Friday, January 7, 2011 • 2 Shevat 5771
What’s Needed In Orthodox Leadership
It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman – Set To Join Muslim Superhero Crew
By Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
By David Lev
I want to share some of my recent thinking about leadership in the Orthodox Jewish community with you. There are a number of reasons why leadership is on my mind at this particular time. We have just begun to read the opening parshiyos of Shemos. The story of our many years of slavery in Egypt and of our redemption has begun to unfold. We have been introduced to Moshe, Aharon, and Miriam and have begun to read of the Almighty’s miraculous wonders culminating in the ten plagues and the splitting of the sea. We will soon read of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. There is an important theme that runs through the entire book of Shemos. It is the theme of leadership. It is the story of a man who is a reluctant leader and who is well aware of those of his handicaps that disqualify him from that role. But the role is thrust upon him, and we begin to learn so much about the importance of leadership for human society in general, and for the Jewish people in particular. Besides the parshiyos hashavua, which all of us are now studying, there is an important event about to occur for many of us. I am referring to the upcoming biannual Convention of the Orthodox Union. As executive vice president, emeritus of that organization, I am joining my many colleagues at the OU, the officers and lay
Islamist propaganda is taking a new tack, and for comic book fans, it’s the irony to end all ironies: Superman, created by two nice Jewish boys from Cleveland and rife with Jewish themes and imagery, is hooking up with a band of Muslim superheroes to pursue truth, justice, and the Muslim way – which would presumably include putting an end to the existence of Israel, a basic religious tenet of jihadi Islam. But as a member of the Justice League of America and the property of DC Comics, Superman apparently has little say in the matter, and he, along with Batman, Aquaman, and other JLA members, will be featured in the adventures of a group called The 99. Already a popular print product in the Gulf states, The 99 is coming to the U.S., and has even been developed into a TV series for new kids’ cable network, The Hub. The 99 is the brainchild of Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, founder and CEO of Kuwait’s Teshkeel Media Group. The 99 consists of 99 teenagers from around the world, each of whom bears an Arabic name from
the Koran that reflects one of the 99 attributes of Allah, as recorded in the Koran. The comic itself ﬁrst appeared in 2006 in Arabic, and an English language version was produced for the U.S. a year later (nearly 30 issues have been released in the U.S. already). A movie has been rumored, and last year a theme park – one of several planned – based on the The 99’s characters opened in Kuwait. In a number of interviews, Al-Mutawa has said that in the group’s adventures he tries to avoid religious content exclusive to Islam, and instead concentrates on universal virtues such as the ﬁght against evil; cooperation; and friendship – which he sees as Islamic values as well. Al-Mutawa recruited several veterans of the comics industry – longtime artists who worked for DC and Marvel Comics – to work with him on The 99. In a recent interview, he said he had a hard time convincing some of the artists to work with him, given the attitude of many Americans to Islam in the wake of 9/11. (Continued on Page 3)
(Continued on Inside Back Page)
Panel from a special two-page feature by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that appeared in the Feb. 27, 1940 issue of Look magazine. Superman and several other classic American comic-book characters will be joining a popular group of Muslim superheroes in print and on TV.
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THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, January 7, 2011
Hoenlein Confirms Meeting With Assad In Syria
Malcolm Hoenlein, longtime executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, confirmed on Monday that he recently met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. Hoenlein said he’d been invited by the Syrians and that, contrary to initial media reports in Israel, the trip was not made at the request of the Israeli government. “I did not go as a negotiator, nor did I go as a mediator or with any messages,” Hoenlein added. “I went in order to address humanitarian concerns.” He added that Assad “announced while we were there the rehabilitation of synagogues and cemeteries.”
WikiLeaks: Iran Can Reach Israel In 12 Minutes
Iran has missiles that can reach Israel in 12 minutes, according to cables released by WikiLeaks. Former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi told a U.S. Congressional delegation in November 2009 that the Islamic Republic had over 300 missiles that can reach the Jewish state in up to 12 minutes, according to the cables released on Sunday. He also reportedly told the lawmakers he was preparing Israel’s military for a major war against Hamas. Ashkenazi told the delegation the threat from Hamas and Hizbullah is more acute than the Iranian threat, due to their proximity to Israel. He also said Hizbullah has over 40,000 rockets capable of reaching all of Israel, and that Hamas could hit Tel Aviv. (JTA)
Rebbetzin Pam Passes Away
Rebbetzin Sarah Pam, wife of Rabbi Avraham Pam, zt”l, died Monday afternoon at age 94. Rav Pam, one of the Torah world’s foremost Torah leaders, never hesitated to praise the important place his wife occupied in his life and in the raising of their children. He died in 2001. Rebbetzin Pam is survived by three sons and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
INDEX 24/7 Z’manim .................... 54 Kosher .............................. 34 Auto .................................. 56 Lesson in Emunah ............ 25 Beres ............................. M42 Letters ........................... 5, 77 Challenge*Butman ............ 28 Machberes ........................ 78 Classified .......................... 80 MM Weiss ......................... 60 Communal Calendar ......... 54 Media Monitor*Maoz ......... 13 Community Currents ......... 32 On Our Own*Kupfer ...... M40 Covenant*Sacks ............... 18 Queens & LI ...................... 31 Crossword Puzzle .......... M40 Q & A*Y Klass .................. 26 Daf Yomi ............................ 30 Rebbetzin Jungreis ........... 16 Daf Yomi Topics*Grunfeld . 62 Respler ............................. F2 Dining Guide ..................... 36 Rockland County*Grossman 24 Editorials ............................. 5 Senior Forum*Magill ......... 31 Eidelberg ....................... M42 Service Directory .............. 86 Expounding*Stone ............ 61 Simcha Planner ................ 53 Family Fun Page ............ M49 Singles .............................. 55 Family Issues ................. F1-4 Soloveitchik*Ziegler .......... 69 Feiglin ............................... 68 Tales of Gaonim*S Klass M46 Game Corner*Kastner ... M44 Tales of Midrash*B’Moshe M47 Goldwasser ....................... 26 Teens & Twenties ........... M50 Halachic Questions*Cohen 26 Time Capsule ................... 65 Hertzberg ....................... M43 Travel ................................ 58 I Remember When*Fine ... 51 Week in Review ................ 38 Im Yirtzeh*Cohen .............. 55 West Coast ....................... 75 Informed Sources*Walz ...... 9 Women’s Outlook .......... M40
Friday, January 7, 2011
THE JEWISH PRESS
Shin Bet Foils Planned Missile Attack On Jerusalem Stadium
By Steve K. Walz Jewish Press Israel Correspondent JERUSALEM – Two suspected Hamas terrorists were arrested in East Jerusalem earlier this week after Shin Bet agents discovered the pair were in the advanced stages of planning a series of attacks across Jerusalem, including a potentially devastating missile strike on Teddy Stadium during a Beitar Jerusalem Premier League soccer game. The terrorists, Moussa Hamada and Bassam Omri, who boasted of their membership in the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical political movement that seeks to overthrow the pro-Western Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi governments, hatched their plot in the wake of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which targeted the Hamas regime in Gaza nearly two years ago. As residents of East Jerusalem, Hamada and Omri were able to freely scout locations for their planned attacks, including a hill overlooking Teddy Stadium, located directly across from the bustling Malha Mall. The Shin Bet reportedly discovered the terror cell after Hamada and Omri purchased guns from a local dealer and were allegedly trying to secure explosive devices from another source in East Jerusalem. On Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph of London re-
vealed that one of Hamada’s cousins and another associate who were employed at the British Consulate in East Jerusalem were also arrested by the Shin Bet as co-conspirators. (Dozens of East Jerusalem Arabs are employed as support personnel and security guards at various consulates.) During the course of the undercover investigation Shin Bet agents also unearthed a substantial Hamas network operating throughout Jerusalem, especially on the Temple Mount, where the terror organization is funding “student and tourism activities.” The plot to fire a missile at Teddy Stadium (which can hold more than 20,000 people) during a Beitar Jerusalem game was seen as an attempt to kill and maim the most nationalistic fans in the country. A sizeable number of Beitar Jerusalem fans are members of the Likud and other right-wing political parties. Beitar Jerusalem’s current CEO and former club goalkeeper Itzik Kornfein told reporters the planned attack left the organization “horrified and worried.” Another former Beitar Jerusalem player told Yisrael Hayom that if the attack had proceeded as planned, “a tragedy of this magnitude would have lead the country to war.”
Israel Formally Asks For Pollard’s Release The Prime Minister’s Office has sent a letter to President Obama requesting the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard for humanitarian reasons, marking the first time Israel has formally requested Pollard’s release. Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered an address to the Knesset Tuesday evening during which he read the letter.
The prime minister decided two weeks ago to send a formal letter to Obama calling for Pollard’s release. Meanwhile, a broad-based interfaith coalition comprised of more than 500 members of the clergy and community leaders sent a letter Monday to Obama in which they called on the president to commute Pollard’s sentence.
It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Superman – Set To Join Muslim Superhero Crew (Continued from Front Page) “To assuage fears that this wasn’t an Islamist project, I bought the satire magazine ‘Cracked’ “ among the most irreverent humor comics in North America, Al-Mutawa said in the interview. “This was able to convince a lot of people that my motives were not religious, and that I was seriously committed to the project.” But the matter is not that simple, says one experienced comic book connoisseur who spoke with Israel National News. Reviewing the first copy of The 99’s adventures, titled “Origins,” Marc Ginsberg found it rife with Islamic religious imagery. “There are clear references to the Great Mosque in Mecca, Islamic symbols, and the birth of an Islamic savior who will redeem the lands Islam lost to the Christians in Europe, if not fight the final battle with evil.” Most troubling for Superman, he says, are the scenes in the series that take place in Jeddah and Mecca. “With his Jewish roots, Superman wouldn’t even be allowed into those cities altogether, as Jews are banned from the holy cities of Islam,” Ginsberg said. The question of Superman’s Jewish roots has been debated for decades – with many observers pointing to the facts and philosophy of the Superman story for proof. According to the story, Superman was saved from the dying world of Krypton when his parents bundled him up in a small craft and set him adrift – a clear reference, many say, to the story of Moses. “It took place in (Krypton’s) 25th century,” comic book artist Alan Oirich writes – comparable to the Jewish year of 2448, the year Moses was sent down the Nile in the hope he would be saved from the destruction he, as a Jewish male infant, would otherwise have faced at the hands of Pharaoh. “Like Moses’s mother Yocheved before him, Su-
perman’s father, Jor-El, saved his baby son from doom by placing him in a small conveyance (a minispaceship) and sending him off to be adopted, to be raised with an assumed identity and become a hero known the world over,” Oirich writes, exploring other themes in the story showing that Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – themselves the children of Jewish immigrants to a new world – had in mind a Jewish superhero. “Superman is Kal-El, a member of the family that had been known on Krypton as “The House of El,” in Hebrew Beit El, which means ‘The House of God,’ ” Oirich writes. “The story has been told that 16-year-olds Siegel and Shuster didn’t work on their comic strip on Thursday nights. They had nothing to draw on. Mama Shuster needed her challah board.” In the original episodes that appeared in the 1930s and 1940s, Oirich continues, Superman didn’t ﬂy much; “his first encounters with criminals – and with Nazis – in the 30s and 40s had him behaving more like Samson than the Superman we know today. Mostly land bound, he lifted cars and tanks and shook out the bad guys. Bullets couldn’t hurt him, but exploding mortar shells could.” In fact, he adds, original drawings of Superman by Joe Shuster has Superman wearing not the red boots he is now associated with but sandals laced up to his calf, Samson-style. Now, however, Jewish Superman is set to undergo an identity change, or, at the very least, to become close friends with The 99. “It’s hard to see Superman, of all characters, being recruited to help Muslims,” says comic book fan Ginsberg. “Whatever Superman’s views on Israel, he was an ardent enemy of the Nazis – unlike the Muslims, who still today keep Mein Kampf at the top of the bestseller list.” (INN)
THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, January 7, 2011
After The Shloshim
Who Was Dr. Ivan Mauer? By Rabbi MAURICE LAMM I have always fashioned myself a wordsmith. No longer. Dr. Ivan Mauer was Naomi Mauer’s husband and Mrs. Irene Klass’s son-in-law, and both Irene and Dr. Ivan died virtually simultaneously. And I must confess: Ivan was not only my good friend and our family doctor, but also a congregant who respected me and loved me – and consistently squabbled with me. Yet I could not find a single word in the entire thesaurus that would suit him. Dr. Ivan was uniquely unique. He was uncommonly sensitive, and would be sorely disappointed if I were to exaggerate any of his superb qualities or if I concocted distortions that would make him anything other than whom he was. As a physician, he was an intuitive diagnostician. He tended to all people as though they were his own family; he was patient with patients (but not with fools!), arriving at the doorstep without being summoned and without being intrusive. He was tenaciously longsuffering with every patient – not as a paying guest but a praying one. “Just be well.” He was always compassionate – but was not everybody’s companion; he rarely agreed with the politics of the majority, especially not on the State of Israel. He was self-sacrificial, but extraordinarily stubborn. For example, he was adamant that I invite Rabbi Meir Kahane, a”h, to speak from my pulpit at Beth Jacob congregation. But though the rabbi and I were friends, I weighed the proposition – and it weighed heavily on my mind. I simply had to refuse. Any other balabus would have reacted with fury. Not Ivan – he was at the edge of hysteria, even though Rabbi Kahane knew the Jewish Federation had just that week finally granted millions for yeshivot. Dr. Ivan enfolded me, and then admonished me: hugged and bugged. And that was our relationship – hugged and bugged. Now, what dictionary could suggest a fitting word for that quality of friendship? On my first Rosh Hashanah, during Mussaf, Ivan decided to wind his way through a throng of balabatim up to the pulpit and – with unbelievable sincerity – urged me to announce the ballgame scores – so Rabbi Maurice Lamm was formerly the rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills, California. He currently is a professor at Yeshiva University, holding the chair of Professional Rabbinics. The author of seven books, he is also president and founder of the National Institute of Jewish Hospice.
that people would not feel anxious on Rosh Hashanah! Naturally, I did not follow this advice either. He said, “I love you.” He wrapped his arms tightly around me as was his custom: “I deeply respect you. But you’re dead wrong!” Truthfully, he was hard to handle, but – well, you just cannot effortlessly compress such a personality into a single adjective. He was empathetic – unbelievably so. I’ll never forget one episode. One of the gabba’im, Lazear Israel, was an idiosyncratic loner – not good-looking, not well dressed, and not sociable, even as he was affable. Ivan fortified him with so much personal strength when he was truly vulnerable, that he was able to survive with self-assurance. Until… One night, Ivan called frantically: Lazear was desperately ill. He was a severe diabetic and so couldn’t feel any sensation of personal discomfort when he soaked his leg in the scalding bath. The afﬂiction itself could be survived, but unquestionably the leg needed to be amputated. But Lazear would have none of this, even though he was assured that a prosthetic device could be attached. Ivan called frantically and we rushed to Lazear’s bedside, to convince him to live. His surgeon assured us that without the amputation he would die – soon. Lazear shrieked: “Lazear Israel with one leg is not Lazear Israel!” Ivan and I instinctively acted out the “good cop, bad cop” routine – Ivan hugged him, while I intimidated him with the ruling of halacha. But Lazear was not to be swayed. He died in Ivan’s embrace. Can I describe Ivan in one word, or a whole thesaurus of words? I must bring Ivan closer. He was more than close. He was as loyal as he was affectionate. Some years after our family moved to California, our daughter, Judith, aleha ha’shalom, contracted lymphoma at age 17 while she was learning in Israel. (It may be inappropriate to note this here, but I do this only to give you a quick glimpse of Ivan Mauer, a genuine mentsch in action.) Judith was a remarkable child, wife, and mother who was assured by a handful of doctors that she might live a bit longer but she would never have children. She lived to age 50. With her husband, Yitzchok, she mothered seven striking, frum, learned, Israel-drenched children. Ivan gave her miraculous courage, because he cared enough to understand her. Judith said simply: “Mom, Hashem, and Ivan.” Ivan lost his young wife, Gail (who was even more zealous than he on Israel). They raised sweet, intel-
ligent and respectful children: Greg, Brian, Wendy, Tzvi, Debra, and Michal. Some time after her death he was fortunate enough to marry Naomi – a lady who herself cannot be described in single words – whose legendary and hidden chesed and whose devotion to Ivan and to all their children is simply indescribable. Naomi and her sister Hindy – themselves devoted children to distinguished and learned parents, Rabbi Sholom and Irene Klass – and Jerry Greenwald, Ivan’s close friend and brother-in-law, were all touched by the chord of Ivan’s sincere gutzkeit. I cannot conclude without highlighting Ivan’s zeal. His love and his loyalty, his devotion and his boundless passion, coupled with his cerebral background, made him who he was. This meant the right wing in Israel was right but not right enough; the shul he loved was incomparable but needed to grow even greater. I recall the virtual hysteria he exhibited when I did not agree with him. He must have spent days contriving to change my position. He drove me to drink after one board meeting! I can picture his wry smile when he felt victorious. He took a deep pleasure in tangling with his rabbi, whom he always hugged – hugged and bugged. Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, is a complex, profound megillah written by King Solomon, son of King David. He was considered the wisest of all men. But one of his observations borders on the bizarre: “Tovim ha’shnayim min ha’echad” – “Two are better than one,” which is the stuff of rabbis’ homilies to the bride and groom under the chuppah – two are better than one. But do we really need the smartest of men to tell us that? Rav Kook, the first chief rabbi of modern Israel, illuminates the verse by noting that two are better than one (as in marriage) when living according to the values transmitted “from the One Holy God” (who gave the Torah at Sinai). As I conclude this tribute to Dr. Mauer, I must apply King Solomon’s hidden dictum not only in terms of the marriage of two people blending their own divergent qualities but with regard to several profound qualities honestly blended in one person. So now I ask you: what is the one word, the one truth? Unique? Diagnostician? Compassionate? Selfsacrificial? Stubborn? Empathetic? Loyal? Gutzkeit? Understanding? Ivan Mauer was so many-sided, so inter-connected, so multi-faceted, so astute, so filled with chesed, so seriously religious, so earnestly honest – and so lovingly disagreeable. Which would you choose? Perhaps he qualified as all of the above.
How Did All That Happen? By VICTOR DAVIS HANSON There are a number of improbables, anomalies, paradoxes, ironies, absurdities – call them what you wish – on the national scene that simply defy reason. We usually fault an ignorant media as culpable for creating narratives that have no basis in fact and yet are rarely questioned. Here are some glaring examples. How did 20-minutes-of-fame Julian Assange construct the façade of an idealistic crusading electronic muckraker? He seems much more like a part P.T. Barnum showman/part celebrity narcissist. While promising to embarrass a number of banks and capitalist CEOs, he just contracted for $1.7 million in book deal advances – after enjoying his house “arrest” at the mansion of a supportive aristocrat, and after protesting the unwanted fame that has come his way rather than to be shared among the WikiLeaks board. Assange talks of absolute transparency as an ipso facto virtue, but is shocked that his own protocols of leaking now are turned on himself. And amid his jetset Westernized odysseys – predicated on the bounty and security of U.S.-European culture – Assange Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of numerous books on military history. He blogs at Pajamas Media (pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson).
was certainly not too eager to root out and leak to us many state secrets from Russia, China, or Iran. When did global warming so easily get away with becoming “climate change”? With record winter low temperatures again this year in Europe, and similar freezing weather in the U.S., we are given a number of contorted exegeses from climatologists and green activists that, in fact, argue terrible cold is proof of global warming. One wonders: if it were now 80 degrees in New York or dry and 70 degrees in London, would we be told such unseasonable heat was not an artifact, but likewise real proof of climate change? Philology usually is a good barometer of ideology: when global warming became climate change and now is evolving to “climate chaos,” you can see a case study in deductive thinking, as symptoms are fudged to conform to a preexisting diagnosis. How did authoritarian and Islamist Palestinian groups become reinvented into traditional Western victimized minorities – analogous to women, gays, and minorities? Visit any campus free speech area, and the PA or pro-Hamas literature is handed out right next to the Latino, black, gay, Native American, or feminist booths. How did such an intolerant illiberal movement piggyback onto self-proclaimed progressive agendas? Multiculturalism? Anti-Semitism? Oil interests? Fear of terror?
How did Barack Obama invent himself into a bipartisan, working across the aisle, no-more-red-state/ blue-state unifying figure? Melliﬂuous rhetoric and a partisan media helped promulgate that myth, I grant. But still, how did the U.S. senator with the most partisan voting record in the Senate (to the left of the socialist Bernie Sanders from Vermont) and a devout attendee of one of the most divisive and racist preachers imaginable refashion himself so successfully? More recently, as soon as Obama was, in his words, “shellacked” with a 63-seat loss in the House, and his polls hit 42 percent approval, he dropped all the prior rhetoric about “I won and you lost” or “elections matter” – and now announced to his “enemies” that he could “work together” to get things done. Had Obama increased the House Democratic majority by 30 more seats in November, would he now be praising the virtues of bipartisanship? Had Rev. Wright’s vanity not compelled him to hawk his racist rants on incriminating DVDs, would he now be a frequent “healing” presence at the White House? Lurking somewhere behind all these improbables is a rather small Western elite that is enormously inﬂuential in the media, government, the arts, universities, and Hollywood. And what it would like to believe, often simply must be believed – and so it usually is.
Friday, January 7, 2011
THE JEWISH PRESS
Editorial Vol. LXII No. 1 • January 7, 2011 • 2 Shevat 5770
Testing Obama: The Run-Up To Durban III
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NYC CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 7, 2011 – 2 Shevat 5771 4:24 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: 5:35 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Bo Weekly Haftara: Hadavar Asher Dibber (Jeremiah 46:13-28) Daf Yomi: Zevachim 58 Mishna Yomit: Terumot 4:5-6 Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 600:3, 601:2 Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Gezeila v’Aveidah chap. 4-6 Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:21 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Latest Kerias Shema: 9:41 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Next week’s luach on page 30.
Candle Lighting Times In North America January 7 and January 14, 2011 Atlanta Baltimore Boston Buffalo Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland Dallas Denver Detroit
5:26, 4:41, 4:09, 4:39, 4:15, 5:13, 4:55, 5:18, 4:33, 4:57,
5:32 4:48 4:17 4:47 4:23 5:20 5:02 5:24 4:40 5:05
Hartford 4:18, Houston 5:19, Kansas City 4:53, Los Angeles 4:41, Memphis 4:45, Miami Beach 5:27, Milwaukee 4:15, Montreal 4:09, Newark 4:27, Philadelphia 4:33,
4:25 5:25 5:00 4:47 4:52 5:32 4:22 4:17 4:34 4:40
Phoenix Pittsburgh San Diego San Francisco Seattle St. Louis St. Paul Toronto Washington Winnipeg
5:18, 4:51, 4:40, 4:48, 4:16, 4:37, 4:29, 4:39, 4:44, 4:26,
5:24 4:58 4:46 4:55 4:25 4:44 4:37 4:47 4:51 4:36
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Two weeks ago the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, by a vote of 104 to 22 with 33 abstentions, to hold Durban III, a one-day commemorative event on September 21, 2011 to “reaffirm that the [original UN-sponsored Durban I declaration of 2001] provides the most comprehensive UN framework for combating racism.” It will be recalled that President Bush ordered U.S. delegates to walk out of Durban I when it became clear it was morphing into a platform for savaging Israel and the West. Indeed, the final declaration singled out Israel among the world’s countries, likening Zionism to racism and referring to “the plight of the Palestinians.” The Obama administration voted against the resolution because, said Ambassador Susan Rice, “the Durban declaration process has included ugly displays of intolerance and anti-Semitism, and we do not want to see that commemorated.” Hopefully, President Obama will order a boycott of Durban III. Bestowing American prestige on an event that has the potential to be part and parcel of what human rights legal scholar Irwin Cotler has described as a “virulent globalizing anti-Jewishness reminiscent of the atmospherics that pervaded Europe in the 1930s” is to be avoided at all costs. But even just the run-up to Durban III promises to be an international festival of anti-Israel invective. In recent weeks there has been a spate of announcements by South American countries concerning their intention to recognize a Palestinian state regardless of the state of negotiations between Israel and the PA. Just last week PA President Mahmoud Abbas laid the cornerstone of a new Palestinian Embassy
in Brazil’s capital and also attended the inauguration of Brazil’s new president. And the list of countries recognizing a Palestinian state is expected to grow much longer in the coming months. However, there are, as we observed in this space two weeks ago, rules of international law governing the acceptance of new states by the United Nations, and the entity ruled by the Palestinian Authority simply does not meet those standards by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, Uruguay is one of the countries that declared its intent to recognize a sovereign Palestinian state, yet its foreign minister told reporters that officials are studying the implications of that decision with regard to international law and that actual recognition will only follow that review. Obviously, though, this will not simply be a matter of legal niceties – politics can be expected to predominate. But equally significant issues will roil the waters. The PA has introduced a resolution in the General Assembly calling Israeli construction in the settlements “illegal” and “an impediment to peace.” PA President Abbas is telling everyone who will listen that he is not breaking any new ground here since that is virtually the same formulation used by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Of course, it’s one thing to hold this as a pre-negotiation position ultimately to be decided by direct negotiations and another to press the Security Council to impose it as a conclusion. But again, politics, not law, will predominate. The Palestinians also are seeking a Security
Continued on p.77
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Televised Chillul Hashem (I) While it was heartening to read Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s take on the chillul Hashem caused by the “People’s Court” case involving a damaged wig (“People’s Court-ing Disaster,” op-ed, Dec. 31), it was appalling to read that some rabbonim chose to deal with this ethical cancer by banning Jews from going on television shows so as not to have the public at large see the lies that may be perpetrated in the future. The frum community has become expert at developing new and unique chumras of the week, such as not eating Oreo cookies or pretzels on Shabbos, but it seems that when it comes to lying, fraud, embezzlement and molestation, our moral compass has a hard time pointing in the right direction. The chillul Hashem here was not only that this was seen on TV and the Internet, but that there are rabbonim who still try to cover these things up instead of openly condemning and then correcting a general lack of middos that has become a disgrace for all Jews. Dr. Robert M. Solomon Brooklyn, NY
Televised Chillul Hashem (II) I agree with Rabbi Pruzansky, but watching that particular episode of “The People’s Court,” one has to be dumbfounded as to how this couple could have thought their appearance was a good idea. Where is the sechel?
Didn’t they speak to anyone about this? Friends, rabbi(s)...whomever? And then to have what appeared to be an attempted deception exposed for the world to see! It was a disaster from start to finish. Forget about a Yiddishe kop – just a little horse sense would have sufficed to avoid the fiasco. Alan D. Busch (Via E-Mail)
Bracing Essay Thank you for Rabbi Naphtali Hoff’s very informative Dec. 31 front-page essay (“Alexandria and the Translation That Changed History”). I enjoy seeing bnei Torah who are educated and erudite in their writings. It is a breath of fresh air that’s all the more bracing given the monolithic derech of our times Dr. Michael F. Kirschner New York, NY
Lieberman And Bibi (I) Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu for his goal of peace this year with the Palestinians, as well as Lieberman’s request for an apology from Prime Minister Recip Erdogan for Turkish participation in the Gazabound ﬂotilla, has cheered friends of Israel everywhere because they are rare examples of self-respect and national honor coming from an Israeli public official (news story, Dec. 31). However, Lieberman apparently shocked shtetl-minded members of the Netanyahu govern-
ment. A spokesman for Netanyahu immediately assured the hostile foreign news media that Lieberman’s views are his own and do not represent those of the government. One minister in this supposedly right-wing Likud government even accused Lieberman of appealing to right-wing voters! He also agonized over what “the world” would think. Unlike Netanyahu and his other ministers, Lieberman has learned something important from history. He knows the world respects a people who respect themselves and despises weakness and self-abasement. He also knows that appeasement alienates friends and incites and energizes Israel’s enemies while greatly increasing the chances for war. George Rubin New York, NY
Lieberman And Bibi (II) Avigdor Lieberman’s strong opinions strengthen Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bargaining position vis-à-vis the Palestinian Arabs and serve as a counterweight to the peace at any price philosophy of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. While Lieberman may not approach his position diplomatically, he speaks the truth when he excoriates Turkey and Recip Erdogan for the Gaza fiasco and when he states that considering the demands of Mahmoud Abbas, which have never changed, there will be no peace in the current environment.
Continued on p.77
THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, January 7, 2011
Celebrating The Death Of The Blue-Hat Jew By IRWIN H. BENJAMIN
Mordecai Bienstock’s Dec. 24 front-page essay – “Death of the Blue-Hat Jew?” – was an interesting, important, and for the most part accurate assessment of what is happening today in Jewish America. The author injected into his wonderfully wellwritten piece a warm feeling of nostalgia, invoking a time when we were able to enjoy family meals on Thanksgiving Day without any guilt. He was also quite articulate in describing the evolutionary process that gave birth to religious Zionism and rise to ultra-Orthodox – or what we today call haredi – Judaism. What he failed to mention, however, was how the “Blue-Hat Jew” became that way in the first place and how he arrived at that not-too-frumand-not-too-frei niche on the spectrum of Jewish religiosity. When we fully understand the circumstances or events that created the so-called Blue-Hat Jew, I believe we will better understand why we now have this schism in Orthodox life, which Mr. Bienstock understandably laments. At the turn of the century, more specifically between 1880 and the start of World War I in 1914, about 2 million Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews immigrated from Eastern Europe, mostly from Russia and Russian-controlled portions of Poland. My mother, a”h, was part of that wave of immigrants. The majority of those Jews settled in New York City. Jewish leaders at the time urged assimilation and integration into the wider culture, and Jews quickly became part of American life. My mother and most Irwin Benjamin teaches Talmud to Bucharian high school students at MTJ on the Lower East Side. His articles have appeared in various Jewish publications. He can be can be contacted at irwin. firstname.lastname@example.org.
of her co-religionists and co-immigrants spoke with very pronounced Yiddish accents, which was considered an embarrassment by younger Jews who strove desperately to shed that old-time tradition and become real “Yankees.” It was not only the Yiddish accents that caused discomfort to many Jews; the European mannerisms also plagued and even humiliated young Jewish Americans as they strove more and more to distance themselves from their immigrant parents. Nor was it only the children who felt this way; it was the dream of most immigrant parents to make sure their children not only had a better life than they had, but that they were accepted as equals by other Americans. After World War II, Jewish families joined trek to suburbia as they became wealthier and more mobile. The Jewish community expanded to other major cities, particularly around Los Angeles and Miami. Young Jews attended public high schools and secular colleges, met attractive and marriageable non-Jews, and in time intermarriage rates soared to nearly 50 percent. I believe that even before the advent of widescale assimilation and intermarriage, Hashem had seen how His people were being decimated and sent a yeshuah in the form of the Young Israel movement. I believe the creation of Young Israel was a major factor in stemming the tide of assimilation, affording the children of religious immigrants the opportunity to mingle with truly American Jews, which was of paramount importance to them, while at the same time keeping them from abandoning, or even severing, their Jewish heritage. Even so, when I attended Torah Vodaath in the early fifties, the Young Israel on Bedford Avenue was off limits to yeshiva students. To be caught attending Young Israel services was to risk severe penalties, even expulsion.
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Though that punishment may be viewed as somewhat severe or an overreaction, the logic behind it was understandable. The philosophies and goals of the yeshiva and those of Young Israel were totally at odds with each other. The reason d’être of the Young Israel movement was to attract young people who no longer wanted to be viewed as “shtetl Yidden” with long beards and peyos and all the other trappings of religious Jews. They wanted the clean-cut, modern American lifestyle, with English spoken correctly and without accents, with hats and jackets not being a requirement, with secular studies encouraged and admired, and with the freedom to socialize with their similarly situated peers. I believe these are the people Mr. Bienstock was referring to when he used the term “Blue-Hat Jews.” But that was a long time ago. Today, Baruch Hashem, we have thousands upon thousands of good, solid American boys learning in yeshivas. We have thousands of the more “modern” Jews who are in business or professions while at the same time scrupulously attending daily Daf Yomi lectures. The Young Israel movement itself, no longer merely a vehicle for stemming the tide of assimilation, is a shining example of how Jewish life has evolved. In other words, sad though Mr. Bienstock makes it sound, the Blue-Hat Jew has simply gone the way of the electric typewriter and the pushcart. And I think that’s a good thing. Today our infrastructures are different. Yiddishkeit in America is no longer a foundering entity unsure of its status or its future. There are strong niches for everyone. Outreach and kiruv groups abound. Today there are groups and organizations for every stripe or form of religiosity. So I believe we can actually celebrate the disappearance of the Blue-Hat Jew – because he has finally come home.
Friday, January 7, 2011
THE JEWISH PRESS
You Just Might Be An Israeli Left-Wing Fascist… By STEVEN PLAUT
Back in 2003 I wrote an op-ed for The Jewish Press titled “You Just Might Be an Assimilated Jewish Liberal,” based standup comic Jeff Foxworthy’s “You just might be a redneck” routine. It’s time to revisit that theme, focusing on Israeli leftists rather than American liberals. • If you think it’s racist when some rabbis call for people not to rent property to Arabs, but it’s a progressive gesture for peace and tolerance to demand that property not be rented or sold to Jews in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think Israel is an apartheid regime, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think it is the main purpose of universities to indoctrinate students in leftist ideology, then you just might be an Israeli leftwing fascist. • If you think students displaying posters and t-shirts with images of Nasser, Che Guevara, and bin Laden is legitimate protest but Im Tirtzu students wearing t-shirts with images of Herzl is fascism, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think faculty members should have the right to cheer on terrorism against Jews, Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
to call for Israel’s obliteration, to support lawbreaking, to call for international boycotts against Israel, and to call for Israelis to refuse to serve in the military, while at the same time you consider anyone who criticizes those faculty members for doing such things to be “McCarthyists,” then you just might be an Israeli leftwing fascist.
“war crimes,” then you just might be an Israeli leftwing fascist.
• If you favor academic departments in which only enlightened leftist opinion may be expressed and where there is no room for non-leftist dissenting opinion to be heard, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist.
• If you insist there are no lessons to be learned from the 8,000 rockets ﬁred at Israel after Israel abandoned the Gaza Strip, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist.
• If you think international pressure on Israel to make peace by accepting terms rejected by the majority of Israelis is necessary and valuable, then you just might be an Israeli leftwing fascist. • If you think Israeli Arabs should be exempt from obeying Israeli laws, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think Haaretz is the epitome of evenhanded, responsible, neutral and balanced journalism, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think Israel owes Turkey an apology for its takeover of the Gaza flotilla ships, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you think shooting terrorists constitutes
• If you believe the only legitimate way for Israel to defend its citizens against terrorism is to capitulate to the demands of the terrorists, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist.
• If you regard all Israeli Arabs as “Israeli Palestinians” but consider it racist when anyone suggests Israeli Palestinians should move to the territory of the Palestinian Authority, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you consider it racist when someone suggests Jews should have as much right to live in predominantly Arab areas, including East Jerusalem, as Arabs have to live in Jaffa and Haifa, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you see nothing retaliation-worthy in the ﬁring of missiles into Sderot or in the intentional setting of scores of forest ﬁres, then you just might be an Israeli left-wing fascist. • If you claim Israel conducts ethnic cleansing or genocide, then it is certain you are an Israeli leftwing fascist.
