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April 12, 2018

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Secrets of His Success

See page 7

Around the


Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l 30 Days Since His Passing pg


Spring Training 46

Get Your Body Back Into Healthy Shape

Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin Visits Far Rockaway



Elisheva Kaplan, a”h Excerpts from Her Father’s Address

43 Local Students Get Published



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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

! Y A D N 18

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Yeshiva of South Shore

Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky

MEMORIAL DINNER Sunday, April 15, 2018 • The Sands 5pm Reception • 6:30pm Program Rabbi Avrohom Fruchthandler


Jeffrey Feil • Mark Silber HONORARY CHAIRS

HONOR HIS PAST. BUILD OUR FUTURE. Visit for dinner and journal reservations.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

Please join as we pay tribute to the legacy of Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l. This special evening will mark the re-dedication and re-naming of the Yeshiva that he founded and led for over six decades, as:

‫ בית בנימן‬- ‫ישיבה תורת חיים‬



the dedication of:

‫מכינת תורת אברהם‬ THE ABRAHAM AND SARA SILBER MIDDLE SCHOOL By the Silber Family


YESHIVA OF SOUTH SHORE 1170 William Street • Hewlett, NY 11557 516.374.7363 x212 •



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dear Readers,


very week, after all the other work is done for TJH, I sit down to write my note to readers. The topic of each week’s letter is based on what is on my mind at the time and what is likely to be on the mind of our readers – an upcoming yom tov, a recent experience, a future event, or something in the news. Sometimes I think that I know what I am going to be writing about way in advance. Take, for instance, this week. Had anyone asked me two weeks ago what this week’s topic would be, I would have responded, “That’s easy – we all had a beautiful, meaningful, funand food-filled Pesach and we are now embarking on the last two months of the school year with an extra bounce in our step as we greet the spring.” Simple, sweet, a bright look to our future as we herald a warmer season. Unfortunately, though, those thoughts are not on our minds right now. Our community had its heart broken over yom tov on two occasions with the shocking passing of a pure newborn and a beautiful chosson and kallah. Many in the community knew

those who passed away and are close to their families, who are pillars in our community. For those who didn’t know them or for those who do not live in the community, their hearts too were shattered when they heard of the tragedies. The loss, for all of Klal Yisroel, is personal. When we experience a pain so great, the screams that emanate from our souls are so sharp and so loud that they almost stretch higher than the realm of sound. We are left reeling, at a loss, groping for understanding. It is not my place to add to the powerful words said by the families of the niftarim or to the meaningful words written by various community rabbanim and leaders. I know that those words will bring some comfort and understanding to us in these days. My one thought – and I know it’s on everyone’s minds as well – is that we so desperately need a true geulah, we so desperately need Hashem to send us Moshiach, so that we will no longer be broken with so much pain. Please, may it be soon. Shoshana

Yitzy Halpern PUBLISHER


Shoshana Soroka EDITOR

Nate Davis Editorial Assistant Nechama Wein Copy Editor Berish Edelman Mati Jacobovits Design & Production Gabe Solomon Distribution & Logistics P.O. BOX 266 Lawrence, NY 11559 Phone | 516-734-0858 Fax | 516-734-0857 Classified: Deadline Monday 5PM text 443-929-4003 The Jewish Home is an independent weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­ sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

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The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home



COMMUNITY Readers’ Poll


Community Happenings


Elisheva Basya Kaplan, a”h








Odd-but-True Stories


ISRAEL Israel News


World Builders


PEOPLE Secrets to His Success: Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l Captain Irving Schechter by Avi Heiligman

70 110

PARSHA Rabbi Wein


Yiddishkeit for Every Jew by Rav Moshe Weinberger


JEWISH THOUGHT Protocols about the Elders of Zion by Eytan Kobre


HEALTH & FITNESS The Weirdness When Your Family is Your Shabbos Goy by Dr. Deb Hirschhorn 80 Spring Training by Aliza Beer MS, RD


Parenting, Then and Now


Concussions and Children by Dr. Hylton I Lightman


Melatonin, Dracula of Hormones


FOOD & LEISURE Rotation Nation by Naphtali Sobel

Dear Editor, As I sit down with pen and paper in hand, my heart sinks and my hands tremble with the realization that it’s only been a few days since the horrific car accident, in which our dear friend Yisroel Levin, a”h, and his kallah, Elisheva Kaplan, a”h, were tragically lost. As tears roll down my face, I think... and try to face the new reality of these last few days since your petirah, a few days, which have felt like an everlasting eternity. Oh, Yisroel, I’m still trying to comprehend our was just the other day that you sat next to me during Kabbalas Shabbos, which you davened with the intense kavanah that was just regular in your daily life. It was just the other day that you smiled at me with your trademark warmth... the warmth that you always managed to give to just about everyone. That smile will forever be engraved in my mind. With you, Yisroel, age just didn’t matter, and the word “shtoltz” just didn’t exist in your dictionary. You treated everyone as if they were the true star. The real simchas hachaim that you possessed transformed all those around you into such different people. Who will give me that hug that always helped me to continue on? And, although I truly feel that I was miles away from where you were holding in your simchas hachaim, I truly hope that someday I will also

have that way of life...a life of always being able to show the love you had for us all, no matter the moment or situation. Yisroel, somehow everyone was your best friend. The confidence that you instilled in me will continue to help me conquer everything. The realization that everything that happens is for the good is just so hard for us to take in during these difficult moments but I’m trying, knowing that you’re happy up there in the True World. So, Yisroel, while you’re in Shamayim please beg Hashem for me and the rest of Klal Yisroel to have the emunah to continue on in this galus , and for the bringing of Moshiach, b’mhaira b’yamainu. Amen.                                    A Dear Friend Dear Editor, During Pesach, believe it or not, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to peruse all the reading material that we buy for yom tov. Nevertheless, I made sure to have time to read through my TJH. Once again, you did not disappoint. I was particularly moved by your piece on Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich. It’s hard to imagine that just a few decades ago people sat in jail because they wanted to go to Israel and practice their religion. His conviction and determination – becoming frummer in Continued on page 12


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Continued from page 8

captivity! – is inspiring. I truly took his lessons to heart. Chana Leah G. Dear Editor, To the mother whose daughter wants to get married at a young age: Don’t be silly. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your relationship with your daughter and her future fami-

ly. Yes, it’s disconcerting when your young ones leave the nest – especially when they have no plans or way to support themselves. Believe me, though, if you tantrum today, you will create a rift that will probably never fully be repaired. Help them, guide them, be happy for them. And may we all share in simchos together. A Reader

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

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Dearest Elisheva Basya, I just came back got back from your levaya, I’m in shock and awe, We are so heartbroken, the pain so raw. How could it be you are no longer here, Everyone in midst of shedding a tear. This nightmare is impossible to comprehend, How could it be that your life came to an end? In my heart, there is a big hole, Such a horrific tragedy, no words can console. When I first met Elisheva, a huge smile on her face, A beautiful person, so full of grace. I was awed by her bubbling buoyancy she always showed, A thrill for being alive she constantly showed. Just last week, Alter and I walked in, We were so looking forward to another Shabbos with the Kaplans. As I got to my room, Elisheva ran to greet me – the smile on her face shined so bright, As she said, “I want to tell u good news; I’m getting engaged tomorrow night!” I was so excited for her, no one deserved happiness more than she, As she then went downstairs to tell Alter so happily. Then, Erev Pesach, to wish you a good yom tov and say a quick hi, I watched you set the table for the seder with a sparkle in your eye. There’s nothing you did without an abundance of joy, I couldn’t wait to meet your special boy. After first days ended, Alter turned to me, “Let’s go back to the Kaplans, where it’s always a party.” Eating matzah pizza, laughter filled the air, Once again we found ourselves having such a good time there. We sat around your table like part of the family, Then you said, “Yisroel is coming!” so eagerly. In less than a minute, you could tell, That Elisheva got a gem named Yisroel. He went around the table, giving compliments and praise, We said “Mazel tov” as he made everyone feel good in so many ways. He fit right in with his charming, kind personality, A truly amazing fit for such a wonderful family. Their love for each other was clear to see, They knew from the start that they were meant to be. Only a few days later, I heard the devastating news and become numb inside, How could such a horrific thing happen to a groom and his bride? No matter how many times I read the words, shock paralyzed me, There was just no way this could possibly be. Elisheva, I can’t stop picturing your smiling face, The only comfort I have is knowing you’re both in a better place. One thing I’ll always remember, her chessed she did with love that was so sincere, She truly loved everyone, it was so clear. Her friendship she had with Menucha is something to be admired, How her love for her was so strong, it’s something to be desired. She treated her like a sister, and loved her that way, She brought such joy to her every day. Two beautiful flowers, taken in full bloom, Leaving us in tremendous sadness and gloom. Now in a much better garden up with Hashem, Looking down at us from Gan Eden. With such an unnatural tragedy, Leaving us all in such painful agony, We must take something from this – we have to learn from it, Even if it’s a change that’s just a tiny bit. Elisheva, thank you for being such a perfect example of how to live life the right way, How you took each moment as a wonderful, thrilling gift, every single day. I’ll never forget your boundless energy, Your thoughtful, sweet and genuine personality. To everyone you met, you would always find a compliment to say, You always knew how to make anyone’s day. I’m so grateful I got to know you, And for all the lessons you’ve taught me too. No matter how much we try, we’ll never understand, To make sense of a catastrophe so grand. Elisheva, you will always be remembered, You’ll remain in our hearts and minds forever. -Rivky Morel

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

The Week In News

self into authorities last week. His surrender ended a tense standoff which started with Lula ignoring his court-ordered deadline to begin his prison sentence.

Japan Activates First Marine Unit in Over 70 Years

Brazil’s Former President Turns Himself In Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, turned him-

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Turkey, Russia, and Iran Discuss Syria High-level talks were held between the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey this week focusing on ending the Syrian war. The three presidents — Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — gathered in the Turkish capital, Ankara, where they pledged to cooperate on reconstruc-







The former president had bunkered down in a metalworkers’ union headquarters for two days before he emerged and gave himself up to authorities. “I will comply with their order,” Lula said to a crowd of supporters gathered in front of the union office in a working-class suburb of Sao Paulo, vowing to “face them.” Lula gave an hour-long speech in which he said that he will be proven innocent and that the judges and prosecutors lied when accusing and sentencing him. He then went on to say that his only crime was putting “the poor and black people in college” and blamed the media for mistreating him. Lula’s rise from poverty to the president made him extremely popular with millions of Brazilians. He helped lift many of them from poverty during the commodities boom that characterized his years in office. However, corruption scandals plagued his office and he had seen his popularity shrink greatly. Until very recently, he was the frontrunner to win October’s presidential race. After being convicted of money-laundering and corruption, the Supreme Court handed him a 12-year prison sentence. A special detention area has been set aside for the former president.


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Japan recently activated their marine unit for the first time since World War II. The country is seeking to train for the possibility of a Chinese attack on Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea. A ceremony was held on the island of Kyushu last week, in which 1,500 members of the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) wore camouflage and conducted a 20-minute mock exercise. The public training showed how Japan might recapture a remote island from invaders. “Given the increasingly difficult defense and security situation surrounding Japan, defense of our islands has become a critical mandate,” said Tomohiro Yamamoto, vice defense minister. The reinstatement of a marine brigade is very controversial, as Japan renounced the right to wage war in its post-World War II constitution. The brigade is the latest in Japan’s growing marine force which includes helicopter carriers, amphibious ships, Osprey tilt-rotor troop carriers and amphibious assault vehicles. The arsenal is meant to deter China from pushing further into the Western Pacific, however, China spent more than three times as much as Japan in defense last year.



