Five Towns Jewish Home 1.19.23

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Your Favorite Five Towns Family Newspaper Distributed weekly in the Five Towns, Long Island, Queens & Brooklyn January 19, 2023 See page 7 Always Fresh. Always Gourmet. Around the Community PAGE 9 Yeshiva Darchei Torahs Yovel Dinner 52 Mesivta Athletics Crowns 2023 Champions 38 Celebrating 75 Years at Central 48
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The Jewish
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ast week, Etti Siegel wrote about generating feelings and creating memories in our children’s lives. She pointed out that children will come out of a certain situation with a feeling – as opposed to actually being able to recall the specific events – while other situations produce lifelong memories.

Etti was writing in the context of family vacations (a must-read for anyone who is heading into yeshiva break!), but the concepts can be applied to so much in life.

We are subconsciously forming feelings in every situation that we encounter. When we walk into a store, our bodies naturally sense a vibe from our surroundings. We can feel welcomed when we are greeted by a salesperson or shunned when the person barely nods at us. The lighting in the store, the way the items are displayed, the smells, the width of the aisles…all these factors contribute to how we feel when we shop – and will help us decide, subconsciously, if we want to go back to that store or not. Generally, when we go shopping, we’re not forming memories. There’s nothing really memorable about picking tomatoes. But we sense the mood that we’re in as we fill our shopping carts.

Every encounter we have with our children will contribute to the feelings that define our children’s lives. It’s not necessarily about creating memories each day. It’s really about re -

affirming the feelings of love, comfort, and security in that relationship. Children should feel that their house is a place of refuge. They should feel welcomed and snug. Their home should be inviting, a place for them to be themselves and be appreciated for who they are – a calm, cozy cocoon from the outside world.

Vacation is a wonderful opportunity to foster those feelings. There’s no pressure about homework or getting up early for the bus. There’s more time to spend together to schmooze and have fun. And it’s not just kids letting go of their pressures during vacation; it’s also a time for parents to let their hair down and join in the excitement. When kids see that we’re having a good time, their enthusiasm and their feelings of enjoyment are only amplified. It creates a sense of worthiness – that people whom they admire enjoy being around them, spending time with them, sharing in the good times together.

I know that some people are stressed about the long winter break ahead. But if we turn around those feelings and see it as an opportunity to reinforce our special bond with our children, then we will look forward to it and all that it offers.

you a wonderful week, Shoshana

Yitzy Halpern, PUBLISHER

Yosef Feinerman, MANAGING EDITOR

Shoshana Soroka, EDITOR

Nate Davis

Editorial Assistant

Nechama Wein Copy Editor

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Shana Brecher

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The Jewish Home is an independent weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

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Dear Readers, Shabbos Zemanim Friday, January 20 Parshas Vayeira Candle Lighting: 4:40 pm Shabbos Ends: 5:44 pm Rabbeinu Tam: 6:12 pm Weekly Weather | January 20 – January 26 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 47° 35° 42° 35° 44° 35° 44° 37° 46° 39° 46° 33° 39° 29° PM Showers Rain/Snow Showers Showers Showers L
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Dear Editor,

I am surprised that as a community paper you have never addressed the issue of children not getting into camps. This is not an issue involving kids at risk or children who don’t fit the mold of that particular camp. These are great girls (I don’t know much about boys’ camps) who apply to these camps on time (generally sleepaway camps), and they don’t get in. “There is no room,” is what they’re told. But why are there not enough camps to go around? Why are these wonderful, amazing girls feeling rejected about a simple thing like getting into camp? Are there too many great girls out there? Are these camps too small? Are camps accepting girls who have “proteksia” and then they don’t have room for the rest of these girls?

Although I have seen there too often with sleepaway camps, day camps in our community have the same problem. I have seen the panic that people have in getting their six-years-olds into day camp. Why the rush? Why the pressure? Well, if you apply three weeks after the deadline, you end up being rejected.

I don’t think that your paper has anything to do with this and probably can do nothing about it. But I think if a conversation is opened, then perhaps we can think together as a community what can be done about it.

Sincerely, A Concerned Reader

Dear Editor,

In the January 12th issue of The Jewish Home, Susan Schwamm asks Dov Hikind, “You were the only frum Jew in the Assembly, no?” I was surprised to read

his answer, “Shelly Silver was also a frum Jew. I was the only one who wore a yarmulke, that’s for sure.”

This statement is false. My father, The Honorable Howard L. Lasher z”l (46th Assembly District, Brooklyn, Democrat) was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1972. He served from 1973 to 1993, and was, in fact, the first proudly shomer Shabbos yarmulke wearing Assemblyman to serve in New York State. Dov Hikind was elected in 1982, ten years after my father had been elected and was already serving the people of New York State, proudly wearing his yarmulke on the floor of the Assembly (Shelly Silver, another Orthodox Assemblyman joined in 1977). In fact, there is a video clip recorded on January 22, 1975 where my father describes being the only shomer Shabbos New York State Assemblyman to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, z”l. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, z”l, told him that it is not good to be an “only child,” expressing his wish that more frum politicians join my father in the Assembly, which is what happened.

The fact is, my father paved the way and set the example for Dov Hikind so that he, like my father had already been doing for ten years, could comfortably wear his yarmulke throughout the Capital and on the Assembly floor.

Sincerely, Lisa S. Lasher Abittan


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saying Are you planning on staying home for vacation this year? 62% 38% Going Away Staying Home LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 8 COMMUNITY Readers’ Poll 8 Community Happenings 34 NEWS Global 12 National 26 That’s Odd 31 ISRAEL Israel News 22 World Builders 75 Reports of the Death of Israeli Democracy Are Greatly Exaggerated 74 What Israel’s Judicial Crisis is Really About by Shammai Siskind 70
Editor, Besides for being an entertaining read, your article on Dov Hikind was eye-opening and so informative. It seems that Dov has no qualms about
62 Two
64 From
66 Delving
White Rice vs. Brown Rice by Tehila
CDN 83 FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Salmon Cauliflower Rice Bowl 85 LIFESTYLES Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW 76 JWOW! 84 School of Thought 80 Parenting Pearls 82 Your Money 101 Eating Out by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS 102 HUMOR Centerfold 68 POLITICAL CROSSFIRE Notable Quotes 86 If Trump’s Classified Document Mishandling was “Irresponsible,” So is Biden’s by Marc A. Thiessen 92 Biden’s Shift on Immigration Acknowledges the Obvious by David Ignatius 90 A Menacing Russia and China Pull Japan Out of Its Past by David Ignatius 91 CLASSIFIEDS 96 62 66
Wein on the Parsha
Types of Leadership by Rav Moshe Weinberger
Loneliness to Oneness by Rabbi Shmuel Reichman
into the Daf by Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow
Recipients of the Victoria Cross by Avi Heiligman
Soskel RDN,
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 9

what needs to be said – even if his views are not necessarily politically correct.

In order to combat antisemitism, we need to see it clearly – we need to see who is perpetrating it, we need to see what is being done, we need to understand what is happening.

One thing that really resonated with me was that we have to stand up to antisemitism and to attacks against Jews –something I knew before reading the article, but Dov underscored that we need to physically fight back, too. If we see a brother or sister of ours being beaten or hurt, we need to band together to save them from harm. That is our obligation. We must be there for each other and help each other.

Dear Editor, Two iconic leaders of separate peace movements recently sat down to discuss the meaning of joy. Interestingly, one of the points they made is that joy comes through suffering. Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, with semicha from Ner Israel and a law degree from Harvard, who is on the faculty of Ohr Somayach and is fluent in Shas, halachah, kabbalah and every other area of knowledge, addresses this idea from the vantage point of the shibbud Mitzrayim.

He notes that suffering forces one to face difficulties in life. Life is about hardship and obstacles that need to be overcome. When one realizes that this is the key to growth, one becomes grateful for the suffering itself. Additionally, the suffering in Mitzrayim brought us together as a nation. Also, as a nation that was enslaved, we now have the ability to show compassion to others when they are being persecuted. The Zohar talks about “black light.” This means even in darkness there is light, hope and joy, but it requires strong emunah to see and hold onto that light.

This world has much need for com-

passion now; as many people are under great strains, and many Jews need to be brought back to the proper path both in Israel and the United States. These times need much faith, to realize we are close to the end, but to reach that point, elements of suffering are needed.

Dear Editor,

The shidduch scene is not a simple one. With Hashem’s help, all should be blessed with finding the proper zivug.

There is one detail that I have not yet seen discussed in public that is causing angst for parents. I would like to suggest that there should be a curfew in place, across the board. Even after the engagement, couples should not be out into the wee hours of the morning. It should be understood, given our laws of modesty and discretion, that our daughters should be back home by midnight. It is awkward for mothers to ask this of the gallant gentlemen who are escorting their daughters out the door. But it is so inappropriate and so worrisome to parents when their children arrive home exceedingly late. Many parents find themselves unable to sleep till they know that their progeny are home, safe and sound.

This is a plea to all our young men out there. Please bring your dates home by a decent hour. Another suggestion, perhaps upon leaving, remark to the parents of the young woman you are privileged to date, “I plan to bring her back by 12:00, iyH.” That would be such a beautiful, menschlech gesture on your part.

May I add, I acknowledge that our young men generally are most responsible and mindful. Kol hakavod! But for those who are just not aware of this detail, who are not up to date on the accepted “protocol” to follow upon dating, please do take this to heart.

May we share only happiest tidings!

Make your voice heard!

Be part of TJH’s weekly poll.

Email the editor to be included in the weekly poll at

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69 Killed in Airline Crash in Nepal

is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, and its beautiful, rugged landscapes make it a popular tourist destination for trekkers. But this terrain can be difficult to navigate from the air, particularly during bad weather, and things are made worse by the need to use small aircraft to access the more remote and mountainous parts of the country.

Aircraft with 19 seats or fewer are more likely to have accidents due to these challenges.

In May 2022, a Tara Air flight departing from Pokhara crashed into a mountain, killing 22 people.

In early 2018, a U.S.-Bangla Airlines flight from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to Kathmandu crashed on landing and caught fire, killing 51 of the 71 people on board.

Seventy-two people were on board a Yeti Airlines flight on Sunday when the jet crashed near the city of Pokhara in Nepal. At least 69 people have been confirmed dead, with their bodies recovered near the site.

Kaski District Police Chief Superintendent Ajay KC noted that the chance of finding survivors was “extremely low” as workers used a crane to pull bodies from the gorge.

The crash is the worst air disaster in the Himalayan nation in 30 years. It is also the third-worst aviation accident in Nepal’s history, according to data from the Aviation Safety Network.

Experts say conditions such as inclement weather, low visibility, and mountainous topography all contribute to Nepal’s reputation as notoriously dangerous for aviation.

The Yeti Airlines flight on Sunday had nearly finished its short journey from the capital Kathmandu to Pokhara when it lost contact with a control tower. Fifteen foreign nationals were aboard, according to the country’s civil aviation authority.

The pilot of the downed flight had lost her husband – a co-pilot for the same airline – in a similar crash in 2006, according to a Yeti Airlines spokesperson.

Anju Khatiwada had decided to become a pilot after the death of husband, Dipak Pokhrel, and used the insurance payout money to travel to the U.S. for her training. She had been with the airline since 2010 and had more than 6,300 hours of flight experience.

The plane’s black box, which records flight data, was recovered on Monday and will be handed to the civil aviation authority.

Nepal, a country of 29 million people,

Female Afghan Lawmaker Killed

A female former legislator in Afghanistan was killed at her home in the capital, Kabul, police and her family said — a high-profile murder of one of the few women parliamentarians who remained in the country after the Western-backed government collapsed and the Taliban seized power.

The legislator, Mursal Nabizada, was shot dead early Sunday along with her bodyguard, according to Kabul police spokesperson Khalid Zadran. Guests were visiting her at her house the night that she was killed, he added. Her brother suffered injuries.

No one has yet been arrested in connection with the killings, Zadran said, and it was not immediately clear whether it was politically motivated, or a family or interpersonal conflict.

When the Taliban took over in August 2021, the parliament was dissolved. Nabizada, who was sworn in to parliament in 2019 under the previous government, initially wanted to leave the country along with most of her colleagues, who were evacuated by Western governments. But she chose to stay in Afghanistan because she was unable to find

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14 a way to bring her family members with her, said Shinkai Karokhail, a former member of parliament who served with Nabizada.

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The death of Nabizada comes at a precarious moment for women in Afghanistan. In recent months, the Taliban administration has issued a flood of edicts rolling back women’s rights and all but erasing women from public life. Women are now barred from gyms, public parks, and high schools; they cannot travel any significant distance without a male relative; and they must cover themselves head to toe in burqas and headpieces in public.

More recently, officials also barred women from attending universities and from working in most local and international aid groups — prompting many major organizations to suspend their operations and threatening to plunge the country deeper into a humanitarian crisis.

Nabizada, originally from Nangarhar province, in eastern Afghanistan, was just 26 when she won election. It was a feat illustrative of her generation in Afghanistan, which was raised in an era of greater freedom for women after the United States toppled the Taliban’s first regime.

In the two decades that followed, millions of girls returned to school and opportunities for work and public service expanded. When she was sworn in, Nabizada was one of 69 women who served in the 250-seat parliament. (© The New York Times)

ISIS Leader Arrested by Dutch

The 37-year-old man, whose name wasn’t released, was detained in the small village of Arkel, about 30 miles east of the port city of Rotterdam.

The terrorist is suspected of holding “a managerial position in the security service of IS” from 2015-2018, prosecutors said. For two years prior to that, he allegedly carried out the same work for Jabhat al-Nusra. Prosecutors say he held both functions “in and around the Yarmouk refugee camp” south of the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The suspect applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2019 and later settled in Arkel.

This isn’t the first time Dutch authorities arrested a suspect from the Syrian conflict. Last year, a Dutch court convicted two Syrian brothers of holding senior roles in Jabhat al-Nusra between 2011 and 2014.

“Yet seven years and two presidents later, I remain caged in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.”

Monday marked the anniversary of the 2016 release of five other U.S. citizens in a prisoner swap designed to coincide with the implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“My captors enjoy taunting me about that fact by saying things like, ‘How can your beloved America be so heartless? Not one but two U.S. presidents freed others but left you behind!’” Namazi wrote.

Following Namazi’s appeal, a White House National Security Council spokesperson said that the Biden administration was committed to securing his freedom.

On Tuesday, Dutch authorities arrested a Syrian man suspected of having been a security chief for the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra extremist groups during Syria’s civil war.

“It is suspected that from his position at IS he also contributed to the war crimes that the organization committed in Syria,” the National Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

American’s Hunger Strike in Iran

“We are working tirelessly to bring him home along with all U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained in Iran. Iran’s wrongful detention of U.S. citizens for use as political leverage is outrageous,” the spokesperson added.

On Saturday Iran’s government –which refuses to acknowledge dual citizenship – announced the execution of a British citizen, Alireza Akbari, who was also accused of spying.

Kenya Targets Birds

Siamak Namazi, an Iranian-American businessman who is being detained in Iran on spying charges, started a seven-day hunger strike earlier this week in an effort to bring attention to his case. In an open letter, he appealed to U.S. President Joe Biden to do more for detainees and to help with their release.

“All I want, sir, is one minute of your days’ time for the next seven days devoted to thinking about the tribulations of the U.S. hostages in Iran,” he said in the letter, released by his lawyer. “Only the president of the United States has the power to bring us home, should he set his mind to do so.”

Namazi, 51, was arrested in October 2015 on allegations of trying to overthrow the clerical state, charges he denies.

“When the Obama Administration unconscionably left me in peril and freed the other American citizens Iran held hostage on January 16, 2016, the U.S. Government promised my family to have me safely home within weeks,” Namazi said in the letter.

A drought in the Horn of Africa has driven birds in the country of Kenya to invade grain fields, as seeds dry up elsewhere. Now, the Kenyan government is hoping to kill up to 6 million red-billed quelea birds that have invaded farms. The birds have been putting 2,000 acres of rice in the fields under threat; 300 acres of rice fields have already been decimated by the flying invaders.

Still, Kenya’s drive to kill the species will have unintended consequences for raptors and other wild species, experts have warned.

A single quelea can eat up to 10 grams of grain a day, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Farmers in western Kenya stand to lose close to 60 tons of grain to the birds.

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The spraying of fenthion, an organophosphate pesticide, has been the method of choice in fighting the pests in Africa, but the chemical has been described by researchers as “toxic to humans and to other non-target organisms.”

Paul Gacheru, species and sites manager at Nature Kenya, a local affiliate to BirdLife International, noted that the government needs to be careful when spraying so as not to affect other wildlife, especially scavenging animals that prey

on the quelea.

Additionally, quelea serve an important purpose for farmers. They feed on insects that would otherwise feast on farmers’ grain.

Quelea invasion frequently occurs in many African countries. Six months ago, the FAO released $500,000 to the government of Tanzania to support pesticide spraying, surveillance, and capacity-building after 21 million quelea invaded rice, sorghum, millet, and wheat fields.

Wagner Commander Seeking Asylum in Norway

A former commander in Russia’s Wagner private military company has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum after crossing that country’s arctic border.

Andrei Medvedev, in an interview with a Russian activist who helps people seek asylum abroad, said that he feared for his life after refusing to renew his service with Wagner.

Medvedev said that after completing his contract, and refusing to serve another, he was afraid of being executed in the same manner of Yevgeny Nuzhin – a defector from Wagner who was killed on camera with a sledgehammer.

“We were just thrown to fight like cannon fodder,” he told Vladimir Osechkin, head of, a human rights advocacy group, in a conversation published on YouTube.

The Wagner mercenary group, headed by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has emerged as a key player in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – recently doing much of the fighting in the small eastern town of Soledar.

The unit is often described as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s off-the-books troops. It has expanded its footprint globally since its creation in 2014, and has been accused of war crimes in Africa, Syria, and Ukraine.

Medvedev was arrested by Norwegian police early Friday morning after crossing into Norway.

Medvedev said that he crossed the border and approached the first house he could find.

“I told a local woman in broken English about my situation and asked for help,” he said. “While I was on the road, I was approached by the border force and police. I was taken to a department, where I was questioned and charged with illegal crossing. I explained to them everything and told them why I did it.

“It was a miracle I managed to get here,” he said.

Medvedev had previously tried to cross into Finland twice and failed.

The head of Wagner, Prigozhin, confirmed on Telegram on Monday that Medvedev had served in his company, and said that he “should have been prosecuted for attempting to mistreat prisoners.”

Medvedev has denied that he had committed any crimes in Ukraine.

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“I signed a contract with the group on the 6th of July 2022. I had been appointed commander of the first squad of the 4th platoon of the 7th assault detachment,” he recalled. “When the prisoners started arriving, the situation in Wagner really changed. They stopped treating us like humans. We were just thrown to fight like cannon fodder.

“Every week they sent more prisoners to us. We lost a lot of men. Casualties were high. We would lose 15 to 20 men just in our platoon. As far as I know, a majority of them were buried in LPR [Luhansk People’s Republic] and declared missing. If you are declared missing, there is no insurance pay-out to the relatives.”

He claimed that prisoners were “shot dead for refusing to fight, or betrayal.”

“I am afraid for my life,” he said in December. “I did not commit any crime. I have refused to participate in maneuvers of Yevgeny Prigozhin.”

Iran Executes Dual British Citizen

Iran said this week that it had executed a dual Iranian-British national who once served as its deputy minister of

defense, despite an international outcry over his death sentence. Ali Reza Akbari was hanged, although it is not clear exactly when the hanging took place.

Iran had accused Akbari, without offering evidence, of being a spy for Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency.

tenced to death for “corruption on earth and harming the country’s internal and external security by passing on intelligence,” Iran’s Mizan news agency reported.

“The actions of the British spy service, in this case, have shown the value of the convict, the importance of his access, and the enemy’s trust in him,” it added.

Sixty-one-year-old Akbari had held high positions in the country’s defense establishment. His posts included “deputy minister of defense for foreign affairs” and a position in the “secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council.”

Akbari had also been an “advisor to the commander of the navy,” as well as “heading a division at the defense ministry’s research center.”



It aired a highly edited video of Akbari discussing the allegations, resembling other videos that activists have described as coerced confessions.

In a video published by Iranian media, Akbari is seen apparently talking about his contacts with Britain. He also said he was questioned by the British about Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, killed in November 2020 in an attack that Tehran blames on Israel.

Akbari was executed after being sen-

On Friday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel criticized Akbari’s pending execution.

“The charges against Ali Reza Akbari and his sentencing to execution were politically motivated. His execution would be unconscionable,” he said. “We are greatly disturbed by the reports that Mr. Akbari was drugged, tortured while in custody, interrogated for thousands of hours, and forced to make false confessions.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “appalled” by the execution and called it a “callous and cowardly act carried out by a barbaric regime.”

Iran’s government for months has been trying to allege — without offering evidence — that foreign countries have fomented the unrest gripping the Islamic Republic since the death of Mahsa Amini in September after she was detained by the morality police.

Akbari, who ran a private think tank, has not been seen in public since 2019, when he was apparently arrested.

The anti-government protests, which have continued for nearly four months with no sign of ending, are one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution that brought it to power.

At least 520 protesters have been killed and more than 19,300 people have been arrested, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that has been monitoring the unrest. Iranian authorities have not provided official figures on deaths or arrests.

Iran has executed four people after convicting them of charges linked to the protests in similarly criticized trials, including attacks on security forces.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc submitted his resignation this week after the ruling Communist Party found him responsible for violations and wrongdoing of numerous officials under him.

Phuc, 68, has held the largely ceremonial position for less than two years. It was not immediately clear who would replace him. Phuc was prime minister between 2016 and 2021, before assuming his role as president.

Phuc’s resignation follows the dismissal of two deputy prime ministers this month in an anti-corruption purge that has led to the arrest of dozens of officials.

Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam’s dismissal comes at a time when the Communist-ruled country is intensifying its fight against corruption, despite concerns the campaign is paralyzing routine transactions as officials fear being entangled in inquiries.

Last month, the party disciplined Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son over the alleged involvement of several ministry officials and diplomats in the scandal over repatriation flights.

To become effective, Phuc’s resignation requires approval from the National Assembly. On Monday, Reuters news agency reported that legislature would hold a rare extraordinary meeting this week.

Vietnam has no paramount ruler and is officially led by four “pillars”: the powerful party’s secretary, the president, the prime minister, and the chair of the parliament.

40 Killed in Russian Strike

Climbing over shards of concrete and metal, scraps of cloth, and pulverized furniture, emergency workers found one body after another on Monday, lifting them out of cratered wreckage in one of Ukraine’s largest cities.

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The crews reported a new toll Monday, days after the desperate search began: at least 40 people killed by a Russian strike over the weekend, one of the single deadliest for civilians since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago.

7,000 Ukrainian civilians since February, including 398 children. But the numbers include only deaths it has been able to corroborate, and U.N. monitors acknowledged that the full civilian toll is much higher.

skyy of Ukraine said Sunday that the operation — which has moved more than 8,000 tons of debris — would last “as long as there is even the slightest chance to save lives.” (© The New York Times)

ic growth numbers in nearly half a century, underscoring the steep challenges the country faces as its labor force shrinks and the ranks of the retired swell.

Dnipro, the city where the nine-story apartment building had stood, is far from the front lines where Ukrainian and Russian troops have been fighting viciously over abandoned villages and even mere yards of land. But the strike Saturday fit a pattern of Russia firing long-range missiles at civilian targets, including residential neighborhoods and electrical plants — what military analysts say is a Russian strategy, in the wake of battlefield setbacks, to terrify civilians and pressure the Ukrainian government into talks.

The United Nations said Monday that it had confirmed the deaths of more than

Russia’s recent strikes have hit cities far from the most intense fighting, which is currently in eastern Ukraine. Russian shelling on Monday hit a boarding school, a residential building, and a vacant children’s hospital in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, the regional governor said, part of a dayslong bombardment of the area that heavily damaged a Red Cross facility and left at least three people dead.

The attacks on civilian areas come as Ukraine and Russia are locked in battles around the eastern city of Bakhmut and the nearby town of Soledar.

The strike on Dnipro added dozens more casualties to the staggering civilian toll in Ukraine. In addition to the 40 dead, at least 75 people were wounded in the strike and 34 remained unaccounted for as of Monday afternoon, Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said in a post on Telegram.

As night fell, rescue crews continued searching for the missing people, living or dead. President Volodymyr Zelen-

India’s Job Market

But India has to be prepared for what it’s facing. Many are noting that India is simply not creating ample employment opportunities for the millions of young job seekers already entering the workforce every year.

The South Asian nation’s working-age population stands at over 900 million, according to 2021 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This number is expected to hit more than 1 billion over the next decade, according to the Indian government.

India is on a trajectory to overtake China this year and become the world’s most populous country.

The likelihood of India passing that major milestone within a few months shot up on Tuesday, when China reported that its population shrank in 2022 for the first time in more than 60 years.

This shift will have significant economic implications for both Asian giants, which have more than 1.4 billion residents each.

Along with the population data, China also reported one of its worst econom-

But these numbers could become a liability if policymakers do not create enough jobs, experts warn. Already, data show a growing number of Indians are not even looking for work, given the lack of opportunities and low wages.

India’s labor force participation rate, an estimation of the active workforce and people looking for work, stood at 46%, which is among the lowest in Asia, according to 2021 data from the World Bank. By comparison, the rates for China and the United States stood at 68% and 61% respectively in the same year.

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For women, the numbers are even more alarming. India’s female work participation rate was just 19% in 2021, down from about 26% in 2005, the World Bank data shows.

Lack of high-quality education is one of the biggest reasons behind India’s unemployment crisis. Indian institutions emphasize “rote-learning” over “creative thinking.”

As a result of this toxic combination of poor education and lack of jobs, thousands of college graduates, including those with doctorates, end up applying for lowly government jobs, such as those of “peons” or office boys, which pay less than $300 a month.

Policymakers are aware of these issues, though. They are struggling to put new policies into place to correct these matters.

The country needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030 to absorb new workers, according to a 2020 report by McKinsey Global Institute. Many of these jobs can be created in the manufacturing and constructions sectors, experts said.

As tensions between China and the West rise, India has made some progress in boosting manufacturing by attracting international giants such as Apple to produce more in the country. But, factories still constitute only 14% of India’s GDP, according to the World Bank.

Too Hot To Play

practice courts is also suspended.”

The roof was closed on the grand slam’s three show courts – Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena, and Margaret Court Arena – and play was allowed to continue.

Games on outside courts were able to resume at 5 p.m. local time.

Earlier in the day, the Australian Open announced temperatures had reached stage four of the “AO Heat Stress Scale” which allowed singles players to take 10-minute breaks between sets –for women players, between their second and third, and for men, between their fourth and fifth.

According to the ATP: “The AO Heat Stress Scale takes into account air temperature, radiant heat (strength of the sun), humidity and wind speed, which affect a player’s ability to disperse heat from their body. Those factors are measured in real time across five different locations across the Melbourne Park precinct.”

