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April 8, 2021

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home


The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



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Register: vaxfacts.live • Submit questions: vaxfacts.live or vaxfacts@jowma.org Visit www.JOWMA.org/covid19 for more information about further webinars. This content is for general educational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment about your particular condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021






APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,


robably one of the hardest days to get out of bed is the day after a long yom tov or vacation. Your body is used to a later wakeup and you’re accustomed to puttering around in your home in the morning, savoring a coffee and enjoying a late breakfast. But when it’s back to school and back to work, the alarm rings a bit too shrilly and the bus comes a bit too early and the breakfast is a mad dash out the door. So this week, when Tuesday brought us back to a dose of reality, my kids weren’t anxious to get back to school. They were still groggy from traveling and maybe even a bit under the weather – too much matzah and macaroons can do that to anyone. In my pep talk to them – and to myself – I highlighted that there are only two more months left to school. Yup, we almost made it through, a journey for which we held our breaths under our masks to see what would come and which commenced in starts-and-stops. Now, we’re back to routine.

But what if we shouldn’t be back to “routine”? What if we shouldn’t be ending our year on a repetitive, predictable note? What if we ended the school year with excitement and vigor? What if we started each morning with a spring in our step and bounded back from the bus animated and energized? What if we took these next two months and put all our energies into finishing off strong? Spring lends itself to renewal. The bright sun, fresh air, and long, carefree days bring buoyancy to our days. Is it possible to harness that freshness to add spice to our routine? Clearly, I’m speaking for myself. My kids aren’t interested in hearing about being excited to do homework or take tests. But perhaps if I model an attitude of enthusiasm and a drive to perk up a wilted schedule, we can end off the year with a spring in our steps.

Yitzy Halpern

Wishing you a wonderful week, Shoshana

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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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home




Readers’ Poll Community Happenings


NEWS Global




Odd-but-True Stories




Israel News


A Kohen Conundrum by Rafi Sackville


JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Wein on the Parsha


Yiddishkeit for Every Jew by Rav Moshe Weinberger


Mesiras Moda’ah by R’ Yaakov Klein


Delving into the Daf


PEOPLE Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Spivak, z”l by Rabbi Zev Brenner


Rav Mordechai Glatstein, zt”l by Rabbi Meir Avnei-Tzedek


The Wandering Jew


The Woman Who Didn’t Speak for 40 Years by Cheri Tannenbaum


Jacques Louis Ehrlich by Avi Heiligman


HEALTH & FITNESS Unblending by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn


The Most Nutritious Breads by Cindy Weinberger MS, RD


Parenting Pearls


FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Salad Nicoise


Dear Editor, The state senator from our district, a Democrat, has now voted for another business-killing tax hike for New York State residents. Before that, he voted in favor of the infamous bail “reform” that put dangerous criminals back on our streets, and for the rent legislation that is killing the residential real estate industry in New York.  And on top of all that, he also voted for the counterproductive law that forces grocery shoppers to use unsanitary reusable bags during a pandemic, or else to pay for a five-pack of plastic bags.  Indeed, best one can tell from his voting record, he takes all of his marching orders from his party bosses and is entirely unwilling to go out on a limb to protect the interests of his constituents. So here is my question to your readers: At what point are his cameo appearances at yeshiva dinners and photo ops at day school graduations just not going to cut it anymore?  Can our votes actually be purchased that cheaply?  S.W. Lawrence, NY Dear Editor, Someone was missing at President  Joe  Biden’s first cabinet meeting held on Thursday, April 1. Remember his campaign promise that

he would unite America again and appoint the most diverse cabinet and administration in history, representing the gorgeous American mosaic?  Now into the fourth month of his administration, he has yet to appoint any Republicans.  There are several thousand cabinet, sub cabinet, agency administrators and others who will be appointed by the White House to serve at the pleasure of the President. Republicans continue to represent a significant portion of America. Why has he failed to appoint any to serve in his Cabinet and administration?  Mr. Biden has failed in following up on this public commitment on this issue.  Even former Democratic President Barack Obama appointed Ray LaHood, Republican Congressmember from Illinois, as his Secretary of Transportation.  Actions speak louder than words. His call for bringing America together appears to just be campaign rhetoric.  Biden practices to the victor belongs the spoils. Quid pro quo is alive and well in the White House under his watch. It is business as usual at the expense of taxpayers. Sincerely, Larry Penner Great Neck, NY Continued on page 10



Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer 74 Mann, LCSW Your Money

Back to Bread by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS

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HUMOR Centerfold 54 POLITICAL CROSSFIRE Notable Quotes


Public Health Experts are Confusing Americans by Marc A. Thiessen 90 Russia’s Military Activity Near Ukraine is Poised to Test the Biden Administration by David Ignatius


Twin Dangers for Biden’s Administration by David Ignatius


Democrats, Don’t Pass the SALT by George F. Will




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The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Continued from page 8

Dear Editor, This Pesach shopping season I was so grateful to Hkb”H that I was able to safely shop. Especially as I was reminded of the tremendous chessed of the White Shul Sisterhood (thank you Rivka Levy!! that did last year’s shopping. I am also grateful to Frankel’s Kosher (a Five Towns Jewish Home advertiser) for their exceptional customer service (under the leadership of their great manager Jeff!). From the shopper who called me to ask if Leibers can replace Gefen on an item to the deliveryman who not only brought my boxes into the

kitchen (following CDC masking and distance guidelines) but offered to put them on the counter, the entire shopping/ordering process was unusually responsive and helpful. In gratitude,  R. Molinsky  Dear Editor, This is in response to the dating column in your Pesach issue. A woman wrote in, saying that her sister is dating and refuses to date indoors due to the pandemic. First and foremost, now that the seasons are changing, there will be ample places for herr sister to date outdoors. But more importantly, I think

this question points to a deeper issue with this woman’s sister. Unless the sister has an underlying health issue, she should not allow corona to curtail her life. If she sees herself scared and anxious and nervous about meeting with people indoors, there is a bigger issue at stake. Yes, corona is dangerous, and we need to follow certain precautions. At her age, she should follow the precautions and then move on with life. You can’t – and shouldn’t – stay in your cave forever. Corona has exacerbated or even brought to the fore many people’s anxieties. Someone who is dating needs to get over those anxieties so that they don’t bring them into

Views expressed on the Letters to the Editor page do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Home. Please send all correspondence to: editor@fivetownsjewishhome.com.

a new relationship. I would advise the sister to go to a therapist instead of going out on another date. I am sure her anxieties are apparent to her dates and that many of them are scared off by her stress. A therapist can work with her and help her come to an understanding that her fears are not something to halt her life for. Best of luck to these women, Karen Walkenfeld Dear Editor, Your article featuring David Babinet, “the Baritone Bartender,” struck a chord with me – no pun intended. Indeed, how many of us are able to change paths in life and come to a realization that there is a True Purpose in this world and are willing to move mountains to search for Truth? I have utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Babinet. May he see continued success in all his endeavors. Sincerely, Rachel Handler



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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

daf yomi:

The Week In News

just in time for maseches yoma A New Illustrated Guide to the Layout and Design of the Beis Hamikdash!

Attempted Coup in Jordan

In this book, The Original Second Temple, you will learn: • WHERE the Kohen Gadol spent the night of Yom Kippur (p.77) • HOW the water reached the two mikvaos used by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur (p.82) • WHO designed the Kohen Gadol’s mikveh using “sorcery” (p.83) • WHY the Kohen Gadol’s chamber was rebuilt every year (p.91) • HOW they kept an eye on the Kohen Gadol in the Kodesh Hakodashim (p.178) The Original Second Temple includes over 130 full-color computer renderings and diagrams, extensive footnotes, a complete annotated floor plan of the Beis Hamikdash, and much more!



Author Yoav Elan is the translator and illustrator of ArtScrollʼs Maseches Middos for the Schottenstein Talmud, Yad Avraham Mishnah Series, and The Mishnah Elucidated. He lives in Baltimore where he is a member of Kollel Avodas Levi at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College.






Jordanian intelligence arrested more than 16 senior officials, including former Crown Prince Hamza Bin Hussein, over suspicions that they were plotting to overthrow King Abdullah II. The wave of arrests began on Saturday evening and saw special forces raid dozens of homes in an affluent suburb near the capital of Amman. Those arrested include a slew of highly influential Jordanian officials, including Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a royal who served as the envoy to Saudi Arabia, ex-finance minister Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, and senior intelligence and military officers.  The leader of the plot is said to be Prince Hamza, the half-brother of current King Abdullah II and son of former monarch King Hussein. In a dramatic press conference on Monday, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi accused Hamza of coordinating with foreign elements as part of a “malicious plot” to destabilize the Kingdom.  According to Safadi, the conspiracy reached the highest levels in the Kingdom and was close to being implemented before it was foiled. The alleged preparations for the coup included chartering a private jet to fly Hamza and his wife out of the country. “Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country, but his majesty decided it was best to talk directly to Prince Hamza, to deal with it within the family to prevent it from being exploited,” Safadi said. Raised and educated in the UK, Prince Hamza served as the Crown Prince from 1999 until he was re-

moved from the position in favor of Abdullah’s son Hussein in 2004. Since then, Hamza has been prevented from filling powerful positions in the government and was said to be resentful over his lack of influence. Hamza also enjoys warm relations with a slew of highly influential tribes that form the base of King Abdullah’s political support.  First denying that Prince Hamza was detained, the Jordanian Armed Forces admitted on Sunday morning that the prince was under house arrest. The military said that it had warned Hamza to cease harming the Kingdom’s “security and stability” but would not take action until the prince met with King Abdullah II.  In a cell phone video the royal sent the BBC on Sunday, Hamza said that his internet access had been cut off and accused the royal family of widespread corruption and brutality. He added that the military had banned him from contacting any member of the royal family, including his own wife and children.  “Since then, a number of the people I know – or my friends – have been arrested, my security has been removed, and the internet and phone lines have been cut,” he said. “This is my last form of communication, satellite internet, that I have, and I have been informed by the company that they are instructed to cut it so it may be the last time I am able to communicate,” Prince Hamza said.  “I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse... And I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions.”

Terrorists Target Female UN Medics

The United Nations is weighing whether to reconsider allowing women to participate in its Afghan polio

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

vaccine campaign after three female medics were shot dead. The healthcare workers had been going door-to-door as part of the five-day vaccination drive when they were shot dead by two gunmen in the eastern city of Jalalabad. All three had been working for the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a key agency in the current drive to inoculate 10 million Afghans against polio. No one has taken responsibility for the attack, which is believed to be the work of extremist Islamists objecting to the employment of women. Now, the UN is debating restricting women from participating in the vaccination drive entirely in the wake of the tragic killing.  While acknowledging the importance of including female healthcare workers in the effort, officials worry that they have no way to effectively protect frontline medics.  “We feel terrible to put female lives at risk and it’s crucial to find ways to protect them before they participate in ongoing vaccination drives,” said Godwin Mindra from UNICEF. “We are considering providing a layer of security to female frontline workers but we are also aware that we cannot militarize any

health campaign,” Mindra added. Complicating matters is the severe manpower shortage that would result should the UN decide to restrict female participation. With women comprising an estimated 40% of the total 70,000 staff members, removing them would leave agencies hard-pressed to complete the vaccination campaign successfully.  The initiative aims to vaccinate 9.6 million children in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. While the Taliban refuses to allow the door-todoor campaign to take place in areas under its control, the UN and other agencies say that they can potentially get to 32 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. 

Last Remaining Jews Flee Yemen Thirteen Yemenite Jews recently fled Yemen after the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels allowed them to leave the war-torn country to safety in Cairo.   The story was first reported by the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper and was later confirmed by Israeli

news outlets. The three families had been the last remaining Jews in Yemen, leaving the country without a local Jewish community for the first time in over 2,000 years.

As part of the deal with the rebel Houthis, the Jews were allowed to seek shelter in a United Nations office in the capital of San’a in exchange for promising not to immigrate to Israel. In return, the Houthis freed Levi Salem Musa Marhabi, a local Jewish man who has been in prison for four years for allegedly trying to smuggle out a Torah scroll. “They gave us a choice between staying in the midst of harassment and keeping Salem a prisoner or leaving and having him released,” one of the Yemenite Jews told Al-Sharq Al-Aqsat.  “History will remember us as the last of Yemeni Jews who were still

clinging to their homeland until the last moment,” the person added. “We had rejected many temptations time and time again and refused to leave our homeland, but today we are forced.” A militia infamous for its anti-Semitism, the Houthis have been pressuring Yemen’s Jews to leave ever since capturing large swaths of the country in 2019. According to a slew of Egyptian media reports, Houthi militants had plundered Jewish-owned property after conquering Amran Governorate in 2020, including stripping them of their homes and family heirlooms. As the danger to the ancient Jewish community grew, Israel worked through covert channels to ensure their safety. This past summer, the United Arab Emirates worked to extricate a family of Yemenite Jews and reunite them with their family in London after their village was overrun by Jew-hating terrorists.  In 2016, 16 Yemenite Jews were airlifted to Israel in a classified operation that reportedly saw IDF special forces land in Houthi-controlled San’a and bribe rebel commanders. First flown under the cover of darkness to Amman, Jordan, they were later transferred to Israel. 

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Oldest Righteous Gentile Passes Away

Anna Kozminska, the oldest person to hold the title of Righteous Among the Nations, died recently at the age of 102. Kozminska passed away on March 24 and was laid to rest at the Powazki Cemetery in Warsaw. A native of the small Polish town of Czestochowa, Kozminska and her stepmother Maria cared for Abraham Jabłoński, a Jewish child whose parents were murdered by the Nazis. From 1942 until 1945, the two sheltered Abraham, telling suspicious neighbors that he was a distant relative who lost his family in a tragedy.  At one point, the Nazis searched the Kozminska home after getting tipped off by a neighbor that they were illegally hiding Jews. Yet despite the extreme danger, Anna and Maria continued to shelter Abraham, even sending him to a local school so that his education wouldn’t suffer.  Apart from Abraham, the two also took in three other Jews and hid them in their cellar for years until the war was over.  Upon the end of World War II, Abraham Jabłoński emigrated to Israel, where he testified to the humanity and courage of both women. In 1985, he found Anna Koźmińska in Warsaw and asked her to write her memoirs detailing her actions under the German occupation.  After Koźmińska published her memoirs, she and Maria were honored by the Yad Vashem Institute with the title of Righteous Among the Nations in 1991. In 2016, Anna Koźmińska received the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta from the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.

Dam Diplomacy Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi warned Ethiopia that it risked war if its new dam took “even on drop of Egyptian water.”

Egypt and Ethiopia have been at loggerheads over the latter’s new $4.5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. While Ethiopia views the project as key towards its economic future, Egypt fears that it will cut off the Nile River and deprive it of its main source of water. Sisi’s remarks came at a press conference he held at the Suez Canal after authorities freed a giant container ship trapped in the waterway. Hailing the successful effort to float the jammed vessel that had stymied global shipping, Sisi said that Ethiopia was inviting military action should it continue filling the dam. 

“I’m not threatening anyone here; our dialogue is always reasonable and rational,” Sisi said. “I say once again no one can take a drop from Egypt’s water, and if it happens, there will be inconceivable instability in the region.” Noting that Cairo had repeatedly sought to solve the issue via negotiations, el-Sisi warned that filling the dam without an agreement on water allocation would bring both countries to war. “Any act of hostility is detestable … but our reaction in the event that we are affected” by cutting off its Egypt’s water supply “will affect the stability of the entire region.” Sisi’s public warning marks a major escalation in the decade-long dispute and comes after negotiations with Ethiopia have fallen apart. During the last round of talks that were mediated by the U.S. in February 2020, Egypt agreed to the interim terms only to see Ethiopia back out at the last minute. Since then, neighboring Sudan proposed a new round of negotiations under the auspices of the quartet of the African Union, European Union, United Nations, and the United States. While Egypt welcomed the initiative, Ethiopia dismissed the proposal as “biased.” A key sticking point has been the scheduled filling of the dam. While Egypt demands the dam become operational only after an agreement is reached between both sides, Ethiopia insists that it will fill it in July regardless of how talks progress.


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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Iran-Backed Militias Making Millions

A slew of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq are making hundreds of millions of dollars via its mass smuggling network along the country’s borders. A new report by the AFP details how the Popular Mobilization Unit, or PMF, has systematically taken over Iraq’s import system via bribes, extortion, and threats. An armed militia with tens of thousands of fighters, the PMF frequently does the bidding of Iran and played a key role in wiping out ISIS in 2018.  According to the AFP expose, the PMF funds a large part of its activities by smuggling large amounts of goods over Iraq’s porous borders.

kosher laughs and lessons for life III

The war-torn country depends heavily on foreign trade to supplement its oil revenues and manages dozens of crossings along its border with Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Jordan. But with Iraq suffering from a dysfunctional import system characterized by bribery, a bloated bureaucracy, and frequent delays, the PMF has begun running a well-oiled smuggling system allowing traders to avoid paying custom fees. Utilizing smuggling routes originally developed to send weapons to Shi’ite militias in Syria, the PMF now transports hundreds of millions in illicit goods across the border.  Allowing the PMF’s smuggling operation to continue unhindered is Iraq’s deep-rooted corruption. PMF commanders frequently pay off Iraqi officials to look the other way and threaten those who refuse to cooperate.  Importers are generally happy to cooperate with the PMF in order to save money in customs and licensing fees. “If you want a shortcut, you go to the militias or parties,” said one Iraqi intelligence officer, adding that traders tell him that “I’d rather lose $100,000 (on a bribe) than lose my

Kosher Laughs and Lessons for Life


121 Amusing Stories and Thought-Provoking lessons for life VOLUME III

goods altogether.” “If you want to do it the right way, you end up paying in the four figures for demurrage (docking fees) for a single month,” added an importer. “It’s designed to fail.” The rampant smuggling is adding to Iraq’s economic woes, bilking the country out of hundreds of millions of dollars annually that otherwise would have gone into its coffers. While the government has vowed to crack down on the scheme, the PMF’s armed strength and funds that it channels to major political parties makes such an effort extremely unlikely to succeed. “It’s indescribable,” said one customs worker. “Worse than a jungle. In a jungle, at least animals eat and get full. These guys are never satisfied.”

Truck Causes Train Derailment in Taiwan A Taiwanese truck driver publicly apologized after he caused the country’s worst-ever train accident by

“I will cooperate with the investigation by police and prosecutors to take the responsibility I should take.” At least 48 people were killed and another 200 injured after an express train barreled into Lee’s truck in eastern Taiwan. The Taroko high speed train was transporting 498 passengers when it derailed inside a tunnel outside Hualien. Lee was tasked with checking the rails for debris and signs of imminent landslides in Taiwan’s mountainous region. Initial reports said that Lee

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parking his truck on the tracks. “I have caused a serious accident on the Taiwan Railway Administrations’ Taroko train number 480 during this year’s Tomb Sweeping Holidays, causing deaths and injuries. To this I express my remorse and my sincerest apologies,” said Lee Yi-hsiang while choking back tears.

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mistakenly parked his truck on rails, directly in the path of the speeding locomotive. Police are now probing if the car rolled onto the rails due to a mechanical failure but suspect that Lee failed to fully engage the emergency brake. According to the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board, the train engineer may have had as little as 10 seconds to react before the locomotive slammed into the jammed truck. Rescue workers were still trying to locate survivors on Monday morning and had labored throughout the night to extricate a victim trapped under a 15-ton train undercarriage. “The rescue is difficult, and we are currently discussing how to overcome these difficulties, so the time it takes may be delayed,” the department said.

Convictions for Peaceful Protests in Hong Kong

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A Hong Kong court convicted media magnate Jimmy Lai and six other activists for their role in organizing marches protesting China’s takeover of the small territory. The seven activists were convicted of unlawful assembly for organizing the pro-democracy marches in 2018. They will be sentenced on April 16, with the defendants facing a maximum of five years behind bars.  During the Thursday court session, Judge Amanda Woodcock said that the evidence overwhelmingly proved that Lai and the other six activists had played a decisive role in organizing the protests that rocked Hong Kong for the better part of 2018. “The prosecution is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that all the defendants organized what amounted to an unauthorized assembly on August 18, 2019,” she said.  Apart from Lai, the activists included Margaret Ng, Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho, Cyd Ho, and Leung Kwok-

hung, a former Hong Kong legislator. “Shame on political prosecution! Peaceful demonstration is not a crime,” Leung told the court after the conviction. Two other protesters had already pleaded guilty in January in exchange for a reduced sentence. In addition to the charges of unlawful assembly, four of the defendants are accused of running afoul of Hong Kong’s new national security law and could potentially face life in prison. Throughout 2018, the seven defendants organized a series of marches, protests, and sit-ins opposing Beijing’s violation of Hong Kong’s sovereignty. While Hong Kong traditionally enjoyed a thriving democracy as part of an agreement known as “one country, two systems,” China has been taking increasingly aggressive steps to undermine the territory’s autonomy. Thursday’s convictions came only three days after China rammed through an overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system that grants it almost complete control over its democratic neighbor. The new law allows Beijing to vet candidates for Hong Kong’s legislature and permits only pro-China politicians to run for public office.  Other measures taken by China as part of its quest for dominance over Hong Kong include the national security law. Passed in 2020, the controversial legislation allows Beijing to curtail protest and freedom of speech. 

Protection for Nazi General

A Nazi SS general responsible for deporting tens of thousands of Jews to death camps worked for West German intelligence after World War II, shielded from prosecution. Franz Josef Huber ran the Gestapo in Vienna, the Nazis’ second-biggest secret police headquarters after Berlin. He held the position immediately after Adolf Hitler annexed Austria in March 1938 and held that post until late 1944. When the Allies occupied the disintegrating Nazi Reich, Huber was

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on a U.S. wanted list and was arrested by U.S. forces in May 1945. He was detained for nearly three years, but the U.S. military found him to be co-operative and released him in 1948 and so he escaped prosecution for war crimes. From 1955 to 1967, Huber was employed by West German intelligence, the BND. Originally it was the Gehlen Organisation, headed by ex-Nazi officer Reinhard Gehlen, who had run agents on the Eastern Front. Huber was pensioned off in 1967, as the BND had concluded that he could not be kept on, lest his role “endanger the service.” He drew a German civil service pension, but also worked for an office equipment company, living under his own name in Munich until his death aged 73. In Nazi-run Austria, Huber worked hand-in-hand with Adolf Eichmann, who set up the Central Agency for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. It handled the mass deportation of Jews. One of Huber’s first jobs as Gestapo chief in Vienna was to send Jewish community leaders to Dachau concentration camp near Munich. Before joining the Nazi Party in 1937 he had been a senior police officer in Munich, his native city.

About 65,500 Austrian Jews – most of them Viennese – were murdered in the Holocaust. Huber had a Gestapo staff of 900 in Vienna. An estimated 50,000 people were brutally interrogated by the Gestapo there, at the notorious Hotel Métropole. A report from the U.S. government archives reveals that, when questioned by the U.S. occupation forces, Huber admitted visiting several concentration camps: Dachau in 1936, Sachsenhausen in 1936, and Mauthausen in 1939. “But, he said, he had never seen any cruelty there, that the laws of humanity were always his highest rule of conduct,” the report, called Hitler’s Shadow, says. Inmates of those camps were beaten, starved and tortured by SS guards, and few survived. Photos from 1941 in the German state archives (Bundesarchiv) also show Huber at Mauthausen in the entourage of SS commander Heinrich Himmler. Stefan Meining, a historian involved in the ARD research, says the BND “knew exactly that Huber was not some petty Gestapo murderer but an SS general, who moved within the innermost circles of the Nazi

terror apparatus and was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews and opponents of the regime.”

Russia Targeting Ukraine?

A massive Russian military buildup on its border with Ukraine is leading to concerns of an imminent confrontation between Moscow and its surrounding neighbors. Photographs taken in recent weeks have shown unprecedented amounts of military hardware being moved to the Russian-Ukrainian border. These include tens of thousands of troops, artillery pieces, and heavy weapons such as tanks and armored personnel carriers.  According to analysts, over 25,000 combat-ready Russian troops have been moved to the border region since late March. This is said to be the largest military maneuver since five Russian divisions rolled into Georgia during the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.  Additional troop movements have been observed in Crimea, a peninsula located off the coast of Ukraine that was seized by Moscow in 2014. Since then, pro-Russia separatists have battled Ukrainian forces as both countries remain at loggerheads.  Now, the latest military buildup has resulted in fears that President Vladimir Putin will soon order a fullon invasion of Ukraine. With Putin frequently at odds with Kiev for its pro-Western stance, some say that the mercurial leader is testing President Joe Biden’s new administration to see how far he can go.  Last month, Biden called Putin a “killer,” leading to a sparring between Moscow and Washington that saw Russia recall its ambassador for the first time in decades. Putin soon challenged Biden to a televised debate and seemingly hinted that his American counterpart was suffering from advanced stage dementia.  Throughout his election campaign, Biden vowed to “punish” Russia for its human rights abuses and alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Moscow’s military buildup has not gone unnoticed in Washington, which is bound by a treaty to protect Ukraine from Russia. In a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last Friday, Biden “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.” U.S. Europe Command has also escalated its surveillance flights alongside the Russo-Ukraine border and has raised the alert to “potential imminent crisis,” the highest possible level. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured his Ukrainian counterpart of Washington’s support “in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression. “They’re probing, they’re trying to see what we’re going to do, what NATO would do, what the Ukrainians would do,” said Jim Townsend, a Russia expert and former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense. “Is this a jumpy administration, or is this an administration that’s going to act with resolve? They’re doing all of these things to assess where the new administration is.”

