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CitySpirit FREE

Volume 3 Issue 3 March 2011 | Adar II 5771

west coast

Jewish Living

get get into into the the spirit spirit Editor Tova Klein Contributing Writers Tama Beck Rabbi Gershon Bess Mutty Burstein Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg Hershel Lieber Jonathan D. Pivo, D.D.S. Publisher Mati Jacobovits Food Faigy Grossman kids Spirit Fraydee Mozes

CitySpirit NEXT issue Advertising Deadline March 21 Publication Date April 5

CITY spirit march 2011

NY office: 1588 East 27th Street Brooklyn, NY 11229 Phone: 917-771-6996


CitySpirit is published five times a year and distributed free to area locations. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertisement material. CitySpirit accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisements. All submissions become the property of CitySpirit and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles and letters published in CitySpirit express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views of CitySpirit. No artwork or any part of this magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher.

Dear Readers,

Dear Readers, The joys of nachas are what we all live for. As we gracefully age, we realize more and more how important and special time together with family and loved ones is to us. It’s the happy occasions together that get us through life and keep us strong during those in-between tough, challenging moments which most of us endure. As I write these lines, I am sitting in my parents home in Dallas, Texas, reflecting on an amazing Shabbos weekend. I was together with my entire family including my parents, children, grandchildren, nephews and niece hosted beautifully by my brother and his wife. We all came in from both coasts to surprise my father for his 80th birthday, bli ayin hara, and boy, was he surprised! My father spoke at our Shabbos lunch meal commenting how this was the best Shabbos he had ever experienced. As I stated earlier, these are the moments we forever cherish! This “family” enjoyment, I realize, is exactly what Purim is about. It is about taking our immediate family and performing mitzvos to bring our extended family, our fellow Jews, closer, and showing how klal Yisroel needs to treat one another always. “Laich k’nos es kol ha’Yehudim” (“Go and gather together all the Jews”) - Let us learn from our forefathers and act together to bring the final Geulah! Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg drives this point home in his inspirational article, Putting the Chaim into the LeChaim (page 30). Last week, I had the privilege of talking with Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, LA’s highest

law enforcement officer and commander of the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States. He has taken the time to share of his experiences and to express his commitment to the Jewish community. (page 10) Enjoy our exclusive feature; an interview with Rabbi Heshy Kleinman, author of the best-selling Five-Minute Lessona-Day books, Praying With Fire: Volume 1, Praying With Fire: Volume 2 and Yearning With Fire. Through his books and the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation, Rabbi Kleinman is working full-time to teach us and inspire us to reach a higher, more meaningful level of prayer. (page 19) CitySpirit welcomes Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn to our growing list of contributing writers. See Mordechai HaTzaddik and the Unyielding Chareidi Jews – it’s sure to motivate you to stand strong to your convictions. (page 32) Homecare is a growing industry and a great option when a loved one needs specialty care. Mutty Burstein shares his knowledge in his article How to Have a Successful Home Care Experience (page 38). There are lots of job opportunities, as well, and much need for heimishe people in this occupation. See Health Care – Can it be a career for the Orthodox person? (page 40) Hey, kids – we didn’t forget you! KidSpirit is jam packed with games and puzzles. Try the "Can you Find It" contest for a chance to win a gift certificate from Atara's Judaica Superstore. Dressing up for Purim? Send us your picture, for a chance to be published in our next issue. Happy Purim to y’all!


march 2011

contents features 10 CitySpirit Interviews


in this issue




Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, LA’s highest law enforcement officer and commander of the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States

CitySpirit Interviews Rabbi Heshy Kleinman, author of the best-selling Five-Minute Lesson-a- Day books, Praying With Fire: Volume 1, Praying With Fire: Volume 2 and Yearning With Fire, published by Artscroll Mesorah Publications.

Practical Advice About Home Care Options from Mutty Burstein; Education Outreach Manager of the Patient Relations Department at Americare CSS, a Certified Home Health Agency

community spirit

Inspiration Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg

30 Dvar Halachah Rabbi Gershon Bess

32 Point of View

Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn

34 The Wandering Jew Hershel Lieber




The Ner Yaakov Program


Hatzolah Update

46 Dental Health

42 Dining In Again

Jonathan D. Pivo, D.D.S.

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50 Tama Tells All

44 Puzzles, Contest & More

Tama Beck

Fraydee Mozes

Faigy Grossman


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Dear Editor: I am deeply appreciate of the very comprehensive and flattering interview in CitySpirit by Mati Jacobovits regarding my new book, Gevurah--My Life, Our World and the Adventure of reaching 80. As a result of this interview, I actually learned some things about myself! The interview was done with professionalism and great sensitivity. Many thanks. Abraham J. Twerski Dear CitySpirit, I’d like to thank you for an outstandingly fabulous chanuka issue! I really enjoyed the interview with Rabbi Twerski, recipes, and all the community spirit! My son, Benny, loved “lighting up the nights” Chanukah story, we read it three times! Your magazine is a real quality publication with something for the entire family! Devorah Feder Toronto, Canada Dear CitySpirit, Great issue - the kids enjoyed the “can you find it” contest. They can’t wait for the next one - hope you plan on doing it again. LA Mom Editor: You bet - see page 44. Good luck - it’s a tough one! 9213 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles

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CITY spirit march 2011

for his courage, integrity and compassion


by tova klein


heriff Leroy D. Baca, as the elected Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Los Angeles County, commands the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States with a budget of 2.5 billion dollars. He leads nearly 18,000 sworn and professional staff. The Sheriff’s Department is the law enforcement provider to 42 incorporated cities, 140 unincorporated communities, nine community colleges, and hundreds of thousands of daily commuters of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Rapid Rail Transit District. More than four million people are directly protected by the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department also protects the largest court system in the nation. Moreover, the Department manages the nation’s largest local jail system housing nearly 20,000 inmates. Sheriff Baca is the Coordinator of Mutual Aid Emergency Services for California Region I, which includes the County of Orange. Region I serves 13 million people.

Sheriff Baca is the founder of Public Trust Policing that includes diverse advisory councils; a Clergy Council of more than 300 ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, and leaders of every faith community. He also operates sixteen nonprofit youth centers; ten at-risk regional training centers for at-risk youth ages 10-18, and provides 27 deputies to 240 elementary and middle schools who teach 50,000 children about positive solutions to the problems of drugs and gangs. He operates one of law enforcement’s largest prevention and intervention programs in the nation. The Sheriff’s Department’s service area has one of the nation’s lowest crime rates for a major metropolitan area. Deputies arrest more than 90,000 felony and misdemeanor suspects, as well as respond to more than 1,000,000 calls for service annually. Sheriff Baca, a United States Marine Corps Reserve veteran, earned his Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

When I think of a sheriff the first image that comes to mind is a burly guy sporting a cowboy hat and boots with a drawn pistol in each hand. So prior to my phone interview with Sheriff Leroy D. Baca of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs department, I ‘googled’ him and found myself looking at a distinguished gentleman with keen eyes and a warm smile. Armed (no pun intended) with my new image of LA’s highest law enforcement officer, I felt prepared to conduct this interview for CitySpirit. Over the phone, Sheriff Baca sounded confident, sincere and friendly. He gave generously of his time and we spoke for over an hour. Sheriff Baca, filled me in on his background and credentials and his decision to pursue a career in law enforcement. Our conversation was candid and informal and he answered all my questions pointedly. Sheriff Leroy D. Baca is a man of courage, integrity and compassion. We – the people of Los Angeles county – and the Jewish Community of Los Angeles – are fortunate to know him as our sheriff - an advocate and supporter of our safety, our rights and our beliefs. CitySpirit: Thank you for taking the time to allow our readers to get to know you and the work you do as sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Leroy D. Baca: It is my pleasure. CS: How long are you with the Sheriff’s Department? SB: Forty-five years. CS: What inspired you to go into this line of work? SB: I was raised in East Los Angeles in the unincorporated area and I would often accompany sheriff deputies patrolling the neighborhood - I thought it would be a great career. When I was fifteen years old, I made this decision. It would offer me stability, highly interesting work and I would be able to serve the interest of the public at the same time.

CS: What made you choose the Sheriff Department over the Police Academy? Continues on page 12

CITY spirit march 2011

CS: What steps did you take to acquire the skills needed as our future Sheriff? SB: After I graduated high school, I attended East Los Angeles College where I took police administration courses. I was fortunate to have had professors who were professionals: police officers, lieutenants, captains - they taught part time. There were personnel from the sheriff’s department as well. So, I got a pretty good idea of what’s involved and went from there.


 community spirit Continued from page 11 SB: I owe much to a gentleman named Melvin Block, whom I worked with at Monogram Precision Industries in Culver City. His brother Sherman Block was employed by the Sheriff’s Dept. Melvin encouraged me to focus my career in this direction, so that’s exactly what I did. Sherman Block moved up the ranks as captain of the vice bureau and eventually sheriff. CS: What are the differences in duties between the Sheriff’s DepartSheriff baca acknowledges the accomplishments of jewish leaders ment and the Police Department? the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Specialized policing is so SB: First, the Sheriff’s Department has more responsibility significant and our tasks are sometimes unpredictable – but, and it’s a tradition that goes back in the forming of the United I must say, we’re good at it. Public safety and the diverse serStates. Each state was empowered by the Constitution to form vices of public safety is a stimulating ingredient of what we do. their own public safety program, so the government sancGovernor Grey Davis and Assembly Member Bob Hertztioned each state to form a sheriff’s department. berg converged and authorized an allocation of money to build In 1850 when CA became a state, the only policing were a crime lab – the finest municipal crime lab in CA – if not the e n forc e d by the federal marshals and the Sheriff’s Dept. nation. It’s housed on the Cal. State University campus and Sheriffs patrolled and policed all of Los Angeles houses the LAPD crime lab as well. It’s a beautiful building. including the inner city until Los Angeles was You might want to go and see it sometime. Oh, but, you don’t incorporated in about 1870. In 1850, the sheriff have any time. had four responsibilities: law enforcement, court protection, jailing and the sheriff was also the CS: I’ll make time. How do I get in to see it? tax collector. The county as a whole was SB: Call me. I’ll make on appointment for you. You are in – no the first local government that states deproblem. It’s a six million dollar building and the two departveloped and, of course, the law allowed for ments work well together when necessary. cities to incorporate within a county. But the sheriff – because he/she is an elected official – is the chief CS: Thanks, I may take you up on that. What’s the most law enforcement officer of the county. I think a lot of exciting aspect of your position as Sheriff? people are not aware of that. A sheriff can investigate SB: My most exciting moments are with the public. We have a crime that is committed anywhere in the county, therefore the most diverse public in the world here; every country, every his authority is county-wide. language, every religion, every ethnicity. I find people interThe Sheriff’s Department has grown tremendously over the esting. I get a lot of joy in meeting and talking with people past 12 years. We have gone from a little under 14,000 employand listening to their suggestions and helping them with their ees to over 17,000 employees. We are able – under a contract problems. Law enforcement is really all about the public when model – to police 42 cities within the county. This means we you get right down to it. We are happiest when we can do a work for 42 mayors and 42 city councils. good job in keeping people safe. CS: Sounds like a lot of pressure for one department. CS: As a member of Jewish community of Los Angeles, I SB: Actually, it’s a good model because it’s cost effective and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all each city oversees what we do – we have to account to them as that you do for us. well. There are close to 2 million people living in these 42 cities SB: Let me share with you my passion for the Jewish commuso it’s really important. nity. I have a doctorate degree from the University of Southern Another aspect of the Sheriff’s Dept., which I find fascinatCalifornia that I acquired when I was 51 years old. For some ing, is specialized policing. We police the 9 community collegyears, I grew up in Boyle Heights and my English teacher was a es in the LA community college school district. We also police

CITY spirit march 2011



K woman named Esther Landman – now she was a professional teacher. I wrote an essay for her class once, which she returned to me full of corrections. She warned me that if I made any more mistakes on future essays she would not give me a good grade.” Well I can tell you, there isn’t anything that I have written since, that isn’t up to her standards. Boyle Heights was largely a Jewish community. I had the benefit of going to the original Cantor’s Deli on Soto and Brooklyn Street. You could buy live chickens in those days. I remember the Breed Street Synagogue – it was beautiful. My involvement and understanding of the Jewish community has grown over the years. I admire the Jewish people for the importance they place on education and for the charitable causes they are committed to. When I was born in 1942 there was no State of Israel. Being somewhat of a scholar, I have studied the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, the pogroms in Russia. I’ve studied and continue to study the Holocaust and the Nazi regime. It’s essential to bring awareness to the public. Part of the training of our deputies includes a program at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for just that reason. CS: I hear you frequent a local Kosher deli. SB: It is one of my favorite delis. The family who started it still owns it. They had a smaller store when I first started going there with three tables and a meat counter. Then they expanded. It’s a gathering spot where people love to meet for personal or business matters – like a community center. Communication with the public happens in a delicatessen. A lot of problems get discussed and some are solved as well.