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Friday, January 7, 2011
A World Against Israel By JOSEPH PUDER
The pan-Arab newspaper Ashraq Alawsat recently reported that the Palestinians have adopted another strategy in an attempt to gain international recognition of a Palestinian state. “Indeed, the Palestinian side has achieved success in this regard, particularly in Latin America, with Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia officially recognizing an independent state of Palestine… and Uruguay, Ecuador, and Paraguay expected to officially recognize the State of Palestine,” the paper said. And it now appears that the 27 incorporated states of the European Union are ready to follow the Latin American states in recognizing a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, with France and Norway in the lead. This hasty act of support for a Palestinian state can only be attributed to the following: a) an act of defiance against the U.S., and the triumph of the radical axis of Chavez (Venezuela), Ahamdinejad (Iran), their new friend Lula of Brazil, and others (such as Cuba’s Castro); b) the failure of the Obama administration to exert its inﬂuence in South America. Obama’s appeasement of the aforementioned radicals convinced Argentina, Uruguay and other traditionally friendly states to go with the “strong horse” represented by Chavez in Latin America; c) the Latin Americans, much like the Europeans, seek to ingratiate themselves with the Arabs and the greater Muslim world, and believe such action poses no serious consequences to them. Given the large Arab populations in many of the Latin American countries, especially Argentina and Brazil, recognition of a Palestinian state will not have any negative domestic consequences either. It will, however, adversely impact the prospects of a real peace between Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews. The Fatah-led Palestinians of the West Bank, apart from their rivals, the Islamic Hamas of Gaza, are seeking to declare statehood unilaterally. They Joseph Puder, a freelance journalist, is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Taskforce for America and Israel (ITAI).
pulled out of negotiations with Israel, despite Israel’s concession of a 10-month building freeze, which ended last September. In truth, Mahmoud Abbas’s regime, which failed to stand for election last January, has chosen the same path Arafat took in the aftermath of the July 2000 Camp David summit with President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. When the moment of truth arrived, and all that was left to do after Barak had offered deep unilateral Israeli concessions was for Arafat to agree to a declaration of “End of Conﬂict,” Arafat turned away. He, the revolutionary who fought the Jews all of his adult life and encouraged others to join him, could not end the bloody conﬂict – possibly for fear it would end him. The dream for Arafat, as it is now for Abbas, was to delegitimize the Jewish state and take it over – if not at once, then in stages. And the only deal Abbas will sign is one in which he does not have to make real peace. He could sign on to a “sort-of-peace” that we in the West would consider a long cease-fire, but he will never agree to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jews, as he recently stated. A misnomer that has entered the international lexicon is the “1967 borders.” Alan Baker, former legal advisor to Israel’s foreign ministry and Israel’s ambassador to Canada explained: “[S]uch borders do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact. The only line that ever existed was the 1949 armistice demarcation line, based on the ceasefire lines of the Israeli and Arab armies pending agreement on permanent peace. The 1949 armistice agreements specifically stated that such lines have no political or legal significance and do not prejudice future negotiations on boundaries.” Baker, who is currently serving as director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, elaborated further on the issue of the 1967 borders: “UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 acknowledged the need for negotiation of secure and recognized boundaries. Promi-
nent jurists and UN delegates, including from Brazil and Jordan, acknowledged that the previous lines cannot be considered as international boundaries. The series of agreements between the PLO and Israel (1993-1999) reaffirm the intention and commitment of the parties to negotiate permanent borders. During all phases of negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, there was never any determination as to a border based on the 1967 lines.” Reacting to the Palestinians’ efforts to declare their state unilaterally without negotiations with Israel, the lame duck U.S. Congressman and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman (D-CA), who introduced a resolution on this issue (which passed unanimously on December 15) said: ”Pursuing a nonnegotiated path to statehood is a fool’s errand. Palestinians want a state, not a declaration. Their only way to achieve that is through direct negotiations with Israel.” Berman added, “If they try to circumvent negotiations, they’ll lose the support of a lot of people like me, and it will jeopardize their foreign aid as well.” Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who will replace Berman in the next Congressional session, was more direct in warning the Palestinians that U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority should be conditioned on the PA living up to its obligations to stop violence against Israel, recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a democratic Jewish state, and fulfilling other obligations. The PA leadership’s campaign to get international recognition for Palestinian statehood amounts to shirking the obligations undertaken with the 1993 Oslo Accords. While a similar campaign was tried by Arafat in 1988 and abandoned, Abbas believes this effort would at the minimum extract additional concessions from Israel without the PA having to reciprocate. Abbas hopes, moreover, that in light of President Obama’s pro-Palestinian bias, he might let them get away with this unilateral and destructive effort by abstaining from a possible UN vote on Palestinian statehood.
Friday, January 7, 2011
ciopathic behavior toward female staff members. Mazuz actually opened himself up to severe criticism by originally cutting a plea bargain deal with Katsav. The state’s talented prosecution team made mincemeat out of Katsav’s legal “dream team” by slicing and dicing the politician’s alibis and lies to pieces. Katsav’s legal team, consisting of three prominent defense lawyers (i.e. the best lawyers money can buy) could not break the defamed women on the witness stand, nor convince the threejudge panel, led by Kara, that their client was victimized by “scornful women.” This past Friday evening, I was privileged to hear a talk by Rabbi Ratzon Arussi, chief rabbi of Kiryat Ono, who is also a powerful member of the Chief Rabbinate’s legal committee and creator of the Universal Center of Mishpat HaTorah. For years, Rabbi Arussi has championed the cause of integrating Torah/Talmudic legal principles into the secular Israeli courts. Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman also believes in Misphat HaTorah (a.k.a. Mishpat Ivri), and has been criticized by the secular liberal establishment for perpetuating a belief in so-called Jewish justice. Rabbi Arussi pointed out the main differences between Mishpat Ivri and secular justice. He maintained that Mishpat Ivri is an effective due process that has stood the test of time, and that the public would have been spared all of the sordid details and media circus surrounding the Katsav case since, in the end, a Mishpat Ivri most probably would have arrived at the same verdict. Rabbi Arussi said that he had no use for Katsav’s chutzpah and was not unhappy with the verdict. Bottom line: Nearly four years of scandalous headlines and accusations were a complete embarrassment for the Jewish nation. Now the legal scene switches back to the on-again, off-again trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert. His defense team has tried to use every kind of legal delaying tactic in order to stretch out the trial. But Olmert is running out of time, as the judges in his case are starting to lose patience with his egotistical behav-
STEVE K. WALZ
Will Olmert Follow Katsav? So far three former Israeli cabinet ministers, as well as a handful of former Knesset members, have recently spent time behind bars after being convicted on various corruption charges. Two of them, former finance minister Avraham Hirchson and former health minister Shlomo Benizri, remain incarcerated. Now, barring any last minute drama, Moshe Katsav will start serving a significant jail term for an array of deviant offenses against women who worked for him during his tenures as minister of tourism and as Israel’s president. In Katsav’s case, the damage to Israel – caused by his self-centered hubris – goes way beyond the offenses committed by other Israeli politicians. An Israeli politician who deliberately projects himself as a pious individual, yet believes that he can lie to himself, his family, the courts and to the nation at will, deserves a stiff jail sentence. Let’s toss Katsav’s proclaimed “witch hunt against the powerful Sephardic politician” nonsense aside. Even if Katsav and his legal team try to play that card before the Supreme Court during the appeal stage, it just won’t work. The regional judge who headed the closed trial and read the final verdict most certainly is no anti-Sephardi racist. Judge George Kara, who is held in high regard by the entire legal system, happens to be a Christian-Arab resident of Jaffa. Go ahead and say it: “Only in Israel.” Despite the nefarious charges against him, Katsav ripped up the plea bargain deal that he made with former attorney general Menachem Mazuz, who is also a member of a prominent Sephardic family. In a recent interview, Katsav had the chutzpah to accuse Mazuz of using his ethnic background to show that he can justify his standing in Israeli society by bringing down another politician from a Sephardic background. Of course, ethnicity had nothing to do with Katsav’s so-
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Friday, January 7, 2011
‘You Feel The Rav Coming Alive Again’
A Chat with Rav Soloveitchik’s Shamash, Rabbi David Holzer By Elliot Resnick Jewish Press Staff Reporter The publication in 2009 of The Rav Thinking Aloud – containing 200 pages of transcripts of private conversations of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (“the Rav”) as recorded by his shamash, Rabbi David Holzer – set off a debate among the Rav’s admirers: Would the Rav want his private remarks about prominent rabbis to be publicized? Should halachic rulings he issued to select individuals be taken as indicative of his true beliefs? Is it appropriate to publish the Rav’s off-the-cuff remarks – sometimes ungrammatical and unstructured – as is, unedited? Although the debate rages on, Rabbi Holzer continues to publish more volumes. He recently released The Rav Thinking Aloud on the Parsha: Sefer Bereishis and hopes to publish another two volumes – one on Shemos and one on halacha – by the end of the year. His volume on Bereishis is largely composed of transcripts of the Rav’s shiurim, but Rabbi Holzer said his volume on halacha will more closely resemble the first volume and mainly feature transcripts of private conversations. The Jewish Press recently spoke with Rabbi Holzer. The Jewish Press: What has the reaction been to your second volume of The Rav Thinking Aloud? Rabbi Holzer: Baruch Hashem, it’s been excellent. People really love it. They say you feel the Rav coming alive again. Has there been no criticism? Virtually nothing because there’s no politics in it. It’s just divrei Torah. After your first book, there were reports that members of Rav Soloveitchik’s family were displeased with its publication. What has their reaction been to this volume? I haven’t heard anything from them. Last time I knew that some of them were upset over some personal things being revealed. This time I haven’t heard any direct or indirect communication about it. Like your first volume, this book contains many interesting comments by the Rav, such as his remark that he never encountered anti-Semitism in Germany while living there in the 1920s and early ’30s. What other comments in this volume did readers find interesting?
Some people found the Rav’s view on faith to be fascinating. The Rav says that faith means not to question. You think of the Rav as a modern intellectual – you question everything – but the Rav says a person is supposed to accept certain things as a principle of faith. And that’s the strength of a person, not the weakness of a person. But what is the faith based on? Based on the Bible being the word of God? Based on the mesorah? I think it’s definitely based on mesorah, the mesorah as the yesod of our emunah. After that, you can discuss it – the Rav describes what questions you can ask and what questions you can’t ask – but there has to be certain things that you unquestionably accept first without asking.
Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik with Rabbi David Holzer and son. Are there other views of the Rav in this book that readers found particularly interesting? Some people found it fascinating that the Rav believed the Ramban contributed more to the philosophy of religion than the Rambam. The Rav says the Rambam was so schooled in Aristotelian and standard philosophies that he was working within their guidelines and [hence was restricted and therefore
less creative]. The Ramban had much more broader interpretations than the Rambam and took in totally new ideas. Sometimes being over-educated detracts in a way. What should people expect to see in the next volume of The Rav Thinking Aloud? The next volume is on Sefer Shemos and contains some comments on homosexuality from a Chumash shiur the Rav gave in 1974, which I think people will be very interested to read. He said, in part: “There is no ‘Why?’ ‘Why?’ is a foolish question. It is not a fruitful question…. The question is, ‘What?’ I’ve got to understand reality, descriptive way, and how it operates. The whole of physics and chemistry says how it operates. The dependence between two phenomena, two processes. The same is true in Torah.… “The very moment you ask ‘Why?’ – why Shabbos, why kashrus, why tefillah b’chol yom, why…kabed ess avicha v’ess imecha, why lo sirtzach – if you begin to ask the question ‘Why?’ there are no answers. Now people are questioning the basic principles of morality, sex morality. The very moment you ask ‘Why?’ – why homosexualism is forbidden – you have no answer…. You’ll obtain two results. One result will be kefirah: since I don’t understand why, so let’s abandon it. This is the answer you get. Since I cannot understand why homosexualism is ugly lefi yahadus, why yahadus hasn’t tolerated it…so you have to say you abandon the law of the Bible. “Another way is you sentimentalize all that. Why Shabbos? So you begin to sentimentalize it. Man has got to rest. If he doesn’t rest, relax, he may lose his mind. Why go to Florida if he can rest once a week, one-seventh of his time, in Boston? So what do you get from it? Platitudes, clichés, superficialities, cheap sentimentalism.” What can readers expect to see in the book you plan to publish on halacha? The book on halacha will be more similar to the first volume – more heavily relying on conversations. Some examples of what will be in the book are the best way to open cans and bottles on Shabbos and the best way to make tea on Shabbos – from a private conversation with my father and the Rav. It is a method I had never heard before. Also, what are the guidelines for yom tov sheni for an American visiting Israel and what berachot do we say individually and when should we just listen to another and be yotzei.
IDF: Photos Disprove Claims Of ‘Non-Violent’ Protest By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu JERUSALEM – Photos of last Friday’s Arab Bil’in fence protest, attended by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, disprove claims the demonstration was “non-violent.” Pro-Arab activists say Israeli soldiers began using tear gas before the violence began. Fayyad addressed the rally and left before the violence erupted. He later accused Israel of a “war crime” for the death of 36-year-old Jawaher Abu Rahma, who died a day after the protests from what Palestinian Authority sources claimed was poison gas. However, Arab sources changed the story of her medical treatment, first reporting she and another person were treated at the hospital and released. After she died, they reported she had remained in the hospital in Ramallah. The IDF has raised doubts about the circumstanc-
es of her death because the Palestinian Authority has refused to release medical reports, which the military wants in order to complete its own investigation and to determine if the tear gas canister was the direct cause of her death. The PA also refused to join Israel in a probe of the incident. “Contrary to Palestinian claims that [the] riot in Bil’in was non-violent…approximately 250 rioters had gathered in Bil’in, hurling rocks at security forces, who responded with riot dispersal means,” an IDF spokesman said. “The village area was declared a closed military zone in order to prevent the violent riot from escalating and the entry and exit of the village for residents continued as usual. “Similar violent riots occurred this weekend in [five other villages], in which rioters hurled rocks at security forces.” One soldier was lightly wounded from a rock that was hurled at his face.” Left-wing activists, anarchists and Arabs have
staged weekly protests at Bil’in for six years. The village is near the route of the security fence that stretches from the northern Jordan Valley to the northern Negev. Rahma’s funeral Saturday was accompanied by incitement against Israel. She was buried next to her brother, who was killed in a similar protest nearly two years ago, when a tear gas canister struck him in the chest. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decried what he called crimes “carried out by the army of the occupation against our helpless nation.” On Saturday night, pro-Arab activists held a vigil outside the home of U.S. Ambassador to Israel James B. Cunningham, chanting anti-Israel slogans and leaving behind empty tear gas canisters Activists also blocked a main Tel Aviv artery for one hour Saturday night before being dispersed by police. Several people were arrested. (INN)
Netanyahu: Israel Was Ready To Extend Freeze JERUSALEM – Israel was prepared to extend a West Bank construction freeze, but the United States withdrew the idea, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The United States asked us to consider extending the freeze by three months, and the truth is that we were prepared to do so,” Netanyahu reportedly told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. “At the end of the day, the United States decided not to go in that direction, rightly so in my opinion, and moved on to outlining talks on closing gaps, so that the core issues can be discussed.” The Obama administration pressed Israel to im-
plement a three-month extension of a 10-month freeze on construction on West Bank Jewish settlements in order to keep the Palestinians at the negotiating table. The freeze ended in late September, one month after the Palestinians agreed to restart negotiations. In early December the Obama administration announced that it would stop pressing for the freeze after offering Israel several inducements, including 20 F-35 stealth fighter planes and security guarantees, as a reward for continuing the freeze. “I told Obama that I am prepared to go with this to the Cabinet and that I will be able to enforce the move, but then I received the surprising phone call
from the Americans who said they no longer demand that Israel extends the freeze,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu said that U.S. officials are scheduled to arrive in mid-January in an effort to restart peace negotiations. On Sunday, Netanyahu told his Cabinet he was willing to hold continuous negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas until an agreement is reached. He was responding to a statement made a day earlier by Abbas in which the president said a peace deal could be reached in two months if Netanyahu showed “goodwill.” (JTA)
Friday, January 7, 2011
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Continued from p.9 ior – which does not bode well for the former Israeli leader’s future. In fact, one of Olmert’s lawyers, Zion Amir, was also part of Katsav’s defense team. After what happened with Katsav, there is good reason to believe that Amir has advised Olmert to ask for a plea bargain before it’s too late. The charges against Olmert and his business/political cronies have been called the “worst case of corruption in the history of modern Israel.” Like Katsav, Olmert continues to claim that he’s the victim of an organized conspiracy. But according to several investigative reporters, the evidence against him and his associates appears to be so obvious that it’s amazing that Olmert has never seriously pursued a plea bargain deal that could spare him serious jail time. Should Olmert be convicted, there is little doubt that the public will demand a complete overhaul of a political crony system that elects corrupt officials at will. As for the introduction of Mishpat Ivri into Israeli life, that could come within a decade if the growing numbers of haredi and national religious voters make it a real campaign issue.
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AARON KLEIN Specifics Surface On Possible Syria-Israel Deal The Obama administration has drawn up a plan for Israel to give much of the strategic Golan Heights to Syria, according to informed Middle East security officials speaking to this column. Last week, this journalist first reported in this column and at WorldNetDaily that Dennis Ross, an envoy for the White House in the Middle East, visited both Israel and Syria in recent weeks to discuss specifics of a deal in which Syria would eventually take most of the Golan. The specifics of the plan, however, were not disclosed. Days after this reporter’s article appeared, similar reports surfaced in the Israeli and Arab media. Those reports also did not cite specifics of the plan. Now this column has learned that Ross proposed that Israel give Syria large swaths of the Golan Heights. Areas of the territory that house Israeli industrial zones will not need to be evacuated, but Israel is expected to lease the land from Syria, according to informed Middle East security officials. The U.S. plan has Syria declared the owner of most of the Golan while Israelis leasing land from Syria would be expected to pay direct taxes to Syria, the security officials said. The officials said Ross initiated the process of reaching out to both Israel and Syria in November. The Israeli government apparently neither approved nor rejected the plan. The officials said Ross is trying to get Syria to pay a price for the deal, such as scaling back its relationship with Iran and its support of Hizbullah. Thy also hinted that the delay of an international probe investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri is related to regional political dealings, including the talks with Ross. Syria has been widely blamed for Hariri’s death, although the Iranian-backed Hizbullah is expected to be directly blamed if the probe results are ever released. The results were supposed to be released months ago. Syria has twice used the Golan Heights to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state. Syria is in a strategic and military alliance with Iran and has been accused of helping fuel the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq. Syria is a state sponsor of Hizbullah, reportedly helping it arm itself with more than 10,000 missiles and rockets. Also, leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are based in Syria. The U.S. plan for the Golan comes as President Obama last week bypassed the U.S. Senate by using a Congressional recess period to directly appoint new ambassadors, including the first U.S. envoy to Syria since 2005. It marks the second time President Obama bypassed another agency or government branch to appoint a new ambassador to Syria. This column reported in July that Obama bypassed Hillary Clinton’s State Department in his announcement to send a new ambassador to Syria, even disrupting agency negotiations with the Syrian government aimed at extracting concessions from the Damascus regime for the steppedup diplomatic relations between the two countries. How Accurate Are Reports About The ‘Arab’ Golan Heights? News media accounts routinely bill the Golan Heights as “undisputed Syrian territory” until Israel “captured the region” in 1967. The Golan, however, has been out of Damascus’s control for far longer than the 19 years it was within its rule, from 1948 to 1967. Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.
Even when Syria shortly held the Golan, some of it was stolen from Jews. Tens of thousands of acres of farmland on the Golan were purchased by Jews as far back as the late 19th century. The Turks of the Ottoman Empire kicked out some Jews around the turn of the century. But some of the Golan was still farmed by Jews until 1947, when Syria first became an independent state. Just before that, the territory was transferred back and forth between France, Britain and even Turkey, before it became a part of the French Mandate of Syria. When the French Mandate ended in 1944, the Golan Heights became part of the newly independent state of Syria, which quickly seized land that was being worked by the Palestine Colonization Association and the Jewish Colonization Association. A year later, in 1948, Syria, along with other Arab countries, used the Golan to attack Israel in a war to destroy the newly formed Jewish state. The Golan, steeped in Jewish history, is connected to the Torah and to the periods of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The Golan Heights was referred to in the Torah as “Bashan.” The word “Golan” apparently was derived from the biblical city of “Golan in Bashan.” The book of Joshua relates that the Golan was assigned to the tribe of Manasseh. Later, during the time of the First Temple, King Solomon appointed three ministers in the region, and the area became contested between the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel and the Aramean kingdom based in Damascus. The book of Kings relates that King Ahab of Israel defeated Ben-Hadad I of Damascus near the present-day site of Kibbutz Afik in the southern Golan, and the prophet Elisha foretold that King Jehoash of Israel would defeat Ben-Hadad III of Damascus, also near Kibbutz Afik. In the late 6th and 5th centuries B.C.E., the Golan was settled by Jewish exiles returning from Babylonia, or modern day Iraq. In the mid-2nd century B.C.E., Judah Maccabee’s grandnephew, the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannai, added the Golan Heights to his kingdom. The Golan hosted some of the most important houses of Torah study in the years following the Second Temple’s destruction and subsequent Jewish exile; some of Judaism’s most revered ancient rabbis are buried in the territory. The remains of some 25 synagogues from the period between the Jewish revolt and the Islamic conquest in 636 have been excavated. The Golan is also dotted with ancient Jewish villages. Recent State Department Appointee Wants ‘Net Neutrality’ “Net neutrality” rules must be implemented for content control while the government should quintuple federal funding for public and community broadcasting, argues Ben Scott, the State Department’s recently appointed policy adviser for innovation. This argument appears in an article co-authored by Robert W. McChesney, an avowed Marxist activist who has called for the dismantlement “brickby-brick” of the U.S. capitalist system, with America being rebuilt as a socialist society. McChesney is the founder of the George Sorosfunded Free Press, which petitions for more government control of the Internet and news media. Scott and McChesney also recommended that the U.S. impose ownership limits on local radio, TV, and cable channels while pushing for more control of the media by the FCC. The article appeared in the January/February 2009 edition of Tikkun Magazine, run by avowed Marxist Michael Lerner. Lerner has been accused of using the magazine to justify Palestinian terror and has written articles in which he suggests the 9/11 attacks were a response to U.S. policies. “Net neutrality” refers to government demands for a principle for users’ access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle states that if a given user pays for a certain level of Internet access, and another user pays for the same level of access, then the two users should be able to connect to each other at the subscribed level of access. Just last week, FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to approve controversial “net neutrality” rules, with the content of those rules, about 100 pages, still being rolled out.
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MEDIA MONITOR 2011 May Bring Changes Here I’ve been thinking for some time now of giving the column a facelift if not a complete makeover and would appreciate reader input. I’ve long felt the title “Media Monitor” doesn’t accurately reflect the range of topics covered here. Regular readers know I often use this space to review books, compile recommended reading lists, and vent about politics and pretty much whatever else comes to mind. I’ve tried whenever possible to use the media as a backdrop for anything I cover in a given week, though on many occasions it’s been impossible to do so. Back in 2002, for example, I undertook a 14-part series on why Jews vote for Democrats in such overwhelming numbers. I’ve also done columns looking back on historical events such as Rudy Giuliani’s throwing Yasir Arafat out of a 1995 UN event at Lincoln Center; deconstructing the myths surrounding John Kennedy’s Camelot; and explaining why it was Richard Nixon and not Henry Kissinger who saved Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. So there’s good reason for my discomfort with the limiting and not quite accurate title “Media Monitor.” Also, the media landscape itself has changed radically in the 12-and-a-half years since this column was launched. The Internet was then still in its early stages and blogging was a few years away from taking off and becoming such a ubiquitous presence in our lives. As websites and blogs have proliferated in a manner that would have been unimaginable in 1998, traditional print and electronic media have seen their monopolistic grip on the news smashed to pieces and, as a result, been forced to be more cognizant of their biases and of the need to be accountable to the general public. The most striking example of this new brake on the mainstream media occurred a few weeks before the 2004 presidential election when Dan Rather, a dinosaur of old-time media who thought the news was still whatever CBS said it was (his predecessor, Walter Cronkite, would smugly and condescendingly proclaim “And that’s the way it is” every weekday evening after presenting 22 minutes of carefully edited and ﬁltered news) did his bit for the John Kerry campaign by running a detrimental story bout President Bush’s National Guard service. In the old days, it would have been difﬁcult if not impossible for pro-Bush forces to counter a story like this one, which turned out to be full of holes and peddled to CBS by dubious sources. But immediately after the story aired, websites and blogs were on it round the clock until Rather, who at ﬁrst treated his critics with disdain, was forced to make an on-air apology and accept a premature retirement ultimatum from his superiors at what was once billed the “Tiffany network.” The fact is, in a world of constantly updated websites and blogs and 24/7 news coverage and analysis on cable TV, a weekly media column can get stale and fall behind the curve pretty quickly. And then there’s the matter of coverage of Israel, which since 1998 has improved to a considerable degree in the mainstream media, no doubt thanks to the increasingly potent efforts of media watchdog groups like CAMERA and websites lie HonestReporting.com. The New York Times, for example, while still more than capable of framing news stories in manner guaranteed to aggravate the pro-Israel community, is nowhere near as bad as it was back in the late 1990s when Deborah Sontag served as the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief and ﬁled reports on a near daily basis that read as though they’d been prepared under the watchful eye of the Palestinian Authority. There was a period when probably a third of the Monitor’s columns concerned Sontag’s outrageously slanted coverage. At any rate, I know this column has some ﬁercely devoted readers who never hesitate to let me know when I’ve hit the right chord – and even more frequently when I’ve missed the mark. I felt the need, therefore, to offer some reasons why the column’s focus may move even further away from media coverage and take on an ever more eclectic range of subjects. For now we’ll still call it “Media Monitor,” but I’m open to suggestions for a new name. Jason Maoz can be reached at email@example.com.
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there need be no contradiction between the production of excellent and interesting wines and wines that happen to be kosher. From the upper Galilee and the Golan Heights to the Judean Hills and even in the Negev Desert, the construction of stateDANIEL ROGOV of-the-art wineries, the ongoing import and cultivation of fine vine stock from California, France and Australia, and the knowledge of young, well-trained winemakers who are not afraid to experiment with When I first arrived in Israel nearly 35 years new grape varieties and blends continues to yield ago, the wine situation in the country was fairly an abundance of quality wines that can compete abysmal. A great number of wines were indeed be- comfortably with many of the fine wines of the New ing produced, but the vast majority of those were and Old Worlds. wines intended for sacramental purposes. Most Following are my candidates for 10 of the very were red, sweet and coarse, and not a few of those best kosher Israeli wines release of the last year, had more of a resemblance to cough medicine than those already available or now on their way to to fine wine. Being charitable, there were few ac- better wine shops and Internet buying sites in ceptable wines, none that might be considered ex- the greater New York metropolitan area. Some cellent – and quite a few that were out-and-out of these wines are quite dear. All are well worth horrid. the price for special occasions or to go with speThe times they have indeed a’changed, and cial meals. since the release of the first wines from the GoGolan Heights Winery, Rom, 2006: A blend of Syrlan Heights Winery in 1984 it has become ever ah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (37%, 34%, and increasingly apparent that Israel is now a legiti- 29%, respectively). Oak-aged in French barriques mate contender on the international wine scene. for a total of 21 months and bottled without filtraThe wines of the Golan Heights Winery were a tion. A wine to follow in stages, for at this point in success from the beginning, not only within Isra- its development it opens so fruit-forward, with ripe el but also those from abroad. This success had blueberries, cherries and red currants, that some an enormous impact on other Israeli wineries that may actually mistakenly think it is sweet. Even have made major steps in improving the quality now, however, that sensation passes quickly to reof their wines. veal a full-bodied, well-extracted and remarkably Carmel, the oldest and still-largest winery in intense wine with aromas and ﬂavors that literalthe country, celebrated its 120th harvest in 2010; ly ﬂood the palate. As the wine continues to develthe Tishbi winery celebrated its 25th anniversa- op and as its elements come fully together, look for ry; and two medium-sized wineries, Dalton and notes of fresh herbs, espresso coffee and hints of Galil Mountain, celebrated their 10th anniver- both anise and cinnamon. Israel’s best wine ever. saries. As the Golan Heights Winery and Carm- Superb now, but best from 2014-2022 – perhaps lonel now produce world-class wines on a regular ger. $145. Score: 96. basis, so do other large- and medium size-winGolan Heights Winery, Chardonnay, Odem Oreries such as Dalton, Galil Mountain, Recanati, ganic Vineyard, Yarden, 2008: Bright burnished Tabor, Tishbi, and Ella Valley Vineyards. More gold in color, full-bodied, opening with a note of butthan that, long-time kosher boutique wineries terscotch on the nose. On first attack summer fruits such as Yatir, Clos de Gat, and Domaine du Cas- and pears, those yielding to notes of citrus and crème tel – as well as wineries that have just become brûlée. Gentle wood and a near-buttery texture balkosher, including Flam, Tulip, and Saslove – anced finely with acidity. Not a lively wine but inhave joined Israel’s wine revolution and are pro- deed destined to be complex, mouth-filling and, for ducing wines that are worthy of the attention of lack of a better term, delicious. Drink now-2018. even the most sophisticated of wine lovers both $25. Score: 94. in Israel and abroad. Golan Heights Winery, Syrah, Ortal Vineyard, Another important part of what some call the Is- Yarden, 2007: Deep, dark and concentrated, with raeli wine revolution has been the realization that soft tannins and notes of cedar wood. Full-bodied and aromatic, opening in the glass to show generous purple plums, blackber404 Ave M FREE ries and black cherries, Bklyn, NY 11230 DELIVERY! those yielding to a comAcross from Moisha’s Disc. Bet 4th and 5th St Curbside Service fortable hint of crème de Available Anytime! cassis. On the long finish, 718-336-7707 notes of earthy minerals and a light and tempting hint of bitterness. Approachable on release, but best from 2013-2022. Score: 93. Carmel, Shiraz, Kayoumi Vineyard, Single Vineyard, Upper GaliCANTINA GABRIELE lee, 2008: Shiraz blendDOLCEMENTE ed with 2% Viognier and RED OR oak-aged for 15 months. True to the Shiraz vaWHITE ONLY rietal, super-dark royal $ 95 purple in color, with generous but gently mouthcoating tannins. On first RECANTI CABERNET GLENRO TH SAUVIGNON RESERVE ALL GA attack, raspberries and SINGLE ES 1991 VE $ 95 EXCLUS MALT cherries, those parting to TERRANES AT SCH IVELY WI make way for blackberry N A P PS 9 CARDHU 12YR SINGLE MALT and cassis. 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from 2012-2018. $33. Score: 93. Carmel, Limited Edition, 2007: Full-bodied and concentrated but not at all bombastic, developed in Burgundy-sized barrels (45% of which are new), showing fine balance and structure that bode well for the future. A blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Petit Verdot, 5% each of Merlot and Malbec, and 2% Cabernet Franc, with a generous array of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark plum fruits, those supported by gentle notes of spicy oak and fresh acidity. Needs time for all of the elements to come together. Drink now-2018. $100. Score: 93. Domaine du Castel, Grand Vin, 2008: A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec (60%, 20%, 10%, 6% and 4%, respectively). Deeply aromatic, full-bodied and with fine concentration and opening to show true elegance with layer after layer of complexity and depth. Nearsweet tannins that caress gently come together with lightly spicy cedarwood to highlight aromas and ﬂavors of blackcurrants, blackberries and fresh Mediterranean herbs and, on the super-long finish, a tantalizing note of baking chocolate. Perhaps Castel’s best to date. Drink now-2018. $60. Score: 93. Domaine du Castel, Petit Castel, 2008: A Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the wine aged in French oak for 16 months and in truth a Bordeaux-styled wine that could come only from the Mediterranean sunshine. Deep garnet in color, full-bodied, with soft tannins and bare but tantalizing notes of spicy wood already integrating nicely. A rich blackberry nose followed on the palate by aromas and ﬂavors of blackcurrants, blackberries and black cherries. Pure, round, rich, well focused, and with touches of anise and cedarwood on the finish – a complex, deep and long wine. Drink now-2015. $40. Score: 93. Dalton, Matatia, 2006: A Bordeaux blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Developed in new French oak, showing deep and dark but not at all mysterious. On first attack aromas of mint, tar and a hint of iodine, those remarkably and perhaps surprisingly pleasing. Yields in the glass to reveal generous blackberry, blackcurrant and bitter-orange-peel notes, and finally, on the long finish, hints of espresso coffee. With fine balance between wood, acidity, tannins and fruits, a thought-provoking and delicious wine. If I had to find a single word to describe the wine, that word would be “scrumptious.” Drink now-2014. $110. Score: 93. Recanati, Special Reserve, 2006: A blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Merlot. Aged for 19 months in barriques, of which 80% were new, showing full-bodied with still-firm tannins along with generous wood and acidity. No fear, however, for those are settling in nicely and show fine balance with fruits yielding a structure that bodes very well for the future. On the nose and palate hints of chocolate, espresso coffee and tobacco to support rich berry, currant and licorice notes, all coming to a powerful but long and graceful finish. Approachable now, but best to cellar this one as best drinking will start only in 2012. The wine should cellar well until 2018. $40. Score: 93. Yatir Forest, 2007: Dark garnet toward royal purple, a full-bodied, softly tannic blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Petit Verdot and 7% each of Malbec and Merlot, those reﬂecting 16 months development in barriques with notes of spicy cedarwood and of roasted almonds. On first attack blackcurrants and blackberries, those making way for purple plums, bittersweet chocolate and licorice. On the long and generous finish, tannins and fruits rise comfortably together. Approachable and enjoyable now, but best from 20122021. $100. Score: 93. Next month: Quality Kosher Wines at Remarkably Reasonable Prices. Daniel Rogov is a premier kosher wine critic and the author of two annual books, “Rogov’s Guide to Israeli Wines” and “Rogov’s Guide to Kosher Wines.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, January 7, 2011
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ANNA’S TABLECLOTHS BEAUTIFUL SELECTION ALL STYLES & SIZES
James Logan: Early American Hebrew Scholar Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations are from “The History of the Jews of Philadelphia from Colonial Times to the Age of Jackson” by Edwin Wolf and Maxwell Whiteman, The Jewish Publication Society, 1957. A number of early American colonists were very familiar with the Hebrew language. The story of Hebrew culture in Massachusetts begins with the very foundation of the Plymouth colony, for the first Hebraists to settle in New England came over in the Mayflower. Governor Bradford, one of the Mayflower Pilgrims, was a man whose ability, character, and comparative culture raised him above his fellow settlers. His knowledge of languages is praised by Cotton Mather in the Magnalia: “…he was conversant with Dutch, French, Latin, and Greek, but the Hebrew [tongue] he most of all studied, because he said he would see with his own eyes the ancient oracles of God in their native beauty.” Bradford was not the only Hebraist on the Mayflower; Elder William Brewster also had some knowledge of the sacred tongue.1 Colonel William Byrd II was a wealthy Virginia planter who began his daily diary entry with, “I rose at 7 o’clock and read a chapter in Hebrew and 200 verses in Horner’s Odyssey.” These men and many others felt that the only way to properly understand Tanach was to be able to read it in the original Hebrew. And like Jews throughout the Diaspora, New England’s laity and clergy established schools Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at email@example.com. “Home of the Out-Of-Print Book”
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that would perpetuate traditions of Hebrew learning. All ten of the colleges founded on American soil before the Revolution offered instruction in “Hebrew and the shemitish [pertaining to Shem] languages.” Harvard, the ﬁrst college established in the American colonies, was founded and led by clergymen – scholars whose own academic interests were centered on Hebrew language and textual study. These clergymen endeavored to perpetuate their intellectual legacy in what Cotton Mather dubbed “New England’s Beit Midrash.”2 One Christian who devoted much time to the study of the Hebrew language, Jewish history, and Jewish rites and customs was James Logan. The son of Quakers Patrick and Isabel Logan, he was born in Lurgan, Ireland in 1674 or 1675. He was obviously a genius, because by the age of 13 he had mastered Latin and Greek as well as some Hebrew. At age 16 he acquired considerable knowledge of mathematics simply by reading some books. In 1689 the Logan family moved to Bristol, England, where, in 1693, James replaced his father as schoolmaster. While teaching others, he improved his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew and also managed to ﬁnd time to learn French, Italian and some Spanish. In 1699 Logan came to the colony of Pennsylvania aboard the Canterbury with William Penn, serving as Penn’s secretary. One of the most capable men in the Province [of Pennsylvania], Logan was also Penn’s most faithful friend and personal agent. He was soon appointed Secretary of the Province, and served in that key post from 1701 to 1717. At ﬁrst a clerk to the Governor’s Council, within a year he was made a voting member. Between 1736 and 1738, he served, in the absence of a governor, as chief executive of the Province. He was elected Mayor of Philadelphia, commissioned as
Continued on p.76
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(Part Two) In last week’s column I described some of the nerve-wracking aggravation inherent to travel. Going to Eretz Yisrael, however, is different. There, everything is different, because Eretz Yisrael is our land. Hashem gave it to us to be our eternal inheritance. So no matter how long we may have been away from her, the land remains as close to us as it was thousands of years ago. We have a teaching, “Whatever happened to our forefathers is a sign for us, their children. In other words, everything is replay. When our father Jacob, after many years of exile, returned to Eretz Yisrael, he sent a message to Esau that he had been delayed, but was now coming – meaning he had never relinquished ownership of the land, but was merely delayed. Similarly, for almost two thousand years, we too have been delayed, but throughout, the land was engraved on our hearts and souls. So yes, going to Eretz Yisrael is different, and that which we would find aggravating in other countries somehow does not affect us in the same way in the Holy Land. It’s not that I have some Pollyanna outlook. I am fully aware of the challenges that come with living there, and yet I still maintain that it is different. Allow me to share with you just one example: Whenever I speak in Israel, I am careful to set time aside to visit the gravesites of our ancestors. So we engaged a taxi and asked the driver to take us to Kever Rachel and to wait for us. Now, taking taxi in Israel is, in and of itself, an experience. Nowhere else can you have a conversation with a driver as you can in Israel. I am in the habit of asking the driver his name and this usually leads to a big discussion. When I asked this particular driver his name, he replied, “Benjy.” “You mean Binyamin,” I said. “What’s the difference, Binyamin or Benjy?” he asked. “There’s a huge difference,” I responded. “Binyamin has a history; Binyamin has roots. Binyamin represents glory and splendor – the Holy Temple itself was in the territory of Binyamin. But what is Benjy? What history does a Benjy have?” So we got into a whole discussion about Torah and Judaism, something that can only happen in Israel, and in the end he conceded that Binyamin does represent a legacy that Benjy does not have. Where else but in Israel can this happen? Before we knew it, we had arrived at Kever Rachel and designated a spot where he should wait for us. There were about a dozen women at the Kever, each engrossed in her individual prayer, shedding tears and pleading for G-d’s mercy. What better place can there be to make such supplications? Regarding Rachel it is written, Kol b’Ramah nishma – a voice is heard above...Rachel is weeping for her children. She refuses to be consoled, and Hashem assures her, “Cease your weeping; wipe your tears. There is reward for your labor. Your children shall come home....” When we pray at the grave of Mother Rachel, when we shed tears there, we know Rachel is praying with us. She feels our pain and weeps with us, and even as she does so, she gathers our tears and places them in front of G-d’s Throne. Mother Rachel refuses to be consoled until our salvation comes, and that knowledge fortifies us. So I found a place for myself right near her catafalque and started to pray.
