Five Towns Jewish Home - 1-13-22

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January 13, 2022

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,


oday, I had a fight with my daughter. It wasn’t a big fight, and it may have occurred in your house too, in some way or another. With meteorologists spelling doom and gloom with windchills in the single digits, as a concerned parent, I told my children that they had to be prepared with hats and gloves and scarves before they headed out to school this week. On the first morning of freezing temperatures, my kids were excited to don the extra layers. But the next morning, not so much. As she headed out to the bus stop with her hot cocoa, my daughter waved goodbye – sans scarf or hat, just a coat that was barely zipped up. And that’s when our fight began. “You can’t go outside without a hat,” I told her. “Fine,” she said. “I’ll wear gloves.” (I hadn’t realized at that moment that she wasn’t wearing gloves.) “But you need a coat, too,” I told her. “No, I’m not wearing a hat. I don’t need it, and my friend wasn’t wearing one yesterday,” she responded. So it wasn’t really a fight. It was a difference of opinion – and in the end, she wore her gloves but not her hat. (I know when to back down gracefully.) My other daughter, though, heard our conversation and quietly put on a hat. OK, so at least one kid was warm. When I was in high school, my halacha teacher used to joke that you wear a sweater when your mother is cold.

Now that I’m a parent, I can understand why. We all want the best for our children. And so, if they have to stand outside waiting for the bus, we want to make sure they’re as warm and toasty as they could be. But then I began to wonder. Why is it that children almost seem to be impervious to the freezing temperatures? Why are we shivering in our hats and gloves and coats, and they’re running outside with their coats unzipped? Ever see a schoolyard during recess in the winter months? The kids are running back and forth, exhilarated, cheeks tinged pink. And the adults are huddled at the side of the building, stamping their feet in the cold. And in the summer, it’s almost the same – just on the other side of the thermometer. Sweat can be dripping off the kids’ cheeks as they run between baskets or sides of the field. The adults need to remind them to take a break and drink. But when they’re in the game, there’s no thought to the stifling heat that is scorching the asphalt and their skin. Truthfully, I should know the answer to these questions. After all, I was a kid once. But now that I’m on the other side of the hat-debate, I find it hard to remember how my ears didn’t freeze in the winter and my thirst didn’t overtake me in the summer years ago. For now, though, you’ll find me bundled up with lots of extra layers over the next few months. Keep warm! Wishing you a wonderful week, Shoshana


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Shoshana Soroka EDITOR

Nate Davis Editorial Assistant Nechama Wein Copy Editor Rachel Bergida Berish Edelman Mati Jacobovits Design & Production Gabe Solomon Distribution & Logistics P.O. BOX 266 Lawrence, NY 11559 Phone | 516-734-0858 Fax | 516-734-0857 Classified Deadline: Monday 5:00PM text 443-929-4003 PAYMENT VIA CREDIT CARD MUST BE SUBMITTED ALONG WITH CLASSIFIED ADS 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.

Shabbos Zemanim

Weekly Weather | January 14 – January 20


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Friday, January 14 Parshas Beshalach Candle Lighting: 4:33 pm Shabbos Ends: 5:37 pm Rabbeinu Tam: 6:05 pm

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Contents Letters to the Editor


COMMUNITY Readers’ Poll Community Happenings

8 42







That’s Odd


ISRAEL Israel News


Bypassing the Bypass by Rafi Sackville


Defending Israel on the World Stage: TJH Speaks with Arsen Ostrovsky


JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Wein on the Parsha


A Sorry Substitute by Rav Moshe Weinberger


Delving into the Daf by Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow


Fruits From Heaven by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein


PEOPLE The Wandering Jew


Monumental Bayonet Charges by Avi Heiligman


HEALTH & FITNESS Who Should Repair Hurt Feelings? by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn Nutrition and Aging by Aliza Beer, MS RD

98 100

FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Simanim Salad 102 LIFESTYLES Teen Talk



Dating Dialogue, Moderated by 94 Jennifer Mann, LCSW Parenting Pearls

Or, if that can’t be done, my only thought is that Dena should “let it go.” Yes, this is very hard to do – even impossible, in a way. But Dena sounds like such a good person. Would she want this hanging over the young couple’s head as they embark on a new journey together? So the onus now is on Dena. Either she can have someone approach the family or she can work on herself on letting go of her frustration and disappointment. This strategy works so well in many other areas in life. There are times when we feel hurt or slighted or disappointed. If we can rectify the situation or fix it in some way, that’s wonderful. But many times, we don’t have that control. And so, we need to focus on the one thing we can control: our feelings and our reaction to the situation. We can let that person’s snide remark slide off our back; we can forget about the invitation that we never received to that neighbor’s wedding; we can ignore the hurtful comment that our coworker just made. In this way, we can live more peaceful, happy lives, feeling more in control of our feelings and our energy. Sincerely, Golda Rabinowitz Dear Editor, I’m so happy that your dating column last week featured a question about shadchanus. As an “amateur” Continued on page 10


Your Money


Something Not to Fight About by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS


HUMOR Centerfold 70 POLITICAL CROSSFIRE Notable Quotes


Last Jan. 6, Our Institutions Held by Marc A. Thiessen


If Putin Invades, the West Wants it to Hurt by David Ignatius



Dear Editor, This letter is to “Dena,” the person who wrote into the dating column about shadchanus money. I know that Dena came into shidduchim to help people. She sounds like someone who is concerned about the issues of singles in the community and wanted to help bring people together. And I loved how she was so involved in helping the couple and pushing them towards more dates. But after date #4, they decided to use someone else as a mediator. That must have hurt. Here, Dena spent so much time and effort. She worked it, and she felt like she wasn’t appreciated. Even more than that, she felt like she was used, as she was only given a paltry sum after the couple got engaged. Halachically, the panelists wrote that Dena should have gotten shadchanus. Perhaps a family rav can help to rectify that situation. But I am more concerned with Dena’s hurt feelings when it comes to this. This young couple would certainly never want to enter into a marriage knowing that they caused someone involved pain. That is certainly not a good way to build a foundation of a beautiful home. So here’s my suggestion: Either Dena can have someone approach the couple (or their parents) and explain the situation to them. This way, they can rectify the wrong – pay her shadchanus along with a nice card thanking her for her time – and make sure Dena does not feel slighted.


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Continued from page 8

shadchan, I see that I am sometimes passed over for real shadchanus money because I am young and not as experienced as others. I am happy that your columnists brought to the community’s attention how important shadchanus is and how it’s important to pay it to the shadchan, regardless of their experience or title. Malka H. Dear Editor, Music expresses human feelings to the highest degree. Its notes, stoppages and new beginnings fill

the soul with endless emotion. If you were to attend a Mozart or Beethoven concert, you would likely be swayed by the pulse and emanating poetic ballads that supersede time and place. Nonetheless, as penetrating as these concerts might be, their compositions and notes fall short in comparison to another composition: the Torah. Rav Ahoron Soleveitchik, zt”l, notes how the shirat hayam speaks to the compositional beauty of the Torah. The shira is written in block form with large spaces in-between. He masterfully points out that often words can’t capture the depths of one’s emotions. Only through song

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can one’s full heart and soul be revealed. The Torah’s written form of the shira captures this idea, as the large blocks between speak to the emotions that rise above words and enter an unspoken realm that expands the capacity for expression and vocalization. We can only marvel at the notes, rhythms, and tempo of the Torah that far surpasses any form of music created after its construction. Steven Genack Dear Editor, Kudos to you for writing about your support for victims of abuse. More people in our community

should publicly stand up and applaud them for their efforts in stopping such abuse. I’d like to point out that when a person stands up for those who have been abused, it shows their children and their family members that they can be trusted if something, G-d forbid, happens to them. Their children will know that they can come to the parents about anything – whether it’s abuse, chas v’shalom, or bullying, or an incident where they may have been wronged. By standing up for an injustice, you become someone that people can trust. Y. N.

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

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


IS JA M O N. N 1 7 T DA H ! Y


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

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facing stiffer regional competition, particularly with Saudi Arabia. “The new working week will also bring the UAE’s financial sector into closer alignment with global real-time trading and communications-based transactions,” the government said when announcing the change, adding that the new schedule aims to “boost not only trading opportunities but also add to the flexible, secure and enjoyable lifestyle the Emirates offers its citizens and residents.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had its first-ever working Friday last week as the country switched to a Western-style weekend, working Monday through Friday, in an effort to keep up with most of the rest of the globe. Previously, the country’s day of rest had been Friday, in line with Muslim tradition. January 7, 2022, was the first Friday that was a workday, with both parents and schoolchildren struggling to acclimate to the change. Meanwhile, although some companies switched to the new weekend, others held to a Friday-Saturday weekend, similar to other Gulf states. Among those switching to the new schedule are government bodies and schools, which will operate fourand-a-half days each week, closing at 12pm on Fridays. Mercer, a human resources consultancy, polled 195 businesses, finding that just 23% would follow a 4.5-day work week, but over half would switch their weekends to Saturday-Sunday. The poll also found that nearly one-third of companies were worried about the impact of being out-of-sync with other companies in the region. The decision to switch to the Monday-Friday schedule was announced last month. It makes the Gulf Arab federation one of the few countries in the Middle East to operate on Western hours instead of on a Sunday through Thursday week. Lebanon and Turkey also follow a Monday-Friday workweek. The long-rumored shift comes as the UAE, home to the coastal emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, seeks to bolster its business and tourist appeal while emerging from the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and

At least six people were killed and another 32 injured when a rock formation collapsed onto three boats in Brazil at a popular scenic site. It is believed that each boat carried 12-20 people. Brazilian authorities confirmed the tragic incident, which occurred on Saturday at Furnas Lake. What should have been a placid day on the lake turned tragic for so many, who were hurt or saw the natural horror take place. According to Edgard Estevo, commander of the Minas Gerais State Fire Department, up to 20 people may be missing. Officials are working to identify them. Helicopters and divers helped with the search and rescue efforts. Estevo added that many of those who were injured were released from the hospital by Saturday night. Firefighters believe a sudden downpour of rain caused the slab of rocks to dislocate and fall into the river at the popular tourist site. There were at least twenty boats in the area during the time of the incident. Rovilson Teixeira, who has worked in the area for six years, told Brazil’s OTempo, “We are all stunned, nobody knows how many victims, but I can already tell you that there were not one or two deaths, but many deaths. There are a lot of hurt people. The region is full of ambulances that have come from other areas to pick up the victims, but no one yet realizes the scale of the tragedy here.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022




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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Win for Unvaccinated Djokovic

An Australian judge on Monday allowed a world tennis star to remain in the country and compete in the Australia Open, despite the government’s decision to cancel his visa because of his vaccination status. Justice Anthony Kelly ordered that world tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic be released from temporary detention and his possessions returned within half an hour of the ruling. Justice Kelly also ordered the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs to pay Djokovic’s legal fees. Meanwhile, a lawyer for the government said that Australia’s Minister for Immigration reserves the right to intervene personally in the case. In a tweet following the ruling,

Djokovic said he was “pleased and grateful” and that he wants to “try to compete” in the Australian Open. Previously, Djokovic’s entry visa to Australia had been revoked due to his being unvaccinated against COVID-19, without what was considered a valid medical exemption. Djokovic, who arrived in Australia on January 5, recorded a COVID-19 infection in December – something which two independent panels believed to be good enough reason to delay his vaccination. In his ruling, Justice Kelly referenced this, asking, “What more could this man have done?”

Kazakhstan: “Kill Without Warning”

Kazakhstan President KassymJomart Tokayev ordered security

forces to “kill without warning” after a series of violent protests over increasing gas prices which left dozens dead across the country. In a public address on Friday, Tokayev claimed that the unrest had been masterminded by well-trained “terrorist bandits” from both Kazakhstan and abroad. That same day, state media quoted Kazakhstan’s Internal Affairs Ministry, reporting that over 3,800 people had been detained, and 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security personnel had been killed in violent protests that began on January 2. Over 100 were arrested while carrying out “terrorist actions.” According to Tokayev, the situation “stabilized” in Almaty – the country’s largest city – and the “introduction of a state of emergency is yielding results.” However, he added, “Terrorists continue to damage state and private property and use weapons against citizens. I gave the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to open fire to kill without warning.” On Twitter, Tokayev wrote that 20,000 “gangsters and terrorists” were involved in at least “six waves of attacks” in Almaty. He emphasized, “No talks with the terrorists – we

must kill them.” Although Tokayev claims that the violence is the result of sleeper cells carrying out “terrorist attacks” and “specialists trained in ideological sabotage, skillfully using disinformation or ‘fakes’ and capable of manipulating people’s moods,” protesters have given a different narrative. Speaking to international media, one protester asserted, “We are neither thugs nor terrorists. The only thing flourishing here is corruption.” Another protester noted, “The government is rich, but all of these people here have loans to pay. We have our pain, and we want to share it.” Paul Stronski, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, shared, “This is a government that is highly detached from the reality of what happens on the ground. It’s a country where there are no institutions through which to protest; the only route is on the streets.” The protests began after the government lifted its price cap on fuel. The cost of liquefied petroleum gas, which most people in Central Asia use for their vehicles, nearly doubled in price immediately. On Monday, the government announced that the situation had stabilized. In a concession, the govern-

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022




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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

ment announced a 180-day price cap on vehicle fuel and a moratorium on utility rate increases. It was reported that at least 8,000 people had been detained during the protests; 164 had been killed.

Norway’s Military is Really Frugal

Military service is mandatory for both men and women in Norway and lasts between 12 and 19 months. Now, conscripts have been told that they need to leave their used underwear and socks behind after serving in the military so the next group of servicemen and servicewomen could use them. The Norwegian military said on Monday that it is struggling with dwindling supplies, in part due to the pandemic. Because of “a challenging stockpile situation, this move is necessary as it provides the Armed Forces with greater garment volumes available for new soldiers starting their initial service,” the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization said. Its press spokesman Hans Meisingset noted that with “proper checks and cleaning, the reuse of garments is considered an adequate and sound practice.” Until recently, the roughly 8,000 young men and women who every year do their military service returned their outer clothing but were allowed to leave the barracks with the underwear and socks they were issued.

Toxic Gas Leak in India

Six workers at a printing and dyeing mill in India were killed in a toxic gas leak last week. Officials said that over 20 people

were taken to hospitals on Thursday after inhaling toxic gas caused by illegal disposal of waste chemicals. According to a police officer and a fire officer, workers were in the Surat, Gujarat, mill when hazardous chemicals were dumped nearby at around 4:00 a.m. Basant Pareek, chief fire officer of Surat Municipal Corporation, said, “Chemicals were being illegally discharged from a tanker into a rivulet close to the mill, which possibly reacted with another chemical in the water and created toxic gas.” He added, “The workers inhaled the gas and started feeling suffocation. When we reached the scene, the workers were found collapsed on the road in their attempt to escape.” According to Pareek, six workers died and 23 were hospitalized, including seven who are in critical condition and on ventilators. Senior police official Sharad Singhal said, “This was not an accidental gas leakage. Hazardous chemicals were being discharged when the incident took place.” He added that an investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have been made yet.

Bulgaria’s Shrinking Population

Bulgaria’s population shrank over 11% in the past ten years, the country’s latest census showed. Between 2011-2021, Bulgaria’s population decreased by 11.5% (844,000 people), reaching just 6.5 million. According to estimates from the European Union, the population will drop to 5.3 million by 2050. Other than in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, all of the country’s districts had seen a decline in population. The statistics office, noting the “deepening of negative demographic trends” in the past 30 years, attributed the decrease to both migration and low birth rates – although Bulgaria’s birth rates do not significantly differ from those of other European countries. Bulgaria has the lowest per-capital income in the EU.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

103 Rescued Off of Coast of Africa

“The U.S. Coast Guard will always conduct our core mission of search and rescue and observe the international law of the sea and maritime custom to assist any mariners in distress.”

South African Parliament on Fire The U.S. and Moroccan navies on Tuesday night rescued 103 migrants who were around 40 miles west off the Moroccan coast. The Las Palmas Rescue Coordination Center notified the Navy ships after receiving reports of two migrant rafts. According to the Navy’s Sixth Fleet, three U.S. Coast Guard ships and a Royal Moroccan Navy frigate rushed towards the rafts, rescuing a total of 103 migrants and transferring them to the Moroccan Navy. Two dead people were also pulled from the water. Commander Justin Nadolny, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis, one of the ships which responded, said,

flouted coronavirus lockdown rules when they held a garden party in 2020 while Britons were barred by law from meeting up with more than one person outside their households.

Prosecutors argue Mafe intended to “deliver, place, discharge or detonate” the explosive device at the parliament complex. The fire Mafe is accused of starting began on January 2 and took firefighters four days to extinguish. About 300 firefighters worked to tame the fire. Mafe denies all charges. A defense lawyer claims that Mafe is being used as a scapegoat to cover up for failings of the parliament security. He is described as being homeless, and a doctor’s report submitted by prosecutors states that he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. The fire destroyed the main chamber of the South African National Assembly building, where the parliament convenes. It also damaged other buildings in the complex, where the national legislature has met for 130 years, since the time of British colonial rule.

The man accused of setting a fire that burned down part of the South African parliament complex last week was charged with terrorism on Tuesday. Zandile Mafe, 49, was charged with housebreaking with intent to steal, theft, two counts of arson and possession of an explosive device. A terrorism charge was added to his indictment due to his alleged possession of the explosive device.

Opposition politicians called for a police investigation after broadcaster ITV published a leaked email invitation to “socially distanced drinks” in the garden of the prime minister’s Downing Street office and residence. The email from the prime minister’s private secretary, Martin Reynolds, was sent to dozens of people and urged attendees to “bring your own booze.” The event was scheduled for May 20, 2020 — the same day the government held a televised news conference to remind people that group gatherings were banned indoors and out. London’s Metropolitan Police force also published a reminder that day. The police force said on Tuesday it was “in contact with” the govern-

Boris’s Party-gate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a wave of outrage over allegations that he and his staff





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Ethical investing is in our DNA

Besadno is an Israeli-American investment group that invests in innovative ventures, commercial companies, and real estate in Israel and around the world. Besadno, whose initials in Hebrew represent “With G-d’s help, we will succeed”, is an “kosher” alternative investment group that affords its investors the opportunity to invest in some of the most promising Israeli start-ups and real estate projects, all of which have been Rabbinically approved by the Finance Committee of the ‫ בד‘‘ץ העדה החרדית‬of Jerusalem

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ment over the party claims, which follow allegations of several other rule-breaking gatherings in Downing Street during the pandemic. A senior civil servant who was looking into those accusations will also investigate the latest ones. Johnson has insisted he personally broke no rules, but British media reported that the prime minister and his wife, Carrie Johnson, attended the garden gathering. This is not the first time Johnson’s Conservative government has been accused of flouting pandemic rules that imposed the most severe restrictions on Britons’ individual freedoms since World War II. Additionally, Johnson’s honeymoon phase with Britons may be waning. Support for him in his own party is being eroded by discontent over continuing pandemic restrictions, which some Conservatives view as draconian. He is also facing disquiet about his judgment after a slew of financial and ethical misconduct allegations against him and his government. Britain is not scheduled to hold a national election until 2024, so Johnson has a few years to make sure to make nice to Britons. His

party is another matter. The Conservatives have a history of ousting leaders if they become a liability — and a recent surprising loss in a by-election for a district the party held for more than a century has increased their jitters.

Iran Sanctions 52 Americans

Iran recently announced sanctions against more than 50 American individuals over the killing two years ago of Tehran’s top general Qassem Soleimani. The Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry said the 52 U.S. nationals had been blacklisted for “their role

in the terrorist crime by the United States against the martyred General Qassem Soleimani and his companions and the promotion of terrorism and violations of fundamental human rights.” Many of those targeted are from the U.S. military. They include Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley and former White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. The sanctions allow Tehran to confiscate assets owned by the Americans in Iran. The move is largely symbolic, as none of those on the list have assets in Iran. Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in January 2020 ordered by then-President Donald Trump. On Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that “should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences.” Sullivan noted in a statement that the sanctions came “as Iran’s proxy militias continue to attack American troops in the Middle East, and as Iranian officials threaten to carry out terror operations inside the United States and elsewhere around the world.” “Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens,” he added. “This includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.” A year ago, Iran imposed sanctions on President Trump and other senior former U.S. officials over Soleimani’s killing. Last Wednesday, Iran said it intended to prosecute 127 people for alleged involvement or cooperation with the assassination of Soleimani. According to Fars News, which is run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a judiciary spokesperson said the country sent 11 letters to nine countries, asking them to take measures against the alleged culprits. Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, with links to armed groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza Strip, Syria and Yemen. The Quds force is designated by a number of countries as a terrorist organization, including the U.S. and Israel.

Bird Flu Peak is Over

An outbreak of avian flu, which in recent weeks killed enormous numbers of domestic and wildfowl in northern Israel, has likely peaked and has begun to abate, Israeli officials said on Friday. Israel’s Agriculture Ministry, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office, announced that there was no indication that humans had been harmed as a result of the spread of H5N1. Although most strains of avian flu do not infect humans, there have been four which have caused concern. The outbreak in Israel affected 15 bird habitats and 20 chicken coop complexes, mostly in northern Israel, which house around one million hens. The outbreak – which Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) called “the worst blow to wildlife in the country’s history” – began in December 2021 in the Hula Valley and the northern town of Margaliot. In the Hula Lake Reserve around 5,000 cranes died of the flu. In Margaliot, over half a million egg-laying chickens have either died or been culled. All the poultry sheds which were infected have been sealed by inspectors.

31 Soldiers Died in IDF Last Year

This past year, 31 soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces lost their lives

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home






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Last year, no soldiers were killed in work or training accidents. Two military-related deaths that were notably not included in the 2021 figures were Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was shot in the head by a Palestinian gunman during a riot along the Gaza border, and an intelligence officer who died in military prison under mysterious circumstances while awaiting trial for grave security offenses. Shmueli’s death was not included in the figures as he served in the Border Police, and was thus outside the IDF’s purview, while the intelligence officer, whose name is barred from publication, had been discharged from the IDF before his death, also putting him outside the scope of the IDF statistics. In 2021, the military noted a significant rise in the number of severely injured soldiers, with 67, compared to the previous year’s 41. This was the largest number of troops with severe injuries since 2014, when Israel fought a 51-day war in the Gaza Strip, including a ground invasion.

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– three more than the year before that. Additionally, the military saw a slight increase in the number of soldiers who took their own lives. Suicide remained the leading cause of death in the military in 2021, with at least 11 soldiers believed to have taken their own lives and another two whose deaths are currently designated as accidents but which may also have been suicide. A number of studies in Israel have found a higher incidence of suicide among Ethiopian Israelis than the

general population. Three of those who committed suicide in the military were of Ethiopian origin. A Health Ministry report from 2020 found that Ethiopian immigrants were 4.1 times more likely to die by suicide than Israeli-born Jews. Only one IDF soldier was killed in combat over the past year. Omer Tabib was hit by an anti-tank guided missile on the Gaza border during May’s conflict with terror groups in the Strip. Another soldier, Yonatan Granot,

died after he was shot in the head by another soldier who had allegedly fired a weapon on their base in violation of orders and is currently on trial for manslaughter. Ten soldiers were killed in car accidents while on leave, and six soldiers died of illnesses in 2021, none of them from COVID-19. This included Col. Sharon Asman, the commander of the Nahal infantry brigade, who collapsed and died following a run due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

Thousands of people on Friday attended the funeral of a four-year-old Arab boy who was killed by a stray bullet in an Arab town. Ammar Hujayrat was playing at a playground in the northern Arab town of Bir al-Maksur when a stray bullet hit him, causing critical injuries which led to his death shortly afterwards. Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke with Muhammad Hujayrat, Ammar’s father, expressing his “deep horror” at the incident and offering condolences. Speaking to reporters, Muhammad Hujayrat said, “May all Muslims come together because of the death of Ammar, may G-d bless him.” He added, “Stay away from violence because it is not the answer. The only answer is for us to return to the path of G-d.” Meanwhile, the Nazareth Magistrates Court on Friday extended the

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

arrest of four suspects, all of whom deny involvement in the shooting. In a statement, police said, “This is a shocking incident of a toddler hit by gunfire from criminals using firearms with such ease, without any respect for human life, causing such a terrible tragedy. We will do everything to catch the gunmen.” Public Security Minister Omer Barlev (Labor) called the incident “heartbreaking” and promised that law enforcement “won’t rest until the gunmen are brought to justice.” In a tweet, he emphasized, “We will fight the crime and violence that are mercilessly harming the Arab public.”

Advancing UN Bill to Combat Holocaust Denial Israel will bring a United Nations General Assembly vote for a resolution aimed at combatting Holocaust denial, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said. The resolution will provide a specific classification for Holocaust denial and incorporate the Interna-

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tional Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of Holocaust denial. It will also provide actions expected of signatory countries in order to address the phenomenon and demand that social media remove all posts which fall under the IHRA definition.

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The vote for the resolution is scheduled for January 20. Erdan explained that the resolution follows a “dramatic rise in anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial” in recent years – especially in the past year. Erdan said that he expects overwhelming support for the bill, estimating that around 160 countries would support it. “I hope that even countries with whom we don’t have relations will understand the importance of this resolution…and decide to vote in favor,” Erdan added.

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Hamas: Arrest for Gazan Who Aided Mossad

Responding to Hamas’ announcement, Mohammad al-Batsh, Fadi al-Batsh’s father, told Shebab, “I will request to do to him exactly what he did to my son.” Although the assassination was assumed to have been perpetrated by Israel, Israel has never confirmed the reports.

The Hamas terror group announced that it arrested a Gazan who they say worked with Israel’s Mossad to eliminate a Hamas weapons expert in Malaysia. Fadi Mohammed al-Batsh, a Hamas member and a Gaza-born electrical engineer, was killed by unknown assailants in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. In a Sunday statement, the Gaza Interior Ministry said, “We arrested a person involved in the assassination of engineer Fadi al-Batsh in Malaysia. He admitted to participating in the assassination, which was commissioned by the Israeli Mossad.” Hamas has not yet publicly named the suspect it arrested.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz traveled to Jordan for a meeting last week with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. In his discussion with the king, Gantz highlighted the strategic importance of strong and enduring relations between Israel and Jordan, which contribute to the security and prosperity of both nations.


The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022





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The dialogue focused on security and policy topics. Gantz thanked His Majesty for his leadership and for the Kingdom’s critical role in maintaining regional peace and stability. He also welcomed the expansion of relations between Jordan and the current Israeli government and expressed his commitment to further developing security, economic and civilian exchanges. The meeting was attended by the Gantz’s Chief of Staff Maayan Israeli; Director of the Policy and Political-Military Bureau Zohar Palti; and the Military Secretary Yaki Dolf. On the Jordanian side, King Abdullah II was joined by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi; Director of the Political Affairs Directorate Moath Al Zu’bi; and Director of His Majesty’s Office Dr. Jafar Hassan.

An “Extended Jewish” Classification Now, people in Israel will only be classified as Jews, Arabs, or as part

of an “extended Jewish population.” These categories at the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) will eliminate the separate category of “others” with regards to demographics.

percent of the Israeli population. At the end of 2020, 415,147 Israelis were categorized under “other.” For 91.4% of them, no religion was registered in the population registry. The remaining 8.6% were registered as Christian. According to the data in the population registry, 60.4% of the group are entitled to citizenship under the Law of Return; most of the rest immigrated to Israel as part of a family reunification.

The “extended Jewish” category will include any citizen who is not Arab and not Jewish according to Jewish religious law. The CBS said it would also classify groups that are neither culturally Jewish nor Arab in the “extended” category. This means non-Arab Muslims from Israel’s Circassian community will be listed as “extended Jewish,” as will those of other religious denominations who gain citizenship by marrying Israelis, or immigrate under the law of return, which extends citizenship to anyone with a single Jewish grandparent. Those previously under the “other” designation comprise up to 4.6

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On Sunday, Cabinet ministers gave first-stage approval to a bill that would again bar Palestinians who marry Israelis from receiving permits to live with their spouses in Israel, months after an earlier ban expired following a dramatic coalition fight. The bill – widely referred to as the “Citizenship Law” – passed a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which allows it to be fast-tracked through the legislative process. From there, the bill goes to the Knesset, where it must still pass three votes before becoming law. Nine ministers voted in favor of the bill. Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg of the leftwing Meretz party voted against it; Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai of the center-left Labor party abstained. Introduced at the height of the Second Intifada in an attempt to prevent terror attacks, the 2003 Citizenship and Entry Law largely barred Palestinians who married Israelis from obtaining permanent residency. Exceptions were later carved out for some spouses to receive two kinds of permits that gave residency but little else. The law has been wildly controversial since its inception, as rights groups charge it discriminates against Palestinians and Arab Israelis. The Supreme Court upheld the law in a 6-5 decision in 2012 after a

protracted legal battle. But the coalition failed to renew the law last year, and it expired. Despite the fact that the law aligned with its policies, the right-wing opposition, led by Likud, voted against it in an attempt to embarrass the coalition. The current, razor-thin Israeli coalition government includes both Meretz and the Islamist Ra’am party, neither of which is likely to vote in favor. Should the law again come to the Knesset floor, it would likely again need opposition backing to pass – but those parties have yet to indicate any willingness to change their vote. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has ordered her office to continue to implement the ban, even though the law is no longer on the books. Around 12,700 Palestinians married to Israelis live in Israel with temporary documentation and are required to constantly renew their status in the country. The government initially enacted the ban on Palestinian family unification in order to prevent terror attacks. The 2003 statute was passed after Hamas member Shadi Tubasi – who had received an Israeli identity card by marriage – killed 16 Israelis in one of the Second Intifada’s most brutal terror attacks. Around 130,000 Palestinians were granted family unification rights during the 1990s, before the ban went into effect. According to the Shin Bet security service, around 155 of those people or their descendants have been involved in terror attacks since 2001.

