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The Music Issue From Mendelssohn to Bible Rap

PLUS: Archeological Site


Herod’s Tomb

Heter or Not?

Financial Philantropy


When your partner is ill

Disposable relationships

The proper equilibrium

Managing your charity

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Have we gone mad? MISHPATIM, February 1, 2008 Candle lighting Shabbat Ends 6:09 PM 5:14 PM 6:09 PM 5:13 PM 6:08 PM 4:51 PM 6:09 PM 5:14 PM 6:10 PM 5:14 PM 6:20 PM 5:20 PM 6:19 PM 5:09 PM

TERUMAH, February 8, 2008 Candle lighting Shabbat Ends 6:04 PM 5:08 PM 6:03 PM 5:08 PM 6:03 PM 4:45 PM 6:04 PM 5:08 PM 6:04 PM 5:08 PM 6:12 PM 5:12 PM 6:07 PM 4:56 PM

TETZAVEH, February 15, 2008 kI-tISSA, February 22, 2008 Candle lighting Shabbat Ends Candle lighting Shabbat Ends 5:58 PM 5:02 PM 5:52 PM 4:56 PM 5:58 PM 5:02 PM 5:52 PM 4:55 PM 5:57 PM 4:39 PM 5:51 PM 4:33 PM 5:58 PM 5:02 PM 5:52 PM 4:55 PM 5:59 PM 5:02 PM 5:53 PM 4:56 PM 6:05 PM 5:03 PM 5:57 PM 4:55 PM 5:55 PM 4:43 PM 5:43 PM 4:31 PM

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Experience the difference 2008 | february

® february 2008 “A beautiful wife, a beautiful dwelling place and beautiful vessels broaden the mind of man.” (Berachoth 57b)

create. Most of the time, they are pleasantly shocked by their own creations.

Beauty is unexplainable, and any rationalization of beauty is doomed to fail. This is also true about art. It belongs to a world beyond words. Real art does not reproduce the visible, but rather, it reveals the invisible. Consequently, not even artists are able to explain the inner beauty of the very art they

As the Gemara implies, natural beauty and art are conducive to religious awakening. And so is music. It is a means of giving form to our inner feelings and consequently to be in touch with the mystery of our inner lives. It is our duty to stand in awe, and this awe gets inspiration by all that is beautiful. -Elie Rubin

6 Parashat Mishpatim by Rav Ephraim Beck

8 Halacha Q&A by Rav Shlomo Aviner

10 A Way to Beat Stress by Roy Spungin

12 Parashat Teruma by Rabbi Yaacov Haber

14 Manage your Charity by Douglas Goldstein

15 An Investment in Chessed by Sarra Horwitz

16 P  arashat Tetsaveh by Rabbi Zvi Leshem (Blobstein)

18 About Shemitta Laws by Rav Yoel Friedmann

20 Shabbat in Hebron by Sheila Dale

24 Parashat Ki-Tissa by Anne Gordon

THE MUSIC ISSUE 26 Maestro Elli Jaffe by Yehudit Singer

28 Reinventing Hasidic Music by Marsha Bryan Edelman

29 Yood by Tight Rope Productions

30 Rising Star by ShiurTimes Staff

32 Top 5 Most Creative by Binyamin Bresky

34 Health Q&A by Dr. Simcha Shapiro

36 T  he Wandering Traveler by Tziona Penkar

37 R  enewal in Marriage by Channah Rachel Frumin

40 Travel: Herodium by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss

50 The Wonder of Art by Elie Rubin

Second Year, No. 14 February © 2008 by ShiurTimes, Inc., 10 Ben Yehuda Street. All rights reserved. To contact one of the staff with your questions, concerns, or advertising needs, please call: 02-6256225 or e-mail: Managing Publisher & Editor-in Chief: Elie Rubin Assistant Editor: Yehudit Singer Marketing Manager: Hillie Roth Studio Rubin & Co: 054-723-4520 Design Consultant: Mikael Zerbib contact: Art Director: Rachel Badach Stock Photography: Copyrighting laws apply to all articles, and nothing may be reprinted without express permission from the Publisher. ShiurTimes is not responsible for the content of the advertisements. The Opinions of the articles within the ShiurTimes rest solely upon the othors. Reproduction of any parts of the ShiurTimes is forbidden without permission. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM READING THE SHIURTIMES IN THE BEIT KNESSET DURING TIMES OF TEFILLA.



Letters to the Editor Dear Editor, I want to compliment you on your new design and layout for the Shiur Times- it immediately caught my attention. More than the layout, I want to tell you that I found the articles on the Negev and Meitar particularly interesting. In my work, in addition to actually visiting communities, I try to gather as much information about them from up-to-date articles and local yahoogroups, so your two articles were great confirmations for research that I have been involved with. I too think that the JNF’s Blueprint project for the Negev, along with organizations like Or are making an impact on the development of the South and in the near future we will see a tremendous growth of native and new Israelis calling the Negev their home. Thanks again for the great reporting and look forward to reading more coverage in the Shiur Times. Avi Silverman, Education and Community Advisement, Department of Guidance and Community Resources, Nefesh B’Nefesh

Reachings Rabbi Yaacov Haber

New Heights in Jewish Prayer Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Rabbeinu Yonah on Pirkei Avos Rabbi David Sedley


Dear Rabbi Hofmeister, At first I was very skeptical when I read your article on heter mechira. I used to eat exclusively heter mechira. The issue had never been presented to me this way. But what seemed unbelievable to me at first was proven to me to be correct. I had never looked at it this way and never checked the sources before but just believed and repeated what I was told. Thanks for opening my eyes Rabbi!! Jason Y. Y. Wolfson Rehovot I read Rabbi Hofmeister’s article regarding the Shemitta and the Heter Mechira, and I enjoyed very much the way he brought nicely the historic and halachic issues. Thank you for publishing it. Michael Friedman, Ramot, Jerusalem

Dear Rabbi Shlomo, Thanks for your article. Thanks for speaking up! Our father, ztz’l, was a talmid of HaGaon Rav Avraham Hakohen Kook, ztz’‘l. Already in the 1960’s when Israel’s economy was still in a dire state, he was greatly distressed when heter mechira was justified with Rav Kook. With Israel’s independence in 1948 Rav Kook would have never allowed heter mechira, which is simply halachically impossible since then. Since then, a propaganda campaign for heter mechira has been repeated every 7 years, influenced by hiloni interests. Not in the interest of “the poor farmer,” but in the interest of the government and a hand-full of cooperations who control 95% of Israel’s farmland. It’s about business and profit, instead of listening to the Gadolim of our generation. Thanks for your article. Thanks for speaking up! Ezra & Abigail Hayoun Petach Tikva An groyzn shkoyach! Keep up the good writing. Rabbi Yehoshua Silber Har Nof, Jerusalem Regarding The Nachas Vacuum, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber. A SMILE: It’s a small curve that sets a lot of things straight. Beautiful Dvar Torah. Yashokoych. Eytan We, Rabbi Haber’s former talmidim and baalei batim, certainly have nachas when we read your beautiful words. Thank you for your words that promote Ahavat Yisrael. Debbie Raice Fox Tears came to my eyes when I read Rabbi Haber’s D’var Torah. I wonder how many children we could save from being at risk by showing them more frequently the nachas that they give us. Yossi Shandelman






We Shall Do and We Shall Hear Behind this oft-quoted phrase is a deep understanding of the mitzvot. by Rav Ephrayim Beck


t the end of Parshat Mishpatim, we find the famous declaration by Bnei Yisrael, “We shall do and we shall hear,” expressing readiness to perform whatever God commands even before hearing what this might entail. Attention should be paid to the context of this declaration: “Moshe came and told the nation all that God had said, and all the laws, and the entire nation answered with a single voice and said, “All the things that God has spoken, we shall do.” And Moshe wrote down all that God had said. Then he got up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel… And he took the book of the Covenant and read to the nation, and they said: “All that God has spoken, we shall do and we shall hear.” (Shemot 24:3-7) From these verses, it is clear that Bnei Yisrael had already heard what God had to say, and their declaration, “We shall do and we shall hear” seems inappropriate, since their fulfillment of God’s commandments will come after their having heard them! This understanding is further strengthened by the fact that their first declaration, “we shall do” makes no mention of “we shall hear,” apparently because they had already heard which actions were involved. What, then, was Bnei Yisrael’s intention in declaring, “We shall do and we shall hear”? In order to understand this difficulty, we must investigate which “doing” is referred to here, and what its purpose is. The action that Bnei Yisrael accepted upon themselves was the performance of the commandments. The generally-accepted perception of the commandments is that they not only guide the practical level of proper human behavior towards those around us, but also include a spiritual dimension that influences the person intellectually. The spiritual influence finds expression in the formation of a



The actions must be internalized; a person must come to recognize the ideas that lie behind the physical performance of the mitzvot.” certain human character, in inculcation of opinions and views. The spiritual influence is created through actions, out of habitual repetition of these actions. Bnei Yisrael had, admittedly, heard about the actions, but merely hearing about them is not enough. The actions must be internalized; a person must come to recognize the ideas that lie behind the physical performance of the mitzvot. One would think that a person who knows and understands God’s intentions and the spiritual world has no need for the mitzvot. This explains Bnei Yisrael’s intention in declaring, “We shall do and we shall hear,” i.e. we will perform the mitzvot without always knowing the purpose of those actions; only as a second stage will we come to recognize the

depth of meaning within them. This is an expression of great faith in God: it represents an acceptance of the Covenant and the commandments that it entails with the faith that these actions contain meaning that is far greater and more profound than what appears at first glance. This idea is also reflected in the transition from Parshat Yitro to Parshat Mishpatim. From the awesome Revelation at Sinai, the Torah moves directly onto a discussion of the laws – the actions, themselves; the laws pertaining to an indentured Hebrew servant, and the laws of damages. This transition teaches us the importance of the everyday physical actions which, the Torah insists, are of paramount importance. God reveals Himself to Bnei Yisrael, but does not teach them lofty spiritual philosophies or ethereal religious concepts, but rather, the physical actions themselves. It is through these very actions that the Divine philosophy is revealed. ° Rav Ephrayim Beck served as Rosh Kollel of Kollel Torah MiTzion in Caracas, Venezuela. He currently serves as a Rav in the high school in Kvutzat Yavneh and lives in Kfar Etzion.





A Gardener’s Thoughts We rarely hear about the more personal side of Shemittah. by Michael Doniger


ome people in my neighborhood ask me “well now you have a year off, what are you going to do?” If they only knew what a struggle it is to support four children and radically change your job for the year.

