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Page 1

March 19, 2020

Distributed weekly in the Five Towns, Long Island, Queens & Brooklyn

Your Favorite Five Towns Family Newspaper

Always Fresh. Always Gourmet. See page 7

Exciting TJH Contest!

Do Something, Win Something! See page 8 for details

Around the

Community

FAITH OVER FEAR

The Power of Bitachon pg

60

Learning at Home 38 Keeping the Purim Spirit Alive

Principals and Mechanchim Offer Tips on Helping Children during this Time pg

43 Pesach Punchlines Mathletes Score

45 Thinking of Others

pg

72

91


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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

INSPIRING JEWS ... ONE BOOK AT A TIME

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REBBETZIN ESTHER JUNGREIS HER LIFE, HER VISION, HER LEGACY

by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer

OVER 650 PAGES

INCLUDES HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS

• Esther Jungreis was a young Holocaust survivor who became a friend, advisor, teacher, and often even a surrogate mother to thousands: singles and families, prime ministers, presidents and prisoners, and spiritual seekers throughout the world. • A pioneer in Jewish outreach and the founder of Hineni, she made history in Madison Square Garden, where she proved that Torah could interest, engage, and energize all Jews. • Through her newspaper columns, bestselling books, and standing-room-only speeches, she ignited the “pintele Yid” that lies within every Jew. • She shared her passion for Torah and Jewish continuity and enriched the lives of millions throughout the world. The Rebbetzin was written by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer, one of the Jewish world’s premiere authors, who interviewed close to one hundred people — family, shul members, students, neighbors, and many others — whose souls she touched, who shared her devotion to Klal Yisrael. In these stories he vividly captures the life of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating, charismatic, and spiritually inspiring Jewish personalities.

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pero stories.” They are unique and engaging, with a “wow” factor that will leave you amazed, surprised, and delighted. Most of all, they will touch your soul and ignite a spark. And that spark will light up your life.

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The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,

A

ny mother reading this can recognize the sounds of being in labor. I was fortunate to recently go through that experience with the birth of our daughter before Purim. Giving birth is one of the few times in life where we clearly see how Hashem takes us from pure pain to unbridled joy in a split second. One moment you feel like you just can’t go on, and you have to remind yourself just to take one more deep breath. The next moment you are handed a beautiful and innocent angel. Isn’t that the story of life, too? It’s just not always as visible to the naked eye. But it’s the truth. We are all juggling a lot right now; we are in the labor part of the process. But soon enough, Hashem, in His infinite wisdom and love for us, will give each of us individually and collectively a salvation beyond what we can even imagine. While we are in the labor part of the process, while we’re juggling so many balls at once, there is something that I recently heard that has been helpful that I’d like to share. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov was known to work very hard on living in the moment and was constantly renewing himself. One time, when he was in the hospital, the doctors were concerned because his blood pressure kept changing every few minutes. When he noticed their consternation, he asked what the problem was. They told him that his blood pressure was going wild from minute to minute. He turned to them and said that everything was fine and that they shouldn’t worry. He explained, “I live my life one minute at a time with every moment being fresh, a new opportunity, and the only moment that exists. My body, too, functions that way and that is why my blood pressure keeps changing.” We oftentimes think about how our season is going – summer, winter, the pre-Pesach season, the back-to-school season, etc. We think about how our month is going or how our week or day is working

Weekly Weather |

20

21

PM Thunder- AM Clouds / storms PM Sun

62° 45°

50° 32°

out. But now, many of us are finding that the best way to get by is by only thinking about how each moment is going. We are not assessing whether our children had a good week, a good day, or even a good hour – we’re just working on ensuring that they had a good few minutes. Although there are many hidden opportunities in these trying times, this is one that I find very helpful – breaking down the day into increments of literally a few minutes at a time. Baby steps. Putting one foot in front of the other, one conference call “lesson” at a time. Checking in on the kids every few minutes and cheering them on for behaving nicely, sharing, and doing their work. I see this in my parenting as well. Forget about giving myself a scorecard on my patience level for the day; I get to give myself checks for patience and understanding every few minutes. And hopefully this way I’ll be able to amass many checks on that level. An extra perk about living in the moment means that we get to turn over a new leaf consistently. We’re on the move, not dwelling on incidents or aggravations. When our children see that, they will hopefully adopt that attitude as well – and be able to manage their emotions and actions more smoothly. I am sure that each of you have your own thoughts, ideas, and even vignettes of transforming your homes into virtual classrooms and offices during these times. I would love to hear from you and perhaps we can share those thoughts with our readers; after all, we are in this new experience together. Email your thoughts to me at editor@ fivetownsjewishhome.com with the subject line “Thought” so we can all join in the conversation. Wishing you and your family a joyous and uplifting Shabbos. Shoshana

Yitzy Halpern PUBLISHER

publisher@fivetownsjewishhome.com

Yosef Feinerman MANAGING EDITOR

ads@fivetownsjewishhome.com

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Nate Davis Editorial Assistant Nechama Wein Copy Editor Berish Edelman Adina Goodman 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 classifieds@fivetownsjewishhome.com 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 neces­ sarily 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

March 20– March 28

22

23

24

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26

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Few Showers

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Partly Cloudy

43° 37°

45° 42°

53° 41°

52° 44°

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Friday, March 20 Parshas Vayakhel Pekudei Candle Lighting: 6:49 pm Shabbos Ends: 7:50 pm Rabbeinu Tam: 8:21 pm


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Contents LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

8

COMMUNITY 8

Readers’ Poll Community Happenings

36

NEWS Global

12

National

24

Odd-but-True Stories

34

ISRAEL Israel News

18

20

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Wein on the Parsha

54

Parsha in Four by Eytan Kobre

56

Fantasy or Reality by Shmuel Reichman

58

Faith Over Fear

60

PEOPLE 86

HEALTH & FITNESS Emotional Eating by Aliza Beer, MS RD CDN

68

Weirdness by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn

70

Reflections on a Very Different Week in Yeshiva by Rabbi Dov Emerson 72 Practical Parenting Tips by Elana Fertig 74

34

Dear Editor, I read your article on handwriting analysis in this week’s issue and I have one suggestion: perhaps you

52

Wisdom of the Heart by Rav Moshe Weinberger

The Crossing of Ludendorff Bridge by Avi Heiligman

Dear Editor, It was a true pleasure to be able to spend time on Shabbos looking through your Purim “album.” What a great way to continue the Purim simcha and to distract us from all the craziness going on right now. Yasher koach, Pamela Hertz

Resisting Cabin Fever by Ms. Danyel Goldberg 76 FOOD & LEISURE

The Aussie Gourmet: Vegetable Board

80

Creative Crafts by Menucha Citron Ceder

78

can analyze the handwriting on someone you don’t know – this way you won’t be influenced by what you know about them when you analyze their handwriting. Everything you wrote about Trump and Putin definitely was true but then again, you know their persona; you didn’t need to “read” their handwriting to figure that out. Sincerely, Chaim Perlow Continued on page 10

Do Something, Win Something!

S

oon enough, b’ezras Hashem, when everything is back to normal, everyone is going to be ready to get out and hit the town. Here at TJH, we want to treat you to some good ol’ Berrylicious ice cream. There’s nothing like a creamy, cold confection to brighten your day! Be one of the first 25 people to send in either a picture (of you doing something fun, or with something cool that you built, or whatever...you get the point), a drawing or painting that you made, a poem that you wrote, or anything else that you would love to share, and we will send you a $10 Berrylicious gift card. Entries should be sent to editor@fivetownsjewishhome.com with the word “Contest” in the subject line. Please include your name, age, and mailing address in the email (hey, we have to mail you the gift card, right?). Also, because we want to spread the joy, it’s limited to one card per household.

LIFESTYLES Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW

64

Your Money

92

The Sudoku Challenge by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS

94

HUMOR Centerfold 48 Passover Punchlines by Jon Kranz

91

POLITICAL CROSSFIRE Notable Quotes

82

China Cares More About Suppressing Information by Marc A. Thiessen 84 It’s Fair to Speculate about Biden by Marc A. Thiessen CLASSIFIEDS

85 88

How many computers/ laptops/iPads do you have in your house?

17

%

One

30

%

2–4

53

%

More than 4


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Dear Editor, In these difficult economic times due to the coronavirus, it is especially important to patronize your local neighborhood restaurants and businesses. If you are working from

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Dear Editor, In these troubling times...even as our “social distancing” increases, our “social caring” should become closer. We can and must stay in touch with loved ones, friends, seniors, and neighbors. We are all in this together, and we need to draw on the strength of communal solidarity, love, friendship, and concern. May the Al-mighty bring healing to all who are ill. May all be blessed with good health and happiness. Joseph M. Varon West Hempstead, NY

home, why not take a short walk for lunch or dinner and eat out? Do the same for shopping at your local small independent stores.         Now is the time to help our local restaurants and businesses to survive.  If you can afford it, tip 20 percent or more against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, consider rounding up to the next dollar.  The extra dollar tip will add up for waiters, waitresses, and bus boys.  If ordering take out, consider leaving a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It will be appreciated. Remember these people are our neighbors. They work long hours, pay taxes, and provide jobs to our fellow citizens.  They also serve as eyes and ears for the community, helping to prevent crime.  If we don’t patronize our local restaurants and small businesses to shop and dine, they don’t eat, either. As a nation, we will eventually triumph over the coronavirus even if it takes many months or more. Sincerely,  Larry Penner 

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scents to the world. If we hold back from slandering and judging others, which is much easier now, and take advantage of the cloud of Torah to unite, we will see the final cloud that will protect us forever. Steven Genack

TE

Dear Editor, Rabbi Alon Anava, a prolific speaker, said in a lecture that there are two fundamental ideas to keep in mind during these times. First: the fight is not with the coronavirus but with ourselves, and second, in these rapidly changing times, every act should be analyzed as to whether it will hasten Moshiach or delay it from coming. As we approach the next redemption, we know it will take on the characteristics of the earlier redemption from Mitzrayim. We need only look to the “cloud,’ the place that was our ultimate protection after leaving Mitzrayim, and investigate what it represented and what was able to penetrate it. This cloud, representative of the final geulah

resting place, of beauty and serenity, took care of all our needs, but it was still privy to attack by Amalek. In order to beat Amalek, all sefeikos that we have must be obliterated and we must serve G-d with fervor and strength. We can even enter the “cloud” of computing right now, to learn all the Torah we need to nourish us during this confinement period and come together as a nation. We know the famous verse, “Gam ki elech b’gey tsalmavet lo ira ra ki ata imadi – even when I am amidst danger, nothing bad can happen, as G-d is with me.” Know that this verse is in the singular, as G-d is with every person wherever they are, whether with others or in confinement, as long as they are following his ways. Rabbi Anava notes that Moshiach will bring peace and beautiful

T

Continued from page 8

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

5TFR rosh chodesh LECTURE series

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insists that his country will host the 2020 Summer Olympics in July despite the coronavirus pandemic. “We will overcome the spread of the infection and host the Olympics without problem, as planned,” Abe announced on Saturday. He added that the International Olympic Committee would have the final say in the matter.  Abe’s comments came amid swirling speculation that Japan would postpone the Tokyo Games due to its struggles to contain the coronavirus. Japan currently has 1,400 cases that have caused the death of 28 people, leading President Trump to suggest last week that the competition should be put off until 2021. Abe said, however, that the virus’ infection rate in Japan remains considerably lower than the explosion witnessed in nearby South Korea and China. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike added that city officials were working with the public health experts in order to ensure a safe and secure environment during the Olympics. Despite fears of cancellation, the Olympic Torch was lit on Thursday at the site of the original Games 2,000 years ago in Greece. The torch is slated to arrive in Japan on March 26. In a first, the lighting of the torch was barred to spectators in order to avoid crowds that could spread the virus. At the ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach promised that the Games would take place despite the “difficult circumstances.”

U.S. warplanes bombed an Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia last week after an earlier rocket attack killed and wounded U.S. and British personnel near Baghdad. The Department of Defense said in a statement that British forces had joined the U.S. in hitting five separate sites belonging to Kataeb Hezbollah on Friday morning. The bases were allegedly used by the armed group to manufacture weapons.  Overall, there were two strikes at Jurf al-Sakher, one in Karbala, one at Al-Musayib, and one at Arab Nawar Ahmad. A U.S. military official said that the Pentagon estimated that the strikes “significantly degraded their military abilities” and that there would be less than 50 casualties.  Calling the airstrikes “targeted aggression,” the Iraqi government condemned the attacks and accused the U.S. of escalating tensions in the region. “The repeated violations the state is being subjected to are a dangerous and deliberate weakening of its abilities especially at a time when Iraq faces unprecedented challenges on political, economic, financial, security, and health fronts,” said President Barham Salih.  According to the Iraqi military, the strikes killed three soldiers, two policemen, and a civilian. The attacks came in retaliation for a missile attack earlier in the week on Camp Taji that killed two U.S. troops and a British national.  Kataeb Hezbollah is considered one of the more radical Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and has repeatedly fired rockets at U.S. bases. Earlier this year, the U.S. killed 25 Kataeb militants in an airstrike on a base near the Syrian border after they killed a U.S. embassy employee in a rocket barrage.  “The United States will not tolerate attacks against our people, our interests, or our allies,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday. “As we have demonstrated in recent


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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If the Jewish population continues to be underrepresented in the U.S Census, billions of dollars in aid could remain lost! This would go to School Funding, Community Security, Food Stamps, Section 8, and Medicaid and more to help our community.

You will receive a form or a code in the mail. Don’t throw it away!

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Fill out the paper form, call in to 1-800-923-8282 or use your code to fill it out online at my2020census.gov We missed Use your home address or your unique code to complete the census; either one is valid out in 2010, let’s join together so it Have basement renters? Make sure to include them in doesn’t happen again! your household count!

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

months, we will take any action necessary to protect our forces in Iraq and the region.”

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Australia implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving from overseas and banned cruise ships as part of the fight to halt the spread of the coronavirus. When the new policy goes into effect, all foreign citizens must be quarantined for 14 days starting from when they left their location of origin. However, this does not apply to Australian citizens and legal residents, who must stay inside for only 24 hours upon their return home.  The draconian new measures were announced by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday following hours of consultations with Australian health and economics experts. Calling the policies “vital” to flatten the curve of the virus,” Morrison implored his citizenry to stay at home as much as possible and to avoid large crowds.   “To help stay ahead of this curve, we will impose a universal precautionary self-isolation requirement on all international arrivals to Australia and that is effective from midnight tonight,” said Morrision. “Further, the Australian government will also ban cruise ships from foreign ports from arriving at Australian ports for an initial 30 days.” The restrictions come as the number of coronavirus cases in the remote continent surpassed 250, with three people dead. Australia has already banned entry to nationals hailing from countries hard hit by the pandemic, including Italy, South Korea, Iran, and China. Australia has also banned gatherings of more than 500 people but has declined to follow most European nations in shuttering schools and universities. Despite mounting criticism, Morrison has said that closing educational institutions would actually cause the virus to spread faster “That happens for two reasons,” said Morrison. “When you take chil-

Did you know that Vietnam is the world’s second largest exporter of coffee, after Brazil? The International Coffee Organization reports that Vietnam exports around 25 million, 60 kilogram (132 pound) bags of coffee a year, valued, on average, at $3 billion. The drink is also extremely popular at home, where it was first introduced by French colonists in the 1850s. For the Vietnamese, coffee provides much more than just a shot of energy – it’s a way of life. Coffee outlets range from hole-in-the-wall counters with plastic stools on the sidewalk, to sleek, contemporary cafes with roasters on the premises. “It’s about getting together with friends,” says Will Frith, a coffee consultant who owns a co-roasting enterprise in Ho Chi Minh City. He says coffee drinkers tend to gather in their favorite coffee shops, which operate as “a third space,” outside the home and workplace, and often form friendships with the owners and staff. Additionally, “nearly every Vietnamese household makes coffee at home,” he says. But despite the size of its export sales and its vibrant local coffee culture, Vietnam has not gained a reputation as a source of quality coffee. And that’s because of the beans. The majority of Vietnam’s coffee beans – around 97% – are the robusta variety. Known for their bold, earthy, bitter flavor, and high caffeine content, robusta beans are typically used to make cheap, mass-market products, including instant coffee and supermarket blends. Coffee connoisseurs usually opt for arabica beans, which have less caffeine, higher acidity, and a lighter, sweeter flavor.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

A Gracious Host A Culinary Splendor

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In Vietnam, you can have a lot more added to your coffee besides milk and sugar. Here are some of the popular concoctions on offer: salt coffee brings out the sweetness of coffee by adding salt whipped with fermented milk; egg coffee adds a topping of egg yolks, frothed with condensed milk, to a coffee base; coconut coffee is blended with coconut milk and ice to create a delicious shake; and fruit coffee is combined with banana or avocado to produce a smoothie.

Russian Troll Farm in Ghana

By now, most people are aware of how Russia skillfully used social media to manipulate the 2016 American presidential election. As detailed in a 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee report, Russian

intelligence used trolls to promote divisive messages on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube. While the main purpose of the effort was to sway the elections, Russia also wanted to stir up social tensions throughout the United States. Now, Russia may be gearing up for more ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. According to a new CNN report, Moscow has commissioned an army of internet trolls in Ghana and Nigeria who are working to inflame divisions among Americans.  Headquartered in a walled compound close to Ghana’s capital, the troll farm is operating under the auspices of an NGO called Eliminating Barriers for the Liberation of Africa (EBLA). There, a group of 16-yearold Gambians work on their EBLA-issued laptops to do Russia’s bidding.  The social media experts craft messages that portray candidates negatively and focus on promulgating inflammatory racial messages geared towards the black community. For example, one account controlled by the group is titled “Black People Trenz” and highlights police killings of African-Americans. Those oper-

ating the page present themselves as black Americans residing in the United States and share false experiences of everyday racism. One post demonized white people, writing that “Blacks have a right to defend themselves against Racism.” It was shared more than 2,000 times and got 5,000 reactions.  “They were very closely engaged in the Black Lives Matter community,” Clemson University Professor Darren Linvill said. “They talked almost exclusively about what was happening on the streets of the United States and not on the streets of Africa.” Facebook and Twitter are aware of Russia’s efforts to sow discord. In a statement, Facebook said that an investigation turned up 49 accounts, 69 pages, and 85 Instagram accounts connected to the Ghanaian trolls farm. The false accounts were followed by 13,200 people on Facebook and 263,200 on Instagram, with 65% of them hailing from the United States.  “This network was in early stages of audience building and was operated by local nationals – witting and unwitting – in Ghana and Nigeria on behalf of individuals in Russia. It tar-

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geted primarily the United States,” Facebook said. Meanwhile, Twitter removed 71 accounts that reached 68,000 people. “Most were tweeting in English and presented themselves as based in the United States,” Twitter said. “The accounts – operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia – attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights.”

France Fines Apple $1.2B

The French Competition Authority announced on Monday it is fining Apple €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) over restrictions it placed in contracts with wholesalers. That’s the biggest antitrust fine the French authority


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has ever levied. The country’s antitrust regulator alleged that Apple and two of its wholesalers, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, “agreed not to compete” and as a result prevented distributors from competing with each other, “thereby sterilizing the wholesale market for Apple products.” Other distributors could then not offer promotions or lower prices, as such Apple “abused the economic dependence” of the distributors by subjecting them to “unfair and unfavorable commercial conditions.” The fine stems from a complaint lodged in 2012 by Apple re-seller eBizcuss.com, which is no longer in business. In a statement, Apple called the decision “disheartening” and said that it plans to appeal. “It relates to practices from over a decade ago and discards thirty years of legal precedent that all companies in France rely on with an order that will cause chaos for companies across all industries,” an Apple spokesperson said. “We are extremely proud to serve our French customers and believe they should be allowed to choose the product they want, either through

Apple Retail or our large network of resellers across the country,” the spokesperson added. The delay in issuing the fine partly stems from Apple contesting the legality of a 2013 raid on some of its French offices by the competition authority as part of its investigation. Apple took the authority to court over the raids, which were deemed legal in 2018. It’s the second fine French regulators have levied against Apple this year. In February, Apple was fined €25 million ($27.9 million) for deliberately slowing down older iPhones without informing customers.

Portugal to Commemorate Victims of Inquisition Portugal’s Parliament voted to enshrine March 31 to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Jews who perished in the Inquisition. Lawmakers selected March 31 as it was on that date in 1821 that the

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Inquisition officially ended in Portugal. The decision to establish an official Day of Remembrance came as a result of lobbying by Reconectar, a non-profit working to locate Jews descended from lost Spanish and Portuguese communities.

“This is a historic and important decision, because finally there will be official memorialization of the tens of thousands of victims of the Inquisitorial regime which hounded and hunted our people for 275 years,” Reconectar president Ashley Perry said. Perry highlighted the importance of the Day of Remembrance to commemorate the tragedy of the Inquisition, contending that the public is not fully aware of the scope of the tragedy. He added that he hoped “other nations,” including Spain and Israel, would establish their own

special commemorations similar to that of Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day). “Unfortunately, in recent years the terminology and memory of the Inquisition have become debased somewhat because of its usage in popular parlance and even for comedic purposes,” said Perry. “However, it was one of the most traumatic events in Jewish history and its effects are still felt today, so hopefully this day will help people understand the brutality, effect and significance of this evil regime.” Beginning in 1546, the Portuguese Inquisition was a campaign of religious persecution carried out by the Catholic Church against Jews and other minorities. While not as well known as its Spanish counterpart, an estimated 50,000 Jews are said to have been jailed or killed by the time it ended in 1821.

Long Live the Queen Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II just passed a Mayan ruler to become the fourth-longest serving monarch in


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world history. Last Wednesday marked 68 years and 34 days since she first ascended the throne. This surpasses Mayan monarch K’inich Janaab Pakal, who took the throne in July 615 at the age of 12 and ruled until August 683. Now, Queen Elizabeth II trails France’s King Louis XIV, who ruled for 72 years and 110 days, and Thailand’s King Bhumubik Adulyadej with 70 years and 126 days. In third place is Lichtenstein monarch Johann II, who sat on the throne for 70 years and 91 days. While the 93-year-old remains in fourth place worldwide, she has been the longest-serving leader in United Kingdom history since 2015. She achieved the title after passing Queen Victoria’s 63 years and 216 days on the throne, as well as becoming the only British royal leader to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee in 2017.  Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne at only 25 years of age after her father, King George IV, suddenly died from cancer at the age of 56.  Her move into fourth place worldwide comes amid stormy times at Buckingham Palace amid a split with her grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife. The aforementioned pair had shockingly announced that they would leave the royal family and move to Canada, setting off a protracted battle with the queen regarding the terms of their exit.  

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sure are shuttered. In addition, all educational institutions, including kindergartens and universities, will also remain shuttered until further notice. Meanwhile, no more than 10 people may be indoors at one time. The Shin Bet internal security service said that it would use its spy technology to track those infected with the coronavirus. All Israelis are also now mandated to keep a minimum distance of 2 meters from each other.  However, banks, supermarkets, and other establishments defined by the government as “essential” will not be required to close down. Public transportation will also not be affected for the time being, although the matter remains under discussion.  Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the new restrictions on Saturday evening after a day of marathon meetings with Health Ministry and Finance Ministry officials. Urging the public to “stay home,” Netanyahu said that the rapid rise in coronavirus cases left him with no choice but to introduce the unprecedented measures despite the massive economic damage it will cause.  “This is a battle for public health,” Netanyahu said. “We are at war with an invisible enemy. We are adjusting as things develop. The situation is dynamic.” While admitting that Israelis “will need to adjust to a new way of life,” Netanyahu said that “we can beat” the virus if Israelis listened to instructions.  The decision to shutter the workforce came after the number of coronavirus cases continued to spike, reaching 194 on Saturday. The quick rise alarmed officials, who fear that an increase of even a few hundred cases could overwhelm hospitals and cause the health system to collapse in the small country. 

