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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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


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CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Rav Moshe Weinberger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

PEOPLE 613 Seconds with Shoshana Blackman . . . . . . . . . 19

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Purim Section. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Forgotten Heroes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

JEWISH LIFE Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Biz Wiz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Beyond Limits - A Serial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Health & Fitness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Cooking for the King. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

NEWS

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

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

Dear Readers, Are we naturally happy or sad? Are we believers or doubters? Sweet or rotten? At first glance it seems that as soon as we dig deeper into a person’s character we find contradictions: The smile and outgoing personality is covering a deep sadness. The minyan-goer isn’t comfortable with the fundamentals of our faith. What we thought was altruism had an ulterior goal. It’s said Freud dug deep into a person’s psyche and found his selfish nature. The Torah looks deeper and finds the innermost drive called the soul. Freud described man’s search for pleasure, Frankl man’s search for meaning, however the Torah teaches it’s about man’s search for truth. If we find truth, it will be followed by everything else. If our sarcasm, sadness, or selfishness was all we were about, the world would be in a sorry state indeed. Perhaps, though real parts of our nature, they are drives, sort of like tools through which we operate. Our goal should be to ultimately control these emotions and use them in our search for truth. The wisest of all men said there’s a time to love, a time to hate. A time for war, a time for peace. Sadness can be used when focusing on the suffering of others, sarcasm and doubt can be used for fake news, and when honed correctly selfishness can be used as a drive for truth. (“I want the truth and nothing but the truth.”) Just as the details of the Purim story are different once seen with a deeper lens, so too are the many levels of our personalities different once seen through the correct lens. Our yearning for truth and holiness are evident even in times of moral failing. It just takes the Purim mindset to see it. I may dress up like this or that, but inside it’s me. This mindset is very much connected to the time of the ultimate redemption; all that we see now will be revealed as gears in a very large machine run by the Creator. May He take the mask off speedily in our days. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos and a freilichan Purim!! Shalom

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


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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


Around the Community

STEM Class in Bnos Yisroel High School

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EARTS, HEARTS everywhere! Entering the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math High School enrichment class in Bnos Yisroel, students were recently met with cow hearts on every table! Mr. Zev Steen, the inspiring teacher of this STEM

students grimaced, and were in fact totally fascinated with the prospect of dissecting these specimens! While Mr. Steen was pointing out all of the components of the animal hearts, he was also demonstrating the corresponding aspects of human circulation which were shown in 3-D

The class was so animated that the instructor never asked the young women to quiet down while he was speaking. “I never interrupt them while they are involved in their experimentation,” he commented. This was clearly very exhilarating for them, and the comment heard most often during the class was,

Schwartz, found that this class flowed naturally from her experiences in the pathology lab at Sinai Hospital, where she observed human autopsies. Aviva was also a student in the Bnos Yisroel Bridge Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she pursued her interests in science. Several

class, had obtained these hearts which had been harvested from live cows a mere six hours earlier, and they were still warm to the touch. None of the

on a video screen. He held up the cow hearts by inserting his fingers into their valves and also showed the students the arteries and veins as well.

“Wow- this is amazing!” Many other students came in from the hallway to observe what all the excitement was about! The students dissected their specimens from the apex to the base, dividing the organ in half, and Mr. Steen explained that the heart muscle must be very strong in order to pump blood throughout the body. He also differentiated between the functions of the chambers, and pointed out the electrical system designed to cause the respective sides to contract appropriately, causing the blood to circulate. One of the students, Aviva

of her classmates in this STEM class had also been participants in the NIH Bridge program. Bnos Yisroel is very fortunate to have Mr. Steen on its faculty and the high school students are extremely appreciative of his amazing guidance. He has truly helped them see the wonders of Hashem’s Hand in creating the human body. Other experiments Mr. Steen has introduced include soda can robots, rockets and aquaponics. The students are eagerly looking forward to their next STEM class, and wondering what could be more exciting than this?

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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Around the Community

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Tag, You’re It! CHAI Lifeline Fun Laser Tagging Event By: CHAI Lifeline BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

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ast Monday night Chai Lifeline went head to head in a few intense games of laser tag. Our kids had a blast shooting at each other and volunteers. They were true warriors! Teaming up with others or going lone soldier, our kids racked up points. Hiding behind walls or staying low, lasers were being shot everywhere. Glow in the dark style laser tag made all of their smiles shine even brighter! Afterwards they were able to

win again in the arcade, getting various prizes. Whether they win or lose, our kids always have an amazing time at a Chai event!

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Around the Community

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Season Two of the Expanded BCL Kicks Off

S

eventy two boys, twelve coaches, one collective mission. The expanded Baltimore Chesed League launched its second season on February 4th. What is the Baltimore Chesed League? The idea for the BCL initially came about in 2017 with the goal of framing chesed in a fun and semi-competitive manner. Teams of local boys would embark on weekly missions. Those missions would be scored based on feedback from the participating organizations and, after certain point thresholds, the boys would receive prizes such as bowling outings, Dougies or Mama Leah’s pizza. The second season began on Sunday February 4th at Suburban Orthodox with the boys and their coaches treated to a Kickoff Party with inspiring words from Rabbi Shmuel Silber and delectable eats generously provided by the Knish Shop. After the boys cleaned up, they were off to their respective chessed missions. Here’s a snapshot from some of the Week One missions: Team ARI Concrete, coached by Ari Lichtman and Moishe Abramson, had

the privilege of delivering freshly baked cookies from Suburban Orthodox’s own, “Uncle Mike” to two elderly shul members. It was at their first stop that the magic happened. The boys were briefly prepped about Mrs. Rita Bayuk and how she was recently blessed with two great grandsons. The boys marched in with smiles, introduced themselves proudly and respectfully, and engaged in wonderful conversation. They sat around the table as extended family and brought a gleeful joy to a proud Jewish bubby. On their way way out, the boys danced to Siman Tov in honor of the births while Mrs. Bayuk clapped along from her seat, overjoyed by the scene in front of her. The boys came back to the car with a skip in their step. “That was fun” said one boy. “I

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know she’ll be enjoying that for a good while”, said another. Their holy work may have been done for the day but the boys saw the impact of such a simple gesture that would last far longer. Team Pricebusters, led by the dynamic brotherly duo of Elie and Shlomo Goldstein, was tasked with buying decorations for a Chai Lifeline hospital room decor project. The boys stepped up with enthusiasm and creativity. To wit, on the drive to Walmart, a few kids came up with a chant (to the tune of the Ghostbusters theme), “Someone needs, a Chesed done, who ya gonna call, Pricebusters.” The team started shopping together and broke into groups to get specific items. The boys successfully completed their task and were very polite to the Walmart staff. Team BCL Board, coached by Yoni Herman and Ed Miller had an eye-opening opportunity learning about the wonderful Agudah Scrip program from Mr. Jonah Ottensoser. Mr. Ottensoser explained to the boys the purpose of the scrip program and how much each yeshiva or shul gets from each donated denomination. The boys were then able to sort through and organize the Agudah Scrip by each Baltimore and Silver Spring institution. Remarkably, they were able to complete all the stacks of scrip that was left for them within just an hour, a task that can often take far longer to accomplish. After staying late to clean up many of the tables at the kick-off event, Teams David Flamm-Nationwide Agency and Columbia Group, led by coaches Yanky Statman/Noam Shiman and Nechemia Isbee/Aryeh Gross, headed directly to Talmudical Academy to help organize and sort the abundance of shaimos that had been collected over the years. More than 300 pounds of shaimos was properly sorted in accordance with Halacha. Sammy Statman said he was so excited to see papers from before he was born! Special mention goes to Aryeh Preiserowicz who had a conflict between BCL and another activity and decided chesed was paramount. The boys made a real difference

and their efforts were greatly appreciated by TA. Team Sage Management, with Alexander Weil and Binyomin Edelstone at the helm, visited Sterling Hospitality Assisted Living and engaged in conversation with the residents, helped serve dinner, sang to the residents and even amazed them with their card tricks. It was an extremely memorable experience for the residents and the boys. Team Blue Ocean, coached by Israel Elgamil, went to Tudor Heights to visit with residents there. After making introductions and getting acquainted, the boys provided cheer and used the visit to display some hidden talents such as singing, acting and piano skills. To top it off, the boys were inspired to make create “Get Well” cards to their missing sick fellow Chesed League team member. Team DC Dental, with Coaches Yaakov Preiserowicz and Elie Portnoy leading the way, delivered fresh cookies with a side of added warmth to an elderly, blind Baltimore resident. The boys spoke to her and sang for her for about twenty minutes. They made a tremendous impression on her and, per Coaches P and P, made a Kiddush Hashem with her nonfrum children and aid. Team King David Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, led fearlessly by Aryeh Langer and Levi Zaslow, had an opportunity to visit a local assisted living facility with the Friendship Circle of Maryland. The boys had the chance to talk and work with the residents, draw pictures with them, and make hamentashen with them. The coaches report that the residents as well as the boys felt uplifted by the experience. Stay tuned for more. In the coming weeks, we’ll provide periodic updates in these pages. More timely updates along with many more pictures can be found on the Baltimore Chesed League’s Facebook page. For more information about the BCL visit BaltimoreChesedLeague.com!


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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Around the Community

STAR-K Pesach 5778 - Pre-Pesach Bulletin #1 By: Star-K BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

A

s we approach the Passover season, STAR-K will periodically issue bulletins with information which will hopefully assist you in your Passover preparations. The Meat Maven at Seasons in Baltimore 1) Consumers should please be advised that The Meat Maven/meat dept at Seasons Supermarket in Baltimore will be changing over for Passover during the week of Purim/February 25th. Only meat and poultry items pur-

chased AFTER this time are certified Kosher for Passover, as will be stated on the label and in-store signage. Any meat or poultry items (even unseasoned) purchased before that time are not certified as Kosher for Passover. Pesach Products Webinar 2) Please join us for this year’s Pesach Product Webinar and learn what is new this year, and which Pesach products do not need a special hechsher. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 14th 12 noon ET at www.star-k.org/telekosher. Updated Lists & Guides 3) Please be advised that lists of approved products and items do change every year. Consumers should not rely on any lists or guides from last or any

Flower Delivery Club

previous year. After Purim, the Star-K APP and website will be updated to contain our free Passover Guide as well as offering an option to purchase the Medicine and Cosmetics Guide by Rabbi Gershon Bess. The APP in-

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cludes year-round lists and guides as well, and it can be downloaded directly from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Yoshon Status of Matzoh 4) Many consumers have been asking about the Yoshon status of Matzoh this year. We have looked into this issue and concluded that ALL Matzoh is indeed Yoshon this year, like in previous years. Maryland post-Pesach Beer 5) The issue regarding purchasing beer in Maryland after Passover will be relevant again this year. The STAR-K website will have a link on the homepage with all the pertinent information. Check the site after Purim for the most up to date information.

By: BJL Staff BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

I

t has become traditional in communities throughout the Jewish world to observe an annual date on which the local Chevra Kadisha would fast, learn mishnayos and visit the cemetery. In the evening they would hold a Chevra Kadisha Seudah, a meal which would be attended by all members of the Chevra Kadisha. Although there is no universal date for this Chevra Kadisha day and each community would observe a date in accordance with local custom, the most popular date is the 7th of Adar, the date on which Moshe Rabbeinu was born and on which he died. The Torah, in describing Moshe Rabbeinu’s death (Devarim 24:6) states: “And He buried him in the valley.” Rashi explains that G-d himself buried Moshe. Therefore, there was no need to call upon the Chevra Kadisha on that day and so they have time for

their “annual reunion.” For over 60 years, Chevra Ahavas Chesed of Baltimore has held its annual Chevra Kadisha Seudah on the 7th of Adar. This year’s Zayin Adar Seudah was held at the Knish Shop Hall on Thursday evening, the night of the 7th of Adar. This year’s guest speaker was Rabbi Pinchos Gross, Rav of Kehillas Derech Chaim.


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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


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Around the Community

By: TA BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

B

aruch Hashem, TA is an established and thriving Yeshiva that continues to serve the growing Baltimore community. It is blessed with many talmidim, ke”h, and takes great pride in its commitment to an educational model that addresses the individual needs of every student. TA is dedicated to providing tools for each student to grow and thrive in his learning and Yiddishkeit. TA’s longstanding partnership with SHEMESH empowers it to offer extensive services and places the Yeshiva at the forefront of the movement to provide special education programming in the private school setting. For the last number of years, TA has been providing as many services as it can for as many students as possible, encompassing a range of ages, grade levels and divisions. Yet there are more students who need services, and more services that are needed. TA must answer the call to do more. TA’s response to this call is LAMDEINU. The LAMDEINU banner represents the pioneering efforts of TA to rec-

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

TA Answers the Call: Introducing LAMDEINU ognize and fulfill the multitude of learning needs within each of its divisions. TA is grateful for its longstanding partnership with SHEMESH, and is excited to move forward together with them to maximize this opportunity for its students. Adopting the title LAMDEINU: The Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment @ TA will allow us to focus specific efforts on this program, and together with SHEMESH, further the Yeshiva’s quest to meet the academic needs of our students. On Sunday, February 4th, a beautiful breakfast reception was held at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Hal and Jody Crane to benefit LAMDEINU. The breakfast committee was chaired by Mr. and Mrs. Shimon Marciano. Mr. Marciano also emceed the event and spoke about the need to reach every single child in a way that is unique to him. Mrs. Rivky Danziger, director of the Elementary Division LAMDEINU Learning Center and Small Classrooms, explained many of the services that LAMDEINU provides students, as well as the progress that has been made on behalf of these children over the years. She pointed out that much more needs to be done so that every child who needs services can get the services that he needs.

Dr. Aviva Weisbord, Executive Director of SHEMESH, explained the ongoing and deeply collaborative relationship between LAMDEINU and SHEMESH, noting that it is a partnership in every sense of the word, and SHEMESH is able to help LAMDEINU thrive through consultation, training and funding, in addition to providing SHEMESH resources throughout the school year. Rabbi Shmuel Silber finished off the reception with words of chizuk, and explained that fulfilling a student’s educational needs should be considered as important as providing for basic needs such

as clothing and food. Rabbi Silber encouraged the gathering by stating that this issue is one that can be addressed and a goal that can be attained with generosity, collaboration, and determination. The reception proved both informative and inspiring to the over 75 guests who attended, and served to further the cause of special education in our community. LAMDEINU hopes to share many more events with the community in the near future. To learn more about LAMDEINU, and support its efforts, please visit talmudicalacademy.org/lamdeinu.


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THE SHIDDUCH

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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Clarity, Competence Confidence: & PRESENTS

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TUESDAY EVENING, MARCH 6TH | 8:00 PM SHOMREI EMUNAH If there are any questions you would like to submit to the panel in advance, please share them via email. In order to ensure the venue will be properly pre-pared, RSVP’s are greatly appreciated. To RSVP, or submit a question to the panel, please call or email us at 443.955.9887 or events@shidduchcenter.org. MEMBERS - FREE ADMISSION | NON-MEMBERS - SUGGESTED DONATION $10 Please contact our director at shlomo@shidduchcenter.org for questions related to Shidduch Center membership

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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Alley-Oop to Aliyah By: BJLIfe/Sharon Altshul BaltimoreJewishLife.com/Jeff Cohn

T

amir Goodman, Baltimore’s legendary Orthodox basketball player, went on to play at Towson University after his days at TA, becoming known as the “Jewish Jordan.” Goodman played on an Israeli professional team for nearly a decade after making aliyah. On Tuesday evening, Goodman joined David A. Goldstein, at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem, Israel, for a Nefesh B’Nefesh and Fun in Jerusalem sponsored event to promote Goldstein’s book, “Alley-Oop to Aliyah.” More than 800 African-American basketball players have come to play in Israel. Some played for a short time, while others have stayed for decades, some players converted to Judaism. Aulcie Perry, played for the NBA, came to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1976, converted to Judaism, and made aliyah. Some of the players who stayed have raised families, with their children now playing on Israeli teams.