West Bank is “Occupied” Again

The Biden administration is now calling the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem “occupied territory,” reversing changes made under President Donald Trump. While the Trump administration broke longstanding tradition and deleted the phrase when referring to the aforementioned areas, the State Department’s report on international human rights violations defined the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights again as “occupied territories.”

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moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also declared that West Bank settlements do not violate international law and lifted a ban on using U.S. taxpayer money for Israeli scientific research conducted in Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria.

Info on IDF MIAs

Even so, the State Department did not return to calling its chapter in the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices “Israel and the Occupied Territories,” keeping a change implemented by former U.S. Ambassador David Friedman. The envoy had waged a multi-year battle to change the name of the chapter from “Israel, Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza” to just “Israel.” In a phone call with diplomatic correspondents, State Department

spokesman Ned Price stressed that the Biden administration reverted to the traditional language to define “the current status of the West Bank.” “This has been the longstanding position of previous administrations of both parties over the course of many decades,” Price asserted. “It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights after the 1967 war.” Dropping the term “occupied” from the annual State Department

report was just one of many moves the Trump administration made that reversed historical anti-settlement positions traditionally held by the U.S. Throughout his four years in the White House, Trump and his advisers repeatedly reiterated their opposition to longstanding U.S. policy that viewed the areas Israel captured during the 1967 Six Day War as occupied territory. Apart from recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and

Yamina party chairman Naftali Bennett passed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contained detailed information regarding the burial place of troops missing in action for almost four decades. The letter in question was printed on stationary belonging to the Palestinian National Organization (PLO), a terror group that controlled large swaths of Lebanon in the 1980s. Bennett transferred the document last July after his source told him that the handwriting belonged to former PA President Yasser Arafat.  The identity of the person who originally gave Bennett the letter was not disclosed and was described simply as “an entity of foreign origin.” According to reports, the document contained a handwritten map of a graveyard in Damascus, Syria, used by the PLO to bury its dead during the 1980s. The map specifies the location of three unmarked graves along with instructions how to locate them should the need arise. While it is not known who is buried in the graves, it is suspected that the map refers to the final resting place of missing IDF soldiers.  Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) confirmed that it had received the document from Bennett but said that it had not contained any information that was previously unknown to the country’s various intelligence agencies. The NSC added that the letter was at least 20 years old and appeared authentic.  Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman have been missing in action ever since the Battle of Sultan Yakoub in 1982 during the outset of the First Lebanon War. Sent to secure the

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

Torture for Gazan with Ties to Israel

A Gazan peace activist was tortured and made to divorce his wife as punishment for meeting with a group of like-minded Israelis. Rami Aman, a Gaza-based activist, had participated in a Zoom meeting last April with Israeli coexistence groups. During the two-hour call, Aman and members of his Gaza Youth Committee NGO spoke about different ways they could collaborate to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.   But soon after, clips of the meeting leaked on social media. Aman was soon barraged by hundreds of messages from angry Gazans calling him a “traitor” and threatening to harm him and his family.  The public anger Aman faced was nothing compared to what he suffered at the hands of the ruling Hamas terror group. A week after the meeting, Aman and his fellow activists were ordered to report to the local Internal Security branch for investigation.  Upon arriving, Aman was arrested by Hamas gunmen and imprisoned in a crude torture device known as “The

Bus.” For the next three weeks, Aman underwent brutal torture, was forbidden from sleeping, and was forced to sit in a tiny kindergarten-sized chair from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. During his interrogation, his captors called him only by his prison number and accused him of “collaborating” with Israel against the Palestinian people. “They did not present any evidence against me,” Aman recalled in an interview with the Times of Israel. After 18 hours of torture, Aman’s ordeal took a bizarre turn. Escorting his wife into the interrogation room, Hamas officials ordered him to hand her a divorce. Claiming that “she doesn’t want you,” the lead investigator insisted that Aman sign the divorce papers. According to Aman, his arrest was a ploy by his wife’s father to disassociate himself and his family from his peace-activist son-in-law. A senior Hamas commander, his father-in-law feared that Aman’s actions would reflect badly on him and would damage his career.  “I realized I was sent there to do time until I break up my relationship,” Aman said. Finally, he signed the divorce papers and was released a week later. By that point, his ex-wife was spirited to Egypt by a Hamas delegation, making any attempt to get back together impossible.  Upon being contacted by the Associated Press, the woman confirmed that she had been forced to divorce Aman and did not want to end her marriage. According to human rights activists, the episode illustrates the lengths to which Hamas will go to prevent locals from challenging the party line.  “The deplorable treatment of Rami Aman by Hamas authorities reflects their systematic practice of punishing those whose speech threatens their orthodoxy,” noted Omar Shakir from Human Rights Watch.

Bibi Tapped to Form Govt On Monday, President Reuven Rivlin gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the go-ahead to attempt to form a government but noted that he was doing so reluctantly, both because no party leader appeared to have enough support to succeed at

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Damascus-Beirut Highway, an IDF brigade was cut off and encircled by Syrian and Lebanese troops. Following heavy fighting that lasted an entire day, 30 IDF troops were killed and five missing. One of the soldiers was later found dead while another was freed in a prisoner swap in 1984, leaving Katz, Feldman, and Zachary Baumel as the remaining MIAs.  For the following three decades, Israel dedicated significant resources to uncover the whereabouts of the three, including launching a Mossad operation that resulted in the death of an undercover agent. In 2019, Russia transferred the remains of Zachary Baumel as part of a prisoner swap, leaving only Katz and Feldman unaccounted for. 

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cobbling together a ruling coalition and because he had “moral and ethical” reservations given that Netanyahu is on trial for corruption. “This is not an easy decision on a moral and ethical basis, in my mind,” Rivlin said. “And I fear for my country. But I am doing what is required of me as president of the State of Israel, according to the law and to the ruling of the court, and realizing the will of the sovereign – the Israeli people.” Rivlin’s choice came a day after he held consultations with all party leaders in the Knesset to hear whom they will back to form a government. No party leader had the support of a majority of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers. “The results of the consultations, which were open to all [they were aired live], led me to believe that no candidate has a realistic chance of forming a government that will have the confidence of the Knesset,” he lamented. “In fact, if the law would allow me to do so, I would hand the decision back to the representatives of the people, to the Knesset.” However, noting that he could not do so by law, Rivlin said the principal consideration was “which candidate has the best chance of forming a gov-

ernment that has the confidence of the new Knesset.”

Underlining his reservations over his decision, Rivlin did not invite Netanyahu to a ceremony formally tasking him with forming a government, as is the norm when a prospective prime minister is named. Netanyahu will now have 28 days to try to muster a coalition that can win majority support in the Knesset, but, given that he only has the backing of 52 out of 120 lawmakers, it will be a challenge. Netanyahu was endorsed by his Likud party, with 30 seats; Shas, with 9; United Torah Judaism, 7; and Religious Zionism, 6. Lapid was recommended as prime minister by 45 lawmakers (Yesh Atid 17, Blue and White 8, Yisrael Beytenu 7, Labor 7, Meretz 6), and Naftali

Bennett by the seven members of his own Yamina party. The three parties that made no recommendations account for the final 16 Knesset seats (New Hope 6, Joint List 6, and Ra’am 4). If Netanyahu does not succeed in forming a government, the president can either task a second person with the attempt (for another period of 28 days and a possible additional 14), or send the mandate back to the Knesset, giving the legislature 21 days to agree on a candidate supported by 61 MKs. If the president appoints a second person and that person also fails to assemble a coalition, the mandate automatically returns to the Knesset for the 21-day period. During that time, any MK is eligible to attempt forming a government. At the end of the 21-day period, if no candidate has been agreed upon by 61 MKs, the new Knesset automatically disbands and the country heads to yet another election, the fifth in under three years.

Sudan Gives U.S. $355M in Terror Comp

sovereign immunities were restored. The immunities in the transfer prevent Sudan from being sued from victims of terror attacks and were a non-negotiable demand from Khartoum. In a statement, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that the State Department “transmitted to Congress the Secretary’s certification restoring Sudan’s sovereign immunities pursuant to the Sudan Claims Resolution Act enacted last December.” The money will go to family members of those killed in the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, the explosion on the USS Cole ship in 2000, and the killing of American diplomat John Granville. Sudan had provided material aid and support for al-Qaeda, which was responsible for all of the aforementioned attacks and thus landed itself on the U.S. terror-supporting blacklist.  As part of the Abraham Accords, former President Donald Trump removed sanctions from the African country and signed the Sudan Claims Resolution Act into law in December. The bill returned Sudan’s immunity from lawsuits relating to its past support of terrorism with the exception of litigation concerning the 9/11 attacks.  “Achieving compensation for these victims has been a top priority for the Department of State. We hope this aids them in finding some resolution for the terrible tragedies that occurred,” Blinken said.

MLB Pulls All-Star Game from GA The United States received $355 million from Sudan in compensation for its role in promoting terrorism attacks against American targets. “The Department of State received the $335 million in compensation agreed upon for victims of certain terrorism attacks ... from Sudan via the release of funds from an escrow account,” said a U.S. State Department spokesperson.  The payment was a key part of the Abraham Accords, which saw Sudan agree to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on Khartoum for promoting terrorism. Sudan first paid the funds into an escrow account in October, where it was held until Sudan’s

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that it will relocate its All-Star Game from Atlanta as retribution for Georgia’s recent voter integrity law. In a statement last Friday, Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game would be relocated from Atlanta’s Truist Park to a new city in retaliation for the Peach State’s new

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voting legislation. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” said Manfred. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States,” he added. “We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.” The Midsummer Classic had been slated to take place in Truist Field, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, is said to be the favorite to host the relocated All-Star Game, along with Wrigley Field in Chicago and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The unprecedented move came amid a massive backlash from corporate America and followed rising pressure from the MLB’s sponsors to punish Georgia for the voting bill. Signed into law last week by Governor Brian Kemp, the legislation tightens voting integrity, including mandating ID for mail-in ballots, and prohibited giving food and water to those queuing up to vote.  In addition, the bill also shortened the time needed for runoff elections, criminalized ballot harvesting, and banned provisional voting after 5 PM. The legislation has triggered a widespread backlash, with major corporations such as Coca Cola and Delta Airlines accusing Georgia Republicans of voter suppression. While Republicans contend that such legislation is needed following widespread irregularities in November’s presidential elections, Democrats call the move an attempt at preventing African Americans from accessing the polls. Joining in the chorus of condemnation last week was President Joe Biden, who called the bill “Jim Crow on steroids” and urged the MLB to find a new host city for the All-Star Game.  On Thursday, dozens of African American executives from some of the country’s largest companies, including Merck CEO Ken Frazier and Ken Chenault from American Express, released a public letter urging American corporations to boycott Georgia. Despite the rising backlash,

Kemp has refused to reconsider and slammed industry leaders for mixing politics with business. “Secure, accessible elections are worth the threats. They are worth the boycotts as well as the lawsuits,” Kemp said on Friday.  “I want to be clear – I will not be backing down from this fight. And neither are the people who are here with me today. “We are not wavering ... You can bow down to this cancel culture but I will give you a warning — if you do, it’s never enough. It will never be enough.” 

The Cicadas are Coming

Americans will need to get ready for the billions of noisy cicadas set to imminently swarm the northeastern United States. Known as Brood X, the periodical cicadas are native to the eastern seaboard and commonly spend most of their existence underground. But once every 17 years, the bugs emerge from their subterranean home for a period ranging between 4 and 6 months to lay eggs before dying off. Beginning in late April or early May, the billions of cicadas are slated to descend upon large swaths of the United States. Scientists predict that the emergence will occur in at least 15 states, including Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The cicadas are characterized by their loud sound that many liken to a lawnmower or motorcycle. With the insects giving off sounds that can clock as high as 96 decibels, the rare emergence is expected to result in a loud and ear-splitting buzzing noise. Recognized as the world’s loudest insects, male cicadas give off the shrill sound in order to attract females. The noise varies among different breeds, with some emanating a low bass tone, while others’ noises are compared to a low-flying airplane.   “These individuals will crawl out


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‫כ״ו‬ ‫כ״ט אדר‬ ‫כסלו תשפ״א‬



2020 2021 13,12, DECEMBER MARCH



ַ‫וַ יּ‬ ָ ‫ְרא מ ֶֹשׁה ֶאת ָכּל ַה ְמּ ָל‬ ‫אכה וְ ִהנֵּ ה ָע‬ ‫שׂוּ א ָֹתהּ ַכּ ֲא ֶשׁר ִצוָּ ה ה' ֵכּ‬ .‫ן ָעשׂוּ וַ ָיְב ֶרְך א ָֹתם מ ֶֹשׁה‬ had done it as Hashem work and behold! They Moshe saw the entire they done (39:43). had commanded so had already!” ‫ וְ ִהנֵּ ה ָע‬edge! It enough ֵ ‫כּן‬...‫שׂוּ‬ back. His friend now Robert takes another step Why the double expression, had they done? artdoes not hear him. The had done... so realizes that he simply ‫ ָעשׂוּ‬- and behold! they as things HaMikdash, Hashem world, figuratively, and In destroying the Beis and ist is in another of entering another the wood and stones, look, he is on the verge “cast His wrath upon wrath upon Yisworld in a very real sense. He did not cast His there is only one ch. 4). It sounds, His friend decides that rael” (Eichah Rabbah, another moPincus, thing to do. Without waiting commented Rav Shimshon takes hold of the with rage ment, he lunges forward, like a father who is burning painting. behavior. Rathcanvas ... and rips the beautiful over his son’s terrible What the father vents “My picture... My masterpiece... er than beat his son, cries. a glass bowl. have you done?” the artist his anger by smashing friend replies. that this “What have I done?” his Heaven forfend to think exPincus Rav Pincus Rav Shimshon “I’ve saved your life.” is what Chazal meant. Prior to the churban, a mashal: Explained Rav Pincus: plained their intent with have climbed a steep of Klal Yisrael was mired An artist and his friend a significant portion other nevi’im cried out the view is breathtaking. in sin. Yirmiyahu and mountain, from where their capture to mend to attempts them and imploring The artist sets up his easel ear me- to the people, people turned a deaf canvas. After working ways, to no avail. The the scene before him on because they mistakenly puts down the paintbrush to the nevi’im’s words ticulously for hours, he how low they sank, the It is truly magnificent. thought that no matter and admires his work. The Then he takes three would always save them. He views it from up close. he Beis HaMikdash Gadol and his representaagain. “Just as I thought,” korbanos, the Kohen steps back and views it from a distance.” other facets of the Temtive role, and the many muses. “It looks even better prevent their exile, or three steps back. And he takes yet another ple service would surely they impressed with the the artist on the cliff, While his friend is equally so they thought. Like the increasingly uneasy as on the Beis HaMikdash; were totally focused finished product, he grows towards them did not another three steps, bringwords of rebuke directed the artist proceeds to take feet of the cliff’s edge. even register. ing himself within a few left with no choice but “Don’t move back anywas out. calls Hashem he so And “Robert!” close to the edge. The paint- to “rip the canvas” and destroy the Beis HaMikmore! You’re getting too people from their thus jolting His beloved ing is great, a masterpiece.” and he is totally ab- dash, His wrath upon wood But the artist hears nothing; an- reverie. He “cast very wood and stones he produced. He takes those that work because the in stones” sorbed lethcause of His People’s were, in a sense, the other three steps back... no continued on page 3 listen to me? Don’t move “Robert! Why don’t you argy. With the destruction, getting too close to the back another step; you’re to: yhisiger@artscroll.com. and address info your shul name free, please send every week for this newsletter receive copies of To have your shul

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Pirkei Avos: Generation to Generation

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By Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Complete in 3 volumes

by Rabbi Nosson Muller Now available in standard 6”x9” size



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Rav Pam on Pirkei Avos by Rabbi Sholom Smith

‫פקודי‬-‫ויקהל‬ ‫פרשת פרשת וישב‬ ‫חנוכה‬ ‫שבת החודש‬


At the



QUESTIONS QUESTIONS,Chasam Sofer Haggadah The

by Rabbi Yisroel Besser

able to ask quesChildren have to be down. that which weighs them tions, to feel free to share are, it is imvaluable as questions But as important and One of the to do with a question. portant to know what him a approached and asked Chasam Sofer’s children Sofer conquestion. The Chasam complex philosophical and then told templated the question have an answer. his son that he didn’t disheartened. The young man was father — pillar of How could it that his of a flourishing p’sak to a generation, rav of talmidim — city, and rebbi to hundreds an answer to the could not come up with The Chasam Sofer question? IT’S ALL Sofer The next week, the Chasam RIGHT FOR offered an called his son aside and A JEW TO that was so answer to the question LIVE WITH the original clear that the son forgot Sofer told his QUESTIONS. question. The Chasam that when but son, “You should know I had the answer as well, you asked me your question, Sometimes, something important. I wanted you to learn know - and I wanted you to my son, a Jew has questions with questions. You don’t Jew to live that it’s all right for a away…” always need answers right





Avos DeRabbi Nassan

Commentary by Rabbi Moshe Lieber Overview by Rabbi Nosson Scherman Also available in a 3-vol. slipcased gift edition

by Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz

1 2




IT IS HIS KINDNESS Rabbi on Tehillim compiled by

Rav Chaim Kanievsky by Rabbi Avrohom Wagner Shai Graucher, translated


Rav Chaim Someone came to that he had beKanievksy and said the person being mekarev come observant, and he him had promised that



would find his shidduch Rav Chaim Kanievsky within the year. al“Eight months have yet said, “and I have not ready passed,” the fellow disengaged. I am sorely succeeded in becoming the find my shidduch within appointed. If I don’t I regret my entire teshuvah remaining four months, non-observance!” and will return to my to the man that one Ray Chaim gently explained to Hashem. may not issue ultimatums giving Him a deadline are “The very fact that you your finding a shidduch,” in that manner can delay Hashem must remember that Rav Chaim said. “We It is His kindness to does not need our observance. near the opportunity to draw us that He allows us to Him!”

HAGGADAH by Rabbi Yecheskel Ostreicher THE NOVOMINSK Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow from the Novominsker


mekalkeles es hashuof the tells us. “Ahavah for discuss the completion to My immense love This week’s parshiyos from the rah — due what is usually the following selection you, I accepted even Mishkan. We thus present Nadav and Avihu also were forbidden.” new Novominsk Haggadah: but HaMishkan, the nesi’im ketores during that time, During the Chanukas voluntary ne- brought thought that Hashem otherwise done as a not accepted. They maktir ketores, never Chatas, theirs was He had accepted their donation just as each brought a Korban an would accept davah (donation), and and Avihu were only after committing of the nesi’im, but Nadav which al pi din is brought Still, Hashem accepted the donation considered a cheit on nedavah. Their donation was aveirah and not as a would be that while as if achalti punished. love and joy. It was A possible explanation not these korbanos out of the hon- their part. that generally would honeycomb together with the nesi’im brought korbanos yaari im divshi, I ate the circumstances, they accepted under these and received ey (Rashi). Mishkan, have been to My garden, the because the nesi’im asked 3 “The day you came outpour- were accepted in the Name continued on page simchah, such a great permission from Moshe there was such a great My usual rules,” Hashem info to: yhisiger@artscroll.com. ing of love, that I overlooked shul name and address please send your

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Parashah for Children

THE WORLD Yechiel Spero To Light a Spark by Rabbi

Insight air. wide and high in the of the hands spread NEW! that this inholding up the weight Dr. Twerski explained Do you feel like you are Life can seem Rabbi in the same position from are juggling so much. that dividual stood world? Sometimes, we to take a step back and realize he awoke until he went overwhelming. But if we Hashem is so the moment meals, he the heavy lifting, that Aside from eating his and no we don’t have to do all automatical- sleep. that pose. He never spoke we are, our burden will would not move from much better at it than to get through to him. ly become much lighter. premier one was able his mentor for permisJ. Twerski, one of the The young doctor asked readily Rabbi Dr. Abraham scene in the past half-cen- sion to speak to the patient. Rabbi Dr. Twerski psychiatrists on the Jewish field of made his way over to of thousands, in the young man carefully tury, impacted the lives He was agreed. The up a conversation, field of mental health. patient and tried to strike addiction and in the one who the elderly in the facility and the man liked living thinker and a legend, his first asking how viewed as an original other easy converindividuals through on to the weather and Nothing. saved the lives of numerous Rabbi Dr. Twerski suc- then moving — but there was no response. up with a only did breakthroughs. Not trained sation starters up when he came of patients, but he also He was about to give cessfully treat hundreds psychiatrists. and idea. The brilliant many psychologists he said to the patient. he used to bring young “You must be so tired,” In the course of training, the comment. But among the he made his rounds so much as acknowledge doctors with him as asked, “Would I the op- man didn’t It gave these doctors did not stop there and patients in the hospital. chal- the eager doctor can rest?” With that, understanding of the hold that for you so you portunity to gain a better field. As be able to struck the same pose in the mental-health the patient’s side and lenges that awaited them one of he stood at the trainees through fellow. the Rabbi Dr. Twerski brought number as the troubled the first time in decades, introduce them to a And just like that, for his facilities, he would story, many patient had his own this paof his patients. Each ending man sat down. became apparent that many without a happy In the blink an eye, it of them very sad and up the world, with the that he was holding would communicate in sight. None of them notes tient truly believed go for even a moment, the entire just observe and take and if he would let young doctors, who would case. doctor handled each world would collapse. the ones on how the experienced realize that we are not brought a physician-in-trainIf only we, too, would Once, as Rabbi Dr. Twerski the bedis the One Who does. ward, they stopped at world, but that Hashem ing through the psychiatric a resident in the facility for holding up the small part. been He just asks us to do our side of a patient who had in that He never lets go. longest of any other patient But even when we do, over 50 years, by far the immediately will. in, the young doctor He never has and He never ward. As they walked with his was standing in the corner took note that the man from page 3 A RIP IN THE CANVAS

continued from page 1

to atone on the Beis HaMikdash to longer could they rely they would listen intently for their misdeeds. Now, and mend their ways. the words of Yirmiyahu Mishand dedication of the With the completion now that the people would kan, there was a danger for their the Sanctuary to atone rely on the service in that this therefore informs us misdeeds. The Torah ‫עשׂוּ‬,ָ double use of the word was not the case. The done beto this. As they had they had done, alludes so did they do after fore the Mishkan’s construction, its construction.


‫פרשיות ויקהל–פקודי‬

The Mystery of the


tell the Moshe made sure to had Jews that Hashem Himself be in appointed Betzalel to Why? charge of the Mishkan. people Moshe didn’t want the Betzalel to think that he chose because they were related. (Betzalel was the great-grandson of Moshe’s sister Miriam.) because Hashem chose Betzalel for the job. he was the best person



THE NOVOMINSKER 7:10). Nadav and Avihu, of Hashem (Rashi, Bamidbar lo tzivah so it was “aish zarah asher however, did not ask, them” (VaHe had not commanded osam - an alien fire that the word is why the trop under yikra 10:2). (Perhaps that kefutah, a double merchah. lo, “had not,” is a merchah not accepted as a mitzvah, Not only was their korban as lifnim mishuras hadin, but it was not even accepted is not required but appreciated an extra mitzvah that In of love for the mitzvos. by Hashem as an expression not accepted.) other words, it was doubly

WIN A $36LL ARTSCRO Question for Parshas Vayakhel-Pekudei:together in eleven steps. GIFT CARD! order of putting the Mishkan The Torah describes the the eleventh - and final - step? What was to be entered 17, by this Wednesday, March info. Names of winto email the answer to shabbosquestion@artscroll.com your full name and contact Kids, please ask your parents CARD! Be sure to include Parashah. a $36 ARTSCROLL GIFT Family Edition Weekly can be found in The Jaffa into a weekly raffle to win edition. HINT: The answer ners will appear in a future



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Missing Silver

shekels of silver. people gave 301,775 to oshe reported, “The of silver were used thousand shekels walls. Three hundred of the Mishkan the silver bases, stopped. make the Adanim, for…” Then Moshe shekels, were used was The rest, 1,775 silver been used for! Moshe what that silver had He couldn’t remember think he stole it! afraid the Jews would for Moshe to announce Everyone was waiting Moshe was There was silence. shekels of silver. by done with the 1,775 what had been the silence was broken he didn’t know. Suddenly silent. It seemed voice. It said: pillars.” a loud Heavenly silver hooks on the were used for the “1,775 silver shekels was saved. — and Moshe’s honor Now everyone knew


Terumah question – tovah, goodness; for: ‫ – ש‬shalom, peace; ‫ט‬ The winner of the Parashas answer is: The letters stand of the word shittim? The things that we would like Hashem to give to us. s special about the letters These are The question was: What’ – mechilah, forgiveness. ‫ – י‬yeshuah, help; and ‫ם‬ • WWW.ARTSCROLL.COM • 1-800-MESORAH etter MESORAH PUBLICATIONS visit www.artscroll.com/newsl © ARTSCROLL Shabbos Table, At the ArtScroll To receive the weekly


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

every 17 years, and they know they have only one purpose, and that is to mate and reproduce,” said Jerome Grant, an entomology expert from the University of Tennessee. “So they’re going to make a lot of noise to attract females to mate.” The “singing” occurs mainly during daylight hours, as cicadas need temperatures of at least 64 degrees for their eggs to survive. This is likely good news for residents of the aforementioned states, as the last cicada emergence in 2004 saw locals complain that the incessant cacophony led to bouts of insomnia. “Periodical cicadas do not call at night, unless it is very hot during the night,” said Chris Simon, a professor of ecology at the University of Connecticut. “Since these are spring cicadas, this is less likely.”

