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September 5, 2019

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46 Local Officials Speak Up for Private Schools

Your Favorite Five Towns Family Newspaper

Inspired Song Rav Shlomo Katz Talks about R’ Shlomo Carlebach, the Power of a Niggun, and the Sources of His Inspiration

pg

84

Premium Teshuvah by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein

59 Scores of Supporters Join in Avigdor’s Helping Hand Event

Smiles & Excitement on the First Day of School

47 PAGE 9

The Attention Deficit Disorder That Everyone is Ignoring pg 94

pg

74


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Yitzy Halpern

T

his morning, I felt a lump in my throat as I kissed my son and ruffled his hair as he waited for his carpool to pick him up for the first day of school. I’m usually not so sentimental. But this year felt different. Every year, the first day of school brings with it an excitement for new beginnings. It’s the promise of a clean slate, the hint of potential waiting to burst forth. And every year, I pray that my children are put in the right class with the right teachers for them and are able to grow and succeed. But the school year also symbolizes the end of summer – the end of sweet moments of freedom that we experience for two months a year. Do children wish that the summer would never end? Perhaps, but there are many who are looking forward to structure, socializing with their friends, and connecting with their teachers and rebbeim in the classroom setting. This year, the school year coincides with the beginning of Elul, a time of reflection and introspection. Elul – contrary to what many think – is not about teshuva. It is about Ani l’dodi v’dodi li, I am to my Beloved, and my Beloved is to me. It’s about connecting and reconnecting with our

Weekly Weather |

6

7

Showers / Wind

Mostly Sunny

70° 60°

76° 62°

King, Who is closer to us during this time of year. He comes out of His palace and meets us in the fields. His presence is palpable; our yearning for Him is profound. This summer has not been an easy one for our nation and our community. Just a few days ago, we were shattered to hear of the loss of a young, pure, innocent neshama in our neighborhood. The tragedy hit home for so many of us, and the loss and pain we felt was deep and visceral. As we connect with our King during the next few weeks and we turn inward, reflecting on our past year, we need to remember to turn towards our neighbors and remember them in our tefillos. Tragedy, sadly, brings us together. It reminds us that we really are one Nation, one People. We share one King, Who loves us all like a father. He doesn’t see our differences; He sees our hearts. As we greet Him this Elul, let us meet Him in achdus, showing Him that we are a Nation that cares for one another, shares in each other’s pain, and iy”H rejoices in the simchos that He showers upon us all. Wishing you a wonderful week, Shoshana

9

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Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

75° 62°

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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Contents LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

8

COMMUNITY 8

Readers’ Poll Community Happenings

44

NEWS

42

Global

12

National

30

Odd-but-True Stories

38

ISRAEL Israel News

24

World Builders

78

JEWISH THOUGHT Rabbi Wein

68

Marketplace or Shul? by Rav Moshe Weinberger

70

Parsha in Four by Eytan Kobre

72

Premium Teshuvah by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein

74

PEOPLE The Wandering Jew

80

Inspired Song: Rav Shlomo Katz Talks about R’ Shlomo Carlebach, the Power of a Niggun, and the Sources of His Inspiration

84

Jewish Generals During the Civil War by Avi Heiligman

108

HEALTH & FITNESS You Can’t Cover Up Trauma by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn

92

The Attention Deficit Disorder That Everyone is Ignoring by Hylton I. Lightman, MD

94

The Dangers of a Low Fiber Diet by Cindy Weinberger, MS RD CDN 98

Dear Editor, Much ink has been spilled discussing the anti-Semitic statements by “The Gang of 4” indicating a regressive shift on the part of the Democratic party towards Orthodox Jews. However, one doesn’t have to travel to Washington; a keen observer of Albany can see the same phenomenon right here in our backyard. New York State’s proposed new regulations for yeshivas are, in the first instance, proposed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Contrary to public misconception, NYSED is not under the jurisdiction of the governor, but under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents, which as a body does not have to respond to political pressure. When said regulations were challenged in the Supreme Court, it was N.Y.S. Attorney General Letitia James who reached out and appointed a highly regarded “Special Counsel” to argue in favor of the proposed regulation and in direct opposition to the interest of our community, who overwhelmingly voted for her. This past week, Letitia James issued a press release, wherein she condemns what she contends is anti-Semitism in the Republican Party. Truth be told, we are cognizant of what she has actually done, and will again do, when the revised reg-

ulations will in due course be challenged in the N.Y.S. Supreme Court. Aaron Tyk, Esq.

To the Editor of The New York Times: As the Councilman of a District with a large Jewish population, it is disconcerting that The New York Times is more focused on the reasons for the outing of anti-Semitic journalists than the virulent anti-Semitism espoused by these horrible people. Some of the constituents I represent in my area are survivors, or direct descendants of the survivors and victims of the Holocaust, pogroms, Yemenite genocide, Iranian and Syrian expulsion etc. They have felt and seen the effects of anti-Semitism to the highest degree. The NY Times is disingenuous and delusional if they believe that the anti-Semitic bigotry and hate does not influence the reporting and opinions of these so called “journalists.” While it is true that Arthur Schwartz is a Trump partisan, why should that disqualify the truth he has uncovered? The NY Times recently ran a clearly anti-Semitic cartoon that mirrored Nazi propaganda. The question that needs to be addressed Continued on page 10

FOOD & LEISURE The Aussie Gourmet: Minestrone Soup

100

LIFESTYLES Dating Dialogue, Moderated by Jennifer

98

Mann, LCSW

88

Leaving Kollel, Part I

96

Your Money

116

Summer Reading by Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS

118

HUMOR Centerfold 66 POLITICAL CROSSFIRE Notable Quotes

102

Trump and Biden Have the Same Message by Marc A. Thiessen

105

Why Macron’s Iran Gamble Didn’t Pay Off by David Ignatius

106

CLASSIFIEDS

111

Do you like to play sudoku?

43

%

YES

57 NO

%


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Continued from page 8

is why has such a formerly top prestige media outlet become such a safe haven for anti-Semitic rhetoric? Interesting in a bizarre way is the premise that that the NY Times is somehow above criticism. It is sad, but in the clearest and most express terms rest assured we are not going to take it. Never again! Respectfully submitted, Councilman Bruce A. Blakeman

FALL/ WINTER COLLECTION HA S ARRIVED!!

In reference to the Dating Dialogue column: Dear Navidaters, A mother has a right to be happy too. The wonderful guy this lady is engaged to is not negative in any way with her children or his. He just doesn’t interact with them much. That is no reason to tell her to break her engagement. My husband said some of your answers are dangerous. You are endangering her whole future happiness. If she waits until her children are grown up, she may very well never find anyone she can be happy with. She found a wonderful guy now and is engaged to him. You wouldn’t tell a young person to

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break an engagement unless it’s a serious problem. My daughter said that marrying my second husband was one of the most wonderful things I’ve done for her. My daughter and I have always been very close, and she has felt close to my husband since we got married. Please publish my letter and send this lady a copy right away, so she doesn’t break her engagement. Also, my ex-husband’s second wife gave me excellent advice to take my husband’s side if there is an argument between the two. The child should be privately confronted afterward. Sincerely, Been there, done that Dear Editor, Doron Sheffer is an anomaly and an inspiration. So many athletes and celebrities fill voids in their lives with empty but distracting vices. Too few of them realize that their lifestyles and lives are empty and senseless. Doron, though, answered the call. He realized that the void he was feeling needed to be filled with something substantial and real. And he made sure to fill it with the right things. Sincerely, Valerie H.


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Nearly 2M Left Stateless in India

Nearly two million people in northeast India were left stateless on Saturday after the state of Assam, India, published its citizenship list. A “large chunk” of the stateless individuals are expected to be Muslims. The state’s National Register of Citizens included a total 31.1 million people, with another 1.9 million deemed ineligible for citizenship, Assam’s government said.

Eligibility for citizenship requires proof that the individual or their parents and grandparents were in India prior to 1971. However, India’s lower house in January allowed citizenship to be granted to those who arrived in India up to six years ago, provided they are not Muslims. Individuals not listed as citizens can appeal within 120 days at a Foreigners Tribunal, a process which some say is far from perfect and has left some “genuine” Indians stateless. Individuals whose appeals have been rejected by the tribunals may be placed in detention camps and expelled. The government brought in an additional 20,000 security personnel in anticipation of the announcement, and gatherings were banned in various locations due to expectations of violence following the list’s publication. However, Saturday did not see violence. Due to immigration from other areas, including during Bangladesh’s War of Independence and under British rule, Assam has a large amount of ethnic and interreligious conflict, including a mass murder of approximately 2,000 people in 1983 and other violent incidents.

Dutch Mole Instrumental in Stuxnet Virus Operation

A new article about the Stuxnet computer virus alleges that Israel and the United States planted the lethal malware into an Iranian nuclear reactor via a mole working for Dutch intelligence. The Stuxnet virus was a joint U.S.-Israel cyber operation that targeted Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. While the malware is said to have been deployed first in 2008, the existence of the cyber weapon became public knowledge after it infected computers worldwide two years later. The first time a country used cy-

ber warfare against its adversaries, Stuxnet and a later iteration known as “Olympic Games” significantly slowed Tehran’s nuclear program. The malware caused the nuclear centrifuges to spin out of control but sent back information to the control center indicating that everything was operating normally. By the time Tehran figured out what was happening, thousands of centrifuges and years of work were ruined. The Islamic Republic eventually shut down its Natanz nuclear reactor for more than a month and arrested thousands of scientists in a desperate attempt to find out what was happening. While the existence of Stuxnet is well-known today, experts have always wondered how the malware got into Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Knowing that it was being targeted by Western intelligence agencies, Iran took extensive security precautions that included disconnecting its nuclear plants from the internet entirely. Now, a Yahoo News article claims that the malware was installed by a nuclear scientist working for the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD. While the Stuxnet virus was the

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product of close collaboration between the NSA and CIA in the United States and Israel’s Mossad, Defense Department and 8200 cyber hacking unit, the effort was assisted by Germany, France, and Holland. However, it was the access provided by the Dutch mole that made the operation a success. With his job at the Natanz nuclear reactor, the mole was able to gather large amounts of sensitive intelligence enabling Israel to configure the computer code accordingly. “[He] had to get…in several times in order to collect essential information [that could be used to] update the virus accordingly,” one source told Yahoo News. Yet even more importantly, the mole infected Iran’s nuclear plans by either installing the malware himself or by loading the virus onto the USB drive of another unwitting engineer. Intelligence officials say today that the Dutch operator provided one of the biggest coups of the operation by finding a way to access the Natanz nuclear reactor despite it not being connected to the internet. The mole left his job following the first operation in 2008. His fate today remains unknown, although various uncorroborated reports say that he was eventually arrested by Iranian intelligence. Later versions of the Stuxnet virus didn’t require the services of this mole, with Israel penetrating Iranian nuclear sites by installing malware on the flash drives of unwitting scientists employed at the site. “It’s amazing that we’re still getting insights into the development process of Stuxnet [10 years after its discovery],” Liam O’Murchu told Yahoo. The director of development for the Security Technology and Response division at Symantec, O’Murchu had worked on Stuxnet after it spread to computers worldwide. “It’s interesting to see that they had the same strategy for [the first version of Stuxnet] but that it was a more manual process.... They needed to have someone on the ground whose life was at risk when they were pulling off this operation.”

intense winds, it’s carving out a path of destruction. Homes have been knocked to the ground, and five people lost their lives over the weekend, including an 8-year-old boy.

The Bahamas are just 100 miles away from West Palm Beach, Florida. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said many homes, businesses and other buildings have been destroyed or heavily damaged, calling the devastation “unprecedented and extensive.” Dorian – on Tuesday a Category 3  storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph – has been crawling over the northern Bahamas, whipping the same areas over and over again since Sunday, when it moved over the Abacos Islands as a Category 5 storm. By the time it moves away from the Bahamas, parts of the area will have received more than 30 inches of rain. Dorian is forecast to approach Florida Tuesday night through Wednesday evening, pass very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, and then roll “near or over” the North Carolina coast late Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. It no longer is expected to make landfall in Florida, but coastal residents there will still feel its impact, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said. Dorian killed at least five people in the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands. An 8-year-old boy is believed to have drowned in rising waters. “I just saw my grandson about two days ago,” his grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, said. “He told me he loved me. He was going back to Abaco, he turned around and said, ‘Grandma, I love you.’”

Dorian Lashes at the Bahamas

Yemen: Airstrike on Prison Leaves Over 100 Dead

Hurricane Dorian is taking out her anger on the Bahamas. As it lingers over Grand Bahama Island with

Over 100 people may have been killed when the Saudi-led military coalition attacked a Yemeni deten-


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

tion center, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Sunday.

Looking for Happiness? Get Closer to Nature

A new study shows that living within walking distance to a green space is associated with improved feelings of happiness, self-worth, and overall life satisfaction.

In the study, published in Applied Geography, researchers from The University of Warwick, Newcastle University, and The University of Sheffield investigated and demonstrated the connection between green areas and mental health and showed that nature and greenery are more important to mental health than income, employment, and overall health. The authors aimed to aid urban planners by finding out how much green space is necessary and how close it needs to be to a person’s home in order for it to positively influence mental health. To do this, they collected data on 25,518 Londoners from the government’s Annual Population Survey, as well as data on London’s 20,000 green spaces, examining the relationship between proximity and the mental health of survey respondents. Want to be happier? Perhaps you need to move. The researchers found that green spaces located within 300 meters, or 0.18 miles, of an individual’s home had the greatest positive impact, with an increase of just under 2.5 acres (10,117 square meters) within that space correlating with an increase of eight percentage points

for life satisfaction, seven percentage points for self-worth, and five percentage points for happiness. “This result has important implications for urban planning and decision- making related to how we measure access to urban green spaces and how to design more sustainable and livable cities,” explained Professor João Porto de Albuquerque, director of the University of Warwick’s Institute of Global Sustainable Development.

Iran Not Cooperating with IAEA Inspectors

Is Iran violating the 2015 nuclear deal by refusing to collaborate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding a suspi-

‫ב נ י ם‬

‫ש ו כ י‬ ‫ח‬

‫סגולת‬

‫ל‬

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‫זרע של‬ ‫קיימא‬

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The Segula of the Ben Ish Chai For One to Merit Children One should support the holy Yidden who get up at Chatzos Halayla. In this Zechus they will be blessed with children (‫)בן איש חי בספרו כתר מלכות סי' ק"ס‬

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ICRC noted that the center was run by Houthi rebels and was used to “store drones and missiles.” However, the rebels claimed that the building in Dhamar, Yemen, was used as a prison. Franz Rauchenstein, who heads ICRC’s delegation to Yemen, said that ICRC had visited the site before and that it is “a college building that has been empty and has been used as a detention facility for a while.” “Prisoners are protected by international law,” Rauchenstein added, noting that at least 40 people were being treated for injuries, and over 100 were believed to be dead. Prior to ICRC’s comments, the coalition had claimed the strike targeted a “military compound, which was

a legitimate military target.” It also claimed that it took “all precautionary measures to protect civilians.” U.N. special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths condemned the attack. “Today’s event is a tragedy,” he said. “The human cost of this war is unbearable. We need it to stop. Yemenis deserve a peaceful future.” He added, “Accountability needs to prevail.”

‫מא‬ ‫יי‬ ‫ק‬

16


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

HONORING SENATOR CHAIR OF COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION

ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR

Daniel Lowy

YOUNG LEADERSHIP AWARD

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cious site in Tehran exposed by Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu? According to the Wall Street Journal, the IAEA is concerned that Iran is trying to prevent inspectors from conducting a thorough investigation into the extent of its nuclear activity. Diplomats told the newspaper that Iran is refusing to cooperate with the agency ever since Netanyahu alleged in a UN speech last year that Iran was storing nuclear materials at the site. Following Netanyahu’s speech, Iran quickly emptied the site in an attempt to clear it of any incriminating material. Yet in July, Israel’s Channel 13 reported that UN inspectors visited the site several times and found traces of radioactivity. Ever since the discovery, Iran has refused to cooperate with the IAEA and is not providing answers to its queries regarding the findings. If true, such behavior is a violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, which stipulated that the Islamic Republic would allow UN inspectors free access to its nuclear sites to verify that it is not enriching uranium. According to the report, Iran’s stalling touched off a fierce debate within the IAEA regarding how to respond. While the agency first intended to condemn Iran in its report that was released last week, it ended up refraining from bringing up Tehran’s violations due to pressure from within the UN. In a September speech at the UN’s General Assembly, Netanyahu had brandished photos of a warehouse he said contained 15 kilograms of enriched uranium the Islamic Republic had hidden from the IAEA.

Mexico Loves AMLO But is He Successful?

Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who smiles at the almost-daily news conferences he has been holding since taking office on December 1, gave his first state of the

union address on Sunday. Obrador is warm and friendly to everyone, including adversaries, listens to the people and is close to them, and spends a significant amount of time each day walking among them. Yet despite this, Mexico is not doing well. Problems such as fuel thefts, which his government declared 95% eradicated, remain as large as they were before he took office, the Associated Press reported. Last week, 28 people were killed in a fire attack on a nightclub in the southern Mexico town of Coatzacoalcos. Lenit Enriquez Orozco, who leads a group of relatives of the disappeared in Coatzacoalcos, has said that the drug cartels “are feeling very empowered.” “Lopez Obrador says the people are happy, but this is not what you would call being happy,” she told Associated Press, motioning to the grieving families of the nightclub victims. On the other hand, Eduardo Calvillo, who runs a market stall in a low-income Mexico City neighborhood, likes his president. “We have a lot of confidence in this man,” he said. “This is a man who gets down to see where the problems and the conflicts are, and tries to think of some solution.” He also said his neighborhood has seen new streetlights and more police patrols since Obrador and a “closely allied” mayor took office. Fernando Hernández, a Mexico City property developer, said that Obrador has been “loath” to heed criticism or advice from experts. Instead, Obrador often says that he has “other facts” when asked to explain discrepancies. He added: “What I am seeing is budget cutting done with a machete. Public health care has been devastated by the cutbacks. He is very obstinate, very good at what he does. He’s a great politician, but he needs to focus more on what people tell him.” Meanwhile, Obrador is working on creating a train, making a tourist circuit around the Yucatan peninsula, and working to improve the new National Guard, which he hopes will rein in both drug cartels and common crime. He has also tried to locate Mexico’s 40,000 missing people and free political prisoners. But how successful is Mexico’s new leader? As Mexico security analyst Alejandro Hope told the Associated Press, “The underlying problem is that his strategy is to put boots on the ground, cover territory…but there isn’t enough to go around.”


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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Even if the National Guard achieves its recruitment goals, it will still only have a single officer for every 1,000 residents, a ratio which “isn’t even nearly enough.”

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Mollaei’s escape was assisted by International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer. According to Iranian media reports, Vizer ordered a car service for Mollaei and arranged for a security guard to accompany him to the airport. Other Iranian media outlets reported that Vizer was in contact with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu. “This was a conspiracy of the International Judo Federation and Israel,” reported Iran International.

An Iranian judoka has defected to Germany and has requested asylum after being forced to intentionally lose a match at last week’s World Championships in order not to face an Israeli opponent. Last week, Sagi Muki beat Belgian Matthias Casse to become the first Israeli to ever win the Judo World Championship. Before facing off with Muki for the gold medal, Casse had beaten Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei in the quarterfinals. Yet following the match, multiple reports said that Mollaei had been forced to lose on purpose in order to avoid competing against an Israeli. As Israel’s sworn enemy, Iran bans its athletes from facing Israeli opponents due to the tactic recognition of the Jewish State that such a contest would bring, with Iranian athletes often forfeiting or feigning injuries. After Mollaei initially refused to throw the match, his family members back in Iran called him and pressured him out of fears for their own safety. A few days later, the judoka flew to Germany from the World Championships in Tokyo and filed a request for asylum. “I could have been the world champion,” he said in an interview. “I fought and won against an Olympic champion, an Olympics bronze-medalist and other opponents. I beat all of them. “I even dreamed of the championship title… But that was not my fate: I could not compete because of the law in my country, and because I was scared of consequences for my family and myself.”

Could there finally be an end to the U.S.’s longest war? President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Afghanistan said on Monday that the U.S. and the Taliban have reached an agreement “in principle,” pending final approval by the President Trump. Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad told Afghanistan’s  TOLOnews  that  a draft agreement  will see the U.S. pull troops from five bases across Afghanistan within 135 days as long as the Taliban meets conditions set in the agreement. If the deal proceeds, the withdrawals could mark the beginning of the end of America’s longest running war, a nearly 18-year conflict triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that has cost billions in taxpayer dollars and cost more than 2,300 American lives. The agreement could lead to the gradual draw down of all of the almost 14,000 U.S. troops in the country, fulfilling a longstanding goal and campaign pledge of the president’s, just as the most intense period of the 2020 election campaign gets underway. News of the agreement comes as violence has spiked in Afghanistan, with the latest attack occurring just hours after Khalilzad’s announcement. A car bomb targeted an Afghan


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police station in the capital Kabul on Monday, in an area close to the heavily fortified compound where many foreign embassies and international organizations are based. At least five people were killed and 50 others were wounded and taken to the hospital, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. The Taliban have launched assaults on two northern Afghan cities in two days. The attacks also follow the deaths of three U.S. troops during combat operations in the last two weeks. On Monday, Khalilzad told TOLOnews the agreement with the Taliban is broken down into a main agreement with a second document addressing details related to different elements of the agreement. Since taking up the envoy job a year ago, Khalilzad has held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban focused on four key issues: U.S. forces’ withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances, a ceasefire, and intra-Afghan negotiations. Khalilzad told TOLOnews the U.S. will not accept a return of the Taliban’s strict Islamic governing system and said the Trump administration wants a government to be

formed after the intra Afghan peace talks that would be agreed upon by all Afghans. Even so, senior intelligence officials have repeatedly warned that the country remains fragile and, as it was when the Taliban gave refuge to Al Qaeda in the lead-up to the September 11 attacks, could once again become a terrorist haven.

U.S. Sanctions HezbollahAligned Lebanese Bank

The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday that it has sanctioned a Lebanese bank for pro-

viding financial services for the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group. The Treasury Department said in a statement that the Beirut-based Jammal Trust Bank had been transferring money to the families of suicide bombers. Calling it “Hezbollah’s bank of choice,” U.S. officials said that Jamal Trust and its three affiliates have been doing business with Hezbollah for almost a decade. The U.S. also sanctioned four citizens from the Gulf state of Oman who Washington said had transferred millions of dollars from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to Hamas. Iran often uses its elite IRGC to transfer funds to the variety of terror groups it funds across the Middle East. The Treasury Department said that its decision to target Jammal Trust should be seen as a message that the United States would not permit Hezbollah to exploit Lebanon’s financial infrastructure to wage war against Israel and the west. “Corrupt financial institutions like Jammal Trust are a direct threat to the integrity of the Lebanese financial system. Jammal Trust provides support and services to Hezbollah’s executive Council and

the Martyrs Foundation, which funnels money to the families of suicide bombers,” noted Sigal Mandelker, who serves as the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial Intelligence. “The U.S. will continue to work with the Central Bank of Lebanon to deny Hezbollah access to the international financial system. This action is a warning to all who provide services to this terrorist group,” Mandelker added. Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the move and thanked the U.S. for working to “counter Iranian aggression in the Middle East.” “This is an important step designed to put pressure on Iran and its proxies, which are acting against the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu. Arguably the world’s most powerful terror group, Hezbollah funds its activities with Iranian money and profits from the group’s lucrative criminal empire. Through a wide variety of illegal activities ranging from drug trafficking to stolen cars, Hezbollah brings in as much as $500 million a year through its illicit activities. In order to launder the massive quantities of cash, Hezbollah utiliz-

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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

es the services of some of Lebanon’s most prominent financial institutions. An anonymous U.S. official said that the blacklisting of Jammal Trust “should be seen as a warning shot that Hezbollah and its Iranian puppet masters should keep their hands off Lebanese financial institutions,” and promised to “choke off every last avenue of funding.”

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UN: U.S., Britain, France May Be Complicit in War Crimes

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The United Nations has charged that the United States, Britain and France may be complicit in war crimes in Yemen by arming and providing intelligence and logistics support to a Saudi-led coalition that starves civilians as a war tactic. UN investigators recommended that all states impose a ban on arms transfers to the warring parties to prevent them from being used to commit serious violations. “It is clear that the continued supply of weapons to parties to the conflict is perpetuating the conflict and prolonging the suffering of the Yememi people,” Melissa Parke, an expert on the independent UN panel, said at a news conference. “That is why we are urging member states to no longer supply weapons to parties to the conflict,” she said. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the main parties in the coalition fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls Yemen’s capital, are two of the biggest buyers of U.S., British, and French weapons. The experts compiled a secret list of suspected war criminals. Investigators found potential crimes

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on both sides, while highlighting the role Western countries play as backers of the Arab states and that Iran plays in support of the Houthis. “There are no clean hands in this combat, in this contest,” panelist Charles Garraway noted. The report accused the anti-Houthi coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of killing civilians

in air strikes and deliberately denying them food in a country facing famine. The Houthis, for their part, have shelled cities, deployed child soldiers, and used “siege-like warfare,” it said. The Houthis drove Yemen’s government out of the capital Sanaa in 2014. The Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim states intervened the

following year to restore the ousted government, a conflict that has since seen the murder of tens of thousands of people. The prospect of famine has created what the United Nations describes as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis, where 24 million people rely on aid.


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

IDF Sleight of Hand Fools Hezbollah

An IDF diversionary trick that many say appears straight out of the movies succeeded in foiling an attack by the Hezbollah terror group on the Lebanese border. Hezbollah had been promising to carry out a revenge attack on Israel ever since two drones bombed Hezbollah’s Beirut headquarters. The two drones had struck a target in the heart of Beirut’s Dahia neighborhood, a Hezbollah stronghold that the group believed to be impenetrable.