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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

tion and aid. Noticeably missing was President Donald Trump, whose absence highlights how separated the United States has become from certain international conflicts.

All three leaders pledged to cooperate on reconstruction and aid in Syria after the conflict has subsided. They also promised to protect Syria’s “territorial integrity,” although their countries will maintain a military presence in the country. The leaders also called on the international community to help support the war-torn country. As of last week, President Trump had instructed military officials to prepare for a withdrawal from Syria. There has been no official timetable for the move, but the president has said that U.S. troops will continue to train local forces that are protecting the areas that have been freed from

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Former S Korean President Found Guilty

A South Korean court found former President Park Geun-hye guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power,

bribery and coercion and sentenced her to 24 years in prison last week. Park’s conviction brings to a close a corruption scandal which gripped South Korea, upending the country’s politics and implicating some of the country’s most powerful figures. “The president abused the power which was given to her by the citizens,” the judge said, adding that a tough sentence was needed to send a firm message to the country’s future leaders. Prosecutors had asked for Park to receive a 30 year sentence. Park, 66, was found guilty of 16 of the 18 charges she faced, related to a massive influence-peddling case that removed her from office last year. She was also fined $17 million. The former president was not in the Seoul Central District Court to hear the verdict. Park and her lawyers refused to participate after the court decided to live-broadcast the judgment, the first time this has happened in South Korea, after a law was passed last year to enable it. Park’s lawyers are expected to appeal her sentence. Outside the court, hundreds of supporters of Park had gathered to watch the verdict on a large screen, waving Korean and U.S. flags and calling for

the former president’s release. Older, conservative South Koreans, who remembered the dictatorship of Park’s father fondly as a period of strength for the country, were her electoral base and a common sight throughout the impeachment process. Park was South Korea’s first female president and the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee. She was arrested in March 2017 shortly after she was stripped of her office by the country’s Constitutional Court, which upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach her. That vote came after millions of South Koreans took to the streets over a period of several months to demand Park’s ouster after revelations of the alleged massive influence wielded by her adviser and confidant, Choi Soon-sil. In February, Choi was sentenced to 20 years in jail on 18 charges including abuse of power, coercion, fraud and bribes, and fined $16.6 million. Also implicated in the scandal was Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong. The 49-year-old billionaire was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges last year and sentenced to five years in prison. In February a higher court  reduced his sentence and suspended it for four years.

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the Islamic State. If a withdrawal is implemented, a power vacuum would be left in parts of Syria, which may accelerate the already rapid scramble for control of the country. Iran and Russia may also both become empowered should American forces leave. Since the conflict in Syria started over seven years ago, nearly 500,000 Syrians have been killed and more than 11 million have been displaced.

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The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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World’s Busiest Airports

Whether you love it or hate it, no one can ignore the hustle and bustle of airports. In fact, data from Airports Council International shows that airports are actually getting busier. Worldwide, there have been substantial increases in passenger numbers, cargo, international freight and total aircraft movements. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is not only of the largest airports in the U.S., it is also the busiest, with almost 104 million passengers passing through in 2017. Its popularity is perhaps due to the city’s proximity – within a two-hour flight – of 80% of the United States’ population of more than 300 million people. Although it took the top spot on the list of world’s busiest airports, it was the only airport on the top 20 list that showed a slight decline, as passengers decreased by 0.26%. Beijing Capital International has been hanging out at the number two spot for world’s busiest airports for the last two decades. This year, the Chinese capital’s airport came in second place again with 94.4 million passengers (a 1.5% increase) passing through. In the U.S. the next busiest airport after Atlanta is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which saw a 4.49% increase in traffic last year, landing it at spot number five in the world. Other airports in the United States that saw themselves on the top 20 list of world’s busiest airports this year include Chicago’s O’Hare in the sixth slot, Dallas/Fort Worth in spot number twelve, and Denver International, which garnered the 20th spot on the list. Nope, JFK – despite its crazy crowds – is not in the world’s top 20 when it comes to busy airports. “The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world’s airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term,” Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, says. “Connect-

ing people, business and places still remains paramount to the aviation sector despite the recent threats of a step backwards in market liberalization in some major economies.” Looking to travel? The world’s busiest airports are: 1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Georgia) 2. Beijing Capital International Airport (China) 3. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) 4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (Japan) 5. Los Angeles International Airport (California) 6. Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (Illinois) 7. London Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) 8. Hong Kong International Airport (China) 9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China) 10. Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France)  

Hungary Reelects Prime Minister

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban claimed victory Sunday night in the country’s parliamentary election after campaigning on an anti-immigration platform. With 92% of the vote counted, the coalition led by Orban’s ruling party, Fidesz, was projected to win 133 seats out of the 199 seats in Parliament, according to the country’s National Election Office. Orban is the country’s longest-serving leader since the fall of communism in 1989; this will be his fourth term. His party was originally a liberal party which has been transformed to a more right-wing party. The Fidesz-led coalition is in the lead with 48% of the votes. Second place is dominated by the right-wing opposition party, Jobbik. The National Election Office said they currently

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

Five Towns Shabbos Zikaron In conjunction with the Yeshiva of South Shore Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky Memorial Dinner


Shabbos Parshas Shemini, April 14, 2018 ‫שבת קדש פרשת שמיני תשע”ח‬

Remembering the pioneer and founder of our community,

‫הרב בנימן בן הרה"ג ר' יעקב קמנצקי זצ"ל‬ Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of South Shore upon approaching his first Yahrzeit on ‫ב’ אייר‬. We thank the participating Rabbanim and Kehilos who will be paying tribute to the Rosh Yeshiva’s life accomplishments in their Shabbos drashas.




Congregation Beis Medrash Rabbi Dovid Spiegel

Congregation Anshei Chesed Rabbi Simcha Lefkowitz

Young Israel of West Hempstead Rabbi Yehuda Kelemer

Kehillas Beis Yehuda Tzvi Rabbi Yaakov Feitman


Chofetz Chaim Torah Center Rabbi Aryeh Zev Ginzberg

Beis Tefilla Rabbi Pinchos Weinberger

Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum

Congregation Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park Rabbi Efrem Schwalb WOODMERE Beis Medrash Ishei Yisroel Rabbi Naftoli Weitz

Congregation Tifereth Zvi Rabbi Pinchas Chatzinoff



Congregation Beth Shalom Rabbi Kenneth Hain

Congregation Aish Kodesh Rabbi Moshe Weinberger

Congregation Shaarei Tefilla Rabbi Uri Orlian

Congregation Beis Efraim Yitzchok Rabbi Tzvi Ralbag

Kehilas Ateres Yaakov Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe

Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns Rabbi Moshe Katzenstein, Rabbi Yitzchok Knobel

Agudath Israel of Bayswater Rabbi Menachem Feifer YIWB Sha’ar HaShomayim Rabbi Eliezer Feuer

Bostoner Bais Medrash of Lawrence Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz

FAR ROCKAWAY Beis Medrash Ohr Shlomo Rabbi Chanina Herzberg Congregation Knesses Yisroel Rabbi Eytan Feiner

Beis Torah U’tfilla Rabbi Uriel Lesser

NORTH WOODMERE Beis HaKnesses of North Woodmere Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz

Yeshiva of South Shore

Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky MEMORIAL DINNER Sunday, April 15, 2018 • The Sands 5pm Reception • 6:30pm Program

Beis Medrash of Woodmere Rabbi Akiva Willig

Young Israel of Woodmere Rabbi Herschel Billet, Rabbi Sholom Axelrod

COMMUNITY-WIDE SHALOSH SEUDOS CONGREGATION BEIS MEDRASH 504 West Broadway, Cedarhurst Mincha at 6:40 pm followed by Shalosh Seudos Divrei Zikaron by Rav Dovid Spiegel and grandson Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky

YESHIVA OF SOUTH SHORE 1170 William Street • Hewlett, NY 11557 516.374.7363 x212 •



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

tent,” said its vice president Frederic Vaulpre as the report was presented at MIPTV, the world’s biggest TV market in Cannes, France.


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Replay services have made it easier for people to get in the time to watch their favorite programs without being beholden to television program times. The study believes that replay abilities have “added an extra eight percent to audiences” in the 35 of the 95 countries studied. The report confirmed that millennials and young adults use their mobile phones often to view TV programs. Out of the entire world, Americans and Canadians are the biggest TV addicts. The average American and Canadian spends four hours and three minutes on average each day watching TV. European viewers came next, watching three hours and 49 minutes a day, followed by Russia and Brazil. “There was a slight fall in TV viewing in North America and Asia, but it is still growing in South America and in Europe it is maintaining historically high levels,” Vaulpre added. Asians watch less TV than any of the other major markets, spending two hours and 25 minutes in front of the box. In China that dropped to two hours and 12 minutes. Perhaps the decrease in TV viewing is because they are busy studying and pursuing education – or maybe they are pursuing education because they watch less TV. Which comes first?

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hold 19.2% of the votes. The party’s waning popularity has prompted the president of the party, Gabor Vona, to resign. Orban first claimed victory in an address to Fidesz supporters in Budapest. Orban is against the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. He has accused the EU of meddling in Hungarian affairs, specifically for trying to impose a quota system that would force Hungary to settle refugees. He is extremely

anti-immigration in all forms, and has even had billboards erected across the country to that effect. Ironically, Hungary has the third-lowest level of immigration of the EU’s 28 countries.

TV Zombies around the World Research has shown that excessive TV watching is not conducive to

a healthy lifestyle in both kids and adults. Yet, the average human (globally!) spends close to three hours a day in front of their television. Eurodata TV Worldwide, which conducted the research, was surprised that television viewing is still so high since more people nowadays use other platforms to watch shows and movies, like Netflix and Amazon. “The length of time people watch television is holding up despite the growing availability of online con-

Police Foil Plot for Berlin Marathon

This Sunday, Berlin hosted a half-marathon that was luckily car-

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ried out without incident thanks to alert authorities. Six people were detained in connection with what police and prosecutors allege was a plan to carry out an attack at the marathon. “There were isolated indications that those arrested, aged between 18 and 21 years, were participating in the preparation of a crime in connection with this event,” prosecutors and police noted in a joint statement. The main suspect was associated with Anis Amri, a Tunisian who killed 12 people and injured dozens more when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, according to German media. One of the apartments raided in connection with this plot had been searched after the market attack. Die Welt newspaper reported that the main suspect, who was not identified, had prepared two knives to use in the attack. The newspaper also wrote that trained dogs discovered explosives in the basement of one of the raided homes. The main suspect had been under 24/7 surveillance for the last two weeks. Although the raid happened prior to the race, the marathon was heavily policed by an estimated 630 police officers. Erick Kiptanui of Kenya won the race; he clocked in at a sensational course record of 58:42 in the Berlin Half Marathon, the fastest time in the world this year.