The decision to postpone play wasn’t met with delight by all.

Australian Jordan Thompson was annoyed at being told his match against JJ Wolf was being stopped after breaking the American in the second set, having lost the first.

“When has that ever happened?!” Thompson could be heard saying to the umpire. “I’ve been here when it has been like 45 degrees (113 degrees F)! It is not going to be for hours.”

Mafia Boss Arrested After 30 Years on the Run

Play was postponed for hours at the Australian Open due to the searing Melbourne heat on Tuesday.

As temperatures reached almost 36 degrees Celsius (almost 97 degrees Fahrenheit), tournament organizers announced at around 2 p.m. local time that games on outdoor courts would come to a halt.

“The AO Heat Stress Scale has reached 5 and play will be suspended on the outside courts,” it said on its Twitter account.

“This means play continues until the end of an even number of games or the completion of a tie break. No new matches will be called to court. Play on outdoor

Even by Mafia standards, his crimes curdled the blood.

Authorities linked him to dozens of murders in the 1990s, including the kidnapping and strangling of a Mafia turncoat’s 12-year-old son. He played a role in the murders of Italy’s two leading anti-Mafia prosecutors, in deadly bombings in Milan, Rome and Florence, and in the strangulation of a pregnant woman.

But on Monday, after 30 years on the

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22 lam and achieving infamy as Italy’s most wanted fugitive, Matteo Messina Denaro, 60, the last Italian mobster linked to a savage period in which Sicily’s “black hand” declared war on the Italian state, was quietly arrested outside a clinic in Palermo after he showed up under an alias for a medical appointment.

“Until this morning,” said Palermo’s chief prosecutor, Maurizio De Lucia, “we didn’t even know what face he had.”

Italian officials, including the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, who flew to Sicily to congratulate local law enforcement, immediately heralded the arrest as proof that justice, even if slow, would ultimately catch up with the country’s mobsters.

“This was a fundamental battle to win,” Meloni told reporters outside the Palermo courthouse. “This is a hard blow to organized crime.”

President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, whose brother, Piersanti Mattarella, was murdered by the Mafia in 1980 while serving as Sicily’s governor, telephoned the police and prosecutors to congratulate them.

But experts, and even local authorities like De Lucia, who called the arrest “an important contribution,” were more circumspect about what the ultimate impact would be against either the Sicilian Cosa Nostra or Italy’s other still powerful and sprawling organized crime syndicates.

“His arrest certainly weakens the Sicilian Mafia, but this is not a fatal blow,” said Lirio Abbate, a Sicilian journalist who wrote a book about Messina Denaro.

In 2020, Messina Denaro was sentenced to a life term in absentia for his role in the 1992 murders of the two anti-Mafia prosecutors, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, and the bombings in 1993 in Florence, Milan and Rome that left 10 people dead.

Prosecutors say that he was also involved in the 1993 kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, to pressure the boy’s father to stop revealing Mafia secrets to the authorities. (© The New York Times)

a Israeli civilian held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas for more than eight years, “is alive.”

“Israel does not stop its efforts to return Avera Mengistu and the rest of our captives and missing persons. Yesterday, we received another confirmation of what we knew all along — that Avera is alive.

“This is a young man, not in good health, and responsibility for his fate rests entirely with Hamas,” Netanyahu asserted.

The terror group said it released the video as a message to outgoing military chief Aviv Kohavi and his successor Herzi Halevi.

had Fashai, and Ali Faizipour are said to be the main members of the assassination team of the Quds Force Unit 400 of the IRGC – the unit responsible for the failed terrorist plot against the head of the Israel-Georgia Joint Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia’s State Security Service announced in November that the assassination, which they stopped earlier that same month, involved a team of assassins from Pakistan who have ties to al-Qaeda and arrived in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi to gather intelligence on the target.

Hamas Shows Off Prisoner

Hamas has repeatedly referred to Mengistu and the second captive, Hisham al-Sayed, as soldiers, despite neither of them having served in the Israeli military or security services. The two entered the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and their families say they suffer from mental illness.

International law forbids taking civilians captive and bars using any prisoners for propaganda purposes.

The IRGC’s Quds Force Unit 400 works with international terror groups to fund and plot terror attacks across the world. The hiring of foreign nationals for the assassination attempt is evidence of the Iranian regime’s pattern of using international terrorist fighters to try to cover its tracks.

On Monday, Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released a video of a prisoner, Avera Mengistu, reciting a short message.

“I am the captive Avera Mengistu. For how much longer will I remain in captivity?” he is heard mumbling in broken Hebrew before lamenting the Israeli government’s inaction in bringing about his return.

Mengistu is one of two Israeli men being held by the terror group, alongside the remains of two soldiers killed during Israel’s war with Hamas in the summer of 2014. Israeli authorities have been quietly engaged in fruitless negotiations for their release for years.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Mengistu,

Mengistu’s family has not seen any photos or videos of him since he crossed over into Gaza more than eight years ago. An audio file released by Hamas in June 2021 of an unidentified person who self-identifies as “an Israeli soldier” was thought to be a recording of Mengistu.

In June 2022, Hamas published a first video of the second Israeli captive, al-Sayed, a Bedouin Israeli.

Aside from the two civilians, Hamas is also holding the remains of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed during a 50-day conflict with the terror group in the summer of 2014.

Who Wanted to Assassinate Israeli?

Iran’s IRGC has implemented overseas assassinations into their military strategy for years – particularly against Israeli nationals. There were two foiled assassination plots in Turkey in 2022 against Israeli citizens. Israeli billionaire Teddy Saggi was tipped off by the Israeli authorities – likely the Mossad – that Iranian assassins were after him in Cyprus in 2021.

Iran has planned terrorist attacks in Georgia in the past, including in 20212022, and this is not the first time Moshe was targeted, according to Georgia’s security service.

“The connection between Iran and al-Qaeda is not new,” Georgia’s security service said at the time of the incident.

“This attempted terrorist attack once again shows the close and years-long connection between [them] – specifically the use Tehran makes of the terrorist organization, including hosting its members on Iranian soil – to advance attacks on innocent civilians while trying to hide its direct involvement.”

Reps from Polish Parliament Visit Israel

The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force) members responsible for the failed assassination attempt of Israeli businessman Itzik Moshe in Georgia back in November were revealed by Iran International on Monday.

Hossein Rehban, Mohammad Reza Arablo, Mohsen Rafiei Miandashti, Far-

A parliamentary delegation from Poland arrived in Israel this week with the goal of restoring “warm diplomatic ties” between the countries. The visit is the first of its kind in the past four years.

The 13-member delegation, all of whom are members of Poland’s Polish-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group, met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog

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24 on Monday and visited the Knesset on Tuesday. They expressed their desire to see the reestablishment of the Polish-Israel Friendship Group of the Knesset.

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“Visiting Israel and meeting with President Herzog was an extremely important and positive moment and hopefully this will be the start of a new period of improved relations between Israel and Poland,” said Polish Sen. Beata Małecka-Libera, who led the delegation.

The delegation also met with the National Emergency Management Authority of the Israeli Defense Ministry, visited Rambam Hospital and the Mashabim Center for Community Stress Prevention and toured Israel’s northern border. During the latter visit, they were shown a Hezbollah tunnel into Israel.

“As Europe faces similar challenges at our borders, it is important our countries work together to face these challenges and protect our values,” said Małecka-Libera.

The trip was organized by ELNET (the European Leadership Network), an NGO working to strengthen relations between Europe and Israel.

“This is a historic visit meant to open a new page in relations between Israel and Europe.… This is a momentous occasion for both Israel and Poland, and ELNET is honored to play a role in fostering stronger ties between the two countries,” said Emmanuel Navon, CEO of ELNET-Israel.

Also leading the delegation was Michał Kamiński, deputy speaker of the Polish Senate. (JNS)

A letter supposedly written by the 40-year-old Abu Diah was later shared on Palestinian news outlets, where he claimed that he had made the decision to “take revenge and hurt the Zionists” as well as sacrificing his life to protect Muslim holy sites.

mand fairly recently at the settlement’s request.

“Here we had a miracle that the terrorist tried to infiltrate a settlement that had security cameras installed just a year and a half ago,” Dagan said. “What would have happened if there weren’t any installed? It would have been just like when Rina Shnerb was killed in Ein Bubin two years ago.”

He called on Israel’s security apparatus to immediately order more security systems for the settlements to be completed.

Terrorist Killed in Shootout

Hamed Abu Diah, a Palestinian terrorist who had shot at a bus in Gush Etzion a few days ago, had been shooting at Israeli soldiers near a checkpoint in the West Bank on Tuesday and was killed in the subsequent shootout.

According to Haaretz, Abu Diah had previously served as a prisoner in Israel, but after his release, he worked as a Palestinian Authority police officer in the Bethlehem area.

Also on Tuesday, a terrorist armed with a knife attempted to enter the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank but was stopped by security authorities.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan praised the settlement’s leadership for their response.

“You showed bravery, and you saved lives in Israel today,” he said. “All settlements in Samaria are proud of you and the people of Israel are proud of you.”

Dagan noted that the terrorist was stopped after security cameras were installed by the IDF’s Home Front Com-

90 Nations: Restore Palestinian Funds

More than 90 countries signed a letter, published on Monday, demanding the “immediate” reversal of Israel’s punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority.

The U.N. General Assembly late last month approved a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.” In response to the P.A.’s ongoing

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26 “political and legal war” against the Jewish state, the Israeli Security Cabinet decided, among other measures, to withhold taxes and tariffs collected on behalf of and transferred to the P.A., in an amount equal to that which Ramallah paid to terrorists and their families in 2022 under its “pay-for-slay” policy.

At a press conference, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said, “We promised to fix this, and today we are correcting an injustice. This is an important day for morality, for justice and for the fight against terrorism. There is no greater justice than offsetting the funds of the Authority, which acts to support terrorism, and transferring them to the families of the victims of terrorism.”

For his part, P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the punitive measures would “promptly lead to [the P.A.’s] collapse.”

from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Channel 14 reported on Sunday.

The Israeli Immigration Policy Center, an NGO established in 2012 to promote immigration policy which serves Israel’s strategic interests, found that last year’s 23-year record in the number of new immigrants had resulted in a 0.3% decline in Israel’s Jewish majority, to 73.6% from 73.9% at the end of 2021.

sia and Ukraine entered Israel following Moscow’s invasion of the European country, most of whom were not Jewish – only three in 10, according to mid-November data from Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority.

In November, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau urged the Knesset to amend the Law of Return to curb non-Jewish immigration.

The letter was signed by representatives of the Arab and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, along with Western and other nations such as Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Cyprus, Japan, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

“Regardless of each country’s position on the resolution, we reject punitive measures in response to a request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice, and more broadly in response to a General Assembly resolution, and call for their immediate reversal,” the letter states.

Similarly, a spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said he “notes with deep concern the recent Israeli measures against the Palestinian Authority,” adding that there should “be no retaliation…in relation to the International Court of Justice.”

In line with the Security Cabinet decision, Jerusalem last week transferred 138.8 million shekels ($39.5 million) of revenues collected for the P.A. to Israeli victims of terrorism and their families.

In an interview with Haaretz, Shtayyeh described the Security Cabinet decision as “another nail in the Palestinian Authority’s coffin, unless there is immediate intervention by the international community, namely the [Biden] administration in Washington and Arab countries.”

He added: “Previous Israeli governments worked to eliminate the two-state solution, and the current government is fighting the Palestinian Authority itself.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price described the step aimed at curbing and punishing Palestinian terrorism as a “unilateral move” that “exacerbates tensions.”

The P.A. pays monthly stipends to Palestinians, and/or their families, for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel. In 2021, the P.A. paid out an estimated 512 million shekels ($157 million) as part of this “pay for slay” policy. (JNS)

This continues a 30-year trend, with the country’s Jewish majority having declined by a total of about 10% over that span, losing about one percent every three years on average.

Coalition deals signed between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Religious Zionist and ultra-Orthodox parties call for a change to the “grandparent clause.” (JNS)

A Decrease in the Jewish Majority

A recent surge in legal immigration has led to a decrease in Israel’s Jewish majority, according to an analysis of data

“It shouldn’t be possible for new immigrants to lead to a decline in the Jewish majority. This is a demographic deficit that will harm the Jewish identity and character of the country,” said Attorney Yona Sherki of the Israeli Immigration Policy Center.

In the last year, 77,000 people received status in Israel, including 71,000 new immigrants who entered under the “Law of Return,” which recognizes an individual with a single Jewish grandparent as eligible for citizenship. However, such people are not considered Jewish according to halacha, Jewish religious law.

As a result of the “grandparent clause,” of the new immigrants in 2022, only 32,000 (45% of the total) were Jewish.

Of non-Jews who enter Israel, 85% on average immigrate under the Law of Return’s “grandparent clause.”

Regarding the Law of Return, thenPrime Minister David Ben-Gurion decided with the establishment of the Jewish state that “whoever was born to a Jewish mother and is not of another religion, or whoever converted according to Jewish law” will be considered a Jew.

In 1970, it was ruled that the children and grandchildren of a Jewish person could immigrate to Israel by virtue of the Law of Return. During those years, many discussions were held in order to determine who is a Jew and how to define a person who converts through a non-Orthodox conversion process, but to no avail.

The issue recently came to the fore after a wave of immigrants from Rus-

A Shaky Aviation System

Tens of thousands of flights were delayed or canceled around the holidays in December when frigid weather and storms made travel treacherous. But the weather was mostly fine last Wednesday morning when flights across the country were halted because the Federal Aviation Administration’s system to alert pilots to safety issues went down.

The FAA said Wednesday night that it had traced the outage to a damaged database file and that there was no evidence that it was caused by a cyberattack. The disruption was the latest example of serious problems in the aviation system and at the FAA, the agency responsible for safely managing all commercial air traffic that critics say has long been overworked and underfunded.

The pause on flights across the country highlighted what aviation experts say are glaring weaknesses at the agency, long considered the world’s premier aviation regulator. The FAA has struggled to quickly update systems and processes, many of which were put in place decades ago, to keep up with technological advancements and a sharp increase in the number of flights and passengers.

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28 Problems with the system used to notify pilots of hazards in the air and ground began Tuesday night, forcing officials to reboot the system early Wednesday morning. To fix the problem, the FAA ordered airlines to delay all departing flights just before 7:30 a.m. That pause was lifted at about 9 a.m., but the disruption was far from over as airlines struggled to get back to normal throughout the day. Delays cascaded throughout the system, and, by the afternoon, about 9,000 flights had been delayed and 1,300 had been canceled.

Just two weeks earlier, hundreds of thousands of travelers were stranded by an operational meltdown at Southwest Airlines, the country’s largest carrier by number of passengers. Taken together, the two episodes underscore the fragility of the nation’s aviation system.

A big part of the problem, aviation experts said, is that Congress has not given the FAA enough money to do its many jobs properly, and the agency has sometimes been slow to make change even when it had enough resources. The agency’s budget was about $18.5 billion in 2022 — less than it was in 2004 after adjusting for inflation. (© The New York Times)

New Dress Code for Female Lawmakers in Missouri

The Missouri House has 116 men and 43 women. The House majority is held by Republicans, with 111 Republicans to 52 Democrats.

In the Missouri state Senate, there is no rule requiring women to wear blazers or jackets.

Rep. Ann Kelley, the Republican Congresswoman who sponsored the bill, wrote on Facebook, “How is encouraging professionalism wrong? If there is ever a time to honor traditions and be professional, it is on the House Chamber Floor in the Missouri House of Representatives; I will not apologize for standing up for these things.”

Under the prior existing dress code, women were required to wear “dresses or skirts or slacks worn with a blazer or sweater and appropriate dress shoes or boots” without a required second layer, reported the Associated Press.

California Soaked

The repeated lashings have left the ground beyond saturated in much of California, and the arrival of still more rain has threatened to compound the risk of flooding and mudslides. None of the current storms would be considered catastrophic individually, meteorologists say, but the cumulative impact of almost relentless precipitation and wind has posed a formidable challenge.

State authorities said the storms, taken together, had claimed more lives than the entirety of the past two wildfire seasons. Nancy Ward, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, described the onslaught as “among the most deadly natural disasters in the modern history of our state.”

Some 1 to 5 more inches of rain was expected to fall by Monday morning, with 2 to 3 more feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada and up to 6 feet in some places. State, federal and local officials implored motorists to stay off roads.

Forecasts promised an incoming respite. “We are nearing the end of this active cycle,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, noting that at least one more large storm system was expected to hit Sunday before a shift in weather patterns brings drier conditions. (© The New York Times)

Go Green

“The analysis can reveal key associations, but we can’t say for certain whether it was the greenspace proximity or use that led to reduced use of medications,” said Lincoln Larson, an associate professor in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, who was not involved in the study.

“Perhaps people who were healthier to begin with (and less likely to take prescription drugs) were more likely to get outdoors in the first place,” Larson said via email.

The study, published on Monday in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, interviewed approximately 6,000 random people in three of the largest cities in Finland about their use of green and blue spaces within a kilometer of their homes. Green spaces included forests, gardens, parks, cemeteries, moors, natural grasslands, wetlands, and zoos. Blue spaces included lakes, rivers, and the sea.

This is not the first time scientists have found that going blue and going green is the way to go.

A 2016 study compared the amount of plant life and vegetation near the homes of almost 100,000 women. After eight years, the researchers found having access to the most green space reduced the women’s death rate by 12% — and improved their mental health.

A fresh wave of storms inundated California again Saturday, swelling rivers, downing power lines, and imperiling travelers during yet another holiday weekend as a procession of atmospheric rivers continued to wallop the state.

At least 19 people have died since late December, with the toll expected to increase, in a series of powerful storms that unleashed destructive downpours.

Women who work in the House of Representatives in the State of Missouri are now required to cover their shoulders. The new dress code is part of a larger rules package that was passed this week with a vote of 105-51.

The dress code immediately drew criticism from local Missouri politicians, who took to Twitter to express their frustrations. The new dress code even has its own hashtag: #Sweatergate.

“I never thought my first national interview would be about what I can and cannot wear as a female lawmaker,” said Democratic Missouri Representative Ashley Aune.

The state’s northern and central regions have sustained the most damage: Levees have broken, thousands of trees have toppled, towering waves have shattered piers, and mudslides have blocked highways. Flash flooding has shut down critical roads in the valleys and coastal areas, and heavy snow has blocked passages east over mountain ranges.

As of Saturday evening, millions of residents were under flood advisories. Across the state, emergency officials said, more than 75,000 people were under evacuation orders and warnings. More than 23,000 utility customers were without power statewide. A federal emergency declaration covered much of the state, with the cost of damage expected to reach hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

Taking a walk in the park may help you reduce the need for medication, a new study found.

“Physical activity is thought to be the key mediating factor in the health benefits of green spaces when availability or active use of green space are considered,” study coauthor Anu Turunen, a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, noted.

The study found that visiting nature three to four times a week – taking a walk in the park, jogging around a lake – was associated with 36% lower odds of using blood pressure pills, 33% lower odds of using mental health medications, and 26% lower odds of using asthma medications.

Still, it’s not a perfect correlation between green space and lowering meds.

A 2019 study of green spaces around the globe found people who live near them are less likely to die prematurely.

Grocery Prices Up 11.8%

You’re not overbuying – prices in the grocery have been rising steadily over the past year, leaving consumers staggering upon seeing their grocery receipts.

Prices are now at nearly double the rate of overall inflation, at 11.8% year over year, according to data released last Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What could be causing these overwhelming increases? Blame Russia, the weather, disease, and a host of other factors.

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Eggs are now up 59.9% year over year, a rate not seen since 1973, when high feed costs, shortages, and price freezes caused certain agricultural products to soar in price. Since early last year, a deadly avian flu has devastated poultry flocks, especially turkeys and egg-laying hens. That was compounded by increasing demand and higher input costs, such as feed.

The cost of food is hard to swallow, but the latest Consumer Price Index shows that those price increases — by

and large — are at least growing at slower rates.

In December, “food at home” prices increased 0.2% from the month before. That’s the smallest monthly increase since March 2021.

The expectations are for food price increases to continue to moderate.

Dangerous Fish?

When can fish be harmful to your health? When they’re filled with forever chemicals, scientists say.

According to a study of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fish caught in the fresh waters of the nation’s streams and rivers and the Great Lakes contain dangerously high levels

of PFOS, also known as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, a known synthetic toxin phased out by the federal government.

The chemical PFOS is part of a family of manufactured additives known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, widely used since the 1950s to make consumer products nonstick and resistant to stains, water and grease damage.

Called “forever chemicals” because they fail to break down easily in the environment, PFAS has leached into the nation’s drinking water via public water systems and private wells. The chemicals then accumulate in the bodies of fish, shellfish, livestock, dairy, and game animals that people eat.

“The levels of PFOS found in freshwater fish often exceeded an astounding 8,000 parts per trillion,” noted study coauthor David Andrews, a senior scientist at Environmental Working Group, the nonprofit environmental health organization that analyzed the data. The report was published on Wednesday in the journal Environmental Research.

In comparison, the EPA has allowed only 70 parts per trillion of PFOS in the nation’s drinking water. Due to growing health concerns, in 2022, the EPA recommended the allowable level of PFOS in drinking water be lowered from 70 to 0.02 parts per trillion.

“You’d have to drink an incredible amount of water – we estimate a month of contaminated water – to get the same exposure as you would from a single serving of freshwater fish,” Andrews said.

“Consuming even a single [locally caught freshwater] fish per year can measurably and significantly change the levels of PFOS in your blood,” Andrews said.

Chemicals in the PFAS family are linked to high cholesterol, cancer, and various chronic diseases, as well as a limited antibody response to vaccines in both adults and children, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid PFAS.

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Manufacturers add the chemicals to thousands of products, including nonstick cookware, mobile phones, carpeting, clothing, makeup, furniture, and food packaging.

A 2020 investigation found PFAS in the wrapping of many fast foods and “environmentally friendly” molded fiber bowls and containers.

A 2021 study found PFAS in 52% of tested cosmetics, with the highest levels in waterproof mascara (82%), foundations (63%) and long-lasting lipstick (62%). Polytetrafluoroethylene, the coating on nonstick pans, was the most common additive.

The latest study focused on fish caught in the Great Lakes from 2013 to 2015, which was the latest data available. Based on the findings, scientists say that people who fish for sport may consider releasing their fish back into the waters instead of bringing them home for dinner.

Biden’s Document Investigation

dling sensitive documents and obstructing efforts to retrieve them.

The circumstances in the Biden and Trump cases are markedly different. Trump resisted requests to return documents for months, even after being subpoenaed, while as far as is known, Biden’s lawyers found the papers without being asked and turned them over promptly. But as a political matter, the new investigation will muddy the case against Trump, who is already using it to argue that he is being selectively persecuted.

Biden, who excoriated Trump for being “irresponsible” with national secrets, now has to answer for his own team’s misplacement of sensitive papers. Moreover, his White House did not disclose to the public the discovery of the documents from his time as vice president for two months, waiting until after the November midterm elections.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president had not been informed in advance of Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel. She declined to clarify what prompted the search or why the White House did not inform the public earlier. Biden, she said, “was kept informed throughout” but does not know what is in the documents.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel on Thursday to investigate how classified documents had ended up in President Joe Biden’s private office and home, opening a new legal threat to the White House and providing ammunition to its Republican opponents.

Garland assigned Robert Hur, a veteran prosecutor who worked in the Trump administration, to examine “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered” at Biden’s think tank in Washington and his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, according to an order signed by the attorney general.

The White House promised to fully cooperate. People close to the situation said several Biden associates had already been interviewed. But the decision to open a full investigation put the president and the attorney general in awkward positions at the same time another special counsel appointed by Garland considers whether to charge former President Donald Trump or his associates with mishan-

The appointment of Hur on Thursday was intended to insulate the Justice Department from accusations of partisanship at a time when the new GOP majority in the House has embarked on an investigation into what it claims is the Biden administration’s use of government power against Republicans.

Under Garland’s order, Hur is authorized to prosecute any crimes arising from the inquiry or to refer matters for prosecution by federal attorneys in other jurisdictions. (© The New York Times)

Dog Days


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Jess Stone is traveling the world and traversing 90 countries on her motor

32 cycle. But it’s not her gilded wheels that garner drivers’ attention on her trip. It’s her companion – Moxie, her beloved dog.

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Stone and Moxie, who weighs around 34 kilograms, are currently 10 months into an epic bike trip that will see them travel throughout Central America, North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

They have been on the road since last March, when they set off, along with Stone’s husband Greg, who rides behind them.

“I am always in the front,” explains Stone. “I want to go through the obstacles first.”

Moxie is comfortable on Stone’s bike, which is outfitted specially for her. Stone says experiencing the world with Moxie adds another dimension to her journey.

“It’s like you get to experience the adventure twice,” she explains. “You experience it for yourself. And then you experience it from her perspective, because she’s right behind me.

“I see her [Moxie] in my mirror all the time. Her head is right up against my side. Sometimes she even rests her big snout on my shoulder with her chin up there.

“It makes me feel so happy that she’s really experiencing everything. It’s always new sights, sounds and smells that she’s looking at and experiencing.”

The group is traveling from “tip to tip and top to bottom,” making their way from Guatemala to Mexico, the U.S., Canada and on to the Arctic Ocean. They’ll then make their way down to South American and then fly to South Africa.

Once they reach South Africa, they’ll travel up the east coast of Africa to Egypt and then Greece, before “looping around Europe” and riding through Turkey and Central Asia.

The next leg will see them ride from India to Malaysia, where they’ll ship their bikes, and Moxie, to North America and then head back to their first and final destination Guatemala, which Stone describes as her “adopted home.”

Stone estimates that they’ll be on the road for at least another two and a half years. But for the time being, she’s focused on making it to the next stage of the journey, and constantly building on her riding skills.

Her four-legged companion continues to be a source of inspiration, and Stone never gets tired of seeing the way others react to Moxie, joking that every gas station visit is like “a selfie palooza.”

“People just get out of their cars,” she adds. “And the first thing everyone says is, ‘Oh my G-d, she’s wearing goggles.’

“It brings a smile to everyone’s face.

And that’s what I love. She just makes everybody have a good day.”

Every dog has its day.

Luggage Looniness

“I just heard loud crashes,” Henao said. “And I ran out and saw my car just crushed.”

A 4-foot boulder had landed on the roof of Henao’s car, caving it in.

“The rock is the size of the whole hood,” Henao said. “The windshields are all broken, and the frame of the car is just all twisted.”

Henao’s vehicle was not the only car damaged in the rockslide. At least one other parked car was hit by debris, which spread across four lanes of traffic.

Sounds like he went out with a bang.

If you’re traveling this week, you may not want to read this story.

An Oregon woman whose suitcase was misplaced during a flight is now reunited with her luggage. Don’t get too excited. It took United Airlines four years to send April Gavin her suitcase.