Israeli Killed in Kazakhstan

Levan Kogeashvili, a 22-year-old Israeli, was killed on Friday during violent protests in the Kazakhstan city of Almaty. He had been living in Kazakhstan for several years. Kogeashvili’s family brought his body to Israel for burial. According to the Walla news site, Kogeashvili’s family said he was traveling in a car on his way to work

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

when he was shot, adding that the young man was not involved with the protests. “Suddenly there was the sound of gunfire and he was hit with two bullets,” said Rostislav Edelstein, a friend of the family who lives in Ashdod. “They took him to hospital and tried to save him but had no choice but to declare his death. Two other people with him were lightly wounded.” The Central Asian nation experienced its worst street protests since gaining independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago, and scores have been killed in the melee. The demonstrations began over a near-doubling of prices for a type of vehicle fuel and quickly spread across the country, reflecting wider discontent with authoritarian rule.

the ice breakage may have contributed to the destabilization of the ice,” the sheriff’s office said. “Although the chunk of ice remained fairly stable, its condition was deteriorating rapidly (and) cracking up as it moved with the open water pounding at the edge of it.” It added, “People out on the ice are always encouraged to maintain awareness of the potential deterioration in their surroundings and keep a cellphone or some way of communicating with them in case there is a need to call for assistance.” The ice chunk was about a mile from shore by the end of the rescue operation.

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Stranded on Floating Ice

At least 27 people were rescued on Saturday after becoming stranded on a large chunk of floating ice on Green Bay in the state of Wisconsin. The ice, which was floating off the shore of Point Comfort on Green Bay, was reported as having broken off from the shoreline at about 10:15 a.m., the Brown County Sheriff’s Office said. Shane Nelson, one of the people stranded, told WLUK-TV that it sounded like somebody had fired a gun when the ice broke. “We thought it was interesting, got out of our shanty, took a look and people were yelling on the ice, ‘We’re separating,’” Nelson said. According to the sheriff’s office, everyone who was stranded was rescued, with no injuries, within less than two hours. The sheriff’s office could only rescue people in groups of eight and had to make multiple trips to complete the operation. “It is believed a barge that had gone through the Bay shortly before

The new head of a Massachusetts tribe has announced his intention to take a careful approach to gambling while seeking out other economic opportunities for his tribe’s members. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Chairman Brian Weeden, 29, is the youngest person ever to head his tribe, which has about 3,000 members. To Weeden, U.S. President Joe Biden’s December 2021 decision to affirm the tribe’s reservation grants the tribe legal footing to pursue its dreams of a casino. At the same time, Weeden said that tribal leaders should re-examine the idea, given the changes in the gambling landscape. In a Thursday interview with AP, Weeden said, “We’re back to the drawing board, basically. There’s still an appetite for gaming. It just needs to be a smart approach. It has to be different from the past. We need to learn from our mistakes and proceed with caution.” The tribe is about $600 million in debt. In 2016, it broke ground on a $1 billion resort casino, which was set to include a hotel, shopping, dining, and entertainment, and even a water park. The Trump administration and litigation derailed those plans.


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Weeden urged consideration of a slot parlor or bingo hall, which would offer an exemption from a 17% state tax on gaming revenues. He also suggested the possibilities of opening tax-free smoke shops, tax-free gas stations, recreational marijuana shops, and other economic initiatives. “We need to exercise our sovereignty,” he said. “Casinos are just low-hanging fruit.” He also emphasized that he intends to focus more on homelessness, substance use, and various other social ills his tribe suffers from.

A Pig Heart in a Human

David Bennett now has the heart of a pig beating within him. The 57-year-old man is the first person to have had a successful heart transplant from a genetically modified pig. U.S. surgeons performed the historic procedure on Friday. “It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett said. He was not eligible for a human heart transplant. “This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis,” said Dr. Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart. “We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first-in-the-world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future.” The heart that Bennett received came from a pig that had undergone genetic editing procedures in which three genes that would have led to rejection of a pig organ by humans were “knocked out.” Six human genes responsible for human acceptance were inserted into the genome. Doctors are hoping that Bennett’s body will take to its new organ and that his recovery will go well.

Chicago: Mayor Vs. Teachers

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attacked the city’s teachers’ union for its decision last week to close schools and move to remote learning due to a coronavirus-related work dispute. Speaking on Sunday to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Lightfoot said, “I’m doing everything I can to make sure” that children will be in school this week. “To be clear, what the Chicago Teachers Union did was an illegal walkout. They abandoned their posts and they abandoned kids and their families.” She added, “This walkout by the teachers’ union, which is illegal, has had cascading negative ripple effects not only on the students in their learning, their social and emotional welfare, but also on the families themselves. “It is making them have tenuous financial status because they have to work, but they also have to take care of their kids. This is an untenable situation and completely, utterly avoidable. So I’m going to be on the side of the parents fighting every single day to get our kids back in school.” At the same time, Lightfoot said, “We think we can get agreement there,” and noted that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has promised to provide the district with 350,000 more coronavirus tests. “We have put together a revised proposal for a school-by-school metric, which really mirrors what we’ve been doing all along this year,” she added. “We haven’t sat idly by and let Covid rage through our schools. When there’s been a necessity to shut down a classroom or shut down a school, to go to remote learning, we’ve done that.” By Monday evening, the teachers’ union tentatively agreed that schools will reopen for in-person learning on Wednesday.

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hospitals all of the blood products they request. The shortage means doctors are being forced to make tough decisions about who should get blood and who needs to wait until there is more supply.

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tients when it is needed,” the Red Cross warned in a joint statement with America’s Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies. Blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than a one-day supply of some blood types, the statement added. Hospitals need blood for surgeries, transplants, cancer treatments and chronic illnesses, but the Red Cross says that during this historic shortage, there are days it can’t give

The New York Times Co. illegally restricted employees’ union activism, federal labor officials allege. The newspaper publisher “has been interfering with, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed” under federal workplace law, an acting regional director of the National Labor Relations Board wrote on December 29. Management did so by telling employees designated as “intern managers” that they were prohibited from demonstrating support for the union, according to the complaint. The complaint will be considered at a March trial. Meanwhile, the union alleges that Times management ordered a group of tech employees to cease using prounion avatars and backgrounds in online services. Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha said, “We strongly disagree with the union’s allegations about the supervisory status of certain technology employees and welcome the opportunity to explain our position to the board.” Complaints issued by labor board prosecutors are considered by administrative law judges, whose rulings can be appealed to National Labor Relations Board members in Washington and from there to federal court. The agency can order companies to change policies that conflict with the law but lacks authority to issue punitive damages for violations.

Bronx Fire Takes 17 Lives A space heater was the cause of a horrific fire that consumed a Bronx building on Sunday and took the lives of at least 17 people, eight of them

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

children. But authorities say that an open door was a big contributor to the extent that the fire spread.

All 17 victims died of accidental smoke inhalation, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York ruled on Tuesday. More than 60 others were injured, according to the FDNY. The city passed a law in 2018 mandating self-closing doors in all apartment buildings. It’s unclear whether those were installed at 333 East 181st St., a 19-story building located in the Tremont section of the Bronx. The high-rise was built as affordable housing in 1972 and has 120 units, according to city records. “It appears the ability to have the smoke spread is due to the door being open,” NYC Mayor Eric Adams said on Monday. “There may have been a maintenance issue with this door and that is going to be part of the ongoing

investigation.” So far, investigators believe the building met all other standards for fire safety. There were a few violations documented over the last few years but no outstanding issues, according to the mayor. The flames ignited Sunday morning before 11 a.m., due to a malfunctioning electric space heater in a bedroom of a duplex apartment on the third floor. In less than three hours, smoke enveloped all 19 floors. The building’s smoke alarms were operable at the time of the blaze. More than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene of the five-alarm fire, smashing windows to rescue trapped residents. The mayor described the incident as “horrific” but praised the firefighters as heroes. “Many of them, their oxygen tanks were on empty,” Adams recounted. “But instead of turning back and exiting the building, they pushed through, through the smoke.” Many of the injured were located on the upper floors and likely suffered from severe smoke inhalation. For now, the other residents of the building are being provided with temporary shelter. They will later be moved into permanent housing as

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the building undergoes repairs. Sunday’s blaze was the deadliest to occur in New York City in three decades. A total of 73 people died in fires citywide in all of 2021.

NY Man Charged as Foreign Agent

Shoplifting on the Rise

Coordinated and organized robberies at high-value stores have become more frequent and often occur during business hours. In an article about the phenomenon, CNN shared two incidents in November, one involving 14 people who barged into a Louis Vuitton store in Illinois and made off with $100,000 of merchandise, and the other involving 18 criminals who broke into a closed Nordstrom store in Los Angeles and made off with several thousand dollars in merchandise. CNN also recalled a Black Friday robbery in Minneapolis, involving 30 people. These crimes typically involve groups of people targeting stores with high-value items for the purpose of reselling the merchandise on secondary marketplaces or back into the legitimate supply chain. Cory Lowe, an expert on retail crime and research scientist at the Loss Prevention Research Council, noted, “These are people who make a living stealing and reselling. This is not a one-time opportunistic or need-based robbery.” “The anatomy of these attacks show they are more aggressive, dangerous, and happening more frequently. When I talk to retail loss prevention veterans, the best comparison they come up with is what crime was like in New York in the 1970s. But even then, it was more street robberies and not like retail theft as brazen as this.” Lowe added, “Think about retailers that are staffed predominantly by women, like cosmetics stores and high-end fashion. Criminals target these stores because these are high-dollar items, and they anticipate little pushback from the staff. But the fear makes it difficult to keep employees.”

An Egyptian-American man has been charged with working as a foreign government agent without informing the U.S. Department of Justice. Pierre Girgis, 39, is a resident of Manhattan and a dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen who, according to the Department of Justice, “tracked and obtained” information about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s political rivals. The indictment, published on January 6, said Girgis was working under the “direction and control” of several Egyptian government officials when he received this information, reporting to them about it. In addition, Girgis has been accused of arranging “benefits” for Egyptian officials visiting New York, as well as meetings between U.S. and Egyptian law enforcement. The Department of Justice also said that Girgis had been working under the Cairo officials from 2014 to 2019 – and possibly longer. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been released on his own recognizance. In its statement, the Department of Justice added that the FBI is currently investigating the issue. According to Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, “As alleged, Pierre Girgis failed to meet his requirements to register as a foreign agent in the United States. This office will continue to strictly enforce foreign agent registration laws, which remain critically important to ensuring that our government is not secretly influenced by foreign governments.” In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said, “The Department of Justice will not allow agents of foreign governments to operate in the United States to pursue and collect information about critics of those governments.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

The Book Thief

Federal agents arrested an Italian citizen last week, accusing him of running a years-long scam. According to the officials, Filippo Bernardini, 29, is believed to have stolen valuable unpublished literary manuscripts. Bernardini was picked up at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged with both wire fraud and identity theft in a scheme to “fraudulently obtain hundreds of prepublication manuscripts of novels and other forthcoming books.” The indictment added that Bernardini, of London, registered over 160 email addresses and websites in order to “impersonate individuals involved in the publishing in-

dustry to gain surreptitious access to these materials,” the indictment said, noting that he impersonated “a well-known editor and publisher” in 2020, securing the writer’s unpublished work. The indictment also said that Bernardini works as a rights coordinator for a “major, international, U.S.-based publishing house.” A Simon & Schuster representative confirmed that Bernardini was an employee. Senior Vice President Adam Rothberg of Simon & Schuster said, “We were shocked and horrified to learn of the allegations of fraud and identity theft by an employee of Simon & Schuster UK. The employee has been suspended pending further information on the case.” Rothberg added, “The safekeeping of our authors’ intellectual property is of primary importance to Simon & Schuster, and for all in the publishing industry, and we are grateful to the FBI for investigating these incidents and bringing charges against the alleged perpetrator.” Michael Driscoll, the FBI’s assistant director-in-charge in New York, noted, “Unpublished manuscripts are works of art to the writers who

spend the time and energy creating them. Publishers do all they can to protect those unpublished pieces because of their value. Mr. Bernardini was allegedly trying to steal other people’s literary ideas for himself, but in the end he wasn’t creative enough to get away with it.” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams explained, “Filippo Bernardini allegedly impersonated publishing industry individuals in order to have authors, including a Pulitzer prize winner, send him prepublication manuscripts for his own benefit. “This real-life storyline now reads as a cautionary tale, with the plot twist of Bernardini facing federal criminal charges for his misdeeds.”

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agreement struck in December will see the house go to auction if it does not sell by February 7. With an eye-popping $295 million price tag, The One is set to be the most expensive property to ever have been sold at auction. The buyer has to have really deep pockets if they’re considering owning this mammoth mansion, as there are still millions needed to complete the structure. For now, Williams said he has already received offers from a Saudi royal and a wealthy Chinese buyer to purchase the overpriced piece of Los Angeles real estate. He said he expects further offers from cryptocurrency buyers looking for investments. Only in La-La Land.

With real estate prices soaring ever-increasingly higher, it’s no wonder that the sky’s the limit. Last week, a 105,000-squarefoot mega-mansion in Los Angeles became the most expensive property in the U.S. when it was listed for $295 million. The Bel Air home, known as “The One,” was listed on Friday by Branden Williams of The Beverly Hills Estates and Aaron Kirman of Aaron Kirman Group at Compass. The home was built by developer Nile Niami with a stated goal of creating the most expensive home in the country, with an eventual asking price of $500 million. He had started working on the home in 2012, after he bought it for $28 million. Niami demolished the original structure and began constructing his contemporary spec house, which remains unfinished. Niami’s debt on “The One” eventually grew to more than $180 million, and in 2021 it was placed into receivership. A bankruptcy

A British woman living in New Zealand broke a world record when she ran the length of the island nation in under 21 days last month. Emma Timmis, 37, a British national living in Kaiapoi, New Zealand, started running on December 18 in Cape Reinga and completed her journey 1,300 miles later on Friday, January 7 when she crossed the finish line in Bluffs. Timmis’ official time has not been released, but by finishing her run in under 21 days, she beat Welsh runner Menna Evans’ Guinness World Record of 35 days and 27 minutes by more than two weeks. Timmis began planning her “Altumate Challenge” run four years ago but was delayed by a lower leg injury. Now, she is resting on the couch, putting her feet up, and gathering her energy. “Pretty exhausted,” she said about how she’s feeling after completing her head-spinning journey. “Feeling like someone who’s not slept for the last 21 days.” Timmis ran the equivalent of two-and-a-half marathons every day on her sprint. “It’s been the hardest 21 days of my life,” she acknowledges. She’s a real roadrunner.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Penny Wise Pound Foolish

Last year, an auto repair shop in Georgia made national headlines when it paid its employee his last paycheck in pennies. Now, the penny is about to drop, as the Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against A OK Walker Autoworks for discriminating against Andreas Flaten after he reported to the Department of Labor that he didn’t receive his last paycheck. “Within hours of learning that Mr. Flaten had complained to [the Wage and Hour Division] about not receiving his last paycheck, defendants decided to pay Mr. Flaten in pennies,” the lawsuit states. Flaten reported finding 91,500 pennies in his driveway last March with a copy of his paycheck with derogatory language written on the side. A OK Walker Autoworks has also reportedly failed to pay its employees

overtime since April 2019, according to DOL’s findings. The business failed “to make, keep and preserve adequate and accurate records of the persons employed and of the wages, hours and other conditions and practices of employment maintained by them,” the department added. After the penny stunt, the website for the auto shop, attempting to get more bang for their buck, added a page titled “Pennies.” It has since been removed. “Ahh, the pennies. What started out as a gotcha to a subpar ex-employee, sure got a lot of press,” the page had said. “Unfortunately, by law, we cannot disclose his shortcomings,” it continued. “Let us just say that maybe he stole? Maybe he killed a dog? Maybe he killed a cat? Maybe he was lazy? Maybe he was a butcher? … Whatever you want to think is your prerogative. But know that no one would go to the trouble we did to make a point without being motivated. And honestly what is the big deal? He got paid! In cash!” The page later adds: “Pennies are cash! They are federally backed United States currency and are good for all debts public or private.” You know what they say: a bad penny always turns up.

Criminal Justice

A crook found out the hard way about the long arm of the law. Gioacchino Gammino was convicted of murder in Italy and then escaped from prison in Rome in 2002. The Italian mafioso was finally nabbed last month by eagle-eyed policemen in Spain after they saw his image on Google Maps. Gammino, 60, had set up a quiet life for himself in Spain, owning a fruit and vegetable shop under a false name, Manuel. Detectives saw an image of Gammino on Google Maps’ Street View, noting a distinctive scar on his chin. Gammino’s store was called El Huerto de Manu – Manu’s Garden. A nearby restaurant was called Manu’s Kitchen, and the photo of the eatery on Facebook included Gammino dressed as a chef. One of the specialties at the restaurant was listed as “Cena Siciliana,” Sicilian supper. When Gammino was arrested last month, he couldn’t believe that police had found him. “I haven’t even phoned my family for the last 10 years,” he told them. For now, he’s being shipped back to Italy, where he will serve a life sentence for murder. Gammino was part of a mafia clan from Agrigento in Sicily and has been convicted of a range of crimes, including murder and drug trafficking. He was listed by the Italian interior ministry as one of the country’s most wanted fugitives. Sounds like they’re throwing the book at this crook.

Listen to the Moo-sic

Wouldn’t you love to sit in a beautiful meadow, listening to relaxing music? Well, cows certainly enjoy that experience, too. And happy cows mean more milk for farmers. Izzet Kocak, from Turkey, has taken this relaxing experience to a new level for his cows. He has outfitted two of his cattle with virtual reality googles. The cows wearing these headsets are producing five more liters of milk a day than their bored counterparts. “They are watching a green pasture and it gives them an emotional boost,” Kocak explains. “They are less stressed.” Izzet had previously used classical music to try and soothe his cattle. But he says he’s been so impressed with the headsets, he plans to buy ten more of them. The headsets were developed and first tested on a farm in Moscow. Farmers worked with developers, veterinarians, and consultants at the Krasnogorsk farm near Moscow, to beam the cattle a simulation of a summer field. To make the imagery work, IT specialists needed to tweak the color palette in the software to make it suitable to the animal’s unique vision. Cows can’t see red or green – they’re only able to perceive dull shades of yellow and blue. Relaxing music, beautiful imagery, and plenty of grass to chew on…I can do that until the cows come home.

Did you know? Kazakhs often serve different cuts of meat to guests as symbolism: the tongue is served to someone who should be more eloquent, and children get the ears to help them listen better

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

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Community Award Presentations for Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s Evening of Celebration

L-R: Mr. Elisha Brecher, co-chairman, board of directors; R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; Mr. Jake Walden, parents of the year awardee; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; and Mr. Aron Solomon, co-chairman, board of directors.

L-R: R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; Mr. Chaim Schulhof, guest of honor; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; Rabbi Joel Kaplan, executive director; and R’ Avrohom Bender, menahel.

L-R: Mr. Elisha Brecher, co-chairman, board of directors; R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; R’ Shimon Dachs, Leadership in Chinuch awardee; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; and Mr. Aron Solomon, co-chairman, board of directors.

L-R: Mr. Elisha Brecher, co-chairman, board of directors; R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; Mr. Motti Guttmann, Kesser Shem Tov awardee; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; and Mr. Aron Solomon, co-chairman, board of directors.

A special presentation was made to Rabbi Joel Beritz. L-R: Mr. Elisha Brecher, cochairman, board of directors; R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; R’ Joel Beritz; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; and Mr. Aron Solomon, co-chairman, board of directors.

L-R: R’ Moshe Bender, associate dean; R’ Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, rosh yeshiva; Mr. Shumy Reichmann, Hakoras Hatov Award; R’ Yaakov Bender, rosh hayeshiva; Mr. Ronald Lowinger, president; Rabbi Joel Kaplan, executive director; and R’ Avrohom Bender, menahel.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022






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In-House Shatnez Factory


abbi Avrohom Berenstein joined Yeshiva of South Shore in September as the Mechina Kriah specialist. He moved from Rochester, NY, where he was a high school rebbe for 21 years. He is also a certified shatnez checker and currently runs the Bayswater Shatnez Laboratory. Rabbi Rosenwasser’s eighth grade class learned about shatnez in their Chumash shiur. Rabbi Berenstein recently gave a hands-on, interactive shatnez presentation. It covered the halachos and practical applications of shatnez. The talmidim learned about the numerous

procedures in wool and linen thread manufacturing and garment construction. They witnessed a suit, pants, and a tie being checked

for shatnez. They then worked in groups to dissect different threads into fibers and used microscopes to identify the various fibers, based

on Rabbi Berenstein’s presentation. The talmidim experienced the fusion of modern-day science and the practical halacha.

Another Winner at Netzach


esivta Netzach HaTorah completed another successful scholarship raffle over the month of December and drew the lucky winning ticket of $18,000 last week. The winning ticket was drawn from the many hundreds of participants who had joined the raffle in support of the Mesivta’s annual scholarship fund. The raffle was once again generously sponsored by Cross River Bank, and the Mesivta thanks them for their generous support.

Exciting News for Seniors at MTA


ollege acceptance letters are starting to come in, and MTA is excited to celebrate some exciting news! 12 seniors were accepted early decision to the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva University, with a total of $1.2 million in

scholarships. Mazal Tov to Yonatan Burns (Bergenfield, NJ), Yehuda Emerson (Bergenfield, NJ), Yitzchak Hagler (Bergenfield, NJ), Yonah Josse (Manhattan, NY), Shmuel Rosenthal (Manhattan, NY), Binyamin Rubin (Teaneck, NJ), Noam Schechter (Spring Valley, NY), Eli Staum (Teaneck,

NJ), Yehuda Teitelman (Teaneck, NJ), Dovid Uretsky (Teaneck, NJ), Raffi Weil (Teaneck, NJ), and Yaakov Weinstock (Hollywood, FL) on this incredible achievement. In addition, six other seniors were awarded a total of $172,000 in scholarships to Yeshiva University, including Ezra Schechter (Bergenfield, NJ) and Aaron Rouhani (Great Neck, NY), who received Dean’s Scholarships, and Shmuel Betsalel (Bergenfield, NJ) and Yosef Jakubowitz (Woodmere, NY), who received Merit Scholarships. Additional college acceptances include Columbia University and NYU (with scholarship). “We are so proud of the entire senior grade for their consistent hard work and dedication over the past four years,” shared Head of School Rabbi Joshua Kahn. “These accomplishments are a testament to their passion for both Talmud Torah and academics. We can’t wait to watch as they continue to grow as b’nai Torah and scholars during the next phase of their journey.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

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MFL Season 10 Champions – MAY Eagles!


he Mesivta Football League brought its 10th season to a close this past Sunday. Under the direction of Rabbi Yossi Bennett, S’gan Menahel at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov, eleven local yeshivas were represented this season which ran from November through January. Every Sunday afternoon throughout the long, cold winter, teams arrived for their games at Lawrence High School excited to represent their schools in competitive flag football. Games were intense, but menschlech, with tremendous sportsmanship displayed week-in, week-out by all teams. The League would like to congratulate Coach Shua Behar and his MAY Eagles on winning this season’s

championship! Sunday brought with it a daunting day for a championship football

game. The #1 seed defending champions Netzach Knights would take on the #3 seed Cinderella-story MAY Eagles. With snow on the ground and rain in the forecast, it was going to get messy. MAY came out strong early, taking the first lead, 6-0. But Netzach wouldn’t go quietly into the night. They came back with a vengeance, and, by the half, Netzach had a 1-point lead, 13-12. The second half, however, belonged to MAY. With second year quarterback Dovi Mandelbaum finding all-star tight end Shlomo Meisner for his second touchdown of the game that would prove to be the final hammer blow in this battle. Stellar defense on the part of the Eagles secured them the Golden Rock and brought the first

varsity championship back to MAY since 2016. “An incredible ending to another incredible season,” commented Rabbi Bennett. “It’s hard to believe that this was our 10th season but, baruch Hashem, it’s gratifying to look back and appreciate what we were able to provide to the community for so many years.” The League would like to thank all participating yeshivas – players, coaches, administrators, and fans – for helping make this season so incredible. For more information about the Mesivta Football League, visit their website at or email

The winners of the Izzy and Dizzy raffles recently enjoyed an exclusive tour of the Ner Mitzvah warehouse and factory. Rabbi Leibish Lish, shlita, spoke to the children, and the children were able to dip their own havadalah candles and braid their own havdalah candles. All the children received boxes of prizes before leaving the warehouse.

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

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Makkos Mania took over the sens-a-tional gym at Yeshiva of South Shore ECC last week

Does Your Estate Plan Need Updating? By Monet Binder


any of my clients often ask me, “When and how often should I update my Will and other Estate Planning documents?” We have seen a lot during these past couple of years, and through this pandemic. One thing many of us have learned is the importance of having an estate plan and your financial affairs in order. One never knows when a medical crisis may strike, causing incapacity, disability, or even sudden death. What circumstances should you be considering that may warrant a change in your planning?

Change in Family Structure The birth of a new child, grandchild, or adoption of a child. Deciding who will be the guardian of your minor child in the event something happens to you is crucial. Whether it’s for your first child or other children, you need to make sure the person you decide upon is stated in a legal document. If years have gone by since your planning was done, are you still sure you want the person whom you selected to be guardian of your children, and are they still willing and able to serve in that role? Sometimes, as years go by, relationships change, people get older, and you may no longer want the person you chose to serve in the role of guardian for your minor child. Perhaps you, or someone in your family, may be considering divorce, or is now divorced. There are laws the govern what happens to an estate plan in the event of a divorce.

Divorce can terminate a spouse’s rights and claims to an estate, but not always. Divorce is difficult. But, as difficult as it may be, if your plan is not changed, preferably prior to the divorce, and something happened to you, your wishes may not be honored. Your family could end up in costly litigation for years before there is a resolution. Also, if your spouse, child, or other family member has been appointed to serve in any medical or financial capacity, you want to make sure they are removed. Change in the Law Periodically, the laws do change. When new laws are enacted that affect current trust and estate laws, or tax laws, those changes may be significant enough to warrant an update to your existing estate planning documents. While some changes in the laws may not apply to your particular situation, the best way to find out is to review your documents with your estate planning attorney. Depending on the situation, a minor amendment to your plan can provide asset protection and save you and your family money in administrative fees, taxes, or potential long-termcare cost. Change in Family Circumstance Sometimes there are changes in circumstances with respect to a family member. Perhaps they are getting older and are looking to proactively plan for long-term-care cost and would like to sometime in the future have the option of qualifying for Medicaid.

Maybe there is someone in your family who has special needs. If so, there are specific trusts designed just for a person with special needs that should be part of your plan. Whether the person is born with a disability, or the disability surfaces later in life, you need to make sure to review your estate plan so you are not compromising their eligibility for crucial government benefits they may receive. Drug, alcohol, gambling or other addictions, and even mental health challenges, require special attention in an estate plan. Continual monitoring in these situations can ensure that your estate plan will meet your goals and wishes. Changes for Your Appointees If you want your plan to survive after you are no longer here, you need to make sure there is always someone available to serve. I’m a strong proponent of appointing successors who can serve in the event the first person you appointed is unable or unwilling to serve for any reason. There may be a change in your relationship, there may be an illness or loss of capacity, or they may have

moved far away. If there is no one left to step in, or if you changed your mind about whom you wish to serve, it is time to update your plan. Although, there are many more reasons to review your estate plan, putting your documents away and forgetting about them is not the best approach. We recommend reviewing your documents every three to five years, and certainly sooner if there is a life-changing event. If you have experienced a change in circumstances or if it has been a while since you updated your plan, call today 718-514-7575 to make sure your wishes are honored and the people you choose are appointed with the proper legal documentation. Monet Binder, Esq., has her practice in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, dedicated to protecting families, their legacies, and values. All halachic documents are approved by the Bais Havaad Halacha Center in Lakewood, under the direction of Rabbi Dovid Grossman and the guidance of Harav Shmuel Kaminetsky, shlita, as well as other leading halachic authorities.

