be declared as valid for all the peoples in North Africa, which means the total abrogation of all anti-Semitic laws and decrees and … the release of those of whatever race or nationality who are being detained because of their support of democracy and opposition to Nazi ideology.” The remarkable statement from those two mainstream Jewish organizations was only slightly milder than the charge by Benzion Netanyahu, executive director of the militant U.S. Revisionist Zionists (and father of the current prime minister of Israel), that “the spirit of the Swastika hovers over the Stars and Stripes” in the administration of North Africa. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the founder and longtime leader of the American Jewish Congress, then led a delegation to Washington to

personally make their case directly to U.S. officials, and Wise’s co-chair, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, organized a group of prominent French exiles in the United States to present the State Department with a petition of their own. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) also called on the administration to intervene against the Vichyites. These protests induced a number of other prominent individuals to speak up, among them Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, the exiled French Jewish leader Baron Edouard de Rothschild, and leaders of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Agonizing Delays In March 1943 – more than four months after the Allies liberated Morocco and the rest of North Africa – the Roosevelt administration finally instructed the local authorities to repeal the anti-Jewish measures. The implementation process, however, was agonizingly slow. In April, the forced labor camps in North Africa were officially shut down – yet, in reality, some of them continued operating well into the summer. The Jewish quotas in schools and professions were only gradually phased out. It was not until October 20, 1943, that the Cremieux Decree was at last reinstated. After ten long months of presidential stalling and stonewalling, this disturbing chapter in American foreign policy finally came to a close. The increased public interest in the history of North African Jewry is a welcome byproduct of Israeli-Moroccan normalization. But discussions of that history should include its less pleasant side; that part, too, has important lessons to offer.

Dr. Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C., and author of more than 20 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history. This essay is based in part on the research for his most recent book, “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust.”

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The official transcript of FDR’s meeting with Major-General Charles Nogues, a leader of the post-Vichy regime, in Casablanca on January 17, 1943, provides some insight into the president’s thinking. Nogues asked President Roosevelt about demands by North African Jews for voting rights. According to the stenographer, Roosevelt replied, “The answer to that was very simple, namely, that there just weren’t going to be any elections, so the Jews need not worry about the privilege of voting.” The transcript continues, “The President stated that he felt the whole Jewish problem should be studied very carefully and that progress should be definitely planned. In other words, the number of Jews should be definitely limited to the percentage that the Jewish population in North

American Jewish leaders were strongly supportive of President Roosevelt – and some 90% of Jews voted for him repeatedly – but his perpetuation of the persecution of North African Jews was just too much. On February 14, 1943, the American Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress took the unprecedented step of publicly denouncing the president’s North Africa policy. In a joint public statement, the two groups charged that “the anti-Jewish legacy of the Nazis remains intact in North Africa.” Despite three months having passed since the Allied liberation, only a few “grudging concessions have been made” to aid the Jews, while no changes “of an im-

DECEMBER 24, 2020

No Rights for Jews

Africa bears to the whole of the North African population.” FDR explained that he wanted to make sure the Jews would not “overcrowd the professions.” He pointed to what he called “the specific and understandable complaints which the Germans bore towards the Jews in Germany, namely, that while they represented a small part of the population, over fifty percent of the lawyers, doctors, school teachers, college professors, etc. in Germany were Jews.” In reality, Jews comprised about 16% of the lawyers, 11% of the doctors, 3% of the college professors, and less than 1% of the schoolteachers in Germany.

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placed him with Maurice Peyrouton, the very Vichy official who had signed the anti-Jewish laws of 1940. Together, Darlin and Peyrouton deepsixed the Cremieux Decree and kept thousands of Jews in the slave labor camps. Rumblings of concern began to surface in the American press. A December 17 editorial in The New York Times expressed doubt that Darlan really intended to bring about “the abrogation of anti-Jewish laws [and] release of prisoners and internees.” The editors of The New Republic asked on December 28, “Who controls French Africa, Darlan or the [Allies]? And if the latter, isn’t it high time we cleaned up the remnants of fascism that obviously still exist there?” An investigative report in the New York City newspaper PM on January 1 asserted that the Darlan regime was actively discriminating against Jews, and “thousands” remained “in concentration camps.” President Roosevelt publicly claimed that he had already “asked for the abrogation of all laws and decrees inspired by Nazi governments or Nazi ideologists.” But he hadn’t. When reporters questioned him at a January 1, 1943 press conference, FDR replied, “I think most of the political prisoners are – have been released.” But they hadn’t.