Israel announced a slew of draconian new restrictions on Saturday evening that effectively shut down the country for the time being. As part of the new Health Ministry regulations, malls, coffee shops, retail shops, and other places of lei-

Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party told President Reuven Rivlin that Kahol Lavan head Benny Gantz should form the next government, giving the ex-general the necessary 61 recommendations. In doing so, Liberman removed


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

any discretion Rivlin had in deciding who gets the first nod to build a coalition. Under Israeli law, the president must give the mandate to form the government to the first candidate who gets 61 recommendations following elections for the Knesset.

In choosing Gantz, Liberman joined the Arab Joint List and Labor-Meretz, marking the first time that he has ever recommended a candidate other than Netanyahu. His decision to cooperate with the Arab faction was surprising, as he and the anti-Israel party have a long history of mutual animosity. Throughout Liberman’s long political career, he has repeatedly insulted Arab politicians as “traitors,” “terrorists,” and “a fifth column” who “should be serving in the Palestinian Parliament in Ramallah.” Now, Gantz will have a chance to form a government and oust Prime Minister Netanyahu after 12 years in office. Netanyahu came up short in the past elections with only 58 recommendations after picking up the nod from the haredi UTJ and Shas factions along with the National-Religious Yamina.  After receiving all of the various parties’ recommendations as to who should be prime minister, Rivlin invited Gantz and Netanyahu to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem in an attempt to broker a national unity government. While Gantz had ruled out such a government prior to the elections in early March, there has been growing public pressure for him to break his campaign promise in light of the coronavirus epidemic.  “It is important that we follow the rules and instructions and do not give way to fear or panic. This is a trying time, not only for the health system and our economy, but for us all as a society,” Rivlin told them. “The success of the State of Israel in dealing with this extreme crisis lies in the hands of our civil society. Now is when we are asked to keep calm and to avoid hysteria.”

Small Swearing In

In a surreal ceremony, the 23rd Knesset convened on Monday in the shadow of the COVID-19 outbreak, with its 120 lawmakers inducted in batches of three to avoid the spread of the virus, its leaders giving their usually festive opening remarks to an empty hall. President Reuven Rivlin opened the parliament swearing-in with an address to the only three lawmakers present: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. In his speech, Rivlin implored the political parties to resolve their differences and form a coalition, putting an end to the deadlock that has left the country without a functioning government since December 2018. Earlier in the day, Rivlin had given Gantz the first shot at forming a government, after the Blue and White leader picked up recommendations from 61 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers. But it remained unclear whether Gantz could successfully do so without Netanyahu’s Likud. After three consecutive elections, Rivlin said Israelis are “exhausted” by politics. “Politics is far from perfect,” Rivlin acknowledged. “But politics is meant to be the art of the possible. Often, politics needs to be the art of compromise… At the heart of democracy lies the understanding that what often creates the requirement for compromise, to make deep and painful concessions, is the will of the people itself,” he said. “Give this people a government,” he implored. After Edelstein, Netanyahu and Gantz took their oaths, the other lawmakers were brought in, three at a time and in alphabetical order, to be sworn in. The Knesset guard administered fever checks for those entering parliament.

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Stolen & Returned

Fearing the end of the world, an Israeli returned a 2,000-year-old catapult bolt to the City of David National Park – 15 years after he nabbed it. “The time has come to clear my conscience. It feels that the end of the world is near,” the anonymous citizen said in an Israel Antiquities Authority press release on Monday. While the jury’s still out on whether the world is ending, the IAA took advantage of the opportunity to call on citizens to return archaeological finds to the State Treasury, so that the entire public can benefit from them, it said. The citizen did not deliver the bowling-ball sized stone directly. Rather, he used as a go-between

a man called Moshe Manies, who agreed not to divulge the thief’s identity. According to Manies, the original theft occurred when two mischievous youths touring the park 15 years ago saw a display of ballista stones, which had been catapulted at fortifications. Ballistae are a form of ancient weapons, which were used by forces besieging a city and were used to hurl stones to cause forces on fortress walls to flee. “The ballista stones which were uncovered at the City of David are most likely connected to the harsh battles between the besieged residents of Jerusalem and the soldiers of the Roman Legion, from around 70 CE – the year of the destruction of Jerusalem,” said IAA’s Jerusalem Region Archaeologist Dr. Yuval Baruch. Other locations in Jerusalem where similar ballista stones were uncovered include the Russian Compound near the estimated path of the Third Wall, which was the external wall of Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple. Fifteen years ago, in the City of David, upon seeing a pile of these ancient projectiles, “one of the boys

took one of the stones home,” recounted go-between Manies in a Facebook post that drew the attention of the IAA. “Meanwhile, he married and raised a family, and told me that for the past 15 years the stone is weighing heavily on his heart. And now, when he came across it while cleaning for Passover, together with the apocalyptic feeling the coronavirus generated, he felt the time was ripe to clear his conscience, and he asked me to help him return it to the Israel Antiquities Authority,” said Manies. “These artifacts, which are thousands of years old, are our national treasure. They tell the story of The Land and of who resided here before us, and should be documented and displayed,” said IAA’s Theft Prevention Unit Uzi Rotstein.

Netanyahu’s Trial Delayed

The new unprecedented measures Israel implemented to fight off the coronavirus means that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s corruption trial will be delayed by two months. Netanyahu was slated to appear in court for the first time on Tuesday in order to stand trial for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. The trial was expected to be a media circus due to it being the first time a sitting prime minister ever appeared on the defendant’s stand.  Now, the court case is postponed to May 24 following a decision by Justice Minister Amir Ohana to suspend all court cases for the time being. The decision to postpone the hearing came just hours after Ohana declared a state of emergency in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus.  The decision froze all court activity other than urgent hearings and decisions whether to free a suspect on bail. Due to the sensitive nature of Netanyahu’s trial, Ohana’s announcement came after he first

consulted with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and the three justices who will preside over the trial. “In light of developments regarding the spread of the coronavirus, and taking into account the latest guidelines given and the declaration of a state of emergency in the courts, we have decided to cancel the scheduled hearing,” wrote Judges Rivka Friedman-Feldman, Moshe Bar-Am, and Oded Shaham. The news that the hotly-anticipated hearing will take place only in May caused an uproar, with leftwing legislators alleging that Ohana, a Netanyahu loyalist, was attempting to help his boss skirt justice. “Netanyahu will do everything possible to evade the law,” fumed Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz. “He exploits the Corona crisis and uses his powers and by means of the Justice Minister to reject his sentence. It is impossible to trust the considerations of the prime minister accused of criminal acts and rely on him to make decisions in the public interest.”

600 Cartel Members Arrested in Sweep

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) along with the Justice Department arrested hundreds of members belonging to the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) drug cartel last week. Both agencies said in a statement that the raid resulted in 600 cartel members arrested, 350 indictments, and the confiscation of a large amount of cash and narcotics. The raids were the culmination of Project Python, a covert six-month effort targeting the violent CJNG. Led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, or “El Mencho,” the CJNG


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is one of Mexico’s most violent and fastest-growing cartels. Considered one of the biggest producers of methamphetamine, the cartel has a sizable presence in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston and Atlanta. Project Python began after President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13773 in the early days of his administration directing law enforcement to crack down on cartel activity within the United States. As part of the initiative, the U.S. extradited El Mencho’s son, “El Menchito,” and his daughter in February. “Project Python is the single largest strike by U.S. authorities against CJNG, and this is just the beginning,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “When President Trump signed an Executive Order prioritizing the dismantlement of transnational criminal organizations, the Department of Justice answered the call and took direct aim at CJNG. “We deemed CJNG one of the highest-priority transnational organized crime threats we face.  And with Project Python, we are delivering results in the face of that threat for the American people.” 

Getting Behind the Virus

From shuttering nursing homes to canceling sporting events, states all across America are taking the battle against the spread of the coronavirus into their own hands. The U.S. is widely viewed as being behind in the worldwide fight against the coronavirus pandemic. While countries in Europe close schools, implement mass quarantines, and order widespread testing, the federal government has yet to suggest such measures.  As a result, state governments have taken the lead in containing the virus’ spread. From New York to the West Coast, governors have chosen different methods as they wait for federal agencies to catch up.

In hard-hit Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee banned events with more than 250 people in three different counties and restricted visits to nursing homes. In a press conference last week, Inslee said that the only way to mitigate the virus was to order mandatory “social distancing” policies. “This is an unprecedented public health situation,” Inslee said. “One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo concurred. Declaring a State of Emergency, he banned events with more than 500 people including weddings, Broadway shows, and sporting events. Cuomo also directed state officials to open mobile testing sites at 28 laboratories across the state that will check 6,000 people each week. “The more tests we do, the higher the number of positive cases we will see — so we need to keep that context in mind when we see these numbers continuing to go up,” Cuomo noted. “And we will continue to communicate the facts, because the facts and the information defeat the fear and anxiety in this situation.” Other states that declared a State of Emergency included California and Massachusetts. With over 376 coronavirus cases and four deaths as of Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom banned all public gatherings until April and shuttered schools.  Newsom also passed a directive requiring health insurance companies to provide paid sick leave for those diagnosed with the virus and to mandate employers to allow people to work from home. 

LA to Provide Shelter for Homeless

A lawsuit filed last week by the LA Alliance for Human Rights accused Los Angeles of not adequately addressing its homelessness prob-

lem, leaving thousands of people without shelter. “We really are looking to catalyze change on a systemic level,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, an attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the LA Alliance for Human Rights. “We are not looking to get rich. We are not looking for money. We really are looking for change.” The alliance, consisting of both housed and homeless people, is aiming for the city to provide services such as training and healthcare – in addition to shelter – for its homeless population. In spite of the resources devoted to solving the issue, Los Angeles saw its homeless population increase to almost 60,000 people in 2019, according to a June report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. About 75% of those people are unsheltered. In NYC, by comparison, there is an unsheltered rate of 5%, according to Mitchell. Mitchell believes that while the city invests in expensive programs such as permanent housing, the problem is outpacing these solutions – three people die of the homelessness crisis each day. In order to reach an additional 22,000 beds in a matter of months, the suit suggests that the city and county work together towards options such as shared housing, tiny houses, 3D printed homes, and “other financially feasible options that enable rapid sheltering along with wrap-around services to empower those experiencing homelessness to reintegrate with their communities,” Mitchell said in a press release. “Whether a person is on the streets of their own accord or because they lost their jobs, people can still say this shouldn’t be the case and we shouldn’t be leaving our people in the streets.”

Biden & Sanders Spar

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Senator Bernie Sanders took to the stage to debate one-on-one for the first time. During the debate, Biden vowed to pick a woman to be his vice president. If Biden clinches the nomination, it would be only the third time in the history of the Democratic Party that a woman would be on the national ticket. Sanders consistently pummeled Biden’s voting record in the Senate during the debate that was filmed before an empty room. The audience-free debate was due to the coronavirus scare and also led the candidates to “elbow bump” instead of shake hands before the debate. Sanders told viewers, “I am using a lot of soap.” Biden echoed, “I wash my hands G-d-knows-how-manytimes with hot water and soap.” Many were disappointed that Sanders refused to walk back his praise from Cuba under Fidel Castro. He also attempted to deal with the coronavirus situation by plugging his Medicare for All program. Biden, on the other hand, didn’t disappoint with his gaffes – mixing up coronavirus, SARS and H1N1 on several occasions.

U.S. Soccer CEO Resigns

The president of the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that he would resign after using inflammatory language about female athletes in a court filing. In a statement released on Friday, Carlos Cordeiro apologized for a legal filing that seemingly put down female athletes and said that he will step down after 13 years at the helm. His resignation is effective immediately, and he will be replaced by Vice President Cindy Parlowe Cone.  “My one and only mission has always been to do what is best for our Federation, and it has become clear to me that what is best right now is a new direction,” Cordeiro wrote. “The arguments and language continued in this week’s legal filing

caused great offense and pain, especially to our extraordinary Women’s National Team players who deserve better.” Cordeiro added that the language used to describe female soccer players was “unacceptable and inexcusable” and that he wished he had reviewed the document before it was included in the court filing.  Coreiro’s decision to step down came after the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a court filing that males have “more responsibility” and that the men’s team “requires a higher level of skill” than female athletes. The inflammatory language was included as part of the Federation’s response to a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Women’s team over the mismatched salaries given to male and female players.  The $66 million lawsuit was filed last year by all 28 members of the 2019 World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s soccer team. The litigation accuses the U.S. Soccer Federation of violating the Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act by paying them less than their male counterparts “for substantially equal work and by denying them at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions.” The court filing resulted in a massive backlash throughout the sports world, culminating in the Women’s National Soccer Team removing the Federation’s logo prior to a match against Japan last week. “I just want to say, it’s all false,” said team captain Megan Rapinoe.  “To every girl out there, to every boy out there, who watches this team, who wants to be on this team or just wants to live their dream out, you are not lesser just because you’re a girl. You are not better just because you’re a boy.”

2020 Census

This week, people all across the U.S. began receiving census questionnaires in the mail or invitations to complete the census online or by phone. The 2020 census is expected to be the largest ever population

count across the United States. The census happens once every decade and determines factors such as the number of representatives each state gets in Congress and the spending of billions of dollars in federal funding. The census is required by the U.S. Constitution, and according to law, refusal to respond or even skipping a question can result in a fine. This year marks the first time that all American households are being given the opportunity to respond online. Officials stress that the questionnaires will be secure, though some cyber-security experts and lawmakers have expressed concerns. Census spokesman Michael Cook said that the agency has plans in place for individuals and communities that “don’t have high connectivity to the internet.” Everyone living in the U.S., citizen or otherwise, is meant to be counted, though following the Trump administration’s since-blocked attempt at adding a question regarding citizenship there remain questions as to whether this will influence response rates in immigrant communities.  Officials have stressed that Title 13 of the U.S. Code guarantees that personal information provided for the census is confidential. At a recent event in Washington, Director Steven Dillingham noted, “I can assure you that not only does the law require us to do our job professionally and protect confidential information, but we have all the systems in place – the most sophisticated systems available – to protect the information.” Approximately 75% of households will receive an invitation to complete the census online or by phone, with the remaining quarter, who reside in areas of the country believed to be less likely to respond online, receiving a written questionnaire in the initial mailing as well. The first round of mailings began arriving between March 12-20. According to the Census Bureau, households that have yet to respond to the census will receive a written questionnaire in April.  Officials estimate that about 60% of people will reply to questionnaires in the mail, on the phone or online. Census takers will then need to go door-to-door to obtain the remaining responses. Up to half a million temporary workers are expected to be hired to assist with completing the count, which is required by law to be presented to President Trump by December 31.


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Babies Smell Sweet

A new study has demonstrated that blindfolded moms can often identify the age range of a child based on his or her scent alone and that the sweet smell of infants makes way for a “stinky” scent in teenagers. “This has something to do with the changed composition of the infantile sweat due to the increased release of hormones,” said professor Ilona Croy, who studies the sense of smell at the Dresden University of Technology in Germany and supervised the study. To research this topic, 164 German mothers were blindfolded and asked to smell body odor on clothing from their own child as well as four other children of the same gender. The clothing consisted of onesies or cotton T-shirts that the infant or kid had slept in for one night. Moms were found to accurately pick out a strange child’s developmental level from the smell 64% of the time, with an even higher success rate when it came to their own child. Mothers also scored higher when identifying odors in children who had not yet reached puberty, and found those to be much more pleasant. According to Croy, the most common description used for this age range was “sweet.” Meanwhile, children in or past puberty were identified as having “high intensity” stronger body odor. “Body odor is perceived more intensively due to the developmental changes,” stated lead author Laura Schäfer, a doctoral student in Croy’s lab. “Pleasantness and intensity perception are often negatively related... This suggests infantile body odors can mediate affectionate love towards the child in the crucial periods of bonding.” As the “baby smell” appears to decline with increasing age, this could be interpreted as a “mechanism for detachment, when the child becomes more independent and separates itself from parental care.”

Dead Sea Scroll Forgeries

Last year, the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., said five of its most valuable artifacts – once thought to be part of the historic Dead Sea Scrolls – were fake. Now, it’s come to their attention that all 16 expensive fragments are forgeries. This weekend, experts released a 200-page report revealing how the forgeries fooled scholars and buyers on the antiquities market. “After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic,” said the leader of the investigation, Colette Loll, the director of Art Fraud Insights. “Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.” CNN raised questions about the museum’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments in 2017 as the Green family prepared to unveil their $500 million museum. Some scholars estimate that as many as 70 forged fragments, purportedly part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, have hit the market since 2002. Revelations about the Green’s collection could raise more questions about ancient biblical artifacts bought by other evangelicals, often for millions of dollars. Discovered 70 years ago in caves around Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls are among archaeology’s most significant scriptural finds, containing the versions of the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish texts that date back thousands of years. Most of the scrolls are kept at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem. In 2018, German-based scholars tested the five of the Bible museum’s fragments and said they “show characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin.” Oklahoma billionaires, the


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Greens are best-known for their chain of Hobby Lobby craft stores. The news of the forgeries is a significant embarrassment for the new museum, which, at 430,000 square feet in the heart of downtown D.C., is a deep investment for its evangelical founders. Green has declined to say how much his family spent for the 16 fake Dead Sea Scrolls fragments. Scholars say that similar, authentic artifacts can fetch millions in the antiquities market. The forgers likely used ancient scraps, possibly from archaeological sites around the Qumran caves. But most of the Green’s fake fragments are leather, not parchment like the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, according to the report by Art Fraud Insights. The leather scraps could have been bits from ancient Roman shoes, the report speculates. To make convincing forgeries, the forgers coated the scraps with a shiny amber material, most likely animal glue, to fix tears and match the waxy sheen of authentic Dead Sea scroll fragments. Remarkably, despite being bought from for different sellers, all were coated by the same amber material, suggesting the forgeries may have come from the same hand.

Bill Gates to Leave Microsoft

Microsoft announced on Friday that founder Bill Gates will resign from the company’s Board of Directors in order to focus on his philanthropy. In addition to resigning from his seat on Microsoft’s board, Gates will also give up his seat on the board of hedge fund Berkshire Hathaway that is run by fellow billionaire Warren Buffet.  While Gates, 64, had already stepped away from the software giant’s day-to-day operations in 2008, he remained on as chairman of the board until 2014.  Now, he will resign his seat as well, ending his last management role with the company

that he built into a world leader. Gates will remain an unofficial advisor to CEO Satya Nadella on subjects such as technology, health software and artificial intelligence. Gates announced his decision on his blog, writing that he wished to devote more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “Microsoft will always be an important part of my life’s work, and I will continue to be engaged with Satya and the technical leadership to help shape the vision and achieve the company’s ambitious goals,” Gates wrote in a blog post Friday. “I feel more optimistic than ever about the progress the company is making and how it can continue to benefit the world.” After dropping out of Harvard University, Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 along with Paul Allen. Under Gates’ tutelage, the company grew to dominate the personal computer market, making him the world’s wealthiest person from 1995 to 2017.  Gates would go on to become one of the world’s most renowned businessmen, joining tech titans such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who became the face of their companies. 

Moving to Arizona

When the 2020 presidential election rolls around this November, Arizona and its 11 electoral votes may just find itself tipping Democratic, for the first time since 1996. The number, and breakdown, of those migrating to Arizona has impacted the state’s political climate. Between 2012-2018, approximately 250,000 people per year moved to Arizona from other states, with the highest percentage coming from California, according to an analysis of census data by Susan Weber for the demographic research site SocialExplorer.com. The number of finance jobs in the Phoenix area is up 25% since the 2007 pre-recession

peak, and technology companies have expanded their number of employees by about 30%. And yet, all of these new tech and finance jobs are concentrated in positions that overall pay below average for these industries, noted Marc Korobkin, an economist with Moody’s Analytics. The average finance job in Phoenix pays about $77,000 a year, compared with about $110,000 nationally, according to Moody’s. The typical tech job pays $80,000 to $85,000, compared with $110,000 to $115,000 nationally. In addition to employment, the relative affordability of owning a home has attracted many to Phoenix. An average home in the area costs around $293,000, below the national median of $306,000. With the second-highest growth rate nationally (after Nevada), Arizona is expanding its political clout and is projected to lean more to the left. Migrants in search of jobs and affordable housing are not the sole cause of the shift but are emblematic of it, noted Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress. For instance, Kyrsten Sinema was the first Arizona Democrat elected to the Senate in 30 years. “You have white non-college voters being replaced by a significant white college-educated population,” noted Teixeira. “There is a lower cost of living and relatively dynamic economy, so people are moving there because opportunities are good. And people growing up in the state are staying and becoming more educated. You put those things together, and it favors a liberalizing trend.”

Brady Moves to the Buccaneers

If your team has been stopped in its tracks year-after-year by the Brady & Belichick combo, worry no more. New England’s iconic quarterback will not be back with the Patri-

ots next season. In a Tuesday tweet titled “I LOVE YOU PATS NATION,” Brady, age 42, announced his departure from the Patriots. “I don’t know what the future holds, but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career,” he wrote. The Patriots selected Brady in the sixth round, with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. Despite being drafted way later than he hoped, Brady always believed in himself. He famously said to Patriots owner Robert Kraft the first time they met, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.” Brady got a chance to start for the team in his second season in 2001 when then-starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe sustained an injury in the fourth quarter of the second game of the season. The California native, who played his college career at Michigan, went on to lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory over the St. Louis Rams that season. That was the first of many – Brady eventually led the Patriots to another five Super Bowl victories, making him the all-time most victorious Super Bowl winning quarterback, with six wins in nine appearances. The 14-time Pro Bowler is famous for his health regiment, which includes going to bed at 8:30 PM. To celebrate Super Bowl victories, he allows himself a special treat: avocado ice cream. Despite the Patriots offering Brady in excess of $30 million, he will be playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season. New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft appeared on ESPN on Tuesday morning, reacting to the news that Brady is leaving the team after two decades. “Tommy initiated contact last night and came over,” Kraft said. “We had a positive, respectful discussion. It’s not the way I want it to end, but I want him to do what is in his best personal interest. After 20 years with us, he has earned that right. I love him like a son.” Patriots coach Bill Belichick – who many say became an all-time great because of Brady – reacted to the news with a warm statement about the quarterback that he coached for nearly two decades. “Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation,” Belichick noted.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Luxury Trial

Sitting at home with nothing to do? This job may be perfect for you. A real estate website is seeking a job applicant to fly to Dubai and spend a week testing out a luxury apartment. The website, Dubai Property for Sale, announced it is  “offering one lucky person the chance to be flown out to Dubai for an all-expenses-paid trip for 1 week of sunshine, luxury, and testing out one of our high-end apartments.” Um, what’s the catch? Turns out, there is none. After experiencing all that luxury, the applicant would then be a finalist for a more permanent position as a property broker to find buyers and coordinate sales of the high-end residences in Dubai. In other words, they’re giving you a vacation even before you get the job. Sweet!

Keep Juggling One Step at a Time Sometimes it seems like we’re juggling so many balls. Well, imagine juggling a soccer ball for 48 hours. That’s exactly what British soccer enthusiast John Farnworth, 34, did. But there is more to the story – he did it while walking across Lake Baikal, the

world’s largest frozen lake located in Siberia. Yes, that Siberia. John, who juggled the soccer ball with his feet, knees, chest and head, stopped to sleep for a few hours on the frozen ice, after which he wrote, “I’m never going to take for granted a warm bed again!!”

During his journey he sustained a left knee injury but powered through by thinking positive. “I literally took every step as it came trying not to worry about what was ahead, what speed I was travelling at or any other difficulties that may crop up.” Hmm…sagely advice.

Things Feeling Upside Down?

Everyone “once in a while” feels like their homes are upside down. If you happen to visit Hartebeestpoort, South Africa, in the near future, you can visit an actual upside-down house. The house, which is a new tourist attraction, has its roof on the ground and its floor in the air. The rooms have sofas and chairs hanging from the ceiling. The kitchen is also upside down with appliances appearing to defy gravity. Aside for being an interesting ex-

Rob Ayton won the prize for the best international mullet at the annual Mulletfest held in New South Wales last week

hibit, the next time you are in a spelling bee and you are asked how to spell Hartebeesooort, you may be able to spell it correctly after visiting this attraction. According to the curators of this exhibit, “The birth of the inspirational idea of this ingenious ‘house’ became real by the reflection of a peculiar presence, which in the existing world might sometimes feel upside down.” Really? When does the world ever feel upside down?