Runaway Train in India

Hundreds of passengers aboard an India train in the western state of Gujarat had a terrifying experience on Saturday when the train they were riding on went rumbling down a downward track for miles, detached from the engine. Videos have been popping on social media showing the train plowing through stations as onlookers and passengers scream helplessly. Eyewitnesses say that the train rolled with speed for several miles before being brought to an emergency stop by railway staff. Railway workers were only

able to stop the train by putting wooden wedges on the tracks. Initial reports say that the mishap was due to staff negligence. Apparently rail staff forgot to apply the skid-brakes as workers were attaching a new engine to the passenger carriages which allowed the carriages to roll for seven miles. Luckily, personnel noticed the mistake immediately and, as the train started rolling away, the control room was able to contact the next two stations to ensure that they were cleared. Railway staff were eventually able to halt the train once it lost velocity as it approached an upward slope. At that point, personnel placed the wedges to bring the train to a complete stop. It is unclear what the exact number of passengers was aboard at the time of the incident. Some estimates are claiming up to 1,000 but others are saying that many passengers departed prior to the incident. Despite the panic and chaos, thankfully there were no injuries reported. The East Coast Railway suspended a total of seven railway employees involved, and the investigation by senior officials into the incident continues. Additionally, Indian Railways promised to provide a month-long safety drive to train and educate staff in response to the incident. The Indian Railways system is one of the oldest railway systems in the world. Over the years there has been many safety concerns. Around 30,000 Indians died in railway accidents in 2015, according to the latest available official data. Last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government designated  more than $134 billion to upgrade the country’s railways, with $20 billion set aside just to improve safety. 

Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

A deadly and vicious chemical weapons attack took place in Syria last Saturday. The Syrian-American Medical Society said that more than 500 people were brought to medical

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

Tragedy for Canadian Hockey Team The Humboldt Broncos were hoping to win the playoffs and be greeted by cheering crowds this week. Instead, parents, friends, and fans are


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centers in Douma, a city near the capital Damascus, with symptoms “indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.” Those symptoms include breathing difficulties, bluish skin, foaming at the mouth, corneal burns and “the emission of chlorine-like odor.” As the area has been blocked off, it is hard to come up with the number of people that have died due to the exposure to the chemical weapons. Estimates being reported by local media is somewhere between 42 and 60 people who have died already, while rescue workers are still trying to gain access to basements where hundreds of families hid to protect themselves from bombings. French representatives at the UN Security Council said poison gas was used on purpose for its ability to seep down into basements where people may have been taking shelter. The U.S., France, and the UK have led international condemnation of the vicious attack, with the Syrian government and its Russian backers denying any responsibility. President Donald Trump promised a “forceful” response to the chemical attack and said that he was considering “a lot of military options.” President Trump discussed the despicable use of weapons with French President Emmanuel Macron, and both leaders expressed a desire for a “firm response.” French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said that “if a red line had been crossed, there will be a response,” adding that intelligence shared by the two leaders “in theory confirms the use of chemical weapons.” Russian representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said the attack was staged and warned that U.S. military action in response could have “grave repercussions.” U.S. envoy Nikki Haley said Russia – a Syrian military backer – had the “blood of Syrian children” on its hands and branded President Assad a “monster.” Ironically, U.S. Senator John McCain, ever a critic of the U.S. president, said on Sunday that President Trump’s recent comment about U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria prompted Syria’s Assad to carry out the attack.


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mourning. On Saturday, the team’s bus collided with a tractor-trailer on its way to a game, leaving 15 people dead. The Canadian junior hockey team was from a small city in rural Saskatchewan and was a tight-knit bunch. The team was heading to the town of Nipawin for a playoff game when the tragic accident occurred at around 5pm. Police confirmed that there were a total of 29 people

aboard the bus, including the driver, at the time of the accident. The remaining 14 passengers were injured in the crash. Broncos president Kevin Garinger described “an incomprehensible situation” at a news conference on Saturday afternoon, where several of the speakers choked back tears. “We are heartbroken and completely devastated by the tragedy that occurred yesterday,” Garinger

said. “We will never forget April 6, 2018, and we will never forget the members of our Broncos family who were taken from us and who were injured.” The victims included the team’s head coach, team captain and  radio announcer. The players ranged in age from 16 to 21, according to the team roster. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

and was not taken into custody Bill Chow, the president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, to which the Broncos belong, was barely able to get the words out when speaking with reporters. “I don’t have a lot to say other than,” Chow paused for several seconds as he began to cry, “other than the worst nightmare has happened.”

“This tragedy has hit a number of people — not just us but I think everybody can relate to this experience,” Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said. “Throughout Canada, we see teams going out into the Canadian winters on buses all the time. It’s always a thought [in your mind] about what could happen. Unfortunately, this happened here in Humboldt. There is no playbook on what to do in cases like this.”

Deadly Terror Plot Foiled by IDF

A potential missile attack by the Islamic Jihad terrorist group was thwarted in Gaza by Israeli security forces this past week. The ringleader, Amin Sadi Mohammad Jumaa, was arraigned in Beersheba District Court for conspiring to use missiles to attack Israeli naval forces and planning to kidnap IDF soldiers. The plans were only the latest move by the Gaza-based terror group. A terror tunnel they had dug under the border was discovered and destroyed

last October, and the group was responsible for firing mortars from Gaza into Israel last November and December. The Shin Bet security agency revealed the terrorist plot during the planned six-week Gaza protest that is being called the “Great March of Return.” The protest has involved thousands of Palestinians gathering at the border fences between Israel and the Gaza Strip, while some have attempted to break through. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that the naval plot “proves the true intentions of the terrorist organizations in Gaza, which are trying to disguise their murderous intentions by provocative actions against the security fence. Their sole purpose is to provide a cover under which terrorists can carry out attacks against Israel.” The plan, which Jumaa confessed to, was to use a Gazan fishing boat as a decoy vessel that would travel beyond the allowed nautical range and then have a second boat fire a Cornet shipto-ship rocket at the Israeli forces that would intervene. Palestinians then planned on boarding the boat from a third vessel and capturing any remaining soldiers. Islamic Jihad, with Jumaa’s help, had been gathering in-


telligence about the navy off the Gaza coast to prepare for the attack, the Shin Bet said. This was not Jumaa’s first involvement in terrorist-related activity. Six years ago he helped Hamas smuggle 300 kilograms of explosives by boat from Egypt to Gaza. Four years ago he was paid $6,000 to help smuggle 150 barrels of fiberglass through a tunnel that ran from Egypt to Gaza. Three years ago he used a tunnel to smuggle four Kalashnikov rifles and a pistol into Gaza. Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Jumaa for his involvement in terrorist activity and for transferring information to the enemy.

Saudi Crown Prince Recognizes Israel Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made waves in the Arab world last week when he told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that Israel has a right to exist and that he hopes to have a healthy and productive diplomatic relationship with the Jewish


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the world, among some people. But the normal sort of problems.”

Israel has never had any official relationship with Saudi Arabia. Recently, Israel has hinted at having a secret agreement with the Kingdom, as both countries are concerned with an increasingly aggressive Iran. Saudi officials have denied any relationship with the Jewish State. However, in the past few years, Saudi and Israeli officials have met on many occasions, and last month, Saudi Arabia allowed Air India to use Saudi airspace to travel to Israel. When discussing Iran, bin Salman said that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, “makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. This is bad,” he added. “But the supreme leader is trying to conquer the world. He believes he owns the world. They are both evil guys. He is the Hitler of the Middle East. In the 1920s and 1930s, no one saw Hitler as a danger. Only a few people. Until it happened. We don’t want to see what happened in Europe happen in the Middle East. We want to stop this through political moves, economic moves, intelligence moves. We want to avoid war.”

Journalist Shot at Gaza Border during Protests State. When the royal was asked if he believes “the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland,” he replied, “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.” The Crown Prince did say that a peace agreement with the Palestinians is

still a requirement if formal relations were to be established between Saudi Arabia and Israel. “We have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations,” he said. Taking a radically different stance than his predecessors, bin Salman said that he has “religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This

is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.” When asked about anti-Semitism in his country he said that “our country doesn’t have a problem with Jews.... Our prophet, his neighbors were Jewish. You will find a lot of Jews in Saudi Arabia coming from America, coming from Europe. There are no problems between Christian and Muslims and Jews. We have problems like you would find anywhere in

A Palestinian journalist was killed while he was covering the mass protests that were taking place at the Gaza-Israel border last week. The Israeli army has repeatedly said that

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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Yasser Murtaja was not targeted on purpose and that his death was completely accidental. He was shot while filming the mass border protests in a thick cover of black smoke which came from the tires that the protestors were burning. “For weeks we have been warning against coming close to the fence and calling on Gaza’s residents not to obey the orders of the terror group Hamas and refrain from terror activities and other violent acts against Israel,” the IDF said. “Despite this, since last Friday, the IDF has been dealing with tens of thousands of people approaching the fence, all instigated by Hamas. In response, IDF forces are acting under clear orders designed for these circumstances. The IDF does not deliberately target journalists. The circumstances in which the journalist was supposedly hit by IDF fire are not known and they are being investigated,” the army said. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he doesn’t “know who is or isn’t a photographer. Anyone who operates drones above IDF soldiers needs to understand he’s putting himself in danger.” Murtaja was known to use drone cameras to take his photographs. Lieberman added:

“We’ve seen dozens of cases where Hamas terrorists used ambulances, dressed up as Red Crescent personnel, and disguised themselves as journalists. We won’t take any chances.” Assessments of the IDF’s actions found that everyone that was hit by IDF gunfire has been engaged in violence. “Hamas sent children out ahead [toward the fence], cynically using them,” said IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis. He went on to specify that eight explosive devices and numerous petrol bombs were thrown and that the IDF faced several attempts “to cut through the fence.” “There were attempts to carry out acts of terrorism … using the smoke [from burning tires] for cover,” he said. The IDF has ensured that the fence has not been breached.

Israeli Air Force Attacks Syrian Base Israeli pilots spent the predawn hours on Monday carrying out a missile strike on an air base in central Syria. Fourteen people were reported-

ly killed in the attack which was protested by Russia because Israel did not inform Moscow of their plans ahead of time.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters that the Kremlin was very upset about the bombing because Russian military advisors could have been present at the base, which he described as “a cause for concern for us.” America was given notice of the bombing before it took place. “This is a very dangerous development. I hope at least that the U.S. military and those of the countries participating in the coalition led by the United States understand that,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. Israel has yet to release any statements concerning the attack, which came two days after Syria carried out a chemical weapons attack in the town of Douma. The target of the Israeli airstrike was the Tiyas air base, which Israel had previously attacked when the IDF said it was home to an Iranian drone program. Israel has repeatedly expressed its red lines when it comes to Syria. It will not allow the transfer of high-powered weapons to Hezbollah; it will not allow any breach of Israeli sovereignty; and it will work to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria. Russian military officials said that the strike was carried out by two F-15 fighter jets. The jets fired eight missiles at the base, five of which were intercepted. A conflicting report out of Lebanon said that four Israeli warplanes violated their airspace, though two of them may have only been acting as escorts. No Russians were injured, and Israeli news outlets said that four Iranians were killed in the strike.

