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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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n o i t c e fl e R f o s bbo

“A Time to REFLECT & Protect” Free Reflector Belt Giveaway

DECEMBER 6, 2018

A Sha

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

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As the winter season and inclement weather begin,

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

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CONTENTS COMMUNITY

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

PEOPLE 613 Seconds with Chai Lifeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

LIFESTYLES Israel Today. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 My First Chanukah in Communist Russia. . . . . . . . 58 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Political Crossfire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Life Coach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

NEWS

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

Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Dear readers, It’s almost a joke: Whichever yom tov we’re celebrating, it’s “the most important yom tov of all.” Can it be true? I think so. Back in my yeshiva days, there was a teacher who would explain it as follows: Ask someone in the morning what the best meal is, and they’ll say, “A bowl of cereal,” or “A cup of coffee and a danish.” Ask them at lunch, and they’ll answer, “It’s gotta be a fresh tuna sandwich.” Supper? “A nice, grilled steak.” So which is it? It depends on what’s needed at that time. Breakfast has its particular hunger; lunch, a separate one; and supper, it’s very own. It’s the same with our calendar. There is nothing like Shabbos. Rosh Hashanah sets the tone. Sukkos is Hashem’s embrace. And Chanukah with its literal lights of mitzvah is the purpose of it all. Each appears right when we need it, to satisfy the spiritual hunger of that time. Currently, there is nothing the world can use more than the light and warmth of G-dliness. Everything seems so empty, secular, and politicized. Gathering around the menorah and gazing at its eternal message of purity gives us the strength in this spiritual, if not physical, winter. May the candle lights give us the spiritual energy to continue lighting up the night until the dawn of the time, “When the night shall shine like day.” Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos Chanukah, Shalom

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 6, 2018

Chanukah Around Town Governors Chanukah Party

Chabad Down Town Menorah Lighting

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

City Council Celebrates Chanukah

Amazing Wickfield Menorah

Harav Hershel Schachter, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS and Rabbinic Consultant for OU Kosher, Attends Weekly Baltimore Star-K Meeting By: BJLife Newsroom BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

H

arav Hershel Schachter, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS and Rabbinic Consultant for OU Kosher, in town for the Bar-Mitzvah of his grandson, son of Rabbi & Mrs. Yosef Aryeh Schachter, took the Star-K up on its invitation to attend their weekly Friday

meeting with HaRav HaGaon Moshe Heinemann, shlita. A broad range of topics were discussed, from shailos about Chanuka, kashering industrial equipment, treifos in animals, questions in hilchos brachos. Both Rabbonim enjoyed the discussions immensely and all present were amazed at the combined knowledge and humor!


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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

Once Upon a Chai Lifeline Day

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their lives, one of our Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic princesses was handed a rose from a brave, kind knight. The Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic princesses were on edge waiting to see which prince would win and which princess would be saved. The girls were fascinated by the incredible props and costumes used in the show. After the two hour show, the girls left amazed by the horse’s tricks, the knights bravery, and the volunteer’s enthusiasm. In Chai Lifeline, every day may not be a fairy tale, but a day in a castle surrounded by fellow princesses is sure to bring magic to one’s life. Although the princess party has come to an end, the enchantment of the day will stay in their hearts.

ho would turn down the offer to be a princess for the day? Well, our Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic girls were definitely not ones to say no. On Sunday, November 18th, our girls were invited to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Arundel Mills along with lively volunteers who added loads of excitement to the day. Dressed up as princesses wearing pink hats, crowns, tutus, and all other important princess gear, the girls and volunteers had an opportunity to watch a jousting tournament fought by princes. As exciting as it was watching the princes joust on real horses, the show was interactive as well, keeping our little princess on their high-heeled feet. As they watched the princes battle for

What an Inspiring Shabbos. Thank you Project Inspire!

O

ver 350 people attended the Melava Malka Motzei Shabbos in Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion featuring words from Rabbi Hopfer, a riveting multi-media

presentation, and a standup performance from renowned British comedian Ashley Blaker who humorously shared his teshuva story. Read more about Etz Chaim pg 67

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

Rabbi Chaim Sampson, Founding Director of Project Inspire

Etz Chaim Director, Rabbi Zev Pomeranz

Yeshivas Kochav Yitzchok /Torah Institute Commemorates 80 Years Since Kristallnacht

T

he tragic evening of November 9-10, 1938 in Germany was only the beginning of what would be the most devastating blow to the Jewish people since the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and our exile from Eretz Yisrael.  Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, was also the beginning of broken families, lives and hearts. But it never broke the Jewish people. Klal Yisrael, the eternal nation, persevered despite the Final Solution.

Yeshivas Kochav Yitzchok /Torah Institute of Baltimore was founded 66 years ago by Rabbi Yitzchok Sternhell zt”l and a handful of other Holocaust survivors looking to rebuild their lives, family and Yiddishkeit. Creating a cheder that would provide a Jewish education for their sons was an essential part of this restoration and hence Shearis Hapleita was established. Now named in memory of Rabbi Sternhell, YKY/TI sensitively teaches its talmidim to remember the European Churbon and what

we lost, while appreciating the opportunity we have today to live a Torah life. Through a generous partnership with Mrs. Marlene Resnick and her late husband, Stanley a”h, YKY/TI’s middle school held its 25th annual K ristallnacht program. The Resnicks always felt it was especially befitting for a cheder that was founded by Holocaust survivors and rebuilders to reflect on the Churbon.  This year, Rabbi Tzvi Rosen of the Star-K and a YKY/ TI grandparent delivered the lecture to

the middle school, sharing inspirational lessons of emunah, hashgacha pratis and mesiras nefesh based on his mother’s and uncle’s experiences during the Holocaust. Rabbi Rosen’s passion and his own amazement over his family’s incredible history resonated with his audience as they were given a glimpse into those dark years and subsequent years of rebuilding. YKY/TI is very grateful to Mrs. Resnick for helping instill these invaluable lessons to the cheder’s talmidim.


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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

Bnos Yisroel Charidy - Thank You

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nos Yisroel was a place filled with Enthusiasm. This past Monday and Tuesday, excitement was in the air as Bnos Yisroel held its first ever Charidy Campaign, a 24-hour call-a-thon, with a goal of raising $700,000 for the school. Yellow and purple shirts aplenty. Girls peeking in during their breaks begging to make phone calls. People of all ages and affiliations with the school on the phones calling potential donors to ask them to join together in support of our school. The school was abuzz with the excitement of a campaign destined for success. Bnos Yisroel is a place of Community. Our school community may be small but our impact is huge. We were delighted at the response from members of the Baltimore community at large as they helped us raise money for scholarships, our Learning Center and other crucial needs of the school.

Bnos Yisroel is a place of Gratitude. Thank you to our students, our alumnae, our staff, our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents and our community members who all participated in the Bnos Yisroel

Charidy campaign. Thank you to the members of the community who took the call and responded generously. Thank you, as well, to those outside of Baltimore who gave generously. 24 Hours… 1509 Donors… 474

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Around the Community

Mrs. Debbie Hager Katz’s Generous Sponsorship Covers the TYA Boys at its Friday Flag Footbal League By: BJL Staff BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

B

altimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has selected Fort Worth, Texas, Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald as the city’s next police commissioner. Baltimore, MD – Nov. 30, 2018 – Four years ago, Shuli Katz came home after playing in the very popular Friday TYA Flag Football League and voiced a concern to his mother that some of the boys may at times have nothing on their head during the game. Shuli’s mother, Mrs. Debbie Hager Katz, immediately called Rabbi Yisroel Fuchs, former TA High School Menahel, who guided her to contact TYA founder Gobbie Cohn. With that, Mrs. Katz contacted Gobbie and queried him as to what could be done

about this issue. Mrs. Katz decided to help the boys make a Kiddush HaShem when they play and told him that she and her husband, Benjy, z’l, originally from Washington who attended TA and who always had hakaras hatov to TA and TYA, would, in honor of Gobbie and the boys, sponsor a ski cap that would be sure to stay on the boys’ heads. Fast forward four years and Gobbie approached Mrs. Hager-Katz again to see if she would continue the tradition. Even with no longer having a son in TA, but recognizing TA for all it has done for her son and so many other boys, she graciously agreed to repeat the chesed The hats were given l’ilui nishmas Mrs. Hager-Katz’s husband. Today, she told the boys, “each time you’re going to put on the ski hat - which rep-

resents yiddishkeit and menchlichkeit - my husband’s neshama will go higher in kisei haKavod and will protect each and every one of you.” In recognizing this beautiful sponsorship, TYA Director Gobbie Cohn commented, “TYA was founded over

15 years ago to provide Jewish day school youth with extra-curricular or after school activities to support their rigorous daily schedule of learning. I am so pleased that it has become so much more than that and am so grateful to Mrs. Katz for her generosity!”

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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

Baltimore’s Agra D’Pirka Yarchei Kallah Features Harav Tzvi Einstadter and Harav Yissocher Frand By: Margie Pensak n Thursday, November 22, as our nation celebrated Thanksgiving, approximately 50 men of all ages, stages, backgrounds, and walks of life thankfully participated in Baltimore’s Agra D’Pirka Yarchei Kallah. Held at Khal Ahavas Yisroel Tzemach Tzedek, the interactive shiurim featured

includes a light breakfast, was founded nine years ago by Ezra Klein of Brooklyn, l’ilui neshmas his mother, Pesi Rochel Klein, a”h (whose initials spell out “Pirka”), on her first yahrtzeit. Debuting in Baltimore on Labor Day, it is the newest of the nine Agra D’Pirka locales, including: Kew Gardens Hills, Flatbush, Boro Park, Monsey, Lakewood, Miami, and Williamsburg.

popular local magidei shiur, Harav Tzvi Einstadter and Harav Yissocher Frand. The Monday-Thursday morning nationwide Kollel learning program, which

From Cyberspace to the Shechem Case HaRav Frand opened the Yarchei Kallah with a timely topic on “erev Black

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of Shechem had all committed a capital crime. Therefore, what Shimon and Levi did was halachically justified. Ramban takes issue with Rambam’s approach. Among his several objections, Ramban maintains that one is not liable for the death penalty by simply being passive. Instead, he observes that the residents of Shechem were idolaters, and had violated the seven mitzvos of bnai Noach in several

Friday”, discussing possible reasons for the prohibition of having one’s internet site open on Shabbos. While explaining that there could be many issues involved, Rav Frand decided to focus on the lifnei ivair shaila. Specifically, if Jewish people would visit the site, the owner of the site could be in violation of the Issur of Lifnei Ivair. He argued that since there are thousands of sites for someone to buy the product that the site owner is selling, this is the equivalent of “chad avree de’nahara, in which case there would be no issur de’oraisa of lef’nei ivair. He then discussed whether the issur de’rabanan of “mesayaiah yedai overi aveira” would apply in this case. He also touched on the question of whether there would be an issue of zilzul Shabbos—the demeaning or cheapening of Shabbos—by having one’s business open 24/7. Bottom line: Rabbonim do suggest, if at all possible, that one should try to avoid having one’s internet site open on Shabbos. Obviously, every situation differs and one should seek the guidance of one’s own Rav. Next, HaRav Einstadter discussed different approaches regarding the justification for Yaakov’s sons, Shimon and Levi, killing not only the perpetrator, but the entire city of Shechem. He began by explaining Rambam’s approach, which is that anytime a ben Noach violates any of the seven mitzvos, including a passive violation of having not brought a fellow ben Noach to justice, he is liable for the death penalty. So, having not brought the leader, Shechem, to justice, the residents

other ways, all of which are capital crimes. Therefore, it is not difficult to find halachic justification for what Shimon and Levi did. Several other opinions and insights on the topic were addressed, as well, including whether having undergone circumcision, the people of Shechem had the status of geirim. Rave Reviews At the conclusion of the shiurim, attendee Chaim Pollock shared, “I enjoyed both Rabbi Frand and Rabbi Einstadter. Both are very articulate; they explained their positions very well. They kept everybody’s attention and spoke about something that everyone could relate to. It was a pleasure having both of them speak.” Daniel Balsam added, “I very much enjoyed Rabbi Einstadter’s shiur regarding what the heter was for Shimon and Levi to kill the people of Shechem. I have heard a number of shiurim from Rabbi Einstadter and, whether I am familiar with the topic or not, I always learn a great deal.” Rabbi Moshe Garfinkel concluded, “Clearly, Rabbi Frand is not an internationally popular speaker for no reason… He has a wonderful style, he was well-prepared, and has a very easy-going method of delivering his message. He does welcome participation from the group, and indeed people did participate. It was just a very enjoyable way to spend Thanksgiving!” For information about the program, contact Eli Sofer, 917-755-1572, or elicsofer@gmail.com.