I had been preparing for this year a few years back, but still the shemittah year sort of arrives unexpectedly. I tried to figure out all sorts of alternative plans but nothing came of them. This shemittah year didn’t leave me in a panic, like the last shemitttah cycle since I have seen lot’s of Hashem’s hashgacha pratit or Divine intervention. A couple of examples come to mind of such intervention. My truck broke down two weeks before the

beginning of the year. Fortunately, friends lent me their cars so I was able to continue my heavy work schedule. The truck breaking down saved me a lot of money, just when my finances would have been strained. I also received a debt owed to me from work that I did a year ago. I published the English translation of a book on the halachot of gardening during shemittah. Because of this book I’ve received many enquiries about permitted aspects of gardening. I even lectured to a group in Ra’anana on practical shemittah gardening and have started an educational website on that same topic. Since my gardening business slowed down this year, I have taken on various jobs, like working as a photographer’s assistant and taking care of an Alzheimer’s patient, which has given me the realization that I am not struggling as much as others. I have also been working as a handyman. The main thing is that this hiatus has allowed me to recharge my batteries and explore new horizons. Since I have to make do with less money, the shemittah year has forced me to daven harder and look at the spiritual side of life. Come to think about it, isn’t this the lesson of the shemittah year for all of us? ° Michael Doniger lives in Har Nof, Jerusalem. He has been living and gardening in Israel for 13 years. For copies of his book or more info on practical gardening, contact him at


Halacha Q&A With Rav Shlomo Aviner Reciting a Blessing on Seeing the President of the United States Q: If someone sees President Bush should he recite the blessing for a non-Jewish king: “Blessed are You…who has given of His glory to flesh and blood”? A: No, the President of the United States is not a king. Halachic authorities mention four criteria in order to be considered a king for this purpose: 1. One must be the absolute ruler of his kingdom or country. The President of the United States does not have absolute authority; he is balanced by the Congress.

2. The king must have the ability to administer capital punishment. The President does not possess this power. While he does have the power to grant life by issuing a pardon, he does not possess the power to sentence death. 3. The king must have royal clothing. The President of the United States wears a suit like everyone else. 4. The king must have an entourage. While the President is traveling with 400 guards, it is because they fear for his safety. The President of the most powerful country, with the biggest army, the largest economy, the super-power of the world is visiting the tiny State of Israel. Instead of reciting a blessing over the President, I recommend reciting two

prayers for the Nation of Israel which we recite every day before the Shema with extra proper intent: “Blessed are You, Hashem, who chooses His Nation Israel with Love” and “Blessed are You, Hashem, who love His Nation Israel.” ° Transcribed and translated by Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig. For more of Rav Aviner’s Torah:

Designs by Cheri: Physically challenged woman designs women’s apparel!


heri Tannenbaium, resident of Efrat, has had her share of challenges in life. While she was a young adult, she discovered she had a rare neurological condition called Dystonia Musculorum Deformance, which unfortunately has no cure. She has been living with this “claim” for 36 years without ever receiving a primary diagnosis. Her symptoms include not being able to walk or talk properly, making her incomprehensible to others. She therefore uses her trusty palm pilot device to communicate with others. 8

Despite her seeming limitations, Cheri has found her niche in the world of fashion. She began to design jewelry and skirts, which are now for sale. Her most unique product is the necktie skirt. The tie skirts consist of numerous neckties sewn together vertically, one next to the other, making a medley of colors and styles that blend into beautiful and comfortable skirts. In addition to designing skirts and necklaces, Cheri is also the proud mother of three perfectly healthy children, ages 21, 12 and 10. For more information on Designs by Cheri, see or contact her at




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A Way to Beat Stress Know the fine line between being aggressive and being assertive


ou’re standing in a long line at the supermarket check-out counter and you feel yourself beginning to boil since there are only two counters working and three empty counters. “Why do I need to waste my life here when I could be doing a thousand other important things right now?” you think agitatedly to yourself. You feel your pulse beginning to race, your heartbeat hastens, beads of sweat begin to form on your forehead, and the adrenalin flow makes for a flood of racing thoughts as you plan your attack.

From the corner of your eye you espy a manager and call out to him in a cynical tone, “I’m taking my groceries home for free since their value is about the same as what I would earn in the time I’ve been waiting here. Why don’t you manage this store and put yourself at cash register three so we don’t all need to spend the night together!” In the best case, you might get checked out quickly. The worst case could be violence, jail time, and your ruination. You never know who is on the other side of your taunts. For a brief moment you feel falsely exalted. Then comes a new series of all-too- familiar thoughts and feelings (if you have any kind of a conscience), such as, “I hate myself when I get this way.” And, “Poor guy, he’s just trying to make a living,” or “I can’t believe what a jerk I’ve been.” Anger always boomerangs. Aggression usually doesn’t get us anywhere. Neither does passivity. Assertiveness is not aggression, passivity, or passive-aggression (a sub-category of aggression which is expressed indirectly like when someone arrives consistently late for meetings.) Our life experiences should show us that neither aggression nor passivity work in terms of our getting what we want. So, why do we keep acting passive and/or aggressive? Why aren’t we assertive instead? If we don’t meet our own needs, our levels of stress increase. In order to prevent this, we need to understand that assertiveness is a life skill; meaning, it’s a skill that gets refined over a lifetime. Assertiveness is an art insofar as we have to know when to be assertive, choose the proper words


to use when we speak, be conscious of our tone of voice and where we choose to make inflections in our sentences, and of course choose a strategy in terms of what to say. Assertiveness gets blocked because of our personal history. If someone grew up in an aggressive environment, chances are that they operate out of fear. This means that they can be angry and aggressive as a way of controlling their fear. Additionally, someone could be fearful and, therefore, passive since they were victimized by aggression. In the street, for example, aggression is mostly the rule of thumb since a strong offense is a good defense. Therefore, aggression can be a sub-cultural style, which also raises the issue that assertiveness is different crossculturally. In short, we need to bring awareness to our personal style. Are we too passive or too aggressive? What blocks me from being more in the middle zone of assertiveness? Begin assertiveness in small doses: pay someone a compliment, ask a new friend to join you for coffee, and slowly work yourself up to the bigger life tasks such as asking for a raise at work or starting a business, or confronting someone on how their behavior rubs you the wrong way. If you’re assertive, you might just get what you want. ° Dr. Roy Spungin is a psychotherapist, organizational consultant, lecturer, and workshop leader. He had practiced in Manhattan since 1983 until making aliyah four years ago. Dr. Spungin lives and works in the artists’ village of Ein Hod and also has a practice in Tel Aviv. He can be reached at 054-628-3311.






What Is

Your Purpose? You may not know when it’s your fifteen minutes of fame.

by Rabbi Yaacov Haber

diately kneeled before his mother, and put his hand under each of her feet as she Whatever happened to Betzalel? walked, so that she would not feel the The Talmud tells a story: Rabbi pain of the stones and the twigs. Rabbi Tarphon was ill and his very important Akiva, upon hearing this story declared, friends, Rabbi Akiva, Rabban Gamliel “Tarphon has not even reached half of and others, came to visit. They met his the obligation of a son to a mother!” mother at the door crying. She pleaded Such harsh words! What could be with the tzaddikim to “please pray for greater? What could you do more for my son Tarphon — he is such a good your mother than walk backward before son.” She proceeded to tell them how her on your knees with your hands under once she was walking with Tarphon and her bare feet?! her sandal slipped away. Tarphon immeI heard a fascinating explanation for


this in the name of Rav J.B. Soloveitchik (z”l). If you would have asked Rabbi Tarphon why he was created and what his purpose in life was, he would certainly have told you that he saw himself as one of the Baalei Mesorah— which he was. It was his job to soak in Torah from the previous generation, analyze it, and transmit it to the next generation, which he did. But when the Gedolim heard of the exemplary way in which Tarphon treated his mother, they realized that his purpose was perhaps an even deeper one. |



He would be the paragon of kibud eim (honoring one’s mother). His job was to set an example, and be a role model to the next generation, of how to treat a mother. This was to be Rabbi Tarphon’s special contribution. Rabbi Akiva realized that perhaps he had so excelled in his mission that G-d was ready to take him from this world. Rabbi Akiva’s statement was really a bracha, namely that Rabbi Tarphon had not yet fulfilled his purpose, so he should go on living! The People of Israel had just walked away from Mt. Sinai. Our hands were still calloused from two hundred and ten years of working with bricks and mortar, yet G-d put forth a challenge: “Build Me a Mishkan.� It must shine with its beauty and stand out in its glory. Who is going to make it shine? Who will bring forth its glory? A thirteen-year-old boy named Betzalel came forward. Everyone knew his family. His grandfather Chur, the son of Caleb, had been killed trying to stop the golden calf from being built. His grandmother Miriam, Chur’s wife, was Moshe’s sister, a prophetess and the redeemer of the Jewish people. But who was Betzalel?

Betzalel was a gaon (genius). He was not only an expert craftsman and artist, but he was a Kabbalist who understood how to design the names representing the attributes of G-d into his work. He inherited a sense of zeal and mission from both of his grandparents. At thirteen years old he stepped forward, and was ordained from above as being “in the Shadow of G-d.� He designed and built the holiest and most beautiful structure


As we are called upon to do things, we cannot be sure if we are realizing our purpose in life.� in history, but throughout the rest of Tanach he is never mentioned again! Betzalel had his unique purpose in the world. “There is no person that does not have a moment.� (Pirkei Avot) There is a reason that every one of us was born. We each have our “fifteen minutes� (at least) of fame.

Everybody knows that the reason Esther became Achashveirosh’s queen was to save the Jewish people from Haman. It is clear to all of us, but it wasn’t clear to Esther. She was afraid to approach the king. She felt it wasn’t her place. Mordechai told her, “Maybe that is why you’re the queen.� Maybe?! Esther didn’t realize it, but Mordechai posed the question. With the benefit of hindsight we can all see it clearly. None of us know exactly why we were created. As we are called upon to do things, we cannot be sure if we are realizing our purpose in life. Esther didn’t know. Perhaps even the great Rabbi Tarphon didn’t know! The lesson from Betzalel, Esther and Rabbi Tarphon, is that the next time you are called upon to do a task, however uncomfortable, for your family, your friends, or your people— rise to the call. Do it like a hero. Mi yodea— who knows? Maybe it was for this very moment that you were born into the world! ° Rabbi Yaacov Haber is the President of Torahlab,, an organization serving the world of Jewish education with unique and meaningful learning material.