The restaurant owner told local TV that although times are difficult and it would be hard on the wait staff that will have a difficult time from the restaurant’s closure, “the gift that they got today will soften the blow.”

The Perfect Present

The Tipping Point

There are random acts of kindness and whopper acts of kindness. Sometimes the moment calls for a simple smile at another; sometimes it calls for something bigger. One anonymous good-doer rose to the occasion when he dined at a Houston, Texas, restaurant hours before a mandatory closure took effect. The anonymous diner at Irma’s Southwest Restaurant left a $9,400 tip and wrote on the receipt, “Hold tip to pay your guys over the next few weeks.”

Robin Lawler decided to play the Virginia Lotto on March 5 in honor of her birthday. Her special day turned out to be her lucky day, when she won some extra cash. Robin called her friend excitedly and informed her that she had just won $600 on her birthday. Well, turns out that she was wrong – it’s always important to double check the numbers when it comes to the lotto. Robin didn’t win $600 – she won $1 million playing the Virginia Lottery game. “I blanked!” she later told Lottery officials. “I looked at it and said, ‘What is this?’” Lawler decided to take her birthday winnings as a lump sum of $601,684, before taxes. Now that’s a nice birthday present.

Bees Fight Elephants

Officials with an Indian railway company said they have started using the recorded sound of buzzing bees to keep elephants from wandering onto the tracks. The Northeast Frontier Railway said its Moradabad division installed a “Honey Bee Sound System” in locations known to be frequented by elephants. Officials said villagers who spot

elephants in the area alert the company, and workers then engage the sound system to play the sound of bees, which elephants are known to avoid for fear of being stung. The company said the system was adopted in response to an increasing number of elephants killed in collisions with trains. Now they’ll know to “bee” careful.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the

Community IYIM Brings Purim Joy to Thousands of IDF Soldiers

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ow more than ever, with so much doubtfulness going around, one thing is always certain: the brave soldiers of the IDF are guarding Israel’s borders, undertaking counter-terrorism maneuvers, and making sure Israeli citizens are safe. Their year-round efforts deserve our utmost thanks, appreciation, and praise. What better time and way to thank them

than with Purim mishloach manot? The International Young Israel Movement (IYIM) annual Mishloach Manot for the IDF campaign, supported by friends in Jewish communities throughout the world, was a raging success for Purim 2020. Together with partnering organizations (ZOA Brooklyn, World Mizrachi, and Yashar LeChayal) we were able to deliver 6,700 packages

to soldiers from the Northern border through to bases in the Negev. These large Purim packages were accompanied by letters written by students in Jewish day schools across the globe.    What surprises every year is that we bring the mishloach manot on behalf of world Jewry to say thank you to these brave young men and women. In turn, they are so touched

and so thankful that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. To see the smiles on their faces and hear their heartfelt thanks means so much. “We ended up on a base with 520 lone soldiers, who spoke 35 languages amongst themselves. We were present at their graduation ceremony which was very moving,” Daniel Meyer, Executive Director of IYIM, said. “They were overcome with emotion that world Jewry backed their efforts, and on their base in the middle of nowhere, they received these Purim gifts. To see these young soldiers who have uprooted themselves and moved to Israel to serve in the IDF is beyond inspirational.”  More than receiving the mishloach manot packages, the letters written by children worldwide touched the soldier’s hearts and gave them strength during these trying times. Nadav Tzouk, a soldier in a special combat unit in the IDF said, “I would like to thank you on behalf of my team for the wonderful Purim package. We were immensely touched by your gesture, and very much appreciate it.”  IYIM is committed to ensuring that the spiritual needs of all IDF soldiers are fulfilled. Stay tuned for our next event - a triple Sefer Torah dedication in memory of Ari Fuld, z”l, to the paratrooper battalion. 


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Around the Community Rabbi Mordechai Jungreis, Nikelsburg Rebbe, on Purim

Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund Auction

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hen faced with critical medical care, fear and loneliness play a major

role. Where to begin… Whom to turn to… How to stay in control… Yidden possess the tremendous capacity of generosity. When afflicted with a cancer illness, r”l, patients in the community are fortunate to be able to turn to Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund, an organization that assures

that a cancer patient is never alone in his plight. The Zieglers, founders of the Zichron Shlome Refuah Fund, dealt with this illness, over 30 years ago, when their son Shlome, a”h, suffered and left this world at the tender age of 17. They, therefore, thoroughly understand, feel the pain and anticipate the needs of the patients and their families. They provide funds for hospital bills, treatments, airfare, rent, utilities, vacations for the patient

and family and much more. They do their utmost to uplift the patient’s and family’s spirits discretely, preserving the patient’s dignity. We all daven to never need the assistance of ZSRF, and we all need to financially assist ZSRF for the sake of the patients. Please, please support ZSRF as they help the cholei Yisroel recover! Partner with ZIchron Shlome and join their annual Auction 2020 Cam-

paign by purchasing raffle tickets. Look out for our all new auction book with many exciting prizes that was circulated last week. Every book is a winner with our new “Scratch, Match, and Win” possibilities. Order tickets online www.zsrf.org, by phone 212-444-ZSRF, by mail to: ZSRF, 1319 51st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219, or by fax 718-259-0976, 718435-0420. 718-GET-WELL. www.zsrf.org

Arts & Crafts Drive for Quarantined Children

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hai Lifeline has launched an arts & crafts drive to help families across North America with hospitalized or homebound children during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.   “Though current precautionary measures limit Chai Lifeline’s ability to fully serve our clients in the usual manner, we remain committed to providing them with the best care possible,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, Chai Lifeline CEO. “This includes finding new ways to deliver our

trademark joy to isolated children in hospitals, quarantines or homes. We hope this initiative brings children and their families some comfort and shows them that they are not alone in this time of crisis.”  Chai Lifeline asks that only new arts & crafts projects (suitable for children of all ages) are shipped to, or dropped off at, any of its regional locations:  Chai Lifeline New York, 151 West 30th Street, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10001 

Chai Lifeline NJ / PA, 106 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, NJ 08701 Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic, 600 Reisterstown Road, Suite 508, Baltimore, MD 21208  Chai Lifeline Southeast, 2699 Stirling Road Suite B303, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312  Chai Lifeline Midwest, 6600 N. Lincoln Avenue, Suite 300, Lincolnwood, IL 60712  Chai Lifeline West Coast, 475 South Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211 

Chai Lifeline Canada 300A Wilson Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M3H 1S8   Chai Lifeline Montreal 1090B Pratt, Montreal, Quebec, H2V 2V2  Chai Lifeline is a leading international children’s health support network, providing social, emotional and financial  assistance  to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families.  Email  corona-art@chailifeline.org  with any questions or for sponsorship opportunities. 


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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community Shushan Purim is so much fun! At the HAFTR Early Childhood center, the story of Purim comes alive. Children come to school in costume, and the morot put on a highly educational and entertaining performance using parts of the megilla as a script.  The show is interactive and audience participation is encouraged at certain points, when the children sing and dance.

Technology in the Era of COVID-19 By Dr. Eli Shapiro

I

PHOTOS BY GABE SOLOMON

n recent weeks we have entered uncharted territory in our human experience. For many, existential staples such as schools, houses of worship and other social gatherings have been put on hold to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which, in turn, has caused increased anxiety and a real sense of isolation as a result of detachment from our regular routine. Parents have the additional internal conflict around increased technology use and screen time that many schools are turning to for distance learning. This series of articles will seek to address some of these issues. I welcome your questions at eli@thedigitalcitizenship.com. Distance Learning: Enhancement or Intrusion? With schools around the country closing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many are turning to digital platforms to provide ongoing quality education. Companies like Google and Zoom can provide a distance learning platform with a whole host of features and options that allows teachers and students to connect through with audio and video, as well as share content and screens in real time. Students can virtually raise their hands to ask questions and receive answers and even break off into virtual collaborative working groups. Many universities have long been using this technology to offer courses and degrees further expanding their ability to educate and giving more educational options to students who would have otherwise been limited by geographic location. For many, this is clearly the best solution for the current crisis we are facing. However, the following question has also emerged from concerned parents and educators alike. “We have heard the warnings from our community and school leaders about excessive screen time causing a whole host of immediate and long-term developmental issues, so how can our schools now promote a screen-based platform of distance learning; won’t it do more harm than good?” Let’s start with the term “screen time” being a misconception. It im-

plies that the mere fact that one is in front of a screen is problematic, which is simply not true. Screen time can and should be viewed in multiple qualitative categories. For the purpose of this article we will divide it into two categories: creative and consumption. Consumption is when the user is simply watching something happen on a screen for entertainment purposes and takes limited or no active part in the experience. Without function and purpose, there is little value in this type of screen time and excessive consumption can be problematic for all the reasons we so often hear about. Creative, on the other hand, involves interaction and learning. Whether it is coding, graphic design, working on spreadsheets, writing or distance learning, there is a cognitive process that is taking place that is engaging, interactive, productive, and growth-oriented. Although both are screen time, they are clearly not equal in quality or the risks that are often associated with “screen time.” As schools, out of necessity, move to a distance learning model we should not confuse the shared academic and creative experience guided by an educator with binging on Netflix, Hulu or Disney Plus. All screen time is not created equal. A fundamental question we should always ask ourselves as it relates to technology is: is technology serving as an enhancement or an intrusion? In light of the current situation of school closures and quarantine, and when a school is ready to come forward and offer interactive educational opportunities through platforms like Zoom and Google, I believe this is enhancing our experience rather than serving as an intrusion and that it is an opportunity that should be embraced. In my next article I will focus on social networking in a time of social distancing. Dr. Eli Shapiro (elishapiro.com) is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed school administrator, with a doctorate in education. He is the creator and director of The Digital Citizenship Project (thedigitalcitizenship.com) and a world renowned lecturer on technology and human behavior.


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40

MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Rabbi Zvi Ralbag, Mora D’Asra of Congregation Bais Ephraim Yitzchok of Woodmere, addressing the YOSS Mechina on the essence of Megillas Esther prior to Purim

Shevach Helps Spread the Spirit of Purim

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n Taanis Esther, a group of Shevach students went to visit The Boulevard ALP to deliver mishloach manos provided

by Agudas Yisrael of America and to bring the spirit of Purim to the residents. With fun costumes and lively music, the elderly residents and the

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Shevach students alike had a memorable and uplifting experience. Aviva Keller, one of the students who participated in this venture, shared a glimpse of her rewarding experience. “I see how true it is that ‘good things come in small packages.’ Although, due to health concerns, only a smaller group than usual was able to make it to the Boulevard ALP this Taanis Esther, we felt that we made a very big impact. As we walked in with smiles on our faces, it was as if we were looking into mirrors. Each of the residents’ faces glowed with pure joy as we handed each one a mishloach manos. One of the men even started singing a Purim song! “When we left it was unclear who had gained more from the experience. It was very special for us the feeling that we had made someone else’s Purim. Yet I know that it really made our day too!” This was just one girl’s experience, yet it was clear that all the girls felt the same way. Kudos to the following Shevach students who participated in this

wonderful chessed: Shevach Chessed Heads Rochel Rosenshein, Rachaele Sitzer, and Shira Sklar, accompanied by Shevach students Bashi Berman, Aviva Keller, Devorah Leah Lavian, Penina Rockove, and Sarala Taub. In Kew Gardens, The Atria and The Homestead were both treated to a memorable visit by Shevach alumna Mrs. Batzion (Massis) Brody, her husband, and her three children, who in their delightful costumes, brought Purim joy to all the residents. The seniors loved being visited by the charming children, many residents, in fact, remembering them from their previous Purim visits. As Mrs. Brody stated, “I started coming here on Purim when I was a Shevach student, and I will not give it up! This is the true spirit of Purim that I hope to impart to my children.” The Queens community can be very proud of the Shevach students, as we know that they will continue to do their wonderful acts of chessed and amaze us with their willingness to give.

Did you know? In Old English, March was called Hlyda, or Lide, meaning “loud,” referring to the loud March winds.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

OHEL is Here For You & Here With You Tips & Guidelines on Staying Calm

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HEL remains deeply committed to serving the needs of our community, especially at these unprecedented and challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. OHEL’s Crisis Team, led by Dr. Norman Blumenthal and Tzivy Reiter, LCSW, specialize in helping people navigate the social, emotional and practical consequences of the current health crisis, forced isolation and disruption in routine. OHEL’s Crisis Team is available to provide video-based WebEx or telephone counseling to all those in the community who need it. For an appointment or any questions, email: copingwithcovid19@ohelfamily.org. Dr. Norman Blumenthal, Zachter Family Chair in Trauma and Crisis Response for OHEL, is offering the following summary of his recent webinars on maintaining and imparting appropriate levels of alarm and managing confinement. MANAGING ANXIETY AND WORRY • Your anxiety should be commensurate with the risk that exists and mobilized to take responsible action. You should be in control of your anxiety and not your anxiety in control of you. • Be properly informed, screening for both alarmist and minimizing messages and postings. • Make sure you have a handle on the situation before you address it with your children. • Be aware that scared children, especially young ones, are more responsive to your body language and voice tone than what you say. Impart caution, but control by how you communicate, not just the words you use. Model proper caution and hygiene. Avoid cynical remarks or jokes that would diminish the importance of this current crisis. • Do not get overly angry or overwrought if a child fails to practice proper hygiene or precautions; gently remind him/her. • Remind yourself and family that, as has been the case with comparable communal emergencies, this will likely have a beginning, middle and end. It will not last forever.

• Try to extract from this hardship lessons in life, future resolutions or other potential sources of growth in order to at least diminish the tension and pain. PRE-SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN • Children under six are most likely to touch one’s face and mouth without washing their hands. • Teach them proper hygiene in a more playful fashion using mnemonics, jingles or many of the coloring book or cartoon like publications that promote such practices. • Walk them through and dress-rehearse proper hand washing, use of tissues and the like. • Children this age do not need more than minimal explanations or rationales for these instructions since they are used to adults demanding of them cooperation for behaviors that don’t necessarily make much sense to them. • Heap praise for proper behavior since parental approval is more important to them than the particular reasons for these behaviors. • It probably makes little sense to suggest that something is “rare” since these children lack the awareness of the breadth of time and space to understand.

self-motivated regarding hygienic practices. • They in particular need to be reminded to keep a perspective on what they read on the internet and social media. They should be cautioned to only trust responsible sources and avoid a hysteria that can be fostered by the relentless repetition and escalation that social media propagates. They may approach the alarming approach with cynicism or doubts. It is best not to get into lengthy debates or arguments but simply highlight the urgency of these times. • Tending to be idealistic, they may resonate well with the notion that much of what we are doing is to protect some of the more vulnerable members of our community. • It is probably ill-advised to cast this crisis as divine retribution or in a political template as teens may be inclined to do. If they present with such perspectives, it may be best to suggest that such insight is usually best acquired when the crisis subsides.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN • Children about 6-12 can understand the reason for these new precautions and the idea of something being rare but rapidly contagious, posing a potential risk. • Most should comply with hygienic practices with some exceptions (see below) • They are often most interested in facts and details, which is age typical and should be addressed to the extent that they ask. • They also should be assured that there were no culprits or ill-intended individuals who caused this to occur since that would also be typical for this age.

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL CONSIDERATION • Children with impulsive tendencies (e.g. ADHD) will have a harder time with confinement and remembering to pause and apply necessary hygienic practices. For them, repeated simple instruction and role playing would be indicated. • Anxious children or those with obsessive compulsive tendencies may exhibit excessive worry or relentless precautionary measures (e.g. hand washing) that are not only unnecessary but even harmful. They have to be strongly curtailed and more assured of the relative safety that still exists. • Oppositional children or those not receptive to fear or intimidation need to have the potential dangers and risks more highlighted. Unique situations such as cognitively challenged children or those on the autistic spectrum should consult with their treatment personnel and experts.

TEENAGERS • Teens will probably be well-informed and mature enough to be

QUARANTINE • Research demonstrates that confinement is a stressful situation the

effects of which can linger beyond the isolation. • Stimulation and social interaction is a basic human need, the deprivation of which is potentially harmful. Families should try to maintain as much routine, structure, and remote interpersonal contact as possible. • A schedule should be established with planned activities, online school instruction, interspersed with times for unstructured play, exercise, yoga, reading or the like. • Without minimizing the actual hardship and concern, try to maintain an upbeat and loving atmosphere in the home with no more chores or schoolwork than had previously been in place. • Both adults and children should have scheduled online gatherings during which they can reconnect, share ideas for activities and even compare art projects and the like. There have been many suggested activities and literature posted online which families should readily but judiciously access. • Pre-existing conditions or inclinations such as anxiety can get exacerbated by the stress of confinement. Similarly, interpersonal friction such as sibling rivalry can reach a feverish pitch when people are confined. A period of crisis is not a time to cure or remediate these problems. Managing such challenges until the crisis has subsided is recommended, which can include keeping family members separated, temporarily introducing medication or forms of stress inoculation that can be rapidly and effectively implemented. We hope this information is useful. It is next to impossible to foresee every challenge or exactly tailor recommendations to each individual. For updates and videos on COVID-19, please visit www.ohelfamly.org/ COVID19. OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services offers a breadth of services that meet the everyday needs of individuals and families. To access more information or services please call 1800-603-OHEL email access@ohelfamily.org or visit www.ohelfamily.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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Around the Community

HANC Mathletes Score

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n Tuesday, February 25, the Mathletes season concluded with the team competition. The final match against Freeport High School was hosted at HANC and, being behind by one overall point, the HANC squad worked hard, using their mathematical skills to come back to win the match and the season! This victory marks the

7th consecutive winning season for our school! Congratulations to coach, Profes-

MTA Celebrates Purim

A

lthough yeshiva was closed throughout Purim this year, MTA talmidim and reb-

beim enjoyed celebrating together in small groups throughout the tristate area.

sor Quin Murrell, the team and to the captains: Kayla Shurka and Chani Zahler! The team looks forward to

the 2020-2021 season let by next year’s captains, Nava Lippman and Liora Rahmani.

CAHAL Enjoys a Shared Reading Activity

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ast week, Mrs. Shoshana Ayzin’s third-fourth grade CAHAL class at Yeshiva of South Shore generously gave of their time and attention to Mrs. Riva Ratner’s first grade CAHAL class in a shared reading activity. Each older student was paired with a younger boy, and they selected a book to read together. The boys shared stories and ideas as they enjoyed their time reading together. They are looking forward to more shared reading opportunities in the near future!

Rebbe-Talmid Game at YOSS

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ast Sunday, Yeshiva of South Shore held its annual Rebbe-Talmid game in the Abraham and Sara Silber Mechina Gymnasium. It was a beautiful sunny day, and parents and students from the entire yeshiva flocked to the gym in anticipation of the game. The game is a great opportunity for fun and laughter and also benefits the eighth grade yearbook. The game was preceded by the Mechina’s first annual 3-on-3 tournament’s championship game. The game was thrilling and came down to the wire with the winning team edging out by 1 point. Congratulations to Avi Slomnicki, Yisrael Seigel, and Tzvi Fohrman on winning the championship. The trophy ceremony took

place right before tip-off. All players that made the final four received medals as well. There was a lot of hype leading into this Rebbe-Talmid game as Mr. Moshe Buchbinder, father of eighth grade student Aiden Buchbinder, had been coaching and preparing the eighth grade students for the game. Between teaching the boys press defenses and motion offenses, the team was poised for an upset victory. The game was played with fierce intensity. Despite trailing to the rebbes early in the game, the eighth grade battled back and cut the lead to five before time ran out. The students put up a valiant effort and played with a tremendous level teamwork and achdus.


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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Parenting in a Quarantine: FAQs for Coping

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chools in communities across the world are closing their doors as part of precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19,  and  many parents find themselves in new and unfamiliar territory. Parents must now face the challenge of keeping their children occupied and educated, all while balancing their  professional and financial responsibilities with potential personal and spiritual anxieties.  Chai Lifeline has received numerous questions from parents, struggling to deal with this new reality. Rabbi Dr. Dovid Fox, director of interventions & community education at Project Chai, Chai Lifeline’s crisis intervention, trauma and bereavement department, has published the following Frequently Asked Questions & Answers to help parents manage quarantine-related issues and navigate this unfolding health crisis.  Q: How much detail should I share with my children about

the current health crisis?  A:  First, ask your children what they have already heard and what concerns or worries them. Young children should be given reassurance that this is a temporary change to help keep people healthy. Schoolaged children should have their questions answered in a way that does not alarm them but gives them simplified basic facts. Teens should be presented with the facts in a non-alarming manner, with the clarification that as more information comes out, there will be greater clarity. Discourage rumoring and gossip.   Q: How do I respond to my child’s fears?  A: Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings and be a caring listener. Don’t tell them that they shouldn’t think or feel the way they do. Instead, let them know that during uncertain times, it is normal to have concerns and anxiety. When your child sees that you hear them

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and care, they will be receptive to your reassurance.

strating to them how a conscientious Torah individual faces a challenge.    

Q: If we are quarantined, how can we reduce avoidable stress to our family?   A: It is important to have a plan during the time when you will be alone together in your home. It is possible that people will become irritable and impatient, so to avoid this, be sure to set a routine. Stick to a schedule which includes normal tasks, study, wake time, sleep time, and mealtime. Be sure to introduce structure into your family time so that you have quiet activities together, some creative and fun time, and create bonding opportunities by having discussions about how each of you are doing, what could be added to the day to make it more stimulating, etc. 

Q: How can I handle my own fears as an adult? I have financial responsibilities... I need to provide for my family, and we may be quarantined for weeks?  A: It is normal to worry and to have fears during times of stress and uncertainty. Find someone whom you trust and admire with whom you can voice your struggles. You can direct them to listen, to be encouraging and supportive, and you can ask them not to be critical or judgmental when right now you need to ventilate your worries without feeling bad about yourself. Having a caring person with whom to express your feelings is a powerful step towards understanding and accepting yourself, then seeking tools to inspire yourself.  

Q: What changes should we implement during this time?   A: To maintain health, practice proper hygiene and wash hands frequently with soap, avoid unclean places and items, get ample sleep, nutrition, fresh air and exercise. Encourage children to share their feelings and thoughts without being critical when a child is behaving or reacting at a developmentally common level. Parents should avoid arguing in their presence.   Q: How can I address this situation with my children with a Torah perspective?  A: Parents can turn this difficult interval into an opportunity to discuss with children our essential values and beliefs, how we draw on faith during  difficulty, and how we  aim to turn our thoughts and feelings to Hashem, especially when life seems disrupted. Speak with your children at a level which matches their comprehension and their knowledge. You are their finest role model for demon-

Q: How much emotion should I show my children? A: When it comes to showing your children love, affection and caring, displaying your warmth to them assures that home is a safe and calming environment. Conversely, when it comes to sharing your distress with them, that is a very different matter. Remember that you are your children’s role model and they need to see that you are coping lest they grow more fearful or withdrawn. It is helpful to acknowledge to them that these times are indeed a challenge, but overly dramatic displays of your own distress will dishearten your child. Keep perspective, use discretion, and make wise judgments as a parent.   Chai Lifeline encourages anyone with questions or concerns  in adjusting  to  the  stresses of  coping with the COVID-19 pandemic to contact  its Project Chai  24-Hour  Crisis Helpline, 855-3-CRISIS, or email crisis@chailifeline.org.  

Did you know? The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west.


