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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

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It is pref gifts erable to th to sp ‫ורים‬ e ‫פ‬ en ,‫ סעודת מנות‬poor th d mor ‫( שלוח‬pur im an on e on ‫( מ‬g joy ift s Feas t) the of fo or than is grea od) on ter th for… e jo hear or m y of ts of ore glad the gl th e po w id deni or ious ow or, ng s, an th the d th e or ph ‫י”ז‬:‫ב‬ e st ans, ‫מגילה‬ ra ng ’‫הל‬ ‫מב”ם‬ er s. ‫ר‬ No

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Available at: B’Dazzle • 7 Mile Market • Shabsi’s • Maven Market • Shomrei Suburban Orthodox • Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion and other locations around town Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund (410) 358-2525 • (410) 764-6020 • (410) 358-4464 115 Sudbrook Lane, Suite E • Baltimore, MD 21208 Email: eli@ahavasyisrael.org • Donate online: www.ahavasyisrael.org

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

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

Community Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Zvi Teichman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Delving into the Daf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Notable Quotes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

LIFESTYLES My Uncle Shea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Israel Today. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Jewish History. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Parenting Pearls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Op-Ed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Life Coach. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Dating Dialogue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Mental Health Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Gluten Free Recipe Column. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Your Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

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

Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

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

Dear Readers, It has been almost a year now since the Coronavirus began plaguing the world. Over 95 million people worldwide have caught it and over 2 million people have died. While we obviously Daven for it be contained and no additional people get infected or die G-d forbid, as with everything that happens in Hashem’s world there are lessons to be learnt. If a negative virus can be transmitted person to person then for sure a helping hand or kind word can be passed around. Imagine we can track the affects these had on people. Who then are in the mood to help others, and they in turn others. It doesn’t take a leap of faith to see how each act can literally travel around the globe extremely quick and be multiplied tens, hundreds and thousands time over. Just like the virus; a person can catch it even if they don’t want it. For even a person in a bad mood or place will be touched by genuine interest or concern shown them. The “symptoms” can take a few days or weeks but ultimately all kindness shown people will eventually touch them. At that point they might not even recall which encounter caused it but it doesn’t really matter, additional goodness and kindness is now tangible in the world. -Just over two weeks ago, Yud Shvat, marks 71 years since the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe assumed leadership of his Chassidim as well as feeling personally responsible for world Jewry. Indeed his public letters sent out before Yomim Tovim were addressed to “sons and daughters of Israel, wherever they may be.” As the decades past it became clear that this wasn’t just an attitude or feeling, he meant it literally. All Jews wherever they may be had an address to turn to if help was needed. There are over 12,000 letters of his letters published in Hebrew alone. Every single letter was opened by him personally. He insisted that “the letter is addressed to me so I need to open it.” The secretariat then bought a machine that would open letters automatically. The Rebbe declined using it saying “can a machine possibly detect the pain and tears that went into writing these heartfelt letters?!” It’s customary in Chabad that when a Rebbe accepts the leadership of Chassidim he says a Maamar, a Chassidic discourse, which acts as a mission statement of sorts. The Maamar the Rebbe said begins with the Medrash that describes Hashem at the time of Matan Torah as saying “I have come to my garden, my sister, my bride.” The Maamar then goes on to explain, among other Chassidic teachings, what it means that Hashem is returning, why this world is called a garden, and what our purpose is in this world. But the thrust of the Maamar is that Hashem’s essential Shechina was revealed in this world at the time of creation, was revealed again at Har Sinai and will be revealed a final time at the time of the Geula. At times the world looks and feels like a jungle but this isn’t its true existence. Right at the start of creation Hashem’s light was seen in this world. Our job is to uncover it once and for all. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos, Shalom


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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

The Shidduch Center of Baltimore Presents “Voices of Inspiration” Virtual Event February 13th By: Margie Pensak

O

n Motzei Shabbos, February 13, Baltimore’s single women are in for a treat when The Shidduch Center of Baltimore presents “Voices of Inspiration”. It will feature two extremely talented women on its virtual stage – internationally renowned soprano Elena Tal and highly successful dating and marriage coach, Devorah Kigel. Elena Tal who mesmerizes her audiences with her stunning voice, talent and natural charisma, has continued her highly acclaimed performances via Zoom since COVID. In addition, she teaches voice programs (including her hugely popular voice classes at Bais Yaakov high school), master classes and private voice lessons worldwide!

Her latest stellar performance - viewed by thousands of women all over the world - was Miriam Handler’s “One Voice” production. In it, she displayed her amazing ability to sing different styles of songs – including jaw-dropping high notes - and shared her inspiring story of leaving a successful secular singing career, dazzling audiences throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, aboard England’s QE2, on television and in a Hollywood movie, in order to choose a Torah lifestyle. Elena continues to fulfill her love of singing, now with kedusha, performing for female-only audiences. For more info about Elena Tal, visit her website: www.elenatal.net. Devorah Kigel’s presentations are described as inspiring, candid, relatable, passionate, genuine, moving, practical, and eye-opening. As a dating coach for eight years - who has

ers avoid making the same mistakes. To learn more about Devorah Kigel, visit: http://www.devorahkigel.com/ The Shidduch Center’s mission is to help create and facilitate dating opportunities for Baltimore’s singles. The most recent initiative of The Shidduch Center, was its January 2nd debut of a winter- and COVID-friendly dating venue, “The Dating Place”, located in the office suites of the DoubleTree Hilton in Pikesville. Since The Shidduch Center’s restructure in 2015, bez’H, it has tasted the fruits of its labor – setting up over 980 couples, resulting in 98 engagements. Single women may register for the “Voices of Inspiration” Zoom event by emailing: voicesofinspiration@gmail. com. For more information about The Shidduch Center, visit: www. ShidduchCenter.org.

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

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Around the Community

Take the Guesswork Out of Choosing a Career

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 4, 2021

By Faige Katz “I have no idea which career is right for me.” Elisheva,*a recent seminary graduate, contacted me for career advice. By any standard, Elisheva could be called an overachiever: A+ student, talented in art, writing, music, and drawing. She was having a hard time narrowing down her options.  Social Work? Accounting? OT/ PT/Speech? Teaching? Dental Hygiene? Graphic Design? Nursing? Computer Programming? Copywriting? There seemed to be many good options, but were all those options equal? The surest way I know to cut through this clutter of ideas is to turn to the Highlands Ability Battery.  The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) has been the gold standard

in career aptitude testing for decades. It is an assessment of natural abilities, intrinsic talents, and core strengths. While other career tests rely on subjective self-reporting, the HAB relies on objective performance of a series of tasks. Armed with Elisheva’s HAB results, we narrowed down her options to fields that would use her strong natural talents in Design Memory and in Observation.  Design memory is the ability to remember patterns in 2D. Observation is the ability to notice and remember small details. The combination of these two strengths make Elisheva a good candidate for a career in map-making, architectural drawing, or graphic design.  Additionally, Elisheva’s Specialist personal style lent itself to success in any of these fields.  But there’s still more to the story.  During our debrief, Elisheva

acknowledged that she wanted to finish a degree or certification within a relatively short time. Indeed, the HAB analysis identified her short-term time frame orientation. Elisheva stated that she would love to use creativity in her job, earn a decent income, and have flexibility.  Together with the HAB analysis and Elisheva’s stated preferences, I encouraged her to explore the field of Web Design & Development. I felt this career option would maximize her creative abilities and satisfy her personal goals. The program takes a short 12-months to complete and offers a full-time average salary of $73,000. She is currently enrolled.  Elisheva secured more than a career path; she gained clarity, knowledge and self-awareness. The HAB is more than a career assessment; it is a tool that can change your life. 

Fascinating History of the Highlands The origin of the HAB dates back to 1922, when Johnson O’Connor, an engineer at General Electric (GE), was tasked with increasing the company’s productivity. At the time, GE had 3000 new employees. Should a prospective employee be a line worker? A supervisor? An engineer? A manager? Which of these jobs would a new employee definitely not be suited for? O’Conner theorized that a strong aptitude for a particular task makes that task easier to do, thus productivity would increase. His theory proved correct.  In fact, these assessment tests were so accurate that GE employees asked to have their children tested! To this day, the company uses the tests.  The Highlands Ability Battery is based on O’Conner’s research and tens of thousands of individuals have taken the HAB for career guidance.

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

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Around the Community

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

FEBRUARY 2021

A TEN-YEAR-OLD SHARES HIS CHANUKAH MONEY The Tehillim Kollel office is accustomed to handling all sorts of telephone calls and all kinds of requests coming from every angle of Jewish society. Indeed, the potent Tehillim unites us Yidden and delivers salvation for every type of problem or difficulty a Yid may face. But a phone call the likes of the one we received this past Sunday hasn’t happened before in the history of Tehillim Kollel. On the other end of the line was a boy, a young ten-year-old child from Williamsburg. What was his request? “In our shul, there is a Yid who needs a big refuah. My heart goes out to him. I read the Tehillim Kollel story last week about a sister who merited a yeshuah. I thought to myself that I can also do this. I will sign up this Yid, so the minyan can also complete Tehillim for him.” We asked him if he knows the full name for Tehillim, and the child replied in the affirmative. His father had given him the name and indeed he has been davening for the sick man every day. Now he wanted the Tehillim Kollel minyanim to daven too.

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

“I have $50 saved up from my Chanukah and Purim money,” the boy said. “I asked my parents’ permission and they let me give it so that you can put him on your list…” Such a pure request from such a pure young child. A child who is ready to give away his precious few dollars simply to increase tefillah for another Yid. Who can estimate the value of such a deed? Who can comprehend such selflessness and caring?

WEEKLY COLUMN OF RECENT EPISODES BY TEHILLIM KOLLEL Sign up for our annual mermbership:

718.705.7174 Info@TehillimKollel.org www.TehillimKollel.org

N’shei Agudath Israel Of Baltimore Is Proud To Present Our Virtual Winter Events

W

e have launched our winter programs with two very successful ongoing shiurim:  Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, Rav of Agudath Israel of Baltimore, has been giving a bi-weekly Monday night Halacha shiur to women on the important topic of Hilchos Shabbos. This lecture is accessible via phone, web, or in person on the Agudah balcony at 9:00 p.m. on alternate Mondays.  Motivational speaker Rabbi Yisroel Roll has been giving a virtual weekly Wednesday night Parsha shiur, The Inspired Parsha: Middos and Character Development through the Weekly Parsha. In his enthusiastic lectures, Rabbi Roll shares insights from the Parsha that will help us come closer to Hashem in everyday life, develop and perfect our middos, and guide us in finding purpose and meaning in our lives, along with a takehome message to work on. This inspiring shiur takes place every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (Note: The shiur will start at 9:00 p.m. on February 3, 2021.) Upcoming Lectures and Events Include:  On Wednesday, February 3, 2021, Mrs. Tanya Klein of Precision Organizing is scheduled to give a valuable, virtual workshop: How to Conquer and Organize the Zones in Your Home. This workshop is ideal for women in Baltimore who want to get a head start tackling their spring cleaning.  On February 14, 2021, N’shei will host its annual Welcome Newcomers Night. This year the Newcomers Night will be a virtual communitywide women’s event to welcome all women who have moved to Baltimore since we hosted our last in-person Welcome Newcomers Night in November, 2019. This event will feature guest speaker Mrs. Shifra Rabenstein, acclaimed teacher and lecturer. Our program will also feature entertainment, virtual introductions, and more. Please help us reach out to all the newcomers in our community. If you know of any women who are newcomers to Baltimore, please

inform them of this event and email their contact information to nsheibaltimore@gmail.com.  The recording of Rabbi Sholom Tendler’s January 17, 2021 lecture and demonstration on Answers to Your Food Box Questions is now available. Rabbi Tendler imparted valuable kashrus information and demonstrated the intricacies involved in checking produce for infestation.  On March 10, 2021, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann will give his Annual Pesach Shiur. Please save the date. For information on how to access these lectures and recordings, please email nsheibaltimore@gmail.com or call or text Mrs. Chavi Barenbaum at 410-935-3010. ADA accommodations are available upon request. N’shei Agudath Israel of Baltimore is part of an international organization of women dedicated to achdus, community service, education, and charity. Our members include women from various shuls, schools, and organizations. N’shei provides the women in our community with quality programs, as well as halacha and hashkafa shiurim, which will enhance their homes and families. All shiurim are free of charge; however, sponsorship opportunities are available. You can sponsor a shiur or sponsor an ad. Please call or text Mrs. Chavi Barenbaum or email nsheibaltimore@gmail.com for more information. Although we did not have our usual fundraiser, the Nshei Café, this year, N’shei has ongoing expenses in order to bring virtual events to fruition. Therefore, we would greatly appreciate N’shei dues and donations, so we can continue bringing quality programs to the women of our community. Dues are still only $20 and can be mailed to: Mrs. Sandy Cohen, 6314 Cross Country Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21215. We are always in need of volunteers to help with our programming in the areas of publicity, phone calls, and computer graphics. We look forward to having you join our lectures and events.


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Rabbi Elie Tuchman, Ed.D Rosh HaYeshiva / Head of School - Yeshivat Mekor Chaim to contact us about a visit or about attending our Open House on Sunday, February 7th. What do you love most about the Baltimore Jewish Community? I have found the people in the Baltimore Jewish Community to be extremely warm and welcoming, both personally and professionally. My wife and I have felt comfortable from the day we first moved in, and I have been graciously welcomed into the circle of educational leaders, many of whom have offered me advice and support when needed.  I also love that the community is extremely diverse in almost every way and very much appreciate that despite that diversity

the community is united and works together. Anything else you’d like to share with our 10,000+ readers? This has been a difficult year for all of us.  COVID has made life difficult for everyone - students, parents, teachers, and school leaders - at every school.  It is important that everyone recognize that they are not alone in feeling the stress - it isn’t just you.  We’ve made it this far because, despite social distancing, we have supported one another.   If we continue to be there for one another, with Hashem’s help, we will make it to the end of this pandemic.