Manage Your Charity like Your Investments “Whoever performs even a small amount of charity in a manner which is right and proper is regarded as though he filled the whole world in its entirety with kindness.” (Sukkah 49b) by Douglas Goldstein, CFP


hen your charity extends beyond handouts to the people who knock on your door, you should look at the management of your favorite charitable organization in the same way that you would scrutinize a money manager. For example, if you were to place $250,000 with an international equity management company, you would examine a number of factors, such as the return on the investment, management fees, risk, and how that investment fits in with the rest of your portfolio. Return on investment: The way you can view the return on your equity investment is to look at the (hopefully) increasing value of your monthly statement. But how do you judge returns from a charity? If you donate money, will they find matching donors? Will they buy properties that they can use and eventually sell for a profit? While the money is waiting to be used, are they maximizing returns on their short-term investments without taking undue risk? Management fees: Though the directors certainly deserve to be paid for their work, is the salary commensurate with someone in the business world? Do they run the organization efficiently, or are they spending most of their days in staff meetings? Risk: Does the management have a track record, or are they an unknown quantity? Are there regulatory or licensing issues that need to be addressed? Part of the portfolio: Just like wise investors must balance their stocks, bonds, and cash, your specific philanthropic investment should be well-balanced with your overall worldview. One of the problems faced by many donors, however, is that although they understand the importance of looking at these types of risk and reward ratios,



Just like wise investors must balance their stocks, bonds, and cash, your specific philanthropic investment should be well-balanced with your overall worldview.”

school owed millions of dollars in back taxes. Had the donor given the organization the money, the donation would never have reached its destination – the new building. Instead, the tax authorities would certainly have put a lien on the bank account and taken the funds to pay old debts. By having outside counsel to examine the deal not only on a surface level, but rather by looking through all of the records, the client was able to protect his multimillion-dollar investment. °

they may not have the tools or the time to get clear answers. Reading charities’ brochures and talking with their fundraisers is important, but for larger donations, that’s only the beginning. Consider the following story: A donor wanted to pay to build a building for a school. The organization had been around for many years, the directors’ salaries were reasonable, and the deal seemed straightforward. When we sent in lawyers and accountants, though, it turned out that the

Douglas Goldstein, CFP, ( is the director of Profile Investment Services. He offers securities through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., member FINRA (formally NASD), SIPC, MSRB, SIFMA. Accounts carried by National Financial Services LLC, member NYSE/SIPC, a Fidelity Investments company. His book, Building Wealth in Israel: A Guide to International Investments and Financial Planning, is available in bookstores, on the web, or can be ordered at, Israel: (02) 624-2788, USA: 1 (888) 327-6179.




TIKVA MARKET: AN INVESTMENT IN CHESED You can find a bottle of Coke for half a Shekel, but you really don’t want to end up shopping here. by Sarra Horwitz


imes get hard. Families suffer. Some families don’t even have enough money for groceries. Actually, that’s an understatement. There are thousands of families in Jerusalem alone who cannot afford groceries. But that’s not the only problem. Many of them have dietary needs that no soup kitchen or pre-packaged food distribution center can meet. Most of them have kids that actually want some treats now and then. And why shouldn’t they get treats? They are people that lost everything and have forgotten what normal life can be. Tikva Market is the only place in Israel that actually works as a bona fide supermarket with real produce, common brands of shampoos, sweets, pastas, cereals, toiletries and home products, but offers these items with a 90% discount. Where can you buy a bottle of coke for half a shekel in Israel? Shampoo for 1nis? Forty rolls of quality brand toilet paper for 4nis? Shiur Times had the opportunity to visit Tikva Market in Jerusalem and see the amazing work they do in person. We quickly realized how much potential such an initiative has to help families get back on their feet. When families get into dire situations, they frequently become isolated, as they may feel ashamed of how they live and what they eat. Obviously they do not have the finances to go out for dinner with friends or even to host them at home. Shabbat is the perfect example of a time that we all want to invite guests. Tikva Market allows families who are living under the poverty line, the opportunity to go shopping the way everyone else does, have the same types of food as everyone else does, and in short, deal with their situation with dignity. The Market assists 2200 families in the

rusalem area, all of whom are approved by the Ministry of Welfare and a committee of rabbanim-dayanim, who review each case every three months. They only accept people whose situations are temporary; who have suffered from accidents, sickness, unemployment—those with the ability to rebuild.

The founders of the market work in collaboration with case managers, who give the families support and practical skills training, so that they can work towards re-establishing themselves. With the combination of restoring self-respect by now being able to shop at a supermarket, and providing skills training, these “clients” soon feel ready to start afresh. “Our goal is to help people not shop here anymore. We have such a long waiting list and not enough funding to help

everyone,” says founder Haim Knopfer. Knopfer began the Tikva Market concept five years ago from a storage room in his Jerusalem flat. What started with fourteen families has now grown to over 2200 families. Whoever is approved to shop at Tikva Market pays a small percentage of the final bill and must be reviewed regularly to ensure they are taking steps to “get out of the hole,” so to speak. Rav Halberstam has called Tikva Market a “chidush in chesed” and we wholeheartedly agree. The Market sends donations directly to help families in need, which makes it a reliable and hands-on charity. Here is an example of putting in money as if it yields an investment As Purim and Pesach are quickly approaching, donations are strongly encouraged. The following breakdown gives an idea of the sponsorships desired (any amount helps, obviously): one full wagon is $75, sponsoring one family for one month costs $250, while sponsoring 2500 people for one month costs $50,000. Those who are down need our help in getting up, even if they can’t get up right away. After leaving Tikva Market, we realized that even the poor are entitled to have choices in life. ° Donations can be send to the following addresses: Within Israel: TIKVA MARKET, Katzenelbogen Street POB 43267 Jerusalem Tel: 02- 653-7080, Fax: 02 653- 70-20 Europe: Les Amis Tikva Market, 21-29 Rue J.J. Rousseau 93107 Montreuil Cedex, Tel. (33) 01 48 75 52 29 – Fax (33) 01 48 73 76 03 U.S.A.: The Friends of Tikva Market, 2939 East 11th Street Los Angeles CA 90023. Tel. (323) 981-1860 – Fax (323) 981-1868 Sarra Horwitz made aliyah from Detroit. She currently resides in Jerusalem. She has been involved in community work, and the nonprofit sector, for nearly ten years.



The Vessels and the Priestly Garments of the Mishkan Behind the kohen’s garments lies the potential for perfection. by Rabbi Zvi Leshem (Blobstein)


he three main topics of our parsha are the ner tamid (eternal light), the priestly garments, and the incense altar. What does this order teach us? Why is the incense altar mentioned only now, since the holy vessels were already described in Terumah? The Chezkuni writes that the eternal light comes to illuminate the Mishkan just as HaShem lit up the world at the time of creation. Here we see that the Mishkan is a microcosm of the entire world. Since light symbolizes holiness and wisdom, it was necessary at the very onset of creation. So too, it is necessary before one can begin the service in the Mishkan. The priestly garments are so crucial that Chazal declare that only when wearing them is the kohen really considered being a kohen. To work in the Mishkan without them carries with it a penalty of death! As we know, the kohen symbolizes the oved haShem, the true servant of God. We are all striving to emulate him and learn from him how to properly worship HaShem. The Gemara in Arachin 16a states that just as the sacrifices atone, so do the priestly garments. The ephod atones for idolatry, the tunic for bloodshed, the breeches for sexual immorality, the breastplate for financial wrongdoing, the turban for haughtiness, robe for negative speech, the headband for brazenness, and the sash for immoral thoughts. This list highlights the crucial areas of our behavior that must be perfected if we are to be, like the kohen, true ovdei haShem. The incense altar comes as the climax of both Terumah and Tezaveh together. Rav Hirsch explains that the rayach nichoach— the pleasing scent— can only come at the end, after all else has been completed. It stands, facing the Aron, between the Menorah and the table of the showbread. Thus we see that that the Torah in the Aron influences both our spiritual (Menorah) and our physical



The Hebrew word for incense, ketoret, actually means “connection”, as the incense helps to create a deeper connection between man and G-d; in itself the greatest source of joy and love.” (table) lives. This is what enables us to serve HaShem with a pleasing scent. The Hebrew word for incense, ketoret, actually means “connection”, as the incense helps to create a deeper connection between man and G-d; in itself the greatest source of joy and love. The Mai HaShiloach explains that only after the priestly garments have filled the Jewish people with the awe of HaShem, the people are now able to receive the joy and love that come from the power of the incense.

When we look at the totality of the Tabernacle, its vessels and the priestly garments, we are overwhelmed by the sensory feast that went on there. The vessels and garments provided visual beauty, while the bells on the priest’s robe and the music of the levi’im provided auditory stimuli. The incense provided the sweet scent and the sacrifices themselves, touch and taste. It is clear that the Mishkan, and later the Temple, were created in such a way to create a maximal meditative experience upon entering; one which was most conducive to achieving deveikut— cleaving to HaShem. May we be blessed to re-enter this meditative space in the near future. Shabbat Shalom. ° Rav Zvi Leshem is Spiritual Leader of Congregation Shirat Shlomo in Efrat and Director of Overseas Programs at Nishmat in Jerusalem. He studied in Yeshivat HaMivtar and was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. He holds a PhD from Bar Ilan University in Chassidic Thought and is the author of Redemptions: Contemporary Chassidic Essays on the Parsha and the Festivals.