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Chai Lifeline What would you say to convince me to play? MR: This is not a regular trivia game. You’ll have to work with your team to answer questions and explore your five senses to solve the problems before you. You’ll be able to contribute to your team, eat great food, laugh, cry, laugh more than cry hopefully, hang out with friends and be able to say later on that you were part of “the most fun fundraiser”. How many people get to say that? BJH: This is making me excited! How does scoring work? How do I know my team is winning? DZ: So you’ve gone from “I’m nervous I won’t know anything” to “obviously my team will be winning.” That’s good. Ambitious but good. There will be event volunteers walking around collecting answer sheets from the teams. There will be a panel of judges working through and scoring all the answer sheets. At the end of the game you can look forward to the hosts announcing the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place winners. MR: You already know the first place winner will be your team so you’ll just be concerned with who lost to you in 2nd and 3rd place. BJH: Of course! Well this sounds like a fun event! How do I RSVP? What if I don’t have a team of 10? AZ: You can sign up at www.chailifeline.org/triviapanoply. Teams can sign up individually and just fill in their team captain’s name to be placed on the same team. If you don’t have

a team you will be matched up with an incomplete one. Send an email to triviapanoply@gmail.com with any questions. BJH: I can’t imagine why but if you find yourself having a reason not to attend the event, I’m assuming there is still a way to support Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic and tend to whatever business is keeping you from being at the event? AE: Absolutely. You can still donate on the website - www.chailifeline.org/triviapanoply. Just click that you can’t attend. BJH: Sounds like it is going to be a great night! Anything else you’d like to leave us with? IE: It’s going to be an incredible event that you don’t want to miss. We’ll add that yes, the night will be tons of fun and we’re certain attendees will be talking about it for a long time after but there is still a gravity that will be present at the event. We have to remember why we’re doing it. Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic is already serving over 100 families in our area. These families are going through real life struggles beyond some of our comprehensions. AE: Being at the event not only supports the organization itself but also shows a solidarity with those families. It shows them that, as a community, we stand by them and will make sure that they have the support they need during their very trying times.

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Baltimore Jewish Home: Wow there are so many of you here for the interview! Inbal Elman: Yes! The six of us have been working together on Trivia Panoply for many months. Dovi Ziffer: We’re really excited about the Chai Lifeline Trivia Panoply fundraiser that will be taking place on Wednesday, December 19th at 6:45 pm at Beth Tfiloh! Atara Ziffer: Excellent plug, Dovi! BJH: I can see you’re eager to talk about the event but before we get into it, can you tell us a little about what the money is being raised for? Ari Elman: The goal of the evening is to raise awareness and operating funds for the Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic Region. Chai Lifeline is a renowned national organization that helps children and families battling life-threatening illness. We are fortunate to now have our own local office that is providing direct services to so many children and families in our area. Avrami Rakovsky: It’s up to us

as a community to raise the money to keep the office open and to expand our reach and services. This means that every dollar contributed locally to Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic stays local, providing direct services to sick children and their families in our own community. BJH: That’s great! I know Trivia Panoply is more than just an event with a hilarious title. What is it and how does it work? AZ: Panoply means “array.” This event is a multimedia trivia night. Players will compete against each other in teams of 10. There will be 3 rounds, each consisting of several different games. Fun questions spanning a wide variety of topics will be asked! BJH: You say “multimedia” trivia. Without giving anything away for this year, can you give some examples of what you mean? Michelle Rakovsky: Last year, we had games like “An Apple a Day” where players had to guess the brand of the generic pill. We had baseball, jelly bean tasting, corporate logos, and science. It’s full of slideshows and multisensory paraphernalia. DZ: This year, we’re offering donation incentives that include previews of some of the new games. AR: That’s what “corporate sponsorship” really means. BJH: You guys are hilarious. So what if I’m nervous I won’t know anything and it’s preventing me from joining what I keeping hearing will be “the most fun fundraiser”.

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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The Week In News

Israel Tackles Hezbollah Tunnels

This week, IDF troops headed to the north of the country to approach the issue of Hezbollah attack tunnels on the border between Israel and Lebanon. Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and

missiles – larger than that of many European countries. On Tuesday, the military said it uncovered the “first of sure to be many” cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah, as part of its newly launched Operation Northern Shield. The tunnel was found south of the Israeli town of Metulla along the Lebanese border. The army said it was some 650 feet long, extending around 120 feet into Israeli territory. The tunnel was dug deeper and was taller than those built by Hamas in Gaza. It took over two years to excavate and contains electrical and communication lines as well as ventiliation. According to the IDF, the tunnel originated under a house in the Lebanese village of Kafr Kila. The tunnel was not yet operational and does not present an immediate threat to residents of the area. This was the first tunnel that the Israel Defense Forces has said it discovered as part of Operation Northern Shield. On Tuesday the IDF called up a

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small number of reservists, as it prepared for a potential retaliation by Hezbollah in response to the newly launched effort to find and destroy cross-border attack tunnels the military says the terror group dug into Israeli territory. Additional tanks, artillery cannons, and armored personnel carriers were also spotted on highways leading up to northern Israel. The Combat Engineering Corps reservists were meant to assist in the counter-tunnel effort. The Air Force units were called up in order to provide additional manpower to Israel’s various air defense batteries. “At this time, having exposed the tunnel, IDF soldiers are conducting engineering and operational efforts before neutralizing it,” the army said in a statement. The Israeli military has refused to comment on how it plans to destroy the tunnel, with some speculating that the army will fill it with concrete in order to seal it off. In the past, the IDF has also used explosives to demolish tunnels. For now, the army’s activities are limited to the Israeli side of the Blue Line – the internationally recognized armistice line that acts as a de facto border between Israel and Lebanon. Even so, IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis has indicated that other tunnels may be destroyed within Lebanon as well. “We are prepared for all options, and the operation is only in its first day. The neutralizing of the tunnels will not necessarily take place within our territory,” he said. Defense analysts have warned that while Hezbollah is unlikely to react so long as the IDF keeps its activities within Israel, the Iran-backed terror group may retaliate if the tunnel-busting effort crosses the border or results in deaths among its operatives. According to the IDF, approximately seven years ago, Hezbollah created a special forces unit – known as the Radwan Unit – specifically tasked with crossing into Israel and causing as much mayhem and destruction as possible both for the sake of the damage to Israel itself and for the “symbolism” of having troops carry out attacks inside Israel. Last Friday, the Lebanese terror group issued a warning video to Israel apparently filled with satellite images

and precise map locations of strategic sites in the Jewish state, with a message: “Attack and you will regret it.” The video was posted after an alleged Israeli airstrike on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria the night before. A spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping force UNIFIL, which is meant to enforce UN Resolution 1701, told The Times of Israel that it was aware of the reports that the IDF was launching Operation Northern Shield and was maintaining contact with “all relevant interlocutors to ensure that the parties use the UNIFIL liaison and coordination mechanisms to maintain the continued calm and stability.” “The situation in UNIFIL’s area of operation remains calm,” the spokesperson said, noting that the peacekeeping force has stepped up patrols in the area.

Females in Israel’s Navy

In a first, the IDF’s recent November draft class included five female combat soldiers who are destined to deploy on the Israeli Navy’s warships The five soldiers will serve on the Sa’ar 5 corvettes and will transfer to the more modern Sa’ar 6 series after ships are delivered to the navy’s shipyards in 2019. The new troops will make history, as they will be the first female conscripts to serve on the corvette series in Israel’s history. While female soldiers were previously deployed on the larger “Satil” missile boats, the smaller patrol and missile boats were previously the purview of men only. The female soldiers will go through basic training alongside their male counterparts in what is an IDF pilot program examining whether female troops can be fully integrated into roles that were previously reserved for men.


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The Week In News “They will be operating some of the most advanced weapons systems that are used not only in Israel, but in the entire world,” said Lieutenant Colonel Avi Asker, who is in charge of running the navy’s training courses. “They are also serving at sea. This is not trivial.” The move comes as the IDF has significantly expanded the number of female combat soldiers in the military. In 2018, a record 1,050 female combat soldiers served in the army, up from only 500 in 2015. The military has added co-ed units in the infantry, artillery, and combat collection corps. In addition, the military says that a pilot program testing out the ability to integrate women into tank units was successful and is examining whether to add female troops into the combat engineering corps as well. The IDF says that it has accelerated its efforts to integrate women in combat roles due to manpower needs, pointing to the ebbing motivation of Israelis to enlist in combat units. The move has received broad pushback from the religious community, however, who worry about the modesty

challenges the phenomenon causes to observant soldiers. Many Israelis also oppose the move for military reasons, pointing to the ordinate amount of injuries female combat soldiers have suffered from in recent years as well as the substandard performance of mixed units on combat deployments.

not list for Jews in the West Bank.’ It should be equal access for all.” Airbnb said in response that “we don’t believe this lawsuit will succeed in court, but we know that people will disagree with our decision and appreciate their perspective.”

Airbnb Not for You and Me A group of 19 American Jews has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb after the vacation rental giant removed Jewish-owned houses in Judea and Samaria from its website. The plaintiffs allege that Airbnb’s decision to delist only Jewish-owned properties violates U.S. housing laws banning faith-based discrimination. Robert Tolchin, who is representing the group, told Reuters that “Airbnb has made a religion- and nationality-based decision about who can list. It decided in the United States, ‘We will

The litigation is part of the backlash to Airbnb’s decision to boycott Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Airbnb had announced on November 19 that it would not list Jewish-owned properties in the West Bank. Deeming the region “disputed,” the property rental company added that it would examine its listings in other conflict-ridden areas such as the Western Sahara. The announcement set off outrage in both Israel and the United States. A

slew of politicians and municipalities condemned the decision, including the City of Beverly Hills, who said Airbnb’s move “are antithetical to the values that we hold dear in Beverly Hills.” Florida’s Governor-elect Ron DeSantis said this past week that he was examining whether Airbnb ran afoul of Florida law forbidding boycotts against Israel. “They delisted all Jewish listings in the West Bank,” DeSantis noted. “They do not treat anybody else in the entire world like this. It’s only targeted to the Jewish community.” Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner also pledged to the fight Airbnb for “its prejudicial policy against the Jewish state.” Ordering his state’s Investment Policy Board to look into withdrawing its holdings in the company, Rauner said that Airbnb’s decision to delist Jewish-owned properties was “highly disturbing.” “We are also looking into ways that we can exert pressure on Airbnb to end its prejudicial policy against the Jewish state,” said Rauner.


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The Week In News EU to Vote for UN Resolution Condemning Hamas

Following vigorous lobbying, the European Union (EU) has agreed to vote for a UN resolution condemning the Hamas terror group. The EU’s support increases the resolution’s chances of the passing when the vote occurs this week. However, it is still unclear whether the U.S. and Israel managed to rouse enough support for the resolution, which needs a simple majority of the General Assembly’s 195-member nations to pass. The EU only agreed to vote for the anti-Hamas resolution following marathon negotiations with the U.S. The EU demanded that the resolution include a paragraph calling for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians “in accordance with international law, and bearing in mind relevant UN resolutions.” Despite urging by the EU, the resolution does not contain an explicit call for a Palestinian State. Titled “Activities of Hamas and Other Militant Groups in Gaza,” the resolution “condemns Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence, thereby putting civilians at risk.” The declaration also demands that “Hamas and other militant actors including Palestinian Islamic Jihad cease all provocative actions and violent activity, including by using airborne incendiary devices,” referring to the incendiary kites that Hamas has utilized to torch Israel’s south. The resolution blasted Hamas for violating international law, “including in regards to the protection of the civilian population.” The declaration urged Hamas to undertake “tangible steps towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation,” including “concrete steps to reunite the

Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority and ensure its effective functioning in the Gaza Strip.” Hamas has been at odds with the rival Palestinian Authority and has refused to allow the PA to operate in the Gaza Strip since it took over the territory in 2007. The UN resolution concludes by condemning Hamas’ efforts to “construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population.” Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon called on the international community to support the resolution during a debate on Thursday, noting the widespread anti-Israel bias the UN is renowned for. “Every year, the United Nations adopts at least 20 resolutions specifically to condemn Israel. Not a single one of these resolutions or any GA resolution at all has ever included Hamas,” said Danon. “But the international community has an opportunity to take a moral stance and finally condemn Hamas. If the international community does not condemn Hamas, it is enabling a terrorist organization.”

29 Still Missing in CA Wildfires

away blazes left tens of thousands of people homeless and laid waste to the city of Paradise, which had a population of 27,000 before the fires started. At the height of the devastation, officials said that over 1,300 people were missing, making it potentially one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. However, updated figures show that the number of those killed in the blaze has not yet surpassed 100, as those unaccounted for have been rapidly turning up. By Monday, the Butte County Sheriff’s department put the death toll at 85 while it said that 11 people were still unaccounted for. The new figures are a sharp drop from the 1,200 missing the county reported only a week before. According to the Associated Press, the chaos resulting from the fires in addition to the inability for rescuers to access the burning rubble led many to erroneously report their friends and family missing. Many had fled to nearby areas without reporting their whereabouts, while others did not have a working cell phone. Often, loved ones failed to take their relatives off the “missing” list or added them back on despite them having been located. Amid mounting criticism, the Butte Country Sherriff’s Department insisted that it is doing its best to present the situation accurately. “We’ve interfaced with the Red Cross,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told the media. “Not only are they checking it, we double-check with them. That’s an ongoing process because people come in and they go out.”