Did you know? Stan is an ancient Persian word meaning “land” or “nation,” and Kazakh means “wanderer,” “adventurer,” or “outlaw.” Therefore, the name Kazakhstan translates as “Land of the Wanderers.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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MBA JV Champions – YDE Thunder


his past Sunday night marked the ending of the Mesivta Basketball Association’s 3rd Junior Varsity season. Nine yeshivas were represented at the start of the season, meeting weekly at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov’s state-of-theart Shaulson Gymnasium for kosher, competitive basketball every Sunday evening. The two remaining teams were the #1 seed YFR Raptors and the #2 seed YDE Thunder who battled it out in a heated Championship Game. A competitive rivalry, in the end, Coach Danni Mizrahi led his YDE Thunder to a sweet victory, 70-53. The YDE Thunder came out strong in the first half led by Jakey Arakanchi, who led all scorers with 26 points, closing the half with a solid 23-point lead. In the second half, the Raptors regrouped and closed the margin to within 12. But the Thunder’s lead could not be surmounted, and they kept control until the final buzzer. “This was a particularly exciting season,” commented Mr. Zack Kessler, Commissioner of the League. “The level of talent was extraordinary. Really any of the final 4 teams could’ve been champions.” Modeled after the successful Mesivta Football League (MFL), the League follows a Torahdik hashkafa and maintains guidelines that reflect those of B’nei Torah. Rabbi Yossi Bennett, S’gan Menahel at Me-

sivta Ateres Yaakov and organizer of the League, remarked, “I believe the novelty of this League is the camaraderie and community spirit it engenders. Boys from other schools often come early or stay late to watch the other games being played that evening. It’s like a community gathering at MAY every Sunday night.” The League congratulates the YDE Thunder

and thanks all the participating schools – players, coaches, administrators and fans – for helping make this season so successful. For more information about the Mesivta Basketball Association, visit their website at or email mesivtabasketball@


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

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Rabbi Moshe Dovid Lebovits Speaks at MAY


he eleventh and twelfth grades at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov had the distinct z’chus of hearing from Rabbi Moshe Dovid

Lebovits, Rabbinical Administrator of the Kof-K and author of the 8-volume Halachically Speaking series. Rabbi Lebovits engaged the

bochurim with common, relatable questions and scenarios in kashrus while educating them on some of the lesser known areas of concern. Rabbi

Lebovits’s vast knowledge, experience, and personal stories retained the boys asking questions well after his drasha was finished.

Rav Shimon Galai Offers Chizuk Gearing Up for Finals Success


n Wednesday night, December 5, a group of 20 Chai Lifeline parents met with HaRav Shimon Galai Shlita at the Westin Princeton in Princeton, NJ, for a special evening of chizuk and inspiration. Participants heard words of encouragement, and each couple received a private audience with Rav Galai.

“This was an incredible opportunity for our families,” said Chai Lifeline CEO Rabbi Simcha Scholar. “There was a tremendous strength and empathy in the room and everyone present was deeply moved by this experience.” To learn more about Chai Lifeline, please visit

Did you know? Horsemeat is so essential to Kazakh cuisine that the Kazakh athletes begged the International Olympic Committee to be able to bring it to the 2012 Games in London.


irst semester is coming to a close and that means getting ready for finals. For freshmen at MTA, this is another first in a year full of new experiences and MTA is committed to making sure that the entire freshman grade feels confident and prepared. Director of Guidance Mrs. Tamar Sheffey met with each ninth grade class and presented Finals 101 – an informative workshop that provides an overview of the finals schedule, a discussion on important details, and tips on how to properly prepare. At the conclusion of the workshop, talmidim are encouraged to schedule one-on-

one meetings with a guidance team member if they need more individualized help creating a study schedule or dealing with the stress of finals. “This session is part of a special series of Freshman workshops designed by our Guidance Department to help ninth graders adjust to high school,” said Mrs. Sheffey. “These workshops are paired with trips and team building activities throughout the year to form our enhanced freshman experience. In addition, our guidance team members are always available to meet with freshman talmidim as they continue to navigate their first year of high school.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



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Scenes from Mesivta Sha’arei Pruzdor in North Woodmere

5 Towns Hockey League


he fall season of the 5 Towns Hockey League presented by FM Home Loans just completed an epic season. Under the leadership of Rabbi Eli Brazil, Ira Schechter, and Daniel Orenstein, the 5 Towns Sports Hockey League had a tremendous season with record number of participants. The season and playoffs were incredible as many of the games were decided in overtime and in the final seconds. What was special about this season was that the players came from all different neighborhoods. Some of the top players in the league were first year players from West Hempstead. The league, which is now in its 24th year, is open to Pre-1A-eighth grade boys in the Five Towns and surrounding areas. It has had five divisions with over 25 teams. The ability to play competitive hockey in a structured middos-driven environment makes this league such a great success. Plans are underway for next season, which will

begin in February. In the Pre-1A and first grade leagues, the participants really learn how to play the game of hockey. Some children who start the season not knowing how to hold a hockey stick are

scoring multiple goals a game by the end of the season. To see pictures, please go to www.5townssports. com.

YCQ Explores the Cradle of Aviation Museum


eshiva of Central Queens grade 4 students and teachers embarked on a space adventure at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Westbury, NY, on Wednesday, December 5. Upon arrival, each class was assigned their own personal tour guide, who presented the Hubble Telescope, an actual Lunar Module, and the first planes made by the Grumman Corporation, which is located on Long Island. YCQ students were amazed to learn that Russia was the first country to send men, women and even a dog into space,and that the United States was the first nation to have a man walk on the moon. After a lunch break, YCQ teachers and students continued their adven-

ture in the all-digital, JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium (the immersive

planetarium and full-dome theater is one of the largest and most power-

ful virtual reality experiences in the world), with a viewing of the Mars 1001 Planetarium Show. “We all felt that we actually blasted off into space, and landed on Mars,” reported Mrs. Sandra Dua, grade 4 teacher. Mrs. Doreen Ambalu, grade 4 teacher, enthused, “The YCQ Grade 4 trip to the Cradle of Aviation Museum was a huge success! All the students enjoyed the eye-opening experience. We hope to include more of these types of outings this year!” Thank you Mrs. Sandy Dua, Mrs. Eryn Kaplan, Mrs. Doreen Ambalu, and Mrs. Aliza Willig for organizing a wonderful trip to the Cradle of Aviation Museum!

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

YOSS is “Write” On Target!

HALB Student Winners

Emmy Jacobs, second place winner


rs. Kopolovitz, a veteran Yeshiva of South Shore first grade teacher, has the privilege of introducing the boys to the art of creative writing. The boys delve deep into understanding the conventions of writing with proper capitalization, punctuation, and spacing. Once they are confident, the boys are ready to combine these skills into formal writing. After 72 days of school, the students are eager to express their ideas on paper. It is an important milestone for them. What Do You Do with A Tail Like This? by Steve En-

kins is a fantastic read aloud where the boys learned about a variety of animals and how they use their senses for different purposes. With inspiration from the book, the boys designed their own creature with a blend of different animal parts sourced from the mentor text. Students used adjectives, vivid illustrations, and their five senses to describe and name their animal. Their creativity, laughter, and excitement in writing this piece filled the room. The class is looking forward to celebrating publishing their first finished piece!


ALB students received top awards in the JFK Synagogue/Jewish Press Chanukah Art Contest. Congratulations to Emmy Jacobs, HALB third grader, who won Second Place in the con-

Rebecca Abbitan, third place winner

test! Emmy received a $50 check as a prize. And congratulations to Rebecca Abbitan, HALB third grader, who won Third Place in the contest and was awarded six tickets to the Crayola Art Factory!

Get into Harmony Jr. 2022!


EP/Nageela is pleased to announce Harmony Jr. 2022 auditions this weekend! Auditions are scheduled for Motzei Shabbos, January 15 from 7pm-9:30pm and Sunday, January 16 from 9am12pm at TAG High School at 636 Lanett Avenue, Far Rockaway. Harmony Jr. 2022 is for girls in

grades 5-8. The production is under the direction of Mrs. Evy Guttman and benefiting JEP-LI, Torah Education for All. For more details, please email or call 516-374-1528. To be a Harmony Jr. 2022 sponsor, please contact

New “A Torah Minute” Sefer


or over a decade, thousands of busy professionals, retirees, rabbis, young adults and teenagers have learned a daily halacha or inspiring lessons from the parsha in just one minute, through the A Torah Minute, sent out daily in written, audio and video form, composed by Hakham, Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe, z”l. Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe, a leader of Sepharadi Jewry worldwide, addressed common and complex halachic questions relating to everyday lif, and condensed teachings from Sephardic and Ashkenazi sources such as the Shulhan Aruch, Rama, Ben Ish Hai, Mishna Berura, Kaf Hachaim, and contemporary rabbinic authorities in the daily ATorah Minute emails. In addition, Rabbanith Ruth Menashe, a”h, as part of the A Torah Minute initiative, has composed and shared countless words of Torah pertaining to women’s growth, development, relationships, and service of

Hashem. The words of the Rabbi and Rabbanith Menashe have touched countless individuals throughout the globe, in countries such as the U.S., Israel, England, Australia and Brazil. People and organizations have benefited tremendously from these words of Torah and comments such as “thanks for one of the best things that have ever happened to the internet” represent the life-changing impact of these daily inspiring and informative Torah messages. Four previous volumes of A Torah Minute books have previously been published, resulting in international acclaim and tremendous positive feedback. Only months before his passing, Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe was working on the publication of the fifth A Torah Minute book; indeed, it was one of the very last projects that he was blessed to work on before he was requested by the Heavenly Court. This fifth A Torah Minute

book, entitled A Torah Minute: A Legacy of Torah Gems and Practical Laws, contains insights on the weekly parsha and Pirchei Avot, along with practical and relevant halachot relating to holidays, prayer, Torah study, food and blessings, as well as laws pertaining to synagogues. The book also showcases a section entitled Women’s Corner, which includes a compilation of the writings of Rabbanith Ruth Menashe on topics such as great jewish women, family life, and the yearly cycle. This book, which has haskamot from Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi Haim Benoliel, and Grand Rabbi Sinai Halberstam, is now available in bookstores and online at and serves as both a source of knowledge and inspiration, as well as a resource for insights into halachic questions that many people have about numerous situations that arise in everyday

life. The daily A Torah Minute emails continue to be released through Midrash Ben Ish Hai, with the Hakham and Rabbanith’s son, Rabbi Menashe Manasseh, writing daily on halacha and parsha.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

A Well-Deserved Honor


he Manes American Peace Prize Foundation recently chose Rabbi Anchelle Perl and the NCFJE Chabad of Mineola to be a recipient of $50,000 peace prize for his steadfast dedication and tireless work to improve the lives of the most needy and despondent members in

the Long Island community. The MAPP awards an individual or organization that promotes peace and goodwill between nations, races, religions, and people. Seen here are Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Rabbi Perl, and Dr. Harvey Manes.

The Pre-1A students in Morah Elisheva’s class at Gesher reinforced their phonemic awareness skills by driving different cars to match the letter and their sound. It was a great multi-sensory learning activity, and great fun was had by all.

I Saw, I Wondered, I Asked SKA Presents MACS Modesty Program


ast month, over twenty-five members of Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls’ MACS (Modesty Awareness Committee by Students) gathered to preview videos, articles, and photographs of images to prompt questions students ask about modesty. The result of that session, I Saw, I Wondered, I Asked, was presented to SKA’s four grades on Wednesday and Thursday, January 5 and 6. Two grades each day joined in the auditorium to hear from panelists made up of faculty members, alumnae and current students who shared their personal experiences and thoughts about modesty, answering the questions prepared by the committee. The SKA students had the opportunity to hear from familiar women and girls from various backgrounds and at different stages in their lives who related in individual ways to the idea of tziniut and how one expresses this. One of the most popular questions, among others to the panel, “Did you always dress the way you do now?” provoked much discussion about standards of tziniut and how the outside influences the inside.

Most of the panel agreed – the way you dress influences the way you act. In addition to the questions posed by the MACS committee, videos on beauty and modesty were shown and there was much reflection on defining inner beauty and how it’s recognized. More than one panelist commented how learning the halachot

of tziniut gave her a more personal connection to the mitzvah and made her appreciate why she dresses with dignity. It was the analysis of the Barbie doll, however, that drew the most observations from the girls! In a handout of “Barbie Up Close,” which analyzed the doll’s measurements, Barbie’s proportions were deemed

completely unrealistic, and if true to scale, she wouldn’t survive in real life. The doll has been blamed for distorting society’s view of what is normal, and several panelists felt it caused a struggle with perfection in their adolescent years. “We can’t change society,” one panelist said, “but we can focus on the positive. Part of being modest is being confident in our own skin.” Thanks go to Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, SKA Principal, Judaic Studies, Ms. Sara Bienenstock, SKA Beit Midrash Fellow, 10th Grader Miri Aronovitz, who emceed this dynamic program, Mrs. Yafa Storch, Assistant Director of Student Programs, Mrs. Jorge Mallin, Digital Media Coordiator, our esteemed panelists and the members of the MACS committee for working so hard to make this event a success. A part of SKA’s new initiative LEV (Living Enhanced by Values), which encompasses several inspirational student-initiated programs in the school, the MACS program has been a valuable contribution in supporting the spiritual growth of SKA students over the years.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


Around the Community

Rav Aaron Wahl’s fifth grade talmidim at Yeshiva Darchei Torah learned about the types of liquids that are machshir lekabel tumah

Am Yisrael, Say No Tell the Israeli Government “No” to Undermining Tradition


or decades after its liberation, Jews of all affiliations – or no affiliation – prayed at the Kotel in accordance with the 1,500-yearold prayer tradition at the site. Recently, the Reform movement orchestrated a crisis in “Diaspora-Israel relations” and convinced Israeli politicians that a “Kotel Compromise” is necessary. Following negotiations between the Israeli government, Women of the Wall, and Reform and Conservative movements, the Israeli government’s solution – the Kotel Compromise – would partition the Kotel into two plazas: the “traditional” Kotel Plaza, and a heterodox plaza for mixed prayer. This, said the Reform and Conservative movements, would mend the rift between Diaspora Jews and Israel. With the formation of a new government in Israel, it is unfortunately planning to implement this plan in the coming months. Am Echad, an organization aimed at uniting Jews from the Di-

aspora and Israel around the values of our 3,000-year-old heritage, deepening cooperation among our communities, and upholding Jewish interests in Israel and around the world, has launched a campaign to let the Israeli government know that large swaths of Diaspora Jewry oppose any change in the status quo at the Kotel, in contrast to what the Israeli government has been led to believe. The goal of this campaign is to give a voice to Diaspora Jews, who believe that it is partitioning the Kotel that would create a rift between Israel and the Jewish communities worldwide. Let’s tell the Israeli government that hundreds of thousands of Diaspora Jews want to continue worshipping the way that Jews have done for thousands of years. To sign the petition and tell the Israeli government, “No! Don’t divide the Kotel!” go to For more information on Am Echad visit

Anne Donnelly was sworn in as the 17th District Attorney of Nassau County on January 5, 2022

Reading Done Right at IVDU LI


orah Frumit Fruchtzweig has brought in a new reading program, Reading Done Right, to IVDU LI this year. This program promotes phonemic awareness, breaking words into syllables, rhyming and focusing on identifying initial and final sounds. These skills are all the necessary pre-reading skills that children need before they can successfully learn how to read. Students who have not been able to master these skills with

other programs have been very successful. Reading Done Right is a scientifically proven, robust approach to reading that uses oral sounds and physical movements/hands motions to assist the brain in making the neural connections necessary to succeed. This program is fun and engaging, as it is not only at the table, but a full body movement activity, allowing the students to stand up and move around while learning.


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Rabbi Herzberg visits Lev Chana’s nursery and kindergarten classes every week. He shares inspiration with the students and tells stories relating to middot and overall Torah concepts. The children love it!

Rabbi Zvi Bajnon, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, farhering fifth graders on their Gemara

YSZ Delves into the Meaning of Kabbalat Shabbat

Rabbi Yissocher Frand to Be Keynote Speaker at Shas for Shidduchim



SZ is ready to greet the Shabbat Queen! What a special and moving assembly we had in honor of Rosh Chodesh Shevat. The program started off a skit, put on by our G.O. Girls on the topic of Hadlakat Neirot. Morah Kitiza Pahlaef explained the unique significance of Jewish women lighting Shabbat candles; it is an eit ratzon (auspicious time) for each of us to daven for any requests we may have and to connect to Hashem. At that time, the Shechina of Hashem enters our very homes! We then had a moving Lecha Dodi Kumzitz, and Morah Chazan told a riveting story about a Jewish wine seller that refused to do busi-

ness, just moments before Kabbalat Shabbat. We see the way that Hashem protects those who watch over Shabbat! Two sixth grade groups then presented graceful dances embodying the elegance of the Shabbat Kallah. All the classes enjoyed creating their very own plaque with the bracha of Hadlakat Neirot and the Yehi Ratzon. Thank you to our G.O. girls, Hadassah Akilov, Penina Maerov, Liora Rafailov, and Suri Haya Rubinov, for adding to the ruach of the school by giving out special treats on Friday, “Kallah ring pops,” in honor of the Shabbat Kallah!

tremendous event is fast approaching this Tu B’Shvat, Monday, January 17, 2022! Over 400 lomdim will be gathering together under one roof with an incredibly important goal: to help those in Klal Yisroel who are looking for their zivugim, by learning the entirety of Shas in 24 hours! Back for its 5th Annual Campaign, Shas for Shidduchim provides a special opportunity to leverage the power of Limud Torah and tzedaka for an incredible z’chus for a shidduch! This impressive event will feature Rabbi Yissocher Frand as its keynote speaker. The acclaimed Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Yisroel in Baltimore is an incredibly dynamic speaker known to uplift audiences around the globe; Rabbi Frand’s speech is sure to be one you don’t want to miss. The learning and the siyum will be livestreamed throughout the 24 hours on Yeshiva World ( The Torah learning at this event is sure to generate many powerful z’chusim for shidduchim and you can take part, too! How? You can sponsor a daf at and dedicate it for yourself or up to five people you know who may be in need of a shidduch. On Tu B’Shvat, your daf will be

learned during this exceptional event featuring over 400 lomdim. The Ben Ish Chai famously stated: “Kabbalah teaches that just like Tu B’Av offers a special opportunity to find one’s shidduch, Tu B’Shvat offers that very same opportunity!” When your daf is learned on Tu B’Shvat, the power of Torah learning and your act of tzedaka acts as a mighty segulah! All proceeds will directly support Chicago Chesed Fund’s many related services that facilitate shidduchim year-round. Including consistent proactive outreach to their extensive shadchanim network on behalf of singles, shidduch events and coaching, sheitels and wedding gowns for new kallahs and their families, and more. Don’t miss out, the learning is this Monday! Go to today and secure a z’chus! Chicago Chesed Fund is a non-profit organization committed to helping families in crisis throughout the Chicagoland area. Through various programming and events, it provides critical assistance in the form of goods, services and financial support in an environment that maintains the dignity and integrity of each and every recipient.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


Around the Community

Shvat is Talmidos B’rios month in the Ganger Early Childhood Center at TAG. The girls are learning all about how to stay healthy all month – healthy eating, drinking water, exercising, brushing their teeth, and more! They will receive toothbrushes, water bottles, hand sanitizer, scrunchies, combs, and lots of fun prizes.

Sixth graders at Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island worked on their robotics project as part of their STEM classes

A New Term for the Nassau County Legislature


n Monday, January 10, The Majority Republican Caucus was sworn in for a new term in the Nassau County Legislature for the 14th Legislative Session covering 2022-2023. Former Congressman Peter King administered the oath of office to

the Majority Caucus, and Supreme Court Justice David Sullivan administered the oath for Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. At the organizational meeting

afterward, Richard Nicolello was selected as Presiding Officer once again. Howard Kopel was selected as Deputy Presiding Officer, and Denise Ford was selected as Alternative

Deputy Presiding Officer. This also marked the first terms for new legislators John Giuffre of the 8th District and Mazi Melesa Pilip of the 10th District.

NYS Assembly Announces $1.5M Funding to Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Mobile Museum of Tolerance


he NYS Assembly proudly announced last week its $1.5 million capital funding for the construction of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s New York based Mobile Museum of Tolerance. This state-of-the-art mobile education center will utilize innovative technology and interactive lessons becoming a critical expansion of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s educational resources in New York State. The MMOT will allow easy access for tens of thousands of students, educators, law enforcement agencies, faith groups and professionals to critical educational training on issues such as anti- Semitism, racism, bullying, stereotyping, hate and intolerance

and to promote diversity and human dignity. The NYS MMOT will represent the third such initiative for SWC ,which currently operates highly successful Mobile Tolerance Museums in Illinois and Canada. Since its launch, Tour for Humanity Mobile Tolerance Center has educated over 150,000 students at 750 schools and communities across Canada. MMOT in Illinois, launched in February 2021, has educated almost 4,000 students in person and 2,000 students virtually. “The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s New York based Mobile Museum of Tolerance will educate New Yorkers on the importance of tolerance and acceptance and illustrate the det-

rimental effects hatred has had on the global community,” said Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie. “I want to thank Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Helene Weinstein and Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright for their leadership in bringing this innovative museum to New York so that people of all ages can learn from the past and celebrate our diverse communities,” said NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “This state-of-the-art Mobile Museum of Tolerance brings all the dramatic experiential learning opportunities of the iconic SWC Museum of Tolerance directly into schools and communities throughout State of NY,” said Rabbi Meyer H. May, Ex-

ecutive Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Having this critical resource in New York State is truly a game changer. The Mobile Museum of Tolerance will bring to life the kind of immersive training necessary to further develop an appreciation for our diverse communities and a world where it is understood that hate of any kind, has no place. We thank the Speaker Heastie, Chairwoman Weinstein, and Assemblymember Seawright for their vision and leadership without which this monumental achievement would not be possible,” said Michael Cohen, Eastern Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center.


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

BUILDING BLOCKS OF ETERNITY Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s new capital project will encompass a Mesivta Beis Medrash and its first-ever Residence Hall. BEIS MEDRASH + CLASSROOM BUILDING Will serve 500 talmidim in grades 8-11 34,200 Total square feet 4 Stories 5200 sq. feet Beis Hamedrash for Mesivta 12 Classrooms

RESIDENCE HALL Will serve 271 talmidim in Mesivta & Yeshiva Gedolah 43,000 Total square feet 4 Stories 68 Dormitory Rooms 271 Beds 4 Student Lounges


The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022





‫ה ליב ע”ה‬-‫לע”נ שלום ראובן בן ארי‬








Dedication Wall Mesivta Beis Medrash Building

Lobby, Mesivta Beis Medrash Building

‫לע”נ נחמן יהודה בן יעקב דוד ע”ה‬ ‫ואשתו לאה בת יהודה אשר ע”ה‬ ‫ולע”נ יעקב ליב בן שלמה ע”ה‬

Dedication of Rosh Kollel’s Office


Beis Medrash Vestibule Entrance


‫לע”נ זעליג בן מרדכי ע”ה‬ ‫לע”נ משה אלעזר בן נטע שלום ע”ה‬ ‫לע”נ דוד בן משה ע”ה‬ ‫הר‘ משה נתן בן יחזקאל ע”ה‬ ‫וישראל בן אברהם ע”ה‬ ‫לע”נ‬

‫לע”נ ישראל הלוי לעווין ע”ה‬ ‫ואלישבע בתיה קפלן ע”ה‬

The children, bochurim, and all 45 neshamos of the Miron tragedy, Lag Baomer 5781


‫לע”נ ר‘ ישראל‬ ‫בן ר‘ בנימין הכהן ע”ה‬




MR. & MRS. SHMULI & MIRIAM MENDEL Sha’ar of New Beis Medrash

Ner Tamid


In Memory of Mrs. Marta Schron ‫ע” ה‬


Residence Hall Cornerstone






Entranceway to Mesivta Beis Medrash Building

Camp Oraysa Sports Complex




Basketball Court in Elementary School Gym

Dedicated by Mr. & Mrs. Yaakov & Rivky Jacobovitch


Cornerstone, Mesivta Beis Medrash Building



‫לע”נ חוה בת דב ע”ה‬


MR. & MRS. NASSAN & DEVORAH TREITEL Preschool Cornerstone


Sha’ar of New Beis Medrash

MR. & MRS. SHIA & ELANA OSTREICHER Beis Medrash Building Vestibule

Mr. & Mrs. Samuel & Beverly Goldberger Mr. & Mrs. Tzali & Chana Shira Gutman Mr. & Mrs. Ari & Aliza Haas Mr. & Mrs. Berel & Sherry Daskal Mr. & Mrs. Shlomo & Kayla Horowitz Mr. & Mrs. Binyomin & Leah Einhorn Mr. & Mrs. Menachem & Elisheva Jacobowitz Mr. & Mrs. Naftoli & Chani Einhorn Mr. & Mrs. Mordechai & Shana Jacobs Mr. & Mrs. Michael & Mimi Fragin Mr. & Mrs. Jeff & Tamar Landy Mr. & Mrs. Evan & Chaya Sara Genack Mr. & Mrs. Yosef & Vivi Moskowitz Rabbi & Rebbetzen Chaim Aryeh Zev & Avigail Ginzberg Mr. & Mrs. Yitzy & Rivky Orbach

Entrance of Beis Medrash Building

Plumbing Training Center Dedicated

‫לע”נ אברהם שלמה בן יחיאל מיכל הכהן ז”ל‬ ‫לע”נ הר‘ אברהם בן הר‘ חיים מנחם בן ציון זצ”ל‬ ALL BORO CONSTRUCTION

Mr. & Mrs. Simcha & Shani Applegrad

Mr. & Mrs. Ephram & Ilana Ostreicher

Mr. & Mrs. Barry & Paula Bokow

Mr. & Mrs. Mutty & Bracha Ribowsky Mr. & Mrs. David & Sima Rosenfeld Mr. & Mrs. Dovid & Chani Roll Dr. & Mrs. Zvi & Dina Schreiber Mr. & Mrs. Andrew & Stephani Serotta Mr. & Mrs. Morris & Devora Smith Mr. & Mrs. Yehuda & Mindy Zachter

Get in on the ground floor of this monumental project. To choose from a wide selection of sponsorships at all levels, please contact: Rabbi Zev Bald 718.868.2300 ext. 232 Rabbi Baruch Rothman 718.868.2300 ext. 406