UK Politician Blames Only Israel for Border Conflict

The leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour party is calling for Britain to review the arms it sells to Israel. Jeremy Corbyn made his request in response to the recent escalating events along the Gazan border. Corbyn made no mention of the Hamas terror organization and the attempts of violent Palestinians to enter Israel when he accused the Israeli Defense Forces of “illegal and inhumane” actions. “The UK government must support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law,” Corbyn said in his statement, which he also posted on Facebook. Corbyn continued to place the blame solely on Israel while calling the tens of thousands of Palestinian protesters who burned tires, threw firebombs and rocks, and tried to breach the border fence “peaceful protesters.” Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said on Friday that Hamas organizers were trying to use protesters as a diversion to “open up the fence and then to insert terrorists into Israel.” He added that snipers were used “sparingly” and only against those that posed a “significant threat.” Corbyn has released statements of hate against Israel for a long time. He has repeatedly been accused of not doing enough to remove anti-Semitism from within his party, and just spent time at a Passover

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event organized by Ewdas, a group that has in the past tweeted that “Israel is itself a steaming pile of sewage which needs to be properly disposed of.” Before Pesach, the leadership of Britain’s biggest Jewish groups organized an unprecedented demonstration outside the UK Parliament, accusing Corbyn of turning a blind eye to a resurgence of anti-Semitism in British politics, particularly within his own party. He has long been associated with Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier; has defended Reverend Stephen Sizer, who shared materials online linking Jews to the 9/11 attack;  and has welcomed Sheikh Raed Salah, who has accused Jews of murdering Christian children to use their blood in rituals, to Parliament. He has also referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends” though  he later said he regretted using such language. The IDF has been clear that strong force is only used when Israeli lives were in danger. “Rioters have attempted to damage and cross the security fence under the cover of smoke from their burning tires. They also attempted to carry out terror attacks and hurl explosive devices and firebombs,” the IDF said. “Our forces prevented breaches” of the fence.

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a final solution but until then Trump signed a proclamation last week that will transport the National Guard to the southern border immediately. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the administration hoped the deployment would begin “immediately” in order to combat the “unacceptable” activity being reported at the border. “Despite a number of steps this administration has taken...we continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity transnational criminal organizations and illegal immigration flow across our border,” she said. “The president has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy our National Guard to our southwest border to assist the border patrol. “We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm,” she said. “More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year, violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president.” The exact details of how many troops will be deployed and the methods they will use to enforce border control have not been disclosed. During the George W. Bush administration deploying the National Guard to the border reportedly ran expenses up to $415 million. Barack Obama also deployed troops to the border in response to security issues, although it was on a smaller scale. It is suspected that the Trump administration’s plan will be more similar to Bush’s intervention that lined up 6,000 National Guard troops along the border during his time in office.

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President Trump is clamping down on the flow of illegal substances, criminal activity, and illegal immigrants entering the U.S. The proposed wall between the United States and Mexico is intended to be

In a generation that is so attached to their smartphones, Americans are consuming more news than ever. Social media apps, news sites, blogs, and other apps push news into our faces daily.

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However, rather than make a generation that is more educated, loving, and accepting, research shows that the constant bombardment of news is actually driving us further apart. According to Neil Johnson, a physicist who now runs the University of Miami’s Complexity interdisciplinary group, which is examining collective behavior in a number of fields, research suggests that when it comes to digesting news, Americans now exist in a state of pure polarization. Most Americans either identify as extremely to the left or to the right, and fewer than ever identify as middle of the road. “Even on issues for which there is no conceivable counter-evidence, a surprisingly large number of people may (take) an ‘anti-crowd’ viewpoint, e.g. the many people who believe the world is flat and attended the 2017 Flat Earth International Conference,” Johnson and his team write. This study confirms a 2014 Pew Research Center report that found a strong correlation between political engagement and polarization. Johnson believes there is more polarization simply because Americans are

consuming more news. “I think it has to do with common information – everybody hears the same news, whereas in the past, it was, ‘Have you seen the news, or read the paper?’” he said. “More people are seeing news that they wouldn’t have seen in the past.” Although Facebook and other social media companies have said they recently revealed plans to change their algorithms to draw people together more than before, by connecting people who are friends of friends this trend will probably remain, according to Johnson. “It’s like using superglue at home when trying to fix something with many pieces,” he said. “Some will go toward gluing together what you want, but some spills out and glues together precisely the bits that you don’t want glued and hence strengthened: the extremes.” Despite Johnson’s assertions, a recent Gallup study conducted in October 2017 found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrat, 24% identified as Republican, and 42% as Independent. So there seems to be some middle ground.

Healthy Living The state of Virginia is popular amongst educated and affluent Americans. With excellent schools, high-quality health care, and easy access to the nation’s capital it has become home to an estimated 8.5 million Americans. It is also home to our nation’s healthiest city.

By analyzing a combination of social and physical factors that influence the health and wellbeing of its residents, U.S. News recently ranked the Healthiest Communities in America. The study, funded by Aetna Foundation, rated about 3,000 communities in order to determine the healthiest. One town in Virginia is being recognized as the country’s healthiest community: Falls Church, Virginia. The two-square-mile city is located near Arlington and Fairfax. Falls Church has a population of around 14,000 and an average household income of $108,234 (the national average is just over $59,000 and Fairfax County overall is ranked the second highest household income in the nation, according to the 2012  American Community Survey  prepared by the  U.S. Census Bureau). About a quarter of households in Falls Church earn $200,000 or more annually, according to  U.S. Census Bureau estimates, and the poverty rate is around 3 percent. “It’s a small place that a lot of people don’t know about really, but it’s got a great quality of life, and it’s just a little bit like Mayberry,” Mayor David Tarter says. “It’s a place that still has that feel, maybe from a bygone day, where people walk and they talk to each other, they know each other, they know each other’s kids and families, they look out for each other. Yet they have the nation’s capital just a short train ride away.” The average home in town, according to, has a price tag of $520,300. The factors contributing to the healthy lifestyle in the town include healthy meals inside the town’s schools for school-age children. Outside of the education system, healthy

food is accessible through a large, grocery store and weekly farmers market. Health care is accessible and there is widespread health insurance coverage, perhaps because many of the city’s above-average share of workers are employed by the federal government. The local government devotes time and funds into friendly initiatives. Recent plans for a new bike share and repairing sidewalks are underway. Want to get healthy? The healthiest communities in the country are: 1. Falls Church city, Virginia 2. Douglas County, Colorado 3. Broomfield County, Colorado 4. Los Alamos County, New Mexico 5. Dukes County, Massachusetts 6. Fairfax city, Virginia 7. Hamilton County, Indiana 8. Routt County, Colorado 9. Ouray County, Colorado 10. Loudoun County, Virginia

FBI Raids Trump’s Attorney’s Office

On Monday, FBI agents seized records of lawyer Michael Cohen’s clients and personal finances. Among the seized records were those related to a 2016 case connected to President Donald Trump. The raids were part of an investigation referred by special counsel Robert Mueller to federal prosecutors in New York. Cohen is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations. On Tuesday, Trump lashed out at prosecutors after the raid that covered Cohen’s office, home and hotel room. “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” the president said on Twitter. Moments later, he fired off another brief early morning tweet: “A total witch hunt!!!”

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Search warrants for law offices are rare because of concerns about privileged materials, legal experts say. To serve a search warrant on a practicing lawyer, federal prosecutors are required to obtain approval from top Justice Department officials. There are exceptions to attorney-client privilege, including one known as the crime-fraud exception, which exempts communications in furtherance of a contemplated or ongoing crime or fraud.

33109: Nation’s Richest Zip Code





If your mailing address ends with the number 33109, you are living like a king. Residents of Fisher Island, whose zip code is 33109, are living in the richest zip code in the United

States. The 216-acre island is located just off the coast of Miami, FL, is accessible only by ferry or water taxi, and is a haven for the world’s richest. The average income in Fisher Island was $2.5 million in 2015. That’s $1 million more than the second-place spot, held by zip code 94027 in Silicon Valley, also known as the City of Atherton on the San Francisco Peninsula. The area’s neighbors include Stanford University and Menlo Park, home to Facebook and various tech companies. While IRS data only provides the averages of tax returns, which can be skewed by outliers, Fisher Island is the only zip code where more than half of all tax returns showed an income of over $200,000, according to Bloomberg. To no one’s surprise, neighborhoods in California and the New York tristate area comprise a majority of the top 20 richest U.S. zip codes. States with favorable tax structures like Florida and Wyoming are drawing the wealthy, too. Bloomberg evaluated IRS data for zip codes with more than 200 tax returns as of the 2015 filing season, and with 500 residential households according to the latest Census tally. More than 22,000 zip codes met the

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criteria. The nation’s top ten richest zip codes are located in Miami, FL; Atherton, CA; Palm Beach, FL; Palo Alto, CA; Harrison, NY; Gladwyne, PA; Los Angeles, CA; Kenilworth, IL; Weston, MA; and San Francisco, CA. Nope, the Five Towns does not show up there, although the zip code of 11568 in Old Westbury made it to the 18th spot on the list. Also noticeably absent were zip codes in Manhattan, although several Manhattan neighborhoods made the top 50, starting with the venerable zip code of 10005 at No. 21 on the list. This one is home to the New York Stock Exchange and sits at the edge of the iconic “Charging Bull” sculpture. With high incomes come large tax write-offs. Fisher Island had an average of $448,100 in itemized deductions in 2015, according to IRS data. For many high-net-worth individuals, charitable contributions make up the biggest share of tax deductions, according to Joseph Falanga, managing director of UHY Advisors, an accounting firm in New York. The zip code that took the most advantage of tax deductions in 2015 was 94301 in Palo Alto, California, where the average deduction was $491,600. Fisher Island had smaller average deductions relative to its income size than other zip codes and that’s likely because Florida has no income tax, so its residents can’t take deductions from that category. On the other hand, California has a top marginal income tax rate of 13.3 percent, the highest in the country.

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land security advisor to former President George W. Bush, and has held positions in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the Independent Counsel, and the House of Representatives. Bossert was also appointed as the director of Infrastructure Protection under Bush. Bossert’s resignation is part of Bolton’s “cleaning house” at the NSC. It seems that Bolton is considering a  merger of  the NSC and Homeland Security Council (HSC) within the White House. Right now, the NSC and HSC function as separate bodies, with their own meetings and policy issues, but share a staff. Under the George W. Bush administration, the HSC and NSC worked as separate staffs. During the early years of the Obama administration, HSC and NSC merged, but later split. The NSC primarily focuses on U.S. foreign policy and nuclear proliferation, while the HSC focuses on national defense-related issues like terrorism and border security. If Bolton merges the HSC and NSC, the bodies would hold joint meetings on mutually-agreed upon issues and would provide joint policy recommendations to the president. Bolton has previously served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and served as a Bush lawyer during the 2000 Florida recount. He served as U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006, and as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security from 2001 to 2005. Bolton is now Trump’s third national security advisor—replacing H.R. McMaster, who replaced Michael Flynn. We’re hoping third time’s a charm.

On Monday, the doors of the White House opened to allow in Trump’s new national security advisor Ambassador John Bolton. But just as Bolton was going in, White House Homeland Security Advisor Thomas Bossert was going out. Bossert resigned on Tuesday, according to the White House. Bossert served as a deputy home-

The Russian government may not have been behind the alleged Russian hacking that was attempted to

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

influence the 2016 presidential election. According to a senior Trump administration official, a hack on an Arizona election database during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign was carried out by suspected criminal actors and not the Russian government. The announcement came following a report on a CBS News’ “60 Minutes” segment citing an internal government document stating that Russian hackers successfully infiltrated computer systems associated with at least four U.S. states, including Arizona, leading up to the 2016 election. Documents from the Department of Homeland Security specified that hackers supposedly working for the Kremlin breached systems in Illinois, a county database in Arizona, a Tennessee state website, and an information technology vendor in Florida. However, the cyber-attack on Arizona was not executed by the Russian government, the official said. Russia was accused of hacking by U.S. intelligence agencies last year. Moscow was also blamed for spreading false information and propaganda to disrupt the presidential election and to try to ensure that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. Trump

has repeatedly said that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, and Moscow has denied interfering with the election in any way.

Art Stolen by Nazis to be Returned

During the Holocaust, the Nazis didn’t only steal lives, they stole possessions of their victims. In the aftermath of the war, there has been an effort to return valuable items, property, and heirlooms to their rightful owners or their surviving relatives.

