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‫ כ״ג אדר א׳‬- ‫ט׳ אדר א׳‬


18 -


3 . vol 3, #2

Jewish Experience Week in Baltimore a Success PAGE 8

Bais Yaakov 1st Grade Siddur Play PAGE 9


Mesivta Neimus Hatorah Celebrates Its New Home



Experience makes a difference.

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

COMMUNITY Around the Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

JEWISH THOUGHT Helping In A Helpful Way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Our Zaidy, The Mashgiach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 From the Files of Beis Din. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


The Halacha Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Amulets, Accusations and Controversy. . . . . . . . . . 49 Exploring the Continued Impact of Technology, Part II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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

COVER STORY Supreme Shift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

LIFESTYLES 613 Seconds with Jacob Rappaport. . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Political Crossfire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 In The Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55


Dear Readers, We teach our children that winning isn’t everything – that they should enjoy and have fun and whether they win or lose it’s just a game. But truthfully, deep inside, it does matter if you win. You tried your best, you put your heart and soul into something, and then you didn’t get to the finish line in record time. Looking at the situation logically, you know that the effort expended made you a better, stronger person. You know that the next time you play you’ll be better prepared. But it hurts not to have been acknowledged for doing the best job. I’ll admit that I did not watch the full Super Bowl. I’ll further admit that I still don’t understand the game and never made the effort to learn the rules. So watching football would is a complete waste of time for me. But I do read the news and the next day the world was buzzing that Cam Newton refused to answer questions after his devastating loss; he was dejected and later admitted to feeling like a “loser.” Hmmm. This was someone who made it to the Super Bowl. He is considered – or so I have been told – to be one of the best football players around. Yet,

he felt like a “loser” because he lost this major game. It’s hard to squash an emotion that hurts so deep. These feelings aren’t just manifest on the field. Any time we put ourselves out there, we are putting ourselves at risk for disappointment. Think about the time you applied for the job you really wanted and didn’t get it. What about the time you went out on the date with the perfect person, only to find out that he or she didn’t feel the same way? How about the friendship you tried to cultivate that ended with a cold shoulder? Or when you applied to the seminary or yeshiva that was just for you – but there was no more room for just one more? Disappointments in life are the norm. But they should not be defining. Our purpose in life is to put ourselves out there, to expend the effort and energy, and hope for the best. If defeat is the answer, though, don’t sit back down. Take a deep breath, muster your inner strength, and start again. Because if you keep on fighting, failure will not be your ultimate vision. Victory will be yours. Wishing you a wonderful week, Yaakov

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Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Israel News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

The Baltimore Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. 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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INSIGHTFUL STORIES gleaned from Susie’s road travels


It is Susie’s superlative conclusion to the cookbooks that elevated kosher cooking to world-class taste and presentation.

Comprehensive crossreferenced INDEX

KBD Entertains

KBD Short on Time

KBD Kids in the Kitchen

Passover by Design

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Other titles in this series

Kosher by Design

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

In this final installment in her bestselling Kosher by Design cookbook series, Susie Fishbein presents fresh new recipes culled from her 15-year culinary journey. You will find delicious recipes learned from the great chefs she encountered in Italy, France, Mexico, Israel, and across North America.





FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore Honored at Gala Israel Bonds Event in Boca Raton The Associated

On Sunday, January 31, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore became the first Federation to be presented with Israel Bonds Israel68 Commemorative Medallion Award. The Award was presented to The Associated in recognition for the scope of its work within the Greater Baltimore Jewish community as well as Israel, where it has a sister city relationship with Ashkelon. In addition, The Associated has a long-standing relationship with Israel Bonds. Since 2008, the organization has partnered with Israel Bonds Maryland, by being a 100 percent match partner for all Israel Bonds purchased during the High Holidays. The Israel68 Award symbolizes the accomplishments Israel has realized since achieving independence, and highlights the worldwide Jewish partnership that has helped the na- Cohn

(L-R): Israel Bonds President and CEO Izzy Tapoohi; Bonds Chairman of the Board Richard Hirsch; Israel Bonds Maryland General Campaign Vice Chairman Rina Janet; Mark D. Neumann; Marc B. Terrill; Israel Bonds Maryland General Campaign Chairman Ed Jacobson; and Fred Zeiden, chairman of the Israel Bonds National Campaign Advisory Council.

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Beth Tfiloh Congregation Presents

NATAN SHARANSKY: Israel and Its Relationship to the World Jewish Community

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7:30 pm Beth Tfiloh Congregation • 3300 Old Court Road Complimentary admission. Open Seating. Hear Natan Sharansky, the legendary advocate for Soviet Jewry, former Israeli Minister and political leader, and current Chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Beth Tfiloh

Congregation The Beth Tfiloh family and the Haron Dahan Foundation cordially invite you to the Third Annual Dahan Lecture featuring

Natan Sharansky

tion fulfill its destiny as “a light unto nations.” Award recipients embody the highest standards of leadership, as demonstrated by their exceptional dedication to Israel and perpetuation of Jewish values and ideals. “This is a wonderful honor for our Federation. We are proud to be recognized for the work we do in support of Israel, for the ongoing partnership we have developed with Israel Bonds and for our continued commitment to building a strong Jewish state,” said Marc B. Terrill, President of The Associated. Associated President Marc B. Terrill and Associated Chair of the Board Mark Neumann accepted the award, given at the Israel Bonds Prime Minister’s Club Dinner in Boca Raton, Florida. The Associated is among 13 honorees receiving this award.



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FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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Jewish Experience Week in Baltimore a Success Another successful program was led by Rabbi Zvi Schwartz for college students from New York, Nevada, Minnesota, and Missouri. Rabbi Schwartz’ program, Jewish Experience Week - or J.E.W., brings students from all over the country to Baltimore to delve into their Jewish roots and experience the Jewish community and Torah learning. For an entire week students participate in various learning opportunities, develop a bond with the community, and advocate for Israel on Capitol Hill… not to mention tasting delicacies from the kosher restaurants. The trip kicked off at Rabbi Schwartz’s home with a meet and greet, followed by a talk about nurturing the characteristics of Jewish Leadership, led by Mr. Bruce Luchansky. Tuesday morning featured a special program at the Star-K where Rabbi Sholom Tendler delivered a presentation about the complex halachos of Tevilas Keilim and Hagalos Keilim. Rabbi Tendler also shared fascinating solutions to various Kashrus dilemmas and students had a chance to learn the source material directly from the Gemara Chavrusa - style with Rabbanim of the Star K. They later had a chance to immerse newly purchased pots and pans in the Keilim Mikva of Agudas Yisroel. Lunch and Mincha were at the office of Mr. Yehuda Neuberger where he led an animated discussion of young leadership and activism. The climax of the afternoon was a private meeting with Rabbi Uri Zohar at the home of Mr. and Mrs Moshe Markowitz Rabbi Zohar spoke

for close to an hour about his personal journey, emunah and responded to questions from the students. On other mornings, students on the JEW program could be found in the beis hamehrash of Ner Yisroel learning Gemara with kollel youngerleit and baal habatim from the community. They also had the privilege to hear shiurim from the Rosh HaYeshiva, HaRav Ahron Feldman, shlit’a, HaRav Shragie Neuberger, shlit’a, Rabbi Fishel Mael shlita and Rabbi Yosef

Wagner Shlita. Special Activities featured a trip to Washington D.C. highlighted by meetings with representative Gus Bilirakis from Florida. Afternoons featured a variety of exciting activities. Shabbos spent in the Rancheigh neighborhood at the homes of gracious hosts started with an uplifting Kabalas Shabbos lead by Dr. Yitzy Kaplowitz at the home of Mr. and Mrs Mickey Katz. After the seudah an oneg was held at the Langer home together with the

Dirshu Kollel led by Rav Shalom Weingot . An inspirational Seudos Shishis and Havdala were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs Reuven Goodman together with the Lev Shlomo Minyan. The program concluded with an energizing Melave Malke at the home of R Yitzchak Goodman featuring live music, singing and dancing. Lecturers and host families were very appreciative for the opportunity to participate in the student’s growth and inspiration. One host commented how he could not believe that his son was dancing and davening with so much enthusiasm, explaining that what his family received was much greater than anything they gave. The week concluded with the participants eager for more, as Josh Conlee from Las Vegas commented, “The program was incredible I only wish that it was 10 days! The Baltimore Jewish community is truly amazing; I know that I will be coming back for more.” University Jewish Experience plans to run another Jewish Experience Week session this coming summer in conjunction with the jInternship program which will provide students the opportunity to live in a Jewish community for 8 weeks while interning at various companies and gaining exposure to Jewish professionals and educators through evening classes and Shabbatons. For more information or to offer internship opportunities please contact Rabbi Zvi Schwartz at rabbitzvischwartz@gmail. com


ed such a positive feeling towards the concept of Tefilah. Most importantly, our Moros created a most beautiful memory in the hearts and neshamos of our first grade girls which they will cherish, I”YH for the rest of their lives. The Siddur program is dedicated by Dr. and Mrs. Marcel Reischer in memory of his mother, Mrs. Eva Reischer, who was a long life “Davener” and who had a great granddaughter, Chavalah, who is named for her, participate in this year’s play and receive her very own Siddur. Another special thank you is in order towards Morah Sarah Bracha Berger for designing our new capes and wristlets – the students looked magnificent. We also want to thank Morah Debby for maintaining the beauty of our mazel tov archway featured so prominently on stage.

Providing home services and peace of mind to older adults and individuals with disabilities

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

This past Sunday, February 7th, Bais Yaakov elementary hosted four consecutive Siddur Plays and they were once again a “Tour De Force”. They were laden with meaning, emotion and much humor. Our first grade Moros outdid themselves yet again to standing room only audiences of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. There were many mothers in Sunday’s audience, who were especially touched, reminiscing about their siddur party when they were in first grade at Bais Yaakov. Each program was delightful and the girls did a beautiful job singing in unison and saying their individual lines! As was mentioned at each of their programs, the credit goes to our talented and dedicated staff, not just for the musical and choreographed siddur program, but what happens every day in and out in our classrooms. It was a true Kiddush Hashem and creat-



Bais Yaakov 1st Grade Siddur Play

to sing fit na ou ne Ro H e ) ll ut o B BS Ca bo s t (HU a e k ad rs as gr nio Up Se

Around the Community


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FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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Mesivta Neimus Hatorah Celebrates Its New Home Cohn

This past Sunday, Feb 7th, was a historic day for Mesivta Neimus Hatorah. Residents of the Milbrook neighborhood may have been surprised at the throngs of people converging at the former Congregation Bais Issac ,as well over 200 members of the community, parents, and alumni, along with local Rabbonim, joined the entire yeshiva in celebration of its new home. After a year’s long search for a permanent campus, the nearly 12,000 square foot Shul was purchased by the yeshiva in September. Since then, it has undergone various renovations and improvements as it is converted into a proper school building. The event, sponsored by Mr. Avi Bernstein of BDMG and Mr. Daniel Ely of RIG Capital Funding , was held in the large, sparkling, dining area, which was adorned with a huge banner, stand up posters, and a variety of pictures depicting yeshiva life. The program began with Rabi Sheftel Neuberger, Menahel of Ner Yisroel, reciting Tehillim. Rabbi Laib Schulman, Menahel and founder of Mesivta Neimus Hatorah, began by thanking everyone who had attended, as well as those who had been involved in the numerus arrangements. He spoke about the shul’s history as a makom Torah U’tefilah, led for many years by Rabbi Manuel Poliakoff , after which he expressed appreciation to the shul board for making sure the shul would remain a makom kodesh. He ended with thanks to the members of the board for their constant support, as well their efforts in the pro-

cess of acquiring the building. He then introduced eleventh grader Akiva Davidson to recite the final Mishna of Seder Nezikin, which had been studied by the boys in the weeks leading up to the event, followed by senior Yosef Berkowitz to recite the hadran. HaRav Aharon Feldman shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel, then addressed the gathering. He praised the yeshiva for helping to unlock the potential of young men who want to learn but have not yet found the right place. He expressed hope that the new building should serve as a “mishkan” for the boys, and ended with a brachah for siyata dishmaya and continued success. The guest speaker was Rabbi Chaim Nosson(Nate) Segal of Torah Umesorah, who compared building the Bais Hamikdash, which infuses kedushah into raw materials, to the development of a child in yeshiva. He spoke about the importance of a yeshiva like Neimus Htorah, and how every talmid is treated like the only one. He ended his powerful talk with story about the Klausenberger Rebbe, and what it means to use one’s kochos to the fullest. Following Rabbi Segal’s address, a special video presentation about the yeshiva was shown. The video, produced by talmid Akiva Fordsham , mesmerized the crowd with its portrayal of what makes the yeshiva special. The event ended with

attendees joining the hanahlah, talmidim, and alumni in a spirited dance. It was a fitting close to an incredible and inspiring morning. “A beautiful event” was the sentiment heard over and over again from participants, who left with a renewed appreciation for the Mesivta Neimus Hatorah. There yeshiva is grateful to the numerous people involved in the Chanukas Habayis. Special thanks to Mrs. Chavi Wealcatch for giving hours of her time –both in arranging the buffet, as well as the spectacular setup, along with all the women who baked and volunteered their time. Thanks to senior Yitzy Bengio for the delicious sushi platter and baked ziti, along with tenth-grader Dovy Wakzul for preparing scrambled eggs. Thanks to Moshe Heideman for an outstanding job with all the marketing and advertising material. Finally, kudos to the talmidim of MNH for all their hard work in getting the building into shape. Whether cleaning, hauling, repairing, or shoveling snow, they were ready to help. Indeed, they have been playing an important role in setting up and maintaining the building since the move back in September. The Chanukas Habayis may be over, but all are welcome to stop by for a visit. The yeshiva is located at 4398 Crest Heights Rd, with Shacharis 8am, Mincha 2:40pm (Sunday 1:45pm) and Maariv 8:30pm. For close to a decade, Mesivta Neimus Hatorah has been serving high-school aged young men who have yet to find success in a mainstream setting. For more info, please call 443-334-5616/301-300-17, email, or go to www.neimushatorah. org.



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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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Dolphin Club Bikur Cholim Carnival Cures Community Cabin Fever Shalomis Koffler Weinreb

When the girls of Bais Yaakov’s Dolphin Club picked the date for their winter carnival to benefit Bikur Cholim, they never dreamt it would fall on the day after the worst snowstorm in Baltimore history. Undaunted and undeterred, the girls simply rescheduled the event until the following Sunday after the community had a chance to dig out from under the blizzard’s two and a half feet of snow. In fact, their timing couldn’t have been better as cooped up kids and adults alike relished the chance to get out and have some fun. And fun they had! A huge crowd packed the Bais

Join Cohn

Yaakov Middle School gym, which the Dolphin Club girls had transformed into a colorful indoor carnival filled with all kinds of games, contests, art projects, prizes and classic food like


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cotton candy, snocones, popcorn and pizza. The successful Dolphin Club event proved once again that kids know what kids like. The girls planned and implemented almost every aspect of the carnival and even created some original, one-of-a-kind games especially for the event. Moonbounce obstacle course, face painting, cookie-gram art, tic tac toss game, bowling, bubble gum race, putt putt and much more-all the carnival attractions were a hit, as boys and girls excitedly went from table to table to sample the fun. There was even a life-size dolphin walking around interacting with the crowd for the first time. As they have shown so often in the past, the Dolphin Club doers and future leaders are experts at turning great ideas into successful chesed campaigns. The carnival exceeded its fundraising goal and a substantial sum was raised to help Bikur Cholim continue its immensely valuable chesed to our community. “You can’t successfully produce an event of this size without a lot of people helping,” said Mrs. Leeba Braun, Dolphin Club Director. “There was tremendous camaraderie and harmony throughout the process. Sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth graders got involved. Former Dolphin Club members helped out. The girls wanted to include everyone and interacted beautifully together,” she noted.

“I was very impressed with the respectful, thoughtful way they worked as a team and cooperated with each other to get things done,” Mrs. Braun remarked. “This is what the Dolphin Club is all about.” Planning for the winter carnival began in November of 2015. Realizing that they didn’t have enough money to cover all the expenses, the Dolphin Club girls sold knishes as part of their own fundraising event. The knishes sold like hot cakes, providing the funds needed to cover the lion’s share of the carnival costs. Rabbi Naftali Hexter, Principal of Bais Yaakov Middle School, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Dolphin Club. “Mrs. Braun did a phenomenal job with the carnival,” he remarked. “Her sixth grade Dolphins were made to feel like a million dollars! What better way is there to sensitize our young leaders to the needs of the Jewish community than by pulling them in through the process of Dolphin Club events such as this one.” “I felt proud of myself because I thought I’d be made fun of being a sixth grader running a carnival--and I wasn’t, said Dolphin Club member, Ahava Bondi. “It was fun for the whole community!” We don’t know what chesed project is next on the horizon for the Dolphin Club, but stay tuned. You can be sure it will be creative, thoughtful, successful and amazing!


I am pleased to announce that in 2016, Guaranteed Rate will be opening a full-service office in Baltimore. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with people face to face for pre-approvals, loan applications, and even simply to say hello.

Shimmy Braun Senior VP of Mortgage Lending

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The location is being finalized and I will share that information in the coming weeks.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

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Yaakov M. Rappaport the few months in between Israel and starting law school.

Where did you grow up? I was born and bred in Baltimore.

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What was your first job? Aside from summer camp, my first real job was working at Michaels Title and Escrow in Rockville, Md, during

How many times a week does someone make a mohel joke to you? Ha. You mean, “How many times a day”? It comes with the territory. People always ask if I’m a mohel too. I tell them as an attorney, “the pen is mightier than the sword!” What was the best mohel joke you’ve ever been told? Assuming your paper has a G rating, how about, “What does a bris and a basketball game have in common? Tip off”!

What do you do for a living? I’m a transactional attorney (65% estates and trusts, 35% corporate/real estate/general practice). What made you decide to become an attorney? I’m not exactly sure. I always thought I would enjoy it. I decided to take the LSAT and apply to schools while learning in kollel in Israel. I figured I’d see where that went. After receiving a full scholarship to law school, it was a no brainer. What does an average day look like for you? I start the day with Davening and learning, and then I go home to see my kids for a bit. I’m at work by 8:30 and home at around 7pm. The work day is a tussle between meeting clients and sitting behind my desk drafting and editing, and sometimes hitting the books for an answer to a complex legal question. Why is it so important for young couples to have a will? In (very) short: People ask “why do I need a wife gets everything when I die anyways, right?” Well, wrong. If you have kids or parents, the surviving spouse only receives a portion. A will can (among other important things) set forth your desired distribution, guardianship for children, and trusts for your children’s inheritance so that they don’t receive

too much money outright at such a young, vulnerable age. Who is your role model and why? My father, no question. His dedication to torah, avodas hashem, the tzibbur, every single Jew and of course his family is legendary. He is a special person that I’m proud to call my father. People don’t even know a fraction of what he (and my mother) does for the tzibbur or his ameilus ba’Torah, all with being so “normal”. His grandchildren gravitate to him for good reason. The guys at the racquetball court love him. The car wash person can’t wait for him to come in. His positive attitude is infectious, and he makes everyone feel important! My parents are quite the dynamic duo! What is your favorite part of growing up in the Baltimore Jewish community? The warmth and closeness. Baltimore is known as a tight knit community for good reason. It became even more apparent while I assisted with the Ahavas Yisroel “Charidy” campaign last year. A special place indeed. Baltimore of today is not exactly what it used to be. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive. People are wheeling, dealing, moving,’s great. But it’s still as tight knit as ever. It’s still a special Ir haTorah. (We also hope that Baltimore City will be zoche to have a frum city councilman in the very near future. Get out and vote!)