Senior FB Exec Targeted Soros

The death toll from California’s deadly wildfires is thankfully turning out to be much lower than previously estimated. Since early November, large parts of California have been devastated by a series of massive wildfires. From Malibu to Orange Country, the run-

Senior Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s story regarding the tech giant’s targeting of Jewish billionaire George Soros continues to unravel as

new reports say that Sandberg managed the probe into the controversial financier. According to a report by The New York Times, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg had sent an email to a PR company the firm had retained, Definers Public Affairs, asking to look into Soros’ motivations for besmirching Facebook. Sandberg’s email came after Soros gave a speech last January to the World Economic Forum in Davos calling Facebook a “menace.” Following his tirade, Sandberg asked staff to find out if the wealthy financier stood to make money if Facebook stock collapsed. Facebook confirmed the report but stressed that Facebook had already looked into Soros when Sandberg sent the email. “We researched potential motivations behind George Soros’s criticism of Facebook in January 2018. Soros is a prominent investor and we looked into his investments and trading activity related to Facebook,” said the company in an email. “That research was already underway when Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr. Soros had shorted Facebook’s stock. Sheryl never directed research on Freedom from Facebook. But, as she said before, she takes full responsibility for any activity that happened on her watch.” Sandberg has repeatedly changed her story since The New York Times reported earlier this month that Facebook had targeted Soros in an attempt to stop the flood of negative publicity the social media giant has suffered from him. According to the report, Sandberg hired Definers Public Relations to tie the attacks to Soros, leading many to accuse the company of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. Facebook fired Definers following the expose, but Sandberg repeatedly denied that she was aware that her company was going after Soros. Only after contrary accounts appeared in the press did Sandberg admit that she played a senior role in Facebook’s cooperation with Definers and apologized for her role in the affair. “Over the past decade, I built a management system that relies on the teams to escalate issues if they are uncomfortable about any project, the value it will provide or the risks that


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United States President Donald Trump announced this week that he is formally pulling the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), fulfilling a major campaign promise to scrap the maligned trade agreement. “I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump said on Air Force One following the G-20 summit in Argentina. A new deal instead of NAFTA has been negotiated by the U.S. president with the United States’ neighbors to the north and south. Trump said that he was now giving Congress a chance to ratify the new trade deal he signed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday. Known as the as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the updated trade agreement needs to be ratified by Congress for it to take effect. “The terrible NAFTA will soon be gone. The USMCA will be fantastic for all!” tweeted the president before heading back to the United States. NAFTA’s charter allows countries to withdraw the treaty with a half year’s notice, giving the new, incoming Congress the responsibility of ratifying the USMCA to replace NAFTA. “Just so you understand, when I do that – if for any reason we’re unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice” of going back to the negotiations table or retuning to the pre-NAFTA rules, said Trump. First signed in 1994 by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the much-ma-

ligned NAFTA guaranteed free trade between the three countries. While economists have praised the agreement as a boon to the U.S. economy, Trump and others allege that it caused U.S. manufacturing jobs to vanish from the States due to cheaper labor costs in Canada and Mexico. Observers say that Trump will have a long battle ahead of him, as the Democratic Party, which will have a majority in the House in January, has vowed to oppose the USMCA for its lack of labor laws and environmental regulation. “What isn’t in it yet is enough enforcement reassurances regarding workers, provisions that relate to workers and to the environment,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Saturday.

Earthquakes Shake Alaska

The Alaskan city of Anchorage is struggling to recover after a major earthquake rattled the state’s largest city over the weekend. Anchorage had been hit with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Friday. While the quake did not cause any fatalities, it destroyed roads, shook buildings, and ripped up power lines throughout southern Alaska. The jolt also caused a rare tsunami warning, which was rescinded by mid-afternoon. Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration in what was Anchorage’s largest earthquake since 1964, Following the earthquake, Anchorage’s 300,000 residents struggled to recover as the area suffered from more than 230 aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey had warned Alaskans to be prepared for the aftershocks following the Friday


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The Week In News earthquake but said that the magnitude of the tremors would drop with the passage of time. “According to our forecast, over the next 1 Week there is a 4 % chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 7.0. It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next 1 Week, with 20 to 2,200 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks,” it said in a statement. “The number of aftershocks will drop off over time, but a large aftershock can increase the numbers again,

temporarily,” it cautioned. Anchorage Municipal Manager Bill Falsey credited the city’s adherence to building codes for the lack of fatalities, adding that the results could have been much deadlier. “More than a dozen of the aftershocks have been greater than magnitude of 4 and five have been greater than a magnitude of 5,” said Falsey. “Every one of those in a normal course would have been a real ‘no kidding’ Alaska earthquake. So for a lot of people in town, this event has not

ended,” he said. Officials put a priority on getting the state’s 200-mile Glenn Highway back to normal and restoring water and power supplies. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowiz praised his city’s citizens for their steadfastness and cooperation in working to restore Alaska’s second largest city. “I think it says more about who we are than what we suffered,” said Berkowitz. “Anchorage is prepared for these kind of emergencies. ... People pulled together, we followed the plans

that were in place, we looked after one another.” He added, “When people around the country and around the world look at this, they’re going to say ‘we want to do things the Anchorage way’ because Anchorage did this right.”

Alaska’s 1 Vote Election

Control of Alaska’s House for the next two years is hanging by a thread. Following a Friday recount, Republican Barton LeBon held a one-vote lead over Democrat Kathryn Dodge. Entering that recount, the candidates were in a dead heat with 2,661 votes each. At the time, a mystery ballot marked for Dodge and found by an election worker at a Fairbanks voting precinct appeared likely to play a crucial role in determining the outcome, but that voted was tossed on Friday after election officials determined it belonged to a voter who had made a mistake and then submitted a new ballot. The stakes are high. If LeBon hangs on to win, Republicans would control the entire state government in The Last Frontier – the House, Senate and governor’s mansion. If Dodge wins, parties would scramble to form a coalition majority in the House. It all has a familiar ring to Alaska House Democratic Speaker Bryce Edgmon, who won his tied 2006 primary by a coin toss before being elected to the Statehouse later that year. It’s probable the contest will be determined by the courts – and may not be settled until early January. Dodge has five days to decide whether she will file a legal challenge to the outcome. The Democrat said she would “think on things” following the Friday recount, the Juneau Empire


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The Week In News reported. Should the race remain tied after the recount and legal proceedings, the winner would be determined by a coin toss. “I’ve come too far to have a coin toss settle this,” LeBon said, according to the Associated Press. The situation is strikingly similar to a 2017 Virginia Statehouse race that was determined by drawing names out of a container in January. That contest also determined control of the Virginia House. Republican David Yancey was named the victor after his name was selected, giving Republicans a 51-49 majority in the Statehouse.

7-Yr-Old Makes $22M

Looking to buy a Chanukah present for your little one? Better ask Ryan. He’ll help you get the best toy for your precocious five-year-old or too-coolfor-school teen. Ryan, of Ryan Toysreview, is just seven-years-old but his bank account is far from slim. The toy reviewer loves trains and cars and builds cities with his Legos. Toys are his business, and busi-

ness is so good that Forbes has named Ryan their highest paid YouTube performer of the year. Ryan’s short, simple videos that feature Ryan with toys and having fun have made Ryan one of the most popular influencers online, with 17.3 million followers and a total of nearly 26 billion views since he (and his parents) launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview, in March 2015. For Ryan, this means not only an endless stream of toys to play with but also a seemingly endless stream of money: he was this year’s highest-paid YouTube star, earning $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018, Forbes estimates. “I’m entertaining and I’m funny,”  Ryan recently said in an NBC interview, explaining the popularity that has led him to become a minimillionaire. Ryan is part of the YouTube trend of “unboxing,” in which content creators film themselves opening up toys, tech products and other consumer goods, explaining different features and, in Ryan’s case, screaming and giggling with enthusiastic delight as he does so. In his most popular video, he opens up giant eggs to find toys from Disney’s Cars and Paw Patrol; in another, he plays with a Thomas and Friends inflatable ball pit – creating the kind of mess that is most parents’ worst nightmare. But if he’s being paid to do it, well, there’s money there for someone to clean up the mess, I guess. Nearly all of his money, or about $21 million, comes from pre-roll advertising on his channels Ryan ToysReview and Ryan’s Family Review. When views go up, so do these automated ad dollars. With more views

than anyone else on the list, it’s no surprise he claims the top spot. The remaining $1 million comes from sponsored posts. That dollar amount is low compared with the money earned from similar content by other YouTubers on our list—the result not only of how few deals Ryan (or his family) chooses to accept, but also the fact that his pint-size demographic isn’t exactly all that flush. When he’s not in front of the camera, Ryan’s taking his mini-mogul act behind the scenes. After signing with kid’s entertainment studio Pocket. watch last year, the deals began rolling in. In October, it was announced that content from his channel will be repackaged and distributed on Hulu and Amazon. In August, he launched Ryan’s World, a toy and apparel collection sold exclusively at Walmart. The line, which Ryan heavily promotes on his YouTube channel, features a variety of slimes and putties, Ryan action figures, T-shirts, toy cars and more. “It’s so cool,” Ryan, who serves as creative director, said of seeing his face in the aisles of Walmart. While these deals didn’t affect his earnings this year, they will likely add millions next year. Because he is a minor, 15% of Ryan’s earnings are funneled into what’s called a Coogan account, which is protected until he becomes a legal adult. A good portion of the rest likely goes to paying managerial and production fees – and for all of those toys.

The ignorant government worker also complimented Gavin Clarkson on his English. Thankfully, Gavin and his wife were able to obtain their marriage license. The couple handled the snafu with a bit of humor, as did others waiting for their legal papers. “All the couples behind us waiting in line were laughing,” Gavin said. Director of media and public relations for D.C. Courts, Leah H. Gurowitz, additionally provided an apology to the publication: “We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico’s 106-year history as a state. We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a D.C. marriage license.”

Free Games!

New Mexico Fiasco If you want to get married in the nation’s capital, then you better not hail from New Mexico. The state boasts a population of around 2 million and is situated between Arizona and Texas but it’s not in the U.S. – or is it? A couple from New Mexico learned the hard way that Americans are not too good with geography when they applied for a marriage license in Washington, D.C. The clerk told the groom-to-be that they couldn’t accept “international driver’s licenses,” after checking twice with the supervisor if New Mexico was a legitimate state.

Here’s a great Chanukah gift for the sports fans in your lives. Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered season ticket holders two complimentary tickets for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. The team was forced to implement drastic measures after the team was victorious against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in front of the smallest crowd within the past eight years. Turns out, fans don’t like to watch their team get butchered. Sunday’s win was the team’s second in just two months. Per the Tampa Bay Times, the


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The Week In News Buccaneers rank third-worst in the NFL in average attendance, sitting behind only the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Chargers, who play in a soccer stadium. For now, those two free tickets were available on a first come, first serve basis and had to be reserved. It’s up in the air if the same deal will apply to the remaining two home games. One way to fill the stadium, though, would be to start winning.

Vegans Watch their Mouths

Those who subscribe to a vegan lifestyle do not let meat, chicken, eggs, or other animal-produced products pass their lips. According to Shareena Hamzah from Swansea University in Wales, the prohibition on animal-related products does not just refer to food. Hamzah suggests that certain phrases that reference animals turn vegans’ stomachs. Perhaps, she opines, those phrases will eventually be phased out of the English language as vegans and those who don’t want to offend their sensitivities will refrain from using them in conversation. Consider the phrases, “bringing home the bacon” and “flogging a dead horse.” Perhaps animal-lovers would be offended by their use. Or take the phrases, “taking a bull by the horns” or “putting all one’s eggs in one basket.” Better use them now before they go the way of the dinosaur (whoops! Can’t say that one either!). Writing on the academic website The Conversation, Hamzah claims the growing influence of veganism will raise awareness of animal cruelty and put an end to meaty descriptions. “In today’s reality, meat is repeatedly the subject of much socially and

politically charged discussion, including about how the demand for meat is contributing to climate change and environmental degradation,” she said. “Studies have indicated the negative effects of meat-eating on the human body. When concerns about animal welfare are added to the broth, the growth of vegetarianism and veganism threatens to dethrone meat from its position at the top of the food hierarchy,” she added. “The image of ‘killing two birds with one stone’ is, if anything, made more powerful by the animal-friendly alternative of ‘feeding two birds with one scone,’” she noted. PETA is right on her tail with this one. The animal-rights group has been pushing for “animal-friendly idioms” for some time, and has a list of suggestions people could use to avoid causing offense to vegans. Examples include “feeding a fed horse” instead of “beating a dead horse,” and “taking the flowers by the thorns” instead of “taking the bull by the horns.” “While these phrases may seem harmless, they carry meaning and can send mixed signals to students about the relationship between humans and animals and can normalize abuse,” PETA writes. “Teaching students to use animal-friendly language can cultivate positive relationships between all beings and help end the epidemic of youth violence towards animals.” Hold your horses – this story really gets my goat.

