Vol. 1 Issue 7
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Dancing with the Angels
The boy replied: “Ich tantz mit di malachim!” (I am dancing with the angels.) Inexplicably, the Nazi let the boy live.
We are the Jewish nation, and we are here to stay. These lights will pierce through all worldly darkness, and will never be extinguished.
BY Chaya Shuchat
Rabbi Yossi Lew THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published bimonthlyand is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Melbourne THE COMMUNITY LINKS accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisers. All submissions become the property of THE COMMUNITY LINKS and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles published in THE COMMUNITY LINKS express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views ofTHE COMMUNITY LINKS. No artwork or any part of the magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher. Published By COMMUNITY LINKS MEDIA for MELBOURNE COMMUNTIY LINKS Printed by mpd – printing the news everyday Unit E1, 46-62 Maddox Street Alexandria NSW 2015, 2011
Fit & Healthy in Pregnancy
Exercise will enhance your energy levels and help you cope with the physical and emotional changes.
Recipe Spanish Doughnuts (Churros)
Miriam’s Recipe Corner
COMMUNITY LINKS • Volume 1 Issue 7 4 DECEMBER / CHANUKAH 2012
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DANCING WITH THE ANGELS By Rabbi Yossi Lew
Over a year ago, I visited Poland as part of the “March of the Living,” which takes high school juniors and seniors for a week to Poland to visit the horrors of the Holocaust (And then a week in Israel.) We were in the shtetl (Jewish village) call Tykocin, not too far from Bialestock. We visited the still standing spectacular shul (synagogue). What distinguishes this refurbished shul is not just its beauty; it is its walls. The walls of this 400-year-old shul are decorated with words from the prayer book. The entire service to welcome the Sabbath is on the wall. Many other prayers, painted attractively, cover all four walls. Perhaps there were not that many books available in that time, certainly not in this remote shtetl, so they painted the words on the tall walls in paint that really lasts. Just being present in a place where Jews came to pray for 400 years is extremely moving. After we prayed there, we were told a provoking and moving story about a survivor from a small shtetl who, on his deathbed, said he was looking forward to “tantzen mit di malachim” – dancing with the angels – after his passing. When he was a youngster, the Nazis invaded his town during the festival of Sukkos (1939.) All of the Jews in his town were ordered to assemble in the town’s main square. Understanding that they were soon to leave town, the boy asked his father how 6 DECEMBER / CHANUKAH 2012
they would be able to dance on the festival of Simchat Torah. As SS guard overheard the boy’s innocent question and said “tantzen? You want to dance?” With that he grabbed the boy together with three others, and made them dance in a circle. He then shot one of the kids through the head and told the other three to continue dancing or they would be shot too. He then shot another to death, and then another, leaving just that young man, the one who had asked about dancing. He ordered that young man to continue dancing alone. And so, arms stretched out to the air, the young man continued turning around in sheer terror, scarred forever. The Nazi beast then asked the boy, “With whom are you dancing?” The boy replied: “Ich tantz mit di malachim!” (I am dancing with the angels.) Inexplicably, the Nazi let the boy live. After surviving the Holocaust, this person would always find some time during the yearly dancing on Simchat Torah to dance on his own in the middle of the circle, just as he did as a boy in the town square. He called it the “malachim tantz”.” Now, on his deathbed, he was talking about how he would soon be dancing with the angels, this time for real. TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031
After this story we all stood up and danced. We danced for the members of that shul whose final dance was brutally ended in gunfire or in gas, and who are now dancing with the angels. We danced because we were here in the name of those holy martyrs, while the vile beasts who sent them to heaven are in Purgatory. And we danced because this is our response to that eternally damned villain, Hitler. The way I see it, there is nothing we could say or do that would be more powerful than to dance. For the eternal dance of the Jew is just that: no one can, or will ever, succeed in making it stop. During the Holocaust, heroism was not just exhibited in the Warsaw ghetto uprising or by the partisans. Their actions were worthwhile, their deeds are certainly worthy of recalling and preserving. However, no less impressive was the Jew who maintained his or her faith in the hellish conditions, or the Jew who with even less than the meager rations did not hesitate to fulfill another mitzvah, or those who endangered their lives to wear tefillin, to pray, to study Torah, and to sing songs of belief like “Ani Maamin” (“ I believe.…in the coming of Moshiach”) on their way to the gas chambers. We must
recall, never to forget, the heroism of those who maintained their Judaism and their belief in G-d through impossible conditions. More and more stories like this are being revealed. Stories that leave one with incredible encouragement and inspiration to learn what Jewish people did under the worst circumstances in history. In a time when G-d was hiding His face, these Jews, many of them simple and plain folk, never stopped looking for Him. It is almost 70 years since the Holocaust. Survivors are diminishing in numbers. Third and fourth generation Jews are not hearing about the experience of the Holocaust as part of their day-to-day life. If special measures are not taken to impart information on the Holocaust, the forthcoming generations will consider this recent event as part of a distant and far-off history. These measures must be taken up by parents and educators alike. Reprinted with permission from the N’shei Chabad Newsletter. Rabbi Yossi Lew lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is the Dean of the Atlanta Rabbinic Ordination Program
olive oil was indeed more refined or superior than the “defiled” oil, and we’ll accept your religious ritual. But the Jews did not and could not offer any earthly evidence that this oil was any different than other oil. All they had was their faithfulness to a standard that existed purely in the realm of spirit.