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CS: Are you involved in any Jewish organizations? I’m very hands on in terms of my involvement with the Antidefamation league, the Jewish Federation and the AIPAC. The question is not so much how we interact with the Jewish Community of Los Angeles but how we interact with the Jewish Community as a whole – worldwide. I have been to Israel on several occasions and worked with the IDF commanding generals in an educational format and hosted them here in LA. I did some seminars with the IDF generals. I know a number of the police officials in Israel. I’ve met Shlomo Iranishki who was chief of all the police forces in Israel. I know retired police Chief Niki Levi who was chief in Jerusalem during the intifada. And I knew David Tsur who was police chief of Tel Aviv and the current chief Shahar Ayalon. We learned a lot from each other. Post 9/11 has brought LA County closer to Israel. I have a relationship with Zev Yaroslavsky who advised me to go to Israel during the Gaza War. I went and the minister of security Continues on page 14

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 community spirit Continued from page 13 for Israel, Avi Diktor, took me to Ashkelon. I went to visit Barzelai Hospital – they have a support group here in LA. I support them and other hospitals in Israel, because we all know that they take in anyone at time of need, even Palestinians and others who might be considered a danger to them. So, when you ask me about the Jewish community, I am very supportive. It’s important to recognize the contributions the Jewish Community has done, tremendous contributions, both locally and internationally; hospitals, schools, universities. Oh, and on a personal level, my passion for education was definitely encouraged by my teachers from Boyle Hights.


CS: I heard you’re involved with the Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board. SB: We have an Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Board at the prisons. We teach each other how to do things better. We held a Chanukah Day celebration for the inmates. Kosher food is available and provided by Rabbi Eidlitz, an expert in kosher supervision. The chaplains work together with us, especially during the Jewish holidays. We provide the inmates with what they need, but the extras come from the chaplain. Together we give the inmates educational opportunities that will help them once they are released.

CITY spirit march 2011

CS: Education is very important to us. SB: Yes, that is evident. I once attended the 8th grade graduation at Emek Hebrew Academy. These students were continuing on to Valley Torah High School and they all were required to speak about the topic of wisdom. It was wonderful to hear 14 year olds speaking about wisdom. So yes, I am very aware of the importance you place on education. I owe a lot to the experiences and education I received from the Jewish Community.


CS: What other involvement do you have directly with the orthodox Jewish community? SB: I especially respect the orthodox Jewish community who live their lives in honor and in praise of G-d. It’s not necessarily an easy life, because of the sacrifices one must make. There is quite a large orthodox Iranian community here and a young person’s group that I have worked with. We have a powerful and diverse Jewish community in Los Angeles County. One example, the North Hollywood orthodox community and the Morroccan Synagogue that was built over ten years ago. Fifty families were given the opportunity to fit-in and a community was born. You need to be there to support

the people in your community. Communication between community and officials such as me is crucial. Individually, you should know, you are capable of making a difference. By contacting city hall and county offices, many issues and concerns can be addressed. CS: Do you meet with Jewish Community leaders? SB: Andrew Friedman along with Stanley Treitel and Howard Winkler and many more. I joined Andrew Friedman on a trip to Budapest, Hungary where he was born. His parents are Holocaust survivors. We went to this beautiful part of town where he grew up in a large stately apartment building. The building was in a square with the courtyard in the center for children to play. We went up to 2nd floor where he lived and then down the street to the King David Hotel’s kosher café for dinner. I was very moved by the whole experience. CS: Is there anything you want the Jewish Community to know? Leave something for our readers? I want the Jewish community to know we have many Jewish American deputy sheriffs in the sheriff’s department. The contributions to public safety by the Jewish Community for the LAPD and the Sheriff’s Department is deeply appreciated. My job is to protect all communities but because of the challenges and suffering the Jewish Community has gone through historically, I feel especially protective. My goal is to bring comfort, support and safety to the Jewish Community in any way that we can. It may mean just talking about a little problem in the family or big issue with a fraud case, anti- Semitic threats to people walking to synagogue, or an attack on a synagogue with symbols of Nazism. We stand arm in arm with the Jewish community. We are here to protect you and help ensure you the opportunity to pursue your interests, to enjoy a safe and happy life here in this great state of ours. CS: What would be the best or easiest way to contact someone like you for help? SB: You can always call one of the sheriff’s stations or any of the LAPD stations because we are very involved in community sensitivities – crimes committed, problems in a neighborhood, even children who need counseling. There is a peace officers association that exists of Jewish American police officers and deputy sheriffs. I would say even calling my office is a good place to start - my number is 323-5265000. We will direct you to the appropriate department to help you.


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The Ner Yaakov Program “I just got a 100% on my test!” “I love working on my geography project and creating a travel brochure on the computer!” “My friends and I get together to do our homework.”


rience specifically designed to meet their needs. Ner Yaakov hese and similar comments may be common for some provides these young scholars an opportunity to realize their parents to hear, but many others know how rare they real potential and succeed. Their day includes can be. If a child struggles in school and a well-rounded curriculum including a full needs to learn in a fashion different than is Fac t s: The Ner Yaakov program was Limudai Kodesh program as well as extensive common in a typical classroom, he or she may named for Rav Aharon Yaareading, writing, math, social studies, science, not be excited about school. Comments from kov Kornwasser z”l and computer literacy. these children are generally much more negaUnder the direction of Mrs. Penny Pflaster, M.Ed., a sucThis program is the only one of its kind tive. Unfortunately, too often, avenues for cessful educator with over in the Los Angeles area in a Yeshiva setting, these children to succeed and feel good about 30 years of classroom and and has proven so successful that it is expandthemselves are not available. administration experience Now in its fifth year for eling for the next school year to include a high For the past five years the Ner Yaakov ementary & junior high boys school program as well. The true success of program, named for Rav Aharon Yaakov KoExpanding to include a high this program is readily evident in the progress rnwasser z”l, and under the direction of Mrs. school program for the 2011-2012 school year and success of the children who have been forPenny Pflaster, has offered an opportunity for tunate enough to participate. a group of boys in the elementary and junior The proud parents of Ner Yaakov students regularly hear high school of Yeshivas Toras Emes to experience the learning comments from their children that reflect both the success opportunities that all children deserve. Encouraged and asand progress that these students have achieved scholastically, sisted by the administration and staff of Yeshivas Toras Emes, and the pride and happiness they feel in anticipation of coming Ner Yaakov, utilizing small class sizes and nurturing Rebbeim to school each day. and teachers, provides these boys with an educational expe-

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 community spirit

Hatzolah Update 800-613-1911 Hatzolah of Los Angeles Adds 3rd Ambulance to its Fleet


atzolah of Los Angeles has put it’s 3rd ambulance into service. This ambulance was donated by Mr. Alex and Eva Friedman in memory of their friends and neighbors in Kiskufelgyhaza, Hungary that were killed in Auschwitz in 1944. In August of 2009 Hatzolah of Los Angeles began transporting patients in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with the support of the local Fire Department, who maintains the primary responsibility for providing emergency medical care to Los Angeles. The service was well received by the community and on January 1, 2011, the transporting of patients was extended to the Pico Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles. These services come at a critical point for the Los Ange-

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If your child would learn better in a small group setting, with more personal attention from experienced, nurturing Rebbeim and Teachers – where he can be taught in a style that best suits his needs – then the Ner Yaakov program might be right for you! There are only a few spaces left in each class for the upcoming school year, so call now for more information and a personal interview.

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les Community, a time when the Fire Department has been forced to “brown out” some of their stations, limiting the amount of medical resources available to local communities due to budget cuts. In addition to the ambulances, Hatzolah has been granted permits to operate a limited number “authorized emergency vehicles” in each of the neighborhoods they serve. These vehicles have met the rigorous California Highway Patrol requirements to operate utilizing lights and sirens. These vehicles have been instrumental in allowing Hatzolah members get to the scene of an emergency safely while assisting them through the notorious LA traffic. On March 1, 2011, Hatzolah will hold it’s first formal dinner, celebrating 10 years of service to the community and honoring Dr. & Mrs. Marty Kay, Mr. & Mrs. Uri Mandelbaum and Mr. Alex Friedman, donors of the first three ambulances to Hatzolah. “These are exciting times” said Mr. Ari Stark, spokesman for Hatzolah, “not only have we grown beyond our original goals, we continue to make strides in new areas.” In addition to the day-to-day emergency response, Hatzolah is actively preparing for a large scale disaster. “We have been in talks with other local emergency service providers and are in the process of developing a comprehensive plan to address a large scale disaster”, Stark said. This, along with the other events Hatzolah has sponsored and facilitated, has given the organization the credit and professional standing it deserves. Hatzolah has been preparing for it’s annual Safety Fair planed for late Spring, planning a bigger event offering a broader spectrum of exhibits to cater to attendees of all ages. “This is an event that brings emergency service personnel and equipment from an array of agencies across Los Angeles”, said Michoel Bloom, a long time member and Coordinator of the Safety Fair, “everyone has a good time and learns something too” he said. Hatzolah of Los Angeles is a 100% volunteer organization that relies completely on the generous support of the community in order to provide its services. Hatzolah does not receive any local, State, or Federal funds and thus operates completely through donations. Reservations for the dinner and/or donations can be made to Hatzolah on their website .

Rabbi Heshy Kleinman speaks to cityspirit about his books and The V’Ani Tefillah Foundation by Mati Jacobovits

Rabbi Heshy Kleinman is the author of the best-selling Five-Minute Lesson-aDay books, Praying With Fire: Volume 1, Praying With Fire: Volume 2 and Yearning With Fire, published by Artscroll Mesorah Publications. Rabbi Kleinman lectures internationally on prayer and other challenging topics. He is co-founder of the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation, dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance and power of prayer and to providing education, inspiration, and tools for more sincere, powerful and effective prayer. Rabbi Kleinman is also cofounder of the Hakhel Public Lecture Program in Brooklyn, NY. He is

There is a long-standing custom to go to shul early on Purim morning. Besides tapping into the power of the day, Sefer Segulas Yisroel (Siman 66) cites the following reason: It is accepted from the students of the Baal Shem Tov that it is an exceptional segulah, to arise early and to enhance prayer and requests before Hashem on all things—for children, life, and a livelihood and also on other things… [Purim] is similar to Yom Kippur, which is a day of prayer. Similarly, Purim is very much an eis ratzon, a time of favor. Purim is especially charged with Divine compassion. It is designated as an eis ratzon for forging a connection with God. Our prayers during Purim carry a power and impact that we would have to work far harder to achieve during the rest of the year. As the Divrei Yecheskel states, “On Purim each year, Hashem sends us the same help as He sent during the miracle of Purim. Prayers sent to Hashem by Bnei Yisrael are accepted.” There is so much we can accomplish with our , especially on Purim. Rabbi Heshy Kleinman Tefillah (prayer) is a miraculous power each of us has, yet most of us use only a fraction of its potential. Through the gift of tefillah, Hashem places in our hands the key to the Heavenly storehouse of blessing, and gives us the precise words that can release these treasures into our lives. And what treasures they are…. our health, our ability to find a spouse and build a Jewish home, our success in raising our children, our safety, security, livelihood. I had the privilege of meeting with Rabbi Heshy Kleinman who, through his books and foundation, gives us the inspiration, knowledge and tools to approach a level of praying that is stronger, more meaningful, and more effective. I accompanied Rabbi Kleinman to the Mirrer Yeshiva K’Tana where he was introducing the 5th and 6th graders to the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation’s Elementary School Teifillah Initiative (see page 24). Mati Jacobovits

a frequent contributor to various magazines including the Jewish Observer and the OU’s Jewish Action. Prior to publishing his books and devoting himself to the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation, Rabbi Kleinman served as Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Tefillah in Brooklyn, New York. Rabbi Kleinman received his rabbinic ordination from the Mirrer Yeshiva of New York.