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Lobbying on Capital Hill for Ben Cardin Scholars Program Last week we had the momentous culmination of the Senator Ben Cardin Scholars Program. We all traveled to the seat of the US government in Washington DC to lobby on certain legislations that would benefit the Jewish community and the general community as well. We had an amazing experience meeting all the staffers and others that were also lobbying

in Washington DC. We ended off our day with a private audience with Sen-

ator Ben Cardin himself who took his time to speak to us about very import-

ant issues and to answer a number of questions.

A New House for Those without One

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

David Perl

Jerusalem, Israel Have you ever watched a family of children enter their new home? This past Tuesday was a sight to behold as over 200 orphans poured into their new home-away-fromhome, Project Boneinu’s Orphan Center. The orphans went from room to room, smiling from ear to ear, inspecting the new lobby, study, session rooms, balcony, kitchen and the other 5-star amenities inside the Center. The orphans celebrated the opening of their house with a beautiful meal and lively music Project Boneinu, is a division of Tov V’chesed founded by Rabbi Yaakov Eliezer Shisha. Project Boneinu, under the hanhalah of R’ Meir Aker, was established to care for orphaned boys by giving them the support they need to face their difficult reality. The Boneinu House is a safe haven for orphans to speak to their mentor, eat a warm meal, unwind and spend time among peers who understand their pain. During a recent campaign, thanks to the tremendous outpour of support from the community, Tov V’chesed succeeded in fundraising a staggering 1.2 million dollars in 24 hours. Parts of those funds were used to complete the construction of

the Boneinu House, allowing another two hundred orphans to benefit from Boneinu’s services. Rabbi Shimon Galai, Rosh Beis Din of R’ Nissim Karelitz’s beis din, addressed the orphans saying, “I thought I’m coming to be mechazek brokenhearted children. But here as I stand before you, 200 children of the Eibishter, who are happy despite your situation, you are mechazek me! You are giving me and all the askanim involved in Boneinu, the strength we need to continue!” He then held on to the children’s hands and began to dance with them like a young man! R‘ Dovid Levy, the advisory rav of Boneinu, promised the children, that anything they may need, they shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for because everyone in Boneinu will do whatever it takes to keep the smiles on their faces! Then R’ Yaakov Eliezer Shisha thanked all the generous donors who have contributed to this project and all the devoted staff members who put so much heart into every child, every day. He finished by promising that every orphan will have a sheva brachos made for him in the Boneinu House when he gets married. R’ Meir Aker, the menahel of Project Boneinu then

made a shecheyanu with unbridled emotion and the crowd, once again, erupted in song and dance. At midnight, the event drew to a close. Staff members ensured that the children get home safely and quickly so that they don’t show up late to cheder the next morning. One 14-year-old bochur told Rabbi Shisha, “The old Boneinu house was right next to my

Yeshiva, but I didn’t come that often. This House is quite far from my yeshiva, but I will be here every day!” In the zechus of the donors and volunteers who built a House for orphaned children, may Hashem rebuild his House for all his children.

The Week siphoned off most of the money and paid only what it wanted to the employees in North Korean currency and store vouchers. Pyongyang responded to Seoul’s

closure of the park by announcing a military takeover of the complex and seizing everything that the South Korean managers were forced to leave behind. While the Kaesong closure

will hurt North Korea, it is not critical to that nation’s economy. North Korea gets the vast majority of its earnings from trade with China.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

North Korea Used Workers’ Cash for Weapons


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South Korean news outlets are reporting that North Korea was channeling about 70 percent of the money it received for workers at the nowclosed Kaesong industrial park into its weapons programs and to buy luxury goods for the impoverished nation’s tiny elite. The jointly run park was a rare cross project between the two Koreas. Located just outside the North Korean city of Kaesong and about 35 miles from Seoul, the park employed about 54,000 North Koreans who worked for over 120 South Korean companies, most of them small and medium-size manufacturers. Seoul closed the park last week in retaliation for North Korea’s recent rocket launch. Sadly, the money earmarked for North Korean workers never made it to their wallets. Of the $560 million paid to the North since the park was established in 2004, 70 percent was used to develop nuclear weapons and for luxury goods. North Korea was able to divert the money because the workers were not paid directly. Instead, U.S. dollars were paid to the North Korean government, which


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FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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The Battle over the Diamond Six Lose their Lives in Tragic Bus Crash One hundred and fifty years after a huge diamond was taken out of Pakistan, a court will rule on its rightful place. One of the big problems is that the defendant is Queen Elizabeth II. The Koh-i-Noor diamond, a 105.6 carat stone, which has also been claimed by a group of Indian businessmen in a separate court case, adorns a crown that was last worn in 1953 by Queen Elizabeth. Originating in the Golconda mines of central-southern India, it passed through the hands of conquering Mughal princes, Iranian warriors, Afghan rulers and Punjabi Maharajas before being surrendered by a young Sikh prince to Britain following the conquest of Punjab in 1849. Literally translated as “Mountain of Light,” the Koh-i-Noor was recut from its original 189 carats in 1852. It is currently on display in the Tower of London along with other precious ornaments that comprise Britain’s crown jewels. The Lahore High Court will hold a preliminary hearing into the case following a petition by Iqbal Geoffrey, a 76-year-old Anglo-Pakistani lawyer and abstract painter, who has been seeking the return of the diamond since 1958. Geoffrey’s petition says that “grabbing and snatching it was a private, illegal act which is justified by no law or ethics. A wrong is a wrong. It does not become righteous or right by passage of time or even acquiescence.”

Six people were killed and another 12 were injured when the No. 402 bus crashed into a truck on Israel’s Highway 1 en route from Yerushalayim to Bnei Brak on Sunday evening. The bus driver involved in the deadly collision had also crashed on the same route in 2013. After his previous crash, Egged bus company banned him from intercity routes. The ban was only lifted a few weeks ago. The bus driver told police that he didn’t notice the truck stopped on the side of the highway, and investigators believe the bus driver’s inattention to traffic caused him to swerve out of his lane and collide with the truck parked on the side of the road. The truck driver involved in the incident told police investigators he heard noises coming from his engine, so he had stopped on the right shoulder of the highway. “Just as I got out of the truck, the same minute, the bus came and slammed into the rear end.” A regular passenger on the 402 line who was familiar with the driver told an investigator that he was often reckless and claimed he frequently broke safety codes. The passenger cited excessive speed, a failure to maintain a safe distance from other

The Week Ben-Gal gained fame during the Yom Kippur War when a Syrian force comprised of 700 tanks faced Israel’s 175. His troops were able to block the Syrian advance until reinforcements arrived. Despite great uncertainty at the outbreak of the war as to whether Israel would be able to hold off the Syrian Army, by the end of four days of fighting, just a few dozen Israeli tanks had been lost, while

the mechanized 7th Brigade managed to destroy hundreds of Syrian tanks and armored personnel carriers. At the end of the war, the commanders of the IDF and defense minister Moshe Dayan told Ben-Gal he had “saved the State of Israel.” While that war is generally considered a low-point in Israel’s military history, Ben-Gal viewed the campaign as an unequivocal Israeli achievement. He

once called it “a tremendous victory, immense, the greatest in Israel’s history and greater even than the War of Independence.” “During the darkest days of the Yom Kippur War, when the fate of the nation hung in the balance, Yanush and his brave soldiers defended our northern border with their lives,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “He will be remembered as one


vehicles, and a failure to stay focused on the road. “I have no words. I have never seen anything this shocking before,” said Minister of Health Rabbi Yaakov Litzman at the scene. Yaakov Meir Cheshin, 27, z”l; Yisrael Weinberg, 26, z”l; Mrs. Pesha Frankel, 23, z”l; Mrs. Leah Malmud, 60, z”l; Aharon Mordechai Cohen, 18, z”l; and Levi Yitzhak Amduri, 17, z”l; were the six people who were tragically taken in the crash. Sara Shpringer, 20, of Yerushalayim, remains in serious condition at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Rishon Lezion. She is a kallah, hoping to be married in the next few weeks. Shpringer’s sister was among the dozen people lightly injured in the collision, which occurred near the Anava Interchange, east of Ramle.

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Yom Kippur War Hero Dies

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A Yom Kippur War hero died this week at the age of 80. Avigdor “Yanush” Ben-Gal was general of the 7th Armored Brigade and is credited with stopping the Syrian advance on the Golan Heights during the 1973 war. He later served as chief of the IDF’s Northern Command. Ben-Gal was born in 1936 in Lodz, Poland. His family escaped to the Soviet Union when World War II broke out, and on the way there he and his sister lost touch with their parents. The two succeeded in reaching British-Mandate Palestine via Iran. He joined the Israeli military’s Armored Corps in 1955. He advanced in the ranks over the years, finally coming to command the 7th Brigade. |


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The Week of the greatest commanders the people of Israel have known.” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Ben-Gal’s life was “amazing and one of a kind… Yanush was at the heart of military work, always present when the most critical decisions were made… He was a soldier and a commander to the very fiber of his being.”

Police Stop 2 Palestinian Shooters

After firing on a group of Border

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Police with automatic weapons, two Palestinians were shot and killed on Sunday night. The gun battle took place near the Damascus Gate of the Old City. The officers fired back, hitting one assailant instantly and beginning a pursuit after the second, who was still shooting at the officers. The second attacker was soon hit by police fire. Thankfully, there were no injuries among officers or bystanders Both attackers were residents of the West Bank and were killed in the battle, police said. The shooting came on the tail end of a particularly bloody day that saw a significant rise in Palestinian attacks. After attacking a number of Israeli targets, five Palestinians were killed throughout the Land of Israel. Earlier in the evening, Border Police officers thwarted an attempted stabbing near Hebron. The assailant, a Palestinian girl initially identified as 14 years old, was shot and critically wounded. In the afternoon, a Palestinian man was shot and killed after

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trying to stab officers at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem. Two Palestinian teens near Jenin in the northern West Bank were also shot and killed that morning after opening fire on security forces who were responding to reports of stone throwers in the area.

Muslim to be Second Highest in Police Force

This week, the Jerusalem Post reported that for the first time, the Israel Police will be appointing a Muslim as deputy commissioner – the second highest rank in the police force. Dep.Ch. Jamal Hakrush, from the Arab town of Kafr Kana north of Nazareth, is to head a special police branch focusing on the issues facing the crimeplagued Arab sector, with special emphasis on providing additional police services and recruiting more Arab police officers. Hakrush, who is currently the deputy head of the Coastal District and a Muslim from Kafr, previously served as the deputy head of the Traffic Police. The plan for the new police branch includes the construction of more than 10 new police stations in Arab communities, as well as the recruitment of more than 1,300 police from the Arab sector over the next five years. Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich related at a Knesset committee meeting last week that the level of crime in the Arab sector is “unacceptable” and was causing Arab citizens to suffer. “The situation is unacceptable and the ones who suffer the most are first and foremost Arab civilians, and af-

terward the other sectors of society. There is a very powerful desire in the Arab sector to strengthen the police work there, and over the decades we haven’t done this,” Alsheich said. The decision follows Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s promise that the police will increase its manpower in the Arab sector and intensify law enforcement and recruitment among Israel’s wider Muslim community. Although Arabs only comprise 21% of Israel’s population, 59% of the country’s murders and 55% of attempted murders take place in the sector. In addition, 58% of arsons, 47% of robberies and 32% of property crimes reported to police are in the Arab community, according to data from 2015. There is also a concerning problem with illegal firearms in the Arab communities.

Merkel: We Know Terrorism Israel Has to Endure

On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood behind Israel, saying that the current climate in the Middle East does not allow for major steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state, calling instead for small steps to safeguard a future two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Now is certainly not the time to make really comprehensive progress, but you can achieve improvements in certain places,” she pointed out at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The European Union, and Germany as a member state, is very concerned about seeing things realistically,” Merkel said. “We know the threat of terrorism that Israel has to endure.

The Week He added: “Of course this ensures that this conference will fail because if the Palestinians know that their demand will be met a priori, and they do not need to do anything, then there is certainly an internal contradiction here, because they will not do anything. There is one way to advance peace – direct negotiations without preconditions between the sides. This is the true way, and I think that anyone who tries to deviate from it will not advance successful negotiations.”

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Nasir al Wuhayshi was Osama bin Laden’s aide-de-camp and close confidant. He was privy to the details of the planning stages of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and sometime before his death by a U.S. drone strike in June 2015 he spoke of what he knew. His information was recorded and now Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which Wuhayshi led until his demise, has published a version of his “untold story.” A transcript of Wuhayshi’s discussion of the 9/11 plot was included in two editions of AQAP’s Al Masra newsletter. The

quoted bin Laden as saying. The “initiative against the Crusaders continued” after the U.S. Embassy bombings, Wuhayshi said, and the number of people who supported it increased “dramatically.” During this period, the “Global Islamic Front” launched operations against the “Crusaders” on the ground and at sea, but the idea to strike “from the air with planes” had not yet been conceived. Sometime later, on October 31, 1999, bin Laden watched as the co-pilot of EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed the jet into the Atlantic Ocean, killing more than 200 people onboard. Bin Laden, according to Wuhayshi, wondered why the co-pilot didn’t fly the plane into buildings. After this, Wuhayshi claimed, the basic idea for 9/11 had been planted in bin Laden’s mind. Wuhayshi credited Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) personally with the idea of attacking from the air. Mohammed is known as the “mastermind” of the operation. “This proposal eventually would

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Insight into How Bid Laden Masterminded 9/11

first part was posted online on January 31 and the second on February 9. Wuhayshi began by explaining the motivation of attacking America – which he said was religious. Wuhayshi alludes to the fact that the 9/11 attacks was not bin Laden’s final goal but simply a stop along the way in what bin Laden believed could unite jihadists behind a common purpose and garner more popular support from “the people.” In August 1998, just months after the “Global Islamic Front” was established, al Qaeda struck the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to Wuhayshi, bin Laden held a sequence of meetings around this time, as he wanted to convince as many people as possible that attacking America was a better idea. Some jihadists objected, believing it would catch them in a trap. But bin Laden insisted, telling those who didn’t agree that they want to fight “lackeys” without confronting “the father of the lackeys.” Al Qaeda’s path “will lead to a welcome conclusion,” Wuhayshi


We believe, on the other hand, that we have to advance a process of peaceful coexistence, and this, according to our opinion, is ultimately built on a twostate solution.” Berlin is ready to help with any steps Israelis and Palestinians can take to advance the cause of peaceful coexistence, she said, “especially regarding questions of economic development.” Netanyahu, during a subsequent briefing for the traveling press, hailed Merkel’s statement, arguing that the world has slowly been coming to the same realization he had arrived at long ago. “When I said it a year ago, everyone came out and attacked me viciously,” he said. “Today we hear the same things from the leaders of the world, not only from Obama [who has stated he no longer believes Israeli-Palestinian peace can be achieved in the coming months] and Merkel. Even the leader of the opposition [in Israel, Isaac Herzog] understands it now.” There is the need to take certain steps, however, to assuage the situation on the ground. “It is in our interest to fight terror in the West Bank and also in the Gaza Strip, and one way of doing this is to stabilize and improve the situation for the population on the ground.” During the press conference, Netanyahu rejected a French initiative for a regional conference to discuss the stalled peace process, arguing that the move was doomed to failure and that bilateral negotiations to peace are the only path to Palestinian statehood. Earlier in the day, French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnaive met in Jerusalem with Foreign Ministry political director Alon Ushpiz to present Paris’s plan, first announced by then-foreign minister Laurent Fabius, to convene a regional peace conference. If the conference fails to lead to a significant advancement toward the two-state solution, France will unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood, Fabius had threatened. Responding to a question posed by The Times of Israel, Netanyahu said he found the French proposal “bizarre.” The initiative does not take into account several issues of crucial importance to Israel, Netanyahu pointed out.

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016


The Week become the 9/11 operation.” In March or April 1999, according to the Commission’s final report, bin Laden “summoned KSM to Kandahar…to tell him that al Qaeda would support his proposal,” which was referred to as the “planes operation.” Wuhayshi claims that KSM had dreamed of attacking the U.S. since his youth. When he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, KSM wrote a play in which a character “ponders how to down an American aircraft.”

Aerobics is Good for Your Brain

Many seasoned runners can attest to the fact that running isn’t only good for your body but also good for your spirits. Hitting the pavement (or the rubber of the treadmill) releases endorphins that can help elevate your mood. If that’s not enough to win you over, then hear this: new research concludes that running also boosts your brainpower. Researchers found that aerobic exercise in general increases the neuron reserves in the hippocampus area of the brain, responsible for learning. This particular exercise boosts reserves more than high intensity training or resistance training. The study, published in the Journal of Physiology: London, was carried out by Department of Psychology and the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. Lead researcher Professor Heikki Kainulainen writes, “Aerobic exercise, such as running, has positive effects on brain structure and function, for example, the generation of neurons in the hippocampus, a brain structure important in learning.

“It has been unclear whether high-intensity interval training, referring to alternating short bouts of very intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods, or anaerobic resistance training has similar effects on hippocampal neurogenesis in adulthood.” The conclusion was based off the analysis of rats who underwent sustained running, HIT and resistance training for six to eight weeks. Prof Kainulainen added, “The results indicate that the highest number of new hippocampal neurons was observed in rats that ran long distances and that also had a genetic predisposition to benefit from aerobic exercise. Compared to sedentary animals, HRT rats that ran voluntarily on a running wheel had 2-3 times more new hippocampal neurons at the end of the experiment. Resistance training had no such effect.” Wonder if this means more Zumba, less Pilates. Either way…grab a water bottle and go!

Why Does the U.S. Have Such a Low Life Expectancy?