Yup, that’s four years.

Gavin had been flying home from Chicago in August 2018. Her luggage, though, did not make it home. After several months of searching, the airline told her that her bag’s location was a mystery and compensated her for some of her items.

This week, Gavin received a surprising phone call from the airline that told her that her luggage had showed up at an airport in Houston. Even more surprising was that it had taken a detour to Central America.

“It was in Honduras. And who knows where else it went,” Gavin said.

Although slightly worn out (hey, we’re all a bit worn out after these past few years), the suitcase and its contents were intact.

Sounds like a great bag of tricks.

Rock Bottom

Seeing Double

A California man has a phone call to thank for saving his life.

Mauricio Henao was parked outside his home at the side of a hill in Malibu when he got out of his car to answer a phone call and went into his home to retrieve an item.

Moments later, Henao heard booming noises.

A lapse of memory has led a man to an experience he’ll never forget.

The Michigan man who likes to play the lotto couldn’t remember if he had already purchased a ticket for the December 17th Fantasy 5 drawing when filling up his car with gas. Playing it safe, he bought one again – just to make sure.

And it’s good he did.

“I have been playing Fantasy 5 for a long time, and I always play the same sets of numbers,” the player said. “I was at the gas station, and I couldn’t remember if I’d purchased a ticket for the Fantasy 5 drawing that night, so I decided to purchase one to be safe.”

Later, he determined that he had already bought the ticket at another store. But not to worry. His mistake turned out to be pretty fortuitous.

“After the drawing, I was on the Michigan Lottery website checking the numbers and when I saw the two locations where winning tickets were sold, I knew I had to be the big winner,” the winner recalled.

The bigger surprise was the amount that he won.

“I checked my tickets and confirmed I had won, but I thought I’d won $55,000 on each. When I called the lottery and they confirmed both tickets were $110,000 winners, a feeling of relief came over me,” the lucky man said.

What to do with all that money? For now, he’s using it for some home renovations and for his family.

It’s good he took a double take.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 33

Around the Community

Shulamith Bat Mitzvah Program

The talented Shulamith sixth grade girls put on an amazing bat mitzvah production, followed by a chessed activity and a beautiful collation for mothers, daughters and grandmothers in honor of this momentous time in their lives. Directed and produced by Morah Shoshana Fischman, the girls became one cohesive unit, working toward a common goal while simultaneously learning about the meaning behind becoming bnot mitzvah and applying the examples set forth by the Sheva Nevios as to how we are supposed to live as strong Jewish women. Each and every girl in the grade had an integral part in the production, a part that they chose based on their talents and preference. We had a group of fabulous stage managers who took care of everything behind the scenes, an amazing tech group who created an outstanding montage, a dedicated dance troupe who performed a beautiful dance that they themselves created, an art group who created the stunning scenery, a choir who sang beautiful songs throughout the skit, and actresses who starred in the show.

The girls created beautiful artwork that was displayed on the way to the collation that depicted their names and what they mean. This enabled the girls to think about themselves as the future links joining the shalsheles ha’mesorah. In addition to the chessed they did at the event, they followed the program with a challah bake the next day for Bo’ei Challah, an organization that sends fresh challot each week to families in aveilus.

The girls were so proud of their hard work, and it truly paid off! They did a fabulous job and learned about themselves and this special time in their lives throughout the process.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 34
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 35

YOSS Students Living the Torah

The students in Rabbi Singer’s shiur at Yeshiva of South Shore recently took a special trip to the Living Torah Museum in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Deutsch, founder of the museum, took the students on a tour of the museum, engaging them in the variety of artifacts on display. Most notably, Rabbi Deutsch explained how he recently made a trade with the Egyptian government to get a wheel from the Yam Suf, which came from Pharoah’s army’s chariots.

The students were enamored with many different artifacts and had a great experience there.

Following the trip, the boys enjoyed lunch at the famous Mendelsohn’s Pizza of Boro Park where they made a tremendous Kiddush Hashem. The owner told Rabbi Singer how impressed he was with how polite and well behaved the students were in the store. The owner said it was making him emotional to see such “eidel’keit” from young boys!

District Attorney Melinda Katz Raises $600,321 in Six Months

Ahead of Tuesday’s January Periodic campaign financial disclosure, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that she’s raised $600,321 in the last six months and that she has $1,175,665 on hand as her re-election year kicks off. This strong base of support will ensure that the District Attorney has the resources she’ll need to run a robust campaign, and it highlights the broad support she’s received from those who want to see Queens continue going in the right direction under her stewardship.

“I am so honored and humbled by the broad base of support that’s represented in this filing. My entire career led me to this position and the support I’ve received for re-election is a strong signal that the office is heading in the right direction,” said District Attorney Melinda Katz. “This filing is just the start of our campaign where I will highlight the work that the office is doing – to take illegal guns off the streets, to hold human traffickers and domestic abusers accountable, and to build a criminal justice sys-

tem that prioritizes public safety, justice, and fairness for all – because our office shows that you can have safety in the streets and fairness in the courtroom.”

Campaign Financial Disclosure Statistics:

Total Raised: $600,321

Cash on Hand: $1,175,665.88

Number of Contributors: 284 Number of Contributions: 317 35 Unique Contributions from Organized Labor Organizations

Melinda Katz was elected District Attorney in 2019 and inaugurated in 2020. Despite taking office in the most turbulent of times, she’s provided a steady hand as she’s worked to keep Queens families safe and taken on crime head on. She’s led the effort to take illegal and ghost guns off the streets and held human traffickers and domestic abusers accountable. DA Katz launched Queens’ first-ever Conviction Integrity Unit to ensure justice for those wrongfully convicted. And she’s taken a community-first approach to public safety.

Mercaz Academy Celebrates Chag HaChumash

Mercaz Academy’s Kitah Bet celebrated a milestone in their Torah study on Thursday: now they are ready to start learning Chumash from the text, thanks to their preparation by Morah Tikva Goldberg. The Chag HaChumash started with a musical presentation that took place entirely in Hebrew. The second graders demonstrated their knowledge of the five books of the Torah with songs, recitations, posters, and some adorable dance moves, delighting their audience of family and friends. After presenting each student with a Chumash of his or her very own, Mercaz Academy Principal Rabbi Kalman Fogel addressed Kitah Bet, reminding them that earlier in the week they had dramatized the story of Avram, who went where Hashem told

him without asking any questions.

“How does Hashem tell us what he wants to do?” Rabbi Fogel asked.

“It’s written in the Chumash!” the students replied.

Rabbi Fogel explained that the Chumash contains the words of Hashem telling us how to live our lives – and for the rest of their lives, they would open that Chumash and remember that it was the first one they ever received. Finally, Rabbi Fogel offered the hope and the blessing that they would always find Torah study as sweet as they do now – and the lesson was reinforced with a delicious cake and refreshments supplied by parents and PTA.

Congratulations to Kitah Bet and Morah Tikva on a job well done!

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 36 Around the Community
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 37

Around the Community

Mesivta Athletics Crowns 2023 Champions

This past Sunday marked the Championship Games of the Mesivta Football League’s 11th Varsity Season and the Mesivta Basketball Association’s 4th Junior Varsity Season, both divisions of Mesivta Athletics. Thirteen different yeshivas were represented across the two leagues, engaging in healthy, kosher, competitive sports every Sunday since November.

Mesivta Football League (MFL)

In the MFL Varsity Championship, the number one seeded Netzach Knights took on the number three seeded MAY Eagles. It was a cold day in January, but things were heating up on the gridiron. This was a meeting of champions, as both Netzach and MAY won the championships in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Netzach came out early and scored first to take the early lead with veteran quarterback, Avi Gluck, leading his team and finding Morda Friedman for the first score. MAY responded with quarterback Azriel Soniker connecting with tight-end Shlomo Rosenthal. Both teams scored another touchdown each to keep the

game tied going into the second half.

However, the second half was “Kulo Netzach.” Whatever Coaches Yoel and Chaim Zagelbaum told their Knights at halftime energized and mobilized their team to come out with a vengeance, as the Knights shut down the Eagles and scored two more touchdowns – Shua Skydell, with his second, and Yehuda Gamzeh – to seal the deal.

The MFL congratulates the Netzach Knights on winning the 2022-2023 Varsity Championship!

Mesivta Basketball Association


In the MBA Junior Varsity Championship, the number one seeded Chofetz Chaim Cavs took on the number three seeded YFR Raptors. A competitive rivalry, in the end, Coach Yehuda Zev Lifschitz led his Cavs to a sweet victory, 68-44.

The game started extremely competitive, with teams trading points, led by their point guards, Akiva Guggenheim for the Cavs and Aryeh Wisnicki for the Raptors. But by the half, Chofetz Chaim had taken a commanding lead, 33-18.

Although YFR put forth a commendable effort, the offensive onslaught of the Cavs was too much to handle, and Chofetz Chaim took the Golden Ball with them back to Brooklyn.

The MBA congratulates the Chofetz Chaim Cavs on winning the 2022-2023 Junior Varsity Championship!

Rabbi Yossi Bennett, Menahel at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov and Administrator of Mesivta Athletics remarked, “I believe the novelty of this League is the camaraderie and community spirit it engenders. Boys from other schools often come early or stay late to watch the other games be -


ing played that day. It’s really an amazing outlet for the boys in our community. We’re in the middle of our inaugural hockey season and are gearing up varsity basketball and JV football after the winter break!”

Mesivta Athletics thanks all the participating schools – players, coaches, administrators, and fans – for helping make this season so successful.

For more information about Mesivta Athletics, visit their website at



The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 38
For MLK Day, activist James Hodges and Director of Habitats for Humanity, Myrnissa Stone, spoke to HALB students about the work they do with the local Jewish community cen- Teachers, administrators, and these special guests spent the day teaching stu about the importance of treating everyone equally and with kavod.
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 39

Tefillin Awareness Project at MAY 5 Towns Hockey League

The 5 Towns Hockey League just completed what was an amazing season. The Championship games were incredible. The games were fun and competitive. The action was nonstop with winners only decided in the last minutes of every game.

forever. The best emails we get are from parents after the summer telling us that their son was the best in the division in hockey or that he made the high school hockey team. Of course, sportsmanship and middot play a big role as well and that is stressed every game of the season.

Mesivta Ateres Yaakov was visited by the Tefillin Awareness Project this past week. The project visits hundreds of shuls, yeshivos, and kollels each year bringing awareness to this great mitzvah. After an enlightening shiur by Rabbi Avrohom Schachter, Director of the Organization, talmidim

lined up to have the placement of their tefillin and the exterior portions checked by one of four experienced sofrim. Aside from a number of different adjustments made and concerns expressed by the sofrim, the project served to reinvigorate talmidim about this important mitzvah.

Bringing Math to Life in HALB’s Lev Chana!

Students are working on decomposing numbers, starting off in one circle and then breaking up into two different circles.

The most amazing aspect of the 5 Towns Hockey League is that all participants improve tremendously. When they start in pre-1A and move up as they get older, they become real hockey players. They are the ones that are the best in their camps in hockey and the ones that make the teams when it comes to organized school sports. The skills they learn in the game of hockey follow them

The 5 Towns Hockey League, which is in its 25th year, has over 30 teams participating and enjoying the game of hockey. Every season, FM Home Loans the corporate sponsor, provides an amazing giveaway from Nike hats to duffel bags. This coming season they will give every participant a new 5 Towns Hockey sweatshirt. Looking forward to the winter/spring season.

HALB Presents: Fiddler on the Roof

HALB’s all-female performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” was a huge success! The audience was transported to Anatevka through the stu-

dents’ spectacular performance. Everything from costumes and choreography to the acting and singing were fantastic!

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 40 Around the Community

Congressman Anthony D’Esposito Sworn In To Office

Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (R-New York) was sworn into office at the United States Capitol last week as part of commencement ceremonies marking the beginning of the 118th Congress. D’Esposito was elected to serve the residents of New York’s 4th Congressional District last November in a historic victory and is the first member of his party since 1997 to represent the South Shore Long Island based constituency. The Island Park, New York, native formerly served as an NYPD Detective, volunteer fire chief, and Hempstead Town Councilman – a resume of public service that D’Esposito will lean on as a newly minted congressional freshman.

“I am grateful to my Long Island neighbors for entrusting me with the sacred duty of representing them on Capitol Hill, and I will work diligently to ensure their voices are heard in the halls of Congress,” said D’Esposito. “My life experience as a law enforcement professional, fire chief, and local elected leader has equipped me with the skills needed to deliver the type of positive change desired by Americans who are fed up with Washington’s dysfunction.”

New York’s 4th Congressional District is comprised of large swaths of America’s largest township, Hempstead Town, as well as the neighboring City of Long Beach on Long Island’s southern shore. This Nassau County based congressional district – known for its sandy coastlines, bustling downtown commercial

corridors, and quaint suburban locales – is home to a diverse array of Americans who share a common desire for affordable neighborhoods, safe streets, and an economy that supports the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. Indeed, these desires transcend traditional partisan politics, and guide Congressman D’Esposito’s approach to legislating in a common sense, bipartisan fashion.

Prior to his time in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman D’Esposito served as a Hempstead Town Councilman from 2016 until January 2023. D’Esposito’s tenure on the Town Council included a lengthy streak of bipartisanship, where he worked across the aisle to deliver tax cuts for the 800,000 residents of Hempstead Town. As a new member of Congress, D’Esposito recommitted himself to working collaboratively with colleagues of all political affiliations if it advanced the agenda of his Long Island neighbors.

“Long Islanders of all races, religions, and cultural backgrounds are bound together by our love of Long Island, as well as our shared goals of bettering the lives of our families, safeguarding our streets, and enhancing our community,” said D’Esposito. “I was elected to Congress in order to achieve these goals, and I will do so by working collaboratively with fellow representatives without regard to their party affiliation, as long as such collaboration brings about positive results. The needs of my fellow New Yorkers will always take precedence over partisan bickering.”

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 41 Around the Community

Brooklyn’s Kiruv Center, BJX, Inspires Local Jews to Keep First Shabbos

“It’s difficult to convey in words the joy and elation upon witnessing local public high school seniors keeping their first Shabbos,” said Rabbi Moshe Fingerer, Director of Brooklyn Jewish Xperience. Finishing almost two months of intense educational programming at BJX, these public high school seniors came together for their first Shabbos experience. The Shabbaton began with a beautiful Carlebach davening at the BJX shul. The dancing and exuberant singing around the bimah was surreal. Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Herzka welcomed the leadership students into their beautiful home for a spectacular Friday night seudah. The meal was filled with divrei Torah, singing, enlightening speeches, and great conversation. The many Flatbush hosts – both for meals and lodging – felt that this past Shabbos was transformative.

“I think the Flatbush community gained so much by hosting these young men and women. To have seen firsthand their sincere interest, forthright curiosity, and mutual excitement while fully ob -

serving Shabbos was exceptional,” said Rabbi Moshe.

The authenticity, devotion, and dedication shown by BJX and the hosts evoked strong feelings from the students. Students praised the special achdus, ahavas Yisroel and Torah learning. David G., a brilliant honors student, reflected on his Shabbos. “I experienced unbelievable hospitality and priceless knowledge. Real human interactions with fellow Jews. No borders within the community,” he extolled. Alan G., a student at Edward Murrow, said, “These past two days have been eye-opening experiences and have shown me that all Jews are like brothers and sisters.” Ben B., an advanced student with a prodigious mind, said, “It was truly an invigorating experience. I learned a lot about Judaism and the wonderful Jews right here in Brooklyn. It felt like we were all one giant family. I will never forget it.”

“A personal highlight for me happened at the Herzka home. In the middle of the sumptuous seudah, the students unanimously proclaimed that they were enjoying BJX so much that they would be willing to extend the program for many

more months. I couldn’t believe my ears! I felt like crying from joy. I knew then that the program was an absolute home run,” shared Rabbi Fingerer.

The culmination of the Shabbos was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. JoJo Rabinowitz. David Ziff played a beautiful Havdalah led by Rav Yitzchok Fingerer who flowed with charisma, passion, love and spiritual power as he described Havdalah and gave the students a charge. After Havdalah, the graduates of the leadership program received their diplomas and rewards.

The BJX staff never ceased imbuing the students with a love and passion for Shabbos.

Multiple students who were never called up to the Torah finally had the opportunity to embrace the Torah and connect with Hashem. One was able to witness the fervor in their eyes and the passion on their faces. Rabbi Rosenberg said, “The spiritual energy generated on Shabbos defies description. I was moved to tears.”

Yiddishkeit isn’t taken for granted in Brooklyn. BJX is a vital community resource and institution that is a magnet

and binding force in Flatbush and beyond for Torah, Yiddishkeit and achdus. They know how to beautifully intertwine authenticity and simchas hachaim with emunah. Hashevenu Hashem Eilacha. The avodas hakodesh of BJX – bringing back acheinu beni Yisroel – will be mekarev the geulah.

Ambitious Course to Cover Thirty-Three Centuries of Jewish Literature

To study the history of most cultures, you need to learn about wars and empires, warriors and city builders, and great works of art. But the history of Judaism is overwhelmingly a history of books. Books form the core

of Judaism’s culture. But even if they’re known as “the People of the Book,” much of Judaism’s classic literature remains closed to contemporary Jews.

This month, Rabbi Zalman Wolowik will open Jewish literature to a contempo-

rary audience. He’s leading a class of Jews of many affiliations and backgrounds as they explore the history, authors, and content of Judaism’s most important titles in a new course entitled Book Smart.

“It’s an ambitious undertaking,” Rabbi Zalman Wolowik says. “I’m excited because I think the course will give us a richer understanding of what Judaism meant throughout the centuries and what it can mean for us today.”

When Book Smart’s first ninety-minute session kicks off on Tuesday, January 24 at 8:00 PM, at Chabad Five Towns, students will begin their six-week survey of traditional Jewish literature, covering Torah, Talmud, Midrash, halachah, ethics, and philosophy, as well as kabbalah and Chasidic mysticism. “We’ll meet the authors behind the big ideas of Jewish history over a period of thirty-three centuries,” Rabbi Wolowik says.

The history of Jewish literature is a broad subject, but Rabbi Zalman Wolowik says the course will also go deep.

“We’re not just going to learn why these works were written. We’re actually going to get a taste of what it’s like to participate in a Talmudic debate, unpack a philosophical conundrum, and decipher a kabbalistic text from the Zohar.”

Book Smart was developed by The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, which has a sterling reputation for producing high-quality and engaging courses. Over 400,000 people have participated in JLI’s courses since the organization was founded in 1998.

Rabbi Zalman Wolowik says he isn’t promising students overnight expertise on the works discussed in the course. “But I can assure them it will be an enjoyable and intellectually engaging journey, giving us valuable context for all our future Jewish learning.”

For more information about BookSmart and to register please visit or call 516.295.2478

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 42
Around the Community
Rabbi Zalman Wolowik to Explore Eight Genres of Jewish Literature with a Diverse Group of Five Towns Jews
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 43

Social-Emotional Learning at YCQ

First and fifth grade students at the Yeshiva of Central Queens have been piloting a new Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum designed by Dr. Elana Dumont, Director of School Psychology.

The curriculum focuses on teaching students how to recognize and respond to stressors by learning techniques to alleviate stress, effective communication skills, managing their emotions more appropriately, and learning skills to reduce conflict. Students are learning practical skills including mindfulness, the mindbody connection, relaxation techniques, self-talk, and identifying strengths – all with a focus on resilience.

The program is delivered directly through classroom teachers with intensive support from Dr. Dumont and the counseling department. One example of the program in action happens each morning in the first grade classrooms. After tefillah, students begin the day by

pointing at their “mood meters,” stickers with four quadrants of different emotions, and students share with the class how they’re currently feeling. Students recognize that it’s normal to feel multiple emotions at once and that it’s okay to not always have positive feelings.

A few weeks ago, students also made “calming jars,” bottles filled with liquid and glitter that act as an innovative mindfulness tool. “The jars help students visualize their emotions ‘swirling’ and then settling,” remarked Mrs. Allison Blass, Grade 1 teacher. “Our students can focus on the swirling jars to help them be mindful and focus on something that allows them to calm down and breathe,” she added.

At one of their regular meetings with teachers, Dr. Dumont and Mrs. Elana Joffe, LMSW, YCQ’s Social Worker, most recently discussed methodology for teaching coping skills. The teachers shared positive feedback about SEL and

how they – and their students – appreciate the program.

Grade 5 Teacher Mrs. Tali Hoffman said that “our SEL program has been giving students important vocabulary to identify their feelings, express their feelings in a safe and healthy way, and shift away from unpleasant feelings.”

The program synthesizes elements

from existing evidenced based programs such as the RULER program from Yale University, Responsive Classroom, and Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Happy Children. In addition to the extremely important life skills students are receiving, research has shown that social emotional learning is also directly linked with better academic performance.

Good Wines Guilt-Free

This column is usually published ahead of yom tov. However, as we all know, wine is integral to our lifestyle throughout the year. Shabbos, vorts, weddings, sheva brachos, or events such as a birthday or an anniversary are all occasions on which some good wine can be part of a good l’chaim.

We live in interesting times, with fast-increasing costs of living across the board and a proliferation of high-end wines. The extensive array of kosher wines keeps on widening, with regions and styles never explored before making their way to the stores’ shelves. Many of these wines carry price tags of over $50, which can be frustrating as most people cannot afford to spend that much on a bottle. The good news is that while premium wines induce buzz and chatter among aficionados, they are still a minority.

Many excellent wines that retail between $15-30 can be enjoyed by all. It is hard to beat the value provided by the wines in Herzog’s Lineage series. For instance, at $20 or less, the Herzog Lineage Malbec 2020 has all the characteristics of the variety: Flavorful, meaty

with notes of blueberries, plums, and spices. It is great for a steak dinner or with a juicy Shabbos roast.

If you are looking for a wine from Israel, Carmel has a broad array of affordable, well-made wines. The Selected Mediterranean, a unique blend with notes of raspberries, olives, and fresh herbs, can be found for less than $15.

Their Appellation Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot retail for around $20 and are beautifully layered with a bold,

rich profile.

When it comes to French wines, they can indeed be intimidating. Because of their names and the aura of the likes of the Château Giscours and Pontet-Canet, many people believe all French wines are expensive and unattainable. However, there are, in fact, many French wines that are affordable and enjoyable, as well. Take, for instance, a classic bottle, Château Les Riganes 2021. It is an authentic Bordeaux wine with all the char-

acteristics one can expect: Elegant, medium-bodied, restrained, and dry, with notes of ripe strawberries, blackberries, earthy undertones, and cigar box. French sophistication and expert craftmanship at less than $15.

Italian wines are trending, and the choice of quality wines from this classic old-world region is steadily growing. The Ovadia line has a lovely, juicy, fruity, yet refined Chianti 2019 from the Colli Senesi subregion that is a true hidden gem. It costs only about $13 or so and comes in highly recommended!

One could not list high QPR (Quality-Price-Ratio) wines and omit some excellent Spanish ones. Ramon Cardova has released a high-end Reserva Old Vine wine that is genuinely delightful but quite limited. And it disappears from stores shelves quickly as it retails for around $25. However, the classic Ramon Cardova Rioja Crianza 2019 is also superb and retails for approximately $15-20. It has everything you want in a great Rioja: juicy ripe fruit, herbs, oak, and vanilla. Whether sipped alongside pulled beef tacos or with a bowl of hot cholent, it will surprise even the snobbiest wine drinkers.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 44 Around the Community

Turning the Tide of Shidduchim Through Torah

Searching for a shidduch these days can feel like a daunting and sometimes even hopeless task. But a movement has formed in Chicago that is changing things on a truly monumental level. Back for the sixth year in a row, Chicago Chesed Fund’s annual Shas for Shidduchim campaign is almost here, providing Yidden across the globe with an opportunity to harness the power of limud haTorah for an incredibly strong z’chus for a shidduch.

This Tu B’Shvat, starting Sunday evening, February 5, 2023, iy”H over 400 lomdim will gather together to collectively learn all of Shas within 24 hours! This monumental undertaking of limud haTorah will be a massive segulah for those seeking a shidduch. In addition, this 24hour event will also see the return of last year’s Shas for Shidduchim Jr. initiative. Over 70 children will come together to learn all of Shisha Sidrei Mishnah, contributing even more to the tremendous power of the day’s learning.

So, how can you get involved?

By heading to Shas4Shidduchim. org, you can sponsor a daf and dedicate

its learning as a segulah for you or your loved ones to find a shidduch. Not only will your daf be an enormous z’chus, but your donation will also help many other singles and newlyweds. All proceeds will go directly to support Chicago Chesed Fund’s myriad of shidduch and wedding-related programs such as consistent proactive outreach to their extensive shadchanim network on behalf of singles, arranging shidduch events and coaching for singles, providing sheitels and gowns for new kallahs and their family, and much more. This combination of Torah learning and tzedakah can act as a truly powerful segulah!

To sponsor a daf, go to or call 847-679-7799 x 170.

Chicago Chesed Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Dayan Shmuel Fuerst, committed to helping families in crisis throughout the Chicagoland area. Through 80+ various programs and events, it provides critical assistance in the form of goods, services, and financial support while maintaining the dignity and integrity of each recipient.

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 45 Around the Community
Rabbi Sternhill’s second grade class at Siach Yitzchok celebrated a siyum on Parshas Vayeira Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel of America, visited Chazaq headquarters last week HALB’s Middle School math teachers attended Molloy College’s “Make Math Count” Conference. They’re excited to bring some new ideas into their classrooms

While learning the letter G, children in Lev Chana shopped in ‘Gourmet Glatt’ for grocery items which all began with the letter G

Shulamith Sharks Soar

The Shulamith Sharks won their home game last Tuesday, scoring 40-31. The gym was once again

packed with family, friends, teachers. Shulamith is now 4-1 in the Yeshiva Basketball league. Go Shulamith Sharks!

Nassau Leaders Unite Against Gov. Hochul’s High Density Housing Plan

Teaming up in a united front against the resurgence of Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal for high density housing in single-family neighborhoods on Long Island, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, and City of Glen Cove Mayor Pamela Panzenbeck stood with local homeowners to denounce another plan from Albany that the officials refer to as an “attack on the suburbs.” The officials stood in front of a modest single-family home that would be subjected to high density zoning, allowing large-scale apartment buildings to be developed right next door.

“Every year, it’s the same story,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin. “Albany proposes an unwanted plan to turn Long Island into the sixth borough of New York City. Enough is enough. Residents take root on Long Island because it’s what they want: a single-family home suburban quality of life. We’re not going to let Albany force us into changing our residential neighborhoods into citylike landscapes.”

Announced in the recent State of the State address, Governor Kathy Hochul outlined a plan that would force Long Island municipalities to allow massive development projects to ensure a targeted housing growth of three percent over three years. The developments would forcibly be approved through the Governor’s newly created “Fast Track Approval” program that comes into play when the municipality does not reach its three percent housing growth goal. The program,

which is only available for multifamily projects, exists to override the authority of local zoning law, meaning multifamily housing will be approved in areas zoned for single-family housing.