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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Around the Community

The Shnitzel Guys added levity and laughter to the YOSS Purim mesiba last week

BYQ Reaches Out

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uring this difficult time, the girls at Bais Yaakov of Queens were thinking of others and reaching out to them. Under the guidance of their teacher, Mrs. Shira Silber, the fifth graders decorated refuah shelaimeh cards and posters conveying their good wishes and meaningful thoughts to those quarantined. The girls discussed how all Jews are one big family and care for each other. The images of these cards and posters were shared with those in quarantine in New Rochelle. Their cards were also distributed along with meals by Eden Wok, a Chinese restaurant in New Rochelle. The recipients of the cards were so grateful they were remembered during this difficult and lonely Purim.

Below are some letters of appreciation received by some thankful recipients. Bais Yaakov of Queens is so proud of our thoughtful and caring students. May everyone stay well!   I am one of the many Young Israel of  New Rochelle congregants in quarantine who received the most wonderful greetings and well wishes from your students on  Purim.  Thank you so much for thinking of us here.  It is truly a blessing

to know that kol Yisroel areivim zeh b’zeh and that your students and their teachers exemplify  this precept.     I wanted to express my gratitude to your students. As a member of the Young Israel of New Rochelle I have been quarantined in my home for over a week. I was feeling very sad that my Purim celebration was so changed. We could not go to shul to hear megillah, could not exchange mish-

loach maanot, and our wonderful seudah was cancelled. Imagine my surprise when a delivery came from our local restaurant, Eden Wok, and inside was a beautiful, handdrawn, Purim card signed by a Bais Yaakov student. What an important mitzvah was done by your students as they brought my husband and me simchas Purim on a difficult day.  Thank you, Tizku L’mitzvot


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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

DIRSHU PARIS SIYUM ON BRACHOS: Torah Never Stops – No Matter What! The French Revolution Continues

Rav Naftali Levy, Dirshu Director in France, addressing the siyum in Marseilles

By Rabbi Nachman Seltzer

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here’s no question that there was major change in how Klal Yisroel relates to Daf Yomi after the conclusion of the previous cycle. It was as if Daf Yomi suddenly acquired wings and took off – spreading the message of how vital and important it is for Jewish people the world over to learn a substantial amount of Torah – every single day. As someone who has covered many siyumim in various locations around the globe, I have been granted a unique bird’s eye view into the unparalleled growth which has taken place from the previous Siyum Hashas cycle seven and half years ago to this one. I remember the last Siyum Hashas like yesterday. Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv was packed. There were thousands of people there. But at the siyum in Tel Aviv there were a lot more people this time around. The same thing went for Yerushalayim – where you couldn’t find a seat, and people stood on their feet or perched on the steps in the aisles. Think about the fact that Dirshu was able to fill up not one, but three venues in America – and you can begin to grasp the incredible amount of people who wanted to take part in the global celebration of Torah learning. All this brings me to the revolution which has just taken place in France. Many of us have learned about the French Revolution in history class. But most people do not know about the revolution which is taking place right now, as we speak.

And much of the change began at the Dirshu Siyum Hashas that took place in Paris a few months ago. An Unprecedented Night Just for the record, I was asked to cover a beautiful Dirshu event that was held in Paris a number of years ago. It was nice, it was leibedik, and it was special. But there was no comparison between that event and the Siyum Hashas which just took place at Dome de Paris a few months ago. And while there were much larger events happening in other parts of the world – as someone who covered a range of locations, there was something poignant and incredibly unique about the Paris siyum. Perhaps it had to do with the fact there had never been such a large Jewish gathering in Paris. Maybe it had to do with the fact that every part of the French Orthodox community was represented and that there was complete unity among everyone there? Whatever the cause and whatever the reason, something happened that night – something that had never happened before. It was a complete watershed moment – and it touched the entire country at the same time. It was the moment when all of France began to learn. It was as if being at the Siyum Hashas or just hearing about it had opened up the eyes of so many people who had never really learned Gemara before. Many of them had never felt the need to do so. They hadn’t been educated in yeshivos and had never been exposed to the world of Shas. And then along came the Siyum Ha-

Rav Yihia Touboul, Rav of Lyon, greeting Rav Dovid Hofstedter

shas and they suddenly grasped that learning Gemara on a daily basis was not only a very good thing, but that it was the type of thing that they themselves should be doing. And so, the revolution was launched. Do the Math Yourself… Of course, there were Daf Yomi shiurim in France before the siyum, just not many of them. The situation on the ground, however, was about to change. You see, in the months preceding the siyum, a team of Dirshu rabbonim traveled to France with the express goal of setting up additional Daf Yomi shiurim for the expected surge of learning that they knew was going to take place in the siyum’s aftermath. And so, while nobody was very surprised that many more Yidden suddenly wanted to learn the Daf, everyone was surprised by the sheer numbers. That was unexpected. It was as if a Torah faucet had been turned on, washing thousands of French Jews with its force. All over France the new shiurim were filled from one day to the next. But the maggidei shiur quickly realized that it was not enough. The demand was too great. The teachers couldn’t keep up with the stream of talmidim. Within a very short time, even more shiurim were set up to accommodate the French Yidden, who were clamoring to learn Gemara! Like I said, it was quite literally a Torah revolution. And because nothing like this had ever occurred before in France, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu, de-

cided that Dirshu was going to hold at least two major siyumim in France to celebrate the new French appreciation for Torah learning. As soon as the decision was made, the Dirshu planning team swung into action and a beautiful siyum was planned for the city of Marseilles – a city that had boasted a mere three shiurim, which had grown to a record thirteen shiurim – and, of course, in Paris, where the number of shiurim had grown close to fifty. To Whom Does Wisdom Go? A record crowd filled the hall at the siyum. Every seat was taken by another Yid who had committed to learn Torah. There was true appreciation for the fact that Rav Dovid Hofstedter had flown in from Toronto to spend this time with them. And Rav Dovid wasn’t the only person of note at the siyumim. There were many French gedolim as well as a special visitor from Eretz Yisroel – none other than the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir Yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yudel Finkel. The participants at the siyum were truly honored by their visitors from far away. A crackling electricity filled the room as Rav Dovid Hofstedter rose to address the overflow crowd – his message especially poignant considering the challenges facing the entire world. “The weekly Torah portion we are reading right now deals with the Mishkan – which was built by Betzalel, who, as the Gemara in Brachos tells us, lived his life ‘b’tzel Kel,’ in the shadow of Hashem. The pasuk uses the word, ‘ri’u,’ when referring


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, 2020

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Around the Community

Hanhalas Dirshu meeting with maggidei shiur in France

to Betzalel. But what exactly was the pasuk telling us to look at?” Rav Dovid continued, “The answer is, that when a leader is being appointed on the people, it must be done with the will of the nation, which is why Moshe asked Klal Yisroel if they were agreeable with Betzalel being appointed to the position of designer of the Mishkan and its utensils. From here we see that asking a nation to approve of its prospective leaders is nothing less than derech eretz. “The Ramban however explains the word ‘ri’u’ in a different way. He says that this is referring to the idea that Hashem took someone who had been a slave in Mitzrayim and gave him the ability to become a master craftsman who could even put together a Mishkan!” Rav Dovid continued, “There is an obvious question here. Why did Hashem choose Betzalel for such an important task?” He then quoted the pasuk, “Ki b’lev kol chacham lev nasati chochma,” and continued, “Who receives chochma, who is the recipient of wisdom? We tend to think that certain people are born wise. And while some certainly are born that way, there are many others who are not born with brilliant minds and who were given chochma as a present. So the question becomes, ‘On whom does Hashem bestow His wisdom?’ The answer: on the wise man, as the pasuk states, ‘B’lev kol chacham lev nasati chochma.’ Yet that seems to imply that the recipient of Hashem’s gift already has wisdom. Why then does Hashem need to give it to him? “The key lies in the words, ‘chacham lev,’ as the posuk in Mishlei writes, ‘Chacham lev yikach mitzvos.’ Who is a chacham lev? Someone who has the desire to serve Hashem and to achieve Yiras Shomayim, someone

who goes out of his way to grab any mitzvah that passes by. Why was Betzalel given the opportunity to build the Mishkan? Because he jumped at the chance, wanting the privilege with his entire heart and all his desire! And Hashem rewarded him with the wisdom he needed to fulfil his dream! “Here in France, people are no doubt thinking to themselves, ‘Sure I started Shas, but do I have what it takes to stay with the program for seven and a half years?! And the answer is yes, you do, as long as you have the ratzon! Hashem gives wisdom to those who want it! If what you want is to finish Shas, then Hashem will give you the ability to do exactly as you wish!” At the Conference…. Dirshu always maximizes every opportunity to its fullest. Besides for two siyumim, in Marseilles and Paris, there was also a very productive conference for the French Daf Yomi maggidei shiur – who were given the chance to spend a significant amount of time with Rav Dovid and his staff – who were given their opportunity to update him on everything currently happening with Daf Yomi in France. One maggid shiur told the group about two of his star talmidim – one a student at the Sorbonne University who became frum not long before and was learning the daf on top of his many commitments at school. The second a man whose wife was expecting a baby. “He has to drive his children to school every morning, yet somehow never misses a day! In the beginning of the cycle,” the maggid shiur continued, “nobody wanted to commit completely. But then Dirshu did a very special thing – something that made all my shiur goers want to commit for the entire cycle. They invited them to

Festive dancing at the siyum in Marseilles

take part in the Dirshu siyum in Paris and seated them in the VIP section – right in front of the stage! You can imagine how they felt to be seated beside all the talmidei chachomim and tzaddikim! It goes without question that every one of them wanted to continue learning after that!” One of the maggidei Shiur, Rav Asayeg, explained to the assembled that he is also the rav of a shul in addition to giving Torah shiurim. “With the Daf holding such a place of importance in everyone’s life these days,” he said, “I have started tying the Daf into many of my other shiurim. When I speak to my shul every Shabbos, I find myself tying in sugyos from the Daf into my drasha – and everyone loves it. I do the same thing at shalosh seudos. It was never like this before, and a lot of the change has to do with how Dirshu introduced Daf Yomi into the lives of Jews around the country.” Like a King With many of the group sharing personal stories from their lives, Rav Dovid did the same. “When I got married,” he told them, “Rav Shnuer Kotler, zt”l, the Rosh Yeshiva of Lakewood Yeshiva, spoke to me, quoting the famous line, ‘Chosson domeh l’melech,’ that a chosson is comparable to a king. ‘Let me ask you something,’ Rav Shnuer said. ‘Do you think that a chosson is only comparable to a king for the week of Sheva Brachos? Of course not! A chosson should know that he can and should become a king for the rest of his life! Where? In his house. How does he become a king? By taking achrayus/responsibility for his family and by guiding and leading his entire household with wisdom and strength.’ “The same idea applies to a mgagid shiur. He too is a king. Where? In his

shiur! How? By looking, relating and taking care of the people who come to learn with him as he would take care of the members of his family. “As Shmuel Hanaavi said to King Shaul, ‘Im katan ata b’einecha, rosh shivtei Yisroel ata – even though you may be small in your eyes, however, you are the head of your nation, and it is your responsibility to lead them, not be led by them.’” Here Rav Dovid was sharing one of the secrets of success with the group of dedicated talmidei chachomim – ensuring that they grasped the concept of what being a king was truly about. The Sky is the Limit… At least fifteen people approached the Nasi of Dirshu, wanting to share with him the fact that this siyum was the first time they had actually finished a Masechta of Gemara for the first time in their lives. Rav Dovid had been told of the success – of the Torah revolution, of the fact that so many Yidden had begun to learn for the first time. But there is hearing and there is seeing. Suddenly Rav Dovid was meeting the people he had been told about – the people whose lives had been changed in the best way possible – and there was no question in his mind that this was just the beginning and that France was yet to see an even greater revolution when it came to making Torah learning an even bigger and more important part of every Jew’s life. The brave Yidden of France were willing to learn Torah through every situation – through the pressures of life as a Jew in their home country – and through a virus which was shutting down more and more parts of the globe every single day. They would continue learning – no matter what. Because that is what a Jew does.


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Centerfold

Diet Rules to Follow I know that for the many “nutritional overachievers” out there, your diet season begins right after Purim and extends all the way until one week later. So, as you embark on your one-week diet journey to total fitness, keep these important rules in mind. If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda. When you eat with someone else, calories don’t count if you don’t eat more than they do. Food used for medicinal purposes NEVER count, such as hot chocolate, brandy, toast and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner. Cookie pieces contain no fat – the process of breaking causes fat leakage. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something. Examples are peanut butter on a knife making a sandwich and ice cream on a spoon making a sundae.

You gotta be

kidding

A woman on a train walks up to a man across the table. “Excuse me,” she says, “but are you Jewish?” “No,” replies the man. A few minutes later the woman returns. “Excuse me,” she says again, “are you sure you’re not Jewish?” “I’m sure,” says the man. But the woman is not convinced, and a few minutes later she approaches him a third time. “Are you absolutely sure you’re not Jewish?” she asks. “All right, all right,” the man says. “You win – I’m Jewish.” “That’s funny,” says the woman.” You don’t look Jewish.”

Foods that have the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are: spinach and pistachio ice cream; mushrooms and white chocolate.

Riddle me this?

Foods that are frozen have no calories because calories are units of heat. Examples are ice cream, frozen pies, and Popsicles.

Yesterday I sat at the table with the butcher,

If you eat really fast, your body may forget to register the calories. If it’s whole grain, it’s a “freebie.” That means you can eat unlimited whole grain rice, bread, cookies, etc. In fact, it’s healthy for you.

the baker, and the grocer. I sat to the left of Frank. Peter sat to the right of the butcher. If Steve, who sat across from Frank, isn’t the baker, then who sells groceries? See answer below

If you eat the food off someone else’s plate, it doesn’t count. A balanced diet means holding a cupcake in each hand. Eat whatever you want on Shabbos (translation: Thursday night to Sunday night). After all, it’s only one day.

Answer to Riddle Me This: Steve.

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Shakespeare Trivia 1. Who said, “Beware the ides of March”?

c. Richard III d. Henry V

a. Caesar b. Brutus c. Soothsayer d. Mark Anthony 2. Which of Shakespeare’s characters described himself as “more sinn’d against than sinning”? a. King Lear b. Hamlet

5. In which play is the line, “All the world’s a stage / And all the men and women merely players”?

a. On

a. Love’s Labour’s Lost

d. In

b. As You Like It c. Much Ado About Nothing d. A Midsummer Night’s Dream 6. Complete this line from King Henry IV, Part 2: “Uneasy ____ the head that wears a crown.”

c. Macbeth d. Othello

a. Rests 3. Which character in Julius Caesar says, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”?

b. Sits c. Is d. Lies

a. Octavius b. Julius Caesar

7. Which villain says, “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

c. Brutus d. Mark Anthony 4. Which play opens with the line, “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York”?

c. Of

9. Which play features the line, “Why, this is very midsummer’s madness”? a. A Midsummer Night’s Dream b. Much Ado About Nothing c. The Taming of the Shrew d. Twelfth Night 10. Which character in Hamlet advises, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” and whom is he advising? a. Polonius, speaking to Laertes b. Hamlet, speaking to Laertes

b. Iago in Othello

c. Polonius, speaking to Hamlet

c. Demetrius in Titus Andronicus

b. Richard II

 Answers

b. From

a. Shylock in The Merchant of Venice

d. Lady Macbeth in Macbeth

a. Pericles

8. Complete this line from The Tempest: “We are such stuff / As dreams are made ____.”

 Wisdom Key

B

5)

C

4)

D

3)

A

2)

4-6 correct: Your dull brain is wrought with things forgotten.

1)

0-3 correct: Nothing will come of nothing.

7-10 correct: How heavy your head must be... Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

d. Laertes, speaking to Hamlet

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C

10) A 9) 8) 7) 6)

D A A D


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3

Torah Thought

Parshas Vayakhel-Pikudei By Rabbi Berel Wein

M

oshe gathers all of the people of Israel into the courtyard of the Tabernacle to instruct them about the observance of the sanctity of Shabbat. That is the content of the lead verse of this week’s Torah reading. The obvious question raised by all of the Torah commentators is whether there was insufficient physical space outside the Tabernacle to hold the entire population of the Jewish people. The Talmud and Midrash, therefore, resort to a miraculous supernatural understanding of the event. They state that here we are taught the concept that the small and few can somehow contain and hold the large and many. We naturally consider this to be miraculous. But in the realm of the Al-mighty, where space and time do not really exist, there is no problem in having millions occupy a limited area of space. And since the Tabernacle, and later the Jerusalem Temples, were miraculous in their very nature and essence – even in their construction – it is obvious that such a supernatural phenomenon existed

to gather all the Jewish people within a limited area. The Talmud asserts that the Jewish people in that generation were accustomed to miracles and to the supernatural events. With regular exposure to the supernatural, it eventually makes it natural and easily accepted. The Torah also as-

this axiom. The Talmud instructs us that this miracle of the limited containing unlimited also existed in the times of the Temple in Jerusalem. Pirkei Avot teaches that the Jews in the Temple courtyard stood pressed against one another. However, during the Temple

When people insist on standing erect, in protecting their own perceived interests and turf, the world is very crowded.

sumes that those that study Torah will never discount the presence of the supernatural in the Jewish narrative. In Jewish thought and experience, the dividing line between natural and supernatural is blurred. The Tabernacle is proof if

service, when the moment arrived for everyone to kneel and prostrate themselves before the Holy Presence, there was sufficient space for all to do so comfortably. The great moral and practical lesson derived from this phenomenon is obvious

and telling. When people insist on standing erect, in protecting their own perceived interests and turf, the world is very crowded and there is always hostility to neighbors and companions. However, if we are willing to bow down – certainly to G-d, but even towards the needs and dignity of other human beings – there will always be enough space and room for all. The L-rd has so fashioned human society in a way that successful living – be it in the milieu of family or community or economic well-being – is always dependent on accommodating others. The customer is always right is the key to successful commercial enterprise. It is not within our nature to bow down easily. The Torah emphasizes, time and again, our individual responsibility to society as a whole. The Tabernacle and Jerusalem Temples came to represent this basic concept of flexibility over rigidity and humility over selfish arrogance. Even though the Temple is not yet in our midst physically, its spiritual message certainly is with us. Shabbat shalom.


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Community

DR. AKIVA AND MRS. MALIA BERGMAN

Guests of Honor

MR. YOSEF AND MRS. VIVI MOSKOWITZ

Kesser Shem Tov Award

MR. MICHAEL AND MRS. LILY WEICHHOLZ

Parents of t he Year

MR. SHLOMO AND MRS. HINDI SALAMON

Amudim Award

MR. YEHOSHUA AND MRS. JASMIN LIVIAN

Etz Chaim Award

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Tonight, hearts and Tefillos are with Klal Yisroel The TIMING of tonight’s Dinner may have changed Hakaras Hatov But Honorees, Friends and Supporters remains TIMELESS


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From the Fire

Parshas VayakhelPikudei Wisdom of the Heart By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf

A

ccording to the Gemara (Brachos 55a), “Hashem only gives wisdom to those who have wisdom...as it says (Shemos 31:5), ‘I have placed wisdom in the heart of those who are wise of heart.’” Similarly, we find that the Midrash Tanchuma (Shemos 35, Siman 2), quoting the pasuk in Shmos 31:3, says about Betzalel, “‘And I will fill him with the spirit of G-d, with wisdom,’ which implies that he already had wisdom. This teaches us that Hashem only fills those who already have wisdom with wisdom.” This is very difficult to understand. We even find in the Tanchuma that a woman asked Rabi Yosi bar Chalafta, “It should have said [that He gives wisdom] to fools!” Indeed, it would seem that fools need wisdom more than wise people do. Why, then, do these pesukim teach that Hashem only gives wisdom to the wise, who ostensibly need it less than fools do? Rabi Yosi answered her with a parable. He asked her whether she would rather give a loan to a poor person or a rich person. She answered that she would rather give the loan to the rich person who needed money at that time because he was more like-

ly to pay her back. Rabi Yossi then explained to her that it is the same with wisdom, which Hashem views as an important investment. He prefers to invest wisdom in those who He knows will use it wisely than in fools, who are likely to squander it, or worse. We see from these teachings that there are two basic types of wisdom. One type, which we shall call chochmas ha’lev, wisdom of the heart, is a prerequisite for the second, primary, type of wisdom, which is wisdom itself. Wisdom of the heart makes a person a vessel for true wisdom. But what is “wisdom of the heart?” The Ramban (on Shemos 35:21) points out that none of the Jews who left the slave pits of Egypt ever had the opportunity to learn any trade or the artistic skills necessary for building the Mishkan and its vessels. So who were these artisans and craftsmen who built the various parts of the Mishkan and the garments of the Kohanim? The Ramban explains that there were people whose hearts moved them to volunteer. They had desire and determination to be a part of building a dwelling place for Hashem in this world. According to

the Ramban, these people with no prior background in craftsmanship came to Moshe and said, “I will do whatever my master says!” Hashem then filled their hearts with the knowledge they needed to build their part of the Mishkan. That is why the pesukim repeatedly say about the donors, volunteers, and craftsmen (see, e.g., Shemos 35:21), “Everyone whose heart carries him.” These people did not come with extensive skillsets. They came because their hearts motivated them to do whatever they could to be part of building Hashem’s house. Reb Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l, says that the common denominator among the majority of wealthy and successful people and great rebbeim is that they exhibit tremendous motivation to accomplish; their hearts carry them. They are determined and filled with longing and desire to achieve their goals. In contrast, those who lack determination and enthusiasm, even if they have greater natural talents or intelligence, remain mediocre, never achieve greatness. With respect to the building of the Mishkan, the successful people were not experts, artisans, or crafts-

men. Rather, they were those who accepted the work of the Mishkan upon themselves wholeheartedly. This is the prerequisite for wisdom. Someone with wisdom of the heart has the humility to know that he may not be capable on his own but he is willing to work to achieve his goal nonetheless. Such a person is given the deepest wisdom and the power to attain great things. This is related to why we eat matzah on the seder night between the first two cups of wine and the last two cups of wine. Matzah, which is made of grain, is a manifestation of wisdom. We see this from the Gemara (Brachos 40a), which says, “A child does not know how to say ‘father’ or ‘mother’ until he tastes grain.” In other words, on some level, basic intelligence is associated with tasting grain. Matzah therefore represents wisdom and knowledge. Wine, on the other hand, is a lack of knowledge. It is (Megila 7b) ad d’lo yadda, something which causes a person to lose a certain quality of knowledge. Wine represents that quality of longing, desire, and faith which is beyond wisdom and knowledge and not de-


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pendent on what a person knows or is capable of according to natural human understanding. It means “I have given wisdom to the heart of the wise.” This is also connected to the maftir for Shabbos Hachodesh, which says (Shemos 12:2), “Ha’chodesh ha’zeh la’chem, This new moon shall be to you...” The moon manifests a lack of knowledge. The sun, which is the source of illumination, is wisdom and understanding. But the moon means the longing for the light of the sun, the power of pure desire and will. I read about a prominent rosh yeshiva who unfortunately passed away at a young age. Before he entered the Next World, he wrote his son a letter, which was reprinted in a sefer. In the letter, he told his son that when he was a young man, he was kicked out of several yeshivos and could no longer get into any yeshiva. He was advised to go to Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, to ask for his advice, and so he went. Rav Nosson Tzvi

was already stricken by the effects of Parkinson’s disease. The Rosh Yeshiva held his hand still so he could shake the boy’s hand and when he explained his situation to the Rosh Yeshiva, he asked the young boy,

should know that I was also weak in learning but I very much wanted to succeed. I therefore worked hard, and I was successful. If you truly want to, you will also be successful if you work hard. You will blossom

Wisdom of the heart makes a person a vessel for true wisdom.