Biden Lifts Sanctions on ICC Prosecutor U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinkan announced on Friday that the Biden administration will lift the sanctions imposed on Internation-

al Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fateh Bensouda.

The sanctions had been imposed by the Trump administration in 2020 after Bensouda began probing U.S. troops for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. In a statement, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called the punitive measures “ineffective” in stopping the war crimes probe and terminated the visa restrictions on Bensouda and her aides. “These decisions reflect our assessment that the measures adopted were inappropriate and ineffective,” said Blinken. Blinken said, however, that the U.S. disagreed strongly “with the ICC’s actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations” along with its “efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel.” “We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engage-

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ment with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions,” said Blinken. Biden’s decision to scrap the penalties was praised by the body representing the ICC’s 120 member countries, who called the move “a sign of America’s commitment to justice” and international law. “I welcome this decision which contributes to strengthening the work of the court and, more generally, to promoting a rules-based international order,” said Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, who chairs the Association of States Parties to the ICC. “I trust this decision signals the start of a new phase of our common undertaking to fight against impunity for these crimes.” America’s top diplomat briefed Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi prior to the decision, which came despite heavy lobbying by Israel to keep the sanctions on Bensouda. Israel had asked that the U.S. continue pressuring Bensouda in hope that it would dissuade her from continuing the war crimes investigation into IDF personnel. Bensouda announced earlier this year that the ICC would investigate Israel and Hamas for war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. Israel strongly opposes the investigation, viewing it as deeply biased, and fears that it could lead to Israeli troops being arrested when traveling overseas.  The Trump administration had imposed two rounds of sanctions against Bensouda for opening a probe into U.S. troops. In March 2019, Bensouda was barred from entering the U.S., while additional measures this past August froze her assets and made granting her “material support” a criminal offense. 

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Mass shootings are on the rise again as the U.S. returns to “normal,” with the country experiencing 20 mass shootings in the past two

weeks alone. Since the murderous spree at three Atlanta spas that killed eight in March, there have been 19 other rampages that killed four or more people. This includes the terror attack at a grocery store in Boulder that left 10 dead, the four people cut down at an office park in California, and the five family members who died in a hail of bullets in Washington, D.C.  Particularly hard hit has been Virginia. The City of Virginia Beach has seen three shootings in March alone, with eight people killed and 15 injured.  Analysts say that the surge in gun violence was inevitable, as Americans gather in restaurants, movie theaters, and other places following a year of lockdowns. If mass shootings dropped during the pandemic due to social distancing that made crowds a rare sight, the reopening of America has brought a return of the familiar scourge.  “We can expect that these kinds of shootings will unfortunately become more prevalent,” says Chuck Wexle from the Police Executive Research Forum. “This is what normal has come to be like in America.” As mass shootings surge, the Biden administration plans to dedicate $5 billion towards fighting gun violence. The proposal would focus on marginalized communities and fund outreach and social workers and non-government organizations involved in community rehabilitation. If approved, the initiative would commence the multi-year plan by the White House to address gun violence. In the past, such proposals were proposed by individual government agencies but never came as part of an overall holistic program.  “Historically, the federal government’s approach, particularly when faced with surges in gun homicides, is to fund strategies that over-police,” said Paul Carillo, a senior director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The Biden administration demonstrated a commitment to addressing the root causes.”

Rep. Hastings Dies Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings died this week at the age of 84 after battling cancer.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

The Democratic congressman was Florida’s first black federal judge and fought for civil rights. He was impeached and removed from the federal judicial bench in the 1980s over his role in a bribery scandal.

Hastings ran for Congress after his removal as a federal judge and handily won election in 1992 after beating then-state Rep. Lois Frankel in the Democratic primary, becoming Florida’s first black congressman since after the Civil War. He served for fifteen terms in the House and was the dean of the Florida House delegation as its longest-serving member. Hastings’ death further narrows Democrats’ majority in the House, bringing the current party breakdown to 218-211.

Changes to Gitmo

The Pentagon shuttered a secret prison in the Guantanamo Bay prison complex as part of an effort to save money by minimizing its troop presence. The U.S. military said in a statement that the prisoners held at Camp 7 were moved to a part of the sprawling base that housed the other detainees. Refusing to say when the transfer occurred, the Army said simply that they were moved “safely and without incident.” The Pentagon added that the decision had been made in order to “increase operational efficiency and effectiveness.”  First established in 2006, Camp 7 was built to house detainees viewed as the most dangerous in order to keep them away from the general

prison population while they awaited sentencing on terrorism charges. All had been captured during the War on Terror and included al-Qaeda masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman. The high-value detainee complex cost $17 million to build and was modeled after a maximum security prison in Indiana. Ringed by barbed wire and guard towers, the captives spend all but an hour or two a day alone in a cell with no meaningful human contact. For the past two years, the Pentagon had been pushing to close Camp 7 due to its crumbling infrastructure that would have cost considerable amounts of money to repair. Problems included a weak electric network and an insufficient sewage system that caused frequent leaks and flooding.  Guantanamo Bay is located on the U.S.-controlled half of Cuba and has been used to house the most dangerous terrorists captured during the War on Terror after 9/11. The detention center has been controversial for years and today only houses 40 detainees. In January, President Joe Biden said he would close the site by the time he left office via a package of legislation and executive orders. Then-President Barack Obama had ordered the facility shuttered in 2008 but was unable to overcome political backlash to actually close it down. 

Officer Killed in Capitol Hill Attack

One police officer was killed and another seriously wounded after a militant African American crashed his car through a security fence at the Capitol last week. The incident occurred on Friday and saw 25-year-old Noah Jones drive into a barricade before lunging at officers with a knife. Police shot and killed him after he refused to obey orders to halt and lay down his weapon.

“The suspect exited the vehicle with a knife in hand. Our officers then engaged that suspect. He did not respond to verbal commands,” acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said. The Capitol complex was locked down for hours following the attack and was still swarming with law enforcement by Friday evening. Congressional staffers received a message telling them that “due to an external security threat ... no entry or exit is permitted,” advising them to “stay away from exterior windows and doors.” The victim was identified as William “Billy” Evans, a Capitol Police veteran who spent 18 years on the force. “He began his USCP service on March 7, 2003, and was a member of the Capitol Division’s First Responder’s Unit. Please keep Officer Evans and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” Pittman said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi eulogized the fallen officer as a “martyr for our democracy” and called Evans’ family together with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. President Joe Biden ordered flags at the White House to be flown at half-mast and said that he was “heartbroken” over the tragedy.  “We send our heartfelt condolences to Officer Evans’ family, and everyone grieving his loss. We know what a difficult time this has been for the Capitol, everyone who works there, and those who protect it,” Biden said. Capitol Police are investigating the incident together with a slew of other agencies, including the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI Washington Field Office. A native of Indiana, Green was a follower of the militant Nation of Islam movement and expressed extreme anti-American sentiment on social media.  In one Instagram post, Green accused the federal government of being the “#1 enemy of Black people.” According to his friends, Green had been experiencing mental health issues recently and had been getting increasingly involved with the Nation of Islam.  Led by the anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam is a black separatist movement defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “designated hate group” due to its “deeply racist, antisemitic … rhetoric.”

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Salmonella Outbreak

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a recent nationwide salmonella outbreak has been linked to wild songbird and bird feeders. The current outbreak began in September and has already sickened 19 people while causing eight to be hospitalized. No deaths have been reported, with the victims ranging from 2 months to 89 years of age. Out of the 19 infected, nine told CDC officials that they owned a bird feeder and two reported coming into contact with a dead bird. Another 10 said that their pets had been in the vicinity of wild birds over the past month.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added that it is in the midst of investigating additional suspected cases in California, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. The true number of sick people in an outbreak is expected to be significantly higher than the number reported because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for salmonella. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak. “Do not touch or hand-feed wild birds with bare hands and always wash hands after touching wild birds, bird feeders and bird baths,” advised the CDC. “Clean and disinfect bird feeders and bird baths weekly or when they are visibly dirty.”

Shooting at Army Base A Navy medic shot and critically wounded two people at a Maryland business park on Tuesday. He then fled to a nearby Army base where he was shot and killed.

The man entered a business at the Riverside Tech Park, wounding two people and causing people inside to flee. After the shooting, the medic drove about 10 minutes to Fort Detrick, where he was shot by base personnel. The medic had been assigned to the base. Fort Detrick spokeswoman Lanessa Hill said the gunman drove through a gate at an entrance to the base before base personnel confronted him on a road. “It wasn’t that long before he came through the gate. Not even a quarter of a mile,” Hill said. She said Frederick police had given them advance notice, “so we knew that he was out there.” Fort Detrick is a U.S. Army base in Frederick that is home to the military’s flagship biological defense laboratory and several federal civilian biodefense labs.

April is Arab American Heritage Month

The U.S. State Department has declared the month of April to be Arab American Heritage Month, asserting that the group’s contributions to the U.S. “are as old as America itself,” a spokesman said. “The United States is home to more than 3.5 million Arab Americans representing a diverse array of cultures and traditions. Like their fellow citizens, Americans of Arab heritage are very much a part of the fabric of this nation,” Ned Price, a spokesman, said in a video statement on April 1. “And Arab Americans have contributed in every field and profession, many of them, in fact, serve here at the State Department and throughout the interagency.” Advocacy groups say this is the first time the State Department has designated a particular month for Arab American Heritage Month. States that have recognized April as Arab American History Month in 2021 and years past include Ar-

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

kansas, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia. Arab Americans trace their origins to 22 Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Arabs began immigrating to the U.S. in the late 1800s fleeing war, persecution and economic hardships, according to the Migration Policy Institute. California, New York, Michigan, and Illinois have the largest populations of Arab American residents in the country, based on data from the 2015-2019 ACS Ancestry survey. While the State Department made this announcement, Arab American History Month is not officially recognized by the entire U.S. government. A bill sponsored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, was introduced to Congress in 2019 and is still pending. While the State Department has dedicated the month of April to AAHM, Arab Americans still don’t have a racial or ethnic identifier on forms like the Census, forcing members of the community to tick “white” or “other.” The ADC and AAI have been pushing for a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) categorization, which is a geographic designation

that includes ethnic and racial options, to be adopted by the U.S. government. The Biden-Harris administration drafted a “plan for partnership“ with the Arab American community prior to the 2020 election, pledging to “support the creation of a new Middle East North Africa (MENA) category.”

Border Agents Arrest 2 Terrorists

In recent months, in separate incidents, U.S. border agents arrested two Yemeni men on a terror watchlist as they crossed the border with Mexico illegally, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on

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Monday. The men, arrested in January and March near a port of entry in California, were on a U.S. government watchlist for terrorism suspects and a “no-fly” list. A CBP spokesman said in a written statement that it is “very uncommon” for border agents to encounter people suspected of terrorism at U.S. borders and that the arrests underscore the agency’s “critical” vetting efforts. The watchlist is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Terrorism Screening Center. The list contains “the identities of those who are known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” according to the FBI.

You Have Not Reached Your Destination

Fasten your seatbelts, folks, you are in for a wild ride. This week, an Ethiopian Airlines plane headed for Ndola, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport in Zambia did not make it to its intended destination. Instead, the cargo plane landed in Copperbelt International Airport. Unfortunately, Copperbelt is not yet open and still under construction. Although the airport is not yet open for use, the pilot, who got there by “error,” made a smooth landing. Transport ministry’s permanent secretary Misheck Lungu explained, “When he was about to land, he was communicating with the radar and they told him, ‘We can’t see you.’ “So he used his sight as he had no control and landed at an airport still under construction.” The new airport was due for completion in October 2020, according to Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL), which manages the

country’s international airports. But construction was delayed because of the pandemic, with the facility due for completion this year. The new airport that the plane landed at has a runway that is fully complete, ZACL added, and, as of last month, the rest of the facility is at least 88% complete. Sounds like he landed the aircraft with flying colors.

3, 2, 1 Baby

Carter Kerr is a lucky baby, as he was born at 3:21 p.m. on March 21 in the 321 area code of Florida, according to Health First’s Cape Canaveral Hospital.  The newborn baby, weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces, is a first for the new parents, Charish and Justin.  “Carter being born in the 321 (area code) on March 21, 2021, at 3:21 p.m. is unexpected and also amazing,” Charish said. The newborn baby’s room looks out over Florida’s Space Coast, where people can view rocket launches after the “3-2-1” countdown.  Blast off!

Crime Watch

It’s true that crime doesn’t sleep. This company is hoping to keep people up at night by offering $2,400 each to three people willing to watch 24 hours of true crime documentaries and post about the experience on social media. MagellanTV, which made a similar offer for a single person who was paid $1,000 in 2020, said the second version of the promotion will choose three candidates who will each be

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

1650 Eastern Parkway, Suite 207 Brooklyn, NY, 11233 400 Rella Blvd., Suite 165 Montebello, NY, 10901 84 West Park Place, Second ßoor, Stamford, CT, 06901

A message from SBA Loan Group founder Yankie Markowitz

Have the federal government pay part of
 your company’s debt service! Regardless of whether you’ve been affected by the pandemic or not, there is STILL A GREAT OPPORTUNITY and HELP that was provided in 
 the last stimulus relief bill signed into law Dec 27 2020. The SBA is making the Þrst 3 months payments of principal and interest on all new 7a and 504 loans approved through September 30, 2021, capped at $9,000 per month (subject to funds available). Also the SBA has ELIMINATED the main fee on 
 SBA loans called the ‘’SBA GUARANTEE FEE’’, 
 which was roughly 2.5% of the loan amount. This might be the time to buy that building that you always wanted for 
 your business, or other business ideas you had in the past but conditions 
 were not right! This will only be available for businesses NOT impacted by Covid-19 
 or business that are back to being fully operational in line with 
 pre-pandemic levels. • To purchase owner-occupied commercial real estate where your business occupies at least 51%, with as little as 10% down and there are also options with NO MONEY DOWN • SBA loan funds could also be used for inventory and working capital • You need good credit • Based on the cashßow of your last tax return We are NOT doing PPP or EIDL loans at this time Mendy (347) 409-0101


Yankie (718) 744-7459




APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

paid $100 an hour for their true crime binges. “Our ideal candidates live for true crime,” the posting for the ”True Crime Watch Dream Job” states. “They can handle the most menacing serial killer, the goriest details, and don’t flinch at the chilling paranormal.” And we thought that crime doesn’t pay.

Fooled You

In an effort to show consumers their fun side, several companies came out with gag products on April 1. Velveeta, famous for its cheese, offered “V by Velveeta” skincare products including cheese-based moisturizer, renewal serum, and nourishing night cream. But it

sounded cheesy to most customers. Siggi’s, famous for its line of Icelandic yogurt, announced two other Icelandic delicacies would soon be joining its line of products: Fish jerky products known as harofiskur. If it sounds fishy, you’re not wrong. The haddock and cod-flavored jerkies will not be coming to a store near you anytime soon. Vegetable company Green Giant announced it was partnering with Peeps to bring cauliflower-flavored marshmallow candy to market. The company admitted the product was merely a gag, but asked Twitter followers: “Who still would’ve tried it out?” We’ll pass on that one. Chosen Foods, a company known best for its avocado-based products, announced the creation of “GuacPaste” – guacamole-flavored toothpaste. The company said the toothpaste is “guaranteed to brighten your smile, enlighten your tastebuds and freshen your breath with aromatic savory flavors.” Oh, and turn your teeth green. The Farmer’s Dog, a company that creates pet food from fresh ingredients, unveiled Candle No. 2, a candle bearing a “fresh, subtly

stool-scented fragrance from The Farmer’s Dog.” The candle is listed as a product on the company’s website, but is marked as “not yet available.” Don’t hold your breath. Jumping on the sourdough bandwagon, fast food chain Burger King tweeted photos of a fictional line of sourdough sandwiches containing fillings such as Hershey Pie, cheesy tots, mini-shakes, chicken fries, chocolate chip cookies, French fries and onion rings. We’d rather eat matzah and cream cheese. Toy company Lego marked the day with the announcement of a product every parent might wish was real: “SmartBricks” that, when left on the floor, will scatter away from the unprotected feet of a per-

son walking through the plastic minefield. Oh, how we wish this product was real! Bud Light, which released a line of hard seltzers in 2020, tweeted a hoax ad for a new line of pizza seltzers in flavors including pepperoni, anchovies, veggie, and extra cheese. The company later tweeted that it was “scary how many of you actually wanted to try these.” Language-learning app Duolingo unveiled a product to help users learn new languages while using the bathroom: Duolingo Roll toilet paper. The company joked the tissue-based language lessons would turn “your bathroom into a classroom.” Sounds like they’re on a roll.

Did you know? Scrabble was invented in 1931 by New York architect Alfred Mosher Butts.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

Order Online: www.FrankelsKosher.com or by Email: orders@Frankelskosher.com

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Weekly Yiddish Newspapers & Magazines


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Specials Are Running From Wednesday April/7/21 Thru Tuesday April/13/21. Produce Sale Effective April/7/21 Thru April/9/21 We Reserve The Right To Limit Quantities, While Supplies Last. Not Responsible For Typographical Or Photographic Errors. No Rain Checks.



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Around the

Community Chessed at Netzach Hatorah


he ninth and tenth grade students at Mesivta Netzach HaTorah partnered with the JCCRP before Pesach, packaging yom tov boxes and distributing them to Holocaust survivors in the community. Netzach was proud to have offered their students chessed opportunities in the weeks before Pesach as the students partnered with numerous community organizations providing support and assistance to those in need. 

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


Around the Community

Mercaz Hatorah of Belle Harbor Finishes a Strong Zman


eshiva Mercaz Hatorah of Belle Harbor is more than familiar to anyone who is or has been in Yeshiva. This hallmark of a Yeshiva has graced the East Coast since 1985 and is still going strong, spreading the light of Torah from its walls out to the broader Yiddishe public. The Yeshiva was founded by the Gaon and Gadol, HaRav Levi Dicker, zt”l, one of the great talmidim of Rav Aharon Kotler, zt”l. The Yeshiva has grown tremendously over the years under the Rosh Yeshiva’s watchful eye and caring manner. Now, under the leadership of his son, HaRav Shmuel Zev, shlita, that growth and concern continues and becomes more apparent with each year of new talmidim entering its doorways to become the next beacons of light for Klal Yisroel. For years, the yeshiva has been instilling in its bochurim and love and a thirst for Torah and its study in ways that are unparallel to other mosdos. The appreciation for Torah that is acquired from the years spent in Belle Harbor is one that extends far beyond its borders, showing the world what genuine love for Torah looks like and feels like. Just walk into the halls of the yeshiva and see how the bochurim are shteiging and enjoying their limudim together with their rebbeim and friends. Walk into the Bais Medrash and see how alive and animated they “shivti b’veis Hashem kol yimei chayei.” Even merely glancing into the

Bais Medrash and classrooms of the Yeshiva, many positive qualities are apparent. Yet, there is one thing stands out the most. And that is the extraordinary comfort of the bochurim in the Yeshiva environment, as they continue to shteig and reach new heights in their pursuit to be true bnei Torah. Through thick and thin, the Belle Harbor bochurim are climbing wrung after wrung of their spiritual ladder, getting closer to Hashem each and every day through their limud haTorah, tefillah, mussar, and more. This zman in particular has proven to be quite a successful one despite

a fire that burned one the Yeshiva’s dormitories on Erev Shabbos Shira, 16 Shevat 5781 (January 29, 2021), which could have led to a major setback in aliyah of the bochurim with such a disruption. However, the Bais Medrash bochurim we’re more than happy to accommodate their younger fellow talmidim into their own dormitory so the zman could continue seamlessly, getting on with “business as usual” (as the world at large would say). The consistency of the bochurim in their growth over this zman is definitely something to marvel at. As mentioned before, that comfort within the Yeshiva the bo-

churim are experiencing is ongoing as ever before as if nothing has ever happened. They are happy with their Yeshiva, with their learning, their rebbeim, and – most of all – themselves. This zman has truly been one of success and achievement in every which way. The boys who came in are not the same boys coming out. They are more polished, pristine products who have molded themselves into the true ambassadors of the Yeshiva world, making a name that speaks for itself in ways that cannot be measured according to the status quo. Belle Harbor has definitely made its mark and more for the world to see. As we near the end of an unbelievable winter zman, we can only look back and thank the Ribbono Shel Olam for his infinite kindness of giving the world such a Yeshiva that does so much more than teach its bochurim, rather building its bochurim. Those bochurim are going to be taking home with something more than just knowledge of Torah; they are taking home a love, appreciation, and reverence for Torah. This is going to light their way for a meaningful bein hazmanim that will no doubt be used in a productive manner, allowing them to come back with even more zeal and excitement in the zman to come. We can only wait and anticipate it excitedly as it unfolds for all of us to see.


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Davening at the Woodbourne shul on chol hamoed Pesach

HAFTR Girls Empowerment


ighth grade girls completed the Girls’ Empowerment Program with Dr. Yali Werzberger, Dr. Bracha Kasirer and Ms. Naami Kosofsky before Pesach Students learned to accept and celebrate their differences, about body positivity, and how to advocate for themselves and others to bring about change in the world. The workshops ended with a culminating event, where

students created oaktags with empowering quotes, surrounded by the handprints and fingerprints of each student, as a reminder of how each of us are different and have so much to offer. The posters are now hanging in the halls of HAFTR Middle School as a strong and powerful reminder to all.

Alexandra Fuchs, Abby Frenkel, Naima Lavian, and Lily Windholz

Perri Bausk, Yocheved Kalen, Dr. Yali Werzberger, Atara Smulevitz, and Kayla Fauziev

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Chabad of the Five Towns distributed hundreds of boxes of shmura matzahs through their mitzvah ambassador program along with seder-to-go kits to ensure that Five Towns community members would have a proper seder this year

Holocaust Survivors and Their Legacies Preserved Every Day at the Gural JCC


he Marion and Aaron Gural JCC and neighboring communities are united by their passionate commitment to Holocaust survivors, studies, and awareness.   The Gural JCC continues to nurture and support the precious Holocaust survivor population, as it has done for the past three decades, offering entitlement services, education and socialization to thousands of survivors and their families.  Our Holocaust survivor program has long been a vital part of our community and neighboring areas, engaging with local yeshivot and educators on a regular basis in heartwarming and inspiring interactive projects. This past year has been a particular difficult and isolating one for our beloved survivors, as there have been no in-person meetings and protecting their health has been top priority.  However, we have continued to serve them by offering our programs

virtually and keeping in touch with them via weekly outreach calls by our social work staff. We have provided them with prepared meals, educational programming, concerts and more to keep them engaged and interested, including a weekly Zoom session where a dozen or more survivors log on to a virtual program to stay connected, informed and entertained. As this frail and slowly diminishing population ages, the urgency of preserving their stories and memories increases.  With this in mind, the Gural JCC recently announced a new initiative: SHEMA (Listen!), Studies in the Holocaust – Education, Memories, and Awareness.  In this timely and meaningful endeavor, we welcome second-generation Holocaust survivors who want to preserve the legacy of their parents and participate in a project-oriented support group.  We have created our own ar-

chive of vignettes with pictures and artifacts of survivors that are emailed out to our JCC friends on a monthly basis and made accessible online and are available for use for educational purposes and shared with public and private schools.  Additionally, we are excited to announce that some of the members of the second-generation group have visited students virtually to share their family histories.  They have spoken via Zoom or Google Meets with classes at Woodmere Middle School and The New Hyde  Park Middle School, to date reaching over 600 students.  We will continue to reach out to other school districts to offer this unique opportunity and to pursue our goal of educating the younger generations about the Holocaust.  This initiative includes an invaluable source of Holocaust survivor testimonials, that will help preserve the legacy of those who survived the Shoah.

Yom HaShoah and every day at the Marion and Aaron Gural JCC we engage with our Holocaust survivors to provide them with assistance, friendship, comfort and hope while we remember those who we have lost with great fondness and tremendous sadness.  If you would like to participate in our SHEMA! Second Generation program, feature your loved one in a Gural JCC SHEMA! bio, join our growing list of second-generation speakers to share your family’s story with the next generations, or would like any additional information, please feel free to contact Judy Goldberg or Rachayle Deutsch at the Gural JCC at (516) 569-6733 or email judy.goldberg@guraljcc.org  or rachayle.deutsch@guraljcc.org.  The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC is a  UJA-Federation of New York proud non-profit partner.