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Tell us about yourself? I’ve been working in the field of Jewish Education for more than three decades and have been blessed to be involved in some very exciting projects. I especially enjoy building communities and institutions and have helped build schools in Oakland, CA and Long Branch, NJ.  I love working with students, parents, and teachers, and am grateful to Hashem that I get to do so every day. How did you end up in Baltimore? A group of community leaders in Baltimore felt that there was a need for a new boys High School in Baltimore that would serve an unmet need in the community.  They felt that the time was right to fill that need and ap-

proached me to help bring their dream to life. I was impressed by their dedication and inspired by their vision, and decided to join their effort. What niche is your yeshiva filling for the Baltimore community ? Yeshivat Mekor Chaim is a warm, welcoming environment, where young men are supported and inspired as they grow.  At YMC, high level Torah learning and Torah observance are matched with a top notch general studies curriculum and a range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, meeting the needs of the whole child.  Whether learning in the Bais Medrash, working in the science lab, playing competitive basketball, or filming their own video projects, our students are supported by our outstanding Rabbeim and faculty, and are helped to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in life. What grades do you currently have? We opened our doors to students in September of 2019 with a 9th grade, with the intention of adding a new grade each year.  This year, we serve both 9th and 10th grades, and will add 11th next year.  We are currently accepting applications for next year’s incoming 9th grade, and encourage anyone who is interested in learning more

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FEBRUARY 4, 2021

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THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

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It is pre fera ble gif ts to ‫ פורים‬to the po spend mo or tha ‫סעודת‬ re on ,‫מנות‬ n ‫( משלוח‬purim Fea on the (gif ts No joy st) of foo or on is gre d) for… tha n ater or mo the joy of heart re glo gladd s of rious the ening the poor, wid the ows, the orpha and the ns, ‫י”ז‬:‫ב‬ stran ‫מגילה‬ gers. ’‫הל‬

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‫מב”ם‬ ‫ר‬

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“E-Z Pass” for Matanos L‘Evyonim! Purim Friday, February 26 Money to be distributed on Purim Day

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Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund (410) 358-2525 • (410) 764-6020 • (410) 358-4464 115 Sudbrook Lane, Suite E • Baltimore, MD 21208 Email: eli@ahavasyisrael.org • Donate online: www.ahavasyisrael.org


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The Week In News

Blast at Israeli Embassy in India

Israel believes that Iran is likely responsible for last week’s explosion next to its embassy in India. No one was hurt in last Friday’s explosion, which detonated a few feet away from the Israeli embassy in New Delhi. The bomb blew out the windows of several cars and caused minor damage to a storefront. Hours after the blast, investigators found a crudely handwritten note in English threatening Ambassador Ron Malka, who was called “the terrorist of a terrorist nation.” Warning that Israel’s envoy to India “is always under supervision,” it told Malka that “you cannot stop anyway no matter how hard you would pick, we can end your life anytime anywhere.” The missive went on to threaten Israelis around the globe, writing that all “participants and partners” of Israeli “terrorist ideology will be no more in existence.” “Now get ready for a big and better revenge for our heroes,” wrote the attackers, who identified as “India Hezbollah,” a group unknown to Western intelligence agencies. It ended by referencing “martyrs” killed by the U.S. and Israel, such as former Quds Force General Qassam Sulemeini and assassinated Hezbollah Commander Imad Mughniyeh.  The reference to slain Shi’ite terror leaders led Israel to blame Iran for the attack, which has a long history of targeting Israel’s overseas missions. In 1993, an Iran-sponsored attack on Israel’s embassy in Argentina killed 29 people while another bombing in Thailand in 2012 seriously injured

the wife of an Israeli diplomat. The Mossad intelligence agency is said to be probing the recent explosion and dispatched an explosives team to New Delhi within hours after the blast. Indian police say that initial findings suggest that the “very low-intensity improvised device” utilized an explosive known as PETN and was packed with ball bearings. Investigators are currently probing the thousands of Iranian students studying in New Delhi and believe that the operation likely involved multiple people. Indian police also say that the use of PETN suggests that the blast may have been the work of al-Qaeda, which is known to have used the material in the past.  “Here, too, the suspicion is on some Iranian group. But involvement of the Islamic State or al-Qaeda cannot be ruled out. Access to PETN suggests involvement of either a trans-national terror group or a group sponsored by a State. The blast was deliberately kept low intensity as the aim, it appears, was to send a message,” a security establishment officer said.

Ya’alon Quits Politics

Former Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon announced early this week that his Telem party will not run in the upcoming elections in March. Acknowledging that Telem had little chance of crossing the electoral threshold, Ya’alon said on Monday that he would leave the race to avoid wasting votes that could go to other parties. The decision to leave politics came after all of the surveys commissioned over the past week showed Ya’alon far behind the 3.35% needed to make it into the Knesset. “I believed that by running independently with Telem, we could increase the power of the [political] camp pushing for change,” Ya’alon said in a statement. “This working as-

sumption turned out to be wrong. In the political circumstances that have arisen, the battle for change requires me and Telem not to run in the upcoming elections.” Ya’alon’s announcement came only a month after he left Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party for an independent Knesset bid. Ya’alon’s Telem had partnered with Yesh Atid ever since the two parties dissolved their alliance with Benny Gantz’s Kahol Lavan last May. Previously, Ya’alon had been a senior Likud lawmaker and was often spoken of as a potential heir to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Ya’alon left the Likud after a bitter falling out with his former political patron and returned to politics in 2018 as part of the Kahol Lavan alliance.  Since rejoining the Knesset, Ya’alon has been renowned for his bitterness towards Netanyahu, accusing him of corruption and of endangering the country more than Iran. Prior to Monday’s announcement, Ya’alon recruited social activists leading the weekly anti-Netanyahu protests in Jerusalem for Telem’s Knesset list and referred to the prime minister as “the accused criminal.”

IDF, Mossad Chiefs at War?

ship, the IDF’s senior brass generally favors the Iran deal and criticism of the U.S. is usually kept behind closed doors. According to reports, Kochavi’s speech led to a deep disagreement with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen. The veteran spymaster, who is leading Israel’s effort to prevent Biden from returning to the Iran deal, reportedly told confidants that the IDF chief was “irresponsible” for publicly bashing the Biden administration.  Cohen added that any such criticisms should be voiced via diplomatic channels and not in televised speeches, alleging that Kochavi hurt Israel’s effort to influence the Biden administration. Cohen also stressed that Kochavi’s address was not coordinated with neither him nor Netanyahu and did not reflect official Israel policy.  Kochavi rejected the accusations, telling Army Radio that he was not required to coordinate strategic policy moves with the Mossad Chief. “It is a shame that there is someone in the defense establishment who chooses to publicly defame the chief of staff,” a source said.   “The chief of staff relayed his position to the Israeli public and is not required to update the head of the Mossad before he speaks. The Iranian issue doesn’t belong to Yossi Cohen, and even if there are differences of opinion, it is better that they stay behind closed doors.”

Israel and Kosovo Establish Ties A militant anti-Iran speech delivered by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi led to a sharp war of words with Mossad head Yossi Cohen. Last week, Kochavi delivered a blistering speech in which he warned President Joe Biden not to reenter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Calling such a move “a serious mistake,” Kochavi declared that he had ordered the military to prepare multiple plans to attack Tehran.  Kochavi’s militant address raised eyebrows in Israel and around the world. Unlike Israel’s elected leader-

On Monday, Israel and Kosovo formally established diplomatic ties, with the Muslim-majority territory also recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital – putting it at odds with the rest of the Islamic world. In a ceremony held over Zoom in Jerusalem and Pristina, Foreign Min-


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FEBRUARY 4, 2021

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The Week In News ister Gabi Ashkenazi and his counterpart from the Republic of Kosovo, Meliza Haradinaj Stublla, signed a joint declaration establishing ties. This was the first time Israel established relations with a country virtually. Ashkenazi said he had approved Kosovo’s “formal request to open an embassy in Jerusalem.” “The establishment of relations between Israel and Kosovo is an important and moving historical step that reflects the many changes the region has experienced in recent months,” Ashkenazi said. “Today, Kosovo officially joins the circle of countries that aspire to peace and stability and recognize Israel, and Jerusalem as its capital.” The foreign ministers signed two cooperation agreements – one to establish their diplomatic relations and the other relating to the activities of Israel’s international development agency Mashav. The ceremony was broadcast live on the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page. US State Department spokesman Ned Price praised the sides for the “historic day.” “When our partners are united, the United States is stronger. Deeper international ties help further peace and stability in the Balkans and Middle East,” he said. During the virtual event, Ashkenazi unveiled the sign that will be placed at the entrance to the Kosovo embassy when it opens. Ashkenazi said he believed the embassy would be inaugurated by the Passover holiday at the end of March. Ashkenazi also lauded Kosovo for adopting the definition of anti-Semitism written by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which was announced by Haradinaj in September. The decision on mutual recognition between Kosovo and Israel was achieved last September at a summit of Kosovo-Serbia leaders at the White House in the presence of thenU.S. president Donald Trump. At the meeting, Belgrade also agreed to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which it has not done so far. “I thank the United States for its efforts to advance world peace, and to advance Israel’s relations with countries that we did not have diplo-

matic relations with until recently,” Ashkenazi said Monday. When Kosovo opens its embassy in Jerusalem it will become the third country after the U.S. and Guatemala to open an embassy in Israel’s capital. Other countries, like Honduras, have pledged to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as well.

Lockdown Until Friday Israel’s Knesset voted to extend its lockdown until Friday as infection rates continue to climb despite a month-long lockdown. The final government approval for extending the closure came on Sunday evening, only 15 minutes before the current lockdown expired, and extended the lockdown until 7 A.M. on Friday morning. Almost all of the current restrictions remained in place, including a ban on indoor dining, schools for all age groups, and prohibiting all non-essential businesses.  As part of the new lockdown, all incoming arrivals from overseas will be forced to quarantine at a government-run facility. The decision comes amid reports of hundreds of thousands of travelers purposely shirking the regulation mandating them to remain at home for 14 days.  Ministers also approved keeping Ben Gurion Airport shut for an additional two weeks to prevent COVID-19 mutations such as the South African variant from entering Israel. However, an ad-hoc committee of senior officials from the Health and Justice Ministries was established to debate special requests from Israelis wishing to fly abroad.  Preceding the cabinet vote was hours of storm debate between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the lockdown’s length and severity. While Netanyahu wanted the lockdown extended until next Sunday, Gantz refused to approve what he called “a fake closure” and demanded to begin reopening the economy.  Pointing to two massive haredi funerals that occurred in Jerusalem on Sunday in defiance of the regulations, Gantz vowed not to “punish everyday Israelis” with a selectively enforced lockdown. Gantz, who heads the Kahol Lavan party in the national unity government, demanded the lockdown

end on Wednesday with the entire education system reopening on Sunday. Netanyahu blasted Gantz for his “populist” arguments he alleged were making it harder to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. “We must extend the lockdown by a week and not politicize it, to focus on the violations of one public group or on other communities. Gatherings in every sector must be prevented,” Netanyahu said.  “To be clear: a gathering is a gathering is a gathering. It doesn’t matter if it’s ultra-Orthodox, secular people or Arabs. Unfortunately, there are gatherings on all sides, in all these public groups. We need to stop this immediately and stop politicizing it.”

Israel to Vaccinate 1K Palestinians

The skyrocketing COVID-19 infections amongst Palestinians is also threatening Israel’s effort to combat the virus from spreading, as an estimated 100,000 Arab laborers are employed over the Green Line. With the aforementioned workers crossing from the West Bank into Israel daily, the high transmission rates amongst the PA could lead to an outbreak in Israel. While Israel currently leads the world in inoculations, the 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik IV vaccine the PA ordered will only arrive by March. The disparity has led to international pressure on Israel to take responsibility for vaccinating West Bank Palestinians despite the 1993 Oslo Accords giving the PA the responsibility for providing healthcare.  In January, the Palestine Liberation Organization called for nations worldwide “to hold Israel to account” and force it to inoculate West Bank residents. 

Pfizer Vaccine 92% Effective

Israel will vaccinate over a thousand Palestinian medical workers in Judea and Samaria amid rising international pressure. The decision was made last Thursday following consultations by the Health and Defense Ministries along with the National Security Council. The first batch of vaccines were transferred to the Palestinian Authority on Monday and will be followed by another delivery in mid-February. In early January, Israel sent 1,000 doses of the vaccine to the Palestinian Authority to inoculate senior political figures, including President Mahmoud Abbas. A PA request for an additional 10,000 doses was denied. Security officials have been warning that the Palestinian health care system is nearing collapse due to the overload of COVID-19 cases. Major General Kamil Abu Rukun, the IDF’s liaison to the PA, issued a memo last week urging Israel to vaccinate Palestinian doctors and nurses in order to combat the shortage of trained medical personnel. 

A new Israeli study has found that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective in stopping transmission of the virus. Conducted by Maccabi, Israel’s largest health insurer, the study tracked 168,000 of its customers after they received both shots of Pfizer’s vaccine. The results found that only 31 people were infected within 10 days of being inoculated, while 6,500 people in a sample group of unvaccinated Israelis developed the disease.  The 31 people infected with COVID-19 post-vaccination also showed only mild symptoms, ranging from coughs to slight fatigue. Despite the majority being over age of 55 and half suffering from chronic diseases, none were hospitalized and only two needed medical care.  Researchers say that the results are encouraging as it is the largest independent study of the vaccine’s efficacy rate to date. While the 92% efficacy rate shown in the study is slightly lower than the 95% seen in clinical trials, the slight difference is within the standard deviation. In addition, those who were infected did not require urgent medi-


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to be inspired..

MEET Jonathan Leiman

MEET Larry Scheinin

WHEN IT COMES TO JUDAISM, Laurie Goodwin has always known she wanted more. The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Laurie grew up with a strong Jewish identity. She attended Hebrew school, had her Bat Mitzvah and confirmation at a Reform synagogue, and met her husband, Dan, on JDate.

AS A TEENAGER in suburban Washington, DC, Jonathan was very involved in the local chapter of the B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO) and celebrated Shabbat and holidays with his family, which he describes as “traditional but not observant.”

GROWING UP IN BALTIMORE in the 1950s and ‘60s, Larry Scheinin wasn’t religious. Although he was Bar Mitzvahed, Larry attended neither Hebrew school nor Jewish day school. On High Holidays, however, he enjoyed going to synagogue. Although he didn’t understand the prayers or traditions, Larry knew he wanted to be part of the Jewish community somehow.