According to reports, the target had been an advanced machine that turned gasoline into the solid fuel needed for long-range missiles. A very rare and hard to manufacture device, the successful bombing of the mixer is said to delay Hezbollah’s missile project by at least a year. While Israel conspicuously refused to take responsibility for the bombing, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed revenge. As the airstrike was the first time Israel bombed Lebanon since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the Iranian-backed terror group swore that the attack would not go unanswered. Throughout the week, the IDF remained on high alert amid Nasrallah’s public threats of retaliation. To stop the expected attack, the military canceled all weekend leaves, sent dozens of tanks to the north, and scrapped all training missions. When news reports came in on Sunday of an IDF ambulance destroyed by anti-tank missiles near the Lebanese border, everyone assumed the worst. Rumors abounded of multiple Israeli fatalities, and television footage showed two air force helicopters evacuating the injured to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. Meanwhile, the IDF responded

with a massive artillery barrage that sent thick plumes of smoke billowing out over the picturesque northern Galilee. Later that evening, the truth came out. Not only had no IDF soldiers been injured, there hadn’t even been any troops in the ambulance. The IDF had placed an empty ambulance in a prominent and poorly guarded spot on the border and had deployed camouflaged special forces with advanced recon equipment. After the terrorists launched a blizzard of anti-tank missiles at the ambulance, the IDF pulled out all the stops to cause the Hezbollah cell to think that they had succeeded in killing and wounding IDF soldiers. Actors with fake blood were “evacuated” to the hospital in medevac helicopters, and the footage was leaked to the media. While this was going on, the special forces located the hiding spot of the terrorists and called in an air strike, killing them instantly. The IDF’s guile succeeded in liquidating the terrorists and ensuring that the retaliatory strike that everyone knew was coming ended without injuries.

Fake Water Quality Data

Two of Israel’s five water desalination plants tricked the government over a period of 18 months into thinking that the drinking water they were producing met permitted levels of chloride, an inquiry by the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources revealed this week. Both plants are south of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast. The Sorek plant, the country’s biggest and one of the largest in the world to operate a reverse osmosis system, let levels of chloride – the


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

take ten With Mrs. Leah Girnun

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New principal at Yeshiva of South Shore, Elementary Division

1.

2.

What is your favorite part of the day? I love seeing a student's face light up when something they are learning "clicks." It's amazing to see how excited they become about learning!

What is something you often remind teachers to focus on?

I like to remind teachers that we “teach children, not curriculum.� I feel strongly that we need to remember that we are here to teach the children in a way that they will learn best. It's important we meet the needs of our students.

3.

6.

Why do you like working in a Yeshiva for boys?

I really enjoy working in a yeshiva for boys because I grew up with 3 big brothers. I was also the only girl on my block until the 6th grade. I guess you can say I enjoy the spirited energy boys bring to my day.

4.

What is your favorite children’s book?

My favorite children's book is Problems with Pete the Pencil and Eddie the Eraser. It is written by students in a 4th grade class and got published. It teaches everyone about the importance of every person and how to use each other’s strengths to achieve success.

7.

What is your favorite subject? My favorite subject is reading. Reading a book allows your imagination to soar. There's nothing more exciting than helping a child learn to read.

9.

Since you’ve already been working at Yeshiva of South Shore, what do you love about it? I love the warm environment and dedicated staff. There is such a strong sense of Ahavas Yisrael that can be felt just walking down the hallway.

YESHIVA OF SOUTH SHORE

8.

5.

What is your favorite recess activity? My favorite recess activity is kickball. I loved to play as a kid...but I was very competitive!

What do you like to do in your free time?



Who was one of your favorite teachers growing up and why? My favorite teacher growing up was my 6th grade teacher in ASHAR, Mrs. Zaslow. She was always smiley and encouraging. I remember always feeling like she believed I could do anything I set my mind on.

IF I had free time, I would relax with a book!

Why did you go into education?

10.

My mother worked in a public school as a principal's assisant. Since the yeshiva breaks did not align to public school, I often went to work with my mother. I usually went to a classroom to help a teacher. I remember feeling so good about being able to help a child. That feeling really stuck with me.

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the data supplied by the plants with information from other sources. “Without taking away from the seriousness of the findings it’s important to stress that the water provided met all the requirements of the Health Ministry and did not pose any health hazard,” Adiri told a press conference. The chlorides – which reached 90 milligrams per liter at Sorek while the maximum level agreed with the state was 20 milligrams per liter – came nowhere near the Health Ministry’s standard of 400 milligrams per liter, above which such water could endanger public health.

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main ingredient in sea salt – exceed four times what was specified in its franchise agreement in order to save what amounted to NIS 12 million ($3.4 million) until its cover was blown. At the Palmachim plant, there were “tens of cases” in which chloride levels exceeded the limits by around 20 percent, an excess concealed behind doctored reports. An inquiry committee headed by

Energy Ministry director general Udi Adiri called in its report, published last month, for “effective and deterrent enforcement” and a “significant financial sanction” to be applied in the case of the Sorek plant, which had not only benefited from savings but was also liable for an estimated NIS 46 million ($13 million) in fines within the terms of its contract with the state. The committee recommended

turning the Palmachim case over to the “authorized enforcement authorities” for criminal investigation. The report also lambasted the state for not taking its own responsibilities as regulator seriously enough. It had failed to use tools such as random water quality checks and more in-depth monitoring, and officials had “relied more than necessary” on the credibility of the desalination plants’ reports, failing to compare

Honduras Opens Trade Office in Jerusalem

Honduras’ President Juan Orland Hernandez inaugurated his country’s new trade mission in Jerusalem on Sunday together with Prime Minister Netanyahu. While currently only designated as a trade office, the mission has diplomatic status and is an extension of Honduran embassy in Tel Aviv. The Central American country says that this is the first step towards moving its embassy to Israel’s capital of Jerusalem. After affixing a mezuzah to his country’s new trade office on Jerusalem’s Hillel Street, Hernandez told reporters that the move will bring “more investment and more opportunities for the Honduran people.” Honduras follows the United States, Guatemala, and the Republic of Nauru as the only countries that have announced their intentions to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem. Brazil, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania have promised to carry through with an embassy move of their own in the near future but have not yet made any concrete plans to actually do so. Netanyahu thanked Hernandez for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, noting that the city has been


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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“our capital since the time of King David.” “I have committed, and this is a commitment I want to repeat again: We will open embassies simultaneously,” said Netanyahu. “We are going to open an office of trade and technology in Tegucigalpa soon. Now. Next week. There is this reciprocity of friends, genuine friends.” Earlier in the day, Hernandez visited the Western Wall accompanied by Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz. “The State of Israel can consider Honduras a close sister. We now begin a new relationship,” Hernandez said after a lengthy solitary prayer.

Zehut Drops Out of Race in Deal with Netanyahu The libertarian Zehut party agreed to drop out of the upcoming elections for the Knesset after Prime Minister Netanyahu promised to appoint leader Moshe Feiglin to a ministerial position in the next government.

Feiglin’s decision to retire from the race followed intense negotiations with Netanyahu, who feared that Zehut would waste thousands of right-wing votes, yet not cross the 3.5% electoral threshold. With the polls showing the right and left-wing blocs locked in a virtual tie, a few thousand wasted votes in September 17’s elections could mean the difference between Netanyahu staying on as Israel’s prime minister or being asked to leave. Netanyahu and Feiglin announced the decision in a joint press conference on Thursday. Apart from promising to make Feiglin a minister, Netanyahu also agreed to significantly relax the process for obtaining medical marijuana. Feiglin had made obtaining marijuana a central plank in his libertarian platform and had vowed before the previous elections in April not to

join any coalition that did not legalize the banned substance. As part of the agreement with Zehut, the Likud will promote a bill giving marijuana the same status as regular prescription medication, allowing patients to obtain cannabis in their local pharmacy. “Tens of thousands of sick who need medical cannabis, who deserve it and can’t get it – their need must be fulfilled. We will bring to the Knesset’s approval a bill to legalize medical cannabis,” asserted Netanyahu. The prime minister added that Zehut’s small-government philosophy was an important principle in the Likud and said that he would promote a series of steps to decrease bureaucracy after the elections in September. “Zehut’s important voice will be heard in the cabinet. I see you as a partner in the government. I really mean that. I think we can work together,” said Netanyahu. “Our success depends on joining forces, before the election and after. That’s why I’m calling on Zehut’s leaders and voters to help us in this mission.” A longtime Likud activist and former Knesset member, Feiglin left the Likud in 2015 to establish Zehut. At

first dismissed as a joke by many due to its far-right libertarian stance, the party emerged as a surprise favorite prior to the elections in April. With some polls showing Zehut getting as much as 9 Knesset seats, Feiglin was expected to get a senior ministerial post. Yet despite the polls, Zehut failed to cross the electoral threshold and earned only 2.5% of the total vote.

UN Extends Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission

The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Leb-


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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most recent change occurring after the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Following a 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah, UNIFIL’s mission was amended to preventing Hezbollah from rebuilding its positions on the border with Israel. UNIFIL has come under frequent criticism from Israel ever since for not doing enough to prevent Hezbollah’s massive military buildup. Israeli Foreign Ministry officials have launched numerous complaints with the UN in recent years regarding the peacekeeping force’s refusal to take any meaningful action against the Iranian-backed militia. The recent resolution comes as tensions between the two countries are at its peak after Israel allegedly bombed a Hezbollah weapons shipment in Beirut last week. On Saturday evening, two drones attacked targets next to Hezbollah’s PR headquarters in Beirut. While Israel has not officially taken responsibility for the strike, numerous reports said that the IDF had targeted a crucial component Hezbollah needs for its long-range missile program. In the resolution, the UN Security Council called on both Israel and Lebanon to decrease tensions, saying

anon for another year. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, is tasked with preventing escalations along the Israeli-Lebanese border and ensuring that the Hezbollah terror group does not rearm. The resolution was passed unanimously on Thursday by the 15-nation body, which used the opportunity to call for Lebanon and Israel to work together to avoid future war. The decision, which was sponsored by France, enables the 10,000 UN troops to remain in Lebanon until August 2020. The resolution also agreed to probe UNIFIL’s effectiveness following Israeli complaints that Hezbollah’s refusal to cooperate with the group “continues to significantly hinder the full and effective implementation.” UNIFIL was first established in 1978 to ensure that Israel acceded to two separate UN Security Council resolutions that called on the Jewish State to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. The IDF had invaded Southern Lebanon a few weeks earlier in order to take action against Palestinian terror groups. Since then, UNIFIL has had its mandate adjusted twice, with the

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that “violations of the cessation of hostilities could lead to a new conflict that none of the parties or the region can afford.” The Security Council added that it “condemns all violations of the Blue Line, both by air and ground, and strongly calls upon all parties to respect the cessation of hostilities.”

World’s “Least Visited Country” Recognizes Jerusalem

The Republic of Nauru, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, has announced that it recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “The Mission of Nauru has the honor to convey the decision of the Government of the Republic of Nauru to formally recognize the City of Jerusalem as the Capital City of the State of Israel,” read the letter the country send to Israel’s UN Mission. Nauru will now begin searching for a location in Jerusalem to move its embassy, joining the United States and Guatemala as the only other countries that have transferred their mission to Israel’s capital. Israel Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz thanked the island nation, tweeting, “I commend Nauru’s important decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” He added, “After President Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem, other countries are taking this important step. We will continue to strengthen Jerusalem’s diplomatic status. We will continue to work to bring more countries to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and bring about the opening of more diplomatic missions and embassies and in our capital.” The Palestinian Authority (PA) harshly condemned the Republic of Nauru for recognizing Jerusalem of Israel’s capital. “The Palestinian leadership…unequivocally

condemns Nauru’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘capital’ and considers it an extension of its shameful voting record at the United Nations on the Question of Palestine,” said senior PA member Hanin Ashrawi. Located near Micronesia, the tiny Republic of Nauru has a population of only 12,000 people and is often thought of as the world’s least-visited country. However, the far-flung nation has strong ties with Israel, with the president of Nauru visiting Israel in June 2017 and meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. “Nauru is one of Israel’s most dedicated friends in the world. It regularly supports Israel in the UN, despite the pressure exerted on it by Arab countries,” Prime Minister Netanyahu had told Nauru’s President Baron Divavesi Waqa.

Rod Rosenstein Blasts James Comey

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blasted former FBI Director James Comey after a recent Justice Department inspector general report highlighted Comey’s improper behavior while heading the FBI. Comey was heavily criticized in the report for ignoring standard protocol and procedures regarding the FBI probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Among other things, the 83-page report blasted Comey for leaking memos he made documenting conversations he had with President Donald Trump in order to besmirch the president.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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“Department policy states that employees may not, without agency permission, remove records from the Department – either during or after employment,” the inspector general’s report said. “The FBI policies are no different. “What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.” Following the report, Rosenstein tweeted a copy of a letter he wrote in 2018 urging lawmakers and public servants to always “keep to established policies and procedures.” While Rosenstein, who served as Deputy Attorney General when Comey was FBI director, didn’t mention Comey by name, the tweet was widely seen as a jab at Comey who, the report said, had repeatedly violated protocols. Rosenstein also hit back at Comey’s claims that the circumstances he was in forced him to document and leak his meetings with Trump. “It may seem tempting to depart from Department policies and traditions in an effort to deflect short-term criticism, but such deviations ultimately may cause a loss of public confidence in the

even-handed administration of justice,” Rosenstein noted. “We should be most on guard when we believe that our own uncomfortable present circumstances justify ignoring timeless principles respected by our predecessors.” Comey had justified the leaked memos by saying that he did it to force the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.

Trump’s Personal Assistant Resigns

Madeleine Westerhout, who had served as a personal assistant to President Donald Trump since he was sworn into office, abruptly resigned last week. According to reports, Westerhout was forced out from the White House

after sharing personal details regarding Trump’s family with journalists during a dinner at a New Jersey hotel. Westerhout had been staying at the hotel together with a slew of journalists tasked with covering the president while he vacationed in Bergenfield. Trump later learned about Westerhout’s remarks from other journalists who were present and immediately ordered her barred from the White House grounds. A senior official in the Trump administration told CNN that while the two were considered close, “sharing details about the first family crosses a red line.” Westerhout had previously worked as a staffer in Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and joined the Republican National Committee shortly after the election. Her proximity to longtime Trump adversary Mitt Romney caused the president to keep his distance from her at first due to doubts about her political loyalties, yet she quickly earned the president’s trust and became one of the closest people to Trump in the White House. Westerhout was commonly tasked with escorting members of the transition team to Trump Tower in Manhattan and was often seen at the president’s side. “While Madeleine Westerhout has a fully enforceable confidentiality agreement, she is a very good person and I don’t think there would ever be reason to use it,” President Trump said in a tweet on Saturday morning. “She...had a bad night,” Trump wrote. “I fully understood and forgave her!” The president did acknowledge that what she told reporters was “a little bit hurtful.”

Yet a new study presumes to have found the real culprit: fast food. In the study, University of Alabama researchers measured the sodium and potassium levels in the urine levels of 84 teens. The urine samples were then retested a year and a half later. After analyzing the data, researchers found a positive link between high sodium and low potassium levels in the body and depressive thoughts among the middle schoolers. With fast-food consumption among teens consistently high, researchers point to the sodium-rich food commonly sold at chain restaurants across the U.S. as the cause for America’s depression problem. “High sodium – you’ve got to think of highly processed food,” said Sylvie Mrug, a psychologist who co-authored the study. “This includes fast food, frozen meals and unhealthy snacks.” “The study findings make sense, as potassium-rich foods are healthy foods,” added dietitian Lisa Drayer. “So, if adolescents include more potassium-rich foods in their diet, they will likely have more energy and feel better overall – which can lead to a better sense of well-being and improved mental health.” Beet greens, salmon, avocado, potatoes, milk, bananas and tomatoes are all foods that are high in potassium.

7 Dead in Texas Mass Shooting

Is Fast Food Causing Teen Depression?

Many factors have been cited for the rising rates of depression in teens. Social media addiction, the pressure at school, and broken families have all in turn taken the blame for the 500% increase in teen depression since 2005.

At least seven people were killed and another 22 were injured after a traffic stop in central Texas deteriorated into America’s latest mass shooting. Police said that the rampage began after 36-year-old Seth Ator was pulled over in what was a routine traffic stop. Ator then drew an AR-15 style rifle he had with him and opened fire on the patrol car before fleeing in his Gold Honda, setting off a high-speed chase. During the pursuit, Ator fired dozens of rounds through his window at nearby pedestrians before hijacking


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The shooting occurred on a day in which 10 new gun laws took effect in Texas that dramatically loosened firearm regulations. Among the new measures are laws permitting concealed carry on school grounds, apartments, and places of worship. According to the AP/USATODAY/ Northeastern University mass murder database, this shooting is the 25th shooting of the year. In contrast, 2018 had a total of 25 shootings. The number of people killed this year has already reached 142, surpassing the 140 people who were killed all of last year. The database tracks homicides where four or more people are killed, not including the offender.

Will NYC “Desegregate” Elite Public Schools?

a U.S. Postal Service truck. Ator led police to nearby Odessa, a small city about 20 miles away, where he was killed in a shootout in front of a movie theater. Ator had been fired from his job as a truck driver earlier in the day and had been arrested twice before for misdemeanor offenses. He had called the FBI’s tip line after being fired from his job in the oil services industry and made “rambling statements about

some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through.” “He was on a long spiral of going down,” FBI special agent Christopher Combs said. “He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble.” Ator was pulled over 15 minutes after making the call to the FBI by a Texas state trooper who was unaware of the calls to authorities.

Those wounded included a 17-month-old girl and three police officers. The seven who were killed in the carnage were between the ages of 15 and 57. Among the dead were Edwin Peregrino, 25, who ran out of his parents’ home to see what the commotion was; mail carrier Mary Granados, 29, slain in her U.S. Postal Service truck; and 15-year-old high school student Leilah Hernandez, who was walking out of an auto dealership.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is currently debating whether to adopt a plan that would drastically change admission policies for the city’s elite public schools in order to accept more minorities. For years, minority activists have criticized New York City’s elite and gifted public school programs for the disproportionate representation of Asian and white students. Despite making up only 16% of the city’s total population, Asians constitute more than 75% of the student body of New York’s top high schools, which are often a gateway to top Ivy League universities. Conversely, African-American and Hispanic students make up only 11% of the schools’ student bodies despite accounting for 70% of New York City’s total population. The disparity has led to charges that the city is effectively implementing segregationist policies by leaving African-Americans to languish in second tier schools. Now, a recent task force commissioned by the city to study the issue has released its dramatic recommendations: Gut the high academic standards required for acceptance in favor


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of a more inclusive model that would effectively end these said schools’ elite status. “Exclusionary admissions models often unfairly sort students by their resources rather than interests and opportunities for developing their interests and abilities,” wrote the Executive Committee of the School Diversity Action Group. “They also miss the benefits of classrooms that are more diverse and allow more individualized education to students who are advanced learners. “We recommend eliminating exclusionary screens, replacing those programs with pro-integrative programs used in many school districts across the country to affirmatively attract students of all backgrounds and make sure that all students are challenged.” The recommendations puts Mayor de Blasio in a tough spot. A politician with strong progressive bona fides, implementing the recommendations would make him the enemy of the city’s upper crust families whose children often attend the elite schools. Changing the entrance requirements would also likely cause many New Yorkers to move to the suburbs in search of better school choices, tak-

ing their tax dollars with them. Additionally, opponents of the recommendations note that the students in these elite schools – regardless of race or ethnicity – have studied harder and dedicated themselves to getting good grades in order to get into these schools. If grades are not a way to judge who should be accepted to top schools, should the color of one’s skin be the main criteria? As the city waits for the mayor to decide whether to accept the study group’s recommendations, the conversation has turned to how to give children from a low socio-economic background a leg up. The debate has pitted proponents of such programs who claim that the students have earned their place there against minority activists who say that running an alternative program for gifted children amounts to segregation. “It opens up a very important conversation that needs to be national,” Sally Krisel told The New York Times. The president of the National Association for Gifted Children, Krisel said that the current debate roiling New York City is “a great opportunity for educators and parents to reflect… Are we doing the best we can for all of our children?”

Devastating Boat Fire in CA

Thirty-three people signed up to spend what promised to be a glorious Labor Day weekend aboard the Conception, a 75-foot boat that offered a scuba diver’s dream: unlimited diving among colorful underwater sea life, with gourmet meals served between dives. But on Monday, the ship caught fire  off California’s Santa Cruz Island. At least 20 people died, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. “This is probably the worst-case scenario you can possibly have,” Brown said. “You have a vessel that’s on the open sea, that is in the middle of the night. I mean, it’s 3:30 in the morning.” Of the 39 people on board – 33 passengers and six crew – only five people have been found alive. The five survivors are all crew members. A day after the inferno, about 14 people were still missing, Brown said. On Tuesday, search crews made the grim transition from a rescue mission to a recovery operation. Questions abound over why the boat caught fire and whether lives could have been saved. A mayday call reveals the tension between a Coast Guard dispatcher and the Conception’s captain. But only the dispatcher’s words could be heard. The captain apparently reports a fire and provides a location. The dispatcher is heard saying, “And there’s 33 people on board the vessel that’s on fire, they can’t get off? ... Roger, are they locked inside the boat? ... Roger, can you get back on board and unlock the boat, unlock the door so they can get off? ... Roger, you don’t have any firefighting gear at all? No fire extinguishers or anything?” Later in the conversation, the dispatcher asks, “Was that all the crew that jumped off? ... Roger, is the vessel fully engulfed right now ... Roger, and there’s no escape hatch for any of the people on board?”

At one point, the caller says, “I can’t breathe.” Ventura County firefighters were able to reach the boat within 15 minutes, the fire department said. But by then, it was engulfed in flames. Firefighters struggled to extinguish the fire because each time it was snuffed out, flames flared back up – perhaps because of the fuel on board, the Coast Guard’s Aaron Bemis said. By 7:20 a.m., the ship began to sink in 64 feet of water. The boat had burned down to the water line, Santa Barbara County fire spokesman Mike Eliason said. Many of the passengers were below deck, most likely sound asleep when the fire broke out.

Measles Outbreak Over

A measles outbreak in New York City is over, according to health officials this week, which means that an emergency order mandating measles vaccines will be lifted. The officials said two incubation periods since the last reported cases have passed without any new infections. But City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot cautioned that there’s still a threat from “one of the most contagious diseases on the face of the earth” and urged New Yorkers to still get their children immunized before the start of the new school year. “Staying up-to-date on vaccines is the best way for people to protect the health and safety of their friends, family and neighbors,” Barbot noted. The city has seen 654 cases of measles – the most in 30 years – since an outbreak mostly concentrated in Boro Park and Williamsburg began in October 2018. That prompted an emergency order mandating that nearly everyone in those neighborhoods get vaccinated or face possible fines. In June, state lawmakers revoked


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PicksWise, a free sports betting site, is looking for a dedicated NFL fan with delicate taste buds and a bottomless stomach.

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a religious exemption for mandatory school vaccinations amid the nation’s worst measles outbreak since 1992. More than 26,000 children in public and private schools and day care centers had previously gone unvaccinated for religious reasons, according to the state Health Department. New York became the fourth state, along with California, Missis-

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sippi and West Virginia, to eliminate religious and personal-belief exemptions for vaccines. All states allow medical exemptions. More than 1,200 cases of measles have been confirmed in 30 states this year with more than three-quarters of them linked to outbreaks in New York and New York City, the Centers for Disease Control reported.

Dream Job Love football? Love nachos? And hot dogs? And burgers? And fries? This job may be for you.

“The job description includes travelling to NFL stadiums to taste the finest tacos, nachos, burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches the league has to offer,” Pickswise’s announcement reads, combining the terms “NFL” and “finest tacos” for the first time in human history. In addition to travel tickets to each NFL game and a food budget, PicksWise will also throw in $500 – perhaps to purchase Tums and Mylanta after chowing down on all that grub. The lucky (?) taster will decide which football franchise offers the best food in the league. Considering that the Chicago Bears offers the Midway Monster (bacon, corned beef, hotdog, and onions piled onto a pretzel bun); the Cleveland Browns sells French fries with a topping of a fried egg, diced pancetta, mozzarella cheese, whole grain mustard, and brown peppercorn gravy; and the Minnesota Vikings has the purple grip (purple tinged buttermilk pancakes filled with tater tots, chives, sausage links, and bacon cream gravy) on the menu, I’d say a stomach made of steel is the only requirement for this position. Pass the Pepto Bismol, please.

When the Student Becomes the Teacher

Max Sylvester is a really fast learner. He landed a plane on his own during his first flight lesson after his flying instructor passed out midflight.


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Halfway through the lesson, Sylvester’s teacher slumped over, unconscious. Sylvester didn’t panic, though. He called an air traffic operator who coached him through an emergency landing. “Do you know how to operate the airplane?” the operator on the ground asked Sylvester. “This is my first lesson,” Sylvester replied. The newbie pilot calmly guided the plane to landing, even joking with the operator, “Well, my flight instructor did say I was the best student he’d had.” Eventually, after nearly an hour, Sylvester safely landed the two-seater Cessna aircraft at Jandakot Airport in western Australia. His instructor was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition. Sylvester later told ABC that being a diligent student saved his life. “I am just a student pilot doing what we’ve been trained to do,” he said. “What kept me alive was my study. That definitely saved me,” he added. “If I hadn’t have studied, we wouldn’t be here – it is as simple as that.” See, kids, I told you doing your homework could be lifesaving.