“Governor Hochul’s housing plan is yet another ill-conceived proposal designed to turn Nassau County into New York City and unilaterally flood our communities with thousands of apartments and high-density zoning,” Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena said. “This proposal is absolutely unacceptable and not only is it inconsistent with the character of our communities, but it will also negatively impact the environment, traffic, emergency services, and surely overcrowd our schools. I urge the public to join us in the fight against this plan and contact the Governor’s Office and their local state officials. The future of our suburban communities are at stake, and we need local control, not Hochul control.”

Under the proposal, Nassau County – home to more than 478,000 housing units as reported in the U.S. Census (updated July 2021) – would beckon an estimated 14,340 additional housing units over the course of three years. What’s more, under the “Fast Track Approval” program, municipalities would be stripped of their ability to combat the unwanted housing developments. An influx of 14,340 additional housing units over three years in Nassau County, already one of the most densely populated counties in the world, would increase the amount of traffic on roadways, the number of children in schools and the strain on local infrastructure.

In addition to the proposed housing growth goals, Governor Hochul outlined a plan that includes a forcible rezoning of areas within a half-mile radius of Long Island Rail Road stations. This plan would up-zone neighborhoods to increase population density and allow for large scale apartments to be developed. There are currently 58 Long Island Rail Road stations in Nassau County, which would equate to a total of 29 miles of rezoning, allowing for multifamily apartment developments to be built in the areas zoned for single-family residences. According to the outraged officials, this proposal is not in tune with the wishes of the area residents.

As if stripping “home rule” from municipalities was not enough, the plan also calls for an “expedited envi -

ronmental review process” for projects built in the forcibly rezoned areas. As the elected officials mentioned, this is a serious concern for local governments as they are keyed in on the needs and balances of local neighborhoods – rushing unwanted projects could be vastly detrimental to the surrounding environment.

“This is a prime example of governing from a distance. Governor Kathy Hochul does not know what is best for Long Island and is openly infringing on municipal control of zoning regulations,” concluded Clavin. “This is an assault on the suburbs. We will not be quiet in the face of overdevelopment. We will take the fight to Albany and continue to advocate for Long Island neighbors.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 46 Around the Community
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Shulamith Achdut Trips

Shulamith Achdut trips are an exciting and amazing time for students to bond with girls in other classes. The eighth grade had an amazing time on their surprise snowtubing trip. The jam-packed day included a Schmooze, S’mores and ended with a delicious dinner at Dougie’s! Thank you to Mrs. Michelle Farbman, Dean of Students, for organizing the trip, and to Mrs. Danyel Goldberg, General Studies Curriculum Director, for accompanying the eighth grade to Camelback Resort.

75 Years of Central

On Wednesday, January 11, the Yeshiva University High School for Girls community gathered to celebrate 75 years of Central. For the first time, Central held its own Dinner of Tribute with record numbers of current parents, alumnae, and donors in attendance. The program focused on Central’s rich legacy and expansive future, demonstrating just how impactful a Central education has been, is, and will be, for years to come.

There was a record-breaking turnout at the dinner, which was held in the beautiful venue, The Woodmere Club. Attendees enjoyed a delicious smorgasbord dinner, and it was a wonderful opportunity for students, faculty, and parents to mingle and celebrate Central together.

The honorees at the dinner included veteran history teacher Mrs. Amy Katz, who has touched the lives and educated hundreds of Central students in her twenty-one years at Central. The program opened with a speech by senior Eliana Samuels, daughter of Dr. Roya and Mr. Michael Samuels, who were awarded YUHSG Parents of the Year. Alumna of the Year was awarded to Mrs. Rachel Sterman Rosenbaum (‘10), who facilitates Central’s cultural arts program. Mrs. Rosenbaum’s sister, senior Perri Sterman, closed out the program with a moving speech about her family’s generational connection to Central. Attend-


A video presentation highlighted the honorees’ dedication to Central, as well as a special message from Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, congratulating Central on 75 wonderful years. A second video, celebrating the Central legacy, showed how generations of Central alumnae connect through the years, with several examples of alumnae that became teachers at Central, who taught young women at Central that eventually became teachers here themselves.

Of this video, freshman parent Jessica Koenigsberg said, “The video montage at the end about the legacy of Central was moving. The chain of mesorah was truly crystallized. Usually, I’m the only emotional one at these things, but three other women at my table were also crying!”

Head of School Ms. Bracha Rutner says, “Central is bigger than the four walls of our building – we are a community that has existed for 75 years steeped in Torah values with strong parent partnership, enabling the students to be contributing members of society. Our dinner was the opportunity to showcase the best of Central.”

Thanks to the incredible efforts of all involved in the planning, Central’s Dinner of Tribute was a tremendous success.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 48 Around the Community
Yisroel Meir Kaplan visited Siach Yitzchok and the classroom dedicated in memory of his grandparents also heard from Head of School, Ms. Bracha Rutner, and Associate Principal, Ms. Leah Moskovich (‘07). Mazal tov to Rabbi Russ’s CAHAL students who participated in the 1st Grade Chumash Mesiba at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island and received their Chumashim on Sunday
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Yeshiva Ateres Eitz Chaim Annual Breakfast Health Week at Gan Chamesh

Yeshiva Ateres Eitz Chaim held its second annual Yeshiva Breakfast this past Sunday.

Mr. Menachem Landau, Board Member, opened the breakfast by describing the importance of a Yeshiva that every student knows and feels that he is a metzuyan. Rabbi Gedaliah Oppen, Rosh Yeshiva, followed with words of chizuk in chinuch, speaking of the importance to extend one’s hand to help pull the child out of the worldly waters instead of just throwing a life preserver and letting the child fend for himself. Rabbi Boruch Oppen, principal, spoke of the love and the

opportunities the Yeshiva gives its talmidim. A video was shown of a “Glimpse of a Talmid’s Experience at Yeshiva Ateres Eitz Chaim.” Mr. Charlie Harary, father of Elisha, a talmid at Yeshiva Ateres Eitz Chaim, expressed his hakaras hatov and admiration to the Yeshiva, and Mr. Ted Stricker, Board Member, concluded with an incredible story of the importance of what Yeshiva Ateres Eitz Chaim offers each talmid.

We express hakaras hatov to all who were involved in arranging the breakfast and supporting the Yeshiva.

In connection with the Rambam’s yahrtzeit, Gan Chamesh began its health unit. The children play-acted doctor’s appointments, explored using medical and nursing props, and were visited by health professionals from within the parent body. They gained a deeper understanding of our bodies and what we can do to keep them healthy.

Cupcake Wars at HAFTR Middle School

Fun, adrenaline, teamwork, creativity, excitement – those are just some of the words that come to mind when thinking about the Cupcake Wars event that took place at HAFTR Middle School this past Motzei Shabbat. Seventh and eighth grade girls were divided into teams and competed to decorate cupcakes that were beautifully and creatively designed, working under significant time constraints. Challenges included designing cupcakes representing HAFTR Middle School as well as different chagim. Students then presented their cupcakes to a panel of judges consisting of Mr. Joshua Gold, Mrs. Einat Rabinovich, and Mr. Daniel Strook. Dr. Yali Werzberger, HAFTR’s Assistant Principal, explained, “The way students worked together as a team to design, innovate, and create was truly

gratifying. Students learned how to manage conflict and differences of opinion and channeled their energy towards the greater good of their team.”

Students prepared for the Cupcake Wars through a series of workshops run by Dr. Bracha Kasirer, licensed psychologist and cupcake decorator. She taught the girls cupcake decorating skills as well as teamwork.

We thank Mrs. Molly Gellman, school social worker, for organizing the event, and Ms. Alyson Jacobs, for her incredible work as the MC.

A tremendous thank you also goes to Mrs. Nechama Landau, Ms. Ariana Wolfson, Mrs. Jennifer Hucul, Mrs. Tamara Farber, and Mrs. Estee Kamelhar for all things big and small in ensuring the success of this program.

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JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 51

Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s Yovel Dinner & Siyum HaShas

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 52 Around
the Community
L-R: Messrs. Dovid Bloom and Moshe Bloom, representing the family of Yeshiva Darchei Torah founder R’ Yisroel Bloom z”l; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; and Mr. Lloyd Keilson, co-chairman, board of trustees; were presented with new Sifrei Torah in recognition of their decades of mesirus nefesh to the Yeshiva. Mr. Dovid Scharf, master of ceremonies Rav Reuven Feinstein saying the Hadran on Shas Bavli. Left, Rav Avrohom Bender; Right, Mr. Lloyd Keilson Rav Moshe Bender, S’gan Rosh HaYeshiva Mr. Elisha Brecher, master of ceremonies Rav Yaakov Bender, Rosh HaYeshiva The hosts and co-hosts of the Yovel Campaign being recognized for their extraordinary efforts, L-R: R’ Moshe Bender, Avi Weinstock, Heshie Klein, Daniel Rabinowitz, Menachem Marx, R’ Yaakov Bender, Dovid Scharf, Eli Schron, R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, Aharon Kaplan, Elisha Brecher, Tzali Gutman, Ushi Klein, R’ Avrohom Bender.
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 53 Around the Community
Some of the hundreds of bachurim of the Yeshiva who rejoiced at the Yovel Dinner & Siyum HaShas Rav Elya Brudny greeting Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky Mr. Chesky Newman, master of ceremonies Mr. Motty Klein saying the Kaddish Mr. Ronald Lowinger greeting Rav Dovid Schustal Rav Elya Brudny Rav Yaakov Bender dancing with Rav Dovid Bender after the Siyum Rav Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, Rosh Yeshiva

Remembering Rabbi Kelemer, zt”l JSL Week 2 Recap

The JSL 2023 Winter Season is in full swing, and the regular season opener for the basketball and hockey league was incredibly exciting. With a wealth of skilled players, this season is shaping up to be one of the best yet. The Men’s Basketball playoffs are also underway, with teams fighting for a chance to claim the coveted JSL championship trophy.

JSL Juniors

Every Friday morning in HANC’s Elementary School in West Hempstead, the students and staff gather in the auditorium for a weekly Shabbat assembly. This past week was even more special as the whole school came together to honor the memory of West Hempstead’s beloved Morah D’Atra, Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer, zt”l, whose second yahrzeit was commemorated on Monday. While he was known for his sweet nature, delightful sense of humor, and extraordinary depth of Torah knowledge, the middah that he was most remembered for was his chessed. When a congregant or friend was in need, no matter whether it was daytime or the middle of the night, Rabbi Kelemer always made himself available to help, to visit a sick person, to pay a shiva call, to help solve a problem, or whatever was required. There were no bounds to how far he would travel to provide comfort, guidance and chizuk to anyone in need.

How do we honor the memory of such a special tzaddik? We light a candle, recite Tehillim, share stories about him and his many good deeds, and try to emulate him in every way we can. Amongst its guests for this special occasion, HANC welcomed Rebbetzin Ruchie Kelemer and their son, Mr. Yosef Kelemer, as well as Rabbi Elon Soniker of Anshei Shalom. Mr. Kelemer shared many stories with the children about his father and recognized his wonderful mother who supported Rabbi Kelemer so that he could perform his many roles to their fullest.

L’chu V’Nelcha

This past Monday night, the women of L’chu V’nelcha of Far Rockaway and the Five Towns were privileged to hear from Rebbetzin Tzi-

For Morah Elana Jacobs, a fourth grade morah who grew up in West Hempstead and was a student in HANC as a child, honoring Rabbi Kelemer was an important mission due to her personal experience of having him as a teacher and rebbe. She compiled a video of HANC staff members and students who shared their own personal stories of Rabbi Kelemer going out of his way to perform chessed and to make each person feel special and appreciated.

“Rabbi Kelemer was someone who impacted our entire community on a daily basis through his chesed. How do we give back to someone who gave us so much? By following in his ways and becoming more like him with the middah of ahavat chesed. By performing acts of chessed in his memory, his neshama will have an aliyah.”

As a result, Morah Jacobs developed a chessed program called C.A.K.E. (Chesed And Kindness Everyday) so that all of the students of the school could emulate this remarkable rabbi who had such a profound influence on the community, the school, and the world at large. As each act of kindness or chessed was performed, a specially designed chessed note was filled out and posted for all to see.

At the conclusion of the assembly, the entire school stood together, read two perakim of Tehillim in Rabbi Kelemer’s memory, and sang Shabbat songs. May his memory be a blessing to us all.

The JSL Juniors are ready for an exciting season where they will learn valuable skills from our amazing coaches! The boys will also match up against other teams in exciting exhibition games!

K/P Hockey: ARG secured a hardfought victory against Northwestern Mutual, with Gabriel Sherman scoring the game-winning goal. Simcha Day Camp came out on top in a close match against Hewlett Auto Body, and Home and Stone and Island Roofing ended in a dramatic 2-2 draw, with Home and Stone scoring a late goal to tie the game.

K/P Soccer: Future Care Consultants emerged victorious against ARG with Elimelech Yakimov scoring the game-winning goal in the final minutes.

1st Hockey: 4 Seasons AC beat Built by Nate, with Pinny Weinstein scoring an impressive 7 goals. ARG also secured a win against Island Roofing with a last-second goal.


3rd/4th: Island Roofing beat Town Appliance 12-9, thanks to a key shot from Max Edery from deep! ARG also secured a win in their first game of the season, with a standout, relentless performance from Joey Malkin.

5th-7th: Maidenbaum defeated Extreme Vent Cleaners with a score of 4425, thanks to a dominant performance from Yoni Schaffran. Five Towns Orthodontics also secured a victory, with Leor Benhayun making a number of spectacular plays.


2nd/3rd: JNT recorded a shutout win against Mold Pro, with goals from Yitzchak Rosenthal and Aryeh Levine in

the closing minutes. Meat + Board defeated 5TownsCentral 4-1, thanks to goals from Ezra Donowitz, Aaron Lowenstein, and Moshe Sherman. Elegant Lawns won 5-1, thanks to goals from Dov Wolf and Dovid Schwandel.

4th/5th: 925 Sterling emerged victorious against Posh Home + Bath with a score of 7-4, thanks to goals from Cheskel Jidele and Moshe Berg. 5 Town Orthodontics secured a nail-biting 6-5 win. Gabriel Abittan scored the game-winning goal! Yitzchak Polansky had a strong performance for Town Appliance, helping his team win 4-1

6th-8th: JNT defeated MoldPro 11-5. Cheskel Solomon of JNT scored a double hat trick with 3 assists! Daniel Glucksman of MoldPro had 2 goals and 2 assists. Bayrock Insurance defeated Wieder Orthodontics 7-2 with Dov Solomon and Tzvi Maltz as co-MVPs for Bayrock.

Men’s Basketball

The first round of the playoffs has begun! Team Pip Printing, led by Ephraim Hoffman, Yitzi Wieder, and co., defeated a young and talented Maidenbaum squad. The team looks to win their fourth straight JSL championship in as many seasons but they have some competition this time. The Rosenberg brothers played phenomenally to advance Johns Auto to the Semifinals. Aaron Azose caught fire in the second half to help secure the victory for SDF over Built By Nate. Ephraim Wieder had a monster game to help the Rebbe’s Choice move on to the next round.

porah Gotlieb from Eretz Yisrael. LVN thanks Shaarei Emunah of Cedarhurst for graciously hosting us. This coming week we are excited to hear from Mrs.

Ariella Flegmann. LVN will iyh take place this week on Sunday, January 22 at the Agudah of the Five Towns at 8:00 PM. Looking forward to greeting you!

To sign up for updates via email, or to sponsor a shiur, please contact

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 54 Around the Community

Around the Community

Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha Programs Celebrate 3 Siyumim on 3 Continents as They Gift Klal Yisroel with New Morei Horaah

“In our city of Antwerp, we have morei horaah and poskim who have completed the Dirshu Kinyan Halacha program, both the first fiveand-a-half-year machzor and the second five-and-a- half-year machzor. They have covered all major areas of horaah and are incredibly learned and expert morei horaah!” Those were the words of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Schiff, shlita, Rav of the Machzikei Hadas umbrella kehillah of Antwerp’s Charedi community, said at the Dirshu Kinyan Halacha European siyum, held at the prestigious Hall of the Aviation Suite, Thistle London, Heathrow.

HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, rav of the Ohr Hachaim neighborhood of Bnei Brak and posek of the Mayaanei Hayeshua Hospital, one of Eretz Yisroel’s leading poskim, related that many of the morei horaah in Rav Wosner’s beis din have similarly completed Kinyan Halacha.

Rav Klein said, “Where do you have yungeleit who even during the bein hazemanim of erev Pesach and erev Sukkos when they are helping at home, spend their late nights learning and reviewing halacha for their twice yearly Kinyan Halacha bechinos at the end of bein hazemanim?!”

HaGaon HaRav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita, Skverer Dayan of Boro Park and one of America’s senior poskim, candidly remarked at the American siyum, “All of us morei horaah must give special thanks to Dirshu and its Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita. There is a tremendous shortage of poskim muvhakim in Klal Yisrael. This shortage places tremendous pressure on existing poskim who are too few to serve the many who come with sheilos. Dirshu already has a record from previous machzorim of Kinyan Halacha, of preparing those who are able to persevere and complete the unremitting program to become poskim muvhakim who are ready to serve Klal Yisrael.”

Those words of the gedolim were just some highlights of a remarkable series of siyumim in Eretz Yisrael, Europe, and America to celebrate the accomplishments of more than 400 new morei horaah, who have completed the grueling five-and-a-half-year program of the third

machzor of Kinyan Halacha and will go on to become morei horaah who will enrich Klal Yisrael and help Jews all over the world keep halacha.

The siyumim held on Motzoei Shabbos parshas Vayigash at the Binyanei Haumah Convention Center in Yerushalayim, the following night in London, at the Hall of the Aviation Suite, Thistle Heathrow, and two nights later, on Motzoei Asarah B’Teves at the Eminence Hall in Boro Park, featured addresses by senior Gedolei Yisrael.

Among them in Eretz Yisrael were HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, a talmid muvhak of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l; HaGaon HaRav Sariel Rosenberg, shlita, ybl”ch, son-in-law of HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz, zt”l, and Av Beis Din of Rav Karelitz’s beis din; HaGaon HaRav Avigdor Nebenzahl, shlita, Rav of the Old City of Yerushalayim; HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Berkovitz, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah; HaGaon HaRav Messod Ben Shimon, shlita, Rav of Bnei Brak; and HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita, Dayan at Rav Wosner’s Beis Din and one of the most prominent talmidim of Rav Shmuel Wosner. There was also a special video address given by the venerated senior Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka, HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, shlita.

In England, the siyum was addressed by the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita, of London; HaGaon HaRav Aharon Schiff, shlita, Rav of Antwerp; HaGaon HaRav Nosson Binyomin Eckstein, shlita, Belzer Dayan in London who heads Dirshu’s operations in Europe; HaGaon HaRav Aharon Schiff, Rav of Antwerp, and the special guest from Eretz Yisroel, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita.

In America, the siyum was addressed by the venerated posek, HaGaon HaRav Hillel David, shlita, Rav of Kehillas, Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Roshei Yeshiva of Torah Umesorah, and a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisroel, HaGaon HaRav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita, Skverer Dayan of Boro Park and the special guest from Eretz Yisroel, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita. There was also a special video address given by the senior posek, Rav Shlomo Miller, shlita, Rosh Kollel of the Toronto Kollel. All three siyumim were also ad-

dressed by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita.

A Siyum Like No Other

Anyone who attended any of the siyumim could not but be deeply moved by the atmosphere of pure simcha that permeated the air. The siyum of Kinyan Halacha is like no other siyum. It is a culmination of a grueling five-anda-half-year program where the lomdim learn Yoreh Deah chelek aleph and beis as well as large parts of hilchos Shabbos, hilchos hagalas keilim and other areas of halacha with great iyun starting from the Gemara, continuing on to the Tur with its mefarshim, carrying on to the Shulchan Aruch and the major mefarshim on Shulchan Aruch right up until the practical halachic rulings of the poskim of the last generations.

For those who have completed the first program there is a second five-year program that covers even more obscure areas of halacha such as hilchos mikvaos, ribbis, eiruvin, birchas haperios, the halachos of the writing and checking of sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzos and more.

HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, Shlita

HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva and one of the senior Gedolei Hador of our time, was not able to make the trip from Bnei Brak to Yerushalayim to attend the siyum due to his advanced age. Instead, Dirshu’s senior hanhala members led by Rav Dovid Hofstedter visited him in his home in Bnei Brak where he gave short divrei bracha via video. In his words of bracha, he said, “What Dirshu is doing is extremely important. Ashreichim, fortunate are you and fortunate is your lot! What you have done [with this program] is very good. Not only very good, but very important [for Klal Yisrael]. Hashem should help that you should have hatzlacha in all the programs…”

“The Secret Lies In Chazarah”

The siyum in America was a momentous event. One of the rabbanim in attendance related, “It is rare to see a pure Torah event of such magnitude in Boro Park. To look at the dais and see venerated Rabbanim from both the Chassidish and Litvish worlds sitting side-by-side, celebrating the Torah accomplishments and milestone of welcoming a large

group of new poskim to Klal Yisrael is not a regular sight in Boro Park. The kavod haTorah at that event imbued us all with chizuk.”

As the senior Posek, HaGaon HaRav Hillel David, shlita, approached the podium his profound simcha was clearly apparent on his face. He gave voice to that simcha by citing the words of the Medrash that “out of the one thousand talmidim who enter the beis hamedarsh only one emerges to become a moreh horaah.”

“What a simcha it therefore is to come here and rejoice with the mesaymim who have “completed this program that leads to horaah!” he exclaimed, “It is a great, rare simcha!”

Rav Hillel then went on to advise the mesaymim how to be successful as poskim. The secret lies in chazarah, constantly reviewing what you have learned, and never tiring of reviewing again and again. The greatest poskim did this.

Rav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz

HaGaon HaRav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita, the Skverer Dayan of Boro Park, and one of America’s senior poskim, explained that learning practical halacha is the highest form of limud haTorah. The Shach paskens that if a person learns Torah without learning halacha, he has not fulfilled his obligation of kevius ittim l’Torah, of setting aside time for Torah learning. The Mishnah Berurah also rules this way. Rav Steinmetz also thanked the wives of the yungeleit. They are the backbone of the program.

“Without their sacrifice, it would be impossible to provide Klal Yisrael with new morei horaah.”

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HaRav Yitzchok Berkovitz addressing the Kinyan Halacha Siyum in Yerushlayim

HAFTR First Graders Receive Their

On Sunday, January 15, HAFTR first graders received their very first siddur at a beautiful Chagigat Siddur hosted in the HAFTR Lower School gym. The program started at 9:30am with some welcoming words from HAFTR Principal Mr. Joshua Gold, followed by a responsive recitation of a perek of Tehillim, led by Rabbi Asher Klein, HAFTR’s Mashgiach Ruchani.

Following this, Mr. Gold shared opening remarks to frame the morning. He explained that the program “not only reflects our collective and shared belief that tefillah is at the heart of Jewish life, but also our commitment to positioning our students to feel a sense of pride in, and ownership of, their spiritual growth and love of Judaism. The packed room we have here this morning underscores

First Siddur

our value that a strong partnership between home and school is an important prerequisite for our students to develop into the next generation of Jewish leaders, and the caretakers of our holy mesorah.”

Friends and family then enjoyed a musical performance put on by the first graders. The performance ended with the first graders receiving their siddurim and then proudly holding them up for all to see. Afterwards, family and friends were then invited to the Hawks Nest to continue celebrating with delicious treats, educational games, picture frame decorating, and siddur cover decorating.

The program gave family and friends, along with the first grade classes, the opportunity to celebrate this milestone for HAFTR’s first graders. Students left

Soups On at Shulamith ECC

The winter season brings a host of engaging learning opportunities at Shulamith Early Childhood Center. Children explore and discover as they learn so much in every curriculum area.

The children in nursery thought about foods they like to eat in the winter and decided that a warm bowl of soup would be just perfect. They examined various vegetables including carrots, potatoes and celery and decided that vegetables would be a wonderful addition to a pot of soup.

Before they made the soup, they played a math game where they

matched real vegetables to photos of the vegetables. They used the foundational math skills of one-to-one correspondence and counting in order to determine how many vegetables they needed to place on the corresponding photos. After matching the real vegetables to the cards, they placed the vegetables into a real pot. Such fun! The children wanted to play over and over again.

Finally, the day arrived to use those very same vegetables to make a pot of real soup. The children exercised their fine motor muscles cutting up the vegetables using child safe

knives. They put the cut-up vegetables into the pot again, but this time to make real soup. When it was finally ready, the children eagerly sampled their cooking. Delicious! Requests for seconds said it all!

Games like these that connect to children’s lives abound in Shulamith ECC. Children have so much fun playing meaningful games while learning important foundational skills. Our students look forward to learning and discovering new things about Hashem’s wonderful world each and every day.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 56 Around the Community
feeling proud of what they accomplished. Thank you to our generous sponsors and to everyone who made this year’s Siddur Chagigah a success. While speaking at Agudath Israel’s Yeshiva Summit in Queens, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato discussed the importance of protecting our Yeshivas in New York. Pheffer Amato is one of the leading advocates for Yeshivas in the State Legislature.
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 57

Hakaras Hatov

From the New “Rav Yaakov Bender On Chumash 2”

Rabbi Yaakov Bender has taught tens of thousands of Jews: His many talmidim, the teachers he has counseled and guided, the parents he has advised, and, of course, the many thousands of readers of his sefarim. He has taught them all about ahavas Hashem, ahavas HaTorah, ahavas Yisrael and, yes, how to love themselves as well.

In a new second volume of Rav Yaakov Bender on the Chumash, this distinguished rosh yeshivah once again explores many of the Chumash’s timely and contemporary messages of strength, hope and chizuk. He begins with an insight on the parashah, and then shows us how the eternal and holy words of the Chumash are so relevant to us. He gently helps us find our own strengths and reach ever higher.

And he tells stories. So many stories! Rabbi Bender shares personal memories of his illustrious family. He brings us rare and often unknown stories about the gedolim we know and revere. There are “everyday gedolim” as well – people like you and me, men and women who take achrayus, courageously face what life brings them, and often achieve greatness. And, of course, he draws inspiring life lessons from the talmidim who are so central to his life.

The first volume of Rav Yaakov Bender on the Chumash has become a welcome guest at so many Shabbos tables. Now, in Volume 2, we can share even more of Rabbi Bender’s warmth, passion, and love for the klal with our families, enhancing both our Shabbos and our lives.

The following is a selection from the book on Parashas Va’eira

• • • • •

And Hashem said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon, ‘Take your staff and stretch your hand over the waters of Egypt’” (7:19).