Last week, a New York judge ordered the return of two Nazi-looted paintings to the heirs of an Austrian-Jewish Holocaust victim whose collection of hundreds of pieces of art was systematically stolen by Hitler’s army in 1938. A UK art dealer claimed that the two paintings in his possession – Egon Schiele’s “Woman in a Black Pinafore” and “Woman Hiding her Face” – couldn’t be seized under the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2016. However, Justice Charles E. Ramos in Manhattan rejected the argument. “Although defendants argue that the HEAR Act is inapplicable, this argument is absurd, as the act is intended to apply to cases precisely like this one, where Nazi-looted art is at issue,” Ramos said in the decision. According to the court order, the valuable artwork must be transferred to the living relatives of Fritz Grunbaum. Grunbaum was a songwriter, director and actor who openly mocked Hitler and performed musicals and plays for his fellow prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp. The family’s attorney, Raymond Dowd, said that Grunbaum died in captivity in 1941. His art collection boasted 450

pieces, 80 of which were works by Schiele. The valuable collection was looted by the Nazis in 1938 after soldiers forced him to sign the rights over to his wife, who was later murdered. “A signature at gunpoint cannot lead to a valid conveyance,” Ramos said. The current owner, art dealer, Richard Nagy, claims that Grunbaum never owned the disputed paintings. According to his defense team, the artwork was owned by Grunbaum’s sister-in-law, who sold the works and more than 50 others to a Swiss gallery that advertised them in 1956. Ramos rejected that argument. “There is no triable issue of fact as to whether the artworks belonged to Mr. Grunbaum before World War II,” the judge said. “Even the gallery on which the defendants rely as the source of their provenance has confirmed that Mr. Grunbaum had owned the works.” The two Schiele paintings in question have been housed in a fine art storage facility in Queens, New York, since the suit was filed in 2015. Details of the transfer were not revealed and the names of the heirs were kept private as well. “It is a victory for Holocaust victims, their families and all those who fought and died to undo the evils of

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Nazism,” the heirs’ attorney said in a statement. “This decision brought us a step closer to recovering all of the culture that was stolen during the largest mass-theft in history.”

Fine for Food

Wanting to promote good, the University of Florida has instituted a new policy when it comes to parking violations on campus. University President W. Kent Fuchs tweeted last week that parking tickets that were given within the last year would be forgiven “with food donations.” Students who received the tickets were able to donate food to charity in lieu of paying their fine. According to Fuchs, nearly 2,000 citations had been exchanged for 9,455 food donations. Products like peanut butter, canned peaches, and canned soup now fill the shelves of the school’s Field and Fork Pantry. Village of Cedarhurst, are you listening? This sounds like a great program to me.

License to Waste Money

Afzal Khan, the owner of Kahn Design, a company that specializes in high end automobile customization. He bought the plate for $900,000 in 2008 and it now adorns the back of his multi-million dollar Bugatti Veyron. If you don’t own one of those, that’s OK. Once you purchase the license plate, you can put it on any of your cars – even your Honda Odyssey. According to, the one-of-a-kind license plate is now priced at 14 million pounds – roughly $20 million. Kahn, though, says that he never authorized that amount and has asked the agency to take it down and replace it with “price on application” – not necessarily because it was too high, but because he’ll only accept an “astronomical figure” for it. If Kahn finds any takers, a sale could potentially set a new record, which today stands at $14 million for a plate sold at a charity auction in Abu Dhabi in 2008. You can also play the license roulette and just let the numbers fall as they may. Certainly cheaper that way.

Crash Test A driver failed her driving test when she crashed her car into the front of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The 46-year-old was backing into a parking spot during her test when she accidentally pressed the gas instead of the brake. The car smashed into the front windows of the Connecticut DMV. The driver was not injured, although something tells me that her ego was dealt a major blow.

Jason Jacobs’ cleaning earned him $50,000. The Missouri resident did some organizing of his own earlier this month and found a twomonth-old Powerball lottery ticket worth a whopping tens of thousands of dollars. He had bought three tickets on January 24 but placed them in his truck and forgot about them. “I cleaned out my truck last week and pulled out the tickets from my console to check them,” he told Missouri Lottery officials. “First thing I did was check how long the ticket was good for before it expired. I was afraid it had already expired for my chance to claim it. And then I realized I was still in the loop of not running out of time.” Jacobs said he and his wife scanned the tickets at a local QuikTrip store. They were confused when the scanner’s reader brought up the message, “Claim at Lottery office.” “So we took the ticket up to the register to have it checked, and the lady said, ‘Sir, you just won $50,000,’” said Jacobs. “My wife said, ‘Oh, my G-d, Jason! Oh, my G-d, Jason!’” The couple said the money will go toward a college fund for their 9-month-old daughter and possibly a family vacation. And maybe some cleaning help too.

Secret to Long Life?

Want to live long? Perhaps Masazo Nonaka has the answer.

On Tuesday, Nonaka was certified as the world’s oldest living man, at 112 years, 259 days. He received the certificate from Guinness World Records in a ceremony at his home in Ashoro, Japan. His family shared a big cake decorated with berries with the supercentenarian is celebration. After taking a bite of the cake, Nonaka declared it “delicious.” Born on July 25, 1905, Nonaka grew up in a large family and succeeded his parents running a hot springs inn, which has been in the family for four generations. The 105-year-old inn is now run by his granddaughter Yuko. He regularly soaks in the springs and also enjoys eating sweets, especially cakes. Nonaka, wearing a knit cap and a kimono-style jacket, flashed a smile and posed for a group photo with his family, making a victory sign with his right hand. He moves around in a wheelchair and reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning. Nonaka loves to watch sumo wrestling and samurai dramas on TV. His favorite pastime, though, is soaking in the hot springs and relaxing. Nonaka has outlived all seven of his siblings, as well as his wife and two of their five children. He is one of about 67,800 centenarians in Japan, the fastest-aging country in the world, with the highest average life expectancy — 80.98 for men and 87.14 for women, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Guinness says Nonaka replaced Francisco Olivera of Spain, who died earlier this year at age 113, as the world’s oldest man. A 117-year-old Japanese woman, Nabi Tajima, who is currently the oldest living person in Japan, is expected to be certified as the world’s oldest person, replacing Violet MossBrown of Jamaica, who died in September at age 117.

Cleaning Bonanza How badly do you need your license plate to read “F1”? If you answered “very badly” and you live in the UK, then you better start counting your cash. In the UK, license plates can be transferred for profit. This one, the one that states “F1,” now belongs to

The lieutenant colonel says that a dozen times a week she treats people who are at “death’s door.” She says that she’s able to save 95 percent of her patients. What did you find when you were cleaning out your drawers for Pesach?

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the

Community Pirchei Khal Nesiv Hatorah of Far Rockaway held its annual Chol Hamoed Avos U’bunim/Yeshivas Chol Hamoed program. Each day of Chol Hamoed many boys and fathers (or chavrusos) started their day off right. A raffle was held following the learning, and each boy received an awesome door prize before leaving. What a great kiddush Hashem! Thank you to our sponsors for enabling us to hold this program once again.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018


Around the Community

Rambam Mesivta’s Entrepreneurial Academy Visits YU Sy Syms School of Business


ambam Mesivta’s Entrepreneurial Academy recently went on a trip to Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business to meet with Torah and business experts in an effort to gain knowledge and insight into the rapidly changing entrepreneurial landscape. The day began with a shiur from

Rabbi Daniel Feldman on business and halacha. Rabbi Feldman is Rosh Yeshiva at the  Rabbi  Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at  Yeshiva University, as well as an instructor in the Sy Syms School of Business and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and serves as the Executive Editor of the RIETS

initiative of YU  Press.  Rabbi Feldman shared with them a lively and informative discourse on the role a halachic framework plays in the world of business and the significance of maintaining one’s integrity in today’s workplace. They next met with Dr. Moses Pava, Dean of the Sy Syms School

Members of Rambam’s Entrepreneurial Academy Meeting with Rabbi Daniel Feldman, Rosh Yeshiva of RIETS

of Business, who shared with them thoughts on “Business and Morality,” followed by a discussion with Interim Dean and Assistant to the Provost, Clinical Professor of Management and  Entrepreneur-In-Residence Michael Strauss about the Sy Syms School of Business, its history, mission, and future.  The trip was enlightening and picks up on earlier Rambam Entrepreneurial Academy excursions including a trip to the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce Small Business Expo and a trip to the Fast Company Innovation Festival at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, where they listened to a discussion between legendary Yankee Derek Jeter, CEO of The Players’ Tribune, and the former Chief Revenue Officer of Spotify, Jeff Levick.  Special thank you to Adam Kugelman of Yeshiva University for making this trip possible. 


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Touring New England


n Wednesday of  Chol  Hamoed,  Ashreinu  once again took a group of excited Yeshiva boys on a fantastic Chol Hamoed trip – this time to New England, specifically to Connecticut and Rhode Island. The trip started with a tour of the Mystic Aquarium, featuring African penguins, beluga whales, an amazing sea lion show, and tanks where you could touch real sharks and stingrays. This was followed by a visit to the famous Touro Synagogue, the oldest standing shul in America – built back in 1759! The boys heard all about the shul’s fascinating history, had a chance to hear from the shul’s current rav, Rabbi Marc Mandel, and got to daven Mincha there. Finally, following a BBQ dinner, the boys got to show off their climbing skills at Rock Spot Climbing, an indoor rock climbing arena, with a two-story top-rope climbing wall and a challenging bouldering wall. An amazing time was had by all!  Thank you to Rabbi Posner, Rabbi Waldman, and the entire Ashreinu staff for another incredible trip. Looking forward to  Chol  Hamoed Sukkos!  Stay tuned for more exciting  Ashreinu  programs, coming up this season! For more information, call (917)202-4056 or e-mail  ashreinufr@     

Rabbi Yotav Eliach’s Book on Religious Zionism Lauded by International Authors


he internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust,  Edwin Black, spoke to the students of Rambam Mesivta about the history of the State of Israel and the importance of its principal’s, Rabbi Yotav Eliach’s new, comprehensive book on that very subject:  Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel.  Mr. Black, who has authored more than a dozen books on the Holocaust, the Farhud, the threat of international terrorism, BDS, the Balfour Declaration and the modern State of Israel, acclaimed Rabbi Eliach’s newly au-

thored book to be one which adds a new and important dimension to the understanding of Jewish history. He shared that the book is “a dramatic and incisive journey into Jewish and Zionist history that will uplift any reader – academic or religious – into a new understanding of Israel and its place in our history-and our future.”  Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel  is over 700 pages long and contains maps drawn by Sir Martin Gilbert, world-renown scholar on Israel.  In addition to Edwin Black, the book has also garnered praise from legendary Harvard Law Pro-

fessor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz, author of The Case for Israel.   Professor Dershowitz stated that “the case for Israel must be made anew in every generation and to every audience.  Rabbi Eliach has been making the case to generations of high school students.  Now he brings his insights and experiences to a general public that is desperately in need of history on the current realities.”   Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers, has also endorsed the book, sharing that “Rabbi Eliach has given the Jewish people an indispensable gift.” 