In Israel, “players are embraced in a unique way. By and large they don’t feel racism. They feel accepted, and want to come even though they make less money,” said Goldstein. Connections remain strong. One example Goldstein gave, Anthony Parker chose the number 18, chai, when he rejoined the Raptors after spending time playing in Israel, as a tribute to Israel and the Jewish people. Players enjoy the food, culture, the holidays and the nightlife in Israel. A devout Christian player said, “there is nothing like leaving practice and driving past a sign that says right turn to Bethlehem.”

Fred Campbell, wanted to see the world, playing every year in a different country. When Israel was suggested, he said, “no, there was fighting there.” “Come for four days,” he was told. He stayed to play in Israel. Goldstein spent over ten years researching his book and interviewing players. He shared slides of photos and stories with the audience. Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball started in the mid-1930’s, as part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Sports Club, which had been founded in 1906. Instead of blue and white for its colors, they picked blue and yellow. Yellow to show unity with those

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wearing yellow stars at the time in Europe. After the magnitude of the Shoah, the loss of 6 million, the team decided to keep the yellow as a memorial to those killed. Perry was on a panel with Goodman and Josh Halickman, nicknamed “The Sports Rabbi.” During the panel discussion, Perry said he planned to come for two months. “The first year was unbelievable, the whole country was behind us. There was only one TV station at the time.” During the championship game, people were advised to unplug all appliances not in use. They were afraid everyone turning on their televisions to watch the game would be too much for the power grid to handle. Growing up in a Southern Baptist family, Perry said he did not get answers to his questions. “When he started his conversion, he learned with his Rabbi 5 days a week, for 4 months. If the Rabbi did not have answers to his questions, he would ask a Rabbi who knew the answers.” After all these years though. Perry said he cannot get used to driving here. Goodman described his early days playing basketball in Baltimore. He would hang around the games until 8:00 pm. After dribbling on the side, someone would leave and he would get a chance to play on a team, at least for a short time. He was 16 when he went to an invitational basketball camp and was asked, “Are you lost.” Goodman shared some of his positive Shabbos experiences with his mostly African-American teammates. As Halickman stated, “sports engage people, it is the greatest equalizer.” The African-American basketball players have become great ambassadors for Israel, as they take positive feelings back with them and share their good experiences.


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The Week In News

Abbas Addresses the UN

On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations Security Council, calling for a “multilateral international mechanism” to pave the way for Palestinian statehood, while accusing Israel and the United States of obstructing peace efforts. “To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” the PA president said, adding that he anticipated a summit by mid-2018. Abbas wants to replace the central role that the United States has played as mediator in the peace process. The Palestinian leader took aim at Washington’s handling of the issue over the past year, namely U.S. President Donald Trump’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “The administration has taken Jerusalem off the table,” Abbas said, quoting the words used by Trump last month to describe the declaration. The Palestinians, Abbas argued, have a historical presence in the territory dating back “5,000 years.” “We are descendants of the Canaanites that lived in Palestine 5,000 years ago, and have continuously remained there to this day,” the PA president insisted as he began his speech, adding that there are currently 13 million Palestinian refugees in Israel, the West Bank, and abroad. The PA president also panned the U.S. administration’s failure to clarify its position on whether or not it sup-

ports a two-state solution to the conflict. He lashed out at Washington’s decision to cut aid from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, “which they helped establish,” and blasted the U.S. threats to close down the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington. Abbas asserted that the Palestinians “are ready to begin negotiations immediately in order to achieve peace.” But he also conditioned negotiations on the withdrawal of Trump’s Jerusalem recognition and the cessation of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. He said his proposed “multilateral international mechanism” should lead to full UN membership for the state of Palestine, mutual recognition of Israel and a Palestinian state, and the creation of a new international mechanism to reach a final settlement. Abbas also pledged to “intensify” his efforts to obtain full member state status at the UN, where the Palestinians are currently considered a non-member observer state. Arguing that it undermined peace efforts, Abbas lambasted Israel’s continued settlement construction and “continued occupation of Palestinian lands,” claiming that that the PA had “become an authority without authority.” “We are working for the occupation, we are employees for the occupation, and we say that Israel must be held to its obligations as an occupying power.” However, Abbas asserted that “our problems are not with the Jewish people. Our problem is only with the occupiers of our land.” Both Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy for the peace process, were in the room when Abbas spoke. The United Nations granted Palestine the status of a non-member observer state in 1992, but an upgrade to full membership would require unanimous backing from the Security Council – an unlikely outcome, given the near-certainly of a U.S. veto. In December, the General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, to reject the US decision to recognize Jerusalem. That vote in the 193-nation assembly came after 14 of the 15 council members voted in favor of a similar measure. The United States vetoed that draft resolution.

IDF Returns Terrorist Bodies The bodies of two terrorists were returned to the Palestinian Authority by the Israeli government last week. Nimer Jamal, who murdered three Israelis in Har Adar in September of last year, and Hamza Zamareh, who tried to stab an Israeli in Gush Etzion’s Karmei Tzur this month, were both returned to the Palestinians for burial. The parents of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, whose body is being held by Hamas, were very upset with the news. Simcha and Leah Goldin accused the Israeli government of showing “security weakness and betrayal of IDF soldiers.” “We thought the prime minister and the Cabinet members were merely lying to the public in the media, but have now learned they have no qualms about lying to the High Court as well,” the Goldin family said in a statement. “This past Thursday, the state vowed before the court to implement the Cabinet’s decision regarding [terrorists’] bodies in full, but 24 hours later released the terrorists’ bodies for burial,” Hadar Goldin’s enraged parents said. “This government has no respect for its kidnapped soldiers and no shame about lying in court. It’s sad we have come to a point where the government lies to a bereaved family and does not implement its own decisions,” the Goldin family lamented. The court hearing that the Goldin family is referring to is one that deals with a petition they submitted to have the Cabinet make the conditions of incarcerations for Hamas prisoners harsher and to not return terrorists bodies to the PA. “My son was killed in Operation Protective Edge and we are now entering the fourth year of his body being held by Hamas in Gaza,” Simcha Goldin said. “I’m a reserve lieutenant colonel, my children are all officers, and I know soldiers may die in battle. I raised my children that the IDF sends soldiers to battle and the prime minister is also responsible for bringing them back.” The Goldin family is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next month. The Goldin family has been very critical of how Netanyahu’s government has dealt

with their son’s missing body. “The government did not forget Hadar; it abandoned and ignored him,” Goldin said.   “Netanyahu knows he left in Gaza and excellent Golani officer and an excellent Givati officer. He knows that. The defense minister and the IDF chief also know that. The question is, what are they doing [about it]? They ignore and abandon, which is a very bad way to begin the 70th anniversary celebrations to the State of Israel.”

Arrests in Case 4000 Case Scandals continue to rock the Netanyahu household, even when they aren’t directly connected to the prime minister. On Tuesday, police lifted a gag order on the Bezeq fraud case, known as Case 4000, revealing the names of seven people who had been arrested earlier in the week. Shaul Elovitch, the owner of the Walla news website and the controlling shareholder of Israel’s largest telecom company Bezeq, his wife Iris, and his son Or were among those arrested and held for five days. Director General of the Communications Ministry Shlomo Filber, former Netanyahu family spokesman Nir Hefetz, Bezeq CEO Stella Handler, and senior Bezeq executive Amikam Shorer were also arrested. The case revolves around a suspected quid pro quo deal between Elovitch and Netanyahu that would have seen the prime minister granted positive media coverage in exchange for financial benefits for Bezeq. On Monday Elovitch “categorically” denied allegations leveled against him, saying that “no offense has been committed.” According to law enforcement sources, Elovitch swayed the Walla news site’s coverage of Netanyahu and his family in exchange for the Communications Ministry enacting policies potentially worth hundreds of millions of shekels for Elovitch. Netanyahu, who has also been said by Israeli media to be a  suspect in the case, is suspected of furthering that deal. Netanyahu also denies any wrongdoing. The prime minister was acting communications minister at the time of several alleged illicit deals made


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The Week In News with Elovitch, one of which included helping Bezeq buy the satellite cable provider Yes, overriding any antitrust issues raised by ministry officials. On Sunday, Netanyahu decried the investigation as “baseless” and part of a “media witch hunt.” “Another baseless investigation under pressure from the media,” a statement from Netanyahu said. “The media witch hunt continues in full force.”

Iran: Tel Aviv Will be Leveled Iran and Israel continued with their war of words this week. On Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed that Israel would act against Iran directly if needed. In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Netanyahu’s words as a “cartoonish circus.”

The secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezayee, also downplayed Netanyahu’s threats as a “theatrical move and a childish game.” “About Netanyahu’s unwise words, I should say that if they carry out the slightest unwise move against Iran, we will level Tel Aviv to the ground and will not give any opportunity to Netanyahu to flee,” Rezayee told Hezbollah’s TV station Al Manar. “The U.S. and Israeli leaders don’t know Iran and don’t understand the power of resistance and therefore, they continuously face defeat,” he further claimed. “Today, the situation of the U.S. and Israel indicates their fear of the Zionist regime’s collapse and the U.S. decline.” Last week, it was more than tempers that flared between Israel and the Persian regime when an  Iranian drone  left an airbase in Syria and infiltrated Israeli airspace. The IAF shot down the drone and then attacked 12 Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria. The Syrian responded with dozens of anti-aircraft missiles, one of

which exploded near an F-16 fighter jet, bringing the plane down, but not before its pilot and navigator were able to bail out. “Iran is dragging the entire region into an adventure whose end is shrouded in darkness. It was a grievous violation of Israeli sovereignty by Iran. Anyone involved in the drone’s launch was targeted,” the IDF said after its attacks in Syria. Lebanese army commander General Joseph Aoun also delivered his own threat to Israel on Monday, saying his army will use every available means to confront any potential “Israeli aggression” no matter the cost. “I affirm again our categorical rejection of the Israeli enemy infringing on Lebanon’s sovereignty and its sacred right to exploit all its economic resources,” the Lebanese army quoted General Joseph Aoun as saying on Twitter. “The army will not spare any method available to confront any Israeli aggression, whatever that costs.”  Tensions between Israel and Lebanon have recently flared up over

a border wall being constructed by Israel, a tender issued by Beirut for oil and gas exploration in disputed waters, and arms flows to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group.

Cold-Blooded Murderer Receives Life Sentences Nineteen-year-old Omar al-Abed has been handed four life sentences by the Israeli government for the murders of Yosef Salomon and his two children, Elad and Chaya. Michal Salomon, Yosef’s widow and Elad and Chaya’s mother, has been vocal about her disappointment that al-Abed was not given the death penalty. “I think justice would have been done if he got the death penalty but we saw that there was no majority, so apparently justice was not done,” Michal said.


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The Week In News

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Michal had lobbied many officials to have a death penalty verdict come down. “Everyone told me; the State of Israel does not support the death penalty,” she noted. She recalled that when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited her while she was sitting shiva, he promised to support the death penalty for the terrorist.   “The truth is, I really thought it would happen, really had a thought that this murder would shock the country,” Salomon said. “Slowly I realized that they didn’t really mean it.” The Salomon family was slaughtered while preparing for a Friday night shalom zachor at Yosef’s home in Neve Tzuf last year. Right after the murders, many politicians said that they would try to have the terrorist put to death. “The death penalty for terrorists – it’s time to implement it in severe cases,” said Netanyahu at the time. “The death sentence is the only appropriate punishment for such a despicable act. I call on the judges to demonstrate courage and hand down a death sentence to this terrorist,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman echoed then.

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Escalating Tensions in Gaza

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The IDF retaliated against 18 terror targets in the Gaza Strip during escalating attacks and responses over the weekend. Hamas terrorists detonated an explosive device attached to a Palestinian flag near the border fence, injuring four IDF soldiers. In retaliation, the Israeli Air Force attacked six Hamas targets across Gaza, after which Hamas fired rockets from the Strip into nearby Israeli neighborhoods.

The army “views with great severity the attempt by the Hamas terror organization to carry out popular and spontaneous demonstrations which are seemingly intended to turn the fence area into a confrontation zone,” an IDF statement said, “and to carry out their terror activities that will undermine stability in Gaza.” Amos, whose wife and three children were home when a rocket landed on his roof, called his family’s survival a “miracle.” “We heard a Code Red alarm, he related. ”We went into our shelter, as we’re used to by now. The moment we entered there was a really loud explosion. The entire house shook. We went outside. My wife went out to our yard, saw the damage and called me. When I returned inside I saw the roof partially caved in. My daughter, who was already traumatized by [Operation] Protective Edge, took it really hard. There was a lot of panicking. My youngest, on the other hand, was asleep in the shelter and didn’t even wake up. The most important thing is no one was hurt. We’ll be sleeping at our neighbors’ tonight until the roof is fixed.” Later in the day, a group of four Palestinians was discovered trying to sneak into Israeli communities south of Gaza through Rafah. The group was shot upon and captured. According to Palestinian news outlets, two of the suspected terrorists were taken to a local hospital after being wounded by tank fire. There has been relative quiet in the region over the past few months. The IDF has noted a growing amount of escalation in the protests that Hamas has organized near the fence. Many of the protesters have been found carrying weapons, including grenades. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was attending a security conference in Munich when the attacks took place.

Jerusalem, One of the Safest Cities in the World There has been a lot of discussion about gun laws around the world in the days following the tragic Parkland school shooting. This prompted


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The Week In News Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat to announce that despite the constant threat of terrorism, Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem, “is one of the safest cities in the world” due to “zero misuse” of guns. Barkat explained that in a city of close to 900,000 people, the murder rate is only one per every 100,000 residents, which is far lower than in most major cities. Barkat noted that “people care very much about one another” and “look out for one another’s

well-being” more than many other cities around the world. Additionally, residents of Jerusalem are “extremely alert” and always looking out for anything suspicious and reporting it immediately. Barkat also praised the IDF and police force for being superior in active intelligence capabilities that often prevent terror attacks before they occur. He also pointed out that the re-

sponse to an attack in the city is swift being that many passerby previously served in the army or underwent other security training. “A terrorist attack is usually over in 60 seconds, because people care and are willing to take charge, even at risk to their own lives,” Barkat explained. “Many times, civilians know how to tackle terrorists better than police. Because we are trained in war.” Although civilian handguns are an

essential component of Israel’s security apparatus, Barkat notes that “only 3 percent of the population carries guns, and those who have them know how to use them. “This is why I always encourage those with handguns to carry them,” Barkat said.

Polish PM Comments Holocaust Denial?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s remark that Jewish perpetrators were also responsible for the Holocaust as “outrageous.” Both leaders were in Munich last week for a security conference. “There is a problem here of an inability to understand history and a lack of sensitivity to the tragedy of our people. I intend to speak with him forthwith,” Netanyahu said about the comment. While addressing the Munich Security Conference, Morawiecki rejected criticism of a new law that criminalizes the mention of Polish state involvement in the Holocaust. During the press conference, an Israeli journalist asked if sharing his family’s history of persecution in Poland would be outlawed under the new legislation. “Of course it’s not going to be punishable, [it’s] not going to be seen as criminal to say that there were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukrainian; not only German perpetrators,” Morawiecki responded. The Polish PM’s comments were swiftly criticized across the Israeli political spectrum. “Mateusz Morawiecki talks like the last of the Holocaust deniers. The blood of millions of Jews


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The Week In News cries out from the ground in Poland over the distortion of history and escape from blame,” tweeted party leader Avi Gabbay. “Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and Poles took an active part in their murder. The Israeli government must be here for the millions murdered and strongly condemn the Polish prime minister’s words,” he said. Tzipi Livni, a Zionist Union MK and former foreign minister, said it was “moving to hear Ronen Bergman asking/attacking the Polish prime minister over the law that forbids mentioning the participation of the Polish nation in the Holocaust, as [Bergman] told his family story and received applause from the audience.” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, one of the most vocal Israeli critics of the Polish law, said Morawiecki’s statement is “anti-Semitism of the oldest kind.” “The perpetrators are not the victims. The Jewish state will not allow the murdered to be blamed for their own murder,” Lapid said. The most conservative estimates find that over 200,000 Jews were murdered by Polish citizens during the Holocaust.

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No More Breaks for BDS Businesses The Israeli government is compiling a list of Israeli supporters of the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement and will be denying them tax breaks and government contracts. Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will soon be approving the new regulations which prevent BDS supporters from the benefits they had taken advantage of until now.