I was sitting in the middle of the circle, enjoying the nachas and pure simchah of my daughter’s wedding, family and friends dancing all around us, when I saw the radiant face of the elderly rosh yeshivah, Rav Don Ungarischer. I was shocked, because while there had been years when the rosh yeshivah, a cousin of my mother-in-law, had participated

in our simchos; now he was already old and frail. His presence was unexpected. I was honored when he sat next to me, and then Rav Don, son-in-law of Rav Reuven Grozovsky and grandson-in-law of Rav Boruch

Ber Leibowitz, leaned over.

“Do you know why I am here?” he asked. “Tzulib dein Mammeh, because of your mother.”

As a bachur, Rav Don, his brother, and his sister escaped Europe, leaving by ship, their parents meant to follow them on the next ship. Their parents never made it out, Rachmana litzlan, and the Ungarischer children arrived in America as orphans. The two boys were welcomed at Yeshivah Torah Vodaas, which had a dormitory, but their sister had no such opportunity: Where was she meant to go? It was my mother who took her in, welcoming her to our home, where she spent a significant period of time.

And Rav Don had not forgotten it.

In his comment that night in 2011, he taught me a new “din” in hakaras hatov The familial relationship had obligated him to a certain extent, and he had joined us for many simchos, but now, old and weak, he was absolved – but the hakaras hatov remained.

It brought to mind the pasuk in this week’s parashah.

And Hashem said to Moshe, “Say to Aharon, ‘Take your staff and stretch your hand over the waters of Egypt and their rivers, and their lakes, and their ponds, and all of their gatherings of water, and it will be blood, and there will be blood in all of the land of Egypt, and in the stones and in the rocks’” (7:19).

Why did Moshe Rabbeinu pass this mission on to Aharon? As the leader, shouldn’t he have been the one to strike the water?

Rashi explains: Because the river protected Moshe when he was placed in it, he did not hit it, neither by the makkah of dam nor the makkah of tzefardei’a.

The baalei mussar wonder what difference it would have made to the water, which is inanimate and has no feelings, to have been struck. Would it have cared?

Furthermore, asks Rav Matisyahu Salomon, Rashi tells us later on (8:12) that Moshe Rabbeinu did not strike the earth for makkas kinnim because the earth had saved him by concealing the

body of the Mitzri he killed, and so he was beholden to the earth as well. The Mitzri’s death was kept secret for only a single night because, ultimately, Dasan and Aviram told Pharaoh what happened and Moshe was forced to escape. As it turned out, the earth did not end up protecting Moshe Rabbeinu, so why was he forced to be makir tov?

Rav Matisyahu explains that for one night, Moshe Rabbeinu slept calmly, feeling confident that his secret was safe, and such is the nature of hakaras hatov – a person with good middos appreciates each and every act of kindness and sees himself as obligated. Because of that single night when he slept peacefully, Moshe felt unable to strike the earth.

Similarly, says Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, the water might not feel it, but a person who strives to embody proper middos is incapable of forgetting the chessed: It is not about the giver, but the recipient.

Moshe lived with this hakaras hatov, and he could not allow himself to forget!

Rav Eliezer Silver was one of the most prominent rabbanim in America during the years of World War II, and from distant Cincinnati, he managed to help and aid new arrivals to the United States.

Along with his gaonus in Torah, he was a chessed powerhouse.

One day, he saw a notice in the newspaper announcing the marriage of a new immigrant, Rav Nochum Zev Dessler, nephew of his rebbi, Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky. How could he miss this simchah, when the young man likely had few, if any, family members? Rav Silver’s reverence for his rebbi and achrayus for the young man compelled him to travel to Cleveland.

A few years later, Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler finally managed to visit his children in America, and he told them that he wished to thank Rav Silver for the warmth he had shown back when they had gotten married.

Rav Nochum Zev obtained Rav Silver’s phone number for his father.

“No,” said Rav Dessler, “I want to go thank him.”

Rav Dessler and his son headed off for Cincinnati, taking the overnight train and arriving in the pre-dawn hours.

In those years, many refugees traveled to Cincinnati, looking for Rav Silver to help them with money, with bureau-

cratic hurdles, or with finding a job.

He greeted the Desslers and asked how he could help them.

“I came to thank you for coming to my son’s wedding,” Rav Dessler replied.

Rav Silver looked at him in disbelief, and then finally asked why a simple phone call would not have sufficed. “Because it is not the same thing,” said Rav Dessler.

Hakaras hatov means to recognize, to truly see and contemplate the depth of the good, and then the response becomes obvious to one ready to accept it.

Great people look directly at what was done for them, even if it might obligate them.

This is what I saw in the face of Rav Don Ungarischer that night. He had not forgotten, and he was ensuring that he would not forget a chessed done more than half a century earlier for his sister.

The debt remains…and the Ribbono shel Olam pays back.

Years after that wedding, I enjoyed the gift of another family simchah, when Malky, the daughter of my son Moshe, married a chashuve young man named R’ Shua Censor. His grandmother was

Mrs. Censor, the sister of Rav Don Ungarischer, the girl whom my mother welcomed to our home, seeds planted decades earlier bearing new fruit.

Hakaras hatov starts with recognizing the glory, perfection, and kindness in His ways; then, the next step becomes obvious.

We say “Modeh ani ” each morning, and when we think about the words, we become a bit smarter. Then we continue: Reishis chochmah, with that new insight, one should add a bit more yiras Shamayim, a bit more awe for the King of kings.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 58 Around the Community
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TJH Centerfold

Whose Line is That Anyway?

In honor of One Liners Day on January 21, match the quote with the person who said it

1. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

2. “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

3. “He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

4. “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

5. “Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!”

6. “Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool.”

7. “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

8. “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”

9. “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”

10. “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

Winston Churchill

Answer: 1-C; 2-E; 3-J; 4-D; 5-A; 6-I; 7-F; 8-B; 9-G; 10-H

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Golda Meir
Benjamin Franklin
President Abraham Lincoln
Yogi Berra
Ronald Reagan
Albert Einstein
Bob Hope H. George Carlin
Thomas Edison

Whose Handwriting is That Anyway?

In honor of National Handwriting Day on January 23, let’s see if you can match the below handwriting with the following writers:

Bill Gates Elon Musk Steve Jobs Warren Buffett Barack Obama

Bada-Bing, Bada-Bong

Adam & Eve were the first ones to ignore the Apple terms and conditions.

The man who invented knock-knock jokes should get a no bell prize.

The problem with kleptomaniacs is that they always take things literally.

 I was wondering why the frisbee kept getting bigger and bigger, but then it hit me.

Just got fired from my job as a set designer. I left without making a scene.

You’ll never be as lazy as whoever named the fireplace.

Will glass coffins be a success?

Remains to be seen.

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B) C) D) E)
Answer: A) Bill Gates;
Steve Jobs;
Warren Buffett;
Barack Obama;
Elon Musk

Parshas Va’eira

As the narrative of the redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage unfolds, I am continually struck by the apparently gradual process that is described for us in the Torah. What does all of the detail associated with each of the plagues visited upon Egypt come to teach us? And would not one great plague alone have sufficed? After all, in the past century we witnessed how two bombs, alone, forced the powerful and fanatical Japa-

nese Empire to surrender unconditionally. So, what is the message of the Ten Plagues and the elapse of time from the onset of the mission of Moshe to its final successful conclusion?

These issues are raised and discussed by all of the great rabbinic commentators over the ages. As is usual in Jewish biblical commentary, there is no one definitive answer, for the Torah itself is said to have seventy different “faces.” Yet, there is much ground for a

general understanding of the matter in their writings and opinions.

The main thrust of rabbinic opinion is that all of this was necessary to give the Egyptians an opportunity to repent and save themselves and, just as importantly, to give the Jews an opportunity to begin to think of themselves as a free and independent people and no longer as slaves and pagans. It takes time and a series of many events to turn around

understand what G-d wants from them.

We see from many incidents recorded for us throughout the Bible that oneshot miracles, no matter how impressive and meaningful they are at the moment they occur, do not really change the mindset of people in the long run. The miracle performed through Elijah, when all of Israel proclaimed that Hashem is the G-d of the universe, was not of a long-lasting nature and/or in-

the mentality and preconceived ideas of human beings.

The Egyptians had to somehow become accustomed to the fact that they had no right to rule over others and be cruel to their fellow human beings. The Jews had to become accustomed to the responsibilities of freedom and an independent life and to realize that they were destined to be a special people dedicated to the service of G-d and humankind.

These things cannot happen suddenly, and if they do, then they are not of a long-lasting nature. Judaism is not built upon sudden epiphanies but rather upon the long, grinding routine. Only after ten plagues have visited Egypt, the Egyptians and the Jews as well begin to

fluence. The people soon sank back into the swamp of idolatry and immorality.

Regularity, consistency and repeated instruction and education are necessary to make miracles truly influential and long-lasting. If the Jews had been delivered from Egyptian bondage by one great miracle, they would have had a much harder time grasping the unique role that G-d intended them to play in world history. They would have been much more reticent to accept that role at Sinai had it not been for the fact that they witnessed so many miracles. Those miracles were repeated regularly and explained to them by Moshe in the light of the G-dly Torah, which they now willingly accepted.

Shabbat shalom.

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Torah Thought
Judaism is not built upon sudden epiphanies but rather upon the long, grinding routine.
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From the Fire

Two Types of Leadership

Let us understand what the Torah teaches us about what it means to be a true Jewish leader based on one Rashi in this week’s parsha. First, we know that love comes in two varieties, conditional and unconditional. In the language of Chazal, these are called “love which is dependent on something” and “love which is not dependent on something” (Avos 5:16). Although there is a wide spectrum of personality traits for both mothers and fathers, generally speaking, fathers tend more toward conditional love and mothers tend more toward unconditional love. Children, especially boys, often experience their fathers as having a strict set of expectations for them. And their expressions of love are predicated on the fulfillment of those expectations. Many men find communicating the depth of their love for their children very difficult unless their hopes, dreams, and expectations

for them are met. Mothers, on the other hand, generally have an easier time communicating their love for their children no matter what. Children need to grow up with expectations and the fatherly love which comes with the fulfillment of those expectations to increase their chance of success in life. But without that immovable motherly love undergirding the measures of success they attempt to attain, they cannot survive. They cannot go on. If a person lacks that foundation of unconditional love, demands and expectations are likely to completely break a person. This dichotomy exists in the two primary ways Hashem expresses Himself in His relationship with us – as The Holy One Blessed is He (the fatherly expression) and the Divine Presence (the motherly expression). The masculine side manifests itself through pesukim like, “If you will walk in my statutes and observe My mitzvos and do them, I shall give you rain in its time,

the earth shall give its produce, and the tree of the field its fruit” (Vayikra 26:3-4). The promises are predicated by the word “If.” These expressions of Hashem’s love come with strings attached. On the other hand, Hashem manifests His motherly side through pesukim like, “And even when they are in the land of their enemy, I will not despise or hate them to destroy them to nullify My covenant with them, for I am Hashem their G-d” (Vayikra 26:44) and “Who dwells with them within their impurity” (Vayikra 16:16). Hashem shows us that He loves us unconditionally, no matter what, and nothing can sever our connection to Him.This parental and Divine dichotomy also presents itself in the two paradigmatic leaders of our people – Moshe and Aharon. As the Gemara says, “Moshe would say, ‘Let justice pierce the mountain [i.e., be absolute]’” (Sanhedrin 6b). We explained that fathers often have difficulty expressing their love when

their children do not meet their expectations. As the Maharal explains in Gevuros Hashem (28), sometimes great, spiritual people are unable to communicate to others the depth of what is in their heart. As intellectually lofty as they are, they lack a fully developed power of speech, which is a lower-order, but critical, faculty. While we cannot understand the complexity of Moshe’s greatness, he himself acknowledged this difficulty when he said, “I am not a man of words” (Shemos 4:10), the last letters of which spell “Shamai” – the Tanna who paradigmatically expressed strict judgment. The Torah says about Aharon, on the other hand, “And he will be a mouth for you” (ibid. 16), the initial letters of which spell “Hillel” – the Tanna who paradigmatically expressed mercy. And it was Hillel who said, “Be of the students of Aharon” (Avos 1:12).We see that this dichotomy in their leadership styles played itself out in the Torah as well. Even

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though Moshe loved the Jewish people deeply, after the sin of the Golden Calf, he distanced himself from them, always placing a veil over his face (Shemos 34:33) and moving his tent outside the camp (ibid. 33:7). Moshe ascended Mount Sinai to commune with Hashem alone, while Aharon remained with the people, trying to work with them in their confusion and delay their sin, hoping that Moshe would return before it went too far. Aharon was a motherly figure to us, always together with the people, speaking their language and showing them his love for them. By acting as Moshe’s “mouth,” he was always there for us to translate what Moshe was saying into language we could understand. That is why, in the union between Hashem and the Jewish people, Chazal call Moshe the King’s (Hashem’s) “best man” and Aharon the bride’s (Jewish people’s) “maid of honor” (III Zohar 20a). Which type of leadership is more important or takes precedence? Strict expectations or unconditional love? We find the answer in a Rashi in this week’s parsha on the pasuk, “That is Aharon and Moshe” (Shemos 6:26). Rashi asks, “In some places, the Torah places Aharon before Moshe, and in other places, it places Moshe before Aharon.” Why does it do this? “To tell us that they are equal.” The Torah wants us to know that both types of leadership are equally essential. We need leaders who are not afraid to make demands on their constituents, who are not satisfied with the status quo. Without this fatherly type of leadership, we would not grow or elevate ourselves. But without an undergirding of immovable love, we would lack the emotional wherewithal to survive, much less achieve what our leaders ask of us. Now that we know both types of leadership, Moshe’s and Aharon’s, are equally essentially, we must ask ourselves which one comes first and which one comes second. The Torah explicitly tells us this when it says, “And Moshe was eighty years old and Aharon was eighty-three years old when they spoke to Pharaoh” (Shemos 7:7). Hashem brought Aharon into the world three years before Moshe to teach us that when educating our children or leading those in our charge, we will fail if we do not first establish motherly, Aharon-like love. Attempting to set expectations and demands without pre-establishing a foundation of love is not a recipe for success.

There was once a community leader in the Hungarian community of Tisefird who commissioned the writing of a Sefer Torah and held a great hachnasas Sefer

Torah ceremony upon its completion in the mid-1800s. He invited two great tzaddikim from the region to this celebration, Rav Tzvi Hirsch from Liska, zy”a, and Rav Hillel from Kolmaya, zy”a. Though these two tzaddikim were equally great, they could not have been more different from one another in disposition. While both

As the Torah tells us in Parshas Shemos, “And the king of Egypt said to the Jewish midwives, ones of whose name was Shifra and the name of the second was Puah” (Shemos 1:15). There are two ways to give life to the Jewish people. There is the way of Shifra, whose name means “beautiful,” which is to see the beauty and goodness in

would have liked to spend Shabbos and the beginning of the week in the wealthy man’s community, Rav Hillel Kolmayer was not able to come for that Shabbos but postponed his visit to the following week. During his visit the first week, Rav Tzvi Hirsch could not stop himself from praising the community, in general, and the wealthy man hosting the hachnasas Sefer Torah, in particular, for the great honor they showed for the Torah and for those who study it. He praised the community and blessed them that they should continue honoring the Torah. Everyone felt elevated and strengthened by the Rebbe’s visit and his encouraging words.

The following week with Rav Hillel Kolmayer was completely different. He asked to speak to the entire congregation Shabbos morning and began by saying, “It is a shame that the donor of the Sefer Torah is providing a covering for the Torah but not providing his wife with the proper clothing to cover herself appropriately.”

His message to the community only became harsher from there. He criticized its departures from traditional Jewish customs as in keeping with the ways of the Enlightenment and influenced by the evil inclination. The Rebbe’s criticism of the wealthy man, in particular, and the community, in general, continued throughout his visit.After Rav Hillel had left the community, they were reeling and feeling broken. The wealthy man sent a messenger to Rav Tzvi Hirsch, ostensibly to ask how he could reconcile his praise of the community with Rav Hillel’s staunch criticism. In reality, he was probably hoping to stir up a dispute between the tzaddikim by obtaining a letter from Rav Tzvi Hirsch criticizing Rav Hillel’s strict approach. He did not receive the answer for which he hoped. Rav Tzvi Hirsch explained that both his and Rav Hillel’s approaches were correct.

others, encouraging them to see the good in themselves. He said about himself, “I cannot help myself. Hashem made me a ‘Shifra’ Yid. My way is seeing and showing Jews the good in themselves and in others.”Rav Tzvi Hirsch continued by telling the messenger that Rav Hillel is a “Puah” Yid. The name Puah is an onomatopoeia implying that this midwife made “Pu, pu” sounds to soothe the babies she helped deliver. Thus, Puah is a name implying

speech. Rav Hillel’s way is giving life to the Jewish people by speaking to them, by giving them mussar. Rav Tzvi Hirsch explained to the wealthy man’s messenger that the Jewish people need both types of leadership. They need the Aharon/motherly/Shifra approach to develop the emotional and psychological wherewithal to believe in themselves. And they need the Moshe/fatherly/Puah approach to challenge themselves and grow.May Hashem grant us leaders, rebbeim, and teachers who know when we need the Aharon/ motherly/unconditional love approach and when we need the Moshe/fatherly/ conditional love approach. And may He open our hearts and our minds to accept both forms of leadership equally so that we may fulfill our communal and individual potentials such that we merit bringing the ultimate leader into this world, Moshiach Tzidkeinu , with the arrival of the complete redemption soon in our days.

Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, is the founding Morah d’Asrah of Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, NY, and serves as leader of the

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 65
Attempting to set expectations and demands without pre-establishing a foundation of love is not a recipe for success.
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From Loneliness to Oneness

The Endless Expansion of Self

There is a widespread problem that plagues humanity, leaving us lonely and disconnected. Many people live their lives in a state of ego – a state of mind in which one views themselves as an isolated being inside their own body; their own mind, their own world, alone and independent. The consequences of this state of mind are obvious: since everyone else in the world is separate from us, we will feel disconnected from them; we will also likely feel the need to compete with them, to beat them, in order to gain self-worth, in order to convince ourselves that we’re good enough. This often means pushing others down just to feel like we’re better than them. We might even hate certain people or even go so far as to hurt them because they don’t make us feel good or perhaps because they challenge our own self-worth. But most of all, this state of consciousness leaves us lonely, abandoned, and empty. (This state of ego also makes us feel independent and separate from Hashem, resulting in the ultimate feeling of spiritual emptiness.) However, there is another option.

Living as a Soul

Rather than succumbing to separation and isolation, we can choose to live in a state of soul, a state of oneness. This means living with the understanding that, while we are each unique individuals, at our spiritual and existential core we are all one. At root, we are an interconnected self, a single consciousness, with a single soul. This is the concept of Klal Yisrael – a singular, unified self. The Rambam states that one who dis -

connects himself from the Jewish People has no portion in the World to Come (Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Teshuvah 3:6). This is intuitive, though. Klal Yisrael is one entity, a single body, a single self. If a leaf falls from a tree, it withers; if a finger is detached from its body, it dies. If you remove yourself from your source of existence, you cease to exist.

However, it is clear that most people do not experience this state of oneness. We do not naturally perceive ourselves as part of a cosmic self. In fact, the starting point of every person’s state is ego and selfishness. Research has shown that children perceive themselves as the center of the universe and believe that they are all that exists. It is only with time that they come to realize that they are but one of billions of people existing in this world, each with their own unique life experience and inner world. However, many people cease their existential and experiential growth at that point. They don’t expand further, breaking down the boundaries

of consciousness, realizing that they aren’t an isolated being but are rather a part of a bigger whole. They live the rest of their lives as an ego, alone, hollow inside. So, the question becomes: how do we break down the walls of our limited ego to expand our sense of self outwards?

The key to this deep principle lies in understanding the gifts that the Jewish People donate toward the building of the Mishkan.

The Torah describes the voluntary gifts that the Jewish People donate toward the building of the Mishkan, the place where Hashem was most potently manifest in the physical world. The emphasis of these donations is their voluntary nature – Hashem commands Moshe to collect from Klal Yisrael “whatever their hearts inspire them to give.” Rashi explains that in addition to the required contribution (of machatzis ha’shekel ), Hashem allowed them to give whatever they personally felt compelled to donate (Shemos 25:2). Why

is this so? Why not specify a required amount?

To answer this question, let us take a deeper look at the nature of giving.

We Only Love Ourselves

Rav Eliyahu Dessler explains that naturally, we only love ourselves (Michtav Me’Eliyahu, Kuntress HaChessed). This is not surprising, as each of us only experiences life from our own individual perspective. I can only know what I want, what I need, what I feel. It takes a lifetime of work to understand another person on this level and to be as committed to their needs as you are to your own. True love, however, is when someone else becomes an extension of your consciousness, when you feel their needs and hopes and dreams as strongly as you do your own.

The “love” that most people experience does not compare to this ideal. Just think about the way we throw the word “love” around. Someone might say, “I love chicken,” but then turn around and say, “I love my wife.” Can these two experiences really be compared? When a person says they love chicken, do they really mean that they love chicken? Of course not! If they loved chicken, it wouldn’t be dead on their plate. What they actually mean is that they love the way chicken makes them feel. It’s themselves that they love. The problem, though, is that too often when people speak of love, they are referring to this same kind of love. More often than not, when we say we love someone, we really mean that we love how they make us feel. If this is true, then what is true love, and how can we create it?

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Think. Feel.Grow.

True Love

True love is absolute oneness. It’s when individual pieces connect in such a way that they create something transcendent, greater than the sum of the parts. The ideal is for man and wife to experience this oneness in their relationship. This ideal was modeled in the very creation of humanity: as the Midrash explains, Adam and Chava were originally created as one androgynous being, a physical manifestation of a deeper existential oneness. They were then broken apart and forced to rebuild that original oneness. The ideal and goal that we must learn from this is clear: each one of us must strive to build deep, existential oneness with our own life partner. Chazal add a layer of depth to this and explain that before a man and wife are born, they exist as a single neshama. When they are born into this world, they are broken apart and exist as two distinct beings. The goal is to then travel the world in search of your soulmate, choose each other, and then rebuild that original oneness. Adam and Chava are created as one before being split apart to model the oneness that we are striving toward as husband and wife. So, if at root we are one, but our natural experience in this world is twoness and multiplicity, then how do we both build and develop an awareness of this oneness?

How to Create Oneness

Rav Dessler explains that the mechanism for creating love and oneness is giving. The logic is as follows: we naturally love ourselves. We also find, though, that parents love their children. Why is this? It’s because children are an extension of their parents. We love anything that has a piece of ourselves in it, as we personally identify with it, seeing it as an extension of ourselves. This is why we find ourselves loving our ideas, our pets, and all the creative projects that we have spent countless hours working on. When we invest ourselves into something, we see a part of ourselves manifest within it, which naturally fosters our love for that object, person, or idea.

It’s interesting to observe that parents almost always love their children more than children love their parents. However, based on Rav Dessler’s explanation of love and giving, this makes perfect sense. Parents give an infinite amount of themselves to their children. Beyond just giving over their physical

DNA, they devote endless time, energy, money, and care to their children. This is also why the Hebrew word for love is “ahavah.” The root of this word is “hav,” which means to give. Only when you give can you experience true love, true oneness. (At root, all oneness and connection already exists; we simply don’t experience it. The act of giving and expansion of self does not actually create

giving themselves to Hashem – and recognizing Him as the source of their existence – could the Jewish People truly create this bond of love and oneness. It is therefore no coincidence that these donations were directed toward the building of the Mishkan, the very center of oneness and the place where the Jewish People would connect directly to Hashem.

sense of self into true oneness with our family, our friends, all of Klal Yisrael, and ultimately, Hashem Himself.

Rabbi Shmuel Reichman is the author of the bestselling book, “The Journey to Your Ultimate Self,” which serves as an inspiring gateway into deeper Jewish thought. He is an educator and speaker who has lectured internationally on topics of Torah thought, Jewish medical ethics, psychology, and leadership. He is also the founder and CEO of Self-Mastery Academy, the transformative online self-development course based on the principles of high-performance psychology and Torah.

connection; it reveals the deep oneness and connection that already exists at a root level, helping us become ever more aware of the true nature of reality. Thus, what we are, in fact, creating is a higher level of awareness.)

The Oneness of the Mishkan

The theme of oneness is prevalent throughout the Mishkan. Rashi quotes the Midrash which says that the Menorah was not created by fusing separate pieces of gold together; rather, it was carved from a single block of gold (Shemos 25:31). This idea of oneness is prominent in many other parts of the Mishkan as well. This is because the Mishkan (and Beis Hamikdash) is where the physical world connects to and fuses with the spiritual world. It is the focal point of Hashem’s connection to, and manifestation within, this world. It is the place where all of Klal Yisrael come together to become one, first as a nation and then with Hashem. The Menorah was created from a single block of gold, reflective of a much deeper idea. Just as the Menorah began as a single block of gold before becoming manifest as branches and pieces, the Jewish People are a single soul at root expressed as a multitude of individuals.

The donation process of Klal Yisrael exemplified this process of creating oneness and love. The Jewish People had to give of their own volition, to choose to donate their possessions to Hashem. This is because love and oneness can only be created and manifest through genuine giving. Hashem gave the Jewish People the opportunity to create a bond of oneness and love with Him. Only by

Think about your own life. Are you walled in? Are you afraid of being loved? Of loving others? Are you living as an ego or as a soul? Are you expanding outwards, giving yourself to others, or are you isolating yourself, living empty and alone?

Let us be inspired to give ourselves to others, to build genuine love, and to endlessly expand beyond our limited

After obtaining his BA from Yeshiva University, he received Semicha from Yeshiva University’s RIETS, a master’s degree in education from Azrieli Graduate School, and a master’s degree in Jewish Thought from Bernard Revel Graduate School. He then spent a year studying at Harvard as an Ivy Plus Scholar. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife and son where he is pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago.

To invite Rabbi Reichman to speak in your community or to enjoy more of his deep and inspiring content, visit his website:

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 67
At our spiritual and existential core, we are all one.

Delving into the Daf Biblical or Rabbinic: That is the Question

The Torah affords a father the special right to annul his daughter’s vows while she is a naarah. According to the Ran, this permit is limited to vows that cause the daughter some suffering or otherwise affect the relationship between father and daughter. This leads the Gemara to discuss what amount of suffering is substantial enough to enable the father to exercise his power.

An attempt is made to draw a parallel between Yom Kippur and these vows. There are five categories of afflictions on Yom Kippur. Among them are refraining from eating, drinking, anointing oneself, wearing (leather) shoes, and washing/ bathing. A beraisa states that the penalty of kares only applies to one who engages in forbidden labor and eats or drinks on Yom Kippur. The Gemara (Nedarim 80b) initially assumed that refraining from bathing does not cause substantial suffering and therefore is excluded from the penalty of kares. Ultimately, that suggestion is rejected.