The overall life expectancy in America is 79.68, lower than in many other high-income developed countries. One of the key factors in the relatively low life expectancy in the U.S., according to Centers for Disease Control research, is our lifestyle and “bad decisions.” Gun injuries, car crashes, and drug poisoning are the main causes of shortened life expectancies, particularly amongst the male population. In a research letter published Tuesday in the latest issue of the Journal

In News of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it concluded that an American man’s life expectancy is reduced by five months and 14 days by gun injuries compared to men in 12 other countries, including Germany, Japan and the UK. This research is part of a rare collection of government funded research since Congress has battled proposals to fund CDC research on gun violence since 1996. “I was surprised by the sheer magnitude of the impact of firearm deaths, that they’re only 1%-2% of deaths in the U.S. but responsible for 20% of the gap in life expectancy between the U.S. and other countries in men,” said Andrew Fenelon, the lead author of the letter. Dr. Mark Rosenberg, CEO of the non-profit Task Force for Global Health, said the letter illustrates the need for the CDC to fund further research on gun violence. “If you think about the potential for saving lives there through a research effort, it’s extraordinarily high,” said Rosenberg. “But we haven’t done it – we’ve been paralyzed and the toll is huge.” He added, “If an injury death takes the life of someone who is 30, they may be losing the difference between thirty years and the expected life of 75 years, so you may be robbing them of 45 years of expected life.” The CDC letter reveals that in 2012, more than 28,800 people died from gun injuries in the U.S., compared to 2,734 people, on average, in the comparison countries. Gun deaths account for 5.4 months of the life expectancy gap, car crashes account for 3.4 months and drug poisoning for 3.6 months.

Hijab Day in NY High School Sparks Anger A high school in Rochester, New York, hosted “Hijab Day” on the first Friday of February, as per the request of a Muslim sophomore. Fellow students

were encouraged to wear the Muslim religious head covering to school. The idea was approved and endorsed by the principal. Teachers brought in 150 scarves for female students to try and wear for the day and the males were given carnations to wear in solidarity.

The principal herself, Sheela Webster, donned a hijab for the day. She insisted that the event was not religious, but rather cultural and experiential: “We are an experiential school; we engage kids in all kinds of activities and projects all of the time, with the perspective of being able to learn what a hijab is, why some women choose to wear it and why some women don’t choose to wear it…” The idea was not well-received by all parents. The World High School of Inquiry received tremendous backlash in the days following “World Hijab Day.” A school district spokesman responded to the backlash saying that school officials had consulted with an attorney prior to the event and they were advised to proceed or risk facing legal issues. “As a high school teacher for over 30 years, let me say that this is wrong on so many levels,” Jim Farnholz wrote on his Facebook page. He elaborated: “All religions are taught in our global studies classes. That being said, that is where understanding, tolerance and the good and bad of religion and history are taught. This, however, is a clear violation of separation of church and state.” A Clarion Project report commented on this point: “Unfortunately, learning about ‘why some women don’t choose to wear it’ – or more pointedly, what happens to women in certain Muslim countries and societies who have no choice whether or not to wear it – was not part of the program.”

The Week

Oregon Standoff Finally Ends

According to new research, infants have excellent visual skills that allow them to perceive minor differences in images that adults can’t see. Baby ge-

Since January 2, 2016 an anti-government militia group and U.S. local and federal law enforcement agencies engaged in a stubborn standoff. The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was an armed standoff in Harney County, Oregon, that

The occupation came after a peaceful march protesting the prison sentences for ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven Hammond.

The Hammonds were convicted of arson on federal land and sentenced to five years in prison; now the Hammonds are seeking clemency from the president of the United States. Last Thursday, the last four holdouts finally surrendered mostly peacefully after 41 days but not without a little bit of drama. At the last moment, David Fry, 27, one of the protestors, threatened to shoot himself in a rambling, nearly two-hour discussion livestreamed online. In the tirade Fry complained about his tax dollars being used for unworthy causes “You guys took away everything from me, for doing nothing wrong. I will no longer be a slave to this system,” he said, growing progressively more frantic. “I am a free man and I will die a free man.” Eventually Fry threw his hands up and surrendered, telling an FBI negotiator by phone that his single request was that everyone shout “hallelujah” if he walked out. As he fumbled with the cellphone, Fry could be w

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Ever wonder what that tiny swaddled newborn is thinking when he or she stares at you unabashedly with those big round eyes? Although babies’ brains aren’t fully developed at 3 months, they have some perceptual abilities that their parents and other adults don’t.

began when the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon was occupied by an armed group affiliated with the U.S. militia movement. The occupation was led by Ammon Bundy, a former car fleet manager from Phoenix and son of anti-government protester Cliven Bundy. The group named themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Newborns’ Amazing Ability to See

niuses have this ability until about 5 months old, at which point their visual skills downgrade to the average adult. Before 5 months, infants have not yet developed perceptual constancy, the skill of recognizing the same object as being the same in different environments and lighting. Therefore, according to the Japanese study, which was published in the journal Cell Biology in December, newborns babies are more capable of noticing subtle differences in images, such as illumination. For the study, the neuroscientists examined 42 babies while they looked at images rendered from 3D objects and measured how long the babies looked at each object. The researchers could tell based on how long the infants lingered on the image whether they thought it was similar to or different from the previous picture, because it’s known that babies tend to look for longer at novel images.  Susana Martinez-Conde, a neuroscientist at the State University of New York who was not involved with the study, related that there’s a perceptual narrowing that babies experience. “This means that when they’re born, they’re highly responsive to all sorts of variations in the world,” Martinez-Conde told The Huffington Post. “As babies, we have all the capability to perform high-level discriminations. As we grow up, our discrimination skills narrow and we are left with only a constrained range of the differences that we are able to appreciate.”  Martinez-Conde explains that the illusion of constancy is important for humans to survive by allowing us to identify important objects despite changes in our physical environment. 

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One offended Rochester school parent commented online on the hijab project, writing, “What lesson will they wear a yarmulke in? Or the Christian cross? Or the Hindu turban?... Funny how it always seems to be the Muslims they learn about…” Another commenter was more forthright: “How disgusting and irresponsible for any educator to encourage a child to wear a symbol of oppression, whether it be religious or cultural,” Rebecca Sluman wrote. And Rick Bentley added, “Don’t you kids dare wear a shirt with the American flag on it, someone will be offended.” The student who advocated for this project is originally from Yemen and explained, “We wanted [the students] to experience it and feel how we feel… I just feel proud that I’m sharing my culture.” Islam is the third largest faith in the U.S. Pew Research Center estimates that there were about 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States in 2015, making up about 1% of the total U.S. population. That number is predicted to double by 2050.


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The Week heard shouting, “Hallelujah,” and then said, “One more cookie and one more cigarette” before strolling to the FBI checkpoint. The FBI said the four demonstrators would be arraigned before a federal judge in Portland. Almost a dozen protestors were arrested in the last five weeks and one died during a confrontation with police.

Tips for Maximizing Tax Returns

Whether you plan to use your tax refund to pay off debts, go on a long overdue vacation, or add depth to your savings account, here are some helpful tips from U.S. News & World Report for maximizing your return. First of all, don’t procrastinate and file an extension. Gather your paperwork, look out for W2s and charity write-offs in the mail over the next few weeks, and get on it. File early; this way if you have a big credit card bill to pay off, you will pay less interest. Avoid the standard tax deduction ($6,300 for singles and $12,600 if you’re married filing jointly) and itemize if you can. By gathering your receipts and credit card statements you can itemize your deductions to garner a bigger tax refund. Some additional expenses such as charitable contributions, casualty losses, unreimbursed business expenses, job search expenses and the state and local sales tax deduction may come out to be more than the standard deduction. If you have a long-term guest living with you – this includes a relative or friend – and you have been supporting them financially, you may be able to get a dependent exemption of $4,000, which is deducted from your income. Be aware that there are some rules regarding non-relatives and rel-

atives, but the deduction is legitimate if your non-relative has lived with you the entire year (relatives don’t need to live with you), doesn’t provide more than half of his or her own support, and doesn’t earn over $4,000 in taxable income. As many thorough accountants would suggest, take the above-theline tax deductions if you have the opportunity. Above-the-line tax deductions allow you to reduce your taxable income without tediously itemizing. Examples include if you paid for your students’ school supplies, went back to school to land that promotion, paid alimony, pay self-employment tax, paid student loan interest, contribute to your IRA or had unreimbursed moving expenses. The reduction to your taxable income may also help you get a bigger Advanced Premium Tax Credit if you received assistance to help pay for insurance in the health insurance marketplace. Always remember to claim those refundable tax credits. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit is a credit worth up to $6,242 for a family with three or more children that many people don’t know about; one out of five eligible taxpayers fail to claim it according to the IRS. And finally, put some of those hard earned dollars away for your golden years. You have until the filing deadline, April 18 this year, to contribute to an IRA and reap the benefits of a tax deduction of up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older). In addition to this deduction, you may qualify for the saver’s credit – this is the only time the IRS allows you to double dip, so take advantage. The IRS gives you an additional credit of up to $1,000 ($2,000 for married filing jointly) if you contribute to your retirement. According to the IRS, about 75 percent of taxpayers received a tax refund close to $2,800 last tax season.

Maine’s Food Stamps Requirements Could Save Billions With everyone wanting a little more from Uncle Sam, it’s no surprise that

In News one trillion dollars was spent last year on government programs for the poor. This budget includes welfare, cash advances, food stamps, WIC, housing, medical care, and social services. The food stamps program particularly is the nation’s second largest welfare program. In 2000, 17.2 million Americans received benefits, but last year in 2015, that number more than doubled to 45.8 million. Of course, along with that increase is a tremendous budget increase – costs rose from $20.7 billion in 2000 to $83.1 billion in 2014. More lenient cutoffs and more economically-challenged Americans after the recession accounts for a large number of that increase. Additionally, a whole new population was added to the program: able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). These are work-capable adult recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have children or other dependents to support but fall within poverty or low-income brackets. Since 2008, the food stamp caseload of ABAWDs has more than doubled nationally, growing from nearly 2 million recipients in 2008 to around 5 million today. A recent documentary on Fox News that featured a 29-year-old musician from California who confessed to spending his time surfing and playing in his rock band while surviving on food stamp benefits outraged many taxpayers and politicians. Some have decided to take action. Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, implemented a work requirement on recipients of food stamps who are without dependents and able-bodied. In Maine, in order to eliminate “free-riders,” all able-bodied adults without dependents in the food stamp program are now required to take a job, participate in training, or perform community service. Surprisingly – but not to many – most childless adult recipients in Maine refused to participate in training or even to perform community service for six hours per week. When ABAWD recipients refused to participate, their food stamp benefits ceased. In the first three months after Maine’s work policy went into effect, its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents plummeted by 80 percent, falling from 13,332 recipients in December 2014 to 2,678 in March

2015. According to a poll, nearly nine out of ten Americans believe that able-bodied, non-elderly adults who receive cash, food, or housing assistance from the government should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid. The Maine work requirement also reduces fraud. The most common type of fraud in welfare involves “off the books” employment. In food stamps, as in other welfare programs, benefits go down as earnings rise. Maine is also combatting another type of abuse of the system. In order to combat “off the books” employment, the welfare office requires the recipient to appear in person to the welfare office periodically, thereby interfering with any “hidden” or “cash” jobs. Government data indicates that many adults without children on food stamps use their own funds counter-productively. Over half of able-bodied adults without dependents regularly smoke tobacco; those who smoke consume on average 19 packs of cigarettes per month at an estimated monthly cost of $111. These individuals rely on the taxpayers to pay for their food while they spend their own money on cigarettes. Many strongly feel that the entire country should adapt Maine’s new policies. If the caseload drops at the same rate it did in Maine (which is very likely), taxpayer savings would be over $8.4 billion per year. Further reforms could bring the savings to $9.7 billion per year: around $100 per year for every individual currently paying federal income tax.

Scientists Can Now Hear the World

It is believed by scientists that many, many years ago, in a galaxy faraway, two black holes surrendered

The Week More Bickering on the GOP Stage

Carson echoed his sentiment, “We cannot be tearing each other down.” Many were watching closely to see if Rubio would regain his momentum after his lukewarm performance during last debate. In that debate, viewers saw him as canned as Chris Christie hammered him on certain issues. After that night, Rubio finished behind Trump, Kasich, Cruz and Bush. As of Tuesday, polling in South Carolina shows Cruz and Rubio tied with 18% of the vote and Trump leading with 35%. On Saturday night, after the polls close, we will know who truly came out on top.

3 Die in Major Car Pileup on Pennsylvania Interstate

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Due to bad weather and treacherous driving conditions, shortly be-

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

The GOP debates seem to be getting livelier and more animated as they go. The most recent debate on Saturday night hosted by CBS News in Greenville, South Carolina, was no exception even though only six candidates took to the stage. After last week’s New Hampshire primary, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina dropped out of the race. As expected, due to the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the issue of judicial appointments was front and center. Some of the candidates begged President Obama to abstain from nominating anybody to fill the vacancy and to allow the next president that honor and decision. However, it is highly unlikely that Obama will not grab this opportunity and he openly said shortly before the debate that he fully intends to nominate a successor. Donald Trump called Scalia’s death a “tremendous blow to conservatism” and urged the Senate Republicans to hold up any nomination. “It’s called delay, delay, delay,” Trump said. Ted Cruz called Scalia a “legal giant” who “changed the arc of American legal history.” He said Scalia’s death also “underscores the stakes of this election.” As expected, Trump and Jeb Bush sparred verbally. This time it was over the Middle East and brother George W. Bush’s legacy. Trump criticized the George W. Bush administration’s decision to enter Iraq, calling it a “big fat mistake” that “destabilized the Middle East.” “I am sick and tired of him going after my family,” Jeb Bush countered, saying he’s proud of his brother’s ef-

forts to keep the country safe. “This is a man who insults his way to the nomination,” Bush declared of Trump. Cruz and Marco Rubio, the two Cuban-American senators in the race, accused each other of lying on immigration and even questioned each other’s Spanish-speaking skills. Towards the end Cruz and Trump got into it when Cruz began questioning Trump’s business credentials. “You are the single biggest liar. You’re probably worse than Jeb Bush,” Trump bullied. Cruz remained unfazed by the accusation and speculated that Trump would “appoint liberals” to the Supreme Court if elected. Two candidates remained above the swirling waters of accusations: Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Kasich expressed his concern entering next week’s South Carolina primary elections saying, “I think we’re fixing to lose the election to Hillary Clinton if we don’t stop this.”


to one another’s inexorable attraction and collided with such force that it disturbed the very fabric of the universe. On Thursday, scientists revealed that they had detected ripple-like gravitational waves that still course from this violent event and simultaneously confirmed a prediction made by Albert Einstein a century ago. The detection, made with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, known as LIGO, is the grand finale of a decades-long search for signs of this elusive phenomenon. The significant ripples were identified just before 2:51 a.m. PDT on September 14 by two separate LIGO detectors, one in Hanford, Washington, and the other in Livingston, Louisiana, just three short days after the detectors had gone live following a five-year upgrade. Previously the LIGOs operated from 2002 until 2010 without making any detections. The discovery, described in a paper in Physical Review Letters, will open a new window onto the universe, said David Reitze, executive director of LIGO, which was designed and built by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This was truly, I think, a scientific moonshot,” Reitze said at a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington. “I really believe that. And we did it. We landed on the moon.” Until now, scientists relied on lightwaves to describe and learn about the history of the universe but now researchers will be able “hear” the universe, a whole new medium. “We can hear gravitational waves. We can hear the universe,” Gabriela Gonzalez, LIGO’s spokeswoman at Louisiana State University, said at the briefing. “That’s one of the beautiful things about this: We are not only going to be seeing the universe, we are going to be listening to it.” Scientists predict that hundreds of new events will be found over the next few years, allowing scientists to perform a range of different types of studies. “There’s probably even events we haven’t dreamed of,” declared Fiona Harrison, chair of Caltech’s division of physics, mathematics and astronomy. “This is just the beginning.”

In News


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


FEBRUARY 18, 2016


The Week fore 9:30am on Saturday on a central Pennsylvania interstate highway there was a deadly pileup of cars. The major accident involving 64 vehicles, including a dozen commercial trucks and tractor-trailers, left three people dead and more than 70 injured. Kenneth J. Lesko, 50, of Bethpage, New York; Francisca V. Pear, 54, of Bridgewater, New Jersey; and Alfred Dean Kinnick, 57, of Limestone, Tennessee, were all pronounced dead at the scene of the devastating crash on Interstate 78. Drivers reported whiteout conditions, with very low visibility and a lot of drifting snow, Trooper Justin Summa said. “People were saying they couldn’t see past the front bumpers of their cars.” A total of 73 people were taken by four medical helicopters and by ambulance for treatment at 11 hospitals. Jenny Privitera and her husband, Jason, who weren’t injured, told the Lebanon Daily News that they were on their way to the Outdoor Show in Harrisburg when the crash happened. “It was on and off sunny and cloudy, and all of a sudden there was just a whiteout,” she said. “We couldn’t see much in front of us. It lasted for 20-30 minutes. We could hear the crash behind us and everyone sliding.” The highway reopened Sunday morning after officials cleared the debris of the trucks and cars tangled together across three traffic lanes and into the snow-covered median.

Barber Needed, ASAP They’re desperate and they only need one. It’s been two years since the isolated town of Northern Wells in Canada has had a barber and residents are flipping their bangs in consternation. With a population of 800, a hairdresser can do really well, although

he or she will have to withstand temperatures as low as -50°F and weed through two years of amateur trims and styling. “It’s been a long struggle for us,” said Nicky Richards, the economic development officer leading the recruitment effort for this town that sits near the southern edge of the Arctic Circle. “We just don’t have anyone. It’s something that people down south don’t even ever think about because they don’t have to worry about it.” Residents have had to make do with their family members, friends or even themselves cutting their locks. “We’re trying to figure out ways to maintain ourselves,” said Richards, who regularly gives the same buzz cut to her husband, a friend and her boss. “I’m not a hairdresser by any set of means, but I do have a set of clippers and that’s what I use.”

When it comes to her tresses, Richards schedules out-of-town hair appointments, although making the 17-hour drive or four-hour daily flight to Edmonton in Alberta makes a haircut a bit of an expense. Flights go for more than $550. Add that to the price of a cut and a tip and you have a really costly cut. One resident, Ryan Spurrell, related, “I was in desperate need of a haircut so we just did it … in the front yard there, down by the parking lot, with a pair of sheep shears and some scissors.” A barber determined to style the town will be set up well. Other hairdressers have come and gone, leaving behind a wonderful workspace available for lease. And others from surrounding areas will be utilizing their services, as they find themselves barber-less in their towns as well. Since Richards began spreading the word, the town has heard from a few interested people. But she makes

In News sure they know what living in a small town means. “It’s a beautiful town, everybody knows everybody,” she said. “But it has its challenges.” Most items must be flown in – think C$8 for two liters of milk – and sometimes planes don’t make it with what’s needed. And it’s cold. “It’s only hit 40 below [zero] about three times this winter,” pointed out Richards, calling it one of the warmest winters in recent memory. “Sometimes we will have a good 40 or 50 below spell for a week or two at a time. So you’re either going to love it or hate it, I suppose.” Seems like they have their work cut out for them.