5 T F R

Hopping Pizza

The Canyon Hopper pizza at Evel Pie eatery in Las Vegas has the standard sauce and cheese as toppings. But there’s an extra ingredient on the pie that has people swarming to the restaurant: grasshoppers. The Canyon Hopper is an ode to Evel Knievel, the daredevil known for his adventurous spirit and death-defying stunts. Topping a base of baked goat cheese, caramelized onions and chorizo is arugula and a few healthy sprinkles of roasted grasshoppers seasoned with lime and garlic. The owners order the grasshoppers from Amazon Prime. They arrived in bags from Oaxaca, a Mexican city known for grasshoppers, or “chapulines.” People have been swarming to the pizzeria for a taste of insects on their pizza. “We literally thought it was go-

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ing to be three slices a day,” said Corey Horan, Evel Pie’s general manager. “We thought it was a good joke, a good time – maybe we’d get a couple people to try it. We didn’t anticipate this.”  A slice of the creative pizza sets patrons back a whopping $5.50. The endeavor started with a few 4-ounce bags of bugs. But soon after the Canyon Hopper hit the menu, the kitchen ran out of grasshoppers.  “We had to scramble and go all around the city. Went to Ethiopian markets, Thai markets,” Branden Powers, managing partner and creator of the pie, said. Sorry, Branden, I’m going to stay far away. The thought of something with little wings and legs on my pizza bugs me out.

A Short-lived Jailbreak More than 270 inmates – including convicted murderers – who bolted from a prison that had been torched during violent riots in Indonesia’s Papua region returned to finish their sentences. These model prisoners also helped to build a temporary office for

their jailers, after parts of the building went up in flames.

About half the prison’s 500 inmates fled as protesters outside set the jail and other buildings ablaze. “But they weren’t trying to escape – they just wanted to save themselves from the fire,” prison spokesman Elly Yuzar said. In Sorong, search teams had fanned out across the city of some 220,000 in a bid to find the escaped prisoners or contact their families, Yuzar said, adding that a dozen were still on the run. But why would anyone return to prison in a country with notoriously overcrowded and unsanitary jails? “We’ve always treated them well and they knew that running away was not a solution – it would only make things worse,” Yuzar said. “I really appreciate their willingness to come back to prison.” Sounds like they had better return – or else.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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465 staterooms have verandas. But eight months at sea could be boring if passengers aren’t entertained. And so, the ship is equipped with a Nordic-inspired spa, a swimming pool, a panoramic Explorers’ Lounge, carefully curated libraries, and a theater featuring world-class performances. Viking execs say that the cruise is for the “thinking person.”

For instance, guests can take in world-class guest lectures from experts, including “everyone from authors and archaeologists to former diplomats and news correspondents.” There are also resident historians and TED Talk screenings. What you won’t find onboard the cruise are casinos or children. The cruise is limited to passengers older than 18 years of age. Sounds like they run a tight ship.

Oodles of Noodles

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245 Days at Sea You’ll either love it – or hate it. Viking Cruises recently launched its “Ultimate World Cruise,” a 245day luxury journey aimed at setting the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous passenger cruise. The 930-guest Viking Sun set sail from London’s Greenwich Pier on Au-

gust 31. Circumnavigating the globe, it will hit six continents, 51 countries, and 111 ports along the way. The eight-month trip, which will end in London, includes stops in Scandinavia, the Caribbean, and destinations throughout South America. Then, the ship will continue on to the islands of the South Pacific, followed by Australia and Asia before it returns to the Mediterranean and Europe.

Along the way, passengers will stay overnight in 23 cities. Being on the water for almost a year is not cheap. Fares start from $92,990 per person, which includes business class airfare, meals, and a free excursion in each port of call. Built in 2017, the Viking Sun is 745-feet in length and offers 10 fine dining venues, including several specialty and alfresco options. All of its

An egg noodle measuring 602 feet, 9 inches long has broken the Guinness World Record. Japanese chef Hiroshi Kuroda said he soaked the noodle  in sesame oil to prevent breakage and then applied pressure while it was in a wok to elongate the single piece of pasta. The chef tossed the noodle for nearly an hour before his assistants used ice to cool it and then stretched it out to measure it. “I was frequently asked by customers how long or thin the noodles can be. Those inquiries led me to the idea of measuring noodles. And I realized Guinness World Records manage that type of records also, which led me to attempting some of the records myself,” Kuroda said. The noodle ended up setting the Guinness record at 602 feet, 9 inches – longer than the Washington Monument is tall. Now all we need is a huge bowl of chicken soup.


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The Camp Scholarship Fund was started in our local community five years ago by two siblings Channa Shira Ryback and Shmaryahu Ryback The Camp Scholarship Fund has grown larger each year, and is proud to say that they have helped send 70 kids to camp this past summer! A child without guidance or a positive daily schedule in the summer can succumb to a negative environment and be ruined. That’s why camp is so important. Camp is a necessity, not a luxury!

the world is built on kindness

‫עולם‬ ‫חסד‬ ‫יבנה‬

This organization’s goal is twofold; we encourage children to participate in many different interactive activities such as Color Runs, Tehilim-A-Thons, Bake Sales, SwimA-Thons, Purim collectors and through collecting Tzadaka boxes when they are filled in our local stores. The children that get involved in this chessed are as hands-on as they want to be. As a result, the children are able to feel the beauty of the mitzvah of helping their peers go to camp in the summer. The feeling of accomplishment the children achieve from these positive experiences—by working together in achdus with their friends and with the Camp Scholarship Fund family—is indescribable!! There are no salaries taken, and all monies raised go directly to kids for summer camp!

Schools that have participated and received scholarships for their students: BYAM • Darchei • HAFTR • HALB Shulamith • Siach Yitzchock South Shore • TAG • Yeshiva Ketana

We would like to thank the many volunteers and supporters who have given their time:

Purim Collectors

Bake Sale

Color Run

Tehillim-A-Thon

Essie Abitan • Devorah Alyeshmerni • Tova Ben Ami • Yaakov and Michal Avigdor • Rebetzen Rookie Billet • Rayzee Brecher (Kutner) • Rachelli Brecher • Chava Cohen • Dina Cohen • Tamar Davies • Ariella Eisenberger • Ariella Eisig • Sari Feuer • Ruthie Fliegelman • Atara Friedman • Morah Futersak • Aliza • Frisch Shira Futersak • Gourmet Glatt • Avigail Goldberg • Hennie Goldman • Dr. Evelyn Gross • Michali Guberman • Blimi Guttman • Esther Heller (Goldstein) • Dani Hershkowitz • Talia Hirsch • Chaya Jacobowitz • Rivka Jacobowitz • Aliza Jaffe • Elisheva Jaffe • DJ Jon Janashvili • Mrs. Breindy Judowitz • Morah Kadosh • Dany Kay • Shira Keilson • Avi Khaitov • Racheli Kirschner • Morah Krasnow • Rabbi Lefkowitz • Even Leibowitz • Illana Lesser • Miri Lovett • Dora Lowinger • Tamar Mann • DJ Yehuda Mehlman • Matis and Bobshie Manela • Pessi Manela • Talia Mendlowitz • Kayla Mezzie • Dovid and Rochel Rena Moskowitz • Fayfay Moskowitz • Raizy Moskowitz • Rephael Avi Moskowitz • Naftali Muller • Esty Munk • Yaeli Mushell • Shana Oratz • Shua Osina • Debbie Perl • Tzvi Plamer • Yitzchak Yehuda Platschek • Dovid Ratner • Dr. Reisbaum • Esti Roth • Simi Roth • Meir and Miriam Roth • Bella Rubin • Emma Rubin • Abie Ryback • Moshe and Janice Ryback • Ruchama Ryback • Tzippora Ryback • Esther Sabo • Ettie Scharf •Alyssa Schechter • Tova Schick • Yossi and Shira Silverstein • Ariella Singer • Rochel Steiner • Shira Stern • DJ Yehuda Stern • Rebecca Stevens • Leanne Taylor • Sheva Usher • Rachelli Wasser • Mari Weissman • Rabbi Weitman • Elisheva Wolf • Mali Wolfson • Hodaya Yehuday • Mrs. Yarmak • Rachel Yudin • Rabbi Yosef Zakutinsky • Miri Zand • Eli Zidele

Get Involved! Sponsor a local Jewish child to go to camp Please mail a check written to LIFE to 449 Bayview Ave • Cedarhurst NY 11516  $650 sends a child to camp for 2 weeks   $2200 sends a child to camp for the full summer

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Around the

Community CAHAL Anticipates New Classes and Record Enrollment for September 2019

A

fter 27 years of providing outstanding education to hundreds of Jewish children in our community yeshivas, CAHAL is anticipating the 2019-2020 school year with the largest enrollment and number of classes in its history. The eleven yeshivas that participate in the program refer families to CAHAL for their children who need smaller classes and more individualized attention to build skills and self-confidence, with the goal of having the children return to mainstream classes. The children attend the same school as their siblings, friends and neighbors and are integrated for all daily activities including lunch, recess, specials, assemblies, trips and more. The CAHAL classes, many of which are filled to a capacity of 12 children, with a 4-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, are taught by dedicated and experienced rebbeim and state certified teachers who address the learning styles and individual needs of each student. Program Director Naomi Nadata, Educational  Coordinator Alice Fel-

theimer, School Psychologist Dr. Suri Weinreb, Hebrew Curriculum Coordinator Rabbi Moishe Waxman and Kriah Specialist Shaindy Haglili continue through the summer preparing the materials and research-based programs needed for CAHAL’s teachers to be able to ensure success for all their students. And it shows. Demand for our specialized education program has never been higher. CAHAL continues to do what the menahalim and principals requested 28 years ago: educate the children with learning challenges in our community while keeping them in the local yeshivas. The experienced and caring CAHAL teachers make it all happen. The eleven community yeshivas that participate in the CAHAL Program are: BBY, BYAM, HAFTR. HALB, HANC, MAY, Shulamith, TAG, YDT, YKLI, and YOSS. For more information about the CAHAL program and donating to this great community organization, contact Shira at shira@cahal.org or call (516) 295-3666 or visit WWW.CAHAL.ORG.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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Around the Community

Consortium of Jewish Day Schools Organizes Professional Development for Local Yeshivot

B

ack to school professional development for teachers took a new turn this year in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns with a coordinated effort by the Consortium of Jewish Day Schools to bring Responsibility Centered Discipline (RCD) to our local yeshivot. Both HALB and TAG hosted RCD creator Larry Thompson and opened their doors to teachers and administrators from Yeshiva Darchei Torah, HANC, Bnos Bais Yaakov, and Cheder Chabad of Long Island. TAG Principal Temima Feldman said, “Mr. Thompson was able to keep the faculty engaged in a meaningful and productive way. The feedback we received from the staff was that they felt his material was practical and implementable and we look forward to putting it into practice.” She added, “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide our staff with high quality and meaningful programming which will in turn have a positive impact on well over 1,000 students.” HALB Head of School Rabbi Adam Englander echoed her sentiments, “It was an awesome day with Larry. It was no surprise; he was amazing!” Over the past decade, the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program has produced remarkable results of improved school culture as it has been implemented across

North America. As schools drive toward improving academic results, educators have become far more purposeful in enhancing curriculum, refining assessment and enriching instruction. But without improving classroom management, all of these other efforts will ultimately fall short of expectations. Educators understand that behavior and effort are often impacted by the relationships they have built with students. When emotions escalate, those relationships are tested — and often damaged. ResponsibilityCentered Discipline helps educators to be prepared when situations come

to a boil. By empowering educators to become masters of challenging moments, RCD schools typically see a significant improvement not only in behavior management, but also in school climate, student and teacher satisfaction – and ultimately academic success. Larry Thompson, M.Ed., author of Roadmap to Responsibility and Give ‘em Five, is often called upon to deliver keynote presentations for state and national education conferences because of his knowledge, humor, and passion for assisting today’s students. He has helped thousands of educators and schools throughout

North America to break away from their traditional discipline models to a model that creates a responsible climate and responsible students. Larry has served in a wide variety of roles in education – from special education teacher to alternative and traditional high school principal. As the creator of the Responsibility-Centered Discipline program, Larry understands that systems must be created that can be realistically implemented and sustained. The Consortium of Jewish Day Schools (CoJDS) is dedicated to the empowerment, development, and improvement of Jewish day schools across North America promoting best practices and using traditional Torah values as our guide. They are the creators of the L’havin Ulhaskil Chumash curriculum used by nearly 200 schools across the globe and the one-of-a-kind 5th and 8th grade assessment JSAT. CoJDS Chairman Rabbi Heshy Glass stated, “COJDS is proud to partner with over 200 Jewish Day Schools in North America by having a close working relationship with the school leadership. Providing quality speakers like Larry Thompson for professional development allows us the ability to customize the program for the needs of the school.” For more information please visit cojds.org.


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Local Officials Speak Up for Private Schools

I

n the face of an offensive overreach by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED), which could dramatically and adversely alter the curricula of private schools at the hands of local public school superintendents, several public officials stood with private school educators at the Mesivta Ateres Yaakov High School in Lawrence last week kto fight for the freedom of choice of parents when it comes to primary and secondary education. In fact, the New York State Education Department has announced its plan to dramatically expand its authority over private schools by implementing a set of regulations, euphemistically entitled “Substantially Equivalent Instruction for Nonpublic School Students.” Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, State Assemblyman Ed Ra and State Assemblywoman Missy Miller, joined by Cedarhurst Village Mayor Benjamin Weinstock and private school educators, urged parents of private school students, education advocates and defenders of free choice to register their strong objections during a NYSED public comment period, which ends on September 2, 2019. “The actions of the New York State Education Department are an insult to the hard-working men and women who spend their savings to exercise free choice in selecting private education for their children,” stated Clavin, who graduated from a private Catholic high school. “The Department is undertaking an unreasonable and unwarranted power grab, seeking to expand its authority over respected private educational institutions. This is a slippery slope, and once our private schools are subjected to the total control of area public school superintendents, dramatic changes to curricula and programs may be imposed with little recourse for the private institutions. It’s time for parents and defenders of free choice to speak up against this overreach.” Under the initiative, the State Education Commissioner and the State Education Department would delegate its responsibility and expand its authority with respect to oversight of primary and secondary private

schools across the state. Indeed, overwhelming power would be placed in the hands of almost a thousand local school superintendents, subjecting private schools to intrusive oversight and interference in their educational mission and curricula. What’s more, expanding the authority of NYSED through local school districts will subject private institutions to varying and inconsistent policy decisions depending on the educational perspective, priorities and philosophy of almost 1,000 distinct and individual school district managers across New York. “I oppose the New York State Department of Education’s efforts to expand its authority over private schools,” Councilman Blakeman said. “The state’s attempt to exert more power over private schools is unwarranted and unacceptable. The Town of Hempstead is home to some of the finest private school options for families, and I stand with parents who have the freedom to choose which education is best for their children and families.” “As a graduate of Chaminade High School, a highly regarded private educational institution, I take offense to this unprecedented power grab by the New York State Education Commissioner and the Department,” announced Councilman D’Esposito. “The academic performance of private schools, acceptance rates to colleges and every other indicator of educational performance demonstrate that private educational institutions

are succeeding in their mission of providing the highest quality education. There is little basis for this action, and I view the new regulations as having the potential to destroy the curricula and individual identities of private schools.” Parents and guardians of children enrolled in private schools have expressed outrage that grades, competencies, graduation rates, among other performance indicators, are not required to be taken into account with respect to the newly imposed oversight provisions. Wholesale changes to course offerings and rigid hours of operation may fail to consider issues such as religious observances, the academic missions and the educational philosophies of many private schools. In fact, champions of educational freedom feel that the entire imperative of educational choice and freedom is under assault. “I support Don Clavin, Bruce Blakeman and Anthony D’Esposito’s efforts to keep the state from unreasonably interfering with religious education,” said Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky of Yeshiva of South Shore. The officials also questioned the potential impact on taxpayers related to administering the proposed regulations. NYSED indicates that there will be no increased costs associated with the program despite the extensive reporting and record retention requirements associated with the initiative. Local public school districts will certainly incur costs in the areas

of clerical, administrative, record retention and supplies and materials. Clavin, Blakeman, D’Esposito, Ra and Miller called the proposal one more unfunded mandate from Albany’s bureaucracy. “Private education was an important part of my upbringing and helped to shape my philosophy and perspective on freedom of choice,” stated State Assemblyman Ra. “I believe in the value of diverse educational experiences and approaches. By this dramatic State Education Department expansion of authority, we will stifle individuality, freedom of choice and diverse educational and philosophical perspectives. This is the wrong approach to education in New York State.” “The state’s attempt to influence and control private education is ludicrous,” said State Assemblywoman Miller. “Alternatives to public education provide parents with the freedom to select the education that will work best for their children. Education works on a case-by-case basis, what works for one student may not work for all of the others and vice versa. Freedom in educational choice is necessary to deliver quality education to our residents and our children.” “Parents have freedom of choice when it comes to their children’s education, and we must protect that by halting the state’s attempt to exercise more power over private schools generally, and faithbased educational institutions specifically,” said Cedarhurst Village Mayor Benjamin Weinstock. “We must not allow the Governor’s whim to abrogate religious freedom, which is a core Constitutional principle.” “As a local Receiver of Taxes, I am focused on the bottom line on behalf of taxpayers,” said Clavin. “This is just another unfunded government mandate that will wind up hitting taxpayers in the wallet.” The officials and private school educators emphasized that supporters of free choice in education can make their voices heard and potentially change the plans of the State’s Board of Regents, which will vote on the matter this fall.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Around the Community

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, rosh yeshiva, and Rabbi Avraham Robinson, menahel, greeting talmidim on the first day of school at Yeshiva of South Shore

_ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _

_TICS. _RATIONS. _ROSITY. _RALITY. _SIS.

We help pioneer, protect, preserve the

GENE. Mesivta Yam Hatorah Starts Strong

M

esivta Yam Hatorah started their school year off a little earlier than most. No, teachers and students were not called into the classroom earlier, but rather they were called together to enjoy a welcome back bar-b-que. This past Monday afternoon the start of another school year began. The gathering served as a great opportunity for the students to exchange stories and highlights of their summer break as well as meet some of the new faculty and fellow peers. As the students began to arrive the excitement for the upcoming year was palpable. Following the amazing barbeque, the students heard a warm welcoming message from the mena-

hel, Rabbi Gamliel LaBrie, who then proceeded to introduce the new staff members including Rabbi Tzachi Diamond, the new Director of Student Activities. Rabbi Diamond informed the students about some of the amazing ideas and program planned for this year. The boys were eager to sign up and get involved in the different opportunities available for them within these programs. Everyone participated in a fun icebreaker which helped everyone learn a little more about what their likes are (and how creative they can be). The students all went home with a special gift and an awesome feeling that already has this year feeling special.

GENEROSITY IS GENETIC. September 22-23 Learn more at charidy.com/dy

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48

SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s Elementary and Middle-School talmidim were welcomed on the first morning of school on Wednesday by lively music and the warm embrace of the Rosh HaYeshiva, Rav Yaakov Bender

Shira Superstars Sunday Program Returns

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amp Shira just wrapped up another great summer but campers were begging for more! Luckily, Shira Superstars is back for more Sunday fun yearround! Shira Superstars is a skillsbased program with adult instructors where participants register for the classes they want. Due to popular demand, the program is geared for girls from nursery to 4th grade and for boys from nursery to Pre1A. Every two grades is another age group to ensure that the specialties are targeted to each group and designed to build their skills. Every participant is able to choose the two classes they want to enroll in out of four options. Generally they can pick one movement class (like Zumba or Ballet) and one art class (like Food Art or Art). The boys enjoy a choice of Sports or Kosher Karate with Sensei Meir Breuer, a beloved local sensei. For their other class they can select Crafts or Food Crafts. The three girls’ divisions enjoy their own targeted options, such as the Theater class for 3rd-4th graders or the Gymnastics for kindergarten and Pre1A girls! The full program is 17 total Sundays long and the first semester is 9 weeks long consisting of 8 weeks

of classes and a bonus show week! This enables participants to select new class options for the second semester or to keep developing skills in their favorite classes. The program starts already on September 15th and nearly 100 children have already registered for the full 17week program! Space is limited and going fast! Each Sunday, the program runs from 10 am -12 pm and the participants enjoy the two classes they registered for and then lunch is

served. This fun program continues the camp fun year-round for girls and boys from across the Five Towns! Don’t miss out on your chance to join Shira Superstars – the program where every child is a star! For more information, email shirasuperstars@gmail.com or text 516456-8392. To register, go to campshirany.com/superstars.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Around the Community

Yachad Long Island Summer Series

MAJ & DEVEL BREAKTHR F $1.2 MILLI PR

S

tay-cation wasn’t too bad after all! Yachad Long Island provided a weekly “Summer Tuesday” series to provide entertainment, socialization and positivity for both high school students and Yachad members. Yachad-LI kicked off the summer with Sports Nite at FitWize in Cedarhurst. Attendees were engaged and enthusiastically participating while the FitWize staff led various different types of exercises and games. At the next Tuesday event, Yachad-LI arranged a MiniGolf and Batting Cages event right on Rockaway Tpke for all the Yachad members and peers. Everyone enjoyed the activities and delighted in delicious (and healthy) wraps from Qumbers for dinner. Continuing throughout the sum-

mer, Tuesdays were a blast at YachadLI with a spectacular bowling night at Woodmere Lanes, game night and a pizza making event at J2 Pizza, a yoga and fro-yo event at Peaceful Presence on Central Ave, and a series finale at the Pottery Event! The fall after school/Sunday semester begins this week with a karate night at Warren Levi Karate. Yachad-LI is dedicated to providing fun and fitting experiences to the attendees and aims to visit exciting venues at the most popular local attractions! Remember, everyone is invited because everyone belongs! Stay posted by following the Instagram @yachad_li. For more information about joining as a Yachad member or peer please email Meira Samet at sametM@ou.org.

R RESEARCH PMENT UGH R SMA TESTING N JECT

GENEROSITY IS GENETIC. September 22-23 Learn more at charidy.com/dy

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50

SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Beis Medrash talmidim of Yeshiva Darchei Torah on Project SEED this summer with community members in Boca Raton, Florida

SKA/DRS Faculty In-Service Day

F

aculty members of HALB’s Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls and the Davis Renov Stahler High School for Boys were privileged to hear from Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a well-known child physician and youth development expert, at their joint faculty in-service day held on Thursday, August 29. “Our society sends the message that it is our job to make sure our children are happy,” Dr. Gilboa said in her keynote address. “We cannot make someone happy if they are determined not to be.” In her engaging and illuminating presentation, Dr. Gilboa noted that religious people don’t escape from pressure. The Jewish world has always measured themselves by what they could learn, placing achievement as one of our top priorities.  However, we as parents and educators must keep talking about character; achievement will usually follow.

In addition to hearing from Dr. Gilboa in separate sessions about how to teach resilience to boys and girls, faculty members of both schools had time for self-facilitated reflection among themselves. The

teachers found Dr. Gilboa’s relatable stories and important suggestions to develop crucial life skills in high schoolers extremely helpful. To further the discussion, Dr. Gilboa will join the SKA/DRS com-

munity once again in December, presenting to HALB faculty members, parents and students so that we can continue creating a common language about anxiety and supporting our student population.

Rav Yehoshua Mishkovsky to Grace Dirshu World Siyum in Pinsk

T

he city of Pinsk in Belarus may seem a very unlikely place for a siyum haShas, but quietly out of the spotlight, a beautiful Torah community has sprouted forth from the ruins of Communism, and limud haTorah is thriving in Pinsk. A lot of the credit goes to Rav Moshe Fhima, rosh yeshiva of the Pinsk Yeshiva and its associated mosdos. Over the past decade, Rav Fhima has rekindled the pintele Yid, the light of Yiddishkeit in the hearts of thousands of Jews in Pinsk and its environs. He has built a yeshiva high school with an

excellent Jewish and secular curriculum; he has built a cheder for boys and girls and has, in general, transformed the community, not only making them observant but making Torah learning paramount in its ethos. Because of Rav Fhima, the members of the yeshiva and its alumni are very devoted to limud haTorah. One of the ways that Rav Fhima has accomplished this revolution is by connecting his community with Dirshu. Many of his bochurim and alumni participate in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program as well as the Kinyan

Torah program, Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi Gemara testing program. As the siyum approaches, Dirshu’s hanhala plans to both celebrate the Torah accomplishments of the Pinsk kehillah while encouraging even more young people to join the Daf HaYomi with the start of Masechta Brachos in the month of Teves. The hanhala of Dirshu has organized a large siyum in Pinsk that will be graced by Rav Yehoshua Mishkovsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Imrei Moshe of Yerushalayim. Yeshivas Imrei Moshe was opened at the behest

of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, and is part of the network of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, the network of yeshivos established by Rav Shteinman. Rav Yehoshua Mishkovsky is a son of Rav Chizkiyahu Mishkovsky, mashgiach of Yeshiva Orchos Torah. Rav Mishkovsky will spend two days with the kehillah in Pinsk. The Pinsk kehillah is waiting with great anticipation for the siyum and chizuk that Rav Mishkovsky will bring to the community as they join Klal Yisroel in the Dirshu World Siyum.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

The Power of a Story for HAFTR’s Faculty

I

n preparation for the 2019-2020 school year, the faculty of HAFTR’s Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School came together on Wednesday, August 28, for a day of Professional Development at the Sephardic Temple. The morning began with a d’var Torah by HAFTR’s new Rav Bet Sefer, Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum. The division principals then led lively discussions on The Power of Story, this year’s theme across all grades.  There is significant research which identifies a correlation between a student’s knowledge of family history and his/her grit and determination. It is with this in mind that the principals of each division facilitated topics on how the

power of story can inform the way teachers plan and prepare their classrooms and units of study. During Part One, faculty members shared their own stories of how they came to teaching, what brought

them to HAFTR, and moments in their lives that changed them in significant ways. Common threads were discovered and faculty members discussed how the personal storytelling experience made them feel more

connected to those around them. It was then time to tell HAFTR’s story in Part Two. Through pictures and narration, the story of how HAFTR came into being as the result of a merger be-

tween HILI and Hillel was brought to focus. Many HAFTR alumni who are now teachers shared memories of when they were students at HAFTR, HILI, and Hillel. Finally, the two parts of the morning merged in Part Three as  everyone came together to discuss how we will write HAFTR’s future together in a way that is driven by shared values and a respect for the history of our institution. At the end of the program, faculty members were overheard saying how much closer they felt to their colleagues.  One teacher said, “I felt like I had the best morning sitting amongst dear friends in HAFTR’s Living Room.”