The new law will be in line with a law that was passed in March 2017, banning leaders off the BDS from en-

tering the country. The Law of Entry was amended to include organizations that take consistent and significant action against the Jewish State through BDS. The 2017 law includes not only those that advocate for the boycott of Israel but also to those that want a boycott of only the West Bank settlements. It is not clear if the new law will apply to those who only boycott the settlements. According to sources in the Strategic Affairs Ministry, a new committee is being established by the Finance Ministry to establish the details of the new regulations. The source also reported that the ban will apply to political activists and members of the blacklisted organizations, not to members of the public that are critical of Israel and personally think it should be boycotted. The Strategic Affairs Ministry published a blacklist last month that covers 20 international groups that are said to be part of the BDS movement. “[Our] work of collecting information and intelligence on them [the activists] is important and significant so that we will be able to justify our actions against them,” an official from the ministry was quoted as saying.

The structure was erected as part of an Israeli plan to improve the overall security in the area. The plan is in response to the high number of stabbing and shooting attacks in the past two years. Two more concrete watch posts are being constructed at the Damascus Gate as well. New police and military activity has historically been a potential spark of unrest in the city as Palestinians see them as an Israeli attempt to solidify its hold on the city. “This is another Israeli assault on Jerusalem and its Arab population,” claimed a senior Fatah official. “Israel is mistaken if it thinks we will allow it to pursue with its plan to Judaize Jerusalem and empty it of its Arab residents.” Yousef Natsheh, a senior official with the Islamic Waqf Department, called the watch post an “assault on Islamic heritage and an attempt to change our history.” He then went on to accuse Israel of using security measures as an excuse to “distort” Damascus Gate so as to change the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem. “What’s happening at Damascus Gate,” he added, “is morally, scientifically, and ethically unacceptable.” So is stabbing and shooting innocent men, women, and children.

Damascus Gate Watchtower Sparks Outrage Palestinians are voicing their anger over a security watch post that has been installed at the entrance to the Old City. They have said that they will be organizing protests to stand against Israel “changing the Arab and Islamic character” of the city. Palestinians are demanding that the two-story watch post structure be removed from the Damascus Gate, the main entrance into the walled city’s Muslim Quarter.

Worst Commute of the Week Thought your commute to work was bad? Jennifer Tang has it worse than you. This week, the Riders Alliance awarded the City University librarian its first “Worst Commute of the Week” award. What did Jennifer do? Well, it’s what she wasn’t able to do – head home after work. In general, Tang says her commute home from the city is just a 30 minute train ride. But on January 20, during her last five minutes of her subway ride to Forest Hills her train stalled in a tunnel, resulting in a two-hour wait. If that wasn’t enough, Tang says she had to use the restroom – and every extra minute was agony. She has since learned from her

mistake. “Now, before boarding the subway, even if it’s for one stop, I use the bathroom.” The Riders Alliance awards were organized by the advocacy group to urge New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s Legislature into enacting a long-term plan to fund and fix the city’s declining subway system. Tang was its first awardee. Winners receive a chocolate replica of a MetroCard. Tang says that her commute on that January 20 day was her personal worst in a lifetime of subway riding: “Even in the ‘70s when I almost got mugged on the subway, I never had such as horrible experience on the train.”

Horse Cure

Stuck in the hospital with pneumonia Christine Carbonneau was getting visitors every day. But there was one visitor she never was able to see: her pet horse, Ireland. Carbonneau is set to get married and has been in the hospital for over a month. Her fiancé, Gary Stephens, wanted to cheer her up and so he arranged for Ireland to gallop from their home in Thonotosassa, Florida, to the long-term facility where Carbonneau was staying. “When Christine woke up [from a coma] at the end of January, she wasn’t able to talk and just too tired to write. I could tell she was just a bit down and I thought I would hatch a plan to cheer her up,” Gary said. Christine burst into tears when she was wheeled outside to see the horse. Gary recalled, “It was such an amazing moment and it was special to see Christine smile.” “I’m really grateful to all the staff at the hospital who helped me make it happen,” he added. What’s better than a horse to cheer you up, of course?


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Torah Thought

For Whom the Bell Tolls By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

'‫ונשמע קולו בבאו אל הקדש לפני ד‬ )‫ (שמות כח לה‬...‫ובצאתו‬, Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before G-d and when he leaves... Among the eight garments that were the required attire of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, was the Me’il, the Robe, which had gold bells and pomegranate-shaped tassels that were suspended from its hem. The verse here immediately follows the description of this garment, implying that these bells rang as he walked so as to seemingly announce his arrival and departure from the Sanctuary. If this is indeed the sound the Torah is referring to, why is the ‘sound’ written then in the singular, ‫קולו‬, ‘his’ sound, rather than the more accurate plural, ‫קולם‬, ‘their’ sound, as there were a total of 72 bells that clapped as the High Priest moved through the Sanctuary? We are also taught that this garment served to atone for the sin of slander, as the Talmud expresses: ‘Let that item which gives forth a sound atone for the sin that comes through sound’. ).‫ ערכין טז‬:‫(זבחים פח‬ Is slander merely a ‘noise’ that can be overcome by the ringing of bells? What is the calling these bells summon us to, that can possibly help atone for the terrible effects of defamatory talk? The Maharal makes a remarkable observation. In the beginning of the Book of Daniel there is a vision of the Four Kingdoms with each one

symbolized by a different metal; gold, silver, copper and iron. He explains that metal, because of its stiffness, transmits sound waves more loudly. It is for that reason that bells, whose purpose is to produce a sound that draws attention, are composed of metals. Loudness, he says, expresses externality, a sign of superficiality. The Talmud cleverly asserts: ‘A lone coin in a flask makes noise’, whereas a flask that is full is quiet. These nations are bereft of any internal values of the spirit; they bluster noisily in hopes of drowning out their otherwise lack of true significance. )‫(נצח ישראל פרק נז‬ Very often slander is initiated by one who might have been slighted by, or simply jealous of another, who reacts by ‘loudly’ expressing his defamatory remarks, more out of a need to simply be heard and recognized than with an intention to offend. One whose ‘flask’ is full however, rarely feels the need to assert oneself by being verbally critical and offensive. So in a sense slander is simply about making ‘noise’ and gaining attention. Perhaps it is these ‘metallic’ gold bells on the hem of the High Priest in producing its noise that teach us this very vital lesson: Clamor represents an empty externality and rarely does it reflect a strong inner core of healthy identity and satisfaction with self. There are two divergent opinions regarding the precise placement of these bells. Some allege that they were housed within the woolen pomegranate-shaped tassels while others claim the bells were interspersed be-

twixt them. Either way the sounds of the bells were diminished, in their capacity to clatter loudly, by the tassels. Perhaps it is precisely the image of the pomegranate, with its robust inner core, that tempers the cacophony of superficial expression. It represents the need for one to develop a healthy perspective on one’s intrinsic worth. Each one of us has been bequeathed by our illustrious ancestors a powerful soul that is naturally equipped to overflow with inspiration, if only we would appreciate it and choose to develop it. Isn’t that the deeper meaning beneath the famous Talmudic adage, ‘Even your lowest are filled with meritorious acts- like the pomegranate’? ).‫(סנהדרין לז‬. If we hear the message in the stifled sounds of the bells correctly, we will be cured from the need to sound off our deficiencies by hurling caustic words towards others. On Yom Kippur we recite, during the Musaf service, a lengthy and detailed description of the unique service that took place in the Temple on that day. The peak of the service was the entering by the High Priest into the Holy of Holies, and his offering of the special incense there. Prior to describing that moment we recite: ‫קיש צעדיו לפרכות וקרב לב־‬ ...‫דים‬, His footsteps were heard as he walked between the curtains and approached the poles of the Ark, where he went to perform the service of the incense there. Some aver that the sounds of his footsteps refer to the bells that her-

alded his arrival. Yet this seems quite perplexing since the Me’il, the Robe, was not among the four vestments the High Priest wore during the special service of Yom Kippur. Yet, in a commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah, an ancient Kabbalistic text, attributed to the 12th century scholar and kabbalist, the Raavad, and possibly actually written by the 14th century kabbalist, Rebbe Yosef HaAruch, it clearly makes reference to ‘the secret of the bell and pomegranate when the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make his sound heard’. How could this possibly be? The very first reference to a ‫קול‬, sound, makes an appearance when after their having transgressed by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Chava discover their nakedness frantically covering themselves and instinctively hiding from G-d. The Torah describes how, '‫וישמעו את קול ד‬ ‫אלקים מתהלך בגן לרוח היום (בראשית ג‬ )‫ח‬, They heard the ‘sound’ of G-d the Lord manifesting itself in the wind of the day. The Vilna Gaon writes that until then the relationship was one of ‘face to face’, the awareness of G-d’s was ever present. With the sin G-d concealed His presence and Man was vulnerable in thinking he could hide. Sound is a product of a physical world. Sound is merely the ear’s perception of vibrations that pass through a physical medium. In a vacuum sound cannot travel. In a totally spiritual world the concept of ‘vibration’, as we


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know it, simply doesn’t exist. Sound is evidence of distance and represents the ability to convey a sense of one’s ‘presence’ even when not visible. After sinning, Man became more material in his essence and was no longer capable of perceiving G-d, nor other humans, without the help of matter to serve as a medium for awareness. The Talmud describes how a fetus can ‘see’ from one end of the world to the other. A spiritual entity is not limited by physical barriers. Once we enter this world however, ‘messages’ must be conveyed through the vehicle of a material world. We must see light waves with our eyes and absorb sound waves through the process of hearing with our ears. That distance that now exists between Man and G-d, is our greatest challenge. We must learn to ‘hear’ the message by removing the distracting ‘sounds’ that vie for our attention and distract us. That same loss of perception is what disables us from perceiving each other accurately and dupes us into all sorts of misjudgments and inaccurate appreciation for each other. The High Priest throughout his daily service would constantly absorb the ‘secret lesson of the bells and pomegranates’ while he donned the Robe. When Yom Kippur arrived he was no longer in need of the Robe, for he had adequately prepared himself for this great moment, to enter the Holy of Holies. He was now equipped with ability to cancel out all exterior ‘noise’, listening solely to, ‫קולו‬, ‘his’ sound, the inner voice within himself. He was now capable of restoring that sense of facing G-d ‘face to face’ once again, if only during his entering and exiting this brief but elevated service. Indeed, ‫ונשמע קולו‬, he heard not the bells that normally chimed, but his soul’s unique heartbeat bursting with an inspired consciousness of G-d, that pined for connection and closeness. The Talmud and Midrash derive

from this verse the notion that one shouldn’t enter one’s home, and certainly not someone else’s home, suddenly and unannounced. One should, as the High Priest did, signal and ‘sound’ his entry. :‫ פסחים קיח‬:‫(נדה טז‬ )‫ויק"ר פ"כא‬ Perhaps there is more than just the practical advice of not possibly finding someone in a compromising position. Before you engage with the world, take stock of yourself. Listen to the ‘secret message of the bells and pomegranates’ in diminishing the need to create presence by ‘making noise’. Realize who you truly are, what qualities and talents you possess. You are a ‘pomegranate filled with blessing and worth’. If we remain mindful of that we will safely navigate the illusions of a material word in discovering each other, by finding and being inspired by G-d’s presence every moment of our lives. The Talmud says there was no one who knew how to slander like Haman. Amalek, the nation from whom Haman descends, from time immemorial demonstrated a unique ability to stir up resentment against the Jewish people. Through their skilled and poisonous propaganda or simply by their creating ‘noisy’ distractions so that the nations of the world would completely ignore the greatness inherent within our nation, this has been Amalek’s credo. Amalek has been that force that summons our enemies by the clamor of their ‘bells’; their false alarms. Fascinatingly the word, ‫פעמן‬, bell, is the exact numerical value as ‫עמלק‬, Amalek! By living inspired lives and displaying the plethora of qualities that are as numerous as the seeds of the proverbial pomegranate, we will stifle those noises, bringing about the final eradication of the forces of Amalek, restoring His divine presence to its full Throne.


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The Big Picture

The Tail That Wags The Dog By Rabbi Motty Rabinowitz

In the upcoming week, we will read about the roles of two prominent historical figures. This Shabbat we read about the various garments worn by the Kohanim in the Mishkan in the desert, but more specifically focus on the special vestments which adorned Aharon, the high priest. Next week we enter the festive season of Purim and detail the tragic, yet heroic life of Queen Esther in the court of Achashverosh. It would appear that there is little in common between these two individual’s lives, but a deeper dive reveals otherwise. One of the four special vestments worn by Aharon was the ‫מעיל‬, the coat. The Torah describes how this coat was to have gold bells attached at its sides. We are told that the purpose of these

bells was that there would be an audible sign that Aharon was entering the temple for the Yom Kippur service. The simple reasoning for this law was that no-one was allowed to be present in the Temple when Aharon engaged in the Temple service on Yom Kippur. These bells were a warning to those present, to immediately leave (Rashbam 28:35). However, the Ramban (28:41) interprets the clanging on the bells in a totally different manner. Before entering the temple on the holiest of days, and beseeching G-d on behalf of the Jewish nation, the high-priest entered the presence of G-d in trepidation, and was required to announce his arrival in order to request G-d’s presence. This, comments the Ramban, is the same process detailed in

the Megillah when Queen Esther proactively entered the court of Achashverosh, to invite the king and Haman to the fateful meals. She was understandably scared that she would be executed having not been announced at the king’s court, and approached slowly and deliberately to first request his presence. While this similar narrative is outwardly circumstantial, the Ramban’s explanation of other garments further links these two individuals together. An additional garment worn by the Kohen Gadol was the Choshen, the gold breast-plate, that contained the stones representing the twelve tribes. This was a necessary addition before commencing the most important service of the year. The Midrash describes the fear that engulfed Aharon as he was to begin his critical mission of atoning for the Jewish people. He was concerned that he did not merit to be involved in such a holy process in the presence of the fiery, Heavenly angels. G-d instructed him not to worry. He should wear the breast-plate which embodied all segments of the Jewish people. It is with their unified merits that would enable him to enter the Heavenly court, and succeed in his supplications unscathed. This Midrash highlights a somewhat surprising notion. Aharon, the brother of Moshe, the pursuer of peace, was divinely chosen to be highpriest. Yet, this alone was not enough for him to succeed in his leadership role. Without the unified backing and merit of the people, he was not able to step forward and beseech G-d. The parallel to the Megillah narrative is striking. Before approaching Achashverosh’s inner chambers, Esther instructed Mordechai,” Go and gather together all the Jews of Shushan and fast for me”. It would appear that Esther was merely asking for the people to pray for her success. However, given the aforementioned Midrash, we can now appreciate a deeper meaning. Esther understood that as a leader and lone representative for the Jewish people at such a pivotal

moment, she could not approach the king based on her own credentials, without the combined merits of the people. In order for her to succeed, the Jews of Persia would need to overcome their differences, stand together and back her fateful mission with their unified merits. This is the irony of leadership. No community Rabbi can perform his duties without the backing of the community. No Rebbi can inspire and educate without the confidence of the parents and students. No politician can govern without the support of the constituents. They are our leaders, yet it is us who energize and enable their roles. I remember my Rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht zt”l, often introducing his Friday night Torah thoughts with the following remarks, “Walking to the Yeshiva tonight, I realized I didn’t really have something compelling to say, but by the merit of the students in the Yeshiva, we will find something powerful to discuss.” In the Torah’s mindset, our leaders are only there to serve the people, and are therefore driven by the merit and support of the people. This should oblige those that represent us, to seek out our welfare over any narrow self-interest – corruption cannot be tolerated. Yet, it must also compel us to understand our pivotal role and stand fully behind our legitimate representatives. In many communities, this is the time of year where Rabbeim, teachers, and other lay-leadership are shown our support and backing through Mishloach Manos, gifts and other financial assistance. Let us send a generous, powerful and energizing message to all those who work diligently on the behalf of our communities and our children. We appreciate your selfless and often underpaid efforts on our behalf. With a united front, we can reach new heights. Together, we will build a holy nation and shine the light of Torah onto the world. Freilichen Purim!