‫לע”נ מוהר”ר יחיאל מיכל‬ ‫בן ישראל יהודה ע”ה‬


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

NEW: Make Your Brachos Meaningful A Deeper Understanding of the Opening Words of All Our Brachos


any of us have been saying Brachos since childhood – and, unfortunately, some are still saying them with the perspective of a five-year-old. How can we begin to say Brachos properly, with full intention, like mature adults? More: How can we reap the enormous benefits that Hashem has promised those who say Brachos with sincere feeling? From the days of David HaMelech and onwards, Jews have discovered the power of saying 100 Brachos with kavanah daily. Divided into 100 daily readings, Make Your Brachos Meaningful, written by Rabbi Mechel Handler, includes detailed commentary on the words of the Brachos, practical techniques to help enhance concentration, a unique section about the power of giving and getting blessings from others and, of course, stories that help to incorporate these vital teachings into our lives. Want to enjoy the “blessings of saying blessings” in both your physical and spiritual life? Want to Make Your Brachos Meaningful? From the very first daily reading, you’ll find your Brachos (and even your life) growing better, richer, and, yes, much more meaningful. The following are some choice excerpts from this inspiring new book. ••• From a Siddur A practice that should be implanted in a person from childhood, so that over time it will become a habit, is to read Brachos from a siddur, slowly, word by word. The Pele Yoetz notes that it is worthwhile to resolve to say all Brachos from a sefer or with one’s eyes closed so as not to be distracted, because doing so helps the person avoid saying the Name of Hashem in vain, without thought. It is reported that the Chofetz Chaim would recite the bracha of Asher Yatzar while looking into a siddur and pointing at each word as he said it. Rav Shmuel Wosner would always carry a copy of the frequently recited Brachos in his pocket, so that he could recite his Brachos from a written text. Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach related that Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, the rav of Vilna, had an encyclopedic memory and never forgot anything. He was responsible for overseeing the various gemach loan

societies in Vilna, and all transactions were carefully recorded in the community ledger. Once, during a move to a different house, the ledger was lost, which caused Rav Chaim Ozer’s family considerable anguish. When Rav Chaim Ozer saw how distraught they were, he rewrote from memory all the names of the people with outstanding loans, how much each loan was, when the loan was taken, and when it was supposed to be repaid. Later, they found the missing ledger and it matched exactly the ledger that Rav Chaim Ozer had written from memory. Yet Rav Chaim Ozer recited Bircas HaMazon only from a siddur, never by heart! The Manchester rosh yeshivah, Rav Yehudah Zev Segal, was careful to recite every bracha from a Brachos chart that he kept with him at all times. He adhered to this practice throughout his life, even in his final years. When he wanted to say Asher Yatzar in the middle of the night, he would turn on the light in order to read the bracha. On Shabbos, if the light was off, he would go down a full flight of stairs in the middle of the night just to maintain his practice of saying all Brachos from a written text. Similarly, when the Chazon Ish recited the bracha of Asher Yatzar, he would take his siddur, turn to the wall, and recite each word slowly, carefully, and loudly, in a sweet voice and with much emotion. ••• Clear Enunciation, Pleasant Tone, and Serious Kavanah Rav Yaakov Emden writes that when a person says the word “baruch,” he unlocks the bereichah ha’elyonah, the upper reservoir, where all the riches that flow to all the worlds are stored. Regarding Hashem’s instruction to Noach (Bereishis 7:1), “Bo atah vechol beischa el hateivah, Come to the Ark (teivah), Come to the ark (teivah), you and all your household,” the Baal Shem Tov comments that with a teivah, a word, of Torah and tefillah, one can be saved from every trouble and difficulty. The Degel Machaneh Ephraim adds (Parashas Noach, p. 5b) that the pasuk states regarding the teivah, “Tzohar ta’aseh lateivah, A window shall you make for the Ark,” implying that the words of Torah and tefillah that a person says must be

bright, clear, and illuminated (as tzohar also means light). Rav Elyah Lopian, the mashgiach in Kfar Chassidim and author of the mussar classic Lev Eliyahu, once saw a group of yeshivah students on a very hot day waiting at a water fountain to refresh themselves with a cold drink. As each boy reached the fountain, he put his mouth under the spout, mumbled a quick bracha, and took a drink. The mashgiach explained that this is not the proper way. He took a cup, filled it at the fountain, and went to a bench and sat down, contemplating his next action. He then recited the bracha with the proper kavanah and drank the water. A grandson of Rav Lopian related that he was once staying at a hotel and he noticed a Jew who seemed to be spiritually disconnected. After dinner, however, this man became a different person. He recited Bircas HaMazon with fervor and feeling, just like a holy person. When Rav Lopian’s grandson began a conversation with him and mentioned how awed he was by the man’s Bircas HaMazon, the man told him that he was once together with the tzaddik Rav Elyah Lopian, and after he heard Rav Lopian reciting Bircas HaMazon, his own bentching could never be recited any other way. Careless pronunciation of the words of a bracha is a common mistake. The Sefer HaGan notes that some people hurriedly pronounce the Name of Hashem as “Ad-noi,” which means nothing and does not express Hashem’s sovereignty. One must be careful to stress the cholam sound — the “o” or “oi” sound after the “d” — so that the word sounds like “Ado-noi” or “Adoi-noi.” The Noda BiYehudah adds that “A-donoi” must be pronounced with the stress on the last syllable (noi). One must pronounce the nun of A-donoi with a kametz sound and make sure to enunciate the yud at the end of the word and not omit it (Ado-no). If Hashem’s Name is not said properly, the bracha is not considered a bracha. Answering amein to such a bracha is also in vain, and is considered an amein yesomah, an “orphaned amein.” This amazing story from the time of the Rishonim, told by the Ohr Zarua, illustrates the great reward for

Brachos that are recited properly: I knew an elderly Jew from Worms, R’ Bunim, who served as the town gravedigger. I heard on good authority that one time he came to shul early, and saw a person sitting in front of the building with a crown (shtreimel) of grasses on his head. The sight frightened R’ Bunim, since he thought it was a demon. After looking at him, he recognized the person, and asked, “Aren’t you Soand-so who just died, and I was the one who buried you?” “Yes,” the man answered. R’ Bunim asked, “How are you doing in the other world?” The man answered, “Very, very well.” R’ Bunim then asked him, “What merits do you have? I remember you as a simple man.” He answered, “It is all in the merit of my saying Brachos in a pleasant voice in shul. In this zechus alone, they brought me into Gan Eden and accorded me great honor. And here is a sign that it is truly I who am speaking to you: You can see that the sleeve of my garment is torn; you tore it while you were putting the shrouds on my body.” R’ Bunim asked him, “And what is that thing that you are wearing on your head?” He answered, “These are perfumed grasses from Gan Eden that I placed on my head to block out the bad smell of this world.” The Ohr Zarua concludes, “I have recorded this story so that the G-d-fearing should see and take it to heart, and make sure to recite the Brachos and sing the praises of Hashem in a pleasant voice and with kavanah, and thereby merit Gan Eden.”

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


Motzei Shabbos Tanach Shiur Please join us for our 25th season!

JANUARY 15, 2022 7:00PM

‫ בשלח‬,arp e"amun

PROGRAM HOSTED BY: Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst 8 Spruce Street

Dr. Alex Bruckstein will be learning

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Cong. Shaaray Tefila Rabbi Uri Orlian HILI Bais Medrash Rabbi Dov Bressler Kehillas Bais Yehuda Rabbi Yaakov Feitman Cong. Tifereth Zvi Rabbi Pinchas Chatzinoff Y.I. of Bayswater Rabbi Eliezer Feuer Y.I. of Far Rockaway Rabbi Shaul Chill Y.I. of Hewlett Rabbi Simcha Hopkovitz Y.I. of Lawrence-Cedarhurst Rabbi Yaakov Trump Y.I. of North Woodmere Rabbi Yehuda Septimus Y.I. of Woodmere Rabbi Hershel Billet

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

JSL Sports Corner: Week One Recap JSL Winter Leagues Kick off with Dynamic Opening Day! his past Sunday, January 9, JSL Sports kicked off their Winter Season with an exciting Opening Day in Lawrence Woodmere Academy. The League sponsor is FM Home Loans, and there was tons of swag and giveaways for everyone. This first week featured evaluations, drills, and scrimmage games. The winter season is entirely indoors and features K/P Soccer, 1st/2nd Football Clinics, 2nd/3rd Soccer and different basketball league divisions for 3rd-8th graders.


2nd through 8th grade league participants enjoyed evaluation drills and scrimmage games. The teams were made based on those evaluations and the season’s first game is this upcoming Sunday. JSL also features a 4th/5 th grade Winter Hockey league that plays in Brandeis each Sunday. The 4 hockey teams played a scrimmage game. CNSLT edged past Alpert and Associates 4-2 while Believe and Achieve and Executive Dry Cleaning tied 1-1. Men’s Recap The Men’s JSL basketball league

has grown in popularity and now features 10 teams. Each player received a JSL windbreaker courtesy of FM Home Loans and week one kicked off with some exciting opening games. PIP Printing beat Home and Stone 60-51 but Aron Azuse had an impressive 35 points in a losing effort. Island Roofing, the championship team last season, won 48-41 over Hewlett Auto Body. Maidenbaum dominated start to finish in a 69-25 win over Rentastic. Built by Nate defeated Alpert and Associates 51-46. Executive Dry Cleaning beat RestoMax 51-49 behind 21 points from Abe Perlow.

Game of the Week In Men’s Basketball, Executive Dry Cleaning won a nailbiter 51-49 over RestoMax! Basketball Fun Fact When basketball was first invented, dribbling was not allowed. Players had to pass it ahead to another player. It was also originally played with a soccer ball and peach baskets instead of nets! JSL can be contacted at 5townsJSL@ and more info can be seen at

Literacy at HANC is Wild


n a second grade classroom in HANC’s Samuel and Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School in West Hempstead an amazing transformation took place last week. In a discussion with her students, Mrs. Betty Shusterman discovered that her students had never heard or read the book, “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Upon reading the story with her class, they discussed the characters, their feelings, and the traits they exhibited. As a follow up activity, each child created a crown like the one Max, “the king of the wild things,” wore. One creative project led to another. Mrs. Shusterman then conducted a directed drawing of a character in the story, describing element by element, until the children’s drawings looked like Maurice Sendak’s creation in his book. The children then added aspects of the setting around their “wild thing” and completed the picture with watercolors, just like the author/illustrator did in his classic book. The children were so enthralled with the book they expressed an interest in acting out the story. Mrs. Shusterman found a script and created a reader’s theater. “The children did everything on their own, from the first table read right through to the final performance,” she said. “Their imagination went

wild and they created remarkably inventive costumes, props, the backdrop and everything needed to put on a performance.” When the big day came, the children invited special guests to watch their performance: Rabbi Ouriel Hazan, Head of HANC’s West Hempstead campuses; Barbara Deutsch, Associate Principal; and Mrs. Michal Wasser, Assistant Principal Judaic Studies. The administrators were com-

pletely enthralled as they entered the classroom that had been transformed into a wild forest and then watched as the children performed their play wearing creative costumes of their own design and using their voices to create unique and engaging characters. Upon reflection, the children discovered that when you work hard together as a group you can create something magical.

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Stopping the Stigma, Facing Reality & Taking Action… By S.Z. Strassfeld


ost of us have times in our lives when we feel anxious or depressed. Imagine living with those feelings every day of your life. Imagine feeling alone and desperate but embarrassed to tell anyone. The effect of your battle against these demons becomes apparent and your children and your husband are having a hard time coping when you cannot function anymore in your role as wife and mother. This scenario repeats itself in many homes in our community, and it is now time for action. With this important issue facing so many who are suffering, an ambitious program for support is being brought to the attention of the entire community. Thanks to the efforts of one amazing woman, Jessica Tsur who fights these demons on a daily basis, help is available through the organization she singlehandedly founded called C.A.T.C.H., whose very name stands for Creating A Team of Courage and Hope. It truly takes courage to admit you need help. It truly gives women encouragement and hope when they meet in a support group led by a qualified clinician on a weekly basis. When Jessica (whose story has appeared in this paper) realized the greatest tool to help these women was “connection,” she connected with some of our local chessed organizations to help her make her dream of support groups a reality. After receiving some start-up funds from Bikur Cholim, the JCCRP, Davis Memorial Fund and Mask, Jessica started three groups, two in our neighborhood and one in Brooklyn. She also teamed with Bikur Cholim to host an evening with Dr. David Pelcovitz about anxiety, which resulted in a standing room only crowd. Then Covid happened, and those who were on the precipice fell further and further into the depths of despair and hopelessness. Jessica then turned to a group of women who now make up the C.A. T. C. H. team to spearhead a major campaign to bring this crucial issue to our community and get their help. Towards that end, another amazing evening is being planned for Monday, February 7, at the White Shul (see our ad) where, once again, Dr. David Pelcovitz will serve as guest speaker, with divrei bracha and opening remarks from Rabbi Eytan Feiner. This event is open to all women in our

Why do you feel it is important to have trained clinicians acting as facilitators for these groups? CATCH feels strongly their support groups need to be run by licensed professionals. We are dealing with mental health issues. Once individuals reach a comfort level with each other, deep and triggering situations may arise both for those that share and those that listen. It’s crucial that we have the professionSoshie Hirth, al support and guidance to help keep CATCH Team Coordinator: us all on the right track. This is why When Jessica first approached me we are raising money to provide this this past summer, I naturally gave her important part of the CATCH support money so she could continue the one program. group she had running. However, after speaking with Jessica and trying Mrs. Toby Carrey, MSW, serves to help her expand her reach in the as CATCH’s clinical consultant community, I learned how desperate- and has been running a support group for the past year. ly this is needed. When I read a letter to the editor in the Mishpacha’s What are the benefits that you Family First magazine which started personally see from the group off with this bone-chilling sentence” I you currently facilitate? wish I had cancer,” I was stunned. In Mrs. Toby Carrey, MSW: Having a the rest of the letter, the letter-writer cohesive group of women from all describes how if she had cancer, she walks of life, meeting and sharing in would have so many resources thrown a nonjudgmental warm atmosphere at her, so many people rallying around is like an elixir for their souls. They her and supporting her. However, as hear each other, they feel for each othshe fights her mental illness, she feels er, and they help each other as no one alone – dejected and so alone. That else can, since they are walking in the letter led to my determination to help same shoes and know where it hurts make C.A.T.C.H a valuable resource in and what can relieve the pain. our cadre of chessed organizations and help it to become the Chai Lifeline for Dr. Fred Nudman: Assistant mental illness. Professor of Psychiatry, In this article I interviewed some of Weil Cornell College those involved in running and endors- As a leading psychiatrist what would you say is causing mental ing this worthy cause. illness to be on the rise? As the founder of CATCH what do Dr. Fred Nudman: While thankfully many more people are reaching out for you see as its primary role? Jessica Tsur: The CATCH support help, there is definitely an increase in groups are a place for women to feel certain conditions, like addictions and less alone in their mental health jour- eating disorders, connected to the presney with anxiety and depression. Our sures of the world we live in. Finally, as groups offer a safe and confidential of late, there has been a significant upspace where we support, validate, and tick in the incidence of multiple mental hold each other’s hands. As a sufferer health issues related to the COVID-19 myself, I fully understand the isolation epidemic and perhaps even more so, to and loneliness of these illnesses. Con- public policies like lockdowns, school nection is the key that will unlock the closures and quarantines. These have door. Sometimes it’s listening to how had a far more harmful effect in mental someone else coped with a similar situ- health than the epidemic itself. All of ation. Sometimes it’s literally crying on this has led to a significant increase in someone’s shoulder. Sometimes, it’s just cases of anxiety and depression, and alseeing with your own eyes that these cohol and drug addiction have dramatwomen are here for the same reasons ically increased, especially in younger you are. people. We are in this together and no Jew- What can be done? ish woman should have to navigate Increased efforts in education these waters alone. about mental health to both increase community and we have reached out to many of the rabbanim who now make up our Rabbinical Board to spread the word to their mispallelim about this special and important evening. I recently “caught” up (pun intended) with some of those who are actively involved in making this event a reality and who are working so tirelessly to help these women.

awareness and encourage people to seek help. Also, more needs to be done to fight the stigma that, unfortunately, mental health issues still carry in our community. It’s time to start treating mental health the same way we do any other health issues. Only then we will be able to provide people suffering from mental health problems the same level of support and resources that is provided for other medical problems in our community. Dr. Hylton Lightman: Prominent Physician And Community Activist As a prominent family care physician, what are you seeing in your practice these days that you have not seen in the past? What steps need to be taken to alleviate these problems? Dr. Hylton Lightman: Today’s world is riddled with anxiety to an extent heretofore unseen. While it affects all ages, I will limit my comments to the worlds of pediatrics and adolescents. It’s ironic that while there is less stigma than ever before in seeking out treatment, we are seeing greater numbers of kids, and at younger ages, who are anxious. It’s no secret that pediatricians are challenged by the numbers of kids who need medication. The cost of Orthodox Jewish living continues to skyrocket. School classrooms are more filled than ever before. Of course, Covid-19, with its consequent our-notknowing-what-each-day-is-going-tobring syndrome, has catapulted things out of the ballpark. Collectively, this impacts parents who have less confidence than previous generations. We need to help our mothers and fathers be…mothers and fathers. We are in unprecedented times that require us to support each other during this odyssey. *** Please visit our website at www. to learn more about our program and to donate. With your support we can expand our support for those suffering and help them manage their mental health issues. Won’t you join us in this worthy endeavor? Together as a community we can make a difference. We look forward to seeing concerned members of our community attending our February 7 th event and stepping forward to help stop the stigma, face the reality, and take action.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah


eshiva Nishmas Hatorah began twelve years ago as a Bais Medrash program where older bochurim could gain personal hadracha as they entered a critical period in their lives. Rabbi Pinchus Weinberger’s vision is to help develop a bochur to become connected— connected to his yeshiva, to his Rebbi, to his learning, to himself, and ultimately to Hakodosh Baruch Hu. As one alumnus related, “The things I use daily in my job, and as a husband and father, are the derech eretz and hashkafas hachaim that Rabbi Weinberger emphasizes and instills. This is what the Yeshiva stands for.” Rabbi Pinchus Weinberger is also well-known for his role in de-

veloping the young kehillah of Inwood by fostering inspiration and nurturing relationships that cultivate an environment of true growth. Rabbi Weinberger takes inspiration and guidance from his Rebbi, Rav Elya Brudny, who urged him to establish a mesivta to give younger bochurim the opportunity to benefit from this highly successful approach and to provide a vital communal need. The Mesivta has welcomed boys from Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island, Siach Yitzchok, Yeshiva Ketana of Queens, Yeshiva of South Shore and Yeshiva Tiferes Moshe, as well as other schools in the surrounding areas. In today’s world the imperative

Scenes from a recent in-Shabbos

to reach and teach our children is more vital than ever before. To succeed in life, our children need more. More connection. More conviction. More appreciation of the wisdom and relevance of Torah. More appreciation of themselves and the roles they will play in the future of Klal Yisroel. The rabbeim in Nishmas Hatorah are attuned to the challenges of the day. Rather than avoid challenging topics, they instead give perspective and hashkafa to the boys. Most of the rabbeim live locally, thus offering the opportunity for the bochurim to benefit from the warmth of their homes and families. The Yeshiva added another jewel to its crown this year with the hiring

Dancing at a recent in-Shabbos

of Rabbi Yehoshua Fogel, shlit”a as Mashgiach of the Yeshiva. He brings decades of Chinuch experience and a fiery passion to assist the bochurim in realizing the greatness that they’re capable of. He is present throughout the day and even during extracurricular activities. R’ Shua has the uncanny ability to give a shmuess to the entire yeshiva, teach an afternoon class, learn with individual bochurim, and supervise the construction of a room being built by the boys. The result has been incredible, baruch Hashem. The ruach and strong healthy connections that have been built have truly brought out the Yeshiva’s vision in a most profound way. In just four years since the mesivta was established, the yeshiva has seen tremendous success and has outgrown its current accommodations. The Yeshiva purchased a property between the young burgeoning communities of North Lawrence and Inwood. The new building will boast over 20,000 square feet of educational space including a 130seat bais medrash, bais medrash katan, ample classrooms, science and computer labs, a football field and basketball courts. Most importantly, the new building will provide space for the rapidly growing mesivta, bais medrash and kollel to be under one roof and allow for valuable interaction between the bochurim and kollel yungerleit. “Nishmas Hatorah is filling an essential need for the community and the new building will enable more bochurim a chance to flourish under Rabbi Weinberger’s warmth and caring,” says Rabbi Yaakov Bender of Yeshiva Darchei Torah. With the building in closer proximity to the community, the yeshiva looks forward to hosting more extra-curricular activities, night programs, and Shabbosim together. This four-million-dollar project will enable the yeshiva to be movein ready iy”H for Elul z’man of the 2022-23 school year. The Yeshiva is running a 1.5-million-dollar fundraiser this Sunday and Monday. One million has already been raised by some very generous donors. To contribute and assist the Yeshiva in reaching their goal, please go to

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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OCTOBER 13, 29,2022 2015 || The The Jewish Jewish Home Home JANUARY



Well said! L’Chaim!


Why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as Prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth. - Will Rogers


Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into. - Don Marquis


Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water. - W. C. Fields


Prohibition is better than no liquor at all. - Will Rogers


Making Prohibition work is like making water run uphill; it’s against nature. - Milton Friedman


It is the prohibition that makes anything precious. – Mark Twain

Centerfold Riddle Me This? A girl has as many brothers as sisters, but each brother has only half as many brothers as sisters. How many brothers and sisters are there in the family?

Answer to riddle: 4 sisters and 3 brothers


You Gotta Be Kidding Me! A kangaroo walks into a bar. He orders a beer. The bartender says, “That’ll be $10. You know,” he adds, “we don’t get many kangaroos coming in here.” The kangaroo answers, “At $10 a beer, I can understand why!”

The 2015 The Jewish Jewish Home Home || OCTOBER JANUARY 29, 13, 2022

Prohibition Trivia 1. On January 17th of which year did Prohibition go into effect? a. 1914 b. 1920 c. 1932 d. 1941

to end Prohibition (in 1966)? a. Utah b. Wyoming c. Mississippi d. North Dakota

2. Did Prohibition ban the consumption of alcohol? a. Yes b. No

6. What were illegal bars called during Prohibition? a. Speakeasies b. Undergrounds c. Watering holes d. Juice bars

3. Mobster Al Capone, who sold alcohol during Prohibition, supposedly made how much each year on alcohol sales? a. $2 million b. $15 million c. $35 million d. $100 million

7. Which sport allegedly started because of Prohibition? a. Badminton b. Hockey c. NASCAR racing d. Football

4. What were the people who supported Prohibition called? a. Drys b. Sobernicks c. Moralists d. Absolutists 5. Which state was the last one

Answer Key: 1) B 2) B- Prohibition banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol, but not the consumption of it. 3) D- That is equal to more than $1.3 billion today. 4) A 5) C 6) A 7) C- During Prohibition, many underground bootleggers made alcohol called moonshine. They would drive around selling their product. They would often get chased by the police, so they started souping up their vehicles to outrun the police. Eventually, they started racing those cars against each other, and NASCAR was born! Scorecard: 6-7 correct: Are you also related to Al Capone? He was my grandfather! 3-5 correct: Not bad, like a good Moonshine. 0-2 correct: Total malt beer l’chaim!

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Torah Thought

Parshas Beshalach By Rabbi Berel Wein


f a person lights even a small candle in a dark room, the resultant light is instantaneously recognizable. Even the flickering of the smallest of candle shines brightly in an enclosed space that is dark. However, if one is to light even a large candle in a room filled with brilliant sunlight or an excess of artificial illumination, the light of that candle is hardly noticeable. One can say the same idea regard-

ing miracles. If one views a world full of ever-present miracles, then one individual miracle, no matter how powerful and supernatural it may be, will, at best, cause only a minor, temporary impression. The very definition of miracles is that these are events that do not often occur and are not predictable or subject to rational, scientific analysis. However, when there is a plethora

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of miraculous events, miracles themselves, no matter how wondrous they may be, begin to lose their impact and power. A miracle that happens regularly is no longer a miracle at all, but, rather, is part of what people view as being the natural course of events in the world. Miracles that are repeated often eventually become stale and regular and lose their miraculous status. Witness today’s great wonders of nature, of medicine, of technology, and of all other fields that border on the miraculous. When the first rocket with a human inside was launched, it was considered miraculous. Today, it is a weekly event and nothing special for

and then the heavenly bread that was given to them for their sustenance. In that floodlit world of miracles, the flame of an individual miracle and its influence waned greatly. This helps us understand the behavior of the Jewish people throughout their forty-year sojourn in the desert of Sinai. Everything was so miraculous that nothing was special any longer. What resulted was that the evil instinct of rebellion, arrogance and carnal desires continued to surface over and over throughout the Torah. In our time, the rejuvenation of the Jewish people, the mass study of Torah, the creation and continued

Everything was so miraculous that nothing was special any longer

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the spectator. The more an experience becomes regular and expected, the less any special quality is attached to it. When there is a multiplicity of miracles occurring all at the same time, like the candle lit in a room with floodlights, its brightness is hardly noticeable. The individual miracle has lost its power of influence and is already discounted by human beings. All of this is a preface to understanding the Jewish people after they experienced the Ten Plagues that delivered them from Egypt. The splitting of the sea that delivered them from the sword of the Pharaoh and his army was followed by the miraculous sweetening of the bitter waters in Marah

growth of the State of Israel in the land of Israel, are all events that border upon the miraculous and supernatural. Yet they, too, are not treated in that manner, for the recognition of miracles is difficult for human beings to maintain and preserve. For forty years in the desert, the L-rd attempted to protect the Jewish people through heavenly intervention, but they did not understand or appreciate what was happening. They only complained. Our Rabbis teach: “One who is experiencing a miracle does not recognize the miracle that is happening at that moment.” And so, it is. Shabbat shalom.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

From the Fire Parshas Beshalach

A Sorry Substitute By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf


et us consider one reason Tu B’Shvat always occurs around the week of Parshas Beshalach, which is also called Shabbos Shira because that is when we read the song the Jewish people sung at the sea after it was split. Dovid HaMelech says in Tehillim (106:7), “And [the Jewish people] rebelled, v’yimaru, by the sea [and] in the Red Sea.” This translation of v’yimaru as “rebelled” follows Rashi, the Malbim, and the Metzudas Tziyon. Each one explains some way the Jewish people rebelled both “by the sea” and “in the Red Sea.” The problem is that the word v’yimaru usually does not mean “rebelled,” but instead means “exchanged” or “substituted.” We see this from that which the pasuk (Vayikra 27:10) says about a korban, “You shall neither exchange it nor substitute, yamir, it.” We also see this in the verse from Yigdal, “G-d will neither exchange nor substitute, yamir, His law.” What did the Jewish people substitute by the sea and in the sea? The Midrash (Shemos Rabah 24:1) explains each of the Jewish people’s exchanges: “‘By the sea,’ in that they did not want to descend [into the water.] ‘In the [Red] Sea,’ how did they exchange? When they descended into the sea, it was full of mud... Reuven would say to Shimon, ‘In Egypt, there was mud, and in the sea there is mud. In Egypt, there were mortar and bricks, and by the sea, there is mortar and mighty waters...’’ The complaints recounted by the Midrash are unfathomable. The Jewish people were, at that moment, experiencing the greatest miracle

ever to occur in the history of the world. They had, moments earlier, been saved from imminent death at the hands of the Egyptian hordes behind them and wild animals on either side. How could they possibly have said, “Meh. We walked in mud in Egypt, and we’re walking in mud now. How is this any better?” as they walked with the sea standing miraculously like walls on either side of them!? The Midrash is clearly highlighting for us a remarkable, but dark, aspect of human nature. A person can live through the greatest moment of his life but never lift his eyes off the floor. He can remain immersed in the lowest smallness, in the mud at his feet, even as he stands at the most uplifting time in his life. The Steipler Gaon, zt”l, related a story that took place when he was a bachur studying in the Bialystoker branch of the Nevardok yeshiva. One time, in 1914, he was about to return

to yeshiva. The father of another boy from his town asked the Steipler if he could deliver a letter to his son when he arrived in Bialystok. Of course, he agreed. The letter appeared to be very important, as the father had sealed it on all four sides. So the young Steipler placed the letter carefully in his jacket pocket before leaving for Bialystok. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War I prevented him from being able to travel, but he resolved to deliver the letter to his friend whenever he found him. Approximately eight years after accepting the letter, the Steipler found his friend from yeshiva. At this point, the young man’s father had already passed away. The Steipler told him about the letter, and the young man was visibly moved. He began crying as he accepted the letter. He could not believe that he had the opportunity to receive one last message from his father from beyond the grave. Emotionally, the son began

to read what turned out to be his father’s last will and testament: “To my dear and precious son, when you return home from Bialystok, which has the best herring in the world, please do not forget to bring me some herring.” While obviously the father had no way of knowing that this would be his final message to his son. It is so sad when a person exchanges greatness with smallness. The Steipler commented that this father would go to face his judgment at the end of his life boasting that he had the privilege of being a man who spent his life in search of the perfect herring. Some Jewish people, as they crossed through the sea, substituted the greatness of the moment with a focus on the mud at their feet. Yet there were others, like the maidservant at the sea (Mechilta, Beshalach 3), who went another way. Even though she otherwise spent her days cleaning floors, she recognized the power of the moment and opened herself up to a prophecy greater than that which was revealed to the Navi Yechezkel. So many of us make these pathetic exchanges. I was once at a chasunah at which the two sets of in-laws began physically fighting with one another under the chuppah. And if I told you what they were fighting about, you would not know whether to laugh or cry. I was recently at a pidyon haben. How often does one attend a pidyon haben? Two or three times in his life? The zayde of the baby spent the whole time swiping endlessly on the screen of his phone. What more pathetic sight can there be than an old man trading the exalted moment of the pidyon haben

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for a news article or funny picture on the Internet. There are some people who are blessed with children, a stroke of good fortune no one can take for granted. Yet instead of focusing on the greatness and potential of their children, they cannot take their eyes off of their shoes, off of the mud. They look at their children only as a means to gain status, prestige, or bragging rights. When I go to some of the biggest moments in people’s lives, whether they weddings or funerals, I look across the people in attendance and their faces are lit up – not with joy or solemn emotion, but with the screens of their little smartphones. Those screens are the epitome of the world of substitution. As people swipe endlessly from one amusing or emotional posting to the next, they immerse themselves more and more deeply in the world of exchanges, where nothing is fixed and no one truly lives in the moment. How does all of this connect with Tu B’Shvat? Rabi Shimon bar Yochai teaches us regarding exchanges (Avos 3:9), “One who is walking on the path and studying, and he interrupts his studies and says, ‘How beautiful is this tree, how beautiful is this field,’ the Torah considers it that he is worthy of being killed.” This is very difficult to understand. Appreciating Hashem’s creation is a good thing. We know in halachah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 226:1) that when one sees a fruit tree blossoming in the Spring, in the month of Nissan, he says the blessing, “Blessed are You Hashem, Who did not leave anything lacking in His world, Who created in it good creations and good trees in order for people enjoy them.” How could Rabi Shimon say that admiring a tree is not only not commendable but is so bad that one who does so is deserving of being killed?! We grew up hearing people explain that this Mishnah teaches that Torah learning is the most important thing in the world, and that that person is only guilty because he interrupted his learning to admire Hashem’s creation. But the Baal Shem Tov explains this Mishnah in a much deeper way. He says that it

does not say, “One who is walking on the path and studying and says, ‘How beautiful...’” Rather, the emphasis is on the fact that the person viewed his admiration of Hashem’s creation as an interruption. He is guilty for believing that there are two mutually exclusive worlds, one

gy: “A fiddler once began playing by the side of the road. His music was so uplifting and so enrapturing that passersby could not help themselves and began to dance with joy right there in the street. A deaf man also walked by, but because he could not hear the music, assumed

He can remain immersed in the lowest smallness, in the mud at his feet, even as he stands at the most uplifting time in his life.

physical and the other spiritual. If such a person considers Hashem’s creation to be an interruption of his Torah learning, he forfeits his life by demonstrating that he does not recognize that Hashem is in the physical world just as much as He is in the Torah. He has exchanged an eternal world for what he mistakenly believes is a temporal world. The truth is that everything in Hashem’s world has its own song. Each thing’s existence is a manifestation of Hashem’s influence. That is why in Perek Shirah, the Chapter of Song, we read about the unique song expressed by each element of creation: “The Heavens say... The earth says... The rivers say... The trees say... The stars say...” One must understand that each part of Hashem’s creation, the trees and everything else, are not an obstacle, separating a person from the recognition of G-dliness. Rather, they are an extension of Hashem’s Presence throughout the world. Those who are immersed in smallness, who have their eyes focused on the mud on their sandals, rather than on the greatness of Hashem’s Presence in their lives, cannot understand those who are fully engaged with the present. Some of the Baal Shem Tov’s opponents once criticized him for his chassidim’s exuberance in davening. They claimed that this was a break from tradition. The Baal Shem Tov responded to them with an analo-

that the people dancing in the street were insane. That is how it is with my followers. They hear the song that emanates from every tree, from every object in Hashem’s creation, and cannot help themselves. They

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feel compelled to sing and dance as they daven. Those who are deaf to this song cannot understand the joy my chassidim express when they daven.” Those who have exchanged the greatness inherent in each moment, in each experience in life, for the mud on their feet or the constant exchange of postings and text messages whizzing past on their phones, cannot hear the song in the beauty of Hashem’s creations, in every tree. May Hashem bless us to be among those who do not exchange temporality for eternity, greatness for smallness, or a lasting legacy for a little herring.