Continued on p.72
Friday, January 7, 2011
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The ninth plague – darkness – comes shrouded in a darkness of its own. What is this plague doing here? It seems out of sequence. Thus far there have been eight plagues, and they have become steadily, inexorably more serious. The first two, the Nile turned blood red and the infestation of frogs, seemed more like omens than anything else. The third and fourth, gnats and ﬂies, caused discomfort, not crisis. The fifth, the plague that killed livestock, affected animals, not human beings. The sixth, boils, was again a discomfort, but a serious one, no longer an external nuisance but a bodily afﬂiction. (Remember that Job lost everything he had, but did not start cursing his fate until his body was covered with sores: Job 2.) The seventh and eighth, hail and locusts, destroyed the Egyptian grain. Now there was no food. Still to come was the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn, in retribution for Pharaoh’s murder of Israelite children. It would be this that eventually broke Pharaoh’s resolve. So we would expect the ninth plague to be very serious indeed, something that threatened, even if it did not immediately take human life. Instead we read what seems like an anticlimax: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt – darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived” (10:21-22). Darkness is a nuisance, but no more. The
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phrase “darkness that can be felt” suggests what happened: a khamsin, a sandstorm of a kind not unfamiliar in Egypt, which can last for several days, producing sand- and dust-filled air that obliterates the light of the sun. A khamsin is usually produced by a southern wind that blows into Egypt from the Sahara desert. The worst sandstorm is usually the first of the season, in March. This fi ts the dating of the plague that happened shortly before the death of the firstborn – on Pesach. The ninth plague was a miracle, but not an event wholly unknown to the Egyptians – then or now. Why then does it figure in the narrative, immediately prior to its climax? The answer lies in a line from Dayeinu, the song we sing as part of the Haggadah: “If G-d had executed judgment against them [the Egyptians] but had not done so against their gods, it would have been sufficient.” Twice the Torah itself refers to this dimension of the plagues: “I will pass through Egypt on that night, and I will kill every firstborn in Egypt, man and animal. I will perform acts of judgment against all the gods of Egypt; I [alone] am G-d” (Exodus 12:12). “The Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, struck down by the Lord; and against their gods, the Lord had executed judgment” (Numbers 33:4). Not all the plagues were directed, in the first instance, against the Egyptians. Some were directed against things they worshipped as gods. That is the case in the first two plagues. The Nile was personified in ancient Egypt as the god Hapi. Offerings were made to it at times of inundation. The inundations themselves were attributed to one of the major Egyptian deities, Osiris. The plague of frogs would have been associated by the Egyptians with Heket, the goddess who was believed to attend births as a midwife, and who was depicted as a woman with the head of a frog. These symbolisms, often lost on us, would have been immediately apparent to the Egyp-
Continued on p.71
Thoughts Of Summer During Snowstorms
Friday, January 7, 2011
By Devora Mandell JP Correspondent As the snow blizzard descended on New York City last week and much activity in the metropolitan area came to a halt, Chaya and Sarah Greenwald, who had been looking forward to their camp reunion originally scheduled for that same day, were reminiscing about their end-of-summer, one-week camp experience last August. Camp Kaylie in Wurtsboro, N.Y., after recently being purchased, was open only one week for girls and only one week for boys at the end of summer 2010, as a dry-run for next season.
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borhood, but at Camp Kaylie the girls came from so many different backgrounds and hashkafas and we all respected one another, became close friends. I was surprised and encouraged by it, we became like one family.â€? The Greenwald sisters described the cohesive camp spirit and the energy displayed by the counselors. â€œThere was one Sunday when we had a huge carnival planned and Camp Kaylie brought in a number of blow-up rides.â€? That day the rain came down in buckets and Sarah said the campers understood the colorful rides that were all in place wouldnâ€™t be enjoyed as planned. â€œInstead of sulking about it, we all gathered in the dining room where there was indoor entertainment, a magic show,
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For Chaya Greenwald, it was her first time at summer camp, while her older sister Sarah, who worked as a waitress during the one week at Camp Kaylie, had spent several seasons at a variety of camps. â€œCamp Kaylie is different and it really topped all my previous camp experiences,â€? Sarah said. â€œItâ€™s a new camp, so everyone who came for that one week were meeting for the first time, everyone began together on even ground.â€? She added that what made the camp so unique was the large mix of girls from all strata in the frum community, â€œNormally, you go to camp with girls from the same school or neighMore information about Camp Kaylie can be found at CampKaylie.org. Camp Kaylie is also making itself available as an exclusive resort to a limited number of group conferences/retreats throughout the year. Further inquiries can be made by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-800-603-Ohel.
Campers from last summerâ€™s one-week session.
carnival food stands, and so much dancing, singing, cheering, and smiling, all of us together,â€? she said. â€œThat day really stands out as probably the most fun and memorable day of all.â€?
Continued on p.70
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Friday, January 7, 2011
The Yeshiva of Rochester
36th Anniversary Dinner Guest of Honor Mr. & Mrs. Nachum Rackkoff Alumnus of the Year Rabbi Leon (Tzvi) Cohen Guest Speaker Harav Dovid Harris, Shlita
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Dr. Eliezer Schnall: A Rising Personality Among Jewish Psychologists By Barry Katz Open any Jewish publication (in- spired during his high school years. cluding this newspaper) and you will Aside from discovering a fascination find columns by Orthodox mental with general psychology and how the health professionals bridging the mind works, he was “also drawn by worlds of modern-day psychology and those mussar works, particularly the good, old-fashioned Torah values. At writings of Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, one time some in the Orthodox com- that lead to introspection and contemmunity looked askance at modern- plation about how we behave and how day psychology, rejecting it on the ba- we think.” This led to Schnall’s pursuit of a sis that some of its theories were antithetical to the Torah’s teaching. Over bachelor’s degree in psychology from the past decade, however, a number of Yeshiva University. He then furthered the most ardent dissenters have come his education at the Albert Einstein around, seeing how this notion is in- College of Medicine, and the Ferkauf correct. They have also witnessed how Graduate School of Psychology, both mental health professionals have en- subsidiaries of Yeshiva University, abled individuals plagued with issues while simultaneously receiving rabto thrive and succeed in living a well- binic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. This balanced life. This has opened the door to a new has led to what Schnall refers to as his generation of Orthodox psychologists. “Torah U’Madda approach in studying One of the up-and-coming stars in and teaching psychology.” In addition to the two aforementhe field is Dr. Eliezer Schnall. The 33-year-old native Long Islander has tioned studies, Schnall conducted anreceived a great deal of press for a other – one that he says he is most number of studies that he and his col- proud of – in which he examined the leagues at Yeshiva University have relationship between women’s reliconducted. For example, his most re- gious service attendance and morality. cent study was featured in an article in The study included over 90,000 womThe Jewish Week this past August. The en of various faiths from 40 locations study, entitled “Psychology and Stig- around the United States between the ages of 50 and 70. Rema: A 25-Year Followsearchers followed their Up Study in the Ortholives and had the womdox Jewish Communien answer myriad questy,” had Schnall survey tions about themselves. hundreds of Orthodox The results found that mental health profeswomen who regularly sionals, members of The attended services demInternational Network onstrated a lower rate of Mental Health Proof death from all causes fessionals (NEFESH), than did non-attendees. to get their take on the While no clear-cut cause current state of Orthois known, researchers dox mental health. As suggest that being part the title indicates, this of a social network may was a follow-up to a be a significant factor. study conducted in 1984 Inasmuch as Schnall that asked the same can look back proudly on questions. his large body of work, The findings are he acknowledges that mixed. On one hand, he could not have acthe 2009 findings show Dr. Eliezer Schnall complished what he has that only 59 percent of responding clinicians felt that the com- without the help of his “distinguished munity members mistrust the men- colleagues, such as Dr. Sylvia Wasserttal health field. In 1984, that number heil-Smoller, Dr. David Pelcovitz, Drs. was 87 percent. Similarly, clinicians Shalom and Karyn Feinberg, and Ms. who felt that mental health patients Debbie Fox.” So what is next for Dr. Schnall? In are stigmatized dropped from 93 to 70 percent. Conversely, 10 percent of clini- addition to his duties as professor at cians felt that the patients’ needs were Yeshiva University, Schnall is currentbeing met in 1984, while in 2009, the ly researching, together with Yeshiva number was 40 percent. While this is College student Michael Greenberg, a clearly an improvement, it also tells us study that involves the famous Groupthat the needs are not being met for the think model developed by the late social psychologist Irving Janis. The majority of people. Another of Schnall’s groundbreak- Groupthink approach has long been ing studies dealt with how Orthodox used to explain group dynamics that Jewish marriages compared with their may have contributed to faulty group secular counterparts. The study found decision-making, possibly leading to that of the over 3,000 participants, such fiascos and tragedies as those at 72 percent of men and 74 percent of the Bay of Pigs or involving the NASA women surveyed rated their marriage Challenger and Columbia shuttles. as “very good” or “excellent,” a 9- and An interesting twist is that Schnall 14-point advantage over the gener- includes in his research an analyal U.S. population. Yet the number of sis of how the Sanhedrin employed those in the study who do not claim unique measures to prevent problemto have a satisfying marriage has led atic groupthink dynamics from taking some Jewish community leaders to re- hold in that body – citing the Mishthink the way young people are pre- nah, the Talmud, and Maimonides in pared for marriage. For instance, the support of his thesis. If Schnall’s previous work is a harOrthodox Union has organized marriage retreats for the past few years, binger for his current study, a fasciand has an upcoming weekend later nating report is waiting in the wings. It has the potential to garner trementhis month. So how did it all start for Eliezer dous media attention and, more imporSchnall? In an interview with The Jew- tantly, inﬂuence the Jewish world and ish Press, Schnall discussed being in- the discipline of psychology.
Friday, January 7, 2011
A TASTE OF LOMDUS RABBI RAPHAEL FUCHS
Pidyon Haben The pasuk in this week’s parshah, Shemos 13:2, says, “Sanctify to Me every firstborn; the firstborn of every womb among the Children of Israel, whether of man or beast, is Mine.” We learn from here the mitzvah of pidyon haben. As the pasuk says, the first baby boy to be born is holy and belongs to Hashem. Later in the parshah, in pasuk 13, we learn that one can redeem his firstborn son with money. The father redeems his son for five sila’im (silver coins) from a kohen. The boy is thereby no longer considered holy or belonging to Hashem. The Rama in Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah, 305:10) quotes a Teshuvas Revash that says that the father cannot assign a shaliach, or messenger, to redeem his son from the kohen. Many Achronim were very disturbed by this: Why not, they ask? In all other aspects of the Torah, one is able to appoint a shaliach. Why should pidyon haben be different? Therefore, the Shach and Taz, among a few others, opposed the ruling of the Rama and permitted a father to appoint a shaliach. The Chasam Sofer in his She’eilos U’teshuvos (Yoreh De’ah, 293) writes that there is a significant difference between the mitzvah of pidyon haben and all others. The mitzvah of pidyon haben is a commemoration of the plague of the firstborn in Egypt. The Jewish
bechorim (firstborn) were saved, while the Egyptian firstborn were killed. The Torah tells us that this plague was carried out by Hashem Himself, without an agent. As it says in the Haggadah, “I [Hashem] and not an angel; I and not a messenger.” Therefore in performing this mitzvah there is reason not to use an agent, but rather to do it oneself. The Aruch Hashulchan (Yoreh De’ah 305) offers two other explanations for the ruling of the Rama. First, the pasuk explicitly says “tifdeh”– you should redeem. Whenever the Torah explicitly says one should do a mitzvah, one is not allowed to appoint an agent. Second, the Gemara makes a drasha connecting the mitzvah of pidyon haben with the mitzvah of oleh l’regel (going up to Jerusalem three times a year). One cannot appoint an agent to perform the mitzvah of oleh l’regel on his behalf, because it is a mitzvah shebegufo (a mitzvah one must perform with one’s actual body). Similarly, one can’t appoint an agent to don tefillin on his behalf, for the mitzvah is to have tefillin on your actual arm and head. The Aruch Hashulchan says that the Torah wants to connect the mitzvah of oleh l’regel to the mitzvah of pidyon haben in this regard as well. Therefore, one cannot appoint an agent to redeem one’s son. Although the Gemara uses this drasha to teach us something else, we can add to the drasha and say that there is another similarity that the Torah wants to draw. I want to offer a new approach in understanding the psak of the Rama
Continued on p.56
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Friday, January 7, 2011
Fire And Rescue Team Recalls Horrors
Fire Chief Shlomo Lubiner says the first image that came to his mind when rescuing bodies from the Carmel fire was that of the Holocaust. “In my 15 years of fire and rescue work, I have never come face to face with such horror,” Lubiner says. The worst natural disaster in Israel’s history claimed 44 lives, destroyed 250 homes and erased an entire kibbutz. Chief Lubiner led a group of five professional fire fighters and ten volunteers from the Ma’aleh Adumim station to fight the northern blaze. Lubiner is fire chief of an extensive region – from Ma’aleh Adumim down to the Dead Sea and south to Ein Gedi. He also serves as commander of National Rescue Operations and has established units around the country trained to tackle complex rescue situations. When a busload of cadet prison guards on the way to rescue inmates was engulfed in ﬂames, these units went into action. The cadets escaped the blazing bus by leaping down a steep incline, only to be consumed by the fire moments later.
Fire Chief Shlomo Lubiner in front of the Ma’aleh Adumim station.
The next morning brought another challenge – the search for a missing firefighter from the city of Afula. Lubiner recalled his frustration at his team’s inability to begin the search until daybreak. “It was a long night. We simply did not have what the situation demanded: ﬂashlights, night goggles and enough thermal cameras for seeing through smoke. There was nothing for us to do but wait.” Waiting is difficult for Lubiner. As fire chief in Ma’aleh Adumim, he undertakes multiple rescue efforts every week: car accidents, contact with hazardous materials, hiking disasters and, of course, fires. Lubiner’s commitment knows no borders. His force also responds to frequent fires in Bedouin encampments and car accidents involving Palestinians. He has seen too many times how lost minutes can result in lost lives. Responding to the Carmel fire was not an exceptional change in routine for Lubiner’s Ma’aleh Adumim crew. In addition to municipal firefighting, they regularly lead area-wide training exercises for major disasters. Just two months ago, the fire and rescue squad participated in a large drill in anticipation of a terror attack involving chemical weapons. Lubiner is also engaged in rescue work of another kind through his station’s youth volunteer program. The 10 volunteer firefighters who joined his professional team in fighting the Carmel blaze are part of a volunteer force of 50. Many are teenagers who come from troubled homes or were formerly involved in petty crime. Lubiner has used his position as fire chief to take them under his wing and give them a chance to realize their dreams. Lubiner says that 90 percent of the Ma’aleh Adumim volunteer firefighters who assisted in the Carmel rescue and firefighting effort were youths from troubled backgrounds. “Their courage is remarkable,” he says. But courage is not enough. Battling the Carmel fire has strengthened Lubiner’s personal commitment to be ready for any and every future scenario. It has also strengthened his determination to acquire the equipment needed to realize the potential of his team. Momi’s minimal equipment was pushed to its limit in the recent rescue efforts in the north. His most modern truck now sits unusable at the station after its motor died. His need for additional thermal cameras for seeing through smoke is even more pressing. There is no lack of enthusiasm for work on Lubiner’s team. A new volunteer training course started at the Ma’aleh Adumim station only three days after the Carmel fire was extinguished. Fifteen teens joined the training program. “This is a chance for a new beginning,” says Lubiner. “I hope the future will look brighter for these young volunteers. I hope that in the wake of the national tragedy, the fire fighters will finally receive all the equipment they need. I cannot prevent these youth from coming face to face with disaster, but I can work with all my heart to find equipment to match their courage and talent. Only then can they do their job – to save the maximum number of lives.” To contribute to the Ma’aleh Adumim Fire and Rescue station, make out your tax-deductible check to “American Friends of Mitzpe Yeriho” and earmark check “fire.” Mail your contribution to: Friends of Mitzpe Yeriho, c/o Dr. Miguel Stroe, P.O. Box 166, Mitzpe Yeriho, 90651 Israel.
Friday, January 7, 2011
SHABBAT FORSHPEIS RABBI AVI WEISS
vindication of the honor of the Egyptian people.” All this has much in common with a burning issue that surfaced in the early 1950s. Should Jews accept reparations from Germany? David Ben-Gurion argued for accepting such money because, he felt, the Germans should at least pay for their horror – otherwise they would go completely unpunished. Menachem Begin argued the reverse. He held that such payment would be viewed as blood money, an atonement to wash away German sins. In his mind, this was unacceptable as nothing could ever obviate the evil of the Third Reich. Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 proclaims there is nothing new under the sun. The contemporary debate concerning recouping monies and plundered assets from the Germans and Swiss and others for their misdeeds during the Holocaust has its roots in the exodus from Egypt. Was vayenatzlu, mandated as it was by God, a unique event not to be repeated, or did it set a precedent to be emulated in order to give those connected with evildoers the chance to repent? The fact that many people are not familiar with this episode of the Exodus narrative clearly shows that our ability to remember the essence of the slavery in Egypt has not been dampened by our successful recovery of Egyptian property. As we justly pursue the return of funds, we must be careful that it does not obstruct in any way to our ability to preserve the legacy of the Shoah – which was not primarily about stolen money but about something much more important: stolen souls.
The True Nature Of Reparations How could it be that as the Jews left Egypt they despoiled the Egyptians (vayenatzlu) and took their goods (Exodus 12:36)? Based on this sentence, many anti-Semites have claimed that Jews are thieves, stealing from others. The mainstream response to this accusation is that the taking of Egyptian possessions was in fact a small repayment for all the years of Jewish enslavement. There is yet another approach to the text that has far-reaching consequences in contemporary times. Perhaps the Jews did not take from the Egyptians after all. Possibly the Egyptians, upon request of the Jews, willingly gave up their property as a way of atoning for their misdeeds. This approach would read the word vayenatzlu not as meaning “despoil” but rather “to save” (from the word lehatzeel). By giving money to the Jews the Egyptian soul repented, and in some small way was saved. To paraphrase Dr. J.H. Hertz and Benno Ya’akov, an amicable parting from Egypt would banish the bitter memories the Jews had of the Egyptians. The Jews would come to understand that the oppressors were Pharaoh and other Egyptian leaders as opposed to the entire Egyptian people. The gifts ensure “a parting of friendship with its consequent clearing of the name, and
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Friday, January 7, 2011
Rockland County / N. N.J. PEREL GROSSMAN EDITOR
Mazal Tov To… Rabbi and Rebbetzin Yisroel Mayer Zaks of Monsey and Rabbi and Mrs. Dov Stein of Brooklyn upon the marriage of their children, Brochie to Shloime; to the grandparents, Rebbetzin M. Zaks, Rabbi and M. Weintraub, Rebbetzin C.S.
Stein, and Mr. and Mrs. A. Kess, and to the entire mishpacha. Vivian and Harry Zelcer of New Hempstead upon the engagement of their son, Joshua, to Julia Rafailova of Kew Gardens, NY, and to the whole family. To submit an occasion for publication, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-3543546.
Congratulations to Yeshiva Derech HaTorah’s math champions: Ari Eichler, Hude Rosenfeld, Yoni Sabo, Meir Sternberg, and Natan Vulakh. Mrs. Linda Goldberg, respected Math and Science Coordinator at CIJE (Council for Initiatives In Jewish Education) and one of the leading organizers of the Inter-Yeshiva Math Olympiad held on Sunday, December 12, invited Yeshiva Derech HaTorah to participate, saying, “I Tuesday, January 11, 8:15 p.m. see Yeshiva Derech HaTorah as the little school The Living Journal Workshop for Women – jour- that could...” naling and art are brought together in this dynamic six-session biweekly workshop in Passaic, NJ. You will enjoy a variety of art materials, as you illuminate your path towards personal growth and self-discovery. Space is very limited. To reserve, call Yocheved Sampson at 917-566-2262. creativespaceworkshops.com.
Wednesday, January 12, 7:15 p.m. The Teaneck Second Generation Group is a monthly discussion group for children of Holocaust survivors. A new topic is introduced each month. Meetings are held at Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson. Suggested donation is $5 to help offset cost of services to Holocaust survivors. For questions or to register, call 201-837-9090.
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Yeshiva Derech HaTorah 8th Graders Win CIJE Inter-Yeshiva Math Olympiad
Thursday, January 13, 7:30 p.m. The Jewish Twelve Step/JACS meets the second Thursday of each month, at Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson. Meetings are opened with a spiritual message relating Jewish concepts to the 12 Steps, followed by sharing. Open to all Jewish persons who want help with their own or a loved one’s addiction. Non-denominational, anonymity respected. Contact Ben with any questions at 201-981-1071. Sunday, January 23 Gymnastics for girls – learn basic gymnastics and improve current skills. Gain more flexibility and conﬁdence. Open to all levels. Classes will be held at Quality Martial Arts, 575 Van Houten Ave., in Passaic, NJ. Space is limited. For more information or to register, contact Devra Markowitz at 310-913-3406 or 973-773-0717.
(L-R) Mrs. Linda Goldberg, Mrs. Doreen Hacker, Yoni Sabo, Natan Vulakh, Ari Eichler, Meir Sternberg, General Studies Principal Mr. Yehuda Goldstein and Hude Rosenfeld.
And, indeed, Derech HaTorah did. After taking 2nd place against 14 metropolitan area yeshivot in last year’s CIJE– sponsored E2K (Excellence 2000) virtual math competition, Yeshiva Derech HaTorah, a Brooklyn yeshiva that has developed a reputation for excellence in education, came back this year to have its 8th grade take 1st place. Mrs. Doreen Hacker, the junior high school’s math teacher and school math coach, expressed pride and conﬁdence in her students on hearing the news. “I just had this feeling,” she said. “I knew they could and felt they would.”
A Culinary Experience For Children With Special Needs
Wednesdays, Ongoing Shmiras Halashon Shiur – class is held at the former site of Yeshiva Spring Valley girls’ building, corner of Maple Avenue and Rt. 306, entrance facing Maple Avenue, in classroom downstairs. Call 845The Friendship Circle of Passaic County have 356-5199 for more information. come up with a new program, through which children with special needs and their families have Sundays, January 16, 23; February 6 the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, in a To Kindle A Soul: Painless Parenting Seminar warm, relaxed environment. Each child will have – the seminar will be given by Rabbi Yehoshua the chance to don an apron and loose him/herself Kohl, who has studied extensively under Rabbi in a world of delicious smells, various textures, and Leib Kelemen and has been teaching and coun- heavenly tastes. seling parents for the past ten years. The semThe program will be held on Sunday, January 9 inar will be held in Passaic, NJ, will be geared at 2:30 p.m. and on Monday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. towards preschool and elementary school chil- at the Chabad Center, 194 Ratzer Road, in Wayne, dren, but will be appropriate for parents of old- NJ. Fee is $5 per child. Teenaged volunteers will be er children as well. Following the conclusion of on hand to assist and ensure that the children have this series, a Module 2 series is planned for par- a good time. To register your child, visit fcpassaicticipants in this as well as previous programs in county.com. the Passaic area as well. Separate times for men and women. To register, contact D’vora Gelfond at 973-685-4215. Monday, January 24 A new conﬁdential program providing integrated employment and counseling services for domestic violence victims will be held at Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson. For more information, contact Sheila Steinbach at email@example.com or 201-837-9090. Sundays, 9:15-10:15 a.m. Hilchos Shabbos shiur for men – by Rabbi Cohen in the Passaic area, the shiur will focus on a new topic: “Pikuach Nefesh and Treatment of Illness On Shabbos.” The shiur takes place immediately following Shacharis, and is accompanied by breakfast. For more information, call 973-591-6876.
Swab Your Cheek For Ezra
Ezra, a 21-month-old boy, has a rare genetic disease. A bone marrow transplant can be a complete cure. Presently, there is no match for him worldwide. Testing is a simple cheek swab. If you are between 18 and 60 and in good health, consider getting tested. You can order test kits at Ezra’s giftoflife.org/dc/ Help4Ezra/blog.aspx. Monetary donations are also needed to help pay for the testing of the kits, and can be made through the website, or checks can be mailed to Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, 800 Yamato Road, Suite 101, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Indicate “help4ezra” in the memo area.
Friday, January 7, 2011
prepare a Mexicanthemed meal for our rabbi’s son’s Sheva Brachos (festive meal following TRUE STORIES WITH AN EMPHASIS ON FAITH a wedding). Becky, the synagogue administraEDITED BY NAOMI MAUER tor, called me one afternoon. She had planned to ask the JCC cook to make fried chicken for the meal, By Hanna Geshelin but he was too busy to take the job. Becky didn’t The older I get, the more amazed know what to plan for the menu. I reI am at the way each thing we do is membered a Mexican fried chicken dish linked to every other part of our lives. I I used to make, and promised to look am particularly aware of this when for the recipe. the secular and religious parts of my That night, as I looked around at life meld. This recently happened in a the mixture of women from Mexico, heartwarming way. To appreciate the Colombia, Peru, and India in my class, story, I’ll have to tell you about some I had an inspiration. I asked my stuof the different parts of my life. dents if they had any recipes for crispy In the more secular part of my Latin-style chicken. The response was life, I teach English as a Second Lan- enthusiastic. Rosa recommended that guage in the Continuing Education we pick up chickens from the local department of a nearby communi- Mexican grocery. She added that they ty college. A majority of my students sold a wonderful seasoning mix. are from Latin America, but students “All unkosher,” I thought. “That’s a come from all over the world. Because great idea,” I said. “What do the rest I have had unpleasant experiences of you think?” with a few of my Muslim students, I My student from India gave me say nothing that would reveal that I a recipe that involved marinating the am Jewish. This semester, I am teach- chicken in yogurt. I smiled again and ing students from 16 countries in Lat- thanked her, thinking, “Oops, anothin America, Europe, the Middle East, er nonkosher idea. Maybe I shouldn’t and Asia. have asked them!” But one of the MexIn my religious life, I volunteer in ican women was already breaking into my synagogue kitchen, helping to pre- the discussion. “I never tried yogurt, pare Shabbos buffet luncheons and fes- but I marinate the chicken in ginger tive meals for simchas. Sometimes we ale. It makes the chicken very tender, bring in food from the local JCC. The and tastes wonderful.” JCC has a lunch program for senior citTo my surprise, my Indian and Mexizens headed by a black man who, be- ican students also prepared chicken in sides being meticulous in his kashrus, a similar fashion. Only the seasonings is a fabulous Southern-style cook. One were different. The recipes sounded of his most popular dishes is Southern delicious. Fried Chicken. A few weeks ago, I agreed to help Continued on p.76
LESSONS IN EMUNAH
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Friday, January 7, 2011
Readers are invited to submit questions. All questions must include an address and should be of a general nature. Name will be withheld upon request. The purpose of this Halacha discussion conducted by Rabbi Yaakov Klass in the tradition of Rabbi Sholom Klass, zt”l , is not to decide matters of Halacha (Torah law) but only to discuss the issues in question. Consult your competent Orthodox rabbi for a decision.
HALACHA & HASHKAFA
bwwzk RABBI SHOLOM KLASS By Rabbi Yaakov Klass
A Slow Cooker On The Sabbath QUESTION: Is one allowed to use an electric slow cooker (such as a crock pot) that fits into another pot on the Sabbath? M. Goldblum (Via E-Mail) ANSWER: A halacha that relates to your question, hatmana, is discussed in the Mishna (Shabbos 47b). Hatmana is storing food (lit. to hide – to conceal – actually to insulate within another vessel or substance) on erev Shabbos in a manner that adds heat and is forbidden. Therefore placing a pot of food that fits snugly into an outer heating pot would seem to be the classic case of hatmana – wrapping – in a heatadding vessel. Yet we see that such slow cookers are widely used today for chulents and stews. What leniency might be found to permit the use of such pots on the Sabbath? Integral to the discussion is Rema’s comment. In Orach Chayyim (257:8) he openly states that it is a “mitzvah” to eat hot foods on the Sabbath. Obviously referring to the verse in Parashat Vayakhel (Exodus 35:3), “Lo teva’aru eish b’chol moshvoteichem beyom ha’Shabbat – You shall not kindle a ﬂame on the Sabbath in all your encampments,” which the Sadducees interpreted literally to mean that there be no ﬂame, whether for light, heat or to heat food. Rema refers to one who does not wish to eat hot foods on Shabbat as suspect of being an apikoret – one who denies the existence of G-d. There are of course many means of keeping food warm on the Sabbath. The most popular is the ageold tin blech that one places on the cooktop. However, this presents certain problems, not only halachic restrictions, such as “chazara” – returning the pot to the tin – but in many instances it can be the source for a sweltering kitchen or a safety hazard. An alternative is the “slow cooker” which has become a staple in the modern kitchen. Originally produced to present the opportunity to have foods cook at a slow, even pace over a longer period of time, enabling a home cook to enjoy delicious food upon returning home from a day at work, it has been widely adopted by observant Jews as a means of keeping food hot on the Sabbath. Some slow cookers consist of a metal pot that sits on a small ﬂat heating pan. While these do not present any Sabbath problems, it is advisable to place an aluminum foil sheet on the heating surface as well as cover the control knob(s), if there are any, as a hiker, a symbolic act that one is not cooking on Shabbos. Most authorities consider adjusting temperature as fundamental to bishul – cooking (see Iggrot Moshe, Orach Chayyim Vol. 1:93). Therefore, when a control knob is covered, bishul in its true sense cannot take place. Now what is more prevalent in stores is the crock pot or similar style – an earthenware pot that sits within another (metal) pot which contains the electric heating element. Many gourmands are of the view that this type of pot – earthenware – produces a far superior and more delectable result. It is this inner earthenware pot (which contains the food) that is covered with a lid, while the outer pot itself is not covered. The outer pot also has the control knob or digital control panel. When this new product first appeared on the market, many of the contemporary poskim were confronted with the question of whether the use of the crock pot style slow cooker conforms with the requirements of the Sabbath. There are a number of issues that must be resolved to correctly answer this. The use of this appliance raises questions of shehiyah (leaving food on a fire from before the Sabbath), chazarah (returning food to the fire on the Sabbath), and lastly, as we noted at the outset, hatmana (“concealing,” wrapping or covering hot food to preserve its heat). We shall focus on the issue of hatmana. (To be continued) Rabbi Klass can be contacted at email@example.com.
PEARLS OF WISDOM RABBI DOVID GOLDWASSER
The Promise We read in this week’s parsha that Hashem instructed Moshe, “Please speak in the ears of the people: Let each man and woman request of his neighbor silver and gold vessels” (Shemos 11:2). Rashi comments on the expression, “please,” noting Hashem was concerned that Avraham Avinu should not say Hashem fulfilled His promise to enslave Bnai Yisrael and afﬂict them but did not fulfill His promise that they would leave Mitzrayim with great riches. Hashem therefore charged Moshe to make sure Bnai Yisrael collected their Egyptian neighbors’ possessions. Reference is made to Hashem’s promise to Avraham (Bereishis 15:13-14), “Your offspring shall be aliens in a land not their own, and they will serve them, and they will oppress them … and afterward they will leave with great wealth.” Rav Meir Shapiro of Lublin explains that the decree of galus Mitzrayim can be understood in two distinctly different approaches. The first, a literal translation, is an allusion to the Jewish nation’s descent to the land of Egypt, their eventual physical enslavement and suffering there, and their ultimate departure with material riches and possessions, including gold, silver and treasures. R’ Shapiro offers a second, entirely spiritual interpretation, corresponding to the aspirations of Avraham Avinu, which is as follows: Bnai Yisrael, the chosen nation, would be strangers in the land of Egypt, the source of impurity, corruption and materialism. Their sojourn there was the ultimate punishment for Avraham Avinu; there could be no harsher tyranny than the Jewish nation’s forced spiritual contamination and intimacy with the evil, impurity and squalor of the Egyptians. After the years of afﬂiction and spiritual persecution, the Jewish nation would achieve geulas hanefesh – freedom of the soul. The “great wealth” does not refer to silver and gold, for that was of no significance to Avraham. Rather, Hashem promised Avraham that Bnai Yisrael would be privileged with the revelation of the Shechinah and kabbalas haTorah. As it says, (Devarim 4:7), “For which is a great nation that has a G-d who is close to it, as is Hashem …” Is there any greater wealth? Thus, the promise of “great wealth” would be fulfilled by Bnai Yisrael becoming the rightful heir to spiritual greatness and recipients of Torah and mitzvos, without the need to take any gold and silver.
HALACHIC QUESTIONS RABBI J. SIMCHA COHEN Rav of Congregation Aitz Chaim in West Palm Beach, Florida
Taking Pills On Shabbat Question: May someone take prescription drugs on Shabbat if instructed to do so by his doctor? Response: The Talmud discusses a case of an ill person who dissolved his pills in liquid on Thursday and Friday and wanted to do so on Shabbat as well. The Talmud rules that since he took the medicine on Thursday and Friday, he is also permitted to take it on Shabbat for otherwise his life would be in danger (Shabbat 140a). The obvious implicaRabbi Cohen is a recipient of the Jerusalem Prize for rabbinic leadership and author of several books on halacha. His latest, titled “Shabbat The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas” (Urim Publications), is available at local Hebrew bookstores and Amazon. com.