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Otzar Beit Din or Heter Mechira: Position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel The articles on Shemitta that have been published reflect a wide range of opinions. We are continuing to publish more articles since our readers have expressed much interest in the matter. The following article is written by one of the leading rabbis on the topic of Shemitta, who presents some background to the position of the Chief Rabbinate. For more in-depth information, please see

by Rav Yoel Friedmann


hroughout the years, the Chief Rabbinate (HaRabbanut HaRashit) has supported Heter Mechira without hesitating since they understood that on a global level, there is no alternative solution that would support the agriculture industry in Israel and the Israeli farmers. Despite this, the policy of the Chief Rabbinate has always been a preference for Otzar Beit Din over Heter Mechira. The reason for this is that with Heter Mechira, “we [the Rabbis] are sorry that we are forced to teach the nation to stop Mitzvat Shvi’it” despite its ne-


cessity. [This is to say, that the role of the rabbis is to connect the nation to mitzvot and instituting the laws of Heter Mechira is as if the Land is used regularly, as if it is not a Shemitta year, so the Rabbis are saddened that it must come to that level.-ST] (Igrot HaRiya 1:189) Contrary to this, with Otzar Beit Din, both the farmers and the consumers are taught to deal with Shemitta, and get used to fulfilling this important mitzvah in preparation for the future, which we will fulfill it in a more ideal way, as Rav Kook (zt”l) said, in Orot HaTechiya. (Chapter 5) One of the most vocal speakers on the topic of Shemitta was our Rabbi,

HaRav HaGaon Shaul Yisraeli (zt”l), head of the Shemitta Committee which close to the Rabbanut HaRashit, was who expressed his opinion very clearly in favor of Otzar Beit Din. (Havot Binyamin Section 3, Chapter 98): “It is important to point out with satisfaction that the more people who fulfill the Shemitta year according to halacha[is better], and this is with the idea to decrease the use of Heter Mechira …[and keep the laws of shemitta more strictly]” A few decades beforehand, in the year 5720 (1959), the Chief Rabbinate published the book, B’Tzeit HaShanah, which was edited by HaRav Yisraeli |



where, on page 42, instructions were given to Otzar Beit Din for vegetables (and not just for fruits.) From the year 5718 (1957), at the time when HaRav HaGaon Yiztchak Isaac HaLevi Herzog and HaRav HaGaon Yitzchak Nissim served, the book stated: “Section 9: Directions for those who do not use Heter Mechira …Vegetables must be sown before Rosh Hashana in a way that they will sprout before Rosh Hashana…The Beit Din that will appoint those [the farmers] as emissaries of the Beit Din will give them a membership contract (shtar manoi), and will set the prices [for salaryST] for them that will be for the work…” [i.e. the prices will be for the work, not for the produce.—ST] And thus is the opinion of the HaRav Rishon L’Tzion HaRav HaGaon Ovadia Yosef (shlita), as he explained in Sefer Yalkut Yosef, page 429 and page 433. In the year 5747 (1986), at the time when HaRav HaGaon Avraham Shapira (zt”l) and HaRav HaGaon Mordechai Eliyahu served as Chief Rabbis, there was a Shemitta Committee within the framework of the Chief Rabbinate. The Committee—together with the Machon Torah V’HaAretz— published booklets for the farmers and consumers. At the beginning of these booklets, there are instructions for farmers and consumers that do not use Heter Mechira and then it continues with instructions for those who do hold Heter Mechira . These booklets passed inspection by HaRav HaGaon Avraham Shapira, HaRav HaGaon Mordechai Eliyahu and HaRav HaGaon Shaul Yisraeli. We also have many hand-written notes on which they based the instructions within these booklets. It is clear, therefore, from the directions of the Chief Rabbinate in the book B’Tzeit HaShanah, and from the instructions in the booklets, that the policy of the Chief Rabbinate was to prefer Otzar Beit Din over Heter Mechira. If this is not the case, then why did the great Rabbis write these instructions without Heter Mechira at all [for farmers]? Why would these farmers put in any effort and avoid specific malachot (work ac-


tivities) and lose money, if ultimately, Heter Mechira is a better halachik solution? In the year 5754 (1986), Rav Avrham Shapira (zt”l) and Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (zt”l) wrote: “Therefore it was decided by the Council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel this year, to use Heter Mechira which was customary in Israel amongst other Gedolei HaPoskim (Rabbinic Authorities)…At the same time , we inform the public that we have merited that many farmers in yishuvim, villages, kibbutzim and cities have heeded our call [for Otzar Beit Din] regarding produce. It is possible to subsist off of their farms, without needing Heter Mechira, by marketing the products and their preparations, in the form of emissaries of the Beit Din and the establishment of Otzar Beit Din…” From an edition from the Shemitta Committee from the same year, the following was written: “Vegetables that come from lands that were not sold and picked after Rosh Hashana 5747 are hereby holy by Kedushat Shviit and there are even those who hold that there is a mitzvah from the Torah to eat these vegetables.” In his new book, Ma’amareei Eliyahu (5768), the Rav Rishon L’Tzion HaRav HaGaon Mordechai Eliyahu (Shlita), repeated his policy: It appears to me that the process that began with the establishment of Otzar HaAretz, gives its fruits and it is possible to sense that amongst our public, there is a big awakening, growing awareness and stringency vis-àvis the Hilchot Shviit, and we hope that this process leads us, with the help of G-d, to fulfill the ideal Shemitta, as it is meant from the Torah. °

Vegetables that come from lands that were not sold and picked after Rosh Hashana 5747 are hereby holy by Kedushat Shviit and there are even those who hold that there is a mitzvah from the Torah to eat these vegetables.”

Rav Yoel Friedemann is a distinguished rabbi at the Machon Torah V’HaAretz, a research institute that works towards spreading public awareness on Mitzvot Tluyot Ba’Aretz (mitzvoth dependant on the Land of Israel.) Originally founded in Gush Katif, the institute is now located in Ashkelon.

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Shabbat in Hebron

On the Outside Looking In by Sheila Dale

weight I’ve lost these last two months is back on for sure! They taught me the importance of hospitalityjust like would like to tell you about the most profound and incred- when Abraham was sitting at the door of his tent when he ible weekend yet - going with an Orthodox Jewish group saw three men coming up to visit him. These were angels, to Hebron was not only interesting, it was inspiring! and Abraham and Sarah served them in royal style. The comBecause I would be spending this Sabbath with Orthodox munity in Hebron understands that it is a good deed to show Jews, it was important to me that I not offend in any way. I hospitality just as their forefather Abraham did. One never bought a long black skirt and black snood for my hair covering knows if you are entertaining angels unaware. and I wore it from the beginning to the ending of Sabbath. As There are many stories to recount, but I really want to say it turned out, it wasn’t necessary because the Jews understood here that we as Christians can learn so much from our Jewish that I am a gentile, and told me that I’m not required to keep brothers. I think we as Christians think we are doing G-d a the commandments as they do. But favor when we spend an hour after I put it on, I thought about or so in church on Sunday, why I was covering my head when go to a prayer meeting on going into a Holy Site. We entered Wednesday night, or particithe building which houses the tombs pate in a cell group for fellowof the Patriarchs, so it just seemed ship on a monthly basis. This respectful both to the company of is all well and fine, however, people I was with and to the Creator what I observed this Sabbath of this Universe. were a group of religious When we got to our dorms and people who made it a practice room assignments, a precious 82 not to count the hours spent in year old woman smiled so kindly and Bible reading and prayer. They told me that we would be staying whole-heartedly gave themwith one other woman. She was spry selves to the spirit of Sabbath. as could be with such a countenance “Shalom.” Peace. No debate. of joy about her! As we went out No controversy. No planning Ma’arat Hamachpela: On the way to Kabalat Shabbat for tomorrow or what needs to of our room to join the Sabbath prayers, I realized she was just a bit be done at work. They devote cautious when walking on the uneven stones and gravel, so I an entire day to keeping the took her by the arm and from then on we were nearly insepaSabbath holy. It is a way of life, rable. She taught me a lot about what was happening in the and it is a day to show openly service; it was not anything I had expected. There is no way their devotion to G-d. to explain the evening prayer time, or the wonderful Sabbath If you want to talk about songs the men sang as they danced about on their side of the dedication and devotion to G-d, synagogue. look to the Orthodox Jew for Later that night, and during the next day, many men an example. danced openly after our meals in the large meeting tent proIf you want to talk about vided for us, and in the streets of the City. They robustly sang perseverance and faith in the the songs of the Sabbath, of joy, and of Israel. They were loud face of adversity of every kind, and boisterous...and so overwhelmingly strong and joyous! look to the Orthodox Jew for Once you’ve heard them singing those wonderful songs over an example. and over again, it’s hard to get them out of your mind. I’m still If you want to talk about hearing them echo through mine! personally walking every day, What impressed me about the entire Sabbath was the deevery hour and minute with the votion of these precious people. They stood or sat for hours L-rd, look to the Orthodox Jew reading the Psalms and saying prayers, occasionally reciting for an example. ° those prayers out loud, and often reading them silently. From time to time they would stand up and bow several times and This article was written by a non-Jewish woman staying in Israel bend their knees. I couldn’t understand the prayers as everywho joined the Hebron Fund’s group of US donors who came to stay in thing was in Hebrew, but I did understand the spirit of their Hebron for Shabbat Hebron on Parshat Chayei Sarah. The pictures were prayers. taken by a non-Jewish man for his own purposes, with the permission During the Sabbath, one is supposed to eat three good and supervision of the Chief Rabbi of Hebron, Rabbi Dov Lior. meals and they should include both some meat and some fish. So we did! We had three fabulous meals, and I’m afraid any


They wholeheartedly gave themselves to the spirit of Sabbath. “Shalom.” Peace. No debate. No controversy.





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by Ilene Bloch-Levy Rav: Eshchar uses the services of the Chief Rabbi of the Misgav Regional Council Population: 85 families, with 20 families currently building their homes. At least 20% are English speakers. The average age is around 35. Ideology & Lifestyle: Founded in 1986, Eshchar is a diverse, heterogeneous community of religious and non-religious Jews from all backgrounds. Some 40% of the residents are religious and 15% identify themselves as Mesorati. The community’s ideology is rooted in tolerance and openness, encouraging integration of



The community’s ideology is rooted in tolerance and openness, encouraging integration of Jews from all walks of life.” Jews from all walks of life. Joint lectures and community activities, weekly Shiurim, a youth group for religious and secular alike and one synagogue (everyone is welcome) are all expressions of the community’s open atmosphere. The community also has built its own mikveh. The community’s open and welcoming ideology also finds expression in the residents’ approach to the environment, Eshchar is particularly proud of its unique agricultural farm and ecological activities and programs, enthusiastically encouraged and supported by the entire community. Eshchar is a warm, relaxed place to raise children with its preschool programs, sports facilities, extra curricular activities for kids

and adults, club for teenagers, and children’s petting zoo. The yishuv has building plans for a light industry area and an education complex. Eshchar is located just 15 kilometers south of Carmiel, in the center of the Galilee. It is also a lovely resort and welcomes family vacationers who come to take advantage of the yishuv’s vacation facilities (tsimmerim) Education: Religious children go to elementary school in neighboring Moreshet (15 minutes travel) and for junior high and high school Tiberias, Sde Yaakov and other facilities throughout the country. Employment: Because of Eshchar’s central Galilee location, residents work in Haifa, Nazreth Illit, Carmiel, Yokneam, and even Tel Aviv. Housing: Private homes only. 15 more lots waiting to be sold. The cost of a lot is around $40,000. Transportation: No public transportation, so a car is a necessity. Haifa is but a half-hour and Carmiel 15 minutes driving time. ° Community Research Profile has been contributed to Shiur Times through the Kehillot Tehilla Communities department.