The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

Around the Community

Will Brian Ever Show up? By Rav Yitzchok Fingerer


everal years ago, I met an unaffiliated young Jewish man in Connecticut. Unfortunately, he did not attend a Pesach seder. It broke my heart. It turns out that though he was working in Connecticut, he actually lived in Flatbush on Avenue N, a mere mile from the BJX Avenue K Center. It pained me very deeply that a Jew who lived surrounded by myriad shuls, yeshivos and countless frum Jews had absolutely no affiliation. Who would ensure that this precious Jewish neshama would reconnect to Hashem and Klal Yisroel? Who would guarantee that this fellow would marry Jewish and not forsake his Jewish identity? I reached out to him after Pesach inviting him to BJX to join other students and young professionals to experience Shabbos at our Friday night dinner. Unfortunately, he was out of the country and could not make it. Subsequently, I invited him to other kiruv programs and events at BJX such as an intriguing lecture series from a former minister, a cocktail

evening, and a musical concert. He graciously declined every invitation due to work conflicts.   I then invited him for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkos Simchas Torah – all to no avail. Then came Chanukah. I finally got a bite. He officially registered for the spectacular BJX Chanukah party! I was thrilled and ecstatic. I was dreaming of this young man lighting the Chanukah menorah and kindling his neshama. Vistas of Hashem’s lost child returning home on such an auspicious time such as Chanukah resonated in my being. A dear brother will be reunited with Klal Yisroel. Our family will be more complete.    It was a beautiful party. Fun and uplifting. Full of young Jews connecting to our heritage. However, I felt a void. Someone very important was missing. I waited and waited for him to come. He never showed up. It seems that his friend had an emergency that he needed to assist with. I know what you’re thinking, “Give up already! Don’t you get it? He’s not interested! It’s pointless!” If you knew a grieving parent with

an aching heart waiting for their lost child to return, would you dare give up? If you really loved and cared for someone wouldn’t you be relentless and persistent to reunite them with their child?   I tried again for Purim. He said he would come. The entire Purim night I looked behind people’s masks hoping it was him. It wasn’t. He had yet another work commitment that simply couldn’t give up. I almost grew weary and despondent. It seemed as if he would never come. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t reach out to him during the weeks preceding Pesach. After all, all I seemed to receive was rejection. It was Friday, Erev Pesach, a whole year later. It dawned upon me just a few hours before the Seder would begin that I did not invite him to BJX for a Seder. Don’t I believe that we’re all one neshama? How can I go to the Seder in clear conscience without making another attempt? Racing against the clock, I called him and told him that Passover is about to begin. He said, “I’ve been waiting for your call. Can I attend the

Seder? What is BJX’s address?” He came! He fulfilled all the mitzvos.     Hashem never gives up on us. Never give up on your fellow Jews In the Haggadah, we spoke about the Four Sons. Instead of consolidating all the sons together and simply stating, “The Torah speaks about four different sons: The wise, wicked, simple and the one who doesn’t know how to ask questions,” it enumerates and delineates each son separately, with the term, “echad.” This signifies that each of the sons, no matter their variegated background and persuasion, are “echad” to Hashem, special and unique – and so should they be special and unique to us.     Never stop loving your fellow Jews. Please help support the holy and critical work of BJX. When contributing to BJX you are investing in neshamos and eternity. Please donate online at www.helpbjx.com. Rav Yitzchok Fingerer is the Mora d’Asrah of the BJX Beis Medrash.





Emphasizing Everyday Emes


The Sefas Tamim Foundation emphasizes the importance of honesty (Emes) in everyday matters: • In Thought: being honest with ourselves. • In Speech: keeping the commitments we make to each other. • In Business: being honest in business and with our personal finances.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER: Call (718) 200-5462 or email Info@EverydayEmes.org

“...The Sefas Tamim Foundation is a new organization designed to strengthen our commitment to zn`… through the learning of dkld and xqen. We would like to extend dkxa and dglvd to all those who support this organization and offer assistance in fulfilling its most holy mission.”

“...I wish brocha and hatzlocha to Klal Yisroel’s yorai shamayim and baalei hashpoah who publish and speak words of chizuk, mussar and halacha to assist this new foundation’s mission to help Klal Yisroel remain honest in speech and ehrlich in action.”

“...The Sefas Tamim Foundation is an organization in formation to foster truth and honesty in all areas of life but especially in business where one can make excuses to speak and act dishonestly. All those that help this organization… will be rewarded richly for their believing in Klal Yisrael and in truth.”

Rabbi Dovid Harris

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky

Rabbi Reuven Feinstein

Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yisrael Meir HaKohen Baal HaChafetz Chaim

Rabbi Akiva Grunblatt

Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yisrael Meir HaKohen Baal HaChafetz Chaim

Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva of Philadelphia


Rosh HaYeshiva,

Yeshiva of Staten Island



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community Selling the Chometz


Rabbi Shaul Chill, Rabbi Dov Bressler, Rabbi Yisroel Blumenkrantz, Rabbi Betzalel Korn, Rabbi Pinchas Chatzinoff, Rabbi Yitzchok Frankel and Rabbi Yaakov Feitman of the beis din

Prepping for Pesach

Rabbi Meir Simcha Sperling Addresses Shevach



efore the Pesach break, the G.O. at Shulamith prepared two wonderful events for students to enjoy. The first was the opportunity  to decorate pillowcases for the seder. Though this is usually an activity enjoyed by preschool students, the Middle Schoolers took it to the next level, creating unique designs and showing off their originality and artistic flair. The second activity was a “bedikat chametz hunt.”  Be-

fore heading out into the sunshine, students watched two videos about bedikat chametz, one informative and the other a bit more lighthearted. Meanwhile, the G.O. Vice Presidents, Fay Wolf and Ella Zilberberg, planted clues on the campus which led students to a candle, wooden spoon, feather, and eventually, a piece of bread.  G.O. Presidents Batya Black and Kayla Hercmann helped run the activity, which was repeated for each grade.  

Rabbi Yitzchok Frankel and Duke Waters, the purchaser of the chometz

n Monday, March 15, Shevach High School was privileged to have noted inspirational speaker, Rabbi Meir Simcha Sperling, address its students. In his captivating manner, Rabbi Sperling took the well-known signs of kosher animals and gave everyone an interesting insight and a new appreciation of this mitzvah. Rabbi Sperling began with asking an intriguing question: “When a nation is treated with cruelty, that nation transforms into a rough and tough nation in order to protect itself. But what about Klal Yisroel? We were beaten and roughed up, yet we never changed our nature of being rachmanim bnai rachmanim. Why is that so?” The answer lies in the food we eat. Kosher animals are tame animals that graze, therefore making us into “tame” people. As they say, “You are what you eat”. Rabbi Sperling then addressed the significance of split hooves and chewing its cud. Why these signs? An animal that has split hooves has two separate hooves, not one that is divided. This is in order to show us that there is a distinct right and left, good and

bad. And one must choose between the two. Once a bad action is done, there is no going back, because a highway was opened in the brain and even if a person tries to block it off, when times are tough one usually goes right back to that path. And why specifically chewing its cud? In order for us to understand that there can always a very different perspective than our own. Rabbi Sperling held the girls captivated with his engaging manner and thought-provoking perceptions. In the words of the Shevach girls: “I looked forward to R’ Sperling coming, and when he came, he didn’t let me down.” “The shiur was really meaningful and eye opening. It gave everyone a new perspective on life.” “He really showed us the depth of mitzvos and of course his stories spiced it up!” “He was a phenomenal speaker! Very interactive and funny!” “It was amazing! He’s such a good speaker, and I really enjoyed it.” Thank you Rabbi Sperling for your inspiring talk that surely led to a deeper understanding and recognition of the multi-faceted aspects of the mitzvos Hashem gave us which make us into an Am Kadosh.

Did you know? It’s possible to score 1,782 points on a single word in Scrabble by spelling oxyphenbutazone across the top of the board, hitting three Triple Word Score squares while also making seven crosswords downwards.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Fathers and sons learning at the chol hamoed Avos U’Banim at Khal Nesiv Hatorah

Learning about Parshas Shemini in Siach Yitzchok

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


48 10

APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Spivak, z”l A Man of Emes A Tribute to the Radio Rabbi on His Passing By Rabbi Zev Brenner


ur rabbis teach us that while it’s a transgression not to bury a dead person right away, if the burial is postponed to bring greater honor to the deceased, it is not a transgression (Sanhedrin 46a). Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin explains why it’s essential for someone who has departed this world, to the World of Truth, where one realizes that our Earthly honors are worthless, to need the last honors bestowed on him. He quotes the Midrash that states that G-d tells the angels, “So and So has died; go out and ask if he’s righteous.” Hashem knows everything we do, it’s recorded in Heaven, so why the need for the angels to investigate and check out whether this person is righteous or not? “Man’s chief purpose in life,” Rabbi Sorotzkin writes, “is to sanctify G-d’s name publicly and to serve as a positive example in the service of G-d and good human relations. On the day a man dies and must face Heavenly

Judgement, G-d intimates to the angels that much depends on what people say about the deceased, which shows that they learned from him in his lifetime. The final honors, eulogies and honest praise that is bestowed upon a person after his death is not false honor but a means of defending him in the Heavenly Court and helping him gain eternal life.” My Rebbe, mentor and friend, Rabbi Yaakov Dovid Spivak, z”l, who just passed away, didn’t get the full eulogies and honors that he justly deserved due to the fact that he died in Nissan, during the month of Passover, a time when hope springs eternal and partially overrides an obligation to mourn and eulogies are limited. Rav Yaakov’s good deeds and dedication to his family and people were broadcast for all to see, hear and learn. He was a rosh kollel, educator, radio and TV personality, historian, music composer, Jewish Press columnist, author, kashruth administrator, and a

super mensch who really cared and did something to make our world a better place. He was a real renaissance man. I remember that it was over 40 years ago when I first called him up because of an ad I saw in the Jewish Press regarding one of his organizations, EMES, which he formed to fight missionaries. I was trying to fundraise for him by selling magazine subscriptions to his members. Instead, we formed a lifetime friendship and partnership, and he brought me into the world of Jewish broadcasting. In 1981, Jewish radio consisted primarily of Jewish and Yiddish music. Together we started a radio show called Night Rap, the nation’s first Jewish call-in talk show with newsmaker guests and celebrity interviews broadcasting on the former WEVD radio station which was sold to a Christian group and became WNYM 1330 AM. When that station started broadcasting missionary programs to the Jews, we moved our programs to

WHBI 105.9 FM. I remember the night that we had New York City Mayor Ed Koch scheduled to appear live in the studios on a Wednesday night at 7 p.m. At 6:45 p.m., we had received a phone call from someone named Mr. Brown who told us that the mayor was being delayed by a few minutes. When we were on the air, we were told that Mayor Koch was held up by Chassidic protesters outside the building. The whole thing was a hoax perpetuated by a rival Jewish broadcasting group. Rav Yaakov kept the calm on the air, and we received a load of publicity regarding the incident. In fact, the mayor came about a week later, and we kept up with Ed Koch until he passed away. The TV interview with Ed Koch is accessible on Rabbi Spivak’s YouTube channel. I learnt much from his years of experience. Not only was he a trained professional broadcaster, but he was also an expert technician, which came in handy when we took the show on

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

the road broadcasting from different locations. As the years went on, we were no longer partners but we kept up our relationship and friendship. Rav Yaakov was a constant fixture on my Talkline Network’s airtime, broadcasting a very popular live call-in show until about a few months before his passing. He loved the fact that he had such a diverse group of callers. They are very loyal to him, and I’ve heard from many of them who were distraught at his untimely passing. Rav Yaakov was passionate about the issues facing our community and wasn’t afraid to speak out even when his position wasn’t popular. Rav Yaakov had a fantastic sense of humor and a keen insight into the issues of the day which he shared with me on a regular basis. My wife, Adena, enjoyed tapping into his vast knowledge especially when it came to kashrus. What he was most proud of was his Kollel Ayshel Avraham where he trained future rabbis.

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get a call from him analyzing the situation. I already miss my rebbe, mentor and friend. I am planning, with G-d’s help, to do a radio tribute in honor of this special man whose signature song which he composed was “He’s My Brother.” Rabbi Spivak is survived by his wife Rebbetzin Merrill, Rabbi Aaron, Chavie and Rivka as well as grandchildren. He loved his family so much and was so very proud of them and their accomplishments. May his memory be a blessing for us all.

I had the privilege of receiving semicha from him in a Chag Ha’semicha right after 9/11 at a ceremony in Crown Heights. He further honored me by inviting me to speak at another ordination ceremony. I can attest that he was so proud of his students and spoke often of them and their accomplishments. Rav Yaakov had a tremendous

impact not just on his radio listeners and rabbinical students. Now that he’s gone, many of his former students at SAR Academy recall the impact he had on their lives many years after attending his classes. Rav Yaakov Dovid made a major contribution to our community and will be sorely missed. Whenever something major transpired, I would

Rabbi Zev Brenner is the president and CEO of America’s leading Jewish Broadcasting Company, Talkline Network, and host of its flagship program “Talkline with Zev Brenner,” which airs on WABC 770 AM, WOR 710 AM, WSNR 620 AM & WLIR 107.1 FM. He is the founder of the daily 9:15 minyan at Congregation Hechal Moshe (The Vorhand Shul) in Manhattan and the original 8:30 AM Minyan at the Young Israel of Long Beach.

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Rav Mordechai Glatstein zt”l Greatness in Three Worlds BY RABBI MEIR AVNEI-TZEDEK


Navi Yechezkel writes about Noach, Iyov, and Daniel as three men who saw three worlds. Each saw a world in its glory, a world in its destruction, and a world rebuilt. Throughout the 106 years of Rav Mordechai Leib Glatstein’s illustrious life, he saw three worlds in many forms. There is hardly anyone alive who knew him during the early years of his scholarship in Warsaw when he received semicha from the Ravad of Warsaw, or as he sat together with the Piezecna Rebbe comforting broken Yidden. No one could have imagined that this quiet humble man was in the room when Rav Menachem Ziemba, Rav Shamson Stockhammer, and Rav Dovid Shapiro among others were discussing whether or not to rise up against the Nazi beast that had tortured them in the Warsaw Ghetto. Most people alive today knew Rabbi Glatstein as an iconic figure in the city of Pittsburgh. The longest-serving rav, active for more than half a century, was cherished by Yidden from every walk of life and every background. In addition to having a close relationship with the great tzaddikim, Rav Silberberg, The Pittsburgher Rebbe, and the legendary rabbonim of the Steel City, he, together with his Rebbetizin Tzina, developed relationships with doctors and psychologists and clergy of all kinds only for one reason: to lift the spirits of the brokenhearted. Over the many decades, from the time he arrived in Pittsburgh in 1951 until he left Pittsburgh just a few years back to live with his son, Reb Yossi, a prominent attorney who is one of the premier lecturers for the Discovery Kiruv organization, Rav Glatstein was one of the most cherished figures in the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. They all know him as the rabbi whose voice was a soft as velvet and whose soothing chizuk was available to anyone in need. For members of

Pittsburgh’s Kollel Bais Yitzchok, they knew him as an elderly rav who, for the last twenty years or so, sat and learned in the Kollel every day as if he was a yungermahn. For members of Pittsburgh’s lay community, he was a prominent civic figure worthy of making an official public holiday, Rabbi Mordechai and Rebbitzin Tzina Glatstein Day, to honor him and his rebbetzin upon his official retirement. Doctors and therapists knew him as the chief chaplain of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who, with superhuman strength, counseled and comforted. His humility and simplicity hid were inversely proportional to his true self-worth. Hardly anyone knew of his tremendous accomplishments, before the war, during the war, and after the war in the efforts to mend the broken spirit of a shattered people. He never spoke about himself, but with his passing, it is worthy to talk about a giant of a Jew, who was considered a formidable talmid chacham in Europe before the war, was close to gedolei Olam during the war, and who, together with famed askanim like Mike Tress and Reb Yitzchok Ziemba, helped rebuild prominent organizations like Zeirei Agudas Yisrael, after the war. His life defied all logic. He saw Mengele, Eichmann and so many other reshaim who would have wanted to ensure the doom of all of Klal Yisrael, but he lived a life that ensured that the plans of these evil men would not be realized. Rav Glastein was the most prominent survivor who spent at least six years in the Feldafing Displaced Person Camp as a representative of the United States government to ensure that every survivor would have a new home to go to and sponsors to ensure that they received the proper visa and immigration papers. “It is no wonder,” said his grandson Rav

Daniel Glatstein, a noted rav and maggid shiur, “that his levaya was filled with people from every walk of life, from chassidim to Jews barely clinging to their heritage. Each had a story of how Rabbi Glatstein helped resettle their parents.” Rav Mordechai Leib Glatstein was born on the 6th of Adar of 1916 more than one hundred years ago in the Polish city of Lipna. He was a descendant of a rabbinic family; his father was a rav, as was his zayde, a dayan in Lunchitz. As a tremendous talmid chacham, his father was chosen to marry the daughter of the rav in Lipna, a well-known tzadekes, Blima Michla Goldman. Together, they had three children, Mordechai Laib, Henoch, and Shmuel. When the oldest, Mordechai Leib, was only four years old, his father passed away suddenly from a brief illness. Their mother was left to raise the yesomim, and with tremendous mesiras nefesh she did just that. Little would she know that, despite the clouds of destruction that would wipe out her entire family, her three children would survive the war. Henoch would flee to Russia and eventually escape in the post-war years, while Mordechai Leib would take care of his brother and miraculously the two would not only survive the Holocaust but would remain steadfast with their emunah. Life was not easy for the young almanah. Her first task was to make sure that her oldest son would learn in cheder. She sent young Mordechai Leib as a child to learn in Lipna. Although other boys would come home to eat, she would bring the food to cheder so he would not have to leave yeshiva. As he outgrew the cheder, she sent him to learn in other yeshivos, first in Plotzk, where he met Rav Meir Don of Plotzk and later, as he became bar mitzvah, in Warsaw, where he forged a kesher with

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

the rabbanim of the city among them the Av Beis Din of Warsaw, Rav Shlomo Dovid Kahana, who bestowed semicha upon him. Mordechai Leib grew in avodas Hashem tremendously and was known for his kavana in tefillah. A survivor once told his family that R’ Mordechai was once caught davening in the concentration camps, and he was beaten until he passed out. When he came to, he opened his eyes and began davening again, from the exact spot where he had left off! He turned 23 in Adar of 1939 and would have begun to look for a shidduch, but the winds of war darkened the skies of Polish Jewry, and by September, the Nazis had invaded. Together with his rabbeim, he was herded into the Ghetto where he became close with the rabbanim of the Ghetto and their families. His memories of the Warsaw Ghetto provided historians with some of the most graphic firsthand accounts. In Dos Yiddish Vort, some 25 years ago, he published an account of the death and disease that he experienced there. His mother was nifteres in the Ghetto, and he and his brother searched desperately to make a minyan to say Kaddish. Unfortunately, right after the funeral, the deportations had begun transferring the Yidden from an almost-certain death in the Ghetto to a certain death in Auschwitz. His mother had given the boys some jewelry to use as bribes, but it was to no avail. The uprising decimated what was left of the Ghetto, and R’ Mordechai served as a lookout in aiding the cause. After the Nazis burned the Ghetto to the ground, they were rounded up and brought as laborers in the brutal Bedzin camp. He forged a close relationship with R’ Yitzchok Meir and Avram Ziemba, nephews of the Gaon Rav Menachem Ziemba. It was through R’ Mordechai’s collaboration with Rav Yitzchok, R’ Avraham, and Mike Tress that Zeiri Agudath Yisrael rose from the ashes. Throughout the years, they were in five different camps each day a miracle of survival. His brother was once shot in the leg during a death march, and the Ukrainian guards wanted him to stop so they could finish him off. R’ Mordechai pushed him to move forward and miraculously the bleeding stopped and they realized it was a flesh wound. His stories include being pulled from a cre-

matorium by a miraculous angel. He watched his brother stare down a Nazi who caught him wearing tefillin. The minute the Nazi saw the tefillin shel rosh, he shuddered and put the gun back in his holster, fulfilling the posuk, “They shall see the name of Hashem on you and fear you…” That refers to the tefillin of the head.

He saw Mengele, Eichmann and so many other reshaim who would have wanted to ensure the doom of all of Klal Yisrael, but he lived a life that ensured that the plans of these evil men would not be realized. The stories of his post-war experience are equally amazing. All his life, Rabbi Glatstein worried for the honor of the Jewish dead. He would often come to the Kollel to see if he could get yungerleit to help with a mais mitzvah. When asked where the passion came from, he replied humbly. “After the liberation, no one wanted to help bury the dead in Dachau. After all, many died from typhus and other diseases. But for some reason, it did not phase me. I was always there for the mai-

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sim and will always be,” he would explain. Rabbi Glatstein’s tenure as a liaison for the Americans’ visitors and agencies was prolific. He had taught himself English in Warsaw a bochur and used his skills as an interpreter for the American troops including for the Klausenberger Rebbe’s famed discussions with General Eisenhower. He met his Aishes Chayil, Tzina, whose father was Rav Yehuda Leib Vollman, the last rav in Sochatzov, and set up a home in Feldafing, refusing to leave Europe until every one of the survivors had a place to leave. R’ Mordechai became close with Lt. Meyer Birnbaum, who worked closely with him in the rebuilding efforts. When Lt. Birnbaum came to Pittsburgh to address the community at a Kollel event, his reunion with Rabbi Glatstein was the highlight of the evening. Rabbi and Rebbetzin Glatstein leave behind a family of bnei Torah and marbitzei Torah. Their son, Reb Yosef, a practicing attorney, spent decades in the field of kiruv as a senior lecturer for Aish HaTorah’s Discovery Program. Their other son, Dr. Yitzchok Glatstein, is renown as one of the top doctors in the field of fertility, and many poskim seek out his medical expertise. Reb Yosef and Reb Yitzchok are the parents of many children and grandchildren who are marbitzei Torah. Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, a noted rav and mechaber sefarim, is a proud grandson. Rav Mordechai Glatstein, who was niftar on the first day of Pesach, leaves an unparalleled legacy of emunah, Torah, scholarship, askanus and ahavas Yisrael for all of us to cherish and learn from. He will go down in the annals of Jewish history as one of the great builders of Torah and Yiddishkeit in the 20th century.


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The|Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home




Liar, Liar Pants on Fire They may be common, but people fall for them every time E It’s a good thing you came in today. We only have two more in stock. E Five pounds is nothing on a person of your height. E You made it yourself? I never would have guessed. E You don’t look a day over 40. E Dad, I need to move out of the dorm into an apartment of my own so I can have some peace and quiet when I study. E It’s delicious, but I can’t eat another bite. E For some reason, my alarm clock just didn’t go off this morning. E I didn’t listen to my voicemails until now. E The new ownership won’t affect you. The company will remain the same. E The puppy won’t be any trouble, Mom. I promise I’ll take care of it myself. E Don’t worry, you’re not late...We always start our Shabbos seuda at 1:45 (especially on short Shabbosim). E Your hair looks just fine. E I’m 29. E Put away the map. I know exactly how to get there. E I’m not upset...I’m just tired. E You have my personal guarantee. E I’ll do it tomorrow.

Centerfold Riddle me This? After a bus driver came back with less money than he should have, his supervisor decided to figure out how many people had been on the bus from the beginning to the end of the route. Due to technology and record keeping, he knows that at the first stop six passengers got on.   The bus then proceeded a few blocks and stopped.  Two passengers got off and five got on.  At the next stop, three people got off and seven came on.    It continued for a few blocks and then stopped again. Four people got on and four people got off.  It proceeded on its route and at the next stop, five people got on. At the next stop, 14 got on and no one got off.  How many stops did the bus make? a.  21        b.  6        c.  23        d.  4 Answer on next page

You Gotta be Kidding Me! Yankel walks into a hotel and in broken English says to the clerk, “I’d like a room for tonight.” “I’m sorry, sir, but we have no vacant rooms,” the clerk answers. “Not even one room?” Yankel asks. “No, sir, we’re full tonight,” says the clerk. Yankel thinks for a moment and says, “Tell me, if the President of the United States came in and asked for a room, would you give him one?” The clerk answers, “Well, if the President of the United States asked for a room, I would find one for him!” Yankel replies, “Well, the president is not coming here tonight. So give me the room you’d give to him!”

The Jewish | APRIL 8, 2015 2021 The Jewish HomeHome | OCTOBER 29,

Know Your Voltage 1. Who created the first commercial electric power plant? a. Thomas Edison b. Benjamin Franklin c. Albert Einstein d. Robert Goddard 2. One lightning bolt has enough electricity to power how many homes? a. 500 b. 1,500 c. 10,000 d. 200,000 3. What did Thomas Edison do to demonstrate how his electricity was safer than his competitor’s electricity?

a. He provided free fire insurance to any home that switched from his competitor’s electricity to his. b. He stuck a wet piece of metal in a 10,000 watt socket in the middle of Times Square c. He went to different towns and tried selling his competitor’s electricity. When potential customers would point out the safety flaws, he would respond, “That is why you should actually buy my product, not the inferior electricity that I have been talking about for the past hour.” d. He electrocuted an elephant.

Answers: 1. A-The first central power plant was built by Thomas Edison and began generating electricity on September 4, 1882. It had one generator, and it produced power for 800 electric light bulbs. Within 14 months, it had 508 subscribers and 12,732 bulbs. 2. D 3. D- Edison used his competitor’s alternative current system to publicly execute an elephant, named Topsy, which belonged to Coney Island’s Luna Park. Topsy was deemed a threat to people after she killed three men in three years, the last a drunk trainer who had fed her a lit cigar.