However, Laurie felt she had more to learn. As she and Dan built their Jewish home— they have two preschool-age boys and recently welcomed a baby daughter—they were also looking for opportunities to meet other Jewish families. Three years ago, Laurie found what she was looking for when she met Elana Pomeranz at the annual Howard County Challah Bake. Elana immediately noticed Laurie’s curiosity, and became a friend and mentor. Right away, Laurie felt comfortable asking questions and was thrilled to learn more about Jewish traditions.

Of Elana and Rabbi Pomeranz, she says: “I feel so lucky to have met them, and I’m grateful for the opportunities they provide. Etz Chaim is a great opportunity for young families like ours.”

Jonathan and Denise chose to move to Baltimore largely because of the cohesion and warmth of the local Jewish community. Through a friend who is a rabbi in Israel, Jonathan connected with Etz Chaim’s Rabbi Pomeranz, whom Jonathan now considers a friend. Jonathan began regularly attending Sunday morning classes with Rabbi Porter, and Torah Judaism became an ever-more-important part of his family’s life. Jonathan’s regular conversations with Rabbi Pomeranz inspired him to start putting on tefillin during his morning prayers, a tradition he finds particularly meaningful. “My family and I owe a lot to Etz Chaim,” Jonathan says. “I’ve really been able to absorb Judaism into my life with the help of Rabbi Zev, Rabbi Porter, and the friends I’ve made. It’s been an amazing gift.”

Unfortunately, as an adult, he never found a synagogue where he felt truly welcomed and intellectually engaged. All of that changed when Larry found Etz Chaim. Throughout his life, Larry had always been hungry for more knowledge about Judaism. An Orthodox friend noticed his curiosity and suggested that Larry pursue a Jewish education. Larry, retired after working for almost 45 years as an auditor for the federal government, finally had time on his hands. He asked a cousin in Baltimore if she had any recommendations for Jewish learning, and she directed him to Etz Chaim’s Rabbi Porter. Larry started attending Rabbi Porter’s Sunday parsha classes and was “floored” by the depth of Jewish learning. Eventually, he also started attending Rabbi Pomeranz’s Wine and Wisdom and practical Jewish philosophy classes. Larry was finally part of the Jewish learning community he had hoped to find. When Larry attended his first Etz Chaim Rosh Hashana service, he felt accepted for who he was. Not only that, he felt he had a meaningful understanding of the holiday and its customs: “For the first time in my life, I understood why they blow the shofar,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve felt truly welcomed. I can’t say enough good things about Etz Chaim,” says Larry. “I’ve been on an amazing journey of learning, which I plan to continue.”

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

Laurie began attending events with J-WoHoCo (Jewish Women of Howard County), and even hosted a Sukkot celebration at her home in 2019. “There’s always room to grow,” says Laurie, who plans to learn Hebrew and go on a Momentum trip to Israel once the pandemic comes to an end.

However, during his college years at Cornell University, Jonathan wasn’t involved in Jewish life, preferring to travel and explore other interests. After graduation, he found himself missing the joys of Jewish community and tradition, but wasn’t sure how to find his way back. When he met his wife Denise, the pair bonded over their love for Israel and their curiosity about exploring Judaism.

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

MEET Laurie Goodwin

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

A PLACE FOR EVERY JEW


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The Week In News cal intervention despite their age and having suffered from chronic diseases, suggesting that the vaccine both guards from infection and protects against adverse health effects.  “This is very, very good news,” noted Anat Ekka Zohar, Maccabi’s chief statistician. “It is the first study in the world that looks at such a large number of fully vaccinated patients.” Highlighting the diverse makeup of Maccabi’s customer base, Zohar said that the results show that Pfizer’s vaccine is effective among all swaths of society. “The fact that the infected patients came from different profiles is consistent with Pfizer’s trial results,” she said.  Israel currently leads the world in vaccinating its population, with 3.1 million Israelis having gotten the first shot and 1.8 million receiving the second dose as of Monday. However, reports say that the vaccination drive has slowed down in recent days as health insurers find it difficult to convince people to be vaccinated.  If upwards of 150,000 Israelis were being vaccinated daily as of mid-January, only 87,000 people received the jab on Monday. The slowdown has resulted in thousands of doses being thrown out every day and has led two major healthcare companies to open their inoculation programs to the general population.

Cuomo Covers Up Deaths New allegations claim that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo covered up the deaths of thousands of nursing home residents who died after contracting COVID-19 due to his actions. According to a report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Cuomo deliberately undercounted nursing home deaths. While the official tally stands at 8,711, the 76-page report puts the true number of deaths at 13,000, the highest in the United States. The allegations center around New York’s unusual method of counting

COVID-19 fatalities. Unlike the rest of the U.S., the state only counted those who died on nursing home property and not those who died after being transported to a hospital. “Preliminary data obtained by [the Office of the Attorney general] suggests that many nursing home residents died from Covid-19 in hospitals after being transferred from their nursing homes, which is not reflected in [Department of Heath’s] published total nursing home death data,” reads the report.  The probe was based on a survey of 62 nursing homes and came after James received over 1,000 complaints from families of nursing home residents.  If accurate, the findings question Cuomo’s claims of his strong pandemic response. Defining his performance “as the finest in the nation,” Cuomo frequently lauded his handling of COVID-19 and even received an Emmy Award in November for his televised COVID-19 briefings.  James also faulted Cuomo for causing thousands of needless deaths by forcing nursing homes to take in patients infected with COVID-19. The directive, which was intended to free up hospital space, is said to have caused the deadly virus to spread throughout nursing homes and devastate their vulnerable residents.  While Cuomo rescinded the order after a public outcry, he never took responsibility for the 4,000 nursing home deaths that followed the controversial directive. Cuomo has since denied ever promoting the policy and scrubbed the Executive Order from the New York State website.  “The admissions may have contributed to increased risk of nursing home resident infection and subsequent fatalities,” the attorney general wrote.

Malley Named as Envoy to Iran

President Joe Biden has picked

longtime diplomat Robert Malley to be his special envoy to Iran. The decision was announced last Thursday evening and was confirmed by the State Department on Friday. Speaking with the Associated Press, a State Department official said that Malley will be tasked with leading the Biden administration’s negotiations vis-a-vis Iran over its nuclear program and will lead “a dedicated team” of “clear-eyed experts with a diversity of views.”  The official added that Malley has “a track record of success negotiating constraints on Iran’s nuclear program” and “will be able to do that once again.” Malley will play a key role in coordinating the Biden administration’s stance when it comes to Iran regarding a possible return to the nuclear deal. Under the terms of the agreement, which is formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran had reduced its nuclear enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief.  While former President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and reimposed sanctions, Biden has reiterated his willingness to return to the deal if Tehran keeps to its commitments.  The selection of Malley as Biden’s arbitrator is controversial, as the longtime diplomat is renowned for his dovish and pro-Tehran views. A State Department veteran, Malley previously served in the Obama administration and played a key role in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.  Malley has frequently condemned Israel for what he calls “its obsession” with stopping Iran, considering the Islamic Republic “a strategic partner” for the U.S. in the Middle East. The approach conflicts with the anti-Iran stance espoused by America’s traditional allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt.  Speaking with the AP, a senior official said that Malley “wants to rejoin the Iran deal at any cost and may be willing to sacrifice the security of Israel and the Gulf Arab states to do so.” In 2008, Malley was fired by then-President Barack Obama after he met with the Hamas terror group without authorization. While he lat-

er returned to the administration, he never retracted his support for working with terror groups to advance U.S. interests. “Today the U.S. does not talk to Iran, Syria, Hamas, the elected Palestinian government or Hezbollah,” Malley once wrote. “The result has been a policy with all the appeal of a moral principle and all the effectiveness of a tired harangue.”

Fatal Nitrogen Leak in GA Six people were killed and another 11 were hospitalized following a nitrogen leak at a Georgia poultry plant northeast of Atlanta last week. A key component for the refrigeration systems used at poultry plants, nitrogen displaces oxygen when released into the air. The gas then becomes deadly by reducing available breathable air. 

Hall county fire department division chief Zach Brackett told reporters that firefighters were summoned on Thursday morning after getting reports of an accident at the plant. Upon arriving, they found hundreds of employees waiting outside, some with severe breathing problems. “Once the units arrived, they found a large contingent of employees that had evacuated, along with multiple victims that were in that crowd that were also experiencing medical emergencies around the facility,” Brackett said. Five workers were declared dead on the spot, while another was pronounced dead after being transferred to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. Four firefighters were also evacuated to the hospital after suffering from respiratory difficulties.  “First, we just thought there was something wrong with the freezer, then they started saying, ‘Get out,’”


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to be inspired..

MEET Arielle Messafi

MEET Lindsay & Austin Nusbaum Newlyweds Lindsay and Austin Nusbaum are building a Jewish home together with the help of Etz Chaim. THE NUSBAUMS had similar upbringings in the Baltimore suburbs. Both attended Hebrew school and sleepaway camp, and celebrated

Recognizing Lindsay’s interest in delving deeper, Chana Grove asked her to meet and talk about young adult programming. Lindsay initially doubted she had the time, but was “blown away” by Chana’s passion for Jewish life. Although Austin had also attended dinners at the Flamms’ (and bonded with Efy over sports),he and Lindsay are several years apart in age. It wasn’t until they connected on JSwipe a couple of years ago that they discovered how much they had in common, including their interest in Jewish life. By then, Lindsay was deeply involved with Etz Chaim, having participated in J-Care since the program’s first year. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and Austin got involved in J-Care as well. The pair traveled to Israel together on a J-Care trip, and fondly remember an early morning at the Kotel before sunrise, amazing experiences of learning, and the chance to “give back” by volunteering at a hospital and a nursing home. To anyone thinking about getting involved, Lindsay says: “Give it a try—it’s worth it if you want a connection or are searching for learning.” She and Austin look forward to seeing where their Jewish journey takes them in the years ahead.

WHEN THEY GOT MARRIED, Sharon and Ron Rabinovitz decided they wanted a warm, traditional Jewish home. They started keeping kosher, celebrated Shabbat every Friday night with homemade challah, and made sure their children started their Jewish education at a young age. Over time, Sharon and Ron—both busy with work and raising their children— became less involved with Jewish life. That changed when Sharon visited Israel on a trip co-sponsored by Etz Chaim and the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (now Momentum). Sharon had been to Israel as a teenager, and jumped at the opportunity to visit and learn as an adult. “That trip really changed my life,” Sharon says. “I became so much more spiritual afterward.” She began baking challah and keeping kosher again, and started participating in Sunday morning Jewish learning with the Moms’ Coffee Club. Sharon enjoyed attending women’s programs, but wanted to get her husband involved as well. She and Ron started attending Wine and Wisdom events with Rabbi Pomeranz, and eventually went to Israel on a couple’s trip. They also decided to start volunteering Jewishly, and began participating in the Associated’s Bunches of Lunches meal delivery program. The couple’s children were inspired by their renewed commitment to Judaism. Their son, Seth, decided to study at a yeshiva in Israel (and recently became engaged to be married!). Sharon says, “Etz Chaim is a great way to bring Judaism back into your life.” She looks forward to staying involved and becoming a mentor to other women who are interested in Momentum, Etz Chaim, and Jewish life in general.

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

After graduation, Arielle connected with Chana Grove, who recommended that she join the J-Care Fellowship program at Etz Chaim. Arielle went on J-Care’s Israel trip in June 2018 and has been involved ever since. It would be no exaggeration to say that J-Care changed Arielle’s life. She made many close friends and started chavrusa learning. Although she had always enjoyed family Shabbat dinners, Arielle now observes Shabbat according to halacha. The pandemic hasn’t slowed her down—she goes on socially distanced “Pirkei Avot learning hikes” and participates in regular parsha learning with friends over Zoom. “Etz Chaim has opened so many doors for me,” Arielle says. “It gave me so many opportunities to connect to Judaism and learn more about myself and how I want to practice Judaism. Without Etz Chaim, it would have been much harder to get to where I am today.”

In Lindsay’s senior year of college, she attended a Shabbat dinner at the home of Efy and Penina Flamm, Etz Chaim’s representatives on campus. She had a great time and instantly regretted not getting involved sooner. Not only did Lindsay become a regular at Shabbat, but she also participated in immersive Jewish learning through Efy’s Kollel and Kollel Plus series.

MEET Sharon & Ron Rabinovitz

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

ARIELLE MESSAFI grew up in a traditional Jewish family in Baltimore County. She attended the Beth Tfiloh day school and enjoyed celebrating holidays and Shabbat with her family. In college, Arielle was active in Hillel and Challah for Hunger. She also pursued Jewish education through Efy Flamm’s highly regarded Kollel and Kollel Plus classes.

holidays with their families. Austin describes going to synagogue with his mother every Friday night and how meaningful it was when the rabbi invited him to help lead Kiddush.

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

A PLACE FOR EVERY JEW


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Introducing

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The Week In News recounted Jameel Fareed, who had been on the production line when the chaos began. “I just saw the fog, and when I couldn’t see down the steps, I turned around. But I didn’t feel anything.” Federal and state law enforcement personnel opened an investigation into what caused the deadly leak. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board sent a special team to examine the site on Friday morning but cautioned that it will take time until investigators can determine what went wrong. “It will be a lengthy process,” admitted Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch. “It’s not something that’s quick.”

to reconsider. The outrage was particularly fierce amongst first responders on 9/11 and the families of the victims, who questioned why those responsible for killing their loved ones should be prioritized.  “You can’t make this up. The ridiculousness of what we get from our government,” tweeted Tom Von Essen, who headed New York City’s Fire Department on 9/11. “They will run the vaccine down to those lowlifes at Guantanamo Bay before every resident of the United States of America gets it is the theater of the absurd.”