Jewish Superheroes? by Mark Samowitz, “Shooby Doob Shloimy� As I don my larger than life red, yellow and blue yarmulke, my super-big tzitzit, my multi-colored mitzvah shoes and my trusted yellow Shooby shirt, I hear the twittering and excited giggles of the audience ready to clap their hands and stamp their feet to the Shooby Doob Shloimy beat. Truth be told, I feel a little like Superman— on a mission to save the Jewish world— out to get Jewish children excited about being Jewish and learning Torah; to appreciate and cherish the incredible gift we have. I had no idea that my chance meeting with Helen Heldenmuth, Shooby’s co-creator, in Johannesburg on a rainy African night would change my life and enable me to transform the way Jewish children connect with Torah. In every city I visit, whether it’s London or Jerusalem, Sydney or New York, I rehearse with local children prior to the show enabling them to participate

in song and dance in the stage version of Shooby Doob Shloimy alongside me. By bringing their unique talents and personalities to the stage, they in turn inspire others who see them celebrating mitzvot, rejoicing in the beauty of Shabbat or telling the miraculous story of Pesach.

The music and lyrics of the 3 original Shooby Doob Shloimy CD’s speak to the children of today in a language they understand. The catchy lyrics, rhythmic beat and hip melodies make the “edutainment� experience one of warmth and joy. As I slip out of Shooby gear into civilian camouflage, anonymously melting into the scenery, I walk down the street feeling energized and uplifted, the images of Jewish children singing with all their hearts – ‘Torah’s special for me and you’ – are etched on my mind forever. ° Log onto for educational content, videos, pics, competitions, song clips, to purchase CD’s, for Shooby events and bookings. Mark grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida and is a cantor, entertainer, composer and educator. He performs for communities around the world.



Torah: Transformation and Transformative Transgression and Divine mercy act together in building Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with Hashem. by Anne Gordon


he Torah is surely the Jewish people’s crowning glory, but to our chagrin, the events surrounding the giving of the Torah were not our shining moments. The classical commentators explain that the instigators of the episode with the Golden Calf were not the mainstream population, but the riffraff who followed Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt. And none of the classical commentators even hint that Aharon is punished for idolatry. Nonetheless, the conduct of the people so soon after the miraculous Exodus always disappoints those of us with 20/20 hindsight. We think they should have done better. The traditional humility of all generations following those who left Egypt notwithstanding, we assume we would have done better. We would have been inspired by the miracles, and stood in that moment (ahem, forty days of moments) and waited with bated breath for Moshe to come down from the mountain. We would not have strayed! Perhaps we are right. We have the advantage of exposure to the errors of our ancestors. Furthermore, the desire for idolatry is said to have departed this world. Though people make all kinds of pursuits other than the Divine into their “god,” we are as comfortable with the notion that the Omnipresent has no body as people who are limited by their own bodies can be. Perhaps we would have withstood the temptation of seeking a tangible divinity. But that transgression changed the nature of Bnei Yisrael’s relationship with God, as we learn by eavesdropping on the subsequent intimacy between God and Moshe: “….I will pass all of My goodness over your face… I


will bestow grace upon you, and I will be merciful…” (Shemot 33:17) Just as Moshe needed a measure of God’s grace for breaking God’s tablets, so too will Bnei Yisrael require Divine grace as an integral component of their relationship in the coming years, as they keep (and don’t keep) the Law. Indeed, this promise of grace dominates the liturgy of the Days of Awe, training us in the ways of repentance and atonement. Thus, Bnei Yisrael’s inability to handle even the basic requirements of the first

tablets implies that the forgiveness that accompanies the second set assists us in our attempts to comply with the Divine will. The terms of compliance have been adjusted, it would seem, as have God’s expectations of His people. The added dimension of mercy underlies the eternal relationship. Let us note that the pyrotechnics that heralded the first tablets are part only of the initial revelation; when Moshe descends the second time, he does so without fanfare. (34:29) God passes “al-panav” (over his face) as promised, eliciting the prophet’s immediate proclamation of God’s traits of mercy, and leaves him radiant, transformed by the experience. Moshe seems oblivious to

his own shining face, yet the message to those who behold him is clear: the simple exposure to God’s Torah transforms us—regardless of whether we are paying attention! Adhering to the precepts of the Torah (shemirat ha-mitzvot) embroiders the fabric of our daily lives, and Talmud Torah shades our intellectual landscape. When we learn, our horizons expand and we are led, even inadvertently, to consider ourselves and our place in the world. But Moshe’s radiance suggests more. Even without the conscious performance of mitzvot, even without the intellectual rigor of learning, we cannot emerge from any encounter with Torah, with the Divine, unchanged. Michelangelo, then, made no mistake when he captured this moment for his famous Moses. Though most attribute the famous nubs of horns that adorn the sculpture to the Latin translation that turns “the light radiated” (”karan ohr”) into horns (from “keren”), it has been suggested that they were simply an attempt to represent rays of light in stone, without distorting Moshe’s features. Moreover, Moses is somber, passionate, and inadvertently imposing—suggestive of the gift of the Second Tablets, for it is in the quieter, merciful, humility of Torah that Moshe, and then Bnei Yisrael themselves, are automatically and eternally transformed. ° Anne Gordon holds an M.A. in Judaic Studies and a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing a (slow) doctorate in Jewish Education at Yeshiva University, and teaching at Midreshet HaRova. Before making aliyah, she spent many years learning in the women’s batei midrash of Jerusalem and New York, and teaching in both high school and post-graduate settings.




10th anniversary of the Institute of the Holocaust & faith “Machon Shem Olam”

“Voice & Music in the Shtetl”

Hazzanim & Klezmer meet on the streets of the Jewish Village Wed, the 5th of Adar Bet 12th March 2008 Heichal Tarbut, Tel Aviv 8pm

Moshe Schulhof

Zadok Greenwald

Yaakov Motzen Slomo Glick In the presence of Harav Yisrael Meir Lau Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv- Yafo Music Director Raymond Goldstein

Yehezkel Klang

Yaakov Rosenfeld

Accompanied by Choir of Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute Conducted by Mark Temerliss Productions Levie Kanes Productions Directed by Moshe Alafi Advanced Ticket Sales: 052-877-1724, 052-566-6878 Box Office:03-604-5000 or *5000 Machon Shem Olam, Kfar Haroeh Tel: 04-630-1637

World Klezmer Band of Budapest directed by Ferenc Javori 25

In Focus

Maestro Elli Jaffe Composer and Conductor

One man who unifies music, vision and faith in international concert halls and synagogues. by Yehudit Singer


hen he begins to move his bands, centuries-old sounds fill the hall. During the week, the string players bow fervently to the movement of his baton. The woodwinds play on as they breathe out sweet melodies that were written in 18th century Europe. By Shabbat, those same two hands lead a world-renown men’s choir as they chant the ancient texts of Kabbalat Shabbat in the most inspiring polyphonic harmonies. Prince Andrew has lauded him on stage at a performance of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Rav Chaim Kaniefsky serves as one of his spiritual mentors, and Mayor Lupoliansky has awarded him the Jerusalem Prize, one of the many prestigious awards that line his living room walls. Welcome to the world of Elli Jaffe: acclaimed maestro, composer, musician, cantor, husband, father, lamdan, founding member of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem and father of one of the most famous synagogue choirs in the world. An early Friday morning finds the Jaffe family making preparations for Shabbat, like all Jewish families in Israel. The table is set immaculately; the kids are out and about. A smiling, welcoming Mrs. Jaffe serves hot tea and homemade cookies, as I sit down with her husband—a kind, gentle man who not only stands on the shoulders of giants, but has created some mighty impressive footsteps of his own.


A Jerusalem native, Elli Jaffe began his professional career in music at the ripe age of 19. He studied at the prestigious Rimon Academy in Jerusalem and completed his second degree in Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Back in Israel, he took master classes with famed American composer Leonard Bernstein and leading conductor Igor Markevitch. His official qualifications may be über-impressive, but Maestro Jaffe adds another element that has led to his successful career: his faith in the Almighty. His spiritual side and Torah background certainly shape his life in unique ways:

Jaffe’s hashkafic views include the way that he relates to music. He sees music “Talmudic-ly.” What does this mean, to see music “Talmudic-ly?” Jaffe explains that it’s not just about knowing the particular work, but understanding the work. “What did Beethoven wish to tell me? L’havdil elef havdalot, it’s like learning a sugya in Gemara.” He uses the oratorio Elijah as an example. Before conducting the piece, Jaffe learned the Biblical texts and commentaries about Elijah. He says, “As I interpreted the music, it was amazing to me how the music matched the commentaries… [the composer] Mendelssohn |



did not know about Rashi, but if you listen to the piece, you’ll understand. When you see music Talmudic-ly, it just gives you so much light.” He explains his weltanschauung further by using the example of Gustav Mahler, a late 19th century composer and conductor in Austria-Hungary who was born Jewish, but converted to Catholicism in order to become the director of the Vienna Opera. “He had tremendous faith; maybe not the same faith that I have, but he believed… Anyone without faith who conducts Mahler is missing something.” He contrasts Mahler with Handel’s acclaimed Messiah. “Handel’s music is a Christian faithful work. One who has his own faith can connect to the music and to the text; you appreciate it so much more deeply because you get a very different approach. Anyone can identify with the work, but one with faith can actually feel it, regardless of whether one is Christian, Muslim or Jewish.”