For almost 20 years, students in Rambam have been privileged to hear Rabbi Eliach “live” when he has presented his material from the book and in his college accredited class of religious Zionism. The book will soon be released to the public at large and be made available on Amazon beginning on May 7. Pro-Israel groups have already expressed interest in providing it to their constituents, realizing that it provides important information which serves as a bulwark against the continuous onslaught of Palestinian propaganda.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018




annual dinner BUILDING MONDAY, MAY 14 TH 2018 THE SANDS





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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

GiftofUnity Delivers Pesach Packages to Patients

Lawrence Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin and Cedarhurst’s Meir Krengel being sworn into the Nassau Police Department’s Advisory Council last Monday night

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Lawrence Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin

T Meir Krengel, Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel, and Lawrence Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin

he excitement for Pesach is felt in the air for days leading up to it. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to be at home surrounded by their family in the comfort of their own homes. Rabbi Nafi Orlofsky from GiftofUnity walked around Winthrop Hospital before Pesach delivering Pesach packages to patients who were going to be in the hospital for Pesach. Rabbi Anchelle Perl, the chaplain of the hospital, helped drop off the packages and lift the spirits of these patients.

The smiles the packages brought to the patients were priceless. Every patient was so thankful to receive these packages! Thank you to everyone who contributed to this great chessed.  GiftofUnity is an organization that provides opportunity to unite Jews. The goal is to give a gift that will enable one Jew to feel recognized and love by another. Giving creates Love and Love creates Unity. If you would like to get involved or have suggestions please email or call 516-524-8479. 

New York’s New 2018-19 Budget a Major Win for Nonpublic Schools


ew York State’s new budget, passed on March 31, 2018, includes an unprecedented $15 million for nonpublic schools STEM reimbursement program. This program, championed by Teach NYS, of the Orthodox Union’s Teach Advocacy network, will increase funding for STEM instruction in nonpublic schools by $10 million, a 200-percent increase over last year’s allocation. Teach NYS has made passing and expanding the STEM program the cornerstone of its agenda and was instrumental in securing the historic reimbursement program for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction, passed in 2017. The 2018-19 funding builds upon that success. “The growth of the STEM program in this budget reflects the value that Albany places on our schools,” said

Neil Cohen, Teach NYS co-chairman. “Our nonpublic schools are an economic driver for New York State, and this funding increase will help us ensure our students have access to the education they need now to contribute to the economy of the future.” The new budget also includes increases for Comprehensive Attendance Policy and Mandated Services programs (CAP & MSR). Additionally, the nonpublic school security program will remain funded at $15M. “This was an exceedingly difficult budget year and we are gratified to know that the Governor and legislative leadership have once again made funding our schools a priority,” said Allen Fagin, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union. “Our state’s leaders understand the critical importance of education and investing in our children. We are extremely ap-

preciative of the efforts of Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Flanagan, Speaker Heastie, Senate Coalition Leader Jeff Klein and the membership of both houses for their hard work on this issue.” Teach NYS mobilizes grassroots activists, lay leaders, teachers, community leaders and students to meet with elected officials and directly advocate for legislation that will help offset and mitigate the tuition crisis plaguing nonpublic schools, including many Jewish day schools and yeshivas. In addition to its regular presence on the ground in Albany, Teach NYS recently held a successful “Albany Mission” in March 2018, with hundreds of activists participating in a massive rally and local legislative meetings. “We thank our partners in advocacy, including Agudath Israel of

America, the New York State Catholic Conference and the UJA Federation of New York for working us on behalf of all of New York State’s nonpublic schools,” said Maury Litwack, Director, Teach NYS. Nonpublic schools educate more than 400,000 students and save New York taxpayers more than $11 billion annually. Nonpublic schools also generate more than $500 million in tax revenue and add 70,000 jobs to the state’s economy. Orthodox Union President Moishe Bane stated, “We are grateful to our partners in government for understanding that education is the priority for our community, and for once again responding with concrete policy actions to benefit our schools.” To help fight the tuition crisis, please visit

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018


Around the Community The 5 Towns Girls Basketball League recently finished an amazing season. The girls in each division are learning the fundamentals of the game, learning to work together as a team and having so much fun while getting a great workout! Our energetic high school and college coaches and refs are doing a great job teaching the girls the skills and the rules of the game while still enabling the girls to have a fun experience every week. Mazal tov to the winning teams!

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arlier in the year, fifth grade students in Rabbi Elie Bashevkin’s Language Arts class at HANC’s Samuel and Elizabeth Bass Golding Elementary School in West Hempstead created beautiful compositions for the Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration. The Grannie Annie invites students in fourth through eighth grade, both in the United States and across the world, to write about something interesting they discovered from their family based on their interviews with older relatives. Each student submitted a family story for possible publication in the annual Grannie Annie Journal. After reading 528 stories submitted by students in eight states, as well as international students, Grannie Annie announced thirty-six winners. The thirty-six stories in the “Grannie Annie Volume 13” took place in eleven countries on four continents over a span of 136 year, and include personal accounts of historic events as well as recollections of everyday activities. The authors from HANC, and the titles of their stories, that will appear in Grannie Annie, Volume 13, are Rami Kessock, “To Live”; Emily Mark, “A Single Ring”; and Chavy

Reiss, “The Man in Stripes.” This is the second year in a row that students from HANC participated in the Grannie Annie writing contest, as well as the second year in a row that HANC students’ essays were selected for publication in their annual volume. In addition to being included in this year’s volume, the students’ stories will also be published as a paperback book, an eBook and a PDF book, as well as appearing on the Grannie Annie website and shared through social media. Rami, Emily and Chavy will be honored at The Grannie Annie’s Family Stories Festival at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis on June 3. The celebration will include an opportunity for the students to read their stories, and published artists to read an artist’s statement about their illustrations. The festival will also include a book signing, an art exhibit, a display of special class projects, and more. Congratulations to Rami, Emily and Chavy on this fine achievement, as well as to Rabbi Elie Bashevkin on inspiring all of his students to explore their family history and helping them to share their stories.

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Around the Community Uncle Moishy Tanenbaum had children singing and dancing at the Chol Hamoed concert in the Five Towns





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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

HALB Student Wins On and Off the Court

The Selling of the Chometz for Far Rockaway & the Five Towns



he Brooklyn Nets, along with the Hospital for Special Surgery, asked coaches in the tristate area to nominate a student who excels both on the court and in the classroom. HALB’s athletic director Rabbi Dan Marciano had nominated Issac Solomon for the competition. Isaac was named one of six finalists by the Brooklyn Nets and then was declared the overall winner based upon him accumulating the greatest number of votes from the public. Before tip-off the Nets  presented

its All-Star Award on court to Isaac! He will receive a spot in the Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy Clinic and HALB will receive a $3,000 grant towards its athletic program. Isaac received the award because he is an exemplary student athlete who has demonstrated the desire to succeed both on the court and in the classroom and recently led his middle school team to a championship title while also receiving outstanding grades. Congratulations Isaac!

Duke Waters, Rabbi Yitzchok Frankel of Agudath Israel of the Five Towns, Rabbi Shaul Chill of Young Israel of Far Rockaway, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Blumenkrantz of Bais Medresh Ateres Yisroel, Rabbi Betzalel Korn of Congregation Keneseth Meir, and Rabbi Dov Bressler of HiLi Minyan at the selling of the chometz this year before Pesach.

Science in the Real World

YHT’S JV Girls Cap Undefeated Season


he Yeshiva Har Torah JV girls’ basketball team, the Junior Bees, completed an undefeated season with a win in the championship game. The team’s success was predicated on strong leadership, good ball movement, and solid defense.   The Junior Bees were cheered on by a raucous crowd of YHT parents, siblings, classmates, teachers, and administrators.  The celebration continued the next day when the team was greeted in school with a party with their classmates and a highlight video of the season. 

Coach Amanda Zelman, dubbed “Zelmania” on YHT’s social media accounts, said that “this has been a really fun, supportive team. I’m really happy for the players and for the entire school.” Rabbi Menchel, YHT’s Menahel, noted the significance of the victory. “I am so proud of our Junior Bees for their outstanding sportsmanship and dedication. This is the first JV championship in the school’s history!  Kudos to Coach Amanda and to our talented players for a truly incredible season!”


he Makerspace Tech lab at HALB under the guidance of Mrs. Rubel was buzzing with excitement as the 5th grade students were integrating their coding Scratch projects with Makey Makey this week. With the Makey Makey, students can make any conductive material act as the input device for a computer.

The fifth graders created an interactive Make Music game in Scratch while using potatoes and coins as the input device (instead of the keyboard). Students are collaborating together to create, invent, imagine and learn how to apply their STEM skills in the real world.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Fleetwood Synagogue Open House Brunch


n Sunday, March 4, the Fleetwood Synagogue hosted a brunch for prospective members from Queens, Manhattan, and the Five Towns. This Orthodox “hidden jewel” of a shul in lower Westchester is located between Riverdale and New Rochelle in the Fleetwood section of Mount Vernon. The open house was intended to introduce guests to members of the Fleetwood Synagogue and learn more about the community. Rabbi Rosenfelt spoke about the strong sense of leadership within the community, with participants playing a role by bringing their own talents and interests to the shul. Just like Hashem responded to Moshe’s “threat” in Parshat Ki Sisa by saying “go lead the people,” Rabbi Rosenfelt urged everyone to look within themselves as leaders where everyone has something to contribute. He continued, “We’re looking for people ... to continue growing and shaping this community.” In Fleetwood “everyone helps out. That’s the attitude we have. We’re able to take care of everything

together. Every person should feel like they can build a better community.” Fleetwood is an option that is low in cost, high in quality, and accessible to everything. Fleetwood residents have the benefits of city living without its pricing. Given its close proximity to major schools in the Bronx and Westchester, there are plenty of education options. It offers city living within the confines of a suburb, with shops that are within walking

Will Brian Ever Show Up? By Rav Yitzchok Fingerer


uring Pesach of 5777 (2017), I met an unaffiliated young Jewish man in Connecticut. Unfortunately, he did not attend a Pesach seder. It broke my heart. It turns out that though he was working in Connecticut, he actually lived in Flatbush on Avenue N, a mere mile from the BJX Avenue K Center. It pained me very deeply that a Jew who lived surrounded by myriad shuls, yeshivos and countless frum Jews had absolutely no affiliation. Who would ensure that this precious Jewish neshama would reconnect to Hashem and Klal Yisroel? Who would guarantee that this fellow would marry Jewish and not forsake his Jewish identity? I reached out to him after Pesach inviting him to BJX to join other students and young professionals to experience Shabbos at our Friday night dinner. Unfortunately, he was out of the country and could not make it.