John stepped out of a restaurant in Times Square, got down on one knee, and proceeded to propose to Daniella. But the proposal went awry when John fumbled the ring and it dropped down a subway grate. The duo could be seen on camera on their hands and knee peering into the grate, desperately searching for the ring. They called over police officers who tried to help, but to no avail – the ring was lost. Enter the NYPD and their soft hearts. Special-ops officers proceeded to go into the bowels of New York after the couple walked off and were able to locate the shiny bauble. But then the police officers had trouble finding the couple who did not leave their contact information with the officers. “WANTED for dropping his fiancée’s ring in Times Square! She said Yes- but he was so excited that he dropped the ring in a grate,” the NYPD News tweeted Saturday. “Officers rescued it & would like to return it to the happy couple.” Thankfully, twitter did its job, and John and Daniella were reunited with their ring. “So, so happy to have the ring back! G-d bless America!” John said. He also sent thanks to “so special little girl who gave my fiancé a big hug... So much love for New York City.” Sounds like they are truly grateful.

Dapper Delivery Lost & Found – in NYC Grate

Fumbling your engagement proposal in front of a crowd is embarrassing. Losing the ring in the process is aggravating. Having the police put out a BOLO for you, well, that’s a totally New York moment. Over the weekend, a couple from England were about to celebrate a huge event. On a visit to New York,

The oldest takeout delivery driver in Britain is a mere 82-years-old. Brian Loughans has not missed a single shift since he started his job around two-and-a-half years ago. He works around 18 hours per work delivering delicious Indian food to customers with a shirt and tie – and a smile. Mr. Loughans does things old

school. He doesn’t use a GPS navigation system to find customers’ homes. Perhaps his time in the Royal Air Force has given him good sense of direction. Loughans would deliver the Yellow Pages door to door and, several years ago, Kiplings restaurant asked him to deliver their flyers. The rest, as they say, is history. In recognition of his tireless work, Loughans was recently voted the best takeaway delivery driver in Britain. Funnyman David Walliams presented him with the coveted gong in front of a star-studded audience at the British Takeaway Awards ceremony in London last week. The judging panel commended Brian for his punctuality, reliability and cheerful attitude. “I believe I am probably the oldest person delivering Indian takeaways in the British Isles. People have asked how I do it but according to the medics I am 100% fit. I think the secret is not drinking or smoking,” the octogenarian said. Just a few months ago, Loughans drove a staggering 112 miles down to West Bromwich for a regular customer. “I was a taxi driver for 40 years so I know my way around and when I was offered the work here I thought it might be a bit of fun. I enjoy going out and meeting people. It’s nice to have won but I don’t like having my name up in lights really, I’ve always been a little bit more quiet, I just do the things that need to be done,” he added. “I’m not so much into spicy food, but the customers like it. My favorite is the grilled chicken tikka and rice.” During last winter’s big Beast from the East freeze Brian, who drives his own car, came across a woman stranded in the snow with her young daughter. Their car had broken down and their phone was dead so Brian gave them a lift home. It was only as he was dropping them off he discovered it was the same address he was delivering to. The husband was initially angry that his food had taken so long to arrive – until he realized Brian had brought his wife and child home safely. “Brian leaves an impression with the customer, he is not just an ordinary delivery driver,” his boss said. “When Brian delivers you remember your delivery.”


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Torah Thought

Elephants Can Jump!

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

The reading of the portion of Mikeitz always coincides with Chanukah. There are many allusions within the portion to this association. One of the first striking parallels is in the dreams of Pharaoh. He dreams of robust and beautiful cows being consumed by seven ugly gaunt ones. He has a vision of seven healthy and good ears of grain being swallowed up by seven thin and scorched ones. This imagery echoes the miracle Chanukah

where G-d delivered, ‫גבורים ביד חלשים‬, the strong into the hands of the weak. When Yosef satisfactorily interprets Pharaoh’s dream, Pharaoh is duly impressed, enthusiastically exclaiming ‘there is no one so discerning and wise’ as Yosef. His wise men attempted to interpret his conflicting dreams in terms of conquests and defeats or blessings and

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losses. They were incapable of envisioning a world of destiny, merely one of fate. They offer no constructive advice or purposeful instruction simply a peek into the inevitable. Yosef however perceives an ability to help the greater Egyptian state and wider region in providing for storage of grain for the ensuing years of famine. He instructs Pharaoh to empower the masses by appointing them as responsible overseers to safeguard their future food stock. The Holy Alshich teaches that Yosef wasn’t merely offering sage advice but rather presenting to them an entirely different worldview. It was one of destiny, where man through his actions can gain favor from the Creator in being worthy of His benevolence in providing our needs. This he avers explains the strange request Yosef made of the Egyptians to circumcise themselves. Until now, he says, they lived under the mazal, fate, of the ‫שר של‬ ‫מצרים‬, the spiritual Minister of Egypt. This was a world limited to its ‫מצָ ִרים‬, ְ boundaries, the literal translation of the word, ‫מצְ ַריִ ם‬, ִ Egypt. One who was willing to undergo circumcision, an act that declares we are not limited to our natural selves, that we can ‘improve’ our state of being by reducing and controlling our passions by living lives of choice rather than one of blind fate, can rightfully expect G-d in turn to manipulate nature, or fate, in favor of our destiny and benefit. This directive was presented to the masses after they observed their personal stockpiles had rotted. Yosef instructs that by virtue of their living with purpose G-d will intervene in assuring the crops would remain preserved, defying that which might normally be written off to nature’s affect. This allusion to Chanukah now takes on a much more significant meaning. We don’t just celebrate G-d’s intervening on our behalf in al-

lowing a small, insufficiently armed, band of guerrillas to claim victory. We extol their willingness to sacrifice their most precious physical possession, their lives, in order to stand up for their spiritual values in defying those who would destroy the purity of Torah and deny our privileged relationship to our Father in Heaven. As in the days of Yosef, the seemingly weak overcame the natural order of events, and defeated their naturally powerful foes. Those who aspire to the power of the spirit can overcome all the challenges the physical world places in our path. We have commemorated this past week the first yahrtzeit of one of those giants of the spirit; the veritable Chofetz Chaim of our generation, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, zt”l. He was a man who lived nearly every day of his 104 year long life, with vigor, determination and zeal of one scores younger. One limited to the confines of a natural world simply would have worn out much earlier. Only those who dedicate their lives wholly to promoting the Honor of Heaven in every action, breath and deed can ascend beyond the limitations of the material world and accomplish so much. • Years ago, while learning with a group of talmidim a perplexing question arose. The Talmud teaches that according to Rabbi Shimon all animals both small and large are acquired through the process of halachic acquisition called Hagbaha, lifting it up off the ground. The Talmud discusses, if that be the case, how one would go about acquiring an elephant. It suggests that one could accomplish this by using bundles of branches. Rashi explains this to mean that one would bring a sufficient volume of twigs; piling them on the ground and having the elephant walk up on to them


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thus raising itself above the ground atop the vines. Tosafos quoting Rabbeinu Meshulam suggests that it implies something very different. As these branches are commonly used as elephant feed one would simply coax the elephant by holding the vines high above the elephant and coax the elephant to jump up to grab its prize, thus accomplishing the ‘lifting’ of the elephant off the ground.).‫(קידושין כו‬ One of the students wondered whether elephants actually can jump. We inquired by scholars and experts and lo and behold discovered that no known specie of Asian or African elephant can jump! Is Tosafos wrong? I shortly thereafter traveled to Israel with my wife and son to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah there. I had been for-

tunate to have been able through good friends to schedule a visit with the three venerated Gedolim at that time, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, ylc’t, Harav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, and Harav Aharon Leib Shteinman, in order to receive blessings for my son at this auspicious time. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and present this dilemma to these great sages. I presented to Reb Chaim the scientific evidence and asked him how to reconcile it with the claim of Tosafos. He looked me straight in the eye and emphatically declared, “zei zenen nish gerecht!” The scientists are absolutely wrong! Remembering the legendary tale of the famed Chogov, kosher specie of grasshopper that suddenly alighted upon Reb Chaim’s windowsill amidst a heated debate regarding

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its exact characteristics, proving Reb Chaim correct, I waited for a jumping elephant to make an appearance and rise up to the window at that very moment! It wasn’t to be. We then travelled the short distance to the home of the beloved and engaging Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Michel Yehuda and once again presented our query. In his inimitable warm manner he attempted to reconcile the conflict by suggesting that when the Talmud posed the question regarding taking possession of a large animal and utilizing the example of an elephant it was merely using the imagery of the elephant as a large animal but was referring to all large animals, whom generally are capable of jumping despite their enormity. Our final destination was the revered Gadol HaDor whose dedication to every member of Klal Yisroel was evident in his attentiveness and obvious concern for anyone who entered his four cubits. Once again after my son received his very sincere blessing, I presented our quandary. He was very intrigued and requested a Gemara so that we would together learn the Tosafos inside. He pondered for a moment and with his sweet smile and unique twinkle in his eye gave an answer that I believe radiated his quintessential being. He said that the zoologists probably never starved an elephant to the point that in its desperate hunger would indeed actually jump! In the world of Rav Shteinman there were no boundaries. The will to convey the will of G-d was so powerful that it could defy the normal limitations of man and natural law. His personal legacy clearly defied the odds. A wealthy philanthropist visited Rav Shteiman this past summer. He exclaimed his joy in seeing the Rosh Yeshiva and offered to make the Rosh Yeshiva happy. He suggested perhaps some home improvements or maybe

to pay for some medical assistance. Rav Shteinman then remarked “What can I tell you, to learn an hour a day? That would make G-d very happy, and I a little bit. Do you have money?” The gvir responded that he has a lot of money and is thankful to G-d for that. Rav Shteinman then told him that there is a Rosh Kolel he knows who has hundreds of yungerleit whose families are ‘hungry for bread’, their wives crying they have no food. The man immediately said he wants to give the Rav money on the spot to distribute to these families. The Rosh Yeshiva asked the gvir exactly how many families he was willing to support, and the philanthropist quickly retorted, one hundred. Rav Shteinman quipped that it was not enough to make him happy. The Rosh Yeshiva turned quietly to one of his aides and asked how much this gvir is really capable of and was told ‘a sach’, a lot. The Rosh Yeshiva turned to the wealthy man and pointedly asked him, “Can you undertake three hundred yungerleit?” The man answered that it would be very difficult, to which Rav Shteinman in his characteristic sharp-wittedness responded, “Okay then you’ll do three hundred and fifty and we have a deal!” The gvir agreed in exchange for a plethora of blessings with Rav Shteinman assuring him that in proportion to the difficulty in providing these vital funds will his load be lightened in the pressing matters of his life. The Rosh Yeshiva concluded the meeting by assuring the gvir that he had indeed brought him much joy. • Chanukah reminds us that as in the days of Mattisyahu and his children, if one truly pines for a relationship with G-d there are no barriers to those who are truly hungry. We feel at times so burdened by the weight of our problems and challenges that we are incapable of jumping out of them. Rav Shteinman left a legacy that in the realm of those who aspire to earnestly achieve closeness to G-d, even elephants can jump!


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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


Sunday Kislev 24

Tevet 1

17

Monday Kislev 25

Tevet 2

Tevet 9

12pm - 4pm @ Park Heights JCC

Chanukah Wonderland

10

3

Tevet 16

Tevet 23

1

25

18

11

4

Tevet 24

Tevet 17

Tevet 10

Tevet 3

Kislev 26

Tuesday Kislev 27

Tevet 4

Councilman Schleifer

2

26

Tevet 11

Tevet 25

Tevet 18

Cheder Chabad 200k1Day see page 47

@ Beth Tfiloh see page 2

Chai Lifeline Trivia Panoply 6:45pm - 10pm

19

see Back Cover Page

Fundraier 5:30pm @ Pimlico Race Track www.councilmanyitzy.com

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5

Wednesday

2018 December January 6

Friday Kislev 29

4:24 PM

Tevet 6

4:25 PM

Tevet 13

4:28 PM

Tevet 20

4:33 PM

Tevet 27

5

Tevet 7

5:25 PM

Kislev 30

Saturday

29

5:26 PM

Tevet 14

Tevet 28

5:36 PM

Tevet 21

5:29 PM

Bais Yaakov Middle School Production 8pm - 10pm

8:30pm @ Mesivta Kesser Torah see page 13

Kesser Torah Open House

22

8pm - 11pm @Bnei Jacob Shaarei Zion see page 39

WIT Melave Malka

15

8

Community Calendar

4

28

21

14

7

Kislev/Tevet 5779

Thursday Kislev 28

Suburban Chanukah

Tevet 26

Tevet 19

Next BJH Issue

Tevet 12

Tevet 5

Chagiga 6pm - 8pm @ Suburban

13

20

27

3

5:41 PM

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

2

9

Lev Shlomo Concert: "This is Chanuka" 7:30pm - 10pm

Women’s Musical Hallel

Tevet 8

9am-11am @ Ner Tamid Chapel

16 Mental Health Awareness 8-9:30PM @Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion see Cover poge

Shidduch Center Educational Event 7pm-10pm see page 5

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24

Ohel Moshe Siyum Hashas 7PM @Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah see page 33

Spectrum Foundation:

Nutrition @Suburban Orthodox 8pm see page 43

Tevet 15

OCA Parlor Meeting 8pm - 10pm

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

23

Tevet 22

NCSY Concert 8pm @ Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall see page 27

30 Bnainu Bowl-a-thon

4:38 PM

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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Exceptional recently renovated 4BR/2.5BA home. Open concept floor plan. Spacious living room w/fireplace. Separate dining room w/doors leading to the screened porch. Designer kitchen w/stainless appliances, quartz counters, custom backsplash & island. Family room. Master bedroom suite w/renovated bath. Upper level has a huge bedroom w/2 walkin closets (could be turned into 2 bedrooms) & full bath. Wood floors & tons of closets. Updates include kitchen, baths, doors, windows, roof, HVAC, hot water heater & much more!