Pure Oil By Chaya Shuchat
It looked the same, smelled the same, tasted the same. There was nothing in that little jar of oil to distinguish it from any other pure grade, virgin olive oil. The only distinct thing about it was the seal of the high priest, signifying that it was ritually pure. But the Jews insisted on using only the ritually pure oil, and no other, to light the menorah in the Holy Temple, thus precipitating the renowned miracle of Chanukah. “Ritually pure.” What, exactly, is that? What properties does a ritually pure sample of olive oil have that the others don’t? What laboratory tests can be performed to measure degrees of ritual purity? There are none. Ritual purity is a state that has no parallel in the physical universe; it exists solely in the world of the spirit. The Jewish tenacity in adhering to their rigorous rules of purity and impurity drove the rationalistic Greeks berserk. This was why, when plundering the Holy Temple, they defiled every jar of oil that they could get their hands on. The obstinacy of the Jews enraged them. Why did the Jews insist on living in a reality that no one else could see, one that was unverifiable by empirical evidence? Bring a proof, bring evidence that the “pure”
Mind you, the Greeks were not strangers to the world of the spirit. They had their own finely developed culture with drama, art, philosophy and religion, rivaling anything in modern times. But their aesthetic had a certain logic to it; it appealed to human instincts. The Jews followed rules that did not conform to any human system of thought. They unapologetically declared their allegiance to a Master who was above human logic and understanding. Not much has changed in the 2000 years of Jewish existence since the Chanukah story. As an observant Jewish woman, I often field questions about my lifestyle from curious, usually friendly outsiders. I don’t mind these questions at all; in fact, I enjoy the challenges they present to me. But in the questions I hear echoes of the ancient Greeks. “What’s the point of covering your hair with a wig, if it’s just as attractive as your own hair?” “The kosher laws may have made sense before modern refrigeration and sanitation. But in today’s world, what makes kosher meat different than non-kosher?” “I understand Shabbat is a special day of the week. But is turning on a light that big of a deal?” I do the best I can to answer these questions truthfully and intelligently. But before I can formulate an answer for someone else, I must turn to myself first and ask, why? Why, indeed, do I follow these laws? What compels me to observe Shabbat, eat only kosher, or maintain the
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intricate laws of family purity? As I question myself, I realize that all the beautiful, eloquent explanations I find do not really express the core reason for why I keep the commandments. Not that those answers are not truthful; they are all absolutely sincere. Shabbat is truly a magnificent experience, a day that nurtures me and gives me strength to cope with the week to come. Keeping kosher helps me be more mindful of the act of eating, and elevates all my physical functions to a higher plane. Observing the laws of modesty enhances my relationship with my husband and brings us closer together. But none of these reasons really explain why I keep these laws. What is my real motivation, the “why” behind my observance? It’s a sentiment that is not very easy to articulate, especially to a slightly mocking stranger. It sounds almost uncouth, too raw and unsophisticated to declare that I observe Jewish laws because I am a Jew, and G‑d commanded me to do so. As a 21st-century Jew, I am still battling an inner foe, a modern incarnation of the ancient Greek who derides open displays of faith. That inner Greek is comfortable with rational, cultural or psychological explanations for the commandments. Observance based on faith sounds scary and out of touch with modern-day reality. But that’s the whole point—as Jews we’ve never been in touch with everyone else’s reality, modern or otherwise. Being Jewish means having a connection with a reality that’s out of view of the physical senses: a reality in which the difference between pure and impure, kosher and non-kosher, Shabbat and weekday, is self-evident and intuitive. The miracle of Chanukah that we commemorate each year is a celebration of that essential connection we have with that which is beyond reason.