Playing Hooky – for 6 Years

For six years Joaquin Garcia, 69, supervised the construction of a waste water treatment plant in Cadiz, Spain. But he was never there. In 2004, Garcia stopped showing up for work. His boss never noticed until 2010, when he became eligible for a plaque honoring him for his 20 years of service. “I called him up and asked him, ‘What did you do yesterday? The month before, the month before that?’ He didn’t know what to say,’” deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández related. Over those six years, Garcia earned an annual salary of $42,000. Now, a Spanish court has ordered Garcia to pay a fine of $30,000, small change compared to his free-loading scheme. Garcia, though, insists that officials aren’t seeing the full story. He claimed that he was bullied in a previous position, switched assignments

and then discovered there was nothing for him to do at the waste water company. Instead of reporting his superfluous-ness, he kept his bosses in the dark for fear of not being able to find another job at his age. Since the incident, Garcia has officially retired, although he is probably doing the same thing he’s been doing all those years. The Guardian reports he became “an avid reader of philosophy and an expert on the works of Spinoza” during his years “on the job.” (Spinoza was a Spanish mayor who made taking an afternoon nap the law.) In fact, his attorney reported that he has gone into hiding because of the media “lynching.” Yes, it’s hard to work so hard.

The Costly Condiment Don’t know what’s in the sauce, but I do know that it can’t be worth this much money. Recently, the UK division of McDonald’s offered off a bottle of its Big Mac sauce on eBay for charity and the winning bid clocked in at a whopping £65,900.00 (approximately $95,000) for 740 milliliters of sauce. Seems like this person has a classy wallet with a lowbrow palate.

If the win is legitimate, the sauce comes out to nearly $130 a gram, making the sauce worth more than gold (which costs around $40 per gram). So what’s in the gloop? It’s a mixture of mayo, mustard, and relish and can’t be much too different than what’s on other burgers in the world. Nonetheless, there are others who shelled out way too much money for the liquid gold. Last year, McDonald’s Australia auctioned off a bottle for nearly

The Week

The Rabbit or the Duck?

year. During the springtime, people are more likely to see the rabbit first. Around October, the duck stands out more. So if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it may just be a rabbit.

Potato in the Post Never underestimate the power of a potato posting. Mystery Potato, based in Renton, Washington, is mailing personalized potatoes anonymously to specified recipients. The potato-grams start at $7.99 per tuber. “We actually have about 10 contractors here in the United States,” Jeff Kelly of Mystery Potato said. “We have 10 contractors internationally who create potatoes for us and ship them all over the world.”

So what’s the good word? “We send a lot of potatoes that say, ‘You’re a hot potato,’” Kelly said. Hmmm, sounds original. On the other hand, “‘Nerd’ in the biggest letters possible seems to be a popular message for some reason.” Yes, I would say that if you’re sending a message to someone on a potato in the mail anonymously, nerd would be a good way to describe yourself – and your friend.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

It’s more than a 100 years old since it’s been sketched but it’s still delighting viewers around the world. When you see it, are you looking at a rabbit or duck? Some see one,

some see both. But what you see – and how fast you can see it – can indicate just how fast your brain is and how creative you are. The duck-rabbit drawing was first used by American psychologist Joseph Jastrow in 1899 to make the point that perception is not only what one sees but is also a mental activity. The image was first published anonymously in a German magazine called Fliegende Blätter, with the caption “Which animals are most like each other?” Jastrow’s research was based on how quickly one can see the second animal and how fast participants could change their perception of the drawing to switch between the two animals. The faster you can do this, the quicker your brain works and the more creative you are, the research suggested. But interestingly, your views can change depending on the time of


$15,000. Puts a new spin on those Golden Arches.

In News


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



FEBRUARY 18, 2016

It Could Have Happened To You

Helping In A Helpful Way Rabbi Eli Scheller

I have been told by every Rav and Kiruv professional I’ve ever met that all the training in the world can’t prepare the budding Talmid Chochom for the challenges of everyday interactions that arise in shuls, schools and kiruv opportunities. I was with one of my mentors in Brooklyn last weekend and witnessed the following interaction. We had gone for mincha to a shteeble and had stayed after davening to study the parsha. When we were done and ready to go we noticed a

group of eight Chasidic-looking teenagers crowding around a single smart phone that was held by one of them. The young man in the middle asked the group “How do you spell Justin Bieper?” My mentor and I looked at one another as our minds played out the Sherlock Holmes series of deductions. Number one - if all eight boys only had one smart phone they were still high school age. Number two - if these boys are in a random shteeble on a Sunday afternoon rather than in a

Principal of General Studies Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim/Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, MD seeks a Principal of General Studies to provide educational leadership for the 400+ students and 40+ faculty members in the Elementary School.

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

Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim/Talmudical Academy of Baltimore is looking for a dynamic leader who will:

  

Move the Elementary School forward academically Enhance staff development Implement innovative and exciting programs, both curricular and extra-curricular

The candidate must possess outstanding interpersonal and supervisory skills as well as excellent administrative and technological skills. The candidate must have the following qualifications:

   

Advanced degree in education from an accredited university Experience in education and school administration Thorough knowledge of elementary school curricula Familiarity with day school/yeshiva education

Please send resumes and cover letters (including statement of educational philosophy) to

formal school they must be boys who didn’t fit the typical yeshiva mold. We had a quick decision to make; ignore this indiscretion? After all, we had no connection to this shul or to these boys. My mentor moved close to me and whispered, “Eli, why don’t you give it a shot.” I did not have a lot of time to plan my approach. I didn’t think a rebuke from a total stranger would do any good. I figured I would just engage them in conversation by asking an innocent question. I moved closer to the group and asked, in an innocent tone, “Is this a yeshiva here?” A boy who appeared to be around 18 stood up and got his face close to mine. He pointed to the door and said firmly, “Get out.” Before I continue I should mention that I was not always the most well-behaved and respectful student in my teens. After moments of impulsive weakness I had heard Rabbis, camp counselors, mashgichim, and others say those exact words to me. But none of these lines uttered by those others shocked me to this degree. I had simply walked over in an attempt to connect with the boys. In the succinct terms used by my younger cousin, this was a ‘fail’. I immediately realized that my innocent question to this young man made me instead guilty. Guilty of being another rule setting adult. Guilty of being insensitive to a teen’s circumstances. Guilty of making myself heard before listening to his story. My mentor caught on to the awkwardness of the moment in an instant and stepped in to save the day. “I’m sorry,” he said, “We’re not from around here, we’re visiting from out of town. We used to live in Los Angeles. You probably know that Justin

Bieber’s guitarist is Jewish. His name is Dan Kanter and we once got to meet him.” The young man’s face softened, and his body assumed a more relaxed stance. My mentor nodded to me to take his ball and run with it, so I pulled out my phone and said, “I’ve got some cool beats on my smart phone, and I’ve added some lyrics and music. It seems like you know something about music. Maybe you can tell me what you think about this song I’m working on.” I pushed the start button on my ‘beats’ program and in an instant I had their attention. In less than a minute we were all singing and humming together. By the time the song was over we had connected on some level, and there was no longer any hostility present in the room. I remembered that I had stopped at my favorite Brooklyn bakery to buy some danishes for my family. Sorry, family, trust me on this one. I walked over to my knapsack and shared the treats with the young men. As I got ready to leave the young man who had acted only minutes ago as a bouncer came over with a big smile to give me a high five. We exchanged cell phone numbers as well. As we left the shul I could hear my younger cousin say ‘win’. Being polite and caring is important when you are trying to make a difference in other people’s lives. Becoming familiar with their individual needs and sensitivities is how the difference is made. You may have the right intentions and you genuinely care but to your surprise may be asked to leave! Be sure to first reflect, respect and only then reprove. Email your thoughts, questions or stories to

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A Tribute to HaRav Chaim Shmuel Niman, zt”l Mashgiach of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim and father-in-law of HaRav Akiva Grunblatt, shlita


Our Zaidy, The Mashgiach

FEBRUARY 18, 2016


rom humble roots in the Midwest, Our Zaidy’s life journey began, To acquire and spread the Torah, Was his all-encompassing plan.

As the Mashgiach for many decades, His care for all was clear, Ben b’ruchniyus, ben b’gashmiyus, Each talmid’s needs were held so dear. Yet, with the love came expectations, His standards were never low, As he encouraged both young and old, To push themselves to grow. He treasured every moment of the day, And the potential of every single man, With his z’rizus to chap each moment, He never would just walk – he ran. Zaidy revered each gadol he met, Drinking in their wealth of knowledge with a thirst, Each precious vort that he would glean,

He painstakingly took notes and recorded insights, Encouraging others to do so as well, He inspired generations of talmidim, And at their milestones he would kvell. He would challenge all to think, And push everyone to grow anew, He built up each talmid, encouraging success, Through his ahavas haTorah and love for each Jew.

His priorities were set so straight, Creating a living example of shelaimus, For all to try and emulate. Any accomplishments that we may have, And that of his talmidim, too, Are thanks to our Zaidy the Mashgiach, Zaidy, where would we be without you?! And now as we stand orphaned, Without our Zaidy to pave the way, To whom can we turn for advice? Who would always know what to say?

Yet despite his busy Yeshiva schedule, One thing was always crystal clear, His mishpacha was so precious to him, For his family, he was always there.

Who will mold us with endless love? Who will guide us by examples so clear? Who will forge the path with his lead? Who will cherish each vort so dear?

Whether encouraging a new project, Or sharing his insights so deep, His firm, but loving, hand guided, As endless nachas he would reap. His face would light up the room, When a grandchild would walk in, His love for all apparent, With his ever-present grin.

And yet we can take comfort, With the legacy he leaves behind, For each loving lesson he taught, Still lives on in all our minds.

Through thick and thin, his entire life,

His generations of family and talmidim worldwide Will continue to spread his message far and near, For tzadikim b’misasam keruyim chaim, Our Zaidy will continue to live on year after year after year!

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

He left his home as a young teen, Thanks to his mother’s determination, And he learned and grew, with much toil, Due to his endless preservation.

Created an excitement like it was his first.

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


FEBRUARY 18, 2016


From the Files of Beis Din $hadchanu$ ‫לזכר נשמת חיים בן קאפל‬

*Story is fictitious, to illustrate the Halacha. In an actual case a Halachic authority should be consulted.

A project of the Choshen Mishpat Chabura of Kollel Avodas Levi Rabbi Gershon Segal Reviewed by Rabbi Morchechai Shuchatowitz, Av Bais Din of The Baltimore Bais Din

Shoshanah is in the States from Eretz Yisroel and is visiting her friend Chana. Both are professional shadchonim. Not surprisingly, their conversation turns to the recent shidduchim that they have facilitated. It turns out that Shoshanah recently made a shidduch between a boy and girl who live in the states, and Chana made a shidduch for a couple who live in Eretz Yisroel. It also becomes clear that Shoshana, who lives in Eretz Yisroel, is expecting to get “shadchonus” from the American couple according to the going rate in the States which is much higher than Eretz Yisroel. She reasons that since they are from the States they should pay accordingly. Chana, who lives in the United States is also expecting to get paid according to the rate that is normally paid there. She reasons that since she lives in the States and that is where she worked, she should get paid like anyone else who lives there. After discussing it together and hearing each other’s logic, it occurs to them that one of them may not be right. The friends also realize that the young couples may have a different way of looking at things. The two shadchaniot decide to make an appointment with the head Dayan of the city to hear what compensation the Torah dictates that they deserve. The Dayan listens carefully to their question and replies. “Before I address your specific question, let me begin with some more basic cases so we can understand some of the fundamental rules regarding these types of cases.” Let’s begin with a scenario in which the employer and employee live in the same city. The employer can expect his employee to follow the customs of their city in terms of the work that he must do. The employee in turn can ex-

pect his employer to compensate him according to the customs of their city1. For example, if in their city it is customary in a certain profession that all employees receive a forty-five-minute lunch break, the employer must allow his employee that time off. This rule applies if no other terms were agreed upon at the time when the employee was hired. If a specific agreement is made at the time of employment that is different than the common custom, that agreement overrides the custom and they must follow their agreement2. It would be no different in cases of a Shadchan. A Shadchan is considered a broker3. Even if no compensation was discussed at the time when the Shidduch was proposed, the Shadchan is owed the amount that is customarily paid in that city. If there is a range of what is paid the obligation would be to pay the low end of the range, unless something else was agreed upon. The same rule applies if someone travels to another city and is hired by a local employer to work in that city. The employer and worker would be expected to follow the customs of that city4. For example, if a shadchan from Eretz Yisroel is visiting the US, and while he is there he facilitates a shidduch between two people living there, he would be owed what is customary to pay a shadchan in the city he is vis-

‫שולחן ערוך חושן משפט‬ 1 ‫סימן שלא’ סעיף א‬ ‫שם‬ 2 ‫ ועיין‬,‫רמ”א סימן קפה סעיף י‬ 3 ’‫בהגר”א שם ס”ק יג‬ ‫כך פירש הפני משה את‬ 4 ‫הרישא של הירושלמי המובא בב”י ריש‬ ‫ ומביאו הערך שי אבן העזר‬,’‫סימן שלא‬ ‫ והאגרות משה חו”מ חלק ב‬,‫סוף סימן נ‬ ‫סימן נז‬

iting. The same, of course, would be true for a shadchan from the States who is visiting Eretz Yisroel. Similarly, if an employer comes to a worker’s city and hires him to do work there, the customs of the worker’s city would have to be followed5. For example, if a girl from the States visits Eretz Yisroel, and while she is there a local Shadchan sets her up with a boy who is also in Eretz Yisroel, they would only be obligated to pay the lower rate that is customary in Eretz Yisroel. Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, the Admor of Shinever sent this question to at least three Gedolie Yisroel; R’ Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shmuel Vosner, and Rabbi Betzalel Stern the author of the Betzel Hachochma. They all answered with the same ruling that you follow the customs where the hiring and the work is done. In all of the above cases, both the hiring and the work are done in the same city. In such cases there is an assumption that both the employer and employee understand that are bound to the customs of that city. The more difficult question is when the hiring is done in one city and the work is being done in another city. Let’s begin with a case that the employer who lives in Washington D.C. goes to Baltimore and hires a computer programmer to work for him in Washington D.C. For the purpose of this example, let’s say that in Washington D.C. it is customary to give benefits to a computer programmer and in Baltimore it is not. In such a case, the worker has a claim that he thought he was going to get paid like an employee in Washington D.C. since

‫כך פירש הפנים מאירות חלק‬ 5 ‫ב סימן סג הירושלמי הנ”ל וכך משמעות‬ ’‫הרמ”א בסימן שלא’ א‬

that is where he is working, and the employer has a claim that the reason he chose to hire someone from Baltimore is because he didn’t want to have to give him benefits. In such cases, when both the worker and employer have valid claims, the rule is that the worker who wants to receive more compensation must stipulate so explicitly. This follows the general rule in monetary laws, whenever there is a question between a claimant and a defendant and the ruling is not clear, the one who wants to take from the other must bring the proof. In this case, it is not a matter of proof, rather a similar concept, that the employee who wants to collect more wages would have the responsibility to stipulate so specifically6. If the employer from Washington D.C. hires a specialist that is not found in his city he would no longer be able to argue that the reason he decided to hire an employee from Baltimore is because he wants to pay less. The worker’s argument would still stand and he has the right to demand higher pay even if it was not agreed upon at the outset7. The Ponim Meirot8 rules that a Shadchan is considered a specialist since each Shadchan has a unique capability to see a shidduch through successfully. It would follow that if a boy from the States meets a shadchan in Eretz Yisroel and asks him to find him a shidduch, and after the boy returns home the shadchan suggests a girl from the States and the two get

,‫כך פירשו הפנים מאירות‬ 6 ‫והאגרות משה הנ”ל את הסיפא של‬ ‫הירושמי הנ”ל‬ ‫כך חילקו הפוסקים הנ”ל בדין‬ 7 ‫הירושלמי‬ ‫הנ”ל‬ 8

From the Files of Beis Din

‫אף דאין מקרה זה מפורש‬ 11 ‫ כך למדו מתוך‬,‫בירושלמי הנ”ל‬ ‫הירושלמי הפנים מאירות והאגרות משה‬ .‫הנ”ל‬

explained, every shadchan is considered unique. Being a specialist only strengthens your claim that they needed you and therefore understood that they would have to accept the customs of your city12. There are a few other considerations which can affect the ruling in these types of cases13. Our discussion was only meant to bring to light some of the main issues involved. Whenever there is a disagreement between two parties about how much compensation is deserved, the specifics of each case should be discussed with a competent Dayan.