Move right into this bright & spacious 4 bedroom, 3 bath rancher. Main level has a large living room, dining room, kitchen w/ island, den, master bedroom suite w/full bath, 2 additional bedrooms, full bath, mudroom & laundry area. Full partially finished lower level with family room, bedroom w/walkin closet & full bath, tons of storage space. Refinished hardwood floors & freshly painted throughout. Wrap around deck. Attached carport.

Move right into this lovely cape cod. Main level has sitting room; living room; dining room; beautiful updated kitchen with granite counters, island & breakfast bar, full bath & family room with doors to rear deck. Upper level has a large bedroom with walk-in closet, additional bedroom & renovated bath. Finished lower level has huge rec room, bedroom, 2 additional rooms that could be used as bedrooms, full bath & laundry area.

$999,000

$569,900

$429,900

$329,000

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SHELBURNE ROAD

SHELBURNE ROAD

Move right into this beautifully updated 3BR/2BA home. Gleaming hardwood floors on main level. Renovated kitchen w/granite counters, custom backsplash & island. Master bedroom suite w/ renovated bath. 2 additional bedrooms & updated hall bath. Lower level w/large family room, laundry area & tons of storage space.

Move righto into this beautifully updated 1BR/1BA unit in a luxury full service building. New laminate flooring, new carpet, updated bath, new hardware & freshly painted throughout.

Lovely 3BR/2.5BA home on quiet street. Main level features a living room, separate dining room, kitchen, bedroom, den which could be a bedroom and full bath. Upper level has 2 large bedrooms and full bath. Partially finished lower level has a huge rec room, powder room & laundry area. Hardwood floors. Beautiful yard. Property located in both City & County.

Charming 3BR/2.5BA cape cod on quiet street. Main level has a living room, dining room, modern eat-in kitchen, family room w/ fireplace, bedroom & full bath. Upper level has 2 spacious bedrooms with walk-in closets & bath. Lower level has a rec room & huge utility room with tons of storage space. Large rear deck & patio area.

$199,900

$49,900

$299,900

$349,900

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38

The Big Picture

What Are We Striving For? A Plea Against Educational Mediocrity

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

By Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz

As we rejoice together with candles, dreidels and way too many calories, Chanukah also presents us with some vital life lessons in our constant struggle with day-to-day life. Chanukah is the only festival that defines not only the base level of mitzva observance for candle-lighting, not only an additional premium level of observance, but also a deluxe super level of commitment – mehadrin-min-hamehadrin. This unique characteristic of the festival must ofcourse be understood. Interestingly, if you look around and notice, every single person you know implements that deluxe level. On the 8th night of Chanukah, almost everyone kindles 8 lights, and depending on whether they are Ashkenazi or Sephardi, also has a menorah per individual. True, there may be times when we are forced to rely on the base level of one candle per night. In my case, while in a tank training exercise in the Judean desert in the midst of an immense rain storm, our company reluctantly lit one lone container of gasoline each night as our token candle, and danced in the thunder and lightning. But in general, when resources are available, we have all accepted the highest level of observance. Why has Chanukah been adopted in such a unique way? A famous question regarding the Chanukah miracle of the oil is posed by the Pnei Yehoshua. Why, he questions, was the miracle of the never-ending oil even necessary? While there was indeed only one uncontaminated container of oil remaining in the Temple, we have a rule that ‘Tuma’ah Hutra Betzibur’, when the communal state Is one of impurity, one is permitted to use even impure objects in the Temple. Surely, in this situation of extensive defilement by the Greeks, the

priests could have therefore used all the available oil, rendering the miracle unnecessary. Several commentaries propose that while the miracle was indeed redundant, it’s occurrence highlighted a critical truth about our path in life. There are many spheres of living where it is quite acceptable for us to fulfill our obligations in a simple and average manner. As long as we pay the bills, and have what we need to support our families, there is no need to become the highest earner, nor to achieve the pinnacle of fame. Attempting such feats, is often detrimental to our families, our physical health, and our spiritual well-being. There are however, many places where mediocrity cannot be acceptable. The olive oil of the Menorah symbolically represents several of these fundamental areas. First, olive oil represents the wisdom and light of Torah. Second, the Maharal notes that oil symbolizes holiness and purity. For example, all vessels in the temple were anointed with oil when they were inaugurated. Finally, olives and their oil represent our children and their pristine nature. This is apparent from the metaphor used in Tehillim to describe our children: “Like olive saplings surrounding your table” (Tehillim 129:3) Aggregating these ideas together, we can perhaps understand the vital message of the miracle of the oil. When it comes to our children, their purity, holiness and Torah education, we must not take the ‘ok’ path, the path of inertia and least resistance. We are tasked with striving for loftier goals. This is the only path to survival in the world of the ‘Greeks’. Over the years, I have heard the following mantra countless times, “well, we ourselves did this and that and it

didn’t hurt us, so it can’t be so bad for our kids”. To that pedagogic strategy, I respond with one word - OY! I struggle to believe that there are parents out there who don’t want their kids to have a superior upbringing than their own. Personally, I was unfortunately exposed to all sorts of trash as a child, too much television (and that was the older, ‘cleaner’ type), and inappropriate language. How thrilling it is to see that my 8-year-old boys know little of the dubious content I knew at their age, and are blissfully unaware of the questionable culture surrounding them. It is of course a struggle to find the appropriate balance with modernity, especially encroaching technology coupled with social media. But there is no reason for us to wave the white flag, and meekly acquiesce to these cultural intrusions. It is possible for us to aim higher, and to strive for the premium and more pristine path. What is more troubling to me, however, is an often-seen dearth of ambition and clear goals within our formal educational system. Throughout the years of my own pedagogic experience, and in conversation with many of my colleagues, it has been shocking to see how often our schools appear to be lost in space. On the one hand, there are schools of all affiliations, that are convinced they have already achieved the required standard of excellence. They are still teaching the same materials and using the same pedagogic methods as they were 50 years ago. No matter that the kids are wildly (sometimes literally) different than they were in yesteryear. Their curriculum is often stale or woefully inadequate for the children entering their doors in 2018. Perhaps worse, are the unbeliev-

ably high number of Jewish schools and Yeshivos across the world that have no standardized Torah curriculum at all – they simply wing it. It is of course critical for our children to be happy, content and excited, but surely that cannot be the sole educational goal of an institution. Children develop meaningful happiness and self-esteem when they are challenged, encouraged and successfully achieve progressively higher levels of attainment, not when they are artificially dumbed down or when their learning is stalled on neutral. Our children are capable of much more than we can imagine, in all spheres of education. Schools have the opportunity to develop and stimulate our children to happily excel in their Torah endeavors. All of this takes a plan, a dose of vision, and a lot of hard work. We have wonderful Rabbeim and teachers – there is no reason to skimp on such a visionary plan. Let us not aim too low. Ask any Rebbi in an Anglo yeshiva in Israel their thoughts on the literacy standards of incoming post-high-school students – it is often quite sobering, especially considering the exorbitant tuition paid by parents. This is all avoidable. If a school or Yeshiva has a business plan, it must surely also have a thorough educational plan. Elementary schools should have a realistic yet ambitious curriculum of what they attempt to teach k-8. High schools should have aspirational literacy standards that graduates must achieve. As with our self-accepted deluxe candle-lighting on Chanukah, let us work together to brighten the flame, overcome mediocrity and strive for a holier, loftier existence. The author can be reached at mottyrab@gmail.com


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Israel Today

Kids at Risk By Rafi Sackville

B

ecause I deal with kids at risk in my professional capacity, it is necessary for me to visit their homes and speak with their parents or caregivers. By doing so, I not only get an overall picture of a student’s background, but I hopefully find partners with whom I can work; a good relationship with a parent is worth its weight in gold. One recent, calm Tuesday evening I drove across town and parked in front of a flight of 65 steep steps that led to three connected homes. I worked hard to put a spring in my step. It was as if weights had been tied to my feet. My heart was heavy as I reached the top of the staircase. These were no ordinary homes. Inside their walls groups of teenagers roam from room to room overseen by a few adults. There are no parents here. I step inside. My student, “M,” sees me. Embarrassed, she ducks into her bedroom. I find her counselor, who gently coaxes M outside. We sit on benches and begin to talk. M has not yet reached 16 years of age. She hasn’t been in contact with her father since her birth, and she’s been homeless since the age of 13, when she found herself on the street with a half empty suitcase. Since then, she has floated from home to home, sometimes guided by caring adults, sometimes not, and living in homes or institutions run by state welfare. She recently landed in the hostel in Ma’alot where she’s slowly finding her feet. Cautious by nature, it has taken her a while to build trust in me. Our initial meeting was akin to talking to a wall. She avoided eye contact, and when she

did look at me, I had the feeling I could see her looking across at just one more adult throwing all sorts of promises in her direction; promises that have never materialized. M has little patience for anything that is not concrete and pertinent to the “now” in her life. She is quick to recoil when criticized for the most trivial of things – even when the criticism is delivered quietly and with respect. Most glaring is the wariness she has of the world. She carries it like an overweight burden tied around her neck. On more than one occasion she has threatened to storm out of the hostel. There’s no point asking where’d she go or how she would land on her feet because she has the street smarts to survive. On my day off I received a frantic phone call from her. A teacher had yelled at her. I was driving back to Ma’alot from Haifa. I told her to wait for me at the school gate. We picked her up and drove to her to the local coffee shop, where she sat while Keren and I watched her mind wander everywhere but on us. Most importantly, M is a truly wonderful young girl who deserves more than her lot in life. The same can be said about the other young men and women in the hostel. M is not the only student in my new homeroom class living in difficult circumstances. P is one of the smartest and most intelligent girls in the 10th grade. Her grades tell another story. Had she attended junior high school regularly she wouldn’t be in my class. It didn’t take long for her bad habits to catch up to her once she reached high

school. I couldn’t understand why she was failing herself. And then I walked into her small apartment. In every room, sheets, blankets and clothes lay strewn on the back of furniture or on the floor. The living room was partly partitioned so another bed could be squeezed into the 50 square meters that houses seven people. P’s mother is an exuberant and happy woman, who sports less teeth than she was given, is a cleaner at a supermarket, but has very little to offer P. In a world where every teenager has a phone, P doesn’t. It’s not clear when her mother will see herself financially clear to buy her one, but it doesn’t look like anytime soon. I sing P’s praises, I encourage her, and paint a better future for her. Her mother agrees wholeheartedly and points to P’s brother who works long hours in a factory, where he ended up because he never completed high school. P sits on the side of the couch sipping a beverage from a paper cup. She is listening, but I can see her mind is elsewhere. She is easily sucked into the vortex of bad behavior. This is a girl who, given a chance in one of the Jewish schools in the Five Towns, would leave with high grades and an SAT score that would open any college door. I look across at her and then at her mother and pray that she doesn’t end up at the end of a broom and mop cleaning houses or supermarkets. The gist of this article is not to depress anyone. Since I began writing for The Jewish Home I have focused on minutiae of life here in Israel. As depressing as the two portraits I have

painted here sound, there is hope at the end of the road. I know that lots and lots of dominoes have to fall into place for these two girls to succeed in life – and that they can. I won’t speculate whether or not their chances of succeeding are good or bad. Instead I have to focus on what I, as a homeroom teacher, can do to make their lives easier. I’ve found a way to buy clothes for M, WhatsApp her half a dozen times a day, and am in constant contact with her counselor. And if we can wean P away from some of her bad habits, her chances of success will greatly increase. They are not the only extreme cases in my class. I could write a book about dysfunctional families, poverty, broken homes, latch-key kids, and lost opportunities. If you want a better idea of the world I live (and thrive happily) in, think about the following old, but pertinent analogy: can you imagine a doctor walking into his practice and having to see 19 different patients with 19 different symptoms and to treat them at exactly the same time? As I have in the past, let me remind you that in describing the minutiae of life, I naturally avoid writing about subjects like Middle East politics, anti-Semitism and the like. The notion that my colleagues and I can help make a difference in the lives of these wonderful girls leads me to view them like material in the hands of the creator. The work is endless, but will hopefully bear fruit.