However, since the decree of galus Mitzrayim was fulfilled according to the understanding of Klal Yisrael, whereby they suffered physical oppression and slavery, Hashem now had to fulfill His promise of reward in a similar physical, or tangible, manner. Therefore, Hashem commanded Moshe to direct Bnai Yisrael to gather the possessions of their Egyptian neighbors. This understanding elucidates as well the commentary on the pasuk (Shemos 13:19), “And Moshe took the bones of Yosef.” Shemos Midrash Rabbah cites Mishlei (10:8), “The wise of heart will seize good deeds,” and notes that all of Klal Yisrael were engaged in collecting gold and silver and Moshe Rabbeinu was occupied with the bones of Yosef. Bnai Yisrael identified their reward of “great wealth” in a literal sense and were amassing gold and silver; Moshe, the man of G-d, understood the true intent of “great wealth” as spiritual possessions that were intrinsic in the mesorah of Yosef and the performance of mitzvos. Therefore, in anticipation of the fulfillment of Hashem’s promise to Avraham Avinu, Moshe took atzmoso shel Yosef – the bones of Yosef, his characteristics and his legacy. R’ Nachman of Breslov relates the story of a king who ruled his province for many years. The people made their living from the land, and did very well. One year, the agricultural experts notified the king that according to their weather charts there was a need for an early harvest; otherwise the entire year’s crops would be ruined. It was determined there would have to be a massive drive to recruit all the land’s subjects in order to accelerate the entire process and ensure a plentiful crop at harvest time. The king realized he would need to implement an incentive program that would encourage the people to work hard and not shirk their responsibilities. All the laborers were treated to special delicacies, luxurious extras, tickets to sporting events and the like to motivate their cooperation. As the time of harvest approached, the king went out to visit the fields. Imagine his chagrin and dismay when he realized that the people had become so absorbed with the extravagances and comforts that they had neglected their overriding concern – bringing in the harvest on time. Similarly, every neshamah is sent down to earth with a special tafkid that makes it possible for the person to come closer to Hashem. In order to support this effort, Hashem offers us the materialistic pleasures of this world to enjoy. However, we must always keep in mind that these are only incentives to help us achieve our ultimate goal and purpose in life on this world. Editor’s Note: In response to numerous inquiries, please note that Rabbi Goldwasser’s new book on eating disorders, “Starving Souls,” is available from Ktav Publishing, www.ktav.com, 201-9639524. tion from this Gemara is that taking medicine on Shabbat is only permissible in life-threatening circumstances. HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, however, argues that the Talmud’s case is different than most contemporary cases involving sick people. The Talmud discusses a case where some preparation is necessary to enable the medicine to be effective. In such a situation the sages permitted a sick person to engage in this preparation only if his life would be in danger otherwise. Taking pills on Shabbat nowadays is very different. The patient doesn’t need to do anything to the pills; all he has to do is swallow them. The only problem is the general edict (gezera) prohibiting taking medicine on Shabbat lest someone mash up ingredients and make medicine from scratch (s’chikat sam’manim). Since, however, the patient in our case is not doing any prohibited action to the medicine itself, coupled with the fact that he already started taking the medicine on Thursday, there is reason to permit him to continue taking the medicine on Shabbat. In other words, perhaps the sages never imposed a prohibition in such a situation. (See Kovetz Teshuvot, siman 40, ruling cited in the name of HaRav Shlomo Kluger. Sefer HaChaim, 328:10.)
Friday, January 7, 2011
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THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, January 7, 2011
CHALLENGE RABBI SHMUEL M. BUTMAN
Becoming The Rebbe Next week we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Rebbe’s acceptance of the Chabad leadership in 5711 (1951). It has become so natural to take his leadership as the seventh Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch for granted that we forget it almost didn’t happen. The Rebbe, together with his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the daughter of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak (18801950) – known as the Rebbe RaYYaTz – the sixth great Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, reached America on the 28th of Sivan, 1941, after escaping Nazi-occupied France. The Rebbe RaYYaTz immediately utilized his son-in-law’s many talents, drawing him into his great campaign for strengthening Yiddishkeit in North
Halacha and Hashkafa
America and the world, placing him at the helm of the new organizations he established, including Chabad’s publishing house and educational branch. The RaMaSh, as his son-in-law was then known (after his initials) threw himself into a wide range of activities. He published and edited many Torah works in Hebrew and Yiddish, and issued books and magazines for youth and adults in English and other languages. He founded Torah day schools and other educational initiatives, and launched projects to reach neglected Jewish constituencies such as servicemen, farmers and smaller communities. His Torah correspondence with both rabbis and lay Jews, arousing them to intensify work for Yiddishkeit, was extensive even then. On the 10th of Shevat, 1950, the Rebbe RaYYaTz passed away. Lubavitcher Chassidim had experienced bitter times for more than a quarter-century in the USSR, and then came the decimation of the Holocaust and World War II. Virtually their sole consolation had been renewed contact with their inspiring leader. His passing came like a thunderbolt in a bright blue sky. What the Rebbe RaYYaTz had accomplished in
North America in less than ten years, despite his broken health and a tiny group of followers here, was a miracle. In place of the mood of near despair over the future of Yiddishkeit that was so widespread in America prior to his arrival here – a mood only exacerbated as the tragic reality of the Holocaust set in – the Rebbe RaYYaTz raised everyone’s expectations as they saw Yiddishkeit rising again like a phoenix from the ashes. Indeed, much work still needed to get done. But the Rebbe RaYYaTz had succeeded in introducing a thread of optimism by showing what could be accomplished. Who would now continue that vital work? The RaMaSh supervised all Chabad activities (except for the Lubavitcher Yeshiva and its branches, led by his brother-in-law, Rabbi Shmaryahu Gourary), and he continued this work. Within days of the shiva, he fulfilled his father-in-law’s request to initiate help for the Jews of North Africa. He asked chassidim in Paris who had recently emigrated from the Soviet Union to move to Morocco in order to launch a chain of Torah schools there. He greatly expanded his correspondence with chassidim all over the world in order to unite, inspire and encourage them to continue his father-in-law’s work. But despite the many requests that started soon after the shiva, the RaMaSh utterly refused to consider accepting the Chabad leadership. All who knew him or had corresponded with him were convinced he possessed all the necessary qualities. A descendant of the first three Rebbes – the Alter Rebbe (author of Tanya and Shulchan Aruch Harav), Mitteler Rebbe, and Tzemach Tzedek – he was also a son of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, respected Rabbi of Yekatrinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), renowned for his extraordinary scholarship in Talmud, halacha and particularly Kabbala. The RaMaSh himself was a distinguished Torah scholar in his own right, expert in all Torah subjects. A profound thinker, clear-minded visionary and brilliant organizer, he related to everyone respectfully. Though he was quiet and humble, his exalted spiritual personality was evident to all. The RaMaSh was satisfied to continue organizing and expanding his father-in-law’s activities without receiving any further title. He did not feel he possessed the exalted qualities necessary for being called “Rebbe.” The chassidim disagreed. Throughout the first year, their demands that he accept the leadership intensified. As the Rebbe RaYYaTz’s first yahrtzeit approached, Chabad chassidim around the world were united in urging the RaMaSh to became their Rebbe. Even at the farbrengen (chassidic gathering) of the 10th of Shevat, 1951 – actually held on the evening following, the eve of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the (Jewish calendar) century – which was led by the Rebbe, it was not at all clear that he would accede to these demands. Only after desperate exhortations of senior chassidim did he finally agree to deliver a maamar (discourse of Chabad philosophy), denoting his acceptance. The rest is history.
Halacha and Hashkafa
Respect For The Institution “And all of your servants will come to me, bow and say, “Leave!” You together with the nation that is with you, and then we will leave.” – Shemos 11:8 From the first time Moshe appeared in his court, Pharaoh’s attitude had been, “Who is this Hashem that I should listen to him?” Time after time, Pharaoh insulted Hashem and Moshe. Now Hashem is sending Moshe on the final mission: “Tell Pharaoh if he remains in his wickedness, all of the first born in Mitzrayim will be killed.” The stakes were raised. Rashi tells us that when Moshe spoke to Pharaoh, he modified the message. Moshe knew that in the end Pharaoh himself would come running back to him and beg him to take the Jews out of Mitzrayim. However, since it wasn’t respectful to mention that the king would come running, Moshe changed the wording to, “Your servants will come running.” Rashi explains that this was done out of respect for the monarchy. This concept becomes difficult to understand when we take into account what his government stood for and who he was as an individual. It would be difficult to imagine a government more evil than Pharaoh’s. Official policy was enslavement and oppression of the Jews – not as a tolerated social ill, but as public policy and mandate of the government. State law denied Jews all rights – ownership of property, freedom of speech, the right of public assembly. They were treated as chattel, owned by the Mitzrim. But more than that, Jews didn’t even have the right to live. As the Jewish people continued to thrive, infanticide became state policy. Furthermore, Pharaoh himself was a butcher. When he contracted tzaras, his wise men offered the cure – bathe in human blood. The Midrash tells us that to do this, he would bathe in the blood of Jewish babies each day. However, he needed a bath in the evening as well, and heaven forefend to use stale blood, so each morning and evening he would have 150 innocent Jewish souls slaughtered – for his personal comfort. Why should Moshe treat such a king with respect? Respect for the Institution “Without fear of government, a man will swallow his friend alive” (Pirkei Avos). Anyone who has lived through a period of lawlessness can attest to the primal fear he felt as he helplessly watched rioting, looting, and mob behavior. Ask a recent émigré from South Africa what it’s like when a group of thugs appears at his backyard picnic and begins indiscriminately shooting up his family. It’s a country where carjackings, muggings, and armed holdups are the norm, and there is no one to talk to – not because people there are different, but because respect for authority has melted. It seems the answer to this question is the distinction between respecting the institution and respecting the individual. For the proper running of society, and therefore for the good of mankind, there needs to be a system of leadership and a hierarchy of authority – what we know as government. For government to be effective it must wield power, and its citizens must respect its authority. One of the obligations of any member of a society is to obey and respect its leaders. It is a correct and proper manner of behavior. Without it, society itself cannot function. As the king occupies the position of leadership of the country, it is the obligation of all to respect him. That is basic to the good of society. It is the right way to act, and it is the way Hashem wants us to act. This respect has nothing to do with the individual; it has to do with the position. I may recognize that a leader as an individual is a lout, and I may feel that way about him privately. But as long as he maintains his position, I am obligated to respect him. Moshe Rabbeinu was doing what was right
and proper. Despite the fact that this individual was wicked, he held the position of king, so Moshe showed respect for the institution of leadership. Even though that institution was now being used to pursue wicked ends, the institution itself was still worthy of respect, and therefore Moshe acted accordingly. What This Means to Us This message is particularly relevant in our times. Historically, kings viewed their populations as sources of taxes and foot soldiers – vehicles by which to expand their fame and fortune. Rare was the king who actually ruled for the good of his people. We find ourselves in very different conditions, with a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Whether we agree with every policy or not, it is an unprecedented advance for the good of man, a regime run for the good of the citizens of that land. To us as Jews, this is especially poignant. For al-
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most 2,000 years we have wandered from county to country, oppression to oppression, expulsion to expulsion. We now find ourselves welcome members of American society. We are allowed to operate our own schools in the manner we see fit. We are allowed to worship in the way we feel appropriate. We are allowed to conduct our lives in the way we so choose. The only request made upon us is to abide by the laws of the land. In the history of our long exile, we have never had it this good. Therefore, it is especially incumbent upon us to respect this land, obey its laws, pay homage to its leaders, and appreciate the great blessing we enjoy in living in this country. The Shmuz, an engaging and motivating Torah lecture series dealing with real life issues, is available free of charge at TheShmuz.com. The Shmuz on Life book – “Stop Surviving and Start Living” – is an inspiring work that deals with major life issues. Pre-release copies are now available at www. TheShmuz.com. The book will be available at seforim stores April.
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Friday, January 7, 2011
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Friday, January 7, 2011
Daf Yomi Highlights Adapted by RABBI YAAKOV KLASS And RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM
A Matter Of Merit ‘They Added Four Amos’ (Zevachim 61b) The Mishna (Middos 1:3) states that the Altar – the mizbe’ach – of the second Beis Hamikdash exceeded, in size, that of the first by four amos, both to the south and the west. The Gemara on our daf offers three different reasons for this expansion, in spite of the fact that there was a smaller population of Jews living in Eretz Yisrael at that time. A Divine Fire R. Yosef offers that the mizbe’ach in Solomon’s Temple was possessed of a miraculous Divine fire – esh shel Shamayim – which supernaturally consumed the sacrifices very quickly. In the second Temple, for lack of special merit, such a miraculous event did not occur. They therefore were forced to enlarge the mizbe’ach to accommodate all the sacrifices. She’siya K’achila R. Shimon b. Pazi in the name of Bar Kapparah explains that in the Solomon’s Temple the libations – nisachim – which were poured on the altar would ﬂow down its side into an underground pit This week’s Daf Yomi Highlights is based upon Al Hadaf, published by Cong. Al Hadaf, 17N Rigaud Rd., Spring Valley, NY 10977-2533. Al Hadaf, published semi-monthly, is available by subscription: U.S. B $40 per year; Canada B $54 per year; Overseas B $65 per year. For dedication information contact Rabbi Zev Dickstein, editor, at 845-356-9114 or visit alhadafyomi.org
Halacha and Hashkafa
Dedicated to the Yahrzeit of: Rabbi Simcha Bunim b. Rabbi Mendel Kalisch, zt”l, Wurka Rebbe (2nd Shevat, 1907); Rabbi Yosef b. Rabbi Menachem Kalisch, zt”l, Amshinover Rebbe (3rd Shevat, 1906); Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib b. Rabbi Aryeh Erblich, zt”l, Sassover Rebbe (4th Shevat, 1807); Rabbi Yisrael b. Rabbi Massud Abuhatzera, zt”l, known as the Baba Sali (4th Shevat, 1984); Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib b. Rabbi Avraham Mordechai Alter, zt”l, Gerer Rebbe and author of Sefas Emes (5th Shevat, 1905); Rabbi Shlomo Zalman b. Rabbi Yisrael Chaim Friedmann, zt”l, Rachover Rav (5th Shevat, 1980); Rabbi Chaim Zvi b. Rabbi Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum, zt”l, Sigheter Rav and author of Atzei Chaim (6th Shevat, 1926); Rabbi David b. Rabbi Shlomo Biderman, zt”l, Lelover Rebbe (7th Shevat, 1914); Rabbi Mordechai David b. Rabbi Zvi Hersh Ungar, zt”l, Dombrover Rebbe (7th Shevat, 1947); and Rabbi Yosef Meir b. Rabbi Zvi Kahane, zt”l, Spinka Rebbe in Jerusalem (8th Shevat, 1978).
located nearby. In the Second Temple they decided to expand the altar to overlap the pit. They reasoned that just as the sacrifices must burn on top of the altar, so too, the libations must be consumed (absorbed) by the altar and not ﬂow down its side because of the principle she’siya k’achila (lit. “like its eating is its drinking”). Originally, in Solomon’s temple, since the verse (Shemos 20:21) states, “Make for Me an altar of earth” – they thought that there should be no perforations as there must be a direct connection to the earth, thus the need to create a ﬂow down its side to a pit. A Revelation R. Yosef (62a) offers yet another reason: That before the second Temple was built it was revealed to the sages of the Great Assembly – Anshei Knesses Ha’gedolah – that the maximum size allowed for the altar was actually larger than previously thought.
The Incredulous Sefas Emes (novella ad loc.) questions Bar Kapparah’s reason. It seems incredulous that the sages in the time of the second Temple unearthed a theretofore unknown halacha, namely she’siya k’achila – that the libations must be absorbed directly through the altar. This would assume the unthinkable – that during the entire era of the first Temple the rite of the libations were incorrectly performed. Sefas Emes offers the following simple solution. During the first Temple the Divine fire (mentioned by R. Yosef) not only consumed the sacrifices quickly but also had the supernatural ability to consume the libations (even from a distance from the pit). Therefore the principle of she’siya k’achila was satisfied. However, in the Second Temple where they did not merit a Divine fire, they had to enlarge the altar in order that it overlapped the pit. Thus, their pouring the libations thereupon satisfied “she’siya k’achila.”
NEXT WEEK’S LUACH NYC Candle Lighting Time January 14, 2011 – 9 Shevat 5771 4:32 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: 5:42 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Beshalach Weekly Haftara: U’Devorah Isha (Judges 4:4-5:31; Sefardim: Judges 5:1-31) Daf Yomi: Zevachim 65 Mishna Yomit: Terumot 5:6-7 Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 608:4-610:1 Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Mechirah chap. 7-9 Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 6:19 a.m. NYC E.S.T. Latest Kerias Shema: 9:41 a.m. NYC E.S.T.
This Sabbath is referred to as Shabbos Shira – due to the Shira in Parashas Beshalach that we read this week.
It is customary to stand for the Shira even in those congregations where one sits at Kerias HaTorah. It is also customary to leave crumbs for the birds on (the eve of) this Sabbath as a remembrance of the manna, of which we read in this parasha. This Thursday is Tu BiShevat, the New Year for trees. There is an age-old custom (Ari’zal) to set a table with many fruits, especially of those species indigenous to Eretz Yisrael. This custom has become widely accepted today and we serve many new fruits such as figs, pomegranates and dates as well as other fruits upon which we can then recite the blessing of Shehecheyanu. We do so only on new fruits that are noticeably ripe and are suitable for eating. The rule of Shehecheyanu for a new fruit applies all year long as well (Rema, Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 225:3 and Mishna Berura ad loc.). The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.
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Be Prepared A visit to the doctor has many components above and beyond the actual examination. Preparing for the visit can reap important benefits, especially in this day and age when the doctor may not give you as much time as you would like. For example, if you are seeing a new doctor, think ahead about whether there is any other physician you’ve already seen who can fax over relevant information to the new physician to give him more knowledge of your background. A doctor I once needed to see was on vacation and the covering doctor was able to fit me in the morning I called. I was seeing this doctor about something similar to what my longstanding doctor had treated me for in the past. So, shortly before that appointment, I called the office of my regular doctor, who had staff working while he was on vacation. Upon my request, they faxed over relevant notes, which were received about ten minutes before my appointment. My new doctor was able to use those notes to help treat me. (Of course, one need not wait until the last minute to have relevant information sent over.) It is also helpful when visiting a new doctor to anticipate forms you’ll have to fill out so that you can bring the needed information with you – information such as the name of your primary doctor, his/her address and phone number, and a list of your medications along with strength and dosage. The phone number of your pharmacist is important as well, in case the doctor needs to write you a new prescription. And when visiting a doctor, longstanding or otherwise, don’t forget to compile a list of questions you might have. All too often, the dynamic of a visit is that the doctor takes the active role and the patient is the one being acted upon. Within reason (avoid 100 questions), it is good for the patient to be assertive and prepared to ask what he needs to know. Also, a patient can review in her mind what she’s being treated for – the symptoms, etc. – so that when the doctor asks about it the patient will be clearer in her description. A stethoscope can only tell the doctor so much; it is very helpful to hear what the patient is experiencing. When you phone a doctor with questions, it may take a while to get a return call – sometimes you may not hear back before the end of the day or perhaps not before the next day. Be persistent. I once called a doctor with a few questions and she gave me a hurried answer and then basically hung up on me. Unsatisfied with what I heard, I called her right back and this time she answered my questions to my satisfaction. Most doctor visits involve a lot of waiting. Even when you are finally called in to the inner sanctum, you may sit and wait in another room for a long period of time. This can lead to feelings of impatience, frustration and even aggravation, all of which can affect you when the doctor finally sees you. One way to make productive use of the waiting time and to stay on a more even keel is to bring along reading material you enjoy. And if you’re able to do something fun after the visit, just thinking about it and looking forward to it can be very beneficial. I wish everyone good news and productive visits when you visit your doctor. A little preparation beforehand can go a long way. I will be having a free, staged reading of two oneact plays of mine on Sunday, January 9, at 2:30 p.m. at the Kings Highway Library, 2115 Ocean Avenue, lower level meeting room (elevator available), 718375-3037. The plays, “Family Reunion” and “True Love,” deal with parent-child communication and the aging process. Prior to the readings, a tribute is planned in memory of Leonard Wacholder, a”h. Time permitting, there will be a discussion of the plays after the reading. Bikur Cholim of Boro Park offers an ongoing free leisure program that deals with the specific needs of men who are Holocaust survivors. “The Afternoon Chevra” is for retired men and meets on Monday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. at Sara Schenirer Hall, 4622 14th Avenue. It’s wheelchair accessible. One
Continued on p.57
Hundreds At P’TACH’s Parenting Event A recent Motzaei Shabbos saw hundreds of parents converge on the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills to participate in P’TACH’s community-wide parenting event – Three Keys to Having a Great Relationship with your Child. Rabbi Avi Kramer, P’TACH’s co-director of institutional advancement, was the master of ceremonies and gave an overview of P’TACH’s services in the community. Rabbi Kramer remarked that a significant part of finding the appropriate educational solutions for children is a clear line of communication between the educational institutions, the rabbonim, and the various Jewish services. This was evident in the coordination of the event, which was a partnership with the local elementary schools, the Vaad Harabonim, and Jewish social services. The shul’s rav, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, was then introduced for divrei bracha. Rabbi Schonfeld spoke about his personal knowledge of the success P’TACH has had over the years with children who aren’t making it in a regular classroom. The main program was then presented by Dr. David Pelcovitz, who spoke of the three crucial elements needed for every parent/child relationship. He said that every child has a unique melody and the job of Jewish parents and educators like P’TACH is to bring out that unique melody for each child. The turnout was a testament to the importance the parents of the Queens community value the suc-
cess of their children and the importance they attribute to meeting their needs. The program is slated to be just the first in a series of community-wide events by P’TACH to benefit the greater New York area. For a copy of a recording of the event and for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the 718854-8600 ext. 113, 120.
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Community Currents Upcoming events… On Sunday night, January 9th, CHAZAQ will host renowned lecturer and founder of the Shmuz, Rabbi Benzion Shafier, at the Beth Gavriel Community Center, 66-35 108th Street in Forest Hills. The topic will be “Stop Surviving… Start Living.” Refreshments will be served at 8 P.M., and the lecture is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call 917-617-3636 or e-mail Info@ Chazaq.org. *** On Tuesday, January 11 at 7:45 pm, talented pastry artist Sima Silverstein from Sima’s Creative Confections will provide a hands-on demo, teaching the art of cookie decorating and design. For more information, or to RSVP, visit www.ChabadJewishLife. org or contact Chanie at 516-833-3057. *** Midrash.org is presenting an inspiring lecture by renowned scholar, Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe, “Rebuilding the Jewish Home & Family,” on Wednesday, January 12, at 8:30 p.m. in Colbeh Restaurant, 75 N. Station Plaza in Great Neck. The lecture is open to men, women and singles. For more information visit www.midrash.org or call 516487-6676.
*** The 2011 Orthodox Union National Convention will feature “The Cost of Jewish Living,” one of the most talked about topics in the Orthodox community today. The event will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, January 15, in Teaneck at Congregation Keter Torah, 600 Roemer Avenue. Admission is free and open to all. “We know very well that there are no easy answers to this situation. Nevertheless, it’s important that the people get a chance to hear other points of view and to contribute their own ideas,” declared Emanuel J. Adler of Teaneck, chairman of the convention. The Saturday night session is one of the highlights of OU2011. The convention will continue the next day, Sunday, January 16, with a major “One Day Conference on Jewish Life,” also open to all. To be held at The Hilton in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, participants will be able to choose from among more than 25 sessions regarding Torah Life, Communal Life and Synagogue Life – including a special session on “U.S.-Israel Relations”; and plenaries to be led by OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil on “The Orthodox Role in the Jewish Community of Tomorrow” and “What is Mesorah?” to be led by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU executive vice president, emeritus. For further information, including costs, and to register for the convention, go to ou.org/convention.
At AJOP Convention, A Chorus of Kiruv Voices Annual Convention Spotlights Diversity, Achdus in the Kiruv World In two weeks, the Association of Jewish Outreach Professionals (AJOP) will hold its 23rd annual convention. Each convention attracts hundreds of people from across the world and, increasingly, from across the Jewish religious spectrum – from modern Orthodox to chassidic. That increasing diversity within the kiruv world will take the spotlight at next month’s convention in Stamford, CT. “We each develop a personal approach to kiruv,” comments Rabbi Yitchok Lowenbraun, AJOP’s national director. “But the truth is, there are many, many ways to reach out, and they all have merit. For the first time, we’ll put these different approaches center stage and discuss them openly.” That session, a panel discussion, will be Monday’s keynote session. Appropriately titled, “Aylu V’aylu: Understanding and Learning from Divergent Approaches to Kiruv,” it will feature leaders from high profile kiruv organizations. A second panel discussion is titled, “The Power of Working Together: Achdus in the Kiruv Community.” It will focus on the challenges the Jewish people face and the need for God’s assistance, which only comes through unity. That panel, too, will consist of kiruv leaders from prominent outreach organizations. “Each year,” Rabbi Lowenbraun observes, “the AJOP convention is the world’s largest and most diverse gathering of kiruv professionals. Given the challenges facing klal yisrael today, we need a renewed emphasis on what unites us and on how we can support and aid each other.” “Our united front also bolsters the kiruv movement’s profile in the frum world,” he added. More than forty sessions are on the roster over the course of the two-day convention on top-
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ics as diverse as the attendees themselves. Sunday’s keynote address by Rabbi Moshe Weinberger will address one topic that’s always on the radar for AJOP members: helping the newly Torah observant assimilate into frum society. Once observant, many lack the support system and social network they enjoyed while passing through the kiruv “system.” Other workshops slated for this year’s convention aim to help kiruv organizations reach more people, raise more money, and run smoother. Topics include using social media, understanding how foundations work, campus outreach, starting kiruv programs, creating a fundraising “machine,” public speaking, and organization management. Another topic reﬂects on kiruv’s increasing relevance within the mainstream frum world. One session is entitled, “A Remedy for Chassidim at Risk,” demonstrating that the scope of the AJOP convention has broadened from kiruv rachokim to include kiruv krovim as well. Rabbi Lowenbraun says he hopes to see more askanim and baalei batim from outside the kiruv world take an interest in AJOP and its convention. “For over two decades, AJOP’s annual convention has been one of the few venues where klal yisrael’s most sensitive subjects are discussed openly and frankly... and where real solutions have emerged.” “People who help shape the dialogue at the AJOP convention are helping shape the future of klal yisrael,” he argues. “No experience in kiruv is necessary.” The 23rd annual AJOP convention will take place January 16 and 17 at the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. For more information call 410-367-2567 or e-mail laural@ajop. com. To register, visit www.AJOP.com.
*** Celebrate the New Year of the Trees on Sunday January 16 at the Yeshiva University Museum. There will be inclusive activities for all members of the family: Produce new paper from recycled pulp; add dried petals, leaves and other decorations to create one-of-a-kind papers. Find and trace images of the seven species of the Land of Israel embedded in the floor of the Great Hall at the Center for Jewish History. Print personalized stationary to take home. This multi-sensory activity is appropriate and accessible for children with special needs and their families. From 2-4 p.m. at West 16th Street in Manhattan.
In recent news…
Collecting Coats To Help The Needy The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz are once again teaming up to collect winter coats, which will be distributed to families in need across New York City. Thousands of coats have been collected and distributed since this annual winter coat drive began in 2000. “Met Council is pleased to once again partner with Assemblyman Cymbrowitz in collecting winter coats for New York City families in need,” said William E. Rapfogel, Met Council CEO. “With the Machson Mobile, a converted recreational vehicle that serves as a mobile clothing shop, we are able to collect and distribute hundreds of warm, clean coats in an effort to keep our city warm this winter.” Those interested in making a coat donation can visit Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’s office, located at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road.
A Great Tradition Continuing its annual tradition of celebrating great Sephardic Jewish communities, the American Sephardi Federation paid tribute to His Majesty King Mohammed VI at a gala dinner on December 13 in New York City. Marc Ginsberg, the evening’s keynote speaker, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, noted how the King of Morocco has “stood tall against the enemies of the Jewish people.” The ASF Leon Levy Leadership Award was bestowed on Florence Amzallag Tatistcheff, Carlos Benaim and Norman Benzaquen. It was a special evening that was permeated by a warm atmosphere and reverence for the historic and proud patrimony of Moroccan Jewry.
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Community Currents Sinai Academy Comes To Marine Park Motzei Shabbos Parshas Shemos, Shea & Rayle Rubenstein opened their home for a gala melava malka and kumzitz to benefit Sinai Academy. The evening featured Rabbi Arye Zev Ginsberg who spoke about the importance of Sinai and the work it does. Refreshments
On Wednesday night, December 15th, A Parent Speaks held its annual Evening of Chizuk in Flatbush. A Parent Speaks provides support programs for families with special-needs children. Executive Director Chaim Spero delivering opening remarks. Guest Speaker Rabbi Mordechai Twerski
(L-R) Shea Rubenstein (host) and Benny Friedman. Co-hosts Duvi, Sholom and Yochi Blatt with their father, Norman Blatt. (L-R) Dina and Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky of Chabad of Northeast Queens and Assemblyman David Weprin at Chabad of Northeast Queens’s 13th Annual Awards Dinner on Sunday December 19. Assemblyman Weprin presented a citation to Rabbi Blesofsky in celebration of his 18 years of outstanding service.
Rabbi Arye Zev Ginsberg, mora d’asra, Chofetz Chaim of Far Rockaway.
(L-R) Rabbi Mendel Cohn, R’ Mordecai Blaustein, Shea Rubenstein, and Councilman David Greenfield.
(L-R) top row: Jennifer Malach, Dina and Rabbi Yossi Blesofsky, Assemblyman David I. Weprin, Councilmember Dan Halloran, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. Bottom row: Stephen Malach, Kenneth and Joan Osillag, Cheryl and Ronald Osillag.
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Kosher Food Bread Makes A Comeback By Tova Ross Man can’t live by bread alone … but it sure is hard to live without it. With the exception of challah for Shabbat, many kosher homemakers, amateur bakers and even professional chefs have long shied away from making any kind of bread, considering it too complex to make. Coupled with the fact that many people feel they need bulky and expensive machinery to
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help them achieve a perfect loaf of bread, many just say no thanks, head to their local bakery and call it a day. Recently, with kosher gourmet restaurants and cafes on the rise and major supermarkets like Brooklyn’s Pomegranate carrying more high-end ingredients, bread baking at home has been experiencing something of a renaissance. Chef Jesse Blonder, director of the Center of Kosher Culinary Arts, stated, “For a long time, you couldn’t get good bread anywhere, be it a kosher or non-kosher venue. Like many areas in the food world, however, artisan bread baking has made a huge comeback.” CKCA – the only completely kosher culinary school in New York and one of the few in the world – recently held a bread baking workshop featuring resident bread expert Lynn Kutner, the author of Bountiful Breads: From Basics to Brioches and a teacher of bread-baking techniques since 1974. Despite a looming blizzard, every registrant attended. Kutner led the participants through the entire bread-baking process of bagels, bialys, sourdough rye bread, and provencal frougasse. “Bread is an especially easy subject for the kosher cook, since most breads are inherently pareve,” says Kutner. One major reason for bread’s resurgence in popularity may be because the low-carb crazes that swept America are, for the most part, over – or at least relegated to the back burner. Bread, once vilified as the enemy of a successful diet, is now recommended in small quantities as part of a healthy diet, so long as it’s a whole grain version. Still, visit any kosher bakery and there will usu-
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ally be many more cakes, cookies, and pastries than there will be artisan breads. Commenting on why bread baking is fairly uncommon as of yet, Chef Blonder said, “The knowledge isn’t there yet – artisan bread baking is an art and a science and to do it well on a consistent basis, commercially, isn’t easy. It also presents less desirably than a colorful, well-decorated cake, whose rewards scream out to the consumer. Bread is humbler, and therefore often overlooked.” Pointing out a relevant issue for industrial or commercial bakeries, Kutner says that if the bread is truly natural with no preservatives added, it needs to be eaten on the day it is made, or maybe the next day – but no longer. “The bakeries will have to advertise well and sell it fast.” A smattering of online retail stores bake the bread fresh and then ship them out right away. The Nibble, an online magazine about gourmet and specialty foods, recently had a feature about organic and artisan breads. The site featured Rudi’s Bakery, an online kosher bakery with an extensive product line selling organic, artisan, and gluten-free breads such as Rocky Mountain Sourdough, Colorado Cracked Wheat, Spelt Ancient Grain, Rosemary Olive Oil, and Tuscan Roasted Garlic. All the products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. And Eli Zabar, of New York gourmet food institution Zabar’s, ships a line of specialty items, including artisan breads certified kosher by the OK that include Raisin Pecan, Manor House Round, and a health loaf with sunﬂower seeds and ﬂax. Luckily, home bakers don’t have to deal with the same issues as commercial enterprises. “I hope that the students who came on Sunday now realize that great bread baking at home is very much within reach,” said Blonder. (KosherToday)
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Kosher Food Braised Short Ribs Of Beef In Red Wine Sauce By Marty Levin Ingredients bone-in short ribs (about 7 pounds) 1/8 cup vegetable oil 1/8 cup white flour 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 2 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces 6 cloves garlic, smashed ¾ cup tomato paste 3 cups dry red wine 1 qt low salt beef broth or chicken broth 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped 4 bay leaves Directions Season each short rib generously with flour and black pepper (I like to cut short ribs bit sizes or can leave whole). Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with vegetable oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about two to three minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary. Preheat oven to 375ºF. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the vegetables, brown until they are golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4-5 minutes. Return the short ribs to the pan, add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half. Add 1 qt beef broth. Add the thyme and bay
leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add water, if needed.
Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done, the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid. Yield 6-8 servings. Follow Chef Marty Levin on Facebook@Chef-Martys-Kosher-Kitchen. For information, call 718-2741100 or Mauzonekosher@gmail.com. Marty Levin is executive chef at Mauzone’s Catering by Celebration.
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GRILL, SHAWRMA, DELI, SUSHI & MORE
THAI TREAT Fine Dining – Catering –
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Thai – Indian – Sushi Bar
ELITE CUISINE RCC Glatt Kosher (323) 930-1303 • Deli • Chinese • Grill 7119 Beverly Blvd. • Sushi • Platters • Catering
2176 NE 123rd Street – 305-892-1118
Shabbos Take-Out — Sun-Thur 11-10, Fri. 9-3
“We deliver anywhere you like”
MILK & HONEY Fine Gourmet Italian Dining (310) 858-8850 Lunch, Dinner, Catering 8837 W. Pico Blvd. Cholov Yisroel, R.C.C. Fish, Pasta, Pizza & Our Famous Cheesecake - Open Motzei Shabbat - Reserv. Rec.
5 MILES FROM NEWARK AIRPORT / JERSEY GARDENS
SOUTH BEACH, FLORIDA
GLATT DELIGHT Restaurant & Deli – in Center City (215) 922-5922
PITA LOCA Glatt Kosher Restaurant
(305) 673-3388 601 Collins Ave., Bet. Ocean Dr. & Collins on 6th St., M.B. Shwarma, Falafel, Steaks, Fish • Catering • Delivery • Eat In • Take Out
A LOWER EAST SIDEGLATT - Shul, Restaurant & Hotel
HAIFA RESTAURANT 702-940-8000 855 E. Twain Ave • Chicken, Steak, Fish for dine in, take out or delivery
3 daily Minyanim; Shacharis(t) 7:30am, Shabbos food accommodations & Shul
Mehadrin Dine-in or out. Coming 4 convention?! ask organizer 4 fresh meals
GPS? > 8548 Palm Py. Orlando, FL. 32836 866-kosherorlando (567-4376)
JERUSALEM GRILL VEGAS Glatt Kosher Mediterranean Cuisine 702-341-5555 4825 W. Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103 www.jerusalemgrillvegas.com Dine in • Take Out • Delivery to All Hotels & Conventions • Supervised by Chabad of Southern Nevada
COHEN’S DELI AND BUTCHER SHOP - (Steak House, Butcher Shop, Deli) Glatt / Pas Yisroel Certiﬁed By The RCF, Chabad Rabbi Yosef Konikov 352.729.3399 The Only New York Deli and Fresh Glatt Kosher Butcher in Orlando
KOSHER CULINARY - Restaurant, Grocery, Take Out, Catering
BEN YEHUDA CAFE & PIZZERIA (301) 681-8900 SERVING PIZZA, PASTA, FISH, KNISH, SALADS, SOUPS, ICE CREAM
128 S. 12th St. PA 19107 Corporate Accounts are Our Specialty Mashgiach on Premises – Rav Yaakov Roth, Mechadrin Hariedi – Shomer Shabbat
MAMA’S VEGETARIAN Falafel, Borekas, Salads, etc. 18 S 20th St. Center City on 20th bet. Market & Chestnut Sts.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA DISNEY
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Glatt Kosher : Mediterranean - Grill & Chinese Cuisine (new)
GLATT KOSHER SUPERVISION OF VAAD HARABONIM OF ELIZABETH, RABBI TEITZ
7508 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819
(215) 751-0477; fax (215) 751 -0488
Glatt Kosher International Fine Dining, European Style
9859 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19115
Shish-kebobs, Fish, Steaks, Falafel • Open Sun-Thur: 12-10pm, open Motzei Shabbos.