‫כף מפורש בפנים מאירות‬ 12 ‫הנ”ל דאם השדכן הוא ממקום היוקר‬ ‫ועושה שידוך לחתן וכלה שגרים במקום‬ ‫הזול צריכים לשלם ביוקר כמנהג מקום‬ ‫ ולכאורה צ”ע לפי חילוקו‬.‫השדכן‬ ‫שחידש הפנים מאירות המובא לעיל‬ ‫ שאם הפועל הוא‬,‫כשהמקרה איפכא‬ ‫פועל מיוחד אין לבעל הבית הגר במקום‬ ‫היוקר טענה שלהכי שכר פועל במקום‬ ‫ אם כן נימא גם‬.‫הזול שרצה לשלם בזול‬ ‫כאן כשהוא איפכא שהפועל הוא ממקום‬ ‫היוקר והבעל הבית הוא ממקום הזול אם‬ ‫הפועל הוא פועל מיוחד הבעל הבית יכול‬ ‫לטעון שלהכי שכרו ולא שכר ממקומו‬ .‫מקום הזול שלא מצא במקומו כמותו‬ ‫ונמצא שלשניהם יש טענה ועל הפועל‬ ‫ ואולי אפשר לומר דאדרבא כיון‬.‫להתנות‬ ‫שהוא היה צריך לפעול אדעתא דמנהג‬ ‫ והערך שי הנ”ל כתב גם כן‬.‫מקומו נחית‬ ‫סברא כזאת דלהכי אם הבעל הבית הולך‬ ‫לעיר הפועל ושכרו לעבוד שם שחייב‬ ‫במנהגי עירו ולא יכול לומר כמנהגי‬ ‫עירי שכרתי שכיון שבא לעיר השני בטל‬ .‫למנהגם‬ ‫הערך שי הנ”ל מחלק בין אם‬ 13 ‫החתן או הכלה ביקשו מתחילה מהשדכן‬ ‫שיעשה להם שידוך ובין אם השדכן‬ ,‫ וכן השבט הלוי‬.‫מעצנו הציע להם שידוך‬ .‫והבצל החכמה הנ”ל מחלקם בהכי‬

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

‫כלה ממקום היוקר והשדכן ממקום הזול‬ .‫אפשר שניחא ליה בפשיטות‬ ‫כך כתב האגרות משה‬ 10 ‫הנ”ל דהולכים אחר המקום שבו עשה‬ ‫ ופסק שם שכתיבת איגרת או‬,‫העבודה‬ ‫דיבר בטלפון במקום הזול נחשב כעשה‬ ‫ וההסבר שכתבתי‬.‫העבודה במקום ההוא‬ ‫בפנים לפרש שיטתו שלמד בירושלמי‬ ‫שכל הטענות של הבעל הבית והשכיר‬ ‫הם בנויים על זה שהצטרכו לטרוח לילך‬ .‫ הוא הנ”ל בשיטתו‬,‫לעיר השני‬

would be to raise the issue with the couple and reach a compromise that would satisfy both of you. Now let’s consider the opposite case, an employer who lives in Baltimore travels to Washington D.C. and hires someone to come to Baltimore to work for him. As before, for the purpose of illustrating this case, let’s say that in Baltimore they do not give benefits and in Washington D.C. they do. In such a case the employee has a good claim that he assumed he would be given benefits as is the custom in his city. The employer’s counter claim that he assumed he would pay according to Baltimore standards would not be valid. The employee can easily refute such a claim by saying, “If that’s what you wanted, you should have hired someone from your city. Why did you come to my city where employees expect benefits? You must have understood that if you wanted me to work for you, you would have to pay me according to my city’s customs11." We are now ready to return to your question, Chana. You live in the United States and facilitated a shidduch between a boy and girl who live in Eretz Yisroel. From what we just explained, it would seem that you are owed the going rate in the States. The couple should have understood that by using your services they were going to be obligated to pay you the going rate in your city. If they wanted to pay a lower rate they should have hired someone from their own city. In this case they wouldn’t even be able to counter claim that coming to you should not be viewed as an agreement to pay according to the customs of your city, but rather they had no choice since you are a specialist. As we already

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

‫כך נראה מוכח דסבירא ליה‬ 9 ‫לפנים מאירות וכדדייק הבצל החכמה‬ ‫ וכן פוסק‬,’‫ וה‬,’‫חלק ג סימן כח אות ב‬ ‫ וכן פוסק השבט‬,‫הבצל החכמה הנ”ל‬ ‫הלוי שבט הלוי חלק ד סימן ריז ד"ה‬ '‫ וכן הערך שי אבן העזר סימן נ‬.‫ועכ"פ‬ ‫ד"ה והרמ"א אף שהאריך לחלוק על‬ ‫הפנים מאירות מסיק דבאופן שהחתן או‬ ‫כלה כתבו תחילה לשדכן יכול לשמוע‬ ‫ וכל קושיותיו על הפנים מאירות‬.‫דינו‬ ‫באמת במקרה שהשדכן ממקום היוקר‬ ‫ אבל בנידון זה שה־‬,‫והכלה ממקום הזול‬

Although you did not travel to the States and the boy or girl did not travel to you, you can still argue that since you were working for someone in a higher paying city it should have been understood that you were expecting to be paid according to the going rate of their city. Similarly, the employer’s argument that the reason he chose you was because he was aware that in your city workers are paid less would not stand because you are a specialized worker. The Ponim Mierot mentioned above seems to rule this way. However, there are other opinions10 who seem to rule that when the actual work is being done in the worker’s location, he would receive compensation according to his own city. In this case you did your work by talking on the phone and emailing from your home in Eretz Yisroel. These poskim seem to rule that you can only claim that you expected to be paid the higher going rate of the city of your employer if you actually had to expend the effort to go to his location. Since there is no clear ruling in this case, if it were to be brought before an official Bais Din, the judges would not be able to require the couple to pay you the higher rate. If the couple on their own pay you the higher rate, you may accept it and you do not have to inform them that there are opinions who rule that they are not required to pay so much. If they decide to pay the lower rate, my recommendation


married, the shadchan deserves to be paid at the rate that is customary in the States since that is where his work was done. Getting back to your case Shoshanah, you live in Eretz Yisroel and you set up a boy and girl here in America. Based on what we just explained it would seem that you have a right to be paid the going rate in America. However, we still have to consider a few things. If the boy or girl would have been in Eretz Yisroel and would have asked you to come to the States and set them up, then there would be no question that you would be entitled to be paid according to the going rate in the States. As we explained, even though you did not stipulate so explicitly, you would have a good claim that it should have been self-understood. Why else would you have agreed to travel to the States and work there, if you could have stayed where you live to work? Additionally, your employer could not claim that he traveled to Eretz Yisroel to engage a shadchan instead of using someone locally in order to save money. Since each Shadchan is unique, it is clear that he approached you because there is no one like you where he lives. The more common case nowadays is when you are hired by phone and you do your work over the phone. Many Poskim9 still rule in such a case that similar arguments can be made.




FEBRUARY 18, 2016


Tefilas Haderech By Rabbi Yosef Wagner Kollel Avodas Levi

Tefilas Haderech When one is traveling, tefilas haderech must be recited. All types of travel require tefilas haderech, whether car, airplane, train or boat.1

pecially true because according to some commentaries one may voluntarily say tefilas haderech anytime he wants.13 If one is in a dangerous area in the city one may recite tefilas haderech voluntarily.14

It is better to stand when reciting the bracha, but most of the time this is not feasible.2 If one is traveling on a long journey, the bracha is recited once every day one travels.3 If one travels the entire day and night, and stopped for a short time, the bracha is recited without the chasima4 the next morning.5

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

Some poskim say each individual traveler should recite the bracha,6 while others argue and hold that one may recite the bracha for the other haderech.8 travelers.7 If the trip is shorter then a parsa Ideally one should recite another bra- (8000 amos which is between 2.5 and cha immediately before reciting tefilas 3 miles)9outside of the city, one doesn’t 1 Aruch Hashulchan 110: 11 recite tefilas haderech. 2 SA 110: 4. MB 22 says that if by stopping one will not have proper kavana (concentration) one need not stop. See SA Harav 183: 14 3 SA 110: 5. 4 The chasima is the end of the bracha which is baruch ata …..shome tefila. 5 MB 110: 26. Halichos Shlomo pg 252 says if one slept in his car that night, one would recite tefilas haderech in the morning, but if one drove through the night, tefilas haderech should be recited in shema koleinu of shimone esray. Kitzur SA 68: 5 says if one doesn’t sleep in a settled area like sleeping on a plane, a bracha is not said with a chassema the next morning if ones trip will be continuing. 6 Emes Liyakov pg 65 footnote 138 says the reason for this is because tefilas haderech is a tefila and a tefila should be said by everyone individually. If one does not know the bracha, someone else may recite it for them 7 Kinyan Torah 2: 119, but one should not be motze others over the microphone on a bus as it is questionable if this is the voice of the person reciting the bracha.

The bracha should be recited within the first parsa of the trip. If one forgot to recite the bracha, it may still be recited, as long as one is not within a parsa of the destination.

When traveling by air some say that one should recite the bracha when the plane is at the point that if the plane were to fall it would be dangerous.15 Others say the most ideal time to recite tefilas haderech is when the plane is going fast on the run way.16 One should recite tefilas haderech even if one travels all the time. This is not a reason to exempt someone from the bracha as the danger of travel still exthe definition of “muchzak bederech.” ists.17 Taz says this means that once one has committed to start traveling, one may One should some learn torah while recite tefilas haderech even within the traveling.18 city.10 Magen Avraham(MA) says that one should not recite the bracha until Birchas Hagomel after one is 70 amos outside the city Someone who went deep in the sea,19 limits. The 70 amos is calculated from traveled in the desert, was very sick, or where the city is no longer settled. The halacha is in accordance with the MA.11 tefilas haderech once one gets on the main

highway which leaves the city. 13 Piney Yeshoshua to Brachos 29b. Emes Lyakov pg 65 says since tefilas haderech is bachas harachamim (prayer of mercy) one doesn’t invoke the rule safek bracha lihakel (when a doubt exists a bracha isn’t recited). 14 MB 110: 30 and Aruch Hashulchan 110: 15 10 110: 7 8 SA 110: 6 and MB 28 It is best 15 Halichos Shlomo pg 254 11 MB 110: 29 and SA Harav 110: 6. to recite a bracha that starts with the word 16 Emes Lyaakov pg 65 footnote 139. MB says this with regards to the first tefilas baruch and ends with baruch before saying If the airport is a parsa outside the city then haderech one says during the trip, but the tefilas haderech because tefilas haderech one should recite the tefilas haderech in the second day where a new tefilas haderech is doesn’t start with the word baruch. Borei car on the way to the airport and that would required, one may rely on the Taz and recite nifashos works for this because the MB says suffice for the entire travel for that day. one can have a drink and say a bracha achrona the bracha inside the city 17 ibid 12 Firstly, Daas Torah and Eishel before reciting tefilas haderech. Halichos Pirkei Avos 3: 4 Shlomo pg 253 footnote 11 says one may even Avram Mibuchach hold that scattered homes 18 Biur Halacha s.v. yorde hayom recite a bracha rishona before tefilas haderech don’t extend the city limit (see also Siddur of 19 explains that one should recite the bracha the SA Harav who doesn’t seem to hold like as it is a bracha samuch lichaverta, but it is MA). Second, Shevet Halevi says 10: 21 that even if nothing dangerous happened since preferable to recite a bracha rishona. 9 Minchas Shlomo tenyana 60 says because car accidents are so common one may something could have happened. KinyaTorah recite tefilas haderech even it settled. Tishuvos 1: 3 says traveling in the sea means more then that this is measured in actual distance and Vihanhagos 1: 199 says that one should recite a days travel in the sea. not the time it takes to travel 8000 amos.

Nowadays, areas are often settled along highways making it difficult to One should recite the bracha once he recite tefilas haderech, nevertheless is traveling (muchzak baderech). there are still poskim who rule that one There are various opinions as to may recite tefilas haderech.12 This is es-




husband should not make the bracha for her in shul. This is based on MB 219: 18 and Aruch Hashulchan 219: 9. 28 MB 219: 18 29 MB 219: 4 30 SA 219: 3 31 MB 219: 6 32 MB 219: 5 33 Halichos Shlomo pg 278. 34 Biur Halacha 219 s.v. einn zeh bracha livatala says that one may only motze others if the mivarech (fellow reciting the bracha) must recite the bracha. SA 219: 6. Aruch Pri Megadim argues. Halichos Shlomo 35 Hashulchan 219: 7 says that if pg 277 says that the custom in Yirushalyim is that ten men relatives so much time passes that what happened is completely forgotten, a come to the house of the yoledes and she recites the bracha then. Her bracha should not be recited

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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

21 Rema 219: 8 and Aruch Hashulchan 219: 11. Titz Eliezer 12: 18 says that for eye surgery and other surgeries one should recite birchas hagomel as they are considered like a makah she chalal. If one donates a kidney. Titz Eliezer 10: 25: 23 says that one should say birchas gomel. 22 SA 219: 9 23 Halichos Shlomo pg 275. Therefore if one is almost in a car accident one does not bench gomel. But if one is in a car accident, then one benches gomel. 24 Halichos Shlomo pg 276 and Iggeros Moshe 2: 49 25 Titz Eliezer 11: 14, Tishuvos Vihanhagos 1: 193 and 2: 148, Ashrei Haish (Rav Elyahsuv), and Orchos Rabenu pg 91 26 MB 219: 2. One does not recite the bracha until no weakness is felt from the sickness. See Shaareem Mitzuyanim Bhalacha 61: 2 27 MB 219: 3 and Aruch Hashulchan 219: 6. Chaye Adam 65: 6 says that women should recite the bracha in front of ten men. MA says that women do not recite this bracha because it is a reshus (optional) but

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

was in jail must recite birchas hago- man shouldn’t recite the bracha for a mel. woman unless the man is obligated to say the bracha as well.28 One is required to recite this bracha if he recovered from a sickness where one The bracha should be recited standwas a choleh she yesh bo sakana (life ing.29 at risk).21 One should also recite birchas hagomel if he was involved in anything One should recite the bracha in front dangerous like being pursued by a wild of ten men.30 The man reciting the braanimal or being robbed.22 cha is counted amongst them.31 This bracha is only recited if one was in actual danger. If one was close If ten people did not respond me sheto being danger, then this bracha is not gamlani kol….one has still fulfilled the recited.23 mitzva.32 If one is not sure if he has to recite One who flies in an airplane should birchas hagomel, he should be michavrecite birkas hagomel. Some poskim en (have intent) to fulfill his obligation say this is true even if one does not trav- when he says the bracha of hagomel el over water,24 while others insist that chasadim tovim lamo yisrael.33 the bracha is recited only if the plane If many people need to say birchas travels over the ocean.25 hagomel, one person may recite it for everyone.34 One only recites birkas hagomel once one is completely healed from the sickOne should try to make the bracha of ness.26 hagomel right away but if one forgets, Women do not recite this bracha.27 A the bracha may be recited whenever one remembers.35 20 SA 219: 1 20


Lisa Meister


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Supreme Shift What Conservative Icon Justice Antonin Scalia’s Death Means for the Future of the Supreme Court and the United States B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

By Nachum Soroka

A With Scalia's death, the makeup of the Court will be completely shifted

ntonin Scalia was not supposed to die. At least not now, with less than a year left to President Obama’s presidential term, and at least not so suddenly. The polarizing justice had been on the bench since 1986 and, while he was friends with even the most liberal of his colleagues – he introduced Elana Kagan to hunting shortly after her appointment – he showed no signs of slowing down his strident attacks on lib-

eral agendas. (As recently as this past April, the Supreme Court scholar Jeffrey Toobin christened the conservative judge as the “Fox News Justice.”) His death from a heart attack took place after a long day of quail hunting. The seventy-nine year old was not the oldest on the bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is eighty-two and has battled cancer twice already. Born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1936 and raised in Elmhurst, Queens, the brilliant Scalia was


courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world,” he told a crowd recently. As a teenager, Scalia attended Xavier, a Jesuit military academy run by clergymen. He was already a strong-minded conservative and gifted debater when he graduated valedictorian of his class. In 1957, he finished first in his class at Georgetown and delivered these words to his class at graduation: “For we were seekers of the truth. Truth has no bones, no flesh, no solid earthy form.” If we … “leaders of a real, a true, a Catholic intellectual life … allow

For all his father’s reverence of intellectualism and erudition – “He always had a book in front of his face,” recalled Antonin – character was paramount in the Scalia family. “Brains are like muscles – you can hire them by the hour,” his father would say. “The only thing that’s not for sale is character.” Indeed, throughout his career, Scalia felt that he answered to a higher, religious calling, regardless of academic or professional milieu. “Have the

… the cares of wealth or fame or specialized career to stifle our spirit of wonder, to turn us from the hunt, to kill in us what was most human, then we shall have betrayed ourselves, our society, our race.” In 1960, Scalia graduated Harvard Law School and joined the white shoe law firm, Jones, Day, Cockley and Reevis, where he worked until 1967. He then moved to Virginia to take a position as a law professor at the Uni-

Rights. The Reagan administration felt that Chief Justice Warren had created a court which overstepped its constitutional bounds and lacked “judicial restraint.” President Nixon’s appointee to Chief Justice, Warren Burger, did not provide any change in course for the runaway court and it presided over Roe v. Wade in 1973, which was even mildly criticized by liberal justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. So it was up to Reagan to appoint young, conservative justices to the bench and prime them for any future roles on the Supreme Court. Along with Scalia, Reagan appointed Robert Bork and Richard Posner to federal judgeships. When Chief Justice Burger retired in 1986, Reagan nominated Scalia, who would be the first Italian-American in the bench and at fifty, was ten years younger than Bork, to fill the vacancy. (Bork was nominated by Reagan two years later to fill another vacancy. But his conservative record drew the attention and ire of Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden and Bork was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Anthony Kennedy, who has not been a consistently conservative voice on the Court, was appointed instead.) From the start of his career on the Supreme Court bench, the young, brash conservative did not slink away from any attention, asking forceful questions

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

“Have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world,” he told a crowd recently.

versity of Virginia. By then he was married to Maureen McCarthy and had established a reputation as a brash conservative who took no exception to being the only one in a room defending religious conservative opinions such as Blue Laws which outlaw the opening of liquor stores in Sundays. His first brush with government work came when he was appointed to the Nixon administration in 1974, only to have President Nixon leave office before he started the job. Nevertheless, Scalia was a staunch defender of Nixon at the time, drafting a memo in support of the president’s right to the ownership of the infamous tapes and eventually taking his opinion to the Senate. For the next decade, Scalia held positions at various governmental posts and universities, including University of Chicago and Stanford. He continued to be an outspoken conservative thinker and his writings received the attention of the Reagan administration which had set out to find young and intellectual conservative academics. At the time, conservatives were living in the wake of a Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, who had retired in 1969 and had successfully reshaped the judiciary branch of the government as a liberal one, with decisions such as Brown v. Board of Ed and Miranda v. Arizona, which created the eponymous Miranda

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

brought up in a Catholic home by parents whose intellectual values matched their conservative ones. His father, Eugene Scalia, came to the U.S. from Sicily as a teenager and earned a PhD from Columbia. His mother was a schoolteacher. As a Supreme Court justice, Antonin was renowned for his sharp and tightly composed written opinions, particularly the ones he authored as the dissenting party. This was in no small part due to his father’s constant criticism of Antonin as a young judge to use proper grammar in his judicial writings.