Sample pages from Praying with fire. Notice The easy-to-use daily learning format, with dates, points to ponder and footnotes for those who want to delve further.

CitySpirit Magazine: What motivated you to write Praying with Fire and subsequently Yearning with Fire? Rabbi Heshy Kleinman: The Gemara says Tefillah is d’vorim haomdim berumoh shel olam: Tefillah is among those things that stand at the pinnacle of heaven, v’adam mizalzelin bahen: and yet we see that people treat it lightly. How can this be? Having researched, taught and spoken on the topic of tefillah (prayer) for many years it became clear that people were unfamiliar with various important concepts about Tefillah. CS: It seems to me like a monumental task? Where did you begin? RHK: Al shlosha devarim haolam omed, The world stands on three principles: Torah, avodah (tefillah, praying) and gemilus chassadim (good deeds). Avoda represents tefillah; a labor of the heart. Imagine, the world stands

on three principles and one of them is tefillah –it’s mind boggling really that tefillah can be so powerful to bring blessing to the world, and that is something that we all have access to daily. This has been true since the creation of the world. Chazal teach that tefilah was woven into the very fabric of Creation and designed by Hashem to be a fundamental element of life. Bereishis (2:5) states, “And all the plants of the field were not yet on the earth and all of the herbs had not yet sprouted, for Hashem had not brought rain upon the earth and there was no man to work the soil.” Rashi explains that the plants could not grow because rain had not yet fallen; for without man, there could be no rain. Only when Adam Ha’rishon arrived on the scene was there a being that had the capacity to understand that the soil needed water in order to sprout, and to call upon Hashem to provide the rain. His prayers were Continues on page 21

tHIS Attractive flyer WAS PREPARED FOR Rabbi Kleinman’s wELL RECIEVED pRE-yOM kIPPUR appearance in Paris to a kinus of women in 2009. hE has been invited to speak tHERE FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS. iN ATTENDANCE WERE close to 1000 women. Praying with Fire has been published in french TO ACCOMMODATE THE WIDE AUDIENCE.



person who is told that there may be gold buried in his backyard will dig and dig, but if he finds nothing, he eventually begins to doubt that the gold is there. He will then work a little less assiduously, and finally, he concludes that the rumor is false. He puts away his shovel, reseeds the lawn and puts his effort elsewhere. In contrast, a person who knows for certain that there is gold buried somewhere in his backyard never stops trying. He digs up every inch of soil, and if that does not yield the treasure, he digs deeper and deeper. He feels that his unwavering effort is worthwhile, because he knows he will eventually succeed, and his payoff will be extraordinary wealth. One who attempts to improve the quality of his tefillah — and thus, his entire life — is searching for the purest gold, and Chazal testify that it certainly exists. As he embarks on his search, he must realize that at times he may fail. If he begins to doubt that the potential is there within him, he will abandon the effort. One who knows for certain that he has the capacity to reach that higher level, however, will keep striving. He will delve within himself until he finds the treasure. The Gemara1 teaches us that every person can be certain of finding the treasure. It is within each of us, without exception. There is never a true justification for the self-doubt that can cause us to lose sight of our goal. Praying With Fire Chapter 1: The Immeasurable Power of Prayer

Excerpts used with permission, Artscroll Mesorah Publications.

Continued from page 21 answered, and the world became lush and green. The entire Creation, the sun and the earth, was complete; all was in readiness. Yet the world remained barren and dry, awaiting Adam’s prayers for the rain that would allow the natural world to spring to life and begin to function. Such is the paradoxical nature of prayer; nothing is more basic, and nothing is more powerful. There was this need to drive that

point home, and that’s where I began. Who are your readers? RHK: Tefillah is universal. It reaches across the spectrum of Judaism. It applies to men and women, young and old, wealthy and poor, healthy and sick. Boruch Hashem, Jews from all walks of life have read PWF—Rabbanim, Harvard Professors, seminary girls, yeshiva boys, ba’alei teshuvah. The list goes on. After all, we all daven (pray) to Hashem. Each and every one of us enjoys

the opportunity to form a unique close relationship with Hashem and to ask HaKadosh Baruch Hu for all the things we need. When we daven to Hashem we are acknowledging that He is the source of all blessings. This recognition is fundamental to our faith in G-d as active ruler of the universe. The more we pray, the more we incorporate this belief into our psyche. CS: So this book is for everyone of us. RHK: Definitely. Every person’s tefil-

MirrEr Yeshiva, Brooklyn, NY Excerpts from presentation given to the 5th and 6th graders by Rabbi Heshy Kleinman

contest card ladder distributed to elementary students as part of the tefillah power incentive program

“Sholom Aleichem. I have a question for you. Who wants to become like the Chazon Ish? Let me tell you what his brother said about him. He was an adom gadol, learned Torah Leshem Shamaim and he didn’t waste a time every moment was precious. His brother said there was another ingredient that enabled him to become the Chazon Ish. If he got stuck learning and couldn’t figure something out he would stop and say a tefillah. He would beg Hashem to give him the wisdom to learn. Davening is the most valuable tool we have.” “This is a true story. A boy arrived to summer camp and realized his mother forgot to pack his baseball glove. You can’t be in camp without a baseball glove, right?. The boy asked Rav Moshe Feinstein if he can daven for a baseball glove. You know what Rav Moshe Feinstein said? Of course you can daven for it, you can daven for everything from Hashem. All He wants us to do is ask” “Every week you will get this newsletter with great stories and pictures. Now when you say Modeh Ani you will understand a little bit more. At the end of each month there will be a contest with prizes and a raffle. We selected the best yeshivos who have the best bochrim (applause) – that’s why I am here today.”

Cover page of Newsletter distributed to elementary students as part of the tefillah power incentive program “This is so exciting, you will gain a better understanding of what you any saying in tefillah. Show your parents, it’s gevaldik.” “May the koach of your tefillos bring the geulah bekorov.”

los count. Take the Hebrew letters of the word ‘Yisroel’. ‘Yud’ stands for ‘yesh’ (there are), the ‘sin and raish’ stand for ‘shishim ribue’ (600,000), ‘alef ‘stands for ‘osios’ (letters) and ‘lamid’ stands for ‘l’Torah’ (in the Torah) – there are 600,000 letters in the Torah. This corresponds to the 600,000 root souls that stood at Har Sinai (Mt. Sinai) when the Torah was given to us. In a Sefer Torah, if there is one letter that’s missing, the Sefer Torah is posul (invalid). All different letters, but each individual letter is of paramount importance and is extremely meaningful. So too with our prayers. Each tefillah of every member of Klal Yisroel is important to Hashem. CS: Practically speaking how does Praying with Fire work? RHK: The chapters of the first Praying with Fire book and Yearning With Fire

recent flyer announcing the Boston Communitywide Tefillah Initiative for the weekend of January 15. The graphics department of V’Ani Tefillah Foundation prepares all of the P.R. work for each shul/community free of charge

are divided into 89 – 5-minute-dailylessons. Praying With Fire 2 is divided into 118 – 5 minute-daily-lessons. Day by day, step by step, your tefillah can become stronger, more meaningful and more effective. You can do this – we all can do this. Each chapter gives insights and strategies focusing on issues and fundamental concepts of tefillah and emunah that are vital for people to fully understand and utilize daily when they daven. For example, in Praying With Fire, Chapter 7 deals with: Finding Answers to Unanswered Prayers. That’s a topic that many of us have a difficult time with. Or Chapter 6: Thirteen Practical Strategies to Achieve True Kavannah. These techniques and strategies can help us empower our tefillos to remarkable heights. Chapter 2, Achieving Personal Growth Through Continues on page 24



composer hears a beautiful melody in his head. He sits down at the piano and works out the precise notes that bring his melody to life. The harmonies and counterpoints, the phrasing and timing all come together to make the song into a force that has the power to uplift the hearts and touch the souls of others. As beautiful and powerful as his masterpiece is, however, it accomplishes little until it is played out loud. And so it is with prayer. The words on the page, composed with fine-tuned perfection by our Sages, possess only a minute fraction of their transforming power until they are actually verbalized. The Shulchan Aruch states, “One must not pray in his heart alone, rather, he must say the words with his lips so they can be heard.” One who merely thinks of the words without pronouncing them has not fulfilled the requirement to pray, even bedi’eved, after the fact. Why is enunciation of the words so integral to prayer? If kavannah is the essential element, why can’t a sincere, silent tefillah fulfill the requirement to pray? Why does one need to verbalize his prayers when Hashem is well aware of every thought in a person’s mind? Praying With Fire Chapter 3: Gaining a Proper Understanding of Kavannah



hey did not always arrive happy and they did not always arrive fully alert, but counselor Moshe’s bunk arrived at Shacharis on time every day of the camp season. “First he sticks his head in the door and sings a loud wake-up song,” one of his campers related to his friends. “The next time he comes in, if you’re not up, he pulls off your blanket. The next time, he comes in and dumps cold water on your head. Anyone who is still in bed five minutes after that gets the mattress pulled out from under him.” The wise camper would obviously get out of bed at the sound of the first blast of music. The counselor’s technique is loosely adapted from the pattern set by Hashem in awakening the Jewish souls that He so closely and lovingly supervises. Often times, Hashem does not begin the process with a “rude awakening,” but rather, with “a little shake.” It comes in the form of life’s small frustrations and inconveniences. One of its purposes is to cause a person to look around and feel that Hashem is there. These frustrations rattle one’s assumption that things flow smoothly on their own, alerting a person to the need to acknowledge Hashem for the myriad details He oversees for him each moment of his life. Praying With Fire Chapter 5: Feeling The Shechinah’s Presence

Continued from page 23 Tefillah will help one grow closer to Hashem through tefillah. Taking small steps can help us accomplish big things. When it comes to learning and growing - one step at a time over a certain period of time can be the difference between success and failure. CS: Which brings me to my next question. You formed the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation. Can you tell us how it came about? RHK: Once the first Praying with Fire book came out we were inundated with responses. People were inspired—as if they had found something they were searching for over many years. They felt they finally understood how to empower their tefillos. Again, we’re talking about people from all walks of life – it was overwhelming and extremely gratifying. The incentive was to get everyone on board with tefillah, to increase awareness of the importance and power of prayer and to continue to provide the education, tools and inspiration to excel. Welcome to the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation.

CS: Are there others involved in V’Ani Tefillah? RHK: Harav Mattisyahu Salomon and Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky graciously accepted the roles of nasi’im of the foundation. We also have a wonderful full time employee, Mrs. Sharon First, who coordinates all the tefillah programs and initiatives. She also keeps track of the progress and helps implement the programs all over the world. And most importantly, we are assisted by the wonderful people in all the shuls, schools and communities – it is their involvement and desire to elevate the power of their prayer that brings success. CS: What do you mean by keeping track of progress? RHK: We actually take surveys after completing a program to determine whether it is indeed making a difference. Our first venue was high school. Students participated in an 89 day Praying With Fire Daily Learning Program. We had the students fill out a questionnaire to illustrate the impact this program had. B”H, the results were tremendous—for example,

From the Power-point presentation: Project ignite teen program; a cooperative effort between NCSY and The V’ani Tefillah foundation. Teens are “getting fired up” with contest incentives, teleconferences and much more.