Subsequently, I invited him to other kiruv programs and events at BJX such as an intriguing lecture series from a former minister, a cocktail evening and a musical concert. He graciously declined every invitation due to work conflicts. I then invited him for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Simchas Torah – all to no avail. Then came Chanukah. I finally got a bite. He officially registered for the spectacular BJX Chanukah party! I was thrilled and ecstatic. I was dreaming of this young man lighting the Chanukah menorah and kindling his neshama. Vistas of Hashem’s lost child returning home on such an auspicious time such as Chanukah resonated in my being. A dear brother will be reunited with Klal Yisroel. Our family will be more complete. It was a beautiful party. Fun and uplifting. Full of young Jews connecting to our heritage. However, I felt a void. Someone very important was missing. I waited and waited for him

distance to many houses, co-ops and apartments. The synagogue is just a few blocks away from the Metro North Train Station where one can get to Grand Central Terminal in only twenty-five minutes. The shul offers a daily minyan, Shabbat youth groups, shiurim, and an ever-growing eiruv. Rabbi Daniel Rosenfelt is only the fifth rabbi of the shul since it was founded in 1958. He recently located to his Fleetwood home with his wife and three children after living in

Queens. The choice to him was easy, “You can get a beautiful house for less than $500K, get a great education, and everything you need is right at your doorstep. Most importantly, I love the opportunity to be the spiritual leader of such a dynamic and growing congregation.”

to come. He never showed up. It seems that his friend had an emergency that he needed to assist with. I know what you’re thinking, “Give up already! Don’t you get it? He’s not interested! It’s pointless!” If you knew a grieving parent with an aching heart waiting for their lost child to return, would you dare give up? If you really loved and cared for someone wouldn’t you be relentless and persistent to reunite them with their child? I tried again for Purim. He said he would come. The entire Purim night I looked behind people’s masks hoping it was him. It wasn’t. He had yet another work commitment that he simply couldn’t give up. I almost grew weary and despondent. It seemed as if he would never come. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t reach out to him during the weeks preceding Pesach. After all, all I seemed to receive was rejection. It was Friday, erev Pesach, just two weeks ago. It dawned upon me just a few hours before the seder would begin

that I did not invite him to BJX for a seder. Don’t I believe that we’re all one neshama? How can I go to the seder in clear conscience without making another attempt? Racing against the clock, I called him and told him that Passover is about to begin. He said, “I’ve been waiting for your call. Can I attend the seder? What is BJX’s address?” He came! He fulfilled all the mitzvos. Hashem never gives up on us. Never give up on your fellow Jews. In the Haggadah, we speak about the Four Sons. Instead of consolidating all the sons together and simply stating, “The Torah speaks about four different sons: The wise, wicked, simple and the one who doesn’t know how to ask questions,” it enumerates and delineates each son separately, with the term, “echad.” This signifies that each of the sons, no matter their variegated backgrounds and persuasions, are “echad” to Hashem, special and unique. So should they be special and unique to us. Never stop loving your fellow Jews.

For further information about Fleetwood Synagogue, please contact Rabbi Rosenfelt at

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018




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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Invisalign: A New Paradigm for Orthodontics? By Jonathan Paley, DDS, Cert. Ortho.


y now, you’ve likely heard of the newest trend in tooth straightening: Invisalign. Invisalign is the most well-known of an innovative means of tooth movement known as “clear aligner” therapy. But is Invisalign deserving of all the hype? Is it really just as good as braces as many are claiming? Let’s try to understand more about this exciting and novel development in contemporary orthodontics. For decades, when faced with the challenge of a crowded mouth and a crooked smile, orthodontists have used braces – fixed attachments bonded to the front of the teeth which allow us to move teeth into the correct position. Every 4-6 weeks, patients visit the orthodontist for an adjustment, whereby braces are modified to bring the teeth into a more ideal position and to perfect the bite, or occlusion. Lingual treat-

ment, whereby brackets and wires are placed behind the teeth, is an esthetic alternative but may present challenges with chewing, speaking and tongue discomfort. In 1997, a California orthodontist and his engineer patient devised a creative way to straighten teeth using removable plastic “aligners.” The aligners had small, incremental movements built in and when worn sequentially, generally 2 weeks at a time, they would carry the teeth into a more ideal position. This concept would develop into a truly revolutionary method of moving teeth and would open up the world of orthodontics to a much wider population! Invisalign’s parent company, Align, has patented this ingenious system and has streamlined the technique into an effective means of tooth movement. Adults, in particular, are now able to pursue treatment without having to wear more conspicuous braces. Even among our teenage popula-

tion, the ability to obtain straight teeth with removable, clear aligners is a very exciting development. Over time, the technique has become more advanced, with new technology allowing for more accurate results and more patient friendly treatment. Recently, Align purchased Itero, a manufacturer of digital scanners based in Israel (where else?). The scanner is used by the orthodontist to take digital impressions in place of traditional molds which is then immediately uploaded to Invisalign’s platform so that the case is rapidly available for review and approval. The technology is truly cutting edge and remarkably easy to use! The main advantages of the Invisalign approach are: 1. Esthetics: The aligners are relatively transparent and are really hard to detect! 2. Removability: The aligners are easily removed to allow for brushing and cleaning or for a special occasion. 3. Fewer emergencies: Due to the absence of braces, emergencies are very rare. Treatment generally proceeds with few bumps or inconveniences. Unfortunately, as with most new innovations, Invisalign does have some limitations: 1. Certain types of tooth movement are difficult with Invisalign: If you need to address issues with your back teeth or move teeth vertically, Invisalign may not be an ideal option. 2. Occasionally the teeth do not move as expected, and additional “refinement” aligners must be prescribed to achieve desired outcomes,

lengthening treatment time. 3. Most importantly, compliance. The success of Invisalign treatment depends almost entirely on the wearer. If they sit on your nighttable or bathroom sink, they won’t work. With regular braces, you don’t have any choice in the matter and improvement will definitely happen. Ultimately, further clinical studies are needed to examine the long term effectiveness of Invisalign as compared to braces. Traditionally, orthodontic treatment has been performed by orthodontic specialists who undergo a rigorous 2 or 3-year residency program. The advent of Invisalign has created a situation whereby general dentists are seeking to provide orthodontic treatment for their patients. However, many cases that may seem simple on the surface often prove to be more challenging than expected and a GP may end up struggling to achieve desired results. It’s advisable to consult with an orthodontist to determine who is best suited to manage your orthodontic treatment and with which modality of care. Overall, the introduction of Invisalign has broadened the options available to patients for achieving desired orthodontic results and has expanded access of care to a wider group of people. An experienced and capable orthodontist can often use it to achieve excellent results. As time goes on, perhaps it will become the standard for most orthodontic cases, but not quite yet. For now, it remains a relevant and exciting addition to the tools we can offer to provide healthy and beautiful smiles for all of our patients.

Yiddishkeit is not a spectator’s sport in which we watch the tzaddikim from afar and gaze in awe at how close they are to Hashem. Page 62

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

History Repeats Itself! Dirshu Holds Seder Nezikin Siyum in Vienna in Same Hall As First Siyum HaShas

Festive dancing at the dais during the Siyum event at Sofiensaal Auditorium in Vienna

By Chaim Gold


t took almost nine decades for the sweet sounds of Torah to be heard again in the Sofiensaal Auditorium in Vienna, yet, during the first week of Nissan, Klal Yisroel witnessed a profound manifestation of “Netzach Yisroel lo yishaker.” A siyum on the Daf Hayomi Seder Nezikin was held on 2 Nissan in the exact same hall in Vienna where the historic first Daf HaYomi Siyum was held. The Torah observant community, led by its foremost rabbonim, came out in droves to participate in the historic event and derive chizuk in dedication to limud haTorah from a leading delegation of Dirshu, the Torah organization whose raison d’être is to promote accountable limud haTorah. The Sofiensaal Auditorium has seen a lot over the past 90 years. After the first Daf

HaYomi Siyum, the hall saw the Nazi takeover of Austria, hosting Nazi rallies and events. Following the war, it became an entertainment venue, slowly fell into disrepair, and was then beautifully renovated. Now, it has again merited to host an event that not only represented the grandeur and simcha of the completion of seder Nezikin, the last major seder before the upcoming World Siyum – a celebration of past learning – but also a kabbalah al l’habaah, an enthusiastic undertaking by a large cross-section of the Vienna community to undertake daily learning in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. Vienna’s Rabbanim Encourage the Learning of Daily Halacha In advance of the event, a rare letter was released by seven of Vienna’s prominent rabbonim calling on all of

Dirshu delegation witnessing the Torah rejuvenation in Berlin

the members of the community to join the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. The letter, signed by HaRav Avrohom Yehuda Schwartz, shlita, HaRav Alexander Asher Margolius, shlita, HaRav Moshe Eliezer Weiss, shlita, HaRav Avrohom Hotoveli, shlita, HaRav Yosef Pressburger, shlita, and the Chief Rabbis HaRav Aryeh Folger, shlita, and HaRav Chaim Eisenberg, shlita, states, “The Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is presently holding in siman 302, the beginning of the halachos of Meleches Shabbos. In the Mishna Berurah’s famous hakdama to hilchos Shabbos, he cites Rav Yonason Eibischutz from his sefer Ya’aros Devash, wherein he points out that it is impossible to avoid transgressing the laws of Shabbos every Shabbos unless one properly and comprehensively learns the halachos. Therefore now is the time to undertake the learning of Hilchos Shabbos. “How good it would be to join one of the daily shiurim that already exist in our city! In addition, we call upon all of the gabbaim of shuls in our city to add Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiurim to the shul’s shiurim so that everyone can properly learn, understand and observe the halachos in the Orach Chaim section of Shulchan Aruch for it is incumbent on

every Jew to know the daily halachos in Orach Chaim that are relevant every day and every Shabbos.” The siyum began with the entrance of the rabbonim together with the Nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, who came to Vienna especially to participate in the historic event. The event was opened by HaRav Binyomin Eckstein, shlita, Belzer Dayan of London and Chairman of Dirshu Europe. Rav Eckstein enumerated Dirshu’s choice of programs and expressed his deep satisfaction over the establishment of numerous new shiurim in shuls throughout the city. The siyum on Seder Nezikin was made by Rav Dovid Bidel, a Rosh Kollel in Vienna and Daf HaYomi Maggid Shiur. The Kaddish was recited by Rav Dovid Yehuda Hirsch. Seder Kodshim was begun by Maggid Shiur, Rav Yitzchok Binyomin Neuman. The Necessity for Mesiras Nefesh A highlight of the event was the emotion-laden drasha of Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu, who highlighted for the audience Dirshu’s message of ol Torah, bringing Klal Yisroel together with achdus through accountable limud haTorah. In a Pesach-related

Rav Binyomin Eckstein, Belzer Dayan of London and chairman of Dirshu Europe, opened the Siyum event on Seder Nezikin at the Sofiensaal Auditorium

message he said, “Chazal tell us that the Bnei Yisroel had no mitzvos and needed the blood of Pesach and milah to merit redemption from Egypt. Don’t Chazal tell us that Bnei Yisroel had other merits, such as the fact that they didn’t change their clothing, language and names?” Rav Dovid answered, “Yes, they maintained their Jewish clothing and even spoke a Jewish language, etc. but they were simultaneously completely immersed and absorbed in the culture of Egypt, the norms of behavior, the norms of entertainment. They had a veneer of the Jewish religion, the outer trappings of Jewish observance. Superficially they heeded the Jewish religion, but their essence, their inner core was completely Egyptian.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

What ‘energized them,’ were the things that ‘excited’ their fellow Egyptians. “Thus, the only way to extricate themselves from the culture of Mitzrayim was with mesiras nefesh, with blood – blood of milah and blood of Pesach. “Our generation has so many zechusim! Look at the beautiful edifices of Torah that we have built on the ashes of the Holocaust. Nevertheless, our generation is similar to the generation of Mitzrayim in the sense that we too have been inundated with the host culture. The only way that we can extricate ourselves from the superficiality of today’s culture is with mesiras nefesh! “Just like then it cost them blood, so too in our times we must invest our blood, our effort and our toil in serving Hashem. It is not enough to perfunctorily keep the mitzvos. When it comes to Torah learning we must dedicate ourselves to learning with true accountability.” HaRav Zishe Horowitz: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words HaRav Zishe Horowitz, shlita, Rav of the Kehillas Hachassidim of Elad, was the guest speaker at the event. Rav Horowitz focused on the words “V’higadeta l’bincha,” the obligation that a father has to relate the story of yetzias Mitzrayim to his children. Usually the word “v’higadeta” translates as, ‘you should relate.’ The Targum Onkeles, however, translates the word to mean ‘you should show.” Showing means one must truly depict the ideals of yetzias Mitzrayim to our children as the well-known aphorism