BRONX LISTINGS FOUND AFTER BROOKLYN MANHATTAN
NYC’s Most Innovative Kosher Restaurant
www.abigaels.com 1407 Broadway (at 39th St.)
Chef Jeﬀ Nathan’s eclectic, sophisticated menu, of internationally inspired dishes. Also serving Sushi & Pan-Asian Specialties • Free street parking after 7 pm
Glatt/Pat Yisroel, Certiﬁed Kosher by RCF, Rabbi Yosef Konikov - Chabad Rabbi
Now through April - open for Dinner, Saturday-Thursday
www.kosherculinaryorlando.com - Next door to Chabad Minyan & shul: www.jewishorlando.com
YOSHON, CHOLOV YISROEL, WWW.BENYEHUDAPIZZA.COM VOTED BEST
PIZZA IN DC BY WTOP RADIO LISTENERS
SIMKA’S SWEETS ICE CREAM & SWEET SHOP
MOTI’S GRILL & DELI
Ice Cream, Bulk Candy, Homemade Waﬄe Cones, Coﬀee ORTHODOX SUPERVISION - RCF
Glatt Kosher Restaurant Serving Middle Eastern Cuisine & New York Deli 4860 Boiling Brook Parkway, Rockville, MD • Groups welcomed for sit-down, carry-out or delivery service also visit KosherMart, a full service grocery store, www.koshermart.com
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
ASIA :: SUSHI :: WOK :: GRILL ORB 7600 W. Camino Real
Glatt kosher Gourmet business lunch in Downtown Chicago At The Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro 733 West Madison (312) 602-2104 Take-out, delivery & catering available. Fax (312) 602-2165
JON’S PLACE Cholov Yisroel
(561) 338-0008 22191 Powerline Rd. (Southwest Corner Palmetto & Powerline) Pizza, Pasta, Salads and More — Under Supervision of ORB
22767 STATE ROAD 7 Falafel, Shawarma, Shish-kabobs, Fish and more..... FREE SALAD BAR WITH DINNER
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
KOSHER CAJUN N.Y. Deli & Grocery Eat-in Take Out - Grocery 3519 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-888-2010; Fax 504-888-2014 Shomer Shabbos - Chabad Supervision — www.koshercajun.com
DAVID CHU’S CHINA BISTRO
Serving Chinese Favorites & American Classic
9045 LA FONTANA BLVD.
DINE-IN, TAKE-OUT, & CATERING UNDER ORB
TOV PIZZA Voted Baltimore’s Best Kosher Pizza
CAFE EMUNAH ORB 9545616411
Maryland’s oldest kosher dairy restaurant • Website: www.TovPizza.com
GREATER DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
JERUSALEM Glatt Kosher Restaurant & Deli 366 W. Granada Blvd. Grocery, Dairy Restaurant & Pizza 364-B W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach Sun-Thu 11-10pm, Fri 11-4pm, Sat. closed. Toll Free: 1-877-671-0033 Beef Brisket, Shwarma,Stuﬀed Cabbage, Kasha Varnishka, Beef Stroganoﬀ, Deli: Corned Beef, Pastrami, Chopped Liver, Falafel, Couscous. Tel (386) 671-0033, Fax (386) 671-0037 Sup. Rabbi Pinchas Ezagui, Head of Chabad
CAFÉ EILAT Brick Oven Pizza Su-Th 11-9, F 11-1
(617) 277-7770 406 Harvard St., Brookline Eat-in-Take-out
KIKAR TELAVIV Serving Chinese & Continental 5005 Collins Ave., M.B. Inside Carriage Club • (305) 866-3316 SHABBAT MEALS WITH PREPAID RESERVATIONS • TAKE OUT AVAILABLE
JERUSALEM Glatt Kosher Restaurant Inc
6410 Ventnor Ave., Ventnor, NJ 08406 (Atlantic City) UNDER STRICT SUPERVISION OF RABBI SHALOM EVER
New Fall / Winter Menu Now Open Fiday Night Reservations Required Extensive wine list. Private party rooms. Catering Available. Sun-Thurs: Noon-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm
SEVENTEEN Restaurant and Sushi Bar (Formerly Tea For Two) 305- 672-0565 1205 17th Street
Sandwiches, Pasta, Salads, Smoothies & Frappachinos • 514 41st Street • YES! We do Catering Sun-Thurs 10am-10pm, Fri: 1 hr before Shabbos, Sat. Nite: 1 hr after Shabbos Delivery Available
Kosher Dairy (305) 673-5483 4041 Royal Palm Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140 NO
N C H O LO V YI S R O E L
GOURMET BREAKFAST, LUNCH
ESTIHANA Asian Bistro & Sushi
Vaad Harabonim of Flatbush • www.Estihana.com • Glatt Kosher Open Fri. Lunch & Sat. Nite.
GREAT AMERICAN HEALTH BAR
Dinner Special $16.95 3 Course meal Under Strict Orthodox Rabbinical Supervision
Open Sundays for Brunch, Lunch & Dinner
KOSHER DELIGHT Glatt Kosher Fast Food Family Restaurant 1359 Broadway (nr. 37th St.) (212) 563-3366, Fax (212) 268-9352 UNDER STRICT RABBINICAL SUPERVISION • PARTY ROOM AVAILABLE OPEN DAILY TILL 11 P.M.
KOSHER DELUXE Glatt Kosher Fast Food Family Restaurant
CHERRY HILL, NEW JERSEY
Supv. of Amrom Roth - Walking Distance from Diamond District - Expert in Oﬃce Catering
Theater district & Rockefeller Center — www.KosherDeluxe.com • Party Room Available
1301 Marlton Pike East (Rt. 70) Cherry Hill NJ 08034
Barclay Farms Shopping Center - Next to the large Asian Food Market
LE MARAIS Glatt Kosher French Bistro. 150 West 46th Street (between 6th & 7th)
French specialties include: Steak /frites, Poulet Roti, Steak au poivre. Creative wine list,
DEAL, NEW JERSEY
DOUGIE’S BBQ & GRILL
single malt & bourbon reserve, private parties, catering and gourmet butcher shop.
Sun-Thurs, noon-midnight, Friday- 12pm-3pm. Informal attire. Reserve. sugg.
Glatt Kosher Family Restaurants
DINE IN TAKE OUT DELIVERIES CATERING
East: 61 E. 34th St. (on Park Ave.) (212) 576-1010
LAKEWOOD, NEW JERSEY
Rockefeller Center 30 Rockefeller Plaza Dining Concourse (212) 262-9600
THE RESERVE SUSHI & STEAKHOUSE
Grand Central Terminal: 42 St. & Park Ave. (212) 856-9399
Mendy’s Altium 875 3rd Avenue (52nd St) (212) 308-0303
95 East Kennedy Blvd, Lakewood NJ 08701
*Mendy’s Appetizing at Grand Central Station
Upscale Dining Close to Home. www.TheReserveSteakhouse.com
Now also in Brooklyn — see Brooklyn listing
LONG BRANCH, NEW JERSEY
656 KOSHER AMERICAN BISTRO / STEAK HOUSE 656 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch
Glatt Kosher Contemporary Gourmet Cuisine
228 W. 72 St • (212) 799-3911 • Fax (212) 799-3890 www.mikesbistro.com • Pvt Rooms for Corp. Luncheons / Sheva Brachot
Large Selection of specialty cut beef grilled to perfection. Private rooms up to 400 people
10 W. 46th St. (Oﬀ 5th Avenue) (212) 869-6699 Fax (212) 819-1139
Dine In • Take Out • Delivery • FREE PARKING • Outside Seating.
BEYOND SHEMTOV’S new expansion & menu coming
32 West 39 St. (Mid Town)
• GOURMET • TAKE OUT AVAILABLE • CATERING AVAILABLE
256 Norwood Ave (Corner of Norwood and Roosevelt) (Parking on Roosevelt) 305-532-7273
COLBEH Glatt Kosher Persian and Mediterranean Restaurant
Choice of Soup, Side Salad, and any Sandwiches, Pasta Pennie or Personal Pizza
Gourmet Restaurant Cholov Israel Pas Israel
Prime Steaks, Fresh Fish, Free Range Chicken 4299 Collins Ave, Miami Beach at Days Inn 305-535-6300 • 786-312-0353 Family Dinners • Prepaid Shabbat Meals • Free Parking • www.europagrille.com
ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Open Sunday thru Thursday 5:00pm to 10:00pm Kashrus Supv. of Rabbi Y. P. Gornish
EUROPA RESTAURANT & GRILLE
35 West 57th St. (bet. 5th & 6th)
Located in the Clarion Hotel, 6821 Black Horse Pike, Atlantic City West ENT, NJ
18450 W. Dixie Hyw. (Aventura) Miami Beach, FL 33160
American style cafe & bar
11am-midnight 155 West 46th St. New York,10036
Sushi, Pizza, Pasta, Fish, Wraps, Panini, Mexican & Salads • Yoshon, Cholov Yisroel
SHARI’S Glatt Kosher Steakhouse
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
Now Open Sundays
221 W. 79th St. (Bet. Broadway & Amsterdam) Catering Available
ORGANIC CAFE AND TEA BAR, SUSHI, SALADS, FISH, SOUPS, DESSERT
468 41st ST
Inside and Outside Catering.• Free Delivery all over NYC. • Vaad Harabonim of Queens
Serving Pizza • Pasta • Fish • Knish • Salads • Soups • Etc.
Soup + Side Salad and Choice of Fish, Chicken, Pasta, or Grill (Not including Steak or Shish Kabab)
roast veal, sandwiches and salads. Creative wine list & unique cocktails.
BEST KOSHER CHINESE RESTAURANT IN TOWN
FT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA CHOLOV YISRAEL
Winter Special: 3 Course Dinner Meal $21.95
Casual dinner, pre-theater and after theater. Specialties: Sliders, duck empanadas,
6313 Reisterstown Rd., (410) 358-4TOV (4868) Groups & Buses Welcome
3558 N. OCEAN BLVD.
Glatt Mediterranean Cuisine, Gourmet Deli & Sushi Lounge
35 West 57th Street Bet 5th & 6th Ave.
CLUBHOUSE CAFE (410) 602-5008
7105 Reisterstown Rd., Baltimore
Catering Available • Delicious Salad Bar • Rabbi Avrohom Marmorstein, Mehadrin Kashrus
Serving N.O. for Over 20 Years - Delivery to Hotels - M-Th 10-7, Fri & Sun 10-3
SAGI’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL O.R.B. (561) 477-0633
CAFE ROMA PIZZERIA - Cholov Yisroel - 212 875 8972 854 Amsterdam Avenue (between 101st and 102nd St.) Free Delivery
DINE-IN :: TAKE-OUT :: CATERING :: EVENTS :: PARTIES Open Saturdays 1 hr. after Shabbat ends
Brooklyn: 6165 Strickland Ave. 347-492-7644 Brooklyn: 4110 18th Ave. (718) 438-1859 / (718) 851-2620 Cholov Yisroel, Pas Yisroel – Star K Supervision
Open Mon.-Th. 11 to 3pm. Under strict orthodox rabbinical supervision of Midwest Kosher.
CAFÉ K 4 Locations for your dining pleasure
Manhattan: 8 E. 48th St. (between 5th & Madison) (212) 688-5373 Brooklyn: 1111 Ave. K (718) 677-3033 / (718) 677-3125
(352) 243-2230 600 Cagan Park Ave. Clermont — 4 Miles West of Animal Kingdom
Bar/Bah Mitzvah, engagements, sheva brachos, corporate functions or anything else. Full bar
MR. BROADWAY Kosher Restaurant and Caterers 1372 Broadway (Bet. 37-38 Street)
featuring the largest selection of single malts on the Jersey Shore. Reservations suggested
Grill, Chinese, Sushi, Mediterranean, Deli
JSOR Glatt Kosher – Bet Yosef – Yashan www.656oceanlongbranch.com
Fast Delivery City Wide — www.mrbroadwaykosher.com
Friday, January 7, 2011
A Comprehensive Guide For Your Dining Pleasure
THE JEWISH PRESS
OLYMPIC PITA Israeli style Restaurant
58 W 38th St. Grill • Sushi • Bar • Shwarma, Falafel, Shish Kebab, Homemade Laﬀa Live Music Thu/Sat/Sun • Private Parties • Catering for all occasions • Open Motzei Shabbat • www.OlympicPita.com
CORNER CAFÉ Casual Dairy Dining (718) 435-2233 www.my-cornercafe.com 2 Ditmas Ave. (cor. Dahill Rd.)
BRONX, NEW YORK PELHAM PARKWAY
Glatt Kosher 212-869-7482
THE JEWISH PRESS
Diet Menu • Kids menu • Catering on & oﬀ premises
Fresh Fish, Pasta, Salads, Fresh Juice Bar, Diet Muﬃns, Pastries • Badatz Tartikov
MOISHY’S BAKERY & CAFE Cholov/Pas Yisroel
Near Bronx Zoo
746 Lydig Avenue at Holland Catering and Deliveries Available Credit Cards accepted Pizza * Falafel * Paninis * Wraps * Fish * Soups * Challahs * Cakes/sugar free available and more
Glatt Kosher Indian Cuisine 212-922-0224
344 Lexington Ave (Btwn 39th & 40th) $12.95 Lunch Buﬀet, Dine In, Take Out, Delivery Lunch: Sun-Fri Noon-3:00pm, Dinner Sun-Thur 5:00pm-11:00pm and 1 hour after Shabbos ends
Authentic Bucharian Cuisine 212-768-8001 41 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036
Shish Kebob · Schwarma · Uzbek Pilaf Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-9pm, Fri. 10am-Two hrs before Sabbath, Sun.11am-6pm
DOUGIES BBQ & GRILL
4310 18th ave
(718) 686-8080 www.dougiesbbq.com & www.dougiescatering.com &
Home of the ribs & wings! Glatt kosher, ﬁsh menu, sushi & wine, full catering menu
EL GAUCHO GLATT
188-02 Union Turnpike SteakHouse
Under Supervision of R.Y. Babad Tartikov Rov • Sun. - Thurs. 12 pm - 11 pm
TALIA’S STEAKHOUSE Glatt Kosher • Recession-Proof Menus 668 Amsterdam Ave (92-93 St) - www.taliassteakhouse.com - 212 580-3770
Vaad Harabonim of Flatbush; Kehilah Kashrus • www.Estihana.com • Glatt Kosher
GLATT ÀLACARTE Glatt Kosher (718) 438-6675 We Deliver
5123 18th Ave.
“Fine Elegant Dining & Take Out”
The Finest Continental Grill Gourmet in the Heart of Brooklyn
Cuisine of Rome • www.teverenyc.com — Elegant and Romantic Dining
Serving Meat and Fish Dishes — R’ Y. Babad-Tartikover Rov. • Sun-Thurs. 1:00-10 pm
Dinner Mon.-Thurs. 5 PM - 10:30 PM, Sun. 2 PM - 10 PM - Open Motzei Shabbos
SELECTIONS OF FINE WINES AND BEERS • NEW: LUNCH MENU
www.veggarden.com 2 LOCATIONS Cholov Yisrael Pas Yisrael In Lex locations 243 W 38 St • (212) 997-75-58 full svc Dinner/Sun brunch 347 Lexington Ave • (212) 883-7667 open S-Th 7 am-10pm; F til 3
KOSHER DELIGHT Glatt Kosher Fast Food Family Restaurant Boro Park: 4600 13th Ave. (cor. 46th St.), Bklyn 718/435-8500, Fax 718/435-1669 Flatbush: 1223 Ave. “J” (E. 13th St.), Bklyn 718/377-6873, Fax 718/677-0831
Italian Restaurant 1589 2nd Ave. (Between 82nd/83nd Sts.)
(212) 517-4448 www.vabenenyc.com
MENDELSOHN’S Famous Pizza
(718) 854-0600 4418 18 Ave. Bet McDonald Ave & Dahill Road Convenient Boro Park Location
Dairy - Cholov Yisroel — Mashgiach on Premises Enjoy authentic Italian pizza, artichokes, homemade mozzarella and desserts Mon-Thu: non stop 12-10:30pm, Sun. Brunch Menu 11am-10pm non stop, Friday Closed
Finest selection of pizza, soups, salads, breakfast & lunch over 100 delicious dairy hot items Complete dairy restaurant / catering — Extravagant Salad Bar
WOLF & LAMB STEAKHOUSE Aged Steaks 10 E. 48th St. Lunch & Dinner 11:45am-10pm
Best Food in Town - Come In & See 4514 13th Ave. (718) 438-2369 Hot Scrumptious Dishes - Low Fat - Low Carb Largest Variety of Pizza & Salads - Baked / Cooked / Grilled Fish — All Day Specials
and Rabbi Binyamin Gruber
1310 40th St 718-483-8792
Redeﬁning Kosher Cuisine through Presentations & Flavor with Fine Ingredients Aged Meat • Fresh Market Fish • Delicious Sushi by a top Japanese Chef • Catering Under Strict Supervision of Rabbi Yehiel Babad; Mashgiach Tmidi; Bet Yosef Meat
BURTOLUCCIS DAIRY RESTAURANT AND SUSHI BAR 1969 Coney Island Ave (Bet. Ave. P & Quentin ) (718)382-5559 Cholov Yisroel Supv. Rabbi Y. Gornish Take out and Free Delivery Upscale Italian Dining. The Finest Sushi in the Heart of Brooklyn
Cholov Yisroel Kemach Yoshon
Open Saturday Night
Parties welcome for all occasions
Live Jazz Jan 11th and 25th 7-9pm www.wolfandlambsteakhouse.com Open Motzei Shabbos starting Nov 7th
Three Brooklyn locations — see Manhattan Listings
CAFE RENAISSANCE Italian Dairy Restaurant (718) 382-1900 Rabbi Gornish 802 Kings Highway (cor. E. 8th St.) www.cafe-renaissance.com Fine dining serving wine and beer. Seating up to 140 for private parties, 30 years experience.
CAFE VENEZIA Italian Dairy Restaurant
COLBEH Glatt Kosher Persian and Mediterranean Restaurant 52-27 Little Neck Pkwy, Flushing, NY (718) 225-8181, 718-268-8181 Inside & Outside Catering. Under strict supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens
GREAT NECK, NEW YORK
Cholov Yisroel (516) 487-2243 176 Middleneck Road, Great Neck
Catering Specialists — Finest Appetizing — Eat-In Facility Under the Supervision of Vaad Harabonim of Queens • Yoshon Flour Used
At The Jewish Children’s Museum 792 Eastern Parkway (718) 907-8877
Persian Medit erranean Restaurant 37 Cutter Mill Rd., Great Neck (516) 487-4455
GLATT KOSHER VAAD HARABONIM OF QUEENS PARTY ROOM UP TO 150 PEOPLE
CHOSEN VILLAGE Exquisite Glatt Kosher Chinese Cuisine 505 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck (516) 504-1199; Fax # (516) 504-4499 Setting New Standards for Kosher Chinese Cuisine • www.cho-senvillage.com Open Sun.-Thurs. 12 Noon - 10 P.M., Sat. Night 1 Hr after Shabbat ‘til 12:30 A.M.
COLBEH Glatt Kosher Persian and Mediterranean Restaurant Free Delivery 75 N. Station Plaza (Great Neck) (516) 466-8181
Hours: Sun. - Thur. 12-12, Friday Closed, Open Motzei Shabbos 1 hr after Shabbos
MENDY’S ON CONEY
Finest Delicatessen & Family Restaurant 1359 Coney Island Ave (Near Ave J) 718-859-1002 Sun-Wed 11-11, Thur 11-12, Fri 9-4, Strict. Supv. Kehilat Kashrut
MOSHI MOSHI Glatt Kosher Japanese (718) 336-4566 1987 Coney Island Ave. (Bet. Ave. P & Quentin) Supv. Rabbi Y. Gornish Fine Dining • Free Valet Parking • Lunch Specials $6.99 • Parties $25 (per person)
OLGA’S ON SMITH
CHOLOV ISRAEL 347-335-0981 407 SMITH ST/DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN paninis, ﬁsh, pasta, etc. CAFE • TAKE - OUT • CATERING • PRIVATE PARTIES
NASSAU COUNTY 5 TOWNS AREA
CHOSEN ISLAND Exquisite Glatt Kosher Chinese Cuisine 367 Central Ave., Lawrence (516) 374-1199; Fax (516) 374-1459 Open Daily 12-10; Sat. 1 hr. after Shabbat til 12:30 am; Closed Fri., Take Out Dept. www.chosenisland.com Parties On & Oﬀ Premises - 5 Town Vaad / Full Time Mashgiach
L.I.’S FIRST KOSHER SUSHI BAR.
OFF THE GRILL
Fine dining serving wine and liquor • Huge projector screen for video viewing
CARLOS AND GABBYS 1376 Coney Island Ave
718 337 TACO 8226 • KEHILAH KASHRUS
Where great food, great friends & great times meet for delicious Mexican & American cuisine
Private Party Rooms. Bar / Bat Mitzvahs • Great Food - Great Service
WOK TOV Glatt Kosher Chinese & Sushi Restaurant - F/T Mashgiach 594 Central Av., Cedarhurst (516) 295-3843; Fax (516) 295-3865 Open Daily till 10pm; Thur. till 10:30pm; Fri. 2 hrs before Shabbos. Delivery - 15 min.
4815 12th Ave. • Valet Parking
from JFK/lunch specials/catering/sushi parties/diet gourmet/frozen travel/American Menu,
Under strict hashgacha of Rabbi Amram Roth • Open Daily 11-11, Open Motzei Shabbos
Low carb menu, 68 seats, Sushi Bar, Party Room/credit cards accepted www.woktov5t.com
Delivery Available 718-376-6490 1720 Coney Island Ave (Bet M & N) Kehilah Kashrus Schnitzelking@gmail.com Variety of Schnitzel ﬂavors, Shawarma, burgers & more... Catering on/oﬀ premises; Glatt Kosher; Yoshon; Bet Yosef Available
MONSEY, NEW YORK
KOSHER CASTLE 43 Rte. 59, Monsey (845) 425-3500 TAKE OUT / EAT IN / GRILL / CHINESE / SHWARMA Supv. R’ Yechiel Steinmetz Catering For All Occasions — Seats 100, Hrs: S-Th, 11:30am-11pm • Order online at www.koshercastle.com •
Always Fresh Open Till Midnight
4011 13th Avenue (betw. 40th & 41st) 718-483-8797 1928 Coney Is Avenue (corner of Ave. P) 718-998-4545 992 E 15th Street (betw. Ave. I & J) 718-677-6987 We Deliver to B.P, All of Flatbush, Kensington, Bensonhurst, Manhattan, Brighton Beach Under Strict Rabbinical Supervision of Harav Yechiel Babad & Kehilas Kashrus
Sun-Tues. 11am-12am, Wed-Thus. 11am-12:45am, Motzai Shabbos till 1:45am All Catering Available
Chinese-American Cuisine 718-627-0072
1424 Elm Ave.(cor.E.15th St. & Ave. M) Open 12noon-10:45pm
TEA FOR TWO SUSHI & NOODLE BAR
718-998-9888 1320 East 19th St. (oﬀ the corner of Ave. M)
(NEW) DAIRY - Under Supervision of Rabbi Yisroel Gornish • Dine in / Takeout / Delivery
Supv. Rabbi Yaakov Reisman, Chassidishe Shechita, Glatt Kosher
CHINA GLATT the uptown ambiance right around the corner 4413 - 13th Ave.
600 Central Avenue
www.cafe-venezia.com 1391 Coney Island Ave. (Bet. Ave. J & Ave. K) Rabbi Gornish • Private party room (100 people), Option for 2 ﬂoor party (200 people)
Vaad Harabonim of Queens
Inside & Outside Catering. Private Ballroom up to 200 persons. Vaad Harabonim of Queens
Catering Hall On Site Up To 200 people
ORCHIDËA Fine dairy dining. Quiet ambiance
“NORTH SHORE’S ONLY KOSHER SUSHI BAR”
Free Valet Parking. Lunch Specials. Parties $30 (Per Person) Open Sun-Thurs 11AM to 11PM Open Motzei Shabbat until Midnight
Glatt Kosher - Open Daily 12-10 PM, Sat 1 hr After Shabbos til 12:30AM, Closed Fri.
UNDER STRICT RABBINICAL SUPERVISION • PARTY ROOM AVAILABLE ON “J” OPEN DAILY TILL 12 • ALL STORES OPEN MOTZEI SHABBOS • KDEXPRESS.COM
CHOSEN GARDEN Exquisite Chinese Cuisine & Sushi Bar Take Out Dept. / Parties On & Oﬀ Premises - Vaad of Queens
155 E. 84 St. Bet. Lex. & 3rd Authentic Roman Dishes Fax 212-988-6846
THE VEGETABLE GARDEN Dairy Restaurant & Caterer
Catering • Pizza • Salads • Pancakes - Opened 6 AM - 7 PM
64-43 108th St., Forest Hills (718) 275-1300; Fax # (718) 275-1309
ASIAN BISTRO & SUSHI 1217 Ave. J (Bet. E. 12th & 13th)
TEVERE “84” Italian Restaurant
BAGELS & CO. - Handrolled Bagels - Fresh Sushi
Glatt Kosher Restaurant 4102 18th Ave. Bar-B-Que - Grill, Pasta & Fish
ESTIHANA Live Music Tue/Thu/Sat• Hottest spot for dating & private parties • Sport Bar
T FUSION STEAKHOUSE 3223 Quentin Road
(718) 998-0002 718-62STEAK 888-9GRILLT
312 Saddle River Rd. Monsey, NY 10952 845-425-4800
Full Chinese line • Full Shnitzel line • Eat/In Take-Out & Catering Complete Shabbos Menu • Glatt/Yoshon – Superv. R’ Yehiel Steinmetz – Delivery!
THE PURPLE PEAR Dairy Café - Restaurant - Manhattan Ambience 106 Route 59 (cor. Rte 306) 845-352-5262 R’ Zushe Blech - Cholov Yisroel Sun - Thurs: 9am-8:45pm, Motzei Shabbos - Open Late • Salads • Pasta • Fish • Panini
ROSLYN, NEW YORK
COLBEH Glatt Kosher Mediterranean Restaurant & Caterers One The Intervale, Roslyn Estates Inside & Outside Catering
Under Vaad Harabonim of Queens
GLATT - All Meats Under The Hashgacha Of Rabbi Yisroel Gornish
Fine Dining Chinese & American Cuisine Heimishe Ownership - Chassidishe Shechita - Vegetables Checked
YUNKEE Chinese-American Cuisine 718-627-0072
Supv. of Rabbi A. Roth, Rav - K’hal Heichel Moshe, B.P.
Buﬀet Every Mon. Night 1424 Elm Ave. All You Can Eat
Catering Available • Free Delivery • Private Party Room Available
Supv. Rabbi Yaakov Reisman, Chassidishe Shechita, Glatt Kosher
The Dining Guide Gets Results Call 718-330-1100 x 304
You have everything you need to make your restaurant a success • Fantastic Food
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THE JEWISH PRESS
Week In Review
Friday, January 7, 2011
Edited by JASON MAOZ
ISRAEL NEWS ISRAELI ECONOMY EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
The Israeli economy is the fastest growing in the West, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel’s gross national product grew by 4.5 percent in 2010, according to CBS data and estimates – 0.5 percent more than had been expected. This compares with a 2.7 percent growth in the 33 other countries of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Israel became an OECD member in September. In 2009, despite the worldwide economic meltdown, Israel’s economy grew by 0.8 percent and by 4.2 percent in 2008. The GNP per capita grew by 2.7 percent this year, compared with a drop of 1.1 percent the year before. In the OECD as a whole, this year’s per capita GNP grew by 2.3 percent. Israel is also doing better in the employment arena than the rest of the OECD, with a 6.7 percent unemployment rate, compared with 8.3 percent in the other countries.
RABBIS’ WIVES TO JEWISH WOMEN: DON’T DATE ARABS
More than two dozen Israeli rabbis’ wives signed a letter urging Jewish women not to date or work with Arab men. The letter, which had at least 27 signatories, was distributed by Lehava, an organization dedicated to preventing intermarriage between Jews and Arabs. The letter came on the heels of another letter published last month and signed by several dozen municipal rabbis calling on Jews not to sell or rent properties to non-Jews. That letter created a furor, sparking a host of condemnations from Israeli political figures and numerous religious and community leaders in the United States, including the main Modern Orthodox rabbinical group, the Rabbinical Council of America. The letter’s signatories include Nitzhiya Yosef, daughter-in-law of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and wife of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef; Esther Lior, wife of Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba; and Shlomit Melamed, wife of Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El.
FORMER ISRAELI SOCCER STAR DIES AFTER ACCIDENT
Former Israeli soccer star Avi Cohen died in a Tel Aviv hospital, eight days after his motorcycle crashed into another vehicle. Cohen played for the Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 1970s, before moving to the English team Liverpool, with which he won both the English and European soccer titles. Cohen had been rushed to the hospital with severe head injuries, and paramedics said one of the reasons Cohen’s injury proved fatal was because he was wearing an open bike helmet that did not cover his entire face. The helmet proved to be ineffective when the accident occurred. In the week prior to Cohen’s death, as he lay in a coma, many soccer players and coaches, including several who played with him in Liverpool, came to visit and support his family.
KATSAV CONVICTED OF RAPE
Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was found guilty of rape and sexual assault, more than four years after he was first accused.
The unanimous verdict of the three-judge panel was announced in Tel Aviv District Court. Katsav, 65, was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting A., a former employee of the Tourism Ministry. He was also convicted of sexually harassing H. and of sexually abusing and harassing L., both employees of the President’s Residence, and of obstruction of justice. The incidents occurred when Katsav was serving as Israel’s president and tourism minister. The victims’ names have been kept in confidence by the courts. Katsav was accompanied to court by his lawyers but not by his wife, Gila, who previously had stood by his side throughout the proceedings. Katsav’s attorneys said they would appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court. A sentencing date has not yet been set. A rape conviction carries a minimum prison sentence of four years and a maximum of 16 years.
IPHONE APP BRINGS WESTERN WALL CLOSER
Using a new iPhone application, the Western Wall is only a touch away. The Kotel Application, which was released last week in Hebrew, English and Russian by the Western Wall Heritage Center, permits users to see a live video feed of the Western Wall Plaza. They can also send a note to the wall and use the application’s compass to pray in the direction of the wall. The application is free at Apple’s iTunes store.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS AUSCHWITZ SIGN THIEF SENTENCED
A Polish court sentenced Swedish neo-Nazi leader Anders Hogstrom, who acted as a middleman between a neo-Nazi buyer and five Polish thieves who stole the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign from Auschwitz, to 32 months in prison. The sentence was part of a plea bargain struck in late November. Hogstrom could have faced up to 10 years in prison. He will serve his sentence in a Swedish prison. The iron sign, which measures 16 feet across and means “work makes you free,” was stolen from the former Nazi concentration camp on Dec. 18, 2009 and recovered across the country 72 hours later. It was found cut into three pieces. Hogstrom, who was arrested in February in Stockholm and extradited to Poland in April, founded the National Socialist Front, a Swedish neo-Nazi movement, in 1994.
U.S. NEWS U.S. OPPOSES ANTI-SETTLEMENT RESOLUTION
The United States opposes efforts to pass a UN Security Council resolution against Jewish West Bank settlements, a State Department spokesman said. At the same time, the administration does “not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” the spokesman, Mark Toner, said during a meeting with reporters. The Palestinian Authority is currently working on a draft of a resolution that would ask the Security Council to condemn Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including eastern Jerusalem, as illegal and an obstacle to peace, according to reports. Toner declined to say specifically whether the
United States would veto such a resolution. A resolution that does not call for sanctions could result in the United States not using its veto, according to reports.
CUOMO URGED TO RESTORE KOSHER DIVISION
Lawmakers, Jewish leaders and kosher businesses are lobbying New York’s new governor Andrew Cuomo to restore the state’s kosher law-enforcement division. Budget cuts and retirements over the last year have left the division with one employee, the division’s director. The cuts in the department, which once employed 11 kosher inspectors, will save up to $1 million a year in salary, benefits and services, according to the newspaper, citing a state Department of Agriculture and Markets spokesperson. The department said last November that the jobs have become obsolete since a 2004 change in the state’s kosher law prevented state inspectors from enforcing Orthodox standards of kashrut. According to the new law, kosher establishments must disclose the standards they use and under whose authority they operate, but are not required to adhere to Orthodox regulations. State kosher inspectors may only ensure the establishments are doing what they purport to do.
N.Y. SYNAGOGUE GETS BOMB THREAT
A letter threatening to blow up a New York City synagogue was discovered the same day as the release of a state report showing that hate crimes against Jews had risen significantly. A letter discovered on the evening of Dec. 30 at Congregation Ohab Zedek on the Upper West Side of Manhattan threatened to blow up the synagogue on New Year’s eve, the New York Post reported. The newspaper quoted synagogue Rabbi Allen Schwartz as saying that up to a dozen other synagogues received similar letters. The report on hate crimes in New York State for 2009 was also released late last week by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. According to the report, 37 percent of hate crimes for 2009 were against Jews and Jewish institutions, a 15 percent rise over the previous year. There were 251 hate crimes against Jews and Jewish property in 2009, up from 219 in 2008. The total number of hate crimes in New York State rose by 14 percent, from 599 to 683.
Compiled from reports by JTA, Israel National News, Middle East News Line and Jewish Press staff.