Tosfos concludes that the other restrictions, besides forbidden labor and eating, on Yom Kippur do not carry the penalty of kares, because they are only rabbinic. However, other Rishonim, such as the Rambam, disagree and are of the opinion that the other Yom Kippur restrictions are forbidden min HaTorah , only that the Torah specifically excludes them from the kares penalty.

The Mishna Berura notes that many Rishonim debate this issue, and it is unresolved. The Mishna Berura (611:3) concludes that as a matter of practical halacha, it is appropriate to act stringently. Of course, the restrictions are forbidden either biblically or rabbinically; what difference does it make to know the nature of the prohibition?

The Mishna Berura mentions two practical applications. The first is where

one is forced to walk barefoot among goyim who are ridiculing him. If the prohibition to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur was only rabbinic, we would permit him to wear leather shoes for the walk home. However, since it might be a Torah law, the Mishna Berura says one should not employ this heter.

The second practical difference between the two sides is in a situation of doubt. As a general rule (stated simplistically), when it comes to a doubt regarding Torah law, we must act stringently, safek de’Oraysah l’chumra . However, often when the doubt is regarding a rabbinic law, we rule leniently, safek de’rabbanan l’kula. Suppose one had a pair of shoes and there was a doubt whether they were made of leather or not. Further, there is no practical way to identify the material. According to Tosfos, one may wear the shoes on Yom Kippur, safek de’rabbanan l’kula. According to the Rambam, one may not wear the shoes on Yom Kippur, safek de’Oraysah l’chumra.

There are other areas of halacha where we have a similar doubt about whether something is m’de’rabbanan or min haTorah. When a man eats a bread meal and is satiated, he has a Torah obligation to bentch. Consequently, if he is unsure

whether or not he bentched already, he must now bentch (assuming the time to do so has not passed.) because safek de’Oraysah l’chumra . The Gemara in Berachos (20) has a doubt about whether women have a Torah obligation to bentch. Perhaps only someone who is obligated in bris milah has a Torah obligation to bentch. The question is unresolved. Women certainly have at least a rabbinic obligation to bentch.

What should a woman do if she ate a satisfying bread meal and is unsure if she bentched already? Rebba Akiva Eiger suggests that she should not bentch now. He reasons that there is sfeik sfaika, a double doubt, that enables us to rule leniently. To follow his logic, one has to treat this question as a math problem with an order of operations. We must first discuss the question on a Torah level. Does a woman have an obligation to bentch?

A) Yes; B) No

Viewed simplistically as a mathematical question, only fifty percent of the possible outcomes (A) indicate a woman has a Torah obligation to bentch. Even if a woman has a Torah obligation to bentch, perhaps she bentched already (C). But then again, maybe she didn’t (D). Once again, viewed simplistically as a math-

ematical question, 75% of the possible outcomes would indicate that this woman should not bentch now (BC, BD, AC). The only way the woman would have to bentch now on a Torah level is by assuming that, in general, she has a Torah obligation to bentch and she did not bentch already (AD). Since that is a minority outcome, Rebbe Akiva Eiger says we are not concerned with it. We generally follow the majority. Nevertheless, she definitely has a rabbinic obligation to bentch. However, since she is unsure whether or not she bentched, that is a question of a rabbinic obligation, and we rule safek de’rabbanan l’kula and she should not bentch now.

The Mishna Berura does not fully accept the logic and conclusion of Rebba Akiva Eiger. He says that a woman who finds herself in this situation and bentches out of doubt “does not lose.” Rebbe Shlomo Zalman, zt”l, more forcefully rejects Rebba Akiva Eiger’s conclusion when it comes to this situation. He rules that either a man or woman who ate a satisfying bread meal and is unsure if they bentched, should bentch now assuming the time has not yet elapsed. (That time is not less than 72 minutes.)

Rebbe Akiva Eiger’s logic could apply as well to the original question of a doubt regarding the permissibility of wearing a specific pair of shoes on Yom Kippur. However, the Mishna Berura does not cite it there. Still, perhaps that is why he concludes that it is only “appropriate to act stringently.” This is due to the fact that one who acts leniently has the opinion of Rebbe Akiva Eiger to rely on.

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

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JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 69

What Israel’s Judicial Crisis is Really About

“Netanyahu’s coalition is attack[ing] the vital independent institutions that underpin Israel’s democracy, that is, the Supreme Court, which Netanyahu and his allies want brought under the political control of the right.”

Thus read a New York Times editorial published shortly after the current government was elected.

There have been plenty of attacks from around the globe aimed at the new government in Israel and especially its proposed judiciary reforms. What concerns this article is not opinions from the rest of the world but rather the internal controversy within Israeli society.

There have been few issues in Israeli politics outside of national security that have been the basis of such intense debate over so many years. Only subjects that go to the heart of national identity and the foundations of the state apparatus qualify for such slots. And indeed, the debate over the role of the judiciary is such a subject. As we will see, the opinions on either side of this issue represent dramatically different views on not just the ideal power of the courts but of the very role of government itself.

The Backdrop: A Brief History of an Activist Court

In the 1980s, Israel began the path of what is today recognized as the judicial revolution. The main proponents of this revolution were Justices Meir Shamgar, then president of the Supreme Court, and Justice Aharon Barak, later to replace Shamgar and destined to become the main advocate of increasing judiciary power in Israel.

There were several important milestones to this process. First was the abolishment of the restriction of standing. Typically, a court can only be petitioned by a party directly affected by the legal issue at hand. The doing away with standing restrictions allowed anyone – even if they weren’t an Israeli citizen – the ability to submit a case for review.

Second, the court abolished the restriction of justiciability. This was perhaps the most impactful change of all since it essentially allowed for any governmental issue from foreign affairs to budgetary issues, even national defense, to be controlled by the court’s opinion.

Third on the timeline was vastly widening the basis on which the court was permitted to make decisions.

The court would be allowed to evaluate not just the legality but also the “reasonability” of government decisions. If deemed by justices as “extremely unreasonable,” the court could overturn, in theory, any government action. As Barak put it, judges played the role of “the enlightened community” that must assess everything and anything to ensure it does not deviate from the proper path.

Another technical but important change to judicial procedure came in 1993 when the court ruled that the opinions rendered by the state’s attorney general were no longer to be considered merely legal advice but were binding on the government and all of its agencies and that only the state attorney could represent the executive in any legal argument. What this meant practically is that if the state attorney had a differing view on a legal issue than the government, there could be no one to defend the government’s position. This might sound bizarre, but it is exactly what took place in 2003 when former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, then Minister of Industry, was faced with a Supreme Court case regarding a land rezoning effort. The state attorney agreed with the case’s petitioner that the deal failed to achieve

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“distributive justice” and thus refused to represent the government in court.

But Olmert was stuck. Only the state attorney was legally allowed to argue the case. Even Olmert’s insistence that he would represent himself was dismissed.

The final milestone came in 1995, the year Barak took formal control of the Court. In what is certainly his most overarchingly influential decision, Barak, along with his fellow justices, established that Israel’s Basic Laws that had been passed three years prior had the status of Israel’s constitution. This claim has no legal basis whatsoever. No MK voting on the laws ever believed the Basic Laws were anything different than other pieces of legislation. As the laws were being passed, the chairman of the Knesset committee that prepared them explicitly assured his fellow MKs that they did not grant the court “special power to nullify laws.” To this day, the Basic Laws could be in theory altered by a simple majority –hardly the status of a constitution.

Strategically, however, declaring the Basic Laws the Israeli constitution was extremely important. It granted the court a basis of legitimacy on which it could invalidate future laws. This has not remained a theoretical possibility. The court’s intervention in all areas of Israeli governance has come up time and time again, even in the most sensitive of cases – that of national security.

An early example involved the capture of Israeli pilot Ron Arad in 1986. Arad crashed in Lebanon and was taken captive by the militia group known as Amal. Later, Mustafa Dirani, the militia’s leader, gave Arad to a senior Hezbollah commander named Abd al-Karim Obeid, shortly after which Israeli intelligence lost the trail of the missing pilot. In a secret operation, Israel captured both Dirani and Obeid in order to extract information from them on Arad’s whereabouts and to hold them until Arad’s return. The two men petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court, claiming they were being held unjustly. The court shockingly ordered them freed, the logic being that neither posed a direct threat to Israel and that they were being merely kept as “hostages.”

With time, the use of judicial review to undermine the country’s security and support Israel’s sworn enemies became even more pronounced. Barak, now firmly the face of judicial activism, made his positions clear. In an article written in the early 2000s for Harvard Law Review, Barak stated that the court was obligated to vigilantly oversee all government issues related to security and national defense. He endorses an “open door,” “real time” policy for the courts to hear issues on security operations because “there are no black holes where there is judicial review,” or in other words, the court cannot allow the government to

handle its own affairs unsupervised and must be under the constant supervision of the justices.

Under Barak’s leadership, the court heard hundreds of petitions on these very issues: due-process rights for terror suspects, interrogations, use of human shields, house demolitions, the route of the security barrier, compensation for wrongful acts of the army. Even more unsettling was the court hearing cases regarding ongoing military operations.

This was the scenario that unfolded in 2002 during the case, “Almadani v. IDF Commander in Judea and Samaria.” The governor of Bethlehem and two Israeli Arab Members of Knesset had petitioned the Court demanding that the IDF provide food and electricity to a group of Palestinians, including dozens of militants, many of whom had been identified as the culprits in specific acts of terrorism, who had barricaded themselves inside the Church of the Nativity. Despite the army’s insistence that the IDF was in the midst

of negotiating these very issues with the terrorists, the court declined to dismiss the case on grounds of non-justiciability and considered it on the merits. Barak justified taking the case in “real time” on the basis of strengthening the “rule of law” and “human rights.”

Getting at the Principles

Current Justice Minister Yariv Levin has emerged as the reformist “foil” to the activist Barak. Shortly after taking up his role, Levin laid out the main points which the proposed reforms touch on. Both of them are directly addressing the trend of judicial activism and expansion that has characterized the Court for the past 20 years.

First is the issue of limiting the court’s judicial review regarding laws. If 61 out of the 120 members of Israel’s parliament agree, the body can override the Supreme Court. One caveat is that if the court unanimously nullifies a law, the same parliament that passed the law cannot override it. Furthermore, 12 out of 15 justices will be required to invalidate a law to begin with. If these reports are correct, then the new arrangement will somewhat resemble the American checks and balances system in which the president can veto a law, which can, in turn, be overridden by a two-thirds congressional majority.

Second is changing the system by which judges are appointed. Currently, a nine-member committee votes on replacement justices. There is one important rule, however, in how this vote takes place: three of the committee members, namely three members of the Supreme Court, including the president, have veto power over an appointment. This has essentially assured that there is an ideological continuity to the court that cannot be altered by elected officials. The reforms would see the committee expanded to an 11-member body, with the two additional members being “public representatives” chosen by the government. This means that the majority of the committee would be controlled by elected officials.

But it is very important to go beyond the specifics of the reforms and understand the ideological basis that undergirds the entire conversion.

To grasp the fundamental argument between Levin and Barak, one must ignore the flying accusations back and forth between the two that the other is “destroying democracy.” Levin and Barak have two radically different understandings of what democracy is supposed to look like –and, more specifically, what the role of the judiciary is in preserving it. One sees the Court as the referee for established rules, rules that are an organic expression of voters’ political will. The other sees it as a collection of proverbial “wise old men” ensuring that the uncouth and untrustworthy elected officials do not

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Justice Minister Yariv Levin hopes to insitute reforms
To grasp the fundamental argument between Levin and Barak, one must ignore the flying accusations back and forth between the two that the other is “destroying democracy.”
Former Justice Aharon Barak, the face of the activist judicial system

72 veer off the enlightened path. In the first version, the Court, while absolutely essential, is in the end playing a tertiary role, providing guardrails lest officials and executives deviate from their own rules. In the latter, the Court is the ultimate guiding light, charged with correcting the unenlightened mistakes of every facet of government.

But in a way, even this divergence is insufficient in framing the debate. The two sides are not just arguing on the ideal structure and powers of government branches. They are debating on the very purpose of government institutions themselves. To put it as bluntly as possible: Levin and reform advocates believe the purpose of government is to maintain ordered liberty. That is a very specific and very limited job description. Ahron Barak and those of his ilk believe that the purpose of government is to ensure the populace remains moral. This was most depicted by a striking statement made by Barak in 2018 warning that any limits on judicial power was opening the door to atrocity. At the time, then-Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had introduced a bill to change the procedure by which ministry legal advisers – people with substantial influence over determining the legality of their ministries’ actions –are nominated and appointed. Barak became a staunch opponent of the proposed law, accusing the government of wanting to minimize the influence of judicial gatekeepers.

At the height of the public debate over the bill, Barak has this to say regarding Shaked’s proposal: “We

must not forget that a regime that rejects the separation of powers, the rule of law, basic values and human rights, is not a democratic regime.[...] Our approach to the issue is that it cannot happen here, and it is wrong. If it happened in Germany during the times of Bach, Goethe, and Beethoven, it could happen anywhere.”

These thinly veiled comments by Barak dovetailed a similar statement he had made only three years pri-

or while, once again, warning against any limits on the court’s power: “I believe with a perfect faith that if Germany had a strong Supreme Court and judicial oversight it would have been possible to prevent Hitler.”

Strong words. Now consider their implications: If you actually believe this, namely that all that is standing between civilization and the descent to the depths of depravity is a strong Supreme Court, then, of course, you will see any limitations on the Court’s power as an existential threat.

But as a matter of fact, prewar Germany had a very strong supreme court, granted by the Weimar Constitution the power to invalidate laws (Article 13) and hear impeachment cases against the President of the Reich (Article 59). And yet, strangely, Germany still produced a Hitler and a conflagration that consumed much of the developed world.

This very fact highlights the entire point of reform proponents. Judicial activists in Germany ignored the accesses of the 1930s and used interpretive acrobatics to let the madness continue and even allow Hitler, a convicted coup instigator, to rise to power.

No, a “strong court” will not guarantee the righteousness of a society. No system will. In fact, the very belief that any system can deliver on this leads to the very overreach we have seen over the decades.

The absurdities of legal activism have been ongoing for far too long in Israel. The judiciary has become the very oligarchy it has purported to be the bulwark against. Putting an end to this excess is far overdue.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY
19, 2023
If deemed by justices as “extremely unreasonable,” the court could overturn, in theory, any government action.
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Reports of the Death of Israeli Democracy Are Greatly Exaggerated


istory,” the writer Mark Twain allegedly observed, “doesn’t repeat. But it does rhyme.” Twain’s adage is worth bearing in mind when looking at press coverage of the new government in Israel.

After five elections in three years, a seemingly stable governing coalition has finally been formed with Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu at its head. This marks Netanyahu’s third time as prime minister. The 73-year-old first entered the premiership in 1996. He has already surpassed David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and a founding father, as the longest serving premier in the Jewish state’s history.

In short: Netanyahu is a known quantity. And like countless prime ministers before him, he has made concessions to other political parties and leaders to form a ruling coalition. Such is the nature of parliamentary government, be it in Israel or elsewhere.

But many pundits are arguing that Israel is in peril. Take, for example, the Washington Post. In the span of one month, the newspaper’s global opinion section has run two columns by Gershom Gorenberg darkly warning that the new “Israeli government is dangerous.” Like others, Gorenberg highlights issues that he has with several members of some of the smaller parties included in the coalition. His concerns are shared by others, including Israelis and some who have good faith criticisms.

But the hyperbole is noteworthy. And it is hardly original.Bottom of Form

Indeed, in 2011 Gorenberg wrote an entire book called The Unmaking of Israel, in which he argued that Israeli democracy is under threat. Of course, in the intervening twelve years there hasn’t been a shortage of elections or transfers of power. Indeed, there have been more elections in the 12 years since the book appeared than in the twelve years prior to its publication.

One of the central claims of that book is the impending disenfranchisement of Israeli Arabs. Yet, subsequent years have seen political parties comprised largely of Israeli Arabs be decisive in electoral outcomes and key to forming coalitions.

Nor is Gorenberg alone in his predictions of doom and gloom. Countless pundits and analysts of varying motives and backgrounds have asserted that the end is near. For some, democracy seems to only be under threat when they don’t get their desired electoral outcome. In these instances, exaggerated claims about the impending death of Israeli democracy set a worrying precedent. “It’s only a democracy if my party/person wins” is hardly a healthy outlook that is conducive to a free and democratic society.

There’s also a long history of such claims being made about Israel. More than four decades ago, several pundits also offered apocalyptic predictions about Israel’s future.

The year 1977 was, by any metric, a watershed year in Israeli political history. For the first time, a ruling coalition was formed by the right. Since its recreation in 1948, the Jewish state had been led by the Labor Party and governed by coalitions dominated by the left. For three decades Israel was – arguably – effectively under one-party rule—although even then noteworthy concessions were made to other political parties, including religious ones.

Yet, 1977 witnessed the rise of Likud leader Menachem Begin. Begin was the political heir of Ben Gurion’s chief political opponent in pre-state Israel, Vladimir Jabotinsky. Ben Gurion had unfairly branded Jabotinsky a “fascist” – even disgustingly comparing him to Adolf Hitler. Regrettably, such discourse is still evident today in some circles.

Begin’s election ushered in a new age. But many in the press were apoplectic.

The New York Times, for example, referred to the Likud as “ultraconser -

vative” and Begin as “strident.” These descriptions weren’t meant to be complimentary. The newspaper’s May 22, 1977 report also warned that the new coalition would severely hamper the prospects for peace in the region. Begin, the New York Times warned, had “hardline” views which didn’t augur well for peace negotiations.

And, the Times added, “Arab figures agreed that the Likud victory would make a Middle East settlement more difficult to achieve.” A July 1977 ,17 New York Times dispatch claimed: “Israel is sorely troubled.” Begin, the Times story implied, had a troubling background. He had “terrifying credibility,” as one Israeli analyst told the newspaper. The Washington Post seemed to concur. A May 19, 1977 report asserted that in the Knesset Begin had “ruled with an iron fist.” After all, he had been “the leader of a violent Jewish terrorist group” during the era of British rule.

As for peace, the Times offered another prognostication:

“Some argue that Begin may be the right man at the right time for the difficult job of persuading the Israelis that major territorial concessions must be made, just as Richard Nixon was the man who made accommodation with Peking palatable. The problem with that line of thought is that the Nixon record is one of ideological shifts dependent upon changes in the political climate – pragmatism, for want of a nastier word. So far – and the record substantiates it over the years – Menahem Begin says what he means. And that, understandably enough, is disconcerting to those who sift through his utterances looking for nuances that could mean at least the readiness to contemplate something at least a little different from what he says.”

The conventional wisdom was wrong –and not for the first time, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) has documented.

Begin played a key role in the first major peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, popularly known as the Camp David Accords. And Begin proved willing to cede land in exchange for peace, as he did with a staged withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which concluded in April 1982. And far from being a transitory leader, Begin held power for more than six years and brought a political realignment to Israel with ramifications that are still felt today. A key component of that realignment, and of Likud’s victory, were the Sephardim, many of whom felt alienated and neglected by the Labor Party.

By any measure and metric, Israel today is more diverse, wealthier, and more powerful than it was at the time of its founding. But this hasn’t stopped some, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, from idealizing the past and hailing a “golden age” – one led by the Labor Party – that, for many Israelis, never existed. But the past tells us that humility, and not hyperbole, is usually a safer bet.

Sean Durns is a Senior Research Analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis.

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Prime Minister Menachem Begin

Last Wednesday, an elderly Jewish man with no living Jewish relatives passed away in Ukraine in the town of Bila Tserkva. A Christian burial ceremony was planned for the deceased until a local rabbi heard about the news and notified United Hatzalah volunteer Naftali Rabinovich, from the Uman branch of the organization.

Rabinovich was in Bila Tserkva together with United Hatzalah CEO Eli Pollak, VP of Operations Dov Maisel, and additional volunteers on a special delegation sent by the organization to distribute generators to schools, orphanages, and medical clinics throughout the city. The campaign began on Tuesday as a response to the severe shortage of electricity caused by the war and extreme winter conditions.

Putting the distribution temporar -

World Builders A Kevura of Kavod

ily on hold, members of the delegation rushed to the cemetery where the deceased was moments away from being buried in accordance with the Christian ritual. After obtaining permission from the authorities, they immediately took the crosses off of the casket and covered his body with a tallit, before carrying out a Jewish funeral.

Team members recited Tehillim and said the Kaddish and El Maleh Rahamim prayers for the deceased. He was then laid to rest, as the volunteers put dirt into the

organization Dov Maisel noted, “United Hatzalah prides itself on offering help to everyone, Jewish or non-Jewish. In this instance, we paused our deliveries of generators for a short time so that we could help a man receive a proper burial according to his faith. It was an emergency call to provide the proper burial for someone in need. While most of our emergencies are usually focused on saving lives, we help wherever and whenever we can.”

casket as per Jewish custom, carried the deceased to his final resting place, lowered the wooden coffin into the grave, and then covered the grave with dirt.

Vice President of Operations for the

“This was a very humbling and moving experience for me,” said CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack. “We managed to scrape together a minyan and recite the kaddish for one of our fellow Jews who was about to have a non-Jewish funeral. I am happy to have merited to participate in this act of kindness upon kindness.”

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They immediately took the crosses off of the casket and covered his body with a tallit, before carrying out a Jewish funeral.
VP Dov Maisel helping to carry the body United Hatzalah personnel and community members lowering the body into the grave CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack reciting El Maleh Rachamim

What Would You Do If…

Dear Navidaters,

Thanks for considering my question.

I’ve been dating a guy for 4 months, and I’m about to meet his parents. The last time I met a guy’s parents everything fell through after. I clammed up and I just wasn’t myself, they didn’t like how I was dressed – it was overall a bomb. I’m having a hard time going into this a second time while remaining confident. In my head, I keep ruminating about the last time. How can I make this time better?

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

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Dating Dialogue
Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 77

The Rebbetzin

Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.

While it’s normal to feel nervous, some concrete action will help.

Write down your fears.

Discuss them with the young man you are dating. Opening up and being vulnerable will make you closer. His reaction will tell you a lot about his ability to understand you, empathize, share, and protect you.

Prepare topics to talk about. Wear clothing and accessories that makes you feel confident.

If you have a tendency to ruminate about things that may you feel scared or worried, you may want to consider shortterm therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is evidence-based and helps.

The Shadchan

Michelle Mond

Dear Malka,

It is important for you to realize that your prior shidduch did not fall through because

of anything you did; rather, it was not meant to be. You must tell this to yourself until you believe it. This is step number one towards moving forward. Know within your gut that the guy you had dated would not have been the one for you, and Hashem was saving you from the wrong person.

This brings us to number two: what can you do better? The prior statement does not negate the yoke of personal responsibility. You must learn from the past, which was to shield you from marrying the wrong person! Go out with a mentor and step by step have a mock meet-the-parents session. Be intentional with everything, from what you wear, to how you present and hold yourself.

Some steps to look confident in social situations:

1. Chin up, literally. Don’t look down or hide your gaze. You are special, you are worthy, be confident taking up space in the room.

2. Keep hands by your side rather than crossed at your chest. You will be giving a more open, soft, and inviting demeanor this way.

3. Eye contact with the parents is important – remember they are just as nervous about this meeting as you are.

4. Make pleasant conversation, and

compliments never hurt! Whether it be complimenting his mother on her delicious cookies or the wallpaper.

5. Smile!

At the end of the day, this will work out if it is meant to be. I hope this is the one for you. Keep us posted!

The Zaidy

Readers should understand that our little quintet of omniscient, all-knowing, Navidater panelists never get to meet each other, or discuss these questions, before coming up with our own wise answers.

However, after reading what my fellow panelists – all women – have been writing for the past two years, I am certain that they will advise:

1. It’s okay to be nervous. It would be strange if you weren’t.

2. Dress well but choose refined over trendy.

3. Prepare some interesting topics of conversation.

4. If the boy’s parents are liberal Democrats, don’t wear your “TRUMP 2024” hat.

5. Compliment the boy’s mother (“Those are beautiful earrings”).

6. Smile a lot.

7. Bring a small gift, like a platter

of homemade cookies.

I would like to give you some perspective from the viewpoint of the boys’ fathers. We are just as nervous as you are. We worry that you are taking our son away from us, that you may not be comfortable becoming part of our family, and that you might be a weirdo.


1. Avoid saying things like, “Wow, I would hate to live in a neighborhood like this,” or “I’ve heard some pretty weird things about your family.”

2. Instead, say things like, “I’ve heard some wonderful things about your family,” and, “I’ve been looking forward for us to get to know each other.”

3. Don’t wear a nose ring or three earrings in one ear.

Remember that you are not just marrying your boyfriend; you are marrying his family as well. It takes some effort, but it is wise and worthwhile for all parties to work at having a long, healthy, happy, lifetime relationship.

Pulling It All Together

The Navidaters

Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

you, I’m wondering if you felt clammy because they made you feel uncomfortable.

Dear Malka, Thank you for writing the panel. If you look back upon that meeting and think you may have been offensive (i.e., insulted the mother’s chandelier) or passive aggressive (i.e., “Yeah, you sure raised a great guy!” with an eye roll), or demanding (“Oh, you made chicken? I really wanted a steak”), then you likely did something to turn off this family. My gut tells me that this is absolutely not the case. (If it is, write back to us and I’ll write an entirely different

response.) My gut tells me that you were simply... nervous. You were meeting

THE PARENTS and were likely scared. This is the most normal thing in the world. My gut also tells me that it is entirely possible that you became clammy and nervous because you intuitively felt judged by them. Whether the guy you were dating told you afterward they didn’t like your dress, or during, or a shadchan told

Malka, I failed my road test three times. (True story.) The first time I took it, I was 17 years old and a senior in high school. The instructor was so intimidating, I thought I might have an accident. I said, “Hi! My name is Jen. Nice to meet you.” I extended my hand, nervously, to greet her. And she said, “Driver, be seated. Turn on the car.” My stomach did an immediate flip, and I messed up my parallel park and made a sharp turn. I failed. I was devastated. I built up the courage to take the test again, and lo and behold, there she was... my nightmare. I panicked. I failed. And quite unbelievably, the same thing happened the third time. I then took driving lessons again after my year in Israel with a

lovely man who said, “She is no one! Even if she is there again, she is no one to you! You’re amazing! You’re an amazing driver, and she is an angry woman. Why do you care what she thinks about you?” The story would end so much better if I told you that she was the instructor on the fourth exam, and I passed. I ended up with a different instructor, someone kind, and I breathed such a sigh of relief, and I passed. While age 17 is definitely in my rearview mirror, I can still feel my fear that the same thing would happen again.

Anyone who has experienced any sort of “failure” (and I put the word in quotes, because you didn’t fail...and we’re going to get to that in the next paragraph), and is going to go up to bat again, has felt the way you feel. You are a normal human ex-

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 78
The Panel
You are a normal human experiencing the most normal feeling in the world.

periencing the most normal feeling in the world.