Annual Young Israel of Long Beach Dinner

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he Young Israel of Long Beach held its annual dinner on August 25, 2019. The evening honored Haim & Erica Vinik who have played pivotal roles in the two primary institutions that are critical to a community – the shul and the school. Several years ago, Haim picked up the mantel of the “second minyan gabbai” from his mentor and friend Walter Wolff, z”l. Since that time, he expanded his role to include gabbai sheini on Shabbos and yom tov while becoming the point person for kiddushim and shalosh seudos. By virtue of his kind, sincere and sensitive personality he has attracted a large cadre of friends and acquaintances who gravitate towards him, thereby creating a strong bond and

circle of friendship that greatly enhances the spirit and comradery at

How are President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden alike? Page 105

the Young Israel. Similarly, Erica has served as an outstanding well-recognized teacher at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach in a career that spans several decades. Not only has Erica taught the subject matter to her students but more importantly she has given her charges the tools of leadership, pursuit of excellence, and motivation to succeed and overcome under all circumstances.

Joseph Langer, dinner chairman, opened up the program by welcoming the very well attended gathering. Rabbi Chaim Wakslak, Morah D’Asrah, was called upon to deliver words of greeting and share words of Torah. Rabbi Wakslak indicated that as Jews we never emphasize the here and now, immediate gratification in the absence of long-term goals or aspirations. However, there comes a time when yesterday’s tomorrow is today and as such much be acknowledged and appreciated. Rabbi Wakslak pointed out that all of the efforts expended by the Viniks over the years need to recognized now that they are leaving the community and fulfilling their lifelong dream of making aliyah. At this point each honoree was called upon to receive a token of appreciation and was afforded an opportunity to respond. Dinner committee members included Joseph Langer, Chair Rivka Bohan, Tara Spiess, Ilana Austin, Sami Shindelheim, Ilana Austin, Michele Brucker, and Esther Langer, journal editor.


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Around the Community

New Simcha Hall in Town

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ong Island has a new simcha hall, Ateres Sarah. Ateres Sarah is located at 322 Corona Avenue in Valley Stream. Ateres Sarah is under the direction of Rabbi Yair Hoffman, a well-known author and educator. Rabbi Hoffman has undertaken a tremendous chessed project in the Five Towns

and beyond – he arranges weddings for chassanim and kallahs in special circumstances. Rabbi Hoffman has made many weddings in many locations since he began this project, and now he has his own beautiful hall in the Valley Stream Jewish Center.

Ateres Sarah was named for Rabbi Hoffman’s mother, of blessed memory. Rabbi Hoffman credits his mother with teaching him to do chessed. Mrs. Hoffman, a”h, made many beautiful weddings and was an inspiration to many people.

Trendz Clothing for Teens

We welcome Ateres Sarah to our community. We wish Rabbi Hoffman much hatzlacha, and we look forward to celebrating with many families. To schedule a tour or reserve the hall, please call 516-849-6649 or e-mail yairhoffman2@gmail.com.

(Formerly Fitwize) 81 Columbia Ave, Cedarhurst NY

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rendz Clothing is the brainchild of a few local frum businessmen. With their many connections in the secular world of fashion they decided it was time to fill the need for beautiful and affordable modest clothing geared specifically to teen girls. Hiring top designers and using the highest quality materials, an entire season of both Shabbos and weekday clothing was created right here in the USA. A full line of clothing that will wow ALL is debuting in our factory sale on September 8, just in time for the yom tov season. Convenient day and night hours and helpful salesgirls will give everyone a chance to shop in a relaxed environment.  Carrying sizes XXS to XL, with many different current and unique styles, we cater to every single teen. Our very reasonable prices – nothing is over $75 – will allow you to buy an entire season of clothing without the usual guilt!   Our Far Rockaway/Five Towns location is at 525 Jarvis Avenue in Far Rockaway.  We are open: Sunday 1012 and 3-5, Monday- Thursday 7-9 PM, Friday 12:30-2:30. Please call (718) 406-1577 for an appointment at any other time.   Lakewood location: 199 Main Street. We are open: Sunday 11-6, Monday and Wednesday 1-8, Tuesday and Thursday 11-5, and Friday 11-1.  Monsey Location: 2 Renfrew Road. We are open: Sunday 2-5, Monday- Thursday 8-10 PM. Morning hours by appointment only. Please call (917) 406-2767.  You can also shop from home at www.trendzteen.com. Check us out on Instagram @trendz_teen for more!  

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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SKA’s Class of 2019 Says Goodbye

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igh school may be over for the recent graduates of the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls but they’ll always be a part of the SKA community! The SKA Class of 2019 gathered at the home of Mrs. Elisheva Kaminetsky, principal, Judaic Studies, on Wednesday, August 28. The evening’s event was an opportunity for the alumnae to be together one last time before they moved on to the next chapter of their lives, whether going to seminary in Israel or attending college.   Joined by SKA’s 12th Grade Level Advisors Mrs. Paghit Ralbag and Mrs. Avital Braun, Mrs. Kaminetsky

welcomed the former students and spoke of understanding what makes

moments memorable and how to look for those moments.

The evening was a wonderful send-off for the new year.

Over 6,000 Students Partake in a Bnei Akiva Summer Experience

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ince the first Moshava Bnei Akiva camp opened its doors in the 1930s, the Machanot Moshava and Bnei Akiva summer programming have been servicing thousands of youth across the U.S.

and Canada every summer, in addition to Bnei Akiva’s year-round programming reaching thousands of chanichim (students) across tens of communities each year. This past summer held a record breaking

6,000+ campers and 9,000 if you include staff! The five Bnei Akiva sleepaway camps also referred to as the Moshavot are strategically found across the country with two on the East Coast. Moshava IO (Indian Orchard) enjoying 50 years at its current location in Honesdale, PA, (plus another 30+ before that) conveniently located near the tri-state area, and Camp Moshevet Stone celebrating its 50th year in Sugar Grove, PA, located near Northeastern cities such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Further Midwest is Moshava Wild Rose celebrating 80 summers and on the West Coast, Moshava Alevy. In Canada, Moshava Ennismore in Ontario has proudly been servicing chanichim from across Canada and the U.S. for 60 years. Though each camp has its own flavor and character and each prides itself on its unique programming, they all share the same Bnei Akiva values of Torah v’avodah – providing campers with a unique experi-

ential and immersive program developing a deep appreciation for Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael. Each camp has an intricately developed chinuch program which gets strategically interwoven into many aspects of camp. With the rich history and success of the sleepaway camps, Bnei Akiva knew it had to fill a void in the day camp scene by providing a stronger more enriching day camp offering, and that’s how Moshava Ba’ir was born. The first location in New Jersey opened 10 summers ago and was an incredible success. A year later Moshava Ba’ir Toronto opened its doors. Through a fun and experiential chinuch program which infuses itself into most of the daily activities, chanichim walk away with lifelong Moshava and Bnei Akiva values, as well as learning to be part of a kvutza (bunk) and community with the opportunity to develop individual skills, talents, and abilities. With over 800 campers this summer and 400+ staff at

The ADD Epidemic in Parenting

Dr. Lightman on page 94


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Around the Community the NJ campus – the Moshava Ba’ir model combines a leading chinuch program with top activities from fencing, farming and woodworking to an entire sports program, climbing wall and archery. Meanwhile, since 1972, Bnei Akiva has been sending post tenth grade teens on a life changing trip to Israel on Mach Hach BaAretz to learn about their heritage, the land, the people of Israel, and themselves. As the largest and leading Israel summer tour for this age group, Mach Hach fills nine busses with over 450 teens and staff. After years of learning about Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and Torat Yisrael through weekly Bnei Akiva involvement at snif, Shabbatonim and summer camp, Mach Hach brings these lessons into a concrete reality as teens explore the land and history first hand. In addition to Mach Hach, this year Bnei Akiva’s Jerusalem-based Yeshivat Torah V’Avodah was excited to host “Summer In Jerusalem,” a six-week program in partnership with the OU-JLIC for college students looking for a balanced combination of learning, interning, and living in Israel. Students were matched with internships in their field of choice across top firms, agencies, and workplaces across Jerusalem. With students from schools including Brandeis, Columbia, NYU, UMD, and YU, and a wide range of fields such as medicine, law, PR, design, and engineering – the program went through great lengths to ensure there was something for everyone. In the evening students had the opportunity to engage in a vibrant evening learning program offering a full array of shiurim, teachers, social events and learning opportunities. While for some, a Bnei Akiva summer experience may end after their high school or college years – many of Bnei Akiva’s former chanichim and families actually get to continue living a Bnei Akiva lifestyle all summer and year-round by making Aliyah. It’s impossible to say how many campers across the programs have made Aliyah in the past 80+ years since the movement was established in the U.S. and Canada, but it is definitely well into the thousands. This past summer alone, Moshava Ba’ir New Jer-

sey celebrated five families plus over 10 staff members who enlisted into the Israeli army or making aliyah on their own at its annual Aliyah Day celebration. As Rav Shaul Feldman, executive director of Bnei Akiva, puts it, “The vision of Rav Kook that

Am Israel will be hearing the shofar gadol of redemption of our generation is coming to life with hundreds of thousands of alumni living a life of Torah v’avodah and making aliyah.” He adds, “although Bnei Akiva is a 90-year-old movement, we are

making sure to keep it relevant, fulfilling the needs for our current generation – youth and families alike.” For more information about Bnei Akiva year-round and summer programming visit www.bneiakiva.org.


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YILC/YIW End of Summer Learning Program

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uring the traditional period of bein hazmanim, the kol haTorah continued strongly here in our very own Five Towns. For the last two weeks of August, the Young Israel of Lawrence Cedarhurst and Young Israel of Woodmere’s joint End of Summer Learning Program brought together almost 40 young men each day for Shacharis, breakfast, learning and raffles.  There was also an evening program for high school boys which included learning and ball playing.  Hearkening from eight of our local Yeshivos, the mix of middle and high school boys, led by Rabbi Dovid Libman and Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf, engaged in meaningful Torah learning to start

their remaining vacation days. “The overarching goal of the program is to imbue a sense that Torah learning is not reserved for Yeshiva or other structured learning programs.  Rather, it is part of the daily life of a Torah Jew.  What nachas it is to witness the enthusiasm of our youth taking time off of their vacation to learn – this experience will impact them for life,”

said Rabbi Ya’akov Trump, Mora D’asrah of YILC. This joint, community program included a daily guest speaker for the boys.  “Having our boys exposed to a wide range of our community’s leading rabbanim and rebbeim is an important part of the program,” said Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf of YIW.  The guest speakers, local rabbanim and

mechanchim, included Rabbi Yaakov Bender, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi Ya’akov Trump, Rabbi Adam Englander, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Rabbi Eliyahu Wolf, Rabbi Yonason Sprung, Rabbi Akiva Willig, Rabbi Yitzie Ross, and Rabbi Simon Taylor. Not surprisingly, their common theme was their effusive praise of the boys for their commitment and diligence while at the same time being mechazek the boys and explaining the importance of their efforts.   Of course, im ein kemach, ein Torah.  Daily breakfast was provided by Gotta Getta Bagel along with daily raffles.  The program’s finale on Labor Day morning, in which a number of fathers joined as well, was a smashing success.  After an abbreviated learning session, the boys and fathers gathered for a sit-down breakfast where they heard closing remarks from Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, Rabbi Emeritus of YILC, and an inspiring address by Rabbi Aryeh Cohen of DRS Yeshiva High School.  Special seforim were presented to the over 30 boys who attended six or more of the nine sessions followed by a final, grand raffle.  Plans are already underway to expand the program for next year.


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Around the Community

PHOTOS BY GABE SOLOMON/LIFE CAPTURE IMAGES

Scores of supporters enjoyed the 14th Annual Labor Day Event for Avigdor’s Helping Hand held at the Moradi residence in Lawrence on Monday


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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

NEW BOOKS Already in its 2nd printing!

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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Inspiring Jews… one book at a time Prepare for Elul and Yamim Noraim

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Rabbi Daniel Glatstien, Morah D’asra of Kehilas Ahavas Yisroel in Cedarhurst, is one of the Jewish world’s most popular speakers. His shiurim have garnered literally millions of views and downloads. Now he shares with us the many oppurtunities available to us in “the season of majesty” — the days between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Shemini Atzeres.

Our children (grandchildren too!) will love the stories about Rebbetzin Kanievsky’s legendary devotion to Torah and her kindness to others, carefully chosen to interest and excite young readers. They’ll love the beautiful full-color illustrations by Lea Kron. And, especially, they will love Rebbetzin Batsheva — because they will feel her endless love for them!

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SHS “Bounces” Into a New Year

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hulamith High School began their year with a bang…or a jump, that is. The entire school and most of the faculty spent Tuesday night at Bounce in Syosset. The evening began with our new freshmen who had an opportunity to bond before the big trip. After eating

pizza and introducing themselves, Student Activities Director Esty Munk, Freshmen Advisor Adina Wolf, and Guidance Counselor Channi Packer led a team-building exercise (which was made all the better with an assortment of candies). “I like that we met before everyone went to Bounce,” one freshman

remarked. “I wasn’t nervous afterward.” After freshman icebreakers, the entire school was bussed to Bounce where each student and faculty member was outfitted with a bright yellow SHS shirt. The black lights went on, the music was pumped up, and everyone ran for open bounce! There

were some awe-inspiring dunks in the basketball arena and impressive flips into the foam pools. Mrs. Sara Munk, principal, addressed the girls during a snack break, stressing the importance of Elul and how it is a time for building relationships – apropos for the beginning of the school year. Finally, everyone was given a sticker that indicated which arena they should go to. Different competitive games were in each area, including a pretty intense

student versus faculty (including principals) dodgeball game. The senior class demolished the faculty, whose best effort was just not good enough for the energetic twelfth graders. Fun was evident in every corner of the room, on the trampolines and off, proving our incredible administrative team did a stellar job of organizing and planning this event. SHS’s opening trip promoted friendship and achdut. What better way could there be to start a new year?

On Sunday, September 1, Deputy Presiding Officer Howard Kopel joined with Cal Nathan, president of the Community Chest South Shore (CCSS), for their 5K Run & Family Walk at Sunny Atlantic Beach Club in Atlantic Beach. “Thank you to the many sponsors of the event, and for all who participated, and to the many Nassau County Police Officers who keep our communities safe,” Deputy Presiding Officer Kopel said. “This event is great for the South Shore communities and brings neighbors together.”


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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Around the Community

HaRav Yechiel Perr, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Derech Ayson of  Far Rockaway, and Rav Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of South Shore, giving chizuk to the rabbeim of Yeshiva of South Shore before the new year

Mr. Pinny Farkas, LCSW, alumnus of Yeshiva of South Shore, presenting a Mental Health Awareness workshop to the rabbeim of Yeshiva of South Shore


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Around the Community

Smiles and excitement on the first day of school at MTA

Yoel Tepler, one of five talmidim of Yeshiva Darchei Torah’s Beis Medrash Heichal Dovid who went on Project SEED to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this summer, inspiring children of the community

Of Baby Bonnets, the Ben Ish Chai, and Midnight Blessings

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ays are hard. But nights are even harder. That’s when the day’s blessed distractions crumble and the deafening silence shatters my heart. And I dream of a home, in which the silence is harmonized by the breathing of little hearts, snuggled in their beds; in which the silence is pierced by the wails of a little infant, summoning mommy; in which the silence is disrupted by little ones, determined to start the new day while the world still slumbers. Maybe that’s why I feel that Kollel Chatzos’s talmidei chachamim, who learn through the night, may be my answer. Perhaps their Torah learning will sweeten my gezar din, and I will be zocheh that my nights will be gladdened. I learned that I was not the only one who sought hope and blessing in supporting nighttime Torah learning. When the talmid of the great mekubel, Rav Mordechai Sharabi, zt”l, waited for years to be blessed with a

ben zachar and his tefillos and kabbalos went unanswered, he approached a group of talmidei chachamim who were learning throughout the night and begged them, “You’re learning all night long. You’re accomplishing such great things. Can you perform the segula of the Ben Ish Chai on my behalf, so that I be blessed with a ben zachar?” The talmidei chachamim responded yes… And Hashem responded yes to their tefillos. At the ripe age of seventy, this man became the father of a baby boy. I learned that this segula has a mekor. It is detailed so eloquently and instructively by the Ben Ish Chai in Keser Malchus (siman 160), saying, “The husband and wife should sponsor the needs of a chabura (group), who awaken to learn at Chatzos, and in this zechus, they will be blessed with zera shel kayama, and so they should do constantly.”

And I learned that this segula works – in our generation, for people just as desperate as myself. The Kollel Chatzos office shared that they constantly receive requests from callers worldwide, asking to sponsor Kollel Chatzos’s talmidei chachamim, so that these talmidei chachamim will daven on behalf of couples waiting for children… And they also told me that they constantly hear besuros tovos that the talmidei chachamim’s davening has brought forth the long-awaited yeshuos. This year, I will bl”n sponsor the kollel’s learning and the Ben Ish Chai segula, performed in my zechus. And I hope that next year, iy”H, I will be able to share with you the story of my yeshua…of my nights transformed to delight. This Thursday night, September 13, 13 Elul, Parshas Ki Seitze, is the yahrtzeit of the holy Ben Ish Chai. And while the Ben Ish Chai’s segula is applicable every night of the year, it is particularly meaningful

when performed on his very yahrtzeit. Therefore, Kollel Chatzos dedicates this night as a special leil tefila for couples who are waiting for children. A delegation of Kollel Chatzos talmidei chachamim will daven at the place designated as the gateway for tefillos for children – the “Bais Isha HaShunamis,” the very place where Elisha HaShunamis enacted a miracle and the Isha HaShunamis merited children. So many of us know couples who are in pain and wish we could help… somehow. We may not be doctors nor possess the key to life. Yet, this Thursday, we can all do something. Something meaningful, something powerful. We can heed the call of the Ben Ish Chai on his yahrtzeit. We can partner with Kollel Chatzos, sponsor the needs of the Kollel’s distinguished talmidei chachamim, and daven to Hashem that this night storm the gates of zera chaya v’kayama.


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Centerfold

Mathematically Well Said “Mathematics is made of 50 percent formulas, 50 percent proofs, and 50 percent imagination.” “Some people have a passion for mathematics. They divide their age in half, double the price of their clothes, and always add at least five years to the age of their best friend.” “Small minds discuss persons. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas. Really great minds discuss mathematics.” “As long as algebra is taught in school, there will be prayer in school.” “I heard that parallel lines actually do meet, but they are very discrete.” “Dear Math, please grow up and solve your own problems, I’m tired of solving them for you.” “That awkward moment when you finish a math problem and your answer isn’t even one of the choices.”

Riddle me this? A man is walking down a road with a basket of eggs. As he is walking he meets someone who buys one-half of his eggs plus one-half of an egg. He walks a little further and meets another person who buys one-half of his eggs plus one-half of an egg. After proceeding further he meets another person who buys onehalf of his eggs plus one half an egg. At this point he has sold all of his eggs, and he never broke an egg. How many eggs did the man have to start with? See answer on the other page

“Five out of four people have trouble with fractions.” “If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will.” “Mathematics is like relationships: a simple idea, but it can get complicated.” “Math: the only place where people buy 64 watermelons and nobody wonders why.” “Think of a number between 1 and 10. Multiply it by 9 and subtract 1. Now close your eyes. It’s dark isn’t it?” “It’s easy to identify people who can’t count to ten. They’re in front of you in the supermarket express lane.” “I’m so glad I learned about parallelograms instead of how to do taxes. It’s ready handy this parallelogram season.” “If I had just one hour left to live, I’d spend it in math class...it never ends.”

You gotta be kidding The new family in the neighborhood overslept and their six-year-old daughter missed her school bus. The father, though late for work himself, had to drive her. Since he did not know the way, he said that she would have to direct him to the school. They rode several blocks before she told him to turn the first time, several more before she indicated another turn. This went on for 20 minutes – but when they finally reached the school, it proved to be only a short distance from their home. The father, annoyed, asked his daughter why she’d led him around in such a circle. The child explained, “That’s the way the school bus goes, Daddy. It’s the only way I know.”


Answer to Riddle Me This: 7 eggs. The first person bought one half of his eggs plus one half an egg (3 ½ + ½ = 4 eggs) This left him 3 eggs. The second person bought one-half of his eggs plus one half an egg, (1 ½ + ½ = 2 eggs) leaving the man 1 egg. The last person bought one-half of his eggs plus onehalf an egg, (½ + ½ = 1 egg) leaving no eggs.

Answers to Two Letters Short: 1. an = anchorman 2. en = enjoyment 3. et = etiquette 4. in = insincere 5. ha = haphazard

Answers to Perfect Ten: Her Here Ere Therein Herein The There He In Rein

5. **p**zard 4. **s**cere 3. **iqu**te 2. **joym**t 1. **chorm** The following five words have the same two letters repeated at some point. Those two letters have been removed, replaced by two sets of asterisks. Can you figure out which two letters to use in each word? You use the same two letters within each word. t rearra withou

ng

IN s . THERiE letter ng any

h rds wit o w 0 1 Find

n e T t c e f r e P rd the wo

Two Letters Short The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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Torah Thought

Parshas Shoftim By Rabbi Berel Wein

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he reading of this week deals with a basic human temptation and almost universal failing – corruption. Though the Torah speaks of actual physical and financial graft it certainly implies a broader message to not only to those in the judiciary but to others in positions of power. The Torah recognizes that human beings, by their very nature, have biases and prejudices. Some of these seem to be almost inborn while others are acquired because of life experiences, educational instruction, and societal norms. Students of human nature have long debated which traits are inborn, such as hatreds and prejudices, and which are learned and acquired in life. As you can imagine, there is no consensus on this issue and on many other questions regarding human behavior. It is obvious that the Torah recognizes the presence of prejudice and corruption, both willingly and unknowingly within all of us. Even the greatest of us, who possess G-dly wisdom and holiness in behavior

and speech, are also subject to being corrupted. Wisdom can be perverted and speech can be twisted because of our innate susceptibility to corruption. We are not provided with any magic method to avoid this problem.

it to the extent that human beings are able. We are all aware that that when it comes to physical health and mental wellbeing the first act is to identify and be aware of the problem that is involved. The same thing is true in

Wisdom can be perverted and speech can be twisted because of our innate susceptibility to corruption.

We only know that it exists and that it is universal and omnipresent. As such, perhaps simply being aware of its existence eventually leads human beings individually and human society generally to a willingness to deal with the matter and to correct

all human emotional and spiritual difficulties. People tend to believe that, somehow, they are immune to corruption if they do not actually take money offered to influence their opinions and judgments. However, that is a very simplistic view of cor-

ruption. Since people feel that they are balanced and fair in their opinions and viewpoints, this is exactly what leads to prejudices, intolerance of others, and a closed mind when it comes to deciding on important issues and personal matters. One of the reasons the Talmud insisted that at least three people be present to judge in a Jewish court of law is that when you have three people you will automatically hear different points of view and a fairer result will emerge. There are exceptional cases where even one judge – and that judge must be a true expert on the law and facts involved – will suffice, but the practice in Jewish courts throughout the ages has been to have more than one judge – at least three – involved in arriving at judicial decisions. The Torah demanded that we pursue justice and fairness at all costs. It does not guarantee that we will always be able to achieve that goal, but it does demand that we constantly pursue it.