President Reagan and then-nominee Scalia in the Oval Office, July 7, 1986


Retiring Chief Justice Warren Burger (right) administering an oath to Scalia, as Scalia's wife, Maureen, looks on


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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


FEBRUARY 18, 2016


New Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist shakes hands with Scalia, the newest associate justice, outside the Supreme Court on September 26, 1986

and peppering lawyers throughout arguments. In Scalia’s first oral argument he asked so many questions that Justice Lewis Powell whispered, “Do you think he knows that the rest of us are here?” Indeed, Scalia’s brusque manner was on full display during Supreme Court arguments. In response to one lawyer who argued that his client shouldn’t be deported to Mexico because he was on parole, Justice Scalia retorted sharply, “No one thinks your client is abstaining from tequila for fear of being deported.” In the famous 2013 case of Shelby County v. Holder, which overturned several key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act based on a 5-4 majority of which Scalia was part of, the Justice invoked the provocative conservative term of “entitlements” to describe certain welfares, arguing, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” In a recent affirmative action case, Scalia commented to the Court that perhaps African Americans who had received poorer high school education should attend slower schools which would give them a more appropriate level of education. To be fair, the introduction of the biting judge to the Court had its effect on the rest of the Justices. With the exception of

Clarence Thomas, who is known to never utter a syllable during arguments, the Supreme Court has become, in the words of A. E. Dick Howard, a law professor at the University of Virginia, “Like eight professors who all think they’re going to ask the question that probes the deepest. The result is often cacophony.” Contrast this to before Scalia’s time, when, “There were three or four Justices who were content to sit back and let the advocate make his argument.” Justice Scalia’s sharp rhetoric was well-known through his written opinions, particularly when he represented the dissenting side, a side he often found himself on. He was a master of prose but never shied away from using plebeian analogies to illustrate a point. In the Obamacare decision, he called the Court’s opinion “pure applesauce.” The key issue of that case, which was the Court’s interpretation of the word “such” in a particular piece of Obama’s legislation was referred to by Scalia as “jiggery pokery” and he went on to suggest that the legislation should be renamed SCOTUScare, as in the Supreme Court’s health insurance plan. In dissenting on a case which overturned a ban on certain behaviors in the state of Texas, Scalia’s wit was at its finest: the law may “undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty. So do laws prohibiting recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours

Scalia poses with his family in his chambers before court ceremonies on September 26, 1986

per week in a bakery.” Aside from writing the dissenting opinions on Obamacare and marriage equality, Justice Scalia was part of the majority in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the opinion which removed caps from election spending for corporations and unions, giving way to the world of Super-PACs and changing the election landscape to the spending

personal moral system was undoubtedly religious and he firmly believed that the United States was a religious country and that the government should not need to avoid any religious displays, yet when it came to the death penalty, which the Church has opposed since 1985, Scalia remained committed to its institution. Likewise, in Employment Division v. Smith, he argued that the use

“We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans. The Senate needs to stand strong.”

machine it is today. His reasoning was based on his interpretation of the Bill of Rights. Likewise, in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the court ruled that an individual has a right to bear arms, Scalia’s opinion was based on the meaning of the word “militia” in the Second Amendment. He was a staunch supporter of the death penalty, was lukewarm to civil and women’s rights, and was a vocal opponent of abortion. He was also a devout Catholic. But in no way did he allow his religious views to become the basis of his decisions, instead utilizing the Constitution as his guide. His

of certain drugs in the context of religious ceremony should not exonerate its users, a decision which was loudly opposed by groups from the ACLU to the National Association of Evangelicals. If there was one overarching, definitive theme to Justice Scalia’s legal method, it would be “Originalism,” or the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as a fixed text from the time of its writing. Scalia was of the opinion that in questioning the Constitution, one must attempt to determine what a reasonable person living at the time of the Constitution’s enactment would

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015




Scalia poses for his first portrait with fellow members of the U.S. Supreme Court, November 12, 1986. Front row, from left: Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan Jr., Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Byron White and Harry Blackmun. Back row, from left: Sandra Day O’Connor, Lewis Powell Jr., John Paul Stevens and Scalia

ford, an Obama appointee to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Robert Wilkins, whom Obama appointed to the same D.C. circuit court where Srinivasan sits. If the Republicans are successful at stalling an appointment, the Court would remain with eight justices until the end of President Obama’s term. Currently, there are a number of cases on the Supreme Court’s agenda which are of importance to liberals and conservatives and may have a different outcome now that Justice Scalia is no longer on the court. Scalia was the fifth conservative on the Court, although conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy often takes the liberal side and has been the swing vote in many rulings. The Court’s makeup is now dead-even with four conservatives and four liberals. The Court is set to rule on the Affirmative Action case that Scalia loudly opined about and will be hearing about labor unions, abortion, the ACA’s mandate of contraception, and President Obama’s immigration plan. It is likely that the outcome of some or all these cases will be different with the new makeup of the Supreme Court. It is up to the Republican Senate to hold off the president until they can retake the office and install one of their own. But with all the recent successes – or

lack thereof – of the conservatives in Washington not capitulating to the president, such a possibility may not be likely. The three ring circus that is the Trump-Cruz-Bushapalooza does not necessarily inspire confidence in the Republicans chances of retaking the White House, either. To be fair, though, for some candidates, an Obama appointment to the Supreme Court can be seen as a lifeline. Joe Biden received his two seconds in the spotlight while grilling Robert Bork in the 1980s and Ted Cruz, who, like Scalia, is an avid constitutionalist and has argued in front of the Supreme Court a number of times, would relish the opportunity to have a field day cutting apart an Obama nominee on the Senate floor. On the other side of the race, Hillary Clinton would love to utilize the moment to demonstrate her commitment to progressive values. With all the Scalia talk going around, we shouldn’t forget that both Justices Ginsburg and Kennedy are heading into retirement age in the next few years as well. If their successors aren’t chosen by President Obama, they may very well be chosen by President Hillary Clinton. Which would see a Supreme Court composed of six liberals and three conservatives. Somewhere in Supreme Court heaven, Antonin Scalia would not be too happy.

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The sudden death of Justice Scalia only adds to the sense of urgency that has surrounded the Republican Party’s search for a suitable nominee for president. It was only recently that Republicans were quick to label Barack Obama as a “lame duck president” who is powerless in the final days of his term to accomplish anything of note, particularly because he is up against a hostile Republican House and Senate. Now it is the president who finds himself in the enviable position of appointing his third Supreme Court Justice and creating a more lasting effect on the course of the nation’s future than any executive order he can put into action. That this appointment will replace the most vociferous conservative on the bench and will tip the Supreme Court’s makeup to the liberal side is only icing on the moist cake that has been served to Obama. Clearly, the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the

Senate have only one agenda: to delay the appointment of a new Justice until the next (hopefully conservative) president takes office. Immediately after the news of Scalia’s death broke Saturday night, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz said at a debate, “We are one justice away from a Supreme Court that would undermine the religious liberty of millions of Americans. The Senate needs to stand strong and say, ‘We’re not going to give up the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation by allowing Barack Obama to make one more liberal appointee.’” Donald Trump added, “It’s called delay, delay, delay.” The ball right now is in Obama’s court, and the list of potential nominees is growing. The most talked about candidate is Judge Sri Srinivasan, a 48-yearold Obama appointee to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. Srinivasan has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Supreme Court for a number of years already, but part of his appeal is his moderate political leanings, an asset in a non-election year, but in the face of an already indignant Republican party and a Democratic electorate looking to be energized, this appeal is weakened. Obama may also want to play the race card by nominating an African American judge whom Republicans would be averse to block in an election year. Such judges include Judge Paul J. Wat-

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

understand its meaning to be. To Scalia, the Constitution was not an evolving piece of legal guidance to be reread generationally. “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring,” he once said. “It means today not what current society, much less the courts, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



FEBRUARY 18, 2016


Centerfold ?

You gotta be


It’s a nice sunny day in Miami Beach when Moshe, who is in a joyful mood, walks over to a man sitting on a park bench, slaps him hard on his back, and says, “Yankel Goldberg, it’s so nice to see you again.” The slapped man angrily responds, “Oy, have you got the wrong person! My name isn’t Goldberg. And, besides, why did you hit me so hard?!” Moshe looks at him and says, “It’s your business how hard I decide to hit Goldberg?!”

Riddle me this?

A man is asked what his daughters look like. He answers, “They are all blondes, but two, all brunettes, but two, and all redheads, but two.” How many daughters does he have? See answer on opposite page

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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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Supreme Court Trivia

4. Which U.S. president later served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? a. Ben Franklin b. Thomas Jefferson c. Oliver Wendell Holmes

6. Since 1930, only three Supreme Court nominees were rejected. Which party rejected those nominees? a. 2 were rejected by Republicans; 1 was rejected by Democrats b. 2 were rejected by the Democrats; 1 was rejected by Republicans c. All 3 were rejected by the Republicans d. All 3 were rejected by the Democrats 7. What is the annual salary of the associate justices on the Supreme Court? a. $249,300 b. $250,500

8. Which president appointed the most Supreme Court justices? a. George Washington b. Franklin Roosevelt c. Ronald Reagan d. Barack Obama Answers 1. C 2. D 3. B 4. D 5. A 6. D 7. A 8. A Wisdom Key 6-8 correct: Mr. Future Supreme Court Justice, I wish you good luck with the confirmation process! 4-5 correct: You are hardly the swing vote! 0-3 correct: Don’t you just love the green and yellow robes the Supreme Court justices wear?

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

3. A new Supreme Court justice must be approved, or confirmed, by who? a. The House b. The Senate c. The President d. The Justice Department

5. Which of the following is not a famous Supreme Court decision? a. Confederate States of America v. Lincoln b. Marbury v. Madison c. Roe v. Wade d. Bush v. Gore

c. $325,000 d. $500,000

Answer to riddle: He has three daughters: one blond, one brunette, and one redhead.

2. The annual Supreme Court term starts on the first Monday of which month? a. September b. January c. March d. October

d. William Howard Taft

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

1. How many justices are there on the Supreme Court (assuming there are no vacancies)? a. 5 b. 7 c. 9 d. 11



FEBRUARY 18, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Replacing Scalia Will Take an Epic Skirmish

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



FEBRUARY 18, 2016


By Michael Gerson


public official can fight to expand the power and prerogatives of his office with skill and cunning. Defending the prerogatives of other officials, in another branch of government, is done only out of principle. Justice Antonin Scalia spent a career in America’s judicial aristocracy defending representative democracy. He wanted courts to play a limited, supportive role, interpreting texts produced by representatives of the people. If new meanings are required – as they often are, in a varied, progressing country – then it is the people who need to provide them. ”Do you think the American people would ever have ratified” the Constitution, Scalia asked, if they had known that “the meaning of this document shall be whatever a majority of the Supreme Court says it is?” On issues such as abortion rights, he said that judges “vote on the basis of what they feel,” which amounts to “the destruction of our democratic system.” The reaction of judges who enjoy a starring role in American government was, and is, negative. Which is unsurprising. Progressive judges have an interest in making their private moral

intuitions the law of the land, without the inconvenience of having to persuade their fellow citizens. If judicial decision-making involves the interpretation of evolving standards, this gives tremendous influence to the interpreters. Progressives generally like this approach because it has secured progressive outcomes. But, as a political theory, there is nothing particularly liberal about it because it grants immense political power to a small self-serving, selfdealing elite. Here is Scalia: “The non-originalist judge who decides what the modern Constitution ought to mean – perhaps by applying his favorite principles of moral philosophy, or perhaps only by applying his own brilliant analysis of what the times require – escapes the application of any clear standard, by which we may conclude that he is a charlatan.” In exposing this scheme, Scalia – the strongest of Catholics – was thoroughly Protestant in his disposition. He viewed the advocates of a “living Constitution” in much the same way that Martin Luther viewed the Roman Catholic priesthood –- as a class maintaining its power through mystification and the claim that only it can

interpret sacred texts. Scalia argued for the plain meaning of texts, available to everyday people. A priesthood of citizens. And Scalia did spark something of a reformation, inspiring a generation of judicial originalists who have gained serious influence in academia and on the bench. The question “Who judges?” is also the question “Who rules?” Scalia, the brightest judicial light of his time, wanted the representative branches to rule. And so how is the legislative branch likely to respond to a Supreme Court vacancy as consequential as the one Scalia’s death creates? Not well. In the plain meaning of the text of the Constitution, appointing “judges of the Supreme Court” is a presidential power. And Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 76, asserts broad presidential discretion in exercising this authority and sets out narrow grounds for the Senate to reject nominees. All of which now means little. The nomination system is broken beyond recognition. And yes, it is Democrats who started it. The nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court during the Reagan years set

the pattern – in ideologically decisive nominations – of war-room style campaigns involving opposition research and public defamation. As far as I can tell, there is no going back. President Obama’s task is further complicated by exceptionally bad relations with Congress. Most

broad, and include much of the Republican presidential field. Obama will attempt to change this dynamic with an appealing and/ or exceptionally qualified nominee. Could the Iowan leader of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, really oppose an Iowan?

The question “Who judges?” is also the question “Who rules?” Scalia, the brightest judicial light of his time, wanted the representative branches to rule.

Republican leaders can (and do) relate stories of snubs and disdainful treatment by the president. He has no chits of goodwill to cash. And the political pressures on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all go in one direction: to delay and delay, without even a Judiciary Committee vote. If McConnell allows a decisive change in the Supreme Court on his watch, conservatives will ask: What good is having a Senate majority anyway? The revolt against McConnell would be

Could the Senate refuse someone who it approved for a lower court by 0-97? It will not matter. In part because the Supreme Court has assumed such a large role in American life, a decisive shift in its ideological composition would be an event of massive political consequence. And no one will be bringing the Federalist Papers to this knife fight.

(c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 18, 2016






Deee-Fence! By Allan Rolnick, CPA

FEBRUARY 18, 2016


sen are there to help. Nortman majored in accounting at Wisconsin and recently passed the CPA exam; he’s currently working on a master’s degree in finance at Indiana University. And Jansen graduated with an accounting degree from Notre Dame. “I would say J.J. and I are the go-to corner for tax questions, investing questions and personal finance ques-

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and his partners have been battling the IRS for years over their income from 1988-1994. In 2005, Davis and his wife finally entered a settlement which required the IRS to make “computational adjustments” to determine the effect on each partner’s income. That settlement gave Davis and the partners 60 days to review

But there’s one player that every NFL player fears even more than a stripsacking linebacker, and that’s the one who wears number 1040 on his jersey.

tions,” Nortman told after Carolina embarrassed Arizona for the NFC title in January. “Any guys that want to know about it know where to go to.” How important can those questions be? Let’s look at a story coming to us out of the same northern California Bay Area that just hosted the big game.

those calculations. However, by the time the IRS sent Davis the final calculations, calling for an extra $2.5 million, the statute of limitations was about to expire. So the IRS issued the final assessments after just one week, rather than the 60 days the agreement promised. In 2011, Davis suited up in court to invalidate that assessment. Last

month Judge Andrew Hurwitz blitzed his claim. IRS closing agreements are contracts, the judge said, and the default remedy for breach of contract is damages. Yes, the IRS breached the contract with the partners by letting the play clock run down. But that doesn’t let Davis wriggle out of the IRS’s grasp. Davis could have challenged the accuracy of the IRS calculations, filed an administrative claim for a refund, or sought reimbursement for the IRS’s breach. “Instead, he threw a Hail Mary and sought a full refund. That pass falls incomplete,” said the judge. (Apparently he isn’t much of a Raider Nation fan.) No self-respecting NFL coach would ever take the field without a careful game plan designed to defeat the opposition. So why would you try to line up against the IRS without a plan of your own? Make sure you have one and save some money so that you can be cheering on the sidelines at Super Bowl 51.

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

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ootball fans who enjoyed Super Bowl 50 all know that while offense may sell tickets, it’s defense that wins championships. The Carolina Panthers learned this lesson the hard way Sunday night, losing to the underdog Denver Broncos, 24-10. The Broncos scored just one offensive touchdown on their way to winning the Lombardi Trophy, and gained just 194 yards in total offense, the lowest for any Super Bowl champion. Defense ruled the game — linebacker Von Miller led Denver’s top-ranked defense to victory, forcing two fumbles en route to winning MVP honors. But there’s one player that every NFL player fears even more than a strip-sacking linebacker, and that’s the one who wears number 1040 on his jersey. The league minimum salary is $450,000 this year. That’s enough to push even the greenest rookie into the top 39.6% federal income tax bracket. Pile on 3.8% for Medicare, plus state and local taxes, plus whatever state and local “jock taxes” he owes for road games, and it all adds up to a serious financial concussion. Fortunately for the Super Bowl-losing Panthers, punter Brad Nortman and long snapper J.J. Jan-

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Technology Exploring the Continued Impact of Technology, Part II Technology & Your Relationships: Overcoming Connectivity to Connect [1] Rabbi Moshe Hauer Relationships have been changed forever. Technology has had a profound impact on relationships between friends, family and spouses. It has allowed for ease and frequency of communication between people physically apart and has introduced people who would otherwise never have met, creating marriages, friendships and invaluable support groups and relationships. Yet technology has also negatively impacted how we relate to each other in ways that we all experience and notice, and that has been observed - both anecdotally and in formal studies - by professionals in the field of relationships. We shall explore three broad components of this negative impact and steps we can take to address them. I.                    Absent Presence “Absent Presence” can be observed in conversations, meetings and classes where participants zone in and out of the interaction they are ostensibly engaged in, as they respond to a ping or a buzz, or initiate a quick message check of their phone or screen.  And you can see it in family rooms, cars, doctors’ offices and check-out lines, where interactions that would otherwise have occurred do not end up happening, as each party is absorbed in their own technological world.  Whereas AT&T used to promote its long distance telephone service by exclaiming that a phone call is “the next best thing to being there,” we would now declare that being there with your smart phone is “the next best thing to truly being there.”  On an immediate, interpersonal level, the impact of absent presence is

both real and perceived. The reality is that the quick glance at an incoming text message does zone us out of the current conversation such that we miss out on important elements of the exchange.  And the hurtful, yet accurate perception is that whomever we are speaking with is apparently not deserving of our full and undivided attention. A meaningful spousal relationship is predicated on a strong sense of the exclusivity of that relationship.  A productive parental relationship grants the child the gift of self-worth gleaned from seeing and knowing that - to their parent at the very least - there is nothing and no one more important.  Any friendship or relationship is nourished by focus and attention.  Technology’s unlimited capacity to interrupt all our interactions robs our relationships of the exclusive focus that is their lifeblood. A study on “The iPhone Effect” found that “conversations in the absence of mobile communication technologies were rated as significantly superior compared with those in the presence of a mobile device…  People who had conversations in the absence of mobile devices reported higher levels of empathetic concern.”  The mere presence of a mobile device on the table – even one that was not ringing or buzzing or looked at – had a tangible, negative effect on the quality of conversation (Misra et al, 2014).    This effect appears similar to the Halachic mechanism of keeping an open door to avoid the prohibition of Yichud (being secluded with a member of the opposite sex).  It appears that

[1] This article is Part II of a three part series on our relationship to technology. This article draws upon much wisdom gleaned from others, most notably the thoughts and research cited in the current (Fall 2015) issue of Klal Perspectives, dedicated to the subject of technology. The reader is encouraged to read the entire issue, and to accept this general citation for much of what is included here.