Rafi Sackville, formerly of Cedarhurst, teaches in Ort Maalot in Western Galil.


41

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME DECEMBER 6, 2018

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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TJH

Centerfold

Exercise for Chanukah So, how are you going to burn off those jelly donuts? The key is exercise. If you want, you can join my exercise regimen of: Jumping to conclusions

Balancing the books

Adding fuel to the fire

Climbing the walls

Running around in circles

Opening a can of worms

Beating around the bush

Eating crow

Putting my foot in my mouth

Swallowing my pride

Tooting my own horn

Starting the ball rolling

Passing the buck

Climbing the ladder of success

Going over the edge

Throwing my weight around

Pulling out the stops

Picking up the pieces

Dragging my heels Pushing my luck Making mountains out of molehills Hitting the nail on the head Wading through paperwork Bending over backwards

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

Jumping on the bandwagon

You gotta be

kidding

Two menorahs are sitting in the window. The first one says, “Wow, it’s getting hot with all these candles.” The second one says, “Wow, a talking menorah!”

Riddle me

this?

You are given two coins for Chanukah gelt. Together they add up to thirty cents, and one of them is not a nickel. What are they? See answer below on opposite page


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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

45

d. Finland 3. Potato chips were invented in Saratoga Springs in 1853 by Chef George Crum. Why did he create this crunchy treat? a. He realized that packages snacks were becoming popular so he invented them. b. He worked at an old age home and he realized that they were a good alternative to cookies. c. A frustrated customer thought his French fries were too thick and repeatedly requested that they be made thinner.

4. Who famously misspelled the word potato, while participating in an elementary school spelling bee, by spelling it p-o-t-a-t-o-e? a. Former Vice President Dan Quayle b. Former Scripps Spelling Bee champion Vasvvvavvauch Vvasilaivlovivav

b. Iowa c. Idaho d. California 7. In 2015, a group of students at Binghamton University, called the “Potato Posse,” smashed the record for mashed potatoes. How many pounds of mashed potatoes did they make? a. 355 pounds b. 744 pounds c. 983 pounds d. 2,641 pounds

 A Spin on Spud 6-7 correct: Mr. Muir, when you were a child, did you say, “I’d like to grow up to be the president of the Idaho Potato Commission?” 3-5 correct: You know a thing or two about taters... 0-2 correct: Mr. Quayle, you don’t do too well with the “potatoe”; stick with the “tomatoe”!

c. “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek

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

d. There was an excessive amount of potatoes and he needed to figure out what to do with them.

a. Utah

Answers

c. Scotland

6. Which U.S. state grows the most potatoes per year?

1. D- Remember the “average” American eats 110 pounds, but you cholent eaters should add around 100 pounds a year to that number. So you basically eat your weight in potatoes every year. Perhaps we should fry you up for latkes?

b. Ireland

d. George Auguste Escoffier

2. B

a. England

c. Benjamin Franklin

DECEMBER 6, 2018

2. In which country did the Potato Famine of 1845-1849 take place?

b. Thomas Jefferson

3. C - Crum was a chef at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. French fries were popular at the restaurant and one day a diner complained that the fries were too thick. Although Crum made a thinner batch, the customer was still unsatisfied. Crum finally made fries that were too thin to eat with a fork, hoping to annoy the extremely fussy customer. The customer, surprisingly enough, was happy – and potato chips were invented!

d. 110 pounds

a. Ronald McDonald

4. A- The other thing he is famous for? Nothing.

c. 48 pounds

5. Who introduced French fries to America?

5. B- Jefferson encountered them while serving as American Minister to France from 1784 to 1789. He served them at a White House dinner in 1802…and America has never looked back!

b. 27 pounds

 Answers 6. C- Idaho grows an average of 13.8 billion pounds of potatoes per year. While speaking at the 90th annual convention of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association, Idaho Potato Commission President Frank Muir noted that the Idaho potato industry ships 412 pounds of potatoes every second, which translated to 2.2 million pounds shipped during his 90 minute presentation. (Wait, you spoke about potatoes for 90 minutes…and people didn’t throw potatoes at you?)

a. 14 pounds

d. Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno

7. D

1. How many pounds of potatoes does the average American eat each year?

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

Potato Po-tah-to Trivia

Answer to Riddle Me This: A quarter and a nickel.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes

DECEMBER 6, 2018

“Say What?!”

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I’ve been cloned or not. The ignorant rumors are not surprising – when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead. - Tweet by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been valiantly fighting back against rampant rumors that he has died

It’s real me, I assure you. I will soon celebrate my 76th birthday and I will still go strong.

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

- Ibid., at a townhall meeting

I want us to see that segregation [between Israelis and Palestinians] and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region. I don’t think AIPAC provides a real, fair lens into this issue. It’s onesided. They have these lavish trips to Israel, but they don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there. - Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress and part of the new face of the Democrat Party, talking to the Intercept about a trip to the West Bank that she arranged for members of Congress

I personally support the BDS movement. - Ibid.

More than 2000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The U.N. can’t vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel. Happy Chanukah from this blessed city! - Tweet by U.S. Ambassador David Friedman

It may be the most strangelytimed article in the history of moveable type. The New York Times has chosen the week before Hanukkah to publish a long article warning about the supposed health dangers of eating fried potatoes. The article, though, doesn’t mention the word “Hanukkah” or the latkes, or potato pancakes, often eaten to celebrate the Jewish holiday. It’s an article so clumsily timed it seems like a parody. Imagine the Times publishing an article warning about the health risks of turkey or pumpkin pie the week before Thanksgiving — but with no reference whatsoever to the impending holiday. – Ira Stoll, Algemeiner Journal, in an article which extends political correctness to potato latkes

MORE QUOTES


B”H

DECEMBER 6, 2018

200K1DAY

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BRIGHTER TOGETHER

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December 19, 2018 | 11 Kislev 5779 www.chederbrightertogether.com

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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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DECEMBER 6, 2018

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As a Black American, my understanding of action and solidarity action is rooted in our own tradition of struggle. As Black Americans resisted slavery, as well as Jim Crow laws that transformed us from a slave state to an apartheid state, we did so through multiple tactics and strategies. It is this array of tactics that I appeal to as I advocate for concrete action from all of us in this room… Solidarity from the international community demands that we embrace boycotts, divestment, and sanctions as a critical means by which to hold Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinian people. - CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill in a speech at the U.N. last week, in which he urged the U.N. to replace Israel with a Palestinian state (CNN fired Hill after the speech)

Black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Gandhi and nonviolence. Rather, slave revolts and selfdefense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. We must allow – if we are to operate in true solidarity with Palestinian people – we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself. We must prioritize peace. But we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the fact of state violence and ethnic cleansing. - Ibid.

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George H. W. Bush, a patrician New Englander whose presidency soared with the coalition victory over Iraq in Kuwait, but then plummeted in the throes of a weak economy that led voters to turn him out of office after a single term, has died. He was 94. - Tweet by the Associated Press, working in a few last partisan digs, while announcing the death of the 41 st president of the U.S.

The Associated Press, a biased, liberal fake news organization populated by rich and entitled employees, whose slanted and false coverage in favor of a progressive and socialist agenda soared with the Democratic Party it was always trying to please, but then plummeted with honest, hard-working, taxpaying Americans once they discovered it was a shameless propaganda operation, has died. It was 172. - Douglas MacKinnon, The Daily Caller

Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time. You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get…....his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free. He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence. – Tweet by President Trump about his former lawyer, turncoat Michael Cohen, who asked the judge for a light jail sentence since he is cooperating with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller

MORE QUOTES


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

My best friend Lisa was dating Yoel for about four months. Though they were moving in the right direction from the start and things were looking good, she really only confided in me about how very serious they were getting, that he was the most amazing guy she had ever met, and that she was expecting him to propose in the very near future.

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Her parents obviously were in the loop but it was to me that Lisa would talk constantly about how much she loved Yoel, how he was everything she had ever dreamed of for a husband, and how excited she was about her future. It was also basically only to me that Lisa confided how very devastated she was when Yoel suddenly called things off, without really giving Lisa much of a good reason. And she was very devastated! She was also very embarrassed about what people would say, since most people were expecting to hear good news any minute. Quickly after they stopped dating, Lisa was set up with Baruch, who, frankly, she didn’t seem all that excited about from the start. I believe that if she had been set up with Baruch before ever meeting Yoel she never would have gone out with him for a second date. But because she felt so embarrassed over the breakup, she just kept dating Baruch – I think to prove to herself and everyone else that she was desirable! I’ve met Baruch and I don’t see them together at all. This seems to me to be the classic rebound situation, where Lisa just needs to get engaged to prove something. I’m concerned for Lisa because I think it’s a big mistake on her part and she’s getting serious with Baruch for all the wrong reasons. Should I tell Lisa what my fears are about her and Baruch and try to knock some sense into her head before she goes ahead and gets engaged to this guy, who really doesn’t seem right for her in the least? Or do I just step back, watch things play out, and hope for the best?

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 Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. s a good friend who cares about Lisa, you can help her reflect on her vulnerabilities when she is on the rebound. But communication with respect is key. You can only facilitate her thinking things through. Knocking some sense into her head is not going to work. She needs to consider her current vulnerabilities and how Baruch is responding to them. What her long time priorities in dating have been and how Baruch’s strengths fit in with them is the issue. Is she her best self with him? What does she find appealing about him and why? Is she focusing on what he does for her or are her efforts about finding a partner right away? If you can help her focus on these things, great. It takes skill, tact, and real caring to do so without a lecture. Helping build her self-esteem is another thing you can try to do, reminding her of her accomplishments, successes and strengths could be very helpful. You might also suggest that she talk things over with a dating coach or a trusted mentor who went through the recent breakup with her. Your loyalty as a friend is valuable and important but remember that ultimately it’s her decision. She will be responsible for her own decision.

A

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. isa is bleeding and she needs a Band-Aid. That Band-Aid is (unsuspecting) Baruch. You called it right. Lisa in in the vortex of a “classic rebound” romance. She is needy and vulnerable and therefore rushing headlong into another relationship in order to

L

mitigate the hurt, shame, and pain of a sudden breakup. This new relationship takes up the void left by the previous liaison and serves as a distraction from loss. Rather than working through the shock of Yoel’s sudden exit, Lisa is using Baruch to help validate her worth as an attractive, desirable young woman. Sort of unfair, don’t you think? Unfair to herself – as she’s never taken the time to absorb the lessons learned from her fateful fling with Yoel; unfair to Baruch – who may suffer his own pain when he realizes he’s being used as a Band-Aid. A s a self-proclaimed Best Friend, your mission is clear. You do not burn Yoel in effigy; you do not berate, besmirch or belittle Baruch. More helpful: make yourself available to your wounded friend. Become the listening ear and the warm heart she needs at this confusing crossroad in her life. Remind her how terrific she is and how she can take all the time she needs before she makes a life-altering decision. Finally, and you know where I’m going, bridge the subject of therapy. Be it MSW, PsyD, or psychologist, encourage Lisa to elicit the services of a qualified therapist. Only with professional guidance can Lisa properly confront the disappointment she silently endured and gain the insight and confidence she needs to embark on a healthier, brighter future.

responsibility to either speak up to your friend…or to withhold from speaking up. Each of these actions (or inactions) are not a simple matter and each can leave you with feelings of “should I have done something differently?” especially if the outcome was not what you had hoped for. Here are some points to help you in your decision: have you seen them interact together? Are you judging him on materialistic grounds or on a deeper level? In your letter, you give no examples of why the shidduch does not sit right with you besides the fact that “you don’t see it.” Perhaps she and Baruch are keeping their relationship under wraps, avoiding excited talk even with the closest of friends about future relationships, having learned her lesson that “ein ha’bracha

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use and reuse quickly dulls it. With Yoel she was outwardly excited, but that openness was quickly dulled by the trauma of being broken up with at the bottom of the ninth. Also, being polar opposites from Yoel is no contradiction either. I have met many happily married couples who claimed they were set up at exactly the right time because at a previous date they would not have been ready. Every person one dates teaches invaluable lessons that can help the dater assess what they are truly looking for. It could be after the Yoel situation she revamped what she was looking for. Bottom line: you are right to fear the “rebound situation,” however, it is truly rare for a person to get engaged to someone new just because someone had broken up with them. Most people are sensible enough to

realize that an engagement to marry someone is a lifelong commitment. Therefore, unless she seems unhappy or is not being treated right, consider the above perspectives before opening a can of worms. Nevertheless, while the points mentioned above might help give you perspective towards remaining silent, being her closest friend, you’re certainly in the position to discuss this with a mutual rav or mentor. But this is not a matter you should take in your hands alone. Much hatzlacha!