As I said, it’s not easy for me to express my faith in words. Words are for communicating thoughts, concepts, philosophies. Words are what we use to bridge the gap, when my reality is different from yours. But the faith that is in me, my soul-bond with G‑d, is the same as in you. Mitzvot are not a philosophy; they are our life, our essence. That’s why mitzvot can’t really be explained. They need to be felt, experienced, through tangible physical acts. Like laying tefillin. Or placing a coin in a charity box. Or lighting a candle. That’s another “why” question that Chanukah often invokes. It’s such a warm little holiday, a nice alternative to all the commercialized glitz out there. We can celebrate at home, share latkes and jelly donuts, play a few rounds of dreidel and sing Maoz Tzur. But why all the publicity? Why the huge menorahs and celebrations? Why does Jewish law stipulate that we must light the menorah by either the window or the door, at a time of night when passersby are likely to see it? The answer is really the culmination of all of those “why” questions: because it’s not enough to hold my faith hidden deep in my heart like a treasure. It can’t just remain “up there,” in the spiritual realm. It needs to be expressed and articulated; it must find a home within the physical, commonplace world. We kindle the Chanukah lights in public to make a proud statement to everyone, curious strangers and mocking Greeks alike: We are the Jewish nation, and we are here to stay. These lights will pierce through all worldly darkness, and will never be extinguished. BY CHAYA SHUCHAT Chaya Shuchat is a mother of four, a teacher and freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
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Pesach in the Gold Coast Community Links: Following your successful Pesach retreat last year in Anglesea, what prompted you to choose the Gold Coast this year? David Trachtman: We felt that the Gold Coast is the place to be. The weather is more predictable and consistent. There are more things to do. We’re also aiming to attract participants from Sydney and hopefully from overseas. C.L. Why did you chose the Watermark Hotel from all the hotels in the Gold Coast? D.T. We felt that the Watermark was consistent with our aim of providing our clients with the best possible accommodation, service and attention. C.L. Will the Watermark be able to deal with specific requirements of the Passover Holiday, i.e. koshering the kitchen, Shabbat & Yom Tov nuisances etc ? D.T. Absolutely. They are familiar with our requirements because they have catered Passover holidays in the past (which is why we feel quite confident). Also, Alisa, the hotel manager, has traveled to Melbourne and made a point to meet with me to discuss various details.
Would $500 assist you with education costs?
I will be traveling to the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks for a thorough inspection. There is a concierge on site 24/7 and professional waiting staff to assist us with food service at any time. To insure customer satisfaction, there will be more kitchen & waiting staff ratio than last year. C.L. Can you tell us more about the hotel’s specific location ? D.T. The Watermark is conveniently located in the centre of Surfers Paradise, across from the synagogue, where we plan to join Rabbi Nir Gurevitch in the Gold Coast Jewish community for Yom Tov services. C.L. Can you tell our readers about any new dishes you intend to introduce into your menu ? D.T. We will be repeating the dishes that received the best feedback from last year. Among many, there will be beetroot vichyssoise, tapioca spring rolls, quinoa taboulleh, aged scotch fillet, and of course our signature dish for the 7th day of Pesach – “Splitting of the Red Sea”, which is a trio of Ocean trout, Tuna & Barramundi, served with appropriate side dishes. C.L. Any intriguing and unusual dishes? D.T. Here’s two: “Matzo meal-free spaghetti with meat balls and “cous cous with chickpeas” ( no gebroks and no kitniyot).”
You could receive up to $500 to help pay for educational costs including text books, computers, excursions and swimming lessons.
C.L. What about families with kids? Are you intending to provide any activities for children?
Saver Plus is delivered by Jewish Care Victoria in your local area and is looking for new participants.
D.T. We will be providing staff to run kid’s activities. The hotel is also helping us to organize baby sitting service at times when parents wish to take a break.
You may be eligible if you or your partner:
C.L. Why will this year’s Pesach retreat will be even better then last year ?
ave a Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card re at least 18 years old ave some regular income from work ave a child at school, or attend accredited vocational training yourself
D.T. Last year was somewhat new & experimental. We have analyzed the feedback we received from our clients and took it on board. We have identified the areas that need fine-tuning and which aspects deserve to be replicated. We will be spending more money on more staff and more variety of food.