95.7% of students would recommend the tefillah program to other students. We have since added an elementary program with a great deal of positive feedback. We also have received positive feedback from Rabbanim and shul members involved in the Shul Tefillah Initiative. If a tefillah program isn’t working – there’s no point in continuing. The enthusiastic response shows us that we are making a difference. That encourages us to go on. CS: Can you tell us a little bit about the shul program? RHK: Our objective is to make each person’s tefillos, real, heartfelt and effective. From Boston to Seattle to Toronto to Miami, we have initiated the

Shul Tefillah Initiative in over 150 shuls in 34 cities and communities. People in shul have limited time. Between work, family obligations - that’s why this program is tailor-made for them. In about 5 minutes a day, over 89 days, we can make a difference in individuals’ lives by enabling them to ignite the power of tefillah. The Shul Tefillah Program usually begins with several lectures over Shabbos. We have expanded the Shul Tefillah Initiative into a community-wide Tefillah Initiative, where many shuls from all ends of the Orthodox spectrum in one community join in achdus, unity to empower their tefillah. That is followed by the 5-minute daily learning of Praying With Fire over 89 days. Continues on page 26

sample page of V”ANI tefillah weekly Tefillah Newsletter - ‘Praying With Passion’. These colorful newsletters are e-mailed weekly to our subscribers and to the shuls that have joined the Shul Tefillah Initiative to e-mail to their members. They are FREE and easy and inspiring to read. In 5 minutes a week shul members can gain a wealth of information on the daily Shacharit tefillah. B”H, we have received wonderful feedback. Also available on-line at



raying with a minyan has become, for many people, the setting for a power struggle. The power of speech pulls in two directions simultaneously, and the mouth switches gears, gliding from idle chatter to holy words, over and over again: A friendly greeting to a late-arriving friend, then an “Amen.” A few words about the morning’s stock market quotes, then a catchup on Pesukei D’Zimrah. Solemn silence during the “silent” Shemoneh Esrei, and then a full-blown political debate during the chazzan’s repetition. To our great misfortune, conversation during prayer has become an almost natural and even expected practice. The stringent halachic prohibitions against conversing during prayer appear to be overlooked by many people who may be extremely careful with adherence to halachah in many other areas. Sometimes the problem rests with a misguided notion of what friendliness requires in meeting the demands of one’s neighbors. In some communities, however, shul attendance has evolved into a social phenomenon, and community members have established a routine of meeting and socializing at various points of prayer. The social imperative is so strong that one might even be embarrassed to set himself apart by refraining from talking. This is a heartbreaking situation, because the practice of talking during prayer is unimaginably destructive. Praying With Fire Chapter 8: The Spoken Word: Our Downfall, Our Salvation

Over 140 shuls have participated in the V’Ani Tefillah Foundation’s Nationwide Shul Tefillah Initiative. Here is some of the enthusiastic feedback we have received: There is NO QUESTION that all those who participated in the program, including myself, felt a noticeable improvement in their tefillah. Many noted this to me and expressed that they would continue to learn “Praying With Fire” to ensure continued kavannah. You now have many new “witnesses” who would attest to the power and effectiveness of your program. Rabbi Summers Rav Anshe Emes, Los Angeles, CA IT WAS AMAZING!!! Everyone loved the lectures. People are now signing up. It was a great success. This is the easiest program to launch I have been involved with, and it involved the whole community. Thanks for all your help! Rabbi Shaya Mintz Dir. of Programming St. Louis Kollel, St. Louis, MO (response to community-wide Shabbos launching the effort) Thanks so much for facilitating this amazing initiative in our shul. We are already out of the initial copies of the book that we ordered, and we hope to order more soon. I know a number of people in the shul who have gone to the local seforim store to pick up a copy because they didn’t want to miss a day. Rabbi Chaim Marcus Rav Cong. Israel, Springfield, NJ All the books distributed already! What a great zechus for our dear friend Dr. -----, z”l. Much continued hatzlacha! Rabbi Yoel Zeffren, Asst. Rosh Kollel Philadelphia, PA Community Kollel Thank you for a great program! We are planning a special kiddush as the siyum for the completion of the book. Rabbi S. Yankelewitz Rav, Phoenix, AZ Community Kollel

Continued from page 25

greatly diminished. Imagine you are given 10 minutes in a bank vault with the opportunity to get as much money as you can gather in those 10 minutes. Would you waste time and stop to talk with someone? Every moment spent davening is valuable – why would anyone want to waste it talking? I also prefer dealing with addressing the causes of why people treat tefillah lightly rather than with symptoms. For example, aspirin will bring down a fever but then it will come back again if you don’t address the cause of the fever. The lectures deal with the causes.

Finally, once a week, shul members receive a free colorful Tefillah e-mail Newsletter, “Praying With Passion” which deals with a different part of Shacharis and which takes 5 minutes a week to read. When, G-d willing, Moshiach comes, there will actually be two great individuals emerging. Mashiach ben Yosef will appear first - he will inspire us emotionally to do teshuvah (repent). But that’s not enough. Inspiration fades. Moshiach ben Dovid presents the intellectual component needed to do teshuvah, the clarification of the truth. This is equally true regarding tefillah. Lectures alone that provide inspiration and enthusiasm alone will not suffice to achieve and endure lasting change. The 5-minute daily learning of Praying With Fire provides knowledge and understanding of prayer to make a real lasting difference. A little each day can be a game changer.

You have a lot on your plate – anything new on the horizon? RHK: Yes, my next book is past the initial planning stages. I’m not going to tell you what it’s about but, what I will say is, it will hopefully shed some light on a very relevant monumental topic that is no less important than tefillah in bringing blessings to people.

What can we expect at your lectures? RHK: There has been much written about positive reinforcement as a psychology for changing performance. Talking negatively to people doesn’t really solve much. For example, I have yet to give a shiur on ‘no talking during davening’. People may be unaware of the potential power of their prayer. Make them fully aware, in a positive way– and they won’t talk during davening. Explain what makes tefillah the catalyst for blessings in a person’s life and I believe talking in shul will be

I’m intrigued, but I’ll have to wait and see. Thank you for your time – I see first-hand how valuable it is. In closing, what message can you give our readers? RHK: There’s nothing more valuable you can do for yourself and your family than to maximize the power of your tefillah. Each and every day Hashem grants us our private time before Him. Seize the moment to bring blessings to individuals, communities and the entire Jewish people – make your teffilos count.

We are sure the Nationwide Shul Tefillah Initiative will truly bring chizuk in tefillah and achdus to your shul and/or community. Now is the time to launch this successful program in your shul and/or community! For more information please contact us. 1616 East 29th St., Brooklyn, NY • 201.837.0354 • Fax 201.837.7444 • email:

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n autobiography was written about a decade ago recounting the courageous struggle of a religious Jew who became a fighter in the partisan resistance during WWII. His story was filled with much self-sacrifice and struggle on every possible level. One of the hopes that kept his faith alive and courage strong was that one day he would survive the war and return to his home and his family. He did survive the war. But he survived only to find that there was no home and there was no family. He encountered desolation and sadness that he had not known even as a partisan fighter. It was loneliness born of a feeling that there was no one left with whom to love, to learn or to relate. It seems that this would also have been the reality for anyone who would have survived the decrees against the Jews by Haman and Achashverosh. Perhaps for this reason Purim is the only chag in which the mitzvos of the day are all in the realm of bein adam l’chavero. The mitzvos of mishloach manos and matanos l’evyonim are clearly for the purpose of creating a feeling of love and unity amongst all Jews. The mitzvah of seudas Purim is also most appropriately fulfilled, as it says in the Megillah, mishpacha u’mishpacha—family by family. Finally the reading of the Megillah itself is best-performed b’rov am—amongst a gathering of large numbers of Jews. It seems that since the desire of Haman was nothing short of complete annihilation of the Jews, we relive our salvation through mitzvos that celebrate the fact that we still have other Jews with whom we can rejoice. There is, however, an even deeper connection between our salvation from death to life, and Chazal’s wisdom in consecrating these events with mitzvos between man and his fellow man. If we are to celebrate life, then we must realize that we are only truly alive when we are immediately and intimately involved in the lives of other people. Rav Wolbe, ztz”l writes that Hebrew is the only language in the world in which the word for life appears only in the plural—chaim. In fact the yud, yud mem ending to a noun in Hebrew is used specifically for those things which come in pairs, for example mishkafaim (eyeglasses), michnasaim (trousers), yadaim (hands) etc. It seems that HaShem is telling us through His holy language that a life lived alone is not a life. The Sefer Iyov provides a similar insight. It is the story of

Hashem testing whether Iyov would be able to remain steadfast in his emunah even in the face of great adversity. Toward this end, the Satan was given permission to take everything away from Iyov except for his life. Iyov lost his wealth, his children and his health, all that was dear to him. However, the entire Sefer Iyov is related as a discussion between Iyov and his friends who came to comfort him. In the great Yeshiva of Slobodka the question was raised as to why, if the Satan could take everything from Iyov except for his life, did he not also take away his friends? Rav Yitchak Isaac Sher, ztz”l answered that the inescapable conclusion is that to take away one’s friends must be tantamount to taking away one’s life. Not only does friendship mean life, it also means kedusha. Rav Kook, ztz”l, explains that the part of tefillah known as kedusha can only be recited in the presence of a minyan because, “It is impossible for an individual, when he is only for himself to rise to the level of kedusha. Kedusha is only achieved through working for the merit and benefit of the public.” It is both our strength and weakness as a nation that we are a “stiff-necked people.” We are a polarized due to our personal, strongly held opinions which are necessary for survival as Jews. When we live together in larger numbers we then tend to become polarized people in polarized families, communities or countries. When things are quiet from the outside, then we afford ourselves the luxury of dissension and distance from those who are not exactly like us. It is a luxury that we can ill afford. Years ago our family moved from Yerushalayim to take leadership positions in Santa Fe, N.M. Living in a Yeshiva community in Israel for a decade leads one to hold certain attitudes and opinions towards those Jews of a different “stripe.” In Santa Fe, a community of perhaps a thousand Jews, a sighting of any type of kippa was a cause for rejoicing. Even a yarmulke-less Jew was a recognized brother. When there is no one else around every Jew becomes precious and important, we are awakened to do chessed for him or her, we feel holy, and we are truly alive. The message of Purim is the message of “family by family,” of each man sending presents to his friend, of giving to anyone who stretches forth his hand, all of which leads to b’rov

am hadras melech—the King being honored amongst the multitude of his people. Adults as well as children need to realize that “if there was no one else to play with, you would play with him” even if he is different than you or not your favorite. This Purim, as we drink L’chaim, let’s think of what life really means. And let’s make sure that as we sit at our seudah, “family by family,” that each person there, “young and old, women and children,” take a moment or two to realize how fortunate they are to have each other. Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg has served for the last sixteen years as Menahel of Yeshiva Aharon Yaakov/Ohr Eliyahu, a leading and innovative Yeshiva Elementary and Junior High School in the Los Angeles area. He previously served as Rabbinic advisor for Helkeinu, an adult education program for the Los Angeles Persian Jewish community as Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center in Venice, California, and as founding Rabbi of Congregation Torah BaMidbar and Menahel of the Torah BaMidbar Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was educated in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Jerusalem, and received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem and Shaarei Chessed. He is a Phi Betta Kappa graduate of Austin College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Philosophy. In addition to his administrative and rabbinic activities, Rabbi Goldberg lectures widely on the topics of leadership, personal growth, marriage enrichment, and parenting. He is a facilitator for the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” program, attended the Harvard University Summer Leadership Institute, completed a three-year fellowship as a Senior Leadership Fellow for the Yesud Maalah Program of Torah Umesorah, the National Council for Jewish Day Schools, (an organization for which he is now a senior lecturer), was a winner of the 2003 Distinguished Educator Award given by the Milliken Family Foundation, and winner of the 2005 Outstanding Educator Award from Torah Umesorah. In addition, Rabbi Goldberg authors a weekly d’var Torah on chinuch issues relating to the weekly sedra, and his articles have appeared in the “Jewish Action” and “Jewish Observer” and “Homodia” magazines. Rabbi Goldberg and his wife, Raizel, are the parents of eight children and six grandchildren, and reside in Los Angeles, California.