No Vaccine at Gitmo

California Highway Caves In

The Pentagon said that it would pause plans to vaccinate al-Qaeda prisoners imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay following a nationwide outcry. Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said that jailed terrorists would not be given the coveted vaccine after news of the expected inoculation programs caused an uproar. “No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols. We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe,” Kirby tweeted. Located on the U.S.-controlled half of Cuba, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp is a military detention facility home to 40 senior terrorist leaders. Current detainees include 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed along with other al-Qaeda bigwigs. All of the imprisoned terrorists were slated to be inoculated by Monday in order to enable legal proceedings that were halted by the pandemic to resume. But the news that senior terrorists would be given the in-demand vaccine before American citizens caused blowback across the political spectrum, leading the Pentagon

A massive part of California’s scenic Highway 1 collapsed into a nearby valley after days of torrential rain caused the underlying cliff to cave in. The collapse occurred on Thursday 20 miles south of Big Sur and came after four straight days of heavy rain. Photos of the highway show a gigantic stretch of roadway missing, leaving lanes in both directions disconnected. The damage was discovered on Friday morning by motorists making the scene drive on California’s coastline. No one was on the roadway at the time of the collapse.  While engineers are still examining the extent of the ruins, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) says that the road will likely cost millions to repair. Caltrans Spokesperson Jim Shivers told reporters that the destruction was the result of a “slip out,” or “where we lose a part of the highway, and now we’re facing a project to clean and repair that stretch. “This is the only location we’re aware of where this happened in the storm. Our maintenance team is pa-


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The Week In News trolling the highway now to look for other damage,” Shivers added. Big Sur, a rugged stretch of California roadway, is prone to mudslides that have worsened in recent years due to erosion of its cliff face. In 2017, a landslide dumped 1 million tons of rock on Highway 1, closing it for a year and adding 13 acres to the coastline. “Anyone familiar with the history of Highway 1 knows that once we get into the rain season, slides of various degrees, slip outs, rock slides is what we face and what we know will happen,” Shivers said.

Philly Vaccination Program Questioned

Philadelphia’s deputy health commissioner resigned amid fallout from a scandal surrounding the city’s COVID-19 vaccine provider. Dr. Caroline Johnson stepped down on Saturday after emails showed that she was responsible for choosing Philly Fighting COVID (PFC) to manage the city’s vaccine distribution program. Philadelphia’s ties with PFC have since caused an uproar after media reports showed that the startup was run by a 22-year-old CEO with no experience.

A Philadelphia spokesperson said that Johnson was asked to resign after records showed that she gave an advantage to PFC over other vendors during the bidding process. City officials say it was “improper” for Johnson to favor one company over another. “These actions were inappropriate because the information shared was not available to all potential applicants,” said Health Department Spokesperson James Garrow. “While these actions may have been intended to help advance the City’s vaccine distribution effort, the Health Commissioner has accepted her resignation in the best interest of the city.” Johnson’s resignation is just the latest twist in a scandal that has people asking why Philadelphia entrusted its vaccine distribution effort to a company with no prior experience. Founded last March by Andrei Doroshin, a 22-year-old college student, PFC nevertheless received a million dollar contract to operate a mass vaccine program at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Philadelphia’s ties with PFC came under renewed scrutiny after press reports alleged that Doroshin handed out the in-demand vaccines to four personal friends. PFC also changed its corporate structure from a nonprofit to for-profit but never notified city officials.  The expose led Philadelphia to sever ties with PFC last week entirely, saying that “it lost trust in them as an organization.” City Council is now demanding a public hearing in wake of the scandal into why one of America’s biggest cities trusted a start-up with administering its inoculation program.

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Impeachment Round II

Former President Donald Trump hired two new lawyers to defend him before the Senate in his impeachment trial next week. Trump announced on Sunday evening that David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. will head his legal team. Both are experienced trial lawyers and have previously defended key Trump surrogates; most recently, Schoen represented longtime confidant Roger Stone on obstruction of justice charges in 2019.  “Notably, Schoen has already been working with the 45th President and other advisors to prepare for the upcoming trial, and both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional – a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week,” said Trump’s office.  Trump was referring to last week’s Senate vote in which 45 Republicans voted in favor of dismissing the charges on grounds that it is unconstitutional to remove a former president. While the measure failed to dismiss the charges by a margin of 55-45, it indicated that the Democratic Party is likely well short of the 67 votes needed to convict.  “It is an honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution,” Schoen said in a statement. Castor added, “I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President. The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history.” Trump’s hiring of the two aforementioned attorneys came a day after his entire legal team resigned only a week before the trial was slated to begin. The five lawyers quit following professional differences over strategy; while the team sought to highlight the

legal difficulties of impeaching a former president, Trump wanted to highlight claims of voter fraud. Trump will appear before the Senate on February 9 for charges of “incitement of insurrection” relating to his role in the Capitol riot on January 6. The hearing marks the first-ever impeachment trial for a president that is no longer in office and comes after Trump was impeached by the House on January 13, 2021.

Chicago Carjackings Spike Carjackings in the Windy City have spiked, and police are pointing fingers at young adults and teenagers, many of whom are out of school due to the pandemic. Chicago saw more than 180% more carjackings in January than during the same month in 2020. The police department recorded 218 carjackings in the first month of the year; last January saw 77 in the city.

Carjackings rose about 135% last year to 1,415 and continue at a high pace this year, police statistics show. The startling pattern has grown to be cause for concern among police brass, who on January 21 announced the creation of a team dedicated to finding those people responsible. According to data, most of the perpetrators are between the ages of 15 and 20, although some are even younger. “We’re having 12-year-olds commit these acts now,” Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said, “and we gotta do something together as a city to stop these actions.” CPD’s new carjacking team consists of 40 police officers and four sergeants assigned to work across CPD’s five detective bureaus. The program extends beyond just man-


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The Week In News power to include public programs and collaboration with community groups and local, state and federal partners. Deenihan said pandemic-driven changes, such as civil unrest and the lack of fully-functioning school and court systems have contributed to the surge. He noted the lack of fear on the part of the carjackers, pointing to one involving a 12-year-old that occurred on January 15, when a woman was parking her car in a garage. “She came back out and a 12-yearold was getting in her car with a gun,” Deenihan said. “She stood in front of the car to say, ‘Get out of the car.’ The 12-year-old pointed a gun at her and said, ‘Move or I’ll shoot you.’” The boy took off with the car and was eventually arrested. “This shows the brazenness of these carjackers,” Deenihan pointed out. “And it shows what we’re up against.”

Amazon’s new site in Virginia will dazzle the eyes. An outdoor amphitheater, public plazas for farmer’s markets and a 350-foot-tall tower inspired by a double helix are all among the latest design proposals for Amazon’s new headquarters. The plans, made public and submitted to authorities for approval on

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Tuesday, will form the second phase of the tech giant’s $2.5 billion HQ2 project in Arlington County, Virginia. More than three years after Amazon announced that it was expanding beyond its current Seattle headquarters, construction at the Virginia site – located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. – is now well underway. Dubbed PenPlace, the newly unveiled proposal for the project’s second phase will provide a further 2.8 million square feet of office space across three 22-story buildings. The site’s focal point will be The Helix, a tree-covered glass structure where a series of “alternative work environments” will be set amid indoor gardens and greenery from the nearby area, tended to by a team of horticulturalists. According to the architecture firm behind the project, NBBJ, a spiral “hill climb” will meanwhile allow employees and visitors to ascend the outside of the structure. “We’re doing a lot on the site to connect people to nature,” said lead architect and NBBJ principal, Dale Alberda, adding that the design aims to symbolize both nature and science. “But with the Helix we really take that to the extreme,” he added. “We’re building a series of indoor atriums and gardens that are not a conservatory or a place you just visit, but a place you can actually go and work.” The new proposal includes 2.5 acres of public space, offering art installations, communal grassy areas and a 250-seat amphitheater. Outdoor plazas will host mobile food vendors and farmers’ markets, while retail space will see shops and restaurants move in at ground level. “If we do this right, you won’t necessarily even know that you’re on an Amazon headquarters property,” said Alberda, adding that the “vast majority” of the site will be accessible to the public, including office buildings’ lobbies. “People talk about [tech] ‘campuses’ all the time, and that comes with (the impression of) a place that is fenced off…but we are moving away from the campus to what we like to refer to as a neighborhood.” If Amazon’s PenPlace proposal is approved, the project’s second phase would break ground in 2022, with construction projected to complete by 2025.

Six Time’s a Charm

Bryan Moss is a very, very, very, very, very, very lucky man. Last week, the Idaho man won the first $250,000 jackpot on the Idaho Lottery Scratch Game $250,000 Crossword. But Moss is no stranger to winning. This is the sixth time that he had won a large prize from the state lottery. Thursday’s win, though, was his largest jackpot and the first time he’s ever won a top prize. “This is a remarkable run of good luck for Mr. Moss,” David Workman, the Idaho Lottery spokesman, said. “While he has had success winning, he also truly understands that playing wisely benefits our local businesses as well as Idaho public schools and buildings.” Since 1990, the annual lottery dividend has benefited Idaho Public Schools and the Permanent Building Fund, which supports state-operated facilities like colleges and universities. “I’m proud to help support Idaho public schools,” Moss said in a statement. “That’s really why I play.” With his new $250,000 jackpot winnings, Moss told lottery officials he plans on using the money to pay for his daughter’s future education. “Bryan Moss is someone who has a positive outlook toward life and today, he has an additional 250,000 reasons to be happy,” the lottery said.

Lost & Found One good deed leads to another. A city worker in Taiwan found more than $10,000 when he was sorting through donated clothes and re-


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Officials took the bag that contained the money to a local police station, where officers found receipts and other documents that identified the owner. The owner, a 72-year-old woman, said her husband had gathered the clothes to be donated without realizing one of the items contained the envelopes of money she had been saving for retirement and a wedding gift for her daughter. The grateful woman brought the cleanup team a basket of apples to show her appreciation to them for returning the money.

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Record Heat

A Canadian man with a love for spicy food broke a Guinness World Record by eating three Carolina reaper chili peppers – the hottest chili peppers in the world – in under 10 seconds. Mike Jack scarfed down the three peppers in 9.72 seconds during his attempt in London, Ontario. According to Guinness, each pepper needs to weigh at least 0.18 ounces. This achievement is too hot to handle.

Oranges All Around Orange you glad they didn’t pack more? Four men gobbled down 66 pounds of oranges at a Chinese airport after they learned that it would cost them around $46 to transport the oranges back home. It took them around a half hour to consume the box of fruit. “We just stood there and ate the whole thing up. It took about 2030 minutes,” said Wang, one of the travelers, who spoke with the Global Times. The four men were coworkers who had hoped to bring the fruit back home to split between themselves. After gorging on the citrus fruits, though, they were left with painful sores in their mouths. “We never want to have any oranges again,” Wang declared. Fruit for thought…


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Torah Thought

It Pays to be a Fool By Rabbi Zvi Teichman

The Torah records how ‘Yisro, the priest of Midian, Moshe’s father-inlaw’ heard about the marvelous events that had transpired with the Jewish nation. It then goes on to describe how ‘Yisro, Moshe’s father-in-law’ decides to bring Moshe’s wife and children from Midian to rejoin them. He presents himself once again as ‘I, your father-in-law, Yisro’ have come to you. Moshe greets him warmly, reviewing in detail all that had taken place. After being inspired by what he heard the Torah depicts how, now merely ‘Yisro’, rejoices, and according to tradition converts, joining in the destiny of the Jewish people. In the next scenario we are told how, ‘Yisro, Moshe’s father-in-law’, brings offerings for G-d, where Aharon and the elders of Israel break bread with the ‘father-in-law’ of Moshe. From this point on in all his interactions with Moshe he is referred to as simply, ‘Moshe’s father-in-law’. Seemingly, Yisro, quickly sheds his status as a priest of Midian as soon as he realizes what has occurred. He still retains his identity as ‘Yisro’ but that too seems to wane after he dedicates himself to Aharon and the elders, being subsequently identified in

his role as the father-in-law of Moshe. In life we so often start off with our very ‘name’ seeking to make a reputation for ourselves by the profession we attain. We also define ourselves in the stature we gain through the associations of prominent people we make and ‘rub shoulders’ with. The wise Yisro quickly ‘gets it’, discarding any notion of relevance in his personal achievement as priest of Midian. He nevertheless seeks to take pride in his stature as the ‘father-inlaw’ of royalty, Moshe the leader of the Jewish nation. Eventually he comes to realize it isn’t about what your skills are, or about whom you know, it is about what you can accomplish on the behalf of others that really defines who you are. Yisro, after offering sage advice to Moshe regarding the administrating of the nation, discovers the privilege he has in playing a vital part in the mosaic of G-d’s masterplan. He is happy to submerge even his very ‘name’ and merely regale in his role as being attached to greatness as just the loyal and devoted father-in-law of Moshe. The Midrash says that Yisro mar-

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veled at how from his initial and generous invitation to invite Moshe into his home, after Moshe’s having saved Yisro’s ‘daughters in distress’, it brought about his eventual merit to host the leaders of the nation sixty years later. This the Midrash states is the fulfillment of the famous verse in Koheles. ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for you shall find it after many days’. (11:1) The verse isn’t teaching us that one should calculate on doing acts of kindness in the hopes of one day having it come back to benefit you. That would go against any notion of altruism which is the hallmark of Judaism, the selfless commitment to do what is right simply because it is the right thing to do. Rather it is teaching us that we should act even when it seems as if we are ‘casting our bread upon the water’ without any evident gain. One day we will find validation for what we did, whether in this or the next world, because everything has a purpose and accomplishes in the greater scheme of things, even if we may not sense it. We must though believe it. In Mishlei, King Solomon writes: When you smite the scorner, the fool will become prudent. (19:25) The Midrash teaches the scorner is Amalek, and the fool, Yisro. Amalek seeks primacy. He sees a world of human achievement that summons man to gain position and power. In his encounter with obstacles in attaining his goals he becomes cynical, scornful and hateful in frustration. The wise man however realizes that as long as we act purposefully and honestly, we have no fear of failure because in the masterplan of G-d if one acts in devotion to one’s fellow man and G-d, one will find validation one day sooner or later. It sometimes pays to be the ‘simple one’, the fool who doesn’t necessarily calculate the efficacy of his actions, though knowing we make a difference. The Holy Baal Shem would often

say regarding the verse in Mishlei: ‘The simple believe anything’ (14:15), “Ich bin a naar und ich glayb”— “I am a fool and I believe”! There are often moments in life when we realize how all is orchestrated from on high and all we can do is act genuinely, devotedly and without getting frustrated when things seem not to work out. As long as we believe with absolute faith, and act faithfully, we are guaranteed to one day be validated for our honest efforts. Four years ago, I was visiting Israel during the week of parshas Yisro. On the very first day upon my arrival here in the holy land and while walking back after having prayed Mincha at the Kotel, I had a ‘Yisro moment’. I had been approached shortly before I left Baltimore by an individual who was looking for assistance in helping to get vital information regarding a certain family’s Halachic status as Jews. He presented some documentation to see if I knew any of the parties involved. I happened to recognize one of the signatories as someone I had met and interacted with over twenty years ago in Israel, not having had any contact with him since. I said I would attempt to locate him and see if he remembered me. As I was walking through the Mamilla mall, lo and behold there was the person I had sought to find, falling right into my lap. Not one hundred percent certain it was him, after all I had not seen him in nearly two decades, I called out his name, and indeed it was! He remembered me and we had a warm reunion. I realized that whatever we do in life, the friends we make, the experiences we encounter, they all fall together sooner or later. Sometimes it may take lifetime, or even beyond, and occasionally we are fortunate to wait ‘only’ two decades. That realization encourages us to live life happily sometimes as a ‘simpleton’, with the awareness that being a ‘naar’ can often make us greatly wiser!