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From the Fire

Parshas Shoftim Marketplace or Shul? By Rav Moshe Weinberger Adapted for publication by Binyomin Wolf

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his is the parsha of malchus, kingship. In it (Devarim 17:9), we learn that a Jewish king must write a sefer Torah and “it shall be with him and he shall read from it all the days of his life...” This phrase, “all the days of his life,” may sound very familiar to us because we read something very similar twice a day during Elul in the L’Dovid prayer (Tehillim 27:4), “One thing I ask of Hashem, it alone I seek, to dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of my life...” We must understand what Dovid HaMelech is asking for in this tefillah. It seems that his desire was to immerse himself in davening and learning all of the time and to do nothing else. But Chazal explain another request by Dovid HaMelech that seems very different. He says (Tehillim 116:9), “I will walk before Hashem in the lands of life.” There are many explanations regarding the meaning of “the lands of life,” but Chazal say (Yuma 71a) this refers to “the marketplaces and streets” of the world. So which is it? Does Dovid HaMelech only want to dwell in shul and in the beis midrash? Or does he want to walk before Hashem in the marketplaces and streets? He seems to be conflicted. There is another related Midrash (Vayikrah Rabah 35:1) from parshas Bechukosai on another pasuk in Tehillim (119:59), “I calculated my paths, but my legs returned me to Your statutes.” The Midrash explains that statement as follows: “Dovid said, ‘Master of the World, every single day I would think

and say, “I will go to a certain place or a certain residence,” but my legs would take me to shul and the beis midrash.’” On a simple level, this means that even though, as king, Dovid HaMelech had many appointments and many places to be, he simply couldn’t help himself. He missed all of his appointments and instead went to learn and daven! The Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh on Bechukosai explains that he did this because of his great desire for Torah. And the word for “my legs” in Hebrew, ragli, hints at the Hebrew word for habit, hergel, implying that Dovid HaMelech went to shul and the beis midrash instead of to his appointments out of habit because that is where he always went. Whatever the explanation, the simple meaning of the Midrash is difficult. Dovid was the king. He had responsibilities. Could it be that he left everyone waiting for him while he sat and learned? The nation was relying on him. The country would have fallen apart if he had missed all of his appointments and shirked his obligations! Perhaps the Midrash means to hint at something else. Dovid HaMelech was a responsible king who loved and felt accountable for the wellbeing of the nation. He certainly kept all of his appointments. So what does it mean that “my legs would take me to shul and the beis midrash”? Because his whole essence was Torah and tefillah, even though he physically went to his conference rooms and meetings, he was just as connected to Hashem while engaging in those activities as

he would have been in shul or the beis midrash. This may also be what Dovid HaMelech meant when he asked to walk before Hashem in the marketplaces and streets of the world. He wanted to be conscious of Hashem’s Presence and connected as deeply to Him when he was in those places as he was in shul. Dovid HaMelech’s desire was to dwell in the house of Hashem all the days of his life through the marketplaces, streets and appointments of life. This is was his goal. Unfortunately, many of us do not follow Dovid HaMelech’s example. We do not take the shul and beis midrash with us when we leave in the morning. A person might dip dozens of times in the mikvah, learn diligently and sway back and forth during davening, but the moment he leaves shul, it is like he is a different person. An hour after leaving the beis midrash, the same person who was davening with his eyes closed and palms raised in the air is now signing a document filled with falsehood. The same mouth this person used to say, “Fortunate are those who dwell in Your house,” makes crude jokes and speaks flirtatiously with the secretary a few minutes later. I was in the mountains one summer about 35 years ago in a bungalow colony whose male members took the local softball league very seriously. Baruch Hashem I was one of the players and very much enjoyed the game. One morning during davening, I noticed that one of the men from the colony, while still wearing his tallis and te-

fillin, went outside to walk around. At first I thought that perhaps he had gone to do some Breslov-style hisbodedus – meditation – in the woods. But he returned a few minutes later to announce, while davening was still ongoing, that there was more dew than usual on the grass and that it would be a slippery infield. Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, zy”a, might have said that this Jew was so holy that he made sure to wear his tallis and tefillin even when he was doing something as mundane as preparing for a softball game. But for most of us, such activities indicate that we have not yet learned to walk before Hashem in the lands of life. Many of us have left the shul and beis midrash even while our bodies are still there. Using the above ideas, we can now understand a previously baffling Gemara (Chagigah 5b): Rav Idi, the father of Rabi Yaakov bar Idi, [beginning after Pesach,] was accustomed to walking for three months, studying one day in the beis midrash of Rav [and then walking back home for three month to be with his family for Sukkos]. And the students [in the beis midrash of Rav] would call him, “One-day student of Rav.” He became despondent [because of the nickname] and applied the following pasuk (Iyov 12:4) to himself, “I am as a laughingstock to his friend.” Rav Yochanan said to him, “I ask of you, please [do not hold a grudge against them in order that


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Hashem not] punish the students.” Rav Yochanan went out to the beis midrash and delivered a lecture expounding on a pasuk (Yeshayahu 58:2): “They seek Me daily and they wish to know My ways...” Why would they seek Hashem “daily” but not “nightly”? Instead, [the focus on the word “day” in the pasuk] comes to teach you that if anyone studies Torah, even one day a year [like Rav Idi], the pasuk considers it as if he had studied Torah for the entire year. Of course, the Gemara is not attempting to help people rationalize insufficient study of Torah or minimize the importance of learning as much as one is able. So what is its point? Rav Idi must be one of those unusual tzaddikim whose way of serving G-d involved traveling to many places. Rav Yochanan wants us to understand that if a person must involve himself in the marketplaces, appointments, and streets of the world, as long as he pines and desires to dwell in Hashem’s

house, to seek out the pleasantness of His Face, Hashem considers it as if he is still in the beis midrash or shul, regardless of where G-d’s will in his life takes him. The main thing is where a person’s intentions are. Where does he want to be? The Divrei Chaim of Sanz, zy”a,

the meal, the Rebbe said to his son, the Divrei Yechezekl, zy”a, “You see that poor Jew over there. He has a lot of mazal. Watch. You will see that he will receive the biggest portion of chicken.” They watched, and sure enough, this Jew received the largest portion. Later in the evening, the Divrei Ye-

“The problem is that the only thing he wants in life is a big piece of chicken.”

was famous for the fact that at his Friday night tischen, he seated the poor people, who depended on the tisch for their meal, around the table, and all of the other chassidim sat in the outer rows. One Friday night, when the assistants brought out the chicken for

chezkel asked his father, “Rebbe, if this Jew has such great mazal, why is he a such a poor person with torn clothing?” The Rebbe thought for a moment and then answered, “This Yid has a lot of mazal. Whatever he truly wants, he will receive. The problem is

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that the only thing he wants in life is a big piece of chicken.” The main question we must ask ourselves is, “What do I want?” Do we want to lose ourselves and forget Hashem in the marketplaces of the world? Or do we want to see G-d and serve Him in the proper way there? Do we desire to sanctify G-d’s name in the way we conduct ourselves at work? Do we act with refinement and honesty because we only want to dwell in Hashem’s house in the land of the living? These are the questions we must ask ourselves. May Hashem help us achieve this goal through the full revelation of His kingship and the kingship of Moshiach, the descendant of Dovid HaMelech in Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisroel soon in our days!

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


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Parsha

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Parshas Shoftim By Eytan Kobre

Weekly Aggada For these nations that you are to inherit, they listen to soothsayers and to diviners; but you, Hashem your G-d has not given you over to do so (Devarim 18:14) R’ Yanai and R’ Yochanan were once sitting atop the gates of the walls of Teveria with two non-Jewish stargazers. The stargazers looked down upon two men going out to work, and they said: “Those two men who are going out to work will not return; rather, a snake will bite and kill them.”

Later, R’ Yanai and R’ Yochanan returned to the city gates to see whether those same two men would return from their work. Lo and behold, they did return. So R’ Yanai and R’ Yochanan found the stargazers they had encountered earlier who had foretold of the death of these two men. “Did you not say that these two would go out to work but not return, and that they would be bitten and killed by a snake?” “Indeed, we did,” answered the stargazers. “But they went out and returned alive,” countered R’ Yanai and R’ Yochanan.

So the stargazers went to speak with the two men. “Tell us, what did you do today?” The two men explained that they had gone about their business as usual. “We did not do anything out of the ordinary. We read the Shema and we prayed.” “Ah, you are Jews?” the stargazers asked rhetorically. “That is the reason that the words of the stargazers (i.e., our predictions) were not realized – because you are Jews” (Tanchuma, Shoftim 10).

Weekly Mussar According to the law which they teach you, and according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the matters they tell you, to the right or to the left (Devarim 17:11) The obligation to listen to our sages applies, as goes the well-known homiletic teach, even if they tell us that “right” is “left” and that “left” is “right” (Sifri and Rashi ad loc). The idea is that we are to have faith in the wisdom of our sages even if they appear to be wrong. A man once asked R’ Yaakov Galinsky a most understandable question: even 1,000 sages cannot change the fact that “right” is “right” and not “left”; that is unassailable fact. Does the Torah truly expect us to deny proven fact or comport ourselves contrary to established truth? R’ Yaakov Galinsky explained that, of course, the Torah does not expect us to deviate from proven fact or unassailable truth. The Torah’s example – using “right” and “left” – was not random. Indeed, it does not state that we must listen to our sages “even if they say west is east or east is west” or “even if they

say day is night or night is day.” West is always west, east is always east, day is always day, and night is always night. It would be unreasonable and dishonest to expect us to deny reality. Instead, the Torah makes the point with “right” and “left.” Those are not fixed constants; they are relative terms. So what appears to us to be “left” might well be “right” when looked at by one with a different – maybe more elevated – perspective. When it comes to heeding the words and wisdom of our sages, we would do well to remember that, while fact is fact, ours may not be the only, or the most preferable, perspective.

Weekly Anecdote You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which they have set long ago, in your inheritance that you shall inherit, in the land that Hashem your G-d gives you to possess it (Devarim 19:14) There was once a poor widow who earned a meager livelihood by operating a small inn, which she leased from the local landowning gentile. It wasn’t a lavish existence, but she did manage to squeak by...that is, until another villager came along, offered the gentile landlord a higher rent, and pushed the widow out of her business. Given the loss of her sole means of support, the widow had no choice but to commence a din Torah alleging hasagas gevul – the proscription against “moving a landmark” – which encompasses not only depriving one’s neighbor of land rights but also encroaching unfairly on another’s business interests. But the new innkeeper refused to appear for the din Torah. Now, the widow knew that this new innkeeper was a devotee of R’ Shalom


of Belz, the first Belzer Rebbe. So she asked her local rav write to the Rebbe and implore him to order the new innkeeper to appear in Belz for a din Torah. Her local rav obliged, and the widow made her way to Belz, letter in hand. Much to the widow’s dismay, however, the Rebbe ignored her pleas and the letter from her rav. There would be no din Torah, apparently. So, the widow returned home emptyhanded and told her rav of the Rebbe’s apparent apathy. The rav was incensed by the Rebbe’s seemingly flippant attitude, which, he explained to the widow, must be the result of his desire to placate his devotee, the new innkeeper. Some time later, the rav began to regret his comments about the Rebbe and the untoward motives he had attributed to him. So he journeyed to Belz to beg the Rebbe’s forgiveness. “I certainly forgive you,” the Rebbe replied upon hearing the rav’s apology. “I want you to know that my decision not to pursue the widow’s case had

nothing to do with my affection for my devotee, the new innkeeper; I declined to pursue the widow’s case because she was in the wrong. You see, many years ago, the lease for this particular inn was held by the ‘new’ innkeeper’s grandfather. Then, one day, another villager offered the local landowning gentile a higher rent and displaced the ‘new’ innkeeper’s grandfather. The man that displaced him was none other than this widow’s father. “Well, having been displaced from his inn and with no means to support himself, the ‘new’ innkeeper’s grandfather was forced to move elsewhere. Soon, his family’s longtime connection to that inn was forgotten completely. “Now, it seems, G-d’s Divine plan is coming full circle. The ‘new’ innkeeper – grandson of the original lessee – has now ‘displaced’ the daughter of the very man who had displaced his grandfather so many years earlier. So you see, my good man, that the widow, your constituent, was not in the right, which is the reason I declined to pur-

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sue her case. And you may verify all this independently.” The rav did so, and he found the history of the inn to be exactly as the Rebbe had related.

Weekly Halacha You shall not twist judgment, you shall not recognize persons; and you shall not take bribery, for bribery blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous (Devarim 16:19) Judges must be “very very careful” not to accept bribery (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 9:1). The prohibition against bribery applies to a judge who accepts bribery as well as to one who offers it (on the theory that the bribe places a “stumbling block” before the judge), whether or not the judge alters his judgment because of the bribe, and whether the bribe comes in the form of monetary

compensation or in the form of mere “words” (Rambam, Sanhedrin 23:1-2; Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 9:1). A judge is also prohibited from accepting bribes from both sides to a dispute, even though there is less concern that such competing bribes will sway the outcome (SeMA 9:2). If the briber demands return of the bribe, the judge must return the bribe (Rambam, Sanhedrin 23:1; Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 9:1); if the briber does not demand return of the bribe, the judge may not be obligated to return the bribe (SeMA 9:3; but see Taz ad loc.). The Weekly Halacha is not meant for practical purposes and is for discussion purposes only. Please consult your own rav for guidance.

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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TESHUVAH By Rabbi Daniel Glatstein

Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li: Why Dodi, My Beloved? There are many allusions to the month of Elul, none more well-known than the remez in the verse in Shir HaShirim: Ani l’dodi v’dodi li, I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine (Shir HaShirim 6:3). The Mishnah Berurah writes that the roshei teivos, initial letters, of these four words form the word Elul. The Mishnah Berurah further notes that each of the sofei teivos, final letters, of these four words is a yud; numerically, combining the four yuds gives us 40, representative of the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur. It was during these 40 days that Moshe Rabbeinu went up to Shamayim to obtain the second set of Luchos, a period culminating in Yom Kippur, when Hashem stated, Salachti k’dvarecha, I have forgiven because of your words (Bamidbar 14:20). In light of Hashem’s magnanimity, during this time of the year, our hearts should be close to that of our Beloved by engaging in teshuvah. Hashem reciprocates this closeness and accepts our teshuvah wholeheartedly. As well-known as this

remez may be, there is an important detail that is often overlooked. The Ribbono shel Olam is referred to by many different names; for example, Elokim, the Shem Adnus, Tzavakos, Shakkai, and, most notably, Yud Kei Vav Kei. Why, then, doesn’t Shlomo HaMelech refer to Hashem using one of these more familiar names rather than Dodi, Beloved? Why not Ani l’Elokim v’Elokim li? That would be a more typical way to refer to Hashem. As noted, this verse alludes to Elul, and it is only here we refer to Hashem using this unusual appellation. Why is it that when the month of Elul is suggested, we opt to use this rare designation for Hashem? What is the connection between the month of Elul and Hashem being our Beloved?

An Analysis of the Pasuk The opening pasuk of Parashas Re’eh already outlines for us a number of insights into the teshuvah process. The parsha begins with the verse: Re’eh anochi nosein l’fneichem hayom bracha u’klala, See, I present before you today a blessing and a curse (Devarim

11:26). The Vilna Gaon teaches us that these words delineate for us a number of important concepts about the process of teshuvah. The verse states, nosein, using the present tense. Why not say “nasati, I have given,” using the past tense? The Vilna Gaon explains as follows: If someone chooses to act wrongly, such as speaking during chazaras hashatz, and he continues to do so for many years, does he still have bechirah, a choice? Each time he speaks in shul, it is no longer a conscious decision — it is merely a habit. It would seem that he no longer has bechirah chofshis, free will, to choose to do the right thing and listen silently to the chazzan. The Gra says that this suggestion is incorrect. As the saying goes, “past performance has no bearing on future results.” Despite previous choices and actions, a person always has the ability to choose. That is why the pasuk is written in the present tense: Each and every day, Hashem actively gives us the ability to make a new choice all over again, regardless of what we have done until that point. The Gra further explains that the

word ha’yom, today, is telling us that on any day — today — a person can choose to repent and start over with a clean slate. One should never feel that since he has sinned in the past, he is unable to come close to Hashem. Any day — even ha’yom — a person can change and repent and start over as if he was born ha’yom, today. In addition, Hashem uses the word anochi to indicate that He Himself provides encouragement and support to anyone who wants to repent. Even if the teshuvah process seems daunting, and one feels that he can never accomplish it on his own, he should be reassured, because Hashem will provide him the assistance he needs. Now, although this assistance is provided to us, initiating teshuvah still lies before us — l’fneichem — it is up to us to take the step in the right direction and then Hashem will help. We cannot throw up our hands and expect Hashem to independently guide us in the right direction; teshuvah still requires us to take the initiative, and then Hashem will provide the assistance we need. The opening word of the parsha, re’eh, in the singular, rather than re’ooh, in the plural, also conveys a


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powerful message. Hashem instructs each of us to be introspective, to look inside ourselves to choose what we will do, rather than be influenced by those around us and by what other people are doing.

The Gift of Teshuvah In the opinion of most Rishonim, it is a mitzvah to do teshuvah. The Rambam, however, does not assert that teshuvah is a mitzvah. He writes, “K’she’yashuv ha’adam,” i.e., when a person does teshuvah, he should say Vidui. Teshuvah is not obligatory, but it is available to us should we desire it. We have to recognize that teshuvah is a special gift given to us by Hashem. Imagine that someone is arrested for committing a crime. When he comes before the judge, he admits to robbing the bank, but tells the court that he should be released because he has admitted doing the deed, feels sorry that he committed the robbery, and accepts upon himself to never rob a bank again. The judge will not be impressed by the criminal’s remorse and admission, and he will sentence the culprit to prison. Repentance does not work in the physical, material world; it does not erase the act. In contrast, Hashem has created a unique concept for Klal Yisrael: Teshuvah can erase our aveiros. Perhaps surprisingly, this gift is not given to all mankind. The gift of teshuvah has only been given to the Jewish people, not to the nations of the world.

Why Does Teshuvah Work Only for the Jewish People? The Midrash Tanchuma discusses an apparent contradiction between two verses. One pasuk states, Ya’ir Hashem panav eilecha, Hashem will illuminate His countenance to you (Bamidbar 6:26). Another pasuk says, Asher lo yisah panim v’lo yikach shochad, [Hashem] does not show His countenance and does not show favoritism (Devarim 10:17). The Midrash explains that Hashem will not show His countenance to someone who did not do teshuvah. However, if a person does do teshuvah, then Hashem will favor him. By adding the word eilecha, to you, to the Jews, to the pasuk stating that Hashem will show favor to one who

does teshuvah, the Torah is teaching us that only Yidden can do teshuvah. The word eilecha excludes non-Jews from this capability. Even the inhabitants of Nineveh, who we typically understand did do teshuvah after hearing the admonishments of Yonah and it was accepted, in reality were not able to do proper teshuvah. They were merely able to suspend punishment for a period of time, but they were not able to be forgiven. Only a Jew can erase his record with complete teshuvah. The Mabit, Rav Moshe MiTrani, in his sefer Beis Elokim, writes similarly that teshuvah is only effective for Bnei Yisrael. Likewise, the Bnei Yissaschar quotes the aforementioned Midrash Tanchuma and concludes that teshuvah applies only to Jews, mentioning that this follows the psak of the Rama MiFano.

An Astounding Explanation The Bnei Yissaschar quotes the sefer Limudei Hashem, which offers a remarkable reason that teshuvah was gifted only to the Jewish people. This reason is also cited in the name of the Chida and has its source in Parshas Re’eh. The pasuk states, “Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem, You are children to Hashem your G-d” (Devarim 14:1). Only the Bnei Yisrael are Hashem’s children. The non-Jews of the world are indeed made in the image of Hashem; however, they are the subjects of Hashem their King, but they are not His children. That privilege is reserved for Klal Yisrael alone. This special relationship has halachic ramifications as well. The Gemara states, Melech she’machal al kvodo ein kvodo machul, i.e., a king is not permitted to turn a blind eye to someone who infringed on his honor. If someone insults the king, he is guilty of rebellion, and he must be punished severely, without any tolerance. However, Ha’av she’machal al kvodo, kvodo machul, that is, a father can forgive a child who insulted him or caused him pain. Thus, says the Chida, the reason teshuvah is effective is because WE are Hashem’s children. As our Father, Hashem can overlook our wrongdoings. When it comes to the sins of the other nations, however,

since their relationship with Hashem is strictly that of king and subject, and a king is not permitted to be mochel, to pardon a rebel, teshuvah is therefore not possible for any nation other than the Bnei Yisrael. This insight into the mechanism of teshuvah gives us a novel perspective as to why the first parsha we read when Elul starts is Parshas Re’eh. It is because this parsha includes the fundamental principle, the verse that explains why teshuvah works for us: Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem. This is the first lesson that we must learn in Elul. We are Hashem’s children, and this relationship avails us of the world of teshuvah.

Teshuvah: Mei’ahava or Mi’yirah — Out of Love or From Fear? There are many levels of teshuvah and some are more effective than others. In a discussion about teshuvah, the Gemara presents what appears to be a contradiction in the words of Reish Lakish. Initially, Reish Lakish teaches us that teshuvah is great since it can change intentional aveiros into inadvertent sins. As the pasuk states: Shuva Yisroel ad Hashem Elokecha ki chashalta ba’avonecha, Return, Yisrael, unto Hashem your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity (Hoshea 14:2). We know that an avon is defined as meizid, a sin committed with intent. Ba’avonecha refers to sins committed deliberately, yet the verse subsequently refers to these sins as a mere michshol, stumble. We see from here, says the Gemara, that with teshuvah an avon, which is meizid, intentional, is transformed into a michshol — from meizid, intentional, to shogeg, unintentional. The Gemara then offers another citation of Reish Lakish, in which he taught that teshuvah is great because intentional sins actually are converted into zechuyos, merits. Teshuvah is so remarkable that it does not merely lessen the severity of the sin; it actually converts the sin into a mitzvah! As the verse states, And if a wicked person turn back from his wickedness and acts with justice and righteousness, he shall live for [his acts] (Yechezkel 33:19). That is, the sinner who does teshuvah will actually live through his sins — because they will be converted

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into mitzvos. Although the two statements of Reish Lakish seem to be at odds, the Gemara answers that, in fact, both citations are correct: The first refers to someone who performs teshuvah out of fear, while the second refers to a person who does teshuvah out of ahavah, his love for Hashem. If someone repents because of his fear of Hashem, his aveiros are transformed from meizid to shogeg. But if someone repents out of ahava, love for Hashem, this higher

We strive to perform the kind of teshuvah that does not merely allow us to evade punishment, but the type of teshuvah that transforms our sins into zechusim. level of teshuvah transforms the sins into mitzvos. Rav Itzele Peterburger elucidates that teshuvah from yirah, fear, means that the repentant’s remorse is to the degree that he would never have committed the aveirah had he known the punishment he would receive. This reassigns the aveirah to the shogeg category, since he did not realize the severity of the punishment. However, if someone accomplishes the higher level of teshuvah out of love for Hashem, not only is the sin totally erased, but it actually is transformed into a mitzvah.

How Can We Ask Hashem to Increase Our Merits for Us? On Rosh Hashana, we eat many


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simanim, symbolic foods, and utilize them in order to request a year of blessing and success. There is a particular minhag to eat carrots, meren in Yiddish, on Rosh Hashana, accompanied by a tefillah, “yehi ratzon…sheyirbeh zechuyoseinu,” asking Hashem to increase our merits. However, zechusim are earned, not granted by Hashem. If we want more zechusim, we must do more mitzvos. If so, what do we mean by this tefillah? The sefer Toras Chaim explains that when one does teshuvah mei’ahava, out of love, all his aveiros are transformed into zechusim. This tefillah is thus a prayer asking Hashem to assist us in doing teshuvah mei’ahava, which will then transform our aveiros into zechusim. This is how Hashem assists us in increasing our merits.

The Chida explains that one who has performed mitzvos his entire life certainly can reach lofty levels. But he has never had the opportunity to convert his aveiros into mitzvos. By performing teshuvah mei’ahava, the baal teshuvah, whose catalogue of sin may have contained the most severe of aveiros, now undergoes a transformation whereby all his sins become zechusim. A tzaddik can perform only the 248 positive commandments in the Torah. A baal teshuvah, on the other hand, who may have violated numerous aveiros, including those for which he is liable to misah and kareis, has among his zechusim these severe aveiros that have been transformed into mitzvos — something the tzaddik gamur certainly does not have.

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This helps us understand the seemingly unbelievable practice we have to chant the Vidui on Yom Kippur in a niggun that is somewhat less than somber; perhaps it may even be referred to as joyous. The Tiferes Yisrael explains that the goal of doing teshuvah is to attain the level of teshuvah mei’ahava. Accomplishing that goal on Yom Kippur changes the aveiros into mitzvos, and therefore we sing in celebration of all the new mitzvos we are acquiring and adding to our repertoire through our teshuvah mei’ahava.

The Chida teaches that this helps us understand why the remez for Chodesh Elul, the month dedicated to teshuvah, is Ani l’dodi v’dodi li. Shlomo HaMelech is bringing to our attention that when we engage in the process of teshuvah, we should not settle for average, mediocre, pedestrian teshuvah. What we seek is “premium teshuvah” — the teshuvah of L’Dodi — the teshuvah of love! Teshuvah mei’ahava is the goal; therefore, in this context Hashem is referred by us as our Beloved. We strive to perform the kind of teshuvah that does not merely allow us to evade punishment, but the type of teshuvah that transforms our sins into zechusim. This remez encourages us to pursue the type of teshuvah that will leave us on a higher level than when we started, with many more merits than before. This is why the first parsha we read in Elul contains the all-important phrase Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem. This is the entire basis for the concept of teshuvah, which can only be effective because we are the beloved children of Hashem.

Why is the Baal Teshuvah on a Higher Level Than a Tzaddik Gamur? Chazal teach us, “B’makom shebaalei teshuvah omdim, ein tzaddikim gemurim yecholim la’amod, in a place where baalei teshuvah are standing, even complete tzaddikim cannot stand. It is difficult to understand why this would be true. Shouldn’t someone who has lived his entire life in purity and in the service of Hashem be on a higher level than someone who began to follow Hashem and His mitzvos much later in life? The baal teshuvah seemingly has much lost time to compensate for, many years during which the tzaddik was doing mitzvos and he was not. Why is the baal teshuvah on a higher madreigah?