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Parshas Zachor and Purim |Rabbi Gershon Bess


e read Parshas Zachor every year on the Shabbos before Purim. The Torah tells us that we are obligated not to forget what Amalek did to us in the desert following our exodus from Mitzrayim. Our annual reading of Parshas Zachor fulfills this requirement. It is an aspect of human nature to forget events that occurred more than a year earlier, so reading Parshas Zachor once a year keeps alive the memory of what Amalek did. The need to be reminded every twelve months brings up the question as to how to preserve the memory of Amalek’s evil actions during the 13 month gap between readings that occurs when Purim occurs during a leap year. If a person did not hear the reading of Parshas Zachor he can still fulfill his requirement by having specific intention to do so when those psukim are read as part of the normal

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Parshas Hashavua reading of Ki Seitzei. In order to avoid a 13 month gap between readings of Parshas Zachor, does this mean that in the year prior to a leap year one must have specific intention to fulfill the mitzvah of Zachor when Parshas Ki Seitzei is read? Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l rules that a person in fact does not need to have that specific intention under those conditions. Though usually one would only maintain a clear memory for 12 months, when the Chachamim establish a leap year, teva (nature) bows to the dictates of the Torah (“Hateva” has the same gematria as “Elokim”) and our memory is extended to the 13th month! It is mentioned in Chazal that even after Mashiach arrives we will still celebrate Purim. However Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l said that there will nevertheless no longer be

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a mitzvah to drink Ad D’lo Yada. The mitzvah of Ad D’lo Yada is necessary when we are in galus to help us reach the proper level of simchah, but once Mashiach comes we will always be in a state of simchah and there will be no need for external aids to create that simchah. When Ramot was first built on the outskirts of Yerushalayim there was a question as to which day is the correct one to read the Megillah. Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l ruled that Ramot is considered Samuch V’Nireh (nearby and in sight) to Yerushalayim and therefore the Megillah should be read there on the fifteenth of Adar. The Minchas Yitzchak who was the Gaavad (Gaon Av Bais Din) of Yerushalayim at the time disagreed and said that Ramot is not considered part of Yerushalayim and the Megillah should be read there on the fourteenth of Adar. When Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l heard of the Minchas Yitchak’s psak he told people not to publicize his own view in order not to dispute the ruling of the Minchas Yitzchak. He reasoned that the Minchas Yitzchak, being the Rav of Yerushalayim should be the one to pasken on issues that are pertinent to Yerushalayim. Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l did make a point however, that since according to the Minchas Yitzchak’s own psak, Ramot was not part of Yerushalayim, the Gaavad had no jurisdiction there!

Nevertheless, because Rav Shlomo Zalman himself felt that Ramot is part of Yerushalayim he did not want to dispute the Minchas Yitzchok’s psak. (Today, with the additional contruction that has taken place and the joining of Ramot’s eruv to that of the city proper, it is indisputably considered part of Yerushalayim and everyone reads the Megillah there on the fifteenth of Adar.) Rabbi Gershon Bess is Rav of Congregation Kehillas Yaakov and serves as the Halachic authority for the Los Angeles Kollel and Yeshiva communities. He gives a slate of highly regarded lectures on Talmud and Halacha and is the Rosh HaVaad of Vaad L’Maan Yahadus which has published Halachic bulletins for many years. He is a graduate of the yeshivos of Philadelphia, Ponovez, Lakewood and the Kollel of Los Angeles and serves on the Bais Din of the Rabbinical Council of California.

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 point of view

Mordechai HaTzaddik and the Unyielding Chareidi Jews | Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn


was on a pleasant Shabbos afternoon stroll when I met up with an acquaintance. Harry does not necessarily share my outlook as to the way my chareidi counterparts and I react when we feel that Torah is being trampled on. “Why,” he asked, “can’t the chareidi community be more tolerant of people who don’t share their views?” I’ve known Harry for approximately three decades, and I know of the compassion, love and respect he had for his dear parents. Nothing, not even being CEO of his large corporation, would stand in the way of his taking care of even minute tasks in order to assist his parents. “Tell me Harry”, I said, “if somebody hurt or compromised the health of your parents, how tolerant would you be?” “Not tolerant at all” was his response. “Very well”, I said. “So what you’re telling me is that everybody can have a low tolerance level; however it will depend on what is so dear to them.” Years ago, I saw an old sefer called Imrei Yoel. The writer lived in Paris at the time that the airplane was invented. In his attempt to describe this invention, he said that people enter a large metal box and fly high up in the air. The people sitting in the plane smile at the people underneath, who look to them like small black dots. They think to themselves that they can cover more ground in minutes than these people down below cover in hours, yet they know the risk involved in flying. If the people on the ground fall, they scrape their knee. If the people up there should, G-d forbid, fall, life is all over! With this, said the Imrei Yoel, we understand how our Rabbis explain the phrase that Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his

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friends everything that had happened to him. Haman’s wise men and his wife, Zeresh, said to him, “If Mordechai, before whom you have begun to fall is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him, but will undoubtedly fall before him.” The Gemara in Megilla states: “Rav Yehudah bar Ilai expounded: Why did they state a double expression of falling? Because they told Haman: This nation of Israel is compared to dust and is compared to the stars. When they descend, they fall to the dust. But when they rise, they rise to the stars. The wise men of Haman understood very well that regarding Klal Yisroel, Torah is a very delicate matter, because it has lifted them to a very high vantage point. One loose link can cause a catastrophe. There is no room for compromise when the repercussions could be catastrophic. In the Megilla, there is a very clear message that Mordechai sends to the people of his generation and to their posterity- vuj,ah tku grfh tk hfsrnu. There is no room for yielding, nor is there any room for buckling under. In conclusion, I’d like to tell you a story about a young yeshiva student who took a position in a congregation whose members were far more liberal than the Rav himself. The members of the congregation shared a mutual love and admiration for their young and dynamic Rabbi. At one of the board meetings, the board members confronted their leader and asked him why he couldn’t be more liberal minded and compromise halacha. The Rabbi took them to the Aron Kodesh and asked them to take out the Sefer Torah. He pointed to the Atzei Chaim of the Sefer Torah and asked them- with all the modern technology that we are now blessed with, why are we still using old-fashioned wood to hold up the Sefer Torah? Couldn’t we use metal, copper or some new technological or synthetic material? Without waiting for an answer, the Rabbi said there is a strong message here. Metal, copper, and synthetic materials can be bent. Wood, however breaks when you bend it. Torah can only survive when we’re unyielding and unbending. May this Purim be a time of ogrz kgu ovhkg ukceu unhe. May we and our children be reinvigorated in our unyielding and unwavering commitment to Torah and mitzvos. Rabbi Yoel Bursztyn is an alumnus of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, and Yeshivas Brisk in Jerusalem. He has been the Educational Director at Bais Yaakov for the past three decades.



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 Travel

The Wandering Jew Hershel lieber

Spain PA RT ONE I was always fascinated with visiting Spain. Maybe it was the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry and the renowned Gedolim that were nurtured there. It could be that the infamous Inquisition and the subsequent eviction of our people from this Iberian nation, was what intrigued me. Perhaps the culmination of the 500 year Cherem against returning to Spain was what drew me to the very cities that we associate with Jewry’s greatest personalities. Whatever it was, Spain remains one of the most memorable trips that I have taken. Truthfully, there is not much left of the Jewish legacy in Spain today. After all, it is over 500 years since the terrible Order of Expulsion, which was enacted on Tisha B’Av of 1492. Yet, here and there one can see and feel a Jewish presence and its glorious history to this very day. Besides the special interest for the Jewish traveler, Spain has a wealth of sights to offer any tourist. Its cities are exciting and full of life. The buildings, palaces, castles, museums, parks are all architectural gems, and the shopping opportunities are fabulous. With the exception of hot summers, the weather is beautiful. I divided my article about Spain into two parts so I can highlight the various cities and its sights. The statue of the rambam in cordova

The Great German Synagogue of Venice

placio real (royal palace in madrid)


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he pulse of Spain is centered in Madrid, a city that literally does not sleep. People go out to dinner at 10PM and stay up way past midnight on a regular basis. Stores are open late, and the streets are constantly buzzing with activity. The highlight for any tourist is the Placio Real (Royal Palace) the magnificent home of the King and Queen. The Plaza Major is the actual site where the dreadful Auto de Fe took place. The Prado Museum of Art has a magnificent collection of art by Goya, Velázquez and El Greco. The Park del Retiro is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy a lunch break. The synagogue has minyanin daily, its congregants consisting mainly of Jews who came from Morocco. There is a kosher restaurant under the supervision of Chief Rabbi Ben Dahan. The Chabad House is under the leadership of Rabbi Goldstein.



nly an hour away from Madrid is Toledo. The panoramic view one sees when descending the hills surrounding the city, is truly magnificent. This walled city, which is well over a thousand years old, has the most to offer for the Jewish visitor. The El Transito Synagogue was brilliantly restored and contains a well displayed Jewish Museum. The Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue is not furbished, but its Jewish origins are highlighted, though it was subsequently used as a mosque and a church. Walking around this historical city conjures up images of a time that Jews were privileged citizens under benevolent rulers. The narrow roads and alleys add to the town’s mystique. Toledo is a perfect day trip from Madrid and is easily accessible.



architectural gems in the alcazar – seville

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he main sight here is the Mezquita, the fortress built by the Muslim Emir Abd ar-Rahman and enlarged during subsequent generations. Even the ruins are impressive and show the mesmerizing vastness of this stronghold. The Juderia, which is the medieval Jewish quarter, has a Synagogue attributed to the Rambam’s family. There are a maze of narrow streets and patios opening up to small plazas. The houses are adorned with bright flowers hanging from the widow sills. Relaxing strolls through these streets make a very charming way to discover this city. Continues on next page

Continued from page 35



pains crown jewel is Seville’s Alcazar. The residence of both Muslim and Christian royalty for centuries is simply spectacular. The combination of so many different styles and decorative details is what makes this place so extravagant. Courtyards with fountains surrounded by columns, mosaic decorated walls; Spanish tiled rooftops are just a small description of this gorgeous palace. It was here that the hideous Order of Expulsion was signed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The area immediately surrounding the Alcazar is the Barrio de Santa Cruz, which was the Jewish neighborhood. Today, its Jewish past is hardly recognizable. A small museum called Casa de Sefarad has a collection of artifacts from pre- expulsion times. The Plaza de Espana, which was created for a World’s Fair Exhibition is simply a mind- boggling feast for the eyes. Seville, Cordova and Toledo have no kosher establishments today, so one must bring food along. Seville has a small functioning synagogue, but minyan is available only on Shabbat. Malaga and Marbella have small but active communities with shuls and kosher food. Malaga has some tourist attractions, but Marbella is mostly residential. Bon Voyage - vcuy vghxb, Hershel

CITY spirit march 2011

Panoramic view of the walled city of TOLEDO


the plaza de espana – seville

Do you have a group of friends or belong to an organization that dreams of traveling to foreign destinations together? Hershel has organized and personally guided groups of friends, school classes, and organization members (Gateways & Aish Hatorah) over the past few years on unusual and inspiring journeys. He can do the same for your group personalized to your interests. Contact Hershel Lieber ‘The Wandering Jew’ at 718-256-8156

Featured in next issue of CitySpirit

Spain Part Two:

Granada, Barcelona, Gerona and the charming and dyna mic Jewish community of Gibraltar

How to Have a

Successful Home Care Experience by Mutty Burstein

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ubby fell and she could not get up. She’s elderly and has been a little confused at times and shaky on her feet in the mornings. She ends up in the hospital with a broken arm and then rehab and now it is time for discharge. You and your spouse work full time and have responsibilities to your children. Who will take care of Bubby? Who will help prepare her meals, accompany her to the doctor, and help her with her daily activities while you are at work? Sound familiar? If you have a loved one who needs assistance at home, whether elderly, ill or disabled, chances are you have considered contacting a homecare agency. Many people prefer to see their loved ones cared for at home, surrounded by warm family memories. Home care, has grown into a huge industry, serving millions of people throughout the country with very positive outcomes. Family members want to do what is right and access the best care available, maximizing the care they receive, and making sure their loved ones are nurtured, safe and given the best chance at improvement / maintenance possible. While homecare is a wonderful option to maintain the patient’s comfort at home, it involves a stranger entering your loved one’s home to care for them. It is important for all parties involved to learn how to function in this situation, how to maximize the benefits of the care being given and how to ensure that your loved one is safe, comfortable and motivated. Being knowledgeable about the participants in home care services, having realistic expectations and developing a respectful rapport with all members of the team are keys to a pleasant experience for all.