the open door does not only provide a practical safeguard by increasing the likelihood of being caught in the act. Closing the door is a clear commitment to privacy and exclusivity that actually creates a tangible, intimate bond.  That same bond is created when a parent, spouse, friend or colleague puts away his or her device at the outset of a conversation.   Years – and technological generations – ago I recall hearing Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald amusingly describing the different couples he would observe walking in the park across from his Manhattan window.  The couple walking with their earphones in, each listening to their own Sony Walkman, were obviously not in love.  On the other hand the couple whose earphones were plugged in to the same Walkman were clearly madly in love with each other. As facetious as this description is about the quality of relationships, there is something to be said for two people – or a family – sharing an experience, even in utter silence.  Yes, a family sitting in the living room watching a movie together is not interacting nearly as well as they could.  But today’s family isn’t even watching the same screen!  How often do you pass a car where the couple inside is speaking to each other?  It is far more common to see the spouse slumped in the passenger seat, staring at a smart phone screen or speaking into it. Ultimately, connectivity has collapsed the walls of our homes, allowing us access to infinite valuable resources, but at the same time allowing us to unconsciously wander away from the comfortable and intimate confines of home and family, and to welcome others in at any and all hours. It is clear that we can and must reclaim that attentiveness and intimacy by making the choice to simply put away our devices during the time we

have with each other.    II.     The Empathy Gap We noted in the first essay in this series (Technology and You: Stopping the Unstoppable), that the story of our bondage in Egypt starts on some level at the beginning of Parshas Vayechi, where Rashi noted that the Parsha is not separated from the previous one by the usual break, the usual empty space in the scroll.  This is an indication that around the time of the death of Yaakov, “the eyes and hearts of the Jewish people were closed by the difficulties of the bondage.” The choice of words is striking: “the eyes and hearts of the Jewish people were closed by the difficulties of the bondage.”  This is a direct contrast to the portrayal of the reactions of both G-d and Moshe, who are described as opening their eyes and hearts to the suffering of the Jewish people (see Rashi Shemos 2:11, 2:25).  Evidently, the busyness of a life without breaks causes us to withdraw into ourselves and lose the ability to notice what is going on around us.  A contemporary writer, William Bunn, used the painful term “Technological Autism” for the phenomenon of technology users’ obliviousness to what is going on around them.  This can certainly be seen to some degree as more of the same “absent presence”, but it goes beyond distractedness.  There is a depth to human relationship that can only be perceived and appreciated through real and tangible human contact.  Even in a business context, airplanes are filled with corporate travelers because they know that negotiations or relationships conducted by phone, text and e-mail lack the depth of communication and understanding created in person.[2]  In a study that compared the post-trauma effects of the calming sound of a mother’s voice to a similarly comforting text message, it was


Technology and friends will provide the greatest prevention strategy for the future, as the ultimate game-changer will not be the imposed limitation but the positive feeling that takes its place. Look in your children’s eyes; look long and hard in your spouse’s eyes.  You will see trouble and distraction if it is there.  But even more important, you will connect and relate to each other, and you will enjoy it. 3.       Remind and inspire yourself:  A popular writer on this subject is Rachel Macy Stafford, author of books as well as a blog known as “Hands Free Mama.”  Her simple inspirational stories and practical ideas serve to reinforce the immediate and tangible rewards of “letting go … to grasp what really matters.”  Works like these are worth reading to remind us of the values we all hold dear and need encouragement to pursue. Reclaiming connection from the clutches of connectivity is no simple task, but it is eminently doable, and its rewards will be immediate and enormously satisfying.  Go for it!     [2] This reality is an important one to keep in mind in developing courtships.  One of the blessings of communication has been its facilitation via online services of the introduction of numerous couples who otherwise would have been unlikely to meet.  It is, however, of vital importance that the introductions made via technology do not become relationships forged by technology.  It would be wise for couples to prevent their relationship from developing greatly electronically, because so much is missing when the real feel of the other’s presence is absent.  A couple can create a deceptively deep and intense electronic relationship where the personal meeting is seen as a final detail, a confirmation of the relationship they have already built online.  In fact however the personal meetings and interactions need to be the beginning and the heart of their relationship, as they will ultimately be living with each another. 

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that these challenges find space in a heart that is empty of wisdom, whereas one who pursues the wisdom of Torah will find that it occupies his heart and is the object of his passion (Rambam’s conclusion of Hilchos Issurei Biah). While the Rambam is espousing the ideal of a passion for Torah, it is similarly the case that a heart filled with passion for any positive thing, and most especially with the passion of a positive relationship, will be less open to being filled with the Internet’s unseemly content.  Our greatest prevention strategy for avoiding engagement in the negative is active pursuit of the positive.  The delicious taste of the satisfying beats the other stuff anytime.  And that taste is the enchanting flavor of genuine presence and empathetic connection. A Plan of Action: We can and must take specific actions to restore the strength of our relationships in a way that will have a good chance of succeeding in the longer term.  As noted in Part I, we must follow the usual rules for effecting lasting change, i.e. to undertake specific, modest and manageable commitments, and to have a support system for implementing and maintaining them.   We can start with three simple changes:   1.       Off Times: The same strategy of limits that we discussed earlier is unquestionably a staple of any strategy to deal with the impact of technology on our relationships.  It is necessary for us to have dedicated off times, and to put away technology when we are with others who deserve our focus and undivided attention.  To gain family buy-in, support and accountability, we can designate a box or drawer where family members agree to place their phones before meals and times together.  As noted earlier, there is no doubt that we will be thrilled with any such break we succeed in carving out for ourselves. We will not regret having established this space; we will only regret that it took us this long to do it. 2.       Find fulfillment in your relationships:  The thrill of reconnecting to our spouse, children

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relationships must include some mention of the unfortunate but widespread phenomenon of internet pornography use and addiction. The Internet is a huge source of free and accessible pornography, encountered both by those searching for it and those who stumble across it accidentally.  A casual search of the statistics on this phenomenon produces staggering results (e.g. 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related, as are 35% of all internet downloads).  Anyone working in the fields of education, counseling or the clergy can attest to its growing impact on every population. Exposure to this kind of material – even for those not addicted to it – can have a negative, transformative effect on current and future relationships.  First and foremost it presents the members of the opposite sex as two-dimensional objects, with an emphasis on external appearance, rather than as real and deep people, valued for their character.  It encourages the view of sexuality as something pursued for ourselves, rather than as the ultimate expression of relationship with another.  And it creates strange, humiliating, and often lasting expectations of what should occur in the bedroom.  This phenomenon can be addressed by prevention and intervention.  Classic prevention strategies include filters, usage in public places, and inviting outside monitoring through family and friends.  Interventions for occasional users would involve seeking support from friends or mentors, or from groups such as Guard Your Eyes, while addicts require professional help and SA groups.  Filling the Void: Experiencing Rich Relationship Yet the ultimate strategy for dealing with the pornography issue, as well as with the issues of absent presence and the empathy gap, is a far more positive and proactive approach that works to fill the space otherwise addressed by these behaviors.  Rambam, when writing about the challenges of maintaining proper sexual morality in thought and in deed, concluded his discussion by noting


clear that the chemically measurable positive effects of the human voice far surpassed that of the text message (Seltzer et al, 2012). Clearly, not all communication is created equal.  The more we employ our actual physical selves in communication, the more we connect with each other and feel the profound power of relationship.  Yet current trends amongst young people are moving in the opposite direction, resulting in a serious, documented reduction in eye contact during interpersonal conversation.  The preponderance of alternative methods of communication has apparently resulted in a diminished utilization and appreciation of the potential depth of interpersonal relationship. Sherry Turkle is a sociologist and psychologist who serves as a professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT. She is also a celebrated author of a number of studies on our relationship with digital culture, most recently, “Reclaiming Conversation” (Penguin 2015).  In describing her many consults with schools, she notes an inability in many students to relate to each other, or to understand each other.  The faculty sees their students as emotionally underdeveloped, lacking the experience and skills of relating by looking at and understanding one another.   The good news is that studies have shown that these are skills that can be created or restored with a relatively short period of device-free interaction.  And we, as Jews, are blessed with Shabbos, a gift that provides us with just such a window of warm and genuine person-to-person interaction.   Yet as valuable as Shabbos is, it is not enough.  We can and must make the choice to proactively pursue direct human interaction.  We must reserve the text message for housekeeping issues and similar technical details that need to be shared, but not as a substitute for quality conversation.  We must ensure that our relationships are direct and personal, with plenty of eye contact and a real feel for one another. III. The Two-dimensional Relationship and the Impact of Pornography A discussion of technology and



FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”


It’s been reported that infamous drug lord El Chapo will stand trial in Brooklyn. Though I’m not sure it’s a good idea to try him in a place that already has, like, five tunnels. – Seth Myers

Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish person ever to win a presidential primary. Which is why he celebrated his victory by telling the crowd, “It could be worse!”

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– Conan O’Brien

Congratulations to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on winning their parties’ New Hampshire primaries last night! In his speech, Bernie said he couldn’t have done it without the support of millions of Americans. While Trump was like, “This was all me! You losers did nothing!” - Jimmy Fallon

In related news, Chris Christie just dropped out of the race and endorsed Bernie Sandwich. – Ibid.

This campaign of Hillary Clinton’s…it’s terrible, it’s badly run, it hasn’t even been thought through. There is no focus to it. When you ask her why you’re running, you don’t get a good answer, and there’s no joy. There’s no Clinton fun. It’s totally missing a soul. And if you have a campaign without a soul, you’ve got a real problem, no matter where you’re running. – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who was one of the Obama campaign’s main enthusiasts, not sharing that sentiment for the Clinton campaign

It’s a difficult thing. I don’t care who you are, or how long you’ve been doing it. I’ve been doing it a long time, so you know you get yourself into the rhythm your whole life is – your calendar of your life is – based on football, about the seasons, whether it’s in season or out of season. You have a schedule that you follow. So, there’s some adjusting for me to make. - Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Fox, discussing his adjustment to being retired

A new report suggests that soon, gasoline will be cheaper than water. And in Flint, Michigan, it will be healthier than water. – Conan O’Brien


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015




“Self-defense” is the expression the Israelis use in order to justify any extra-judiciary executions as well as their control over others’ lives. However, there can be no justification for killing, nor for oppression. The occupier does not have the right to self-defense. We, the occupied, have the full and only right to fight it. - Haneen Zoabi, who is member of the Israeli Knesset for the Arab Joint List bloc, in a Newsweek op-ed, arguing that Israel should not be allowed to shoot Palestinians while they are carrying out terrorist attacks

Today, the state of Delaware issued a formal apology for slavery. Delaware also tweeted to Native Americans “#mybad.”

– Sen. Chuck Schumer on ABC’s This Week decrying the Republicans' plan to filibuster any judicial nominee nominated by Barack Obama in his final months in office

With respect to the Supreme Court at least, I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances… I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining Roberts and Alito on the court. – Ibid., in 2007, when then-President George W. Bush had two years left in office

I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values… We need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch. - Then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2007, on ABC’s This Week, disclosing that he would join a filibuster to prevent then-President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee from being able to have a confirmation hearing

Marco, si quiere dícelo ah-ah-ahorrrra mismo dícelo ahora si quieres. En español, si quieres. - Sen. Ted Cruz, at the Republican debate when Sen. Marco Rubio said that Cruz does not speak Spanish. (Translation: Marco, if you want say it right now, say it now if you want. In Spanish, if you want.)

– Conan O’Brien


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– Dick Morris

Well, the job, first and foremost, is for the president to nominate and for the Senate to hold hearings and go through the process… This kind of obstructionism isn’t going to last. And you know, we Democrats didn’t do this.

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The aging and raging ex-president, meanwhile, speaking to a half-filled gym in a New Hampshire school, ranted about Sanders’s “hypocrisy” in condemning his wife’s paid speeches. Sanders, too, has given paid speeches, Bill Clinton claimed. He’s got a point. In 2013, for example, Sanders made all of $1,500, which he donated to charity as required by federal law. In 2014, he raked in $1,850 for paid speeches. By contrast, Clinton made, and kept, over $21 million during the same time period. Sanders was only reimbursed for coach class airfare, while Clinton demanded private jets. Sanders’ hosts were the TV show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Avalon Publishing and a machinists union. Clinton’s were Goldman Sachs, the big banks and the pharmaceutical and energy industries. What hypocrisy for Sanders to use that as an issue!


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


FEBRUARY 18, 2016

48 Marco Rubio, who stood with me, he was with me when he had the meltdown, and I’m telling you, it wasn’t a pretty sight… He was soaking wet… I said, “What …. is going on over here?” I thought he just came out of a swimming pool, he was soaking. I said “Look! Wow.” I said, “Are you okay?” When we get in with Putin we need people that don’t sweat. No, it’s true. We need people that don’t sweat. Can you imagine Putin sitting there and waiting for the meeting and this guy walks in and he’s like a wreck? No, you got to have Trump walk into that meeting folks, looking very nice. We’re gonna do very nicely.

We still have one of those killers’ phones that we have not been able to open. - FBI Director James Comey telling the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI has been unable to access the contents of a cellphone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists due to encryption technology

Ben Carson said he is open to being Donald Trump’s vice president. Yeah, it makes sense, Carson could deliver Trump the black Republican vote – which consists of Ben Carson. – Conan O’Brien

Actually I have another flag, and I am going to get a bigger flag, and I am going to get a Star of David necklace and put it on my chest, and I am going to get a tattoo. Honest to G-d, I am not kidding. They don’t scare me. We are Israelis. We are Israelis. We are resilient, we fight back. - Hany Baransi, an Israeli Christian, who owns the Mediterranean style restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, in which several people were slashed by a Muslim terrorist last week, in a TV interview after the incident, vowing to get an even larger Israeli flag than he had before

– Trump, mocking Rubio for sweating during a Republican debate

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


MORE QUOTES Not only was today the New Hampshire primary, it was also National Pizza Day. So, one way or the other, Chris Christie will be giving a victory speech.

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– Jimmy Fallon

Adidas is offering $1 million to any NFL prospect that can break the record for the 40-yard-dash. The current NFL record for the 40-yard-dash is Cam Newton leaving a press conference. – Conan O’Brien

There seems to be a lot of name calling going on. But, I want to remind you what our good Dad told us one time, “Labels are for soup cans.” – Former President George W. Bush, while stumping for his brother Jeb in South Carolina

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won their respective party primaries [in New Hampshire]. It was a great night for loud men with crazy hair. – Jimmy Kimmel

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



Jewish History

Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, revered father of R’ Yaakov Emden, who was involved in a bitter campaign against the Sabbatian Nehemiah Hayyoun during his son’s formative years

By Rabbi Pini Dunner

Part II


One particularly notorious propagandist was an insidious Bosnian-born scoundrel called Nehemiah Hiya Hayyun, who wandered

from community to community during the early years of the eighteenth century. A scholar who was also a gifted teacher and writer, he authored a number of books that interspersed Sabbatian heresies with regular Torah interpretations. In 1711 he arrived in Prague, where

heim. In Berlin, Hayyun gained the approval of the Chief Rabbi, R’ Aron Binyamin Wolf. With these endorsements in hand he arrived in Amsterdam in 1713, where he requested permission from the leaders of the prestigious Sephardic community to sell his books. The

He was exposed to the tenacity of Sabbatian activism and to the vicious tactics Sabbatians were willing to use to gain a foothold in Jewish affairs

he inveigled himself into the circle of the local kabbalist rabbi, R’ Naphtali Katz, esteemed author of Semichut Chachamim, a widely admired book on Mishnayot. R’ Katz was very taken by Hayyun and agreed to write an approbation letter for his new book. So did the local Chief Rabbi, R’ David Oppen-

rabbi, R’ Shlomo Ayllon, was not considered a world-class scholar, so the community leaders submitted Hayyun’s book to the rabbi of the German congregation, Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi, who was widely acclaimed and respected, and asked for his opinion. Chacham Tzvi looked through

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n 1666, the pretender messiah, Shabbetai Tzvi, converted to Islam. His conversion was all it took for most of the Jewish world to realize he was a fraud. The vast majority of those who had publicly declared their allegiance to him shamefacedly admitted their folly and went back to normative Judaism, wounded and wiser. But there was a significant group who simply refused to accept that his apostasy negated his messianic identity. They were too emotionally and religiously invested in Shabbetai Tzvi and remained fiercely loyal to him. Nathan “the prophet” of Gaza, Shabbetai Tzvi’s lead publicist, came up with convoluted kabbalistic concepts to explain away his hero’s conversion and to rationalize his failure to materialize the messianic mission. In 1676 Shabbetai Tzvi died in obscurity, having never recanted. Devotees considered even his death a temporary setback, and there

were Jews within every community who continued clandestinely to believe he was the true messiah. What was more, it was their fervent view that they had to insinuate warped kabbalistic ideas into mainstream Judaism so that the abortive messianic mission could be fulfilled. Surprisingly, although Sabbatians – as they came to be known – were very much a minority group, their number included many rabbis and distinguished leaders, and they were almost impossible to detect, behaving in every way like fully observant Jews, indistinguishable from any other Jew. Time after time during the decades after Shabbetai Tzvi’s death, crypto-Sabbatian activists were exposed and banished from their communities. Seemingly ordinary and faithful Jews, they had fallen under the spell of some Sabbatian propagandist but continued outwardly to behave completely normally.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

The Devastating Polemic Between Rabbi Yaakov Emden and Rabbi Yonason Eybeschutz


Amulets, Accusations and Controversy

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FEBRUARY 18, 2016

50 the book with his friend and colleague, R’ Moshe Hagiz of Jerusalem, who also lived in Amsterdam. They both quickly came to the definitive conclusion that Hayyun

Hayyun posed a grave danger to the Amsterdam community. For a variety of reasons, mainly unrelated to Hayyun himself, the issue degenerated into an ugly communal bat-

His intellect was unparalleled, he was charismatic, exceptionally warm, a gifted communicator, versed in every aspect of Torah knowledge, remarkably good looking, and possessed of an inexhaustible energy.

was a closet Sabbatian masquerading as a normative practicing Jew. Chacham Tzvi reported this information back to the Sephardic committee and warned them that

tle, with Chacham Tzvi and R’ Hagiz on one side, and the Sephardic community on the other. Fistfights broke out between the supporters of both camps, and Chacham Tzvi was

eventually put under house arrest by the gentile authorities, possibly for his own protection. Hayyun, emboldened by the support he was receiving from R’ Ayllon – who was himself suspected of Sabbatianism – published a number of vicious attacks against Chacham Tzvi and R’ Hagiz, and actively generated animosity towards his detractors. With the saga spiraling out of control, Chacham Tzvi fled Holland for England in early 1714, and never returned. He was offered post of Chief Rabbi in London, but declined, and returned to mainland Europe, where he was eventually offered the rabbinate of Lemberg (Lvov) in 1717. He died in 1718, at the age of 58. Throughout the period of the Hayyun affair, Chacham Tzvi’s family, and especially his teenage son Yaakov, were caught in the eye of a ferocious storm. Yaakov was just 15 years old at the time – an

impressionable teenager – and the saga was an eye-opener for him on multiple fronts. He watched as his innocent and distinguished father was dragged into the foul politics generated by the controversy and how he was targeted for his honestly held views and his unshakeable integrity. Additionally, he was exposed to the tenacity of Sabbatian activism and to the vicious tactics Sabbatians were willing to use to gain a foothold in Jewish affairs, which in Chacham Tzvi’s case resulted in the loss of his rabbinic position and being subjected to incredible abuse at the hands of Hayyun’s supporters. It was a lesson the young Yaakov clearly never forgot. Shortly after Chacham Tzvi’s escape from Amsterdam, community leaders asked Hayyun to leave the city so the controversy could die down. As he traveled through Europe, Hayyun discovered that although his opponents had failed

Renovations Additions New Construction

51 How was it possible that this bright rabbinic light, the rising star of the European rabbinic fraternity, could have written, or was even associated with, such a disgusting and evil composition? It was completely and utterly incomprehensible. The rabbis of Frankfurt felt that this was a bigger deal than anything they could deal with, and decided to call in the big guns. The next phase of the war against Shabbetai Tzvi’s legacy was about to begin.