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Mental Health Corner

Z-Drugs By Rabbi Azriel Hauptman

Insomnia, or sleeplessness, is a condition that leaves many people agonizing over falling asleep at night and leaving them exhausted during the day. Out of desperation, some people turn to a variety of sleep medicines. In this article we will discuss a class of medication known as sedative-hypnotics, which can be counterproductive or even dangerous if one does not follow accepted medical recommendations. The most commonly prescribed sedative-hypnotics are known as Z-drugs as their purpose is to induce

“Z’s” and their generic names all begin with the letter “Z”. These include Ambien (with the generic name of Zolpidem), Imovane (Zopiclone), and Sonata (Zaleplon). Another name for this class of medicine is nonbenzodiazepines as they have a similar mechanism of action as benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Valium), but have a different molecular structure. The Z-drugs are more sedative in nature and less addictive and are therefore more suitable for sleep disorders than benzodiazepines. Although they are safer than ben-

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zodiazepines, there are still several concerning aspects of these drugs that can be especially problematic when they are not taken as recommended. • Dependence: Although they are not addictive in the classic sense, after a couple of weeks of usage a person might find that he is unable to fall asleep without taking sleep medication, and as tolerance develops a higher dose might be needed to fall asleep. At this point, if one stops taking the medication, he might suffer from rebound insomnia, meaning that the insomnia returns much more acutely than before. • “Hangovers”: These medications tend to stay in the body for many hours which can lead to grogginess the next morning. This is not merely an inconvenience; it can be outright dangerous if one is operating a motor vehicle. For this reason, it is usually advised to only take the medication if one has enough time for a full night’s sleep and only at the lowest recommended dosage. • Sleepwalking, sleep driving, and sleep eating: Some users engage in bizarre behaviors in a zombie-like state in the middle of the night. This can even include driving somewhere in their car as if they were awake, and having absolutely no memory of this in the morning. Some individuals will prepare a full-course meal and then consume large amounts of food all in the middle of their sleep. In their hypnotic state, they might even eat in a very atypical fashion, such as eating eggs with the shell. This seems to happen when the individual wakes up in the middle of night, but is really only partially awake due to having the drug in their system. Driving and food preparation without full use of one’s brain are understandably very dangerous activities.

• Memory Loss: In a similar vein, if one takes a sedative-hypnotic and does not get into bed right away, there is a possibility of going into a hypnotic state while fully awake, and then having absolutely no memory at all of anything that they did. This is known as anterograde amnesia, which is the inability to create new memories. When this occurs, it is usually limited to the first few hours after taking the drugs. If one needs to take drugs to induce sleep, there are several precautions that can greatly enhance their safety and effectiveness. • Get a medical evaluation. • Only take the medication as prescribed. This includes not taking the medication for longer than prescribed. • Do not take the medication unless you will go to bed immediately. • If there are side effects, talk to your doctor immediately. • Do not consume any alcohol, and make sure to mention to your doctor if you are taking any other medication. • Discuss with your doctor how to wean yourself off of the medication. For many people, Z-drugs are incredibly helpful. However, many individuals do not explore non-medicinal approaches to sleep management, such as improving one’s sleep hygiene. As with many medical interventions, proceed with caution in order to avoid dangerous side effects or counterproductive reactions. 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 yslansky@reliefhelp.org


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Gluten Free Recipe Column For questions or comments about Gluten Free Baking please email GlutenFree@BaltimoreJewishHome.com

by Mrs. Elaine Bodenheimer

GlutenFree@BaltimoreJewishHome.com

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

68

Fluffy Blueberry Muffins (adapted from Kosher.com) What You Will Need: 2 eggs, separated ¾ cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1 ¼ cups potato starch 1/3 cup oil