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

38

From the Fire

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Parshas Tetzaveh Parshas Zachor

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

Calling Out Modern-Day Evil By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf

I

have been waiting for this Shabbos when we remember the actions of those who have attempted to destroy us for months now. Although I am going to speak about things I usually avoid discussing on Shabbos, as I watch the events in Europe and throughout the Middle East, I cannot help but feel that we are living Part II of the story of “And it was in the Days of Achashveirosh” (Esther 1:1). Just like in the days of Achashveirosh, we had a dispute about the leader of our country a few years ago (Megillah 12a): Is he a foolish king or a wicked king? Our former president, Barack Obama, said repeatedly in every speech, “Make no mistake… Let me be perfectly clear.” And we

know from experience that everything he said after that introduction is a confusion obfuscation of truth, an utter lack of clarity. Purim is a holiday of stark contrasts. As we say in the song Shoshanas Yaakov, “Cursed is Haman who attempted to destroy me” and “Blessed is Mordechai the Jew.” We have “Cursed is Zeresh the wife of the one who terrorized me” and “Blessed is Esther [who sacrificed] for me.” The Megillah refers on one hand to “king” Achashveirosh. But it also refers to “The King,” the hidden King of all kings who acts behind the scenes. Purim means making a place in our lives for both parts. While gratitude to Hashem, re-

joicing in His salvation, gifts to the poor and to our friends, and celebrating with friends are a major part of Purim, an equally important part of the day is hatred of that which is truly evil in the world today. Therefore, when we celebrate on Purim by drinking a little bit, “when the wine goes in, the secret comes out” (Eiruvin 65a). Our inhibitions and political correctness subside and we call out the alternate text of Shoshanas Yaakov, “Cursed are all of the wicked!” Certainly everything in Yiddishkeit starts and ends with the quality of love. In the second blessing before Shma, we say every day, “You have loved Your nation Israel with an eternal love.” In Shma, we say

the pasuk (Devarim 6:5), “And you shall love Hashem your G-d will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all of your resources.” And the Torah teaches us, “And you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Vayikra 19:18). Love is the foundation of the world and is the overarching emphasis in our service of G-d. And the ultimate goal of “turn away from evil” is to “do good” (Tehillim 34:15). As Rabbeinu Bachaya says, “a little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.” That is always the primary emphasis. But the truth is that love is not everything. The Western world is drunk with the idea that, as the song says, “All you need is love.” That is the perverse current formu-


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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and refinement of his love for G-d. “Love is powerful like death… Its coals are like the coals of the fire of the flames of G-d.” When a fiery love of G-d comes into contact with evil, that evil is completely consumed.

Judaism is not a religion of love. Nor is it a religion of hate. It is a religion of truth.

explains that because the word for “And He heard, va’yishma” is related to the name Shimon, the pasuk (ibid. 21:17) “And G-d heard the voice of the boy [Yishmael]… where he was” hints at the fact that the soul of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish was already deep within Yishmael. Notwithstanding all of that, the fact that good or bad would come from Yishmael or his descendants in the distant future was not part of the calculation at the time. Yishmael was only saved because he was deserving at the time. We must relate to evil exclusively according to its manifestation as evil as long as its spark of goodness remains hidden. Hidden, as-yet-unredeemed, holiness is none of our concern. Obama, who refused to identify or confront evil in our time, demonstrated his deep fear of Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking before a joint session of Congress and meeting with a bipartisan group of Senators by attempting to humiliate and

1. The good within a Jewish soul within a wicked person’s body is different because that good is revealed on some level even here in this world. Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, is the founding Morah d’Asrah of Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, NY, and has served as Mashpia in Yeshiva University since 2013.

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dle East, not to mention how they butcher other Muslims who disagree with them, including burning a Muslim pilot alive as part of their worldwide PR campaign. Shabbos Zachor reminds us that we must clearly identify and condemn evil in our own time. We cannot fall prey to the same mistake President Obama makes by refusing to call radical Islam out as the source of the problem and clearly identify Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, the Syrian Regime, Fatah/the PLO, and their ilk as the purveyors of the most inhumane forms of evil perpetrated in the world today against non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Someone pointed out to me this week that in chassidus we always learn that there is a spark of holiness in everything in the world, from the most benign to the most evil. He asked whether we should seek out the good in evil ideologies, regimes, and organizations in the world today. Does the Gemara not

embarrass him in order to discredit his message about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. President Obama was terrified because he knew that Netanyahu will do what he always does; identify the evil, terror-supporting Islamic Iranian regime as an existential danger to Israel and the free world. He knew Netanyahu will “be perfectly clear” and “make no mistake” when he answers the question, “Who is this and where is he?” Obama knew that the prime minister would shatter his whitewashed image of terrorism as a few random extremists radicalized by poverty and lack of opportunity rather with no connection to the worldwide Iran-funded systematic recruitment to radical Islam happening all over the Middle East and Europe. He knew Netanyahu will point out the evil nation that sits on the same point on the map as ancient Persia; the nation that attempted to annihilate our people just as the Ayatollahs seek to do today. It is no coincidence that amidst the mitzvos of Purim related to love and friendship is the mitzvah to remember the evil of the nation of Amalek. One is the natural result of the other. “Those who love Hashem hate evil.” While the primary mitzvah to destroy Amalek today can only be fulfilled by destroying our own inner Amalek-like qualities, coldness and detachment toward an enthusiastic, wholehearted service of G-d, we must also fulfill the mitzvah by recognizing and calling out the evil and evildoers of the day. May Hashem bless us by giving us and our leaders the clarity and courage to unequivocally identify and destroy the evil ideologies, organizations, and regimes prevalent the world.

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This is the message of Shabbos Zachor. We must clearly identify evil. We must “make no mistake” and “be completely clear.” Esther answered the question “Who is this and where is he” (Esther 7:5) without hesitation or equivocation: “This evil Haman!” (ibid. 6). The evil people of the world today completely negate the image of G-d in man. They viciously behead, slaughter, and enslave Christians, Yazidis, and Kurds all over the Mid-

say (Gitin 57b), “the great-grandchildren of Haman studied Torah in Bnei Brak!” I explained to him that while this is true, how Hashem ultimately redeems the good in the evil things of this world today is none of our concern. He will extract sparks of goodness according to His plan. But as long as something reveals itself as pure evil in this world, we must relate to it as such. It is true that the Arizal teaches that the pasuk, “And regarding Yishmael, I have heard you [Avraham]” (Bereishis 17:20), refers to how G-d took note of the spark of holiness within Yishmael. It is also true that Reb Shimon Ostropoler, zy”a, teaches that Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish, Reish Lakish, was a reincarnation of Yishmael. He further

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lation of a concept which originated in the teachings of the apostate from Nazareth. The reality is that “those who love Hashem hate evil” (Tehillim 97:10). This is a positive form of hate; one which is not only permissible but obligatory. In the Western mind, love is always good and hate is always bad. But this extremist, black-and-white approach is foolish, false, and very dangerous. The truth is that there is a good form of love and a bad form of love. There is a good form of hate and a bad form of hate. We have an obligation to clearly identify evil and evildoers and work to stop and, if necessary, destroy them. It is forbidden to indiscriminately love everyone and everything. Judaism is not a religion of love. Nor is it a religion of hate. It is a religion of truth. As long as there are evil acts and evildoers in the world, there will be a limitation on where love is appropriate. If one loves wicked people, he begins to identify with them and eventually justifies and becomes caught up with them, ultimately throwing his lot in with them in every way. The Rambam rules (Hilchos Melachim 5:5) that “it is forbidden to forget his [Amalek’s] enmity and hatred.” And the Chayei Adam (155:2) teaches us that “it is a positive commandment from the Torah to remember what Amalek did and to hate him with a hatred fixed into the heart…” Why is this? It is because “those who love Hashem hate evil.” The same thing that makes a person love Hashem causes him to hate evil. That is why the Alter Rebbe, zy”a, teaches us in the tenth chapter of the Tanya about a complete tzaddik: “The extent of the greatness of his love for Hashem is the extent of his hatred for the Other Side and his complete disgust with evil.” It is not that those who love Hashem “also” hate evil. Their love of Hashem itself gives birth to hatred of evil people and their evil actions. The same way a modest, loving mother hates someone who abuses her child, a tzaddik’s hatred for evil does not come from anger, jealousy, or arrogance. Rather, it arises from the powerful purity


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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Notable Quotes

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“Say What?!”

How much are you worth, Nancy?

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their [heads] off in Moscow. Get smart America! – President Trump after the Justice Department announced that 13 Russians were indicted for online activities during the 2016 election and tried to sow discord among Americans

- A heckler to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who was speaking at the Arizona Center for Economic Progress about how “horrible” the Trump tax cuts are

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No, we’re not talking about that.

We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you. - KFC, after running out of chicken in nearly all of the UK

- Pelosi’s response

I am happy for the country. Bob and his team did a very good job on this. - President Trump’s lawyer John Dowd “throwing shade” at Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller after the Justice Department announced that Mueller indicted 13 Russians for their online activity during the 2016 presidential elections while specifically stating that the Trump campaign was not involved in any way

At some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim. - Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas telling an audience at the Library of Congress last week that constant aggrievement will exhaust the country

We’re getting a lot more – I mean from a photographer’s standpoint – we get a lot more access to the president. I see him more on a daily basis than we did with Barack Obama. - New York Times White House photographer Doug Mills when asked to compare working in the White House under President Trump and President Obama

MORE QUOTES


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We are descendants of the Canaanites that lived in Palestine 5,000 years ago, and have continuously remained there to this day. - Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas revising history in a speech to the United Nations Security Council last Tuesday

I will decline the advice I was recently given by your top negotiator, Saeb Erekat. I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths. - Ibid.

- Florida Governor Rick Scott, after it was disclosed that the FBI was notified about the Florida shooter on multiple occasions and failed to investigate him

Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud! - Tweet by President Trump after it was disclosed that the FBI failed to investigate the Florida shooter

Must they run their mouths like that? A lot of kids and some adults take these ignorant comments seriously. Look, there might be a cautionary lesson in LeBron for kids: this is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA. And it’s always unwise to get political advice from someone who gets paid $100 million a year to bounce a ball. Oh, LeBron and Kevin [Durant], you’re great players, but no one voted for you. Millions elected Trump to be their coach. So, keep the political commentary to yourself, or as someone once said, [be quiet] and dribble. - Laura Ingraham, on Fox News, responding to LeBron James’ expletive-laced comment that President Trump doesn’t care about people

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- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, addressing the UN Security Council last Tuesday after Abbas’ speech (Abbas deliberately left the room before her speech)

We constantly promote “see something, say something,” and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. “See something, say something” is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow-through from law enforcement. The FBI director needs to resign.

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk. But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours. There is the path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence. That path has led, and will continue to lead, to nothing but hardship for the Palestinian people or there is the path of negotiation and compromise. History has shown that path to be successful for Egypt and Jordan, including the transfer of territory. That path remains open to the Palestinian leadership, if only it is courageous enough to take it.

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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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Is the WH really hiding behind a school shooting so they don’t have to answer questions about a host of scandals in the administration? Kinda looks like that’s what’s happening. - Tweet by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes when in the moments after the Florida school shooting the White House canceled a press conference that was supposed to begin at the same time as the shooting

They were the worst musicians in the world. - Legendary music producer Quincy Jones, talking about the Beatles, whose albums he produced, in a recent interview

Jeff, it’s okay, your job at MSNBC is already secure.

Senator Schumer, one time, just one time, I’d love to hear you speak about the men and women who bled and died for you with as much compassion as you speak about illegals in this country. - Tweet by country music legend and strong supporter of the U.S. military Charlie Daniels

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- Tweet by Ben Shapiro after retiring “Republican” Senator Jeff Flake went on yet another anti-Trump tirade

The most important work of my life has been to support and empower women. I’m proud that it’s the work I’m most associated with, and it remains what I’m most dedicated to. So I very much understand the question I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior. The short answer is this: if I had it to do again, I wouldn’t. - Facebook post by Hillary Clinton after her 2008 campaign manager disclosed last week that Hillary blocked her from firing a male campaign aide who engaged in inappropriate behavior towards others

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Especially during this time when the underbelly of capitalism — white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, and xenophobia – is being exposed, it is imperative that everyone, especially those who have access to spiritual practices like yoga, ask difficult questions of ourselves and one another. We must ask: in what ways are we complicit in a system that harms people of color… poor people, people with disabilities, and immigrants? - From an article recently written by Shreena Gandhi, a religious studies professor at Michigan State, claiming that Americans who practice yoga are contributing to white supremacy and promote the “yoga industrial complex”


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Spec ia Supp l PURIM leme nt

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

‫משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה‬ NOSH, NOSH A HAMANTASH by Nina Safar

FORGOTTEN HEROES by Avi Heiligman

CENTERFOLD

TRUDEAU THROWS IT DOWN ON TRUMP

BIZWIZ by Azi Rosenblum

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BOBKER ON PURIM


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BOBKER ON PURIM Un Peuple d’Elite

ne day Rabbi Naftali of Ropchitz remained in shul an entire morning, praying that the rich would give more money to the poor. When he returned home, the rebbetzin asked him, “Were you successful with your prayers?” “I’m halfway there,” the rabbi answered. “The poor have agreed to accept.” What delicious irony! A sophisticated man slanders Jews for keeping Jewish holidays. He then rolls the dice of hate so badly that he becomes responsible for adding another Jewish festival to the very calendar that he so despises; in fact, he singlehandedly creates Purim, the zaniest festival of them all, a lively and boisterous day of prayer and parody, law and levity. Welcome to the sagacious Haman, a word derived from mano, “to count,” in that the only thing that counted for him was selfishly measured in terms of power or money. Haman is the epitome of the Hebrew definition of rasha, wicked, a man who exists in a constant state of emotional turmoil and whose life’s ambition is to wear “royal clothes and ride

the King’s horse.” The Talmudic adage on hereditary, ma’aseh avos siman l’banim, “like fathers like sons,” is evident in this impeccable racist whose yichus stretches all the way back to the dreaded Agag, cunning king of the Amalekites. His boss’s pedigree is similarly sinister. Ahasuerus’s father was King Cyrus, a menacing Persian king who elevated anti-Semitism into an acceptable social activity. Bigotry ran all in the family. Guess who his wife’s zeida was? None other than the notorious Nebuchadnezzer, a man who knew more about destroying Jews than anyone else. And like most deceivers and opportunists, Haman was true to form: his family tree was no more Persian (he was an Aggagite, son of Hamdata) than Adolf Hitler’s was German (he was an Austrian) and Yasser Arafat’s was Palestinian (he was Egyptian). Meanwhile, it is hard not to feel sorry for the woman cast as Queen. Vashti, from ushti, beloved, is an enigmatic character whose brief appearance is admirable, her execution less so. Vashti’s decadent husband is a megalomaniac

wife-killer, convinced that in order to be the king of his castle a man must so dominate that a wife’s refusal to entertain his guests is enough to issue a death warrant.