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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Delving into the Daf

Don’t Talk, Just Daven By Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow


fter Shacharis in shul, some have the custom to put out “tikkun”: liquor, herring, and cake for breakfast, in memory of a loved one. It is always fascinating to watch people drinking a l’chaim on an empty stomach. The practice of serving food in shul would seem to be problematic. After all, the Gemara unequivocally states (Megilla 28a-b) that one may not eat and drink in shul. The first glimmer of hope comes from another statement in the Gemara, a short distance from the first one. The Gemara states that “Babylonian synagogues are constructed with certain stipulations. Nevertheless, one may not engage in frivolous acts there,” such as business calculations. The meaning of this enigmatic statement is the subject of much debate. Perhaps, one can suggest that the Gemara means that the original construction of the shul was made on the condition that it may be used for eating and drinking. Tosfos clearly rejects that interpretation. Tosfos postulates that the Gemara is specifically referring to shuls that are no longer in use. When the Babylonian shuls were constructed, they were erected with the understanding that if the shul fell into disuse, it may be used for purposes that would otherwise be degrading. Tosfos understands the follow-up statement in the Gemara about calculations to be referring to shuls that are still in use. One may not eat or drink in shul and certainly not perform business calculations there. Tosfos then adds another stringency. The leniency to use a shul after it has fallen into disuse only applies in the Diaspora, not in Eretz Yisrael. The Shulchan Aruch (OC 151:11) rules like Tosfos. He writes, “If, at the

time of building the synagogue, they made a condition to be able to use it [for mundane purposes], it is permitted to use it after it is destroyed, but while it is in use, the condition is ineffective. Even when it is destroyed, to use it for a disgraceful purpose, like planting or financial calculations for the people, the condition is ineffective. What are we dealing with? With synagogues outside of Israel, but with synagogues in Israel, no condition is effective.” The Ramban and Rashba disagree with Tosfos. They say that the conditional construction of shuls in Babylonia, permit limited use of the shuls even when they are not abandoned. For example, it would be permitted to feed poor people in shul if there was no other location available. The Mishna Berura (151:20) writes that some people are accustomed to making a meal for a siyum hashas in shul. Whereupon the Chofetz Chaim comments, “One should not protest against them because they have what to rely on.” The Shaar Hatziyon explains that they rely on the opinions of the Rashba and the Ramban that one can make use of a shul for poor people or temporarily for a communal need. Sill, Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that this would not allow the practice of eating kichel, schnapps, and herring in shul, as eating tikkun is not a mitzvah. (Some have suggested that the practice stems from when people used to give charity in honor of a loved one. They would distribute food to the poor. Nowadays, people just put out food for everyone.) Rav Moshe writes that according to the Rashba and Ramban, one should not even eat the third Shabbos meal in shul. Although such a meal is a mitzvah, there is no reason that people cannot go home and eat it

there. Yet, Rav Moshe notes that it is undeniably the custom of many shuls to serve the third meal in the sanctuary. Likewise, many shuls allow tikkun in the shul itself. Rav Moshe concludes that it must be that the populace has adopted the opinion of Rashi and the Ohr Zarua. Rashi and the Ohr Zarua accept the initial explanation raised earlier. The stipulation in Babylonian synagogues allows one to eat in shul even without a pressing need. (The Shar Hatziyon, quoted above, cites their opinions.) Moreover, they reject Tosfos’s understanding of the follow-up statement. The Gemara means to say, that even though eating and drinking in Babylonian shuls is permitted, nevertheless business calculations are not. Rav Shlomo Zalman opined that this, too, is the reason that even G-d fearing people discuss mundane matters in shul after davening. Technically, it is forbidden to talk in shul about any non-mitzvah related topic. Indeed, some Acharonim even forbid one to say “Gezunteit!” in a shul. The reason people are lax is because they hold like Rashi and the Ohr Zarua. There is an understood stipulation at the time that the shul is built that it will be used for discussing mundane matters after davening. Those that follow this leniency in Israel must further reject Tosfos’s ruling – that the permit is limited to the Diaspora. They must consider the stipulation effective even in Eretz Yisrael. Still, the prohibition of talking during davening must be taken very seriously. The Sefer Tuvcha Yabiu (a compi-

lation of divrei Torah based on Rav Zilberstein’s talks) quotes a machlokes between two gedolim as to the possible cause of the terrible pogroms and massacres of Tach V’Tat. Hashem has a justice system that we can never begin to fathom. These two gedolim, though, felt that there was a particular sin that caused the Jewish nation to be judged with the attribute of strict justice, instead of mercy. One suggested it was a wholesale laxity in the laws of modest dress. The other suggested it was because people were talking in shul. They performed a type of Divine lottery where a random pasuk was chosen. The resultant pasuk was (Breishis 34:31) “But they answered, ‘Should our sister be treated like a harlot?’” This would seem to side with the gadol who said that the sin was a breach in the laws of tzinius. However, the other gadol amazingly countered that the verse is a proof to his view! He said to examine the Targum Yonason on that very pasuk. “Shimon and Levi answered: it is not appropriate that it should be spoken about in synagogues (what happened to our sister).” The Targum Yonason is clearly referencing talking in shul. This gadol opined that it is a Heavenly sign that the reason for the strict attribute of justice was that people were lax about not talking in shul. 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

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Practical Ramifications of a Tree’s New Year


The Mishnah at the beginning of Maseches Rosh Hashana teaches that in the month of Shevat there is a Rosh Hashana, a New Year, for the fruits of the trees. There is a machlokes as to the actual date; Beis Shammai maintains that it is the first of the month, while Beis Hillel is of the opinion that it is on the fifteenth. Rav Yitzchak Yosef writes that unlike our Rosh Hashana, when all the world is judged, this New Year is not a day of judgment at all. In terms of the quantity and quality of the fruit they will bear in the coming year, trees are judged by Hashem on Shavuos, as the second Mishnah in Rosh Hashana explicitly states. Rav Yosef cites Rav Chaim Naeh that there is a widespread misconception that Tu B’Shvat is a day of judgment for the fruits, but Rav Chaim says this is incorrect. Tu B’Shvat is the beginning of the year for fruits. Rashi is quick to point out that there is a practical ramification of fruits having a New Year. There is an obligation to give maaser, ten percent of the crop, to a Levi. The amount to be given to the Levi is calculated on a yearly basis, and the tithe of different years cannot be combined. The Rosh Hashana for fruits is the date that demarcates the year of the crop. Any fruit that has “chanatah”1 prior to that date is considered part of the crop of the previous year, and it is tithed with them. Anything that grows subsequently is calculated for the tithes of the following year. The Rosh Hashana for the Trees therefore merely draws a line of demarcation of time. It gives us the precise time when one year’s maaser obligation concludes and the ensuing year’s begins.

Why Is Tu B’Shvat a Yom Tov? The halacha states that we omit the recitation of Tachanun on certain weekdays in the calendar that have a festive quality. The Shulchan Aruch instructs us not to recite this tefillah on Tu B’Av, Tu B’Shvat, Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah, and Purim. The inclusion of Tu B’Shvat in this list is curious. After all, what is the cause for celebration? Why would Tachanun be omitted on Tu B’Shvat? If Tu B’Shvat is merely a placeholder of time, separating the years of maaser from one another, why would that be reckoned as a time of joy to cause the omission of Tachanun? Although it is vital to know when a new year of maaser has begun, why would that be considered a festive occasion like Chanukah and Purim? In a cryptic statement, the Vilna Gaon writes that Tachanun is omitted on Tu B’Shvat because it is the Rosh Hashana for the trees. He likens Tu B’Shvat to the other Rosh Hashana dates mentioned in the Mishnah, implying that just as those are Yamim Tovim, so too is Tu B’Shvat. The Gaon is teaching us that all four Roshei Shana are holidays. The four New Years listed in the Mishnah are: 1) The first day of Nissan is the New Year for malachim, kings, and for the Shalosh Regalim.

When referencing the number of years a king is into his reign, the first of Nissan demarcates the point at which the year changes. Regardless of in which month he is first anointed king, when Rosh Chodesh Nissan arrives, it is considered the next year of his reign. 2) Rosh Chodesh Elul is the Rosh Hashana for maaser beheimah, tithes to be taken from one’s animals. 3) Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is the Rosh Hashanah for Shemittah, Yovel, determining the age of a tree for orlah, and for tithing vegetables. 4) Tu B’Shvat is the Rosh Hashana for the fruits. Knowing the identities of the Rosh Hashana dates listed in the Mishnah makes the comments of the Vilna Gaon challenging to comprehend. All four dates are to be regarded as lines of demarcation, separating one year from the next. As such, none of them seems to be cause for celebration. Why does the Vilna Gaon write that Tu B’Shvat is as much a yom tov as all the other Rosh Hashanos? None of them seems to be a holiday! They all seem to be nothing more than place markers in the calendar. Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is indeed a yom tov, but that is not because of its status as the New Year for Shemittah and Yovel. It is a yom tov because it is Rosh Hashana for us, the date on which we reaffirm Hashem as our King and on which we are judged by Him. The fact that Shemittah and Yovel also begin on that day adds nothing to its prestige and that would not be an independent reason for its being a yom tov. Furthermore, we do not find anyone celebrating Rosh Chodesh Elul and Rosh Chodesh Nissan as holidays. True, we do not say Tachanun on any of the dates listed — but that is because they are all Rosh Chodesh, not because they have attained the status of a yom tov. May Hashem illuminate our eyes to understand the meaning of the Vilna Gaon’s comment that Tu B’Shvat is a yom tov just as are all the other Roshei Shana.

Why Celebrate? The Aderes, Rav Eliyahu Dovid Rabinowitz Teumim, offers an explanation as to why there is indeed cause for celebration on Tu B’Shvat. As noted, the mitzvah of aser dictates that one must give ten percent of his crops grown in Eretz Yisrael to a member of Shevet Levi. However, nowadays this is not a mitzvah that most of us perform or even know much about. As time goes on, this is a mitzvah that is at risk of being forgotten. The Chachamim sought to prevent us from neglecting the study of the mitzvah of aser. As Tu B’Shvat is the day on which the new aser year begins, Chazal made the day into a yom tov to draw our attention to the fact that there is a mitzvah of aser, even if it is not currently practiced. Therefore, writes the Aderes, his custom was, more importantly than consuming various fruits on Tu B’Shvat, to learn the halachos that apply to crops grown in Eretz Yisrael. He spent the day

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studying hilchos maasros. The Aderes writes that Chazal considered it vital to remember all the practices and traditions that were observed in times of old so that they remain forever etched in our minds. Tu B’Shvat was established as a yom tov to serve as an everlasting reminder of the mitzvah of hafrashas aser ilanos, separation of aser from the fruit of the tree.

Why Eat Last Year’s Fruit? The Magen Avraham cites the custom among Ashkenazim to partake of numerous varieties of fruit on Tu B’Shvat. Today this custom is widely practiced among all segments of Klal Yisrael. Rav Leibele Eiger was the son of Rav Shlomo Eiger, who authored the Gilyon Maharsha on Shulchan Aruch, and the grandson of Rabbi Akiva Eiger. In an ironic twist in history, through the influence of Rav Mordechai Yosef Leiner, the Ishbitzer Rebbe, Rav Leibele Eiger joined Chassidus. Ultimately Rav Leibele himself became a Rebbe commanding thousands of chassidim. Rav Leibele Eiger raises a probing question. As mentioned, Tu B’Shvat marks the time of the year that the majority of the rainfall has passed and the sap begins to rise up in the tree. This is the first step in the process of the development of the fruit. Asks Rav Leibele: Why should we eat fruits on Tu B’Shvat? Any fruits that are available for consumption on Tu B’Shvat are part of last year’s crop, from last year’s rain and last year’s sap, not this year’s. As we celebrate the beginning of the new year of fruit, why do we enjoy the fruits of the year before? What logic is there in celebrating a new year with old fruit? Rav Leibele Eiger invokes a Gemara in Maseches Brachos to answer his question. The Gemara teaches us that anyone who derives benefit from this world without first reciting a bracha is guilty of theft. He is stealing from Hashem and from Klal Yisrael. Rashi there explains that the guilty party is stealing the bracha from Hashem, and he is stealing from Klal Yisrael because when people are sinful and don’t make brachos, fruit does not grow properly. The crop of fruit will not be abundant and will not grow successfully when people are “neheneh min ha’olam hazeh b’lo bracha, take benefit from this world without a blessing.” In short, fruits suffer when brachos are not made. But the converse is certainly true as well. Making brachos properly instills within the growing crop of fruit the vigor that will allow it to grow properly. Therefore, on Tu B’Shvat, which marks the beginning of the new development of fruits, we make sure to partake of them – not for the sake of the fruits, but so that we can recite the proper brachos over them; thereby the new fruits that have just achieved their embryonic state of

chanatah will continue to grow successfully. This, says Rav Leibele Eiger, is why we eat fruit on Tu B’Shvat.

Bracha Achas Me’ein Shalosh When one consumes mezonos, wine, or peiros of the shivas haminim, one of the fruits that Eretz Yisrael is praised with, he recites the bracha achas me’ein shalosh upon completion. In this bracha we pray, “And rebuild Yerushalayim, the city of holiness, speedily in our days.” Why do we want Yerushalayim to be rebuilt? Seemingly, it would be so that we can rebuild the Beis HaMikdash, allowing us to connect with Hashem in the holiest place in the world, at the porthole of Heaven. But that is not how the bracha continues: “Bring us up into it and gladden us in its rebuilding and let us eat from its fruit and be satisfied with its goodness and bless You upon it in holiness and purity.” Is this why we want Yerushalayim and the Beis HaMikdash to be rebuilt? So that we can consume fruit? It would seem to be an unlikely reason. In fact, the Tur removes these words from the bracha, stating that the only reason we desire the restoration of Yerushalayim to its former glory is

citing a proper bracha removes these impurities from the food. But then the Arizal reveals a phenomenal teaching: The primary way to achieve Ruach HaKodesh is dependent upon the manner in which one recites brachos. An elevated level of purity and holiness will flow down upon a person who sanctifies food through the devout recitation of birchos hanehenin. The proper recitation of blessings over food is the means to scale spiritual heights. When we recite the after-bracha, the bracha of Me’ein Shalosh, we are referencing this idea. We are asking Hashem to rebuild Yerushalayim so that we can make a proper bracha prior to eating of the fruits of Eretz Yisrael and have the opportunity to access great spiritual attainments through the spiritual energy generated by the recitation of the birchos hanehenin.

Why the Fruits of Eretz Yisrael? As beautiful as this idea is, however, it leaves us wondering why we would need the fruits of Eretz Yisrael to achieve this level. In the aforementioned bracha acharonah, we specifically request that we should be allowed to eat its fruits, namely, the fruits of Eretz Yisrael. If it is the elevation of the bracha we are seeking, that could be accomplished with fruits that come from anywhere in the world. Why the emphasis on the fruits of Eretz Yisrael? What is most worthy of note is that not only is there a custom simply to eat fruits on Tu B’Shvat, there is a custom to consume specifically the fruits of Eretz Yisrael. In fact, in preparation for Tu B’Shvat, the Ben Ish Chai, Rabbeinu Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, would appoint a special messenger to obtain for him the fruits of Eretz Yisrael, to be able to enjoy them on Tu B’Shvat. Again, why the stress on the fruits of Eretz Yisrael? The Bach addresses the Tur’s question about the appropriateness of petitioning for the rebuilding of the Holy Land for the seemingly trivial reason of eating its fruit. The Bach advances that the consumption of the fruits of Eretz Yisrael is one of the most elevated exercises we can engage in. The sanctity of Eretz Israel, which is a reflection and a beneficiary of the Eretz Yisrael on high, is manifest in the holiness of the earth of Israel and in its fruits. The fruits are nourished from the very kedushah of the Shechinah. When one consumes the fruits of Artzeinu HaKedoshah, one is being nourished by the kedushah of the Shechinah. In the Midbar, the Bnei Yisrael received sustenance in the form of the maan. They enjoyed a food that came directly from Hashem, spiritual sustenance that produced no waste. It had no physical component. When they reached Eretz Yisrael, the maan ceased, and the Jews had to consume the food that physically grew there.


THE GROWING CROP OF FRUIT THE VIGOR THAT WILL ALLOW IT TO GROW PROPERLY. so that we can perform the mitzvos that are dependent on living in Eretz Yisrael. The Tur adds that while the B’Hag does include this phrase in the bracha, his father, the Rosh, did not. After all, the reason we want Mashiach and the rebuilding of the Beis HaMikdash is much more meaningful than just so that we can partake in the delicacies that will grow there. The Beis Yosef disagrees; he rules that these words definitely should be included in the bracha. He explains that including this clause in the bracha is not a tefillah to Hashem to rebuild Yerushalayim so that we can eat fruit. Rather, the emphasis of the request is on the final words: “and bless You upon it in holiness and purity.” We are davening for the ability to make brachos in sanctity and purity. This, in turn, begs the question: Why do we have such a deep-seated yearning to make blessings? The Arizal taught Rav Chaim Vital and adjured him to recite birchos hanehenin (brachos recited prior to enjoying something in this world) with the proper care, patience, and kavannah, intent. The Arizal explained that tumah, spiritual impurities, can attach itself to food, and when consumed, it becomes a part of the person who ingests it. Re-

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Why did their spiritual food stop when they reached the Holy Land? If they merited heavenly food in a barren desert, a spiritual wasteland, should they not certainly be given the maan in the Holy Land? The grandfather of the Chida, the Chessed L’Avraham, explains. The Midbar was a desolate land, a locale that was permeated with impurities. Had Hashem miraculously caused fruit and produce to grow in the desert, the food that grew would have been infused with spiritual defilement. It would have been detrimental to Klal Yisrael. Hashem therefore sent holy food from Heaven that could bypass the need to grow in the impure environment of the Midbar. After the Bnei Yisrael’s arrival in Eretz Yisrael, this spiritual heavenly food was no longer needed. The produce of Eretz Yisrael was now available to Klal Yisrael, and this was superior to the maan in a spiritual sense. The fruits that grow in Eretz Yisrael are virtual packages of kedushah, embodying the kedushah of the Shechinah. This, says the Bach, is why we pray, “Bring us up to Eretz Yisrael, and make us rejoice in its building”; but that’s not all – “we will consume its fruits and be satiated from the goodness of

the Shechinah.” We will have the opportunity to ingest the sanctified fruits, digest them, and reconstitute their molecules to make the sanctity of the Shechinah become part of us. Thus, on Tu B’Shvat, the Ben Ish Chai made efforts to obtain the fruits of Eretz Yisrael, to have the opportunity to partake of an item infused with kedushas haShechinah. If one can make a proper bracha on a fruit of Eretz Yisrael — combining the power of kedushah created by birchos hanehenin with the sanctity of a fruit from the Holy Land — that would be a remarkable spiritual experience. Thus, it is not just the elevation of the birchos hanehenin that we seek but also the elevation from the fruit itself.

inspires us to learn, review, and probe this somewhat neglected subject in halacha. The proper blessings over last year’s crop infuses bracha, vigor, and heavenly bounty into the next year’s crop. Thus, Rav Leibele Eiger taught, the brachos said on Tu B’Shvat over fruits are the key to a successful upcoming harvest. If one can obtain a fruit from Eretz Yisrael, that would add immeasurably to the kedushah of this minhag Yisrael. And, perhaps most importantly, the devout recitation of brachos will help us access the greatest of spiritual heights, as the Arizal teaches, that will open up for us the loftiest levels of closeness to HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

The Benefits of Tu B’Shvat

Chanatah is the emergence of the fruit when the blossom falls off.

All minhagei Yisrael are based on such richness of meaning and significance; they are founded on the strongest of foundations. As such, so many benefits accrue to those who observe any authentic minhag Yisrael. The custom of eating fruits on Tu B’Shvat recorded by the Magen Avraham is no exception. By eating fruits on Tu B’Shvat, we are reminded of the laws of maaser. As the Aderes taught, it


This article has b e e n e x c e r pte d from The Light and the Splendor by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein, published by ArtScroll.

Rabbi Daniel Glatstein is the Mara D’asra of of Kehilas Tiferes Mordechai in Cedarhurst, NY, and author of numerous seforim in Lashon Hakodesh and in English for ArtScroll. He is an international lecturer and Maggid shiur, and his thousands of recorded shiurim are available on, podcast, his website, and other venues.

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The Wandering


A Memorable Shabbos in Kishinev By Hershel Lieber


y involvement with the Yeshiva of Kishinev, Moldova, began in the summer of 1994. As a founding member of the Vaad L’Hatzolas Nidchei Yisroel in 1980, I was involved in many of their projects. During the summer of 1994 I went with Pesi for a week to the outskirts of Kishinev to the Yeshiva’s summer camp which was geared for teenage boys and girls. I gave a number of shiurim to the campers, while Pesi engaged them in arts and crafts. We developed a meaningful relationship with the teenagers, so much so, that it inspired us to go again in 1996, this time for the entire Pesach together with our two younger children. That second trip sealed our fate for good. Within a short time, I joined Rav Moshe Eisemann of the Vaad in taking over the reins of running the yeshiva. This involved everything from hiring the Rosh Yeshiva and his staff, to making decisions concerning the curriculum. It included overseeing our non-Jewish manager and, above all, raising funds for our schools. All these obligations presented a myriad of difficulties, but raising funds was the most problematic of all. When I look back to the period from 1996 until the yeshiva closed in 2007, I cannot believe that we raised over two million

With a Yiddishe neshama

dollars to support our project! Our donors included both individuals and charitable organizations. Our methods revolved around personal solicitations and parlor meetings. Another method we employed in raising funds was through organizing trips for potential donors to see our yeshiva and to experience what we had accomplished with our students. We would invite an important personality to lead the trip and solicit people of means to join the adventure. Our

program was multifaceted and included interesting tours and activities. At the same time, we highlighted our educational achievements and showed with our students. Over the years, we conducted at least seven of these trips, each one bringing between fifteen and twenty-five participants to our yeshiva in Kishinev. The monetary success of these trips varied greatly, but they all played a role in balancing our budget. The Vaad was running a number of other projects in other cities of the

Delegates of the Vaad, front row, L-R Rabbi Rosen, Rabbi Fisher, Rabbi Neustadt, Rav Matisyahu Salomon, me, and Rabbi Schwartz

former Soviet Union. When the Vaad organized trips, it would include other cities such as St. Petersburg, Tbilisi, Baku, Kuba, and occasionally Moscow, as well as Kishinev. During the trip in 1999, Kishinev was the last city on the itinerary, which meant that all the potential donors had already committed themselves to various undertakings in the cities that they visited previously. When they finally arrived in Kishinev, although they were truly impressed with our progress, their contributions to our yeshiva were not substantial. For the following year, I insisted that our city and our yeshiva be the first stop of the journey. I persevered, and the group was set to arrive Erev Shabbos, December 9, 2000. Pesi and I arrived the preceding Wednesday, and we began the monumental job of organizing every aspect of the weekend schedule. All Wednesday, we were assisted immensely by the staff of the school, our Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Moshe Baudilovsky, Rabbi and Mrs. Yehoshua and Shulamis Kwit who headed our girls’ school, Sergei Durlestan, our manager, and a very talented bochur Moshe Herman, who volunteered in running our summer camps for a number of years and came to Kishinev quite often throughout the year. The hotel rooms for the guests were booked ahead of time, and bus transportation was arranged. In the kitchens of both the boys’ and girls’ buildings, the chefs were busy cooking up a storm. The students were prepped about what to expect and how important it would be that their behavior be at the best. On Thursday after davening with the boys, I joined Pesi at the girls’ school where we directed the staff how to set the Shabbos tables for the seudos and how to prepare the lobby for the Kabbalas Shabbos davening. The plan was that the visitors would join the girls Friday night and go to the boys’ yeshiva during Shabbos day.

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Yeshiva boys with their new sweatshirts. Moshe Herman is in the center.

Pesi with the girls of Kishinev

Kabbalas Shabbos was led beautifully by Rabbi Zev Rosen. The zemiros at the tisch were rousing, and we reflected how we were sitting in midst of twenty-five young girls that were getting their first exposure to Yiddishkeit at the yeshiva. Rav Matisyahu spoke endearingly to the students, as did Rabbi Elias Schwartz. Two of the girls also spoke in English, and I was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. After benching, we

That same afternoon, we managed to visit an elderly woman at her apartment to bring her regards and some money from her family in Brooklyn. Later, I went with Moshe Herman to meet with the military attaché at the United States Embassy about getting surplus goods and funds for the yeshiva. I also dropped in to visit U.S. Ambassador Rudolph Perina whom I knew from previous encounters. The rest of the day I worked on budget issues with Sergei. After 8 PM, I went back to Hotel Jolly Alon and continued discussions with Sergei and Moshe in the lobby until 3 AM. Friday morning after davening and breakfast we readied ourselves for Shabbos. There were a few delays in the arrival of the group. The group finally arrived at Kishinev airport at 2 PM. Shabbos was just a bit after 4 PM! With the help of Sergei, who had connections all over, visas were issued immediately, and our guests were on their way to the hotel where

they were given barely thirty minutes to get ready for Shabbos. From there, a bus took them to the girls’ school, and they arrived with no time to spare for licht bentchen. The group, comprising of twenty men and six women, came from all over. Heading the delegation was the Nasi of the Vaad, Rav Matisyahu Salomon, and his rebbetzin. I recall a number of people who were there but cannot remember all their names. Among the attendees were Rabbi Elias Schwartz, former principal of Yeshivas Toras Emes; Rabbi Raymond Beyda, the well-known lecturer; Rabbi Mordechai Neustadt, the Chairman of the Vaad, and his wife Alice; Rabbi Yitzchok Aron Fischer, the famed mohel; Rabbi Zev Rosen and his son Rabbi Tzvi Rosen from Baltimore; Rabbi Gedalye and Rachel Weinberger; Rabbi Yeruchim Shapiro, Administrator of the Bais Yakov of Boro Park; Yitzchok Mashitz; Dr. Jack Jedwab; and Ralph and Rus Zucker.