What did Beethoven wish to tell me? L’havdil elef havdalot, it’s like learning a sugya in Gemara.” As Jaffe whisks away as guest conductor of the most famous orchestras in the world, he brings his worldview with him. “It’s not about playing notes; it’s about what each note means,” he says. What makes Jaffe so unique is his fusion of classical pieces with sacred, cantorial works. For example, Jaffe wrote classical arrangements for the music of the Mozhitzer Hassidim, performed by Avraham Fried, in collaboration with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. As he was arranging the music, he understood the dual simplicity and profundity that exist in each of the Mozhitzer niggunim. “Maybe because of their simplicity, they [the melodies] have kedusha.” It was during those moments that he came to a realization: “I believe Mahler had a Mozhitzer neshama, ” he quips. Throughout his upbrining, Jaffe had always been connected to music in the synagogue. His parents were the founders of Heichal Shlomo, the precursor to the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. One Shabbat, during the Yom Kippur War, the main conductor of the choir at Heichal Shlomo was called up to serve in the army, so Elli was unexpectedly appointed to conduct. He took the conductor’s place temporarily and was inspired

to make it internationally known. Two years before the Great Synagogue was inaugurated, he was asked to take over the positon as choir conductor. It was at that time that he took on the role of turning the choir into a great source of pride for the Jewish people. In 1982, a portion of the building of the Great Synagogue was dedicated in memory of Jaffe’s late father, Moshe Abraham. Immediately upon opening the synagogue doors, Elli began to fill the huge sanctuary with beautiful sacred music. One of his greatest sources of pride came about when Jaffe overheard a group of Dutch gentile visitors comment after visiting the synagogue for Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night. “In which Church do we have such dignified services?” they asked rhetorically. Jaffe then understood

that he was fulfilling his mission. The choir itself consists of 16-27 men who light up the sanctuary of the Great Synagogue on Shabbat and Chagim. Under Jaffe’s leadership, the choir has traveled internationally, and has become one of most famous and prestigious choirs of sacred music in the world. Classical music may have seen heights amongst composers in the 19th and early 20th century, but Maestro Elli Jaffe brings it alive in exceptional ways. His effort towards perfection in both classical music and Judaism gives his performances a level of sincerity rarely seen. Not everyone has an opportunity to experience the handiwork of a virtuoso conductor. For a service filled with heart and soul, visit the Great Synagogue and see Elli Jaffe infuse soul in the score of music. °



Reinventing Hasidic Music:

Shlomo Carlebach

Though not necessarily written for worship, neo-Hasidic melodies quickly found their way into the synagogue. by Marsha Bryan Edelman


hlomo Carlebach (1925-1994) was among the most unorthodox Orthodox rabbis of the 20th century. With a unique personality reflecting the full fervor of his adopted Hasidic background as well as a genuine love for his fellow Jew, Carlebach traveled North America telling stories, reaching out to Jews of all persuasions (including those with no affiliation), and using his talents to create melodies that touched his listeners and became instant staples in havurot [small prayer communities] and minyanim across the denominational spectrum. His setting of “Esa Einai” (Psalm 121), one of his earliest hits, was not originally intended for use in regular worship; however, the melody has been borrowed for use in conjunction with other texts, including the Sabbath Hymn of Glory (Anim Zemirot.) Some of the other Carlebach melodies that became regular parts of worship services were written for entry into Israel’s annual Hasidic Song Festival. In 1968 a small-budget Israeli play called Ish Hasid Haya (Once There Was a Hasid) brought traditional Hasidic songs and stories to the generally nonobservant masses who filled its audiences. The success of this material inspired enthusiasts to revitalize Hasidic music by soliciting songs—in an ostensibly Hasidic style— to be presented in an annual Israeli festival, starting in 1969. The only things “Hasidic” about most of these songs were their relatively short melodies and traditional lyrics. Still, the presence of catchy new tunes for brief liturgical texts encouraged the use of many of these songs in the prayers of American Jews looking for easy-to-learn melodies and more congregational singing—even by congregants who were not fluent in Hebrew. Carlebach’s ve-Ha’er Einenu quickly jumped back into the morning services from which its lyrics were taken, and Nurit Hirsh’s (b. 1942) Oseh Shalom



Hasidic-style songs [that] he wrote and sang …were the key to his outreach efforts and enabled Jewishly uneducated members of his audiences to become a part of the musicmaking.” not only launched her subsequent career (limited almost exclusively to secular songs), but also became a staple of weekday and Sabbath services in countless synagogues across the continent. The right-wing Orthodox camp also produced performers and ensembles to sing liturgical texts in non-liturgical settings. These groups were certainly not motivated by a desire to assimilate the musical vocabulary of America. Rather, the Hasidic community sought refuge from modern popular music—and in

particular, from its lyrics— by creating new tunes in the old European style of the Ba’al Shem Tov [the founder of Hasidism] and his followers. Most popular were the boy choirs assembled into performing ensembles under the aegis of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel (literally, the “blossoms of the society of Israel”). What the first of these groups lacked in vocal polish they made up for through their enthusiastic renditions of catchy tunes with sophisticated arrangements and impressive instrumental accompaniment. Melodies like Urah Kevodi, by Moshe Greiniman, quickly jumped over the lines separating the Hasidim from the modern Orthodox, and from there it was a short leap to the religiously oriented summer camps, schools, and youth movements with diverse political and theological orientations. Shlomo Carlebach was among the first singer-songwriters from the Orthodox camp. Carlebach used his music to reach out to Jews of all backgrounds. The limited texts and purposely repetitive Hasidic-style songs he wrote and sang (interspersed with his own stories and inspirational religious message) were the key to his outreach efforts and enabled Jewishly uneducated members of his audiences to become a part of the music-making. For many, it was also among their most powerful Jewish experiences—encounters they would not have sought within the confines of the synagogue setting but to which they gravitated eagerly on college campuses in California, in the coffee houses of New York’s Greenwich Village, and in hundreds of formal and informal gatherings in between. ° Marsha Bryan Edelman is Professor of Music and Education at Gratz College. She also serves as Director of the Tyson Music Department and coordinates the college’s academic programs in Jewish music. This article was reprinted with permission from Discovering Jewish Music (Jewish Publication Society.)






Classic rock spiced with the soulful energy of Chassidut. by Tight Rope Productions


OOD, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet, is the new name for great, big sound. Three guys who played backup for music giants in the Israeli scene for over a decade, now take virtuosity to new levels on their debut album, Passin’over. The album has the kind of soulful, soaring guitar riffs you actually feel before you hear. This professionally trained classic rock trio draws inspiration from Hendrix, Cream and Dylan, as they perform original music and lyrics along with classic covers. YOOD’s intense instrumentation harnesses the power of the thinking, feeling, and agile electric guitar on a burning journey to elevate Rock’s heyday, via Kabbalistic and Chassidic influences. YNET’s Yaki Hoffstein aptly described Yood as “Jimmy Hendrix with tzitzit”, yet one look at them will have you wondering whether these guys are the next ZZ Top or the offspring of Tzfat’s greatest Kabbalists. Originally from North America, this trio was founded in Jerusalem just a few years ago. When their sounds blend, the ground-shaking classic rock feel is spiced with a deep spirituality that only those with a deep sense of Torah and Israel can create. Yood’s front man Lazer Lloyd — has toured extensively with legendary Israeli jam band Reva L’Sheva, and has played with Matisyahu and Danny Sanderson does his magic with guitars and harmonica. Yaacov Lefcoe (Dr. Jake), whose roots are in hard rock/funk, masters the monster bass sound, while Moshe “Russian Percussion” Yankovsky charms the

cover of the yood’s Debut album: Passin’over


one look at them will have you wondering whether these guys are the next ZZ Top or the offspring of Tzfat’s greatest Kabbalists.”

Yood can be seen live in Jerusalem on February 9th at the Maabada (The Lab), on March 20th at UCLA in California and on April 21st at the Solarium Beach in the Dead Sea. See, or

drums with his ethnic, fusion sound. In the words of critic Yoav Friedman, “Yood’s premiere album is one of the new Jewish music’s best. Turn up the volume, they aren’t playing songs for the third Shabbat meal.” °


Rising Star Matt Bar’s Bible Rap Project

Using the narratives from Tanach and Midrash in a new art form helps Jewish students appreciate their heritage.


he Bible Raps Project is a new initiative aimed at exciting students about Torah, Jewish heritage, and Jewish texts. Built around a series of raps that draw on texts from the Tanach, Midrash and the Talmud, Bible Raps serves as a pedagogical tool for educators to inject excitement for learning. The project began a few years ago with the foresight and passion of professional rapper-turned-educator, Matt Bar. Matt noticed that young students were bored and uninspired by the traditional educational setting, so he applied the drama and tensions inherent within the Tanach narratives, to the rhythms of rap, a genre that currently captivates the attention of millions of youngsters worldwide. Within no time, students were not only walking through the halls rapping about Biblical personalities, but they actually knew and understood the stories! Take for example, the story of David and Goliath: “I am goliath I am a beast/send somebody to the field so the birds can feast/send somebody to the field they come up to my knees/nine feet tall with a spear that can reach/ the other side of the tide when I’m chillin on the beach/make a shishakabob of human meat/got bronze on my legs got bronze on my chest/recline in the shine of my spear proof vest/chorus: I am David, I come with the Lord,  you come with the sword, I come with the Lord/One stone, pick it up, two stones, pick it up, three stones, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.” When integrated with Tanach, Bible Raps create an energy that engages students of all ages. The story of Noah can be a fascinating narrative, especially when it reads like this: “the flood gates opened like the heavens had a leak/ and the waters come a gushin from the fountains of the deep/ and i’m rising on the tide til the mountains at me feet/ seasick, believe it, i’m bumpin into beasts/ yeah i’m bumping to the beat to the beat of the sea/to the beat of shrieks and the pleas and the screams/ and the gasping and scratching from the people underneath/ and i know that they are murderers, i know that they are thieves/ but their cries are so bad it makes a madman out of me/ my plight is so sad but the Lord won’t set me free/ for 40 days and 40 nights the rain is slashin and smashing…” For Bar, rap is a legitimate art form; it is this generation’s most powerful mode of cultural communication. In reference to being compared to Matisyahu, Matt says, “the only coattails I’m trying to ride are the tzitzit of Moshe Rabbenu!” °







Top 5 Most Creative 4

Daniel Zamir


Jewish Music Artists of 5758 CD Reviews by Binyamin Bresky Over the years of hosting The Beat on Israel National Radio, I enjoyed the privilege of interviewing many great musicians. The following is some of the past year’s most interesting and creative.


Aharit HaYamim


After years of impromptu street performances and their annual music festival in Gush Etzion, Aharit Hayamim has finally released a full length, major label CD. About half of the songs would fall in the reggae category with the other half being world-beat, along with a mix of Carlebach, Hasidic and other styles, including one klezmer song. The vocals are four-part harmony. The band’s weapons of choice are electric guitars, piano, saxophone, shofars, ouds, other Middle Eastern string instruments, and more. The lyrics talk about Jerusalem, mother earth, love, nature and religious themes.

2 32

Aaron Razel, Shlomo Katz & Chaim David K’Shoshanah

 ttp:// ucts/chassidic_music/2176.asp Three of the most well known Carlebach-influenced singers join together for an album of previously unknown Carlebach songs. In his lifetime, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach recorded numerous impromptu melodies. There are hundreds of cassette tapes floating around with amateur recordings of Carlebach songs. These three singers, who knew and worked with the rabbi until his passing in 1994, have taken a selection of the best of the unreleased and performed them. Most retain the original Carlebach spirit of acoustic folk songs in a Hasidic @@ niggun@@ format. Some of the songs are slow and sweet, like ballads; others are fast repetitive niggunim, good for dancing and chanting along. All use acoustic guitars. The three singers trade off on verses, giving each a chance to show his talents.