PRAY FOR THE CAPTURED ISRAELI SOLDIERS
PULL OUT SECTION Friday, January 7, 2011 Vol. LXII No. 1
A Tale of Four Synagogues: Amsterdam’s Jewish Historical Museum Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, Amsterdam http://www.jhm.nl/english.aspx
ven a poor, unfortunate Jew stranded on an otherwise deserted island, the joke goes, builds two synagogues – one that he attends semi-regularly and the other he wouldn’t set foot in if you tried to make him. The notion of four coterminous Ashkenazi synagogues seems like the beginning of another joke, but the Great Synagogue (Grote Sjoel, built 1671), Upstairs Synagogue (Obbene Sjoel, built 1685), Third Synagogue (Dritt Sjoel, built 1700 and renovated in 1778) and New Synagogue (Neie Sjoel, built 1752), in Amsterdam’s old Jewish quarter serve as the location of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam (Joods Historisch Museum). Although the multiplicity of synagogues had to do with practical rather than hostile factors (like in the joke), it is impossible to forget the tragic and sobering circumstances that allowed these buildings to become a museum rather than to continue to serve as houses of prayer. According to an 18th century register, the Great Synagogue, created by Elias Bouman, who also constructed the Portuguese Synagogue, also called Esnoga (Sephardi, built in 1675) and situated across the street from the other synagogues, sat 399 men and 368 women. When the community outgrew that space, it constructed the second building, which was named the Upstairs Synagogue for its location on the upper floor of the building above a meat market. The synagogue seated 390 and its congregation tended to be less affluent than that of the Great Synagogue. Further growth of the community required even more space, so the community created the Third Synagogue (seated 164) and the New Synagogue (seated 596 men, 376 women). Synagogue use screeched to an immediate halt during World War II, when the windows beside the ark of the New Synagogue were covered with bricks; the Third Synagogue was stripped of its furnishings; the Upstairs Synagogue’s ark and galleries were looted; and the wooden galleries of the Great Synagogue were stripped and used for fuel during a shortage. Surely the restorations of the synagogues by J. Schipper in 1966 and Premsela Vonk and Partners and Roy Gelders from 1976-1987 are to be applauded, and their reemergence as a museum is a great story of creation emerging from within the ashes of terrible devastation, but it is also difficult to forget what the buildings once were and what they can never be again. The museum complex today houses more than 13,000 works of art and historical objects, including paintings by Isaac Israels, Jozef Israels and Isidor Kaufmann, and lavishly decorated circumcision tools,
Omer counters, Ketubbot, illuminated manuscripts and Torah crowns. Of particular interest is Eppo (Joseph Ferdinand) Doeve’s 1958 painting of Jewish comedian Max (Moses) Tailleur. Doeve, a friend of Tailleur’s, sets the comedian amidst a backdrop that shows the destruction of Jewish Amsterdam during World War II. Ominous smoke fi lls the horizon, which is punctured by leafless trees. Over Tailleur’s left shoulder, a Eppo Doeve. “Max Tailleur.” 1958. Loan Netherlands Theatre Institute. man with a hat and satchel in an open market points at a candelabrum that appears to be a menorah. It might not be a stretch either to say that the ritual object is being hawked right outside the Portuguese Synagogue (there may be a Hebrew inscription over the door). Martin Monnickendam’s 1935 painting depicts a much happier scene: services in the Great Synagogue celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Ashkenazi community of Amsterdam. The painting conveys not only the poise and sophistication of the congregants, but also the lavish light and bold colors of the synagogue. Monnickendam includes the inscriptions on the ark: “Crown of the Torah,” “Know before whom you stand” and “God is King; God has ruled; God will reign forever” (though a guide published by the museum incorrectly states that the inscription from Psalms 16:8, “I have set God before me perpetually,” which appears in the actual synagogue, is also visible in the painting). The museum does a great job of balancing the older holdings of its collections with contemporary Judaica, but its historic works are probably its best treasures. A circa 1250 machzor from Cologne was perhaps brought Martin Monnickendam. “Synagogue Service, 300th to Amsterdam by Uri Halevi, a rabbi born in 1544 who anniversary of the NIHS, Amsterdam.” 1935. Watercolor, pastel and gouache. built synagogues in Amsterdam and circumcised 2,500 Maranos, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia. According to the museum guide, Halevi may have been using the machzor on Yom Kippur in 1603 when Amsterdam police raided his home, suspecting it held an illegal Catholic service. The most interesting piece in the collection might be a 17th century basin by Abraham Warnberger II, used by the Levites to wash the hands of the Kohanim during services. The basin depicts a scene that is atypical for a synagogue, though: the Greek mythological (and one might add highly Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam. Photo Lisette Kamping. Continued on p. M44 Images courtesy of Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam.
Menachem Wecker, who blogs on faith and art for the Houston Chronicle athttp://blogs.chron.com/iconia, welcomes comments at email@example.com.
INDEX Kupfer ................................................... M40 Crossword Puzzle ............................. M40 Novick .................................................... M41 Bitton Jackson .................................... M41
Korolitsky ............................................ M43 Caroline ................................................. M41
Chess/Judoku .................................... M44
Beres ...................................................... M42
Gush Katif ........................................... M45
Eidelberg .............................................. M42
Kid’s Pages ................................ M46-M49
Hertzberg ............................................ M43
Teens & 20s ......................................... M50
Articles and poems may be submitted via the following email addresses: Magazine and Family Matters firstname.lastname@example.org Teens and Twenties Talk email@example.com
Page M40 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
Irene Klass, Magazine Editor 1963-2010
On Our Own By Cheryl Kupfer
Coming Out Of The Cancer Closet Part I
n my last column I pointed out certain things people should – or should not do – to keep themselves and/or their loved ones off the Tehillim list. Of course, despite one’s best efforts, whatever Hashem has decreed will take place; yet, we are admonished to do our outmost to “watch over our soul.” To that end, we need to take precautions, educate ourselves and be proactive in taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves. Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, putting up beeping motion sensors near swimming pools, learning how to swim – were some of the things to put on one’s immediate “to do list.” Most importantly, people must get medical screenings in a timely and efficient manner. This includes blood work (to check for sugar, iron and cholesterol levels etc.), blood pressure readings, mammograms, colonoscopies and whatever else your physician recommends. Sadly, Tehillim has been said for too many people who postponed, delayed or simply never bothered to make the effort or time to get crucial medical examinations. As I admitted in the column – I was almost one of them. Despite knowing better, I postponed, for three years, going to my gynecologist/GP for my annual checkup. I want to point out that all my life I was pretty con-
scientious about getting a yearly physical – I even went to the dentist twice a year. But at that particular time in my life, I was figuratively bloated from years of having to eat the many negative comments and caustic criticism that were dished out to me by too many misguided individuals. I was very reluctant and too worn out to face disapproval and censure from yet another source – even if it was for my own good. My doctor was very “machmir” about maintaining a healthy weight, insisting that being overweight shortened one’s life. To that end he would gently but firmly chide his patients to lose their extra poundage. If the scale showed an increase from the previous weigh-in, he would show his chagrin over that unfortunate state of affairs. I knew from looking in the mirror that he would not be pleased with the number that would come up on the scale. (Ironically my weight gain may have been caused not so much by over-eating but by the extreme stress and distress that I had experienced on a long-term basis. Stress releases the hormone, cortisol, which can lead to increased abdominal fat,and suppressed thyroid function. (The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism.)). Not relishing a scolding, I did not schedule an ap-
pointment for three years – until I heard that a friend of mine had uterine cancer. I thought to myself, if a tzaddekes like her was not immune to getting a dreaded sickness, then a lesser creature like me surely wasn’t immune. And so I swallowed my pride and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Ludwig. When he told me I could sit up, I silently breathed a sigh of relief that I would not have to pay a steep price for stupidly delaying my checkup. But Dr. Ludwig, being very thorough, was not done. Part of the physical included feeling my thyroid to see if it was lumpy – a possible sign of a malfunctioning thyroid – and a possible cause of weight gain -or loss. And the sigh of relief was aborted. I was informed that I had a multi nodular goiter, which means I had at least two lumps on my thyroid. Two or more lumps often are indicative of an over-active or under-active thyroid. A single lump is more ominous. Statistically only 5% of multi-nodular thyroids are malignant – meaning 95% aren’t. Great odds – but I didn’t beat them. A follow-up ultrasound led to a biopsy and a diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer. The good news is this type of thyroid cancer grows very slowly and is very curable. However, even though thyroid cancer spreads slowly, after a while, even the turtle reaches the finish line and, had I kept on delaying my check-up – rationalizing “valid” excuses for not going – the cancer would have gone undetected, spreading and becoming more invasive. Eventually, I might have ended up on a Tehillim list. As it was I had surgery – but no chemo. My treatment consisted of swallowing a radioactive iodine pill. Thyroid tissue grabs iodine – I visualize it as a magnet pulling metal – and cancerous thyroid cells not removed by the surgery are killed by the radiation in the iodine they hungrily absorb. Continued on p. M44
Appearing in the FIRST issue of each month
Rav Yisroel Meir HaKohen Kagan By Yoni Glatt
1. Cul de followers 5. Dashboard letters 8. German, to a WWII soldier 13. Tobacco or corn, e.g. 14. Age 15. Name of several kings and presidents 16. Throb 17. Go bad 18. Notable hun 19. First book written by Rav Kagan or another name for this puzzle 22. That girl 23. ___ ledodi.... 24. Know-it-all’s cry 25. Build 27. Gooey substance 29. Shaving cream, e.g. 33. Like a top gun 35. Milk substitute 37. Michigan is a big one 38. Perhaps Rav Kagan’s most famous work 42. Stop 43. Mother of Mary’s Little Lamb 44. When squared, a cracker 45. Writes 46. Strong insect 48. Musician/Filmmaker Gainsbourg 52. It has agents 54. Cheering word 56. Long time 57. Book (and famous philosophy) of Rav Kagan
63. One who works at docks 64. Eggs 65. Window locale 66. Famed 19th Century female writer 67. One __ customer 68. It has Korea 69. Takes the skin off 70. Nightmare street 71. Shack
1. Burn 2. Yishmael, e.g. 3. Agree 4. A job on __ 5. La’G Ba’Omer city 6. Business purpose 7. Loathe 8. Condiment with up 9. Hyman of “The Godfather Part II” 10. Opera solo 11. Jamaican citrus fruit 12. United work 15. Hostile strip 20. Senator Orrin 21. Ache 26. Hires for Broadway 28. White and pale 29. Log ride 30. Paddle 31. Letters after Rav Kagan and before 19-Across 32. “Look at ___...” 34. Yafo to Tiveria dir.
36. Still 38. Adam, literally 39. Variety 40. Expect 41. Like Doeg 42. Shalom 47. Go on an Achva trip 49. Go over 50. A Spielbergian 80’s adventure kid 51. Group of nine 52. Many acoustic guitars have 19 53. Best friend of Milhouse
55. Worry 57. Comedic stick? 58. Fox locale 59. Defensive spray 60. Basic form of Avodah Zara 61. Last word of “The Shawshank Redemption” 62. Hot tubs (Answers, next week) Yoni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 7, 2011 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Page M41
The Person Behind The Chair... And Beyond By Ann Novick
Impact Of Women On Jewish History
My Readers Disagree Dear Ann, I have been following your series on the new surgery being given to relieve the symptoms of MS. I have read with interest all four articles (The Person Behind The Chair: 11-5, 11-12, 11-26 and 12-10) and have to tell you how shocked I am that you, an advocate for well spouses, allowed some of those unbelievable comments go without rebuttal. I have to put my two cents in about some of those comments that made me see red. The people who called well spouses “selfish” and “self centered” because we want our spouses to have the surgery and said we “define ourselves by our spouse’s misfortune” and care giving must make us “feel powerful” left me speechless. Don’t they know that caregivers are powerless and invisible? And to the others who said, as if it is a terrible thing, that the healthy partner wants the surgery “just so they can stop the drudgery of care giving,” I say no kidding! What is w rong with that? Of course we don’t want to deal with it all anymore if we don’t have to. Wouldn’t you want to stop being a caregiver if the situation was reversed? Let these people try even for a short time waking up several times a night to take their spouse to the bathroom or change their soiled diapers and then have to get up early in the morning to go to work. Let them be on call every minute of every day for years and have to drop everything they are doing to attend to their sick spouses immediately whenever they call. And then let them judge our desire to be rid of the drudgery and go back to an easier time with a healthier spouse.
And for the sick spouse who claimed that it’s only the person with MS who is “taking all the risk if something goes wrong,” let me ask him who will be left to cope with any complications from the surgery if not the well spouse? I hope you print this letter. I felt someone had to answer these accusations and I am very upset that you did not. A disappointed but faithful reader
You can contact me at email@example.com
Continued on p. M44
Dear Disappointed, Thank you for your reaction and for sharing your feelings. I chose deliberately not to comment on my readers’ reactions because I felt it was important for all of us to hear both points of view on the issue of the surgery. All these feelings are real. They are not right or wrong, they just are. And those feelings determine how we will deal with the issue of the surgery. If we refuse to see the other person’s perspective we can never reach a compromise. Surgery is frightening. No one should force their partner into a medical procedure they do not want to have. It is only by calmly discussing the issue and understanding the other person’s reasons for wanting or not wanting the procedure that they can proceed, whatever the decision is, in family harmony. Ann Dear Ann, I want to comment on the letter from Still Seething that you printed in your December 24 column. I agree and disagree with Still Seething and her idea of how to help a family in need. Most people outside the “ill household” do not know how to help without sounding like they are butting in, so when I say, “if I can do
Your Time, Your Space ...Your Life By Rivka Caroline
Ten Steps To A Home Office Haven Question: What to do with that cluttered, paper filled home office? Answer: What cluttered, paper-filled office? Can you commit to a few hours over the next month? Follow these simple but essential steps for a tidy and empowering workspace. Remove the arnage: Take as many big transparent storage containers as you need and remove all those papers, books, unopened mail, shoes and coffee mugs from the office and place them inside the containers. Any essential items
such as lost credit cards and/or your driver’s license found in the process should be put directly into your wallet. Don’t put any liquids (water bottles, nail polish) inside the containers with all those papers. Clean the space: Get out the Clorox wipes, the duster, vacuum and the can of condensed air and really clean the space. Look at your space with fresh eyes: Go back to basics and confirm that you love your space – if you don’t, then you
Rivka Caroline is a mother, a rebbetzin with a Psychology degree and a Organizational Coach and Time Management Expert living in Key Biscayne, Florida. Rivka helps people optimize their time and space using a blend of strategy and positive psychology to encourage people at home and at work to use optimal efficiency to have a more relaxed and happy life. Share your own organizational wisdom or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her blog at www.sobeorganized.blogspot.com or visit her website at www.sobeorganized.com
By Prof. Livia Bitton Jackson
Yocheved: A Divine Instrument
alut Mitzrayim – the Egyptian Exile – has come to symbolize all of our exiles. It is the ultimate galut, the ultimate Exile and embraces everything we would experience – displacement, foreign subjugation, powerlessness and exposure to extreme physical and mental torture. In a parallel fashion, Yetziat Mitzrayim – the Exodus from Egypt – has come to epitomize ultimate freedom, even the Geula, the Redemption. In Jewish thought, Galut Mitzrayim and Yetziat Mitzrayim – Exile and Exodus – no longer denote merely Israel’s enslavement and liberation. They play pivotal roles, exercising a farreaching impact on Jewish legacy and our Halachic system. There are very few commandments, be they purely ritual, ethical or societal those do not have a reference to Galut Mitzrayim or Yetziat Mitzrayim. The call “Let my people go!” has become a universal cry for freedom divested of its particularistic origins. Moshe Rabbeinu – Moses – the hero in the drama of Exodus is the undisputed universal symbol of liberation. It is interesting to note that the framework in which Moshe Rabbeinu’s birth is introduced deviates from the norm. Routinely, the genealogy of biblical figures focuses on the male ancestors, and the identity of the females is established through their relationship to the male members; she is either “the daughter” or “the sister” of a man in the family. For instance, Aharon’s marriage is introduced with the words, “And Aharon took Elisheva
the daughter of Aminadav, the sister of Nahshon, for a wife, and she gave birth to Nadav and Avihu, Elazar and Itamar (Shemot 6:23).” The pattern continues with reference to the next generation: “And Elazar the son of Aharon took one of the daughters of Petuel for a wife, and she gave birth to Pinhas (Shemot 6: 25).” Moshe Rabbeinu’s birth, however, is presented with a reference to both his mother and father on equal footing, without verification of Yocheved’s identity through her male relatives: “And Amram took Yocheved, his aunt, for a wife and she gave birth to Aharon and Moshe,” (Shemot 6:20). We do not know whose daughter and whose sister was Yocheved? Why is Yocheved alone distinguished in this manner? Our rabbis point out that this distinction was intended to highlight Yocheved’s chosenness for the role of delivering Israel’s liberator. Yocheved, in her own merit was singled out for her mission of extraordinary motherhood. Not only did Yocheved give birth to Israel’s future liberator but undertook the hazardous task of saving his life at the risk of her own. We read in the Torah that, after giving birth “…she saw the child was fi ne and she hid him for three months” (Shemot 2:1), eventually placing him in a watertight basket among the reeds on the riverbank. The rest is our fascinating history. In her act of saving her infant’s life Yocheved was disobeying once more Pharaoh’s orders. According to the
will resist being there. Consider repurposing the space and moving the desk to a different wall for a better fit. Still not loving it? Look around your home for a nook that makes you smile. Now check the basic four: 1) Good lighting – make sure you are not squinting at the screen. Tweak the lighting so that you have that great combination of natural and artificial light. 2) Comfortable chair – make sure you are sitting comfortably and that your Mom would be happy to see how straight your back is. (Want to make her really proud? Ditch the chair and get an exercise ball. 3) Ergonomics – get an ergonomic keyboard and adjust your chair/desk angle so that your fingers can do their job without causing your wrists pain. 4) Easy to reach storage – get some shelves set up within easy reach. Containerize: Get yourself some containers that make you smile. Magazine folders are great as they look uniform and have no lids. Choose your color scheme (colors that make you smile) and stick to it. What set up do I need to be more productive: Need a pinboard? Desk calendar? Scanner? Headset for the phone? A new inbox? A shredder? Set these key items in place. Get a cup of pens too
while you’re at it. Invite friends back in: Now go to those transparent boxes and tackle the mess. A fair amount of items will be thrown or given away. Only invite the essential and highly useful items back in again. Create systems that flow: Now that you’ve pared down to essentials, ask yourself what systems your office needs to be productive. For example: Create a “mail” area with stamps, envelopes and address labels. If you like clipboards get a few for specific categories. Create a new system for inboxes and outboxes. What would make me smile: Bring in a new plant or fab family photo to add more happiness to your work environment. Or perhaps buy a brightly colored trashcan that makes you smile. Take ten minutes: Finish your work time 10 minutes earlier and organize your desk... daily. Go for the challenge and respect yourself and the work you do from home. By implementing these 10 steps your desk will be gleaming. Constantly reassess if particular items are serving a purpose. Before you know it your home office will be your haven for productivity and pride.
Continued on p. M44
Page M42 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
COMMENTARY ON CURRENT CONCERNS On Existential Threats And Lethal Remedies: A Jurisprudential View Part II The following Keynote Address was delivered by Professor Beres to the Intelligence Summit in St. Petersburg on March 5, 2007. It is published here for the very first time in its original form. These formal remarks presented by our own Strategic and Military Affairs analyst to very senior members of the military and intelligence communities (U.S., Israeli and certain others) remain starkly relevant and timely.
et me return very specifically to preemption, in counter-terrorist operations, and in national selfdefense against existential threats from other states. In this regard, there are two basic considerations before us here at the conference: legal and operational. Naturally, our capacity to succeed on both dimensions at the same time will sometimes be problematic. Moreover, there are potentially important trade-offs, and also interactions or synergies between the legal and the operational considerations that should be better understood. Whether or not we can argue persuasively for preemption in purely operational terms (and that will depend, inter alia, upon the complexities of each pertinent theatre of conflict), there is a determinable right under international law called anticipatory self-defense. The “international community” may typically frown upon such a right as merely pretext for defensive first-strikes (and they are ideas that can conceivably be abused), yet, reciprocally, no government is ever obliged to compel its citizens to simply sit back, and await their unresisted annihilation. In 1996, in an authoritative advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice ruled that, in certain existential circumstances, a state may even have the defensive right to resort to nuclear weapons. Today, the risks in certain circumstances of not striking first are perhaps greater than ever before. Anticipatory self-defense is an expression of customary international law. The sources of International Law are found at Art. 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. There, “international custom” is identified expressly as a fully authoritative source. Back to Iran. We already know that Iran today is not Iraq on June 7, 1981, the day of Israel’s “Operation Opera” strike against the Osiraq nuclear reactor near Baghdad.
We already know, operationally, that any act of anticipatory self-defense against hardened/dispersed/multiplied Iranian nuclear infrastructures and command control facilities would entail huge and possibly intolerable strategic, political and human costs. Nonetheless, we must always compare these expected costs to the presumed costs of not preempting at all. Recalling judgments regarding perfidy under the law of war, many expected Iranian civilian casualties following an American and/or Israeli preemption would prove, perhaps indisputably, to be the legal responsibility of Iran. International law is not a suicide pact. We are not obligated to sit back and try to coexist with a fully nuclearized Iran, especially an Iran that remains openly indifferent to its codified Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, and that maintains a persistently genocidal orientation toward Israel. The inherent limits of any fixedly defensive posture, articulated most famously by Sun-Tzu, were recalled last week in an article I published together with Major-General Paul Vallely. Let me conclude with some specific recommendations of Project Daniel (completed in mid-January 2003, several months before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom). We (The Project Daniel Group) linked anticipatory self-defense to various alternative preemption scenarios, and to the National Security Strategy of the United States of America (September 20, 2002). We also examined and endorsed expanded strategic cooperation between Washington and Jerusalem, with particular reference to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative edge.” Among other things, Project Daniel looked very closely at a recommended “paradigm shift” to deal with ascending low-intensity and long-range WMD threats to Israel. We also considered the specific circumstances under which Israel should purposefully
LOUIS RENÉ BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971), Strategic and Military Affairs analyst for The Jewish Press, is the author of many major books and articles dealing with nuclear strategy issues, terrorism and international law. Professor Beres was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 31, 1945.
Metapolitics By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
he “Preferential Vote” system is used in Australia, Ireland, Malta, Cambridge, Massachusetts and elsewhere. Most political scientists regard this as the best electoral system available. Here is how it works for Australia’s House of Representatives (the lower and more powerful branch of its bicameral legislature). In Australia (as of August 2010) there are 150 independently elected members each representing a separate district, the variation in size of which is constitutionally limited to about 10%. The number of members is not fixed. There is a periodic redistribution to eliminate anomalies arising from such things as boundary changes and disproportionate growth of the electoral districts. As in single-member plurality elections used in the United States and Great Britain, elections are held in single-member districts, but the voter is required to rank all candidates seeking election, from first to last. “The returning officer first sorts the ballot papers according to which candidate is ranked first. If at this stage any one candidate has a majority of the votes, he or she is
declared elected. Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest first-place preferences is declared defeated. The returning officer then transfers the votes of the defeated candidate’s supporters to whichever of the remaining candidates they have marked as their next preference, again checking to see if any candidate has achieved a majority of all the votes. This process continues until some candidate does attain a majority, whereupon he or she is declared elected.” Of relevance to Israel, the Preferential Vote system “allows small parties to document their contribution to a large party’s success. It is thus possible, even for parties that virtually never win seats on their own, to play a significant role.” In fact, by issuing “how to vote cards,” urging its supporters to adopt a particular ranking of candidates below first, a minor party can be instrumental in deciding which major party shall head the government! Actually, voters for a small party can have two (or more) votes, as they can register a vote for a small party or independent candidate, as well as contributing to a major party candidate’s total vote. No wasted votes! Also, a major party can make a deal with the minor party which might involve including a point of primary concern to the minor party in its policy platform in return for gaining the second preference, and if the minor party’s supporters are disciplined it has an influence proportional to the number of primary votes it gets. The Preferential Voting System would shift power from the parties to the people, i.e., the voters. It would make members of the Knesset individually accountable to the voters in constituency elections and facilitate salutary change in the policies of the government. An alternative to Simple Preferential Voting is the
Professor Eidelberg is the founder and president of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel’s system of governance. He can be reached through the FCD website: http://www.foundation1.org
By Louis René Beres Professor of International Law, Department of Political Science, Purdue University end its current posture of “deliberate nuclear ambiguity.” The Project Daniel Group, comprised primarily of very senior (retired) figures from the Israeli military and intelligence communities, urged continuance of constructive support to the US-led War On Terror. We stipulated that Israel should combine a strengthening of multilayered active defenses with a credible, secure and decisive nuclear deterrent. The shortfalls of too great a reliance on the Arrow anti-ballistic missile (ABM) are also detailed in other articles I co-authored recently with Lt. General Thomas McInerney, and with MajorGeneral Isaac Ben-Israel (IDF/Israel Air Force). To meet IMOD/IDF mission goals, Israel’s recognizable retaliatory force should be fashioned with the capacity to destroy some 10 – 20 high-value targets scattered widely over certain enemy states in the Middle East. Early on, The Project Daniel Group recognized a very basic asymmetry between Israel and portions of the Arab/ Iranian world concerning the desirability of peace, the absence of democracy, the acceptability of terror as a legitimate weapon, and the relative size of populations. Importantly, The Project Daniel Group concluded, inter alia, that non-conventional exchanges between Israel and its enemies must always be avoided. We argued, back in 2003, that Israel must never allow a nuclear Iran, and that it must prepare, both tactically and jurisprudentially, for lawful preemptive strategies, even if the United States and the larger “international community” should choose to reject and condemn the preemption option. Thomas Jefferson, as an avid reader and philosopher, was familiar with the writings of Cicero, Grotius, Burlamaqui, Pufendorf, van Bynkershoek, Vattel and, of course, Locke. In several of his “lesser” writings, Jefferson argued firmly, on the express basis of Natural Law, that all states always have an overriding obligation to endure. This argument, reinforced in 1996 by the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on nuclear weapons, is even more compelling today than it was in earlier centuries. Odd as it may first appear, even assassination and preemption may sometimes have a distinctly lawful and proper place in purposeful considerations of counter-terrorism, national security and national survival. International law is not a suicide pact. Personalized Proportional Representation System, which may have a better chance of being adopted in Israel – and this would be a great improvement over the existing system. Here is how it works: The voter is given two votes, one for an individual candidate and one for a party list. The candidate vote is for a single-member district contest that is won by a plurality. The second vote, however, is for a party list, and is used to provide compensatory seats to those parties which did not receive in the single-member districts the seat share proportional to their nationwide vote share. (Actually, much the same result can be achieved with a single vote, as in Denmark and Sweden.) It should be noted, however, that “Personalized” PR, apart from being more expensive to conduct, would yield a “hybrid” Knesset whereby part of the legislature is based on single members districts – say 60 – while the other 60 is derived from a national list, as under the existing system. Electoral and institutional reform is a necessary precondition of changing the disastrous course of Israel’s government. However, it should also be understood that Israel needs not only political reform to empower the people, but also economic reform. Economic democracy must be added to political democracy. Hence it will be necessary to break the economic stranglehold of a small clique that dominates the Jewish state. One last word: It was recently reported that 88 percent of the public regards the Knesset as “corrupt,” meaning that its members, far from being dedicated to the common good, are animated primarily by their own partisan and personal interests. Although, there are no institutional substitutes for virtue, making MKs individually accountable to the voters will raise the level of politics, and this can be accomplished to a significant extent by preferential voting.
Friday, January 7, 2011 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Page M43
Leadership Challenges: Parsha Perspectives
By Rabbi David Hertzberg
ver 2300 sailors and soldiers were killed and more than 1200 were wounded; 8 battleships were sunk– some never to be recovered; 350 aircraft were destroyed or damaged; three cruisers, four destroyers, one minelayer, and five auxiliary ships were sunk. This was the terrible price the United States paid for being surprised by Japanese bombers at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Americans around the country woke that Sunday morning to the shocking news. President Roosevelt, in his request to Congress to declare war on Japan, aptly described the date as one which would “live in infamy.” Yet in a strange way, Pearl Harbor, despite being on a tactical level an unmitigated defeat and disaster for America, was, on the strategic level, a turning point of sorts. For amid the oil-fueled flames of the sunken battleships, within the smoke-fi lled army barracks, and inside the blood-soaked hospitals were sprouting the seeds of American victory. American lives, ships and pride were not the only things shattered that day. Also destroyed on that day, an outdated and constraining mindset of how to wage naval war. With its battleship fleet in ruins – the fleet that
had been the core of her navy – America was forced to rethink her naval strategy. The American aircraft carriers, being out of port, were miraculously spared destruction, would now constitute the tip of the spear for the Navy. Fleets would now be built around aircraft carriers and not battleships. With the defeat at Pearl Harbor young, fresh generals and admirals were propelled to leadership positions. Not chained to fighting the last war, as generals are often accused of, they broke new strategic and operational ground. They were not hampered by the warning that “it’s never been done before.” Their imaginations were allowed to play active roles in their planning. It is no exaggeration to say that from the ashes of Pearl Harbor developed the fighting force that went on to defeat Nazi Germany (y”s) and Imperial Japan. Great leaders are endowed with a very special type of vision. They are capable of looking at dark moments in time and seeing the potential to build and grow. This message in a sense captures Jewish history. Some of our most creative generations produced their works under terrible conditions. That we were able to do this was the result of the divinely inspired leaders who led us during those times. The Gerrer Rebbe brought this
Rabbi David Hertzberg is the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush Middle Division. Comments can be emailed to him at email@example.com.
Small Steps By Rochie Korolitzky
A Giant Of A Man
y tears don’t stop flowing over the recent loss of a dear friend, Rabbi Levi Deitsch o’bm. A father, a husband, a son, a brother, a rabbi, Chabad shaliach, a friend and mentor to so many, he was taken from this world on Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Vayeitzei. Levi was just 34 years old with four young children and a wife whom he adored. I write this column in hopes of inspiring even one person to better their lives or to help another person in need. In hopes of one parent giving his/her child a much-needed hug, a girl visiting her grandparents or perhaps a feuding duo apologizing. I do not usually share my personal feelings or emotions. However, Levi’s passing has effected me, and thousands of people across the globe, so much I do not think I will ever look at life the same. The news of his passing brought grown men and even many who had never met him to tears. So here I write a little bit about a giant of a man so someone who greatly inspired me can inspire you. Levi was diagnosed with a terrible disease over three years ago. He sought treatment after treatment and never gave up. He endured tremendous pains, but battled on because he had so much passion for life and so much love for his family. No matter what the doctors said, Levi was optimistic and shared his optimism with his friends and family. Seeing Levi’s zest for life and his determination to win the battle made us all believe there would be a happy ending. Levi was a Chabad Shaliach in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia where he and his wife Miriam built a thriving Jewish center and led a vibrant community. Levi stayed there until his last day. His illness did not stop him from being there for others. His
Chabad house continued to run all its wonderful programs. He did not tell his community about his illness until he could no longer hide it. He wanted to be there for them, he did not want them to worry about him. Levi tried to make the twenty-minute trek to shul on Shabbos despite his weakness and
pain. He made it a point to try to be at the simchas of others and to be there during the trying times as well. Once while we were there for a visit, Levi and his wife drove across state lines to comfort a fellow shaliach who had lost his wife. He heard of someone who was suffering from a similar illness and called
Rochie Korolitzky supervises a day habilitation center for adults with special needs, for a large Jewish organization. She is involved in many community activities. She encourages you to share your thoughts and stories with her at lifeinsmallsteps@ gmail.com.
message home in an insightful comment on this week’s parsha. At the beginning of perek 12 the Torah commands Bnei Yisrael with their first mitzvah – namely, the sanctification of the new month. Rabbis have expressed many ideas relating the fortunes of Bnei Yisrael to the repeating cycles of the moon. The most common connection is that just like the moon waxes and wanes, has its setbacks and triumphs as it were, so to Bnei Yisrael. Ultimately, just as our rabbis assure us the moon will be restored to its previous glory, so will Bnei Yisrael. The Sefat Emet takes the relationship of Bnei Yisrael to the moon to a different level. Historically, the great nations of the world only flourished when, metaphorically, the sun shone on them. Only in absolute daylight, under conditions of bliss could they progress. Bnei Yisrael on the other hand are endowed with the special quality of being able to flourish even in darkness under the limited light of the moon. Even during bad times Bnei Yisrael were able to be creative and produce great works and contribute in amazing ways to society at large. In fact, many of the great halachic works such as the Tosaphot and the Shach were written during the bleakest of times. The mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh is the responsibility of the Sanhedrin to fulfill. In line with the Sefat Emet’s comment it is therefore the Sanhedrin’s (or active Jewish leadership of the time) responsibility to inspire Bnei Yisrael to not only have faith during the dark times but to be creative and productive during the dark times. The leaders must inspire the people to create progress from destruction – light from darkness. America learned this lesson in World War II. Some argue that although Japan won a tactical victory at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 is actually the day they lost the war. to give words of encouragement. He spent hours explaining the types of treatments available and their possible side effects. When Levi found out this person was given a prognosis of nearly 100 percent survival, he called immediately to let him know it had made his day. Levi’s amazing qualities and personality made him lots of friends. His warmth, his radiant smile and contagious laughter had people from all walks of life gravitating toward him. Somehow no matter what he was going through, he was always more concerned about the next person. He remembered everyone’s occupations, their wives and children’s names and always asked about them. A week before he passed away, as he was being wheeled in for his last treatment, he glanced at my husband and encouragingly asked, “How are Aliza and Elchonon doing?” – referring to our children by name. One story about Levi stays in my mind as it exemplifies the love and devotion Levi had to his family and community. This past Lag B’Omer Levi’s youngest brother passed away, an unspeakable tragedy in itself. Levi heard the news just as he was heading out to his annual Lag B’Omer festival. The emotional pain was enormous. However, he had promised his children and community that he would be there. With a smile on his face, Levi came to the festivities. Not wanting to ruin the mood, Levi kept the news to himself. He stayed for a short while before flying to New York to mourn the loss of his brother. The story speaks for itself. In the three years of his hard-fought battle Levi inspired thousands around the world to do good deeds. “Levi Yitzchak ben Tzirel” was on the tips of thousands of tongues as people committed to saying tehillim for his recovery. Many took on the mitzvah of hafrashas challah, and others their own personal resolutions. On Levi’s final Shabbos, countless people from across the globe committed to keeping the beautiful mitzvah of Shabbos. May Levi be a maylitz yosher for his incredible, beautiful family, his wife, his mother, his children, siblings, family members, and the countless people around the world who are mourning his passing. His legacy lives on in all of us who have been touched by this giant of a man. Author’s note: to read more on this special man or to share your experience with him go to rabbilevi.com
Page M44 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
The Game Corner
Continued from p. M39
provocative) tale of the judgment of Paris. The Trojan Paris is shown beside Aphrodite, who holds an apple in her hand, a prize identifying her as more beautiful than her peers Hera and Athena (both of whom stand behind her, Athena with a helmet and armor). Hermes (winged helmet) stands off on the right beside a dog, perhaps a symbol of loyalty. So what are all these Greek gods and goddesses doing on a basin used to prepare for the priestly blessing of the Kohanim? According to the museum guide, the basin was made for use in non-religious contexts, and was Chess Challenge #1592 then introduced to the synagogue – clearly for OBJECT: White to play and mate in its aesthetic beauty, rathDetail of basin. Gilded silver. er than being particularly 2 moves. Abraham Warnberger II, Augsburg, 1670.
By Jeffrey M. Kastner U.S.C.F. Life Master
udoku is a fun, mentally stimulating game that will appeal to readers of all ages and skill levels. To solve the puzzle, use the clues below, along with your powers of logic, deduction, and reasoning! Your object is to fill in every square of the grid so that all nine rows across, all nine columns down, and all nine 3-by3 boxes contain all nine letters of the Keyword, with no repeats. This week’s Keyword: The wearing of earlocks, or “peyos,” is a traditional part of the Chasidic hairstyle. Solution on page: M50
Word-Finder Challenge: Here’s an additional fun and instructive game that will test and improve your vocabulary and anagramming ability. Your object is to fi nd as many words as possible using only the 9 letters of this week’s Keyword: HAIRSTYLE All words must be at least 3 letters long, and each letter of the Keyword may be used only once within any word you find. Multiple forms of the same word are acceptable (for instance, if FINE, FINES, FINED, and FINER were contained in the Keyword, they would all be usable). My word source is Merriam-Webster’s “Offi cial Scrabble Players Dictionary, 4th Edition” (also known as “OSPD,” available in all major bookstores and online). Longer words (9 letters) not in OSPD can be found in “Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition.” Par score this week: 260 words. How did you do? When you’ve completed your list, compare it with mine at our Website: www.jewishpress.com under the Con-test/Games tab. While there, play my weekly game, Word Star, a Web exclusive!
Continued from p. M41
Midrash, Yocheved was one of the midwives who had defied the Egyptian tyrant’s command to kill every newborn Hebrew male infant at birth: “….the midwives feared G-d and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded
NOVICK... Continued from p. M41
something, just ask,” I do mean it. I usually follow it with “if I can do it I will and if I can’t I will tell you that too.” So they know to take me up on the offer. There is no manual for “outsiders” who don’t have experience with long-term illness or disability. But I do agree that sometimes taking the initiative and asserting gently (like saying I will bring supper on Tuesday, etc.) can also work. But you have to know the ill family very well in order to step in so boldly. Some families would fi nd it rude and nosy if someone jumped in
on message religiously. This article is the third in a series on Jewish Amsterdam and The Hague, which is based on a trip sponsored by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.