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

By Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow

n the English language there is an order for descriptive words. Most native English speakers have acquired an innate feel for the right way to express a sentence. However, if one would be put on the spot to express the rule, it would be exceedingly difficult. Mark Forsyth put the rule to text in his book, The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase. He writes, “Adjectives, absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest, you’ll sound like a maniac.” Another shorter example is little green monsters. No one would say green little monsters. However, the order of those words is just based on convention. When it comes to sacred texts, however, every word belongs in its exact place for a reason. Therefore, this article and much of Torah has been written about the reversal of two words. At the end of Maggid, we recite a blessing. We ask Hashem to help us observe other holidays with the Beis Hamikdash already built, and we will eat there from “hazavachim u’min hapesachim – we will eat there from the sacrifices and the Passover sacrifices.” One understanding of this phrase is that we are asking Hashem that we should be able to observe Pesach properly in the future with the Korban Chagigah and a Korban Pesach. The Korban Pesach was offered on the 14th on Nissan. Often, the Korban Pesach was accompanied by a Korban Chagigah as well. There is a halacha that the Korban Pesach has to be eaten when mostly full. (Stated in another way, one should be full after eating the Korban Pesach.) There are two primary reasons for this halacha. One is that

this manner of eating is considered the most respectable for the Korban Pesach. We don’t want the Korban Pesach to be consumed like an appetizer or side dish. The Korban Pesach should be the mainstay of the Pesach meal, and one should be full after eating it. The Yerushalmi offers a different reason. There is a special injunction in the Torah against breaking the bones of the Korban Pesach. If someone would consume the korban while he was very hungry, he may come to break the bones to get to the meat more quickly. Therefore, the rabbis instituted that the Korban Pesach be eaten when mostly full, so that one is less likely to break the bones to get to the meat. In order to ensure that the Korban Pesach was consumed on a mostly full stomach, a Korban Chagigah was offered in conjunction with the Korban Pesach. The Chagigah was eaten first, and only afterwards was the Korban Pesach eaten. We can now readily understand the phraseology in the Haggadah. We hope that next Pesach we will be in Yerushalayim and eat the Chagigah sacrifice and only afterwards eat the Pesach sacrifice. That is why the word zevachim precedes the word pesachim. However, the Mishnah in Pesachim (69b) states that the Korban Chagigah was not brought on a year like this year, when the 14th of Nissan, erev Pesach, fell out on Shabbos. While the Korban Pesach is always brought on the 14th, Shabbos or not, the offering of the Korban Chagigah did not override Shabbos. Therefore, this year, if Moshiach comes before Pesach, we will not offer a Korban Chagigah. We will have to eat other food to fill ourselves up before partaking of the Korban Pesach. The Bach, therefore, rules that this year we should change the order

of the aforementioned words when said on Motzei Shabbos. When we recite the blessing after Maggid, we should ask Hashem that He should enable us to eat from “hapesachim u’min hazavachim.” The first Passover-related sacrifice that we will eat when the 14th of Nissan falls out on Shabbos is the Korban Pesach and not the Chagigah. We will, b’ezras Hashem, eat a Korban Chagigah as well but not on the first night of Pesach. There will be time during the rest of the holiday to offer a Korban Chagigah. The Knesses Yechezkel disagrees. He says it is irrelevant what could have happened this year. If, unfortunately, Pesach comes around and we are still in exile, we are asking that next year we should be able to offer the sacrifices. So even if this year we could not have offered the Chagigah because of Shabbos, we are praying that next year we should be able to offer actual sacrifices. Most often, erev Pesach does not fall out on Shabbos. So most likely next year, we will bring a Chagigah first and eat it before the Pesach. If anything, one could argue that we should have changed the text last year, because we knew that this year erev Pesach would fall out on Shabbos based on the calendar instituted by the great amora Hillel. However, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav disagrees with that as well. We are praying for Moshiach to come and the Beis Hamikdash to be rebuilt. B’ezras Hashem that should happen soon, and we will no longer use Hillel’s permanent

calendar. The calendar will be fluid. The start of every month will depend on Beis Din and witnesses. Therefore, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav rules that we should always leave the text unchanged. Moreover, the Nimukei Orach Chayim disagrees with the entire premise of the Bach. We are not asking Hashem to be able to eat from the Korban Chagigah that is slaughtered on the 14th of Nissan. We hope Moshiach comes way before that! We, b’ezras Hashem, hope to eat the sacrifices that we will offer on Shavuos and Sukkos. That is what is meant by the term zevachim. After those two holidays pass, we will get to eat the Korban Pesach. That is why the term zevachim precedes pesachim, because it is referring to the sacrifices we will b’ezras Hashem bring on the other holidays that precede Pesach. It is totally irrelevant whether the 14th of Nissan falls out on Shabbos or not. Many Haggados say to switch the order of the words this year on Motzei Shabbos, and everyone should follow their custom. Regardless, one can certainly gain an appreciation into the preciseness of every word of the Haggadah.

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow is a rebbe at Yeshiva Ateres Shimon in Far Rockaway. In addition, Rabbi Sebrow leads a daf yomi chaburah at Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park in West Hempstead, NY. He can be contacted at ASebrow@gmail.com.


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I N

My Uncle Shea

FEBRUARY 4, 2021 THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME B A LT I M O R E J E W I S H H O M E . C O M

M E M O R Y

Remembering Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, zt”l By Yaakov Ganz

R

abbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, or Uncle Shea as he was known in the family, was an unusual person. This is not news to anyone. The rabbi doctor part is less uncommon than it sounds. Every community has its handful of dual discipline Torah scholar/professionals. I always thought of him in my own mind as my Modern Orthodox chassidishe uncle. I think he would have liked that. I think that reflects something more unusual about him than his diverse erudition. He wore a shtreimel, a beard and peyos, but he saw himself and the world around him with a subtlety and depth that greatly transcended such superficialities as uniforms, materials of head coverings, traditions of study or prayer, minhagim, and the like. He was not greatly impressed by titles or club memberships. He saw each person really as a tayereh neshama and a chelek Elokim mimaal. What else could matter? This went for old and young, men and women, the learned and the pedestrian, Jews and nonJews. He is probably the only person in the world who, besides for other singularities, had a close personal relationship with the Steipler Gaon, zt”l, and with a bishop of the Catholic church.

He talked to children with respect. This is not a platitude. When we spoke, I always felt like he thought I had something genuinely useful to say, and I would rack my brain for the bright thing he seemed to be expecting. In retrospect, I think this is simply the way he saw everybody. He was very smart and knew many things, but his mind was always hungry for new learning, for new experiences, for knowledge or understanding that could come from anywhere or anyone. He wore techeilis in his tzitzis because it was presented to him and it made sense. He wasn’t concerned with who else was or wasn’t wearing them. I worked with him for a time at a drug rehabilitation facility in Long Island, and he told me this story:

I was standing outside of my house in Pittsburgh one morning, and I was feeling very depressed. I can’t remember anymore what it was that had gotten me down that day. In any case, some people from the hospital were walking by, and they were on their way to a meeting. They said, “Good morning” to me and they could tell that I was out of it and one of them said, “Hey, Twerski” [in his stories his interlocuters were always calling him by his last name only, though I never myself heard anyone address him that way]. “Twerski, you look lousy. Come with us to the meeting.” So I thought, OK, why not? I went with them, and this fellow gets up

at the meeting and says, “When I came here, I had lost everything in my life. My job, my family, my money, my home, my friends, my health. Everything. Some days I feel like I just can’t go on. But then I think, ‘G-d brought me this far. He’s not going to leave me here now.” And then my uncle turned to me and, with a certain bashful self-deprecation, said, “That really picked me up.” You cannot imagine the respect and admiration Rabbi Twerski had for the people our society considers to be its least respectful and admirable members. I think part of the reason he was drawn to addicts is because, when you’ve lost everything, all that’s left is you. The real you. No pretensions, no airs,

no pursuit of prestige or recognition or other material things. Your existence becomes quite a bit more spiritual, essentially by default. He wanted to connect to real people. He wanted to touch your soul and be touched by your soul. That was something in which he found indescribable value. More than anything, I think he was a baal chessed. He consulted and counseled and, when there was nothing else, listened and empathized with the pain of a near constant stream of people who sought his help from all over the world. I was not a little aware of the celebrity of my famous uncle, and I took some pride in dropping his name when the opportunity presented itself. I said hello to him at family simchas like any of the dozens of other nieces and nephews and relatives and friends and students who would gather around him when he walked into a room, but still, he hardly knew me. But when I once asked him to introduce me to a certain prestigious person with whom he was acquainted, I got an email from this person I think around five minutes after I asked my uncle to make the introduction. When I emailed him a question about a client I was struggling with just a few months ago, at which time, confined to a wheelchair, he


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was quite old and frail and I’m sure was still receiving constant emails and calls for help, he responded almost instantly. In his typical fashion his diagnosis was that my client suffered from low self-esteem, which made me laugh a little. But it was clear from his response that he had spent time reading my email carefully and his advice about how low self-esteem was affecting my client and what I could try to do to help him work through it was very particular to the case and not a boilerplate in any way. When Rabbi Twerski’s first wife, my Aunt Goldie, a”h, was nifteres, he brought her to be buried in Eretz Yisroel. I was learning there at the time, and I came to the kevurah, as did many other people. Rabbi Twerski had grandchildren and relatives

and talmidim and friends living in Eretz Yisroel and quite a large crowd came to pay their respects. I remember standing in that throng as the slight form of my un-

was providing him some vital support. Of course, this could not have been the case. In a state of such pain and despair, barely being aware of his surroundings and acting,

good thing I’m here for him!” I would lament that they don’t make his kind very much anymore, but I don’t think there were ever that many people like him. For

I think part of the reason he was drawn to addicts is because, when you’ve lost everything, all that’s left is you.

cle stood among us brokenhearted and consumed with his loss. He hugged every single person and thanked them for being there. I think there must have been over fifty of us. When he hugged me, I doubted if he even knew who I was and yet I felt like I

I think, not even with real consciousness, he wanted each of us to feel that we were valuable, that our presence there was significant. The feeling I had after hugging him I saw mirrored on the faces of everyone else there when their turn came: “It’s a

those of us who were fortunate to know him, to learn from him through his lectures, his books, or his teachings, we know what a singular soul he was. We know of his exceptional mind and his even bigger heart, a heart of insight and a heart of deep

feeling. He believed in the greatness of all people. In his memory, we can look at our friends and our neighbors, our family and community, all the people of the world we live in, and instead of seeing people we compete with or disagree with or are different than, we can see souls that are special and have something unique and valuable to contribute to the world and to us personally. This would be a great zechus for his neshama. (And more so for ours. I think we need it more than he does.)

Yaakov Ganz learned for many years in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. He has a marriage therapy practice in Queens and Long Island.

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Israel Today

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

Behind the Closed Doors of Sheba’s COVID Wards

THE BALTIMORE JEWISH HOME

By Sharon Gelbach

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

T

he so-called “third wave” of COVID-19 has hit the Israeli population especially hard, many speculate due to the especially contagious variants and mutations. The overworked doctors and nurses can only do so much for the hundreds of patients hospitalized in the corona wards at Sheba Medical Center, and where their duties end, the volunteer work begins. “Anyone who has experienced corona knows that the suffering from the basic symptoms is compounded by the loneliness and despair caused by the isolation,” explained Noa Pakter, community relations coordinator at Sheba who organizes a weekly roster of volunteers from morning till night. “Our volunteers enter each room and check what’s needed. Disabled patients will receive practical, handson assistance – with eating, sitting up in bed, and making video calls to their loved ones. We might play music and dance with a patient, or just sit with them and talk. Beyond the physical help, it’s more about the emotional support,” she explained. The 35 volunteers are all “corona

survivors” who take monthly serology tests to ensure that they have immunity. Those whose numbers fall past a certain index are no longer allowed into the wards, relegated instead to the outer rooms where they help other volunteers and family members of patients “suit up” in the special protective gear.

ternity ward, psychiatric ward and a corona ER. Pakter observed that certain volunteers get attached to one particular ward, but she makes it a point to cover all the wards, so that no patient is forgotten. The volunteers develop a close relationship with the patients, becoming like a second family, sharing in

“Beyond the physical help, it’s more about the emotional support.”

Pakter describes the charedi and religious volunteers as “wonderful people who lead full lives, working, studying and raising families, and who consider it their mission to help COVID patients. “The medical staff do all they can, and we fill in by keeping the patients company and lifting their spirits,” she said. Sheba has five COVID internal wards, as well as a corona ICU, ma-

the elation when the patient is healed, or tragically, in the grief when a patient passes away. Pakter recalls the patient who was hospitalized last summer, forced to miss his own daughter’s wedding. The volunteer helped the father get dressed up and then set up a laptop with Zoom, so that he could feel as if he’d been present at the wedding. The following day, to the father’s delight, the bride and groom came to visit him

in the ward. By the time the couple celebrated their first month together, the father had recovered and was back at home. Some stories end differently. A husband and wife who had been admitted together to the Sheba corona ward were separated when, after a long battle, the husband succumbed. The wife was inconsolable. Chen, a volunteer, arrived just in time to show her the funeral on Zoom, while holding her close and crying together with her. “Chen provided the wife with closure and a measure of comfort that no one else could,” said Pakter. “People who weren’t there could never understand what it’s like,” said Tzion, a corona survivor in his early 40s. After he left the Sheba corona ward, recovered and felt strong enough, he joined Pakter’s corps of volunteers. “I try to bring things that will help them feel better, such as their favorite food for Shabbat. But the main thing isn’t the food; it’s the smile, the company, the presence. “When people come to visit, they literally bring life!”