4. The energy source used most in the U.S. to generate electricity is: a. Natural gas b. Coal c. Nuclear power d. Petroleum 5. What does a transformer do to an electrical current? a. Changes its voltage b. Adds more watts c. Turns electricity into power d. Prevents it from catching fire 6. Electrical currents are measured in “amps” which is an abbreviation for: a. Amplifier b. Ampiliospholisitismosis c. Amperes d. Ampidization

4. B- Close to 50% of electricity in the U.S. comes from coal 5. A- Transformers change the high-voltage electricity that travels through transmission lines into the low-voltage electricity you want in your house. 6. C Wisdom Key: 5-6 correct: You are a thousand watts, my friend! 3-4 correct: You are like a 60 watt light bulb—useful, good to have around, but not very exciting. 0-2 correct: When your momma told you, as a kid, not to stick your fingers in the socket, she meant it!

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Answer to riddle: B- There were six stops. It may be the supervisor’s job to figure out how many people were on the bus, but your job was simply to figure out how many stops the bus made (hardly a daunting task).


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Torah Thought

Parshas Shemini By Rabbi Berel Wein


ne of the more distinguishing life values which Judaism advocates is the type of food that a Jew eats. There are foods that Jews are commanded to eat, such as matzah on Pesach. Continuing with Pesach, there are also forbidden foods such as leavened bread. The laws and customs regarding kosher food are numerous and complex. Perhaps no other area of Jewish life, except for the Sabbath and its laws, has evoked,

over the centuries, so much scholarship and divergence of opinions regarding halacha and practice. There are clear lines that establish the basic rules regarding kosher food. There have been many explanations and reasons given regarding this facet of Jewish life concerning permissible and forbidden foods. These reasons range from the mysteries of kabbalistic thought to the seemingly practical ideas of good health and proper

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diet. But, even after all the rational explanations have been expounded upon, the laws of kosher food remain one of the great commandments of the Torah for which we have no completely rational explanation. Therefore, kashrut belongs in the realm of chukim – laws and commandments that we follow simply because that is will, so to speak, of our Creator. Our limited capacity of human understanding makes for the mystery behind the commandment. But the commandment itself stands, and it is binding for whatever reason we may or may not assign to it and its performance.

Jew in heart and mind. But for all the unknown and unseen reasons that lie behind the survival of the Jewish people over the millennia against all odds, it is just as important, if not even more so, to be a good Jew in one’s stomach. Difficulties in maintaining proper standards in kosher food and the abandonment by many secular Jews of the entire concept of kosher food has inevitably contributed to the rates of assimilation and intermarriage of their succeeding generations. People who can eat together eventually realize they can socialize together, and the rest is obvious. One of the great blessings of our

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It is just as important, if not even more so, to be a good Jew in one’s stomach.

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One thing is crystal clear, and all Jewish history attests to this commandment. The consumption of only kosher food has been one of the main contributors to the survival of Judaism and the Jewish people over the ages. It has created the necessary boundary that delineates us and our faith. By so doing, it has given us a deep realization that being a Jew relates also to the body and internal organs of a person and not only the cerebral notion of religion that many people have. It is very important to be a good

modern time is the abundance of all types of kosher food. In Israel and in the United States, there is little challenge left in having to observe the commandments of kosher food. Nevertheless, a large section of the Jewish people still has not broken the bad habit of past generations, and we are faced with numerous crises of disappointments in Jewish national life. As the Torah is our friend and protector, we should always be aware of its demands. It is for our own sake that we should do so. Shabbat shalom.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

From the Fire Parshas Shemini

Yiddishkeit for Every Jew By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf


ll of Creation was waiting for “And it was, on the eighth day…” (Vayikra 9:1) in this week’s parsha. That was the long-awaited day when (ibid. 6) “the glory of Hashem will appear to you.” But suddenly, the joy of that day was marred by the “fire [that] went forth from before Hashem and consumed [Nadav and Avihu, Aharon’s sons,] and they died before Hashem” (ibid. 10:2). The same fire that came from Heaven “and consumed the burnt offering and fats on the altar” (ibid. 9:24) then “went forth and consumed” Nadav and Avihu. The similarity between these pesukim, only separated by one verse, is remarkable. What is the connection between them? Because the bringing of a “foreign fire which He had not commanded them” (ibid. 10:1) does not seem to fully explain the severity of Nadav and Avihu’s punishment, Chazal and the commentaries struggle to offer a number of explanations for the fire from Heaven which consumed

them. According to some, it was because they made halachic decisions in Moshe’s presence, and according to others, it was because they drank wine excessively before entering the Holy of Holies (Rashi on ibid. 2). According to them, the root cause of their deaths was not the fact that Nadav and Avihu each “took his fire-pan, put fire in them and placed incense upon it” (Vayikra 10:1). Rather, they were killed because of some unrelated sin. But the Rashbam and Chizkuni explain that their sin was bringing their own fire before Hashem “had the chance” to cause a Heavenly fire to descend and consume the sacrifices. According to this explanation, the whole purpose of the day of the inauguration of the kohanim’s service in the Mishkan was to reveal Hashem’s presence in the Mishkan through the fire from Heaven which would consume the congregation’s sacrifices. By bringing a human fire before Hashem’s fire descended, Nadav and

Avinhu prevented that full expression of G-d’s revelation in the Mishkan. In the language of the mekubalim, they created a separation between yesod Abah and yesod Imah. But these commentaries do not explain the rest of the pasuk in which the Torah explains their sin. Each one “took his fire-pan, put fire in them and placed incense upon it.” Their explanation accounts for why it was a problem for Nadav and Avihu to bring a human fire before the revelation of Hashem’s fire. But they do not explain the Torah’s emphasis on the fact that they placed incense on this fire. Let us first understand more about the nature of this eighth day on which the kohanim brought sacrifices to Hashem and then we can suggest an approach which will explain the significance of the incense. Moshe told the entire Jewish people (ibid. 9:6), “This is the thing that Hashem has commanded you to do and the glory of Hashem will appear to you.” The purpose of the day was

(ibid. 4) “today Hashem is appearing to you.” The last time Hashem appeared to the entire Jewish people was at Sinai, when the pasuk (Shmos 24:17) says, “And the appearance of the glory of Hashem was like a consuming fire at the top of the mountain before the eyes of the Jewish people.” The Ramban (on ibid. 25:1) says that the purpose of the Mishkan, and later, the Beis Hamikdash, is to continue the Sinai experience throughout the generations. And the heroes of the Sinai experience, who led the Jewish people to the mountain, were Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, and Avinhu (Shmos 24:1): “And He said to Moshe: ‘Ascend to Hashem, you, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu, and the seventy of the elders of Israel...’” Why were Aharon’s sons chosen for this special honor of going closer to Sinai than the rest of the Jewish people? Because they were destined to be inaugurated into the service in the Mishkan, the purpose of which is to continue to bring Hashem’s presence into the Jewish people

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021 The Jewish Jewish Home Home || OCTOBER OCTOBER 29, 29, 2015 2015 The

just like on Sinai. The connection between the revelation at Sinai and the Mishkan/ Beis Hamikdash is also expressed through the fact that there are only three occasions on which communal peace offerings are brought: (1) at Sinai (Shmos 24:5); (2) on the day of the kohanim’s inauguration into the Mishkan’s service in this weeks’ parsha (Vayikra 9:4); and (3) throughout the generations on Shavuos (Vayikra 23:19), the anniversary of the day Hashem gave us the Torah on Sinai. The connection between these days is clear. Each of them represents a joining of the world above and the world below. That is why a communal peace offering is brought. The significance of a peace offering is that it is consumed jointly by Heaven, the kohanim, and the owner of the offering. Because these three occasions represent a direct encounter between the entire Jewish people and Hashem, it is appropriate to bring a joint offering which is “consumed” both by Hashem above and His children below on each of these days. Perhaps based on the above we can understand the sin of Nadav and Avihu and how it relates to the incense they brought. As we said above, Nadav and Avihu were not with the rest of the Jewish people at Sinai. They came closer to the mountain than everyone else and were “cut off” from regular Jews. The pasuk says regarding Nadav, Avinhu and the other elders (Shmos 24:10-11), “And they perceived the G-d of Israel…and upon the nobles of Israel He did not lay a hand and they saw G-d…” But they were not the only ones who perceived Hashem at Sinai. As we quoted earlier: “And the appearance of the glory of Hashem was like a consuming fire at the top of the mountain before the eyes of the Jewish people.” The rest of the Jewish people also experienced a revelation of G-d. It is possible, however, that because Nadav and Avihu were cut off from the average Jews, they may not have realized that Hashem considered the entire Jewish people worthy of revelation. They might have thought that such a direct encounter with G-d was reserved for “the nobles of Israel” like themselves and the elders. It may not have occurred to Na-

dav and Avihu that the “proletariat,” the average Jews, the “riff raff,” were capable or worthy of receiving Hashem’s presence. It could be that when the whole Jewish people witnessed Hashem’s revelation through the fire

varim 29:10). But this was a mistake. That is why Moshe explained to Aharon after Nadav and Avihu’s deaths (Vayikra 10:3): “This is what Hashem spoke [when He said], ‘I will be sanctified

Yiddishkeit is not a spectator’s sport in which we watch the tzaddikim from afar and gaze in awe at how close they are to Hashem.

on the altar (Vayikra 9:24), “the entire nation saw, sang praises, and fell on their faces,” Nadav and Avihu might have seen this as extremely problematic. Perhaps that is why, in the next verse (ibid. 10:1), they ran to bring incense into the Holy of Holies. What is the significance and purpose of incense? Whenever there is a direct Divine revelation, Hashem commands us to create a cloud around that revelation using incense, as the pasuk (Vayikra 16:2) says, “in a cloud [of incense] I will appear above the [ark] cover.” The smoke created by the burning of the incense creates a fog around Hashem’s revelation, obscuring it as an expression of modesty. Nadav and Avihu could not imagine that the entire Jewish people were actually supposed to experience that which the pasuk says, “the entire nation saw, sang praises, and fell on their faces.” They therefore ran to burn incense to create a cloud of concealment around that direct revelation to prevent those they thought were not worthy of experiencing it further. They may have viewed that direct revelation as a lack of honor toward Heaven. Because they were separated from average Jews at Sinai and did not realize that Hashem intended that they, too, experience a direct encounter with Hashem. They did not realize that Hashem wants not only a direct relationship with the tzaddikim and scholars but also a direct connection with the lowest Jews, from the woodchoppers to the water-drawers (De-

through those close to Me and before the entire nation I will be glorified.” A direct relationship and revelation of Hashem is not only for the “nobles of Israel” and “those close to Me” like Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, and Avihu. It is for “the entire nation.” Yiddishkeit is not a spectator’s sport in which we

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watch the tzaddikim from afar and gaze in awe at how close they are to Hashem. We value the tzaddikim and scholars, drink up every word they teach, and follow their leadership, but they do not have a monopoly on closeness with Hashem. Yiddishkeit and connection is for every Jew. No one should write themselves or other Jews off as beyond the pale of Yiddishkeit. We know that Hashem desires a direct relationship and encounter with every single Jew, no matter whether he is of the “nobles of Israel” or is of the “woodchoppers and water-drawers.” May all of us merit to internalize this message never write ourselves off from working to draw ourselves closer and closer to Hashem.

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

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Mesiras Moda’ah Understanding the Purpose of Aggadah Part I


The translation that follows is part one of three of a remarkable essay entitled, “Mesiras Moda’ah.” This work, which is printed in the back of sefer Derech HaMelech, was penned by Rav Kaloynimus Kalmish Shapira, zy”a, the Piacezner Rebbe, as an introduction to his commentary on the Zohar HaKadosh, “Reshimos HaZohar.” Aside from this essay and a single discourse, this work was tragically lost during the Holocaust. As we approach the exalted day of Lag Ba’Omer, may this work enable us to better understand the function of Rashbi’s work and its relevance to our times.

FORSAKING? NULLIFYING! In the process of repenting and returning to Hashem on behalf of am Yisrael and their rebellious ways, Ezra HaSofer said, “And now, what can we say to You, our G-d, after this that we have forsaken (ki azavnu) Your mitzvos?” (Ezra 9:10) Let us focus in on this word, “azivah,” forsaking. This word does not imply that the one who forsakes actively damages the thing he has forsaken in the act of forsaking. The damage happens afterwards, by way of another force. This is like the verse states regarding the Egyptians, “And he who did not take to heart etc., left (vaya’azeiv) his servants and flocks in the field…”

(Shemos 9:21) Here, too, it was not the one who forsook that killed his flock, but the hail that later fell. However, when one forsakes the mitzvos, this forsaking is in and of itself an act of nullification. For example, one who leaves the sukkah on Succos has “nullified” the mitzvah. Why, then, did Ezra use the word “azavnu” in this context – especially when referencing the aveiros actively committed by his generation?

HOW TO BRING THE TORAH IN? When Ezra contemplated the entire Jewish enterprise and scanned the entire chain of the nation’s sins

from the ancient past until the present day, he said, “From the days of our fathers until this very day, we have borne great guilt.” (Ezra 9:7) He found that only unique individuals had achieved the status of tzaddikim, but not the general populace. This pained him very greatly, for Hashem gave the Torah to the entire Jewish nation – we are one unit, one body. Certainly, the collective organism cannot be fulfilled on account of scattered parts within it; one per city or two per family. Therefore, Ezra searched for some advice, some strategy for how to go about healing the brokenness of his People and how to mend the wounds inflicted in the Torah by those who had transgressed Her ways.

He lifted his eyes and saw the Torah herself, her essential spirit standing outside of the Jewish nation. All of her pleas were ineffective; even after all of her cries, “Open up for me, my sister etc.”none succeeded in entering their hearts or penetrating the hidden places of their souls. Ezra approached to discover the path and alleyway which leads into the innermost depths of Man’s heart, the path through which the Torah would be able to enter. He observed that emotion and intellect are the pathways of Man through which all matters of the world and its folly enter – empty beliefs, foreign thoughts, lowly impulses, and delusions. He found that when these streams are flowing

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within Man, they fill his spirit and defile him. By their whims, all of his actions and ambitions are decided. And the Torah, which ought to be our life-force, our soul, and the strength of our hearts, stands outside – ashamed. It is only when the maidservant, who has inherited the place of the queen, grants permission for a gift or an easy mitzvah to be given to the Torah – the princess, who stands in her humiliation outside – that Man feels compelled to do so. Is this the way of the Torah? Should a person whose entire essence and life is not bound up with Hashem and His Torah merit to be called by the name “Yisrael”? But in truth, how is it possible to bring the Torah – its spirit and soul which are “expansive as the earth in measure” – into the opening in the heart of Man if this opening isn’t as wide as the opening of a hall, as is the case with b’nei aliyah who are very few in number? It was this problem about which Ezra prayed and bemoaned, “From the days of our fathers until this very day, we have borne great guilt.” Even the mitzvos we have sporadically performed were only in the way of a “consolation prize” to the forsaken Torah which stood outside of us.

THE GIFT OF TORAH SHEBAAL PEH And so, Hashem guided Ezra and inspired him along with other tzaddikim of the period with ruach hakodesh to reveal Torah Sh’Baal Peh. Not the practical guidelines and final rulings alone; rather, they were inspired to reveal the intellect and emot ion w ithin the Torah, aligned with the intellect and emotion of Man, so that the Torah could enter through these gateways and settle within Man to become one with him. Thus, the Mishna, whose redaction began with Ezra and the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah which he established, does not simply list practical laws. It also includes discussion and analysis, so that every person in accordance with his circumstance would be able to understand and begin to bring the Torah into his consciousness. This is why the Gemara of the Mishnaic period has not remained

with us, for Chazal’s entire intention in giving us the Gemara was to further enable the Torah to enter our minds. Once the analysis and Gemara of the Amoraim was revealed, that of the Tannaim was hidden. When a person uses his intellect to deeply contemplate the Torah, which contains the Wisdom and Will of Hashem – for this is what He Wanted, for a certain, specific action to be considered a mitzvah – one has begun to bring the Torah inside his mind, and Hashem, G-d of the Jewish nation, dwells within him, as is known.

THE UNIQUE FUNCTION OF AGGADAH However, if Chazal used the Gemara to speak to the intellect of Man and to enable the Torah to enter within him by way of this study,

tween generation and generation. In the words of the Torah, Neviim, and Kesubvim, there is “enough to burn” and “enough for burnt-offer ings” (see Yeshayahu 40:16) with which to lift the souls of every Jewish person in a fire of elevation, with passion and inspiration, until the heart trembles and melts from the awesomeness of his emotions and yearning for Hashem. Aside from the light which the holy works illuminate within the heart of every Jewish person and the holiness every letter brings upon him without his even being aware of it, how expansive and inspired does the Jewish heart grow upon reading words such as, “For what great nation is there that has a god so close at hand as is Hashem our G-d whenever we call out to Him?”! (Devarim 4:6) However, the holy writings

If Chazal used the Gemara to speak to the intellect of Man and to enable the Torah to enter within him by way of this study, they used Midrash and Aggadah to speak to the emotions of his heart.

they used Midrash and Aggadah to speak to the emotions of his heart. This is as the Gemara states, “It tugs at the heart like Aggadah” (See Chagigah 14a) – specifically the heart. In other words, Chazal constricted within the words of Midrash the emotions they felt and experienced in every mitzvah and in each word of Torah study, so that every person – in accordance with his unique circumstances – would be able to feel and become inspired upon learning and verbalizing the words of the Midrash.


were revealed in the earlier generations, at a time when am Yisrael was closer to unity, collectivity – a single nation dwelling together in a single land under the Source of our strength, Hashem Echad. The energy of constriction had not yet implanted the claws of division between them, to separate between man and his fellow, each person arrogantly standing alone. Man had not yet experienced internal division, each bodily power and physical limbs standing alone, independent from their spiritual source. Therefore, there was no need to inspire each specific energy and limb toward every mitzvah it was appointed to accomplish and to implant the soul of each mitzvah and verse within the individual Jew’s powers

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and limbs. All that was needed was to inspire them collectively, to bind their collective unity to the Singular G-d. Then, even if an individual Jew could not perceive Hashem using his intellect, he would feel Him, and the spark of G-d’s Glory would become revealed within him. From the light which would overflow the banks of their hearts, the nation would become collectively inspired and draw closer to one another. Their individual limbs and bodily powers would be nullified, and they would become united within the mitzvos and Will of Hashem which would bring their souls together. But this was not the case in the days of Ezra. The later generations descended further and further into disunity. Because of the collective separation caused by the exiles, each individual Jew experienced internal discord to the point that it was possible for a Jew to be very close to Hashem in his heart and mind, while his limbs and powers – along with everything included in them – acted, desired, and thought differently. Therefore, it was necessary for Ezra, the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah, and the Tannaim and Amoraim of those generations to bind each mitzvah and spark of Torah within the Jewish nation, to introduce the Torah into their individualism, each person’s specific strengths and thoughts. This they accomplished by way of the ruach hakodesh that is to be found in the words of Midrash.

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN TANACH AND MIDRASH As they appear in Tanach, the axioms are expressed in short, summarized form. Where Tanach intends to inspire the thoughts of the reader’s heart (aside from the holiness which each letter adds to him), it inspires only with general terms regarding Hashem’s traits and His creation of, and sovereignty over, the world. For example, “You have been shown today to know that Hashem is G-d, there is nothing but Him,” (Devarim 4:35) “Lift your eyes and see Who created these etc.,” (Yeshahyahu 40:26) “For the heavens demonstrate Your Name,” (Tehillim 8:4) and similar verses. It discusses the closeness between Hashem and am

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Yisrael, am Yisrael and Hashem, as well as the Torah in general and its sweet ways with which Hashem gifted am Yisrael. For example, “For what great nation is there that has a god so close at hand as is Hashem our G-d…,” “To Whom belong righteous laws and statutes etc.,” “Her ways are sweet ways, and all of Her paths are peaceful.” In this way, Torah Sheb’Ksav softens the body and the heart – man’s stony heart – and reveals the soul, teaching it how to yearn for Hashem and become poured out in song and praise from the depths of her heart into the embrace of her Father, saying, for example, “It is good to praise Hashem and to sing to His exalted Name.” When a Jewish person closes his eyes and turns his face to the wall, particularly in his prayer on the eve of Shabbos, and says, “It is good to praise Hashem, etc.” (Tehillim 92:20) – let us see; who is he addressing? The way of Man is that one does not talk to oneself, only to someone else. And yet here this man stands and speaks to the wall! But leave this Jew alone now, he

is engaged in conversation with the Holy One, blessed be He. From the depths, his soul sings to Hashem and says, “‘It is good to praise Hashem and to sing to His exalted Name.’ Ribbono Shel Olam, my desire to speak to You is so great, my yearning to praise You so overwhelmingly powerful, that my words do not suffice! Only ‘with the ten-stringed instrument and with the lyre, and the voice of a harp,’ with every kind of drum and violin…” At times, the Jew is astonished at himself – “What is happening to me? Who am I, that I should be drawn so close, to speak to the Infinite and Endless One nearly as one speaks to a friend, and to say before Him, ‘And to sing to His exalted Name’?” He literally feels how he is being lifted up by the hairs of his head and elevated beyond the mundane realm to a world of purity, among He Who is Pure and His servants who are pure, his soul singing songs and melodies to the Living of All Worlds. And from the sparks of his soul – precious jewels all – which sparkle within him and overwhelm with their love,

crowns are formed with which to crown her Beloved, her King. As we have said, this and the like would have already been sufficient to bind a nation unified in the Oneness of Hashem, so that all of its limbs, powers, and aspirations would be nullified to this Oneness; to do and to desire only the will of Hashem. However, when am Yisrael became disparate and disjointed, it became necessary to inspire and to bind each and every thread, each and every strand. Through their ruach hakodesh, the threads and strands revealed by Chazal from within the entire body of Torah succeeded in binding every power to a mitzvah, every one of the heart’s emotions to specific verses in the Torah. Therefore, even the simple understanding of the words of the Midrash and Aggadah isn’t a matter of intellectual analysis – they are words of the heart and its emotions. Not human emotions and feelings, born in the heart of Man in his own image and in accordance with thoughts and desires that have been inspired by physicality – fallen love

and other lowly traits. Rather, each word of the Torah unbolts gateways into the Aron Kodesh within which the entire holiness of am Yisrael and the holiness of our God is contained. Ruach HaKodesh emerges, intent on revealing the essential spirit of Jewishness from its case. With a trumpet blast of passion and joy they enclothe themselves with one another; they are wedded to one another.

R’ Yaakov Klein is an author, musician, and lecturer devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, and lectures. He directs the Lost Princess Initiative, an educational platform based on the primary messages of his newly-released book, The Story of Our Lives: An Epic Quest for the Soul of Our Tradition. He also leads the Lost Princess Principles Course, a seven-week program based on The Story of Our Lives. For more information on the course and access to many other resources, please visit LPITorah.org.

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Delving into the Daf

Is Olam Habah for Sale? By Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow


he story is related that a Jew, who had only five rubles to his name, was in dire need of a large sum of money for his daughter’s upcoming marriage. He went to his Rebbe for advice. The Rebbe advised him to invest in the first business deal that he encounters. The chassid left for home with a happy heart. On the way home, he stopped at an inn, where he met a group of businessmen. One of them, seeing an opportunity to have some fun, asked the chassid if he was interested in a business opportunity. The businessman said he was willing to sell his portion in Olam Habah, the World to Come, for one ruble. The chassid quickly offered a ruble and paid for the fellow’s “share” in Olam Habah. The businessman returned home and related to his wife the hysterical news that he had sold his Olam Habah to a foolish Jew for one ruble. She became irate. “How could you do such a stupid thing? I will not live one more minute with a man who has no Olam Habah. You’re not welcome home until you get your Olam Habah back!” The fellow went in search of the chassid to demand that the sale be nullified. The chassid refused to negotiate and said that he would only sell back the man’s share in Olam Habah for the 5,000 rubles that he needs to make his daughter’s wedding. Incensed, the fellow began to yell. Eventually, they both agreed to go to the Netziv. The Netziv heard the entire story and ruled that, of course, one can’t sell his portion in Olam Habah. The sale was void ab initio. He ruled that the businessman must return the chassid’s ruble because no transaction actually took place. Whereupon, the chassid exclaimed, “Leave it to a Litvak to ruin a good chassidishe story!”