I am not a gambling woman, but if I had to bet, I would say that things didn’t work out with the last guy and his family because you are not cut from the same cloth. They sound to me like a family who was never going to accept you based on your clothing and dress. Everyone is entitled to their preference and to live comfortably. However, no one is entitled to make someone feel uncomfortable in their own home. That is the opposite of hachnosas orchim, and I don’t remember reading anything or learning about the mitzvah of judging someone. If someone were to clam up in your house, how would you want to make that person feel? Would you try to soothe that person? Would you try to give

a compliment or maybe share a personal anecdote about a time you felt nervous or clammy? Those are the things kind people do. And those are the things you should be looking for in a family. One clammy encounter would not be reason to end a shidduch if this family was going to accept you. So again, if you were not offensive, passive aggressive, or demanding during your meeting, my money is on you and this guy not being right for each other. Period.

I need to ask if you have any history of rumination, social anxiety, or anxious thinking. If you do, then you are familiar with obsessive thinking. And if you aren’t already, I encourage you to find a therapist who can help you make strides. If you have no history of rumination or anxious thinking or social anxiety (and even if you

do), I think we can chalk this up to firsttime jitters. I also can’t let this response go by without mentioning that you are not responsible for what the parents think of you. What is your responsibility is to be polite, kind, offer compliments, and show up as the most respectful version of yourself. Whatever they think of you, and whatever happens after that, is simply not your responsibility. Take all pressure to impress off your shoulders. The right family is going to love, adore, and treasure you and try to make you feel comfortable, even when they see you are uncomfortable, especially when they see you are uncomfortable!

Share your concerns with your man. You have a partner now; someone you are quite serious with.... Allow him to help you through this and support you. In the

words of Taylor Swift, “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…. I’m just shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off!” Shake these people off, and keep your head held high!

Jennifer Mann, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and certified trauma healing life coach, as well as a dating and relationship coach working with individuals, couples, and families in private practice at 123 Maple Avenue in Cedarhurst, NY. She also teaches a psychology course at Touro College. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 718-908-0512. Visit www. for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.

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Sincerely, Jennifer
Whatever they think of you, and whatever happens after that, is simply not your responsibility.

School of Thought

Q:Dear Etti, It seems like everyone is off to Florida, and we are off to nowhere. I have to work. My husband has to work. My kids resent the fact that we are not a normal family that has cool vacations. But, as I said, we have to work. Doesn’t anyone else have to work? What do working parents do about winter break?

-Working Mom

A:Dear Working Mom, I know that it sounds like everyone is off to Florida, but having worked in schools for years, the real number is closer to around 10%. Many of the students are in families like yours, with parents that have to work.

It doesn’t matter, though. Kids want to go away and have bragging rights after vacation is over.

So how do working families handle this time?

Some schedule time off at work during this time. Depending on your job, some find that scheduling time off is worth it, and then they plan some trips that don’t break the budget and are exciting.

Some call around and see if their child’s friend’s families are doing anything that might allow them to take a friend along. Trips to snowtubing, a day at the American Dream mall, and the like might be a trip a family could bring a friend along. Some families find bringing friends help the sibling dynamics and prefer it! Offer to pack lunches and snacks for them all, or just to take the family for a Sunday to give the mom a break on a day that you are available. It is a small price to pay when you know your child is getting to go on an

exciting day trip.

Some families have extended family that are willing to absorb the kids for a few days; winwin for all. The children spend time with grandparents or cousins, and you can go to work. Be careful, though. Family or not, everyone has a routine they are used to, and they might not be ready to take on your kids to make it work for you. Loving you and being able to twist themselves into pretzels for you are two different things. If they do take your children, don’t assume it is easy, and ask how you can help. Can you treat them to supper one night? If they are taking your children, maybe getting takeout would make life easier after an exhausting day.

Check out if any of the local schools, including your own, has a program for the many families in your situation. There are young entrepreneurs running winter break camps at this time, and some schools offer programs during this time, for at least a few days. The flyer might be buried in your child’s knapsack.

You and your husband might need to split the day, if you can, where one of you works in the morning and one of you works in the afternoon.

No matter what you end up doing, make the most of it.

Print out a calendar. Sit with your child(ren) and discuss the reality. Write in the calendar whatever you can plan, and then make sure to soften the edges of

the days that seem boring and plan some evening fun. Breakfast for supper (eggs and then pancakes and French toast served with whipped cream and ice cream…), camping out in the living room after making forts out of blankets, game night, and even an evening at the bowling alley – events that you do not usually do so they create memories and allow for pictures to create a photobook showcasing all the fun you had.

If you are able to go on a real trip one day, think about the kids whose parents work. Unless it will affect family dynamics adversely, usually bringing along friends adds to the fun. By reaching out to help others, you will be able to help someone in a predicament you know too well. And maybe they will return the favor if they can, one day.

Vacation is about spending quality time with the kids. It is about creating memories. Make some phone calls, search online. Not all great memories happen in Florida!

I’d love to hear what you ended up doing. Let me know!

Before you know it, they will be back in school. Hopefully you will have sent them back with positive feelings.

Mrs. Etti Siegel holds an MS in Teaching and Learning/Educational Leadership and brings sound teaching advice to her audiences culled from her over 35 years of teaching and administrative experience. She is an Adjunct at the College of Mount Saint Vincent/Sara Shenirer. She is a coach and educational consultant for Catapult Learning, is a sought-after mentor and workshop presenter around the country, and a popular presenter for Sayan (a teacher-mentoring program), Hidden Sparks, and the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools. She is a frequent contributor to Hamechanech Magazine and The Journal for Jewish Day School leaders. She will be answering your education-based questions and writing articles weekly for The Jewish Home. Mrs. Siegel can be reached at

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I know that it sounds like everyone is off to Florida, but having worked in schools for years, the real number is closer to around 10%.
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Parenting Pearls

Health and Hygiene

It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season! I know we are not the only family that feels like we’ve been engaged in a continuous battle against viruses these past few weeks. I’ve heard it from parents and medical professionals alike – everything is going around.

While there are many means we have to treat the various ailments children can get, prevention frequently makes all those steps superfluous. It’s much more pleasant to not get sick than it is to be up at night with a little one crying in pain.

While we can’t prevent everything, a little hygiene and cleanliness can go a long way in keeping many germs contained. As clean as we may be personally, children aren’t known for their good hygiene. Kids pick their noses, cough openly, and then share their drinks. Little ones, especially, play close together, and it’s easy for germs to run amok through a large group.

Despite children being a germ’s dream, a few simple steps can help limit the number of illnesses rotating throughout our classrooms. I don’t expect this article to contain much parents don’t already know; it’s simply to serve as a reminder of a basic but important topic. Please note that I’m not a healthcare professional and any questions should be directed at your child’s healthcare team.

The Extra Challenge

Kids are a breeding ground for illness. They don’t naturally have the same need for body space that adults do so they congregate very closely. Even lice can take advantage of this body proximity to travel. Children run and roll together, sharing everything as they do.

They are less aware of their actions so they will cough openly, oblivious to the fact that they’re doing so directly into someone else’s face. For similar reasons, they will drink from any cup or share anyone’s snack.

They don’t have the same self-care skills

we’ve had time to develop. They may be unable to wash themselves appropriately. The littlest ones can’t even blow their own dripping noses.

Avoid Sharing

While sharing is certainly a great middah, kids should be discouraged from sharing food, drinks, and personal utensils. This applies at home and in school. If something is going around the family, then plate or serve a snack rather than permit each hand to grab out of the same bag.

Cups, plates, and utensils should be washed with hot, soapy water between uses, not simply rinsed. Keeping food and drinks away from the edge of the table will make it harder for toddlers to grab a sibling’s food as they walk by.

Clean Hands

By default, I assume kids have dirty hands. This is based on my years of experience and seeing where their hands go. It’s a neis kids are as healthy and robust as they are. Rather than rely on miracles, we need to teach correct handwashing.

Telling a young child to “go wash your hands” is vague and will result in haphazard hygiene. It’s more effective to demonstrate and wash alongside your child, being clear about each step. Show how to pump out the soap, demonstrating the correct amount. Kids are known for using microscopic quantities or the entire bottle – usually the bottle gets emptied. Demonstrate how to wash the full hand, including the palm, back of the hand, fingers (including thumbs), and between the fingers. They should also learn how to thoroughly rinse off the soap and where to dry their hands (not on their shirt, pants, or drip dry over the floor). It can help to use words to cue them and help them remember each step.

As chashuv as netilas yadayim and negel vaaser are, rinsing hands, even with a cup, is not sufficient after the bathroom or to prevent the spread of illness. Kids cer-

tainly should wash as halachically mandated, but they shouldn’t neglect washing for physical cleanliness, too.

Hand sanitizer has become very popular, especially after the emergence of COVID. According to the CDC, hand sanitizer is not as effective as washing with soap and water. It may be convenient onthe-go and when washing facilities aren’t available, but it’s not a full replacement. Demonstrate to your child how to correctly use hand sanitizer, when needed, and supervise them initially. Use caution with dispensers and make sure they don’t accidentally squirt it towards their eyes.

Hand sanitizer is not appropriate for the youngest of hands. There’s a serious risk of accidental alcohol poisoning, chas v’shalom, if a small body ingests even minor quantities of sanitizer. Ask your child’s healthcare provider at what age it’s appropriate for them to use hand sanitizer along with the correct quantity to use. It’s important to remember, in general, that hand sanitizer contains high levels of alcohol and can be a hazard for those at-risk from abusing it.

Keep Germs Contained

Little humans are very effective spreaders of germs. Kids need to be shown how to cough and sneeze properly, so they won’t do so directly into the face of their peers. Children should be encouraged to wash their hands after blowing (or picking) their nose and to discard tissues into the trash.

It’s wonderful that we (usually) have fever reducers and pain medications available. Most likely, your child’s pediatrician will guide you in the use of these over-thecounter products. While they may make your child more comfortable, they don’t remove the illness. A sick child who is tempo-

rarily fever-free is no less contagious. Just because your child is bouncing around 20 minutes after dosing doesn’t mean they’re back to normal.

My mother, an experienced educator who taught for decades, would tell me that it was well known within the schools that a child would walk into class looking fine but start getting feverish closer to lunch. Inevitably, when asked, the child would look surprised that the nurse somehow knew their parents had given them cherry or grape flavored syrup before they left for school.

Please keep your youngster home and away from other children until their illness is gone. I know it’s hard for a child to miss work and need to make it up. I understand that it can be complicated for a parent to miss work for the day. But it’s important to remember that one sick child can infect multiple other children who will now have to miss class and whose parents may have difficulties staying home from work. As challenging as it may be, consider it a chessed to your child, their classmates, and their parents to give your child the time needed to recuperate at home. Additionally, there are children and school staff with a variety of medical conditions – many of whom may be immunocompromised. We all need to do our part to keep others safe.

Our most important effort, as always, is to daven. Ultimately, good health – like everything else – is divinely ordained. May Hashem bless all of klal Yisroel with good health all year long!

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

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& F tness

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

The two most popular rice varieties consumed are white rice and brown rice. Both brown rice and white rice contain lots of vitamins and vital nutrients. You may have been told to stay away from white rice and only eat brown rice. But what if I told you that it’s okay to eat both? Let’s discuss the benefits, nutrition, and other factors of both white and brown rice.

Brown rice is a whole grain, while white rice is a refined grain. The bran, germ, and endosperm are the three parts that make up grains. The outer shell, known as the bran layer, provides a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. The endosperm contains protein and carbohydrates, and the germ contains healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.

Refined grains have the bran and germ removed by the process of milling. The reason for this is to give a finer texture to the grain as well as improving their shelf life. Brown rice provides more fiber than white rice, because during the milling process of white rice, some of the fiber and vitamins are removed as well. Besides fiber being known to help with constipation, there are many more health benefits as well. Fiber helps you feel more full, may reduce the risk of diabetes by better controlling blood sugar levels, and may help reduce the risk of heart diseases. Women should aim to get around 25 grams of fiber daily and 38 grams daily for men.

For people with digestive issues, white rice may be a better option since it’s easier to digest due to the lower fiber content. Brown rice also contains more protein, which will help keep you full for longer. Moreover, there is more sugar in white rice, making brown rice the better choice for individuals with diabetes.

Selenium is an important factor in thyroid hormone production as well as immune function. While both white and brown rice contain selenium, brown rice has significantly more. Another im-

portant nutrient brown rice has higher amounts of is magnesium, which is helpful for bone development. To help prevent osteoporosis and keep your bones strong during menopause, it’s important to include magnesium into your diet. Foods that provide magnesium include whole grains, leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and low-fat milk.

the nutrients added back) white rice is a greater source of folate than brown rice. In addition to the many benefits, rice is a gluten-free food product, making it a good choice for those with celiac disease and other gluten-related medical conditions. Although most people consume enough grains, not enough people consume whole grains. According to the

To make your dish more voluminous and nutritious, add in extra veggies and protein. An example of a nutritious tasty meal that includes protein, carbohydrates and vegetables would be: ½ cup cooked rice, roasted broccoli, sauteed spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and 4 ounces of grilled salmon.

White rice cooks more quickly than brown rice because it contains all the parts of the grain. There is fluffier consistency to white rice, while brown rice is more chewy, as the whole bran is still intact. Since brown rice tends to be chewier, an important tip in cooking brown rice is to let it rest at the end. Don’t open the lid as soon as the cooking time is up. Let it sit to get more moist and fluffy.

Even though both white rice and brown rice have their own health benefits, neither can be labeled the superior choice. If you like white rice, have the white rice, and if you like brown rice, enjoy the brown rice. If one needs to be monitoring their blood sugar, then brown rice would be the way to go. As I mentioned earlier, for those with digestive issues, white rice would be a better option as it contains less fiber. The choice comes down to your preference and if there are certain dietary restrictions.

Folate is an important nutrient for cell growth and red blood cell formation. During early pregnancy, adequate folate consumption is crucial to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in babies. Food sources of folate include dark leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, folic acid must be added to enriched grain products such as rice, cereal, and pasta. Enriched (foods that lose nutrients during processing have

USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), the amount of grains needed daily depends on a few factors such as age, gender, height, weight, activity level, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some examples of grains equivalent to one ounce are ½ cup of cooked rice, ½ cup of cooked pasta, ½ cup of cooked cereal, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, and 1 slice of bread. It’s important to note that serving sizes of rice/pasta is once it’s cooked, not dry.

I truly believe that everything can fit into your diet in moderation. Being mindful of portion sizes is very helpful for weight maintenance as well as weight loss. Having too much of anything, even if it contains a lot of health properties, can be too much. Moderation is the key to success.

Tehila Soskel is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a private practice in the Five Towns. She sees clients for weight loss, diabetes, and other various diseases. Appointments can be made for in-person or virtual sessions: 516-457-8558,,

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Even though both white rice and brown rice have their own health benefits, neither can be labeled the superior choice.

Wrapping Our Heads Around the Old Vs. New

The sandwich generation is faced with pressures from two groups of loved ones: parents and children. Now, while sandwiches have always been a basic staple of childhood and life, and therefore worthy of being used as the prototype metaphor for conveying a message, there’s always the wrap. What’s up with the Wrap Generation?

Think tuna wraps, avocado wraps, vegetable wraps, and any-food-youwant-to-display wrap. Wraps are those thin, flaky, not-so-tasty beige, green or orange coverings that replace the regular white, whole wheat, pumpernickel, or rye bread slices for making a sandwich. You just wrap the flexible dough around the food, and voila! You have a pretty sandwich.

Never mind that it’s not as tasty as the good-old-fashioned sandwich with regular bread. Never mind that it’s over in a minute – after one or two bites. All that doesn’t matter – it’s a wrap, and get used to it, or wrap your head around it – because everyone and her cousin is putting platters of wraps on the table when entertaining. Wraps are here to stay.

I will admit – wraps look pretty and are actually easy to eat because, since the food is wrapped rather than “sandwiched,” the food stays neatly inside the covering and doesn’t leak out. There is no mess.

a choice to eat a sandwich open-faced or closed-faced (that means with one bread or two breads for the un-initiated). Sometimes, I just don’t want to conform to the new ways of doing things with wraps, veggies, and all the modern

ing that cheese, tuna, or peanut butter inside those two beloved slices of bread. No, that’s not it at all.

It’s just that I prefer viewing (and sometimes eating) sandwiches over wraps. There is something inside me that just cannot wrap my mind around the concept of eating a small, wimpy, or colorful (albeit perfect) wrap of food.

There is something inside me that groans at the new and pines for the old. And I guess that’s just part of being a grandmother from the sandwich – not the wrap – generation. We are all wrapped up (or sandwiched up) into our own way of doing things. It’s okay – as long as we don’t pressure others to do things our way.

But that translates (in my mind) as no challenge and no fun.

Now, you may ask, why do I want challenges? And why do I consider them “fun”? Isn’t the easy, pretty, and convenient way better?

My answer to those questions (in case you’ve asked) is one word: Nostalgia.

Because, sometimes I really do enjoy feeling like being that kid who has

foodie ingredients and recipes. (Sourdough, anyone?)

Sometimes, I just want to hark back to my childhood and make for myself and my grandkids a typical sandwich with white bread or rye bread and slap some American cheese in between and bite down.

Not that I suggest abolishing wraps. Not that I even relish (pun intended) be -

Sandwich or wrap – it’s all very yummy and appealing – each in its own way.

JWOW! is a community for midlife Jewish women which can be accessed at for conversation, articles, Zoom events, and more.

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I guess that’s just part of being a grandmother from the sandwich –not the wrap – generation.

In The K tchen

Salmon Cauliflower Rice Bowl

This is a recipe that went viral during the pandemic on social media. I came up with a twist using cauliflower instead of rice, making this dish lower in carbs. My family loves to take the leftovers for lunch.


◦ 4 slices of salmon fillet, skinless (2 pounds) ◦ 2 packages cauliflower rice ◦ 3 TBS soy sauce ◦ 1-2 squirts sriracha ◦ 4 TBS mayonnaise ◦ Roasted seaweed cut into matchsticks ◦ 1 avocado, cubed


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place salmon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil and bake for 25 minutes.

Once the salmon has cooled, place in a bowl and flake it up with a fork and set aside.

While the salmon is cooking, prepare the cauliflower rice.

In a large sauté pan, add two tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add the cauliflower and sauté till lightly brown. Add 1 teaspoon salt.

Remove from heat and place in a bowl with the salmon.

And add soy sauce, sriracha, and mayo and mix well with a fork, almost smashing the rice with the salmon.

Serve with slices of avocado and pieces of seaweed.

Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website, or at (516) 295-9669.

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Ph OTO C R ed IT M IS h PAC h A M A g A

Notable Quotes

“Say What?!”

Back in 2017, Trump floated the idea of nuking North Korea and blaming the attack on another country. The old “Canada did it” routine.

Honestly, I’m pretty sick of left-leaning media focusing so much on my race. It’s sad to see how triggered the left is over the fact that I’m conservative.

- Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who is Latina, responding to an MSNBC article that accused her of being a white supremacist

Our best days are ahead of us. And I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been doing this a long time, folks. Our best days are ahead of us. Are not behind us. I’ve long said. I mean, this. I have never, ever, ever been more optimistic about America’s prospects. And am today. Never. Never. I’ve traveled over 140 countries around the world. I was the paraphrase the phrase in my old neighborhood. The rest of the countries the world is not a patch in our jeans. If we do what we want to do, we need to do.

- Pres. Joe Biden in Kentucky making forceful remarks, with a touch of gibberish

I feel like a new man; this is just unreal.

- Butch Marion, an 82-year-old veteran who was given a $108,000 check so that he can retire, after a customer noticed him working as a cashier at a Maryland Walmart and started a Go Fund Me page to raise money so that he can afford to retire

Did you know that ongoing exposure to NO2 from gas stoves is linked to reduced cognitive performance?

– Tweet by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Dem/Socialist-NY), supporting the proposed ban on gas stoves

If you live in one of those neighborhoods and you have the same exact car I have in the other neighborhood, you pay more for your insurance than that side. No basis for it! None at all other than you’re black, and I’m white.

- Pres. Joe Biden at a MLK Day event

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— Jimmy Kimmel
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Let me – I’m going to get a chance to speak on all this, G-d willing soon, but as I said earlier this week, people and, by the way my Corvette’s in a locked garage, OK? So it’s not like they’re sitting out in the street.

- Pres. Joe Biden when asked by Fox’s Peter Doocy, “Classified material next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?”

Pres. Biden is frustrated with the ongoing backlash and particularly annoyed about what he views as likely sloppiness by aides.

- NBC’s comical report that Pres. Biden is frustrated with the sloppiness of his staff for not having a better handle on his sloppiness with classified documents

I’m suspicious of the timing of it… Things can be planted on people, places and things can be planted or things things can be planted in places and then discovered conveniently.

- Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA), who once expressed concern that the island of Guam may tip over because too many people lived on it, suggesting that the classified documents were planted to take down Biden

We don’t want to turn this into just a political football.

– Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who is one of many Democrats who criticized Trump for having classified documents, singing a different tune about Pres. Biden’s classified documents issue

Full FBI raid happens when?

- Tweet by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after a third batch of classified documents from the Obama administration era was found on Biden’s personal property

You’ve heard of Mar-a-Lago; this is Car-a-Lago.

— James Corden

Good L-rd, apparently presidents lose classified documents the way we lose AirPods.

— Jimmy Fallon

Which is more dangerous: Joe Biden having classified documents in his garage, or Joe Biden having the keys to a Corvette?

— Jimmy Kimmel

Today, Obama was like, “Nothing to worry about. If Joe had access, it wasn’t important.”

— Jimmy Fallon

Who wants to tell her about the First Amendment?

- Harmeet K. Dhillon of the Liberty Center tweeting in response to clown Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (DTX) who proposed a bill in Congress last week making it a federal crime for a white person to criticize a non-white person

I say, “Try things. If you fail, try it again ... but just keep trying.”

- Joan Donovan, 89, of Florida, upon earning her master’s degree in creative writing


- The name of a Wisconsin town where a $15 million winning lottery ticket was sold last week

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Early this morning, all flights across the U.S. were grounded due to a failure with the F.A.A.’s computer system. Yeah. Zero flights took off, but somehow everyone’s luggage still ended up in Pittsburgh.

— Jimmy Fallon

Meanwhile, the outage happened while some planes were in the air. If there’s one thing you don’t want to hear from your pilot, it’s “Attention, passengers: Do yourselves a favor and stay off Twitter for a little bit.”

— Ibid.

That’s what’s scary. It seems like he funds corrosion. It’s like he wants these cities to fall apart. He wants crime to flourish. It’s almost like he’s an evil person in a Batman movie.

- Joe Rogan talking about billionaire leftist radical George Soros who funds the campaigns of many radical district attorneys who refuse to enforce existing criminal laws So you know, now I hear he might want to run against me. So we’ll handle that the way I handle things.

- Former President Donald Trump when asked in a recent interview about the prospect of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) running for president

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 89

Political Crossfire

Biden’s Shift on Immigration Acknowledges the Obvious

When President Joe Biden was rolling out his new, tougher “border enforcement” policy on Thursday, a reporter asked whether he believed, as many in his party do, that “migration is a human right.”

Well, yes, Biden answered, “it is a human right…if your family is being persecuted.” But he went on to express something that Democrats rarely discuss – “the other side of this,” he said --- which is that Americans want a secure, enforceable border, rather than the pell-mell chaos of the current, broken system.

“The people in this country have… basic fundamental rights to assure the people who are coming have been checked out,” he explained. “There has to be an orderly process and rationale to it.”

Biden’s statement of the obvious drew angry criticism from Democratic activists. An immigration advocate called his new border policy “callous.” A human rights leader described it as “a humanitarian disgrace.” The critics seemed to imply that the very idea of border control is morally wrong. This progressive view is compassionate but misconceived. Border security can be abused, but it’s an essential requirement for a free, sovereign nation.

The right denounced the new enforcement policy, too. That’s because, even as Biden expanded restrictions on illegal entry, he broadened a policy of two-year “parole,” with work permits included, for 30,000 immigrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who apply through an official portal and have financial sponsorship. For many MAGA activists, the

right level of immigration is none.

Biden hasn’t wanted to go near the border, literally, given how toxic the issue of immigration has become for the Democrats. But he stepped into the minefield with his trip to El Paso last Sunday and his summit meetings in Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday. And frankly, it’s about time he took on the issue forthrightly. Other Democrats and Republicans should follow.

What Biden proposes is a trade-off. Border enforcement will be tougher. The penalties for illegal migration will increase, and those caught attempting to enter the United States without legal permission will face expedited removal and a five-year ban on reentry. But at the same time, the parole process will be expanded for the four countries, and Mexico will accept up to 30,000 migrants a month from those countries who tried to enter illegally.

Asylum will remain a moral and le -

gal obligation under the new plan. But asylum seekers who don’t use a legal pathway through a third country will face a “rebuttable presumption” that their claims are invalid. The central idea is that while migration is essential, it must be more orderly and manageable.

The policy goes a little way in both directions, which no one is very happy with. My sense is that this is Biden’s home ground, in the middle, taking potshots from both sides. His patchwork centrism is easy to knock, but it’s why he was elected in 2020, and why his party did surprisingly well in the midterms. In a dysfunctional political system, Biden manages to get things done. He might seem to stumble, but it’s usually uphill.

“I don’t want to pretend there’s anything easy about it,” Biden said Thursday of the border-enforcement problem. White House officials know that what they have announced is a temporary

fix, at best. Right now, there are only bad policies on immigration. There is no upside to this issue, but Biden must still navigate the political swamp.

What seems to have led the White House to frame a pragmatic compromise on immigration was that protests about last year’s surge of migrants were coming increasingly from Democratic politicians, in California, Illinois and New York – not just from MAGA Republicans in Texas and Florida. The White House concluded it wasn’t a left-right issue, but one of governing or not governing.

The administration’s new approach to immigration began last spring, with a rush of Ukrainian refugees, a thousand a day, trying to cross the Mexico border. To stem this chaotic flow, the administration created an online application process, and the number of illegal entries each day fell to single digits. A similar application process was developed in October for Venezuelan refugees, whose numbers had surged to 1,500 a day. That has since fallen into the low hundreds.

In politics, you usually get credit for telling the faithful what they want to hear. But that has it backward. Good government often means upsetting powerful constituencies and choosing a path that might be unpopular but is still correct. I don’t want to oversell Biden’s immigration plan. It’s not going to fix our shattered system. But it recognizes that people aren’t morally defective if they demand a more secure and effective border policy.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 90
(c) 2022, Washington Post Writers Group

Political Crossfire

A Menacing Russia and China Pull Japan Out of Its Past

It takes a lot to break Japan’s post1945 stance of reticence and restraint in military matters. But China and Russia have accomplished just that – by convincing Japanese leaders that they need “counterstrike” capability to protect themselves against growing threats.