“Do you want to grow in learning?” He answered, “Yes, but I sometimes have trouble.” “What is the truth,” Rav Nosson Tzvi asked, “do you truly want to grow in learning?” The boy answered in the affirmative. “If so,” the Rosh Yeshiva said, “if you truly want to grow in learning, then you will certainly succeed. You

into a great person.” In this letter to his son, he told him that Rav Nosson Tzvi’s words made a deep impact on him and that was what gave him the confidence to follow his dreams, work hard, and eventually become the talmid chacham that he was. He concluded the letter by telling his son, “When we

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toil and are not broken by the obstacles we face, we will definitely merit to see the light. We see tremendous help from Heaven. Go according to this path and when I leave the world, I will go up to the throne of glory to daven for you.” Hashem gives wisdom to those who are wise of heart. Being wise of heart means wanting to accomplish something in our service of Hashem. When we want something and are willing to work for it without giving up, Hashem sees that we represent a good investment and will take us to the next level. May each of us merit to tenaciously chase greatness and see the Divine assistance which will ultimately make us successful.

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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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Between the Lines

More Than a Piece of Mind By Eytan Kobre

Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. -Wayne W. Dyer

A

n emotionally-troubled king once sought the perfect picture of peace, and he announced a contest throughout his kingdom to produce a masterpiece painting that would put his troubled mind at ease. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings soon arrived from far and wide. On the appointed day, before a massive crowd, the tormented king uncovered painting after painting, each more serene and peaceful than the previous one. The crowd cheered enthusiastical-

ly with each successive painting, until only two remained veiled. The king pulled the veil from one, and an awed hush fell over the crowd. A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of a soft evening sky; along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed in total peace. Amazing! Surely this was the winner! And then the artist of the final painting pushed through the crowd to uncover his work. The crowd gasped at the grotesque portrait. Could this be peace? There was a tumultuous waterfall cascading down a rocky precipice; stormy-gray clouds exploded with lightning, wind, and rain; a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls, one of its branches reaching out over the torrential waters as if foolishly testing their raw, unrestrained power… And yet, a little bird had built a nest in

the elbow of that branch. Content and serene in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings covering her little ones, she truly manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil. This was the winner. The day after Yom Kippur, Moshe Rabbeinu announced to the Jewish people that he would deliver a major address, and everyone must attend. When “the entire congregation” arrived, Moshe Rabbeinu began with all the pomp and circumstance we’d expect: “These are the things that G-d has commanded you to do” (Shemos 35:1). It surely must have sounded grand. But then things took an unexpected turn. “Six days you shall work, and on the seventh day you shall have a Shabbos of complete rest, holy to G-d; whoever does work on it shall be put to death”

(Shemos 35:2). No broad pronouncements or overarching edicts or deep philosophies. Just this: work for six days and rest on the seventh. It almost seems anticlimactic and incongruous. Shabbos, to be sure, is rest from work. But that doesn’t begin to capture the essence of Shabbos or of true rest; on the contrary, it is precisely when the body rests physically – unable to actually work – that the mind races about all the work done the prior weeks and all the work to be done in the coming one (Daas Torah, Bereishis 49:15; Sifsei Chaim, Menuchas HaNefesh). That’s not the true peace of mind or inner peace that Shabbos demands. To attain true inner peace – “menuchas hanefesh” – the Torah commands, “You shall work for six days, and you shall do all your work” (Shemos 20:9 [emphasis added]). But what is meant by this mandate? It cannot be a command to actually complete all work in


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six short days, nor can it be a guarantee that we will be able to do so; those are impossible. Rather, the Torah gives us a means by which we can attain inner peace: “when Shabbos comes, it should be in your eyes as if all your work has been completed, you should not think about your work” (Rashi, Shemos 20:9 [Mechilta]). Our work is not actually done – we have projects hanging in the balance, bills to pay, demanding customers to satisfy, businesses to run, households to manage – but, if we are to experience true inner peace, we must consider all those as done (Rashi, Shemos 20:9). Even the lofty task of constructing the Mishkan must yield to this need for inner peace typified by Shabbos (Rashi, Shemos 35:2). That was Moshe’s profound lesson: we can only “know that Hashem is our G-d Who sanctifies us” (Shemos 31:13) when we attain true peace of mind and inner peace (Michtav M’Eliyahu, Vol. 5, pg. 97). We live in a world and at a time that, probably more than anything, lacks any semblance of inner peace. Today’s frenetic and frenzied day and age offers us a new, deeper appreciation of the notion that “if there is peace here, then everything is here” (Rashi, Vayikra 26:3). And when there is no inner peace, there is nothing. But while we often assume that peace of mind requires peaceful times and a serene atmosphere and good health and prosperity, that is not real peace of mind – that’s just a comfortable existence. We delude ourselves by believing we have peace of mind, but we are shaken by the slightest adversity; we become confused and afraid, and we lose control. It is precisely in such times that we can master and manifest genuine peace of mind. True inner peace – menuchas hanefesh – is achieved only when we remain calm, cool, and collected under trying circumstances. That was Yaakov Avinu’s blessing to Yissachar: “And he saw peace of mind, that it is good, and he bent his back to carry” (Bereishis 49:15) – he bent his back to carry so that he would attain such peace of mind specifically under taxing conditions (Daas Torah, Bereishis 49:15). That is also one of the great lessons of our exodus from Egypt. Even though the precise moment of exodus had been

predetermined (see e.g. Ramban, Shemos 12:42), somehow it was still necessary for us to leave Egypt in a great rush, even our dough had no time to rise (Shemos 12:39). The Alter of Kelm, who emphasized the primacy of inner peace, explained that this wasn’t the result of poor planning or execution (the equivalent of our pre-Shabbos panic); it was all quite deliberate. It was necessary for the Jewish people to leave Egypt and begin their trek to receive the Torah in a great upheaval so they would appreciate how the true Torah life demands inner peace not when things are calm but specifically when things are anything but (Daas Torah, Bereishis 49:15). All good character traits – love, generosity, truth, belief, peace, serenity, quiet, and trust in G-d – flow from this battle-tested peace of mind (Daas Torah, Vayera; Liturgy of Shabbos Mincha). Indeed, the Alter of Kelm emphasized the value of this menuchas hanefesh as perhaps the most important tool in one’s personal service of G-d (Daas Chochma U’Mussar, Vol 3, pg. 169; see also Chovos HaLevovos, Shaar HaBitachon, Chapter 1). For “there is no peace like the inner peace of the soul” (Chochma U’Mussar, Vol. 1, pgs. 282284). But, conversely, “there is no discombobulation like the discombobulation of the soul” (Chochma U’Mussar, Vol. 1, pgs. 282-284). One who lacks inner peace suffers from “a scattered soul” (pizur hanefesh) or a “discombobulated soul” (bilbil hanefesh) (Pele Yoetz, Menucha). The defining characteristic of a bear is a complete lack of inner peace precisely because it is restless (Avoda Zara 2b; Kiddushin 72a; Megilla 11a). And, as one pious person put it so bluntly, “May G-d save me from a scattered soul” (Chovos HaLevovos, Shaar HaBitachon, Introduction). There was a man who made a comfortable living owning and operating a dry goods store in Radin. One day, a competing store opened across the street. This caused the man unending grief and anxiety. Every day, he peeked out of his window to see who was patronizing the competitor. Weeks passed, and the man noticed a steady decline in his sales; before long, his receipts dwindled to half what they had been.

As his paranoia grew, the man stood outside his store watching and staring down anyone who dared enter his competitor’s shop, and he steamed and stewed when his “loyal” customers shopped there. His mind knew no rest from all the aggravation. At last, he told the Chofetz Chaim of his anguish, and he asked what he could possibly do as the situation was driving him mad and his income had been slashed in half. “You brought this on yourself!” replied the Chofetz Chaim. “Before the other store opened, you earned a living from minding one store. Now, you’re worrying and watching over the other store too. Since you now ‘work’ two businesses, it’s only logical that your income has been halved.” In a sense, the current coronavirus mayhem offers us a peace-of-mind challenge similar to Shabbos. Our daily lives are so frenetic that we are too busy to contemplate whether we’ve achieved inner peace. We believe we have…but have we? It is only now, when we find ourselves largely confined to our homes in these disturbing times – no simchas to attend, no board meetings to preside over, no office to slave off to, no leisure pursuits to distract us – that our minds begin to race. Some are afraid, confused, depressed, discombobulated – the perfect cocktail of emotions that are the very antithesis of peace of mind. People with peace of mind live fully in the present, utilizing every time and every situation and every setting to maximize its unique purpose and potential. As one wise man put it, “The past is gone, and the future has yet to come, and the present is as the blink of any eye – why worry?” (Pele Yoetz, Da’aga). Or, as R’ Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler challenges us in the name of the Vilna Gaon: one must imagine that there is only one person (himself), with only one hour (now), and only one blatt of Gemara (the one open before him). Being fully present in the moment – that is true peace of mind. We can’t turn back to the past, and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But we do have today. Today, most of us are home with our loved ones. Today, we have a few extra minutes to daven with extra devotion or to Torah study. Today, we have an opportunity to spend a few extra minutes in

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the quiet contemplation that often eludes us in the hustle-and-bustle of life. If we truly possess peace of mind – or desperately want to – we will capture all the potential of today, and stop fretting about tomorrow. “When there is a plague in the city, one should go into hiding” (Bava Kama 60b). While there is some debate as to whether one should go into hiding or flee the city, the underlying rationale is the same – it is not to avoid the plague itself but to flee the public fear and panic and confusion that results from it (Ben Yehoyada, Bava Kama 60b). The Ben Ish Chai cites a parable to explain. Just before the onset of one terrible cholera outbreak, a man encountered the destructive angel charged with killing the victims of his plague. When the man asked how many people the angel was to kill, he was told it would be 5,000. But the outbreak proved to be far more devastating, and 15,000 people died (r”l). When the man later encountered this angel once more, he was furious. “You told me that you would kill 5,000 people. You lied!” “I did not lie,” replied the angel. “I did kill only 5,000 people with this cholera outbreak. The other 10,000 people died because of the fear and panic and confusion that resulted from the outbreak. Those people did it to themselves.” The fear and confusion that are the trademarks of the “scattered soul” and the “confused soul” are the real crises gripping society-at-large now. But we know better. We know that worrying about things we cannot control will only chip away at whatever peace of mind we have left. We know that , other than taking proper precautions, we don’t control these things (or anything). We know to place our faith and trust in the One who makes people sick and heals them, the One who makes economies nosedive and thrive, the One spreads viruses and eradicates them. May He eradicate this one as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Eytan Kobre is a writer, speaker, and attorney living in Kew Gardens Hills. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail eakobre@outlook.com.


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OCTOBER 2015 | The Jewish Home MARCH 19,29, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Think, Feel, Grow

Fantasy or Reality The Ultimate Challenge By Shmuel Reichman

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here was a peasant farmer in old Russia standing at the side of the road, weeping profusely. As he stood there, the Czar happened to pass by in his royal coach. The Czar saw the peasant, and when he noticed him weeping, he stopped his chariot to inquire as to what was wrong. The man tearfully explained that he had no land to farm and that he and his family were starving. The Czar, touched by this man’s misfortune, pulled out a stake from his chariot and drove it into the ground. He then gave the peasant three more stakes and instructed him: “Walk as far as you wish and then drive this stake into the ground. Turn, walk again as far as you wish, and then place the next stake in the ground. Finally, turn again and walk as far as you’d like before placing the last stake in the ground. The land between the four stakes will be yours as a gift from me, the Czar.” The man was overcome with joy and eagerly began to walk. After some time, he stopped and prepared to plant the stake in the ground. He was about to drive it in when he paused and thought, “Why should I stop here? I can have so much more!” So he continued to walk. After some time, he stopped and once again prepared to plant the stake in the ground. He was about to drive it in when he once again paused and thought, “Why should I stop here? I can have so much more!” So he continued to walk. And as the story goes, he never stopped walking… The powerful message from this

story is clear; we have so much potential in our lives, but if we never sacrifice our potential in order to create something real, we will never accomplish anything. This connects to an important idea in this week’s parsha.

Moshe and Betzalel Parshas Pikudei opens by stating that Betzalel built the Mishkan according to the exact instructions that Hashem gave Moshe. Rashi, quoting the Gemara (Brachos 55a) describes the critical debate that took place between Moshe and Betzalel regarding the proper way to construct the Mishkan. Moshe believed it best to first create the keilim, the actual utensils which would be used to serve Hashem, before creating the Mishkan, the place which would hold them. Betzalel, however, thought it best to first create the actual structure of the Mishkan and only then construct the inner content, the vessels. What is the meaning behind this debate? It would seem, at first glance, that Betzalel’s position is more intuitive. It only makes sense to first create the container before filling it up with substance. The Gemara indeed tells us that after hearing Betzalel’s argument, Moshe agreed that this was, in fact, the correct method. Therefore, when Betzalel built the Mishkan, he first constructed the outer structure and only afterwards built the inner content, the vessels. If, however, this is the obvious approach, why did Moshe initially rea-

son that they should do the opposite? What is more striking is that the pasuk states that Betzalel built the Mishkan according to the exact instructions that Hashem gave Moshe. If these were in fact Moshe’s initial instructions, why would he have argued with Betzalel? In order to understand this conundrum, we must analyze the fundamental topic of potential and actualizing potential and see if there is something deeper here than meets the eye.

Potential vs. Actual As the Maharal and others explain, there is an important relationship between the spiritual concepts of potential and actual. Potential is endless, multipotent, everything and anything. It has no boundaries, no borders, and no limitations. Something real, on the other hand, is restricted, has borders, and is limited only to what it is. Potential might be endless, but it’s not real. What is real might be limited, but it has taken on true existence. Our lives are filled with experiences of both potential and actualized potential. Let us explore a few manifestations of these ideas in order to better understand this root concept. The prime example of the concept of potential and reality is our relationship with time. When you wake up each morning, the day holds infinite potential. You have the time to do anything, go anywhere, meet anyone. But that’s only potential, for in reality, you haven’t

done anything yet. And in reality, you can’t do everything, only something. On the other hand, every night when you go to sleep, the potential of that day is completely gone. The only thing that remains is that which you made real from the time you were given, what you accomplished, who you became in that day. The sadness of this moment is that the potential is gone – your day is over. The happiness is everything that you have accomplished, everything you’ve made real. This same paradigm applies to life itself. At the beginning of life, you have infinite potential – you can become anything, learn anything, meet anyone. Your whole life is ahead of you but completely in potential. It is not yet real – it is only potential – the possibilities for what you can choose to become. Only the potential that we actualize becomes eternal. At the end of our lives, there is a mixture of feelings. The sadness is that your potential is gone. The happiness is that we can look back at all that we have accomplished with a feeling of pride, knowing that we have taken the time we were given to build ourselves, to make our potential real. In secular culture, youth is associated with spring and summer, while old age is compared to winter. This is because youth is a time of potential, of excitement, of newness and fun. Old age, on the other hand, is when that potential is nearly gone and the physical body has withered and gone cold. It’s therefore associated with the depres-


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sion and darkness, as death is nearing and potential has dwindled. Fascinatingly, this is in stark contrast with the Jewish approach. Shlomo Ha’Melech draws the exact opposite comparison. He connects youth to winter and old age to summer. This is because winter is the time of planting seeds, the ultimate time of potential. It represents childhood, the beginning of your journey in this world. Summer, on the other hand, is like the end of life, when your seeds have borne crops, when you see all that you’ve produced with the life you’ve been given. Secular culture is enamored with youth and potential, with less attention paid to actualized potential and achieved greatness. The mode of Judaism is not an infatuation with what can be; it’s an appreciation of what has been made real. We don’t see potential as the ultimate end; on the contrary, we aim for the rich satisfaction of actualized potential. This is the true joy of life, the ultimate summer. This pattern of potential and reality is behind the experience of every creative process as well. When you begin an artistic work – whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, a book, or anything of the sort, you have infinite potential. The creative process can lead you down any path; there are endless possibilities of what you can make. However, in order to make something real, you must decide on only one thing to make. You must limit the endless potential in order to make something real. Interestingly enough, this process mirrors Hashem’s creation of the world. The Ramchal states that Hashem is infinite and therefore has the ability to create any type of world that He chooses. However, out of all the endless possibilities, He chose to create this world, the one you and I exist in.

A Different Focus This principle of potential and actual is the key to understanding the debate between Moshe and Betzalel. In fact, the deeper truth is that there wasn’t really a debate to begin with, merely two different focuses. Moshe was focusing on the potential destination and outcome. The goal of creating the Mishkan was to house the keilim so that we could serve Hashem. However, this was merely potential, a vision, a destination.

Betzalel was focusing on the practical, on how to actualize this potential. In order to have the vessels, we must first create the Mishkan to house

However, much like the farmer in our introductory story, if you can’t sacrifice potential for actual, you’ll end up with nothing.

This pattern of potential and reality is behind the experience of every creative process.

them. That is why Moshe admitted to Betzalel that he was correct, for there was, in fact, no real machlokes, just a difference in focus. This is why the pasuk says that Betzalel acted exactly according to the instructions that Hashem gave Moshe, for, in truth, this was the plan all along. Potential is beautiful, majestic, and infinitely precious. We all understand the value of potential. However, the weakness of potential is that it’s just that: potential. It’s not real; it’s merely theoretical. The greatness of something that has been actualized is that it’s tangible and real. The weakness, though, is that it’s only that, nothing more. A finished project is a form of actualized potential. It’s beautiful in that it’s real, but it’s still important to realize that it’s limited to what it is. It could have been anything else – there were endless possibilities. However, it’s now the specific and unique form that the artist chose to create. The ultimate challenge is limiting infinite potential for the ability to create something real. Imagine if a wealthy and generous person offered you any amount of money in the world. “Just quote me a number and I’ll give it to you,” he says. Your mind races as you think about the amount of money you can request. Ten thousand dollars? A million? Let’s say you finally decide to say five million dollars, and he hands over the money; the pleasure of that decision is that you are now five million dollars richer. The pain is that you don’t get a single dollar more. You could have said six million, or five hundred million, or seven trillion. The list of potential numbers is never-ending.

This struggle is a difficult one, and it pervades all areas of life. You’ll often hear people say, “Why marry this person, perhaps the next one who comes along will be better?” “Why take this business offer, maybe the next one will be better?” When we fall prey to this line of thinking, we end up with nothing. We like to fantasize about perfect futures, ideal living conditions, and ul-

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timate relationships. However, sometimes we get so caught up in dreaming about a better life, that we don’t end up living it. This is a life trapped in potential, without ever making that potential a reality. Potential is beautiful, but only inasmuch as we utilize it, only in how we bring it to fruition. We must be willing to start with what we have, where we are, and work our way from there. May we be inspired to actualize our potential to the fullest extent, to choose the real over the fantasy, and to prepare ourselves for the ultimate life. Shmuel Reichman is an inspirational speaker, writer, and coach who has lectured internationally at shuls, conferences, and Jewish communities on topics of Jewish thought and Jewish medical ethics. He is the founder and CEO of Self-Mastery Academy (ShmuelReichman.com), the transformative online course that is revolutionizing how we engage in self-development. You can find more inspirational lectures, videos, and articles from Shmuel on his website, ShmuelReichman.com.

Serving our community for over 30 years


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OCTOBER 2015 | The Jewish Home MARCH 19,29, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Faith Over Fear Based on R’ Yechiel Perr’s mussar vaadim on bitachon as presented in the sefer Faith over Fear Prepared for print by Rabbi Yehuda Keilson

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hat is bitachon? It is myster ious and elusive. We hear about it all the time and are often urged to embrace it, yet we still have difficulty articulating, even for ourselves, what it really is. Is it an obligation or merely a handy panacea? What are its parameters? Bitachon is the most basic embodiment of the religious life. It describes the leap from abstractly believing in God, speaking of and serving Him, to holding His Hand in life. Bitachon is the nexus of the mortal and where man chooses to tear aside the mirage and make room for G-d to be the real actor in his world. Some have the impulse to be ashamed of being afraid or nervous in frightening times. However, this is misguided. I knew towering figures that were subject to seemingly petty fears, such as fear of dogs, public speaking, or even swallowing a pill.

There is no contradiction between experiencing fright and bitachon. Bitachon is not a simple switch we carry around with us, able to be flicked on in any scenario. It is a deeply human quality that ebbs and flows with the waves of a person’s spirit. In a moment of crisis, one can summon inner reservoirs of courage and with it, his bitachon, to the fore. The river of boldness coursing through him tugs aloft the bitachon that had been buried in the muck when it was dormant. When the person is called to action, and he rises vigorously to the occasion, he will find reserves of courage, daring, and bitachon that he never even knew that he had. Even if we are not accustomed to think of ourselves as ba’alei bitachon, there are moments in our lives in which we are enabled to attain flashes of bitachon that go well beyond our ordinary circumstances. We are buoyed by unique circumstances, able to circumvent the ordinary lifetime of hard work, and toil required to have bitachon.

A Calm Breeze Bitachon does not preclude fear, but we can look to it to take the edge off. A person wonders: Will I get sick? How will my loved ones and neighbors cope? Will my family get along peaceably for weeks in quarantine? Bitachon is the calm breeze cutting across these stormy, turbulent thoughts. It soothes the paralyzed, fevered mind, whispering, “G-d is looking out for you, ka’veyachol. You will survive; you won’t be destroyed by the challenge. Weigh out the choices and make an informed decision; you’ll be alright.” Once the initial pressure is relieved by bitachon, a person is no longer frightened by the thought of collapsing. His mind is much clearer. He can approach the question rationally and decide on the right path. He doesn’t have interference clogging his thought processes. This benefit of bitachon can be attained without actually even acquiring the trait itself. Personally, I find the mere knowledge of the bitachon mindset provides a great relief for me. There

are times when I’m in such a dither, so wound up and tense, that my only comfort is knowing that there’s a sefer, Madreigas Ha’adam (authored by the Alter of Novardok), with an entire chapter devoted to bitachon, lying in my desk. When I run my fingers along the coarse, pebbled edges of the cover, I achieve a sense of relief. I know that I can open up these pages dedicated to mapping out this lofty ideal, and that itself calms me. I remember clearly my first contact with an ish of bitachon, my father-inlaw, zt”l. He was a disciple of Novaradok and went through Poland and Siberia before coming to America. Novaradok focused on two main pillars of avodah: bitachon and lishmah. My father-in-law was always an island of calm, even in stormy surroundings. He would walk into a room and everyone would feel relaxed. There was never an emergency tugging at his equanimity. This was not because he was dozy and unaware; he was perfectly aware and sharp. It was because he knew things were good and that they would turn


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out okay. There were occasions when I was under great pressure and I asked him, “Can you have bitachon for me? I don’t know how to have bitachon for myself.” He said, “Yes, I can. I will have bitachon for you.” I immediately felt such a relief. He was going to have bitachon for me! It was one of the greatest things he ever did for me. I could let go a little; bitachon was in the picture. I did not have to push so hard for the desired outcome. It was being taken care of. The emperor of fear is the gnawing anxiety of all the fears huddled in waiting on tomorrow’s horizon. President Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address, attempted to rally a nation pummeled by the Great Depression while gazing with dread across the Atlantic at a continent gone mad. He famously declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” The greatest fear to grip a person is often of fear itself. Sometimes a person who is scheduled to undergo surgery will examine what scares him about his time on the operating table. He realizes that he’s not afraid of the pain or not of waking up from the anesthesia. He’s afraid that as he’s being wheeled into the operating room, his hands will start to shake uncontrollably and a knot will twist his innards into a pretzel. The fear will then spread until his entire body tingles from it. He can tolerate the idea of pain; he can even face the prospect of a failed surgery. It’s the vague, amorphous, undefined fear that threatens to drive a stake through his heart. Bitachon grants us permission to forgo worry about the future and to focus on the moment in front of us. The idea is to sever the future from the present. I do not have to bear the burdens of all my tomorrows today. Today I have to bear only today. This minute I have to bear only this minute. Bitachon urges us to throw the future on Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Do I control the future? Instead, I will take the moment in front of me. The truth is that all of us, in some form or another, already possess this ability to push aside worries about the future. For example, what if I tell a roomful of young kids that automation and artificial intelligence are

progressing at such a pace that there won’t be any jobs left in a few decades? I, baruch Hashem, have already lived most of my life, so I don’t have to worry about the future too much. I’m an old man, ready to withdraw my Social Security. But what about you young kids? Are you worried about Social Security raising the age to sixty-seven next year and then to sixty-nine a few years after that? Who worries about that when they’re seventeen? You’ll be sixty-seven in a million years from now! There are many areas of life you consider beyond your purview to worry over. Your mind draws a circle of time around the present, which it considers worthy of worry. Perhaps you worry for a year hence, maybe two or three, but certainly not for fifty years in the

ry. We look disdainfully at people who are without worry because they must be too foolish to prepare for the future. Not so, says bitachon.