“...having realistic expectations and developing a respectful rapport with all members of the team are keys to a pleasant experience for all.” The most common caregiver providing homecare and the person most likely to spend the most amount of time with the patient, is a Home Health Aide – HHA. An HHA is an individual who has gone through a program of training, developing skills to be qualified to assist with activities of daily living – ADL’s. The State of California requires 120 hours of training consisting of at least 65 hours of classroom and 55 hours of supervised clinical training in basic nursing and home health topics. Once this has been completed and all tests have been passed, the home health aide receives a certification from the state and is registered on the Department of Health Registry as a certified home health aide. Since most home care agencies are reimbursed by Medicare, they follow these guidelines for competency. HHAs are trained and tested in skills such as obtaining and recording vital signs, handling emergencies, and assisting with ADL’s such as personal hygiene, nutrition, and grooming. Once hired and placed in the home, HHA’s are supervised by Registered Nurses who periodically visit the home to check on the HHA’s performance as well as the patient’s condition. HHA’s are also required by the state regulations, to attend regular in-service training seminars to update

An HHA can be expected to have respectful interactions with the patient, using calming, reassuring methods of communication. They are expected to pay attention to and give any needed assistance with personal hygiene, including hair, nails, teeth, shaving, bathing, cleaning clothes and linen. For bedridden patients, careful attention to patient rotation to prevent bedsores is an essential and critical role of the HHA. They can also be expected to clean medical and orthopedic equipment like wheelchairs, commodes, and bedpans, along with light cleaning of the patient’s room and living quarters. Food preparation, from light grocery shopping to actual preparation and feeding, if needed, can also be expected, as well as maintenance of a neat and organized kitchen and propyosef_ad.pdf 7/3/07 6:24:04 PM er food storage. Physical exercise, no matter the level of the patient’s abil7/3/07 6:24:04 PM ity,yosef_ad.pdf is a crucial component of care. For the most bedridden patients, simple range of motion exercises may be prescribed and yosef_ad.pdf 7/3/07 6:24:04 PM yosef_ad.pdf 7/3/07 6:24:04 PM the HHA is expected to perform them with the patient on the prescribed schedule. For the more mobile patients, light exer7/3/07 6:24:04 PM cise,yosef_ad.pdf outings and playing a light game of catch with a soft ball, are all possible methods an HHA can implement to be sure A Professional Corporation the patient gets adequate physical activity. Social interaction for the patient is almost as important as physical care. DeA Professional Corporation Continues on page 40 •A

and maintain their skills. Some agencies customize their inservice training to reflect the needs of their specific patient population, i.e. courses in kosher kitchen basics for an observant Jewish clientele, management of patients with dementia, providing care to patients with physical disabilities, and many others. Americare Certified Home Health Agency is one of those agencies that customize their in-service training by training their skilled nurses and HHAs in all aspects of home care including a specific emphasis on mental health and cultural sensitivity specifically for our community. In order to maximize the relationship between patients, their caregivers and family members, there needs to be mutual respect and understanding of the role of the HHA. There is a common misconception that the HHA is merely a cleaning woman or housekeeper. The truth is that they are a little of both in some aspects and part of their job is to assist in light household duties. However, their primary function is providing personal care to the patient and maintaining their health and safety. A family can optimize the participation of an HHA by respectful interaction, praise and acknowledging that their role is not merely housekeeper, but much more. Having a preliminary discussion about your expectations of the HHA / patient / family relationship will help in achieving your goal of a positive experience.

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Continued from page 39 pending on the level of cognizance, an HHA can be expected to have verbal and social interaction with the patient. Going for walks together, reading to the patient, and talking about general topics are very important ways to develop a positive relationship and maintain social stimulation. It helps to have light music available and games like dominoes, cards, simple puzzles, or Rummikub for interaction with patient. An HHA can also accompany a patient to social and family functions so that the patient can maintain their contacts outside of the home whenever possible. Once expectations are clarified and established in a respectful manner, maintaining the relationship and supervising the care is very important. At the start of care, meet with the HHAs and introduce the family members that they would be meeting and provide a contact number for the home health aide so she can reach them if necessary. Encourage HHAs to call family members if they are uncertain about something or have any concerns, being careful to give a clear list of contact information in order of preference. Family members can keep track of the HHA’s schedule, especially if more than one HHA

is assigned. Make scheduling charts for each HHA if there is more than one shift. In addition, task charts or plans of care can be made in conjunction with the nurse, listing the tasks for each shift that the HHA needs to accomplish. Make it a simple checklist with goals. You can work with the home care agency to help make an appropriate list. Working with the supervising nurse, make sure to include all prescribed medications with the time of day they need to be taken, so that the HHA can assist the patient if necessary.   Always maintain open lines of communication with the HHA, making sure that they feel comfortable to share concerns with you about the patient as well as the transition between shifts and HHAs. Touch base each day or shift, even for a few moments, by phone or in person. Check in unannounced at different times with a friendly smile to ensure that there is compliance with the expectations when you are not there. The more you are seen as caring for your loved one, the more likely the HHA will be caring as well.  Portraying your loved one as a human being with feelings, a family, a history, and a distinct personality is very important in establishing a positive relationship with the HHA. Place

Health Care – Can it be a career for the Orthodox person?


oday, more than ever, there is a need for health care workers who are not just knowledgeable about kashrus and Shabbos, but rather are keeping kosher and observing Shabbos themselves. Most families cannot commit to taking care of homebound patients for a variety of practical reasons - work, school, space, finances... but the options have vastly improved. At the forefront of the success of these options are the healthcare workers themselves, who provide the day-to-day care of the patients they serve, tending to their every need from organizing their medications to changing their clothes to administering life-saving treatments and everything in between. From the patient’s and family’s perspective, who better than a like-minded “landsman” to take care of our loved ones? Skills can be taught, compassion can be inherent, but someone who understands the Jewish lifecycles because she or he lives them too, and someone who can help with putting on tefillin because he puts them on himself each day before going to work - that kind of empa-

thy and understanding is priceless. From the healthcare worker’s perspective, what better way to make a living than to get paid to do chessed, bikur cholim, and bring smiles to faces everywhere? Orthodox nurses often recount how when they walk into a room of a Jewish patient, they often encounter a nervous patient suddenly looking calm and saying “ahhhh, a heimishe nurse!” Jewish skilled medical professionals and Home Health Aides are keen to the spiritual needs of their patients, often helping with shabbos arrangements while providing all types of care. It is a great feeling to take care of the whole patient, not just the wounds. Opportunities abound for frum people to pursue a career in healthcare. In today’s shaky economy there is one consensus amongst all analysts – healthcare, especially elder care, is where the growth is and the job market is booming. Salaries for healthcare workers continue to rise as the need continues to grow and they often come with enviable benefits packages. Hospitals and clinics in the metro-

politan area have become more sensitive to the needs of the orthodox and are not just providing chesed rooms, but are also more open to accommodating the needs of their Shabbos observant staff. Nursing, traditionally a woman’s career is now seen as a viable and worthwhile career for men. There is a huge demand amongst the orthodox population for male nurses and home health aides in order to maintain the dignity and modesty of male patients. In addition, many homecare clients of both genders are requesting heimishe caregivers because it is just more comfortable having someone in their home that understands their lifestyle, not just respects it. Our community is full of smart, motivated, compassionate people - young and old - who can use their talents to give back to our own community in immeasurable ways, while making a decent living and having a fulfilling career. With the current national job crisis, those looking for gainful employment, or just looking for a change should take a good look at health care. You can make a difference.

quality and service, they can be pictures of the patient around addressed in a respectful manner, the room that were taken when incorporating the involvement of the patient was healthy and vithe supervisors at the agency to brant, along with family portraits, maintain a professional approach. awards, and other knickknacks The ultimate goal is quality, that demonstrate who your loved healthy and safe home care for one is or once was. This gives the your loved one. A team approach HHA a perspective of the patient is the key to success. Setting clear they may not otherwise see in goals and expectations and solid their current state, and may help family involvement will go a long the HHA develop a deeper empaway to achieving those goals. Pathy and go the  extra mile for the tience and respect for and from all person in their care. sides of the team is essential. Show respect and sensitivity to the needs of the HHAs as well, Mutty Burstein is the Education as they are spending a great deal Outreach Manager of the Patient of time with the patient in an unRelations Department at Amerifamiliar environment.  Whenever care CSS, a Certified Home Health possible, make sure the accommo“...having realistic expectations and Agency. The Americare Companies, dations for them are pleasant and developing a respectful rapport founded in 1982, provide high quality comfortable, have food available home care services in the N.Y. metro for them such as cold drinks, cofwith all members of the team are area, including the 5 boros, Long Isfee, and light snacks, and ask them keys to a pleasant experience for all.” land, and Weschester, Rockland, Orif they have any reasonable special ange, Dutchess, Putnam, Sullivan, requests. Show them you are willand Ulster counties, in the Hudson Valley. Americare integrates ing to go the extra mile for them and they will be more likely compassionate patient care with family needs and is ready to serve to return the favor. HHAs have rights and expectations just 24/7 with registered nurses, home health aides, PT’s, OT’s, speech as patients do. They have a right to a comfortable and safe therapists, and social workers. in addition to all the reguler aspects working environment in an atmosphere of respect and appreof home care, Americare has a special license to work with patients ciation for a job well done. Establish and build a relationship with mental health issues and patients with dementia, Alzheimers, with the agency that provides the home care services. Because and/or depression, as well as the developmentally disabled. Mutty this relationship is so vital to the patients well being, American be reached at 917-287-1636 or care developed a patient relations department so that every for any questions regarding health care or eligibility for medicare, patient/family member has someone in the agency that they medicaid, and managed care. feel comfortable communicating with. If there are issues of

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Dining In Again: | with Faigy Grossman Yes, Purim is in the air. And, like most of us, you are preparing and buying a slew of sweets and delicacies to make your shelach manos packages. But what about the seudah? Check out these great recipes to help you prepare the perfect meal for this occasion. For more ideas pick up your own copy of Dining In Again with over 550 recipes that are sure to delight your family and friends.

CITY spirit march 2011



Delicious and different, this salad has a colorful and festive presentation. It’s perfect for shalosh seudos, a simcha appetizer, or a buffet dish. 2 c. sushi rice 2½ c. water 2½ T. rice vinegar, or to taste 2½ T. sherry or red wine vinegar 1/3 c. plus 1 T. sugar, according to taste 1 T. salt 5 T. oil 1 carrot, shredded 1 large cucumber, chopped, with peel 1 avocado, diced 2 sheets Nori seaweed, torn into pieces 1 T. sesame seeds 1 T. black sesame seeds (optional) ½- 16 oz. pkg. Surimi seafood sticks, sliced 4-6 oz. Nova lox, cut into small pieces YIELD: 6 servings In a saucepan, boil up rice and water and let cook until almost all the water has cooked out. Shut off heat and let

rice cool; cover pot with a towel. In a large bowl, combine next 5 ingredients, stir well to combine. Add vegetables, Nori seaweed, seeds, and fish; stir to combine. Add rice and stir gently.

Golden Mustard Squash Soup When you want a soup that’s a bit different… sophisticated, this one fits the bill. Some onion garlic croutons in a bowl on the table are a pleasant addition to just about any pureed soup. ½ stick margarine 1 c. onion, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped 3 c. chicken stock 2 c. beef stock 1½ lbs. yellow summer squash, diced 1 large (6-8 oz.) potato, peeled and diced ¾ c. dessert topping 1½ T. Dijon mustard ½ tsp. nutmeg (optional) Salt and pepper

Grated carrot and snipped fresh chives YIELD: 6 servings Melt margarine in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and beef stocks, squash, and potato. Raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover pan. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the mixture is very tender. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in topping, mustard, and nutmeg (if using), and then salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with carrot and chives just before serving. Serve cold.

Polynesian Chicken Go gourmet at home! 6 pieces chicken 2-3 T. bottled French dressing

lightly browned and tender. Cook pea pods according to package directions. Just before serving, combine reserved pineapple, cooked pea pods, water chestnuts, and scallions with chicken. Arrange the chicken pieces and the sauce on a large, warm platter. Serve with hot rice.