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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Jewish History

Andrew Yang Got it Right on BDS

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by Stephen H. Norwood and Rafael Medoff

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e’re used to politicians mangling history, whether out of carelessness or partisanship. So it was a breath of fresh air when New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang recently shared a powerful historical truth about people who boycott Jews. Yang has been pilloried by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. But he got it right. “A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement, which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment,” he wrote in The Forward. And then came his most controversial – but most important – sentence: “BDS [is] rooted in antisemitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses…” The best known “fascist boycott” against Jews was waged by the government of Nazi Germany, beginning with a one-day nationwide action, on April 1, 1933, shortly after Hitler’s rise to power. Throughout the Reich on that day, stormtroopers were stationed at entrances to Jewish stores and offices, and above the doors they posted a yellow circle – the medieval symbol associating Jews with gold and prostitution. The boycott was intended to demonstrate that the Nazis could readily threaten Jews’ economic survival. In subsequent years, the Nazis avidly enforced local boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses across Germany. Elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe during the same period, anti-Semitic political parties and grassroots movements promoted anti-Jewish boycotts, although generally they were local initiatives, lacking the imprimatur of government approval. A notable exception was Poland, where, beginning in 1936, Prime Minister Felicjan Skladkowski openly endorsed “economic struggle”

against Polish Jews. Here in the United States, the pro-Nazi German American Bund and the neofascist Christian Front organized and aggressively promoted boycotts of Jewish stores. The Friends of the New Germany, from which the Bund evolved, originated the boycott in 1934, establishing a German-American Business League to promote and police it. In the heavily German-American neighborhood of Yorkville, in upper Manhattan, Jewish business “are boycotted quite as thoroughly as in Germany,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that spring. A Jewish bookseller told the JTA his sales “have fallen off almost one hundred percent.” Previously, his business was so successful that there were “frequent robberies.” But now, “not even the burglars come any more.” To intimidate non-Jewish shopkeepers, those who failed to pledge loyalty to the boycott had their front window “marked with large swastikas”; in many cases, “the Hitlerite insignia has been cut into the bay windows of the stores, apparently

with a diamond.” Over the next several years, in New York and Boston, the Christian Front, organized by followers of the anti-Semitic Catholic priest Charles Coughlin, distributed guides for shoppers identifying stores not owned by Jews. These guides carried the statement that “[Yashka] Himself” sponsored the anti-Jewish boycott. The Christian Front posted fliers featuring Nazi-style anti-Semitic imagery in subway stations and on shop windows and buildings, urging passersby to boycott Jewish stores and to “Buy Christian.” These fliers included genocidal threats, such as “Destroy the Jews!” and “Kill the kike vermin! Wake up Christians!” As in Germany, the boycott and the circulation of anti-Semitic propaganda precipitated frequent violent attacks on Jews in the streets and parks of Boston and New York, on Jews’ homes and stores, and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Commentators referred to these attacks as “mini-pogroms.” They reached a peak during World War II but continued for several years after the end of the war.

Obviously, there are many differences between the anti-Jewish boycotts of the 1930s and the BDS campaigns of our own time. Yet we dare not ignore the parallels. Today’s BDS advocates heatedly deny that they are fascists or anti-Semites. They claim they are “only” boycotting Israelis, not Jews. Likewise, advocates of “partial” BDS say they are boycotting “only” Israeli settlers, not residents of Israeli towns within the pre-1967 areas. If that were true, the BDS movement would boycott Israeli Arabs as well as Israeli Jews. And the “partial boycotters” would target Israeli Arab residents of communities beyond the pre-1967 lines. They would also refrain from boycotting foreign-born Jewish “settlers” who are not Israeli citizens. Have you ever heard of BDS activists boycotting Israeli Arabs in general, or Israeli Arab residents of settlements or exempting non-Israeli settlers? We haven’t. The reason is simple: they are targeting Jews. And that makes their actions uncomfortably similar to the behavior of the fascists to whom Andrew Yang referred. This article was originally printed in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.

Dr. Norwood is Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Oklahoma; his latest book, which is in press, is “Prologue to Annihilation: Ordinary American and British Jews Challenge the Third Reich.” Dr. Medoff is founding director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies; his most recent book is “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust.”


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Parenting Pearls

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Creating an Environment for Growth By Sara Rayvych, MSEd

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s parents, we all want our children to grow and reach their potential. It’s a challenge to create the correct environment that is conducive for each child. There are many children who sometimes need a gentle push to get them going; even adults sometimes need a little fire lit beneath them. It’s important to maintain a proper balance so our children feel encouraged and not pressured. A few months ago, upon the encouragement of a healthcare provider, I joined a women’s fitness class. I showed up punctually that Thursday morning in front of Warren Levi Karate and hurriedly got ready for a kickboxing class. I enjoyed the class immensely but couldn’t help noticing how much more fit the other women were than me. I will confess to feeling a little inadequate (read: pathetic) but it didn’t take long for me to realize that while I felt frustrated by what I couldn’t do, others weren’t judging me. There was an understanding that everyone was at their own level and that everyone encouraged each other. Recently, it struck me how powerful a motivator it is to be accepted where you are while still being encouraged to reach further. One of my children had trouble learning to read. As he was homeschooled, he never had someone else to compare himself to and he never felt inadequate as a person. He did learn to read despite his many struggles but he never lost his self-esteem. Too often, children (and adults) judge themselves using those around them as a guideline. This can easily leave a struggling child without confidence and without their self-worth. Well-meaning adults can push a child down even further by pointing out the child’s failure with the hope that it’ll fuel his/her will to succeed.

Avoid comparisons Each child is unique and has their

own strengths and weaknesses. It’s usually counterproductive to compare children, especially in front of the child. If you see your friend’s similarly-aged infant is babbling and yours isn’t, then by all means contact your pediatrician and ask if you should be concerned. If you see your third grader struggling in math but their classmate isn’t, then feel free to reach out to their teacher and mention your concerns. But don’t comment in front of your third grader. It’ll only make him/her self-conscious. Even young children will often notice when they’re struggling, and commenting in a judgmental way is simply salt in their already sensitive wounds. It can be helpful to ask your child if they need help or what is difficult for them in math but avoid mentioning their classmate. I’m not suggesting you can’t discuss the issues but to caution you to think carefully in advance how you want to word it. There is a very fine line between helpful and hurtful. It’s too easy to comment on how their sister is better at something or ask why they can’t do it if their brother can. These comparisons are easy to make and very common but still

hurtful. We also don’t want to create friction between our children. In these situations, we can easily imagine feeling hate towards our sibling rather than love and inadequacy rather than encouragement. Everyone develops at their own pace, and most children will reach each milestone. It’s helpful to bear in mind that some kids do need more time than others. As an example, while most kids start walking around 12 months, some start as young as nine months while others wait till closer to 18 months. There is a wide range of normal, and it’s important to remember that as our children are continuously growing and reaching each exciting new stage. Again, if you have any doubts as to whether or not your child is on target for development, you should certainly mention it to the appropriate professionals. I only mention it as a reminder for parents to take a step back. You want to first see if it’s a fair expectation and whether or not you should be concerned. Only then can you make an appropriate game plan.

Encourage success Too often, we focus on what our

children (and ourselves) can’t do but not on what they can do. Especially when children are struggling, it’s important to allow them to taste success in their strengths. “Success breeds success” isn’t just a cute line. The capable-feeling child is the one that has the drive to push themselves. You only aim for where you hope you can reach. When you see yourself as someone who can accomplish great things, you will continue even when it’s hard. Someone who sees themselves as a failure has no reason to challenge themselves because they don’t feel they can do more. Feeling successful is important for another crucial reason. So much of a child’s self-worth is tied to their academic accomplishments. It’s no exaggeration that school is a major part of their young life and is their main occupation during that time. A child that has academic difficulties can too quickly label themselves as “the dumb kid” or worse. Sadly, kids in a class usually know who is ahead academically and who is behind. This is a real challenge for students. Having self-esteem is so crucial for everyone, and it’s truly hard to regain after losing. Without a healthy dose of self-esteem, children can become susceptible to other issues. The importance of recognizing one’s own worth and value is beyond the scope of this article but it’s definitely worthwhile to look into more in-depth. Build your child up. Recognize their other successes, whether it’s music, sports, or art. Encourage their strengths. It’s the struggling child that needs those strengths built the most. We often limit our praise to academics and don’t acknowledge outside accomplishments. This is not to deny the importance of education. I firmly believe in education – enough that I spent extra years studying it and over a decade practicing it. Respect-


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48 ing your child’s other successes won’t take away from your value in their academic accomplishments. When you and your third grader both feel your child’s other successes, then you have a healthier place to bring up their math struggles. They will be better capable of realizing that they’re not defined by their math struggles.

creating a toxic environment for me. I could see where to reach without thinking less of myself. I’m able to be encouraged based on how much I’ve personally improved over time. Unfortunately, if done incorrectly, the

Limit competition I will not say all competition is bad because most things are tools that can be used for the good. Unfortunately, too often, competition is encouraged in an unhealthy manner. It’s important to be mindful of how and when you’re encouraging competition. Most of the time, we don’t even realize we are creating a competitive environment. It’s in our hands to create a home environment that is conducive to growth and limits painful competition. As an example, my fitness class mentioned above allowed me to see the capabilities of others without

“Success breeds success” isn’t just a cute line.

same type of class could create unhealthy expectations and feelings of inadequacy. In a toxic environment, I could feel bad about myself or risk injury trying to prove my worth. Younger people are no different, and they can go to unhealthy levels to feel accepted or respected. You may have noticed that many schools and learning programs have

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‫לעילוי נשמת יהושע יונתן בן דוד שלום‬

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changed the way children can earn points for competitions. Rather than requiring each child to do the same thing or reach the same goal, they now allow each child to earn points based on a variety of criteria. For example,

Earn a free prize and raffle ticket when you learn 10 mishnayos with an adult, friend, or sibling Each additional 5 mishnayos learned will earn you an additional entry into the grand raffle To donate or claim your prize, go to https://yudforyoshi.wixsite.com/ yudforyoshi Updated Deadline: March 3rd

rather than requiring each boy learn the same number of lines of Gemara, boys can pick from a preset amount of Gemara, Chumash or Mishnayos. This allows each child to compete and accomplish on their own level. Two boys may earn the same number of points but learn vastly different subjects. Each child is given the chance to taste success at their level rather

than the same overachieving students winning again and again. Competition, when used appropriately as mentioned above, can be a tool to encourage resistant learners. But it’s important to ensure realistic and fair goals for each child. You want to encourage, not discourage. Truthfully, it’s a hard balance, and it takes a lot of thought and knowledge of your child to set the stage properly. By allowing our children the freedom to be themselves, feel successful in their various talents, and showing them healthy goals to aim for we can create an environment for children to reach for their potential and realize their own immense value.

Sara Rayvych, MSEd, has her master’s in general and special education. She has been homeschooling for over 10 years in Far Rockaway. She can be contacted at RayvychHomeschool@gmail.com.

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Op-Ed Chareidi Protests, A Perspective By Moshe Lev Kusovitzki

An acquaintance of mine, a man who is not frum but has become much more observant in recent years, asked me how I view the Chareidi protests (riots) in Israel. Obviously, I was embarrassed by the question, but I managed to make some quite inadequate comments, and then, he mercifully, left it at that. As far as I know, there isn’t anyone of stature in the frum world that condones this behavior, but the question still begs itself where does this come from? How could this irresponsible behavior emerge from the most prominent yeshivas of our time? In my opinion, this is not a minor problem because I believe it stems from a fundamental flaw in Charaidi Yiddishkeit as practiced today. I think it is important that I state that my family and I identify as Chareidi and live fully Chareidi lives, so this should not be simply dismissed as another Chareidi bashing article because it isn’t. It is an attempt at some serious introspection. I think the key lies in the very notion of what being an eved Hashem actually is. One may think that the definition of eved Hashem is an avrech who learns with hasmada in kolel all day, davens with Kavanah three times a day with a minyan, and even goes regularly to the mikvah, that is a true an eved Hashem. In my opinion, this avrech may be or may not be an eved Hashem. It all depends on why he is doing all of this. If he is doing it because he wants to serve Hashem and to be close to Hashem, then he is not an eved Hashem; he is serving himself. Of course, he is doing holy and laudable things, but the definition of an eved is one who does the will of the master exclusively. In this case, only if the avrech is doing what he does, not because he wants to serve Hashem, but

because that is what Hashem wants of him, then he can be considered an eved Hashem. It is not the behavior that changes, but the orientation and motivation, and the differences between them are vast. I fear that we have brought up an impressive generation of accomplished and committed Bnai Torah who have been taught to serve themselves and their own spiritual desires rather than the needs of HaKadosh Boruch Hu. This becomes most evident is in the way they understand the notion of Klal Yisroel. Their broad concept of Klal Yisroel stretches all the way from Bnai Brak to Geulah while also taking in parts of Meah Shearim (and, before I forget, parts of Beit Shemesh too). Bli eyein hara there are fifteen million Yidden in the world of whom just a small minority are Charaidi. So tell me, why does HaKadosh Boruch Hu need all of them? They are not learning in kolel; they don’t daven with a minyan et., etc. This is obviously a rhetorical question, ‘nistorim darchey Hashem’ and if they are here, then

HaKadosh Boruch Hu wanted them to be here for whatever His purpose may be. Our collective purpose weaves us into the fabric of the Jewish people, the ‘am hanvichar’. All Yidden are “bonim atem la’Shem Elokaychem.” The Gemora in Kiddushin states: Afilu ksheein osin retzono nikru bonim – even when they don’t do His will they are called His children” (36:a). So if something that I do causes them to become even more estranged from HaKadosh Boruch Hu, and I think that it is justified because it may help accomplished my immediate goal, then that is a clear indication that I am not serving Hashem with whatever it is that I do, I am actually serving myself. If I think that demonstrating in the streets is essential for my needs and therefore justified even if it might cause a chilul Hashem, then I have missed the entire notion of serving Hashem. The Chazal tell us (Yuma 86.a) that ahavas Hashem means that “sheyehay Shem Shonayim misahav al yadcha – So that the Name of Heaven be-

come beloved through you.” Clearly, these young avrachim have not been taught the basics of ahavas Hashem. And when it comes to chilul Hashem, the Mishna (Avos 4:4) says, “achad shogeg v’echad maized b’chilul Hashem – accidental and intentional are the same when it is about chilul Hashem.” Of course, this is but one example of many that we suffer from today due to a distorted view of basic avodas Hashem. What I think we need today is an entire paradigm shift in the Chareidi world. It is not about me and my avodas Hashem, as holy as that may be, it is about Hashem and being in His service. What does HaKadosh Boruch Hu need from me now is what the question should be? Pray tell, could any of the rioters really convince themselves that what they were doing was what Hashem needed of them at that time and that was truly in the larger interest of HaKadosh Boruch Hu? This is my opinion - you are welcome to suggest yours but l’maan Hashem don’t remain passive.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

Which Way Do I Go? Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., LMFT, CLC, SDS

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ost of the time it’s really important to be positive. But not this year! I mean yes, this year, especially. But, also not this year, at all. What I think I’m trying to say is: yes to a positive outlook! But say no to a positive result. In a year where people were downtrodden, stuck in their homes, discombobulated, and exposed to much trauma, finding a positive outlook to get oneself through it was a definite plus.