P

urim is a Jewish festival of mixed emotions struggling in a tide of rising and falling fortunes of entire Jewish communities. The mood swings like a pendulum, from gratitude to sudden panic, vacillating between prosperity and trouble, relief and danger. Do we celebrate, then grieve? Or vice versa? The latter, notes Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik, by fasting first, feasting afterwards; the typical “Jewish” way to deal with the precariousness of Jewish life in exile. Destruction, deliverance, drunken orgies, conspiracies, an exotic locale, assassination attempts, and a beautiful heroine. This ancient plot has it all: which Hollywood director could ask for more? The carefully crafted Megillas Esther describes a drama unfolding in Shushan, capital of Persia, from bayam-


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from those of all nations, and who do not le-minded,” an unpredictable obtuse adhere to the King’s customs.” bumbler, swaying between good and bad, wisdom and foolishness; an intele who starts with lectual midget in the hands of his advithe complaint sors. that some Jews are anti-social irere’s a trivia quesritants inevitably tion: The popular ends with a much Shoshanas Yaakov more serious charge; that all Jews are praises Mordechai, disloyal Hofjude-type citizens. Even in Esther – and CharCairo, where the Jews tried to out-Egypvona. Charvona? tian-the-Egyptians in their patriotism, Who was Charvona? He was “Mr. OpPharaoh also considered them dual loy- portunist,” an advisor to the king who is alists and a security risk. Jewish histo- credited with a single suggestion: “Check ry is littered with such terminally cor- out those huge gallows… Haman just set rupt Esau-stereotypes as Balaam (“they those up to kill Mordechai, you know, dwell alone, not to be reckoned among the guy who saved your life… Since they the nations”); Joseph Stalin (“they are are already there, and, ah ready, why passportless wanderers”); Bernard not hang Haman on them, uh, like right Shaw (“they are enormously arrogant”); now?” Jewish history gives him a posiCharles de Gaulle (they are un peuple tive review for expediting the execution d’elite, sur de lui-meme et dominateur, of Haman, despite the fact that he was far “an elite people, sure of itself and dom- from being righteous. inating”); Voltaire (“What was the Jews’ As the men in the Persian White crime? None, other than being born!”); House gear up for their blood-letting and, of course, Adolf Hitler, yimach she- crusade, Haman’s unattractive wife mo v’zichro, the inventor of state-spon- Zeresh suddenly realizes that the “elsored genocide (“they are of a different derly man [Mordechai] who sits at the race with a different smell.”) palace gate is of the Jewish race, an ‘ish What accounts for this type of Yehudi.’” She knew: Jewish survival is Jew-hatred? Ah! The $64,000 ques- irreversible, the Jew unbreakable. Vetion. R’ Menasseh ben Israel, a 17 th cen- Hakadosh Baruch Hu matzilenu miyadtury Dutch rabbi, saw Antisemitismus im, in “every generation we are saved and Judenfeindschaft (“Jew-hatred”) from their hands.” History had already as pure psychological inversion: people proved that the anonymous writer who who hate something about themselves carved in the stone of an ancient Temple project it onto the Jews. “People hate from King Merneptah’s time that “Israel Jews because of envy,” sighs R’ Ibn Ver- is laid waste; his seed is no more” turned out to be nothing more than a sloppy ga, and “for envy there is no cure.” Haman’s “dislike of the unlike,” cen- writer of fiction. Zeresh quickly concludes that her turies before T. S. Elliot developed his own “insane nausea about the Jews,” spouse had crossed the line with this gave him an entry ticket into history’s “stiff-necked people,” and by underestiJudeophobia Club. A bas les youpins, mating the Judaic spirit of faith, deter“down with the kikes,” was the eternal mination, and intransigence in the face graffiti, penned by misfits who perceived of (another) deadly adversary, would the Jewish community in their midst as “undoubtedly fall” – and fall he does (tosome form of abnormality. Haman can- gether with her 10 sons) in a “downfall,” not even hate with originality; he simply ironically hanged from the very same echoes such other vile men as Cicero and gallows that he had prepared for MorTacitus (“the Jews sit apart at meals, and dechai). sleep apart from foreign women.”) This is a spectacular and unpreceInterestingly, the Megillah and rab- dented ending. Haman’s demise is not binic texts are careful not to overtly caused by the might of any Judaic warpaint King Ahasuerus with this kind of rior but from the might of the Jewish anti-Semitic brush. Why? I don’t know. spirit as wielded by Ishtar, a shy and reThey remain divided as to whether, as served orphaned girl (who we know as wicked as he was, he was as inherently Hadassah), and her humble uncle Morevil as Haman. The consensus is that dechai, a Benjamite descendant from Ahasuerus was manipulative and “fick- Jacob’s youngest son and a respected

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in ha’haim, the distant past. The Megillah dates back to sometime between the 5th and 4th centuries BCE and, despite the fact that it’s not overly long, it has earned its own Yiddish phrase: Di gantze Megilla, the full Megillah, a snide reference to anybody or anything that is endless and tedious. The curtain opens on a Persian monarch whose rule coincides with what the Torah calls yesud hama’ala, the beginning of their ascent, the return of Babylonian Jewry to Zion. Zerubbabel and  A Rembrandt- Haman Jeshua, two local Jewish leaders, ask begging Esther for mercy Ahasuerus for permission to rebuild Solomon’s Temple, some 70 years after its destruction. The leader of the world’s greatest metropolis could have simply OK’d the request, but his was a rule of stupidity and indifference, and so he refuses. His response is met with such protests that the King loses nearly half his kingdom (240 provinces), leaving him the undisputed ruler of 120 countries, “from India to Ethiopia.” Meanwhile the Megillah wastes no time in Destruction, describing Persian Jews as a community deliverance, headed towards extinction; not only an am mefuzar, a “scattered folk among the drunken nations,” but also an am mefuzar u’meorgies, forad, “divided from within.” Jewish mystics see assimilation in conspiracies, Esther’s name itself, a word whose Hean exotic brew root is a cipher for “hiddenness,” locale, a symbol that the Jews were “hiding” from their religion. They could hide assassination but they couldn’t run: their communal attempts, and complacency was shattered the moment their king symbolically removes his siga beautiful net ring and abdicates power to a rogue heroine. prime minister whose first official act is an order to kill all the Jews. This led R’ This ancient Abba bar Kahana, a 3rd-century amora, plot has it to observe that “greater is the taking off all: which of a signet ring [that turned the Jews into immediate ba’alei teshuva] than Hollywood all the pleas of the 48 prophets and 7 director could prophetesses in Israel!” What caused Haman to turn to mass ask for more? murder? Certain “laws and customs” of the Jews. Which ones? Rava, 4th-century sage, identifies them as kashrut (“they do not eat of our food,”) non-assimilation (“they do not marry our women nor give us theirs,”) Jewish holidays (“they evade taxes by claiming ‘Today is the Sabbath,’ ‘Today is Passover,’ etc.”). Haman takes his defamatory accusations to his boss, whining that “there exists one nation [yeshno am echad] whose laws and customs are different


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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

46 member of the Sanhedrin. Rabbi Eliyahu, the Gaon of Vilna, whose hobby was gematria and numbers, was delighted to discover that there are 54 letters in the names of Haman’s 10 sons, and that Esther’s name appears in the Megillah 54 times; that Hadassah, Esther’s other name appears only once, as does Memuchan, Haman’s other name (from the root of l’hachin, “to prepare”), and that the first and last words (vayehi, zaro) of the Megillah have the same gematria (314) as Mordechai haYehudi, Mordechai the Jew. This “name-game” leads us to surely one of the more bizarre elements of Purim; the startling incongruity that our hero and heroine are named after major Babylonian gods. “Mordechai” is a direct derivative of Marduk, supposed god of creation and preservation. Ishtar comes from Astarte, supposed god of the planets. Babylonian lore believed that the combination of these gods was a cosmic wedding union;

 Esther pointing to Haman in front of her husband the king

a legend that made the 11th-century French master R’ Solomon ben Isaac of Troyes (Rashi) flirt with the idea that maybe Mordechai and Esther were married.

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Here’s an idea. Perhaps this heavy innuendo of avoda zora is the reason why G-d’s Name is conspicuously missing from the Book of Esther? This is Purim’s most-oft asked question. Why, out of the 24 books of the Tanach, G-d doesn’t appear in this one. A literary accident? No. Its absence is so obviously deliberate that its exclusion has now become more spiritually significant than if it had been included. And G-d’s Name is not the only unmentionable; Eretz Yisrael is also “absent” and, except for one brief reference to life “from Jerusalem,” the word “exile” is also conspicuously missing. (Is G-d’s Name absent in any other sefer? Yes: Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs.) This Jewish festival prefers to crown G-d in absentia, in His own exile, hidden from a world riddled with the lawlessness of disorder, where assimilation, drunkenness, lewd language and immodest beauty contests rule the times. In the classical sense, the Hebrew root dat might mean dat (for “religion,” a word derived from the Latin verb religare, “to bind”) but here, where it appears 20 times, it is linked to data, an old Persian word which means “law, edict, custom” (e.g.: the drinking in Ahasuerus’s grand ol’ parties was, “according to dat,” i.e., in the customary manner.)

Perhaps the very hiding of His own identity is why we wear disguises? Does the costume of Divine comedy, a theological ars poetica, include a disappearing act? But wait, didn’t Jacob, a patriarch, disguise himself to get a blessing? And wasn’t Esau himself a master of deception, a ki tzayid b’fiv con artist who, even from conception in the womb, tried to play the role of the righteous one? And what about Moses, the teacher of teachers and greatest of all prophets, who was forced to “place on his face a mask [upon] descending from Mount Sinai [after the Jews] were afraid to approach him [knowing] that there was a splendorous ray of light on the skin of his face.” The Midrash goes back even further: the snake in Eden (nachosh) shed its skin in order to camouflage his ways; and so, when describing an Amalek primed in the element of surprise to attack the Jews, our rabbis see him as “dressed up” like the K’naani (asher korcho ba’derech, “Amalek comes at us like a snake!”). Maybe the absence is simply the fulfillment of a Biblical prophecy, that G-d (and His miracles) would be “hidden” from future history? This is the kabbalist position: based on the similarity in the Hebrew root of olam (“world”) and he’elam (“hidden”), indicating that G-d prefers to be hidden, waiting to be found. When the 19th century leader, the Chiddushei Harim, was a little boy, one of his teachers teased him, “If you can tell me where G-d is, I will give you a gold coin.” “If you can tell me where G-d is not,” the boy immediately responded, “I’ll give you two gold coins.” Have a freilichen yom tov!

Joe Bobker, alumnus of Yeshivas HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, is the former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Jewish Times, author of the popular Torah With a Twist of Humor and the 18-volume “Historiography of Orthodox Jews and the Holocaust,” the first of which, “War Against the Rabbis: Hitler’s Assault Against Judaism,” will be published this year around Shavuos. Mr. Bobker can be reached at jbobker@ gmail.com.


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Forgotten Her es

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Really, Really Forgotten Heroes

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By Avi Heiligman

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Were they short a minyan on the Mayflower?

Author’s note: I have to put this annual disclaimer for those that are comically challenged. This Purim article only contains marginally true facts and was done in a manner to enhance the Purim spirit. Not funny enough? Try it with a bit of whiskey.

F

olks, it’s that time of year again. When the words “put on your tin pot hat” and “oh no, that wasn’t me who chopped down your cherry tree” appear in the same sentence it means that it is time for another edition of revisionist history. Your fearless author of the Forgotten Heroes column has plowed through many feet of dust to pull previous unknown facts about famous people and stories from our gloried history. I am not talking about the recently discovered version of the Declaration of

Independence that was signed by John Hancock without his signature autograph that looks like he was practicing to write his name in the same manner of a typical first grader. No, we’re talking about Revolutionary facts that have come to surface from the perspective of Jews living in the U.S. at the time. Our story starts with the Pilgrims coming over on the Mayflower after their first ship, April Blossom, sank. The Puritans, as they were known in England, had a secret compartment on the ship filled with Jewish families. Unfortunately, the Jews had only nine men in their community and were coming to America to start a new life – and to look for a tenth man for their minyan. When they landed they met a Native-American named Squanto. While history doesn’t record his last name we know from

mesorah (Artscroll’s grandfather during Colonial times) that his last name was Goldberger. He was a secret Jew living among the Chumash Indian tribe (it really is the name of Native-Americans who inhabited California), and he soon became the rav of their shul. As any good Jew knows, where there is one shul there must be a second one close by where under no circumstances members of shul #1 will daven. Soon after Anshei Squanto was established, another one was set up. Congregation Oheiv Emes eventually moved to Virginia near the boyhood home of a curious little guy named George. His father, Augustine, knew from the congregants about the mitzvah of always telling the truth. Little George learned this lesson one day when he cut down his father’s cherry tree. The members of the shul

had just read Parshas Mishpatim and were singing the popular folk song “Midvar sheker tirchak” (stay far away from telling lies) on their way home from a delicious kiddush chulent. Their ears perked up when they heard Augustine scolding his son and came over to George to teach him about this mitzvah. Little George Washington listened and confessed that he did indeed damage the cherry tree. For this simple act he gained trust and respect in the community’s eyes and eventually became to be the first president of the United States. Listen, my children and you shall hear of the real purpose of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. At chatzos – midnight – Paul set out to let the Patriots of Massachusetts know that the “British are coming!” In the ensuing years, the end of the chant got left off of the famous


49 Johnny Appleseed was wandering around planting apple trees he was spreading the Rebbe’s message. Davy Crockett may have been the “King of the Wild Frontier” but he was also the “King of the Wild Frontier Shochtim.” Everyone West of the Appalachians came to him

ident George Washington that is, during the French and Indian War (go check up that fact – I’ll wait). With him was his sidekick whose name was lost in history so we’ll call him Mendel. Mendel, as you guessed by this point, always carried with him a bottle of schnapps

The real rallying cry was "The British are coming to put a tax on herring and lox."

Baby Boy Shlomo Lasker to Ruby & Simon Lasker Baby Boy to Mr. & Mrs. Shalom Zehnwirth Baby Girl to Miriam & Dov Becker Baby Girl to Mordy & Miri Friedman Birth Girl to Melissa & Kevin Mako Baby Girl to Moishe and Miriam Leah Domb Baby Girl to Eli & Shai Albrecht. Baby Boy to Orit and Michael Pezzner Baby Boy to Daniel & Sara Tanen

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@gmail.com.

Engagements Shani Taragin and Yaakov Grayman Ahron Rosskamm and Rocheli Mond Chaim Shlomo Komarow and Shoshana Paretsky Avrumi Reches and Aliza Schwartz

Submit your simcha announcement to Simchas@BaltimoreJewishHome.com

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Births

and a spare pair of tefillin. After being defeated by the superior French (one of the only French military victories in their history but they lost the war so no one remembers it. How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris? Who knows,

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

for his expertise in the matter and that is why he went off to Congress to serve a spell (at least that’s how the song goes). Not many people know that Daniel Boone served with our hero from earlier in this column, Pres-

it’s never been tried) Mendel saved the day by offering a l’chaim to each of the wounded soldiers and by asking if they put on tefillin that day. Boone escaped with Mendel to safety on Mendel’s trusty old horse whose name was Shifregaz, which by pure coincidence, was the same name as Achashveirosh’s horse. During those times, Chabad houses dotted the frontier, building the United States and spiritually moving mountains. What do Albert Einstein, Sherlock Holmes, and the Olympics all have in common? You guessed it: all are part of the The Jewish Home’s Really Forgotten Heroes Purim 2018 column, part II! Stay tuned for next week’s issue.

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refrain. The real rallying cry was “The British are coming to put a tax on herring and lox.” This got future football fans really upset because they never could imagine having a bagel without lox and a kiddush without herring was a big no-no. So they took up arms and drove the British out of America. For many decades there was no tax on lox and herring until Congress came along and put their two cents into everything. You already knew that part of the story. America was built on pioneers. Great statesmen like Washington, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and frontiersmen with the names of Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan all had a hand in building America. What the latter group all had in common was their drive to go to the far reaches of the U.S. where the buffalo roamed to carry out their shlichus. Yes, this author is happy to report that while


The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 22, 2018 The Jewish Home | FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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Trudeau Throws it Down on Trump

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anada’s Prime Minister Justin Beaver Trudeau, who recently stated at a town hall meeting that it is not politically correct to say “mankind” and that the term “peoplekind” should be used instead, made headlines when he unloaded on President Trump in another town hall meeting. The liberal, politically correct pretty boy held no punches. “Person-o-person, unfortunately there are too peopley people who don’t realize that Trump is a peopleipulator who used his peopleipulating skills to peopleuver his way into the White House. He is all talk and can’t really oversee anything and is mispersonaging the American economy. He thinks that he will get rid of NAFTA to bring back personofacturing jobs to the U.S. but that is a load of personure. I will outpersoneuver him. His perforpersonce so far has been horrible. He is not the ‘great epersoncipator’ of the American workers and his bad policies will perpersonently hurt the U.S. He is a meglopersoniac who has not only hurt the U.S.’s relationship with Canada but also with important allies in Europe such a Gerpersony. He is dispersontling the world order and he is bad for global hupersonity. I am adapersont that the political ropersonce that some have with him will end rather impersonently when people realize that the big houses and personsions he promised to build for all of them are up in flames as if set afire by a pyropersoniac. He is a very scary boogyperson and people should depersond better from their compersonder-in-chief. He should be repripersonded by Congress and his White House should be dispersontled before he steals everything for himself, because he is a kleptopersoniac and will do that. It’s all about him and his ego because he is a complete egoperoniac.” Mr. Trudeau concluded by saying, “I know that what I’m about to say is politically incorrect, but since I am talking about Trump I can say anything. There is definitely some-

thing wrong with Trump’s head – I really think he is peopletal!” With that, Mr. Trudeau left the town hall to get another manicure. Oh, so sorry, I hope I didn’t offend any snowflakes. He left to get a personucure.