Yakov Daniel Gospodaric addressing the delegates

Members of the delegation at the ruins of the former Yeshiva of Kishinev

toured the girls’ building which was recently bought and renovated. Baruch Hashem, it was not too cold during our forty-five minute trek back to the hotel. We were all very tired but on a spiritual high! Shabbos was a short but an activity-laden day. A Daf Hayomi shiur by Gedalye Weinberger was followed by Shacharis, leining and Mussaf. Misha, a talmid of our Yeshiva, had his bar mitzvah. Ten of our new girls

Women of the Vaad delegation (center right is Rebbetzin Salomon)

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Rav Matisyahu dancing with the bar mitzvah bochur

were given Hebrew names. Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Rav Moshe Baudilovsky spoke at the seudah. The women of the delegation walked over to spend the afternoon with the girls, while some men partnered as chavrusas with the boys to learn together. Shalosh Seudos was held in the suite of Ralph Zucker. The most important part of this trip took place at a meeting which was held at the hotel conference room for the visiting delegation. It was there that we pitched our message to the guests about helping to support the

during the past Shabbos. Sunday’s program was really jam-packed. The group took a tour of Kishinev’s Jewish sites. They included the Holocaust memorial, the Beis Olam, where we said Tehillim by the kever of Rav Yehuda Leib Tsirelson, the legendary leader of Kishinev Jewry. He was one of the foremost personalities of Agudas Yisroel, a great talmid chochom, a rosh yeshiva, a prolific writer, and spell-binding orator. He was also a member of the Romanian Parliament. He was killed by the Germans in June 1941.

We exited the yeshiva and walked across the street to the City Stadium, where we sang and danced with the boys, less than an hour after their surgeries.

Rav Matisyahu as sandek by the bris of one of the boys, L-R: Dr. Jedwab, Moshe Herman, Rav Matisyahu, me, and Rabbi Fischer, the mohel

At the kever of Rav Yehuda Leib Tsirelson, H’yd

yeshiva. Rav Matisyahu spoke passionately about what we had experienced during the past twenty-four hours. Rabbis Neustadt and Fischer enthusiastically conveyed the message of our accomplishments in bringing Yiddishkeit back to the lost souls of Klal Yisroel through teaching and guiding the next generation of Russian Jews, which was our yeshiva’s mission. I presented our visitors the specific investment opportunities that they could take part of when they contribute to our mossad. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we raised a very nice amount of money that very night. The meeting was followed with a grand farewell Melave Malke at a fancy hall. Besides our guests, all our students and teachers attended. There was live music and dancing, delicious hot dishes and spontaneous speeches given by many participants about the personal emotions they felt

Our delegates also visited the ruins of the massive building which was the prewar Yeshiva of Kishinev. Later that day, Rabbi Yitzchok Aron Fischer performed ten brissim on our newest talmidim. He was assisted by Dr. Jedwab, and ten of our guests were honored with being a sandek. A gala seudas mitzvah following the brissim with gifts presented to all the baalei bris. We exited the yeshiva and walked across the street to the City Stadium, where we sang and danced with the boys, less than an hour after their surgeries. This was the very stadium where the Jews of Kishinev were rounded up to be sent to concentration camps and to their deaths. It was surreal to celebrate the renewed Jewish life that was taking place in this city, which had seventy shuls before the war, in this auspicious place. At the same time, we realized how much part of that miracle we were.

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.

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Israel Today

Bypassing the Bypass By Rafi Sackville


ince our arrival in the north of Israel some nine years ago, we have witnessed the extension of Highway 6 from the area close to Zichron Ya’akov all the way up towards the Ahihud Junction where, if one turns right, is only a few miles away from Karmiel. New roads are being paved across the country. This is true of the area where we live. For example, before its grand opening a few months ago, the Nahariya bypass promised to drastically cut travelers’ driving time between Western Galil to Acco and further on to Haifa. For years drivers had to navigate through the heart of Nahariya, a veritable traffic nightmare even during off-peak hours. It was an exciting time for many of my friends who work south of Nahariya. The bypass opened with minimal fanfare. Israel’s National Road Company treated the occasion as just another notch in its belt of new motorways around the country. I’ve often wondered about these grand engineering plans. Despite their best intentions, engineers can inadvertently cause problems that never existed. Which is exactly what happened with the new road. Not a week had passed when the law of unintended consequences had created a new traffic jam, larger than before and more time-consuming for drivers. The new road had not only attracted travelers but had given birth to back-ups and traffic snarls in places that had once flowed smoothly – which isn’t to say the problem wasn’t solved. It was. However, the few weeks it took to do things like recalibrate the traffic lights in the area wasn’t lost on people, all of whom have noticed a growing trend in the number of cars on Israeli roads. Since the re-opening of the econ-

omy after the first wave of Covid, Israel’s traffic problems have become exacerbated to the point of despair. The driving application Waze has reported that average road travel has increased by an average of almost 25%. Haifa, the largest city closest to Ma’alot where we live, has seen a traffic increase of 30%. The city with the greatest increase is Be’er Sheva, which is closing in on almost a 50% increase. An anecdote to the seriousness of the situation can be summed up in the case of my neighbor Mordechai, who works in Jerusalem. He leaves Ma’alot in the Western Galil on Sunday mornings and returns on Thursday afternoons. There was a time when he would begin his commute

Michaeli, recently declared a state of emergency. What that declaration means in real terms is anybody’s guess: in the short term, it probably doesn’t mean much as the wheels of politics turn slowly. What it might mean in the hopefully not-too-distant future is the expansion of public transportation. For example, over the past few years, Israel Rail has built a line to the aforementioned Karmiel, to Afula and further on to Beit She’an. However, there are many places throughout the country that would benefit from accessibility that doesn’t involve cars. Unfortunately for the country, the increase in cars is far outpacing the growth in public transportation. The National Infrastructure Planning Council has proposed a plan to fast-

Haifa, the largest city closest to Ma’alot where we live, has seen a traffic increase of 30%.

to the capital after the first minyan ended, a little before 7 a.m. With the number of vehicles on the roads constantly increasing since Covid, he has begun leaving home at 3:30 a.m. The traffic gets so bad on Thursdays that Mordechai sometimes brings his car home on Wednesday and then takes the train to the capital and back on Thursdays. Unfortunately, the length of congestion on our roads is getting longer; it’s starting earlier and ending later in the day. The Minister of Transport, Meirav

track the construction of additional rails between Haifa and Tel Aviv that includes a subway system between stations in the city. However, these are only plans. In the meantime, we have to rely on our cars. Covid has had an effect on our driving habits. People are using their cars more often. One might assume the greatest problem lies in people commuting to and from work. Whereas there was once a higher rate of car sharing on commutes to work, today more people find it “safer” to drive alone.

Surprisingly, the real increase in traffic has been discovered to come from trips to local stores. Cars remain one luxury item with growing sales. The number of cars per residents has increased almost 100% since my wife and I married in 1985 from 200 to 400 per thousand. According to Globes, Israel’s leading financial newspaper, it is not inconceivable that sometime in the not-too-distant future there will be a total collapse of the system, manifested by traffic jams around the clock, like those that have occurred in some large cities in China. It has become a common government practice to increase taxes with the purpose of persuading people to use their cars less. That, however, is not a viable solution Israel can use. This is because taxes and fuel prices in Israel are “among the highest in the world.” As of this writing, the American average for a gallon of gas is around $3.50 per gallon. Here in Israel, it’s approximately $6.50. Taxes are absurdly high. Regardless of the make or model of one’s car, one has to annually pay almost a thousand dollars in order to be valid to take the yearly road worthy test. Israelis have become used to high prices at the pump. There is no reason to believe they would hesitate in paying even higher prices. What awaits us down the road? Will the country be able develop its public transportation at a quick enough pace to keep abreast with the growing use of private cars? How much earlier will Mordechai have to leave home in order to get to work in Jerusalem on time? Time is not on our side.

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

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Defending Israel on the World Stage TJH Speaks with Arsen Ostrovsky, Chair & CEO of the International Legal Forum BY SUSAN SCHWAMM

Arsen, you were awarded the prestigious Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion prize in Israel Advocacy a few years ago, and Jerusalem Post has called you a “leading human rights lawyer.” Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Well, it’s a long story, but I’ll make this one short. I was born in Odessa, in the Ukraine, and then we moved to the Soviet Union. Our family was the last family to flee, and we went to Australia, so I essentially grew up on the beaches of Sydney. It’s a wonderful place. But growing up, my biggest concerns were which football game did we watch on the weekend or which bar did we go to

after work. It wasn’t existential matters of life and death, as we sometimes we have to live through here, in Israel, through wars and rockets, as we did earlier this year. But at the end of the day, I’m a Zionist, simple as that. And even though I love Australia – they gave our family refuge and homes and opportunities – Israel is the real home. I made aliyah in 2012, and I live now in Tel Aviv with my wife and two girls – the first and only two sabras in our family— we’re quite proud of that. This is where we chose to make our lives. I was always active in the communities where I lived –

in Australia and in New York, where I lived as well. But I realized that I could either live on the outside and watch history unfold, or I could be part of history. I could have my say in my own destiny and of that of my family, and of my people, for that matter. I am a human rights lawyer. And now, I wear a few hats. I’m also a writer and columnist for Newsweek magazine. I am an involved number of NGOs and nonprofits. But my main hat is as the Chair and CEO of the International Legal Forum.

Tell us about the International Legal Forum

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and its influence worldwide. In a nutshell, we are an Israeli-based organization that is a proactive legal network of some four-and-a-half thousand lawyers around the world in 40 countries – lawyers and activists in 40 countries, including the United States – that are dedicated to standing up for Israel and combating anti-Semitism in the international legal arena. That’s our primary mission. The forum was started around five, six ago with the understanding that we are facing – “we,” as in both the Jewish people and the Jewish nation – are facing an array of challenges. We are fighting all these challenges on different battlefields, whether it’s our soldiers in the IDF, whether it’s in the diplomatic arena, or in the economic arena. But one of the key battlefields that we need to fight is in the international legal arena. We’re seeing Israel coming under unprecedented legal assault through boycotts and anti-Semitism and the very denial of the Jewish people’s rights in our ancestral homeland. We need to be able to respond to these challenges and libels and accusations in real-time. But – and this is very important for me and this is what I value so much in the work that we do – at the same time, the law also gives us this incredible opportunity to change the paradigm, to shift the narrative, instead of just defending, defending, defending, which we do need to, obviously, from time to time, but to actually go shift from defense to offense and use the law to our advantage. In this way, we can go after those who attack us and go after them proactively and get the message out that if they dare attempt to attack, delegitimize and harm both the Jewish people or the Jewish nation, that there will be a price to pay. What was the impetus to start the forum five years ago? We have had these issues since the State of Israel was established, even beforehand. I’ve been in the position now for a year, but five years ago, it came to be from the understanding that a lot of these challenges really started coming to the fore. BDS was starting to hit a peak. We were seeing a lot of issues, and social media was giving a lot of issues a lot of attention. Social media has taken local issues and brings them to a global level. We’re dealing in an era of 24-7 communications along with fake news and distorted news. Anti-Semitism is on the surge. And we’re seeing not just anti-Semitism, but now, anti-Zionism is masquerading as anti-Semitism. Tell us what issues you’ve been tackling in the recent months. For us, it’s been a very, very busy time, and I can give you just a few examples of some of the

things we’ve done even just over the past year. You saw earlier this year the International Criminal Court, for example, decided to announce an investigation of Israel for alleged war crimes. One of the things that we did in response was we coordinated the legal experts from around the world to make submissions to the Criminal Court. We have fought back against the Ben and Jerry’s boycott of Israel, working with lawyers around the world, and holding Ben and Jerry’s and Unilever to task. We have stopped funding to terror groups like PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). Earlier this year, we helped initiate a campaign in which over 700 academics from around the world signed a letter of support for the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism. That’s a very import-

“For me, it’s not only the right to speak up, but it’s the duty to speak up.” ant topic. We work with students, with Jewish communities, with leaders and with educators about IHRA to educate them and to teach them how important it is and how to use it. The Durban Conference, held in 2001 in Durban, South Africa, was when the international community came together supposedly to fight racism, but instead, it descended into unhinged Jew-hatred of the very worst kind, including Holocaust distortions and comparisons of Zionists and Israel to Nazis. It revived the apartheid slur, and it also gave birth to the modern BDS movement. Durban is where we can trace the BDS movement to. Even more so, what we’re seeing across the streets today, when we’re seeing a surge in anti-Semitism, especially in the wake of the war with Hamas in May – when we saw Jews being beaten, not just North America, but across Europe as well – we have to understand that this didn’t happen in a vacuum. It has been the result of this pervasive discourse demonizing the State of Israel and delegitimizing the Jewish nation that arose out of the Durban Conference in 2001. This year, in September, the United Nations – under whose auspices the original conference was

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held – decided to hold a “celebration” to celebrate 20 years since the original Durban Conference. We led the effort there to call on countries to withdraw and to pull out of this conference. We told them, “If you truly care about combating anti-Semitism, about promoting tolerance, you will not give this festival of hate any credence.” At the end of the day, 38 Western nations and democracies withdrew from the conference, which was incredible. We also are trying to hold UNICEF to account. You might have seen that that every summer Hamas and Islamic Jihad hold summer camps to teach children how to throw grenades and kill. We want to hold UNICEF to account for that, for turning their backs on these child “soldiers” who grow up to be, unfortunately, much, much worse. It’s a busy period. There is no rest. But you know what? At the end of the day, we have to fight. I have spoken at the UN Human Rights Council a number of times in support of Israel. Truthfully, it’s a place where we always lose because it’s a game of simple arithmetic. We have non-democracies and terrorists and tyrants who dominate there. Sometimes I get asked, “Did we win the vote?” And I say, “No, we didn’t win the vote,” and then people ask me, “Well, so then why did you go?” But for me, the answer is simple; because barely 70 years ago, we didn’t have a voice. We didn’t have our independence or sovereignty or the ability to speak up. But we do have that now, and we do have our sovereignty. We do have our state. We do have our IDF. So, for me, it’s not only the right to speak up when I see the Jewish state demonized, when I see the State of Israel singled out for opprobrium and double standards applied. For me, it’s not only the right to speak up, but it’s the duty to speak up.

That sounds like what Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz, zt”l, says about Iyov and why he was punished so severely for not speaking up when Paroah spoke to his advisors about his plans to exterminate the Jews. Reb Chaim says that when something hurts, you cry out. And so Iyov should have cried out when he heard of Paroah’s plan. And that’s what you’re saying – that even if we’re not going to get the votes our way , we have to speak up for the injustice of what we’re seeing on the world stage. Exactly. Are you sure you’re not a lawyer? Well, I don’t know if judges would appreciate my divrei Torah in the courtroom. You mentioned the skirmishes in the summer between Hamas and the IDF. What was interesting about the skirmishes in the summer is that Hamas was able to garner so much public approval because of their victories on social media. They were so skilled at managing social media. You

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have an estimated monthly Twitter reach in the millions, and you’re also very talented in how you use social media to Israel’s advantage. Tell us just about that. During the war, I was very active online – much more than in normal times. Now, I post a lot about different aspects of international law and different human elements, which I think, so often, we lack. But the Palestinians are fantastic at providing this human connection and emotional hook, whereas we have the facts on our side without a doubt in the world, but we need to be able to also connect on a more basic human level. For me, the post that went the most viral during the war was in response to AOC, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. She had posted something about her thoughts being with the people of Gaza at this time – something like that. And when she posted that, I was literally coming out of the shelter – which in our case was the stairway in our building – and I was holding one of my daughters. And I replied to her – I had taken a picture at the time – “What about us? What about my family?” For me, one of the most harrowing scenes for us was at 3 o’clock in the morning, when we heard the sirens, we had 15 seconds, barely 30 seconds, to get to shelter. I have two small children. At the time, one was barely three months, and the other one was a little older than four years old. We had to wake up our children who sleep in different rooms. My wife had to grab the baby, and I would grab my older daughter, and we would be huddling in the stairway because we don’t have enough time to make it down to the shelter because we live in an apartment building. And then I have to explain to my four-year-old, who asks me, “Abba, why was the building shaking?” So, from my perspective, social media is like the legal battlefield. It’s a crucial battlefield, especially when we’re dealing with and trying to communicate with a younger generation, with the millennials. It’s crucial because it’s where so many discussions are held, but it’s also, on the one hand, where we see so many mistruths and lies and just utter, raw Jew-hatred and vitriol. It’s also an opportunity for us to, again, to put forward our narrative, to show the world, “This is what we are going through,” or, “This is what Israel means to us,” or, “This is the story that we are trying to tell.” Many young people, particularly on college campuses, are being faced with BDS notions and anti-Semitic and anti-Israel vitriol constantly , from inside the classrooms to on the campuses themselves. What tools do you think we can give our young people to manage that? I think the first thing is we need is to assure them that they are not alone – that we are with

them, that we are standing with them, that we understand what they’re going through. There is so much that can be done by way of educating about the challenges that they’re facing on campus –anti-Semitism, boycotts, anti-Semites dressed up as anti-Zionists. We need to empower them with the tools and the knowledge of what options they have, how they can respond, how they can engage, how they can debate, how they can be proud Jews and proud Zionists on campus. Education is such a tremendous tool in our arsenal. We need to educate the younger generation not just about the history of the conflict, but about Judaism in so many ways as well, so they can be informed with the facts. But just as important as knowing the facts and history is to be able to communicate it and present it. I just came back from the United States, where I met with a lot of different groups and people, from professional leaders to lay leaders. Among the biggest concerns was what’s happening on campus, what’s happening in the high schools – whether it’s attacks they’re facing online, vandalism, posters that are put up, or apartheid week events on campus. There’s a real palpable sense of concern. One of my particular concerns is that the more this goes unanswered, the more Jewish and Zionist youth we will lose because they’ll say, “You know what? I don’t need this. I just want to study. So maybe I’m going to be less Jewish, or maybe I’m not going to speak up,” and that concerns me tremendously.

Is there a way to teach people how to discern what is really anti-Semitism being cloaked as anti-Zionism? Absolutely. The IHRA definition is a gold standard in terms of that. It provides an incredible guide in terms of identifying what is anti-Semitism and especially distinguishing, say, fair criticism of Israel to anti-Semitism and when that line crosses into anti-Semitism. The IHRA definition has been the most widely endorsed and adopted definition in the world. Over 30 countries have adopted it. Hundreds of public institutions from around the world, dozens upon dozens of campuses in the U.S., have adopted it as well. This definition is very clear. It says very explicitly that criticism levelled at Israel is – I’m paraphrasing slightly now – to the same extent as it is against any of the country. A nation is not anti-Semitic. But it does become a problem, and it does cross the red line, when Israel is singled out for opprobrium, when double standards are applied, and when the Jewish nation is demonized. That’s when it crosses the line. And more specifically, the definition also alludes to other specific examples, such as comparing Israel or Israelis or Zionists to Nazis, such as denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination in the same way it would be any other people. It’s also interesting to note that it is something that’s become a bipartisan issue in the United States. Not everything is, but this particular aspect is. But both the Trump Administration now the Biden Administration – despite their differ-

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022 The The Jewish Jewish Home Home || OCTOBER OCTOBER 29, 29, 2015 2015

ences – on this issue, they have spoken with one voice.

You mentioned that the biggest tool we can give our young people to fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment is education. Do you feel that trips like Birthright, which bring these youth to Israel, are also helpful in giving them the ammunition to combat those arguments that they’re going to be hearing on college campuses? Yes, and I can give you myself an example. My first trip to Israel was with Birthright in 2003. I actually thought before going to Israel, “I’m going to wait until there’s peace here. I’m going to wait until it gets quiet.” And then I figured, “OK, I’m not going to wait any longer. I’m just going to go.” When I went, it was at the peak of the Second Intifada in 2003. For me, that was my first experience going to Israel. Birthright is not going to solve all problems, but I think Birthright is an incredible tool. And more than anything, it’s an investment in Jewish people and in the next generation because it gives people an opportunity, first and foremost, to see Israel, to see the country, see the land with their own eyes. It sets a platform that allows them to have a taste, an experience, of what Israel is, of why it’s so important and so central to us. It starts the process of reinforcing and strengthening that Jewish identity, that Zionist identity, without which I don’t think you would then move onto further stages, which would include the other aspects that you’ve alluded to, including about the history of the conflict, about the more intellectual concepts of Zionism and the historical aspects. It an incredible foundation, and I think has been one of the most powerful returns on investments we’ve made. The Trump Administration and the Biden Administration have different approaches when it comes to Israel. Have you seen any differences in the administration on your end? For me, I think it’s important to note that, irrespective of who is in the White House or who is in government in Jerusalem, the relationship between our two countries and our two people is sacrosanct. It’s one that’s certainly based on shared values and strategic interests, irrespective of who is in government. Although there certainly may be some differences of style, and certainly, we will not agree on everything – that’s for sure, whether it be Iran or other aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – at the end of the day, irrespective of who is in power, we can still speak as allies, as friends. America always has been, is, and shall remain our number one ally and friend. It’s also important to underscore that strong

America-Israel ties are not only in Israel’s interest. It’s in both our interests because I think a strong Israel also means a strong United States. Having an ally such as the Jewish state here, certainly in the Middle East, does a tremendous amount to enhance American security and American interests as well. I’ve been quite intimately involved with the Abraham Accords. I was actually in the UAE for Chanukah, which was remarkable. The excitement, the optimism, and the hope there was just palpable. With so many challenges that COVID has presented us, the Abraham Accords have offered this incredible beacon of hope and optimism and a window into what the future of the Middle East not only can look like, but what it does look like already. It’s something incredibly powerful and meaningful, and I would hope that the Biden Administration can only help advance this further.

“Being Jewish means that we always need to be vigilant, and we need to respond and to react.” Recently, Chile elected a new leader who is vocally pro-Palestinian. He also blames the Jewish community in Chile for any ills he sees with Israel, clearly an anti-Semitic tactic. Which countries are you most concerned with in terms of what you’re seeing with BDS and anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiment? I don’t think there’s a spot in the world that is immune from anti-Semitism. We’re seeing record levels of anti-Semitism and violence and boycotts around the world. We’re seeing Jewish students on campuses being assaulted or intimidated or harassed. It’s a grave concern in parts of Europe. Barely 70 years after the end of the Shoah, in so many other countries, anti-Semitism is again reaching record levels, and that includes oldschool anti-Semitism. We’re seeing swastikas. We’re seeing Jewish cemeteries vandalized. We’re seeing Nazis on the march. But we’re also seeing new-age anti-Semitism, which really isn’t new anymore because it’s been really around for at least the better part of 20 years. It’s anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zion-

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ism, when Israel is singled out and demonized, and we’re seeing that across Europe. Latin and South America is certainly a place where this tension is growing, and Chile is just one of the places you’ve rightfully noted. It’s something that we need to be even more mindful about because, often, we tend to focus on what’s happening in the United States and in Europe, but we mustn’t lose sight of South America and Latin America and also parts of Africa, including in South Africa. And of course, we can never lose sight of the ultimate threat of Iran. Being Jewish means that we always need to be vigilant, and we need to respond and to react. More importantly today, we need to shift this narrative and change the paradigm and move from merely responding, to being proactive and taking steps to protect us, defend us, and advance our own rights and interests – whether they be in Israel, the United States, Europe, or for Jews anywhere around the world.

You live in Israel, the homeland of the Jewish nation, in Tel Aviv. I know this may be a trick question – like asking who your favorite child is – but where is your favorite place to spend time when you’re in Israel? I love the whole country. I feel at home, whether it’s in the north, in the south, or whether it’s in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv – that’s the beauty of this country for me. Wherever I go, I’m at home. But if you have to push me on this, I’d say the north. There’s something about the luscious greenery, the air there. It’s just a stunning place. But again, I’m just as happy in the Golan as I am down south as well. When I lived in Australia, people would say that my address said “Australia,” and I would tell them, “That was my address, but Israel is home. That is where I belong.” During the war in May, I was doing an interview, and I was asked – right after I came out of the shelter during one of the many, many sirens – “I bet you probably wish you were back in Sydney right now.” And I thought for a split second, literally a split second, and I responded, “All due respect, but no. I love Sydney, but this is home. I’m here with my people in my land. This is where I belong, and this is where I shall be.” So many Jews around the world – wherever they live – truly agree with you. They know that Israel is their home. You know, we say, “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh la’zeh,” we’re all connected. It’s a guiding principle for my life, as a Jew and as a Zionist. Whether we are here in Israel or in the United States or Australia, Europe, or anywhere in the world – we are one people, one nation.

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Teen Talk

By Rabbi Yossi Schwartz

Teen Talk , column in

Dear Teen Talk,

a new

TJH, is geared to wards the teens in o ur commu nity. Answered by a rotati ng roster of teachers, rebbeim, clinicians , an d peers (!), te ens will b e hearing answers to many que stions the had perco y lating in th eir minds wished th an d ey had th e answers for.

I messed up big time. I did something that I’m really embarrassed about. And it’s not the first time. I feel like every time I say to myself that I’ll be better, I know that it’s a lie because I know myself and I know that I’m probably going to do it again. Can you help me figure out what to do?

Answer: First of all, the fact that you’re asking this question means that you did not lie to yourself. You are still trying to be better, and that’s all Hashem asks for. But I’ll try to give you another way to view yourself and the world which will allow you to see that you weren’t lying. We all know that Hashem created the world yesh me’ayin, something from nothing. Now you’ve probably thought that this fact has zero relevance in your life, but I have news for you. In reality,

it’s not something that happened 5782 years ago, but it is actually happening right now. At this very moment, Hashem is creating the world and everything in it yesh me’ayin. How do I know? Because every day in davening we say hamechadesh b’t uvo kol yom tamid maaseh bereishis, meaning everything that Hashem is recreating the world and everything in it every day and every moment. Now I’m sure you’re thinking, how is that so? Aren’t you and me and the entire world here now because we were here a minute ago? What does it mean that we’re being

recreated out of nothing ever y moment? I recently gave my two-year-old son a picture that I had printed out from my phone. I noticed that he was holding the picture and trying to swipe it with his finger. I realized that he was used to looking at the pictures on my phone and swiping to get to the next one. It was only after a few tries that he realized that good old-fashioned pictures aren’t swipeable! When you look at a picture on your phone, it looks like it’s static, just like a printed picture. But if your phone battery was to die while you were

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Are you a teen with a question? If you have a question or problem you’d like our columnists to address, email your question or insight to, subject line: Teen Talk. looking at the picture it would disappear instantaneously. Because in reality, the picture that you see is constantly being recreated on the screen. Your phone is continuously drawing energy from the battery, and if, for a moment, it stopped getting energy, it would turn off. Here’s another example. Stare at a steady flame for a few seconds. Is the flame that you see now the same one you saw a few seconds ago? Even though it looks the same, in reality every moment a brand-new flame is emerging from the fuel source.

ly breathe fresh new oxygen, so, too, every single moment Hashem needs to breathe life into us. With every breath I take I am being created again, yesh me’ayin. I’m not alive because I got life in the morning; I’m getting new life breathed into me every moment. The word neshama comes from the word neshima, which means breath. When the Torah says that Hashem breathed life into Adam, it’s not telling us something that hap-

The same way we need to constantly breathe fresh new oxygen, so, too, every single moment Hashem needs to breathe life into us. So even though the world looks like it’s here because it was here a moment ago, in reality, Hashem is constantly pumping it with life, and if He were to stop for a moment it would cease to exist! A neshama is compared to a flame. Our neshama is not just something we have; it is like a pipeline that is constantly connected to our source – to Hashem Himself. It is the conduit through which Hashem is constantly piping life into us at every moment. This is the reason Hashem created us in a way that we can’t live more than a few moments without breathing. The same way we need to constant-

pened back then, it is also something that happens every moment. Our neshama is constantly being breathed into us by Hashem. If this is the case then, just like we say modeh ani in the morning and thank Hashem for returning our neshama, we should really say it every moment because right now Hashem is recreating my neshama! And indeed, the Gemara says, “Al kol neshima u’neshima tehallel kah,” for every breath I thank Hashem, because every breath means I’m being created anew. Some people may e think that they are here in this world because

Hashem created them many years ago and decided that it’s too much effort to get rid of them, so He allows them to remain alive. But if you are breathing, it means that Hashem decided that you are too valuable for the world to remain without you for a single moment, and that it’s necessary to create you from scratch right now! Now to your question. The reason we think it is so hard to start over is because we view ourselves as a continuation of who we were yesterday. But in reality, every moment you can tap into the deeper part of yourself that is being created anew at this very moment. No matter how much you messed up, you can always start over. You are not a continuation of who you were yesterday or even five minutes ago. You are always new! R’ Nosson, the great student of R’ Nachman of Breslov, said that the incredible thing about his rebbi was that although he was a tremendous tzaddik, he viewed every day and every moment as a new start. Even after he accomplished the most incredible things, he would say, “But now I have to start over.” Young people have a greater ability to feel this reality because they are closer to their creation and therefore naturally still feel new. But even an old person who would live with the realization that they are being created right now would be forever young! My advice to you is to stop thinking about who you were yesterday, and stop worrying about how you will succeed tomorrow – tap into the fact that right now you are new!