Zechusim Acquired with Teshuvah are Uniquely Perfect Mitzvos The Dubno Maggid relates the following parable: A couple was engaged to be married. The chassan came from a simple

family that did not have much by way of material possessions. The kallah’s family, who resided in another city, was very affluent. When the parents met to plan the wedding, the bride’s father told the parents of the groom that it would be his pleasure to cover the entire cost of the wedding. He understood that the chassan’s family could not afford it, and he offered to pay for the entire evening. The only thing he asked was that the chassan’s father purchase a suit for his son to wear to the wedding. With difficulty, the father scraped together enough money to purchase an inexpensive suit that the groom then wore as he traveled to the wedding. On the way, he tripped and fell, ripping the suit in several places. He arrived at his bride’s home the day before the wedding in a torn and muddied suit that clearly was not appropriate garb in which to be married. His father-in-law took one look at the suit and whisked the chassan off to his tailor to purchase a custom-made suit of the finest fabric. The kallah’s father tells his son-in-law, “Now that I am the one buying you a suit, I am not going to buy you the type of suit you would buy for yourself. I am going to buy you the kind of suit that I would wear: the best fabric, beautifully tailored, and a perfect fit.” The Dubno Maggid explains: Even the mitzvos performed by a tzaddik likely have imperfections. Mitzvos are inevitably impacted by human limitation. Perhaps he did not have complete kavannah while performing the mitzvos, or they may have been tainted by a small measure of ulterior motive. Perhaps his mitzvah lacked the appropriate zerizus, simchah, or yiras Shamayim. Although he has many zechusim, they are not perfect; they are limited by human shortcomings. A baal teshuvah, on the other hand, has the advantage that Hashem transforms his aveiros into mitzvos. And into what type of mitzvos does Hashem transform these aveiros? They are the very best possible mitzvos, performed the way He would like each and every mitzvah to be done. Thus, the newly generated mitzvos of the baal teshuvah are perfect and beautiful, without any deficiencies. His mitzvos are generated by Hashem, and they are therefore the essence of perfection. Hashem says, “Now that I am giving you the mitzvah, I am not going to give you the type of mitzvah you

might do yourself. I am going to give you the kind of mitzvah that I would want: performed perfectly with all the right kavannos.” This, says the Dubno Maggid, is why b’makom shebaalei teshuvah omdim, ein tzaddikim gemurim yecholim la’amod. A tzaddik has plenty of mitzvos and zechusim, but they are all mortal mitzvos performed on a human level. But when the baal teshuvah does teshuvah mei’ahava, he acquires mitzvos of a much loftier, Divine nature. This article has been excerpted from The Mystery and The Majesty: Elul. Yamim Noraim. Succos by Rabbi Daniel Glatstein and reproduced with permission of the copyright holder ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications. Rabbi Daniel Glatstein is a rising star in the world of rabbanus and Torah education. Currently serving as Rav and Morah D’asra of Kehilas Ahavas Yisroel in Cedarhurst, New York, Rabbi Glatstein is a prolific speaker with a global following and is one of the most popular speakers on Torahanytime.com. Jews of all backgrounds, from seasoned scholars to beginners and baalei teshuvah, have made Rabbi Glatstein’s illuminating shiurim a rewarding part of their lives. Rabbi Glatstein is one of the contemporary Jewish world’s most popular speakers. The numbers are phenomenal: He has over 4,000 shiurim available; they have garnered literally millions of views and downloads on Torahanytime. com and other venues. His Hebrew-language sefarim, too, have been acclaimed throughout the Torah world. Rabbi Glatstein has been invited to communities around the world to share his Torah insights. In The Mystery and the Majesty, we can join him on an exhilarating journey as we discover the many opportunities offered to us in “the season of majesty” — the days between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Shemini Atzeres. It is a time of authentic and honest introspection, when we peer into our hearts and examine our actions — and a time when we revel in the incomparable joy of coming closer to our Creator.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

World

Builders

A Taste of Sderot During a Rocket Attack By Eli Pollak

M

y name is Eli Pollack, and in addition to being the CEO of United Hatzalah, I am also a volunteer first responder and EMT. On a recent Sunday night, I was visiting the southern town of Netivot to spend time with the local volunteers and help facilitate some new projects for our teams in the Gaza periphery region. I

was in the middle of a meeting when we heard about the rocket attacks in the nearby city of Sderot. For me, the surge of adrenaline and fear was just a small taste of what the residents of these areas have been going through for the past 18 years since the first rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip against the residents of southern Israel began.

I wrapped up the meeting and left Netivot heading towards Sderot to see if I could lend a hand and help in any way. For me, a resident of Jerusalem, being present during a rocket attack is not a common thing, but there isn’t anyone in Israel who doesn’t know the feeling of shared dread when these attacks occur. As I was driving towards Sderot, the emergency application on my communication device alerted me to an emergency in my area. The incident was taking place at the Beit Gedi intersection. The alert said that there was a life in danger inside a Nissan vehicle. I

asked her where she lived. “In Sderot,” she said. As we drove, I tried to help her calm down by using various breathing techniques and the training I learned from our Psychotrauma volunteers who deal with these types of reactions all of the time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much success. I did, however, succeed at bringing her home to the loving embrace of her husband and children who were worried about her. They hadn’t heard from her since the rocket attack. This whole experience was incredibly difficult for me as it brought home just how much pain the people living

For me, this was just a taste of the fear and terror that the families here live with on a daily basis.

had no idea where the intersection was so I put it into Waze. When I picked my head up, I saw a Nissan pulled over on the side of the road. I pulled up behind the vehicle and approached the car. Inside the car was a woman who was suffering a severe stress reaction to the attack that had just occurred. “I can’t drive,” she told me. She was in a severe state of shock. “Please take me home,” she asked me as she broke into tears. I didn’t think twice. I got into her car, and I began driving her home. I

here are in. For me, this was just a taste of the fear and terror that the families here live with on a daily basis. It is very real, and it is very damaging. I am glad that I was able to provide a little bit of help in this instance and I am proud of all of the volunteers that we have in Sderot and throughout the region who not only live with the fear for their own families, but manage to put it aside and rush out to help others even when they themselves are under the same threat as the people they treat are. It is simply incredible.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 5, 2019 2019 || The The Jewish Jewish Home Home SEPTEMBER

The Wandering

Jew

Planting New Seeds Part I By Hershel Lieber

Making kiddush at our mock seder. Note the Coke, which we used for kiddush

I

n the spring of 1988, I received a call from Rabbi Chaskel Besser, z”l. Rabbi Besser had just been appointed to head the New York office of the Ronald Lauder Foundation. The Foundation was headed by Ronald Lauder, the son of the famous cosmetic empress Estee Lauder. Mr. Lauder was the U.S. Ambassador to Austria during the controversial leadership of Kurt Waldheim. Austria’s proximity to Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia gave him ample opportunity to visit those countries, and as a result, he witnessed the near extinction of Jewish communities in these former bastions of Jewish culture and tradition. Mr. Lauder, with the help of his family, created a foundation that would finance the rebuilding of vibrant Jewish life through education. His first undertaking was a summer camp in Hungary which was enthu-

siastically welcomed by the relatively large population of 80,000 Jews that still lived there. Poland, whose Jewish inhabitants were under 10,000 people, was his next focus. Rabbi Besser’s years-long connection with Jews there, his knowledge of the Polish language, and his warm and gentle demeanor made him an excellent choice to head the Foundation’s New York office. Back to the phone call. Rabbi Besser asked me to volunteer and head a summer program in Poland. He told me that all beginnings are difficult and that there may be very few people attending but we should nevertheless start the camp. My duties would include setting up programs, teaching, organizing Shabbosim, and, of course, developing personal relationships with the participants. Rabbi Besser asked Grazyna Pawlak, a Jewish woman from Warsaw

L-R: Zev, Rabbi Besser, Henryk, Andrzej, Mariana, Grazyna, and Justyna and Chana, who are standing

whom he knew for a number of years, to find a location and take care of all the material details that would be needed to run the program. He said that a young woman, Chana, from Albany, NY, will also be there and would run the kosher kitchen that would be set up. Never one to miss a challenge or an opportunity, I readily agreed. Pesi would be in the mountains with our children during the summer and was a great sport and a great support, as usual. I left to Poland on the day after Tisha B’Av and was met at the airport in Warsaw by a small delegation headed by Grazyna’s husband, Andrzej. This was also the first time I met Zbigniew Targielski, a young intellectual university student. He called himself Zev, and he impressed me with his vast and deep knowledge about Judaism. We drove out

to a small town on the outskirts of Warsaw called Komorow. There, a two-floor small country house was rented which would serve as the center for our activities. The house could only sleep about ten people but being so close to Warsaw meant that people could easily travel back and forth. The house was airy, clean, and well-lit and, though the kitchen eating area was small, we would have to manage. Our meals actually consisted of very healthy food. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and fresh fish were the mainstay of our diet. Pasta and homemade bread kept us from being hungry. A small amount of packaged kosher meat was bought in a Pewex shop that catered to foreigners in Warsaw. We reserved that for our Shabbos meals. In Komorow, I met Chana and Grazyna’s daughter, Justyna, and


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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Chana, who was fantastic in the kitchen

niece, Mariana, who were all staying at the house as well. These girls, with Grazyna and Zev, were our basic group, with additional people joining daily and more coming out for Shabbos. After visiting acquaintances in Warsaw, the next morning, I returned to Komorow to help prepare a seder. Yes, a seder in middle of July!

Washing dishes and helping out in the kitchen

I was going to teach the laws and customs of Pesach through lecture and demonstration. I spent a number of hours in the kitchen with Chana and the girls preparing the food all the while teaching concepts of kashrus and tradition. In early evening more people came, and we had thirteen participants for our model seder. I began with bedikas chometz, and

for the next two hours, we read the Haggadah, we ate the special foods and we sang the joyous songs. But more than anything, we bonded and realized that we were planting new seeds in Poland. The next day was Thursday, and although I spent some time studying Gemara with Zev and teaching halacha to the girls, most of the day

Andrzej, davening, wearing his tefillin

was light. On Friday, I was actually in the kitchen a great part of the day. Cooking and preparing for Shabbos began from scratch because there wasn’t anything kosher available to be bought. I helped in the food preparation and setting the table. By the time Shabbos was starting, we had fifteen guests who were there to partake in a truly traditional and

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

An emotional candle lighting

inspirational experience. For many of the women, this was the first time they lit Shabbos candles, and it was an extremely emotional moment. I davened kabbalas Shabbos on my own but included the whole group in singing Lecha Dodi. After an introduction to the Shabbos meal, we sang Shalom Aleichem together. Even those who did not know the tunes quickly caught on, as our spirited voices brought in the Shabbos Kodesh. Our seudah around the crowded table was interspersed with zemiros and was accompanied by laughter and comradery. This night was the highlight of our Shabbos, since many of the guests left for Warsaw soon after the seudah. On Shabbos day I spent a lot of time studying with the remaining guests, and we enjoyed each other’s company at the meals as well. The weather was very nice towards the evening, so we all went for a walk. After Shabbos, I got in touch with two Lubavitcher chassidim whom I met in Warsaw and asked them to join us for melava malka. They came

Some of thE guests after the melava malka

Barbara Gruberska Skiba with her children, Andrzej and Malka, from Sochaczew

with two American students and two Yidden from Warsaw. We made a beautiful meal and we sang and even danced to music tapes. Our partying was not over until 4 a.m. The next morning, I headed out to the airport to greet Rabbi Besser

Dr. Friedman and his family from Warsaw

Pesi and I have been teaching and providing chizuk to Polish Yidden, young and old, who come to partake and study at the Lauder summer retreat for over thirty years. In fact, we left to Poland after Tisha B’Av again this year. Only now, we have over one

For many of the women, this was the first time they lit Shabbos candles, and it was an extremely emotional moment.

who came to Warsaw. Among other things on his agenda, he came out with me to the summer program in Komorow where we gathered a group of people to meet with him and hear him speak. Rabbi Besser gave encouragement to the participants and was proud of the start of this project, which continues to this very day.

hundred people joining for a ten-day period which includes two Shabbosim. We have met many people and made many friends over the three decades that we have been going to the summer retreats. Most people have been positively influenced to take on a more active role in expressing their Jewishness. A considerable amount

of people have accepted to become fully observant and have made life changes accordingly. The seed that was planted in 1988 has bloomed and is still continuing to grow. Hershel Lieber has been involved in kiruv activities for over 30 years. As a founding member of the Vaad L’Hatzolas Nidchei Yisroel he has traveled with his wife, Pesi, to the Soviet Union during the harsh years of the Communist regimes to advance Yiddishkeit. He has spearheaded a yeshiva in the city of Kishinev that had 12 successful years with many students making Torah their way of life. In Poland, he lectured in the summers at the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation camp for nearly 30 years. He still travels to Warsaw every year – since 1979 – to be the chazzan for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur for the Jews there. Together with Pesi, he organized and led trips to Europe on behalf of Gateways and Aish Hatorah for college students finding their paths to Jewish identity. His passion for travel has taken them to many interesting places and afforded them unique experiences. Their open home gave them opportunities to meet and develop relationships with a variety of people. Hershel’s column will appear in The Jewish Home on a bi-weekly basis.

Joining me are Justyna, Mariana, Zev Targielski, and Henryk Akselrod


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Rav Shlomo Katz Talks about R’ Shlomo Carlebach, the Power of a Niggun, and the Sources of His Inspiration

Song

in s pir e d

Rav Shlomo Katz, a well-known Jewish musician and educator, continues to inspire many throughout the Jewish world with his inspiring music and Torah classes. Living in Efrat, Israel, Rav Katz is the rav of Shirat David, where he delivers weekly shiurim to men and women on a vawith. And that’s, b’ezriety of topics. Traveling around the globe, leading groups on trips rat Hashem, also my to Europe, performing sold-out concerts, giving daily shiurim and as guiding torch, whenever I daven for the a scholar in residence leading uplifting Shabbosim in communities amud or really do far and near, Rav Shlomo Katz has a packed calendar. His brother, anything that has to do with the shlichus Eitan, a resident of the Five Towns, is also a well-known musician, of the tzibbur. and together the brothers have released albums and performed at concerts and over weekends around the world. In between How much of an influence did your flights and on the run to the next Shabbos of inspiration, father have on your Ahron Rosenthal and Yaakov Zoldan were able to steal professional mu sic career? a couple of minutes together with Rav Shlomo I’m sure that it had a huge Katz to talk about his music, his kehilinfluence when it came to my professional music career, allah, and his inspiration.

Shalom u’vracha R’ Shlomo. You were born into a home of chazanus – your father, R’ Avshalom Katz, was the chazan of Beth Jacob of Beverly Hills for many years. Did you yourself ever consider professional chazanus?

Shalom u’vracha. As much as my father’s title in the shul was “chazan,” my father is still the most passionate and sensitive shliach tzibbur and baal tefillah. That was the experience growing up that I had, the privilege that I had growing up

though my Abba did tell me many times – I think the lashon was “Don’t become a full-time musician,” which took me many years, but eventually I listened to him. But of course, everything about my father’s role as baal tefillah and shlichus of the tzibbur has been an incredible constant influence on my daily life. When we made aliyah when I was nine, my Abba left

a very comfortable position in Los Angeles just so that he could give us the privilege of growing up in Eretz Yisroel. And he didn’t come to Eretz Yisroel to a job of being a chazan; he was a musician and a music teacher, going from school to school teaching music, or what he likes to call, “teaching about the Ribbono Shel Olam through music in many different day schools and performing at simchas.” You led the Carlebach Minyan in Beth Jacob for several years. It seems R’ Shlomo Carlebach had a deep influence on your music and your life. What was it about R’ Shlomo Carlebach that has created such a lasting legacy? Do you feel that there is still growing interest in “Carlebach” type music with the younger generation? I still ask myself what is about R’ Shlomo that opened my heart and continues to influence me on a dai-


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

R’ Shlomo Carlebach and Rav Yitzchak Ginsburgh

ly basis. Many different people have explanations of what it means to follow in his footsteps. But I think it became clear to me a while ago that what I am trying to do is be the first Shlomo Katz instead of being the next Shlomo Carlebach. The depth of R’ Shlomo is amazing, and he was machzir atarah leyoshna [returned the crown to its place] and bringing back lost treasures. I think that there will always be an interest in R’ Shlomo’s music on the younger generation but to me, it’s always been about his Torah more than his music. I don’t think the world has begun to taste what his Torah is really all about. We are working really hard to make sure it becomes available to the world. Any other musical influences in your life? What about spiritual influences – who inspires you? Michael Shapiro has been a strong musical influence since I was a teenager as well as the Rabbi’s Sons. Also, there are folk singers from the ‘60s who have inspired me, not in a spiritual way, but definitely in a musical way. I have had the privilege of learning from Rav Moshe Weinberger for many years now and R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Of course, R’ Shlomo Carlebach has inspired me and taught me that each person has something huge to give, and when I humble my-

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Chazan Avshalom Katz

self to realize that I’m not just here to give to others but also to receive from them, at that moment they really inspire me. I’m inspired from seeing a soldier walking down the street in my neighborhood. I’m inspired by the women in my community who

I am blessed to be a part of a very special community, mostly made up of Anglos who made aliyah in the last 10 years, more or less. We have a wide array of ages and backgrounds who all have one goal: they all want to keep making

To some people I’m a rav and to some I’m a musician, but hopefully to everyone I’m a chaver, a friend.

have made talmud Torah mamesh such a number one in their lives. I’m also extremely inspired by my four daughters and from the questions they ask me. We have heard that Shirat David, your shul in Efrat, is a growing kehilla with a very special energy. Tell us a little about its beginnings and some of your exciting shiurim and programs.

aliyah. They realized that coming to Eretz Yisrael was the first step, but there’s so much more after that. Throughout this process, I have basically been holding Rav Moshe Weinberger’s hand as he guides me. It’s humbling to be a part of so many seekers of Torah. The women of the community have really stepped up and they learn Torah every day. The men also have a daily program of learning. We travel together around Israel and the Ukraine, and we visit

tzaddikim together. There is a certain fire in the shul that is hard to describe unless you’re there. The davening is on fire. Our hearts and our Shabbos tables are open for everyone to join us. A career in rabbanus and a career as a musician, two seemingly very different worlds. How do you blend the two so harmoniously? I never intended on becoming a musician, ever. Even till today, when someone asks me what I do, only part of it is the music. It was never a dream of mine to be a musician but I saw how much access you could have to the neshama through the koach of neginah. There were many times where I really thought of stopping because maybe I should be putting all of my energies into learning and teaching. I’ve been strengthened time and again by my mentors to continue the music. It only enhances the bigger picture of what I’m trying to do. To some people I’m a rav and to some I’m a musician, but hopefully to everyone I’m a chaver, a friend. Can you share any thoughts on raising children and inspiring them to a more spiritually connected life? Lately I have been thinking about the concept of v’debarta bam.


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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

At a recent event in Yerushalayim with Rav Moshe Weinberger

You utilize technology in spreading Torah. How can we raise our children to use technology in a healthy way? I would be lying if I said I had the answer to the incredibly difficult challenge that our children are facing with technology. I have to believe that there is definitely room to elevate all forms of technology. It starts with children seeing that their parents are not glued to their phones. That’s probably the beginning stages of being able to relate to technology.

A special relationship with Rav Moshe Weinberger

When it comes to chinuch of your children you’re supposed to speak the words – words of mitzvos and stories but also that our actual lives are Torah. Parents should share how they developed and share their difficulties in their own journey. It’s a personal, personal connection between parents and children, not necessarily the actual situations that they endured in their difficult times but reflecting upon the growth that took place. Children need to feel that their parents were real and are real, and that they are gaining from every experience.

speaking, their parents are not on their phones. R’ Shlomo, you are heading to the Five Towns next week to spend Shabbos at Aish Kodesh and at a community-wide Melaveh Malka with Rav Moshe Weinberger. Can you tell us a little about your connection to Aish Kodesh and Rav Weinberger? When I was a teenager, the first sefer I got that really turned me on to R’ Shlomo Carlebach was the Mei

It became clear to me a while ago that what I am trying to do is be the first Shlomo Katz instead of being the next Shlomo Carlebach.

It’s one of the hardest things in the world. A child should see that there are specific times when their parents are on their phones, but generally

Hashiloach by the Izhbitzer Rebbe. Back then, before Google was around, it was Yahoo. I “Yahooed” “Izhbitz” and it took me to a website

of a person I never heard of and I place I have never heard of: The Five Towns. I didn’t understand what that was. On the website you could purchase cassettes of classes by Rav Moshe Weinberger, and it was these tapes that opened me up to a whole new world of the Mei Hashiloach that I wasn’t used to. It was the voice (of Rav Weinberger) that carried me for a few years. A member of Aish Kodesh, Azriel Ganz, had a son learning in Israel and got in touch with me and asked me if I would be interested in opening up for Chaim Dovid at a concert in Aish Kodesh. I agreed, and when Azriel picked me up from the airport and brought me straight to Rav Weinberger’s Piazecna shiur at 6:00 AM, I couldn’t believe how much at home I felt. It was worth putting out musical albums just to keep the connection with Rav Weinberger. We were fortunate to have him fly out for our wedding years later. When he read the kesubah under the chuppah it was a moment in time that lasts forever. We’ve become family. I’ve had the opportunity to be in many places with him around the world – Paris, Ukraine, Poland, etc. You recently released an album titled, “Only You,” of Michael Shapiro’s niggunim featuring different Jewish musical artists. The album is very unique and moving.


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The studio is not as natural place for me to feel creative. I am so much more about the live sensation of being with people face to face, whether there are 20 people, 200 or 2,000 people in the room. But I believed so much in these niggunim written by Michael Shapiro. Like I said earlier, I myself had been influenced by his niggunim from the age of 16. On many occasions, Rav Weinberger and I discussed the power, uniqueness, and the general feeling of the soul which these songs bring out. All I can say is that the power in the studio in Yerushalayim where we recorded the album was an experience that all who were involved never felt before. Each artist that participated in the album felt they were part of something much bigger. A tremendous amount of hashgacha is felt not only in the choices of songs, but also in the singers who ended up singing them. I pray this album continues to makes its way to the masses, but more importantly to

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is an incredibly deep preparation for that time. Surrounded by a group of friends, who by now have become family, I am very excited to take the next step toward the “King who is in the field” and bring that sensation of closeness to Hashem back with me to my community in Efrat. Over Shabbos we will have a special third meal at Aish where we are hoping to have a specific seder niggunim which I have in my own home every Shabbos, together with specific divrei hisorerus from the teachings of the tzaddikim which we will be singing from. On Saturday night we will have new songs that we will be singing, as well as many of the songs from the album “Only You.” With his brother, Eitan

the hearts of the masses. You’ll be spending Shabbos next week at Aish Kodesh in Woodmere followed by a concert on

Motzei Shabbos. What do you have planned for that weekend? Every Shabbos with Rav Weinberger is a special gift, but being with him right before the yom tovim

Rav Shlomo, it was an honor to speak with you. We wish you and your community much success in all these wonderful endeavors, and we look forward to spending an inspired Shabbos with you.


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Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

I’m 26 and recently engaged to a great guy who I’ll call Eric. Eric and I both went to more modern schools and after our time in Israel we became more frum, on our own, before meeting.

While we were dating we discussed everything there was to discuss – hashkafa, money, careers, goals, kids, family, our values. We went to premarital counseling because we were told it’s a really helpful thing for all couples to do before they’re engaged. And it was. As the wedding is getting closer I find myself questioning some of my hashkafos. I want to be frum and cover hair, knees and elbows, but I’m starting to get nervous about sending our kids, G-d willing, one day to a more yeshivish school. It’s not my comfort level. My brothers had a morah in first grade, not a rebbe. I think of the modern orthodox sleepaway camp I went to, and I can’t imagine my kids not experiencing that lifestyle. I started thinking back to those days and remembering the frummer families at camp; the moms dressed truly tziniusdik on visiting day. Maybe I can fit in in my old lifestyle with my new values. I want to be clear that I think both ways are beautiful and I don’t want to start a debate about which way is right or wrong, chas v’shalom. So, is this something that is insignificant that I should look past? Or, is this something I should be bringing up to Eric? I’m not even sure how I feel, other than bad for having these thoughts. What if I tell him and he breaks up with me? That would devastate me. I’m having a lot of anxiety over this. Thank you for reading this and doing what you do. I really appreciate your help.

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. t seems that you are envisioning your future family life as very similar to what you experienced. You see a comfort level and beauty in that, and that’s a very healthy thing. In other words, you probably had a wholesome childhood and are imagining replicating that on some level in your future. But you and Eric have moved to a more halachically observant and hashkafically different place, hence your discomfort, fears and worries. You are sensing a possible conflict between a pleasant, positive model you experienced and where you are now. This is worrisome to you. You are starting to question your own beliefs, hashkafos, and commonality with Eric. You may even think that you are not as committed to the planned lifestyle you shared until now. You don’t understand yourself and why you have these feelings. This is scary. Your commonality with Eric may be superficial and you may not be on the same page. Open up to Eric and with Eric to the premarital counselor. Bring up your both your pasts and specifically what was attractive, wholesome, and positive. You will also talk about various Orthodox cultures and people whom you respect who are successfully raising families in diverse communities. You will go beyond talking about other people’s values, practices, and challenges to discuss the religious evolution or transitions that couples go through together. And the conversations will begin to focus on the possibility of growth, change, choice, and transition in a marriage. This is a very healthy thing even if many engaged couples do not face this. Many couples deal with this later on when there are children and have several years together behind them. Then they need to confront differing directions.

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You two have several advantages over these couples. You have been in premarital counseling and therefore have learned and will learn more about yourselves, your values, and your relationship. You have learned some communication skills and seen that negotiation is an acquired important skill. Third, you are dealing with the what ifs now. Sharing these thoughts with Eric with the help of a skilled facilitator will probably strengthen your bond. Don’t bail before continuing to communicate. Plumb the depths of your thoughts and the breadth of your concerns. You may learn a lot about each other and yourselves as a couple. The conversations will continue and your growth as a unit will probably be solidified. You will probably agree on some parameters, a model for family living, a family spiritual guide, and regular reassessments. That’s healthy and good.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. ow I’m really worried about you. You say you’ve discussed everything there was to discuss: hashkafa – check. Money – check. Careers – double check. Goals. Kids. Family. Values…. But what about baby names? I mean, Shprintza and Zanvil may be venerable names in your family; still Eric may not be a fan. And paint colors? So many shades of gray; it may be worth devoting one therapy session to Decorating Our Pad 101. My point? Not to poke fun at your comprehensive – “covering all bases” – preparation for marriage but so sorry to inform you: all the talk, the deep meaningful conversations, the give-and-take practiced in front of your therapist will not guarantee that – sometime, somewhere down the Avenue of Matrimonial Bliss – you guys won’t

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argue over some really critical and trivial issues (yeshiva preferences, overnight camp choices, yarmulke fabrics and sleeve lengths). The purpose of therapy was not to review the Heavy Categories (see above) and give you each a star in the category where you’re both compatible. If you weren’t given the tools with which to communicate and negotiate respectfully, you missed the point of the process. It’s time to turn right around and head back to your therapist’s office. This time without Eric. Because with all your stated concerns about your new values, summer camp, and rebbes vs. morahs, you sound apprehensive and downright terrified about getting married. Spend the time, just you and a qualified therapist, and explore the true basis of your anxiety. Without Eric present, you can speak openly and freely about the thoughts you are afraid to articulate to yourself and your chosson. Rest assured, by airing your concerns in a therapeutic setting, you are not compromising your relationship with Eric; you are gaining valuable insight and confidence that will surely benefit your future shalom bayis. And if Eric asks, you can always say, “Another gown fitting.” He’ll understand.