To find out more contact Deena Elmakeas, Saver Plus Worker at Jewish Care Victoria on 8517 5670 or email@example.com
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FIT AND HEALTHY IN PREGNANCY Shira Kramer Exercising during your pregnancy is essential if you want to minimize aches and pains, keep a healthy body-weight, maintain muscle tone and control your pelvic floor. Exercise will also enhance your energy levels and help you cope with the physical and emotional changes. If you’re new to fitness or even if you’re an old hand at it, always check with your doctor healthcare provider before you start anything. Seek the guidance of a women’s health physiotherapist for a safe pregnancy exercise program. Top 5 moves you need to know 1. Pelvic floor muscle exercises need to be integrated into any pregnancy exercise regime. These important muscles are responsible for controlling the bowel, bladder and uterus in women. They also have an important role to play in controlling where and when you go to the toilet (continence). Due to the increasing weight of the baby along with the effects of hormones, these muscles become stretched and weakened through pregnancy. 1 in 3 women who have had a baby will suffer from pelvic floor issues. By exercising your pelvic floor muscles effectively throughout your pregnancy you will be in better shape to control what goes on down under. If in doubt seek help from a women’s health physiotherapist. 2. Core (deep abdominal) exercises The core muscles are the foundation of your body. The deep abdominal muscles are important in sup12 DECEMBER / CHANUKAH 2012
porting the weight of the baby and protecting your back and pelvis. They are often stretched and weakened through pregnancy leading to back pain, poor posture and pelvic floor problems. The outer abdominals can also separate in the centreline (called diatstisis rectus abdominus muscles). This occurs in 2 out of 3 women in the third trimester. By exercising the deep core muscles your back will cope better with your changing shape and the abdominal muscles are less likely to stretch. Also the stronger you keep your insides the faster you will recover and return to your pre pregnancy shape. 3. Squats - Due to your changing posture and the belly shifting your centre of gravity forward the thigh muscles may become weak. Strong thighs are important in preparation for the activities of motherhood (lifting, pushing pram, carrying bubs). The stronger your legs are the healthier your back will be – not to mention preventing the pregnancy waddle. Squats are a fabulous functional exercise to get those legs strong for the physical workout of motherhood. 4. Upper Back - The weight of the growing baby and increasing bust size puts extra pressure on your upper back. To counteract this you need to strengthen your upper back (i.e muscle between your shoulder blades). Using dumbells and resistance bands are a great way to do this, and these exercises are often integrated into pregnancy exercise classes. 5. Pelvic mobility exercises - Pelvic tilts and circlesTo minimise joint stiffness and prevent aches and TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031
pains. It will also help to prevent and manage backache and ease away tension in the lower back. Do these either standing, on the floor in a four point knees position (ie all four) or sitting on a fitball. Gone is the myth that pregnancy is not the time to start an exercise routine! Many women who are non-exercisers often see pregnancy as an opportunity to look after themselves and to prioritise their health and fitness. After all pregnancy itself is a workout, so the fitter you are the more you will enjoy this time. Make sure you start gently and slowly and always listen to your body. If you are new to exercise always check with your doctor or healthcare provider prior to starting. Seek the guidance of a women’s health physiotherapist or a personal trainer (who specifically works with pregnancy) for a tailored program to suit your level and abilities. Gentle walking, swimming and stationary bike are fantastic low impact gentle ways to start. Or try out prenatal pilates or low impact pregnancy exercise classes. ***Special offer - mention this article and receive a discounted Prenatal or Postnatal Assessment with a Women's Health Physiotherapist and complimentary class for only $65. Valued at $149. Just quote 'We love screaming babies!' (Conditions apply. To be used prior to 1/3/13). Written by Shira Kramer Womens Health Physiotherapist (BeActive Physio) www.beactive physio.com • 1300 550 622 10 Cecil Place Prahran VIC 3181 289-291 Kooyong Road Elsternwick 3185 At BeActive Physio, we are specialists in women’s health physiotherapy. All our exercise and pilates classes are designed and run by our highly experienced female women’s health physiotherapists. INFO@COMMUNITYLINKS.COM.AU
Can you spot the differences in these two pictures? On Sunday, 19 Cheshvan / November 4, Tzivos Hashem & the Melbourne Jewish community gathered to commemorate the memory of Leiby Kletzky a”h, marked by the dedication of the long awaited new children’s Tora Photo credit: Pinni Flescher Double take your picture. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHANGES KEEP SCORE
qq qq qq qq qq 1. A balloon has changed colours. 2. The street light is missing. 3. A boy’s shirt has changed colours. 4. The truck has an extra stripe. 5. There is an extra letter on the sign. 6. The speaker is shorter. 7. The boy’s sleeve is longer. 8. There is an extra balloon. 9. A person in the crowd is now wearing a black hat. 10. A window is now closed.