Take a Deep Breath and Focus As the harried bustle of daily life grinds to a halt, it seems worthwhile for people to focus on mindfulness, that is, the experiences of life before their noses. As you age, and amass more responsibilities on your broadening shoulders, you can find that your insides are always percolating. You become like an old car that cannot stay still at a red light. It runs smoothly when accelerating, but when your foot is on the brake, it leaps up and down,

It soothes the paralyzed, fevered mind, whispering, “G-d is looking out for you, ka’veyachol.” future. Bitachon exhorts you to draw that circle even smaller, so that you do not worry about tomorrow either. In fact, you do not have to worry at all! Can you believe it – you have permission not to worry? Hey, I thought worrying was a very great mitzvah! Aren’t Jews obligated to worry all the time? What about the elections in Israel or what about the anti-Semitism here in the United States! Doesn’t Shlomo HaMelech say (Mishlei 28:14), Fortunate is the man who is always afraid? But the Gemara (Brachos 60a) says that refers to one who is constantly afraid he will forget some of his Torah learning. Otherwise, you are actually not supposed to worry. Can you imagine the happiness you could reach by relinquishing your obsession with worrying? Most of our days and nights are sickened with wor-

making grinding, clanking noises. A constantly busy person is the same way. Whenever he takes a break, he’s still kuching, kuching, kuching. You get into a mode where you’re always running internally. When I speak to young people, I have to explain this, but when I speak to a group of middle-aged people, there is no need. As soon as I begin, they’re already nodding, yes, yes. They have all experienced the rat race firsthand, no illustrations necessary. One benefit bitachon bestows upon its practitioners is menuchas nafsho mi’kol tirdos ha’olam. It gives a person peace inside his soul. It staves off all the musts of the world that surround him like hungry wolves. Who says it must be done? You can’t make everything happen on your own. Take a breath and let it out. Menu-

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chas nafsho mi’kol tirdos ha’olam. Of course, we will not acquire it instantly. Start to practice it, hesitantly. I often wonder at people – I should not criticize them – for constantly carrying cellphones. It is such a pleasure when the phone doesn’t ring for a while. I find the ringing awful and destructive to my peace and serenity. These are the sorts of things that snatch little bits of your life from you. When are you truly living, tell me? When in your life do you actually live? You live when you have those rare moments of quiet, your mind is clicked on, and you are not tired or hungry. When you’re alert and interested, and you have some intriguing thought to chew over. That’s the stuff that life is made of. But then, all of a sudden, the phone rings, followed inevitably by a raucous voice demanding: Rabbi Perr! When will you be back in Far Rockaway! I need to speak to you about…. Bitachon and focus save your soul from fragmentation. Your soul, your attention, is in pockets, attending to a thousand different things. You have to remember today’s to-do list, tomorrow’s, and the next day’s. You have to write them all down – and make sure not to lose your list! I was once redt to the daughter of a prominent and very active communal rav. When I first met the father, we spoke in learning. It was an extended, wide-ranging discussion. His knowledge was comprehensive, but I was struck that regarding any particular inyan we were discussing, it was clear he couldn’t concentrate on it for very long. I kept having the feeling that throughout our discussion, he was hoping the phone would ring. This was the result of many years of running a shul, heading a shechitah institution, being very active in the wider community, and a well-known spokesman for Jewish Orthodoxy. It had been years since he really sat down and examined a svara, took it apart and put it back together. That requires a certain peace in your soul that he had lost. A discussion on one topic for fifteen minutes was an inui, a suffering for him. A person should be able to stroll down the block in the fall and admire the colors and hues of the turning leaves and bask in the brisk chill on his cheek and the wonderful crunch under his feet. If you can’t be both-


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ered to stop and look at it, then what is it there for? Why did G-d make it? If you don’t look at it now, when will you look at it? Someone points it out to you and says, “Hey, look at that tree!” And you respond, “Yeah, I see it. Let’s go.” You cannot simply see it. You have to look at it. When your mind and soul are splintered, all of life ceases to be things that you look at and they become merely things that you see. The average person hurries along the block too wrapped up in his blanket of worry and haste to notice. Worries snatch at your life, making off with a chunk here and there until you have nothing left. Most worries that preoccupy you never come to fruition. And sometimes you follow your worries so far down the rabbit hole that they are utterly divorced from any reality you will ever face. The river of worries never runs dry. When you have children, you worry about raising them and providing for them and marrying them off. And your worry increases greatly if you have

girls to marry off, let me tell you. But then a wise man pulls you over and whispers, “You know, don’t think that boys are so easy to marry off either; they’re quite a handful as well!” So, your worry grows. Then, finally, you reach that stage in life when sticky-faced grandchildren pull on your pant leg, squealing, “Zeidy, Zeidy, make that funny noise again, Zeidy!” What does life have to offer better than that? But you can’t appreciate even that because your mind is so used to worrying, that you do not know how to turn it off. You never learned not to worry. Anxiety and fear steal a person’s life, and when he gets to the Next World, G-d has ta’anos on him for not enjoying the life and health he was given. You were provided everything you needed, but you chose to fling it all away in exchange for nothing. Bitachon, on the other hand, wants to give you life. Someone who lacks bitachon can’t grasp at any of the experiences that

slide through his hands. All of life, and davening, and Torah pass through you without your ever getting a chance to taste them. You have children and raise them without tasting it. Life escapes you, and all of a sudden you are an old man and you wonder where it all went. Lately, a curious thing has been happening to me: A strange old man started hanging around my house. He sneaks into my bathroom, and whenever I look in the mirror, I see this gray-bearded ogre staring balefully back at me. Who is this character? I’m a young kid. I just got here in this world! Be gone, old man! Life goes by in a flash because we don’t know how to slow it down with experiences. We are steeped in being plagued by the worries of tomorrow. Sometimes the machar is tomorrow; sometimes it is forty years from now. Either way, worry stems from a lack of bitachon. By ridding ourselves of our worries, we stand to regain every day of our lives.

Rabbi Yehuda Keilson is the author of Faith over Fear and Mind over Man, both based on R’ Yechiel Perr’s mussar vaadim. He has also authored works for Artscroll Mesorah Publications, including a newly translated and elucidated edition of Derashos HaRan.

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Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters, I just went on a sixth date with a great guy, “Aron.” We exchanged numbers two weeks ago and dropped the shadchan. I regret exchanging numbers because I can’t stop overthinking things. I hadn’t experienced this when the shadchan was in the middle. I’m the type of person who loves texting my friends throughout the day; it keeps us connected and makes me feel like they want to talk to me. With Aron, it’s so different! He barely ever texts me unless it’s for logistical reasons. I find myself constantly asking myself if he really likes me or if he even wants to go out altogether. I’m constantly shocked how well our dates go in person because in between I feel like there is no rapport. What can I do? Adina

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. dina, you have pinpointed something about yourself in the context of this particular relationship with Aron. You have obviously become so involved with artificial communication that you confuse it with real engagement with another human being. You are so dependent on it that the absence of it is interfering with your perception, wellbeing, and normal functioning. This seems very close to descriptions of addiction. Don’t confuse communication aids with the real thing. Relationships are not grounded by texts, social media, and artificial means. Relationships with other human beings, especially lifetime partners, must be grounded in talking directly, opening up to one another, sharing, and dealing with conflict in real-time, not on devices.

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The Shadchan Michelle Mond ou must differentiate your girlfriends from your future life-long partner. Girlfriends are those you can text when you choose, go out for a coffee with, go shopping with, or choose to stay at home without. You can text each other without analyzing the “who, what, when” of everything they type or their lack of emojis. Your texting rapport might keep the conversation going between coffee dates and chill sessions. With a future spouse, it is different. The bulk of your relationship with your future spouse should indisputably be in person, and by phone, not by text. As a shadchan I have seen so many relationships ruined by TMT (Too Much Texting) – it’s basically TNT because it blows things out of proportion. Thoughts start to take over the relationship such as, “Why did he not respond to my message yet?” “He wrote back a meager, ‘yeah,’ does that mean

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he is mad at me?” “Why no emoji this time?” “Why do I always have to initiate our texting?” The list of worries never ends. Count your blessings that your relationship with Aron is great in person; build upon that. Tell him you would like to have a couple of phone dates a week. That way you can fill in the gaps between seeing each other. Ironically, now, with coronavirus on the loose, you might have to resort to phone and skype dates altogether! Be grateful for a wholesome relationship with what seems to be a wonderful man and focus on the positive in your relationship. Hatzlacha!

The Zaidy Dr. Jeffrey Galler ear Overthinking, Texting-Obsessed Adina, OMG (Oh My Gosh), YG2BKM (You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me)! Thank you for writing, instead of texting your question. Let’s see if I can summarize what is troubling you: your boyfriend does not wish to treat you lightly by texting superficial, illiterate, unfocused, ungrammatical platitudes like one of your girlfriends. Instead, he prefers to spend mature, quality time with you, fully focused upon you. 4COL (For Crying Out Loud), AYS (Are You Serious)? May I suggest that you thank Hashem (preferably not via text message) for presenting you with a young man who can communicate meaningfully and directly. In an era when many young women complain that their shidduch dates are incapable of expressing themselves intelligently, you have found someone who is capable of maintaining a relationship that goes beyond 140 characters in a twitter message. May I further suggest that you spend more time AFK (Away From The Keyboard), and start planning for a meaningful, adult life with Aron. AMBW (All My Best Wishes).

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The Single Rena Friedman dina, I cannot identify with you more than when it comes to overthinking. I know that feeling in the center of your chest when you’re mid-relationship and you just cannot handle the unknown of it all. It seems like you are constantly holding your breath trying to ride each wave. I’ve been there. My friends have been there. You are not alone. To deal with some of the overthinking, let’s break down what communication is and how the different modes impact us. When having a conversation, the last thing we take into account is the person’s actual words. There is body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and more that all play a role in how we choose our words and convey messages. There are three main types of communication: 1. In person: Observing a person’s body language and facial expressions allows you to glean the most insight into what the person is truly experiencing throughout the conversation. You might adjust how you deliver that news depending on how the person across from you is physically reacting. 2. Phone: You are one step removed from the person. You can no longer see the person’s body language or facial expressions, however, you can hear their voice. The tone that something is said in is vital in helping understand the underlying meaning behind it. 3. Texts: You have absolutely no idea how the person on the other end is genuinely receiving your message. All you see are words that are left up to your interpretation without any context. This mode is the furthest removed from a real, live human being. We often hide behind the fact that we do not have to literally face anyone, often saying things we shouldn’t. How does this apply to your relationship with Aron? Having more communication is great for increas-

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You have found someone who is capable of maintaining a relationship that goes beyond 140 characters in a twitter message.

ing your connection with him, but I recommend you proceed carefully. Falling into the trap of Face Timing or texting all day can very easily undo the real progress you have already made in the relationship. In general, it is always easier to expand and broaden boundaries than to constrict them. You and Aron are in a great place. You have good dates, both want to continue dating each other, and have proper boundaries in between dates. I see no reason why you cannot add some calls. Speak to Aron. Be open about how you would prefer to keep the momentum strong in between dates with calls. You have dropped the shadchan and have gone out enough times to have this conversation and to increase communication with him outside of your dates. I would suggest scheduling phone calls and keep texting for logistics only. There will be a time and place where you will be able to text Aron freely, but I do not believe you are there yet. Better to keep those boundaries up than to deal with misconstrued messages and unnecessary flirting. Adina, remember, you are in a really good place. You’re developing a relationship with a great guy and have the chance to exercise those communication muscles. All good things.


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Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

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s I sit down to write my response, I am acutely aware that we received your letter before the world changed. This isn’t the forum to address the pandemic and historical times we are living through, but I would be remiss if I did not say something. I cannot go on without addressing you, author and readership… My heart goes out to everyone during this time. I’m sure this week’s paper will be filled with information and chizuk as our children’s lives become more virtual than ever and we cannot hug our friends; some of us are working from home or cannot work at all. Life has changed. We begin to face our human needs and understand them in a way most of us could never have imagined. To our community members who have the coronavirus, I wish you a heartfelt refuah sheleima. As I write this column, I hear my two teenagers’ voices from their bedrooms. They are “on the phone” talking to friends; a mere week ago I am certain this conversation would have taken place over some social media app. G-d willing, we will adjust to the new normal; emotions will regulate and may it all pass speedily. As my special client told me after I sent out my teletherapy update, “The thing that is worse than the virus is the panic.” Wise words from a wise young man. I pray that everyone is healthy, and can stay calm, and has food on their tables. The second thing I must address and it definitely pertains to this column is how do we date during the age of coronavirus? I know this is on everyone’s minds. Most of my dating clients were not really in the mood to date this week, and things seem to be on hold. I am not a doctor and I think everyone has to ask his/her

doctor about the safety of dating during this time when are supposed to socially distance. I literally can’t believe I am writing these words, but here they are. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I am hoping that when all is said and done, we will emerge texting much less and calling much more. I personally detest texting in general. I think so much is lost via text, and I think it’s horrible for dating. I always have. When a man and a woman get to the point of dropping the shadchan, they should only speak on the phone, even if it is to set up the dates, and I’ll tell you why. So much is lost in text. People utilize texting in different ways. I know people who look down at their phones and see “Have a great day!” from a friend and think, “Oh, how nice” and do not respond back. But the person who wrote, “Have a great day!” is seething or anxiously awaiting the response. When I first got an iPhone, I was a few years late to the party. My friend texted me one morning. I saw the text and thought to myself, I’ll text her when I get home later. She informed me of texting norms and told me it was rude to keep her waiting. I had no idea, back in 2010! Today there are men and women who are analyzing emojis. I am not mocking it. This is our world. This is our world! This emoji was too forward. This emoji isn’t telling me anything about his feelings. Emojis are an illusion. As is texting. (COVID19 has me telling it like it is. My apologies.) My point is that Aron may utilize texting in a completely different manner than you! He may not be a

texter. And he may be respecting your privacy. From what I have learned, there are many young frum people who will not text in between their dates. Is it texting that you want from Aron or more communication in general? Do you need to feel connected between dates? Are you ready to feel more connected to him? At what point does that happen in your circle? I ask because in more modern circles people do talk between dates, and in circles more to the right it is not as common. It sounds to me like you like Aron. Give it a little time and see where this goes. If my gut is right, I think you’ll be texting (hopefully talking) a lot more as time goes on. Deep breaths. (Deep social distance breaths, of course.) Keep dating. If you two are meant to be, at a certain point, you will become each other’s “person.” Things will slowly start to reveal themselves to you. Just enjoy this promising new relationship you are in and be in the moment. And remember, once you are in a committed relationship, different people have different needs for contact and communication throughout the day. But you aren’t there yet. For now, enjoy. Wishing you all a wonderful Shabbos, health and smachos always. We will get through this time. Together. Stronger.

It’s basically TNT because it blows things out of proportion. If you need to speak with someone during this time, there are wonderful mental health professionals offering teletherapy right now. Please take care of yourself and your mental wellness. It is more important now than ever. Speak to your friends. If doctor approved, take a walk this afternoon. We have beautiful water all around us here in the Five Towns. You may see me by the Woodmere dock on a social distance walk! Please say hello. We need each other now more than ever! All the best, Jennifer

Jennifer Mann, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and dating and relationship coach working with individuals, couples, and families in private practice at 123 Maple Avenue in Cedarhurst, NY. She also teaches a psychology course at Touro College. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516-224-7779, ext. 2. Visit www.thenavidaters.com for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@gmail.com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.

Hi Readers! Receiving your enthusiastic emails wanting to participate in the Reader’s Respond section has been wonderful! Just a reminder about how Reader Response works. Email thenavidaters@gmail. com with the subject line “Reader Response.” We will then ask you, in the order we receive your email, if you would like to respond to the coming week’s email. If you would like to respond to an already printed Navidaters Panel, please submit your answer to the editor at editor@fivetownsjewishhome.com. You can also join us on our FB page @thenavidaters on Sunday evenings to post your response to the week’s column. Interacting with you has been a pleasure! Thank you for all of your feedback. Jennifer


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Health & F tness

Emotional Eating How to Gain Control By Aliza Beer MS, RD, CDN

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e are in the midst of a pandemic, and the current climate of high stress and high anxiety can trigger emotional eating. I have many clients that presently are quarantined and struggling just not to gain weight. If you respond to any emotional situ-

ation – whether happy or sad – by overeating or binging, then you are an emotional eater. It is an issue that affects both men and women, but studies have found it is more common with women. There are solutions to help you stop or gain control of this behav-

ior, but the first step is to recognize and acknowledge emotional overeating for what it is so you can start eating to satisfy real hunger and not give into the habit of using food as a distraction from your feelings. How you eat can sometimes be more important than what you are eating. Analyze your eating patterns and learn more about normal eating (meals and snacks) versus emotional eating (fasting and binging). Can someone be addicted to food? Yes. Elements of addiction include engaging in the addictive behavior (overeating), losing control, preoccupation with the behavior(eating), finding only temporary satisfaction, and enduring negative consequences (becoming ill from too much food or overweight). Emotional eating can lead to food addiction. Why food? Negative emotions may lead to a feeling of emptiness or an emotional void. Food is believed to be a way to fill that void and creates a false feeling of “fullness” or temporary wholeness. Let’s discuss some ways to prevent that from happening. • Emotional Hunger vs. Physical Hunger: We must eat to live. So how does one distinguish between emotional cues and true hunger cues? Follow these simple guidelines: physical hunger will develop slowly over time and stimulate a desire for a variety of food groups. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly, and one craves only certain foods. With physical hunger you will feel the

sensation of fullness and then stop eating and have no negative feelings about eating. With emotional hunger, you may binge on food, not feel the sensation of fullness, and feel guilt and shame about eating. Pay attention to these cues and train yourself to eat when you are actually physically hungry. • Find Other Ways to Cope with Stress: Try to shift your mindset from reaching for food to engaging in other forms of stress relief such as: writing in a journal, reading a book, meditating, playing an instrument, listening to music, knitting/ needlepoint, or even cleaning/organizing. • Exercise: Many people find relief when getting regular exercise. A walk around the block or a quick yoga routine or some stretches may help in particularly emotional moments. There are plenty of at-home exercises that can be done even if you don’t have any equipment, like crunches, lunges, and jumping jacks. A hoola-hoop is a great form of exercise (if you can’t get out of the house, then order one from Amazon), and there are numerous on-line exercise videos. • Keep a Food Diary: Keeping a log of what you eat and when you eat may help you identify triggers that lead to emotional eating. You can jot down notes in a notebook, or use your smartphone (“notes or memo”), or use an app like “My fitness pal.” Include everything you eat, no matter how big or small, along with the


emotions you are feeling in that moment. • Eat a Healthy Diet: Making sure you get enough nutrients to fuel your body is also key. If you eat well throughout the day, it’ll be easier to differentiate when you’re eating out of boredom, sadness, or stress or if you are truly hungry. • Clean Out the House: Get rid of the trigger foods, such as high-fat and high-sugar items like cookies, chips, chocolate, and ice cream. Keep your kids’ favorite foods, and trash the things you typically crave that they won’t miss. If you don’t have access to it, you cannot eat it. Out of sight, out of mind! • Don’t Eat Standing Up! A lot of damage can occur when someone is standing in the kitchen and eating. It doesn’t register in your brain how much you are actually eating when you aren’t sitting down. Make it your rule that you must sit down to eat any food – this will curtail most binges.

• Portion Control: Pay attention to the volume of the food you are eating. Try to keep your meals to one-plate meals, and never eat out of a bag, can, or box. Portion out your

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may find yourself mindlessly eating in front of the TV or computer. Turn off the tube, put down your phone, and focus on your food and the bites you take. Take small bites and chew

Try to shift your mindset from reaching for food to engaging in other forms of stress relief.

food. If you’re having cereal, for example, don’t keep the cereal box on the table, but pour cereal into your bowl and put away the box of cereal; otherwise, you will take seconds, thirds, and even fourths! • Eliminate Distractions: You

your food slowly. It takes the brain 20 minutes to receive the signal from the stomach that it is being fed. By slowing down your eating, you are giving your mind the opportunity to catch up with your stomach. Food helps to ease emotions

temporarily, but emotional eating can have negative consequences. Addressing the feelings behind the hunger will benefit you in the long term. Work to find alternative ways to deal with stress, and try practicing mindful eating habits. Taking the process day-by-day will eventually lead to a better understanding of yourself. The current situation unfortunately looks like it will get worse before it gets better. Prepare your house now by cleaning out the junk food and stocking up on healthy food items. Wishing all of my clients and readers a safe and healthy week!

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 alizabeer@gmail.com, and you can follow her on Instagram at @alizabeer.

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Dr. Deb

Weirdness By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.

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was excited. That was at least three weeks ago, maybe four, long before our world (once again) left the state of normal and turned weird. I had my tickets to Eretz Yisroel for Pesach. It was a last minute decision, relatively speaking. I wasn’t going to go but I kept thinking of a recent encounter with my little granddaughter on one of my weekly WhatsApp calls to my Israeli branch. My granddaughter is going to be two just a few days before yom tov. She was given the phone to say “Hi” to me and she kept calling me “Grandma.” That is not my designation. That is the other grandma. I’m savta, but no matter how many times her parents corrected her, she persisted. “This is no good!” I thought. “My baby granddaughter does not know who I am!” That, basically, is what decided

me. I must go. And I will arrive on her birthday. That is, until the mageifa hit us. Not only am I not going to Israel (unless Hashem creates a miracle and this whole thing disappears very quickly), but at the moment, I didn’t even go to my children for Shabbos. I’m doing my part to practice “social distancing.” The streets were weirdly empty Shabbos because shul was cancelled. I hear that on a weekday morning the White Shul is a “minyan factory” with over a thousand people in and out. So sad. One thing for sure is that it will bring families together – whether they like it or not! Here are some tips for turning bad into good in your home: • Create time and space boundaries. If you’re going to work from home and you’ve also got to oversee your children doing schoolwork,

create a schedule for them – and for you. Create spaces where they should work and you should work. Make it a challenge to see how well you stick to both every day and try to challenge yourself. It isn’t easy, so don’t expect perfection, but boundaries will be one of your best tools for getting through this. • The opposite is also true. Now is a great time to plan coming together. Research for decades has shown that families that have dinner together have fewer school dropouts and children off the derech. As long as you’re together anyway, sit down to meals together. • Remember what I said above about not beating yourself up? This is one of the biggest causes of disharmony in families: we start with ourselves and then beat up on everyone else. Catch yourself in the act and stop. Work hard on replacing

negativity with an ayin tov – seeing the good. Use dinner time to do exactly that. • Go around the table asking, “What is good that happened today?” The reality is that life is good and bad, so what we focus on is up to us. But it’s also true that focusing on the positive has health benefits. In fact, research shows that positivity improves the immune system, something that certainly can’t hurt at this time. • The more you show your young children that you know what’s going on and are not anxious, the better. Children take their cues for anxiety directly from their parents as has been shown through research in war areas. • Teenagers, on the other hand, are quite turned off by parents who act as if they are totally on top of things when they couldn’t possibly


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be. It’s okay to express uncertainty to them – but only up to a point. Stress is contagious. • Speaking of children, take this challenge: see if you can get irritated less and less each day. Count the number of times your reaction could have been better – and aim to reduce that daily. Substitute patience by reminding yourself that your children are still developing and can’t be expected to have the maturity you would wish for them to have – yet. • Get outside on days that are as gorgeous as Shabbos was. Exercise will encourage your feel-better endorphins and do you a world of good. • What you don’t want to do, even if you think you do, is spend wasted time looking at every podcaster who has something to say about the coronavirus. That’s not a lived life; that’s escape. And for what? To make yourself more anxious? Take a tip from Alice Hertz Sommer who played piano for the Nazis and mentally and spiritually survived by loving her music: Do whatever is your “piano.” What is it that gives you joy? Do that. • But make the clear distinction between joy and escapism. Joy is meaningful, lasts, has a positive ripple effect on others, and engages with life. Escapism is the opposite: meaningless, so short you anxiously need your next high, upsets others, and ignores life and the people in it. • Take another challenge: See how your feelings can change when you practice being friendly to your spouse. Now, it has to be genuine or you’ve blown the whole thing. Notice yourself daily as you rise to the better you. • Accept Hashem’s decrees. Accepting doesn’t mean grudgingly, either. It means with complete humility and love. This is not easy. But if we start with the premise that He gives us what we need, then we, as a world, apparently needed this for some reason and perhaps there will be a benefit that will be apparent later on to us. We don’t see it now and we may never “get” it, but we have to assume that G-d is smarter than we are and had a reason for all this that is tov. • And use the struggle as a challenge to find something good in it.