The Shadchan Michelle Mond hank you for bringing up this very important question. If you gave Eric an impression of your hashkafos that are no longer valid it is halachically obligatory for you to communicate this change. Do some couples start off at the same point religiously and eventually change together? Yes, absolutely, and in this case there is no problem because they change in unison. Do some couples start off at the same place and one veers more to the left leaving the other at a place more to

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Don’t bail before continuing to communicate.

the right? Yes, absolutely as well, and this is what can start to rock the proverbial relation-ship. However, that is an unfortunate example which happens over time, and could not have been foreseen. Your husband currently believes he is marrying a woman who has a certain set of hashkafos and beliefs ingrained in her, which translates into a very specific Torahdik lifestyle. If you marry Eric without telling him your hesitancy, you are being over on geneivas da’as (stealing personal knowledge). Practically speaking, it surely does sound a bit premature to start thinking about your children when you are not married yet. However, think of it this way: Do you plan on waking up when your child is five to discuss with your husband your deep intent to send your children to the co-ed modern orthodox day school rather than a yeshiva elementary? Do you intend to wait until your child is 15 to start discussing with your husband the possibility of sending your child to a modern co-ed sleepaway camp when your husband dons a black hat and attends a yeshivishe shteibel? What I’m saying is, doing so is what we would call in the real world: blindsiding someone. When it comes to long-term religious compatibility, it’s not just okay to look the part but to internally be the part you play. You ask if you should worry about Eric breaking up with you due to these inconsistencies. To this I answer, if you truly have such different outlooks regarding religious observance, a


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break up before the marriage would be a blessing. Communicate openly with Eric and see where your honesty leads. Hatzlacha!

The Single Tova Wein ’m a strong believer in “honesty is always the best

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policy.” Covering up your feelings can only be sustained for so long. Better to share them now, before getting married, than after. Though you sound uncertain which way you will ultimately land, there is already enough doubt in your mind to suggest that a change of heart is not absolutely impossible in terms of how modern or not you ultimately want to be. Eric needs

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters

The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

to know this. Maybe he’s had some of the same feelings himself. Maybe he loves you in a way that allows him to be accepting of you – no matter what. But having an honest conversation with Eric is definitely the right way to go, in my opinion. Together you may be able to figure out a plan B should you change at some point or maybe, just maybe, you’ll both ultimately decide that getting married to one another might not be the best ultimate decision. But putting your feelings on the table will allow you both to have a real relationship, w ithout holding

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If you weren’t given the tools with which to communicate and negotiate respectfully, you missed the point of the process.

back your honest feelings and fears, nothing getting in the way of hopefully having a real, honest, respectful, loving relationship. Secrets alienate people. Openness brings them closer.

Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists

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here is a lot at stake here. If you tell Eric the truth about how you have been feeling and what you have been thinking, he may break up with you. And if you don’t tell him, you will be preventing a truly authentic relationship from forming. Though a husband or wife may grow in a new or different way, and we certainly cannot predict every foreseeable outcome, withholding second-guessing your hashkafa is no way to start a marriage. Eric deserves to know. I don’t believe this is insignificant. Equally as significant, separate and distinct from the future of your relationship is the fact that you are questioning the things you thought you wanted for yourself and your future family. You need to continue exploring and do some deep soul searching. Typically, the way a couple wants to raise their children is agreed upon at the outset of a marriage. Whether you remain together or you break up and start dating again, you need clarity for yourself. Find your process toward your clarity. You and Eric already are incredibly adept at practicing communi-

cation and authenticity. I know this because you are in premarital therapy and discussing all there is to discuss. Schedule a time to have this conversation. It won’t be an easy conversation to have, but I believe that ultimately you may feel better. You may want to speak to a trusted loved one, a rebbetzin or a therapist about your current thoughts, by yourself. You need to know if you are feeling nostalgic for your youth and fond memories as you look toward marriage and truly stepping into the hashkafic values you chose as an adult, or if you are truly questioning the lifestyle you thought you wanted. Sharing our truth with a partner does one of two things. It will either take your relationship to the next level and you will feel closer than before (lies and withholding truths divide and create walls), or the couple breaks up because that truth doesn’t work for one or both partners. Whatever happens, by telling the truth you are allowing yourself room for growth.

Being in a relationship that doesn’t allow room for personal growth and change may eventually become tiring, frustrating, sad, and lonely. If Eric breaks up with you because of your recent realizations, then please know that he is not the one for you, and you are not the right one for him. You will be deeply sad for some time, but I hope that you will feel content in the knowledge that you did the right thing for both Eric and yourself. And as cliché as this may sound, better to have this conversation and deal with this situation before you are married, than after.

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 in Hewlett, NY. She is looking forward to teaching a psychology course at Touro College in the fall. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 2 for Jennifer. 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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Dr. Deb

You Can’t Cover Up Trauma By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.

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aiser Permanente is the largest HMO in the United States. It was founded in the ‘30s but by the ‘80s was incorporated and growing. Patients using this form of medical insurance have consistently been middle class workers. As is true of any HMO, the objective is to treat patients while wasting as little money as possible to get the best results. In 1985, the chief of Kaiser Permanent’s Department of Preventive Medicine was Dr. Vincent Felitti. Felitti founded an obesity program that would be more cost-effective than surgery for severely overweight individuals. He was quite pleased with how it went, for the most part, except for an unexpected number of cases that didn’t conform to the projected plan. One person, in particular, stands out in Felitti’s mind. The woman who came to join the program weighed 408 lbs. Through the regimen he had of fasting, she lost 276 lbs. in 51 weeks – going down to 132 lbs. As Felitti says, that amount of loss was “extraordinary.” But that was the beginning of the end for this woman. After several weeks at this weight, something changed. She then gained back 37 lbs. in just three weeks. When he asked her what’s going on, she replied, “I think I’m

sleep-eating…. When I go to bed at night, everything is clean and put away in the kitchen. But when I get up in the morning, boxes and cans are open, pots and dishes are dirty. So he asked her, “But why now?” She stumbled around for a while and then came out with it: “There’s this man at work. A much older man, and married. And he said to me, ‘You look pretty good now that you lost all that weight…’” That was the day the sleep eating began. What bothered Felitti the most was how terribly extreme this response was. He sat and gently probed her history, only to learn of a lengthy history of severe childhood assault and trauma. “In short order,” Felitti says, “she was back at over 400 lbs., faster than she had lost it.” He could not reach her after that for 12 years. He goes on, “She then shows up, safely over 400 lbs., joins a group I had put together of patients in the 400 to 600 lb. range whom we had failed, and the purpose of this group, explicitly, was for them to help me to understand what’s the engine underlying people eating themselves to death. She then announced that her family had put together $20,000 for her to have bariatric surgery. So she had the surgery. But when she’d lost 94 lbs. – which was not so clear

[to see], she became intractably suicidal. She had five hospitalizations in the following year.” This woman eventually stabilized enough to discuss her situation and she told Dr. Felitti, “‘My weight was coming off faster than I could handle it; my wall was crumbling.’” He explains, “What we had perceived to be the problem, she had perceived to be the solution.” She died at 42 of primary pulmonary fibrosis. “In recent years,” Felitti says, “it’s become clear that a portion of those cases is due to chronic, major, unrelieved stress on the brain.” This case and the situation of the other obese patients disturbed Dr. Felitti enough to investigate further. With 50,000 people coming through his department annually, he asked the first 25,000 consecutive patients if they would participate in a study, and 17,421 agreed. The study was simple and didn’t cost the HMO a dime extra. In fact, it saved them a considerable amount of money. In order for a patient to be seen, they had to first fill out a questionnaire. Felliti and Dr. Robert Anda of the Centers For Disease Control spent a year developing 10 extra questions to be added to the questionnaire. The point was to uncover “Adverse Childhood Experiences”

and it became known as the ACE study. The 10 questions covered each of these areas: 1. severe physical abuse 2. severe, recurrent emotional abuse such as humiliation 3. contact sexual abuse 4. emotional neglect 5. physical neglect 6. substance abuse 7. violence to mother 8. mental illness 9. member of the family is incarcerated 10. separation or divorce of parents Felitti noted, “In the general population, adverse childhood experiences are remarkably common but unrecognized [by the public].” Further, the impact on the lives of these sufferers is severe, affecting emotional state, mental illness, social functioning, performance at work, biomedical health, disease, and premature death. Each question gets one point if the answer is “yes.” They followed these people and learned that if a person had an ACE score of 6, they were 4,600% more likely to become an IV drug abuser than someone with an ACE score of 0. Also, an ACE score of 6 shortens life expectancy by 20 years. Of those surveyed who had an


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ACE score of 0, 3% would go on to have learning or behavior difficulties in school. But of those with an ACE score of 4, more than 50% went on to have these problems at school. How does this all happen? One path to early death is the use of addictions as a way to avoid facing inner pain. When memories are unbearable, chemical addictions, overeating, and other coping mechanisms are employed. The second path is through the stress response. Stress is not meant to be a constant companion. Yet, people with horrendous pasts cannot get rid of their stress. This causes the release of inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream that damage the body. When a person had an ACE score of six, they had a 15% greater likelihood of having COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), ischemic heart disease, and liver disease than someone with a score of 0. They also were also two times more

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likely to have cancer and 4 times more likely to have emphysema. I did mention that the addition of these 10 questions to the questionnaire became cost effective. After the initial 17,000-person survey, this became part of the general medical intake for Kaiser Perma-

visits. Why? They interviewed all patients who had indicated any adverse childhood experience, and Felitti believes that just being a non-judgmental listener was important to these people. Over an 8-year period,

“Somebody’s obviously been cooking there. I live alone, so it must be me.”

nente and 130,000 people got to answer the questions. Just putting these questions into the survey led to a 35% reduction in doctor office visit in the following year and an 11% reduction in emergency room

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Kaiser Permanente put these questions to 440,000 adults, and many people appreciated the opportunity to be heard and have their pain validated. He has a stack of thank you letters to prove it.

Robert Anda, the co-author of the 10 ACE questions, sees from the statistics that, as Bessel van der Kolk stated, “Eradicating child abuse in America would reduce the overall rate of depression by more than half, alcoholism by two-thirds, and suicide, IV drug use, and domestic violence by three-quarters.” But what is happening for our children today? Nothing has changed. They’re given drug treatment for their pain, but that treatment cannot relieve the soul-level of pain from things remembered and things not remembered as well. This is a good focus for Elul. Let’s not wait for yimai HaMashiach to fight child trauma. Let’s start in our own homes.

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

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Health & F tness

The Attention Deficit Disorder That Everyone is Ignoring By Hylton I. Lightman, MD, DCH (SA), FAAP

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ou know the scene. Mommy or Tatty is pushing the stroller down the bundle of joy inside the stroller. One hand of the parent pushes the stroller while the other hand holds that seemingly permanent appendage called the cellphone. Something so engaging must be on that piece of glorified plastic because rather than interacting with the child, the parent is preoccupied with whatever is happening on that screen in their hand. Parents will do this under many circumstances, including while walking in a crosswalk, despite traffic (which is something I don’t get). This is an attention deficit disorder. It is epidemic. It does not have to happen. You might think it is funny, especially when you admit to yourself (albeit privately) that you too are part of this raging epidemic. Sadly, both you – the parent – and your child are suffering, and the consequences will be long term. Allow me to explain. Let’s start with your child. You, my dear parent, are one of the most important people and “influencers” in your precious child’s life. Prior to birth, you are already bonding with this precious gift from G-d. This baby is born knowing your voices and so much more. He relies on you for everything, from food and shelter to love and so much more. One of the biggest gifts you can give your child is stimulation. When you interact with your baby – including cooing at them and making faces –

you are stimulating him. This means that you are arousing his sense of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Stimulating your baby will help to improve your baby’s attention, memory, curiosity, and nervous system development. In addition, stimulating your baby’s senses will enable him to reach developmental milestones faster. It will also aid in the development of motor skills. Frontloading this during the first year of life is the time when your baby’s brain is growing at the fastest rate it ever will. You are beginning the process of helping your baby to develop a sense of “self.” Babies are marvelous to observe, and they provide endless delight. But I am advocating for interacting with your baby because, in this case, interaction supersedes observation. Just don’t plunk him down in a playpen and walk away. Gather age-appropriate toys and get down on the floor and play with him. You can make these inanimate toys come alive for your baby by giving them voices and showing how to play with them. By doing so, you are helping to nurture your child’s imagination. Imagination, which the Webster’s dictionary defines as “the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not yet seen or experienced: the ability to think of new things,” fosters social and cognitive development. Imagination is the door to possibilities. It is the intersection of creativity, ingenuity, and thinking outside the box. Through imagination and creative play, your child learns

about the world. This helps to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in children. Try not to just plop your baby in the stroller and start power walking and feel you’ve achieved something. Okay, you have – you got out of the house and you’re doing something positive for yourself and that is no small thing. But let’s try to maximize the moment to its fullest potential. Your baby should face you, Mommy or Daddy, especially a little one. He can watch you and your gestures. You can smile at him; babies love when parents smile at them. When you have your baby’s full attention – which is but a fleeting moment – you can accomplish a lot, provided you are tuned in and interacting with him. Babies are naturally curious, and when you satisfy your baby’s curiosity, he will naturally want more. Why? Because he is experiencing pleasure! Once he experiences something in which he finds pleasure, he will endeavor to learn more about it. Therefore, you, Imma and Abba, are key in nourishing your baby’s thirst for knowledge. You should seek to provide your baby with opportunities to experience different stimuli to pique his curiosity and to encourage him to learn more and more. The child-parent bond can be an antidote to the anxiety that abounds among children today. 1 in 8 children suffer from anxiety and the reasons are multi-factorial. Some fears are built into the cycle of life. For example, normal development includes the stranger anxiety phase

which usually sets in at about 7 months of life when your baby recognizes familiar faces like Mommy and Tatty, and then avoids the unfamiliar. As healthy attachment to parents grows, separation anxiety, as manifested through crying and sadness, emerges and then improves over the next several years. Generally, most children are past this stage by the end of kindergarten. Although I could take this article and further describe today’s anxiety, I’m not going in that direction as I’ve already written about it (“Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! When did we become so anxious?”). Rather, I am underscoring the important role that parents, especially mothers, have in being with their children, talking with them, hearing their hopes and fears, processing information, and just plain enjoying them without the cellphone, iPad, and other such distractions. When parents are tuned into their children properly, anxiety can lessen and so much positive can happen. It requires work. But what in life is meaningful that comes without work, hard work? Parents stand so much to gain by properly interacting with their babies, nurturing and raising them through the toddler and early school years, through middle school and then the roller coaster called adolescence and so forth. We parents want to know that we have done right by our children. Not for one moment am I saying to strive for perfection. Not one of us is a per-


fect parent. Being a parent entails responsibility. When you know that you are doing your best to maximize your child’s imagination and developing his sense of self, there is no greater feeling (including exhaustion). Ideally, we want to be connected to our children at all stages of life. The earlier it happens, the better for all. I know I’m dating myself (by about 50 years) but Harry Chapin had a song called “The Cat’s in the Cradle.” It was inspired by several relationships between fathers and sons which Chapin knew about firsthand in which the parent is busy, busy, busy and by the time he is ready for a meaningful relationship with his child, the child – who is now a grown adult – has no time for the parent. There’s a rather poignant line when the parent reaches out to his busy, busy, busy adult child. That child is too busy to see his father who then says, “I realized he’s grown up just like me.” How sad. Everyone loses, and the damage is irreversible. We have all seen one-year-old chil-

dren who are facile and quick on cellphones. They use their tiny fingers to swipe until they find the videos they want. I don’t find this amusing. Too many parents capitulate to the screaming child who requests/demands the

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development. Perhaps this is the root of increased anxiety among parents and children today. It is Elul, the month of introspection as we prepare for Yom HaDin. There is

Parents stand so much to gain by properly interacting with their babies, nurturing and raising them.

cellphone. Children have lost the ability to turn the pages of a book and try to enlarge and swipe them instead. How sad. The lack of parenting, interaction, establishing of boundaries, and parents being in charge is negatively impacting children’s social and other

a subtle reference in the Torah portion about the arei miklat, cities of refuge, to Elul. What’s the connection between the cities of refuge and Elul? The cities of refuge were places where people who murdered unintentionally stayed and lived and learned

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Torah. The person’s rebbe came. The Kohen Gadol was involved. Something in the perpetrator’s avodas Hashem went awry, and the ir miklat offered an opportunity for rehabilitation. Elul is our ir miklat, our city of refuge as the Jewish year is in its final stretch. It is an opportunity, a gift to each of us to look at ourselves and determine what’s open in our own avodas Hashem. Not being fully engaged with our children as Hashem would like us to be is one area in which to work over the next several weeks. Imagine how this world could be if we would fully appreciate Hashem’s blessings and gifts and give back to Him? As always, daven. Thank you to Dovid Chaim Hoffman for his thoughts on this. Dr. Hylton I. Lightman is a pediatrician and Medical Director of Total Family Care of the 5 Towns and Rockaway PC. He can be reached at drlightman@totalfamilycaremd.com, on Instagram at Dr.Lightman_ or visit him on Facebook.


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leaving

KOLLEL

a three-part series

PART I: DECIDING WHAT COMES NEXT By: Yeshaya Kraus, LCSW

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hen it comes time to leave the four walls of the beis medrash, there are a lot of different thoughts that jump into the average yungerman’s head. The one that usually gets the most attention, at least to begin with, is “OK, what now?” In many situations, the young man’s life for the past few years has been primarily focused on learning as his be-all and end-all. Flipping the switch on that thought pattern and turning to thoughts of a career is an unknown and murky process. Many young men in this situation don’t really have a solid idea of how their practical skills, some of which have been developed in yeshiva, might translate into marketable skills. Some aren’t aware of having practical skills in the first place. “I know how to say a chabura, but what does that have to do with getting a job?” Truthfully, there are skills involved in any success in a particular setting. Saying a chabura is actually a relatively simple skill set to figure out. You’re doing research and

analysis. You’re organizing information and presenting it publicly. That’s informational analysis and explanation, not to mention public speaking. Many times, there’s a deadline involved. Working under pressure is also a developed skill. Did you write your chabura down? Are you an avid note-taker? Are your notes covered with doodles and sketches? There are skills involved in all of those as well. Acknowledging them could help you decide on a career path that utilizes them. Think about it for long enough – you’ll find more. Many people have long-ignored hobbies from their youth which might also translate into marketable skills. The trick is getting in touch with those long-forgotten means of relaxation and talent. Who hasn’t played with Lego as a kid? Maybe you were one of those kids who liked to write stories in their spare time. The means of play that we gravitate towards as children says a lot about our general preferences and what makes us tick. Think back. What made you tick as a child? Odds are, that characteristic is still there in some way or

another. It may be front and center, or very subtle. It’s just a matter of finding it and bringing it out. It’s something you enjoyed, something you were good at, and something you can use. Aside from acknowledging your practical skills, you can also pay attention to different ways of thinking that you’ve connected with. Perhaps there was a sefer that resonated with you. Perhaps it was a particular piece of Gemara that you really enjoyed. Maybe there was a subject in school that you enjoyed. What was it about? What did you enjoy about it? Go through your experiences and notice what skills you’ve enjoyed using, what topics you’ve enjoyed thinking about. Run them off. Distill them. Find common themes. Put all these themes together, and you may have some idea as to what kinds of activities have resonated with you in the past. It’s a good bet that your best career option, at least in terms of your skills and talents, will include one or more of these areas. Think about specific career paths that might include these skills. As you’re thinking about it, you may find

yourself leaning more towards one option than another. For example, one yungerman had gone to a career coach and discovered that the two options that incorporated many of his skills and interests were becoming an electrician or getting a degree in psychology. He felt himself leaning more towards psychology for some reason. After much discussion, it turned out that he felt doing something which was so focused on physical labor would not fit his self-image of being an intellectual. This was a part of himself he valued. He wasn’t ready to let that go by becoming something he identified as not intellectual. The lesson here is that aside from finding something that you enjoy, you have to be comfortable with that professional identity. We can philosophize and discuss hashkafa about how you don’t need to identify yourself as your professional life. At the end of the day, though, you will. Part of a man’s build is to provide, and how he does it will have a tremendous impact on how he relates to himself and others. You need to find out as much as you


can about the career options that you’re considering. That way, you can decide whether or not it’s a good fit – from an environmental perspective, a life-work balance perspective, and a financial perspective. Connect with people in the industry, on all levels. You want to see what it’s like getting in, moving up, and topping out. How will the day-to-day affect your life, both in the short term and the long term? You’re going to need to do some research. This means outreach to people who are already in the industries that you’re considering. You’re going to find it valuable to speak with people from all ends of the profession; early professionals who have just gotten on board, long time workers who are in the middle levels, and people towards the top. The reason for this is simple. You’re considering a career path. A career is a long-term prospect. Whatever you decide on, you don’t want to find yourself with buyer’s remorse within a few years. It’s certainly not uncommon for people to change careers completely

over the course of their lives. You want to do whatever diligence you can to postpone that possibility, though. That includes finding out what it’s like to get in, rise up, and top off. This includes financial expectations, understanding what the life-work balance is like, and knowing what the working environment could be like. What kind of edu-

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of you as a family. What’s important in a career in terms of supporting your life values? This is important. You’re both in this together, and you need to plan together as well. Are there specific concerns that you both have about going out to work that you can ask about? What do you want? What do you not want?

YOU HAVE TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH THAT PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY. cation will you need to start out? What will you need to continue? You’ll need to do some preparation for your phone calls. Have specific questions to ask your contacts about their experiences. Develop these questions together with your wife by figuring out what’s important to you as a person and what’s important to both

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By the same token, it’s also important to get input from a mentor when developing these questions. A good mentor who knows you well can help you maintain realistic priorities and expectations of yourself as a ben Torah in the working world. One of the primary causes of spiritual burnout following leaving kollel is having undue

expectations of yourself that you can’t meet. Hold yourself to high standards, definitely. Just make sure that those standards make sense beforehand. After you do your research, collate your answers. Put them together, and see what picture comes out. Is it a good fit? What looks like it’ll work? What looks like it won’t? How do these factors match up with your priorities? What’s the big picture look like? If it looks good, and fits to the point that you and your wife are both comfortable with the projected picture, it may be time for the next step. It may be time to leave.

Yeshaya Kraus, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in Far Rockaway who works with individuals, couples, and parents. He is particularly passionate about working with yungerleit and their wives, helping them navigate the kollel exit experience and orienting to their new reality, on both practical and emotional levels. He can be reached at yykraus@ gmail.com or at 917-412-5824.


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Health & F tness

The Dangers of a Low Fiber Diet By Cindy Weinberger MS, RD, CDN

D

ietary fiber, found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, is a plant substance that is non-digestible by the human gastrointestinal tract. Most parts of foods, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates, are broken down and absorbed by the body. Fiber isn’t digested by the body. Instead, it moves relatively intact through your stomach and intestines and then leaves the body. Dietary fiber can be classified as insoluble or soluble. Soluble fiber is viscous and forms gels in the gastrointestinal tract. Many diets focus on increasing fiber intake for a number of reasons. The notable reasons to eat more fiber are to ease digestion, lower cholesterol levels, promote satiety, and aid in weight loss. However, we rarely worry about what too little fiber can do to us. Most Americans don’t get nearly enough fiber. The daily recommended amounts of fiber for women and men are, respectively, 25 and 35 grams per day. Diets lacking whole grains and fruits can also make fiber difficult to consume. A lack of fiber in one’s diet can cause an unhealthy digestive system, which can lead to both short and long-term health complications. One major role of fiber is regulating digestion and helping food move along the digestive tract. Without an adequate amount of fiber, one can experience severe constipation. A recent client complained of being constantly constipated. A diet plan

was initiated to include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains regularly. Within three days, she reported that constipation was no longer an issue and that she felt completely different. So not only does fiber help regulate one’s digestion tract, too little fiber can cause irregular digestion patterns. Another well-known characteristic of fiber is its ability to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber decreases levels of cholesterol in the blood by

els, increasing one’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, legumes, and oats. Hence, oatmeal is considered a very “heart healthy” meal. In addition, soluble fiber delays gastric emptying, keeping one satiated for longer periods resulting in lower caloric intake, thus lowering cholesterol intake indirectly as well. From whichever aspect you look at it, fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol levels, therefore, not enough fiber in the diet is associated with

By slowing down digestion, high fiber foods keep you fuller for longer.

interfering with the absorption of cholesterol. The exact mechanism in which fiber lowers cholesterol is not proven. Research suggests that soluble fiber attaches to cholesterol and bile acids, inducing their excretion. Since the bile acids are excreted, and not recycled, the liver must use cholesterol in the blood to make new bile acids. This process lowers serum cholesterol. Therefore, a lack of fiber in one’s diet may result in elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol lev-

elevated cholesterol levels. One part that always gets everyone’s attention in this discussion is weight gain. Fiber helps promote satiety. By slowing down digestion, high fiber foods keep you fuller for longer. Did you ever notice that eating an apple fills you up for longer than a bag of chips? High fiber foods fill you up. On the other hand, low fiber foods often leave you hungrier quicker, causing you to eat more. By eating low fiber foods, you are at

more of a risk for weight gain. Fiber is said to slow one’s blood sugar response after a meal by slowing down digestion. A lack of fiber does the opposite and causes that meal to have an immediate effect on your blood sugar. Over time, constant spikes and dips in blood sugar can lead to complications, including diabetes. In the long run, a low fiber diet may cause diverticulosis or colon cancer. Even though some forms of cancer are genetic, colon cancer can be linked with poor eating habits. Lack of fiber leads to an easier environment in the colon for polyps to develop. We see that not only does fiber offer tremendous benefits, but without adequate amounts of fiber in our diet, we are putting ourselves at risk for heart disease, stroke, weight, diabetes, and colon cancer. Fiber is so easy to add into your diet. All fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. Whole grains and legumes are another great source.

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


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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In The K

tchen

Minestrone Soup By Naomi Nachman

I love soup all the time, even during the summer months. This traditional soup is full of vegetables and protein from the beans. One large serving for me for dinner is enough to keep me full until the morning.