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Miriam’s Recipe Corner
`téxÄ gÉä4 Baby Boy Yakov & Mushkie Feiglin (nee Feigenson) Damien & Hila Urban (nee: Yemini) Dovi & Mushka Barber (nee: Krinsky) Mr. and Mrs Ezra Moshe Riva & Burry Reisz (nee: Pacanowski) Michael & Ruchie Donat (nee: Cowen) Rabbi Naphtaly & Miriam Abenaim (nee: Adelist) Brendan & Freda Rothschild (nee: Werdiger)
Baby Girl Devorah Leah & Ari Schachter (nee: Belfer) Shmuel & Rivki Karnowsky (nee: Procel) Shalom and Tanya Shaltiel (nee: Eckstein) Michael & Leah Budlender Elozor & Tilly Hersh (nee: Garfunkel) Moshe & Gittle Gopin (nee: Kluwgant) Daniel & Ruth Gould (nee: Laufer) Lana & Yoni Glatt (nee: Moshel) Menachem & Mushkie Rapp (nee: Pil)
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Spanish Doughnuts (Churros) Ingredients Doughnuts: 50 g caster sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 125 g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 x 15ml tablespoon olive oil 250 ml freshly boiled water Approx 500 ml vegetable (or
corn) oil for frying Chocolate sauce: 100g good quality chocolate 25g milk chocolate 1 x 15 ml tablespoon golden syrup 150 ml double cream
Directions Mix the cinnamon and sugar for the doughnuts in a wide, shallow dish. This is to coat the doughnuts in later. Melt all the chocolate sauce ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, really gently, and once the chocolate starts to melt, stir everything together & take off the heat and leave in a warm place To make doughnuts, put the flour into a bowl & stir in the baking powder then beat in the olive oil & 250ml freshly boiled water from a kettle. Keep mixing until you have a warm, sticky dough, & leave to rest for about 10 minutes or for as long as it takes oil to heat up Heat the oil for frying in a smallish saucepan; it should come about 1/3 of the way up the sides of the pan. When you think it's hot enough toss in a cube of bread & if it sizzles and browns in about 30 seconds, the oil is hot enough. (If you have the means to check, the oil should be 170*C. Keep a watchful eye over pot at all times. When ready, load a piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle (8mm) & fill with the dough. Squeeze short lengths (approx. 4 - 5 cm) of dough into the hot oil, snipping them with a pair of scissors as you go. Cook about 3 or 4 at a time, once they turn a rich golden brown, fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula with tongs onto a baking sheet lined with some paper towel. To keep the cooked doughnuts warm while you fry the remaining dough, transfer them, after blotting with paper towel, to a parchement-lined baking sheet & hold in a low oven (100*C) Even if you let them sit out of the oven, they do need 5-10 minutes to rest before you eat them to allow them to set inside Toss all the hot doughnuts into the sugar and cinnamon & shake them about to get a good covering, just before serving Once you have finishing making the doughnuts, pour the chocolate sauce into individual pots (to avoid double-dipping dilema) and dip n dunk away. TO ADVERTISE 0411.395.031
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PASSOVER IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS
www.pesach-blue-mountains.com.au Join us for a wonderful and unique Pesach holiday experience in the NSW Blue Mountains. Includes 10 Days / 9 Nights in the garden setting of Leura Gardens Resort just minutes from Blue Mountains attractions. t Two Gazebo Gardens seders t Thought provoking Shiurim t Series of interesting lectures t Pesach davening services led by Rabbi Selwyn Franklin t Enjoy local tours t Light entertainment daily t Full Board - Gourmet kosher caterering by Passion8
Visit our website for additional information
Email: email@example.com Debbie: 03 9525 8284 - Melbourne Avi: 0408 000 110 - Sydney