The Single Tova Wein eing a best friend is a big re-

B

sponsibility, sometimes a scary one because occasionally it’s hard to know what your role should be. In particular – how honest you should be with your BFF, when the going gets rough. I like to ask myself how I would want my BFF to act toward me if the tables were turned and then go with that, since the fact that we are so close means we probably think alike in many areas. If I were in Lisa’s shoes, I would want my BFF to be honest with me. Of course, in a sensitive, kind, soothing way… I would want her to ask me the kind of questions that would enable me to be honest with myself and the choices I’m making, encourage me to be more thoughtful about the near-term and long-term ramifications of getting serious with Baruch. And so, as that as a guideline, my advice for you is to tenderly move toward a meaningful conver-

Reluctance to share in the excitement isn’t necessarily an alarm bell.

sation with Lisa and gently ask her the questions that seem so obvious to you but are questions she hasn’t had the courage to face on her own because it’s just so much easier for her to run with Baruch and not to have to deal with her feelings of rejection and shame. If Lisa gets defensive, drop the subject and hope for the best. Sometimes relationships that take off under the gloomiest circumstances actually work out. There may be a reason why Baruch came into Lisa’s life at just this moment.

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters

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

Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

M

y answer will be short and sweet. There’s no easy way out of this one. You’re in a situation that so many men and women have been in before: if I don’t talk to her about my concerns, and things don’t work out, I won’t be able to forgive myself. If I do tell her my concerns, she may walk away from our friendship. The one piece that is missing for me (and if I missed it, my apologies) is that it seems like Lisa no longer confides in you. Why do you think that is? You’re the only one who truly knows your friend and would have the best insight into why she is not talking to you about her relationship with Baruch. It seems out of character for Lisa not to confide in you. Sometimes when people

are in trouble or feel in over their heads, they can isolate or stop sharing. I’ve been wrong before, and I may be wrong right now, but something is telling me that she isn’t talking because she isn’t happy. Though she may be the exception to the rule, generally speaking, people need some time to heal after an intense relationship has ended. They need to grieve, to mourn, and to process the loss. Generally speaking, the worst thing for someone to do is to jump into another relationship. These rebound relationships typically wind up causing both parties tremendous pain.

My advice to you comes in the form of a question: how will you best be able to sleep at night? Knowing that you said something, or keeping quiet to keep the peace? It’s a very personal decision. Should you decide to broach the subject with Lisa, approach her with sensitivity and curiosity. “Lisa, you know I love you and I only want your happiness. I have some concerns about how quickly you moved on after breaking up with Yoel. You don’t really talk to me about Baruch, the way you confided in me about Yoel. Would it be OK for us to talk about this? I love you and I’m concerned about you.” If she says yes, well, have at it. If she says no, there is your answer. I hope she will allow the two of you to have a real heartto-heart. If it turns out that she has feelings for Baruch and is not interested in your concerns, regardless of your opinion of him and the re-

lationship, it’s in your best interest to support your friend and her man if you don’t want to be on the outs. You’re a good friend to Lisa. You took the time to write in to a column in a newspaper. You’re coming from a good, sincere place. I hope Lisa can see that. She’s very blessed to have you as her BFF. All the best, Jennifer

Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit 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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My First Chanukah in Communist

R SSIA

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

By Gita Steinberg

No one saw my pitiful menorah. Little did I know how that small flame would grow into a huge light.

I

was born in Communist Russia to parents who were Holocaust survivors. We knew that we were Jewish – it was written in our identity cards – and we had Jewish names. But apart from that I had no idea what Judaism was all about. I was the third generation to be disconnected from Judaism. I grew up amongst non-Jews but I always felt out of place, like a black sheep. As far back as I can remember, I had a strange feeling that I couldn’t identify; I felt like a plucked leaf flying in the wind, without a home. I was restless and didn’t feel at home anywhere. I thought that maybe it was because of my family’s wanderings – they were penniless refugees. But the lack that I felt was not material; it was deeper, in my soul. I felt abandoned. One bright day I heard for the first time that there is a country called Israel, whose residents are all Jews. Somehow, my soul heard that there is a place in the world where I belong. At that moment it was ab-

solutely clear to me that my place is there because I am a Jewess. I had no doubt that my home was in Israel, even though I had no idea how, or what to expect on the way, or what was waiting for me there. This discovery changed my life, granting it a purpose and meaning. It was clear to me that whatever price I would have to pay to get there would be worthwhile, for what is truly precious requires effort. I was possessed by this goal – to be a Jew and to live as a Jew – and pursued it relentlessly for the 12 years that it took until I received permission to leave the prison of Soviet Russia. During those years I suffered greatly. The Soviet authorities branded me a traitor for wanting to leave Russia and put every possible obstacle in my way. I was threatened, interrogated, and my house was searched. I lost my citizenship and my rights as a citizen. Ironically, I was no longer a Russian citizen but I was unable to leave Russia. But worse than that, my family also


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A Chanukah party at school, with me in the middle

rejected me. “How could you leave your parents?” they told me. None of this lessened my fervor to pursue my goal. On the contrary – as the pressure and persecutions increased, I became stronger and surer of myself. My soul awoke and began to demand its food – a connection with its Creator. I tried very hard to find every opportunity to learn about Judaism, paying dearly for every drop of information. I traveled to the larger cities searching for underground Jews. And I found them. I was given a suitcase with illegal booklets describing Judaism. These were papers secretly typed with five copies using carbon paper. I read them thirstily and gathered a few like-minded Jews in my city to share the information with. When I learned about the story of Chanukah, about the Maccabees and Hasmoneans with a small picture of a menorah, I felt that this belonged directly to Russian Jews, to the struggle for the right to be a Jew and to remain a Jew in every place in every generation. I decided that I must get a menorah and light it and share it with the members of my group. I made a simple sketch based on the picture in the story and what I imagined. One of the members of our group was a machine engineer and I asked him if he could make such a thing out of metal. He agreed even though he had to work at great risk at night when no one would see

or ask questions – true Jewish heroism. When it was finished I was very excited. He made it in one piece; it was very heavy, but to me it was beautiful. I lived in an eight-story building for young people. I had to wait years for government housing, and I had received a small room on the eighth floor in an apartment for eight families with one kitchen for all of us and a joint bathroom. It was op-

At the mall, handing out Shabbat candles

rah on the windowsill and lit a candle. My first Chanukah candle. I sat in front of the small flame watching the reflection in the black window. I began to ask myself: what’s this candle doing? Who sees it? The factory opposite? To whom am I publicizing the miracle? There isn’t a living soul outside. And if someone does go by down there, he won’t pick up his head. Even if he does lift his head, he won’t see this little candle.

I sat in front of the small flame watching the reflection in the black window.

posite a building materials factory. The building was at the edge of the city and all my friends lived at the other end of town. When Chanukah arrived it was the end of December, freezing cold, minus 30 degrees and snowing heavily. On the appointed day I invited my friends and prepared to share the story of Chanukah and serve some light refreshments. Night came. I waited and waited but no one arrived. The storm was raging outside. When I realized that there’s no point in waiting any longer I put the meno-

So what am I doing here? I’ve been sitting in this prison for over ten years without family and without children. Will I ever leave this prison and live a normal life? I was disappointed that after all my efforts to prepare for this night, none of my friends had turned up. Feeling very sorry for myself, tears began to drip down my face. I didn’t know how to pray but I knew how to cry and I continued crying throughout the night. That was my first Chanukah candle.

A Bright Light That small candle was not lit in vain. Someone did see it, the One who created me a Jew and Who guides my life. He wanted me to light a candle, to exert myself, and He freed me in the end from that huge prison – Communist Russia. G-d brought me to Israel. I kissed the Land and I merited going to Jerusalem and to the Kotel, the Western Wall. Slowly I learned about Judaism and became a fully observant Jew. Over the course of ten years, drastic changes took place in Russia with the fall of the Soviet Union. I was sent back to Moscow to be the principal and teacher of Jewish studies in a Jewish school that had opened there, very close to the Kremlin. The school was called Migdal-Or which means a lighthouse. My small Chanukah candle ended up lighting many more candles, eventually turning into a huge light, a veritable lighthouse. Additional lights come from the thousands of Shabbat candles that I give out every Friday in the mall near my house. More light shines from the Torah classes that I am privileged to teach and my learning partners throughout Israel, and from my poems and stories of my personal miracles that accompanied me throughout my life. To think that all this began from one forlorn Chanukah candle that no one but the Almighty saw. This article has been published with permission from aish.com.


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Mental Health Corner

Who Is the Client in Couples Counseling? By Rabbi Azriel Hauptman One of the hallmarks of traditional psychotherapy is the trust that the client has in the therapist. In order to fully express one’s problems, there needs to be a deep sense of confidence in the therapist’s ability to be confidential, caring, and focused on nothing other than helping the client. This leads us to a basic question about the nature of couples counseling. Who is the client? A marriage is by its very definition a complicated relationship where two people with often very different approaches and attitudes are trying to share a life together. They are coming to a therapist to help them develop a more meaningful and peaceful relationship. It is impossible for a therapist to represent only one of the spouses since the ther-

Birs

apy has no chance of success unless they both have trust in the therapist. But since they are two different people it is also impossible for the therapist to represent both of them at the same time since they often are coming with different agendas (which is often part of the problem in the first place). Basically, we are pointing out that we can’t identify one of them as the client and we also can’t identify both of them as the client. Is there no client at all?! The answer is that the client is the one entity that can’t be seen or touched but is the proverbial elephant in the room and that is the marriage itself. The therapist is there to provide a safe place for the marriage to be processed, examined, and treated. The sense of trust must be in the therapist’s ability to be competent and focused on

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the therapy of the marriage. This would be analogous to two people who are partners in a business and need to receive therapy to remedy problems in their business. They are trying to make their business gratifying and successful. They are not trying to deal with their personal issues. Obviously, this is merely an example. A marriage is much more than a simple partnership and is the most meaningful relationship in one’s life. But the fundamental idea is the same that the focus is on the relationship and not on their individual issues. The practical implication of this is that the therapist cannot be used for working through personal issues outside the context of the couple and the marriage. It is for this reason that many therapists will tell a couple that in the framework of couples therapy

it would be counterproductive to disclose something to the therapist that can’t also be shared with the spouse. (Note that this is merely an example and in reality every case must be judged individually.) If through the course of couples counseling it becomes clear that one or both of them have deep-seated emotional issues that are impacting their life and their marriage then it might be necessary to have a different therapist in order to have the benefits of individual therapy. 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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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME DECEMBER 6, 2018

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DECEMBER 6, 2018

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Political Crossfire

Charles Krauthammer: The Enduring Miracle of the American Constitution By Charles Krauthammer

This column is excerpted from Charles Krauthammer’s forthcoming posthumous book, “The Point of It All.” The book and column were edited by his son, Daniel Krauthammer.

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

n October 1981, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated, the networks ran over to Cairo and began covering the events all day and all night. The only thing I remember of all that coverage was a news anchor bringing in a Middle East expert and saying, “We’ve just looked at the Egyptian constitution, and our researchers tell us that the next in line for the presidency is the speaker of the parliament.” The Middle East expert burst out laughing. “Nobody in Egypt has read the constitution in 30 years,” he said. “No one knows it exists. And no one cares what’s in it.” Then he prompted, “Who’s the leader of the military?” The anchor answered, “Hosni Mubarak,” and the expert said, “He’s your next president.” Two things struck me about that. First, how naive we are about what constitutions are and what they mean around the world. And the second thing, the reason for the first, is how much reverence we have – in the United States and very few other countries – for this document. Many things are miraculous about the U.S. Constitution. The first is that, somehow, on this edge of the civilized world two and a half centuries ago, there could have been a collection of

such political geniuses as to have actually written it. The second miracle is the substance of it – the way that the founders, drawing from Locke and Montesquieu and the Greeks, created an extraordinary political apparatus that to this day still works and that has worked with incredible success for nearly a quarter of a millennium. But the third miracle, and the one that I think we appreciate the least, is the fact of the reverence that we have for it. This reverence is so deeply ingrained that we don’t even see it; we just think it’s in the air that we breathe. But it is extraordinarily rare. It exists in only a handful of countries. For almost all of the world, it is completely alien. Consider the oath of office that we take for granted. Whenever we bestow upon anyone the authority to wield the power of the state over free citizens, we make them swear to protect not the people, not the nation, not the flag, but the Constitution of the United States. A piece of paper. Of course, it stands for the pillars of the American experiment itself: the ideas, the structures, the philosophy that define a limited government with enumerated powers, whose mission is to preserve liberty and individual rights. This is a gift – that we intrinsically have this sense of reverence for the Constitution. And it’s important to remember that it is a gift from the past. It is not something that we can in any

way credit to ourselves. If anything, recent generations have allowed that kind of reverence to diminish, to bleed away over the decades, as we try – as it were – to adapt constitutionalism to modernity. What’s so remarkable is that constitutions are highly reactionary documents. The very essence of a constitution is to constrain the enthusiasms of a future that one cannot even see. In America, constitutionalism demands that even the most distant progeny swear allegiance to a past embodied in a document written in the late 1780s. If “tradition … is the democracy of the dead,” as G.K. Chesterton had it, then constitutionalism – which is ancient wisdom rendered into legal code – is the tyranny of the dead, the ultimate reach of the past into the future. And in America, it succeeded. The propagandist Lincoln Steffens famously said, upon visiting Bolshevik Russia shortly after the revolution: “I have seen the future, and it works.” American constitutionalism declares: “We have seen the past, and it works.” Paradoxically, for all the forward-looking, blue-sky, futuristic spirit of its people, the astonishing stability, majesty and success of the American experiment owe much to the inherent restraint and conservatism of its original constitutional blueprint. I’ve always had a sense that there is something providential about American history. And this is from somebody who isn’t exactly religious. But starting

with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: here is a nation founded on the edge of civilization – a tiny colony, living on the outskirts of the civilized world – that at a time when it needed it miraculously produced the greatest generation of political thinkers in the history of the world. Then a century later, when it needed a Lincoln to save the republic, it found a Lincoln. In the first half of the 20th century, when it needed an FDR to get through the Depression and defeat fascism, it found him. In the second half, when it needed a Reagan to revive the country, he was there. This is not to say that we will always be able to find our way. I don’t see or expect or wait for the next great figure. But over the years we have seen extraordinary spontaneous popular reactions against government overreach and in support of constitutional principles, and they are further signs of hope. There is something about the American spirit – about the bedrock decency and common sense of the American – that seems to help us find our way, something about American history that redeems itself in a way that inspires all. I would summarize it by quoting my favorite pundit, Otto von Bismarck. He was not known for his punditry, but he is famously said to have said: “G-d looks after children, drunkards, idiots and the United States of America.” I think He still does. I hope He still does. (c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group