Rabbi Yossi Schwartz is the Regional Director of Outreach for NY NCSY. He considers himself privileged to learn with and from teens.

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | 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’ve been dating a great guy for a while now. He’s amazing, kind, giving, and really so much of what I want in a husband. But I feel stuck. Maybe it’s because he’s only the third guy I’ve dated but all my friends ask

how I know he could be the one if I have not seriously dated anyone else. I’m in the shidduch dating scene, whereas my friends are in the more Modern Orthodox “chilled” scene. (I went in a different direction than them.) The voices around me are clouding my thoughts and so much is going through my mind. He has dated much more than me, so I get how he is more certain than I am. How can I get clarity? How can I be certain if I have not dated a whole lot before? Thanks in advance, Elisheva

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

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


ontinue to date. If he is caring, he will give you the space and time to find clarity, and you both will enjoy that time together without pressure. Daven for clarity. During the dates, explore whether he has what it takes to support and uplift you in the ways that work for you personally. In other words, seek to answer the questions: does he understand your personality and what you need when you are down? Does he get you on the emotional mechanics? Do you understand him to the point that you know what kind of support and encouragement he needs when he is facing a struggle? Have you talked about differences between the two of you and discussed them in detail? Do you know enough about his energy level, ability to fulfill commitments, and ability to respond to your needs in a proactive way? Have you done anything together as a team? Is the chemistry continuing to grow? These, of course, are general questions. Without knowing more, I am finding it difficult to respond. You might want to talk to a dating coach or mentor as you continue to date this young man and move through the process. There is no magic answer to your query.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond


verybody has their challenges in life, and most are not strangers to challenges when it comes to shidduchim. Some need to date many people to find the right one, and others find the

right one immediately; perhaps their challenges in life are in other areas. You seem to have found an amazing, quality guy the likes of which you want to marry, however, others in your life who are not in your hashkafa or place in life are giving you a piece of their mind. These opinions are clouding your judgment and creating doubt within yourself. To this, I have a few things to say: 1. None of these people, whether they be friends or family, are potentially marrying this guy – you are. This is a decision you alone must make. Same with letting him go. If you let this amazing man go, you will be the only one affected. Your friends will move on in life, in whichever direction their lives take them. You will be the one living with the decision to let him go. 2. Do you truly want to get married right now? Your desire and readiness for marriage must be greater than your fears, and if it is not, you must work with a mentor, or therapist, to battle this cognitive dissonance. Figure out what you truly want and how to get there. 3. Why are you talking to your friends about your dating situation? If there was one cardinal rule I would give to women in shidduchim it would be this: Leave your friends out of it. Especially if they are living on a completely different religious plane. These friends should not have a file folder in your brain where you are keeping track of their opinions, thoughts, and comments. Delete this file from your mind immediately. Did you consult them when you decided to become more religious? It seems from your letter that you have moved in a very different direction than them. If you were able to do that without having their opinions weigh you down, you can certainly marry the guy you want to marry, without their opinions weighing you down. 4. It is 100% normal for him to be ahead of you. No two dating people are on the exact same page at the

exact same time. However, you must not lead him on. Do some deep thinking about where you are holding and work on the messages you tell yourself. Have power over your thoughts, so that they become stronger than the power of those around you. Realize how lucky you are to have not had to go on endless dates for years before finding someone who is quality husband material. Gratitude is one of the most powerful roads to happiness. Hatzlacha and keep us posted!

The Single

If there was one cardinal rule I would give to women in shidduchim it would be this: Leave your friends out of it.

gether with the people you trust, G-d will lead you in the best direction suited for you!

Tzipora Grodko


strongly encourage you to get a mentor, therapist, dating coach or adult figure in your life that you trust to discuss your concerns. I most definitely would not take guidance from a magazine as nobody understands the extent of your relationship other than what you alluded to in your limited paragraph. Unlike in your friends’ circles, dating mentors, coaches, or other forms of rabbinical or mentorship guidance are extremely popular in the shidduch world. You can ask a teacher or close friend if anyone has any recommendations for you on who to connect with. Additionally, keep in mind that your mentor/guide is advising you to the best of their ability and does not know what you truly feel inside. Keep in mind that if they provide advice that doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t make any decisions until you feel confident that it’s best for you. Don’t rely on the hope or judgement of a mentor to guide you if your gut is telling you that you feel differently. This is one of the most important decisions in your life, and your inner voice should not be ignored if something doesn’t feel right. Express and don’t suppress. To-

The Zaidy Dr. Jeffrey Galler


eally? You’ve spent considerable time analyzing what you’d like in a life partner, you’ve gone through your adolescence fantasizing about meeting the man of your dreams, you’ve prayed to Hashem to help you find “Mr. Right,” and now that you may have succeeded, you “feel stuck?!” A cardinal rule of dating is to never, ever, consult with your friends when you get serious about a boyfriend. Your friends’ voices are not what you want to hear at a time like this. Instead, listen to your brain, your heart, and, perhaps, trusted mentors like your parents. If you’d like a good laugh, ask some happily married women what their “best friends” had told them when they were dating their prospective husbands. You’ll hear that they were told: “I certainly wouldn’t date that boy,” “You’re not ready to get married,” “Take my advice and dump him,” or, “But he is so weird!” Luckily, these happily married


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

women did not listen and realized that what friends say might be motivated by jealousy, poor judgement, misunderstandings, and by having very different perspectives and beliefs. My advice? Continue with this promising relationship and see if it

will lead to love and marriage. It’s not important if you’re the first or the last among your friends to get married; what is important is for a couple to be attracted to each other, share the same values and aspirations, and bring out the very best in each other. And, thank Hash-

Pulling It All Together

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022

em for your good fortune. Don’t be like so many people who fail to appreciate when something wonderful happens in their lives. Savor your blessings. Don’t be like someone who wins the lottery and frets about the taxes he’ll now have to pay, or the employee who gets a coveted promotion and worries about his increased responsibilities, or the happy parents of a baby boy who become overwhelmed


Pay attention to your intuition and trust your gut.

with concerns about the upcoming shalom zachar and bris. Cherish and enjoy your success story.

The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists


ear Elisheva, Thank you for writing in! Many people find it helpful to work with a therapist, if need be, while they are dating seriously. A therapist does not tell you to proceed with someone or move on but can help you be in touch with your own intuition and keep you honest with yourself. Sometimes, well-meaning (and some, unfortunately, ill-intentioned, jealous or insecure) friends may give you pause and cause you to think about and/or doubt your relationship. When there is a red flag, it is wonderful to have a friend or two who love you enough to say something. The confusion arises when there is no real red flag within the other person, and friends are either causing you to think deeply into something worthwhile or steering you down a very dangerous path. You are then left questioning yourself and your relationship. My first suggestion is to take a break from talking about your relationship with your friends. When you are voice noting, WhatsApping, on the phone or getting together for

dinner, don’t talk about your boyfriend or your relationship. We have to remove their ability to converse with you about this until you find your own voice, intuition, and clarity on the matter. What if they bring it up? What if they ask me about him? Come prepared with some responses. “We’re great, thank G-d!” “I know we’ve been talking about my relationship, but I’m taking a break from doing that.” “I really appreciate your concern and how much you’ve been there for me. But now I need some time to figure this out on my own. Thank you so much for being such a good friend to me. I love you.” And there you have it... some nice boundaries said with love to give you a break from their continued input. Now, to help you find and trust your intuition... The next time you and your guy are together, I ask you to notice how you feel in your body. Take note of how you feel in your shoulders, back, chest and stom-

ach. And simply notice. During or after your next date or time spent together, reflect upon your emotional safety. How do I feel around him? Do I like the feeling? Do I like me when I’m with him? Am I comfortable showing him myself? Do I enjoy myself when I am with him? Am I physically attracted to him? Am I emotionally attracted to him? Do I look forward to seeing him? Is he my friend? Is he someone I want to be friends with? Sometimes the anxiety that comes along with dating and trying to figure out if he’s the one can be very clouding. But the truth is that “all we have to do” (and I put that in quotes because it ain’t easy!) is to be present in the moment and pay attention to how we feel. Additionally, there can be no timeline on this. This cannot be rushed to meet anyone’s expectations! It must work for YOU! When we pay attention to ourselves, we simply cannot miss how we feel. Many of us ignore how we feel. We ignore the lack of safety, or lack of chemistry (because of our own traumas, or wanting it to work so badly, etc.), and that can end up poorly. Or, some of us ignore how wonderful a relationship actually is (because of

trauma, or thinking there’s something better, anxiety, etc.) and end things before their time, and we are left with regret and if onlys. While I understand your friends’ concern for you, let’s be real for a moment. I’m taking off my therapist hat, and I’m putting on my woman hat. Woman to you think any of your friends would walk away from an incredible man because he was the third guy they dated? How does one say goodbye to an incredible human being who makes her happy because he is the “third”? I think what a friend would most likely do is take her time dating. She would hopefully be honest and tell her boyfriend her concerns. If they were meant to be, this conversation would only bring them closer, and if they weren’t meant to be, it would help them separate. No one can tell you what to do. Not even anyone on this panel. Listen to your own voice. Pay attention to your intuition and trust your gut! If you need a little assistance getting there, as we all do every now and then, speak with a therapist. Wishing you all the best! Sincerely, Jennifer

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

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dr. Deb

Who Should Repair Hurt Feelings? By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.


ittle Stan heard the crash… again. It was the same last night. (This story is made up.) When he got up in the morning, there was a broken lamp that no one picked up. Now, it’s happening again. He didn’t know the best place to go and feel safe. He could just run to the closet and shut the door, but it was chilly and he was cozy in bed. Or he had been. He put the pillow over his head but that made it hard to breathe. He started to cry. He was only five, after all. Can you forgive the crying? Nelson must have heard him. He was a big 10. And he was kind of Stan’s protector. “Hey little guy,” Nelson said, “I’m here.” (Poor Nelson, having to play that big, tough role when he was just a small child himself. But the two of them made it through the night.) Fast forward many years, to Stan’s marriage. Stan always had felt alone. Except maybe for the brief moments when Nelson used to say a calming word. He thought that somehow, magically, things would be different in his marriage. But they weren’t. He was still alone. How is that possible? Gloria was quick and talented. She’d moved up the corporate ladder, battling every step of the way. But for her, that was just more of the same: She blew it off; that was life, she figured. And for her, it was. When her parents divorced and her mother remarried, there was a lot of fighting among her new step-siblings. It’s natural for parents to favor their own children, but research actually shows that when a divorced man re-marries, he will favor his new family over his biological children if

they are still with his ex-wife. So Gloria lost the support of her own father. But here, for reasons she did not know, her step-father brought his own children with him into the new marriage. And he could not help but take their side. Gloria’s mom was so relieved to be with a good man that she never once stuck up for her daughter. Gloria learned to have sharp elbows. When Stan and Gloria met, she thought he was sweet. He was so very different from the family she knew. He was gentle and sensitive. He wouldn’t hurt her if his life depended on it: he knew what it meant to feel hurt. But years into the relationship it started to grate on Gloria that Stan didn’t seem to have a backbone. “Should I be the man in the family?” she wondered. True, she wouldn’t have changed her approach to the business world even if she had remained single. She liked that feeling of power she got from her status at work. And she liked the fact that she could jab whoever needed jabbing without remorse. After all, people have to take care of

themselves, right? Of course, Stan did not need jabbing. He was pure kindness. Yet, that got on her nerves. This is such a common theme: The very thing that attracts us in another person because it can enlarge the scope of who we are becomes a source of irritation because it is not who we are. Opposites may attract. But that becomes opposites exasperating each other. For Stan, it was a little different. He grew up feeling insecure – well, no kidding – but he leaned into the protection of his older brother. When he looked for a wife, he unconsciously picked a pretty female version of what Nelson stood for – self-confident, directed, and unafraid. “Unafraid” was the important part, here. That made Stan feel so much less anxious, so much more secure. Neither of them realized that a good marriage has to have balance; each person has to be able to lean on the other at times. They have to trade off being the strong one. And there is another key to this,

too. The whole thing of who you pick was unconscious for both of them. Gloria, too, felt safer picking someone nice. And frankly, what a relief to not be battling all the time. It’s not that she got tired of going into the ring every day to bring home the bread and butter. But she got tired of seeing her husband, nice as he was, as a poor little boy. And he got tired of the coldness. From being another protector, Gloria became another source of loneliness and anguish. Now, had they been aware of their deepest needs when they were dating and had communicated those to one another, things could have been different. Because then no one could say, “This is not what I signed up for.” Actually, it was, but they just didn’t know it. So here’s my question: If you were their marriage counselor, what would you do? Would you, as unfortunately so many of my colleagues have done, say, “You’re not compatible; you should divorce”? That is terrible. Please don’t go to people like that for “help.” That’s no help. And based on this analysis, you can see that their non-compatibility – their oppositeness – is exactly what they wanted, however unconsciously. Here are three frequent options that I hear from people who end up seeking me out after seeing several marriage counselors with highly unsatisfactory results: 1. The counselor tries to help Stan “see” Gloria’s position and vice-versa. Nice try. “Seeing” doesn’t affect the heart. 2. The counselor chastises Gloria for being so cold and gives her exercises to warm up while she teaches Stan assertiveness. They work on their

exercises, but after a few weeks, they revert back because their fundamental personalities weren’t “reached” by this approach. By the way, this is the common theme of marriage “weekends.” People learn behavioral techniques and because things feel better, they leave the weekend all excited. But sustaining the changes is almost impossible. 3. The counselor spends quite a bit of session time asking each how they feel as a result of the other person’s behavior. The idea is to touch the other person’s compassion. It backfires because, as Gloria said to herself, “Well, he shouldn’t feel that way!” We’ve covered it, right? #1 addressed understanding each other; #2 addressed behavioral changes; #3 addressed feelings. Yes, but… We have not addressed trauma. Little “t” trauma – unlike the onetime capital T like a home robbery or an accident – is the ongoing, daily experience of small abuses that you get

so used to, they seem normal. Except they’re not. And like the conclusion Rabbi Akiva came to that if the water could, over time, wear down a rock, so too little injustices, over time, can leave deep

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trauma and that is to heal it. Because if you don’t, Stan will always feel that Gloria betrayed his trust because he loved her like a sweet puppy and she abandoned him emotionally. He will say it is her fault that

This is such a common theme: The very thing that attracts us in another person because it can enlarge the scope of who we are becomes a source of irritation because it is not who we are.

wounds. That’s little “t” trauma. In fact, research shows that this trauma is often more severe than the onetime big stuff in terms of its long-lasting impact on a person. There is only one thing to do for

his feelings were hurt. Or to put it another way, “This was not the marriage I bargained for!” And Gloria, still emotionally numb in spite of exercises to talk more warmly, smile more, find things to

be happy about, and so forth, could easily say that Stan is at fault for continuing to be such a “baby.” She might even have said to the therapist, “When will he grow up?” See, when you dig a little deeper into difficult marriages that seem resistant to therapy or headed for the divorce court, you find the need to heal trauma. What delights me beyond measure is seeing couples – in a few short weeks – start to heal as individuals, start to love themselves, start to nurture the little kids inside of their souls, and thereby start to treat each other with more courtesy and kindness automatically, without even trying. It simply follows them feeling so much better about who they are.

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

Nutrition and Aging By Aliza Beer MS, RD, CDN


s we age, healthy eating and physical activity become increasingly more important. Making sure your diet contains enough fiber, iron, calcium, protein, and vitamins is vital. Although aging occurs as a gradual process, preparing your body with proper nutrition can help slow it down and ensure your body remains strong. For example, at around the age of 50, the body naturally loses its ability to utilize protein in building muscle mass. Thus, it is especially vital to maintain a healthy weight and understand which nutrients to consume in order to remain strong and healthy even while the body ages.

Tips for Aging 1. Consume foods rich in collagen or consume a collagen supplement: As a person ages, their bones become less dense and more brittle. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and helps promote stronger bones. Foods such as bone broth, garlic, citrus fruits, and chicken contain a nice amount of collagen. If you are considering supplementing with collagen, bovine or marine collagen are the two best options. [Consult with your rav to determine if these supplements require a hechsher. -Ed.] 2. Eat foods high in fiber: Because constipation is common in the elderly, consuming enough fiber can be very helpful. Foods such as whole-grain bread, oatmeal, fruits, beans, whole grains, and vegetables are great sources of fiber and should be included in your diet. 3. Increase Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for the health of bones, muscles, and teeth. It is obtained via drinking milk fortified with vitamin D, eating salmon, mushrooms, and

canned tuna. There are plenty of foods like oats, cereals, and orange juice that are fortified with vitamin D. Not having enough vitamin D will lead to impaired bone mineralization which can manifest itself in osteoporosis for those who are aging. Not only will vitamin D protect your body, but it will also contribute to younger-looking skin. 4. Eat a variety of foods: Eating fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and fats will ensure you have the nutrients needed as you age. Choosing lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables will help you feel energized as well. 5. Consume adequate protein: Eating a sufficient quantity of protein is necessary because, as they age, our bodies require more protein to maintain muscle mass and strength. A high protein diet has been linked to increased collagen production, which can mean good connective tissue and reduced wrinkles. If you don’t particularly like eating meat, then an alternative would be to consume more fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes as part of your diet. 6. Stay active: Exercising through biking, swimming, walking, or weight training can help improve stamina and balance and help reduce the risk of falling. Weight-bearing exercises like aerobics, hiking, walking, and stair climbing increase the amount of stress placed on your muscles and bones. As a response to the “stress,” bones and muscles become stronger. This is especially important for those who are aging because bone and muscles become weaker with age. Regular physical activity helps prevent many health problems that come from aging and maintain muscle mass and elastic-

ity. This will also help boost your metabolism, which may slow down as you age. Exercising will also increase your appetite, which may naturally decrease as you age. 7. Eat nutrient-dense foods: Because as we age our bodies have trouble with the digestion and absorption of food, eating foods high in nutrients is especially important. Nutrient-dense foods are foods that provide a lot of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber, for a low number of calories. This will help prevent malnutrition and will help avoid deficiency-related diseases, as well as chronic diseases associated with aging. 8. Consume enough vitamins: Increasing vitamin B12, C, E, and iron, calcium, and magnesium is essential for an aging body. This can be done by choosing foods rich in these vitamins and minerals or by supplementation. Calcium is essential for bone health and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Eating cheese, leafy greens, Greek yogurt, and oranges will make sure you are having enough calcium. Magnesium helps maintain good nerve and muscle function, which are key when aging. Fresh fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, and seeds are great sources of magnesium. Selenium helps fight aging and prevents age-related diseases. Foods like eggs, nuts, poultry, and brown rice are good sources of selenium. Vitamin B12 is significant for older adults because of its role in bone health and brain function. Beef, fortified cereal, salmon, tuna, and dairy products have vitamin B12 and can be beneficial for those who are aging. Vitamin A has an anti-aging effect on the skin and can be found in sweet potatoes, peppers, winter squash, and broccoli.

Vitamin K’s role in calcium transport and bone density makes it necessary for an aging adult. Avocados, leafy greens, asparagus, and eggs are rich in vitamin K. 9. Eat foods good for cognitive health: A normal part of aging is mild changes in cognition. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fish can be greatly beneficial. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish play a role in brain function and can help prevent cognitive impairments. Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids could accelerate brain aging, so eating enough fish or consuming fish oil can be a good idea. Similarly, the B vitamins found in eggs can help slow the progression of cognitive decline. As people age, their nutritional needs change. They are more prone to vitamin D, magnesium, iron, and calcium deficiencies. Interestingly enough, malnutrition is associated with accelerated aging. Therefore, eating foods high in fiber, lean protein, and nutrients, staying active, and eating a variety of foods can be extremely impactful for your health as you age. Ensuring you are taking your vitamins and consuming enough collagen will help you feel and look more youthful. By understanding the changes that occur during the aging process and actively including the proper nutrients in a modified diet, our bodies can remain strong and healthy for years to come.

Aliza Beer is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz show. Aliza can be reached at, and you can follow her on Instagram at @alizabeer.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Parenting Pearls

Blessings and Gratitude By Sara Rayvych, MSEd


u B’Shvat is an interesting day on the Jewish calendar. It’s a day full of meaning that gets hidden behind being a “birthday of the trees.” I’d like to focus on one small aspect of this special day. Eretz Yisroel is known for 7 species, but the truth is there are hundreds of fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains in the world; many we have never even heard of yet. Each gives us different vitamins and minerals. Hashem could have made a few food items, all tasting similar, with which to nourish ourselves. It is a gift of chessed from Hashem that we have so many options and can enjoy the basic act of nutrition. If we look a bit past our plate, we can see that the world is full of beautiful bodies of water, fragrant flowers, and majestic trees. We have a variety of seasons to enjoy and yomim tovim to mark them. We have people we care for and spend time with. We have a beautiful Torah with a wonderful lifestyle included. We live in a country that allows us to live freely and follow our beliefs. Gratitude is so basic, yet so important. We can have all the gifts in the world yet be unhappy if we don’t recognize and appreciate those gifts. The Mishna in Avos (4:1) tells us that the person that is rich is the one that is happy with his lot. In addition, another Mishna in Avos (3:14 or 3:18, depending on the edition) mentions that Hashem gave us gifts but did a further chessed by telling us the greatness of those gifts. Children are not naturally the most grateful people. It’s in their young nature to think the world is there to serve them. It’s part of our never-ending job to help guide them to living a life of gratitude. Additionally, children will view the world through the glasses we show them. When we show them a world to be enjoyed, they will see a world with positive potential.

a parent explains the life-giving role water plays in the world, the child will begin to associate rainy days with joy. I hope I explained the rav’s words properly. Without even realizing it, we shape how our children view the world. We can help make the simplest of experiences into the greatest of joys.


Es Kumt Mir

The Beauty of Life

I may know only a limited amount of Yiddish but most of us know this phrase. “Es kumt mir” means “it’s coming to me,” it’s a feeling of entitlement. Children are born thinking the world is owed to them. The truth is that when they are starting their journey through life, they are so helpless that they aren’t that far off in their attitude. As their loving adult, it is our job to care for each of their needs. We feed them, change them, ensure they have their naps, baths, and all they require. This teaches security and love and is a normal and healthy part of development. Rather than “spoiling” them, we are providing for their physical, emotional, and developmental needs. Just as we need to provide for them in their infancy, we need to take their hand through life and slowly show them how to appreciate it and have gratitude for all they receive. Feeling appreciation is, in my humble opinion, one of the keys to simcha. When we are grateful for what we have, then we will feel we have everything. If we don’t appreciate anything, then we can have it all but still feel like we have nothing. All too often, we don’t appreciate we have something until it’s taken from us, chas v’shalom.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, often spoke about appreciating even the most basic aspects of our world. The rav had a unique way of viewing the world and seeing each gift within it. It’s easy to take for granted eyes that see, legs that run, flowers that enhance our yard, and air that we breathe but it was exactly these simple, but powerful, daily gifts that Rabbi Miller pointed out to his kehilla in his frequent shiurim. As parents with such frequent contact with our children, we can try to teach our youngsters to notice and appreciate each experience. The need for ever-increasing “bigger and better” is a futile chase. Our children, being immature, may not recognize these small gifts. We can point out as we go the many presents Hashem gives us. Making children feel guilty they aren’t appreciative won’t be nearly as effective as having the adults in their life exemplifying the middah of gratitude. This is one of those areas where we really teach better by example than by lecture. Rabbi Miller, in one of his shiurim, discusses the role parents play in introducing children to new experiences. When a parent says how terrible the rain is, a child may forever associate rain with misery, but when

As frum Jews, we already have a built-in plan to sensitize ourselves daily to the brachos in life. We have brachos when we arise and throughout the day as we do various tasks, from eating to mitzvos. When we make a conscious attempt to feel appreciation, the effort rubs off on those around us. It’s easy to tell our children how to say a brocha or say “amein” but it’s more effective to demonstrate ourselves. When we act grateful, our children will absorb the lesson. When we politely ask our children to say “amein” to our brachos, they will hopefully, in turn, start to do the same. It’s a win-win situation. Most likely they will follow our examples and say brachos and amein more appropriately. But, even if they don’t, at least we’ve improved ourselves. We can take the time to appreciate all the small blessings throughout our day and thank Hashem for them. As awkward as it may seem to say this out loud, it can be one way for our children to see how we are feeling indebted to Hashem for all we have. Enjoy Tu B’Shvat with your family and enjoy Hashem’s many blessings.

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

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In The K


Shivat Haminim Salad Pareve / Yields 8 servings By Naomi Nachman

Happy birthday to the trees! The 15th of Sh’vat is known as the

Rosh Hashana (beginning of the year) for the trees. Growing up in Australia, I always remember with fondness planting trees in our Tanach class during this period. (Remember, in Australia, summer

is in February.) I used to watch the plants grow every year as I grew in my childhood.

Several years ago, while on a visit to Israel during Tu B’Shvat I created this festive Tu B’Shvat salad using all the Shivat

Haminim (7 Species). These ancient agriculture products all still

grow in Israel: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. They connect back to the times when we had the Beit Hamikdash, and references to each of them can be found throughout Tanach.

Now, living in the USA, I have love planting fruits and vegetables with my own children each spring, and this has brought home for me a strong connection between nature, Tanach and halacha. Ingredients ◦ ₂ ⁄₃ cup barley ◦ Oil, for deep frying ◦ 1 Tablespoon flour ◦ 5 cups arugula or spinach ◦ 1 cup green grapes, halved ◦ ½ cup pomegranate seeds ◦ 8 dried figs, quartered

Dressing ◦ ¼ cup olive oil

◦ 2 Tablespoons silan ◦ Juice of 2 limes

3. Toss ½ cup cooked barley with flour. Add to hot

oil; fry for a few minutes, until golden and crispy.

◦ ½ teaspoon whole grain mustard

Set aside.

◦ 1 teaspoon kosher salt

4. Prepare the dressing: Place all dressing ingredi-

◦ ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation 1. Cook barley according to package directions. Set aside to cool. 2. Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat.

ents into a small bowl. Whisk until combined.

5. Assemble salad: Place greens, grapes, pomegranate seeds, figs, remaining cooked barely into

a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to combine. Garnish with fried barley. Recipe by Naomi Nachman from Perfect Flavors shared with permission by Artscroll/Mesorah publications.

Naomi Nachman, the owner of The Aussie Gourmet, caters weekly and Shabbat/ Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities, with a specialty in Pesach catering. Naomi is a contributing editor to this paper and also produces and hosts her own weekly radio show on the Nachum Segal Network stream called “A Table for Two with Naomi Nachman.” Naomi gives cooking presentations for organizations and private groups throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area. In addition, Naomi has been a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, magazines as well as other media covering topics related to cuisine preparation and personal chefs. To obtain additional recipes, join The Aussie Gourmet on Facebook or visit Naomi’s blog. Naomi can be reached through her website, or at (516) 295-9669.

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

I saw that because of a huge winter storm, a 50-mile stretch of I-95 in Virginia was shut down, and drivers were stranded on the Interstate for more than 24 hours. Meanwhile, there was a dad sitting there like, “If I could just get over the one lane.” — Jimmy Fallon

The only happy person was the cabdriver whose fare got up to $14 million. — Jimmy Fallon

Consider 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who used his semiautomatic weapon to kill two Black men in Kenosha, Wisconsin, while waging a glorious race war on behalf of his inherited White power. - UCLA professor Kara Cooney in her new book for National Geographic stating a bold-faced lie that Kyle Rittenhouse – who was found not guilty for his shooting of two white men – actually killed two black men

Yes. This was my mistake. And caught too late for printing. Apologies. I stand by the sentiment of white supremacy, however. -Ibid., acknowledging her “mistake” in a tweet

Scientists are currently disputing a new study that claims to have discovered a so-called Deltacron strain of the coronavirus. It combines the Delta and Omicron variants, and the only thing that can stop it is the Pfizerna vaccine. — Seth Meyers

In fact, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was one of the commuters trapped on the Interstate, causing him to tweet this: “I started my normal 2-hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday. 19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol.” But his commute wasn’t done. It took him 27 hours to get to work. Twenty-seven hours! The stakes were high too because it only takes 24 hours for anyone to forget who Tim Kaine is. — James Corden

I don’t necessarily like signing mistakes, let me just say that. So that’s the last time I’m going to do that. I know it is the season of giving. I don’t plan on giving any more gifts to people for that, either. It’s much better to receive than give from my standpoint as a quarterback. –Tom Brady, in an interview with Jim Gray, talking about signing a football intercepted by Brandin Echols during last Sunday’s win over the Jets

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

These aren’t people; they are subhuman, despicable people… They should not get any support and they should be removed by force from there.