NEXT TIME: In the next article we will hear of the turmoil generated by the discovery of the “Va’avo hayom el ha’ayin” manuscript, and how the anti-Sabbatian veteran R’ Moshe Hagiz led the new campaign to root out Sabbatianism, targeting R’ Yonason Eybeschutz and countless others whom he accused of heresy and other heinous activities. We will also see how R’ Yonason reacted to these accusations and R’ Hagiz’s campaign, and how he was able to so dissociate himself from the accusations that he became a senior rabbinic figure in Prague, and was later appointed rabbi of Metz and Hamburg, two of Europe’s most prestigious communities. And finally we will discover where Rabbi Yaakov Emden was and how he reacted as his future nemesis found himself at the epicenter of this nasty battle against crypto-Sabbatians.

Rabbi Pini Dunner is the Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills in California.

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Hayyun’s final abortive attempt to gain prominence was very significant in terms of the Emden-Eybeschutz battle 25 years later, as not only did it coincide with a new and even fiercer battle against the Sabbatians than the one of 1713-14, but it also generated evidence of a link between him and a brilliant Talmudic scholar and rising rabbinic superstar – a young man living in Prague called Yonason Eybeschutz. According to R’ Moshe Hagiz, Chacham Tzvi’s erstwhile co-campaigner in Amsterdam, just before Hayyun was ejected from Hanover in 1726, community officials searched his possessions and found correspondence that were “Sabbatian in nature, including letters from Yonason Eybeschutz.” When Hayyun arrived in Prague shortly afterwards, on the last leg of what was his pathetic final journey, no Jew was willing to house or feed him, except for the wife and daughter of R’ Yonason, who brought him food and took care of him until he left. In order to understand the magnitude of this unlikely association, not only is it important to know that Nehemiah Hayyun was a devious rogue, it is also imperative to realize just how illustrious and mainstream R’ Yonason was. The son of the rabbi of Eybeschutz (Ivančice, Moravia), he became the star student of R’ Meir Eisenstadt of Prossnitz, author of Panim Me’irot, who was undoubtedly the most influential Talmudic teacher of his generation. R’ Yonason outshone all his peers, and in 1715, at the age of 25, he moved to Prague and quickly gained prominence as a remarkable speaker and an energetic communal activist. He engaged with local Christian leaders, and during the many absences of Prague’s Chief Rabbi, R’ David Oppenheim – who was often called away to take care of his vast business interests – R’ Yonason would fill in for him. There

was considerable friction between the older and younger rabbi, but R’ Yonason had a captivating personality that won him numerous allies, enabling him to withstand the senior rabbi’s hostility. One cannot possibly overstate R’ Yonason’s qualities. His intellect was unparalleled, he was charismatic, exceptionally warm, a gifted communicator, versed in every aspect of Torah knowledge, remarkably good looking, and possessed of an inexhaustible energy. Besides for R’ Yaakov Emden, no one would ever question his superior rabbinic qualities, nor cast any doubt on his abilities as a teacher and scholar. If anything it was these sterling credentials that precipitated the widespread astonishment when rumors began to emerge in 1725 – long before the polemic with R’ Yaakov Emden – that R’ Yonason was a leading crypto-Sabbatian, engaged in the most sordid attempts to penetrate Sabbatian beliefs into the Jewish mainstream. In the early summer of 1725 an itinerant preacher called Moshe Meir of Zolkiew arrived in Frankfurt where he fell under suspicion for being a crypto-Sabbatian. While he was preaching at a local school, a group of rabbis raided his room and discovered a manuscript work in his luggage that began with the verse from Bereishit (24:42): “Va’avo hayom el ha’ayin” (“When I came today to the spring”). The manuscript contained a detailed heretical kabbalistic description of G-d that both denied His oneness and posited that His power was diminishing. The investigative rabbis in Frankfurt were horrorstruck. Such ideas were utterly reprehensible to Judaism. They found Moshe Meir and forcefully interrogated him to find out who the author of this deviant material was. Under phenomenal pressure he finally revealed that he had received the manuscript from none other than R’ Yonason Eybeschutz of Prague, who, he claimed, was also its author. The rabbis were aghast. Everyone had heard of R’ Yonason. He was an “A-lister,” acclaimed by anyone who had ever met him.

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The title page of “Sefer Hatzad Tzvi” (Amsterdam, 1714), the vicious published attack against Chacham Tzvi Ashkenazi by the Sabbatian publicist and fraudster, Nehemiah Hayyoun. The controversy generated by Hayyoun left a lasting impression on Chacham Tzvi’s eldest son, R’ Yaakov Emden. This pamphlet, and many others relating to this affair, can be found in Rabbi Dunner’s book collection

and quickly expelled. He made his way to Prague, but there, too, was prevented from entering the city. Soon afterwards he disappeared from sight, and was reported to have died in 1730.


to win over the rabbi and leadership of the Amsterdam community, his widely publicized association with Sabbatianism had resulted in a general revulsion towards him. Wherever he went he found doors closed. He moved to Tzfat, in Eretz Yisrael under Ottoman rule, and opened up a Sabbatian “yeshiva.” This enterprise failed so he moved to Constantinople where he desperately tried to rehabilitate himself. In 1725 he resurfaced in Western Europe claiming that the rabbis in Turkey had readmitted him into the fold, but everywhere he was refused entry. Even his former defender in Amsterdam, R’ Ayllon, refused to meet him. In Vienna he was forced to stay in an enclosure reserved for Turkish Muslims. In Glogau and Berlin he found no refuge whatsoever, so in Hanover he tried to hide his identity. But he was recognized


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

Yossie and I have been engaged now for about six weeks. We dated for three months before we got engaged. When we dated, Yossie took me out on the best dates. He really put a lot of thought into cool places to take me and we did lots of interesting things together. When I look back, it seems like we were always laughing and having a great time together.

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Since we’re engaged, our relationship feels like a constant business meeting. Busy going together to pick out his watch, or look at a hall, or find an apartment. Yes, I realize all of these things are necessary to take care of before getting married. But it feels as though the joy we experienced together is totally gone. We don’t go anywhere nice anymore. We hardly laugh together anymore. It’s just all about getting things done. He hardly puts any effort into anything for me, down to no longer bringing me flowers, which is something that he did regularly when we were dating. Sadly, the thrill is already gone. That’s pretty depressing. In some ways, it almost feels like we’re an old married couple, taking care of business as usual, without any excitement. I know from what people tell me that this is supposed to be a stressful time for young couples since there is so much to quickly accomplish and the pressure is on. I get that. But I also know that once a couple gets married, there is also pressure to keep things moving along. Is this a foreshadowing of what my future life with Yossie will be like? Check, check and check things off the list without any longer feeling young, carefree and happy? I’ve tried expressing my disappointment to Yossie about how I’m feeling these days, and he responded without any sympathy, but rather made me feel as though I was acting like a spoiled child who just wanted to have fun all the time and needs to grow up. Well, that sure felt like a slap across my face and I haven’t brought it up again. Maybe it’s me who is being unrealistic and I do want to remain young and free. What do you think?

The feedback from our readers has been remarkable. In order to facilitate further discussion, you can now continue the conversation anonymously on our website. Every Sunday, we will upload the weekend’s most recent edition of What Would You Do If to the dating forum at Join The Navidaters and your fellow TJH readers in a comprehensive dialogue with regard to dating, relationships and marriage. The forum will be moderated daily for everyone’s comfort and safety. See you there! Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise offer resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, but to 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.

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



The Panel

Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, PA


es, the engagement period (and marriage) is Grownup Time. Checklists. Responsibilities. Decisions. Deadlines. That’s not to imply there’s no room for fun, laughter, date nights and even, flowers. It’s a matter of balance.

Rochel Chafetz, Educator/Mentor


irst of all, the engagement period is really rough and most girls just don’t want to reveal that – but as a Kallah teacher, I have heard this many times. It is stressful for many reasons. However, I think you two can use this stressful time as a learning and growing experience. I also think you can learn much about each other and even try to supplement

what the other lacks or needs during this time. I think you should initiate a once a week fun, enjoyable time out together and this is something you both should try to do when you get married, as well. I know many couples who try very hard to go out on a date at least twice a month with just the two of them alone together. No kids, no phones, etc. Hey, you should even try for more time together but sometimes life gets in the way. This is something you should talk about. Say to your chosson, “You know what would be so nice? If we could have a date night every…” and make it sound like a fun and important thing to do and then do it. What bothers me though is what you wrote about his reaction to you feelings and that you said he made you feel like a spoiled child… did he actually say that? If he did, I am a bit concerned. But that can be corrected. I think you should get your kallah teacher to speak to his rebbi about this. Or better yet, you should call up the rebbi or chosson teacher yourself and talk to him about this. He is a guy and like most guys, they don’t learn these things in school. Some people have to be taught what it is that a girl feels and needs. You can even teach him by saying how much you enjoy his company and how great the dates were and how special you thought it was when he brought you flowers. Sometimes these type of things that may seem obvious to you, have to be pointed out to him. So either you can

do it or you can speak to his rebbi or you can suggest going to the Shalom Task Force for premarital sessions. And no, you are not acting spoiled. Yes, life can get mundane and things have to get done. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one another and still laugh together or go out with one another. Actually, the day you stop laughing is the day I would be concerned. Stay away from accusations by saying things like, “Oh, why don’t we do this anymore…” Rather, you can plan on something cute to do and say something such as, “Oh, after we go for the watch (or whatever we are going to do this afternoon), let’s play this game that I brought along.” There are many ways you can say this or show him or get him refocused. Try them and if he still has that attitude about you being a spoiled brat, then write back to us and maybe we can give you guys more direction. Good luck and be matzliach!

The Single Irit Moshe, Pen Name


happy relationship is a balanced one. You are both right in wanting and needing to get things done and also having a little fun. Just so you know, Yossie is doing right by you by taking care of the “business” part of the relationship and actually preparing for both of your futures together. You may want to have a conversation about having an occasional fun date to ease the stress of the preparation for the wedding and date nights thereafter in the marriage because marriage does have a way of getting boring if you both don’t work to make it memorable, light and find opportunities to laugh. If you think Yossie will hear this advice from a different source, aka someone who is married already and/or someone he looks up to, then ask that person to speak to him about it. They do say, “A happy wife, makes a happy life!” Wishing you much luck!

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

The Mother

The Dating Mentor

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one another and still laugh together or go out with one another. Actually, the day you stop laughing is the day I would be concerned.

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

es, I do think you and Yossie have a problem. It seems to me that your perception of a long term relationship is skewed. You keep talking about having fun and being carefree. You mention thrill and excitement. While that is definitely part of the beginning of a relationship, as pursuit and romance are the norm, you seem to think that that’s what it’s all about. You mention none of his qualities that attracted you. You mention none of his values. You only talk about your feelings and what he should be doing for you. There is no discussion about what attracted you to him in the first place. There seems to be no awareness of what this commitment is all about from your end. The engagement period is always very challenging and there are lots of arrangements to deal with. It’s good that you were open with your chosson but have you invested any effort to make your time together more pleasant? Why do you talk only about how he makes you feel? You seem to take no responsibility. You both need some counseling. You need professional help to examine your attitude toward marriage and your readiness for it. Marriage needs tending and caring. Life has responsibilities and is not carefree and full time “feel good” times. Stop making the arrangements and focus on whether you are ready for this commitment.

While your letter details the temperamental differences between you and your chosson, there is one critical omission: your ages. Without knowing for a fact, I would guess that there is a significant age difference between your probably older chosson and you, the younger kallah. You give yourself away when you complain, “I want to remain young and free” and “it feels like we are an old married couple.” Still, even if there’s a significant age difference, Mr. Maturity should not be reprimanding you for “acting like a spoiled child.” Even more alarming, his less-than-subtle rebuke veers towards the aggressive (“a slap in the face”?!). It’s a shame your divergent personalities (you, the fun-loving, free-spirit vs. your chosson’s focused, grounded nature) were not addressed (or even emerged) during your dating period. Still, this union can be saved by a double dose of open communication, mutual respect and perhaps therapeutic intervention. Sit Yossie down and express your concerns (or disappointment) with his no-nonsense approach to marriage. Tell him, in spite of your age difference and carefree nature you need to be respected and taken seriously. Pay attention to his reaction; if he defends his stance and is critical of your needs, you need to explore your concerns with a competent professional, i.e., rav/rebbetzin, dating mentor or marriage therapist ASAP.


The Rebbetzin


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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


FEBRUARY 18, 2016


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


rom where you are sitting, your relationship has become all work and no play. You may be familiar with the old saying, “Business before pleasure.” But where is the pleasure? It sounds like you were wined and dined by Yossi for the three months you dated and once the deal was sealed, you feel as though he has stopped putting in any effort to romance you. After having a conversation about the lack of “fun” or “romantic” time spent together, you walked away feeling “childish” for having even brought up the topic. Maybe you determined that you are immature and maybe even ashamed for having the needs you naturally have. And that is a shame because fun, romance and silliness all have a very important place in a healthy relationship. I guess if two people are more on the serious side, then there is no place for the aforementioned, but when one person needs it, it becomes important. I am not in the business of denying anyone’s needs and I’m glad you wrote in because you value your own needs too. Good girl! And P.S., when you entered the relationship Yossi did a great job courting you! You laughed together, visited interesting places together. You liked the relationship he participated in until you became engaged. This is a new relationship. A relationship that feels unfamiliar, “all business” and leaves you wondering if it’s time for you to grow up and give up any fantasy of being childish and carefree. I can understand where you confusion is coming from. Let’s review what the panel has to say, shall we? Rebbetzin Horowitz suggests premarital counseling for the two of you, at least in part because she views your quandary as a reflection of your misunder-

standing of what a relationship is all about and potentially not being ready for marriage. (I’m wondering how that landed on you. I’m not leaving you alone with that and I will address it later in my response.) Sarah Schwartz Schreiber notes how important it is in a relationship to strike the balance between Grownup Time and fun. She suggests having a heart to heart with Yossi in which you communicate your needs to him. If he doesn’t receive your outlook well, then it is time to sit down with a couples’ therapist. Rochel Chafetz normalizes the stressful element of your engagement which she says is true for most. You are not alone. She also noted your reaction of being made to feel like a “spoiled child.” Did he say that or did you walk away feeling that way? She says you are not acting like a spoiled child (and I agree!). And finally, Irit Moshe validates not only your perspective but praises Yossi’s keen ability to take care of business. In a marriage, someone needs to do the dirty work, if not the both of you. First and foremost, when I read your email I understood that this is a snapshot of your situation. I can’t say with any amount of certainty that because you did not include certain background information that all signs point to your immaturity. On the contrary, you wrote that you realize all “these things” are necessary to take care of. And no, you should not feel like an old married couple four months in. You have a lifetime to feel “old.” A kallah can expect to feel young and thrilled with her chosson. I didn’t get any sense from you that you are not ready for marriage from an email.

Because of the limited nature of our interaction I will not extrapolate any information that is not explicitly written in your email. I can however offer you some areas of exploration. I am wondering a few things: 1) What is your fun and excitement quotient? Are you the girl that her friends refer to as “The Energizer Bunny?” Do you like to be busy morning, noon and night; always on the go? How do you fare with “downtime,” studying, or feelings of boredom in general before you met Yossi? If feedback from family and friends has always been “whoa, slow down! I can’t keep up with you” then just maybe some of your reaction is rooted in your natural inclination for the fast paced life. 2) Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during the conversation with Yossi in which you addressed your feelings. How did you bring it up? Were you on the attack? Were you coy and indirect? Or did you express yourself productively expressing your needs while making sure he felt safe, respected and wanted? 3) You felt like a spoiled child and having been slapped across the face after the conversation. What did he say? What was his reaction? These are important details. Him saying you are spoiled child versus you having felt like a spoiled child can make all the difference in the world. In other words, was he callous and insensitive or is there a part of you that is sensitive to this matter? And finally, 4) Has something changed in Yossi’s life since you got engaged? Has he had any recent stressful life events, such as a job change, a death or divorce in the family, etc.? I would like to see the two of you in couples’ therapy to help you through this hurdle. I have a feel-

He is a guy and like most guys, they don’t learn these things in school.

ing you two have a lot of talking and catching up to do. I don’t want to see you carrying this burden around, not getting your needs met, wondering if you are childish and holding this inside, all the while not feeling safe expressing yourself to Yossi. And Yossi needs a safe space to explore whatever it is that he may be going through. In therapy you and Yossi will have a productive conversation about your feelings. Because I do not know the full extent of the issues and I do not have any information from Yossi, I cannot say what issues you will work through specifically. Hopefully the two of you will gain a deeper understanding of each other. In terms of getting him to therapy, (if he has qualms about it) put it on yourself. You can tell him that you are going through some things (very true) and you would like him to understand what you are going through. It is always best to have these conversations before you take that walk down the aisle. Sincerely, Jennifer

The Navidaters are dating and relationship coaches and therapists. Located in Lawrence, NY, their services include date debriefing, dating skills coaching, couples counseling, premarital and marital counseling. Sessions are held in the office or via phone or Skype. The Navidaters can be reached at 516.224.7779. If you have a dating or relationship scenario you would like to be featured in WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF, email Check out their website, thenavidaters. com for more information. Follow TheNavidaters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home




In The K

Four Fabulous Sides By Naomi Nachman

The key to any great dish is fresh ingredients. Small things like fresh lemon or limes, fresh garlic and fresh vegetables will help make your recipes pop and get your family excited to eat your meal.

Shallot Potatoes

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

Many mothers are being constantly challenged each night to come up with a dinner that is tasty and nutritious while offering a variety from the previous dinners. One of the keys to being successful at this task is to beef up (no pun intended!) your dinners with great side dishes. I have put together four amazing side dishes that will enhance any weeknight dinner (Shabbat or yom tov too!).

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Scallions

Ingredients 3 sweet large potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick wedges 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons salt 4 scallions, sliced ¼-inch thick on the bias Juice of 1 lime, plus lime zest

Preparation Heat the oil in a heavy 5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring for about 4 minutes, until soft and translucent, but not colored. Stir in the potatoes and continue cooking several minutes longer, stirring to ensure that the potatoes are coated well with the olive oil and shallots. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and have absorbed most of the stock. Fold in the parsley and serve immediately.

Preparation Preheat grill. Toss sweet potatoes with half the oil, cumin, cayenne and salt. Grill until the sweet potatoes have browned, about 8 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until both sides are colored, and the sweet potatoes are cooked through. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining oil, scallions, lime juice and zest. When sweet potatoes have cooked, remove them from the grill and toss them with the vinaigrette. Season to taste. Serve warm or cold.

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

Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup diced shallots 8 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into a medium to large dice (about 3 pounds) 2 cups chicken stock Salt and pepper ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

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