What is good for you about the situation? What can you tweak to make it great? • Add laughter to your life. When things seem too heavy to bear, that’s precisely when you need to lighten up. As bad and painful as they are, the moment you find something to laugh about, the entire picture changes from black to okay, doable; you see there will be an end to it and the problem is put into proper perspective. So when your spouse makes a joke that makes you feel misunderstood because you’re feeling so somber, consider that they LOCATION. COMMUNITY. LUXURIOUS LIFESTYLE. may very well understand after all and are trying to pick you up. Take a cue from them and go along with it. So, have I practiced all of my advice? Have I recovered from the huge disappointment of not being in the Holy Land for my youngest grandchild’s second birthday? For starters, I could not stop laughing at the jokes that went around and you should enjoy them too. I decided that Hashem gave us gorgeous weather so we can go outside, and I am making up for not being at the gym by incorporating walks into my day. It is very difficult The Residence is a new Glatt for me to tear myself away from my Kosher independent living work, but I am doing it; it must be complex for adults 55+. for the best. Catering to individuals looking I am not coming together. I am to move to a magnificent alone because we all decided the home in the heart of a more social distancing the better. So renowned Jewish community. I get a lot of time to think. Thinking is good! I need to use this extra time • Continental Breakfast & to figure out my diet because blood Dinner tests have led to weird findings and • High-end Upscale Property I’m taking the time to learn about in the heart of Lakewood them. I used to be a foodie and that’s over for the time being, so we shall • Concierge Service see. I’m looking forward to being • Socialization Program a foodie again, only with different • Lectures & Shiurim foods. If you are struggling with any of the points on my list, that is normal. Changing emotions is very difficult. Changing attitudes isn’t easy, either. CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION But I have been seeing people by video-conferencing for years, and I’ll be happy to see you that way, too.

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Reflections on a Very Different Week in Yeshiva By: Rabbi Dov Emerson

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know I am not the first to observe that the last two weeks have felt like a whirlwind. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that Purim was just a few days ago, or that the shuls were open, or that we were sitting together learning in our yeshiva together. And now, like so many others in our local and broader Jewish community, we find ourselves with a very new reality. We have traded in the warmth of our Beis Medrash for a Zoom classroom, the comfort of daily banter with our talmidim in the hallways for a WhatsApp chat. As we have made this transformation to a remote learning program, my mind has often turned to the analogy of building a plane while it’s in the air. The journey must continue, as our children need to continue to learn. But we, the teachers

and rebbeim, administrators and educational leaders, are adjusting to a new reality in real time. Braving these uncharted waters has been scary. But it has also been incredibly inspiring, as faculty and talmidim alike have stretched themselves to exercise new muscles in the learning process. I’d like to share a few reflections on what we’ve observed along the way: • (OVER)communicate: As a school, we often struggle with finding just the right amount of communication, as too many emails in one day risks annoying stakeholders. When it comes to the coronavirus, there have been so many unknowns, so many variables, and so many quick changes, we made a decision to overcommunicate. Regular and frequent communication, which

clearly and calmly explains the circumstances and what our next steps are, has the capacity to calm people who are in a state of upheaval. • Move Fast and Break Things: The closure of our yeshiva and the move online was the definition of disruptive. At the same time, it provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to embrace a growth mindset. Because the current situation has so many constantly moving parts, we have been able to try things and then change course as needed. For example, our schedule continues to evolve, as we learn from our first few days of online classes and move towards a more balanced mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning experience. In embracing failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, we model an important set of characteristics for

our students and we also have the chance to make quick, impactful improvements based on rea- time feedback. • “I don’t know!” and That’s OK: In a regular school environment, we often talk about the notion of “Lifelong Learners” as a goal we try to develop in our students, as well as something we aspire to do as educators who keep on learning. However, there is a key shift that has taken place as we navigate these new realities: we have been given permission to say “I don’t know.” In general, there is often a pressure for educators and educational leaders to have “all the answers” in technique, curriculum, and handling tough situations with confidence and grace. This past week, I have seen the hesitancy in a teacher’s voice as she tries a new EdTech tool for


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the first time, and I am proud. That hesitancy means she is learning, and in this environment, where we have accepted that no one knows all the answers for making education work, acknowledging that we don’t always know is allowed. It is a lesson that I hope stays with us. I wonder what it would look like if we could continue to celebrate “I don’t know” even when things get back to normal? • Give People Space: One of the challenges that we face in a regular school schedule is finding time to meet. Our dedicated faculty push themselves in the classroom and beyond, making themselves available to work with students in a variety of ways. One of the silver linings of a completely new schedule for online learning is that, all of a sudden, we can make adjustments to the program and allow for faculty to meet. Our daily check-ins for faculty over Zoom have been tremendously successful. Unstructured by design, we invite all faculty to join and share

with their challenges and successes with each other. It’s been wonderful to watch how just giving them the space, with no major programming required, yields powerful collaboration. This has happened with our students as well, as in many classes, our students hop on the Zoom class before the “bell,” and are simply there to enjoy each other’s company. Giving students that space has maintained warm relationships among the boys even while they’re physically distant from each other. • Expectations are Not Obvious: Expectations, directions, and schedules are always important in helping learners learn. We found that they are even more crucial when our students are not in school. In running classes and meetings over the Zoom online platform, it became clear that the regular cues that are part of the landscape in a physical setting that indicate expectations, directions, and goals are simply not there in the online space. What does

a student do when they enter a Zoom classroom? What are today’s classroom goals, and how are we going to get there? These are items that need to be more explicitly communicated in an online environment. • We’re All in This Together: It’s a daunting feeling when you have to close up school and move to a totally new educational program. Knowing you are not alone makes all the difference. It has been so inspiring to see the way in which educators around the country and beyond have supported each other. WhatsApp groups, Twitter, Facebook, and Zoom meetups have provided for a continuous sharing of resources and ideas. I have never been prouder of our Jewish educational community. • Appreciation: One theme that has kept repeating itself in so many conversations with colleagues and students has been that of appreciation. “Rabbi, I never thought I’d say it, but I miss school!” I felt

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such a sense of appreciation as our family, like so many others here, experienced a surreal Shabbos, with no guests or shul attendance. I recall going outside for a moment to take out the garbage, and a solitary man was walking down our block at some distance. He called out “Good Shabbos,” and those were the sweetest words I had heard all week, and it reminded me how much I missed the gift of a regular Shabbos centered around shul, communal learning, and relationships. This past Sunday night, we held an online Zoom Night Seder for our boys, just to learn by themselves but with each of them on camera, creating a virtual Beis Medrash. It was so special to learn together, but more than that, it served to remind us all how much we treasure the experience of sitting together in yeshiva and not to take that for granted. Rabbi Dov Emerson is the Director of Teaching and Learning at MTA.


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PRACTICAL PARENTING TIPS to Ease the Stress of the Next Few Weeks By: Elana Fertig

Before Pesach each year, I send a letter to the preschool parents with some helpful tips to prepare for Pesach, while maintaining sanity in your home. With the new addition of stress in our world today, I think this article will be even more helpful this year.

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ere are some helpful parenting ideas that are realistic and can be applied all year

round. • If you get frustrated with your child, and you think you might respond hastily, you should speak low and slow in response. This gives you time to think about your response and calm down. • Sing. If you sing your answer to your child it will help you calm down. • Children need us to be empathetic. Sometimes the response they need is just for us to repeat back what they have said so they know that we are listening. • Create “special time moments” with each of your children. It can be 10 minutes, 20 minutes or more. Remember to verbalize, “We are having special time together.” • Do not reward whining. Explain to your child that you cannot answer him when he speaks in that tone.

• Be consistent and follow through. If you tell your child, “If you don’t behave, we will leave the store,” then you need to be ready to leave. • Hang in there….no one said that parenting is easy.

ACTIVITIES TO KEEP THE CHILDREN BUSY • Make a list of what has to be done room by room before Pesach and keep it in a place where your children can see it. When your child is looking for something to do, give them one thing from the list to take care of. • After they complete the task, they can come back and put a check on their chart. • To make it even more fun, you can write each activity on a card and put it in a jar. They can pick the activity out of the jar, and after they complete it throw the card away. • Give your child an oak tag to draw pictures for the seder. They can

draw scenes from the Yam Suf, the makkos, and the parts of the seder. These posters can be displayed at the seder. • Have your children prepare a skit, or a song, about the story of Pesach to present at the seder. If they are shy, they can use puppets to tell their story. • Have your children create place cards for the seder. • While this year is quite different, it is important to create a schedule in your home for the family, each child, and especially for you (the parent). • If possible, create “schedule of the day” charts in big or put them in a place wherever one can see. It helps you establish a routine, and it helps children feel safe. • Remember to try to keep calm, see the good, and laugh when you can. Elana Fertig is the director of Yeshiva of South Shore Early Childhood Center.


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Resisting Cabin Fever

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was after the first day of social distancing that my nine-year-old asked if it was over yet. I laughed. She did not. On the second day, my son threw a tantrum when I explained that his friends, Reuvy and Ayelet, could not come over and play. On the third day, most schools closed for a minimum of two weeks. It is important that children understand, on an age appropriate level, what COVID-19 is and why this is happening. The world is a less scary place when we are in environments of open and honest communication, where questions are answered on an appropriate level. Luckily, we live in the world of Google, where there are so many articles and recorded webinars about how to talk to our children about this pandemic. The next step, of course, is setting up a daily schedule. Having a set routine provides consistency, security, and structure. Many schools have set up distance learning schedules that allow our children to be learning most of the day. Many video conferencing websites have offered free membership to schools, allowing classes to take place online. However, younger students are less likely to be able to focus in virtual

classes for long hours and not all elementary schools are taking the online option. So, what are the best ways to create a schedule? First, you want to create a list of what you want your children to learn or practice outside of what the school is offering, and enrichment activities your children would enjoy. 1. If your child’s school is not utilizing a distance learning platform, or is utilizing one for only part of the day, there are plenty of excellent online options. Websites like Khan Academy offer free math and ELA lessons by grade and unit, with comprehensive videos and practice questions. There are websites with free math, reading, spelling, coding, science, and civics games that bring subjects to life in fun and engaging ways. For those of us who would like to limit screen time, Amazon sells dozens of workbooks to build skills in different subjects. 2. We all know the importance of extracurricular activities. They are just as important while we are home – probably even more so. Dance, cooking, baking, and art step-by-step tutorials are offered through YouTube as well as other platforms after just a quick search. Tznius zumba, yoga, martial arts, and dance classes, for children and adults, are being given on Zoom every day. I even found vir-

By Ms. Danyel Goldberg tual magic lessons for kids! There are many “instrument start up” packages on Amazon that come with video or written lessons for children to learn to play the recorder, ukulele, and keyboard. There are STEM subscriptions, such as Kiwi Crate or Creation Crate, which will send comprehensive STEM kits by age. 3. Trips are something children of all ages can agree on. But how can we plan trips if it is recommended to stay home? Over 500 museums, such as the MoMA, Van Gogh Museum, the British Museum, and The Met, are now offering virtual tours. Zoos are beginning to have online programs. At 3pm every day, the Cincinnati Zoo holds a Facebook Live where they focus on one of their animals, answer questions (my son was very excited when they answered his), and have an activity at the end. Magicians and chefs are inviting us into their homes for live shows. There have even been nightly concerts! 4. To encourage reading, there are virtual book clubs. If you cannot find one for you or your children, start one! My family decided to read Harry Potter together, but on a day I could not join during “reading time,” my children followed along using “Audible,” the Amazon audiobook app. 5. Many schools are offering daily and weekly challenges to keep our children, with a competitive nature,

engaged. Young Israel of Cherry Holl held a parsha video contest. Shulamith High School offers several options, from designing sweatshirts, decorating work spaces, and making dinner for their family. Even our faculty has a weekly challenge! You can create your own challenges at home and invite others to join. Pictured is the “challenge” portion of Shulamith High School’s daily emails (that include optional shiurim, morning messages, and the daily school schedule). 6. With so many options of reviewing material for school and learning new skills, we cannot forget the importance of social emotional health. Video calling and conferencing allows children to practice holding “face-toface” conversation with peers. Many teachers are offering lunch conferences with their students. 7. Just because we are social distancing does not mean we cannot go outside. Taking advantage of a yard, if we have one, or going for walks ensure that our children get fresh air and natural sunlight. Baruch Hashem, the weather has been beautiful. 8. Chessed has always been important to Jewish families. Stuck at home, it might seem impossible. However, soldiers and nursing home patients can still receive letters and pictures. Dropping off meals on the porch of families who just had a baby


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is something we can do while still socially distancing ourselves. 9. Finally, it is easy to forget how lucky we are during trying times. Keeping a gratitude journal and having a time where families can connect and reflect on simple things will keep us positive and more conscious of all that we have. While many of these activities are virtual, it does not mean that we need to use our phones. It is important that we, as parents, are aware of how much time our older children are spending on social media. There are apps that will block social media for certain hours of the day, blue light filters, and grayscale options to turn our phones and tablets to black and white. Finally, keeping children active and engaged during the hours they are normally at school will, hopefully, prevent binging on social media and TV. Once activities, both academic and leisure, are put in place, it is easy to make a schedule. Putting it up each morning allows children to know

what to expect and collect supplies they need. It provides consistency in this inconsistent world and will prevent, as much as possible, boredom and anxiety about the day. That is not to say that this is easy. Many parents are still working outside the home. Others are juggling several children and do not have a 1:1 device/ child ratio. It is important to create a schedule that works for us, that does not create more stress. We are lucky to live in a digital age where we have the option of reaching out to teachers and friends for ideas, as well as perusing the internet, which offers endless options. WhatsApp groups have been created that post Zoom links to the online classes and activities I mentioned above. We all hope for a speedy conclusion to this crisis and a refuah shelaimah for all who are ill.

Ms. Danyel Goldberg is the assistant principal at Shulamith High School.

A sample of the “challenge� portion of Shulamis High School’s daily emails

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Fun & e v i t a e r C

s t f Cra

Looking for something to do over the next few days with your kids? Here are some cute and fun projects that will brighten your children’s days.

By Menucha Ceder

Clothespin Puppets Craft these puppets, add your personal touch, and then play with them! You can find a template for these at momsandcrafters.com/clothespin-paper-puppets or draw your own faces. Make these realistic-looking or use your imagination to turn them into crazy characters! You can make the puppets one-sided or two-sided.

Instructions Supplies • Card Stock • Clothespins • Markers • Yarn • Scissors

1. Print your puppet templates or draw your faces on card stock. Color them in. 2. Cut out your faces.

• Glue - I recommend Tacky Glue • Optional: googly eyes

3. Cut across the line that splits the face in half.

4. Create your hair! Wind some yarn around 2-3 fingers. Snip a small piece and tie it around the bundle of yarn in the center (or off-center). Pull tight. Cut the loops open on both sides of your “pom pom.” Glue in place. If you are creating this with independent younger kids, you can glue on feathers for hair instead. Add googly eyes and any other fun things you want.

5. Put it together! Glue the top of the face to the top half of your clothespin. Glue the bottom to the bottom half. Make sure you don’t glue the clothespin closed. Hold it in place until it sets but wait for it to dry completely before playing. Now put on a show!


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Clay Mezuzahs

Make something functional for your home! Older kids (and adults) can make a mezuzah with a realistic brushed metallic texture, and younger kids can simply paint it in bright colors.

Supplies • Clay - I used air dry clay • Clay carving tools (you can improvise with knives - plastic for kids, toothpick, and an old coarse toothbrush) • Crafting acrylic paint - I used brushed metallic paint for this look • Paintbrush - I recommend something with coarse hairs if you’re trying for a brushed metal texture, plus a finetipped brush

Instructions 1. Roll out the clay in a flat-ish snake. Flatten your ends. Make it the shape you’d like your mezuzah to be. 2. On the back, use the tool pictured to slowly carve out a notch for your mezuzah. You can also do this using your fingers, or try it with a knife if you’re improvising. Important: Make sure you’re making everything the right size to replace the mezuzahs you have! 3. If you’d like, you can use your fingers to tweak the shape further. 4. Poke holes in the top and bottom. Err on the side of “too big” rather

than too narrow, since that’ll make it easier to hang. 5. Use the tool that looks like a metal paintbrush (or a coarse toothbrush) to carve brushstrokes. Don’t try to go too straight – that won’t look natural. Just go downward, along the front and sides, and let your brush move naturally. Then carve out a “shin” towards the top. 6. At this point, allow your DIY clay mezuzah to dry completely. Wipe off any “clay crumbs” that were formed when you added the brushed finish. If you’re trying to use different tones, spill a little bit of paint on a palette, otherwise you can use the

paint straight from the bottle. 7. Brush on your paint going with the “grain” – here’s where having a coarse brush will help you get that texture to really show! Use a finer brush to get into the cracks. Allow your DIY clay mezuzah to dry completely before hanging.

Loved these ideas? Menucha, a Far Rockaway resident, shares hundreds more like these at momsandcrafters. com.


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In The K

tchen

Pesach Sides By Naomi Nachman

Pesach sides dishes are always are to come up with especially ones on the lighter side. This grilled vegetable board is on the healthier side and makes for a beautiful presentation.

Grilled Vegetable Board Ingredients Marinade ½ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Garlic Mayo Dipping Sauce 1 cup mayonnaise 4-5 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon honey Juice of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

Preparation Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Bake according to baking times below. Prepare garlic mayo dipping sauce: Combine all garlic mayo ingredients in a small bowl; stir to combine. Serve alongside grilled vegetables. Vegetable Options: These vegetables should be baked for 20 minutes at 400°F: zucchini, yellow squash, whole baby bella (cremini) and Portobello mushroom caps, asparagus. These vegetables should be baked for 40 minutes at 400°F: red onion cut into wedges, mini peppers, eggplant.

Mushroom Confit Ingredients ¼ cup oil 4 cloves garlic, crushed 3 large Portobello mushroom caps, cubed 1 teaspoon salt Parsley, for garnish

Preparation Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.

Add garlic; simmer for 10 minutes over low heat; add mushrooms and salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Cool; garnish with parsley before serving. Cook’s Tip: Veggies can also be grilled on a grill pan or on an outdoor grill. Make sure grills are hot so you get good sear marks on the veggies. Note that cooking time may need to be adjusted.

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


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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

A death sentence. That’s what they’ve given me. - Former San Francisco Giants great Barry Bonds, who surpassed Hank Aaron for the home run record and who was marred by the steroids scandal, talking about being kept away from the MLB

My heart, it’s broken. Really broken. - Ibid

To go through some of the training and see the focus that it takes, the mental toughness...it just gives you a different appreciation for the training they do on a daily basis. - Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, after training with Israeli soldiers in Israel last week

Today, “Wheel of Fortune” filmed without an audience as a protective measure against the coronavirus. Things are so bad over there, Vanna is now turning all the letters with her elbow.

Meanwhile, because of the virus, the mayor of Boston announced their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled. Yeah, the mayor asked if instead of drinking, puking and blacking out in the streets, people could make the mature choice and do it at home. — Jimmy Fallon

The [women] should be in front at the protests. Seeing the girls beating up a policeman or a soldier really fills my heart with joy. This is how we want our peaceful popular resistance to be. This is our way to vanquish our enemies.

— Jimmy Fallon

- PA President Mahmoud Abbas talking about female protestors fighting against Israeli soldiers

It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.

I don’t even recognize this game that they’re playing. I really don’t.

- Facebook post by a Rhode Island police department

I’ll miss it every day. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. - Tennis star Maria Sharapova, writing about her retirement from tennis

- Hall of Fame closer Goose Gossage talking about baseball’s reliance on sabermetrics nowadays, in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times

I love him like a son. - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft talking about Tom Brady after Brady announced that he is not coming back to the Patriots next season

MORE QUOTES


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Harvard just announced they’re sending all their students home until further notice, and they’ll take classes online. Now if you meet someone who says they went to Harvard, you can be like, “Oh, that online college?” — Jimmy Fallon

Meanwhile, students at U.S.C. are also being told to stay home, because their rich, famous parents are still under investigation for bribery. — James Corden

Biden did well with voters over 45, and Bernie did well with voters under 45. Basically, if you’re a Democrat who’s had a colonoscopy, Joe is your guy.

Everyone is still talking about the coronavirus and now the airline industry is also in trouble. But I read that some young people are taking advantage of cheap flights and booking trips. In one article, a girl actually said, “If I die, I die.” Meanwhile, that’s also the slogan for Spirit Airlines. — Jimmy Fallon

— Jimmy Kimmel

Sorry, officer. I’ve been busy lately and totally forgot to renew my vehicle registration. I will take care of it as soon as I get home. - A Louisiana man to a police officer when he was pulled over for having a license plate with a registration sticker indicating that the registration expired in 1997

Does Tulsi Gabbard know she’s still in the race? I feel like it’s one of those things where you forget to cancel your health club membership. — Jimmy Kimmel

Time and patience, and being able to handle a…ton of negative feedback. – The winner of Australia’s 2020 Mulletfest on how to grow the perfect hairdo

So you think you know about science because your uncle was a doctor? People don’t just automatically know what their uncles know, otherwise we would all know the lyrics to every Steely Dan song. — Seth Meyers

It is not permissible to buy and sell from Zionists and Israel, unless the treatment is unique and there is no substitute, then this is not an obstacle. - Iranian Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi talking about a potential Israeli vaccine for coronavirus


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Political Crossfire

China Cares More About Suppressing Information By Marc A. Thiessen

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ant to know why the U.S. economy is in free fall? Why restaurants and bars are closing, putting millions out of work, and why the airline industry is facing possible bankruptcy? Why schools across the nation are shutting down, leaving students to fall behind and parents without safe places to send their children every day? Why the stock market is plummeting, wiping out the retirement and college savings of millions of Americans? Why the elderly are isolated in nursing homes and tens of millions who don’t have the option of teleworking have no idea how they will pay their bills? Answer: Because China is a brutal totalitarian dictatorship. We are in the midst of a pandemic lockdown today because the Chinese Communist regime cared more about suppressing information than suppressing a virus. Doctors in Wuhan knew in December that the coronavirus was capable of human-to-human transmission because medical workers were getting sick. But as late as January 15, the head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention declared on state television that “the risk of human-to-human transmission is low.” On January 18, weeks after President Xi Jinping had taken

charge of the response, authorities allowed a Lunar New Year banquet to go forward in Wuhan where tens of thousands of families shared food – and then let millions travel out of Wuhan, allowing the disease to spread across the world. It was not until January 23 that the Chinese government enacted a quarantine in Wuhan. If the regime had taken action as soon as human-to-human transmission was detected, it might have contained the virus and prevented a global pandemic. Instead, Chinese officials punished doctors for trying to warn the public and suppressed information that might have saved lives. According to the Times of London, Chinese doctors who had identified the pathogen in early December received a gag order from China’s National Health Commission with instructions to stop tests, destroy samples, and suppress the news. This is what totalitarian regimes do. First, they lie to themselves, and then, they lie to the world. The system creates such fear that people are terrified to report bad news up the chain, causing “authoritarian blindness.” Then, when those at the top finally discover the truth, they try to cover it up – because leaders who abuse their people are less concerned with saving lives than mak-

ing sure the world does not discover the deadly inefficiency of their system. The ongoing pandemic should serve as a reminder of the lesson that President George W. Bush tried to teach us after the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks: What happens thousands of miles away in a foreign land can affect us here at home. Both viruses and virulent ideologies fester in the fever swamps of totalitarianism and then emerge to kill us in our cities and our streets. Two decades ago, it was a terrorist attack; today, it is a once-in-a-generation pathogen. But in both cases, the lack of freedom in a distant land created conditions that allowed an unprecedented threat to grow, bringing death and destruction to our country. What Bush called the “freedom agenda” is out of vogue today. But we can now see that caring about freedom is putting America first because how China treats its people affects the health and security of the American people. The same totalitarian system that lied about putting 1 million Uighurs in concentration camps lied about the outbreak of this virus, creating a global pandemic. If China were an open and transparent society, with an accountable government, Americans might not be on lockdown today.