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BY NINA SAFAR

This year, the traditional hamantashen get a fun and modern makeover with sweet and savory flavors from Kosher in the Kitch! Forget the classic fillings of raspberry, prune and apricot and enjoy these three tasty combos of cookie butter and cheesecake, chocolate and vanilla pudding, and barbecue chicken pizza. Purim will never be the same!

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

amantash H

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, ,

Nosh Nosh a

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Chocolate Eclair Hamantashen

While traditional eclairs use a batter to bake the crispy shell and then a homemade custard filling, this recipe uses puff pastry dough, instant vanilla pudding and chocolate chips, making it a super simple yet delicious treat to whip up for the holiday.

Puff pastry dough 1 packet of instant vanilla pudding, prepared 1 package chocolate chips

PREPARATION Cut a triangle shape out of puff pastry dough using a cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and then bake on 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes until puffed. Once puff pastry is baked, allow to cool off then take one puff pastry triangle and gently separate into two layers. Top one layer with vanilla pudding then place the other layer on top of pudding. Melt chocolate chips by placing in microwave safe bowl and melt on 30 second intervals. Top puff pastry triangle with melted chocolate.

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INGREDIENTS


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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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Lotus Cookie Butter Cheesecake Hamantashen Sweet caramel cookie butter and classic creamy cheesecake are a match made in hamantashen heaven. The cookie crumble and the glaze on top are the perfect topping to this holiday treat. This recipe makes about 20 hamantashen.

INGREDIENTS Dough 2/3 cup sugar ½ cup oil 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 2 ½ cups flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 cup cheesecake filling (recipe

below) 1 cup Lotus cookie butter Crushed lotus cookie for garnish

Cheesecake Filling 1 8oz. package of cream cheese 1/3 cup of sugar (you could use ½ cup if you like it very sweet) 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Cookie Butter Icing ¾ cup powdered sugar 1 TBS almond or soy milk. Water can also be used 1 TBS Biscoff Lotus cookie butter

PREPARATION Cream together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add flour and baking powder. Mix together. The dough might be crumbly; use your hands to smooth it out and combine it. Roll out dough on floured surface (about ¼ to 1/8 thick. Not too thick since then the circles are hard to shape and will open up. Not too thin since then it will rip when shaping or filling) and cut out circles using a large circle cookie cutter or the rim of a large glass cup or mason jar. Combine the cheesecake ingredients together in a separate bowl until smooth. It should yield around 1 cup of filling. Fill center of the circle of dough with cheesecake filling (about ½ tsp to 1 tsp) then add a ½ teaspoon cookie butter on top of cheesecake batter. Fold over one side, then the next and finally bring the bottom up to the top. Gently pinch the corners. You can also simply bring up the sides, forming a triangle by pinching the corners together. Bake on 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes depending on how soft or crispy you want them. I like them super soft so I bake them for about 12 minutes. Combine the ingredients for the icing until smooth. Allow hamantashen to cool off then drizzle cookie butter icing on top and sprinkle lotus cookie crumbs over glaze. These hamantashen freeze well.


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BBQ Chicken Pizza Hamantashen

Soft pizza dough stuffed with shredded bbq chicken takes the traditional hamantash and turns it into a savory appetizer for the holiday. Using storebought rotisserie chicken, these take minutes to prepare and are ready to serve in about 10 minutes, making it the perfect dish to enjoy on Purim. 

INGREDIENTS

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

20 mini pizza doughs 1 rotisserie chicken 1 cup barbecue sauce Cilantro for garnish, optional

PREPARATION Shred rotisserie chicken using a knife or two forks. Combine chicken and barbecue sauce. Place a tablespoon of chicken in center of pizza dough. Fold over left side, then right side, pinching the corners together. Bring up the bottom to seal the triangle. Bake on 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until dough is cooked through and slightly crispy. Optional: garnish with additional barbecue sauce and chopped cilantro. Nina Safar is the founder and foodie of Kosher in the Kitch! She started her blog in search of the best recipes and realized, you don’t need to be a chef to cook a good meal. With the right recipe, or blog, you can enjoy delicious cuisine right from your home! Browse through the site to find your next favorite dish.

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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

1.

fold

TJH

Centerfold

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Yankel was dressed in his finest suit when he went for an interview with the Obama: You likebank. eavesdropping on other Juiceand Box: You “So think so outside the box that you president ofBarack a world-renowned The banker turned to him said, tell people’s private conversations.

me, sir, what do you think is your greatest weakness?”

President Trump: Ty lyubish’ Putina, ne otritsay eto

actually put yourself in a box…must be really comfortable.

Yankel, who preparedyou forlove thisPutin, question, responded, “Honesty. Sometimes (Translation: don’t deny it). Mummy: So, you bought your costume in October, I am just too honest and I say on my mind.”talk. Chuck Schumer: Youwhat’s love hearing yourself

huh? Anything to save a few dollars!

Chef: You are an addict. Stop thinking about The banker wasClinton: intrigued “I don’t is a weakness.” Hillary Youand havesaid, a tendency to think snatchhonestySushi sushi; it’s just food!

defeat “Actually, from victory. Yankel replied, I really don’t care at all what you think.” Vladimir Putin: You think you can sway elections.

Long-haired Rock Star: Do you really think that would make you happy?

Doctor: You love making people wait.

Ben Carson: You love sleeping.

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e .com

Policeman: You like doughnuts. Fireman: You like putting out fires. Steve Jobs: You are a mogul at heart. You can certainly create the next Apple...start planting!

Here’swent a picture of me asking PresidentCowboy: Trump aLet question at a press conference me guess—you tell people A Scotsman with a Kilt:  You that at youme. haveBut, a concealed carryAnyways, license. last week. whatever. you up the wrong aisle at Party City I don’t know why he got upset and totally didn’t realize it. yarmulke? It’s got TJH’s email Clown: Forever funnyman. see my address on it.theUse it! The serious folks Disney Character: You in the rest of TJH asked me to Limo You never a rearview whobelieve handle getDriver: my legions ofsee fans to participate make-believe.  Don’t worry, someday your dreams mirror you don’t want to schmooze with. in the Purim photo album (probably because they know that the only original will come true. Hippie: You are still living in the sixties…and you

and funny Chassid: You like kishke.

costumes are thosereally worn by you guys). please, make should put on someSo deodorant. me look good, maybe it will get me a raise (yeah right). For those of you who can’t ed i t e .com o r@f i v e tow n sj ew i s h h om read off of yarmulkes, the email address is editor@ fivetownsjewishhome.com. When sending David is delivering mishloach manos for your Purim photos, makemanos maksure to include the his wife, who is a master mishloach er. She individualizes each one and spends weeks in the words “Purim Pictures” before Purim working on it. David labels each subject line. (Capitalizing each one before delivering them.  The first box is marked word is totally optional.) Thebox is “Chocolate,” the second is marked “Candy,” and the third deadline fortophotos is deliveries, Monday, David marked “Mixed.” While on the way make his realizes that he labeledShushan the boxesPurim, incorrectly. But he Get doesn’t at 10pm. it? want to open them up because hisGood! wife spent approximately 6 hours Got it?

Riddle me this?

and 35 minutes tying them with bows. How can David figure out what is in each mishloach manos by Happy Purim! only taking one item out of one of the mishloach manos boxes? See answer to the right The Centerfold Commissioner

Answer to Riddle: First, David takes an item from the box marked “Mixed.” If it is chocolate, he knows that the box can only contain chocolate and can’t be the mixed box. He looks at the other 2 boxes; one is labeled “Candy” and the other is labeled “Chocolate.” Since the boxes are mislabeled, he knows that the one that is labeled “Candy” does not actually contain only candy, rather it is the mixed box. Now he also knows that the box labeled “Chocolate” must be the candy box. (Same logic applies if he picks out a piece of candy from the box labeled “Mixed.”)

n at a press conference hatever. Anyways, you e it! The serious folks of fans to participate that the only original ease, make

tow n sj ew i s h h om

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What you dress up as tells me everything I need to know about you

Hey Underlings,

o r@f i v e

25

The Jewish Home | MARCH 9, 2017

“A Costume is a Window into Your Soul” You gotta be kidding

Mailman: Helllllloooooo Newman!

ed i t

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


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Using our proprietary algorithms, once you answer the following questions, we will be able to discern with 99% probability what your favorite hamantash is. So, let’s play ball! You got people to meet and hamantashen to eat! 1. Hamantashen are a true love of mine. If you were an herb you would be: a. Parsley c. Rosemary d. Thyme 2. If you could learn another language, which of the following would you choose? a. Klingon b. Xhosha c. Khoisan (love those clicks!) d. !XOO (pronounced “Taa”… don’t blame me, I didn’t make it up) 3. Which of the following would you prefer to visit?

c. The library d. Galapagos Islands

d. Pistachio nut collector 6.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without? a. Your pet lizard b. TJH c.

4. If you can give yourself a new name today, would you give yourself the letter X as your middle initial? a. Yes b. No 5. Which of the following careers would you choose? a. Zip line instructor

A perm

d. Your gold-plated dentures 7. If you could talk to one of the following people, who would you choose?

8. Which of the following books do you like the most? a. How to Lose Friends and Not Influence People b. The Seven Habits of Highly Dysfunctional People c. The Road Less Traveled: A Guide to Brookville Blvd. d. Man’s Search for Meating: How to Make the Perfect BBQ 9. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

a. A mummy

a. Poppy seeds

b. W.B. Mason

b. Raspberry

c. Mr. Clean

c. Chocolate

d. Aunt Jemima

d. Prunes e. Apricots

b. Food taster

Based on the new algorithm, your favorite hamantash is: If you answered A to at least three questions and C to at least two questions and you answered A to question 9 your favorite hamantash flavor is poppy seed. If you answered B to at least five questions and D to at least two questions and you answered B to question 9 your favorite hamantash flavor is raspberry. If you answered C to at least three questions and B to at least two questions, and you answered C to question 9 your favor-

ite hamantash flavor is chocolate. If you answered D to at least three questions and C to at least two questions and you answered D to question 9 your favorite hamantash flavor is prune. If you ignored the first eight questions because you were too busy eating apricots and you answered E to question 9 your favorite hamantash flavor is apricot.

Not bad, huh? Don’t ever accuse me of not being a genius. That’s why they call me Dr. Centerfold, Md., PhD, LCSW, LCPC, MSW, and, most importantly TJHCFC.

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a. The New York un-

b. Tel Aviv Car Service dispatch booth

c. Honey collector

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

b. Sage

derground sewer system (aka “The Subway”)

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YOur Favorite Hamantash Quiz


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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

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When I got divorced two years ago, my parents were not happy about it for many reasons, but I often thought that maybe the main reason was because they were so crazy about my in-laws. They are a prominent family in the community, well-respected, and admired. My parents always looked up to them and thought that our shidduch was the best thing that ever happened to our family.

What they did not know was that my then-husband had some serious issues that were kept secret from us. But that is for another column. My question to you is the following: My mother has tried to keep some kind of relationship going with my former mother-in-law. I was never happy about it and I’m still not happy about it. Though my former mother-in-law happens to be a kind woman, I have a hard time looking at her because she pushed this shidduch, I believe, knowing exactly what she was doing. My sister is getting married in three months and my mother let it slip that she plans on not only inviting my former in-laws to the wedding, but even some other relatives from that family. I think my mother feels it would be a feather in her cap if they showed up at our simcha. I’m furious about this, and my mother thinks I’m being silly to object. Obviously, I can’t not go to the wedding, but I now am dreading the whole thing and it’s putting a real damper on what should be a happy time for me. Am I wrong to feel my parents are loyal to the wrong cause here and is there anything I can say or do to help them understand that this is a huge betrayal to me?

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

Our intention is not to offer any definitive

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


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The Rebbetzin

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against enemies. Don’t turn this into a war with battling sides. Use this negative experience as an impetus for healthy growth. You are right that your parents should be supportive of you and be sensitive to your feelings after your marriage ended. Including your ex’s family in a simcha is a public statement that will ultimately embarrass them because your ex’s family will not understand it and may talk to others about it. Don’t worry; they won’t show up at your sister’s wedding. They will not want to be in an uncomfortable public situation. In short, this will backfire for your parents but don’t be the one to point this out. Your parents will not get it if it’s coming from you. They do not get that they are in the wrong here. If they can’t see that and understand, you need a lot of help to deal with them now and in the future. You obviously have the capacity for understanding others, even if they are not with you. Build on that strength with a skilled professional so that you don’t carry family baggage and lack of communication skills into your future.

Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. have no words to say to you. I have only a choice few for your mother. Dear Mom: You daughter is in pain. Her pain is profound; the “glick shidduch” that raised you a few notches up the social ladder turned out to be a toxic and ill-fated one. She is dealing with the trauma of divorce – the disappointment, the embarrassment, and the anxiety of wondering whether she will ever again find a loving husband. And while she cries, you blithely maintain a warm relationship with

I

the people who knowingly misled her, her ex-family that shattered her dreams and turned her world upside-down. It’s a wonder she still speaks to you. But what choice does she have; you are her mother – her rock, her support, her comfort. And, as her mother, your loyalty must ALWAYS be to her. If you wish to regain your daughter’s trust and respect, you will, without fanfare, cut all social and personal ties with your former machutanim. That includes invitations to simchas, lunch dates, and friendly phone calls. You are not declaring all-out war. You are demonstrating your empathy, your sensitivity and your solidarity with your child so she can more easily heal and move confidently toward her future happiness.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond his is such a painful predicament, and I am so sorry you are going through this. You have been through the most difficult stage of your life because of this man, and your mother’s connection with his family is a constant reminder of it. I would not be surprised if this adds an element of difficulty moving on. You need to communicate all of your feelings to your mother and

T

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The Mother

Use this negative experience as an impetus for healthy growth.

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S. bviously, there is something very wrong with your relationship with your parents. It seems that you are communicating some information but not everything; you are implying that they do not know everything about your ex. You have not shared feelings both during and after the marriage. It doesn’t seem like they even know why you got divorced. You have not worked this out in the past and the forthcoming wedding invitations seem to be a catalyst for mounting tension. You and your parents have many things to resolve, not just the invites. Do yourself a favor for the short

term and long term. Get into therapy to learn to communicate appropriately with your parents and be heard. It is easy to say to them, “You are putting social status ahead of my feelings. I am the one you should be sensitive to, not my ex’s family.” However, it seems that you have not shared with them what the issues in your own marriage were. I do not mean to justify their behavior but there are communication issues on your end as well. Use this opportunity to deal with your family issues. You need to learn the skills to be heard by your parents as well as to deal with this level of insensitivity. With the guidance of your therapist, you may want to share some of this with the family rabbi who was probably involved in your wedding and in your get. However, do not line up allies

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The Panel


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make it clear that having his family at your sister’s wedding will make it very uncomfortable for you. “A feather in the cap,” as you describe your mother’s excuse for inviting them, means nothing if it will hurt the person wearing it. I would recommend that you reach out to the rav that guided you through the divorce process to now speak with your parents about the constant painful realization that because of them you are just not able to escape this family. You must communicate with them honestly and openly and have the rav available to speak to your parents if they cannot understand the problem. Hopefully, with the help of open

communication and being clear with your feelings, your parents will start to understand where you are coming from, making this a simcha for the entire family to enjoy.