½ - 1/3 cup blueberries (or mini chocolate chips) 2 Tbl of sugar and 2 tsp. of cinnamon mixed together

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Preperation: 1. Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites o high until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar, baking powder, potato starch, egg yolks, and oil. 2. Spoon scant ¼ cup of batter into cupcake holders. Sprinkle tops of cupcakes with sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool and enjoy for anytime, including Pesach! Makes 14 cupcakes.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

In The K

tchen

Meat / Yields 10 servings / Freezer friendly

By Naomi Nachman

developed. I am obsessed with stuffed cabbage and when Fleishigs magazine asked me to write

a series of Pesach recipes last year, this idea came to mind. It’s a perfect as an alternative to cholent it can be served hot for Shabbat lunch

DECEMBER 24, 2020

This is one of my favorite recipes that I

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

Crockpot Meat and Cabbage Soup

69

as it slow-cooks overnight.

Ingredients

Preparation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat some oil and sear flanken on each side for 2-3 minutes, until meat releases from the pot. Set a large crockpot to high setting and add meat with all the pan juices to the bowl of the crockpot. Crush tomatoes lightly in your hand; then add the tomatoes and their liquid to bowl. Add onion, cabbage, sugar, lemon juice, water, salt, and pepper. Leave soup on high for 8 hours or overnight. Remove meat from soup. Discard bones; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Return to soup. Add salt and pepper to taste, as needed.

Photo by Schneur Menaker

Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website, www.theaussiegourmet.com or at (516) 295-9669.

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b2-3 pounds flanken b2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes with their liquid b1 large onion sliced b2 (14-oz) bag shredded cabbage, or 1 head cabbage, shredded b1 cup brown sugar b1 cup fresh lemon juice b4 cups water b1 teaspoon kosher salt b¼ teaspoon black pepper


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

So, What Exactly Do We Know? Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., LMFT, CLC, SDS

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 24, 2020

70

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

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hese days, we are either masked and manic or cavalier and cavorting. Science, schmi-ence?! No one seems to know anything. If you didn’t have it, you don’t want it. Unless, you want to get it over with. But that’s only if you’re not going to visit anyone whom you’re nervous you might give it to. They used to say: caring is sharing. Now, caring is disappearing! We are no smarter than we were in March, when we were celebrating Purim and wearing masks for a very different reason. Or… Were we wearing masks for the same reason? A recognition that things aren’t as they seem?! We still don’t know if we are wearing the masks to protect us from the other guy or the other guy from us. Mostly, I can guarantee, we are wearing them to protect ourselves and anyone else from recognizing each other. No one looks familiar. Basically, a pair of eyeballs says hello to you! Clearly, the old saying, “Clothing makes the man (or woman)” doesn’t hold true because no matter what anyone is wearing, everyone seems to be having difficulty knowing who they are saying hello to – or not say-

ing hello to. Apparently, a nose and mouth make the man or woman – way more than the outfit! And is it worth smiling? A complete waste of effort?! Who sees it? Who knows it? Who can even detect it? Why bother?! Unless, you embrace the “sci-

anyway, this could be an ideal time to covertly express all those angry feelings. The ones you’ve been repressing for years. Maybe you can gnash your teeth or stick your tongue out behind your mask when someone who always upsets you goes by. But good luck recognizing them anyway. Can you remember when we were

Basically, a pair of eyeballs says hello to you!

ence” that says that smiling reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and reduces pain. All good things! And here are two more worthwhile outcomes that could really help these days. Smiling increases endurance and strengthens the immune system! With those two needed resources, smiling actually begins to seem well worth the effort. Anyway, why not? There aren’t that many other options to keep you busy behind that mask. After all, you can’t resort to the old favorite eating or drinking! Though, since you’re hidden away

disinfecting every delivery box, and mail, and groceries? Those were the good old days in March and April and May. After all, if we were going to be to locked up, with so little to do, that was a great way to keep us busy. But now they’ve given us bigger things to be busy with. More intellectual than physical, though. Figuring out for ourselves what in the world is going on. Because no one seems to have a clue! You avoid the doctor’s office because you don’t want to get sick. So, to find out if you have a temperature, you need to go to the hairdresser. Be-