What can we do about it? We obviously can’t turn China into a democracy. But we can hold China accountable for its behavior and put a price on its lies and oppression. We can reaffirm that the advance of freedom, transparency and rule of law are central objectives of U.S. foreign policy, because the lives and safety of our citizens depend on it. And we can lay the blame for this crisis where it belongs: at the feet of the Chinese Communist Party. Once the crisis has passed, President Trump should calculate the damage and demand that Beijing pay for the death and destruction it unleashed on the United States and the world. Some have suggested that calling this pathogen the “Wuhan virus” – or as President Trump recently called it the “Chinese virus” – is racist. That is absurd. We call MERS the “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome” because that is where it originated. Moreover, the Chinese regime continues to lie, spreading a conspiracy theory that the source of the virus is really the U.S. Army. It is important this virus be forever linked to the brutal regime that facilitated its spread. The virus grew in the cesspool of Chinese Communist tyranny. It’s time to drain the swamp. (c) 2020, Washington Post Writers Group


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Political Crossfire

It’s Fair to Speculate about Biden By Marc A. Thiessen

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fter a disastrous performance in his first debate with Walter Mondale, many in the media began to openly question the then-73-year-old Ronald Reagan’s mental fitness. Writing in The New York Times, James Reston pointed out that Reagan “got his figures mixed up, and didn’t seem to be mentally alert in dealing with Mr. Mondale’s arguments.” The Wall Street Journal noted that “the president’s rambling responses and occasional apparent confusion injected an unpredictable new element into the race” and pointed out that at age 75, “10% of people suffer from significant mental impairment – senile dementia, or senility.” The networks ran montages of Reagan stumbling over his words and brought on doctors to discuss the effects of aging on mental capacity. When the second debate came around, Reagan put the aging question to rest with his now famous line: “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” A decade later, Reagan announced to the world that he had Alzheimer’s disease. Joe Biden is 77, four years older than Reagan was during the 1984 campaign. If Biden is elected, he’ll be older on the day he takes office than Reagan was on the day he left office. So yes, his mental fitness is a legitimate issue. There is plenty of cause for concern. Biden recently announced “I think we can win back the House”

and promised to ban the “AR-14.” He mistook Super Tuesday for “Super Thursday,” and forgot the words of the Declaration of Independence, saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.” In South Carolina, he misstated what office he was running for, declaring “My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate.” On three occasions last month,

mate Accord (Deng died in 1997). He claimed during a debate that “150 million people have been killed [by guns] since 2007” (which would be nearly half the U.S. population). He said he met with Parkland victims while he was vice president, even though the shooting took place after he left office. He has declared that Democrats should “choose truth over facts” and that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” He pledged to use biofuels to

He mistook Super Tuesday for “Super Thursday,” and forgot the words of the Declaration of Independence, saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created, by the, you know, you know the thing.”

Biden declared he was arrested in South Africa trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison – an incident his campaign later admitted never happened. He earlier described meeting a Navy captain in Afghanistan, but The Washington Post reported that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.” He claimed to have worked with Chinese leader “Deng Xiaoping” on the Paris Cli-

power “steamships.” He repeatedly gets confused about what state he is in; called “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace “Chuck”; said his late son Beau “was the attorney general of the United States”; and confused former British Prime Minister Theresa May with the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Any one of these gaffes in isolation would be nothing more than

that. But taken together they form a pattern – and raise questions about whether Biden has experienced a cognitive decline. Biden’s defenders say this is unfair, and some have even suggested raising it is ageism. No, it’s not. His socialist rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is 78 – almost a year older than Biden – yet no one is questioning his mental fitness. On Monday night, Sanders spent an hour at a Fox News town hall where he was challenged to defend his policies and answered in great detail and without any gaffes or senior moments. Could Biden do the same? Many of President Trump’s critics have suggested that he suffers from cognitive impairment. Well, in 2018, Trump took a test designed to screen for dementia – the Montreal Cognitive Assessment – and the White House physician reported he received a perfect score. Will Biden submit to the same test? Sanders took a subtle dig at Biden during the town hall, pointing out that while he speaks for 45 minutes to an hour at his campaign events, Biden recently spoke for seven minutes. The two men will have their first mano-a-mano debate on Sunday. How will Biden perform over the course of a two-hour discussion? Perhaps he will put concerns about his mental fitness to rest. This much is certain: Democrats are about to pick a man they hope will be the first octogenarian president in American history. It is fair to ask whether voters are choosing a candidate who’s not up to the job. (c) 2020, Washington Post Writers Group


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MARCH 19,29, 2020 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 2015 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

The Crossing of Ludendorff Bridge By Avi Heiligman

T

owards the end of the American invasion into mainland after D-Day during World War II, a lot of progress was being made on several fronts. Many German soldiers and Nazi party members were being captured but many others were doing everything possible to stop the advance into Germany and the possible assault

on Berlin. It was March 1945, and the Allies were looking for ways to cross the Rhine River when troops from the U.S. First Army made a surprising discovery. The Ludendorff Bridge by the resort town of Remagen was still standing. The events which followed helped the Allies to defeat the enemy troops in the vicinity and brought the end of

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the war that much closer to a final victory over Germany. German commanders during World War II regularly gave the order to blow up bridges when the Allies invaded from the West. Since the landings at Normandy, the Allied high command was constantly trying to find undamaged bridges to cross. Engineers were able build pontoon bridges, however, this took a lot of time and would slow down the assault on German-held territory. German engineers always

naissance patrols noticed that the bridge near Remagen, called the Ludendorff Bridge, was still intact. The Rhine at Remagen was 300 yards wide, and a tributary made the waters turbulent. The bridge was constructed during World War I as a railroad bridge and was name after a general. Stone towers were constructed on either end of the bridge, and these could hold up to a battalion of men when under attack. In the months after the Normandy invasion, Allied bombers tried

Fifty bridges went across the Rhine into Germany, and the Germans had destroyed 49 of them, leaving just one railroad bridge to be blown up.

thwarted attempts to capture a bridge intact. In March 1945, just two months from the end of the war, the Nazis became fanatical about burning all bridges that spanned the Rhine River. Fifty bridges went across the Rhine into Germany, and the Germans had destroyed 49 of them, leaving just one railroad bridge to be blown up. What if the Americans could capture this bridge before the explosion? This “what if” became a reality when, on March 7, recon-

wiping out the bridge, but it was repaired quickly after every time it was damaged. On the morning of March 7, a scheduled air attack on the bridge had been canceled due to bad weather. This turned out to be beneficial for the Americans as a reconnaissance unit from the 9th Armored Division that had just reached the city spotted the bridge and reported the incredible news that it was still standing. This unit was under German-born Lt. Karl Timmerman


The Jewish Home | MARCH 19, The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2020 2015

of the 27 th Infantry Regiment who, ironically, was born just 100 miles from Remagen. The race was on as the U.S. First Army tried to get to the intact bridge before the Germans. Timmerman and his men, along with a platoon of Pershing tanks from the 14th Tank Battalion, raced towards the bridge as German engineers frantically tried to set off the explosives. The German commander had been delayed by an artillery unit that wanted to cross the bridge. This gave Timmerman time to get to the bridge and starting firing at German defenses. At 3:50 p.m. on the approach, the eastern end of the bridge was rocked by an explosion, and the structure was lifted into the air. When the dust settled, the Americans were surprised to see the bridge still standing. However, a crater appeared on the bridge which prevented the tanks from crossing. A fierce firefight broke out as the Americans ran across the bridges under heavy machine gun fire. Sergeant Alex Drabik from A Company was the first to reach the other side with not a single member of his squad becoming a casualty despite another explosion that took place while they were more than halfway across the bridge. American engineers then got to work by cutting remaining demotion wires and at one point fired three shots to disable a demolition cable that could not be cut using wire cutters. Allied tanks quickly filled in the

gaps on the bridge and soon were across the Rhine. The word went up to all commanders and, even though the bridge wasn’t where most of the Allied troops were, General Omar Bradley urged, “Shove anything you can across!” An NBC correspondent spotted a lieutenant kicking demolitions into the river and cutting wires while still under German fire. Six divisions and thousands of vehicles and tanks managed to cross before the bridge finally collapsed on March 17. During the collapse, 28 American combat engineers and soldiers were killed. A pontoon bridge had been built nearby; troops and supplies still had a way over the Rhine. Sergeant Drabik, Lt. Timmerman, and four other soldiers were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their actions in capturing the bridge. The crossing of the Rhine at Remagen in a single day has historians surmising that it shortened the war in Europe. In fact, General Eisenhower said that the crossing made the final defeat of the enemy “just around the corner.” Exactly two months after the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge, the Germans signed an unconditional surrender document that summarily ended the war in Europe.

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

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MARCH 19, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Classifieds classifieds@fivetownsjewishhome.com • text 443-929-4003

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Full Finished Basement, Storage Room & Office, Deck, Fabulous Property…$1.078M Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000 www.pugatch.com FOR SALE IN WOODMERE Legal 3 Family on 100 x 100, Bsmt, 3 Car Garage, Brick Driveway, $849K Beach West Realty 516-287-9880

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Classifieds COMMERCIAL RE

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INWOOD OFFICE SPACE LOWEST PRICES IN TOWN! 500-7000 Square feet gorgeous office space with WATERVIEW in Inwood! Lots of options. Tons of parking. Will divide and customize space for your needs! Call 516-567-0100

NEWLY RENOVATED OFFICE FOR RENT in spacious office suite in Lawrence. Ideal for therapist (O/T, speech, psychotherapy). Waiting room and in-suite bathroom included. Available April 1st. Please call 516-698-3320 for more information.

VACATION IN JERUSALEM: Beautiful Short-term rentals in Jerusalem (Sharei Chesed, Romema, Hanevi'im – City Center) Contact today for great service: Shisha Realty 718-408-8070 vacation@shisharealty.com

SALESPERSON WANTED Clothing store in the Five Towns looking to hire a temporary worker from Purim to Pesach. Must have good people skills and ability to work in fastpaced environment. Email resume to BigIdeasMarketing@ gmail.com

SF MEDICAL OFFICE SPACE Available, Reception Area, Waiting Room, Kitchenette, 2 Consult, 4 Exam Rooms, 2 Bathrooms, 30 Car On-Site Parking, For Lease … Call Ian for More Details (516) 295-3000 www.pugatch.com

APT FOR RENT WOODMERE: BEST BUY Spacious 2BR Apartment, Washer/Dryer In Bldg, Elevator Bldg, Open Floor Plan, 1st Floor, Close To All...$199K Call Carol Braunstein (516) 295-3000 www.pugatch.com

STORES/OFFICES for LEASE: Bayview Ave. Can be used as offices or 2 stores. Low rent. Private Bathrooms. Reserved parking. Available immediately. Please call 516-206-1100 or email: mark@mbequitygroup.com.

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EAST ROCKAWAY: Retail Stores on Busy Corner, 1000SF& Up Available, Great High Visibility Location, For Lease… Call for More Details Broker (516) 792-6698

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Newly renov. all inclusive office near LIRR, singles & Suites, util, conf room, kitchen, parking Call Raizie (917) 903-1778 or Sarah 347-524-9147

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HELP WANTED SUMMER JOB Store in Upstate New York seeking store manager for summer months. Applicant must be a people-person, organized and responsible. Email resume to: writers613@gmail.com

YESHIVA KETANA OF LONG ISLAND SEEKS A WARM DEDICATED PRE-1A TEACHER to join our fantastic team for the upcoming school year. Afternoons M-Th. Experience required. Competitive salary! Please email resume to preschool@ykli.org Looking to hire sales people to train as NY & NJ Public Adjusters. No experience necessary, flexible hours. Call 973-951-1534

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

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16-year-old col in the center of town w/ 9’ ceilings throughout, kosher eik, den, CAC, full fin. basement, walk to all. $1.099M

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4BR updated home, very desirable block. Bright EIK, updated master bth, fin. bsmnt & nice yard. Malka (516)967-1967 $799K

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Charming 3br 2bth cape style home. Bryna (516)322-4831 $565K


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MILLER COMMERCIAL 680CENTRAL 5X3.qxp_2018 11/26/18 3:32 PM Page 1

Classifieds HELP WANTED

HELP WANTED

SPECIAL ED DIRECTOR Responsibility: Curriculum Designer Individual curriculum as needed Staff training Innovative, visionary Requirement: Masters Special Ed and Education Administration or SLP Backgroup Email Resume: specialedresume2018@gmail.com

ASSISTANT TEACHERS CAHAL is seeking part time or full time Assistant Teachers for Judaic Studies (AM) and/or General Studies (PM) for the 2019-20 school year. Send resume to shira@cahal.org or Fax 516-295-2899. Call 516-295-3666 for more information.

REGISTERED NURSE openings to work with adults who have developmental disabilities within residential settings in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Long Island. Current NYS RN, min 2 years hospital exp. OHEL: 855-OHEL JOB www.ohelfamily.org/careers CATAPULT LEARNING Teachers, Title I Boro Park, Williamsburg and Flatbush Schools *College/Yeshiva Degree *Teaching experience required *Strong desire to help children learn *Small group instruction *Excellent organization skills Competitive salary Send resume to: Fax: (212) 480-3691 ~ Email: nyteachers@catapultlearning.com 5 TOWNS BOYS YESHIVA SEEKING ELEM GEN ED TEACHERS Excellent working environment and pay. Only lic/exp need apply. Email resume to yeshivalooking@gmail.com Seeking full time OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST for Special Education school located in Brooklyn. Experienced preferred. Competitive salary. Room for growth. resumes@yadyisroelschool.org

“NEW FIVE TOWNS RESTAURANT IS LOOKING TO HIRE THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS: Experienced grill man Laffa maker, Dishwasher, Delivery guy Please email Ronazohar@hotmail.com Bais Yaakov in Far Rockaway seeking permanent substitute for Preschool and Elementary school. Please call 718-868-3232 ext 211 ASSISTANTS NEEDED FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AFTERNOON SESSION. Email: fivetownseducators@gmail.com

MISC ARE YOU IN NEED OF A LIVER TRANSPLANT? LIVER DONOR AVAILABLE! If you are blood type A or AB and in need of a liver transplant call Chaya Lipschutz, Kidney & Liver Shadchan (917) 627-8336, or email KidneyMitzvah@aol.com LOST DIAMOND BRACELET in Boro Park area (possibly also Five Towns)on Sunday, February 23. If found, please call or text 516-697-9496

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Good Hum r

Passover Punchlines By Jon Kranz

P

esach is fast approaching, and perhaps this year, more than ever, we need all of the (appropriate) Pesach jokes we can get. Of course, generally speaking, there are many Jewish jokes, some good, some bad and some that defuddle. Within the universe of Jewish jokes are those specifically pertaining to Pesach. While some of these jokes are worthwhile, others should be…passed over. For the record, Passover jokes should not be recited during the seder if they will disrupt it. In other words, during the seder, please do not attempt to put the “ha!” in Haggadah, Hallel or Halach Ma’anya. For your consideration, below are some Passover jokes, some of which might make you smile, while others might be worse than bondage. Take some comfort, however, that even worse jokes were omitted. They will remain on the cutting-room floor so that they are trampled into farfel. So, here goes. 1. Why didn’t most Egyptians know about the Ninth Plague? They were kept in the dark. 2. What sport did the Hebrews enjoy playing in the desert? Matzah-ball. 3. If Dr. Jekyll finds the Afikoman without even trying, who should you blame? Mr. “Hide.” 4. Why was Pharaoh unable to get his stock broker’s license? He was involved in a pyramid scheme. 5. What did the lion say after tast-

ing the bitter herbs? Ma-roar! 6. What did the Hebrews say when Pharaoh declared that they must make bricks without using other materials? “OK, Rameses, now you’ve gone too far. This is the last straw!” (Pharaoh replied: “I agree, it is the last straw. That’s what I just said!” At that point, a very awkward moment set in as both sides were stymied by the literal vs. figurative “last straw” conflict. Pharaoh summoned his chief linguist and grammarian, exclaiming that this “last straw” conundrum was plagu-

item to serve on Passover to commemorate the Red Sea miracle? Split-pea soup and a banana split. 11. Why didn’t Pharaoh call for help during the second plague? He had a frog in his throat. 12. What is the best way to describe Moses and Aaron when the first plague started? Blood brothers. 13. What song would arguably have been appropriate to sing to Pharaoh during the seventh plague? “Hail” to the Chief. 14. What is the last thing an Egyp-

If you have a seder on a large and fancy boat, what song should you sing at the end of the night?

ing his mind. At that moment, Moshe quickly responded: “Funny you should mention plagues…”) 7. What was Aaron’s official title? Chief of Staff. 8. Why are gold-colored kneehigh socks forbidden on Passover? They create golden calves. 9. What starchy vegetable did Moses’ sister enjoy eating? Miri-yams. 10. What is the most appropriate

tian likely would have ordered for breakfast during the sixth plague? A hard-“boil”ed egg. 15. What dessert might have been served in Egypt during the third plague? Lice cream. 16. 16. What type of beer did the Egyptians serve to the slaves? HeBrew. 17. If you have a seder on a large and fancy boat, what song should you

sing at the end of the night? “Chad Gad Yacht.” 18. What is King of Egypt’s favorite side dish? Farro. 19. What do you call it when you are dipping parsley in saltwater while doing a drive-by? You’re doing a karpas car pass. 20. What did the child ask at the seder when his mother set the table with new and unusual cutlery? “Why is this knife different from all over knives?” 21. How should you describe an incredibly patriotic child who mistakenly eats both types of horseradish and then starts to cry? Red, white, and blue. 22. Where did Moses go when he wanted to exercise with his brother? He went out for Aa-run. 23. If Pharaoh’s magicians were to double as fact-checkers, what should you call them? Sorcerers who source errors. 24. Where does the U.S. military store its chametz? Fort Leavenworth. Final thought: On Passover, a burning bush is a good thing but a burning brisket is not, although the seder may end so late you may end up burning the midnight oil.

Jon Kranz is an attorney living in Englewood, New Jersey. Send any comments, questions or insults to jkranz285@gmail. com.


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The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Money

Flavor of Money By Allan Rolnick, CPA

W

hen talented musicians join forces, they epitomize Aristotle’s maxim: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Collaboration is the essence of music, and even the most technically proficient soloists benefit from an ensemble framing and highlighting their skills. You can’t whistle a symphony. It takes a whole

orchestra to play it. It’s always sad when your favorite band breaks up or loses a key player, especially for non-artistic reasons. The Beatles broke up, in part, because John insisted on dragging Yoko every where he went. The Grateful Dead fired keyboardist Keith Godchaux because he did too many drugs. (Really.) And last week,

a rap group fired their flamboyant clock-wearing co-founder and hype man Flavor Flav. The move leaves Flav at a crossroads. He and bandmate Chuck D have worked together since 1985 – an eternity for artists. He’s starred in TV shows, put out solo albums, and licensed his name to a couple of ill-fated chicken restaurants. It’s hard to picture him settling into one of those Florida “55+” communities, buying a golf cart, and binge-watching cable news until the doctor calls with a bad biopsy. Yet he faces the same financial challenges as any other corporate castoff looking down the barrel of an unexpected early retirement: • Where will he roll his 401(k)? Don’t scoff at the notion of a band sponsoring a retirement plan — years ago, the Grateful Dead gave their employees retirement plans, health benefits, educational trusts for their children, and profit-sharing bonuses for tour revenue and song royalties. Way back in 1984, they gave their bookkeeper paid maternity time for as long as she wanted it. • Should he convert his qualified money into a Roth? Low-income years offer great opportunities to eliminate future taxes and required minimum distributions. Flav’s income will probably be down while he ramps up new projects, so now might be perfect for this strategic move. • When should he start taking Social Security? He’s 60, which makes him eligible in just two years. But if he keeps working while

he draws benefits before ordinary retirement age, he’ll lose $1 in income for every $3 in earned income above a specified threshold (currently $18,240). • Where will he find health insurance until he’s eligible for Medicare at age 65? Family coverage won’t be cheap at his age. Which would be more tax-efficient for unreimbursed expenses, a health savings account or a medical expense reimbursement plan? Flav’s comical fashion sense surely doesn’t float everyone’s boat. But he deserves credit for fighting the power. He never abandoned his youthful style, even when the AARP solicitations started landing in his mail. Could his trademark clocks (he owns over 100) actually be tax-deductible? The general rule for uniforms and work clothes is you can write them off if they’re “not suitable for ordinary street wear.” Would you go for it? Us Magazine is famous for their weekly photo roundup: “Celebrities — They’re Just Like Us.” And of course, it’s more fun watching Mark Wahlberg work off a sackful of Wahlburgers than watching Flav make beneficiary elections on his IRA rollover. But that sort of planning pays off big time in the long run. So make sure you have a plan before the clock runs out! Allan J Rolnick is a CPA who has been in practice for over 30 years in Queens, NY. He welcomes your comments and can be reached at 718-896-8715 or at allanjrcpa@aol.com.


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Life C ach

The Sudoku Challenge By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., MFT, CLC

A

re you familiar with sudoku? It’s a little numbers game. Three boxes across, three boxes down. But wait, there’s more. There’s nine little boxes in each of these boxes. Still with me? You end up with nine rows of little

boxes down and nine across – nine individual boxes with nine little squares in them. Are you following this? My luck, the editor already put up a picture of sudoku in this article, and all this is redundant. And, if she didn’t, all

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this is probably not real clear anyway. The bottom line is that the goal is to get the numbers 1 through 9 going across, down and in each larger square without repeating a number in any configuration. If you’re lost, fear not! Because, whether you understand this or not, is not the reason I’m sharing this anyway! I just want to share my experience with it. When I started trying to be successful at this little game, I was so busy and intense. I would write numbers outside the boxes to try to remember

Guess what – wrong! How’d I get better? I changed my approach. I stopped focusing in areas when I couldn’t be effective. I moved on. I looked at it from different angles. I even relaxed a bit and wandered around more to see what would hit me. I let go a bit. I sat with it a little. I do much better now, with less intensity, a more forgiving focus, and faith that it will work out. Because, it’s preplanned that way. I trust it and give it a little space and time – it always helps! We all have sudoku moments all the

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what numbers could possibly go inside the boxes along with the numbers that certainly could not. I’d make little marks and dots and mini numbers inside the corner of the boxes too, for what numbers I thought might be in the spot. I kept myself so busy working areas and figuring things out. Eventually, I improved. I mean, who wouldn’t with all that effort, short hand, and notations, right?

time. Right now, a major one, I’d say. Let’s challenge ourselves to let go of some of the intensity. It’s going to drive us crazy. Just keep doing what you’re doing and relax your worries a little. Have a little faith that it will all work out. Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or rivki@rosenwalds.com.


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Profile for Yitzy Halpern

Five Towns Jewish Home - 3-19-20  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 3-19-20

Five Towns Jewish Home - 3-19-20  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 3-19-20