Salt and pepper, to taste 1- 20 oz. can pineapple chunks in syrup ½ c. chicken broth 2 T. soy sauce 3 T. lemon juice 1 T. cornstarch 1- 7 oz. pkg. frozen pea pods, thawed 1- 5 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and sliced 1/3 c. sliced scallions 2 c. hot cooked rice YIELD: 6 servings

Pear Plum & Dried Cherry Crisp with NutmegWalnut Streusel

Heat oven to 400°. Wash and pat chicken dry. Brush chicken pieces with French dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken, skin side down, in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Raise oven heat to 450°. Drain syrup from pineapple can into a small bowl; reserve pineapple. Add chicken broth and soy sauce to pineapple syrup; mix. In a cup, gradually stir lemon juice into cornstarch; add to pineapple syrup. Pour over chicken and return to oven; bake for 45 minutes, or until chicken is

Delicious! This recipe has a long name and a long list of ingredients, but it’s actually quick and easy to whip up. Streusel: 1¼ c. flour ¾ c. sugar 1½ tsp. ground nutmeg or cinnamon ¼ tsp. salt 1¼ sticks margarine, cut into pieces 1½ c. coarsely chopped walnuts Filling : ½ c. sugar ½ stick margarine (room temperature) ¼ c. orange juice 2 tsp. grated orange peel

1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ tsp. salt 1 c. dried cherries 5-6 large pears, sliced into 1-inch pieces 3 large plums, sliced into 1-inch pieces Streusel: Whisk first 4 streusel ingredients in a bowl. Add margarine and mix until small clumps form. Add walnuts. Filling : Place first six filling ingredients in medium skillet. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Add dried cherries; reduce heat and simmer until fruit begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9x13inch baking dish, preferably glass. Toss cherry mixture, pears, and plums in a large bowl. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle streusel mixture over filling. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. ~ You may substitute the dried cherries with craisins.

New Twists on Popular Favorites! Yes, the creators of Dining In have done it again with their latest cookbook, Dining In Again! With over 550 tantalizing new dishes, this marvelous book is simply bursting with fresh ideas.

Published by Judaica Press, by the Ladies Auxiliary of Yeshiva Masoras Avos

CITY spirit march 2011

Available at Bookstores or Direct from: Yeshiva Masoras Avos 23 Congress Street, Lakewood, NJ 08701 732-942-7522 •


KidSpirit by Fraydee Mozes

Fill In the Blanks

Purim is the holiday that falls out during the Hebrew month of ____1____, on the ____2____ th day. Purim commemorates the day that the Jews were saved from the evil decree which was decided with a ____3____ by the evil man, ____4____. The story of Purim is written in ____5____ ________, which describes the history of the great miracle. It begins with King ____6____ who ruled the Persian Empire. He took a Jewish woman named ____7____ as a wife after he killed his previous wife, ____8____. The new queen’s cousin, ____9____, also helped save the Jews when the decree was announced. With the help of Hashem, the Jews were saved and their enemy was destroyed. We commemorate Purim by wearing ____10____ and exchanging ____11____.

Answers: 1. Adar, 2. 14, 3. Goral/raffle, 4. Haman, 5. Megilas Esther, 6. Acashverosh, 7. Esther, 8. Vashti, 9. Mordechai, 10. Costumes, 11. Mishloach manos

Dressing up for Purim?

Chocolate Anyone?

Send us your picture for a chance to get published in the next issue of KidSpirit!

Who am I? 1. I used to be beautiful but I was cursed and became ugly. 2. We plotted to kill the king. 3. I did not reveal that was a Jew. 4. I wanted to kill the Jews, but my plans were overturned. 5. I refused to bow down to the king’s advisor. 6. I hosted a big feast in Shushan. Answers: 1. Vashti, 2. Bigsan and Seresh, 3. Esther, 4. Haman, 5. Mordechai, 6. Achashverosh

Can You Find It ages 6-11

Yitzchok received a yummy chocolate in mishloach manos this Purim. Only 4 of the 16 squares have an almond in them. His two brothers and sister want to share the chocolate, so Yitzchok decides to divide the chocolate evenly along the lines between the squares so that each piece is the same shape and contains an almond in a different location. Can you help them?

Win a $25 gift certificate to Chabad-Atara

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“The Only Goal of Trial is to Get Money for Your Client.”



-David A. Ball, Ph.D.

Congratula tions to

B r ac h a F


Contest Win er ner November 2010 Issue

All the images above come from pages in this magazine. Name _ ____________________________________________ Find the pages and enter the page numbers in the white boxes. Cut out and fill in the form and mail to: CitySpirit Address_ ___________________________________________ NY Office: 1588 E. 27th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11229. Phone_ ______________________ Age__________________ First entry with all the correct answers wins.


Aggressive Lawyer? If you have a really tough case,

Getting Started Tutorial Find the number that is missing from each grid. Fill in the empty boxes.


Math Wiz Shaindy was preparing bags of candy for mishloach manos. She had 10 jars filled with 50 pieces of candy each. She poured the candy into small bags to get half a jar in each bag. She then had 20 bags of candy. What is the percentage likelihood that there was an average of 25 pieces of candy in a single sack?

Answer: 100%. There are 50 pieces of candy in 10 jars with a total of 500 pieces of candy. If those 500 pieces are divided in to 20 bags, of course the average would be 25 pieces a bag.

Sudoku for Kids

Now, Let's Play Sudoku How to play: Each row (across) must contain the numbers 1 through 9. Each column (up and down) must contain the numbers 1 through 9. Each square box must contain the numbers 1 through 9.

Find the 15 hidden Hamantashen

submitted by Sara Esther 3rd grade Toras Emes, LA


submitted by Tehila Weiner 3rd grade, Toras Emes, LA

CITY spirit march 2011

submitted by Bracha Striks 3rd grade, Toras Emes, LA


 Dental HEALTH

To Bleach or Not To Bleach: Part I| Jonathan D. Pivo, D.D.S.


iving in the shadows of Hollywood, Los Angelenos are well aware of the desire for the “Hollywood Smile”. While crowns and veneers can certainly make dramatic changes to a person’s smile and appearance, teeth whitening (aka bleaching) can also significantly enhance a smile with little side effects and minimal cost. There are numerous products, both over the counter and professionally administered, which can achieve some degree of change in tooth color. Choosing the right product depends on variables such as cost, the amount of whitening desired, gradual or immediate change, and the condition of one’s oral health. In-office bleaching tends to achieve faster and whiter results than over the counter products, but costs significantly more. Bleaching trays distributed by a dentist may achieve re-


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sults comparable to the “one hour” in-office treatment and is less expensive, but work gradually and require patient compliance at home. This may be preferable for those patients who want control over the bleaching process and are concerned over their teeth getting too light. Another factor to consider is that bleaching only affects natural teeth; existing fillings, crowns or veneers will not change color. This point is critical to understand prior to any bleaching treatment. A patient may have beautiful fillings or crowns that match their existing natural teeth. However, once the natural teeth are whitened, those same fillings or crowns may now look dark or yellow leaving the patient with an unbalanced, non-esthetic smile. They can be replaced after whitening to match the new color and often such a treatment plan is agreed to prior to bleaching. However, it is advisable to have the conversation prior to whitening, not after the fact, to ensure expectations are met and satisfaction with the outcome is maximized. Ideally, one’s oral and gingival health should be stable prior to bleaching. This includes no active infections, bleeding of the gums, deep gingival pockets, heavy tartar/calculus or staining. The best results are achieved by whitening soon after a professional cleaning. Managing expectations, planning future dental treatment and choosing the right product and mode of delivery (trays, in-office, strips) are as important a decision as whether or not to bleach. As with any dental treatment, open lines of communication and a conversation of risks versus benefits with a dental professional can help to achieve the best results. Dr. Jonathan Pivo is a cosmetic and general dentist for adults and children in Tarzana and Culver City, CA. This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for regular dental care by a licensed dentist.

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CitySpirit Magazine Passover Issue

Advertising Deadline: March 21 Distribution: May 24 Visit us at

west coast directory Emergency Fire-Police-Ambulance.................... 911 Hatzalah............................ 800-613-1911

Government & Utilities Passport Information.... 310-575-5700

Hospitals Cedars Sinai Medical Center................ 310-423-5000 8700 Beverly Blvd. Children’s Hospital........ 323-660-2450 4650 Sunset Blvd. UCLA Medical Center.......310-825-9111 10833 Le Conte Avenue

Jewish Life Bikur Cholim Bikur Cholim......................323-852-1900 LA Ladies Bikur Cholim... 323-934-2890 . ...................................... 323-936-1685 Chai LifeLine.......................310-274-6331 Teen Development Friendship Circle of LA......................... . ............................310-277-FCLA (3252)


Shatnez Testing Service Kehillah (Mr. Stolz)............ 323-936-8760 Kehilla Shatnez Lab on Holt (Rabbi & Mrs. Sohayeg ).....310-657-5789

Synagogues Los Angeles Fairfax/Hancock Park Agudath Israel of LA-Bais Avigdor................. 323-930-0792 / 323-935-8383 461 N. La Brea Avenue Ahavas Yisroel Synagogue 731 N. La Brea Ave............... 323-937-1247 Aish Tamid of Los Angeles.....323-634-0505 5909 West 3rd St Congregation Bais Naftoli......323-936-4827 221 S. La Brea Avenue Congregation Bais Yehuda..... 323-936-7568 360 N. La Brea Avenue Congregation Eitz Chaim/Bais Moshe Yitzchok 323-634-0535 • 303 S. Highland Ave. Congregation Levi Yitzchok/ Chabad of Hancock Park... 323-954-8381 356 N. La Brea Avenue Congregation Shaarei Tefilla...323-938-7147 7269 Beverly Blvd. Kehillas Yaakov..................... 323-935-8572 7211 Beverly Blvd. Kehillath Yitzchok.................. 323-932-8694 7709 Beverly Blvd. Kollel Los Angeles..................323-933-7193 7216 Beverly Blvd. Kollel Yechiel Yehuda............. 323-939-2041 354 N. La Brea Avenue The Jewish Learning Exchange..................... 323-857-0923 • 512 N. La Brea Avenue Torah Ohr..............................323-933-3111 7200 Beverly Blvd. Young Israel of Hancock Park.323-931-4030 225 S. La Brea Avenue Young Israel of Los Angeles...323-655-0300 660 North Spaulding Avenue

Pico-Robertson/Beverly Hills Adas Torah 1135 S. Beverly Dr..................... 310-552-0460 Aish HaTorah Center..............310-278-8672 9102 W. Pico Blvd.Anshe Emes Synagogue................ 310-275-5640 / . ..................................... 877-ANSHE-EM 1490 S. Robertson Blvd. Beth Jacob Congregation....... 310-278-1911 9030 West Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills Chabad of Bel-Air..................310-475-5311 10421 Summer Holly Crl Chabad of Beverly Hills...........310-271-9063 409 N. Foothill Rd., Beverly Hills Chabad of Brentwood............ 310-826-4453 644 S. Bundy Dr. Chabad of Cheviot Hills.......... 310-558-8770 3185 Motor Avenue, Los Angeles Congregation Magen David.... 310-556-5609 9717 W. Pico Blvd., Beverly Hills Lubavitch of Beverly Hills....... 310-282-0444 9017 W. Pico Blvd., Beverly Hills West Coast Torah Center.........310-271-1180 322 N. Foothill Rd., Beverly Hills Young Israel of Beverly Hills.... 310-742-3717 8701 W. Pico Blvd. Young Israel of Century City... 310-273-6954 9315 W. Pico Blvd. Calabasas The Calabasas Shul .............. 818-725-3118 (at Bay Laurel Elem. School) Calabasas Pkwy. at Paseo Primero Conejo Valley Chabad of Conejo/Agoura Hills 818-991-0991 5998 Conife Street Corona del Mar Chabad of Newport Beach..... 949-721-9800 4720 Cortland Dr. Lomita Chabad of Palos Verdes........ 310-544-5544 28041 S. Hawthorne Blvd. Chabad of South Bay............ 310-326-8234 24412 Narbonne Ave. North Hollywood Adat Yeshurun ...........818-766-4682 12405 12405 Sylvan Street Em Habanim Cong.................818-762-7779 5850 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Shaarey Zedek Cong............. 818-763-0560 12800 Chandler Blvd.