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By: Gavriel Horan

Across the Lifecycle Surprisingly the story of the Kasoff family is not unique. Under the energetic new leadership of Rabbi Zev Pomeranz, Etz Chaim’s programming has tripled over the past two years. Etz Chaim is repositioning itself as the address for Jewish education in the Baltimore area from across the lifecycle. Whether it’s programming for college students, young professionals, families with young children, or seniors, Etz Chaim has something for everyone looking to seriously explore Judaism in a relevant and non-threatening manner. To name a few examples across the lifecycle, Etz Chaim’s bi-monthly class for seniors in the Pikesville Senior Center has been drawing 30 seniors - ages ranging from 60 to 93 - each session for almost a decade. The class covers Jewish history and thought and is taught by Etz Chaim dean, Rabbi Shlomo Porter. For some it is their very first time engaging in adult Jewish learning. Etz Chaim’s campus programs in Towson and UMBC introduce over a hundred college students to Jewish learning each year and many students go on to participate in trips to Israel,

Jewish themed internships, and yeshiva study programs. In addition to J-Care, Etz Chaim’s Whiskey, Wine, and Wisdom is another exciting new initiative that brings together dozens of Young Professionals each month at the new Daily Special kosher restaurant downtown to socialize and enjoy a great meal and cocktail, while discussing relevant topics through the lens of Torah sources. Young families, who find themselves too old for young professional programming, can attend Etz Chaim’s Sunday morning classes on Jewish philosophy and practical Jewish law. Zach and Nadine Epstein, originally from Chicago and Miami Beach respectively, have been regular attendees of these programs. The two were married last year and settled in Baltimore. Zach is in the process of completing a PhD in physics in College Park with a research focus on laser defense and Nadine is a career coach in Hopkins University. Having both become Torah-observant as adults, they love learning about all the practical ins-and-outs of Jewish life. “We feel so lucky that we got connected with Rabbi Pomeranz when we first moved to Baltimore this October. Since then, Etz Chaim has helped us find community in our new city, introduced us to amazing mentors and role models, and given us new avenues to continue our Jewish learning. We can’t wait to find new ways to become involved as we continue to make Baltimore our home!”

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Young Professional Leadership Had the story ended there it would have been enough – but little did Donna know that her involvement with Etz Chaim was soon going to have a ripple effect on her daughter, Danielle, as well. Danielle returned to the Baltimore area after graduating from the University of Michigan to pursue a

of Moishe House, where she helps to create additional programming for young professionals in Baltimore. “I was really surprised that she is so involved,” Donna said about her daughter. “I’m thrilled that she’s doing good things and the Jewish piece is the icing on the cake.”

DECEMBER 6, 2018

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t Etz Chaim, Jewish engagement is a family story. Donna Kasoff, currently the Director of Endowment Development at the Associated, found out about Etz Chaim through her Synagogue, Temple Isaiah in Howard County in 2014. A congregation member posted about the Jewish Woman Renaissance Program’s (JWRP) trip to Israel for moms. Although Donna was already very Jewishly engaged she was the Executive Vice President of her Temple at the time (and currently the President) – nevertheless she was excited by the opportunity to take a much needed vacation for both body and soul. She had no idea the trip would be so impactful. “It was a life changing and emotional experience,” she recalled, “and the women bonded in an unusual way.” Etz Chaim’s JWRP trips for both moms and dads bring dozens of participants to Israel each year for spiritual and physical explorations of Israel – and both programs have spanned vibrant follow-up offshoot groups that meet regularly to continue their Jewish growth. After the trip Donna and a few fellow participants went on to found Jewish Women of Howard County (J-WoHoCo) to keep the inspiration alive. Four years later the core group of members still meets every few weeks for Jewish learning and there are over 300 members who attend various social events throughout the year.

Masters in Nursing from the University of Maryland in Baltimore. After finding out about Etz Chaim through her mother, Danielle became a member of the very first J-Care Fellowship pilot in the Spring of 2017, where she was matched with two families in need. The J-Care Fellowship harnesses the passion for Tikkun Olam common to many Millennials, by combining meaningful volunteer opportunities with Jewish learning for young professionals and graduate students living in the Baltimore area. Developed in partnership with the Jewish Caring Network, J-Care engages approximately 25 young professionals and grad students each year to participate in bi-monthly learning and volunteering sessions. Past fellows designed collection boxes for the JCN toy drive, ran a Chanukah carnival event for 50 JCN beneficiaries, and put together and delivered food packages for Purim, Passover, and Shabbos. Study sessions focused on Jewish concepts and sources on kindness, community, charity, and social service. Many of the J-Care fellows will be traveling to Israel together later this summer to experience Jewish learning and volunteer work in the Holy Land to bring the experience “home.” In addition to this, Etz Chaim will be sending over 40 participants on various transformational trips to Israel in 2018. “I’ve always been into community service and giving back,” Danielle explained. “Etz Chaim’s J-Care Fellowship offered me a chance to volunteer while helping the Jewish community. . . It’s a win-win situation: I get to enjoy the good feelings of doing community service and the community benefits at the same time!” Danielle gained so much from the program that she signed up for a second round last fall. Today, she is on Etz Chaim’s Young Professional leadership committee and is also a resident

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

Introducing Etz Chaim: Judaism for Everyone


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Your

15

Money

DECEMBER 6, 2018

Carrots Versus Sticks

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

By Allan Rolnick, CPA

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ake a look at our Internal Revenue Code. No, really, take a good look. (You can buy it on Amazon for just $161.89: two thick paperbacks totaling 4,968 pages. You even get free Prime shipping!) At first glance, it’s all about the revenue. For FY 2019, federal income taxes should hit nearly $1.7 trillion. Payroll taxes will top $1.2 trillion. Corporate taxes, $225 billion. And estate taxes will generate somewhere around $20 billion, depending on how many billionaires die (#dropinthebucket). But taxes aren’t just about the revenue. Washington loves to use taxes to accomplish goals they can’t legislate directly. This generally takes the form of “tax expenditures” – special deductions, credits, or other rules designed to benefit specific favored activities or taxpayers. The mortgage interest deduction may be the most famous of these carrots. For most people, homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. But Congress would be hard-pressed to pass legislation requiring it or even directly rewarding it. (Buy a home! Get a free $5,000 Target gift card!) So instead, they use taxes to subsidize it. For 2018,

homeowners saved $68.1 billion by deducting mortgage interest on their taxes. But every so often, the government uses taxes as a stick … or at least they try to. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial blowing the whistle

to improve ‘business conditions … relating to an activity involving controlled substances (within the meaning of Schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by federal law.’ That means that to obtain tax-exempt status under any provision of the

If they can’t prohibit the speech directly, they can’t use the tax system to do it indirectly.

on one such effort that may violate the First Amendment. Specifically, it accuses the IRS of punishing nonprofit orga ni zat ions t hat advocate for legal marijuana: “The innocuously named Revenue Procedure 2018-5 contains a well-hidden provision enabling the Service to withhold tax-exempt status from organizations seeking

Internal Revenue Code’s Section 501 – whether as a charity, social-welfare advocacy group or other type of nonprofit – an organization may not advocate for altering the legal regime applicable to any Schedule I or II substance.” Bottom line, according to the authors: “The IRS seeks to control independent policy advocacy. That’s

something the federal government may not do.” If they can’t prohibit the speech directly, they can’t use the tax system to do it indirectly. Yes, “the devil’s lettuce” is still prohibited under federal law. But 33 states have passed laws legalizing it in some form or another. It says a lot that the buttoned-down stiffs at the Wall Street Journal could publish the same editorial as the stoners at High Times magazine. So why would the IRS choose to wield this particular stick? And is it really the IRS’s job to make those sorts of decisions anyway? Isn’t the IRS just supposed to be the government’s bill collector? As far as we’re concerned, we don’t care what motivates you more, carrots or sticks. We just want to make sure you get all the breaks the law allows. So make sure you have a plan so you can save some money to buy call the carrots or the sticks that you want.

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.


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Gluten Free Recipe Column by Mrs. Elaine Bodenheimer

GlutenFree@BaltimoreJewishHome.com

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DECEMBER 6, 2018

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mini- sufganiot What You Will Need:

Preparation:

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

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


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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Life C ach THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

What’s in a Shape? By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., MFT, CLC

DECEMBER 6, 2018

the box.” Now explain what I just said, and I bet we’ll have at least a hundred different interpretations. It’s funny that in this past week’s parsha they say Jacob was in big trouble for hiding his daughter

place people wanted to wind up was in a box. Because that usually meant it was curtains for them. And in Israel they don’t even use one then! They just envelope you in a talit, no box at all!

What if we just recognize that everyone’s in the circle?

Dina from Esau in “the box.” Wait, I thought that’s the right place to be?! Go figure –it was a problem even back then! Interestingly, I thought the last

So maybe being in or out of the box needs to be given less credence. Can’t we just realize that people are multilayered? Even identical twins seem to be so, so different. We are

all here to do some things. Maybe our mission is mainstream at one point and creatively different at another. Maybe it depends on the time, the audience, the place. What if we just recognize that everyone’s in the circle? The giant circle called the universe. And let’s give everyone some latitude to be who they are and who they will become. Give them respect that they are not caged in to any exact description. Because, after all, we are all here to grow and evolve. And become a well-rounded person – not a square!

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

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how me the box. I just want to see that box. I need to understand what is so terrific about it. Or, in the alternative, what is so terrible about it? Everyone is either feeling so happy and confident because they are in it or frustrated because they are not! But then, of course, some people take pride in being out of it. Though, when that happens, there’s often a parent or family member somewhere pulling their hair out because the person is not in the box. I don’t know any saying that is used more these days to explain people than “in the box” or “out of the box.” The problem is that no one is sure what box exactly is being discussed. “I know an out-of-the-box thinker who appears to be completely in


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Councilman ISAAC “YITZY”

2nd

Anniversary Event

Wednesday December 12th, 2018 5:30-7:00 PM at the

Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse

RSVP at www.CouncilmanYitzy.com

EJ Cocker & Jen Malloy Eileen and Guy D'Andrea Irina & Mike Diamond Gina & Kalman Finkelstein Councilman Izzy Patoka Naami & Yanky Schorr Sharif Small Elizabeth Stephens Tanya Kalmar, MD Desmond & Colleen Stinnie Eddie Wingrat

Invite you to a Second Anniversary event in support of

councilman isaac “yitzy” schleifer On Wednesday

December 12th, 2018 5:30 - 7:00 P.M. at the

Pimlico Race Course Clubhouse 5201 Park Heights Ave Baltimore, MD 21215

To Purchase Tickets Go to www.CouncilmanYitzy.com To RSVP: www.CouncilmanYitzy.com or Bella@VoteSchleifer.com. Checks made payable to “Vote Schleifer” and mailed to 2814 Hanson Ave Baltimore MD 21209.

*State of the district address will begin at 7:30 P.M.

By authority of: Vote Schleifer, Hillel Soclof, Treasurer

Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-6-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-6-18

Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-6-18  

Baltimore Jewish Home - 12-6-18

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