Groyse Metsie

The teenage jazz prodigy learned under John Zorn, founder of Tzadik Records in New York City. The saxophonist has now returned to Israel and released a mix of some of his older recordings and newer compositions. The all-instrumental album mixes straight-ahead smooth jazz with a crazier @@avante garde@@ style, featuring plenty of fast improv sax solos. Some of the tunes are based on classic Israel Hebrew folk songs. Others are based on religious sources. Zamir has also performed on Avraham Fried’s new hit album, “Bein Kach U Bein Kach,” as well as toured with his old college buddy Matisyahu.


Ari Ben Yam

Obstacles to Peace

A Groyse Metsie

This group of Israeli-born musicians performs what they call “Jewish progressive klezmer music.” They have many traditional klezmer tunes as well as their own compositions, using the standard klezmer instruments of violins and clarinets as well as electric guitars, drums and other sounds. They sing in Yiddish and Hebrew and also have many strictly instrumental pieces. The band has many rousing, fast paced numbers. This is their debut CD.

Born in the former Soviet Union, Ari Ben Yam grew up with Russian protest songs. Now he sings them in Hebrew while he bemoans the Disengagement and other policies of the current Israeli government. His lyrics are biting, sarcastic and sometimes very subtle. The music is comprised of mostly acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals with tinges reminiscent of Bob Dylan, bluegrass and some Irish music. This is his debut album. ° Binyamin Bresky has been hosting The Beat on Arutz 7 - Israel National Radio since 2004. For the latest in music news, visit his blog at www.




Bible Rap Lyrics Moses: “The Days of Ten Plagues” CHORUS: Moses at the red sea, like “who’s gonna follow me?” Pharoah’s in the tide, we gonna ride, to our destiny, In back of me, so sad to see, them bodies in the red sea chariots get buried, b-b-buried in the red sea Pharaoh sat and laughed when a staff became a snake, too long we’ve been your slaves, just let us go and pray, said “don’t make this mistake,” no pardon his heart was hardened, so started what we regard as: the days of 10 plagues... one: blood in the river gonna shiver, gonna freak out lips take a sip now there’s blood in your mouth Two: frogs in your house on your beds on your plate don’t matter what’s for dinner better like frog legs Three: knats buzz buzz watch the dust turn to bugs itch itch hard to think with all the lice in your mugs Four: beasts roam your streets when you step outside there’s a tiger on your tail nowhere to hide Five: death of your livestock, flesh dries up b-b-bodies in your barn pharaoh when you gonna wise up? CHORUS Six: boils on your flesh no less than torture careful of the ash in the air it’ll scorch ya Seven: hail rains down beats your brains down like a message from the heavens better lay our chains down Eight: locusts from the coast you can hear their wing click eating crops eating trees till they’re used as toothpicks Nine: darkness, dispatch, 3 days pitch remember when this started and you thought it was just witchcraft Death of the first born how did it come to this ten is what it took so we all would remember this Matt Bar is a folk-singer, a rapper and above all a folk-rapper. He has had success in all three genres. This includes a song used on episode MTV’s “The Real World,” a featured appearance on NBC’s Hip Hop Nation Notes from the Underground, opening for Outkast, Jurassic 5, Tom Paxton and Matisyahu and selling 5,000+ total albums Visit his web site and enjoy the music!



Health Q&A With Dr. Simcha Shapiro Living with a loved one with cancer is not easy, but you can help. Q: Dear Dr. Shapiro: My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. Since then, we have noticed a significant change in how our friends and family behave towards us. What were once comfortable conversations, have now turned into awkward and brief interactions. I’ll be honest, while I am embarrassed to say this, I sometimes feel awkward around my wife. What should I do? — Helpless Hubby A: Dear Helpless Hubby: It is a very unsettling experience to watch a loved one become ill. The person who you once knew may no longer be able to do the same physical activities, hold the same conversations, or appear to feel the same feelings. How does one relate to this “stranger”? While undoubtedly loved, how do I love them? In addition, it is natural for one to feel a sense of discomfort at confronting the concept of one’s own mortality. The list of emotions and issues that people deal with when confronted with a loved one who is ill, is extensive and very important. Many of these issues can be dealt with by flipping the tables to address the question “what does a person who is ill want from their loved ones?” The following tips have been very effective for me in my role both as a physician and friend to many people who have had illnesses (regardless of the severity of the illness): 1. You can’t fix it, so STOP TRYING. It is not your job to fix the illness, tell them about all of the treatments that they need to try, pity your loved one, or make it all go away. It is your job to love them and listen to them. 2. Show up. When you look at all of the things that you do with your loved one, all of the conversations you have, 34

‘‘I don’t love you for what you can do, your clever conversation, how you look, or any other reason. I just love you because you are you!” what is the one thing in common? YOU! This may be one of the most difficult concepts to accept, but it is true and your loved one may not even know it! Just being there is a huge source of comfort. 3. You don’t need to do anything. Your presence is worth gold! Often times doing your own thing (such as reading) in the presence of your loved one can be their greatest comfort. It sends the message, “I don’t love you for what you can do, your clever conversation, how you look, or any other reason. I just love you because you are you!” 4. Don’t be afraid of silence. See #3. Just be yourself, and show up!

5. Sick people are the same people. Just because someone is unable to do many of the activities that they used to love doesn’t mean that they don’t still love to do things. Maybe they would like to listen to some of their favorite music with you, or hear you read them a book. How about a lively discussion on politics or philosophy? Try to steer clear of telling your loved one stories about others who had their illness, unless they ask. Engage your loved one in ways that they enjoy, and are able to participate. 6. Offer to do specific things. To someone who is sick, the order in their life may be so disrupted that they will refuse offers for help simply because they don’t even know where to start. A specific offer (Would you like to go out for lunch? Can I go shopping for you? Take you to the doctor’s office? Make a meal for your family?) is much easier to accept than a general one (Do you need anything?) 7. Ask “How are you?” What do you mean “How are you?!” They’re sick! Of course they’re are not OK! Well, not exactly. I have met many people who are not sick, and definitely not OK. I have also met many people who are sick and doing great. Life has ups and downs. How we are doing is mainly an indication of how much we are appreciating the blessings in our life at that moment. It is therefore a totally reasonable question to ask how someone who is sick is doing. Illness can put a lot of strain on a relationship. It can create distance or it can be an opportunity for greater closeness. At the end of the day, you need to decide what you want. If you want closeness, I am confident that following the guidelines above will help you get there.° Dr. Simcha Shapiro is a US trained physician and osteopath. He is the founder and director of the Listening Hands Institute in the Maalot Dafna neighborhood of Jerusalem. He can be contacted via his website






The Wandering Traveler The search for an upgrade may be impeding our ability to fall in love. by Tziona Penkar


All my life, I always loved to travel. I searched for places that existed beyond my metaphorical “dalet amot” that were interesting, exotic and physically beautiful. My case of wanderlust began at a young age and always pushed me to keep an open eye. I never grew complacent with my immediate surroundings because I always had in mind that something better was out there. Why stick with what I had when I knew alternative places existed in the world? Beautiful sites, exotic languages, friendlier people, landscapes more mountainous, better climate, greener, sunnier, et cetera. As time went by, I traveled to five continents and realized that I was never fully satisfied with my home life or my home town since I constantly dreamed of my next destination. I never had to commit to any of these places because in my mind, they were each stops on a continuum of temporary vacation spots. As much as I fell in love with particular aspects of each city, I always kept my eyes open for my next adventure. While such a mentality may be healthy and advantageous when it comes to traveling, what do you do when you meet people who have “relationship wanderlust”? How do you deal with a [potential] partner who may very well enjoy the time he/she spends with the other person, but avoids giving the relationship full focus because they always have in mind that someone else better may just walk through the door? Of course there will always be someone who is thinner, taller, cuter, funnier, prettier, more muscular, a little less here, a little more there. But when the desire for “better” constantly rests in the forefront of our consciousness, how can we expect anyone to make a commitment?


In a world where choices run galore for every item in life, where we are offered upgrades on a daily basis for every product we own, I have come to realize that our culture of privy-consumerism has impacted upon our treatment of relationships. Why accept this person who sits before you when you think you will always have an opportunity to “upgrade”? We are never satisfied what we have in our hands because we constantly feel that we are lacking. Is the pandemic of our generation is the inability to commit? It just may be that people today look for a custom-made partner with all the


Is the pandemic of our generation the inability to commit?” functions and buttons that they would want in an iPOD. The minute there is a “malfunction” or a misunderstanding, there is little effort to dig deep into the relationship to repair that malfunction. The response is simply to return the partner back to the shop and look for an upgrade. One would hope that married couples put in more of an effort to fix problems since they presumably have more at stake than couples who are at the dating stage. However, I can’t help but wonder how our society can re-instill the ability to commit; to impart the value that the more that two people invest and give to one another, the more satisfied they will be; that it just may be detrimental to constantly search for the next upgrade. I want to make two claims: 1) that “relationship wanderlust” may just in fact be preventing us from falling in love, and 2) the search for the upgraded partner stems from a lack within ourselves. Ostensibly, our culture has instilled in us a mentality where we are never satisfied; not with ourselves, with our partners or with our possessions. |



So I call on everyone, single, married, whoever— fall in love all over again with that cell phone of a partner. Look at all the nice “functions” that originally attracted you to that person. For those who are searching: give the person your fullest. Even if they are not the pristine “look” you’ve always seen yourself with, just give it your sincerest effort, so you don’t overlook your potential zivug. Tuscany was absolutely magnificent, so was the Far East. My wanderlust brought me to fall madly in love with Israel, and even with all of the difficulties in our “relationship,” I appreciate it more and more every day. I hope and pray that the same outlook will bring me and my potential partner to recognize each other’s positive qualities and repair our difficulties. Indeed, a lesson for the privy consumers in us all who travel on the road of love. I guarantee that the 20-something year old model of “Tziona” will make the ideal product for the right consumer whose days of relationship wanderlust are at an end. Appropriate former travelers are encouraged to inquire. °