By Hashem’s grace, I never was ill enough pre-and post surgery and treatment to have Tehillim said for me. In fact, people in the Toronto community who know me are probably shocked by this cancer revelation. Even my parents did not know for five years. I was in the hospital for three days – a day less than maternity patients – and in the ensuing weeks, I wore a scarf or a high-necked sweater to hide the give-away U–shaped surgical slit on my throat. I was very private about my situWHITE ation because I didn’t feel like a cancer patient. Honestly, giving birth was Answer next week. much more draining and painful. I never had any symptoms, or discomSolution to #1591: fort and I healed quickly. I actually 1.Qg5, threatening 2.Nf6 mate, forces thought they mixed up my test results mate next. If 1…Bc8+ 2.Nd7 mate; or 1… and had mis-diagnosed me. It was like,” If I have cancer, why do I feel Rb6 2.Nc6 mate. so good?” Based on what I saw at the
hospital and in the community, cancer–stricken people whose bodies and souls were under brutal assault from both their malignant tumors and their treatments, I did not think I had the right to call myself a cancer patient. I felt like a fraud. And truthfully, people view you differently when they know you have cancer. They simultaneously admire you for your “courage” or your bitachon or your “grace under fire” – saying they could never deal with it – but they pity you, they see you as a victim. And you make them think of their own mortality – and you become scary. I didn’t want to be unjustly labeled and mis-judged. I had already been down that road in my personal life. It wasn’t until nine cancer-free years later – including the last four of those years being told I was cured – that I had to admit that perhaps I was a “member of the club” after all. I had a recurrence. The cancer was back. (To be continued)
them, and let the male infants live” (Shemot 1:17). The Rabbis further emphasize the merit of Yocheved’s motherhood by two other unique circumstances. One of these is Yocheved’s marriage to Amram, her nephew, a union that otherwise would fall within the category of marital relations prohibited by the
Torah (Vayikra 18:12). The second relates to a Midrash which states that Yocheved was one hundred and thirty years old when she became the mother of Moshe, a fact that elevates Yocheved’s motherhood to Moshe above the miraculous stature of Matriarch Sara’s motherhood to Yitzhak. In defiance of every law, Yocheved
was designated to become a divine instrument of redemption for the people of Israel. Yocheved’s performance in keeping her child safe in the face of oppression and thereby ensuring her people’s future epitomizes the historic role of the Jewish mother throughout various exiles of Jewish history.
like that. Some would fi nd it a relief and a welcome. So judge wisely before you make your offer and make it appropriate to the individual’s needs and be respectful of them. There is a lot of pride in people who “need” help and it is very hard to ask for help and sometimes very hard to accept offered help, because pride and embarrassment get in the way. An outsider to care giving
no one size fits all. Your reminder that how we offer our help is as important as the help itself is very astute. It needs to be as unique as the individual we are trying to assist. Ann
Continued from p. M40
Dear Outsider, Thanks for your words of wisdom. We do need to consider the personality of the individuals we are trying to help and not make generalizations. There is
Dear Ann, I totally disagree with your “excuses” for children refusing to come to their parents for the holidays when one parent is ill (Creating a Happy Chanukah, 12-3-2010). Whether because they want a vacation or don’t want care giving chores or because an “ill parent” is grouchy and miserable and the children don’t
want to be around them, they make the “well parent” feel punished. Suck it up, adult children! You don’t live in this house and you don’t live with the illness every day. So for the sake of the well parent who wants to have as normal a family holiday as they can, be there! Get over yourself Dear Get Over, Adult children of the chronically ill do have many issues to work through. But I thank you for your perspective and support of the lonely well spouses during the holidays. Ann
Friday, January 7, 2011 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Page M45
This is the fourth in a series about families from Gush Katif
The Ya’akovs – Formerly Of Gan Or; Now In Nitzan
ur family: Parents Eliezer (51) and Anat (51) and six children: Limor (29) married and mother of two, Mishat (27), a nurse by profession, Ehud (24) student, married and father of one, Omer (22) IDF officer, Rinat (17) high school student, Or (14.5) yeshiva high school student. Then: “We had lived in Gan Or since 1983. We arrived in Gush Katif young, the parents of two girls and immediately began to build our life amidst the golden sand dunes. We established a vegetable farm and during the last year in Gush Katif we grew organic hot peppers for export. We were the only ones in Gush Katif to grow organic hot peppers and we also had tomato greenhouses.”
During the last ten years before the Disengagement Eliezer was the treasurer for the Hof Azza Regional Council and Anat was the social director at the Gush Katif Community Center and also taught art classes. Today: The Ya’akovs live in Nitzan. Eliezer works part time as the chairman for MACHA, the agricultural organization of seven moshavim (farming communities) that had been in Gush Katif. Anat works at odd jobs. Anat: “Limor, our oldest daughter, lived with her husband near us in Gush Katif. After the expulsion they weren’t eligible for a caravilla because they had been married for two years and four months and eligibility was only for those married three years or more. Therefore we were forced to separate.” Mishat lives in Nitzan and works as a nurse at the health clinic, Ehud is a student and lives with his wife in her parents’ caravilla in Nitzan; they are also from Gan Or. Omer is an officer in the IDF, Rinat is going into twelfth grade at Ulpanat “Even Shmuel” and Or is going into ninth grade at Yeshivat Neveh Hertzog.
Our Home Then: “We had a spacious house, 320 square meters, with a garden, twenty-year old trees and a lawn for playing soccer with the grandchildren.” Our House Now: “For the last five years we have been living in a caravilla, a pretty name for cardboard walls, 90 square meters in size. Because of the crowdedness we enlarged the caravilla by another 15 square meters in order to allow us to enjoy Shabbat and holidays with the entire family. The structure is already fatigued and after five years, the wear and tear is clearly noticeable.” The Day of the Expulsion from Gan Or: “It was a difficult and painful day. We had to pack 22 years
of life into cartons, to decide what to leave and what to take, because the caravilla couldn’t hold all of our possessions.” Friends of Ehud, who then served in the Golani Brigade, helped with packing. “They did all they could to help and brought all of our equipment to Nitzan. As a family, we decided out of respect for the IDF, our soldiers, and out of respect for the decisions of our State, even if they are horrible in our eyes and they pain us, to refrain from any confl ict, and therefore we decided to leave before the time of forced removal.” Because Or and Rinat were young children, aged 12 and 8, the parents decided to spare them the experience of directly opposing the soldiers. “We decided to take them out as late as possible, but on the other hand to prevent them from seeing the painful sights, and so we split: Anat, Or and Rinat left earlier for the caravilla site, and the rest of the family arrived at midnight, after fi nishing the packing and at the last moment possible without being removed by the soldiers. We left the house nice and clean. We took only the mezuzot and the Israeli flag that had flown at the entrance. We took as a souvenir a bit of sand and a small tile from the wall of the porch and drove off. When we reached the caravilla we were crushed, tired and exhausted – physically and emotionally, wondering how we would
unpack three truckloads of equipment. We were stunned to discover, late at night, many Israelis, unknown to us, good people from all parts of Israel and all places on the political spectrum, who simply waited for us there and helped us unload the equipment and organize the caravilla. It was a moment that warmed the heart.” What Was Left Behind: “Memories of 22 years [were left behind]. We left all of our roots there, the place where we raised our children, the place where we built our family together, the community, the farm, a region of Israel amazingly beautiful in every way.” Feelings Toward the State of Israel: “We have one land and one State and she is ours forever and we will love her, and serve her for the sake of our children and grandchildren. We have a wonderful nation, and we have a government for whose sake
we must pray, because its success is our success, and its failure is our failure.” The Most Difficult: “[The most difficult] is our livelihood, trying to start over and make a living at our stage in life. The longing and yearning for the unique community life we had, for agriculture and working the land, the education, living and honorable life, the special views.”
Permanent Home: “We arrived in the area of Nitzanim, that was supposed to be the flagship project of rehabilitating the expellees from Gush Katif, and construction still has not yet begun. The bureaucracy kills. We are now working on plans for construction and hope that in a few months we will be able to say that we have started to build our second house.” What Happened to the Community? “The community split into two places and most of the families are headed for Be’er Ganim, a new community that we will found, G-d willing, adjacent to Nitzanim. Unfortunately in our community there are still several people who are not working because it’s very hard for growers over the age of 50 to find work. There are many difficulties with the children and we are very busy with education, but we’re endeavoring to keep the community unified, united, supportive and optimistic.” Something Good That’s Happened Since: “We married off Ehud and three wonderful grandchildren were born. Other than that
we’re always endeavoring to look forward, upwards, to grow, to advance and to fi nd the good side of whatever happens to us.” What Do You Wish Yourselves? “That we will build as quickly as possible our permanent home in our new community in the Land of Israel and that we will enjoy life in the shade of the trees that we will plant anew. That we will return to the workforce, which is a source of life, and that our country will be stronger, more confident and more ethical in all areas.” This article first appeared in the Ma’ariv Hebrew newspaper, Shabbat supplement 16 July 2010. To support the Ya’akov’s and other Gush Katif families contact: 1. Gush Katif Committee, Ahuzat Etrog, PO Box 450, 79411, Israel 2. Friends of Gush Katif, PO Box 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666, 08-973-8000, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gushkatif.org
Page M46 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
Reb Raphael Barshad Reb Raphael of Barshad was a humble and pious man. He was known as a tzaddik who never uttered a bad word against his fellow man. Once, one of his relatives came to him with a plea for help. His daughter was engaged to a wonderful young man, a talmid chacham. The date of the wedding was nearing and he didn’t have a penny to pay for it. He didn’t even have any money to buy his daughter, the bride, a gown for the wedding. “I figure I need 50 rubles to make the wedding and buy my daughter the necessary clothes,” said the poor relative. “If you will loan me this money I promise to repay it to you in six months.” Reb Raphael sighed, “Alas, I, too, have no money,” he said. “I barely make ends meet, let alone I should be able to put away some money for a reserve.”
Once a neighbor came to him complaining that somebody had broken into his home and stolen jewelry and hundreds of rubles. “Would the holy Rebbe please give me a blessing that G-d replace my loss very soon,” the man pleaded.
Loans A Necklace Suddenly, Reb Raphael remembered that his wife had a diamond necklace, an heirloom, which she had received from her mother. The necklace had remained within the family for many generations. Calling over his wife, he explained the situation and asked her to give his relative the necklace so that he could pawn it and receive the 50 rubles he needed. His wife agreed. The relative thanked him profusely and promised to return the necklace one half-year later, after he redeemed it from the pawnbroker. The poor man hurried home and with the money he received for the necklace he was able to make the wedding.
Forgets His Promise Six months passed and the relative forgot about the necklace. A year soon passed and still it was not returned. Finally, Reb Raphael’s wife began to complain.
Reb Raphael thought that the man suspected him of the robbery and therefore came to him in the guise of asking for a blessing. Calling to his wife, Reb Raphael said, “Dear wife, will you state in front of our neighbor, that I did not leave this house for the past 24 hours and, therefore, am innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Answering The Heavenly Court Reb Raphael would say, “In 120 years, when I will have to appear before the Heavenly Court, I can answer every question put to me except that of haughtiness. “If they will ask me, ‘have you dealt in business honestly?’ I will reply, ‘I was never a merchant or a storekeeper and I never had any business, therefore, there is no complaint against me on this score.’ “If they will ask, “Have you devoted time to study of the Torah?’ I will answer, ‘I am an ignorant person and my mind could not take it.’ “If they ask, ‘did you do much praying and fasting for your sins?’ I will reply, ‘I am weak and sickly and could not do it because of health reasons.’ “If they ask, ‘did you give charity to the poor?’ I will respond, ‘I, too, was poverty-stricken, therefore, I had no money for others.’ “But I fear if they should ask, “True, you may have been ignorant, sickly and poor but by what right did you have to be haughty?’ I fear that I will have no answer for them. Woe is me, for how will I be able to answer this question?”
was out of town I suddenly reminded myself that I had forgotten to warn you not to say a false word!”
He Died Rather Than Swear Falsely In a town not far from Barshad, a Jew was taken into custody and accused of having committed a terrible crime against the government. If convicted he would face the penalty of death. The Jew vehemently protested his innocence and retained counsel to represent him. Inasmuch as all of the evidence was circumstantial, the government officials agreed that if he would get the two holy saints, Rab Moshe Tzvi of Soran and Rab Raphael of Barshad, to swear at the trial that the defendant’s character was irreproachable and honest, they would not press the case and he would be freed. The defendant’s wife and children immediately rushed over to the homes of these two tzaddikim and pleaded with them to agree to this plan. They cried and begged non-stop and they didn’t let the rabbanim enjoy a moment’s peace. Reb Moshe Tzvi loved every Jew, good or bad, and he would gladly sacrifice his life for them. But he was also fearful of swearing falsely. For there was no greater sin, he reasoned, than swearing falsely and one who did so would be immediately place in Gehennom. However, to save a life I am prepared to enter Gehennom,” he said. “Therefore, I will testify to the defendant’s honesty.” Reb Raphael, however, did not find it so easy to convince himself to testify to a matter of which he knew nothing about. “This would be swearing falsely,” he reasoned, “and I have made it a point, all my life, to preach about the truth.” Listening to the man’s children crying in his outer chamber, Reb Raphael was troubled. The trial was coming up the next day and he hadn’t as yet told the family what he would do. “To save a life has priority over everything in the Torah,” he said to himself. “Even the other tzaddik, Reb Moshe Tzvi, found a heter to enable him to testify for the defendant. Then assuredly, I, who am not a great man, should also be able to do the same.”
Never Told A Lie “Raphael,” she said, “a year has already passed and I still haven’t heard anything about my necklace, my family heirloom. Perhaps you should pay your relative a visit and remind him of his promise to return it after six months.” Reb Raphael agreed. He traveled to his relative and remained in his home for a few days. When he returned home he said to his wife. “I would never have believed that my relative was so well versed in Chassidus and so humble and pious. I spent the entire time discussing Torah with him and I learned many fine points on how to worship G-d and observe good Chassidic habits. He is truly a wonderful person.” “And what about my necklace?” asked his poor spouse. “The necklace?” replied Reb Raphael in wonder. “I completely forgot to ask him about it.”
Humbleness And Piety Reb Raphael was so humble and pious that he thought people suspected him of wrongdoing.
Reb Raphael would usually visit the Maggid, Reb Yisrael of Rozin. When he was ready to depart, Reb Yisrael would tell his sons to accompany Reb Raphael to the outskirts of the town. When the sons would return home, their father would ask them, “What did the tzaddik Reb Raphael tell you before he left?” They would always answer the same thing: “He admonished us never to utter a false word, for honesty is the most important thing in life.” One day when the sons returned home, they mentioned to their father that Reb Raphael did not say a word to them when he left them. The father remarked, “I’m sure that the tzaddik must have forgotten about it. Mark my words, when he reminds himself about it, he will come back here to warn you not to say a false word.” Sure enough, an hour later, Reb Raphael returned to the town and came to Reb Yisrael’s home and called over his sons and said, “I trust you will forgive me, when I
With these thoughts, Reb Raphael began to tremble. “Lrd of the Universe!” he shouted. “Why do you put me to such a test? If I don’t testify, a man will die, and if I do testify I will be swearing falsely. Better that I die than swear falsely. G-d! Take my life for I am not worthy to withstand this test!” Reb Raphael was an old man and not too strong. He put his head between his legs and began to cry with bitter tears until out of anguish, his holy soul departed and he died. The following day, when the news of Reb Raphael’s death became known it created an uproar in the country. Even the government officials became frightened when the full facts were made known to them. The defendant, too, became frightened and he appeared before the judge and admitted to his guilt. The judge, realizing that one man had already died for this crime, did not sentence the man to death, but imprisoned him.
Friday, January 7, 2011 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Page M47
The Importance Of Kiddush “Heed carefully the seemingly less important mitzvah as well as the seemingly strict and important one, for you do not really know the value of each and every mitzvah.” These words of the Mishnah are amply brought out in the following story about the value of the mitzvah of Kiddush. In Jerusalem there lived a deeply pious and kind man by the name of Zakkai. He loved mitzvos and observed them with all his heart and all his soul. A remarkable thing happened to Rabi Zakkai. He lived to a very, very ripe old age, far beyond that of his compatriots. Naturally, everyone marveled at this and finally he was asked, “Tell us, what is the secret of your extraordinary long life?” “I will tell you,” answered Rabi Zakkai. “All my life I have attempted to behave in purity and holiness. I never insulted or dishonored my fellowman. Finally, I never missed saying Kiddush on Shabbos.”
Why This Mitzvah? When the people heard this, they asked, “Why do you choose the mitzvah of Kiddush from all the other ritual ones to be especially wary of?”
“Let him put in much time in study and minimize his economic pursuits,” answered Rabi Yehoshua. “But rabi,” the people protested, “many have attempted to do as you advise and we see that they have not been able to succeed.” “Let all who really wish to succeed do as I have said and also seek mercy for their goals from He Who is the source of all wisdom.” And the people continued to ply Rabi Yehoshua with questions, asking, “And what shall a man do in order that he may become wealthy?” “If wealth is what a man wishes and if this is his desire in this world let him pursue his business diligently but always with honesty and good faith.” “But many people have attempted this and still were unable to succeed.” “Once again I say to you,” replied Rabi Yehoshua, “that they should do as I suggest and ask for mercy from He Who is the source of all wealth.” And the Jews of Alexandria persisted in all sorts of questions and each time Rabi Yehoshua told them, “If in all the pursuits and the actions of man he will acknowledge the hand of G-d and pray to Him for success, then the Almighty will send blessings upon him and grant him what his heart desires.”
and when he returned he saw a snake wound about the rings of his door. Only when the snake saw that the master of the house had returned did it unwind itself and disappear. “Yet another time, a second Jew forgot to take in an entire bin of wheat into his home and he set off on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On his way home he suddenly remembered what he had done and he said to himself, ‘What a foolish thing I have done. Undoubtedly, when I return the wheat will be missing, stolen by evil thieves.’ “However, when he returned home, imagine his surprise when he saw two mighty lions standing ferociously by the wheat. When they saw him they bounded away.
The Pilgrimage To Jerusalem
And Rabi Zakkai answered, “I had a grandmother who was a very, very poor woman. One Friday, she noticed there was no wine in the house. There was no money either so what could she do? She had a very precious and important object which she sold and with the money she brought wine for Shabbos. “Her deed found great favor in the eyes of the Almighty and He sent blessings on the work of her hands so that she became a wealthy woman. When she died she left her children 300 barrels of wine. Therefore, this particular mitzvah always had such importance to me. “My whole life I have been extremely careful about observing it and the Almighty has blessed me, too. In my house today can be found many barrels of wine and every week I give from the wine to the poor of the city without charge.”
The Torah tells us that, in the days of the Bais HaMikdash, the Jew was commanded to go up in pilgrimage three times a year to the sanctuary to be seen by the Almighty. And so, every Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos Jews from all over the land could be seen coming to the Jerusalem to fulfill the commandment of G-d. There were some, however, who hesitated about fulfilling this commandment. One of these people spoke about it to Rabi Yehoshua, saying, “How can I leave my home and all my wealth and go up to Jerusalem to the Temple when all the evil neighbors and thieves will know about it and wait till I leave to steal all my possessions?” Rabi Yehoshua attempted to reassure the hesitant Jew and said, “Fear not, my son. Your home and your possessions will be safe. The Lord will surely send His messengers to protect them in your absence, while you are performing a mitzvah that He had commanded you.”
In All Your Ways Recognize G-d It once happened that Rabi Yehoshua ben Chananya, the great tanna (sage of the Mishnah) had to go to the metropolis of Alexandria. The city had a very large Jewish population and when they heard that the great sage was in their midst they flocked to see him and get his advice on many things. “Tell us, rabi,” they asked, “how shall a man conduct himself so that he may acquire wisdom and learning?”
The Jew, however, still hesitated and Rabi Yehoshua saw this. “I am not only giving you theoretical assurance,” he said. “It happened that a certain Jew, who had gone up to Jerusalem on the holiday, forgot to bold his door
“Listen then to the stories that happened to your fellow Jews and do not be of faint heart. Go celebrate the holiday as you were commanded to and with faith in the Almighty.” And the Jew was heartened by these words and he went up on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem with joy and confidence and returned home to find all that he owned safe and untouched.
How Far Does Charity Extend? How far does charity extend? Are we free of the mitzvah by merely giving to the poor or must we ascertain carefully in each situation what this particular poor man needs? In Jerusalem there lived a goodhearted man known as Nechemia, the man of the wells (because he had dug wells in order that the thirsty pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem might have water to drink). One day, as he stood digging a well he was approached by a pauper whose skin was dry and the hunger showed in every part of his body. “I pray you, good Jew,” he whispered, “to give me some money so that I might buy a hen and eat, for I am starving.” When Nechemia heard this he thought, “Certainly I will give this man food but why does he need so much money to buy a hen? Surely, a rooster is also good enough for him.” And so Nechemia gave him only enough money to buy a rooster. And the pauper did so, and ate it. Alas, the poor man’s stomach had so deteriorated from hunger that the tougher meat of the rooster was unable to be digested and he died. When Nechemia heard this he cried out in despair, “Come and wail for the one that Nechemia killed. I have sinned to the soul of the pauper. Had I given him just two coppers more he would have been able to buy the soft meat of a hen and been alive today.”
Page M48 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
THE STORY OF RABBI AKIBA By Spielman and Fine
The Snowfall It was the first big snowfall of the year in the wonderful little village of Chelm. The children, who were all in school, rejoiced as they saw each snowflake fall.
By the time the children were ready to leave school, the entire village of Chelm was covered with a pure white blanket of snow. “Since this is the first snowfall of the year,” one of the wise men of Chelm exclaimed, “we should not let the children spoil the beauty of the snow.” “Indeed,” replied another. “Therefore, let us get word to our school teacher that she is to keep the children in school until we find a way to get them home without spoiling the beauty of the fresh fallen snow.” A delegation of wise men trudged through the snow to the home of the Sage of Chelm. “This is indeed a problem,” the Sage declared, shaking his head in deep contemplation. “If the children run out of the schoolhouse they will make ugly-looking tracks in the snow and spoil the beauty of winter. “Of course, if the Good L-rd wanted
us to have children’s footprints in the snow he would have sent down snow with footprints in snow. However, since this is not the case, obviously he meant us to have pure white snow.” “But, on the other hand,” the old Sage declared, “we cannot let the children stay in the schoolhouse all night long!” As everyone sat in deep thought the Sage of Chelm looked up and declared, “Of course, the answer is so simple. Since we do not want the children to spoil the beauty of the snow, all we have to do is to go to each child’s house and tell the parents they must go to the school to carry their child home on their shoulders.” Everyone cheered. “What brilliance!” And so all the wise men of Chelm rushed out from the house of the old Sage and knocked on the door of each house in Chelm to tell the parents to go to school to carry their children home on their shoulders. In a little while the children were in their homes as the snow continued to fall all night long. In the morning, the Sage of Chelm
Courtesy of chabad.org
Family Parshah Bo Roundup
haraoh still refuses to let the Jews leave Mitzrayim, so G-d brings more plagues on Mitzrayim. In the eighth plague, a very strong wind brings in great swarms of locusts, which are like grasshoppers. There are so many of them that they darken the earth and eat all the greenery, plants and fruits from the trees, and there is no more food in the land of Mitzrayim.
gathered with his friends as they looked out onto the landscape marveling to themselves how it was possible for them to get all the children home from school without the children making one footstep in the new fallen snow.
Pharaoh refuses to let the Jews go, so in the ninth plague, G-d brings a very thick darkness on Mitzrayim. For seven full days, all of Mitzrayim (except for the homes of the Jews) is covered in complete and total darkness. The Mitzrayimians can’t see anything at all, and for the last three days of the plague, the darkness is so thick that they can’t even move! Pharaoh still remains stubborn, so G-d will bring one final plague upon him and his people. But before that, G-d gives the Jews some important things to do. In fact, the Jews now get their very first mitzvah--a special commandment from G-d. Eventually, the Jews receive many mitzvot, but this first one establishes that special connection. In this mitzvah, the Jews are commanded to set up a calendar based on the cycle of the moon. And this is the same Jewish calendar that we use today, over three thousand years later! Next the Jews must each bring a sacrifice of a goat or a lamb and brush the blood on to their doorposts. This way, when the final plague comes, G-d will know which houses to pass over. (All these miracles are celebrated on a special Jewish holiday called Pesach--because G-d passed over the Jewish
So now, in the village of Chelm, whenever it snows, parents come to the schoolhouse to carry their children home on their shoulders, all because they wish to retain the beauty of the fresh fallen snow.
homes.) The Jews must then eat the roasted meat with matzah and bitter herbs. Now, for the tenth and final plague: On the fourteenth of the month of Nissan, at exactly midnight, every Mitzrayimian fi rstborn dies. Pharaoh is terrified, for he himself is a firstborn; he jumps out of bed and rushes to find Moshe and Aaron. When he does, he simply shouts frantically, “Go! Go! Leave this land, you and all the Jews. Take your sheep and your cattle and whatever you want. JUST GO!” And with that, after 210 years of slavery, Pharaoh practically chases the Jews out of Mitzrayim. So they leave quickly, so quickly, in fact, that their dough does not have time to rise and becomes matzah – the very same flat bread that we eat on Pesach. But they do have time to ask the Mitzrayimians for their gold and silver, emptying Mitzrayim of all its wealth. Now that the Jews are free, G-d tells Moshe about the holiday that they will be celebrating each year to remember the occasion, Pesach, by eating matzah and telling the story to their children. The Jews also receive the mitzvah of Tefillin, special boxes that are put on the head and arm to remind us of our exodus from Mitzrayim and the connection we feel to G-d since then.
Friday, January 7, 2011 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Page M49
Family Fun Funny Bones
Submitted by George C. of New York.
What fish may be said to be out of place?
Edited by Tzvia Ehrlich-Klein
I Have Not Forgotten Your Torah
From the Book of Yehoshua We Can Learn … A perch in a bird’s cage.
1. How many cities did the Levites have? 2. How many cities were given to the Kohanim by the Levites?
Answers: 1. The Levites had 48 cities. 2. Thirteen Levite cities were given to the Kohanim.
Parents and Kids! Send YOUR Torah Riddles and Games, in the body of an email and as an attachment [in Word] to email@example.com with FunPage in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, address, age and school if appropriate!! Or send it directly to Happy Klein, Arzei HaBira 49, Apart. 32, Jerusalem, Israel. No pictures, please.
Question: When was “B” the first letter in the alphabet? Answer: During the days of Noah [no “A”]. Parents and Kids! Send YOUR riddles and jokes in the body of an email [in Word] to firstname.lastname@example.org with FunPage in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, address, age and school if appropriate. Or send directly to Happy Klein, Arzei HaBira 49, Apart. 32, Jerusalem, Israel. No pictures, please.
Language Corner Can You Answer This? Question: Take away my first letter, I remain unchanged; take away my second letter, I’m still the same; take away all my letters and I still continue unchanged. I am … Answer: A mailman.
Parents and Kids! Send YOUR Language Games and Riddles, in the body of an email [in Word], to email@example.com with FunPage in the subject line. No pictures or graphics, please! And don’t forget to include your name, address, age and school if appropriate – and the answers. Or send directly to Happy Klein, Arzei HaBira 49, Apart. 32, Jerusalem, Israel
Do You Know... Do You Know How Many Countries … By Dr. Shmuel Katz, Israel
1. Do you know how many Muslim countries there are in the world? 2. Do you know how many Catholic countries there are in the world? 3. Do you know how many Protestant countries there are in the world? 4. Do you know how many Eastern Orthodox Christian countries there are in the world? 5. Do you know how many Hindu countries there are in the world? 6. Do you know how many Jewish countries there are in the world? Answer: 1. There are 56 Muslim countries in the world. 2. There are 49 Catholic countries in the world. 3. There are 20 Protestant countries in the world. 4. There are 12 Eastern Orthodox Christian countries in the world. 5. There are 4 Hindu countries in the world. 6. There is 1 Jewish country in the world. [Editor’s Comment: And they want US to compromise!!!]
Question: If you can buy eight eggs for twenty-six cents, how many can you buy for a cent and a quarter? Answer: Eight.
Parents and Kids! Send YOUR jokes and riddles, in the body of an email in Word to firstname.lastname@example.org with FunPage in the subject line. Don’t forget to include the answers, and your name, address, age and school if appropriate!! Or send directly to Happy Klein, Arzei HaBira 49, Apt. 32, Jerusalem, Israel. No pictures, please.
Page M50 • The Jewish Press Magazine • Friday, January 7, 2011
Teens & Twenties Talk We love to hear your comments and thoughts. E-mail us at: email@example.com
A Present By Basya Shainer y cell phone started to sing at ten o’clock on a Sunday morning. It was my sister. I rubbed my eyes and picked up. “Hey,” I said. “Why are you calling so early?” “Hi!” My sister responded with a lot more cheer than I had. “Can I enlist you to baby-sit two adorable little children this afternoon?” “Yours?” “Yup.” “What time?” “Twelve to two?” “Why?” “I really need a little break. A couple of my friends are available at that time too.” “Can I please not?” I groaned. I love my niece and nephew but I really wanted to go to the mall. “No pressure,” my sister said. She sounded a tiny bit disappointed. “If you change your mind, please call me.” I rolled over and fell back asleep, the conversation all but forgotten. One fifteen found me and two close friends drifting in and out of stores at the mall. We didn’t have any particular agenda, just seeing the sights, taking a couple of pictures and buying some things on sale. We floated into Children’s Place to look at the adorable stuff. “Oh look at this!” Belle cooed, picking up a tiny pair of shoes. Atara started to flip through a rack of clothing on sale. Belle and I joined soon. “Hey look at this adorable skirt. It’s so cheap to! I bet my sister would love it for my niece,” I pulled out my cell-phone and called my sister. “Hey, I’m standing in Children’s Place. They have an adorable skirt.
The Joy of Rain By Shira Goetz heard rain pouring down from the sky this morning when I woke up. Growing up in the United State, my feelings for rain varied from pleasure to dismay. Now that I live in Israel, rain holds an entirely different meaning for me. I used to dread the rain; it always got in the way of my plans. When it rains, it’s dark, it’s dreary and I am stuck at home. But this year I prayed with all my heart for rain, and I worried when there was no rain after Sukkot, and when the skies remain closed until December. Rain only falls during the rainy season, a few months a year beginning right after Sukkot. This year we have been experiencing a drought. Adults and children alike were talking about the lack of rain, and everyone was united in their concern. Last week, a friend and I planned to go biking. When the weather forecast threatened to rain, sure to ruin our plans, I declared: “I will dance in the rain.” Contemplating the downpour from the dry shelter of a Jerusalem bus, I found myself mentally comparing rain to hard times. Most people enjoy when the sun is out and the day is clear and beautiful. But
Thought for the Week...
“People think that when something goes ‘wrong’, its their fault. If only they had done something differently. But something things go wrong to teach you what is right.”
I’ll describe it to you. It’s so cheap too! Can I buy it for the baby?” “Thanks,” my sister responded. “Thanks for thinking of her. I really don’t need clothing for the baby now.” “It’s really cute,” I said again, but I hung up. A short search of a near-by rack and I found an equally cute sweatshirt for my nephew. I called my sister again. “Hi, me again. I found a sweatshirt. It’s also a good price. Can I get it? I’ll pay for it. It will be my present.” “Thanks again,” my sister replied. “Is it dark colored?” “Well, it’s orange.” “Nah don’t get it,” my sister said, “I try to dress him in darker clothing so that the stains don’t show up. “ “Ok,” I said and slid the phone closed. Later when we wandered into Target, we saw the cutest toy display. Toys were on sale for $2 a piece, and that is a really good price. Atara found things for her three little brothers and Belle found something for a neighbor she baby-sits for. I quickly found a couple toys for my adorable niece and nephew. I stopped by my sister’s apartment to drop off the toys that evening. “Thanks,” my sister said, taking the bag, but she seemed bombed and wasn’t even too interested in the toys. I opened the bag and showed them to her one by one. She was so disinterested that I asked if I could wake the kids and show them, at least the kids would be interested. “Don’t you dare wake them!” she said forcefully– pretty forceful for someone so tired. “Man, aren’t you happy with the stuff?” I knew I was whining a bit, but I was kind of annoyed that all the gifts I tried to buy were landing flat on their faces. “I tried so hard to get them presents today. I found a
as we all need rain for its nourishment and cleansing qualities, so too do we need hard times and struggles. Rain helps bring growth. For example, I didn’t expect that what I had worked so hard to accomplish wouldn’t run out the way I wished it would. Yet, like the rain, it was for the good. It started me thinking and I realized that I might have been leaving G-d out of the picture. I was able to reconnect with Him and it made me feel lighter and less uptight. I gained something much more precious then what I had anticipated – I reconnected with myself and with G-d in a very deep and real way. As I walked to the bus stop, I kept my head down so the rain would not get in my face. I hopped over a puddle and saw my reflection. Wow! Another sign that rain is a time to reflect and really connect with oneself – and to appreciate! Water also represents purity. In Genesis (1:2) it says the world was, “so empty…and the Spirit of G-d was hovering over the deep waters.” Water existed at the beginning of creation. As rain washes away the dirt on a stone and leaving behind only its beauty, so too when things don’t go our way it causes us to rethink and polish ourselves. No rain, no life. A beautiful day and then another … but then life gets dry and there is no change. Life is about growth, learning new things and learning
cute skirt and then a cute sweatshirt. I thought for sure I couldn’t go wrong with toys. Do you want me to return them?” My sister looked a bit exasperated herself. I saw her try to speak calmly. “No,” She said in a resigned kind of way. “Don’t return the toys. I am sure the kids will love them. I am sorry I wasn’t as thrilled and thankful that I could be.” My sister put the bag on a shelf. “ You know,” she sounded like she was carefully choosing her words, “I really do appreciate that you took the time out of your trip to think of them and look for clothing and then for toys. I know you really wanted to buy them a present, but you know what the best present you could have gotten them was – to come and baby-sit today. I know it it’s not as fun as seeing them in cute clothing or as finding a great bargain on toys, but that was a gift that I really needed, and if you would have offered that, I would have been really happy.” “But babysitting isn’t a gift,” I protested. “Sure it is,” my sister countered. “It would have been a big gift to me. The best one you could’ve gotten. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I do appreciate the toys, but if you wanted to buy a present that would make ME happy, you could’ve watched the kids.” Well, she did sound a bit ungrateful to me, but I was starting to get the picture. The gift I wanted to buy was not necessarily the gift that she wanted to get. And a great gift is one that the receiver wants regardless of how trivial it is to the giver. And that is how I got to give my sister a Chanuka gift of two hours worth of babysitting, and my brother an hour worth of time on my laptop, and my best friend colored pens that I thought were junk. Because I learned the art of giving is about just that: not what you want to give, but what the other person would like to be given.
how to improve. Rain brings with it a tremendous opportunity to create a fresh more wondrous beginning. Presently, I look at the rain and I am glad because I know how much we need it here in Israel and I recognize all the blessing brings. Now, I can also recognize difficult times as a gift falling straight from Heaven!