However, in a year of unknown outcomes, potential contagion, or challenging health, positive results were definitely not what you were going after. Listen, I don’t mean to be negative! Rather, I’m glad to be negative! What I mean is, I don’t mean to sound negative. But I’m happy to test negative. Gee, I feel like I’m being confusing. But, then again, hasn’t all of this been that way? We’ve all been on a real roller-

coaster ride this year. Wait, I take that back. I’m not sure we could have. I think amusement parks were closed. Or were they open? I can’t recall. Perhaps, we can ask restaurant owners in their vicinity if the amusement places were open. Though, they don’t even know if they themselves were open, or closed, or simply open/closed. They’d probably

Best case: - Triple mask. And keep washing your hands, packages, and car. Why your car? That’s the one thing we know for sure does have a good effect. You get a clean car! -Social distance, but stay connected, any way you can. Human interaction is what keeps us sane. And nothing else about this feels very sane! -And stay healthy – at least of

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They’d probably say their setup was the best amusement place around!

say their setup was the best amusement place around! Sometimes in life, when we are trying to find perspective, we have a really hard time. This is because we are too confused about what we are grappling with. If I get “it,” and have a good case, then I’d rather get it and be done. But, if I don’t know my experience with it, then I’d rather avoid it. If I get the vaccine and it works, then I’m glad I got that. But, if it’s better to get the real thing and have natural immunity maybe that’s better. The good news is everything here is more or less an unknown. Therefore, it’s not worth eating your kishkas up trying to figure out.

mind. No matter what happens, seek ways to be negative but ultimately stay positive! Or do I mean? Seek ways to be positive but negative. I guess whatever my message is, you may see it differently tomorrow. You might have read it too quickly today. It seems the overnight result can be different from the rapid one. So, try reading this again tomorrow. And see if you get more positive, I mean negative – let’s just say you should have a better, more satisfying outcome! Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or rivki@rosenwalds.com.


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Centerfold

Types of Annoying Football Watchers D The Salsa Guy: The whole game he is busy with the salsa. For some reason, the salsa bottle always seems to levitate away from him, because every two minutes he is poking you to “pass the salsa.” Hey, I have an idea, why don’t you cool it with the chips a little! D The Watcher Non-Watcher: The guy who claims that he is not watching the game but stands there the whole game slightly to the left of the screen and watches every second of the game but keeps reminding you that he is not watching. Slick move – with two minutes to play and the winning team up by 3 touchdowns, you announce that you’re leaving. Interesting. You were supposed to leave an hour and a half ago. What

happened then? D The X’s and O’s Guy: Sure, you know so much about football. You should be a coach. That’s right, they are “bringing in the nickel package.” You spotted it! Bill Belichick would definitely hire you if he knew you. D The Volume Guy: He loves to turn up the volume whenever there’s a big play so he can hear the analysis. Dude, you don’t have to turn up the volume. You can hear the announcers just fine on the blasting volume that we had the game on the whole time! Big play does not equal big volume! D The See-Nothing Person: He or she keeps wondering why people watch football. “I don’t get it. They just seem to be standing around doing nothing the whole time!”

That’s right. All they do is stand around. So, I have a good idea – don’t waste your time watching! D The Refs Are Cheating Guy: He’s throwing projectiles, slamming his hands on the couch cushions, grabbing his yarmulka…. “That was the worst call I ever saw!!” Hey, listen buddy, the ref can’t hear you, OK? Settle down; don’t pop an artery – or my eardrums! D The You Think They Are Happy Guy: He’s the guy who reminds you the whole game that these sports players are really miserable, jacked up on steroids, and have no lives. OK. I get it. They are horrible, miserable people. Guess what? I really don’t care. I enjoy watching them play.

You Gotta be Kidding Me! Three guys from LA, Boston and New York meet an angel. The guy from LA starts crying and says to the angel, “It was the highlight of my life when the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series; when will they win it again?” The angel replies, “In two years.” The guy from Boston then has a chance to talk to the angel and recalls all of the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories. “But now we don’t have Tom Brady anymore,”

he cries. “Will we ever get back to the big game?” The angel responds that he should not worry; a new quarterback will come along and they will win the Super Bowl again within five years. Finally, the guy from New York gets to talk to the angel and says, “When will my beloved Jets win a Super Bowl?” The angel starts to cry.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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1. Which number pick was Tom Brady in the 2000 draft? a. 1st b. 29th c. 42nd d. 199th

3. In the Super Bowl, Tom Brady will be going up against Kansas City’s sensational quarterback Patrick Mahomes. What grade was Mahomes in when Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl? a. Kindergarten b. 3rd grade c. 7th grade d. 9th grade

6. Who is the oldest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl and what age was that player when he won (in other words, at age 43, whose record is Brady trying to break)? a. Tom Brady, age 41 b. Payton Manning, age 39 c. John Ellway, 42 d. Bret Favre, 40

Answers: 1. D 2. C 3. A 4. D 5. B 6. A 7. H 8. C 9. B

8. After the 2007 season, when the Patriots went 16-0, what did Brady give each of the 5 starting offensive linemen who protected him that season? a. Tickets to a cruise of their choice b. An autographed winning game ball c. An Audi Q7 SUV d. A brand new Samsung TV

Wisdom key: 7-9 correct: Let me guess, you are one of those guys who walks around with a No. 12 jersey because “Me and Brady wear the same number.” 4-6 correct: Not bad – not as good as

9. What is Brady’s Super Bowl record? a. 4-4 b. 6-4 c. 4-6 d. 8-2

Brady’s Super Bowl record, though. (By the way, if you think I am a Tom Brady fan, uh, yeah, he is the best at what he does. I like Michael Jordan, too.) 0-3 correct: J-E-T-S JETS, JETS, JETS!

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4. Tom Brady did not make it to the Pro Bowl this season, in what many are calling “The Pro Bowl snub.” (I’m sure he will get over it.) How many Pro

5. Which one of the following companies was in existence when Tom Brady started his NFL career? a. Tesla b. Amazon c. Facebook d. Twitter

7. Which of the following is not one of Brady’s nicknames that other players call him? a. TB12 b. Tom Terrific c. Touchdown Tom d. GOAT e. The Pharaoh f. Comeback Kid g. Sir h. Giant Slayer

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2. Which baseball team was Brady drafted by (as a catcher) in the 18th round? a. Mets b. Red Sox c. Montreal Expos d. Cincinnati Reds

Bowls did he make it to, though? a. 6 b. 8 c. 11 d. 14

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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

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All of those skilled workers who are in the coal industry and transferring those skills to what we need to do in terms of dealing with reclaiming abandoned land mines. - Vice President Kamala Harris in a TV interview suggesting that West Virginia workers laid off from the coal mining industry, due to President Biden’s executive order, should deal with abandoned land mines

This president, President Agent Orange [Donald Trump], will go down in history with the likes of Hitler. - Spike Lee, while accepting a film award, comparing President Trump to the monster who killed 6 million Jews

You look at the consequences of black lung for a miner, for instance, and measure that against the fastest-growing job in the United States, [which] before COVID was the solar power technician. The same people can do those jobs, but the choice of doing the solar power one now is a better choice.

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- Biden climate czar and former Secretary of State John Kerry

What an arrogant, out-of-touch statement for a centimillionaire to say. You know, “You little people, you know, I don’t like the choices you’re making, and so your jobs go away.” - Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) responding to Kerry’s statement

I don’t know many poor, or working class, or female, or strugglingto-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. - From an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by public high school teacher Ingrid SeyerOchi, talking about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ mittens and casual coat that he wore at the Biden inauguration

This is white supremacy; this is white privilege. It can be hard to pinpoint, but when we see, it, we know it. - Ibid.

We recognize that those who stormed the Capitol on January 6 trying to stop Congress from fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities, they were acting as domestic terrorists undermining our Constitution. But let us be clear: those like John Brennan, Adam Schiff and others are also acting as domestic terrorists because they are also undermining our Constitution by trying to take away our civil liberties and rights that are guaranteed to us. - Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on Fox News, talking about the left’s effort to cancel and silence any voice that does not agree with their agenda

Calling someone an animal as an insult reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals & justified in violating them. Stand up for justice by rejecting supremacist language. – From a tweet by PETA


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58 We just stood there and ate the whole thing up. It took about 20-30 minutes. We never want to have any oranges again. - One of a group of four travelers who ate 66 pounds of oranges in about 30 minutes at a Chinese airport, when they were told that they would have to pay a large fee to transport the fruit to their hometowns

It feels so good but hurts so bad. - Mike Jack, after setting a new Guinness World Record by eating three Carolina Reaper peppers (the world’s hottest chili pepper) in 9.72 seconds

If you do it right, a few years after a surprising invention, the new thing has become normal. People yawn. That yawn is the greatest compliment an inventor can receive. When you look at our financial results, what you’re actually seeing are the long-run cumulative results of invention. Right now, I see Amazon at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition. - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announcing that he will be stepping down from his role as CEO

Every Floridian has the right to earn a living. Florida is open, and we’ve got your back.

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- Florida Governor Rod DeSantis (R)

If you work in a restaurant, we have your back. If you’re a hairstylist, we protect your right to earn a living. And if you are a parent, we ensure your kids have the right to attend school in person. Lockdowns do not work. School closures have been disastrous, yet even today, we see across our country businesses shuttered, lives ruined, and schools closed.

Now let’s talk about gross margins – I paid $67.22 for this. I’m gonna guess she lands this basically for, I don’t know, six bucks? And five bucks for shipping. That’s 85% gross margin. That’s spectacular! Listen, you know what this proves? Inside of every socialist there’s a capitalist screaming to get out. – Shark Tank star and businessman Kevin O’Leary, in a video post while wearing a “tax the rich” sweatshirt that he bought from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s (Dem/Socialist-NY) website

Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories. - Bill Gates to Reuters, when asked if he is surprised to learn that people believe that he wants to use the COVID-19 vaccine to put microchips into Americans

- Ibid.

Who cares if they died in the hospital, died in a nursing home? They died. - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responding to the state attorney general’s report that revealed that his administration downplayed the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19, after he required nursing homes to take back COVID-19 positive patients, thus infecting many others

MORE QUOTES


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There are many people who feel, you know if you really wanna have an extra little bit of protection “maybe I should put two masks on.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s no data that indicates that that is going to make a difference. and that’s the reason why the CDC has not changed their recommendations. - Dr. Fauci clarifying a previous statement that he made which seemed to endorse double-masking

- Dr. Harvey Risch of Yale University, on Fox News

OK, everyone go home, we’ve got the worst take of the day. No need to write anymore.

There were lots of great submissions but none that captured the bar’s irresistible characteristics while still paying homage to the beloved Whatchamacallit brand quite like the name Whozeewhatzit.

- National Review’s Jeff Blehar responding to CNN’s Chris Cillizza’s assertion that Trump is behind the artificially inflated GameStop stock price

– Hershey Chocolate’s brand manager, while unveiling the name of a new Hershey’s bar, the Whozeewhatsit

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I really wish Dr. Fauci would say something in terms of evidence. He never quotes any studies. It’s hard to know if he has any evidence.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

I’m dating a guy who I really like and have seen things progress easily, which is not something that comes around often. Something recently came up that’s starting to worry me, but I’m

not sure if it’s just cold feet or something to actually worry about. On our last date, I opened the glove compartment to try and find a pen and noticed a huge pile of unpaid parking/red light tickets. This shocked me because Levi* is generally a responsible guy or

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at least comes across as one. Since I found the tickets, I have noticed he speeds through yellow lights and does go quite fast while driving on our dates, although I can’t remember him doing this early on in our relationship. I brought it up on our last date, and he laughed. He said that these government agencies look for ways to take your money and he is not buying into a corrupt system by paying for it. Something about this does not sit right with me, and I found his response disturbing. Is my intuition correct on this one? Chani* The Rebbetzin

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


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The Panel The Rebbetzin

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Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.