The Single Tova Wein

I

This is some story – some things you just can’t make up. This is a story about disloyalty, insecurity, misguided alliances, immaturity, and insensitivity. Your mother is very misguided

Pulling It All Together

in so many ways. The first question I might ask is, before we have her tried and sentenced, whether she knows all the details of your marriage and divorce. Is she aware of the fact that you felt “duped”? I’m assuming she does, but even if she didn’t, she needs to put your comfort zone before her own, no matter what. Obviously, it’s your sister’s wedding and you can’t boycott it to make your point and avoid embarrassment. However, you can try to insist that your parents join you in family therapy, so that they can fully hear your pain and gain some empathy toward your cause. Clearly, your mother is so wrapped up in her impressive guest list that she hasn’t taken the time to understand what it feels like to walk in your shoes. Do whatever you can to get them into

“A feather in the cap,” as you describe your mother’s excuse for inviting them, means nothing if it will hurt the person wearing it.

that therapist’s office and hopefully that will shake them and wake them up. If this fails, and your ex-mother-in-law is even half as kind as you think she is capable of being, she’ll know better than to show up at the wedding. Hopefully, she knows better!

The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

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hen a family has an ongoing, underlying issue and the emotional health and wellness of relationships are compromised, simchas tend to highlight whatever isn’t working. A beautiful and joyous occasion, such as a sister’s wedding, can become marred with all sorts of feelings – in your case, betrayal. We can have family “problems” and somehow go about our lives, but when a simcha comes up, we are forced to deal with people and situations that we can, for the most part, otherwise ignore. I am sending you a giant wheelbarrow of validation. Your mother’s ongoing relationship with your exmother-in-law, inviting her to your sister’s wedding and the nature of how she told you (“let it slip”) combined with her blatant disregard for your feelings is enough to

leave anyone in your shoes feeling betrayed. If you have already communicated to your mother what really happened in your marriage, and she still behaves so carelessly and narcissistically, you may want to invite both of your parents to family therapy. Your mom seems to have a wall up of sorts. What that wall is, and why she is doing the things she does, I cannot say. She doesn’t or can’t see that this hurts you, or she does see that it hurts you, but her needs are the priority. In family therapy, a skilled therapist will help steer the conversation between you and your parents in the direction in needs to go so that you feel heard. I hope this can happen, but be prepared that it may not.

If your parents refuse to see a therapist with you, and they continue to insist on inviting your former in-laws, then we can say that the situation is truly out of your control. We can’t control other people. We can’t get someone who insists on living in the dark to see the light. So, then, we move on to the options that remain in your control. What is in your control? How would you feel about picking up the phone and speaking with your former mother-in-law about the situation? I may get a disgruntled email or two about this one, but sometimes we need to take a stand for ourselves. This is a very personal choice, and maybe the road less traveled. But I am putting it out there. Your other option is a twofold strategy: A) Tune ‘em all out! Tune out your mom, tune out your ex-mother-in-law. Focus on your sister! Don’t let this garbage ruin this special day for you. You sister is getting married! You deserve to

celebrate and be present with your sister. Don’t let them ruin this for you. B) Hold your head high! Go to that wedding feeling like a million bucks. You left a bad marriage. Many women couldn’t have done it. But you did, even without the support of your parents. Do you know how brave you are? I take my hat off to you… and your mother can have the feather! Mazel tov on your sister’s wedding! Enjoy it. Sincerely, Jennifer Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit www.thenavidaters.com for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@ gmail.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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


Biz Wiz

‫גרינג צו זיין א איד‬

(It’s Easy to Be a Jew)

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

By Azi Rosenblum

This year, I once again had the indeterminate honor of checking in with Adele Loyada, the Director of Product Development at Kosher Innovation Corporation. The Jerusalem-based firm made its mark on the Jewish consumer goods market with groundbreaking products like the KosherLight, the KosherWatch, and Shabbos Brushes for teeth. Loyada, a native of Iran, was unable to meet with me at my Baltimore office this year due to immigration issues, so I waited for just the right Daniels Deal. Thanks to

products were going to be huge, really huge. Ronald reiterated it a few times, saying “believe me, it’s gonna be a huge year, now let me introduce my team, good people, really good people, the greatest in the industry.” After briefly meeting with his colleagues Chilarry Swanton, Bernard Flanders, and Ba’Even O’Stage’a, it was time to put my beeper, cell phone, kosher phone, iPod, iWatch, and Joogle Glass in a locker and enter the secure facility for a sneak peek at the 2018 line of innovations.

checking social media and Googling recipes. VotsUp: As its first software product, VotsUp will actually be free for the user. To meet the needs of frum families everywhere, VotsUp will offer the same incredible messaging feature you already know and love with some bonus features tailor-made for the frum community. These will include VOOPS – a special artificial intelligence function that will detect when you are accidentally posting in the regular family group instead of the

what you need to look like a lamdan without breaking a shvitz. Simply attach The DafPhoney to any sefer and it will simulate the wear and tear of masmid level usage of any sefer. While we tested the basic model, other models include advanced features like forehead grease marks, drool stains, curled corners, and even microscopic handwritten notes in the margins. Auto-underline is also available as an add-on so you can sit back and relax while The DafPhoney randomly underlines sections of your sefer. No

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a huge Taus Akum, I was able to travel to Jerusalem to visit with Loyada and her product development team. Oh, and I got lounge access both ways thanks to my AARP membership (well, not mine technically, but hey). With outstanding sales results from the 2017 innovations - The Daled Amos Talis, Sheitel613, Transformulke - the board of boring investors of Kosher Innovation Corporation has charged Loyada and her team with pushing innovation to the ends of the tchum for 2018. Before taking me to the secure R&D lab, I got a chance to meet her innovation team leader, Ronald Grump. Ronald, a very wellknown and successful frumtrepreneur himself assured me that all the new

KriahBot: Answering the cries of parents worldwide, this almost-human robot can sit with your kids every night and listen to them read their daily Kriah homework. The lifelike parental replica will automatically nod its head so as to imply its listening while your kids read. If your child gets stuck, it will make up a translation just like you do, and if the child recalls the correct translation and questions its invalid translation, it will respond with a series of pre-programed responses such as: “just testing you,” “that’s what I said,” or “that’s not how we learned it.” With the KriahBot taking care of homework for you, you can now focus on pretending to listen to your sister on the phone, while

family group that excludes the family member you are posting about and will offer you the choice to review the message before posting. Other great features will include configurable auto-responders to save you hours of “Vechen Le’mar” posts on erev Rosh Hashanah by simply setting it to respond appropriately to incoming messages based on their content. Being a frum-friendly product, VotsUp will block all NivulPeh in 65 languages including Hebrew, French, English and Swahili. Russian is still in progress; the programmers are finding this particularly challenging since someone keeps hacking their servers. Lastly, my personal favorite, The DafPhoney. This product is exactly

more embarrassing moments when someone borrows your sefer and has to remove the plastic first before using it. The DafPhoney has you covered, front to back. Another great visit with the Kosher Innovation Corporation team. I wish them much Hatzlacha with their new line of products and services for the frum consumer. Azi Rosenblum is a business consultant and the founder and CEO of RemSource, an outsourced provider of administrative and bookkeeping services for small businesses. To suggest a topic or ask a question for a future #BizWiz column, email BizWiz@ baltimorejewishhome.com.


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2.89 2/$3 79¢ 5/$5 2/$2 69¢ 99¢ 5/$1 2/$5

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Mental Health Corner

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Yankel is suffering from depression. He often sleeps late in the morning, his appetite is not what it used to be, and he is being very uncharacteristically irritable. His wife has gently told him many times that he looks depressed and perhaps he might benefit from talking to someone. Yankel vehemently denies having any problems at all. Yankel is in denial about his depression. The glaring question is how can Yankel not see the obvious truth that he is suffering from depression? Is he blind to reality? The short answer is that, yes, Yankel is blind to reality due to a psychological ability that human beings possess to be in denial. Let us take this opportunity to discuss the nature of denial and the unique power that human beings have to deny the obvious. As is well known, denial is more than just a river in Egypt. Denial is considered a defense mechanism which is a tactic that a person employs when he wants to mentally avoid unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When someone is in denial, he is unconsciously acting as if the unpleasant thought, feeling, or behavior does not exist. As they say, ignorance is bliss. Hashem gave human beings the power of denial since denial can often be very beneficial. For example, if a close relative becomes ill very suddenly and there is no hope for his life, it can be overwhelming to process this new reality. It can be protective in this case to be in denial for a short time and believe that the person will get better. This gives him more time to absorb the shock. However, denial can also be very counterproductive as it prevents the

individual from dealing with the real issue. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, not opening mail from the bank would not be helpful at all. Or if someone has shortness of breath and chest pains it would not be constructive to deny the possibility that he is having a heart attack. In Yankel’s situation, his denial about his depression is preventing him from getting the help that he needs. As with all aspects of human behavior, the test of life is to know when a specific behavior or strategy is beneficial or not. The obstacle that denial can be to well-being plays a central role in the 12 steps. As is well known, the 12step program is often employed when dealing with addictions. Since denial is such a hindrance to recovery, the program deals with denial in the very first step. Step 1 states, “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives have become unmanageable.” This statement contains within it the declaration that the addict acknowledges that he has a problem and is no longer in denial. Chazal teach us (Shabbos 55a) that the seal of Hashem is Emes – truth. Only Hashem has the absolute truth. But for us, the struggle between Emes and Sheker – truth and falsehood, is not only a challenge in regard to our interactions with other people, it is also a challenge within our own minds as we can easily fall into the trap of denial. This is a service of Relief Resources. Relief is an organization that provides mental health referrals, education, and support to the frum community. Rabbi Yisrael Slansky is director of the Baltimore branch of Relief. He can be contacted at 410-448-8356 or at yslansky@reliefhelp.org


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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Part VIII

Mrs. Greenstone?” Mrs. Greenstone sighed. “I just think it’s too good an opportunity to pass up. You inspire me, Avigail, and I want the school to gain from hearing you speak.” “You’re very kind, Mrs. Greenstone.” “So you won’t speak to them?” I hesitated, then said, “I’ll ask my husband what he thinks.” Mrs. Greenstone smiled. “That’s a half-yes.” To my dismay, when I asked Raphael what he thought he seemed to like the idea. “The other school never asked you to do that,” he commented as we sat down to eat dinner. “I think it was too close to the accident – they didn’t want to probe what could be a sensitive area.” “That makes sense.” Raphael generously doused hot sauce on his chicken. I pretended not to notice. I couldn’t stand the stuff. “What are you worried about, Avigail? If you freely admit to them that you aren’t perfect in this area, what’s the problem?” I speared a chicken chunk and moved it around my plate. “I’m not

a public speaker, Raphael.” “You’re a teacher. It’s practically the same thing.” I sighed. “Maybe I don’t like the idea of talking about it?” “You shared it quite freely with my grandmother.” “Oh, come on, Raphael. That’s completely different.” I tapped my fingers against my cup. “No one’s forcing you,” Raphael pointed out. “If you don’t want to, just say no.” I threw up my hands. “But then I’ll feel guilty!” Raphael gave me a look. “Avigail, the choice is up to you. If it goes badly, your students won’t think any less of you for it.” “Alright, fine! I’ll do it!” “Good. Now you can finally eat.” When I told Mrs. Greenstone, she was thrilled. “How about this Friday after davening? We’ll bring all the girls into the auditorium.” I felt a little sick at the thought. After all, teaching a class of twenty is a lot different than hundreds of girls. But Raphael was right. What could go wrong? That Thursday night Raizy came

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

“Alright, Avigail. We’re halfway through the school year. How’s it going for you?” I was in Mrs. Greenstone’s office, facing the principal’s straight gaze. She waited patiently for my answer, hands folded together on the desk. I fiddled with my rings. “Very well, Mrs. Greenstone. The girls are wonderful, and I’m enjoying working with the staff.” “Good. How’s it working out with Raizy Weiss?” “Baruch Hashem, she’s doing really well,” I said enthusiastically. “She’s such a smart girl, and now she’s finally showing it in her tests. She told me that she’s also doing better in her other subjects as well.” Mrs. Greenstone smiled. “That’s relieving to hear. Her sister’s wedding is soon, isn’t it?” “Yes, next week.” I’d heard all about the gown-drama and other wedding topics during our study sessions. After Raizy heard that her sister would be living a few blocks away, she’d felt a lot happier about the upcoming marriage.

“And handling three classes at once is working out?” “Yes. I believe I could take another one on in the future.” Mrs. Greenstone made a note on one of the many sticky notes scattered between papers and pamphlets. “That’s good to know.” She looked back up at me, a sheepish grin on her face. It surprised me. Mrs. Greenstone tended to be more direct than sheepish. “I don’t suppose you’ve reconsidered my suggestion I gave at your interview?” I coughed. “You mean the one where I tell all the girls what it means to have trust in Hashem because He does everything for the good?” I wanted to laugh at myself. It was something I’d been struggling with for so long. “Mrs. Greenstone, I don’t want to be hypocritical. I don’t feel comfortable talking to them about this.” Mrs. Greenstone nodded. “And if you simply shared the struggle with them? And let them come to their own conclusions?” I hesitated. “Is there a reason you want me to speak to them so badly,


over and started on the dishes. She didn’t really need help studying anymore. Raizy had found another girl in the class who studied with her for tests, and Raizy had gained enough motivation to review and do home-

work by herself. But she decided to keep coming and help me clean. Which was good, since my state of mind at that point wasn’t really enabling me to clean dishes or sweep the floors.

“Mrs. Marks, haven’t you spoken before?” Raizy asked as she put away the dishes. “No, I don’t think so,” I said, furiously writing on a piece of paper. I kept envisioning stepping up

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to the microphone and completely blanking on how to begin. So I was writing down possible beginning, middles, and endings. Just in case. “Mrs. Marks, you’ve been teaching for ages. I don’t think you’ll get stage fright or anything. Besides, we all love you. It’s not like you’ll embarrass yourself or anything.” “That’s very kind,” I murmured, scrawling out another sentence. Raizy gave a little laugh. “We’ll hold ‘Go Mrs. Marks!’ signs up for you.” “It’s only a fifteen-minute thing. I don’t know why I’m so frazzled.” I sat back, shaking out my cramped hand. “Alright. Might as well put this aside and not think about it until tomorrow.” In the end, I forgot the papers at home. I wheeled up to the microphone feeling sick to my stomach. I’m pretty sure my legs would have been shaking if they weren’t paralyzed. The girls all looked at me expectantly. I could see Mrs. Greenstone in the back, excitedly rocking back and forth with a big smile. Oh boy. Hope I didn’t disappoint her. I looked at the hundreds of girls gathered. And I felt that moment of awe, being in a room with so many neshamos. Raizy and her friends were holding up her motivational signs, which made me smile. I was a teacher of bnos yisroel. I was the mother of a precious son. I was the wife of a wonderful husband. I had Hashem watching over me. I was so fortunate. “Before I begin,” I said into the microphone. “I want us all to say a perek of Tehillim together. Please open up to kuf yud ches.” There were some murmurings: it wasn’t a very common perek. I waited for them to flip to the right spot, then began. “Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov, Ki L’Olam Chasdo….”