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I know they’re perfect, and there’s not much I can do about that. I can only aspire one day to be as perfect as they are. - New York City Mayor Eric Adams talking about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other leftists after Ocasio Cortez was highly insulted that the mayor referred to some workers in New York City as “low skill workers”

- Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan talking about Israelis who live in parts of Judea and Samaria that are unsettled

We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition, many on ventilators. - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during Supreme Court oral arguments on the Biden vaccine mandate. (According to the CDC, there are currently less than 3,500 children hospitalized throughout the U.S. due to corona)

Is Fauci advising Justice Sotomayor? Will YouTube censor her? - Tweet by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

We have never been busier! - The owner of a Houston restaurant who posted a sign outside stating: “No masks necessary, unless you look like Nancy Pelosi”

Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place in our calendars, but a place in our collective memory: December 7th, 1941. September 11, 2001. And January 6th, 2021. - Vice Pres. Kamala Harris comparing January 6, 2021 (when several thousand Trump supporters rioted at the Capital – some acting violently and some taking the opportunity to take selfies within the Capitol – resulting in the tragic death of one unarmed Trump supporter) with 9/11 (when terrorists killed 2,977 people, some of whom chose to jump 100 stories rather than be burned alive) and Pearl Harbor (when 2,403 servicemen were burned alive by a surprise attack by the Japanese during World War II)

Horrific memories of the January 6th siege haunt Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. – Headline on WCBS 880, ahead of an interview with Sen. Blumenthal (D-Conn.) who previously lied about serving in Vietnam

Jill and I have mourned police officers in this Capitol rotunda not once but twice in the wake of January 6. Once to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the attack. The second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who lost his life defending the Capitol as well. - Pres. Biden, in his January 6th address, seeking to blame January 6th protesters for the death of Brian Sicknick (who was not injured on January 6 and who happened to die of natural causes the next day) and Officer Evans (who was killed on April 2nd when a Nation of Islam member purposely ran him over with his vehicle)

January 6th is X-Mas for the Democrats. - Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

Stone-cold sober elites are systematically waging a far more dangerous and insidious revolution in the shadows than anything threatened by the American Right. - Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

We are in a dangerous revolutionary cycle. But the threat is not so much from loud, buffoonish one-day rioters on January 6. Such clownish characters did not for 120 days loot, burn, attack courthouses and police precincts, cause over 30 deaths, injure 2,000 policemen, and destroy at least $2 billion in property – all under the banner of revolutionary justice. – Ibid.


The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022 OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home


Israel is a racist European ethnostate built on stolen land from its indigenous population! - Tweet by Hussain Altamimi, legislative assistant to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (Dem/Socialist- NY)

It’s been the hardest 21 days of my life. - Ultrarunner Emma Timmis after completing a 2,100km journey, running the length of New Zealand in a recordsetting 21 days

It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people who have demonstrated great skill in capital allocation and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation, which is the government. - Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a Wall Street Journal forum

Government is a corporation in the limit, so, it is the most corporate thing; it is the maximum corporation. But it’s also a monopoly. Also, it’s the only one allowed legally to do violence. So, why would you want to give a corporation with no competition, that can’t even really go bankrupt, more money? – Ibid.

I can’t emphasize this enough, there are not enough people. And I think one of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate and the rapidly declining birth rate. And yet, so many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control. It’s completely the opposite. Please look at the numbers. If people don’t have more children, civilization is going to crumble. Mark my words. – Ibid.

Sacred Heart pressed for most of the first half, then called it off and went into a tight man-to-man half court defense trying to get steals. They fast breaked the entire game right to the end. They never went into a zone and continued to push the ball up the court and shoot threes wherever they could. They showed no mercy throughout. - Lyman Hall coach Tom Lipka after Sacred Heart Academy beat his team in a high school girls basketball game 92-4, resulting in the Sacred Heart Academy coach being fired for “lack of sportsmanship”

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Political Crossfire

Last Jan. 6, Our Institutions Held – Except the Media By Marc A. Thiessen


s we reflect on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, here is the good news: Our democracy was never in danger, because our institutions held. State election officials, including Republicans who supported President Donald Trump, did the right thing. So did GOP governors and state legislators, who refused Trump’s demands they appoint new electors. So did the courts, including judges and justices appointed by Trump who rejected Trump’s legal challenges. So did Vice President Mike Pence, who resisted Trump’s pressure and fulfilled his constitutional duties. So, ultimately, did Congress, which certified the election results once the rioters were finally cleared from the building. But one institution did fail us: the news media. At the time of the riot, a Post-ABC News poll found that 70% of Republicans believed Trump’s claims that Biden’s win was illegitimate. And a year later, multiple polls show that belief has not diminished. How can that be? Trump’s claims have been thoroughly examined and discredited. Nearly every court case Trump brought was rejected not just on procedural grounds, but on examination of the facts. Even his own attorney general, William Barr, said there was no “fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.” And yet millions of Americans still believe the election was stolen. Why is that? Because trust in the news media – the institution that is supposed to be our neutral arbiter of truth – lies in tatters. A recent Gallup poll finds just 7% of U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” of trust in the media, while 63% have “not very much” trust or “none

at all.” In January 2021 – the very moment we needed an objective news media to separate fact from fiction – an Edelman poll found that 59% of Americans believed “journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations,” and 59% said “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.” Maybe the reason so many feel that way is because they watched supposedly objective journalists push the discredited, Clinton campaign-funded Steele Dossier – a scandal Axios called one of “the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history.” Maybe it’s because they watched as many in the media promoted the theory that Trump had engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to steal the 2016 election – and then, even after special counsel Robert Mueller III concluded that Trump had not done so, continued to deny that Mueller had cleared him. Maybe it’s because, after the false conspiracy narrative failed to bring

Trump down, they watched as the media cheer-led Trump’s first impeachment trial – even though half of Americans did not believe his phone call with Ukraine’s president warranted removal from office. Perhaps it was the dismissal of the Wuhan lab leak theory by many in the media and the marginalization of its proponents as crackpots. Or the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and its dismissal as Russian disinformation. Or the widespread depictions of rioting, looting and arson as “mostly peaceful” protests. Maybe it was watching CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta declare on national television that “this White House has an unhealthy fixation on what I call the 3 M’s: the Mexicans, the Muslims and the media.” Or perhaps it’s because they saw what CBS News’ John Dickerson called the media’s “hysterical” coverage of Trump, which he compared to weather reporters who hype every coming storm, only to see them peter out. As Dickerson told Hugh Hewitt, the media can’t blame Trump for its lack of credibility. “The press did all that good work ruining its rep-

utation on its own.” No doubt Trump fed the distrust, railing against “fake news.” But too many in the media validated his claims by delivering “fake news.” So, when Trump told the “big lie” – claiming the election was stolen – many Americans no longer believed the media when they said it wasn’t true. Yes, some media voices amplified Trump’s claim, and many Republican lawmakers amplified it or declined to challenge it. But journalists had so discredited themselves with years of hostile, hyperventilating coverage of Trump that millions no longer trusted them to objectively report the truth. They figured, reporters got the Trump-Russia relationship and so many other stories so wrong, why should we trust them on this? So, when we find, a year after the Capitol riot, that more than 70% of Republicans still believe Trump’s claims that the election was stolen, that is not a failure on the part of those Americans. It is the media’s failure. It is a direct result of four years of a collective loss of objectivity on the part of the media establishment. Too many journalists failed to do what Republican election officials, state legislators, judges, justices and even the vice president were able to do after the November election – put aside their political biases and do their jobs. Our democracy survived Trump’s malfeasance on Jan. 6. But the damage done by the media’s malfeasance is real and lasting. They squandered the trust of the American people – and in so doing, they share responsibility for the horrific events of Jan. 6. (c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

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Political Crossfire

If Putin Invades, the West Wants it to Hurt By David Ignatius


ow can the United States and its allies help Ukraine become a porcupine –a prickly, stubborn nation that would be hard for an invading Russian army to digest? Top U.S. officials are mulling this question as they prepare for a crucial meeting with Russia on Monday. Russia is heading to Geneva with what amounts to an ultimatum: Unless President Vladimir Putin gets security guarantees from the West, he’s prepared to invade. Biden administration officials say they want a diplomatic solution, but they’ve also been delivering warnings through public and private channels that an invasion would be bloody, protracted and extremely damaging for Russia. “What you’re seeing is a concerted effort by the administration and its allies to make it clear to Putin that an invasion of Ukraine would be a very bad idea,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in an interview last Thursday. The Air Force has flown B-52 bombers and RC-135 reconnaissance planes over eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, as part of its effort to deter Russia. Ukraine was a pushover for Russia in its 2014 seizure of Crimea, but a lot has changed since then. The Ukrainian army is better trained and equipped; the population is more united against Russian interference; and the United States and NATO allies are ready to provide weapons and training for a long battle of resistance if Russian forces move across the border toward Kyiv. U.S. officials view Ukraine as potentially similar to Iraq, a country that the United States tried and failed to transform through military

power after invading in 2003. The populations and land areas of the two nations are roughly equal; both are about 70% urbanized. Both have ethnic fractures and a streak of independence. The United States and its allies have begun thinking carefully about how they would support a Ukrainian insurgency with training and weapons, including Stinger antiaircraft missiles. Conquering such an insurgency would require a force of 20 Russian combatants for every 1,000 Ukrainians, according to a formula devised by Rand Corp. analyst James Quinlivan in 1995. That would translate to a Russian occupation force of about 886,000 – obviously unrealistic, but a measure of the difficulty of quelling an uprising. To stiffen Ukraine’s ability to resist, the United States and NATO have dispatched teams in recent weeks to survey air defenses, logistics, communications, and other essentials.

The United States likely has also bolstered Ukraine’s defenses against Russian cyberattacks and electronic warfare. Once the terrain is frozen in February, Russia’s far larger army could surge toward Kyiv from the north, east and south. But the aftermath would probably be a long, arduous campaign. Two U.S. commanders who can testify to the frustrations of counterinsurgency are Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve spoken to their Russian counterparts in recent days and probably warned that Ukraine won’t be easy to swallow. Putin is telling Russians that an invasion may be necessary to stop NATO’s encroachment. The paradox is that a Russian attack would probably produce the very outcome Putin wants to avoid. NATO has discussed plans to move troops forward after an

invasion, which would make Russia less secure. A protracted war in Eastern Europe would have other consequences that are hard to predict. As in the Syrian civil war, millions of refugees would stream across the border, straining the European Union. But a war would stress Russia, too, as body bags arrive home in Moscow, adding to Putin’s domestic political problems. Ukrainian insurgents might seek havens in Poland and Romania, further complicating the situation. This showdown is a test of resolve, and Putin probably thinks he has a big advantage over President Joe Biden, who is relatively unpopular and leads a sharply divided country. But stung by criticism of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden will resist any repeat in Ukraine. Another plus for Biden: His team has skillfully shared intelligence and conducted joint planning with NATO allies. Russia’s border worries aren’t limited to Ukraine. Moscow and its allies from the former Soviet Union sent troops Thursday to quell an uprising in Kazakhstan. Post-Soviet life is getting messier, in Belarus, Ukraine and now Kazakhstan. Quelling rebellions on Russia’s periphery will stretch Putin’s resources. Putin’s biggest disadvantage in Ukraine may be that he has lost the element of surprise that was so effective in 2014. The whole world is watching. When you try to make a “net assessment” of the Ukraine confrontation, an invasion looks very costly. But history is a recurring story of overconfident leaders making foolish mistakes. (c) 2021, Washington Post Writers Group


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

Noteworthy Bayonet Charges By Avi Heiligman


odern soldiers are provided a variety of weapons based on their particular role in their units. Of all the weapons issued in the age of firearms, the least used in combat by far is the bayonet. Bayonets are a knife, sword, or a spiked weapon that can be fitted onto the end of a rifle or firearm. Infantry bayonet charges were popular until the end of World War I, but they were used more for the shock and morale factor than to actually hurt the enemy. Battlefield strategist began to notice that bayonet charges were rarely used in close combat and were usually reserved for use against the enemy when ammunition was low. There have been many successful bayonet charges in the past two centuries including a few during the recent War on Terror. The defense of Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 culminated in a bayonet charge that stunned the Confederates. It was the second day of one of the most important battles of the Civil War, and the Union’s line was in the shape of the fishhook. In the center, Union General Sickles moved his men off the high ground creating an opportunity for the Confederates to attack the left flank. Defending the far left of the Union lines was Colonel Joshua Chamberlin’s 20th Maine Regiment, and he was ordered to hold the position at all costs. Regiments from Alabama soon began attacking Chamberlin’s men. The attacks were very costly for both sides, but the Union lines held. As the Confederates prepared for one last desperate attempt to gain the high ground, Chamberlin was told that his men were basically out of ammunition. They couldn’t retreat nor could they fire, and this left Chamberlin with one option. Chamberlin formed his men in two groups as he executed the “right wheel forward” maneuver and gave the order to fix bayonets. The bayonet charge that followed netted the 20th Maine 400 prisoners, completely surprised the enemy, and culminated with Little Round Top re-

maining in Union hands. Chamberlin was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. During World War II, marines from the 1st Marine Division fighting for an airfield on the Pacific island of Peleliu found themselves against a determined Japanese defense line while attempting to take an airfield. The order came to

were taking fire. After clearing the farmhouse, more men followed him into the hedgerows where hand-to hand-fighting ensued. The bayonets proved to be a useful weapon along with grenades as the paratroopers soon forced the Germans to retreat. Two weeks later, Cole was killed by a sniper; he was posthumously award-

The bayonet charge that followed netted the 20th Maine 400 prisoners, completely surprised the enemy, and culminated with Little Round Top remaining in Union hands.

fix bayonets, and they charged while successfully gaining control of the airfield. After the Allies invaded France in June 1944, Norman hedgerows filled with German soldiers became an obstacle preventing a breakout. On June 11, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cole of the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division tried to convince his pinned-down soldiers to go on the attack. Cole gave the order to fix bayonets and to charge. At first, only a quarter of his men followed him to a farmhouse where they

ed the Medal of Honor for leading the bayonet charge. The Battle of Bayonet Hill occurred on February 7, 1951 during the Korean War. Captain Lewis Millett was the commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 27 th Infantry Regiment when one platoon was pinned down by enemy fire near a hill occupied the Koreans and Chinese. Millett led another platoon and soon joined both into a larger unit. He then gave the order, “We’re going up the hill. Fix bayonets. Charge! Everyone goes with me!” Hand-tohand combat ensued as the Americans

made their way up the hill. Bayonets were used to great effect, and Millett himself used it on two enemy soldiers while encouraging his men to take the hill. Grenade fragments wounded the courageous captain, but he didn’t stop until the enemy was routed and the hill was securely in American hands. Millett was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Eisenhower for leading one of the last large bayonet charges in American military history. Even though bayonet charges were rare in the past century, several were mounted during engagements by highly trained troops in engagements worldwide. The French Battalion also conducted a bayonet charge during the Korean War, and French marines executed another bayonet charge during the 1995 Siege of Sarajevo. British paratroopers and members of the Scots Guard conducted separate bayonet charges during the 1982 Falklands War. More recently, in 2004 during the Iraq War, British soldiers from two regiments came across about 100 insurgents in trenches. Sergeant Major David Falconer ordered his men to fix bayonets, and a fierce hand-to-hand four-hour battle ensued. Twenty-eight insurgents were killed with no major British casualties. General George Patton summed up the modern use of bayonet charges in battle: “Few men are killed by the bayonet. Many are scared by it.” Bayonets are still issued to soldiers, and while most use it as a practical tool, there are still instances where it can come in handy during battle. Cases like the Battle of Little Round Top or the charges in the mid-20th century prove that bayonet charges can turn the tide of a battle when used properly.

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

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LAWRENCE: 8 bedrooms, set back circular drive, pristine grounds. 2 story grand entrance, extremely large dining room. Expansive chefs kitchen, rotunda breakfast room has floor to ceiling windows. 3 sinks 3 ovens 2 dishwashers, lime stone floors and granite countertops. First floor with 10 foot ceilings with additional 3 guest bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, den, billiard room and laundry room. Floors with radiant heat. Second floor with master suite with 2, walk in closets and master bath, additional 4 bedrooms with walk-in closets and bathrooms in each. An added amenity of a home gym/office on that floor. P.O.R. Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457

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HEWLETT This home in SD#14, was expanded and completely renovated in 2008, with all the bathrooms redone in 2016. It consists of 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, finished basement with separate rooms. Upgraded CAC, hardwood floors, hi-hats all around, ceiling fans in all the bedrooms, security system, in-ground sprinklers, new washer/dryer, many closets, PV solar electric panels, and smart home features. Master bedroom with en-suite bathroom with radiant heat. Close to schools, shopping, and transportation.$849k OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY DECEMBER 19 11:30-1:30PM 1589 HEWLETT AVENUE Mark Lipner Associate Broker Berkshire Hathaway Laffey International 516-298-8457

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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home





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The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



FAR ROCKAWAY: House For Rent. On Beach 12th. 3 1/2 bedrooms.Just renovated, Central HVAC,LR/Dr, Finished basement..Call Raphael 917-822-1726 $3800/m

Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island has an immediate opening for a warm and caring full-time Kindergarten assistant. Friendly environment and competitive salary. Please email resume to

HELP WANTED Looking to hire a female with a lively and outgoing personality that is experienced with children and musical. P/T or F/T. Great Pay. Call 929-322-4202 Gesher (located in Cedarhurst) is looking for a part-time Rebbe beginning in January for First Grade boys. · Approximately a half-hour a day, Monday through Friday · Small group lessons · The goal of the Rebbe is to provide faster paced exposure to higher level kriah and chumash skills · Curriculum support provided · One-on-one private pay tutoring opportunities may also be available Please email your resume to or contact (516) 730-7377 to set up an interview. DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT A multi-tasker needed for general office work. The ideal candidate is someone who is detail-oriented, responsible, and can take ownership. Looking for someone who is eager to learn, and expand his/her skill set while possessing the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Experience with Excel required. Five Towns location. In-office position only, not remote. Please send resume to SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS CAHAL is seeking a secular studies MATERNITY SUBSTITUTE for February for a small boys 6th grade class and a PERMANENT AFTERNOON SUBSTITUTE. Email resume to or call 516-295-3666. ASSISTANT TEACHERS CAHAL is seeking PM Assistant Teachers for young classes in 5-Towns and Far Rockaway. E-mail resume to or call 516-295-3666. TAG JH looking for Math Teacher starting end of January email:

TAG JH looking for Math Teacher starting end of January email: BUSINESS MANAGER P/T (mostly) Remote Legacy 613, a dynamic Jewish outreach organization based in the NYC metro area, seeks a Business Manager. The successful candidate will be responsible to oversee the budget. We are looking for a dynamic selfstarter with excellent people and organizational skills. Experience in not-for-profit Jewish organizations is a plus. Excellent part-time opportunity with competitive hourly compensation. Candidate will work with the director in developing budget and fundraising initiatives and generating reports to present to our Board of Directors. Send resumes to Seeking experienced bookkeeper or CPA to take over the QuickBooks entering for a 501c3 nonprofit. Initial project includes restructuring the chart of accounts, bringing the books up to date, and transferring from QB Desktop to QB Online. Ongoing tasks include ensuring that accounting is always current and producing reports as needed. Candidate will be asked to train admin staff on QB Online. Nonprofit seeking individual to become familiar with client and donor CRMs (Best Notes and DonorSnap) to maximize their administrative use. Individual will be asked to create systems and personalize the CRMs to the needs of the nonprofit. Send resume to


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JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home



SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS CAHAL is seeking afternoon maternity leave substitute secular studies teacher for a small 6th grade boys class and PM secular studies permanent substitute. E-mail resume to or call 516-295-3666.

SHULAMITH EARLY CHILDHOOD is looking to hire a full time teacher assistant for the current school year. Please email resume to

SPEECH THERAPIST CAHAL is seeking a Speech/ Language Therapist for Special Ed classes in 5-Towns /Far Rock yeshivas. E-mail resume to Shira@ or call 516-295-3666. Special Care seeks patient Male or female com/hab worker 5:30-7:30 P.M. for 7-year-old boy with autism in Bayswater, Full/ partial coverage okay. 718-252-3365ext:102 / General administrative support needed for busy Five Towns office. Part-Time, in-office position. Flexible hours. Looking for someone who is detail-oriented, dependable, and dedicated. Proficiency in Excel/ Word a must. Please send inquiry/resume to flexiblestaffpositions21 CERTIFIED MALE CAREGIVER FOR OVER 25 YEARS Expert full time care. Experienced with many conditions. Upscale references available. Will travel. Call Ralph (212) 658-0542. (561) 351-7944 (cell) Nursing Home Management Company in Brooklyn Looking to fill the following positions: Administrative Assistant MS office suite proficiency required Administrative Assistant experience required WE ARE LOOKING FOR AN EXPERIENCED FULL TIME BOOKKEEPER Excellent growth potential Frum environment Excellent salary & benefits Email resume to: Please put position title and FTJH in subject line

NEW YESHIVA IN QUEENS SEEKING SECRETARY Must be detail-oriented, have great organizational skills, able to multi-task. Experience in school programs a plus. Send resume to: or call/text: 347-351-4573 ASSISTANT REBBEIM and TEACHERS CAHAL, the community Special Ed program in Five Towns and Far Rockaway yeshivas has immediate openings available for: AM ASSISTANT REBBES for a 4th-5th grade class and a 6th grade class PM ASSISTANT TEACHERS for a 2nd-3rd grade class and a 6th grade class We have small classes and flexible hours. Email resume to or call 516-295-3666. 5 TOWNS BOYS YESHIVA SEEKING ELEM GEN ED TEACHERS Excellent working environment and pay. Only lic/exp need apply. Email resume to Special Care seeks patient Male or female com/hab worker 5:30-7:30 P.M. for 7-year-old boy with autism in Bayswater, full or partial coverage. 718-252-3365ext:102 or MDS REGIONAL NURSE: 5 Towns area Nursing Home management office seeking a Regional/Corporate level MDS Nurse to work in our office. Must be an RN. Regional experience preferred. 2-3 years MDS experience with good computer skills required. Position is Full Time but Part Time can be considered. Great Shomer Shabbos environment with some remote options as well. Email:



TAILOR WANTED KGH dry-cleaners is seeking a tailor for p/t or f/t work. Monday, Wednesday and Friday preferred, other days available. Call or text 917-435-9753

Gemach Zichron Yehuda In memory of R’ Yehuda Aryeh Leib ben R’ Yisroel Dov We have a library of books on the subjects of loss, aveilus, grief, & kaddish. We have sets of ArtScroll Mishnayos to assist with finishing Shisha Sidrei Mishna for Shloshim or yahrtzeit. Locations in Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, & Lakewood. Email:

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The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022 OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home




Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? By Allan Rolnick, CPA


unday night, Paramount+ aired the season four finale of their hit drama Yellowstone. (No spoilers!) The show follows the Dutton family, sixth-generation heirs to the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, as they fight to defend their legacy. On one side, greedy developers want to turn the area into the next Park City. On the other, the neighboring Broken Rock tribe just wants their ancestral home back. Real Montana ranchers report the show is remarkably true-to-life, especially the gunfights, explosions, and occasional “long black train” to the back of the head. Yellowstone has ever y thing you’d expect in a modern western. There’s Kevin Costner, playing patriarch John Dutton, riding t h roug h gorgeou s mou nt a i n scenery. There’s a comic side plot following the wranglers living in the bunkhouse, which usually winds up with someone bleeding on the floor. (Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.) There’s a terrific soundtrack, full of edgy, energetic country music and lonesome cowboy ballads. (Conspicuously absent: any of that watered-down Nashville pop that drives so many people nuts.) And Yellowstone has something

else that might surprise you — plotlines that turn on taxes instead of ridin’, ropin’, and shootin’. Do you think Clint Eastwood and John Wayne would be impressed? Here’s the problem. The Dutton property is the size of Rhode Island, worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (In one episode, the greedy developers offer half a billion to turn

too bad she’s not in the tax business — it would be fun to watch her gut an auditor like a grizzly guts a fish. But the real blocker comes from Montana law. Properties bigger than 160 acres automatically get agricultural use valuation unless they’re clearly being used for something else. Once agricultural use is established, the land is valued according to its

Ranch operations don’t turn a profit, leaving the Duttons land-rich but cash poor.

a 50,000-acre slice into an international airport.) But ranch operations don’t turn a profit, leaving the Duttons land-rich but cash poor. So, how do you force the family out? Just build a casino or ski resort next door, push up the value of the Dutton land to raise their property tax, and watch them slink off in defeat. Of course, in the real world, it’s never that easy. For starters, have you met John’s daughter Beth Dutton? It’s

ability to produce crops or sustain livestock. That means it doesn’t matter what the greedy developers put next door as long as the Duttons continue using the property for ranching — they can’t be forced out by higher golf course or ski resort taxes. There’s another tax threat, though, that could bring the series to early cancellation. When John finally takes his last trail ride, his estate will owe a tax of 40% on anything above

$12 million. Ranch heirs can claim special-use valuation discounts and defer taxes for up to 14 years. But there’s still no way the Duttons can come up with that sort of cash. We might suggest premium-financed life insurance to prepay the bill without dipping into current operations. But that takes someone healthier than John, who’s survived enough cliffhangers to kill any character who isn’t played by the Executive Producer. Season five is already in the works, and Yellowstone has spawned an origin story (1883) and a spinoff (6666). What adventures lie in the Duttons’ future? Will a different developer propose mining the ranch? Will the Broken Rock tribe — headed by a chief with Harvard MBA — launch a hostile takeover? Will a crooked accountant loot the ranch of what little cash it has left? Stay tuned for more, and call us to pay less when the greedy developers come for your land!

Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at


JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


Life C ach

Something Not to Fight About By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., LMFT, CLC, SDS


here are some fights that actually have no opponents. Sounds hard to imagine? How are we fighting if there’s no opponent? Well, here’s one – like fighting sleep. Oh, sure, there’s a resisting force there, but it isn’t someone you have to make up with. Getting into a fight might not happen that often, yet sometimes you’re in it before you know what hit you. You kind of know how it happens – you state what you to be “a fact” and someone else has the nerve to think it’s only your opinion! This often is the beginning of going down a rickety road. There are times you just don’t know where this will take you, and it may hurt a relationship that has other strengths. And then maybe there are the times with spouses or kids or siblings when you’re not on the same page, and these altercations take you to the exact same place every time. And you just haven’t learned to navigate it better. Do you take these chances? Do you keep going down these same painful roads? Can we try to reduce the oppo-

nent status? Is it possible, just possible, that according to someone else there may be a different set of facts? OK, let’s not call it facts, can we say a different way of seeing things? That may reduce the opponent status a bit. And bring us into a different realm. For instance, to start with, can

them, based on their background, thoughts, experience, needs, etc. How about this: maybe there are two rights? Right for me and right for you? And look, who becomes your opponent with this thought? You. Yourself. Since, you now have to fight with yourself to see the possibility that the person you’re dis-

Can we call it perhaps “sparring partners”?

we call it perhaps “sparring partners”? That way we are staying in the ring together. Maybe we can even work toward holding back a bit and being open to seeing that – wait for it –our way isn’t necessarily wrong! Bet you didn’t think I was going there and supporting you. Well, I was! But the idea is that your way may be right for you and not for

agreeing with may also have some case to make. It certainly slows down the argument or the intensity between you and the other person. In fact, you have to slow things down to really listen to their ideas so you can see where they are coming from. And then even take the time to process it. Wow, you are now in the fightingit-out with yourself territory. That’s

a much better place to be because in this case you can always call a truce or take a break. And certainly, you’re guaranteed cooperation. Well, of course! You’re in control of both sides. I’m not saying you’ll ultimately agree with your original opponent, but you may show up calmer and more open-minded to talk things out. And maybe you’ll seem more like two people figuring it out or collaborating rather than two excited people with boxing gloves on. So let’s try to be people who fight things like sleep and not each other. And maybe, just maybe, that will give you a better night’s sleep, too!

Rivki Rosenwald is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist working with both couples and individuals and is a certified relationship counselor. Rivki is a co-founder and creator of an effective Parent Management of Adolescent Years Program. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or at rivkirosenwald@

The Jewish Home | JANUARY 13, 2022



JANUARY 13, 2022 | The Jewish Home



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