Y

ou are right on the money! There is a double red flag here. One is his irresponsible attitude toward safety. That is very important for a partner with whom one expects to raise a family, travel, and live in a home. This shows a lack of maturity. What deepens the problem is his conspiracy approach to government and an us-versus-them mentality. While this has become popular during the last few years and resulted in a substantial number of people in the U.S. disbelieving everything, common sense should rule when it comes to the reasons behind driving safety rules. If he has bought into this mentality (and it’s very popular among certain populations), you are in deep trouble. If everything is perceived as fake and caused by the systems in place, there is no place for good judgment. Lack of judgment and use of reason will impair one’s life in every decision, from work decisions to health decisions to personal life decisions. It’s very good that you caught this and brought it up. When one sees something concerning during dating, one should address it directly but tactfully. This wise decision to discuss the matter has shown you the young man’s attitude in his own words. This attitude is doubly dangerous. Stay away.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond

T

his guy doesn’t just exhibit red flags; he owns the whole flag store! Issue #1) Hiding the tickets Issue #2) Not paying the tickets

Issue #3) Speeding and disregarding safety Issue #4) Not listening to authority Issue #5) Laughing as a response to your concern Issue #6) Belittling your concern Issue #7) Paranoia about government agencies The best way to make sure your intuition is correct is using this simple test. Ask this guy you are dating if he has a rav or mentor whom he listens to and gets guidance from. Based on your letter, I am 99% positive he does not follow authority or go to others for direction and advice. This alone is a reason to say goodbye to this fellow. One of the most important things you need to look for in a husband is someone you can trust. Someone who, when the going gets tough, will agree to look outwards for guidance. It does not seem like Levi has that capacity. I recommend going with your intuition. Say goodbye and drive through this yellow light of a relationship, before it turns red.

The Zaidy Dr. Jeffrey Galler

I

have heard of singles who, while using the restroom in their date’s apartment, secretly check the medicine cabinet to inspect prescription bottles. You might be starting a new trend: checking glove compartments. Actually, it is very wise for you to acquire as much information as possible about a prospective mate. The question here is whether your date is merely rebellious or is actually reckless. 1. Rebelliousness You might wish to consider that young men often like to brag and show off. Perhaps his driving and

ticket-ignoring are simply his way of trying to impress you with his macho, fearless charisma. And, young men know that some young women seem to be attracted to “bad boys.” After all, he didn’t throw out the accumulated parking tickets. If he’s stockpiling them in his glove compartment, it seems like he’s planning on eventually paying the collection in one fell swoop. Also, perhaps there’s something positive and likeable about folks who refuse to robotically follow every arbitrary, illogical, rule, and regulation imposed upon us. Whether in studying Talmud, medicine, or science, a healthy mind will question every assertion and insist that every declaration be evidence-based. Ask yourself what you would do in the following scenario: You are walking down the street, alone, on a beautiful, clear day. You come to a red light at a small intersection. You can clearly see that there are no approaching cars, from any direction, for at least two miles. Do you carefully cross at the red light, or do you wait, alone, on the corner, for the two minutes it will take for the light to turn green? 2. Recklessness HOWEVER, the very, very real danger is that his behavior transcends harmless rebelliousness and is actually reckless. A reckless husband is a danger, not only physically but also financially. Clearly, someone who drives recklessly is indicative of a person who poses a grave danger to his wife and children. Callously exposing oneself and loved ones to physical harm is not cool. Further, such a person poses a financial danger to his family. Will he fail to pay utility, tax, credit card, and mortgage bills in a timely fashion? Will he be irresponsible with the family finances? Such a person is, very predictably, an extremely poor candidate for a happy, healthy marriage.

Intuition is a gift.

3. What to do? You need to have some very frank conversations with the young man. You need to ask him: *It’s easy to understand why you resent paying those tickets, but aren’t you worried that you risk accumulating added penalties and interest, you risk damaging your credit score, and you risk having your car towed away? *Have you ever considered how speeding and ignoring traffic lights can cause accidents and harm innocent people? *Do you see anything wrong with cheating on taxes, or is the IRS simply another corrupt government agency looking to take your money? It will be interesting to see how he responds. Your frankness might jolt him with a dose of reality and help him realize that his behavior has been immature. Or, he might disparage your concerns and reveal himself to be very bad marriage material. Either way, please take your time with this relationship until you definitively discover the young man’s true character.

The Single Rivka Weinberg

C

hani, I really hear your concerns around Levi’s response and appreciate that you are not simply allowing his actions to slide under the rug. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you to have learned this information about him after finally finding a guy whom you


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like and feel things are progressing easily with. I applaud your ability to pay attention to your intuition in a healthy and appropriate manner. You mention that Levi is generally a responsible guy, or at least comes across as one. His ability to appear this way seems to be slowly drifting away as you spend more time with him and notice his mannerisms in a more detailed light. Remember, the only thing you can’t fake is authenticity. So, although it looked like Levi was responsible, his true colors are beginning to shine, allowing you to see a different side of him. Before touching upon Levi’s verbal response, it’s important to point out some other factors playing a role here. It’s not uncommon

for young men to drive in a slightly more reckless manner from time to time. However, if Levi believed you were truly precious cargo, he would be more cautious and aware of his speed in your presence. I would be interested to hear what it was like for you when Levi laughed in response to your concern. Does your relationship usually consist of open and honest conversation or was this a normal reaction on his part? I have heard some interesting people say some crazy things, however, Levi’s idea about government agencies looking for ways to take your money is a new one. Even better is him not buying into it by paying for it. The arrogance and ignorance shining through those statements is strong. Chani, are

you interested in dating someone who sounds to be beyond haughty, foolish, and absurd? Aside from the technical consequences, such as getting arrested or having a boot put on the car, it sounds like there are serious mental and emotional issues Levi needs to work through. Although I am a strong advocate of thought-provoking questions leading someone to come to his or her own conclusions, I can’t even begin to unpack what Levi was trying to communicate because of how irrational and illogical his explanation of the tickets are. I encourage you to follow your intuition and look at the circumstance at face value. Do you really want to be dating Levi? Do you trust him to support you mentally, emotionally, and finan-

Pulling It All Together

it? Whatever it is you felt is The Navidaters your truth. So of ten, women Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists (and in my experience, more so than men) try to un-feel the way a man is making her feel. We do this are wonear Chani, for varying reasons: fear dering if the danger is I’m so glad you wrote to our of losing the person, fear of not perceived or real, to which panel! Isn’t intuition amazing? getting married, fear of expecting very often I must ethically Personally, the older I get and the too much, or fear of being thought respond... I do not know. But more twists and turns my own life of as “difficult” or “picky.” you do, or you will, with time and has taken, the more I am learning to I can only suggest that if this conversation. trust my own intuition. is weighing on you, you bring it up I can tell you with confidence that Full disclosure: since I have been again with Levi and assess his reif you felt unheard or if your conon my own intuition journey, beginsponse. If he is more caring and can cern went unnoticed or was laughed ning to trust it and see the fruits of acknowledge your concerns, then at, you must ask yourself how that that labor pay off, the more I can there is a path forward. If he canfelt. Did you like it? Did you dislike encourage others to do the same. not do that, where does one go from it? Did you find Levi funny? Some Intuition is a gift. It is wired into there? I’m not sure. In a healthy women might. Did you find Levi to your DNA to safeguard you from relationship, your concerns should be dismissive? Some women might. perceived or real danger. I often be top priority to your partner. You Did you feel a sense of safety or a respond to people in this very colshould be listened to and cared for. lack of safety when you spoke about umn or in my very office when they

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D

This guy doesn’t just exhibit red flags; he owns the whole flag store!

cially? Do you entrust him to be the father of your children? It appears to me that through L ev i’s actions and response Hakadosh Baruch Hu is giving you the greatest gift we all strive to receive: clarity.

Respected. There are some men who have a need for speed. Yes, they like the thrill of it. And sometimes, they will have a woman in the car who is white-knuckling the door handle begging him to slow down. And he will say, “Come on! Stop overreacting! I’m just having fun.” Or, “You’re too nervous! Relax!” That kind of behavior is unacceptable and often typical of other personality issues – stubbornness, self-entitlement, overall difficult personality, and twisting reality to make you feel like the difficult one. I’m curious if Levi would put you in such a situation, based on his history with speeding tickets. I think it’s time to talk with him about this...again. And as always, to you and all our readers: go with your gut! Trust and believe. Sincerely, Jennifer

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


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Mental Health Corner

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Birth Order By Rabbi Azriel Hauptman

Birth order, we are often told, is a deterministic factor in the life of a child. Firstborns are considered to be high-achievers, reliable, conscientious and controlling. Youngest children are considered to be uncomplicated, outgoing, attention-seeking, and self-centered. Then of course you have the hapless middle child who is a people-pleaser, rebellious, and lives

a lifetime of recovery from being the neglected child. These themes are part of the collective unconsciousness of our culture, but is it true? The notion of the importance of birth order was first developed over one hundred years ago by Dr. Alfred Adler, an Austrian psychologist and colleague of Dr. Sigmund Freud. He theorized that the oldest child ben-

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efits from the exclusive love and attention of his parents, but then feels dethroned when a second child comes along and competes for the parents’ attention. Middle children feel that they are overlooked and neglected leading to what is known as the Middle Child Syndrome. Youngest children are pampered and experience a much looser parenting than the older siblings. Adler was of the opinion that these childhood experiences have an enduring effect on a child influencing his personality and attitudes for the rest of his life. Adler’s theories became widely accepted by the general public in spite of the lack of scientific evidence. In the early twentieth century, psychological theories were developed based on the personal experience of clinicians with their clients. This means that the subjective experience of one individual psychologist can form the basis of an entire theory of psychology. Perhaps Adler saw these patterns within his client base, but that is not nearly enough to constitute a scientific study. The field of psychology has evolved tremendously over the last century, and theories are now subjected to research studies to determine their veracity. As far as birth order is concerned, many studies have found a very slight advantage in IQ for earlier born children, but not nearly enough to make any practical difference. As far as everything else in life besides IQ, most studies have found no perceptible difference based on birth order. Therefore, if you have an over-

ly sensitive child who happens to be a middle child, it is likely that this heightened sensitivity is ingrained in the child’s nature and would have occurred regardless of the birth order. Similarly, if you have a child with leadership qualities who happens to be a firstborn, it might be convenient to say that being first in the birth order created the environment that fostered this quality, but most likely the birth order is unrelated. This entire debate revolves around the belief that birth order has lifelong effects. What is probably somewhat true is that birth order plays a pivotal role in a child’s position within the family. It is entirely plausible that within the family environment, an older child might play a leadership role, the youngest child might be doted on by his older siblings, and the middle child will be, well… in the middle. However, scientific studies have shown that this does not have a significant impact on what kind of person he will be outside of his family of origin. When all is said and done, the development of personality is a complicated and fascinating topic that gets to the very heart of the well-known nature vs. nurture discussion. But whatever the myriad factors are that go into one’s personality, birth order does not seem to be that significant. 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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Strawberry Shortcake What You Will Need: 7 eggs- separated 1 cup sugar- divided juice of 1 lemon ½ cup potato starch

¼ cup cake meal 16 oz. Rich Whip- defrosted 1 quart strawberries, cleaned 3 Tbl. sugar Preperation:

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

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2. To make cake: Beat egg whites until foamy. continue to beat until stiff. Set aside.

Add ¼ cup sugar, and

3. In another bowl, beat yolks for 2 minutes. Add ¾ cup of sugar, and continue to beat until light and golden. Add lemon juice, potato starch, and cake meal. When incorporated, slowly add stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into ungreased 10 inch tube pan. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Increase heat to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes more. When medium brown, remove from oven and invert onto table until completely cooled. 4. To make filling, cut cake in half through diameter. Beat Rich Whip and add 3 Tbl sugar, and beat until stiff and glossy. Put ½ of the whipped cream into another bowl. Cut up ½ of the strawberries and add to the whipped cream in the bowl. Smear the strawberry-cream mixture onto the bottom layer of the cake. Place top layer over cream mixture, and spread rest of whipped cream on top. Decorate with the remaining strawberries, as shown. Enjoy!


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Your

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Punch Drunk

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By Allan Rolnick, CPA

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

O

dds are good that if you hear the words “Mike Tyson” and “money,” you think of the huge purses ($685 million!) that Iron Mike won, then squandered, in his colorful career. Tyson, who surely could have benefited from reading a Dave Ramsey book, was legendary for his excess. Who else would drop $1.5 million on five Bentley Azures in a single day, or $180,000 on three Bengal tigers, or $2 million for a gold bathtub? Boxing fans can debate where Tyson ranks at throwing punches — but pound-for-pound, he was the heavyweight champion of the world at throwing away his money. It turns out, though, that on his journey from the mean streets of Brooklyn to the glittering Las Vegas strip, Tyson learned something profoundly important about our own favorite topic: tax planning. Back in 1996, as he was preparing to earn $30 million for 30 minutes work fighting Evander Holyfield for the WBA Heavyweight Championship, a reporter asked him if he had a “plan” for the fight. Tyson, who turns out to be a lot smarter than some people might have expected, famously quipped, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Tax planners like us don’t headline on pay-per-view TV. We don’t take down multimillion dollar purses in Vegas casinos. But we still get punched in the mouth, even if we rarely lose a tooth. And the way we bob and weave when we’re in the ring for you can make the difference be-

the tax hit now in exchange for taxfree income down the road? Events like the Covid recession wreak havoc for some clients and create surprising opportunities (like Roth IRA conversions) for others. This chaos makes careful planning and projection crucial.

Who else would drop $1.5 million on five Bentley Azures in a single day, or $180,000 on three Bengal tigers, or $2 million for a gold bathtub?

tween showing off your new bling or paying your rent with Wendy’s coupons. We’ve just taken one unexpected punch in the form of Covid-19. Much of the planning we do involves estimating when and how best to recognize taxable income. For example: should you contribute to a “traditional” retirement plan, defer the tax, and pay when you take it out? Or should you choose a Roth option and take

Now, it looks like we’re about to take some more jabs in the form of higher taxes. Candidate Joe Biden proposed rolling back most of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and his razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate should make those changes possible. These would include raising corporate taxes from 21% to 28%, raising the top rate on individuals back to 39.6%, and capping the value of itemized deductions at 28% for fil-

ers earning over $400,000. He would also reduce the estate tax threshold from $11.7 million to $3.5 million and raise the rate from 40% to 45%. Biden has also proposed hikes that would go well beyond undoing the 2017 cuts. For starters, he would double the rate on capital gains for taxpayers earning over $1 million. That probably wouldn’t have cost Tyson anything: as good as he was at buying, there’s no known record he ever sold anything at a profit. And Biden would also impose the full 12.4% social security tax on wages over $400,000. That sort of haymaker would have cost Tyson an extra $85 million over his career. Just imagine how many tigers or cars the extra tax would have knocked out! 2021 is going to be a “Main Event” year for tax planning. There won’t be room to hide in the ring. Good thing you’ve got us in your corner! We’ll help you go the distance against whatever punches Washington throws. Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at allanjrcpa@aol.com.


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