Japan’s hawkish new stance will be on display Friday at a White House meeting between visiting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President Biden. The Japanese leader will explain his decision in November to seek parliamentary approval to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product annually on defense, roughly doubling what Japan has been spending.

“This is an inflection point” for Asia, argues Kurt Campbell, who oversees regional policy for Biden’s National Security Council. It moves Japan from reliance on its own soft power and U.S. weapons to a real military partnership. And it redraws the security map, framing a NATO-like alliance of containment in the Indo-Pacific as well as the Atlantic.

Why is Japan taking this step toward remilitarization? One galvanizing moment for Japanese leaders, U.S. officials say, was when China and Russia flew six heavy bombers near Japan in a joint exercise on May 24, as Tokyo was hosting a meeting of the “Quad” partnership of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.

Japan expressed “serious concerns” about the flights. But China and Russia did it again in late November, sending two Chinese heavy bombers and two Russian planes over the Sea of Japan. This time Tokyo expressed “severe concerns,” again with no apparent response.

Another wake-up call came in August, when China fired five missiles into Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” during a spasm

of military exercises after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taiwan. “We have protested strongly through diplomatic channels,” said Nobuo Kishi, Japan’s former defense minister who now serves as a special adviser to the prime minister. The lesson was that “nothing in the Taiwan Strait stays in the Taiwan Strait,” Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Tokyo, told me in an interview.

Japan has moved from talk to action over the past year. A big reason is shock over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, coming less than a month after Russia and China announced a “no limits” partnership. “The world has changed in a dramatic fashion, and the Japanese know it,” Emanuel said.

Kishida, though a new and politically weak prime minister, moved aggressively to support Ukraine. Japan quickly sent military and humanitarian assistance,

and in March it successfully lobbied eight of the 10 ASEAN countries to back a U.N. resolution condemning Russia’s invasion.

“Kishida understood early that the Russian attack on Ukraine represented a blending of the Indo-Pacific and European worlds. He saw a fundamental challenge to world order,” says Campbell. So, rather than adopt the usual approach of relying on the United States to fix matters, he explains, Kishida “decided to make common cause with Europe.”

The heart of Japan’s security problem is missiles, and not just from China; North Korea regularly tests ballistic missiles that overfly Japanese territory. A decade ago, Japan invested heavily in antimissile technologies, hoping that this would blunt the threat. But several years ago, Japanese military planners realized that an adversary could overwhelm their missile-defense shield. They needed

something more.

The “counterstrike” strategy should offer that. The United States will provide Japan with 400 to 500 Tomahawk missiles that can hit missile sites in China or North Korea. Japan also wants to protect its space-based defense assets, which include satellite-guided bombs and a Japanese version of the U.S. Global Positioning System, from China’s expanding antisatellite arsenal. So, the Biden administration will extend the long-standing U.S. security treaty with Japan to cover attacks in space.

Japan’s new militancy will inevitably trigger a backlash in China, where there’s a deep antipathy to Japanese military power dating back to Japanese occupation in the 1930s and early ‘40s. If you doubt it, just visit the museum in Nanjing that documents Japan’s savage assault on the city in 1937. Japan has disdained power projection since its defeat in 1945 partly in deference to such historical memories.

Japan is still a deeply peaceful country. But the weight of the past is easing, and younger Japanese want a stronger military to deal with belligerent neighbors. A poll last summer by Jiji Press showed that 75 percent of respondents between 18 and 29 supported increased defense spending, and over 60 percent of that age group favored Japanese “counterstrike capabilities.”

China is in the early stages of what might be the biggest military buildup in history. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine effectively ended the post-Cold War era. Japan is reacting to those developments rationally. But beware: As the global order frays, the chain of action and reaction is only beginning.

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 91
japan igantius
(c) 2022, Washington Post Writers Group

Political Crossfire

If Trump’s Classified Document Mishandling was “Irresponsible,” So is Biden’s

After the Justice Department released a staged photo of classified documents – including some marked “Top Secret/SCI” (sensitive compartmented information) – which the FBI had spread on the floor of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, President Biden was asked on “60 Minutes” what he thought when he saw that picture. He said he wondered “how that could possibly happen – how anyone could be that irresponsible?”

Well, the Justice Department has not yet released a similar photo of the classified documents found in a locked closet at Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. But CNN reports that some of the Biden documents, like Trump’s, were top secret and “bore the marking ‘sensitive compartmented information’” – indicating the information was derived from our most sensitive intelligence sources. The documents reportedly included “U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.”

How could anyone be that irresponsible?

The classified documents – which reportedly were found in a manila folder labeled “personal” – were not just kept at the Penn Biden Center’s D.C. office. That office opened on Feb. 8, 2018 – more than a year after Biden left office. So, where were they kept before then? Who had custody of them and under what conditions were they held?

When it was discovered that Trump had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, critics said his holding them at his private club threatened national security.

Requesting the director of national intelligence to conduct a damage assessment, then-House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) wrote, “It is hard to overstate the national security danger that could emanate from the reckless decision to remove and retain this material.” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) warned that Trump’s actions had endangered our troops. The New York Times even published a 3D interactive model to show how “easily accessible classified documents may have been to the thousands of guests” who “may have been within feet of the materials.”

Well, what about the Penn Biden Center? It hosts classes for college students at its D.C. office and has participated in a joint program funded by the Japanese government. Did any of these classes include foreign nationals? Moreover, the center served as a waystation for Biden aides, including Antony Blinken and Steve Ricchetti. Did they host anyone who might have connec-

tions with foreign governments and thus may have been “within feet of the materials”? Maybe the Times will now give us a 3D model of the Penn Biden Center, too.

Let’s be clear: None of this absolves Trump, who had hundreds of classified documents in his unlawful possession, including documents marked “HCS” – a control system designed to protect intelligence information derived from clandestine human sources. This is extremely serious. And unlike Biden, whose lawyers immediately turned over the documents to the National Archives, Trump had to be forced to relinquish those in his possession.

Mishandling of classified documents is a serious violation of federal law. It does not matter whether it is fewer than a dozen, as in the Biden case, or hundreds, or whether their removal and retention was intentional. The Espionage Act states that anyone who “through gross negligence permits [classified information] to be removed from its proper place of custody…shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

The revelation that Biden appears to have violated this law complicates any Justice Department effort to prosecute Trump for the same offense. We have long known that Hillary Clinton kept highly classified information on her private server, including seven email chains that included intelligence classified at the top-secret/Special Access Program level – and that foreign actors obtained access to some of her emails. Now it appears that Biden also removed sensitive intelligence and kept it in an unsecured closet in his private office as well as in other still-to-be-determined conditions.

Prosecuting Trump, but not Clinton or Biden, for mishandling classified documents would be extremely difficult to explain to the American people. It is already suspicious that the documents in Biden’s private office were discovered on November 2 – less than a week before the midterm elections – yet the public was not informed of the discovery until this week. The FBI search of Trump’s home, less than three months earlier, had led Democrats to argue that Trump and his supporters were too irresponsible to be trusted with the levers of power. Why weren’t the American people told that Biden had similarly mishandled classified information before they went to the polls?

Add to that the recent revelations of attempts by the FBI, the intelligence community, and social media platforms to censor and discredit the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation, and millions of Americans will conclude that a Trump prosecution would be just the latest weaponization of federal law enforcement against conservatives.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 92
(c) 2022, Washington Post Writers Group
JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 93

Forgotten Her es

Jewish Recipients of the Victoria Cross

Similar to the American Medal of Honor, the Victoria Cross is Great Britain’s highest award for gallantry on the battlefield. The prestigious award was first introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria and is named after the British monarch. It was first awarded for actions during the Crimean War and since then has been presented to over 1,300 recipients. The servicemen who have been presented the Victoria Cross and their stories are history not to be forgotten.

Five Jewish soldiers received the Victoria Cross during World War I. Leonard Keysor enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in the summer of 1914. In April 1915, Keysor went ashore at Gallipoli, and two months later, he was promoted to lance corporal. At the battle of Lone Pine, the Ottomans were throwing grenades into the Australian trenches, but Keysor was there to stop them from wreaking havoc. He became proficient at smothering the grenades with sandbags or throwing them back at the Ottomans.

Keysor was wounded twice but refused evacuation until his unit’s position was safe.

Lieutenant Frank Alexander de Pass was awarded the Victoria Cross for entering an enemy stronghold and rescu-

ing a fellow soldier while destroying their position. He was killed while attempting to enter the stronghold a second time, because the enemy had reoccupied the position.

The other three Jewish soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross were Captain Robert Gee for singlehandedly taking out a fortified German position; Jack White (Weiss) for saving the lives of men

er from the Downham Market Royal Air Force Station. He flew 19 missions and 90 operational hours as a pilot in the Bomber Command. Aaron’s flying skills were so impressive that on one mission, despite receiving heavy damage, he completed the bombing run and returned safely to England.

On August 12, 1943, Aaron flew his 20 th mission to bomb enemy targets in

Bone airfield in Algeria, he directed the crew member on how to land in the darkness. After four failed attempts to land, the bomb aimer successfully landed the plane. Nine hours later, Aaron died from his wounds, but due to his sacrifice, the rest of the crew landed safely at a friendly airfield.

in his unit; and Issy Smith for assisting wounded men in the face of heavy enemy gunfire.

Flight Sergeant Arthur Louis Aaron was one of three Jewish servicemen awarded the Victoria Cross during World War II. He was born in Leeds, England, and received pilot training in Texas. As a member of the Royal Air Force, he flew a Short Stirling four-engine heavy bomb -

Turin, Italy, when his plane was attacked by an enemy fighter. Three engines were lost and received extensive damage to other parts of the aircraft. Aaron was hit by a bullet in the jaw and another to his lungs but was able to continue flying. Even after he was relieved of his pilot’s duties due to his injuries, he wrote instructions on how to fly the plane to other crew members. As they approached

Irish Guards Sergeant John Patrick Kenneally may or may not have been Jewish (his religious lineage is questionable), but his actions in April 1943 were so impressive that he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Kenneally was with the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards who had landed in Tunisia a month earlier. The North Africa Campaign was winding down, but Axis powers were not giving up without a fight. Casualties had been high, and by April 28, the 1 st Battalion was down to 173 soldiers. They were fighting on a ridge at Djebel Bou Azoukaz when they noticed a large group of German soldiers preparing to make an attack. Kenneally singlehandedly charged at the hundred enemy soldiers shooting at them from his hip with his Bren gun. The enemy soldiers scattered, and they were picked off by the Irish Guards. Soon the Germans regrouped and formed up to charge again at the Irish Guards, and again Kenneally surprised them while firing his gun.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 94
He finished the job by using one hand to shoot his gun and the other to support himself on another soldier.
Leonard Keysor Lieutenant Frank Alexander de Pass A statue of Aaron in Leeds

Two days later, he charged at the enemy, and this time he was accompanied by a sergeant. Kenneally was shot and wounded in the calf but refused medical assistance. He finished the job by using one hand to shoot his gun and the other to support himself on another soldier. For his actions in Tunisia, Kenneally was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Jewish Petty Officer Thomas “Nat” Gould of the Royal Navy was born in Dover, Kent, and joined the Submarine Service in 1937. He was assigned to the submarine HMS Thrasher (N37) after serving on four other submarines. On

February 16, 1942, the Thresher was off the north coast of Crete when she sank a 3,000-ton enemy supply ship. A destroyer, which was escorting the supply ship, and Axis airplanes commenced dropping depth charges and 150 lbs. bombs on the Thrasher ’s suspected location. After seeing no signs of a sunken submarine (air bubbles or debris floating to the surface), the destroyer and the airplanes left the area.

After dark, the Thresher surfaced to recharge her batteries, and upon inspection, the crew discovered two unexploded bombs in the gun casing. Gould and Lieu-

tenant Peter Roberts volunteered for the hazardous duty of removing the bombs. They easily removed the first bomb, but the second had gone through the side placing of the emplacement and the deck casing above the pressure hull. The two sailors entered the small space and lay flat while removing the bomb. Gould held the bomb with his hands, while Roberts dragged him by the shoulders. The bomb made noise as it was moved along, but they were able to move it twenty feet so that it could be gently lowered overboard. For their actions in saving the 61 sailors aboard the Thresher, both Gould and

Roberts were awarded the Victoria Cross. Only a few soldiers have been awarded their country’s highest honor for bravery on the frontlines. While these recipients of the Victoria Cross may not be the most well-known honorees, their heroism and sacrifice in the most dangerous of situations makes them Forgotten Heroes.

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 95
John Patrick Kenneally receiving his Victoria Cross Nat Gould




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Magnificent 2K Sq. Ft. Co-Op. 3Br/2Bth, Eik, Lr, Dr, W/D In Unit, Gar, 2 Stor Units, Elev, Near All $775K 516-846-1032 No Brokers


Spacious 2BR, 2 Full Bath Apt with an enclosed terrace in the heart of Lawrence. Well maintained & manicured building. New hardwood floors, updated Eat-in Kitchen with gas stove. warming draw, dishwasher & microwave. New windows on the enclosed terrace & one of the bedrooms. 3 New A/C Units & New Refrigerator. Close to shopping, transportation, library, schools, and houses of worship. $339K Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


Hewlett House 1 Bedroom Co-op. Unit Includes 1 Parking Spot + Storage Unit, W/D Outside of Unit. Close to Shopping, Schools, Houses of Worship, Restaurants + Parks. Prime Location in the Heart of Hewlett. $109k Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457 mlipner@


1 bedroom apartment, elevator building, eat-in kitchen, full bath, hardwood floors, plenty of closet space. Ceiling fan in bedroom & kitchen, laundry room in the basement. Close to the railroad, shopping, and houses of worship $168k Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457 mlipner@


Totally renovated bright and sunny 1 bedroom corner unit apartment with a washer/dryer. Features quartz countertops, ss appliances, recessed lighting, bathroom with chrome fixtures, close to the railroads, shopping and houses of worship. Call for details Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


New to the market beautifully maintained bright and sunny 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom co-op on the top floor in an elevator building with a private storage room. Renovated eat -in-kitchen with granite countertops, lots of cabinets, 2 renovated bathrooms. 2 spacious bedrooms with ceiling fans and air conditioners. hardwood floors, high ceilings , close to the railroad, shopping and houses of worship. Call for a private showing.$429K

Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457





Beautiful & Spacious 2 Bedroom Apartment Across From The Golf Course. Elevator Building, Updated Kitchen, Gas Cooking, Granite Countertops, Washer/Dryer In Unit, High Ceilings, Great Closet Space, Storage in Basement, Close To RR, Shopping & Houses Of Worship.$349K

Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


Totally renovated 1 and 2 Bedroom, Apartments with washer/dryer, kitchen with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances. Recessed lighting, hardwood floors, storage in basement. Close to RR, shopping, and houses of worship. Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


Hewlett 3 bedroom 2 bath co-op with central air conditioning, terrace, wash-er/dryer, hardwood floors, recessed lighting, magnificent kitchens, ss appliances, l/r, d/r, close to the railroad, shopping, and houses of worship. $300k Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, totally renovated private entrance , central air conditioning, hardwood floors, washer/dryer, garage parking, dishwasher, recessed lighting, private playground, close to railroad, park, shopping and houses of worship.

Call for more details

Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


Move right in!! 2 Bedroom Apartment, Elevator Bldg in SD #14, Pre War Bldg, Pet Friendly, Laundry Room in Basement, Wood Floors, New Windows, Corner Apartment, Beautiful Renovated Kitchen w/SS Appliances, 3 A/C Units, Close to RR, Shopping & Houses of Worship. A must-see! $199k


1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment, elevator building, eat-in kitchen, spacious rooms throughout, laundry room on-premises, garage parking, close to all Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457


Storefront/Office for LEASE: Bayview Ave corner Lawrence. Street parking 600+SF - Available immediately. Minyan Call/Text/WA Owner: 516-206-1100


Bayview and Lawrence. Available immediately. Minyan Call/Text/WA Owner: 516-206-1100


2 Stores ~1600SF; one leased to restaurant one perfect for owner-user - across from LIRR $549K obo - Call/Text/WA Owner: 516206-1100

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 99
• text 443-929-4003
WOODSBURGH LAWRENCE Serene Cul-de-Sac in Village of Lawrence Main Flr Master Bdrm Suite with Many Closets and Bthrm, Addional Main Flr Bdrm & Bath, Lg Flr Fdnr Huge Den, EIK, Mudrm, + 4 Bdrms 2 Bths on Second Flr, Beautiful Wrap Around Property, $1.690M CO-OPS/CONDOS 261 Central Ave 1st Floor, Large Entry Foyer, Open Concept Kitchen. Beachfront Condo with Wraparound Terrace, Magni cent Sunrise & Sunset $589K CEDARHURST Stucco Col. with 2 Story Entry 9 ft Ceilings, 14 Zone Heat which Light Throughout, Flr Fdnr, Magni cent Chefs Eik with High End Appliances, Dble Ovens , 6 Burner Cooktop with Pot Filler, 2 Dishwashers, and more. Master Bdrm Suite with Luxurious Bath and Walk in closet,+4 Bdrms and 2 Beautiful Bths ,2nd Flr Laundry Rm , Full Finished Basement with 10 ft Ceilings Huge Playrm 2 Bdrms and Bth laundry Rm storage, Beautiful Manicured Garden. WOODMERE NEW! Classic Center Hall, with Lg Main level Den and EIK, Master Suite plus 2 Bdrms, 3 New Baths plus Finished Basement. Beautiful fenced yard with Deck and Summer Kitchen plus Pro Inground Basket ball court. New Roof All New Exterior and New Tankless Hot Water Heater. Easily expandable to 5 bedrooms in a great location. $1.299M WOODMERE CO-OP NEW! Renovated Luxurious 1 Bdrm Coop in the Heart of Woodmere in Desirable Heathcote Residence. Beautiful Entry with Huge WIC, Spacious EIK with lots of Windows, 2 Sinks, granite counters and S.S appliances. Storage room included and assigned indoor/outdoor parking. $319K CEDARHURST NEW! Quality New Construction! Stucco Col. with 2 Story Entry 9 ft Ceilings, 14 Zone Heat which includes Radiant Heat, Anderson Windows with Lots of Natural Light Throughout, Flr Fdnr, Magnificent Chefs Eik with High End Appliances, Dble Ovens 6 Burner Cooktop with Pot Filler, 2 Dishwashers, and more. Master Bdrm Suite with Luxurious Bath and Walk in closet, 4+ Bdrms and 2 Beautiful Bths ,2nd Flr Laundry Rm Full Finished Basement with 10 ft Ceilings Huge Playrm 2 Bdrms and Bth laundry Rm storage, Beautiful Manicured Garden. POR CEDARHURST Reduced Traditional all Brick C/H Colonial In a Most Exclusive Area of Cedarhurst. Very Large Rooms and High Ceilings. F/ LR F/DR. Kitchen, Study Breakfast Rm. 4 Large B/R Unfinished Attic and Full basement. Endless possibilities Beautiful Tree lined Street. $1.399 Open House 29 Woodmere Blvd Apt 2B 2:30-4:00



Additional assistant teachers for General Studies. Wonderful opportunity to observe great teachers, work one-on-one with students, and gain some classroom teaching experience. Send your resume to Email


A multi-tasker needed for general office work. The ideal candidate is someone who is detail-oriented, responsible, and can take ownership. Looking for someone who is eager to learn, and expand his/her skill set while possessing the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience with Excel required. Five Towns location. In-office position only, not remote. Please send resume to



Excellent growth potential, Frum environment, Excellent salary & benefits. Email resume to:

A YESHIVA IN QUEENS is looking for an experienced part/ full time secretary, 2-year-old morah, kindergarten morah, kindergarten morah assistant and Pre-1A English teacher for the 2022-2023 school year. Nice and timely pay. Please email resume to or call/text 718-971-9799.


School is seeking to hire teachers in all secular subjects for grades 6-8.  We offer an excellent working environment and salary; Monday-Thursday, 2:30-5:30 PM.  Interviews are being held now.  Candidates should have prior teaching experience.  Please send resume to


5 Towns area Nursing Home management office seeking a Regional/Corporate level MDS Nurse to work in our office. Must be an RN. Regional experience preferred. 2-3 years MDS experience with good computer skills required. Position is Full Time but Part Time can be considered. Great Shomer Shabbos environment with some remote options as well. Email:


Boutique litigation and real estate law office in the 5 Towns seeking a legal secretary. Duties include assisting attorneys with files, preparing legal documents, keeping attorney calendars, interacting/corresponding with clients and basic managerial office tasks. Candidate should be responsible, detail oriented and able to work closely with attorneys.  Office experience preferred but willing to train. Interested applicants should please either call (516) 295-0707 or to cell (516) 810-7001.  Please also send resume by fax (516) 295-0722 or by email to Position available immediately.


5th Grade Master’s in Education or currently enrolled in Master’s Program preferable. Excellent opportunity for students pursuing a degree in education. Afternoon teaching hours. Warm, collaborative environment. Excellent Pay Email resume:


Looking for assistants and a long term elementary permanent substitute teacher. Afternoon hours, excellent working conditions,, competitive pay.  Please send a resume to


Seeking General Studies 8th grade teacher. Email resume to


ELA teaching position for Gr. 5. Mon.-Thurs., afternoon hours. Far Rockaway/5T area. Competitive salary, warm supportive environment.



Excellent working environment and pay. Only lic/exp need apply. Email resume to


Business looking for someone that has a large van or sprinter that can work a full day on Wednesdays on a weekly basis throughout the year in Brooklyn. Please do not call if you do not have a large van or a sprinter 347.992.7411


Approximately two years ago, a man’s watch was left in one of the bathrooms on the first floor at 445 Central Ave in Cedarhurst New York. If this is your watch, and you can provide an accurate description of it, please reach out to:

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 19, 2023 100
Classifieds • text 443-929-4003 TJH Classifieds Post your Real Estate, Help Wanted, Services, Miscellaneous Ads here. Weekly Classifed Ads Up to 5 lines and/or 25 words 1 week ................$20 2 weeks .............. $35 4 weeks .............. $60 Email ads to: Include valid credit card info and zip code Deadline Monday 5:00pm

Your Money Cool Cats

Someday, accountants will be cool. I don’t just mean in the “Oh, you’re majoring in accounting, that’s cool” sense. I mean Steve-McQueen-cruisingthrough-Rome-on-a-Vespa cool . Someday, little kids who dream of growing up to be accountants will collect bubblegum cards with Big Four partners’ pictures on one side and detailed career stats on the back. (Tax dollars saved, by year! Endorses checks: right-handed!) When they get to high school, they’ll be as popular as the quarterback of the football team and the Homecoming Queen. (56.8% of CPAs are women.) Someday, cool college kids will skip fraternities to party with the Accounting Club.

Unfortunately, today is not that day. Accounting is still crucially important. It’s still the language of business. But it’s still not cool. And that has big implications for the taxes Americans will pay as the accounting profession evolves over the next decades.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation into why 300,000 accountants have left their jobs over the last two years. It’s not just baby boomer retirements. Young and midcareer professionals have been leaving since before the pandemic. And the article identified a fundamental problem with the

talent pipeline: “Many college students don’t want to work in accounting. Even those who majored in it.”

Companies working to make accounting cool are sending staffers into classrooms to change that perception. The AICPA sponsors a website at, celebrating the edu-

In the end, though, most accounting employers are simply going to have to pay more to compete with banks and consulting firms. That, in turn, means convincing their clients to pay them more. And that’s not always easy, especially when it comes to taxes. Fortunately for them (and us!), there’s a formula for providing better

get more and more complicated every year? (It turns out tax simplification is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.)

Other tax pros, like us, want to help you pay less. We don’t just drive with the rearview mirror. Our value comes with more proactive questions that lead to more valuable answers. How can we help you restructure your business to keep more in your pocket? How can we customize your retirement plan to make the most of tax deferral when that makes sense? How can we help position your investment portfolio to make more out of the magic power of compound interest?

cation, lifestyle, and career opportunities available in the field. (“Is it easier for a pilot to start an airline or for an accountant to launch their own company?”) There’s a TikTok account, naturally. (Out: numbers in boxes. In: risk control, project management, controllership, asset management, audits.) Even the Sales Tax Institute is doing its part with its annual “Sales Tax Nerd Award.” If sales tax is cool – which it is! – then this year’s Sales Tax Nerd is the coolest cat around.

client service that does the convincing on its own.

Most tax pros are perfectly content to tell you how much you owe, then call it a day. That’s especially true for the storefront preparers (who really aren’t even accountants) that you’ll see advertising on NFL playoff games. They answer two very basic questions. Did something you already did last year give you a tax deduction today? And if so, how do you record it properly on the government forms that

In the end, the real goal isn’t just paying less today. The real goal is accomplishing your specific financial objectives with less interference from taxes. You won’t get that from a storefront tax preparer, or a faceless voice at the other end of an online chat, or even most full-service accountants. But you will get it from us. How cool is that?!?

Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at

JANUARY 19, 2023 | The Jewish Home 101
It turns out tax simplification is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.

Eating Out – What’s It About?

For some people, their stomachs are actually attached directly to their mouths. What they consume fills them up. If they have a belly-full, they are done.

But then there are the compartment people.

I believe I’m one of them. I get really full on somethings, but there is ALWAYS room for others.

If I’m stuffed with salad, there’s still room to try the soup, and there is always room to experience a couple of appetizers – you bet. And sometimes I can take or leave the main.

But, even if I can’t imbibe one more bite, I would never turn away the dessert menu! What does that have to do with

anything else I ate?! It’s DESSERT!

I think I would call this mental eating.

It’s all about the mind and not the belly.

The way I look at it is that if there is still room for another taste sensation in my head, then my stomach must accommodate.

Is this healthy?

Maybe not for my body. But my brain loves it!

After all, isn’t there a saying, “food for thought”? So, it seems related. Or maybe that’s me stretching it.

Yet, I think, when I go out to eat, it’s really about the fun and not the food.

We are going out for an experience. And the food is just the vehicle.

It could be like going to a museum.

Some people are done after seeing all

the classics. But then others still have room for the Impressionists. And the Modern stuff. And still need to see the wild abstracts. Because that’s like dessert. It’s its own taste sensation!

Is there a right or wrong here?

Of course not!

People are wired differently. They have different approaches, tolerances, enjoyments, and appetites for things.

I guess it’s just the way the cookie crumbles!

Oh no, did I have to say that? Why’d I bring up a cookie?!

I actually went out tonight and avoided the dessert. And there I go, triggering my brain’s dessert button.

Clearly my experience just wasn’t complete! Maybe I should play it smart and

take a run over and look at the abstracts at the museum!

Rivki Rosenwald is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working with both couples and individuals and is a certified relationship counselor. Rivki is a co-founder and creator of an effective Parent Management of Adolescent Years Program. She can be contacted at 917705-2004 or at

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