Judoku Solution: HAIRSTYLE
Friday, January 7, 2011
When we were kids the teachers had a system that really made us study. In elementary school they held what they called “contests” each week in each grade. There were all kinds of contests – spelling bees, arithmetic contests and history contests. The winner didn’t have his name put up in lights but he did have his name put on the bulletin board near the principal’s office. I want you to know, this was a cardinal honor. It was like being king or queen for a day! I’ll never forget the day my little brother Berel, in third grade at the time, came home from school announcing he’d been selected to be one of the contestants in that week’s spelling competition. The words were just gushing from his mouth. “Ma, they make you stand on the stage in the auditorium and all the kids who sit in the audience look at you! You are important,” he exclaimed. Mama asked with a broad, proud grin, “How come the teacher picked you?” Berel gave a g’navisher smile, “The teacher gives you a list of the words and you have to learn how to spell them. That’s all!” “That’s all?” my sister laughed. “You can’t even pass her weekly spelling test. How come she picked you?” Berel shrugged his shoulders. “Let me see the words the teacher wants you to learn,” Mama asked. Berel handed Mama a sheet of paper with some 50 words. At the top of the sheet it said, “These 50 words are to be used in the competition. You must study all, even though all 50 words may not be used.” “Fifty words!” Mama gasped. “When is this contest?” “Tomorrow!” Berel replied, seemingly unconcerned. “Tomorrow!” Mama gasped. “You can’t learn to spell 50 words in a week!” Berel looked up at her in all innocence. “How many can I learn by tomorrow?” he asked. My sister grabbed the sheet of paper, looked at the words and exclaimed, “Spell ‘house.’ ” Berel took a deep breath and began, “H. Am I right so far?” “Go ahead,” she replied. “You now have an ‘h.’ ” Berel took a deep breath once more and continued, “H – o.” He hesitated for a moment and then added the letter “u.” He asked sheepishly, “Is that right so far?” “Ma,” my sister sighed, “he’s impossible. True, these are only third grade reading words but he can’t even spell ‘house’!” Mama tried to calm her down, then turned to Berel and said, with great warmth and compassion, “Go ahead, tateleh, spell the word ‘house.’ ” Berel continued ever so slowly with hesitation after each letter. “H-o-u-s- . . .” He then looked at Mama as if he needed help. “Come tateleh, make an ‘e.’ ” Berel shouted “e!” and burst into a smile. “Did I get it right?” Mama reached out and hugged him. “See, you can spell!” “Ma,” my sister sighed, “that wasn’t fair. You helped him. You won’t be on that stage in school.” Mama ignored my sister’s comment. “Come tateleh, try another word. Spell the word ‘going’ without stopping.” Berel smiled, “That one’s easy. G-o-i-n-g.” Mama was ecstatic. “See, now you only have 48 more words to learn. Come in the kitchen while I make supper. Mama will help you.” The two of them disappeared into the kitchen. As my sister and I did our homework in the dining room, we could hear Mama call out a word and then
coach him along, suggesting a letter or two to complete a word. All through supper Mama kept running back and forth from the stove to the table while calling out words. Berel would try to spell the words between bites. He really wasn’t that bad – but he wasn’t that good. Then again, the words weren’t that difficult. The following morning, Mama woke Berel up very early and began reviewing the spelling words with him once more. Finally, he left the house all smiles. We kissed and hugged him and wished him well like a warrior going off to battle. Mama was a nervous wreck. “Ma,” my sister tried to calm her, “it doesn’t mean anything if he wins or loses. He’s up against some very sharp kids.” I don’t know if we convinced her, but we all left the house with a sort of funny feeling. I guess Mama felt bad because she feared Berel would embarrass himself. A few hours later, we were home for lunch. Berel came bouncing into the house all smiles. “Ma – Ma – I won! Here’s my certificate.” Mama grabbed him and hugged him. She looked at the paper he was carrying and said, “Oy vee shain! That’s wonderful!” My sister responded sarcastically, “I don’t believe it! How could you win? You didn’t know half those words without Mama helping you.” “I won,” he repeated, as he handed Mama the certificate that attested to his remarkable achievement, signed by the principal. “How many kids were in the contest?” my sister continued to probe, still in disbelief. “Me and Herby Mermelstein.” “You and just Herby? What happened to the kids from the other classes? How come only you two?” “The other kids got sick and didn’t come to school today. So it was only Herby and me.” Berel chewed on his cheese sandwich like he hadn’t eaten in years. “How in the world did your teacher come to pick you and him?” my sister asked. “Once Herby gets past ‘cat’ and ‘dog’ he’s in trouble.” Berel simply shrugged as he drank his milk. Then the realization set in. Every month the teachers would have the top spellers in each class compete. This time they felt the kids on the lower end of the spelling achievement level should also have a chance, so they picked kids with the lowest spelling averages to take part in this special competition. The other kids at the lower end of the spelling scale realized they were no spellers and got such nervous stomachs they couldn’t come to school. Berel and Herby were the only contestants. “How many words did they ask you?” my sister asked. “Only two. They asked Herby the first word and he couldn’t spell it. Then they asked me to spell it. And I got it right.” “What was the word?” “The teacher asked me to spell the word ‘could,’ ” he replied. “Spell it for me,” said my sister. Berel took a deep breath and began. “C-o-o-d.” “That’s wrong!” my sister shouted. “Oh, yeah,” snapped Berel. “How do you spell the word ‘wood’? Wood has two o’s in it so it’s the same as ‘could. ’ ” My sister was beside herself. “You mean to tell me you spelled the word ‘could’ c-o-o-d?” Berel started to laugh. “Ha, I gotcha! I really didn’t spell it that way, I was only fooling.” “All right, wise guy, how did you spell it?” she asked, her anger mounting. Berel took a deep breath and said, “C-o-u-d.” My sister made a face and snapped, “ ‘Could’ has an ‘l’ in it. You spell it c-o-u-l-d. That’s how you spell it!”
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“I spelled it c-o-u-d and the teacher didn’t say it was wrong. That’s the way I spelled it – just before Irving Rappaport threw up all over the ﬂag.” “When did he throw up?” I screamed. “When I was spelling the word, Irving was in the Honor Guard and was standing near the ﬂag on the side of the stage. Just as I began to spell the word he threw up! What’s the big deal?” My sister could only laugh. “The teacher didn’t hear what he spelled. All the teachers were probably so upset with that kid who was throwing up all over the stage they made Berel the winner.” Mama gave her a dirty look and turned to Berel. “Spell the word again for Mama.” Berel was all smiles once more. “C-o-u-l-d,” he shouted and then stuck his tongue out at my sister. “Sure, you heard me spell it and you just stuck in the ‘l,’ ” my sister shouted. “I stuck the ‘l’ in when I was on the stage,” Berel shouted back. Mama was beaming. “And now they’re gonna put your name on the principal’s bulletin board?” Berel sat back full of confidence. “Yup – on the principal’s bulletin board, for all to see – and next week the teacher said she’s gonna put me in the history contest.” “What kind of history contest?” we asked. “I don’t know but the teacher said Herby and me will be on the team for the contest.” “What team?” “There are five kids from each class who work as a team. We all can talk to one another and then the captain of the team gives the answer,” he explained. “Did the teacher at least give you guys a study sheet – something to work from?” my sister asked. “Nope, she said everything that was in our history book could be asked on the test.” “Ma,” my sister shouted, “there are over a hundred pages in his history book and he hasn’t even opened the book once all term. Please, Ma, ask his teacher to pull him off the contest. He’ll embarrass all of us.” Every night that week Mama took a few pages from his history book and read them to Berel. It seemed so fruitless but she would interject certain things like, “When Papa took out his citizenship papers, he had to know questions like this . . .” Mama added a personal dimension to history and Berel listened. The day of the big history contest arrived and Berel was actually nervous. “Why are you so nervous?” my sister asked. “Because Herby didn’t do any studying and he’s my co-captain.” “Ya mean you’re the captain of your team?” she gasped. “Yup!” Berel exclaimed. My sister just gave a sigh and we all prayed for the best. Berel went to school that morning filled with confidence. He had found out Herby Mermelstein was sick and was certain he wouldn’t show up. But Herby did. That afternoon Berel came home happy. “Who won?” we all shouted. “The other team – but they’re putting our name up on the principal’s bulletin board anyway.” “Why?” we asked. “Because the principal said we tried.” In all honesty, I think those contest experiences fostered a healthy competitive spirit and changed Berel in many ways. He soon realized academic achievement doesn’t just happen – it has to be worked at long and hard. That’s how we did it in our day.
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Friday, January 7, 2011
tov to their sisters Eve, Joceyln, Noa, Elizabeth, Julia and Elie.
and Shifra. A special mazal tov to her grandparents Naomi & Rabbi Chanoch Gez of Brooklyn and Malka & Jonathan Grossman of Kew Gardens Hills. An extra special mazal tov to her great-grandparents Ora & Shmuel Ninio and Malka & Yehuda Gez. Dahlia Esther to Aviva and Yoni Freiden (Memphis, Tennessee). Mazal tov to her big brother Benny. A special mazal tov to her grandparents Debbie & Hugh Freiden of Memphis and Harriet & Rabbi Elliot Jacob of Silver Springs. An extra special mazal tov to her great-grandparents Noreen & Bernard Freiden of Memphis, Pesha Gordon of Rechavia, Irene & Max Jacob of Baltimore and Moritz Felberman of Nof Alon.
ENGAGEMENTS Chavie Fischer (Montreal, Canada) and Aryeh Steinberg (Brooklyn, New York). Mazal tov to their parents, grandparents and the entire mishpacha. Sara Leah Pearl (Brooklyn, New York) and Amichai Gez (Brooklyn, New York). Mazal tov to their parents Naomi & Rabbi Chanoch Gez and Malki & Sruli Pearl. A special mazal tov to their grandparens Mrs. Arlene Beer of Lakewood and Faigy & Rabbi Shlomo Pearl. An extra mazal tov to their greatgrandparents Rebbetzin Shaindel Rosenbaum, Ora & Shmuel Ninio of Netanya and Malka & Yehuda Gez of Jerusalem. Ariella Herman (Fair Lawn, New Jersey) and Josh Klein (Teaneck, New Jersey). Mazal tov to their parents Drs Shari & Philip Klein and Esti & Dr. Brad Herman. A special mazal tov to their grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Abe Klein, Mrs. Adele Brem and Rabbi & Mrs. David Lapp. An extra special mazal
Lemor Sidis (Los Angeles, California)and Dani Friedenberg (Wesley Hills, New York). Mazal tov to their parents Miri & Dany Sidis and Stacey & Isidor Friedenberg.
BIRTHS Yaakov Binyamin to Bracha and Shua Zitron (Brooklyn, New York). Mazal tov to his big sister Aviva. A special mazal tov to his grandparents Ella & Yossi Zitron of Brooklyn and Chumi & Avrumy Friedman of Brooklyn. An extra special mazal tov to his great-grandparents Mrs. Chani Hollander of Brooklyn and Mr. Avrum Daum of Brooklyn/Los Angeles. An extra, extra special mazal tov to his great-great-grandparents Sarah & Efraim Rosen of Miami Beach.
Binyamin Yosef to Rachel and Yaron Engelstein (Wesley Hills, New York). Mazal tov to his siblings Avraham Mordechai and Shoshana as well as to the entire mishpacha.
Leah to Bat-Chen (Gez) and Avi Grossman (Jerusalem, Israel). Mazal tov to her sisters Shaindy
Touro Inaugurates Institute Dr. Alan Kadish, president and CEO of Touro College, announced the launch of The Bernard Lander Institute for Cognitive and Social Psychological Research, to initiate and perpetuate research initiatives that foster collaboration and mentoring at Touro and cultivate and support increased interest among students and faculty in applied, clinical and basic science research. The announcement was marked with an inaugural research day organized by Touro’s Graduate School of Psychology, held recently at the Touro College Division of Graduate Studies campus in Manhattan. Research day was attended by over 150 students and faculty members from six of Touro’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. “Touro is entering a new chapter as it evolves into an institution with a substantial research component,” said Dr. Kadish, noting that several of Touro’s health sciences schools have received grants from the National Institutes of Health Sciences within the past twelve months. “Our goal is to expand investigative work in all aspects of Touro’s system. Research day marks an important milestone in this process.” Students and their mentors showcased research projects they designed that continue to be exhibited in public and professional venues. The institute aims to coordinate and integrate this effort within and between the undergraduate and graduate divisions at Touro, while extending opportunities for interdivisional partnerships throughout Touro’s academic community.
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Friday, January 7, 2011
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THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, January 7, 2011
Complete Listings Guide For The Metro Region By Ari Korenblit
Readers are advised to check in advance to see if an event meets their religious standards
ALL AROUND TOWN TO LIST AN EVENT, PLEASE TYPE AND E-MAIL THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT TO: ARIKORENBLIT@VERIZON.NET
Yeshivah Darchei Torah
Merkaz HaTorah & The Jewish Foundation School Chinese Auction
Yeshiva of Rochester
36th Anniversary Dinner
Mesifta Beth Shraga
54th Anniversary Dinner
Yeshiva Chemdas HaTorah
Chanukas Habayis Dinner
Yeshiva Gedolah of Cliffwood
Annual Melave Malka
Beth Medrash Govoha
Beth El Jewish Center
23rd Annual Convention
Annual Awards Dinner
Yeshiva Yishrei Lev
Birthing Center Tours
Chinese Auction in Ateres Chynka
Merkaz Hakolilim Dshikun Square 48th Annual Dinner
Mesifta Beth Shraga
54th Anniversary Dinner
Birthing Center Tours
President’s Day Seminar
41st Annual Dinner
Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund
20th Anniversary Dinner
Bnos Leah Prospect Park Yeshiva
Yad Batya L’Kallah
Yeshiva RSR Hirsch & KAJ
Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic
Kollel Ner Dovid / Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim Chinese Auction
Lev Bais Yaakov
Annual Scholarship Dinner
JM in the AM
Yeshiva Central Queens
70th Anniversary Dinner
Yeshiva Bais Moshe
46th Anniversary Dinner
Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim
24th Annual Dinner
Birthing Center Tours
Shevach High School
Yeshivah Darchei Torah
Agudah Women of Flatbush
Camp Scholarship Brunch
Hatzalah of the Rockaways & Nassau Annual Fundraiser
Los Angeles Retreat
200K Relay Race
200K Finish Line Concert
Yeshivas Toras Moshe
29th Anniversary Tribute Dinner
To list your organizational events email:
email@example.com or fax to 718-797-2717
SINGULAR EXPERIENCE TO LIST AN EVENT, PLEASE TYPE AND E-MAIL THREE WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT TO: ARIKORENBLIT@VERIZION.NET
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5 Jewish Datelines/Jewish Activist Network – weekly Wednesday night midnight-1 a.m. radio program on 620 AM and via the Internet at www.jewishactivistnetwork.com. Call-in telephone number: 718-569-0921. Social, ages 55+. JCC, 15 Neil Ct., Oceanside, L.I. 7:30 p.m. 516-766-4241 x 133. www. friedbergjcc.com. Wednesday Nite Rap, ages 40+. Samuel Field YMHA, 58-20 Little Neck Parkway, Queens. 7:30 p.m. 718-2256750 x 243. Game Night in Brooklyn and Queens. Call Gavriel at 917-517-7486 or e-mail js3j@ yahoo.com.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 9 CHAZAQ lecture by Shmuz founder Rabbi Benzion Shafier. Beth Gavriel Community Center, 66-35 108th St., Forest Hills, Queens. Topic: “Stop Surviving … Start Living.” Refreshments will be served. 8 p.m. Men and women are welcome. Free admission. 917-6173636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Accepting the Challenge Towards a Fully Inclusive Jewish Community,” a community forum for parents, teachers and friends of children with special needs. 7:30 pm at Congregation Ohav Shalom, 270 West 84 St. (between Broadway and West End Avenue).
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12 A Thousand Darknesses:
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6
SHABBATON, JANUARY 7-8
“The Hot Spot” – Live dating and shadchanus. Midnight-1 a.m. on WSNR 620 AM. You can also listen over the Internet at www.talklinecommunications.com or by phone at 646-519-5860 – pin #8574. “Laib’s Music Place” (hosted by Laib Schantz) and “Jewish Datelines” – weekly Jewish radio shows from 10:00-11:30 p.m. on 1300 AM (WRCR) in Rockland. Also listen via the Internet at www.wrcr.com or via telephone conference call at 646-519-5860 – pin #8574. Call in live and participate.
Shabbaton in Flatbush, Brooklyn features exciting new program, three delicious Shabbat meals, and matchmaker on the premises. Fee: $109 (with 10 percent discount if you bring a friend). Limited space! Call 347-621-9552.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 7 “The Single Mingle Show,” airing on Time Warner (NY), Channel 35. 9:30 a.m. Halfhour Jewish singles program showcasing what’s hip and happening in the always diverse and multifaceted world of Jewish singles. Tune in 24 hours online at www.mikshoo. com. 309-409-2824.
MONDAY, JANUARY 10 “Strategies for Winning That Special Someone” – talk by Jeremy Hamburgh, who will teach you how to improve communication – the key to starting and building a successful relationship. For ages 20s-30s. 7 p.m. For men only. Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan. 646-505-5708. www. jccmanhattan.org. Note: This same event for women only will take place this Wednesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. at the same location, and for men and women together this
Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction author Ruth Franklin will be interviewed by Professor James F. Young. Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Edmond J. Safra Plaza, 36 Battery Place, Lower Manhattan. 7 p.m. Cost: $10, $5 for members. 646-437-4202. www.mjhnyc.org.
Thursday, January 13. Pizza and film screening of “The Concert,” directed by Radu Mihaileanu. For ages 40s-50s. 7 p.m. Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan. 646505-5708. www.jccmanhattan.org. Sophisticated Singles, ages 35-55. Roundtable Rap. JCC, 15 Neil Ct., Oceanside, L.I. 7:30 p.m. 516-766-4241 x 133. www. friedbergjcc.org. Rap/discussion for those ready to shift their approach to a new beginning. Ages 40+. Mid-Island Y, 45 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview, L.I. 7:45 p.m. 516-822-3535 x 338. www.miyjcc.com.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 Hot Topics! Engage in thought-provoking discussions. For ages 40s-50s. 7 p.m. Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave., NYC. 646-505-5708. www.jccmanhattan.org.
Rebbetzin Jungreis Speaks In Israel By Fern Sidman Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder of Hineni, the Torah outreach organization, has just concluded an extensive speaking tour including Brazil, Hungary and Israel. With great excitement, Rebbetzin Jungreis said, “Due to the overwhelmingly favorable response among Jews in the countries that I’ve spoken in, we are exceptionally pleased to announce the formation of Hineni International; an organization that will continue the work of Hineni here in the United States and bring the imperative message of Torah to Jews throughout the world through continuing programs. There is no doubt that we are living in deeply troubling times but it is only through the incredibly powerful and reawakening message of Torah that will transform the lives of our brothers and sisters who hunger and thirst for an authentic Jewish identity.” While in Israel, Rebbetzin Jungreis was one of the featured speakers at a plenary session for an upcoming international conference of rebbetzins to take place in Jerusalem. The first of its kind in history, the conference’s central theme will be that of achdus and the Rebbetzin remarked that the rashei tevos of the current year, Taf Shin Ayin Aleph – 5771 – represent Am Echad – one people standing in unity before G-d. “Never before in the annals of our history has unity among our people been so crucial,” intoned the Rebbetzin. “We must unwaveringly unite as one nation and put our petty differences aside, as our future depends on it,” she continued. Rebbetzin Jungreis addressed a multitude of audiences while in Israel, including a special singles shabbaton in Tel Aviv for French speaking Jews and events in Netanya and Jerusalem for English speaking olim. Spearheaded by Shaindy Eisenberg, the chairperson of Hineni International, which is headquartered in Jerusalem, the programs were designed to
create a joyous sense of community for Jews from all backgrounds and all nationalities and for those who have arrived in Israel without family from countries in which they have ﬂed due to the escalation of anti-Semitism. “Torah is an anchor in the turbulent sea of life and for so many Jews who lack any Jewish identity and are without familial support, our programs provide the essential nourishment for the Jewish soul,” said Rebbetzin Jungreis. When addressing assimilated Jewish audiences, the response to the Rebbetzin’s speeches has been nothing short of miraculous. Said French native Pierre Cohen, “I simply could not stop thinking about Rebbetzin Jungreis’ words after her address. It seems that everyone in the audience shared my feelings as well. I never understood or comprehended that my destiny as a Jew included my obligations to Hashem and Torah and when the Rebbetzin spoke of the divine nature of the Jewish soul and my responsibility to my people, I felt as if I had established a personal connection to the Creator of the Universe.” “What you see with your own eyes has an infinitely greater impact on your soul than what you hear,” said Rebbetzin Jungreis as she introduced her film “Triumph of the Spirit” to audiences throughout the length and breadth of Israel. Standing alone in the genre of Holocaust documentaries, “Triumph of the Spirit” depicts the Holocaust in all its horror and savage brutality, however its dominant theme is of hope, faith, and the indefatigable nature of the Jewish spirit. The film demonstrates that the spirit of man is decisively more powerful than Hitler or his mighty armies and that the ﬂame of faith is more intense than the fires of the crematorium. In 22 minutes, the
Continued on p.64
Friday, January 7, 2011
THE JEWISH PRESS
Singles A DATING PRIMER ROSIE EINHORN, L.C.S.W. SHERRY ZIMMERMAN, ESQ. A Single’s Strategy For Marriage
Avoiding The Inevitable Doron had been dating Jenny for two months when they had their first argument. Doron had shown up to take Jenny out with his brand new car, and had been surprised at her reaction. “I was so happy to have finally gotten rid of the lemon I’d been driving for the past few years and replaced it with a car I always wanted, and you couldn’t be happy for me,” he complained to her. “I saw a look of disgust on your face. What is it?” “I’m not a snob,” Jenny insisted. “I just don’t understand why you had to get a new car at all. No one in my family has even bought a new car, and we hold onto the ones we have forever. You had a perfectly good car that wasn’t so old, and you went and replaced it with a boy toy. I don’t know which bothers me more, that you bought into the American dream of getting new car every few years, or that you replaced it with a fully loaded one when you could have gotten a basic car that was a lot cheaper.” Doron couldn’t figure out what upset him the most about this interchange – the fact that a woman he wasn’t even sure he wanted to marry criticized his decision to buy a car, or the very nature of her criticism. When Doron told this to Jenny, she immediately apologized. “You’re right… I was out of line saying anything. It’s not my business to question how you spend your money or what you buy. I should have
Dear Not-So-Old Single: [M]: As a guy, I can certainly understand why some guys would feel really uncomfortable going to singles’ events. There are so many different types of people with so many different types of personalities out there. A singles’ event is an opportunity to meet other singles. For some, this may also mean an opportunity to have a nice time; for others, it could mean a time of great anxiety. For the latter type, they would much rather be having a root canal than subject themselves to a singles’ event. At the end of the day, whether you are male or female and finding that so far the traditional shidduch-dating venue is not working for you, you might have to be brave and take the plunge into attending singles’ events. You never know where your shidduch will come from, and it is up to you – the single – to do whatever is necessary to reach your ultimate goal. Nobody wants to look back and question why he/she didn’t try other options and instead was so rigid. I don’t know of anyone that wants to be left with the question, “What if...?” As the years ﬂy by, do not worry what people might say. Do what is right for you, for in the end it is you that will be left alone. I know it is easier said than done, and some are required to have a whole lot of courage, but giving it a fair try is a step in the right direction. You may never know what good may come from it. Maybe a boy will meet you and decide that while you are not for him, he might think of you for his friend or his single relative that is not there. Keeping an open mind can go a long way, and may lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel. I am not promising you salvation, but I am giving you one less doubt to contend with when dates are slow. I must fully agree with my [F] co-columnist regarding those singles afraid that by attending a shidduch event, their reputations will be ruined. That is nonsense. It’s no big deal for people to see you attending a shidduch event. If anything they will be thinking of you in a positive light, and will likely be thinking more along the lines of, “I give this guy credit. He really is trying hard, and is doing every-
seen how happy you were and told you to enjoy the car and drive it safely.” Doron was impressed with how promptly Jenny could acknowledge she had overstepped a boundary, and forgot about the rest of their argument. They were both a little subdued at the start of their date, but by the end of the evening were again comfortable with each other. They seemed to come to an unspoken understanding that they wouldn’t discuss the topic of the car again. Doron and Jenny kept dating, and enjoyed each other’s company. However, every once in a while they disagreed about something related to economics or lifestyle. Doron liked to live life to the fullest. He would buy the best seats at a concert and when Doron would take Jenny to dinner, he chose the best restaurants in Manhattan. Jenny would order one of the cheapest items on the menu and tell Doron she felt uncomfortable at such a fancy place. The signs that Doron and Jenny had different outlooks on spending and lifestyle were all there, but they never spoke about it until they decided to get engaged. Their first argument was about the size of the ring. Doron had picked out a two-carat diamond, and Jenny refused to wear it. “I’m embarrassed to wear such a rock. Who am I trying to impress? I’d be happy with something one quarter this size.” “I’m proud that you’re going to be my wife,” Doron explained. “I want to give you a big diamond.” Eventually, Doron gave into Jenny’s wish to have a modest engagement ring. But that was just the beginning. Doron wanted a luxurious wedding hall and Jenny thought a fancy wedding was too ostentatious and a waste of money. They hadn’t yet resolved that issue when they began to disagree about where to live, whether to buy something right away, and how they wanted to furnish their home. It was dis-
agreement after argument after disagreement, and two months into their engagement, Doron and Jenny hadn’t resolved most of these issues. It would have been much better for Doron and Jenny to talk about their differences earlier instead of ignoring the subject each time it came up. They may have discovered that they were too far apart in their value systems and goals to be able to sustain their relationship, and decided to break up. Or, they may have found some common ground they could build upon. Now that Doron and Jenny are engaged and have a heavy emotional investment in each other, it may be a lot harder for them to be honest with themselves and each other, and to make decisions that are best for each of them and for their relationship.
thing he can.” Worrying about public opinion for petty things will only slow you down. Do what you have to do and try your best to ignore those scared feelings. I know that that is hard to do, but it will hopefully pay off big time for you in the end. Remember that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the American people that the only thing to fear is fear itself. And of course, as frum Jews, believing in God goes without saying. I wish you the best of luck, and may we hear good news soon! Questions and/or comments can be sent to IYH@ jewishpress.com or c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11204, Attn: Im Yirtzeh Hashem.
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of his labor, especially in the first of it. At that point, one may forget that everything comes from Hashem. To counter this possible outcome, Hashand answering the question of the Achronim. The em gave us these mitzvos of pidyon haben and biSefer Hachinuch was written by a Rishon and ex- kurim to give us the opportunity to thank Him at plains all of the 613 mitzvos. In his explanation of this crucial time. In summation, the mitzvah of the mitzvah of pidyon haben, mitzvah 18 accord- pidyon haben is to remind us that everything we ing to his count, he writes that the intention of this have comes from Hashem, and to thank Him for mitzvah is to remind us that everything that we giving it to us. have comes from Hashem. Similarly, the mitzvah Based on this explanation of the mitzvah, we can of bikurim (the first fruit) serves the same pur- now understand the psak of the Rama. Although pose. Often, after a person toils very hard to pro- for most other mitzvos, one may appoint an agent duce, there is a natural pride he takes in the fruit to act on his behalf, when giving thanks and showing gratitude one may not. If one would be per00 mitted to redeem his son $ P.D. or his bikurim through • COMPACTS an agent he would be • MID SIZE missing the point of the • FULL SIZE mitzvah. • LUXURYS We find this idea as • MINI VANS well with the berachah 937 Coney Island Ave., Bklyn, NY 11230 Insurance Replacement Compact • 15 PASS. VANS of Modim in the Shemoneh Esrei. The shaliach tzibbur in his repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei is motzi (fulfills the obligation of) the congregation in davening. However everyone must say the berachah of Modim themselves, as the chazon cannot be motzi them. The Abudraham explains that the berachah of Modim is the berachah of thanking Hashem, and as mentioned above, one cannot use a shaliach to act on his behalf for such matters.
Continued from p.21
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Continued from p.31 of the goals of the program is to get to know the people of the community and offer assistance in other aspects of their lives. For more information, contact Rabbi Baruch Krupnik at 718-2493415. A Dof Yomi shiur open to the community is given by Rabbi Chaskel Scharf at Scharf’s Ateret Avot Senior Residence, 1410 E. 10th Street, Midwood, Brooklyn. It meets at 2:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11:15 a.m. on Friday. Call 718998-5400 for more information. There is a Mahjongg class that meets at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, 78-02 Bay Parkway, on Thursdays from Noon to 2:45 p.m. For more information on this free group for people 60 or over, call Diane or Lisa at 718-943-6311. A Tai-Chi stress-releasing stretching class is also offered on Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. (Free; call before coming.) Alan Magill can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Travel High-Speed Rail Gaining Support A majority of U.S. travelers report they are on track with the idea of using high-speed rail. That’s the word from experts who say a recent large-scale study shows that nearly two-thirds of adults (62 percent) said they would definitely or probably use high-speed rail service for leisure or business travel if it were an option. Convenience and saving money were key factors for whether travelers would choose high-speed rail service over other modes of transportation. For example, when asked which factors would likely influence their decision to choose high-speed rail service, survey respondents mentioned: • Shorter travel times compared to driving (91 percent); • Less expensive than flying (91 percent); • Less expensive than driving (89
percent); and • Integration with local public transit so I can avoid use of rental cars, cabs and parking fees (85 percent). Other factors survey respondents ranked as important included shorter travel times compared to flying (80 percent) and environmental concerns (75 percent). APTA (American Public Transportation) proposes that Congress invest $50 billion over the next six years in high-speed rail. The association says the investment during that time, along with $123 billion in public transportation investment, will help support and create 6.2 million jobs. The survey of 24,711 adults, was conducted for APTA by Synovate, a leading market research ﬁrm. To learn more, visit apta.com. (NAPSI)
Film Seminar Honoring David Kusevitsky Held In Flatbush A special tribute commemorating the 25th yahrzeit of the master of chazzanut Cantor David Kusevitsky, a”h, was recently held at The Flatbush Minyan/Congregation Shevas Achim in Brooklyn. The synagogue’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Meir Fund, delivered an in-
spiring d’var Torah and Cantor Robert Vegh chanted the Kel Molei Rachamim. A rare film of Cantor Kusevitsky performing in concert captivated the audience. The event was sponsored by the Cantors Ministers Guild of the United States and Canada.
L-R: Aspiring cantor David Siller, Cantor Oizer Neuman (vice president, Cantors Ministers Guild), Cantor Binyamin Siller (president, Cantors Ministers Guild), Rabbi Meir Fund, Cantor Robert Vegh.
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Friday, January 7, 2011
RABBI MOSHE MEIR WEISS RAV OF AGUDATH YISROEL OF STATEN ISLAND
A Secret To Succeeding At Torah Did you ever wonder why your Torah learning isn’t getting you anywhere? Why you can’t seem to remember what you’ve learned? Maybe you’re feeling frustrated because you can’t seem to be consistent and faithful to your Torah learning schedule while everyone else seems to be finishing masechtas and chumashim. I’d like to share a powerful Midrash that can give us a great help toward success in our Torah ambitions. The Midrash Shemos Rabbah quotes something from Mishlei that has a very special address: perek 28, pasuk 28. Since the number 28 is “koach” (strength) in gematria, this is a very powerful address indeed. I do not believe it’s coincidental, for the verse packs an amazingly potent message. It states, “V’ayomer l’adom, hein, yiras Hashem hi chochma – And He said to man, Behold, awareness of G-d is wisdom.” The literal meaning of this verse is that awareness of G-d is the fundamental wisdom of Judaism. But the Midrash reveals another profound message from this verse – namely, the reward for fearing G-d is that the person who does so is gifted by G-d with wisdom. The Midrash illustrates this with the case of Shifra and Puah, the Jewish midwives who demonstrated an amazing fear of G-d by defying the absolute monarch Paroh and refusing to commit infanticide at his command. The pasuk relates, “Vayeitev Elokim lamyaldos…. Vay’hi ki yaru ha-myaldos es HaElokim vayaas lahem batim – And G-d was good to the midwives…. And it was because the midwives feared G-d that He made them houses.” The Midrash asks what was the nature of G-d’s goodness to Yocheved and Miriam, the real identities of Shifra and Puah, and explains that because they feared G-d, Hashem rewarded them. Yocheved was rewarded with Moshe, who when he was born, the pasuk testifies, “was good” – and in Judaism “good” refers only to Torah, the true goodness, as the pasuk further testifies, “Ki lekach tov nasoti lachem, Torasi al tozovu – For goodly merchandise I have given you, do not forsake my Torah.” To Miriam was born Betzalel, who built the Aron HaKodesh that housed the Torah. Thus, we see that because of this yirah of the midwives, “Vayeitev Elokim lamyaldos – Hashem rewarded the midwives” with the eternal goodness of the Torah. This, then, is the deeper meaning of “reishis chochma yiras Hashem,” the first step to wisdom is to be aware of, and fear, Hashem. This is also the sentiment of the Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (3:11) that states, “Kol shemaasov m’rubin meichachmoso, chachmoso miskayemes – Whenever one’s fear of G-d proceeds his wisdom, his wisdom will be preserved.” This is also the meaning of the verse about Tefillin – “V’haya la-os al yodecha u’ltotafos bein einecha lamaan tihiye Toras Hashem beficha – The tefillin should be a sign upon your hand and frontlets opposite your eyes in order that Hashem’s Torah should be in your mouth.” The pasuk is reiterating this equation. If we keep Hashem in our minds and in our hearts, becoming G-d-fearing, we will succeed at having Torah in our mouths. It therefore behooves us to put stress on the learning of mussar for ourselves and our children because, when we learn such works as Mesilas Yesharim, Chovos Halevovos, and Shaarei Teshuvah, the impact these ethical seforim will have upon our yiras Hashem will foster much greater success in our learning efforts. Let’s teach our children to stand up for the elderly and revere the Torah sage, for the reward of such behavior is yiras Hashem. As the pasuk states, “Mipnei seiva tokum v’hodarta pnei zakein, v’yoreisa mei’Elokecha” – stand up for the elderly and revere the Torah sage, and you will be gifted with the fear of G-d and that in turn will lead to greater Torah success. So too, let’s ensure that our children give proper reverence to their parents by not sitting or standing in their places and not contradicting them, for Hashem says “There are three partners in man; if you show reverence for the two partners, your
Continued on p.76
Friday, January 7, 2011
EXPOUNDING THE TORAH RABBI ABRAHAM STONE
A Unique Plague When Moses transmits Hashemâ€™s word to Pharaoh that He is going to bring death upon the Egyptian firstborn he also notes the time when that plague will come (Shemot 11:4), â€œat midnightâ€? (which Rashi notes, since Pharaohâ€™s stargazers might err as to the exact time, Moses actually said about midnight). This raises a question, what necessity was there to inform Pharaoh, with such specificity, as to when the plague [of death] of the firstborn would occur? How come he did not tell him similarly regarding the other plagues? It would thus seem that the plague [of death] of the first born has a special connection with that time, midnight, that in order to inform Pharaoh properly about that plague it was mandatory to include the specific time it would occur. We also find an aspect that differentiates the plague of the first born from the other plagues. At the time of that plague the Bnei Yisrael were instructed to place a special sign on their homes. Targum Yonatan (Shemot 12:13), explains that they were required to smear the blood of the bris and the blood of the paschal sacrifice on the 2 door posts and on the beam. Thus when the plague would come upon the Egyptians the Bnei Yisrael would suffer no harm. Since there is a rule (Bava Kama 60a) once permission is granted to the destroyer there is no distinguishing between the righteous and the wicked. Thus there was the concern that Bnei Yisrael might come in harms way.
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This still leaves yet another question, since in the course of any of the other plagues, Bnei Yisrael did not suffer as the plagues were only directed to the Egyptians. In those as well the destroyer was granted permission and we find no instruction to Bnei Yisrael to take any special precautions as a protection was given to the destroyer and yet it was not expected that the Bnei Yisrael should show a special precaution to protect them from the destroyer. The answer is obvious since the plague of the firstborn involved death that is where the destroyer is granted a special permission. As for the other plagues, they were horrible but limited in scope as they only affected their worldly possessions though they were physically discomforting. A perfect example being, the plague of the wild beasts, seemingly the second most destructive of the plagues, which caused them great physical harm but it did not involve death. There is a yet a deeper explanation the goal of the other plagues was not for the purpose of killing the Egyptians but in order that they come to
know who Hashem is. This is clearly stated in reference to a number of the plagues (Shemot 9:14) â€œwith this you will know that I am Hashemâ€? therefore these plagues had no connection Bnei Yisrael who already had the knowledge of Hashem. However regarding the plague of the firstborn, Zohar (Zohar Chadash, Parshat Yitro) explains the angels said what difference is there between the Egyptian or the Jew, both are steeped in impurity. Therefore the attribute of justice would not discern between the Jew and the Egyptian. At midnight the time when Hashemâ€™s love for Bnei Yisrael shines, the attribute of justice is transcended. This was prompted by their self sacrifice, and zealousness in both circumcising their newborn sons on the eighth day and their slaughtering the deity of Egypt as their paschal sacrifices. It was that blood that they smeared on their doorposts. By encouraging all Jews to study Torah and do miztvot, with zeal, we elicit Hashemâ€™s blessings for good health, happiness, nachat, prosperity and the speedy advent of Moshiach.
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