While the ending of the previous story is certainly fiction, a similar story and ruling is actually cited in the Netziv’s sefer. (Meishev Davar 3:14) Someone offered an individual money for half his share in the World to Come. The purchaser assumed that the seller was a tzaddik. However, the purchaser was told in a dream that the seller was not exceptional. The buyer wanted his money back, but the seller refused. The Netziv ruled that the seller had to return the money because the sale had no validity to it since one can’t sell his portion in Olam Habah. The Netziv offered a parable. There was a soldier that displayed tremendous courage and bravery in war. News of his momentous feats reached the king. The king decided to shower the fine soldier with much honor. Would one think for a moment that the soldier can sell the right to receive that honor to someone else?! Hashem decides to honor those who performed His mitzvos. That honor cannot be sold or traded. The Netziv offered an alternative rationale why reward for mitzvos can’t be sold. He explained that Hashem set up the world that the result of a mitzvah is reward and unfortunately the result of an averiah is punishment. The Netziv asked, “Can a sick person pay someone else to drink a medicine for him?” Hashem set up the world that mitzvos are like curative herbs. Only the one who consumes them will receive the benefits. Likewise, aveiros are like vials of poison. One cannot assign the harm done to someone else. That is what the Gemara means in Shekalim (14a) when it says Hashem doesn’t overlook aveiros. A person can do many mitzvos but, unfortunately, it won’t negate the effect of aveiros. However, Hashem in His unfathomable kindness gave us an antidote for

the poison of aveiros, namely teshuva. However, the benefits of mitzvos and teshuva only accrue to the person who actually performs them. They cannot be sold or traded. Chazal often extol the virtues of those who engage in a Yissachar-Zevulun partnership. The “Zevulun” spends most of his day working, only learning Torah in his spare time. Consequently, he is able to support Yissachar who learns Torah all day. Both Zevulun and Yissachar are credited with equal reward (assuming Zevulun makes Yissachar an equal partner by giving away half his income). How can Zevulun have a share in the reward for Yissachar’s Torah learning? The answer is that it’s a matter of timing. Zevulun enables Yissachar to learn in the first place. He receives reward for causing the Torah learning to take place. However, Zevulun wouldn’t be able to offer money to Yissachar after he already learned Torah. That would be buying the reward for a mitzvah which just isn’t possible. One year, there was a severe shortage of esrogim in Eastern Europe. A search committee was dispatched to scour Europe on a quest for an esrog for the Vilna Gaon. Finally, in one town, they met with success. A man had an exquisite esrog and was willing to part with it for a price: “I will sell it to you on one condition,” the man said. “The reward in Olam Habah that the Vilna Gaon earns in performing this mitzvah must go to me.” They returned to Vilna just in time for Sukkos and marched straight to the home of the Vilna Gaon. The Gaon was ecstatic to see the esrog, but they were trembling. They nervously said, “For-

give us, Rebbe; in order to acquire this esrog, we were forced to agree on your behalf that you would give this man all of the Olam Habah that you earn doing this mitzvah.” The Vilna Gaon joyously responded, “That’s perfectly acceptable! All my life I never had a chance to fulfill a mitzvah and receive no reward, and now I have such a chance. I now have the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of esrog purely out of love.” Was the Vilna Gaon able to give away his Olam Habah earned from the mitzvah of esrog? Initially, one might assume that the deal presents no issue. After all, it is a matter of timing. The man with the esrog enabled the Vilna Gaon to perform the mitzvah in the first place. However, that would only explain why the individual would share in the reward. Can one party make a deal that the other individual gets the entire reward? Seemingly not. We cannot make deals that “obligate” Hashem and instruct Him how He should distribute honor and benefits. Rav Chaim Kanievsky was asked: How could the Gra promise all his reward to another individual? Can we make the same deal, if necessary? To which Rav Chaim responded simply: We don’t decide halachah based on a story. Likewise, one shouldn’t decide Torah matters based on this article!

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@gmail.com.

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Israel Today

A Kohen Conundrum By Rafi Sackville


t’s the early morning minyan on a winter’s day. The sun has yet to rise, and it’s cold. Covid restrictions allow ten men in shul. Everyone else can find a safe, albeit cold haven between the inner and outer doors or sit in the courtyard under a tent. A mobile bimah is placed somewhere in the middle and off we go. All told there are fourteen men present: one kohen, two levi’im, eleven Yisraelim. When we get to Birchat Kohanim, Mordechai the Kohen stands at the front of the shul and blesses everyone. It’s just a regular minyan. Since Covid and the establishment of satellite minyanim, the first minyan has had an irregular kohen attendance. There is rarely more than one, and oftentimes none. A few weeks ago, two kohanim turned up. The simple process of running a minyan turned into a confusing comedy of errors that ended up at the door of the rav. As gabbai, I am accustomed to asking the rav questions of matters pertaining to the shul. As the Av Beit Din at Haifa’s Rabbinical Court, Rav Yosef Yagoda lives and breathes halacha. After years of dealing with halachic issues, there’s not much that raises his eyebrows anymore. I approached him that same afternoon after Mincha. When I told him what had happened that morning, his eyebrows rose above a wry smile. He looked at me and asked me to repeat what had happened. “Covid has spurned many questions, and this is both a good and unexpected query,” he said. What could bring excitement to early morning prayers, you ask? First of all, it’s important to note that, unlike chutz la’aretz where kohanim bless the congregation only during Yamin Nora’im, here in Israel they bless us every day of the

year. It’s important to note because its significance when practiced rarely feels far more special than when it is a perfunctory and daily part of morning prayers. The only other function of importance I can think of that kohanim hold is to receive money at a pidyon haben. To this day the Blessing of the Priests is recited by them in the same format and in the same words given to them by the Al-mighty. G-d promises that He Himself will bless His people through His priests. This is why one should not look at them during the blessing because it is as if G-d Himself has made a slit through their fingers through which He blesses us.

can enter; I give a nod for yes, and a waggle of my finger for no. When the chazzan got to the Birchat Kohanim I called out “Kohanim” in a voice loud enough for those inside and out to hear. It was at this point, the comedy began. As Mordechai and Shlomo began their blessing, one thing became apparent: they were both facing the same way, but at least half a football field apart. This meant that Mordechai was facing everyone, while Shlomo, who had situated himself at the back of the tent, was facing nothing but the swings and slides in the playground. Those outside, myself included, wheeled around and walked in front

It was a scene out of the Keystone Cops.

On this day, Mordechai the Kohen was one of the ten men in shul. Shlomo the other kohen was outside shul. That’s two kohanim, two levi’im, and ten Yisraelim. Shlomo is an older man whose medical past is checkered by illness. He is very careful with Covid procedures. Under no circumstances will he walk into a closed environment like a synagogue. Which, to be fair, is a perfectly reasonable and wise thing to do. If you look at the accompanying photo again you can imagine that, when Birkat Kohanim began, Mordechai was at the aron kodesh at the front of the shul, while Shlomo was outside next to the tent. I tend to daven outside because if there are any latecomers to shul, it is me they turn to to ask if they

of him, while those in shul, who had no idea how many other men were outside, thought to dash outside to the back of the tent to hear Shlomo’s blessing, not thinking of who would remain in shul. It was a scene out of the Keystone Cops. On his way outside, one of the levi’im told the shaliach tzibbur to slow down in order to accommodate the departure of worshippers outside. Two of them were too slow to notice him talking to the shaliach tzibbur and bumped into him. Meanwhile, the Levi was having no luck because the shaliach tzibbur is well into his 80s and is hard of hearing. Eventually, all those who thought it best to go outside arrived at their destination. The problem was that Mordechai HaKohen was left in

shul blessing the shaliach tzibbur, one Levi and two Yisraelim. In other words, he was blessing less than a minyan. So there we were between Mincha and Ma’ariv gathered around Rav Yosef. He said he saw no problem of two kohanim blessing in two separate locations on the condition they each did so in front of a minyan, which hadn’t been the case that morning. The rav asked whether Shlomo entered shul to take an aliyah to the Torah. No, he didn’t. Even if there are no other kohanim, asked the Rav. Even then, he was told. “If so, I think he should forego Birchat Kohanim,” paskened the Rav. Shlomo was upset when he heard this. It’s a mitzvah d’Oraysa, he complained. However, when it was pointed out to him that he could very well have been blessing less than a minyan, and that this was the Rav’s major consideration, he fully understood. Not only that, but he was grateful the question had been asked as he had had his own reservations about the situation. There have been no issues since that day. Mordechai HaKohen still blesses us from in front of the Aron Kodesh. And Shlomo? Shlomo has stopped coming to the early morning minyan.

Rafi Sackville, formerly of Cedarhurst, teaches in Ort Maalot in Western Galil.

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The Wandering


St. Louis, Missouri By Hershel Lieber

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis


y now, readers of my articles are well aware of my passion for travel. Pesi, though not as passionate, still enjoys our escapades to the many destinations we visited over the past forty years. Despite any hardships that we endured before and during our trips, the relaxation that these journeys offered us, and the change of our regular routine, was well worth the efforts involved. In addition, these voyages gave us the opportunity to see and appreciate the beautiful world that Hashem created, and by extension, the resourcefulness that the Creator instilled within mankind to innovate and create for the benefit of humanity. Traveling gave us an awareness of past and present history, as well as an understanding of different cultures and traditions. For the above reasons alone, our enthusiasm to go out and see the big wide world around us was well worth any difficulties it entailed. There is one more factor that is

The St. Louis Botanical Gardens

probably the most important one that propelled us to continue our journeys. Yidden! That’s right – Jews! To meet our brothers and sisters that are dispersed throughout the entire globe and connect with them. To discover them, to reach out

countries in Europe, our goal was to visit all the states of our diverse country, the United States of America. Often, we would combine a number of important cities in one state during a week’s trip. Other times we combined three or four states into

We took the ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch, a wonder in its own right, where we had a view of the entire city and the surrounding countryside

to them, to find out about them, to spend time with them at their homes, to unite with them in their shuls, to celebrate a Shabbos with them, to study with them, and to teach them. Besides traveling to over forty

a ten day or two-week journey. We usually stayed a Shabbos in a destination which had a shul or a Chabad House. Most times, we took along some ready, prepared food which would supplement items that we

bought in a local supermarket. Occasionally, there were places that had restaurants or take-out food places, which were definitely more convenient. Food was never an issue that made a destination inaccessible for us, and somehow, we never were starved. We did not feel compelled to do dangerous activities (e.g., sky diving, scuba diving, bungee jumping) but we did enjoy an occasional thrilling experience (e.g., hot air ballooning, parasailing, a helicopter flight). More often, we relished hiking on not too strenuous trails, driving along scenic roads, visiting stunning national parks, strolling in vibrant botanical gardens, taking stimulating city tours, exploring the treasures of art museums, and envisioning events that took place at historical sights. We had planned a trip for May 2013 to four adjoining states: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. This fourteen-day trip in-

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021 The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

Our hosts, Dov and Orli Axelbaum

cluded two Shabbosim. We began our journey in Arkansas, where we spent four nights which included Little Rock and Hot Springs. In a previous article, I wrote about our next stop, the memorable Shabbos we spent in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with Chabad Rabbi Yehuda Weg and his rebbetzin. From Tulsa, we headed south and spent a day in Oklahoma City. We then headed back north and visited Wichita and Topeka, Kansas. Then we veered to our right and made our way to Kansas City, Missouri. Our last destination, where we spent three days including a Shabbos, was St. Louis, Missouri. Over the years, we traveled to many places where we were unknown to the local Jewish community. In fact, there were places that we did not know a single person as well. Yet, I had no problem picking up the phone and calling the rabbi or the shul to ask if anyone would be interested in hosting us for a Shabbos. I felt secure that there are many people who would love to be hosts and would relish the experience of meeting fellow Jews from different places. My feelings were justified, in that we always had invitations extended to us either by the rabbis themselves or members of the congregation. And then there was always Chabad, which is known worldwide for its hospitality to travelers. Of course, we, who were the beneficiaries of our host’s welcoming graciousness, walked away from our encounters with an understanding and appreciation of the smaller Jewish communities that are beyond our doorstep. St. Louis was no exception. Three weeks before departing on our trip, I contacted Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt of the Agudas Yisroel Shul with my request. The rav is a son of the

Hershel with Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt

famed Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt of Memphis, Tennessee. He is the founder of the St. Louis Kollel which was a highly successful forerunner to many other kollelim throughout the States. Within a day or two, he called me back that he arranged for us to stay by a wonderful family for the three-night weekend, and we would also be their Shabbos seudos guests. He did reserve the Shabbos day seudah so that he and his rebbetzin could host us as well. He was extremely gracious over the phone, and I looked forward to meeting him in person and spending time conversing with him. It was 10:05 AM on Friday when we pulled into the driveway of Dov and Orli Axelbaum. Our hosts made us feel very wanted and welcome. We settled in and after some coffee and cake excused ourselves and took off to discover the city. We headed downtown and took a ninety-minute trolley tour of the whole city. We do this type of thing often, as it gives us a brief history of the places we are exploring and highlights the specific places we would like to return to for an in-depth tour. We passed the Gateway Arch, Union Station, Forest Park, the Historic Riverfront, and Washington University. We ate our bagged lunch while sitting at the fountain near the Amphitheater. Then we rushed back to get ready for Shabbos. We picked up flowers and liquor for our hosts and headed to the Axelbaum house. I went to the mikveh before Shabbos and met Dr. Allen Weiss, who was the cardiologist of both Rav Schach and Rav Elyashiv, there. Shabbos was so special. After davening Friday night at the Agudas Yisroel Shul, Dov and I returned to and joined our wives at a most en-

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Pesi with Rebbetzin Greenblatt

joyable seudah both in terms of ruchniyus and gashmiyus. The food was delicious, the presentation regal, and the conversations we shared ranged from Torah on the parsha to our personal stories and our perspectives about everything! Dov and Orli told us about their children – I remember they had three sons, who were away in yeshivos. We sat at the table for hours and we did not tire of the meaningful and entertaining discussions we had. Shachris was at the same shul,

and I was extremely impressed with the mispallelim. They were serious about their Yiddishkeit and welcomed me with warmth and with a good sense of humor. The seuda by Rav Menachem and his rebbetzin took over three hours. We connected very well and had so many stories to share with each other. We traded viewpoints on current issues besides the divrei Torah that we exchanged. I remember asking him if my assumption that most of his mispallelim are baalei teshuva is correct. He told me

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Hershel with Yari

Members of Agudas Yisroel of St. Louis

that I was wrong, because all of his mispallelim are baalei teshuva! After a short nap and Mincha, Rabbi Greenblatt asked me to speak at Shalosh Seudos about my experiences traveling to the Soviet Union in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The group was fascinated and wanted me to continue, though it was time for Maariv. At the Shalosh Seudos, I met a person that I had heard a lot about concerning his work in the world of kiruv rechokim. His name is Mordechai Yaroslawitz but he is known by everyone as “Yari.” He was very moved by hearing about my escapades in Russia, and he insisted that Pesi and I come to his house for dinner with his family on Sunday evening. I accepted the invitation, and we set a time. After Shabbos we took photos with the Axelbaums and then went to the Greenblatts to encapsulate our memories into pictures. We had a modest Melave Malka and retired for the night. Sunday was a full day of activities. It was our last day in St. Louis and the final day of our trip. We took the ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch, a wonder in its own right, where we had a view of the entire city and the surrounding countryside. We saw a film about the Dred Scott decision of the Missouri court, which played a huge role in the slavery issue that resulted in the Civil

War. We went to one of the loveliest Botanical Gardens that we ever visited and took pictures galore. When we returned to the Axelbaums, Pesi visited Orli’s Boutique Fashion Shop, which was located in her basement. The store’s main purpose was to make available stylish clothing that were within the guidelines of tzinius for the local community. Pesi purchased quite a few things. Our next stop was dinner by Yari and Tzipporah. We were overwhelmed with their kiruv stories and activities – no wonder that the name “Yari” is so well known. His focus is on college students. They showed us his supply room which is capable of preparing Shabbos and Yom Tov seudos and events for countless people. I told him that I remember as a child the Tel Aviv Restaurant on 13th Avenue in Boro Park which was owned by a Yaroslawitz. When he told me that the owner was his father, I told him that my brother and I ate hot dogs and French fries there every Monday night as children. I even remembered that two hot dogs, fries and a Coke cost fifty cents, and for one dollar my brother and I had a supper. Later, we said our goodbyes and rushed back to pack for our 6 a.m. flight to New York. Pesi and I have fond memories of our trip to St. Louis and from the special people whom we befriended.

Hershel Lieber has been involved in kiruv activities for over 30 years. As a founding member of the Vaad L’Hatzolas Nidchei Yisroel he has traveled with his wife, Pesi, to the Soviet Union during the harsh years of the Communist regimes to advance Yiddishkeit. He has spearheaded a yeshiva in the city of Kishinev that had 12 successful years with many students making Torah their way of life. In Poland, he lectured in the summers at the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation camp for nearly 30 years. He still travels to Warsaw every year – since 1979 – to be the chazzan for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur for the Jews there. Together with Pesi, he organized and led trips to Europe on behalf of Gateways and Aish Hatorah for college students finding their paths to Jewish identity. His passion for travel has taken them to many interesting places and afforded them unique experiences. Their open home gave them opportunities to meet and develop relationships with a variety of people. Hershel’s column will appear in The Jewish Home on a bi-weekly basis.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Woman Who Didn’t Speak for 40 Years My Life with Dystonia BY CHERI TANNENBAUM


rowing up in the 1960s in Vancouver, I became a full-fledged flower child. While I was in the throes of my hippiedom, my mother took me to San Francisco, where it all began. I was not enthralled. Thinking about the “me generation” provoked the question: Is this what I want my life to look like? My conclusion was a heartfelt “no.” My brother and two sisters had already become observant Jews. Since I had taken so many journeys already, my mother suggested that I check out my own religion as well. I started learning with a rabbi and was soon hooked. I enrolled in a Jewish women’s college in New York. But as the second half of my enchanted year of studies began, my handwriting suddenly became totally illegible for no reason that I could ascertain. My voice inexplicably became monotonic, also apparently without reason. One day that summer, as I was walking out of my class down the grassy path of the campus, my right leg began to kick my left ankle. Since this only happened occasionally, I thought that perhaps I was unconsciously adopting some of the symptoms of the cases that I was learning about in my psych class. But to my horror,

the kicking started to occur with every step I took. At the end of the summer, I returned to Vancouver and tried to figure out how to fill my days constructively while waiting for my boyfriend, Harvey, to propose. One night, I was in the kitchen with my mother. When she spoke to me, I suddenly found myself unable to answer her. My lips were frozen and would not move. When I finally managed to speak, my words came out slurred; they were unintelligible. My family thought it was a joke and started imitating and making fun of me, until they realized I was serious. Now unable to speak, with my feet still kicking, I realized it was time to see my physician. He had no idea what was wrong with me, so he sent me to several neurologists for a slew of tests. The results all came back indicating that my health was normal. My physician reiterated that I was in perfectly good health. Nobody could identify the cause of my problems, so they attributed it to “conversion hysteria” – today, this is called “conversion disorder” – connecting my symptoms with my newfound interest in religion and my strong reactions to the suffering of the Jewish people throughout history. But I knew that the problem causing my suffering was

physical and not psychological. I was totally sane.

Finally: A Diagnosis Functioning day to day was a challenge. I felt as if a hose in my gut was siphoning off every bit of strength I had, which wasn’t much. It tore Harvey apart to see me like this, and he felt totally helpless. But despite my mystery illness, he remained committed, and we got married in June 1974. We spent our “honeymoon” at the Scripps Clinic, still searching for answers. I was finally referred to a top neurologist, Dr. John Menkes, but he was booked up for months, with his only opening on Saturday, Shabbat, when Jews may not travel or do any creative work. I consulted with my rabbi, and he said that I could walk there. It took two miles and two hours of my feet kicking each other down the street to reach his office. After examining me, Dr. Menkes diagnosed me with a rare neurological condition called dystonia musculorum deformans. Finally, it was confirmed: I was not crazy. I truly was ill. My initial indescribable elation at finally finding a medical reason for my condition was shattered when the doctor proceeded to tell me how

The Jewish | APRIL29, 8, 2021 The Jewish HomeHome | OCTOBER 2015

we eventually decided that Gd is the ultimate Doctor, and He knows what would be best for us. We placed our trust in Him, and I gave birth to a healthy baby girl we named Orit. After we moved to Israel, we received another miracle. At age 41, the doctors told me that my dystonia wasn’t genetic! I had another girl at age 42, and a son at 44. Thank Gd, all my kids and grandchildren are healthy!

rare it is, that there is no known cause, and, thus, no known treatment or cure. Poor Harvey! All his hopes, dreams and visions, all his goals for a new marriage and a new life were obliterated instantly. It was devastating to know that we would have to deal with a chronic, incurable illness ... possibly for the rest of our lives. My husband was at first upset and embarrassed by my condition, but eventually, he got over it, and together we struggled through it as a team.

Facing the World If you want a small, bitter taste of what it feels like not being able to speak to others, try this: The next time you meet with friends, do not say a word. Pretend as if your mouth is sealed. If you can manage to do this, you will gain a slight understanding of the constant emotional pain and seclusion of those with speech disorders. My voice was totally without inflection or expression – a monotone – and my speech was completely unintelligible. Whenever I went out into the world, I was armed with the trusty note that I had printed in Hebrew and English. It said, “Hi. My name is Cheri Tannenbaum. I have a neurological condition called dystonia, which affects my speech. I hold my nose when I talk because this helps me to talk a little better. (No, I do not need a tissue!) You need to listen to me very carefully to understand me. Please ask me to repeat myself over and over again until you do. I am not deaf or retarded.” Whenever I would raise a finger to indicate that I wanted to say something, everyone would say: “Please be quiet! Cheri is going to try to say something!” Then everyone would be expectantly waiting for me to try to painfully eke out some sounds that might or might not be understood. This was a great purifier of my speech. I learned to consider very carefully whether something needed to be said; most things are not important enough for the monumental effort it would take to try to say them. At the same time, I had to learn that when there was something truly important for me to say, I needed to be really tenacious and insist that people listen to me. There was anoth-

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Laughing Attacks In August 2014, as if all this was not burdensome enough, I started having crazy laughing attacks. I would laugh hysterically and unconCheri and Harvey with their children and grandchildren trollably, right from my gut. It felt exhilarating and liberating. My laugher advantage – I developed the best listening ear. ter would come at any time – alone, with family I loved it when my friends told me that they felt members or groups of other people, and would last comfortable telling me their deepest, darkest sevarying amounts of time. crets because they knew that I could not and would Finally, Harvey took me to neurologist Dr. not tell a soul. Avi Reches, who diagnosed me with a rare form of laughing epilepsy. After prescribing a medicine that disagreed with me, he tried another, which had a miraculous side effect – suddenly, I could talk! Yes, Gd works in mysterious ways. Yes, there are miracles; they may just take a very long time to happen. At the end of the day, we always end up getting our due. Never give up. Your situation can change in the blink of an eye, in the snap of a finger, or you may have to wait a while. Perhaps in the end, however, it is worth the wait.

“I must take life every second as it comes”

My Growing Family I didn’t want to miss out on being a mother and raising children. My doctors at the time told us that my dystonia was genetic, so there was a 5050 chance that we would have a child who was ill. I could barely take care of myself; how would I be able to take care of a sick child? My husband and I wrestled with the issue, and

Embracing Life Happiness is a choice. I must take life every second as it comes. I know that my day will be a constant struggle and full of humiliation. I try to surround myself with positive, supportive people. I take help from others when I need it. (I always say, “I’m not helpless. I just need some help.”) I try to give to someone else, to transcend my own self-absorption. I hear the call of Gd: “See how I am helping you to bring out your greatness so that you can be an inspiration to others.” I hear the call of my husband, children and friends loving me and rooting for me, and saying, “We all still need you.” I hear my creative spirit calling me and saying, “There is still more beauty that needs to be put into this world.”

Cheri Tannenbaum is an artist, a mother and a grandmother. She lives in Efrat, Israel. This article is excerpted from her memoir: Cheri Tannenbaum, Woman of Few Words: My Creative Journey with Dystonia (Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2019). Originally printed on Chabad.org.


APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters,

I find myself terrified to start dating because all I associate men with is “gross”. I hate to say it, but it’s true. My father is the light of many people’s lives but at home he is pretty much a loose cannon. Making inappropriate jokes at the Shabbos table is normal, exploding with

anger every time he’s unhappy. I have to hide in the basement when I have Zoom dates to prevent the guy from potentially hearing one of my father’s random explosions. One time, my nightmare came true, and he exploded while I was in my room. My date asked what all the noise was, and I covered it up by saying it was the TV on in the other room. This is the type of thing you see I have to deal with. And this is why I am really so scared to get married. I do not want to end up with a man like my father, but I see he is very loved on the outside by people who do not really know him. How can I get over this fear? Any help would be appreciated. Chava*

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.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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The Panel The Rebbetzin Rebbetzin Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


hava, you are being mature about addressing your fears of a relationship. However, an advice column is the not the place to get the help you need and want. You need to not only learn how to detect orange and red flags in someone’s persona but to understand your own experiences and process them in a healthy way. Be smart and go into therapy with an experienced professional so that you can not only deal with your past but acquire skills and tools for future dating. This will require some time. Invest in yourself now and so that you can leave the past behind. The only way to emerge from a situation with high conflict, poor anger management on the part of a parent and a difficult home life is to commit to serious work in therapy. This is a critical process that you have to go through. Don’t let the past define you. Grow strength from adversity with guidance of a family systems therapist and give yourself time.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond


ou know the term, “don’t judge Judaism by Jews”? In a similar vein, it is very important for you to not judge men by your father. Your father is just one man – you must honor him but you do not have to respect him as a person. If you catch him at a sentimental time and talk to him about his childhood, that would be telling. It is likely you will learn about trauma during his upbringing that he never worked through, which, like a snowball down a hill, just gets bigger as time goes on. Generational Trauma is a common term used these days to

depict this metaphorical snowball effect. One generation tries their best to raise children but demons from the past creep in. This generation passes it along to the next generation and then down to your generation. Fortunately for you, we live in a day and age where therapy is no longer taboo and discussing fears and anxieties is considered healthy. I truly do not believe you need to worry about marrying in fear that your spouse will be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. However, talking with a rav, therapist, or mentor can likely help raise you above your fears so that you can date more effectively. It is very important that you go into dating with an honest and open mind. Dating with a paranoia that the man you are with is a different person behind closed doors will not allow you to effectively date. Hatzlacha to you stopping this snowball in its tracks!