Ingredients 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil ¾ cup chopped onion ¼ cup chopped celery ½ cup chopped carrots 1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans ½ cup shredded cabbage 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes 1 TBS tomato paste 1 ½ cups cubed potatoes 1 quart chicken broth 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 TBS dried parsley 1 tsp salt ½ cup elbow macaroni (raw) ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; sauté for a few minutes. Add beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, stock, garlic, parsley, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 1 hour until vegetables are barely tender. Add pasta and simmer for 30 minutes more. Season to taste, and serve hot with grated cheese and crusty bread.

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 sad day for the Democrats, Kirsten Gillibrand has dropped out of the Presidential Primary. I’m glad they never found out that she was the one I was really afraid of! - Tweet by President Trump after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, with her polling hovering at 0%

I don’t know. My campaign may well have been ahead of its time. - Sen. Gillibrand, when asked by The New York Times why her run for president fizzled out

They picked the wrong house. - Daniel McGown, 73, who held an intruder in Akron, Ohio, at gunpoint until the police arrived, talking to a local TV station last week

My experience in academia is somewhat limited, at best. But I want to learn, and I feel this can make me a better person. I also feel my life experience, maybe with my maturity — which my wife would say is laughable — I think I can help some of the young people out. - Former Navy SEAL James Hatch, 52, who is a freshman at Yale University this year

I pointed the pistol at him and said, “If you don’t move, I won’t shoot you…” And he said, “Please do call the police. Please don’t shoot me.” - Ibid.

At this time we would like to begin boarding with any active duty military, families travelling with children under the age of 3, and horses. - Announcement at an American Airlines gate at O’Hare Airport when a passenger last week brought a small horse onto the plane because it was her “service animal”

Not because I’m Israeli, because all of the Arab people from all of the countries just wanted to take a selfie with me all the time. - Fauda star and creator Lior Raz, speaking at an event at the Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School in Beachwood, Ohio, explaining why he had to have a bodyguard while recently filming a movie in Abu Dhabi

MORE QUOTES


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

If the repairs to your vehicle cost 75% of the car’s total value, your insurance company MUST pay you the FULL value of your vehicle and NOT repair it. Don’t allow the insurance company to negotiate a lower-priced repair in order to save themselves money!

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This is a desperate ploy because they don’t have any substantial platform issues. They can’t outperform President Trump on the jobs, on the tax cuts, on the historically black colleges and universities, on the pro-life [issue], on what he’s doing for security in the country, and what he’s doing for the veterans. They can’t outdo that, so they have to stir up fear, tears, terror, and saying that President Trump is a racist. - Dr. Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in an interview with Breitbart News, discussing the left’s claim that President Trump is a racist

The incompetent Mayor of London, Sadique [sic] Kahn, was bothered that I played a very fast round of golf yesterday. Many Pols exercise for hours, or travel for weeks. Me, I run through one of my courses (very inexpensive). President Obama would fly to Hawaii…Kahn should focus on…….’knife crime,’ which is totally out of control in London. People are afraid to even walk the streets. He is a terrible mayor who should stay out of our business! - A series of tweets by President Trump responding to London’s Mayor Sadiq Kahn telling Politico about President Trump that “he’s clearly busy dealing with a hurricane out on the golf course”

The details are irrelevant in terms of decisionmaking. - 2020 hopeful Joe Biden when asked on NPR about a Washington Post report that he fabricated a heart-wrenching story that he recently told at a campaign event about pinning a medal on a reluctant Navy officer

The weirdest thing about the Electoral College is the fact that if it wasn’t specifically in the Constitution for the presidency, it would be unconstitutional. – Chris Hayes, MSNBC

I think it should be flag football. I think the fans would still pay to see it. - Former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn in a recent interview with USA Today, talking about safety issues in the NFL

Well, my flight instructor did say I was the best student he’d had. - Trainee pilot Max Sylvester joking to an air traffic operator in Australia, while he was being instructed on how to land a small Cessna plane during his first flight lesson after his flight instructor passed out midflight

On the day I was married, my mother in law – I was married in her home – she took me aside and said she wanted to tell me what was the secret of a happy marriage. [She said], “It helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on NPR, sharing her secret to a happy marriage (she was married to her husband for 50 years, before he died in 2010)

If you’re on Facebook, here’s the only things you have to remember — never tell anybody where you were born or your date of birth. That’s 98% of me stealing your identity. I only need to know those two pieces of information. - FBI cybercrimes agent Frank Abagnale, the former con artist famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can, in an interview on Yahoo Finance


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Political Crossfire

Trump and Biden Have the Same Message By Marc A. Thiessen

D

uring a recent speech in New Hampshire, President Trump unveiled a new campaign line: “Whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me.” Citing the strong economy, Trump told voters that if he loses, “your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes,” so “you have no choice!” To underscore the point, when he finished speaking the music that came on was the Rolling Stones singing, “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you might find, you get what you need.” Not far away, in Nashua, the Biden campaign rolled out the very same message about its candidate. “I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that,” Jill Biden told Democratic primary voters. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is. But you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.” To put it another way: “Whether you love Joe or hate him, you have got to vote for him.” Trump and Biden are both running on the same message, but with one crucial difference: Trump is directing his at independent swing voters; Biden is directing that message

at his base. The New York Times reports that, despite his commanding lead in the polls, Biden faces a problem of low enthusiasm. While Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., “have followings rooted in zealous support for their ideas,” Biden’s support is rooted in a belief that he is the candidate best positioned to beat Trump. Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth Universi-

even if Biden manages to secure the Democratic nomination, running a campaign built exclusively on ousting the sitting president, rather than enthusiasm for your own ideas, is not a winning strategy. Just ask President Mitt Romney. Trump, by contrast, has his base wrapped up and energized. The president consistently enjoys nearly 90% support among Republicans (in contrast with Barack Obama, who had

Biden and Trump are giving voters an ultimatum rather than inspiration.

ty’s Polling Institute, told the paper that while spending time recently in Iowa “I did not meet one Biden voter who was in any way, shape or form excited about voting for Biden. They feel that they have to vote for Joe Biden as the centrist candidate, to keep somebody from the left who they feel is unelectable from getting the nomination.” The danger of running on electability is that all it takes is one catastrophic gaffe or debate stumble for Biden’s support to collapse. And

just 75% support among Democrats at this stage in 2011, according to Gallup). For Trump, the risk of this strategy is not with his base, but with the swing voters who put him over the top in 2016. According to Axios, in 2016 “20% of Trump’s voters told exit pollsters they didn’t like him.” These reluctant Trump voters put Trump in the White House and are critical to his keeping it in 2020. Like many Americans, they are exhausted by the chaos of the Trump presidency. Biden

is targeting his message directly at these voters, echoing George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign pledge to restore “honor and dignity” to the Oval Office in the wake of the tumultuous Clinton presidency. Yet, despite their exhaustion with Trump, many of these voters approve of his economic performance in office. Despite recent market turbulence, the U.S. economy remains strong. On Trump’s watch, unemployment has reached a five-decade low, and our biggest economic problem is that we have 1.6 million more job openings than we have unemployed workers to fill them. And a decade after the Great Recession, wages are finally rising, with those at the bottom of the economic ladder benefiting the most. The problem is that Trump has made virtually no effort to win over these reluctant Trump voters again, much less expand his base by appealing to Americans who did not vote for him but are benefiting from his policies. He is betting that presidents seeking reelection in a full-employment economy don’t tend to lose. The danger is that, if the economy takes a nose dive, his argument for reelection with these voters does as well. Biden and Trump are giving voters an ultimatum rather than inspiration. They both may find that running on your unlikability is a risky strategy. (c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group


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Political Crossfire

Why Macron’s Iran Gamble Didn’t Pay Off By David Ignatius

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hat really happened in Biarritz last weekend, with the mysterious visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif? U.S. officials saw it as a bit of diplomatic freelancing by French President Emmanuel Macron that sought to foster negotiations but highlighted the obstacles that are in the way. The intrigue surrounding the summit was described by knowledgeable sources who requested anonymity to describe the sensitive diplomacy. “It felt like a gamble,” said one source, a bet by Macron that he could engage President Trump’s flair for the dramatic by providing a venue for a face-to-face meeting. A French embassy spokesperson in Washington declined to comment. Macron has been trying to coax Iran and the U.S. toward talks that would produce a new, broader nuclear agreement ever since April 2018, when he proposed during a visit to the White House “four pillars” of such a revised agreement. Macron wants to add curbs on Iranian ballistic missiles and regional meddling to an extended version of the 2015 nuclear pact. Macron, understanding Trump’s penchant for disruptive diplomacy, apparently thought that if he brought Zarif to the G-7 summit meeting on the French coast, it might prompt a U.S.-Iranian meeting that would jump-start talks. Macron may have been modeling his effort on South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s success in leveraging the 2018 Py-

eongChang Olympics to encourage rapprochement with North Korea and Trump’s subsequent meetings with Kim Jong Un. Macron’s bet didn’t pay off, and there are some obvious explanations why: Zarif wasn’t senior enough, he’s personally disliked by the Trump team as the favorite interlocutor of the Obama administration, and he didn’t bring any concessions from Tehran. Perhaps if President Hasan Rouhani had arrived in Biarritz, car-

buffed the channel, saying: “I do not see Trump as worthy of any message exchange, and I do not have any reply for him, now or in future.” After thanking Abe for his effort, a miffed Trump tweeted: “I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!” Enter Macron. Despite Abe’s failure, the French president thought he might be able to save the 2015 deal by repackaging it through a new ne-

He underlined in an August 8 tweet: “I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself.”

rying a meaningful message, then Trump would have found a dramatic meeting irresistible. Trump’s approach to such freelance diplomacy has been coy. He encourages the flirtations with Iran but doesn’t ease off on U.S. sanctions. That was the case with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wanted to play peacemaker when he traveled to Tehran in June. Abe’s good relations with Trump made him a credible messenger, and Trump assented. But the Abe initiative proved a bust. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei re-

gotiation. Macron sent his top diplomatic adviser to Tehran in June and July to chum the water. “Hey, give me a shot,” was Macron’s message to Trump, a source said. Trump again assented. But he underlined in an August 8 tweet: “I know Emmanuel means well, as do all others, but nobody speaks for the United States but the United States itself.” After the Biarritz gambit, Trump himself seemed to be inviting a meeting with Rouhani. “I have a good feeling. I think he [Rouhani] is going to want to meet and get their

situation straightened out. They are hurting badly,” he said Monday as the G-7 ended. But the next day, it was Rouhani’s turn to express disdain, saying, “We will not witness any positive development unless the United States abandons its sanctions.” There’s an element of cognitive dissonance here. The U.S. is waging what amounts to economic war, but it keeps insisting it wants to negotiate. The Pentagon seems pleased that the low-key U.S. military response to Iranian provocation this summer has averted escalation. “We want to talk with Iran and talk about a diplomatic path forward,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper Wednesday. The State Department worries, meanwhile, that the U.S. may be sending Tehran a message of weakness. Trump clearly doesn’t want war with Iran, and neither do key U.S. allies. The United Arab Emirates recently floated the idea of a “Helsinki process,” under United Nations sponsorship, that would allow discussions among nations of the Persian Gulf, perhaps focused on maritime security. And the U.S. confirmed this week that it’s conducting secret talks with the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Yet the war drums still beat. Israel last weekend attacked Iranian-backed rebels in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, in what seemed a significant escalation. Confused about where the Iran confrontation is heading? Welcome to the club. (c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group


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Forgotten Her es

Jewish Generals During the Civil War By Avi Heiligman

A monument to the Salomon brothers

N

ineteenth-century wars saw many generals and commanders lead their troops on the battlefield directly into the line of fire. American Civil War strategy still called for tactics used in the Napoleonic Wars even though the weaponry had advanced. The old tactics saw lines of soldiers advancing directly in the line of rifle and cannon fire, and the results were devastating. As the casualties among high-ranking officers grew, other officers were called upon to take their place. A lot of these officers had interesting backgrounds, including being appointed for political reasons or having fought in wars for other countries. Many new generals were given the title of a brevet officer, meaning that he was given the title for bravery or good conduct but it would be in title only. After the war, many of these officers went back to their original rank. A few Jewish officers reached the title of brevet brigadier general in the Union Army – most of these men were originally from Eastern Europe. Several Jewish officers reached the rank of general or brevet general during the American Civil War. Here are five of their stories. Born in Brandenburg, Prussia, in 1827 (although some accounts have his birthplace in Poland, which was then in East Prussia), Leopold Blumenberg had been an officer in the Prussian Army. He attained the rank of first lieutenant while fighting in Denmark. Anti-Semitism in the army made him resign, and in 1854 he immigrated to the U.S. Set-

tling in Baltimore, he entered the cloak manufacturing business. Seven years later, at the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized the 5th Maryland Regiment and was given the rank of major. Maryland was a border state that stayed with the Union during the war but there was a large group of people called Secessionists that wanted Maryland to join the South. Blumenberg was an abolitionist and was almost killed by a mob in Baltimore at the start of the war. During the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day on U.S. soil, he was severely wounded in the thigh by a sharpshooter at a place called Bloody Lane while leading a charge. For his bravery he was brevetted brigadier general but his fighting career was over. Appointed by President Lincoln as provost marshal in Maryland, Blumenberg still remained in the army before he was given full general status by President Johnson. Blumenberg was a very influential member of the Baltimore Jewish community until he passed away in 1876. At least three people with the last name of Salomon had been generals in the Union, with two of them being brothers from Prussia and the third being a cousin. Charles E. Salomon was born in Halberstadt, Prussia, in 1824 and some twenty years later moved with his family to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Charles was a colonel in 5th Missouri Volunteer Regiment and took over the 9th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment from his brother who had recently been promoted. He went on to

lead the regiment in several battles in the western theater of the war. After the war, Charles was nominated by President Andrew Johnson for the position of brevet brigadier general with Congress confirming the appointment. Frederick Salomon moved to St. Louis right before the war and entered the 5th Missouri as a captain. After three months he was appointed colonel of the 9th Wisconsin and joined the Indian Expedition into Indian lands in Oklahoma. In June 1862, he was promoted brigadier general and at the end of the war was brevetted major general. He fought in the western theater and commanded the forces in Helena, Arkansas. Under Salomon the outnumbered Union troops defeated the Confederates, and the important city on the Mississippi River was saved. Edward. S. Salomon, a cousin of the previous two mentioned Salomon brothers, was born in Schleswig, Germany, in 1836. He came to the U.S. in 1854 and settled in Illinois. He abandoned his lucrative practice when the war broke out in 1861. Salomon enlisted as a second lieutenant in Colonel Friedrich Franz Karl Hecker’s 24th Illinois Infantry regiment. Hecker had a disagreement with some of the officers in his command and broke off to create another regiment. Salomon and twenty other officers joined Hecker and the 82nd Illinois, or the “Second Hecker Regiment,” composed mainly of German, Jewish, Swedish, and other European volunteers. Company C was made up

entirely of Jewish volunteers. In late June 1863, the regiment was sent to join the 11th corps, under Major General Oliver O. Howard, to stop the Confederates from invading the North. They went to a small town in Pennsylvania named Gettysburg. The eleventh corps was sent to hold the center of the line and was the main force to repulse the famous Pickett’s charge on July 3. The 82nd Illinois was sent to the right of the line to prevent General Ewell and the Confederates from taking firing pits and breaking the Union right flank and taking the Northerners from the rear. Salomon, who was now a lieutenant colonel and had taken charge of the regiment when Hecker was wounded, “was the only soldier at Gettysburg who did not dodge when Lee’s guns thundered.” He had two horses shot from under him and was able to rally his troops in a desperate seven-hour struggle that resulted in General Ewell’s corps retreating. Early in 1864, Hecker resigned, leaving Salomon in permanent command of the regiment. He was promoted to brevet general and joined General William Tecumseh Sherman on his march to Atlanta. Although his regiment was on the famous march to the sea, Salomon was sent to deliver messages and missed the march. In March 1865, he received the title of brevet brigadier general, and a year later he was nominated by the president for the full title and received the approval of Congress. In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Salomon as the


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Charles Salomon

Edward Salomon

Frederick C. Salomon

General Leopold Blumenberg

governor of Washington Territory, and he served in that capacity for two years. Hungarian-born Major General Frederick Knefler was involved in battles during all four years of the bloody war. Joining the Union Army at the start of the war, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant with the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment. Before the war he worked with Lew Wallace while practicing law, and so during the war,

when Wallace was tasked with raising five regiments in Indiana, Knefler was his chief assistant. Knefler quickly rose in rank following a series of battlefield promotions for bravery. Two months before the war ended, he was brevetted brigadier general after his regiment stopped the Confederates during the Battle of Nashville. Several times his soldiers praised him for his command style.

These five generals were among the most prominent soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War. Thousands of Jewish soldiers served in both armies, and they not only battled the enemy but also fought anti-Semitism in a country that was struggling to give all people freedom. Other Jewish soldiers deserved promotions but were turned down because of anti-Semitism and their stories are probably lost to histo-

ry (every once in a while, documents do surface detailing previously unknown accounts). The stories that did survive tell the tales of true forgotten heroes.

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


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Classifieds HOUSES FOR SALE 2 FAMILY HOUSE FOR SALE IN FAR ROCKAWAY, NEW ASKING PRICE! 602 Seagirt Blvd Well-maintained, 3.5 bedroom over 2 bedroom New kitchen with quartz countertops and new appliances. Spacious backyard with swingset. Central AC/heat, two thermostats. Alarm system. Asking 829K Call or text 917-755-5808

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SALESPERSON Excellent opportunity. Maintenance supply company, looking for an experienced outside sales representative. We offer a starting salary, car expenses, plus commission. Please email your resume to jobs@smssupplies.com

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Classifieds HELP WANTED

HELP WANTED COMMERCIAL INSURANCE BROKERAGE LOOKING FOR A FULL time broker. The ideal candidate has between 1-2 years of relevant experience, is proficient in agency systems, has excellent computer skills and a persuasive telephone presence. No cold calling involved. Salary plus commission and will be commensurate with experience. Resumes can be sent to joe@unrm.com

P/T POSITION TO COOK FOR ADULTS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES IN A GROUP HOME IN CEDARHURST. Knowledge of Kashrut a must. 855-OHEL-Job www.ohelfamily.org/careers

BAIS YAAKOV ATERES MIRIAM IS SEEKING PROFESSIONAL AND CARING TEACHERS FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND PRE-1A. Also seeking assistant teachers for preschool and elementary school. Please email resume to teachingpositions1@gmail.com.

SHOMER SHABBOS OFFICE LOOKING FOR A FULL TIME MATURE SECRETARY Hebrew reading and writing, computer knowledge (Word Perfect, Excel, QuickBooks, etc...) and communication skills a must. Please email resume to clerical11598@gmail.com

SPECIAL ED TEACHERS CAHAL is seeking a Part Time (AM) Special Education Judaic Studies Teacher for a middle school Bais Yaakov class, and Part Time (PM) Special Education Secular Studies Teacher for elementary school class. Send resume to shira@cahal.org or Fax 516-295-2899. Call 516-295-3666 for more information

Looking for a post-high school "Bais Yaakov girl" to work as a warm and loving assistant Morah in a 2 year old Far Rockaway playgroup 9:00-3:10 (Friday 12:10) Competitive salary, vacation and sick days, lunch break For more information, please CALL/TEXT 718-926-9336

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Classifieds HELP WANTED

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TORAH ACADEMY FOR GIRLS, FAR ROCKAWAY SEEKS QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED MOROS, ELEMENTARY DIVISION. Please email resume to mlevin@tagschools.org

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The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Classifieds HELP WANTED

HELP WANTED

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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15

Money

Deductible Man By Allan Rolnick, CPA

“B

urning Man” is a celebration of creativity and community that pops up for nine days every year before Labor Day in the Nevada desert. (Turn right at Reno, go about 100 miles, and when it looks like you’re actually driving on the moon, you’re there.) It started as a simple bonfire for a handful of creatives on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. Since then, it’s become a seeand-be-seen destination for 70,000 social media influencers, celebrities, and Silicon Valley billionaires, with $425 tickets and the “guest of honor” standing up to 105 feet high before the ceremonial Saturday night burn. Burning Man champions decidedly anti-capitalist values like “decommodification,” “giving,” and “communal effort.” “Burners” have to schlep in their own food, water, and shelter, and leave no trace when they leave. They can’t use cash with each other at the event. (Cash? It’s 2019.) But those rules don’t stop tech titans like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk from dropping millions to helicopter in for luxury RVs, private chefs, and even concierge services to set up camp, then break it all down. Imagine “the Real House-

wives of Beverly Hills go camping,” and you get the picture. If that sort of flamboyant spending sounds like something our friends in Camp IRS would frown on, well, trust your gut. But like it or not, the IRS is helping foot the Burning Man

to build a camp, and arranging for 11 people to fly in from London to the event. Those are generally deductible business travel expenses, so long as they aren’t lavish or extraordinary. (It’s hard to argue that a desert camp without water is “lavish.”)

But now some companies are encouraging employees to attend together simply to spur creativity and community at work.

bill, as Bloomberg magazine suggests in a recent article, “Going to Burning Man – and Expensing It.” Plenty of Bay Area companies send staffers to pitch camp for CEOs and higher-level execs who attend the event for networking, PR, and business development. Bloomberg quotes one organizer whose first job at a social network startup involved buying tickets, renting trucks and RVs

But now some companies are encouraging employees to attend together simply to spur creativity and community at work. They even invite employees to file the tickets on their expense reports. We can assume those same companies will wind up passing those expenses on to the reports they file with the IRS. But hey, if stuffy Fortune 500 giants can write off sending cube monkeys to mind-

numbing HR training in drab hotel conference rooms, why shouldn’t hip tech startups get to write off sending the “talent” into the desert? These companies see Burning Man as a valuable team-building exercise. But Bloomberg suggests they might want to keep a close eye on how far they take those teams. Having said all that, the IRS may actually break even now that gentrification has reached the white-hot Burning Man sands. Any time the tech bros start flying in celebrities from New York, you can be sure there will be too much income flying in, too. And the IRS will be happy to claim their share. You just don’t want them claiming it from you. We can help you create some nice new deductions before your next employee retreat. So call us before you spend, and don’t be shy about inviting us, too!

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


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Which one of these children needs Chai Lifeline? (Hint: They all do.) Chai Lifeline is renowned for the care and love it bestows on children fighting cancer. But that’s only the beginning. Chai Lifeline serves thousands of children with medical challenges that aren’t evident on the outside, everything from Crohns Disease to cystic fibrosis to heart disease and illnesses so rare only a handful of children have been diagnosed. And still, that’s only the beginning. Chai Lifeline includes siblings and parents, too, with programs geared towards the entire family. We care for more than 5,000 children and their families around the world and across the street. Chances are, you know them. They just don’t look sick.

Whenever, wherever we’re needed, Chai Lifeline is there.

Chai Lifeline. Comprehensive, compassionate, professional assistance for families facing illness, loss or trauma. 151 West 30th Street, New York, NY 10001 I (877) CHAI-LIFE I (212) 465-1300 I www.chailifeline.org

Regional Offices: Greater New York I Southeast I West Coast I Midwest I Mid-Atlantic I New Jersey I Canada I England I Israel I Belgium Hospital Support: Meals | Transportation Assistance | Hospital Visits | Respite Children’s Programs: Arts and Recreational Activities | After-school programs | Sibling Programs | Educational Assistance in Limudei Kodesh Counseling for patients and siblings | Camp Simcha/Camp Simcha Special Family Programs: Advocacy and Information | Retreats | Insurance Advocacy | Family Recreation | Family Counseling | Bereavement Services Community Programs: Project CHAI, support for schools, camps, and communities facing crisis or trauma.

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

Summer Reading By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., MFT, CLC

I

f someone loves to read. They’ll read over the summer. And, if they don’t, it’s just more work for mom. Oh, I’m not saying she’ll necessarily read the book. Though, she might. Rather it means

she’s going to make sure that it gets done. That means she’s heading to the library, ordering books off Amazon, nudging kids to read, nudging more kids to read, and nudging the kids again to read.

NOBODY

Summer is not just kids off from school; it’s a break for parents, too. In fact, a needed one. Honestly, if teachers want to give kids homework – ever – it should be between them and the student. But how it plays out often is that the student becomes the conduit between the teacher and the mom. Teacher assigns homework. Mom makes sure it gets done. You know – whatever it takes! So, I’m just saying that it would

maybe the summer reading’s not such a bad idea. At least when parents ask, “Why didn’t you clean your room? Brush your teeth? Make your bed?” etc. kids can say, “Oh, sorry, I was busy reading!” And wouldn’t parents be delighted to hear those few words? Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And that it includes summer reading. Yup, all those books they were told to read over the summer should now be

DESERVES TO BE

ABUSED

Shalom Task Force receives thousands of phone calls offering a confidential place to turn to for help, resources and support. You’re not alone. We’re here to help. CONFIDENTIAL ANONYMOUS HOTLINE:

(No Caller ID)

888.883.2323 (TOLL FREE) 718.337.3700 (NYC AREA)

Anonymous hotline — no caller ID. You do not have to give your name. Trained staff of informed, sensitive and caring individuals. Referrals include counseling, legal advice or finding a safe place. It hurts to call A domestic abuse hotline. It hurts more not to. www.ShalomTaskForce.org

These are the ways we express our love to our kids.

be nice to let parents and kids find a road to conversation other than Did you do your homework? But then again, if it’s not that, it’s often: “Did you clean your room?” or “Did you brush your teeth?” It’s not just in my house, I hope. It seems that every day parents are reminding their kids to put their dishes in the sink, to pick up their clothes off the floor, and to hang up their coats. You know, these are the ways we express our love to our kids. Therefore, on second thought,

completed as kids gear up for another exciting, full year. I, for one, am looking forward to a real break. After all, my summer was filled with summer reading. So now my work is done. That is, until homework starts again.

Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-7052004 or rivki@rosenwalds.com.


The Jewish Home | SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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