Renewal in Marriage How to keep a marriage fresh after many years

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by Channah Rachel Frumin MS


here is a dream I feel that needs to be renewed. There is a life goal that I believe lies in the heart of every young person. There is an experience that can be hoped for, so I write about the skills of being Happily Married. These skills have been practiced and refined over 22 years. These skills are the difference between living together with harmony and happiness, or with alienation and disappointment, G-d Forbid. Marriage can last in many conditions. However, when happiness is attained in the marriage, life is a song. I go forth into the world smiling. I believe in miracles. One of the most rewarding aspects of a truly happy marriage is the extension of each person through the memories of the other. As we grow older together and share experiences, each has slightly different memories of them. When we recall those experiences together they become progressively richer because of the ways we have seen them differently. Unhappily married couples have often failed to achieve this kind of sharing. Either they are not willing to allow one another to be and grow to be different kinds of people with different skills, attitudes, experienc-

es and memories, or they have built up false expectations about how this would happen and where it would lead. As couples learn the ability to share differences instead of trying each to make the other into the same kind of person that they themselves are, an unhappy marriage can sometimes be transformed into a happy marriage. Marriages usually begin with romantic love. Its purpose is to make us so excited about one another that we want to join our lives together. However, as we grow, we need to discover a deeper kind of love that is more practical and realistic. We need to take joy in each other’s joys, even though these joys may be of different kinds. Caring for another person means caring for the other’s uniqueness. Because differences can be scary and sometimes threatening, we need to learn together how to overcome these fears and transform them into love. ° Channah Rachel Frumin, M.S. CNT is the Director of Jerusalem Narrative Therapy Institute and specializes in Marital and family work and recovery from childhood trauma. See the Institute’s website at:



Welcome to Bizzy Women™ Cooking A practical guide to being the woman-of-all recipes

by Miriam Schwab We’re busy. We’re raising large families, or our job descriptions include running businesses and doing laundry. And we cook. I didn’t know how to cook anything except pasta before I got married. It took me a few years of cooking to realize that in many cases, you can make the same thing in 40 minutes or 10 minutes, with equal results. As a person who didn’t particularly love spending hours in the kitchen, this discovery has made cooking possible for me. As I had more and more kids, and opened my own business, I also finetuned the art of Bizzy Women cooking. I can now make delicious meals and treats in a fraction of the time that it takes others, with fantastic results. This way, food preparation doesn’t take over my life, but we can still enjoy delicious food. Bizzy Women recipes have to meet the following criteria (with some exceptions of course):


1. Must produce large quantities of food: the same amount of effort should produce enough to feed an army of a small country. This is important for Shabbat meals with guests, and for having leftovers to eat during the week so that we can postpone resorting to frozen pizza. 2. Use the minimum of mixing bowls. Preferably one. Reason: less dish washing. 3. Must not involve painstakingly forming individual portions and placing them delicately on a baking tray, or frying them one by one. I have better things to do with my life. Believe me, I’m no Martha Stewart (in every sense of the word, thank goodness.) Frozen pizza and corn schnitzel play important roles in our lives. I don’t iron our tablecloths (or anything, come to think of it), and I strongly discourage you from looking under our couches. However, I do take pride in feeding my family decent, home cooked meals when I have time, something I am only able to

do thanks to the Bizzy Women method. Bizzy Women Everything Cake No more cake mixes! This cake meets all the Bizzy Women requirements: it takes five minutes to prepare, uses one mixing bowl, is good for a big crowd, and is so flexible it can become almost anything that you want! The ingredients are basic so you can always have them in the house for cake emergencies (you know, neighbor had a baby, kid has a birthday which you should have remembered…) Ingredients: 3 cups flour 1.5 cups sugar 1 tbsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt (don’t leave this out!) 1 cup oil OR for the low fat version replace with 2/3 cup applesauce and 1/3 cup oil 1 cup water or orange juice 4 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla (optional) Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, water and eggs. Mix well. Add any of the variations below at this point if needed. Pour into oiled 9x13 baking pan, and bake at 350˚ for about an hour. Check with toothpick after about 45 minutes, since it’s best when not overbaked. VARIATIONS Apple cake: Peel, core and slice 5 apples. Mix with 1 tbsp. cinnamon and 2 tbsp. sugar. Add to the Everything Cake batter. Try to use orange juice instead of water – it adds a great taste. Chocolate chip cake: Mix two cups of chocolate chips intto the Everything Cake batter. Blueberry cake: Mix one container of blueberry pie filling into the Everything Cake batter. Try to use orange juice instead of the water – it adds a great taste. Birthday cake: I use this batter for my kids’ birthday cakes. To make it festive, I add chocolate chips, and then I ice it with Pillsbury icing, and sprinkle the top with lots of colored sprinkles. They love it (and so does my husband)! Fancy cake: Make any of the above cakes, and bake it in a springform pan instead of a 9x13. Remove the sides of the pan, and voila – you’ve got a fancy cake! ° Miriam Schwab is the mother of a whole bunch of kids, and is also CEO of illuminea, a small marketing and web design firm located in Jerusalem ( Bizzy Women™ and this article are ©2008 Miriam Schwab.






Herodium King Herod’s hill shaped fortress palace and burial site. by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss


uring the summer of 2003, soon after we had made aliyah, my wife Ella and I were looking for a short day trip during the day while the kids were in day camp. Almost by accident we stumbled upon what many say is one of Israel’s most interesting archeological sights, the burial place of Herod, King of the Jews, Herodium. From the southern outskirts of Jerualem, you can clearly see the volcano-shaped mountain of Herodium.

Herod the Great was born in 72 B.C.E., almost 100 years before the destruction of the second Temple. He was raised in the court of the Hashmonaim and was appointed governor of the Galilee. He was appointed by the Roman Empire in 40 B.C.E. to become the King of Judaea and ruled for 36 years. His greatest accomplishment was the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The


Kotel which we so venerate today is from the remains of that building project some 2,000 years ago. One night while Herod was still governor of the Galilee, Herod assembled his close family and his bodyguards to escape death from Antigonus of the Hashmonaim. Close to where Herodium would later be constructed, Antigonus caught up to Herod, but Herod was victorious. The chariot of Herod’s mother overturned and Herod feared for her life. In the end, she survived. The combination of these two episodes made a great impression on Herod. Twenty years after these events, he built the Herodium where he wished to be buried eventually. There are a number of things to see in Herodium. First are the remains of the magnificent Mountain Palace-Fortress constructed by Herod within the crater of the man-made volcano-like mountain. There are also the remains of Lower Herodium and its large swimming pool. The location is of such interest that archaeologists are constantly digging and studying the site. They were largely successful just a few months ago, when the much sought-after tomb of King Herod was discovered.

HERODIUM: Aerial views of the Fortress Before the destruction of the second Temple, Herodium was occupied by Jewish rebels who used Herodium as a base to attack the Roman army. The flames from the destruction of the Temple on Har HaBayit could be observed by the rebels standing on Herodium. In commemoration, Herodium today is utilized on Tisha B’Av for the community reading of Eicha. At the Herodium, you can also visit one of the world’s oldest synagogues, constructed by the Jewish rebels, during the time of the Second Temple. There is also an ancient mikvah there, as well. More than 60 years after the destruction of the Second Temple, Herodium was again used by Jewish rebels against the Romans, by the fighters of Bar Kochva. You can walk through the vast network of tunnels dug by these rebels deep into the mountain and water cisterns originally built by Herod. The kids will have a great time exploring around. A visit to Herodium can be combined with a visit to the many interesting sites in Gush Etzion and the Hills of Hebron. When I first visited Herodium in 2003, the drive from Jerusalem was over 30 minutes, driving past Efrat. Only recently was a new connection opened between Har Choma in Jerusalem and Herodium, drastically cutting down the drive time. Bring plenty of water, good walking shoes and a cap when visiting Herodium. Like all National parks, Herodium closes at 4PM in the winter, 5PM in the summer. ° Rabbi Mordechai Weiss is a resident of Mitzpeh Yericho and a tour guide. He can be contacted at








Elie Rubin

The Wonder of Art A


esthetics and music are intrinsic to our lives as creative, thinking beings. Society views the Arts not only as media for creative expression, but also as an important part of individual and national identity. We take deep pride in our very own Israeli musicians, who have been climbing the ladder within the world of music. They have made important contributions to classical, jazz, rock and other international music genres, while Israeli classical composers have had their works performed by leading orchestras worldwide. In addition, many of the world’s leading classical musicians are Israelis or Israeli expatriates. Indeed, if life imitates art, and vice versa, then Israel is no exception to the rule. Throughout time, music has been used in all areas of life, for reasons that run the entire spectrum. Some wish to express the pinnacle of emotions for personal catharsis, while others use the Arts for business, in effort to attract the interest of clients. Unarguably, as the pasuk in Tehillim states, natural beauty and music expand one’s creativity and spiritual sense. Unfortunately, we find that some religious circles neglect to recognize the importance of the Arts and the need to appreciate their profound impact on life. There is increasing evidence that many devoted religious communities, with their impressive commitment to Torah and Mitzvoth, do not educate their children about the elegance and grace of natural surroundings such as impressive mountains, lakes and forests, flowers, beautiful birds or other creatures. We also witness a decrease in the appreciation of art and music. Little if any time is given to these matters in the religious school systems or at home. The national budget for the dwindles annually, making it almost impossible for our talented musicians and artists to make a living from their G-d given gifts. Jewish education, especially in Israel, should encourage the new generation to study and appreciate natural beauty, art and music. This should be done in school and at home, and empha-


sis should be placed on the religious meanings in each of these things. Even visiting art museums should be encouraged. Natural beauty, art and music awaken a sense of wonder and awe, and facilitate that wonder. The Torah teaches us how to respond to that wonder by appreciating the world and recognizing that the world is an eternal renewal of life in all forms. Therefore, neglecting the Arts and lacking to appreciate natural beauty in our lives leads to an unhealthy development in our society. I believe that these elements are so crucial to our existence, as spiritual and holy beings, that such an absence has the potential to stifle the purpose and meaning of authentic Jewish spirituality. Humans in general are imaginative beings with a strong creative impulse, and this comes into play in almost all parts of our lives. What one person expresses through his paintbrush, another expresses through poetry, graphics, computers, hiddushim on Torah, or simply speaking his/her mind. Often, businessmen get a “spark” of creative insight or inspiration that drives them to introduce a new product, feature or service that benefits their company and clients. The Sages made remarkable observations concerning civic beauty. The Torah (Bamidbar 35:5) commands that one should have 2000 cubits of untilled land around each city so as to allow for nature to show its beauty, and the Mishna adds that one is allowed to remove all unseemly objects from the vicinity of the city, so as to ensure the pleasing appearance of the landscape (Baba Batra 2:9) Why such an emphasis on aesthetics? Our externals reflect our internal, and vice versa. We must strive for the finest, most prolific and most impressive, for our identity— both individually and collectively— reflects our connection to G-d the ultimate Creator of infinite possibilities. We are capable of making Art and music, each according to his or her taste and emotional needs. All that is required is the proper attention and a little creativity. by Elie Rubin, Managing Publisher of the ShiurTimes Magazine




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The February Shiur Times  

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