The Single Rivka Weinberg


hava, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I commend you for writing in and yearning for direction. Given the information you provided about your father, your concerns around dating make a lot of sense. As much as I would love to help you, I do not believe I am qualified to do so. I suggest you seek professional guidance to help you work through this fear and the various childhood wounds triggering it. To the community at large – Chava is not the only individual struggling from the impact of her life experiences – we all do. Every day we view situations through the rose-colored glasses we were raised with. It is important to be self-aware and really understand your triggers and how they play a role in your day-to-day life. Even more so with dating – work-

ing through the fears and struggles that have existed for years will allow a person to date consciously and be his or her true self. Speaking with a therapist, rebbe, or mentor and asking for help pinpointing these issues will allow an individual to realize what his or her rose-colored glasses focus on and enable the work and growth that needs to be done to see the world beyond the filters we were raised with.

The Zaidy Dr. Jeffrey Galler


t’s really sad that you grew up in such a difficult environment. It’s

Invest in yourself now and so that you can leave the past behind.

a tribute to your strength and resilience that you seem to have emerged intact. In a newspaper column like this, it’s fruitless to analyze your family dynamics, your mother’s role in all this, and the value of counseling and therapy.

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

What you need is immediate, practical advice, so here goes: First, understand that your father is not typical of men in general. Some men, of course, could be far worse than your dad, but the overwhelming majority of men in our community are good people, who try to be kind, loving, and nurturing at home. I hope that you’ve spent sufficient time in the homes of friends and relatives to discern that what happens in your home is not the norm. Second, you are not able to choose your father, but you certainly

are able to choose your husband. For all young women, but especially for you, it is vital to spend a great deal of time dating prospective partners and observing how they behave in many different environments. It’s especially important to spend as much time as possible with the young man’s family. Third, today, many singles date from home, via Zoom, and, like you, complain about having no privacy. Perhaps you can Zoom date from the family car, where you’ll have some privacy and won’t be disturbed.

Fourth, you need to move out of your house. Do you go to a school where you can dorm? Or, can you find a job and a roommate and move into your own apartment? Getting out of your toxic home environment is important not only for your own sanity but also to avoid scaring any potential suitors who come your way. And, you don’t want to introduce any boyfriend to your father until you’re sufficiently confident that the young man can understand and handle it. Finally, as we go through life, we come across folks who are positive role

Your home is a learning factory.

models who we learn to emulate, and we also, unfortunately, come across negative role models, whose behaviors we learn to avoid. Your home is a learning factory. Find the strength to learn from, and assiduously avoid, the parenting that you grew up with. Doing so, will empower you to become a wonderful wife and mother.

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters

(which children of parents with Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists out- of- c ont r ol emotions often have, no matter how old they are) or are responsible for your father’s ear Chava, behavior, you can work speaks to that. You want Thank you for writing into our colthrough that and recognize and to know how you can avoid umn. I am so sorry that you’ve been separate your father’s behavior marrying a man like your put in this position, feeling responfrom you. Children are never refather. The awareness is half sible to manage an unmanageable sponsible for out-of-control reacthe battle. You understand that situation. In effect, there is nothing tions. What often ends up happening there are people out there who can that you can do to change your father. is that these children become adults be entirely fake/charming/people He seems to clearly have some anger who tip-toe around their partners or pleasers/shmoozers and everyone’s management issues that he lets loose tip-toe around all their adult relabest friend (no one in a million years in the comfort and privacy of his own tionships. They often have trouble would believe how they treat their home where he can take off his social setting boundaries or taking a stand. loved ones) and so you are concerned mask. Your father is a charmer; he I want you to make a commitment to that this may happen to you in your knows how to manipulate his social yourself right now that this will not spousal relationship. circle; he is loved out in the world be you. If you are not already in theraand in the privacy of his own home Take your time dating. Get to py, and you feel impacted by your his family lives in fear of his out-ofknow the man you are serious with. father’s behavior over the course of control behavior. I am so sorry you There is no rush or race to the chupyour lifetime, I think it is very imand your family have had to live like pah. See this man in lots of settings. portant to work with a good therathis, and I truly hope that your father Spend time with others and a considpist with whom you can process what gets help. erable amount of time alone together. you’ve been through. So, in case you The good news is that you have Typically, people cannot hold in this have one iota or shred of doubt that an incredible level of self-awareness. behavior for too long. If you see him you in any way have been at fault Your question at the end of your email


behaving nastily or disrespectfully to his loved ones, this may be a red flag. Don’t believe his excuses that it is “everyone else.” And most importantly, always, always, always trust your gut. If you are comfortable and have an open relationship with your mother, and your mother acknowledges your father’s inappropriate behavior, you can ask her what signs she may have seen or missed. Always look out for “Mr. Charming,” someone who love bombs and then disappears or treats you poorly and makes excuses. Look for stability. No wild ups or downs. And, as hard or as impossible as it may feel or actually be, you may want to consider moving out of the house. As much as we may try to shield ourselves from toxicity, living in a damaging environment with screaming and anger just hurts. Plain and simple. It’s traumatizing. Living in a peaceful environment where you can breathe just be may be good for your soul and your dating. Wishing you all the best. Sincerely, Jennifer

Jennifer Mann, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and 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.thenavidaters.com for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email JenniferMannLCSW@gmail.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dr. Deb

Unblending By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.


he most powerful idea I ever came across in therapy is the one that Richard Scwartz of Internal Family Systems fame calls “unblending.” If you can get this, you will never, ever need therapy – and you will be happy, fulfilled, and enjoy your family. Suppose one morning you got busy with things and you realized that you were down. You tried to cheer yourself up but it didn’t work. No matter what you did, you got back to the same place – down. You tried to figure out how this happened – which is an excellent start. So you traced it back to a conversation you had with your adult daughter. Here it is: You: Hey, how’s it going? Daughter: Fine, I guess. You: What’s the “I guess”? It doesn’t sound so enthusiastic. Daughter: Well, it’s not. And I really need to go. I have things to do. You got off the phone puzzled and a bit concerned. You tried to push away the nagging in the back of your mind. After all, your daughter is an adult, a capable adult, pretty much. And she needs to take care of her stuff herself. You got busy with other things like your work which needed attention. At lunch, you noticed you were still down. It had kind of gotten past you since you’d jumped into work. Work can be a great distraction, right? And it should be, of course. How else can you put food on the table? But as you took the long walk from your home-office to the kitchen for lunch, you realized that nothing had changed in your mood. Now, there are only two ways to change a mood: one is to distract yourself and the other is to get at the root cause and then fix that. The second option is not as hard

as you might think, and it works permanently. So you opt for that one since your mood did not lift all by itself, even with a three-hour span to take care of work. You sit yourself down in a place without distractions at all and ask yourself what was the start of this? You know it was the conversation with your daughter. But why? Now, here is where you do need to have done some work on getting to know yourself. If you never connected to what bothers you and what hurts, you’d need to start there. But once you’ve done that, just get quiet and let the answers come to you. You realize that the part of the conversation that hurt, really deep, was not that your daughter was having a bad day but that she didn’t want to come to you for support or advice or anything. She didn’t want you. That’s what hurt. As you zeroed in on that, a flood of feelings washed over you. You felt so forlorn, so hopeless. My daughter doesn’t want me! And your thoughts got worse and worse: How can I have a happy life that way? When will this change? It’s been going on for a long time. My children don’t respect me! They don’t value my opinion… On and on, making it worse and worse. The good part was pinpointing the problem. It was this thought: My daughter doesn’t want me. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy asks people to argue rationally with that thought. But sometimes you’re too caught up in the bad feelings to be able to do so. Worst, it doesn’t really get to why you’d even have that thought. See, there’s another part to the problem. This didn’t start at 30 years old

or 40 or 50. The problem started when you were young, perhaps very young. So, in order to fix it, you’ve got to know the following: If it happened 20, 30, or 40 years ago, why does it have so much power today? People really like to brush off their pasts. “Oh, get over it,” you might have said to someone. Or someone might have said it to you. But you see, here is the problem with that: when you were just a kid, the things that you could easily “get over” if they only happened now were too big for you to get over back then. Little kids are more sensitive and less worldly than we are. Their pains are bigger; their ability to figure out that whoever said it or did it didn’t mean it just isn’t there. Their brains will keep developing rational abilities until they’re 25. Until then, those hurts are real to them. And – most striking of all the findings in neuropsych research – there is a “kid” part in all of us that remains intact. It feels things through the filter of being a child. It’s only a part of us; it’s not all of who we are, but it is very much “there” and very much hurt by things that happened then and happen now. So when the situation that happens today is like the one that hurt us as children, that child part of us does get hurt. That is why people so very often seem to “act childish.” Well, yeah. It’s their “inner child” – or one of those inner children – that never healed. Now, when I say neuropsychol-

ogy, please understand: this is not just a metaphor, this child thing. If you’d like a more familiar word, you can call it a habit. A deeply ingrained habit. Habits are clusters of behavior that we don’t think about; we just react. We react because our brains are economical and simply do most of what we need automatically. So this “child part” of us is one of the habits we acquired: we react automatically to situations that seem similar to our brains to ones we’ve experienced before. So here, you again have two choices: figure out exactly what used to happen as a child and heal that experience, that child part. Or just cave into the bad feelings and feel awful the rest of the day or week or month. I might add that researchers have considered the daily grind of being handled insensitively, perhaps toxically, as “little t trauma.” The fact that it feels like ordinary life might make it worse because it’s insidious and we don’t realize just how dangerous it is. So many people subscribe to the “get over it” crowd, after all. Assuming, then, that you don’t want to brush it off but really do want to find out what’s behind your sad and bad thoughts, you again allow your mind to clear and remember how your dad left the family when you were quite young. He wasn’t heard from again for years and you felt an overwhelming feeling back then of “he doesn’t miss me at all. I’m nothing to him.” Aha! Lightbulb moment.

By putting your finger on not just the experience you had as a child but also on the feeling you had, you got clear on the category of what was hurting you. It was the category of feeling unwanted. And now for the mind-blowing step of unblending. You sit quietly for another few moments in your chair and recognize that there’s a deep hurt coming from feeling unwanted. But – and this is key – this hurt is only coming from a child part of you. It is not who you “are.” It is not the totality of you. So you need to somehow separate your Self from this child part. But it’s so hard! You’re overcome with pain and sadness. With effort, you think about who you actually are. You know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you’re a kind, caring person. You’re wellliked at work and respected in the community. You care enough about yourself to chop off this ten min-

utes from your lunch to figure it out. That’s you. That’s who you are. That’s your Self. Now, you face that child part. The sad little kid whose dad not only left but never looked back. And you see the poor child moping about the

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member. You really were a great kid. You start to give your little Self the feedback that is true and necessary to hear. You envelop your young Self in your arms in your imagination. “Of course, you were and are wanted!” you insist. “Dad had troubles of

By putting your finger on not just the experience you had as a child but also on the feeling you had, you got clear on the category of what was hurting you.

bedroom, listless and hopeless. But you reach out to the child part of you in your mind’s eye, and you tell your little Self with conviction, “You were a great kid!” You can do that with complete sincerity because you re-

his own. Maybe he was suffering in some way. We don’t know. But it had nothing to do with you!” You brighten. Suddenly, you remember that your daughter always was the kind of person who had to

solve her own problems. You remember that time in high school when she asked you for a synonym for a word so she could use it in her paper. And you gave her a good one, too. So then she said, “Oh, wow. I wish I’d thought of that. It really is a good word. Now I can’t use it.” And you wondered why. Well, it was because it was your idea, not hers. That’s who she is, after all. Your mood completely changes. Because you know in the very essence of yourself that you were never unwanted in the first place. Or the second place. Your unblended Self is no longer hijacked by this child part, a child in you that is no longer hurting.

Dr. Deb Hirschhorn is a Marriage and Family Therapist. If you want help with your marriage, begin by signing up to watch her Masterclass at https://drdeb. com/myw-masterclass.

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Health & F tness

How to Choose the Most Nutritious Bread By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN


fter eight days of matzah, surely everyone is salivating for a piece of bread. Whether it be challah, a bagel, rye bread, or whole wheat, there is no doubt most are excited to take that bite into fluffy, fresh, leavened bread. When it comes to dieting, many people feel the need to cut out carbs completely, primarily breads. Yes, breads are considered to be processed foods and have relatively high amounts of sodium and sugar. However, bread does not need to cut out of the diet entirely. Limited, yes. But, not restricted completely. The truth is, bread brings a lot of nutrition when accommodated into a balanced diet and eaten the right way. In fact, the USDA recommends eating grains daily, and some breads will help you meet these guidelines. You can eat bread with healthy fats, proteins, and vegetables. Whether it be a vehicle for avocado toast or the staple of your tuna fish sandwich, here are a few pointers for picking a better bread. 1. Whole grain/whole wheat: I hope that no one will be surprised to learn that whole grains are healthier than refined ones. This means that whole grain bread in general is a great choice. Whole grains are intact grains, meaning that the endosperm, germ, and bran are still present in the produced product. These components provide an array of nutrients such as fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium, and magnesium. Refined grains remove the germ and bran, giving the product a finer texture and extends its shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including the fiber. The fiber content alone should be enough to convince you to go with the whole grain bread. Whole grains have also been shown to lower one’s risk for developing heart disease by lowering

blood pressure and cholesterol, helps regulate blood sugar, and lowers the risk of weight gain. Thus, when given the choice, always choose whole grain bread over refined grain or enriched bread (which is the code for white bread). 2. Ezekiel bread: Ezekiel bread is made with four types grains and two types of legumes – lentils and soybeans. The lentils and soybeans are where Ezekiel bread gets the majority of its protein from. The difference between Ezekiel bread and regular bread is that the grains and legumes are allowed to sprout before being processed, changing their nutritional composition, making the bread much healthier. This bread contains fewer carbohydrates and fats and more protein, as well as high levels of certain minerals and vitamins, than regular bread. Furthermore, Ezekiel bread has been shown to help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and improve liver function and digestion. 3. Ciabatta bread: Although a craze in many restaurants, and it might look healthy due to its slightly darker color and grainy texture, ciabatta bread is not a diet bread. It should be considered a treat. The main

component in ciabatta bread is white flour, making it equivalent to white bread. 4. Sourdough bread: Sourdough bread is considered a healthy bread since the wild yeast and lactobacillus in the yeast of sourdough bread neutralizes the phytic acid in the bread. Phytic acid generally causes bloating and digestive discomfort. By neutralizing the phytic acid, the sourdough bread prevents the effects of the phytic acid and makes the bread easier for us to digest. These phytic acid molecules also bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. By neutralizing the phytic acid, these important nutrients are now available to us. Sourdough bread also takes longer to digest which can help regulate blood sugar levels and help ward off diabetes. Sourdough is also a prebiotic, which helps to support the gut microbiome. 5. Pumpernickel bread: In order for pumpernickel bread to be considered true pumpernickel, it has to be made from whole grain rye flour. This way it contains the endosperm, bran and germ, and therefore all of the nutrients. Pumpernickel is also

started off with sourdough, giving it a low glycemic index, making it a great choice for diabetics. Eaten in moderation, whole grain pumpernickel is a healthy dietary choice. When buying pumpernickel bread, make sure it’s true pumpernickel and didn’t just get its brown color from molasses. Depending what benefits you are looking for, different breads may be the right choice for you. Of course, skip over all white breads. Go for the whole grain whenever possible. More importantly, don’t be fooled. Check the label. If one of the first ingredients is “enriched wheat bread,” then the product is primarily white bread and should be left there on the shelf. Next, try to choose a bread that has less than two grams of sugar per slice. Additionally, when comparing food labels, choose the bread with the lowest amount of sodium. Bread is a leading source of sodium in the American diet. Lastly, thin sliced breads would be a helpful strategy for those trying to cut on calories. As mentioned above, bread does not have to be restricted. When eating the right breads, in the right amount, bread can be very nutritious and beneficial. Keep in mind when baking your shlissel challah this week to choose whole wheat flour!

Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN, is a Master’s level Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist. She graduated CUNY Brooklyn College receiving a Bachelor’s in Science and Master’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences. She is currently a dietitian at Boro Park Center and a private nutrition consultant. She can be reached at CindyWeinberger1@gmail.com. Follow us on Instagram @EatBetterandFeelBetter.

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Parenting Pearls

Making Lemonade By Sara Rayvych, MSEd


his will seem like a strange topic for a post yom tov article. Since I could jump straight into how special yom tov is and the memories made, this will seem like an odd choice. I hope everyone had an unbelievable Pesach that was even better than expected. For many people, though, they suffered some form of disappointment at some time or another. It’s also known that people often suffer a letdown after a major holiday period. Hopes are so high, and great expectations are so common. Whether your main course dried out last minute or your major chol hamoed trip got rained out, there are so many big and small disappointments that can occur as we plan so much for this major holiday period. Our family personally had some unexpected events just before the holiday that upended most of our plans and brought up the idea for this article: dealing with disappointment. We all have heard the phrase: “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” We all know the meaning behind it, but I’ve often felt the phrase was a bit too simplistic, a bit lacking. Especially when it comes to chil-

dren, the phrase tends to leave a lot out. Children respond to disappointment differently than adults, and they understand less of what’s going around them. This normal, immature childhood response can easily lead to greater parental frustration. I thought this might be the time to bring up a discussion about disappointment.

Disappointment is Inevitable Disappointment is guaranteed at some point during life, and it’s important to learn to deal with the inevitable. While there’s no reason to force disappointment on others, there’s certainly no benefit to a child never learning how to cope with life not going as planned. It’s natural to want to protect our children from negativity but ultimately, they will need to learn to deal with what real life looks like. If they can’t learn to cope with getting the wrong dessert, then how are they going to develop the ability to deal with the inevitable rejections and difficulties that come with adult life? We can help them now, as children, start building the skills necessary to learn to accept when things don’t go their way and thrive on mak-

ing the situation work anyway. I’m not fooling myself – children won’t really master this skill when they’re young. What we can do is help them start building those muscles of tolerance and overcoming adversity.

See the Lemons This section could also be called “mourning the loss.” There are lemons in life, and you’re not doing anyone any favors by pretending they don’t exist. There are many situations, big and small, that could be your lemon. For a child, it could mean the wrong afikomen present or not getting the trip they expected. It could even mean something such as not getting their longed-for treat. There are two parts to recognizing lemons. The first part is understanding that children may see a lemon where adults won’t. To an adult, it may seem minor but to a child it’s major. The second part is that parents need to respect that children are experiencing lemons and not try to pretend they’re not sour. As parents, we naturally want to shield our children, and this results in a tendency to downplay their feelings. Ignoring feelings is generally not the best way to make negative feelings go away.

The two parts of recognizing lemons are separate but intertwined. Kids will be disappointed, and as adults we often tend to downplay their emotions. For them, though, their feelings are real. Our tendency is to push aside their emotions hoping they will forget what’s going on, but we’re not doing them any favors. They’re allowed to be disappointed, and they deserve to have those feelings acknowledged. In an ideal world, we’d all have enough bitachon and recognize everything is a gift but that’s an unfair expectation from a toddler, or even a teenager. They don’t need to wallow in self-pity for weeks, but they will usually get past their disappointment faster if we acknowledge and allow them to mourn what they’re not getting. Allow yourself to also admit your own disappointment so you, too, can move on from it. Denial only makes processing take longer. Your child might even find it helpful for you to acknowledge your feelings and how you’re accepting those emotions. “Wow, I’m really disappointed lunch didn’t turn out as planned. Let’s see if adding a little more sauce will spice it up.” Allow them to miss what they are

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losing, even if it seems silly in the greater scheme of things. COVID came into our home just before Pesach, and our kids were devastated they wouldn’t get to spend time with their grandparents. The potential risk to their grandparents wasn’t on their mind. The fact that there was a contagious illness in our family wasn’t on their radar. The fact that I was higher risk for more serious illness and already getting progressively worse wasn’t the concern. All some of the kids could think of was that they wouldn’t get to spend yom tov with their grandparents. This is normal. Kids don’t normally see beyond their own needs and their limited understanding means they don’t grasp the full implications of any given scenario. The world could feel like it’s exploding, and they’ll be upset their candy is too small. It would be rather difficult for youngsters if they could process the full implications of any given situation. It’s hard enough for adults to

understand; for children it would be beyond overwhelming. Accept their developmental limitations and that they will not understand any given situation with the same maturity an adult will. Respect that what may be

we need to add to make this phrase work. Don’t forget to add something “sweet,” when possible. Sweetness doesn’t need to cancel the sourness. After they’ve experienced the sour,

The world could feel like it’s exploding, and they’ll be upset their candy is too small.

small to the world can still be large to them.

Add Some Sweetness There is one part that I always felt was lacking in the “make lemonade” phrase. Who wants to drink plain, squeezed lemons? It’s incredibly sour. I always felt that this phrase left out just how much sweetener

bitter taste of the situation, you can help them learn to feel sweetness in what they’re experiencing. If they’re rained out of their big chol hamoed trip, then they can still experience a different chol hamoed event. Your child can often help you find what would make their situation a little sweeter and more pleasant. While recovering from COVID,

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we weren’t up to many outings but we did find some local treats. Your child may not get everything they wanted but that’s fine; they can still find something special and enjoyable in their current situation. It’s a difficult but important skill to be able to find something pleasant in an unpleasant situation. Disappointment is, well, disappointing, but it’s bound to happen and part of our children’s chinuch should include teaching them how to handle the many situations they will encounter during their lifetimes. I hope all of TJH readers had a wonderful yom tov and that everything went even better than you and your child could wish for.

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 RayvychHomeschool@gmail. com.

Miriam Jacobovits Photography


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In The K


Salad Niçoise Pareve / Yields: 6-8 servings

By Naomi Nachman

The first time I had Tuna Ni�oise Salad

was when I was in Israel for seminary, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. This is a great

seudah shlishit salad because it’s a full meal in a bowl. You can serve this on one big

platter, or individually plated as an appetizer.

Ingredients Shallot Dressing b3 tablespoons white wine vinegar b1 small shallot b1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon b¾ cup olive oil bSalt and pepper, to taste

Salad b1 head Boston, soft butter, or romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces b2 (6-ounce) cans tuna packed in oil, drained and broken into chunks b½ cup Niçoise olives, or your favorite olives b8 mini potatoes, boiled until fork tender, quartered b2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered b4 plum tomatoes, cut into four wedges b2 radishes, thinly sliced

Preparation 1.

Prepare the dressing: Place vinegar, shallot, and tarragon into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Process until smooth.

2. With the machine still running, slowly add oil in a slow, steady stream to incorporate it into the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. 3. Prepare the salad: Line a platter with lettuce, top with tuna, olives, and potatoes. Arrange egg and tomato wedges around platter. Drizzle with shallot dressing; top with sliced radishes. Cook’s Tip: To really elevate the salad, use fresh seared tuna instead of canned. Season a ½-inch-thick tuna steak on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear in a tablespoon of hot oil for two minutes per side; it will still be pink in the middle. Cut into slices and arrange on platter in place of the canned tuna.

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, www.theaussiegourmet.com or at (516) 295-9669.

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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

You know, I’m really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining. - Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green in a podcast saying that he is sick of listening to female athletes complain about unequal pay

I urge everyone to get the vaccine if you think you need or want it. And then I urge everyone in America to throw away their masks, demand their schools be open, and live your lives free of more government mandates and interference. - Tweet by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

I write to ask you whether you intend to maintain your membership at Augusta National Golf Club. As you are well aware, the exclusive members-only club is located in the State of Georgia. - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), in an open letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who moved the 2021 All-Star game out of Atlanta, caving to the woke mob that is upset about Georgia’s integrity in voting law

Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not holdelections at all like China and Cuba? Will you end your lucrative financial relationship with Tencent, a company with deep ties to the Communist Party and actively helps the Chinese Government hunt down and silence political dissidents? I am, of course, under no expectation any of this will happen. Taking the All-Star gameout of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout. I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values. – Ibid.

President Biden gave his first official press conference today. He would have given one sooner, but he spent a full month deciding if he should call on reporters with a point, a finger gun, or a wink, and he landed on all three. - James Corden

There were a lot of questions today about immigration after Biden announced that Vice President Harris will be overseeing the challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s similar to how Trump put Pence in charge of handling the pandemic. When the going gets tough, presidents are like, “You got this, right?” - Jimmy Fallon

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Georgia: Voter ID, 17 days of early voting. Colorado: Voter ID, 15 days of early voting. Atlanta is 51% Black. Denver is 9.2% Black. The MLB is moving the #MLBAllStarGame out of ATL which has more day-of voting rights than CO? The Wokes are at it again, folks. - Tweet by Sen Tim Scott (R-SC)

President Biden’s handlers couldn’t even get him a note card that told him what this bill did. Somebody is lying to you. It’s not me. You can read the bill and prove that out. - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Fox News responding to Pres. Biden’s criticism of Georgia’s new voting integrity bill

I think most white people and black people are great people. I really believe that in my heart, but I think our system is set up where our politicians – whether they’re Republicans or Democrats – are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power. They divide and conquer.