Dirshu

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By Chaim Gold

(L-R) Nadvorna Rebbe, HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, HaRav Chaim Feinstein, Rav Dovid Hofstedter

Joyous dancing at the Dirshu siyum

ed us from completing the shiurim but boruch Hashem, we were able to finish the entire Mishnah Berurah with the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha cycle over the telephone! The harbotzas Torah is simply beyond anything anyone could have expected!” “Answering Shailos is Even Greater Than Going Up Har Sinai!” Another momentous Daf HaYomi B’Halacha event was held the same week at the home of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, talmid muvhak of Rav Shmuel Wosner and Av Beis Din of Rav Wosner’s Beis Din. The event was attended by HaGaon HaRav Chaim Feinstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Bais Yehuda, the Nadvorna Rebbe, shlita and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, all who gave short speeches. The event celebrated another telephone innovation of Daf HaYomi

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nah Berurah shiurim that I am giving would prove to be,” Rav Gans concluded with great emotion. Persevering Despite the Yetzer Hara Rav Gans related in the name of Rav Mattisyahu Salomon that when the Chofetz Chaim completed the sefer Mishnah Berurah he made a siyum every night of the week for an entire week, one siyum for every volume of Mishnah Berurah. At the siyum, the Chofetz Chaim related how many times the yetzer hara had tried to stop him from completing the Mishnah Berurah and yet, despite everything he had persevered because he recognized how pivotal it was for Klal Yisroel to have a Mishnah Berurah. Rav Gans explained, “Similarly, there were many reasons not to deliver the daily shiur and many difficulties that could have prevent-

B’Halacha. Inasmuch as thousands of people are learning the same daf of Mishnah Berurah every day, many halachic questions come up on that daf. Dirshu has therefore set up a hotline where a rotation of prominent Rabbanim are available to answer questions on that day’s daf from 8am until 12am. In his remarks, Rav Stern said, “The second that people know there is a bais horaah available to answer questions on the daf, it offers a totally different level of importance. I can tell you that the Rabbonim who answer the phone have conveyed some of the shailos that they have been asked on the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and I am astonished by the quality and depth of the questions! I can’t even begin to depict the zechus that Dirshu has for bringing Torah and halacha to Klal Yisroel in such a comprehensive manner,” Rav Stern concluded. Rav Chaim Feinstein related that “When Moshe Rabbeinu went up to Har Sinai to receive the Torah, he left the zekainim below so that anyone with a shailah would have whom to ask. From here we see that had the zekainim not been needed to answer questions they would have been able to come up the mountain with him. Therefore,” Rav Feinstein extrapolated, “having Rabbanim available to answer shailos is even more important than going partially up Har Sinai with Moshe Rabbeinu!” The Nadvorna Rebbe: “The Enviable Zechus Harabbim of Dirshu” Perhaps the emotional words of the Nadvorna Rebbe, shlita encapsulated the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha’s impact best when the Rebbe said, “We live in a generation with so many spiritual nisyonos, nevertheless we see that Hashem planted Yidden with profound ahavas Torah in our generation; Yidden who want nothing more than to learn Torah themselves and ensure that so many other Yidden learn Torah as well. They are ready to do whatever it takes to make Torah and halacha more accessible to Yidden, to give people a taam, a joy in learning, to make Torah pleasant and sweet. This is the enviable zechus harabbim that Dirshu has.”

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

It was a unique siyum. A siyum on a daily limud learned by many thousands in all four corners of the world. HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Gans, shlita, a well-known posek in Eretz Yisroel, Rav of the Mattersdorf neighborhood of Yerushalayim, a maggid shiur at Yeshiva Kol Torah and one of the most prominent talmidim of HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, is a very busy man. Seven and a half years ago, when Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha had reached Siman 301 in the middle of the complex laws of Hilchos Shabbbos, Rav Gans was asked by senior members of Dirshu’s Hanhala to deliver a Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur via telephone. Initially, he refused, stating simply that he does not have even an extra second in his day. Ultimately, he was convinced that the zechus of talmud Torah d’rabbim was a sufficient reason to juggle around his schedule to somehow fit in the short daily shiur. Now, seven and a half years later, Rav Gans has completed the entire Mishnah Berurah in his telephone shiurim. A beautiful siyum was recently held with the participation of numerous distinguished Rabbonim from the Bayit Vegan neighborhood, including HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Schlesinger, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kol Torah, the Sochatchover Rebbe, shlita and the Nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter. Rav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh Yeshiva of Ateres Yisrael was slated to attend but had to make a trip abroad. He sent a letter that was read at the event. At the siyum, Rav Gans candidly admitted that when he began he had no idea of the power and reach of the shiur. “I realize now that through saying the shiur over the telephone, thousands of Yidden the world over can and do listen to the daily shiur as well as past shiurim that are on system. I am literally flabbergasted when I get calls from people in Russia or Australia who are religiously listening to the daily shiurim and have a question that they need to ask. At times, I enter a taxi and the driver tells me that he listens to my shiur on Daf HaYomi B’Halacha! I myself did not realize what a powerful tool of harbotzas haTorah the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Mish-

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Siyumim and Gatherings of Rabbanim and Poskim Highlight Integral Role of Telephone Role in Daf HaYomi B’Halacha


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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Health & F tness

Finding our Way in a World Filled with Rage By Hylton I. Lightman, MD, DCH (SA), FAAP

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t’s an understatement to say that our world today is loaded with rage. Last week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is but one example. The lives of the 17 victims are irreplaceable. Unfortunately, life will never be the same again for their families and for the adolescents and adults who were in the school that day. They will carry the “pekel” for 120 years and beyond. In response, and wishing to effect positive change, Emma Gonzalez and her fellow grieving students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are mobilizing forces for tighter gun control laws. No doubt their planned march on Washington scheduled for next month will be built on this groundswell of anguish. It’s one way to go. More on that later. There are responses and proactive actions for us as a community. We are a nation of rachmanim, bayshanim, and gomlei chasadim. The Chabad rabbis on the ground in Florida were extraordinary, stepping to the plate in a horrific vacuum of confusion and angst and bringing an appropriate framework for action and grief. Worldwide, we davened and recited Tehillim. Yet more needs to be done. Let’s begin with security. Our own precious children were in school when this disaster was per-

petrated. Did we question (even for a moment) their safety? And then we sent them back to school the next day. Without thinking about it. And then we went to shul on Shabbos. Without thinking about security. Few of us know and understand the security procedures and systems in our schools and shuls. What’s the most recent time our children had a lockdown drill? How often are there lockdown drills? How tight a relationship is there between the schools and local police

with these questions, parents and community members also have a role. We should care. We should be asking the right questions. And we should be volunteering to help move all our mosdos into the most secure security situations possible. It requires work, money, and time. The operative question should be: what can I do to help? Communication – honest communication with our children – is paramount, even when it’s uncomfortable for us adults. We must make

The operative question should be: what can I do to help?

precincts? What’s our community’s relationship with Homeland Security? Are all school and shul entrances secured? How? If not, is there a plan to secure them? This includes back and side entrances for deliveries and garbage pickup, not just how children and others enter and exit. Do we have security measures in place for community gatherings and dinners? While professionals may deal

the time to speak to our children about this (and any other) tragedy. Please refer to the sidebar for some guidelines. Further, Nikolas Cruz and his sickeningly premeditated shooting rampage didn’t appear out of nowhere. There were warning signs something was brewing. Cruz must have been plagued by psychiatric, social and academic demons for a long time. Did teachers pick up on clues

and recommend evaluations and/or interventions? It’s my understanding that the Parkland school district is a good, solid school system. Yet even in good school systems, it’s not uncommon for teachers to be overwhelmed with the duties of teaching “regular” students. But if there are warning signs, pay heed and involve the administration. Fast. At the risk of sounding trite, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Please G-d, no other child should go unnoticed. Before being expelled from school (and it’s usually a long road until one is expelled), Cruz had shared with classmates pictures of animals he had shot. His classmates allege that he threatened several times to bring his legally obtained firearms to school. Teenagers may have a propensity for gossip but they usually want to help others. Were Cruz’s threats reported? How were they dealt with? I’m guessing that the straw that probably broke the proverbial camel’s back and snapped Cruz’s mind was his mother’s death this past November. Subsequently, he went to live with a foster family. His firearms were locked in their family safe; they profess to having no idea he had a key to the safe. At the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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but perhaps at the price of illegal actions which will be only more difficult to track. Revisiting the Brady Law is a must. Assault weapons and such should have in place stringent background checks. Excuses that people need them for hunting is not acceptable. We don’t want humans to be hunted. Prohibition in this country during the 1920s and ‘30s imposed a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. The result? The bootlegging industry began. While fortunes were made as people did almost anything to procure their liquor, it was accompanied by loss of life. It’s too horrific to imagine what would be created if the firearms were completely banned. There are insidious sources that will stand by, ready, willing and

able to fill that void. Gonzalez shouldn’t stop her efforts. She’s listening to that inner voice that wants meaningful change. Good for her. Perhaps by marching on Washington on a grand scale she will effect change that can prevent similar tragedies from happening. Prevention, through securing our schools and other institutions and making sure that no child “slips between the cracks,” would be two tremendous accomplishments. At least they are places to start. As always, daven.

Dr. Hylton I. Lightman is a pediatrician and Medical Director of Total Family Care of the 5 Towns and Rockaway PC. He can be reached at drlightman@totalfamilycaremd.com, on Instagram at Dr.Lightman_ or visit him on Facebook.

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

sion in hindsight to move forward intelligently and correctly. Understandably, there’s focus on gun control. The vision and energy displayed by Gonzalez and her friends is admirable. Planning for a march in Washington to impact midterm elections is a high goal, especially for a high school senior. May her energies take her far, doing wonderful things for all humanity. Yet the world is not so black-andwhite. Allow me to elaborate. It’s not even a question that access to firearms in this country needs to be tightened – considerably tightened. There’s also a difference between a handheld pistol and other firearms. I don’t think it’s possible to outlaw all weapons which is why access to them needs to be revamped and ricocheted up a marked amount. Outlawing them will only send them underground; they’ll be obtainable

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(AAP), we question parents at every well visit about the presence of firearms in the home. If the answer is affirmative, we then inquire about a secured location for ammunition. Why? Because it’s for the safety of all. I don’t know the foster system intimately. Am I assuming correctly that the foster system has in place the right checks-and-balance system to check out the status of firearms in a home? The responsibility of the persons who have access to the key to the safe? Much has been said about the FBI receiving an anonymous tip on January 5th that Cruz had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” yet failing to act. We know that the FBI has been busy of late. But there are no words to justify this inaction. Let’s use this information obtained with the benefit of 20/20 vi-

TALKING TO OUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE PARKLAND SHOOTING

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porting-your-children-in-times-ofstress/. Let’s start with young children. Infants and toddlers are comforted when caregivers was warm and responsive to their needs. Highly predictable routines are crucial. Because young children are sen-

Please still exercise caution in sharing details. Listen carefully to what they say and ask and respond accordingly. Adolescents need adults to listen to their thoughts and feelings without the adults editing them. Some teenagers are already grap-

Use this as an opportunity to invite your children to ask questions and to bring you information to discuss.

sitive to adults’ emotions, make every effort to speak in a calm voice. Language should be simple. Answer questions honestly but with minimal detail so their imaginations do not run wild. This age group does best when reassured they are safe. Perhaps some extra attention from Mommy, Daddy or a loving adult might be needed. School-age children may understand more and, as a result, may need to speak more. That’s okay.

pling with life and death issues and whether or not this is a world of justice. They want honesty, not doubletalk. However, teenagers do it on their timetable, meaning, it’s when they’re ready to talk. Our world is plagued by TMI – too much information. It’s hard to regulate what our children are exposed to, especially when they have friends and walk the streets. This is not an excuse for us to cop out. Rather, use this as an opportunity

to invite your children to ask questions and to bring you information to discuss. Of course, never give up setting boundaries and monitoring your children on any electronic device. Kids know far more than we realize (or want to admit). Exercise. Get and keep you and your children moving. I’m not joking. It keeps everyone busy and less “self” focused. It’s bonding time. And you already know the benefits to setting loose those endorphins. Take care of yourselves, Mommy and Daddy. Our world is a stressful one. Make sure you eat well and rest. Socializing with peers is important. If you or any family member or loved one are struggling, don’t be a martyr. Seek professional help. There are mental health professionals, rabbonim, askanim and others who can help you – or at least help you to get the right help. Healthy parents mean healthy children. Together, let’s move forward with our children’s mental and emotional health intact. As always, daven.

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lthough we adults are struggling with our own thoughts and feelings about this horrific tragedy, it does not absolve us from the responsibility of talking to children about what they are seeing and hearing, even when they did not directly witness the event. Here are some guidelines that parents can use for children who’ve been indirectly affected by this calamity. Honesty is important but that doesn’t mean children need to know the details. The child’s “developmental lens” should determine what he needs to know and how we speak with him. Answering a child’s questions depends on what he can understand without further alarming him. First, find out what your child already knows. Gently ask questions and listen to their responses. This is an opportune time to correct misinformation. Acknowledge your child’s feelings; this should be the focal point rather than the event itself. Searching for the right words to use? Check out the website https://www.afnatal.org/sup-


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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FEBRUARY 22, 2018

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

by Mrs. Elaine Bodenheimer

GlutenFree@BaltimoreJewishHome.com

Gluten Free Hamentaschen What You Will Need: 2/3 cup margarine –room temp.* 2 tsp. baking powder 1 cup sweet rice flour 1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. xanthan gum ¼ tsp. salt (scant) 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin ½ cup tapioca flour 1 egg ½ cup potato starch ¾ cup sugar 10 ounce jar of filling of choice 1 Tbl. rice milk ½ cup confectioner’s sugar (for cutting board)

Preperation: 1. In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine until creamy. Add rice flour, xanthan gum, gelatin, egg, sugar, rice milk, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Beat well. Add tapioca flour and potato starch. Beat until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. 2. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

3. Divide the dough in half and chill the unused portion until needed. Sprinkle cutting board with confectioner’s sugar. Roll out half of the dough at a time to 1/8th inch thickness. If dough is very sticky, roll between 2 pieces of parchment paper which have been coated with confectioner’s sugar.

4. Cut with round 2 ½ inch cookie cutter or glass with 2 ½ inch diameter. Fill with ½ tsp. desired dry filling, such as poppy seed or apricot Fold circle once from bottom, once from 1 side, and then meet with the other side- to form a triangle. (If dough becomes sticky, return to fridge to chill again.) Place hamentaschen on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes or until brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 30 hamentaschen. *Fleischman’s is best for gluten-free baking.


Recipies from:

CookingfortheKing

www.TheKosherChannel.com

Wishing you a freilichen Purim—and a seuda fit for a king. I hope these recipes will enhance your Purim celebration! Bourbon Brisket with Peach Glaze

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bourbon, plus 2 teaspoons for glaze 1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup peach jam, not preserves

Preparation:

1. Make rub in a small bowl: mix together the salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Rub mixture all over brisket. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing. 2. Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large skillet over medium high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering and brown brisket on all sides. Remove brisket to a baking pan. Add onion to the skillet and more oil as needed to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is softened and golden. Add garlic and ½ cup of the bourbon to the skillet, simmer 1-2 minutes, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. Add the beer, soy sauce, brown sugar and vinegar and mix well. 3. Pour sauce over brisket and seal with foil or a tight-fitting lid and transfer to oven. Cook brisket 4-6 hours until brisket is very tender when pierced with a fork, but still holds its shape. 4. Transfer brisket, fat side up, to a large plate. Strain cooking liquid into a saucepan, bring to a simmer until reduced to 2 cups to make a gravy, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 5. Make glaze in a small bowl: mix jam with the 2 tablespoons of bourbon and ¼ cup of the reduced cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 6. Score fat side of brisket by cutting a crisscross pattern of 1/4"-deep slits spaced 1/2" apart. Return brisket, fat side up, to baking pan, add remaining reduced cooking liquid. 7. Preheat broiler. Spread 3–4 tablespoons glaze on top of brisket. Broil 5-8 minutes, until browned and glazed, watching carefully to prevent burning. Transfer brisket to a cutting board. Slice against the grain and transfer to a large platter. Pour the gravy over all or pass it on the side. Drizzle any remaining glaze on top. Make ahead: Brisket in sauce will keep covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Can freeze.

Purim dessert made easy; these moist chocolate cupcakes start with a mix. Studded with chocolate bits hidden inside and, in a nod to Queen Esther’s wine parties, cupcakes rich with wine-—inside and out.

Ingredients:

1 box Moist Chocolate Cake Mix ¾ cup light full bodied wine such as Zinfandel, Pinot Noir or Siryah, plus 3 to 4 tablespoons for icing ½ cup water

Preparation:

1/3 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar, broken in tiny bits

4 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup butter, margarine, or buttery spread, softened ½ teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place baking cups in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, wine, water, oil and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Fill baking cups about two-thirds full. 2. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.3. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter and salt with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in the 3 tablespoons of wine. If frosting is too thick, beat in more wine a few drops at a time. Frost cupcakes. To make wine glass cake: Pipe the icing using a decorating bag and an icing tip for roses. Cover a large RubyLaskerDesigns cardboard with food safe paper. Set up cake as shown.

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Queen Esther’s Wine Party Cupcakes

FEBRUARY 22, 2018

1 tablespoon coarse sea or kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 4-5 pound trimmed brisket 2 tablespoon oil, divided 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, smashed

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by Renee Rousso Chernin

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