If you want to be added to the shul listing send an e-mail to

CITY spirit march 2011

Beverly Hills/Pico Robertson Mikvah Society of LA ......310-550-4511 9548 West Pico Long Beach Mikvah Chaya V’Sarah Leah................... . .......................................562-427-1360 3847 Atlantic Avenue Los Angeles – Fairfax Mikvah Sarah U’Baila...... 323-939-4297 360 N. La Brea Avenue (across from alley) Mikvah Taharat Chaya.....323-634-0703 303 S. Highland Ave. (by appt. only) North Hollywood Adat Yeshurun Mikvah.....818-766-4610 12405 Sylvan Street The Teichman Mikvah....... 818-760-4567 12800 Chandler Blvd. Palm Springs Mikvah Chaya Mushka..... 760-325-3212 425 Avenida Ortega (Palm Springs Chabad) San Diego Mikvah Israel.................... 619-287-6411 5170 Ladorna

Santa Monica Mikvas Chana (by appt. only).310-829-1324 Tarzana Abraham Dayan Mikvah....818-758-3836 18181 Burbank Blvd. (access from east side of bldg.)


Ohr Simcha...........................818-760-2189 12430 Oxnard NORTHRIDGE Young Israel of Northridge..... 818-368-2221 17511 Devonshire Street Santa Monica Chabad of Marina Del Rey......310-301-9770 2929 Washington Blvd. Venice Pacific Jewish Center.............310-392-8749 505 Ocean Front Walk Young Israel of Venice........... 310-450-7541 1014 Vernon Ave. Westwood Westwood Kehilla..................310-441-5288 10537 Santa Monica Blvd. Huntington Beach Chabad of West Orange County.................... 714-846-2285 • 5052 Warner Ave Irvine Beth Jacob of Irvine.............. 949-786-5230 3900 Michelson Dr. Chabad of Irvine................... 949-786-5000 5010 Barranca Pkwy Young Israel of Orange County..949-300-8899 5319 University Drive (#122) La Jolla Congregation Adat Yeshurun.858-535-0343 8625 La Jolla Scenic Dr. N. Laguna Beach Chabad of Laguna Beach......949-499-0770

30804 S. Coast Hwy. Laguna Niguel Chabad of Laguna Niguel...... 949-831-8475 27655 Niguel Village Dr. Long Beach Cong. Lubavitch of Long Beach.................... 562-426-5480 • 3981 Atlantic Ave. Young Israel of Long Beach....562-427-3163 4134 Atlantic Ave. Mission Viejo Chabad of Mission Viejo.........949-770-1270 24041 Marguerite Pkwy. Palm Springs Chabad of Palm Springs........ 760-325-0774 425 Avenida Ortega San Diego Beth Jacob of San Diego........619-287-9890 4855 College Ave. Chabad of Downtown............. 619-702-8518 472 Third Avenue Yorba Linda North County Chabad Center.714-693-0770 19045 Yorba Linda Blvd.

Places of Interest Cabrillo Marine Aquarium And Beach............ . ...................................... 310-548-7562 3720 Stephen M White Drive, San Pedro California Science Center.................... . .......................................323-724-3623 700 State Drive, Exposition Park Interactive science museum.

Griffith Park Traveltown Museum & Railroad .... 323-662-5874 Los Angeles Zoo..............323-644-4200 Observatory&Planetarium...323-664-1191 Pony Rides.......................323-664-3266 Train Rides.......................323-664-6903 Merry-Go-Round............... 323-665-3051 Huntington Library, Art Collections, And Botanical Gardens..................... . .......................................818-405-2125 1151 Oxford Rd. San Marino J. Paul Getty Museum..... 310-440-7300 1200 Getty Center Drive Collections include European paintings, drawings, decorative arts, sculptures and illuminated manuscripts. Long Beach Aquarium Of The Pacific... . ...................................... 562-590-3100 200 Shoreline Drive, Long Beach Marina Del Ray Boat Rentals............... . .......................................310-574-2822 Sailboat, motorboat and kayak rentals. Museum Of Tolerance.... 310-553-8403 9786 West Pico Blvd. Hands-on experiential museum that focuses on the dynamics of racism and prejudice in America, and the history of the Holocaust. Noah’s Ark for children at Skirball Museum 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd....310-440-4500

community & g'mach directory Babies & Children

CITY spirit march 2011

Baby Equipment Port-a-cribs, pack and plays, car seats, infant bouncers, strollers, bassinettes, booster seats, exer-saucers for short term loan. Miriam Hendeles...................(323) 243-7116


Bris Outfits and Bris Pillow Devora Wieder.....................(323) 939-9276 Ruchie Klein........................(323) 353-2494 Diapers Chumie Unger...................... (323) 932-1094 Penina Frumit Apter............. (310) 557-9726 Dina Kramer........................ (818) 985-2493

Ezer Layoledes Strollers, play pens, high chairs, cribs, car seats for short or long term loan. Bella Greenfield.................. (323) 934-0178 Nursing Pumps Andi Shochet...................... (818) 753-9562 Dassi Weiner...................... (818) 509-7791 New born baby care packages Sandy Gordon......................(310) 838-8591 Uniforms Exchange and/or purchase of previously owned uniforms Toras Emes and Bais Yaakov Rochelle Frankel................. (323) 896-3335

Clothing Children’s Costume G’mach Bubby Goldie’s (L’ilui Nishmas Chana Golda Krausz) Abi Katz ............................. (323) 395-7465 Miriam Montag.................. (323) 646-5988 Global Kindness Yaelle Cohen..................... (310) 286-0800 Kehila Shatnez Testing Joe Stoltz........................... (323) 936-8760

Counseling and Health Aleinu / Orthodox Counseling Program 24 hour hotline.............. (310) 247-0534

Chai Lifeline West Coast Regional Office Non profit Jewish organization dedicated to providing support services to seriously ill children and their families..... (310) 274-6331 Etta Israel Serving the special needs children of the Jewish Community...............(818) 985-3882 Hospital Gowns Tznuis hospital clothing for women Sara Pinter ....................... (323) 931- 1598 Jewish Healthcare Foundation Avraham Moshe Bikur Cholim If you need or would like to donate blood to someone............................. (323) 852-1900

Furniture, Home, Dishes 2nd Chance Rivky Farber........................ (323) 851-1000 Folding Beds (Evenings only) Esti Tendler ......................... (310)557-3461 Keilim Mikvah Directory Anshe Emes Keilim Mikva 1490 S. Robertson..............(310) 275-5640 Shaaray Zedek Keilim Mikva 12800 Chandler..................(818) 763-0560 Young Israel Keilim Mikva 225 S. LaBrea Ave...............(323) 931-4030 Mezuzah Gemach Irwin Lowi............................ (323) 932-1025

Financial Aid Services Financial Jewish Free Loan Assistance Small interest free loans City . ................................. (323) 761-8830 Valley................................. (818) 464-3331

Tables and Chairs Steven Oscherowitz..............(323) 937-1194

Hachnosas Kallah Financial assistance and/ or guidance to needy kallahs in planning their wedding........ ......................................... (323) 938-8074 The Tzedakah Fund Small Interest-Free Loans.... (323) 939-0862

Benchers (L’ilui Nishmas Ahron Ben Yissachar) Mrs. Kest ........................... (323) 937-7060

Food Masbia (L’ilui Nishas Chaim Yosef ben Aron Aryeh) Share your simcha – call for info or to arrange pickup of leftover food from your simcha .......................................... (323) 851-1000 ..........................................(323) 997-6500 Tomchei Shabbos Provides Shabbos food packages for families in need. Call to request an application. .......................................... (323) 851-1000 Arbis Arbis for Shalom Zachor Aviva Maller.........................(323) 931-9420

Legal Services

Criminal/Arrest Guidance LA County Sheriff Department. Shirley Freidman (for women).(323) 568-4703 Howard Winkler (for men)..... (323) 939-9236

Special Occasion Flowers, Centerpieces & Mirrors Mrs. Niehaus.......................(323) 938-2406 Michal Pouraty-Yad Simcah.. (310) 525-7336 Tablecloth Gemach Tablecloths available to borrow (call for hours) Rochel Haberman............... (323) 899-5390 Estie Silber......................... (323) 652-6658 Wedding Shtick Bubby’s Shtick-Mona Riss.... (818) 761-5077 Rivky Farber........................ (323) 744-1608 Nechama Denbo....................(310) 788-398

Weddings & Special Occasions

Chupah candle holders, poles, Kallah chair Mrs. Lebovics . ...................(323) 933-3377

Counseling & Health

Clothing for Relatives of Chosson & Kallah For women and children Mrs. Dena Wolmark ............ (323) 934-4151 Penina Fisher.......................(323) 933-7292

Dr. Navideh Levy-Failer, PSY. D.

Hachnasas Kallah Gift Gemach Volume DonationsLibby Lehman......................(323) 935-3791 Individual GiftsLeba Hertz.......................... (323) 574-7054

When In New York...

Chuppah/Simcha Cards Tehillim cards for use at the chuppah Rochel Haberman................. 323)899-5390 Hachnasas Kallah Bridal Gowns Esther Braun ...................... (323) 933-2817 Ahuva Goldstein.................. (323) 938-8660 Gitty Feingold...................... (323) 933-1197 Malka Breitman.................. (323) 938-8008 Sarah Frankel......................(323) 934-7983 Mechitzah Gemach Rivka Berkowitz................... (818) 331-3884

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CITY spirit march 2011

Bet Tzedek Legal Services Free legal counsel to the eligible needy and Holocaust reparations assistance. ......................................... (323) 939-0506

Simcha Gemach (L’ilui Nishmas Rebbetzin Bella Simcha) 48 Mini challah covers, 2 large challah covers, 18 kiddush cups with trays, 50 bentchers. (323) 931-0306 Esther Mayerfeld -Al Hamichya cards in lucite stands........... (323) 933-1891



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CITY spirit march 2011

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unt Jenny was very involved with her store, yet when my mother wasn’t feeling too well, she left the store with her sales lady for about three hours to see how we were doing. We all never forgot that. But one day, I visited her and she came over to my older daughter and told her that she had a gift for her. It was a mini dress. I said, “Where is the rest of it?” She said, “Why are you so fanatic? It is very stylish, I am giving it to her, not selling it.” I put my arms around her and said, “I love you very much but when it comes to being careful about how they look from a Jewish perspective, I hope you don’t oppose me when I don’t let her take this nice outfit. It is not for us.” My daughter, age fifteen at the time, looked at me and said, “I will wear it when we visit our irreligious relatives.” I said just the opposite. I said to Tante Jenny, “I would appreciate no interference when I tell my children that something is out of order for our style of life.” And then Aunt Jenny turned to my daughter said, “Of course you should listen to your mother.” I explained to my daughters that Tante Jenny is a special woman in our life but she doesn’t have the same religious values as we do, so I will have to remind you from time to time. I looked at my older daughter who was disappointed, and told her that the day that I wear that kind of dress she can too. That was the end of that. It was very honest and firm, no compromise. I feel that a mother is strengthened when she takes control of such issues, and the child gains a sense of security as well. It was effective. It took a lot of courage to say that to my aunt. But I had to, I was teaching my girls a lesson. Mrs. Beck is a beloved educator and lecturer and has been for over fifty years. She taught at Central and Shulamis high schools for girls and gave weekly shiurim in the Syrian community, often to three generations in the same class! Mrs. Beck has always sought the advice of Gedolim while working with many families (helping save marriages and keeping children on the derech). Mrs. Beck has also been giving lectures in the Los Angeles Jewish community which is, as she says, her second home!

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Touro College Los Angeles

For more information, please call 323-822-9700 x 85155 or email

1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood • 323 822 9700 • email: Touro College Los Angeles is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges: 985 Atlantic Ave. #100, CA 94501; Tel. 510-748-9001. Touro College is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

*For those who qualify

March 2011  

West coast jewish family interest magazine

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