During his press conference, President Biden said he supports changing the rules of the filibuster to require senators to stand and speak, like it was when he was in the Senate, quote, “120 years ago.” Now, obviously, he misspoke — 120 years ago, he was still in college. - Seth Meyers

I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people, but we’re so stupid following our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, “Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods, we all got money, let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other, let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other, let’s scramble the middle class.” I truly believe that in my heart. – Former NBA star Charles Barkley on CBS during a March Madness broadcast


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Once again, the Democrats are off to the racists. Every time they can’t explain their position on some public policy issue, they accuse Republicans and conservatives of being racist. Look no further than the state of Georgia. Almost two weeks ago, Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 202 into law. It was an election reform bill that Democrats effectively branded as “racist,” “voter suppression” and “anti-civil rights.” The law expands early voting for primary and general elections, includes more voting on Saturdays and Sundays, and requires voter ID. Only in the world of radical liberalism can more of an opportunity to do something be “suppression”; requiring one to prove they are who they say they are as “racism”; and applying the same rules to everyone as “anti-civil rights.” - Raynard Jackson, Washington Times

I would suggest that is one of the results of what we saw on January 6. - Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on CNN, after a Nation of Islam supporter rammed his car into a Capitol barrier last week and killed a police officer

Well, guys, after 64 days in office today, President Biden held his very first press conference. Normally, when a 78-year-old answers an hour of questions, they’re getting a physical. - Jimmy Fallon

You know, there are a lot of things that go into that. I mean, when you say that they’ve had a lot of the activity on the outside like ballgames, I’m not really quite sure. It could be they’re doing things outdoors. - Dr. Fauci, in an MSNBC interview when asked why COVID cases are dropping in Texas after they got rid of mask mandates four weeks ago

Go out and ask 10 people how much they pay in federal gasoline taxes, they can’t tell you. - Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) arguing on Fox Business Channel that the gasoline tax should be increased to pay for Biden’s $2 trillion spending bill because people don’t know how much they pay in gasoline tax anyway

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“While on a journey, I told a story.” With these timeless words, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov began the most famous of his legendary tales, the story of The Lost Princess. In his brand-new book, The Story of Our Lives, R’ Yaakov Klein masterfully reveals how Rebbe Nachman’s short story contains the seeds of a unique path to avodas Hashem tailor-made for our generation. A veritable textbook on the theological revolution of Chassidus and its relevance to the challenges of the modern era, this groundbreaking work presents a compelling argument for the need to dig deeper in our individual and communal engagement with avodas Hashem.


The Story of Our Lives and the Lost Princess Principles Course which is founded on its teachings together represent the hashkafic core of the Lost Princess Initiative, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of and engagement with the study of Chassidus and penimiyus HaTorah in a variety of mediums. Visit LPITorah.org to learn more today!



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Political Crossfire

Public Health Experts are Confusing Americans in the Name of Wokeness By Marc A. Thiessen


hen I was a Pentagon speechwriter, I would sit down with four-star generals for a briefing on their plans to reorganize the Army or unveil a new weapons system. Inevitably, they would speak in military jargon, at times stringing together three acronyms in a single sentence. My job was to translate for the American people. So, I would say: “General, imagine you are home for the holidays, and your mother says, ‘Honey, what are you working on at the Pentagon these days?’ How would you explain this to her?” Eventually, we would get a simple English translation that any American could understand. I was reminded of this while listening to Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at a recent White House news briefing. Here is how she updated Americans on the spread of the virus: “As of yesterday, we have confirmed 1,277 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant across 42 states, including the first case of the B.1.1.7 variant with the E484K substitution that had previously been found in the U.K. Nineteen cases of B.1.351 variant have been found across 10 states, and three cases of the P.1 variant has been found in two states.” Got that? Me neither. I consulted some medical experts, and here is an English translation of what she said: “We have confirmed 1,277 cases of the U.K. variant across 42 states, including the first case of the U.K. variant with a mutation of the spike protein that had been seen in the South African variant. The U.K. variant with this South African mutation had

only been found in Britain, but has now appeared in the United States. In addition, 19 cases of the South African variant have been found across 10 states, and three cases of the Brazilian variant have been found in two states.” That’s a lot clearer, isn’t it? So why doesn’t Walensky just say that? Maybe, like the generals I once worked with, she’s so immersed in the medical jargon it sounded clear to her. For some public health experts that may be the case. But I suspect there’s something more pernicious going on here. Public health experts, whose job it is to inform the American people, are instead confusing them in the name of wokeness. When the variants began arriving, experts and journalists did refer them by their place of origin. This was in keeping with tradition. MERS is called the Middle East respiratory syndrome, because that is where it originated. The Ebola virus is named for the Ebola River in Congo. The Zika virus started in the Zika Forest of Uganda. Lassa fever is named for the Nigerian town where it

originated. Marburg virus is named for the German city where it first emerged. We refer to Guinea worm disease, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile virus and German measles – as well Lyme disease (Lyme, Connecticut), norovirus (Norwalk, Ohio), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But when the pandemic began, and some suggested calling this pathogen the “Wuhan virus” – or, as then-President Donald Trump called it, the “China virus” – they were accused of being racist. Calling it “kung flu” (as Trump did) is bigoted. Calling it the Wuhan or China virus is not. The virus emerged in Wuhan, China. But in the name of wokeness, the experts decided to give the virus a bulky, anodyne name – SARS-CoV-2. Most Americans just shorten it to “covid.” Then the variants began arriving on our shores. In the name of clarity, many experts and journalists began to correctly refer to them as the U.K., Brazilian, and South African variants. But when news organizations got called out

for hypocrisy, the use of source names quietly dissipated, and we began to get the alphabet and number soup we now hear every day. The problem is: no one knows what they are talking about. Here is Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explaining the news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has 82% efficacy against the South African variant: “That’s really very important, because even though… the spike protein that was used and expressed in that vaccine was the spike protein against wild-type virus, namely the virus that is the D614G, not against the B.1351.” He could have said, “That’s important because the vaccine was designed for the original strain of covid, not the South African variant.” How hard is that? It is unlikely the experts will stop speaking in gibberish anytime soon, so here is a cheat sheet to help you translate what they are saying: - D614G or “wild-type” = original covid strain - P.1 and P.2 = Brazilian variants - B.1.1.7 = U.K. variant - B.1.351 = South African variant - B.1.526 and B.1.525 = New York variants - B.1.427 and B.1.429 = California variants Of course, you should not need a cheat sheet. We pay our public health officials to inform, not confuse us. But apparently, in the age of wokeness, that is too much to ask. (c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


Political Crossfire

Russia’s Military Activity Near Ukraine is Poised to Test the Biden Administration By David Ignatius


he Biden administration, facing what could be its first serious test with Russia, is warning Moscow against any aggressive use of the military force that it’s assembling along Ukraine’s eastern border for a supposed exercise. “We are quite concerned by recent escalation by Russia” along the border, “including violations of the July 2020 cease-fire” in a March 26 incident that killed four Ukrainian soldiers and wounded two, a senior administration official told me Wednesday night. Russia has announced military exercises in the region, and Russian social media posts show tanks, howitzers, and other heavy military equipment moving into the area. “Maybe these are exercises, maybe more,” the official said during the interview. “We are signaling American awareness, resolve and concern,” he continued. The National Security Council’s deputies committee met Tuesday and Wednesday to review the situation, he said, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan has called his Ukrainian, German and British counterparts. A meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council is scheduled for Thursday. Russia has accused Ukraine of provoking the confrontation. “We express concern…that one way or another the Ukrainian side could take provocative actions that would lead to war. We really don’t want to see that,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Gen.

Valery Gerasimov and Lt. Gen. Ruslan Khomchak, on Wednesday. Milley’s spokesman wouldn’t discuss the call. So far, Pentagon officials see evidence of a training operation, rather than preparations for an invasion, but they are monitoring the situation closely. “We are not looking to reset our relations with Russia nor to escalate. Our goal is to impose costs for actions we consider unacceptable, while seeking stability, predictability, turning down the temperature,” the senior Biden administration official said, adding: “If they’re inclined to turn the temperature up, we’re ready for that.” U.S. options include expedited assistance to Ukraine and sanctions. The Ukraine border tension comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin faces his most substantial domestic criticism in several years. Much of it centers on opposition politician Alexei Navalny, whose arrest in January sparked protests in at least 109 cities across Russia. Navalny had bravely returned to Moscow after being treated abroad following an assassination attempt last August. Navalny began a hunger strike Wednesday to protest his

treatment in prison. Putin probably had hoped that jailing Navalny would make that political problem disappear, but it continues. A petition calling for further demonstrations has been signed by 360,000 Navalny supporters, and organizers hope to gather 500,000 signatures before taking to the streets again. “Elements of this are reminiscent of the run-up to Russia’s previous intervention in Ukraine” in 2014, when Putin was facing domestic criticism, the senior official said. In addition to the Navalny controversy, Russians have blamed Putin for corruption and a sluggish response to the coronavirus pandemic. Sanctions against the Russian petroleum sector are having an effect, blocking access to needed Western technology, an industry source tells me. Russia attempted to increase production in recent months in aging fields, for example, but output continues to decline because they lack modern equipment. The Biden administration’s stern messaging about Russia this week is the latest example of how the White

House and State Department are trying to bolster U.S. foreign policy after the disruption and disorganization of the Trump years. The centerpiece of that strategy has been rebuilding alliances – with NATO countries when it comes to confronting Russia, and with key Asian allies such as Japan, India and Australia (known collectively, with the United States, as the Quad) in competing with China. Biden has tried to signal a firmer stance toward Russia since taking office. The day after his inauguration, he ordered a review of Russia’s role in the aggressive SolarWinds hack that affected thousands of companies and government agencies. On Feb. 4, following Navalny’s arrest, Sullivan warned: “Unlike the previous administration, we will be taking steps to hold Russia accountable for the range of malign activities that it has undertaken.” There is often jockeying and positioning during the initial months of new U.S. administrations, as potential adversaries probe each other’s limits. China’s top diplomat delivered a public tongue-lashing to Secretary of State Antony Blinken at their first meeting, in Anchorage last month, for example. Diplomacy, in other words, is a contact sport. What makes the Ukraine situation different is that it potentially involves force. Russia has augmented its troops, at least temporarily, near the border of a country to which the United States provides military assistance. Perhaps the best thing about this week’s signaling is that it reduces the likelihood that either side will miscalculate its actions. (c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group

92 12

APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Twin Dangers for Biden’s Administration By David Ignatius


n North Korea and Taiwan, President Joe Biden faces two of the world’s most dangerous problems. His challenge is to convince potential adversaries that a politically divided United States is stronger than it looks. Biden sounded a firm note on both fronts on Thursday during his first formal news conference. He warned North Korea that “there will be a response” if it continues its recent missile tests, but he also offered “some form of diplomacy” with “the end result of denuclearization” of North Korea. On China, Biden pledged “steep, steep competition,” by reinvesting in science at home and U.S. alliances abroad. But he also affirmed his personal relationship with President Xi Jinping, whom he called “a smart, smart guy.” Biden’s performance last Thursday underlined that his priority, for now, is domestic reconstruction rather than foreign intervention. On Afghanistan, for example, he came close to setting a year-end deadline for withdrawing all U.S. troops, even though a political framework for power sharing and a cease-fire aren’t yet in place. This position will disappoint some of Biden’s military advisers, who favor an open-ended, conditions-based approach. North Korea had delivered a fiery calling card over the past week by launching a series of short-range missiles. Biden initially dismissed the tests as “business as usual,” but he said yes when asked on Thursday

whether he agreed with former President Barack Obama that North Korea was the most important foreign policy issue. The president’s aides are debating how to frame a peace initiative that would take up where the Trump administration’s showy diplomacy left off. North Korea offers a rare example of where President Donald Trump prepared carefully for a diplomatic pressure campaign. After just three months in office, Trump hosted Xi at

official media have called a period of “protracted struggle.” Taiwan is where Chinese overconfidence seems most likely to produce a dangerous miscalculation. U.S. officials in Anchorage came away worried that Xi might be preparing to abandon the ambiguous but relatively stable status quo in Taiwan – described in the nearly 50-year-old formula of “one China” but two governments – in favor of a risky push for reunification.

Instead of sunny Palm Beach, Fla., the initial venue was the deep freeze of Anchorage.

his Mar-a-Lago Club – enlisting Xi as a diplomatic partner in squeezing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In the end, Trump got little to show for his leverage, except three meetings with Kim. Biden has taken the opposite opening move with Xi’s China. Instead of sunny Palm Beach, Fla., the initial venue was the deep freeze of Anchorage. During the encounter last week between Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, and their Chinese counterparts, both sides sought to demonstrate resolve for what Chinese

Taiwan poses an interesting test of whether Chinese leaders really believe their rhetoric about American decline. If Xi thinks the United States’ demise is permanent and irreversible, the wise course presumably would be to wait until America is even weaker. But if Xi instead fears a U.S. rebound, then he might be tempted to act more quickly. “China seems to be believing its own narrative about U.S. decline thinking, ‘This is China’s moment.’ If they believe that, it raises the risk of miscalculation,” Michèle Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense in

the Obama administration, warned this week. She was speaking Wednesday at a China forum hosted by the University of California at San Diego, which gathered many of the nation’s top Asia experts. But Bonnie Glaser, a China scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, took a more sanguine view. “Xi’s priority is to deter Taiwan’s independence, and China has achieved that objective, at least for the time being,” Glaser argued. “Reunification is a clear goal, but it isn’t an urgent priority. Xi is not willing to risk all his other domestic objectives to achieve it.” For all of China’s newfound confidence, its leaders seem to want regular dialogue with the United States, rather than a sharp rupture. As diplomats Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi left the meeting with Blinken and Sullivan, they proposed a reciprocal meeting in China. “Thank you,” said Blinken, and the Chinese kept pressing (apparently without success) to find out whether that meant yes. Since Anchorage, Chinese think tanks have been using a phrase that means “hit, hit, talk, talk” to describe what’s ahead with the United States, according to one top Sinologist. The “hit, hit” part of that formula carries significant risks – especially if China continues to believe that a weakened America isn’t ready to fight back.

(c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Political Crossfire

Democrats, Don’t Pass the SALT By George F. Will


ow comes the pesky question of how to pay for the progressive agenda. Or, more precisely, how to pay the huge price of the minority portion of the agenda’s cost that will be financed by taxes rather than money-creation or borrowing. Borrowing means future generations pay, but as has been said down the ages, what has posterity ever done for us? The tedious fact is that there are only two ways to finance a government, present taxes and future taxes (counting the stealthy tax of inflation). Debt is taxation deferred. Near Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Joe Biden promised to shred a campaign promise – not to raise taxes on those with annual income below $400,000 – that was contradicted by his campaign promise to increase corporate taxation. And Biden might be unable to increase taxes on corporations without simultaneously cutting taxes on many wealthy individuals. Infrastructure – very broadly defined – is Washington’s subject du jour. As currently bandied, the noun denotes much more than what normal speakers of the English language mean by infrastructure – roads, bridges, etc. Abnormal English speakers, of whom there always are many in government, use semantic slipperiness to impart momentum to their preferences. Hence the Biden administration’s fondness for the phrase “human infrastructure.” This denotes anything that might conceivably do what concrete-and-

steel infrastructure does – improve productivity. “Human” infrastructure includes day care, pre-K education, free community college, paid family and medical leave, combating climate change, augmenting “equity,” and anything else that could conceivably have positive knock-on effects. Biden’s capacious infrastructure idea is expensive. The crux of his plan to actually pay for a fraction of it is to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. Before Congress in 2017 cut the rate from 35%, it was the developed world’s highest. Barack Obama favored cutting it.

31%, respectively.” Few of those who actually will pay Biden’s corporate tax increase have annual incomes of $400,000. Writing in City Journal, economic historian John Steele Gordon says William Howard Taft assumed that the 1913 ratification of the 16th Amendment, (enabling taxation of individuals’ incomes) a month before his presidency ended, would lead to the abolition of the corporate tax. Silly him. A Democratic Congress aligned with Taft’s successor, the progressive Woodrow Wilson, raised the corporate tax.

Biden’s capacious infrastructure idea is expensive.

People can reasonably disagree about the proper amount of corporate taxation. Wise people favor a corporate tax rate of zero because corporations do not pay taxes. They collect them, and distribute the burdens between employees (less money for compensation), shareholders (lower dividends and capital gains, which are, effectively, subject to corporate taxation), and customers (higher prices). The Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome cites a 2020 study showing that the corporate tax’s “incidence on consumers, workers, and shareholders is 31%, 38%, and

Gordon argues that abolition of corporate taxation would eliminate much of the approximately 3.9-million-word tax code. This would, however, dismay the political class, which practices crony capitalism by conferring indirect subsidies on corporations in the form of tax abatements. Today, Gordon writes, corporate managers focus on after-tax profits, which is a stock market fixation, and “an artifact of lobbying success in Washington.” With no corporate taxation, profits would rise, as would dividends, which are taxed. And foreign companies would rush

to invest here. Instead, in order to get enough House Democrats to support the foolishness of increased corporate taxation, the Biden administration might have to endorse repealing something intelligent from 2017. Republicans then imposed a $10,000 cap on deductions of state and local taxes (SALT) by individuals filing their federal income taxes. An uncapped SALT deduction would almost entirely benefit very wealthy taxpayers in high-tax states and cities, and subsidize the growth of state and local governments by somewhat reducing resistance to their taxes. For 90 years, the Democratic Party has been devoted to government growth, and is increasingly the party of the wealthy. Repeal of the SALT deduction cap would give those in the bottom half of income distribution a tax cut of, on average, at most $1, but an average tax cut of $23,500 for the top 1%, and $145,000 for the top 0.1%. The average middle-class family would get about $27. Assume unanimous House Republican opposition to increased corporate taxation. Democrats have only an eight-seat House majority. Already four Democrats have made their support for the infrastructure taxation package conditional on repeal of the SALT cap. There probably will be others. Preaching progressivism – deploring the cupidity of rich, denouncing tax cuts for them – is more exhilarating than practicing it. (c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group

94 32

APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

Jacques Louis Ehrlich Flying Ace By Avi Heiligman

Ehrlich’s crashed plane


ot long after the first airplane took off the ground in 1903, armies from around the world looked at the invention for advantages it would have on a battlefield. World War I (1914-1918) was an ideal time to test the capabilities of the airplane. Putting an observer with a camera in the plane gave commanders the ability to see far into the enemy’s rear lines, and the reconnaissance plane was born. Soon after, guns were mounted onto the planes to attack enemy lines. It wasn’t long before both sides had developed fighter planes and were having aerial dogfights. Pilots began to have success with planes. French pilot Jacques Ehrlich was one of the first Jewish aviators to become an ace – a pilot with five or more aerial “kills.” Jacques Ehrlich was born in 1893 to a Parisian Jewish family. When he was twenty years old, he joined the infantry’s 18th Regiment and served on the Western Front for two and half years. In December 1916, he transferred to an aviation

unit and became a pilot six months later. Ehrlich then joined the recently formed N 154 Squadron and flew in the newly introduced Sped fighter. The SPAD S.XIII was a major upgrade from the previous fighter developed by the country. It had a better engine, and the cannon armament of two forward mounted Vickers machine guns made it a dominating force in the skies. Almost 8,500 of the fabric-covered wooden biplanes were produced by the end of the war. Aces such as Rene Fonck (75 Aerial victories) and top American ace Eddie Rickenbacker (26 victories) flew in the SPAD S.XIII. Early in his flying career, Ehrlich was sent on hazardous missions such as trench strafing. He was badly wounded in the left arm during one such operation and returned to flying duties in November 1917. Promoted to sergeant, he was given the mission of “balloon busting.” The leader of his squadron, Lieutenant Michel Coiffard, worked hard on a plan to attack German ob-

servation balloons called Drachen. The balloons were well protected and only the most daring pilots would attempt an attack. Coiffard took Ehrlich as his wingman, and on June 30, 1918 Ehrlich scored his first aerial victory near Beauvardes, France. On July 24, he scored his tenth kill and was soon promoted to the rank of adjutant. During this period, he also shot down an Albatross fighter plane on a reconnaissance mission. In another action, he shot down three balloons in a span of two minutes. Ehrlich was wounded again when his propeller hit another plane in the formation. Both planes were forced to land; Ehrlich wasn’t able to fly for a month. After shooting down his 18th balloon, 11 German Fokker fighters ambushed Ehrlich and his two wingmen. Paul Petit was killed in the fight while Ehrlich’s plane was shot down. He was captured a day later and spent the rest of the war, about two months, in a German prison. These heroics earned him several medals including the Croix

de Guerre with nine citations and the Military Medal which read: “Remarkable pursuit pilot who has distinguished himself by his exceptional audacity and tenacity which have earned him twelve victories in one month.” He was also given the Legion of Honor after his many victories. Ehrlich died in 1959 in Paris. Right from the dawn of aviation, there were Jewish aviators and pioneers. There were several Jewish allied aces who flew during World War I, including British pilot Solomon Clifford Joseph who had thirteen confirmed air-to-air victories. Ehrlich was the top Jewish ace of the war with 19 kills to his name and remains one of the top Jewish fighters of all time.

Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns and can be reached at aviheiligman@gmail.com.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021







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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015




Penny for Your Thoughts By Allan Rolnick, CPA


n 2017, a country singer scored a #1 hit with “Most People Are Good.” Certainly, most people consider themselves good. Of course, “illusory superiority bias” (also known as the “better than average” effect) means most of us think we’re better than we really are at most everything. One survey showed 64% of drivers rating themselves “excellent” or “above average” – something that’s plainly impossible to anyone who’s spent time on the road. Most Americans rate themselves more attractive than average, too, as anyone who’s spent time on online dating can tell. But some people, well, they’re such treasures you just want to bury them. Today’s story takes us to Fayetteville, Georgia, 22 miles south of downtown Atlanta. In November, mechanic Andreas Flaten quit his job at the A OK Walker Luxury Auto Shop to escape the “toxic” work environment. But Flaten’s former boss, Miles Walker, churlishly refused to send his final pay. Finally, this month, it arrived at the end of Flaten’s driveway: a wheelbarrow filled with 91,515 pennies, covered with motor oil and topped with a two-word note featuring an Anglo-Saxon swear word.

Now Flaten and his girlfriend spend their evenings cleaning the pennies with old rags. It takes them a couple of hours to polish $5 worth, which makes us hope they’ve at least got Netflix. As for Walker – who, come the revolution, will not be dealt with kindly – he says he can’t recall wheth-

oil off pennies – they don’t take cash! You can convert your Benjamins into tax payments at IRS partner retailers like 7-Eleven, CVS, Dollar General, or Speedway, but you’ll have to pay a processing fee. State and local tax collectors sometimes loosen up the rules. Ohio,

He sounds like the kind of guy who sits up at night cleaning his 12-gauge with Maker’s Mark and muttering “kill the wabbit.”

er or not he delivered the 500 pounds of coins. “I don’t really remember,” he told WGCL-TV. “It doesn’t matter, he got paid, that’s all that matters.” (He sounds like the kind of guy who sits up at night cleaning his 12-gauge with Maker’s Mark and muttering “kill the wabbit.”) What would our friends at the IRS think of Walker’s stunt? You won’t catch them wasting their time wiping

which probably isn’t the first place you’d go looking for 21st-century financial innovation, became the first state to let businesses pay with Bitcoin. (They stopped after fewer than 10 accepted the offer.) The transaction itself is considered a taxable sale, so you can wind up owing tax on the money you use to pay the tax. And if you use more Bitcoin to pay that tax, you’ll wind up trapped in an endless

Russian nesting doll of tax bills drilling deeper into the void. Legal cannabis businesses face the opposite challenge. The “devil’s lettuce” is still illegal at the federal level, an obvious buzzkill. Most banks won’t risk money laundering charges rolling out the green carpet to growers or sellers. A small number sidestep the problem by filing “suspicious activity” reports for every cannabis transaction – but really, isn’t life just too short? Most cannabis companies just hire armored cars to make their five-figure and six-figure sales tax deposits at state and local offices. How do we feel about the whole (literal) mess? To Flaten: here’s hoping your next employer treats you with a little more respect. To Walker: Karma’s just sharpening her nails and finishing her drink – she’ll be with you shortly. And to the rest of you: We don’t care how you pay your taxes; we just want to help you pay less!

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 allanjrcpa@aol.com.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021


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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

Back to Bread By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., LMFT, CLC, SDS


ack to bread – earning it. And eating it. Yes, on Passover it seems most people are spending it and avoiding it gastronomically. People take off from work and making bread, and go, almost universally, to Universal! “More or” less we find ourselves “searching” each year for someplace other than home to spend our holiday. Why? Because we don’t want to “wash” the house “twice over.” We don’t want to “dip” the mop

even one more time. We don’t want to “lean” on our help anymore than we usually do. We want to be “free” of cooking and cleaning. We want to “split” from the monotony of our neighborhoods and get away. Some even go over “seas.” Then we come back to reality. “Rising” early to get to our jobs. “Roll” ing out of bed to the sound of an alarm clock. No more “loafing” around. It’s time to realize we took a little “slice” out of life. But, now we’re back to the “work,

va c a t I o n

work, work” every day and every night. What can I say? We’ve got seven weeks to go and then it’s another celebration.

Cheesecake and flowers all around. Until then, remember: don’t “Passover” the daily good things in your life.

Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or rivki@rosenwalds.com.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 8, 2021 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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APRIL 8, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Save the Date

An evening of



April 27, 2021 • 7 pm


Remarks by:

RABBI YOEL SCHONFELD Rav, Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills RABBI CHAIM SCHWARTZ Executive Vice President, Vaad Harabonim of Queens


MARGARET TIETZ Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Short-Term Care | Long-Term Care | Hospice Care


Moderated by:

RABBI ZAVEL PEARLMAN Coordinator of Jewish Affairs Margaret Tietz


Profile for Yitzy Halpern

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-8-21  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-8-21

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-8-21  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-8-21

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