cause they won’t allow you in without taking a quick reading. If you’re choking on a crumb of bread, you better teach yourself the Heimlich maneuver because no one will get near a coughing person. If you lose taste and smell, you may not enjoy one morsel of food, but you’re considered lucky, because you’ve found the most rapid COVID test available. If you experience stomach issues, you may be just having stomach issues. But you may be navigating the “corona extreme diet plan,” which makes any diet alternative feel like a picnic after that. And, if you have a blasting headache, it could be a symptom. But I’d venture to say that it’s more likely a headache from just trying to figure all this out! Yes, we are months into our new normal. For some, perhaps, more normal than others. And for others, less so. But one thing is quite clear to everyone: nothing, at all, is quite clear!

Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-7052004 or rivki@rosenwalds.com.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

15

71

Your

Money

By Allan Rolnick, CPA

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

Positively Wall Street

DECEMBER 24, 2020

T

That’s an awfully nice payday for the voice of a baby boomer generation that used to disdain $400 million paydays (at least, before they got older and discovered 401(k)s and Fox News). But it’s also a shrewd tax move – one that could save Dylan and his family millions over time.

ture royalties and replace them with a lump-sum capital gain. Ordinarily, that’s a bad thing – paying tax now when you could wait until later. But that gain is taxed at a maximum of just 20%. So do the math: while paying 37% on $400 million of royalties would cost Dylan $148 million, pay-

That’s an awfully nice payday for the voice of a baby boomer generation that used to disdain $400 million paydays.

Dylan still makes millions in royalties from his music. They’re taxed as ordinary income at 37%, plus whatever state tax he might pay. Dylan currently spends much of his time in a 6,000-square-foot oceanview compound in Malibu, although it’s not certain he pays taxes as a California resident. Those rates may go up as soon as next year if Senate wins in Georgia give incoming President Joe Biden the votes to raise rates. The sale will eliminate those fu-

ing 20% on the same amount of capital gain costs him “just” $80 million. Just like that, $68 million in tax is blowin’ in the wind. The sale will also make it easier for Dylan’s heirs to settle his future estate. If the plan includes passing the catalog to his six children, he’s taxed at 40% on anything above a “unified credit exemption equivalent,” currently $11,580,000. A hard-to-value asset of that size almost guarantees getting tangled up in an audit to es-

tablish the proper value. (Michael Jackson’s executors pegged his image and likeness at just $2,105 – 0203255 3. after ten years of fighting, the IRS sent them a bill for an extra $702 million.) Dylan isn’t the only artist taking this step. Last month, Stevie Nicks announced she had sold 80% of her catalog, worth an estimated $100 million, to publisher Music Wave. She and Dylan join Blondie, Rick James, Barry Manilow, and Chrissie Hynde in selling rights, which generally trade for 10-18 times annual revenue. Of course, there are plenty of strategies Dylan may have used to defer or eliminate tax on the sale. That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to sell a business, real estate, or even your own song catalog, you don’t have to feel like you’re stuck inside of Mobile with those Taxville blues again. We’ve got the strategies to give you shelter from that storm!

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

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

he time: July 25, 1965. The place: The Newport Folk Festival. Master of Ceremonies Peter Yarrow steps out to introduce the singer-songwriter sensation Bob Dylan. Festival organizers are perplexed as they watch his crew setting up heavy equipment. Then Dylan takes the stage to launch into “Maggie’s Farm” – with (gasp!) a Fender Stratocaster. Dylan had “gone electric,” and music would never be the same. As one wag put it, “he electrified one half of his audience and electrocuted the other.” Fifty-five years later, Dylan has sold over 100 million records, despite a singing voice that sounds like the child of a sinus infection and an electric shaver. He’s Number Two on Rolling Stone’s list of rock’s 100 greatest artists, trailing only the Beatles. The list of wannabes who have been dubbed “the new Dylan” – a club that includes Bruce Springsteen, John Prine, and Gordon Lightfoot – could fill every coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. Last week, Universal Music Publishing announced they had bought the rights to the 79-year-old Dylan’s entire songwriting catalog for a price estimated as high as $400 million.


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