Rav Yitzchok Binyomin Neuman began Seder Kodshim at the Sofiensaal Auditorium in Vienna

goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. “Our children must see us learning Torah and especially learning practical halacha. When a child sees his father learning halacha, he too will be spurred to learn halacha and gain the resultant yiras shomayim.” Afterwards, a special video from the famed Chassidic mashpia, HaRav Elimelech Biderman, shlita, was shown. Rav Biderman exhorted Vienna Jews about the critical importance of incorporating a halacha seder into their everyday learning. Heartfelt zemiros and grammen were sung by Reb Yisroel Adler. It was deeply moving to see the entire assemblage spontaneously burst out in song and dance as the Sofiensaal Auditorium again experienced true simchas haTorah after an almost nine decade hiatus. The entire frum community of Vienna was deeply moved and, indeed, new shiurim in Daf HaYomi B’Halacha sprang up in numerous shuls in the aftermath of the event. Returning to Roots in Budapest: Baalei Teshuva Take Monthly Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Tests Following Vienna, the Dirshu delegation went to the city of Bratislava-Pressburg where they davened at the kever of the Chasam Sofer on behalf of

The first Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur ever in Berlin

the tens of thousands of lomdei Dirshu throughout the world. The next stop was the city of Budapest, Hungary, where a fascinating Torah revolution is transpiring under the auspices of Rav Dovid Kelety. Rav Dovid, a Hungarian-born Jew, learned in Eretz Yisroel and then returned to Hungary where he established a kiruv organization that reaches Jews in Budapest. There are 90,000 Jews in Budapest, most of them completely estranged from Yiddishkeit. A young group of baalei teshuva has grown under his tutelage and a couple of years ago Rav Kelety reached out to Dirshu and asked if some of his more advanced talmidim could join the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. Since then they have been learning the Mishnah Berurah daily and he even translates the tests for them into Hungarian. The Dirshu delegation came to Budapest and Rav Hofstedter gave a shiur. At the seudas mitzvah that followed, Rav Hofstedter delivered divrei chizuk and interactively engaged the tzibbur of motivated young people who had left everything behind in order to dedicate their lives to Yiddishkeit. “I cannot tell you what an impact Dirshu’s visit had on the young dedicated Yidden from Budapest. They truly felt part of the Torah world, and renewed their motivation to dedicating their lives to live in accordance with the Torah and halacha, and most importantly to learn Torah with mesiras nefesh. Hashem promised us, ‘Torah would not be forgotten from your children.’ Dirshu is instrumental in helping fulfill that promise in Budapest,” Rav Kelety explained. Dirshu Opens in Berlin The next day brought the Dirshu delegation to Berlin, the capital of Germany. Over

the past years there has been a Torah rejuvenation in Berlin, both by local Berlin Jews and a large expatriate community that has emigrated from Russia. Berlin features more than one kollel and the Dirshu delegation’s first stop was Beis Medrash Beis Tzion, a shul that had survived Kristallnacht and today houses the Adas Bnei Yisroel Kehilla as well as a kollel. Upon entering the beis medrash, the delegation saw a large sign heralding the opening of a Dirshu branch in Berlin. In honor of the establishment of a new Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiur in Berlin, a beautiful seudas mitzvah was held. Leading the Berlin kehillah in this endeavor was Rav Moshe Halpern and Rav Yitzchak Eherenberg, Chief Rabbi of Berlin. A Personal Message from HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, Shlita One of the most moving moments at the Berlin event was the special message from HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Ponovezh, who went out of his way to record a video in honor of the event. Rav Moshe Halpern, who is presiding over the Dirshu program in Berlin and has been instrumental in facilitating a Torah revolution in the German capital, is a close talmid of Rav Berel. In his message to the kehillah, Rav Berel lovingly said, “Rav Moshe, my talmid is like a son to me! It follows that you Yidden in Berlin are all my grandchildren!” Rav Dovid then elucidated how “Torah is called ohr, light. Conversely, a person without Torah is like one walking in darkness. In no way is that darkness more evident than when it comes to lack of knowledge of halacha. A person who

doesn’t know what to do is truly walking in the dark. That is why what Dirshu is doing in Berlin by starting Daf HaYomi B’Halacha programs is so important. When learning halacha, you will be endowed with light. Every Shabbos, you will know how to conduct yourself – how to eat a piece of fish that has bones, how to make yourself a hot drink… Without knowledge of halacha, you are in the dark. Dirshu brings light to Klal Yisroel!” The symbolism in Berlin was a fitting backdrop. The fact that Dirshu, the largest organization facilitating limud haTorah in the world, established a branch just around the corner from where Hitler’s Reichtstag was once located was not lost on anyone. In his remarks, Rav Hofstedter reiterated the idea that the blood of Pesach and the blood of milah represents the need for mesiras nefesh for Torah learning. He said that perhaps there is a lesson for us from the fact that in Europe today the mitzvos of shechita and milah are under threat with European governments attempting to ban these practices. “Perhaps we are being enjoined to have more mesiras nefesh for Torah. Maybe this is a sign that we should accept upon ourselves not only to learn but to learn in a way that we will review and retain!” Possibly the most gratifying result of the visit to Berlin was the fact that the morning after the event, immediately after the community davened Shacharis, everyone gathered around the table for the beginning of what will certainly be the first of many Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shuirim in Berlin, Germany. Seventy years after the churban, the Nazis are in the dust heap of history and Yidden are learning and taking Dirshu tests on Daf HaYomi in Berlin, Vienna and Budapest.


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Around the Community

Remembering Rav Binyamin, zt”l

The Jewish Heritage Society of the Five Towns and Yeshiva of South Shore Present “Journey of a Visionary” Exhibit


ourney of a Visionary,” a multi-faceted exhibit chronicling the life, vision

and myriad accomplishments of Rav Binyamin Kamenetzky, zt”l, will debut at Yeshiva of South Shore’s Me-

morial Dinner on Sunday, April 15. Showcasing Rav Binyamin’s history from his birth in Lithuania through his own chinuch, marriage and pioneering years in the Five Towns, the exhibit will pay tribute to the man, rav and educator who devoted himself to building a Torah community. Visitors will gain an in-depth appreciation of Rav Binyamin’s experience and impact as they walk through an interactive timeline of photos, mementos, artifacts and video. His growth from a war-time immigrant to a friend of gedolim will unfold while his own words play in the background. Letters and Torah thoughts from Rav Binyamin’s days as a Yeshiva bochur will be interspersed with news clippings of his communal milestones and even his iconic phonebooks that he relied on to reach out to people in need. “My father was larger than life.

He touched so many people with his warmth, respect and love of Torah and his fellow Jew,” said Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva of South Shore. “We want to tell his inspirational story in a way that allows people to gain a deeper understanding of his achievements and the Torah values that guided him. He was also exceptional at preserving memories and history. We are striving to continue his legacy and keep his memory and lessons alive for generations to come.” Designed in partnership between the Jewish Heritage Society of the Five Towns and Yeshiva of South Shore, the exhibit is geared towards adults and students alike. Following the dinner, it will be on display at the Yeshiva as an educational tool for the talmidim in conjunction with Rav Binyamin’s yahrzeit on the 2nd of Iyar.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

Around the Community

How to Properly Execute a Will By Ronald Fatoullah Esq. and Elizabeth Forspan, Esq.


Last Will and Testament is a document wherein an individual (testator) expresses his wishes regarding his assets and his estate upon his death. A will is a very important document. As such, it must meet the legal requirements set forth by the state in which the testator resides at the time of death in order to be valid. A will is not effective until it is signed by the testator. The actual will execution is critical to ensuring that the testator’s wishes are ultimately carried out. Below, we outline some of the important will execution requirements. In New York State a will must be in writing and signed by the testator at the bottom of the document. Any writing that follows the testator’s signature will not be treated as part of the will. Accordingly, if an individual wishes to change or add any provisions to his will, he can either have a codicil prepared or simply have the entire will revised. The testator must sign the will in the presence of at least two witnesses, but the witnesses are not required to sign in each other’s presence. Each witness must sign the will in the testator’s presence within 30 days of the testator’s signing and should include his or her address of residence. It is important that the witnesses are disinterested parties who are not beneficiaries under the will. If a witness is in fact a beneficiary under the will, the document will still be valid, but the bequest to the interested parties may be reduced. At the time of the will signing, the testator must confirm that the document is in fact his will and reflects his intent and wishes. The testator

must also ask each witness to sign the will thereby affirming that the testator knows that he is executing a will. This process is referred to as the publication requirement and is an integral part of the will execution ceremony. All these rules are necessary in order to signify the importance of the will. The testator must demonstrate to the witnesses that he understands the nature of the document being signed and as well as its contents. While attorneys might vary slightly in their will signing practices, the basic rules must always be observed. Attorneys should practice a regular and strictly followed routine at every signing and their associates should take and keep notes regarding the signing. These actions ultimately protect the authenticity of the will if it is challenged in the future. A will should always be drafted by an experienced attorney who specializes in estate planning, and of equal importance, the signing of a will should always be supervised by an attorney who is well versed in this area of the law and is familiar with the aforementioned requirements. Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the principal of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm that concentrates in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, trusts, wills, and real estate. Elizabeth Forspan is the managing attorney of the firm. The law firm can be reached at 516466-4422, or toll free at 1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES. Mr. Fatoullah is also a partner with Advice Period, a wealth management firm, and can be reached at 424256-7273.

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Elisheva Basya Kaplan, a”h Excerpts from her father, Mr. Joel Kaplan's address at the levaya


y mother often says to me, “Joel, you have so much.” I try interpret this as being happy with what you have, with what Hashem has given you, if you phrase it another way ... simchas ha’chaim. No one ever had to tell Elisheva to wake up and smell the coffee. She had an outstanding solidness. She’s a great girl ... an outgoing personality, a great sense of achrayis and ahavas chaveiros. It’s a trait that shone with her and with Yisroel. They had this overwhelming simchas hachaim. Elisheva was the best audience for a joke. Elisheva was the one who always was up. She was a loving sister, such a wonderful daughter. She had an infectious laugh. She didn’t have a cynical bone in her body and she recognized the chessed of life that was bestowed upon her, indeed upon all

of us. Yes, we allow ourselves – and I’m talking to myself here – to be caught up in the minutia of life, and get mired in challenges at work and sometimes difficult relationships. Let us rise above our jobs... let us rise above the mundane. We say Modeh Ani in the morning; let’s say it like we mean it. When we make a bracha, at least let us say it like we really mean it. Elisheva knew – we all knew – that there was someone, Yisroel, who really liked her, almost without having talked to her. And, then when it was just the right time, they were redt to each other and they dated and they were both concerned that the like wasn’t just like, it was love. It was two neshamos, so much simchas hachaim, united. Watch out world, what a high they

were on. After the l’chaim and the vort, yet before the gedarim kicked in, I said to her, “Elisheva, Yisroel is such a wonderful boy. He’s smart, he’s frum, he’s funny, he’s nice, he’s handsome, he’s normal and he loves you like crazy. You’re so lucky.” She said simply, “I know.” The simchas hachaim she had after she got engaged... When you wake up and you go through your day, remember, thank Hashem and mean it. If we could take anything away from Elisheva’s life and Yisroel’s life, it’s the simchas hachaim, the pure joy of being alive in Hashem’s world. What I would pray for once again is Elisheva’s simchas hachaim. The nechama I have is that while Elisheva and Yisroel are not here with us, Hashem took them, yes,

but He took them together, a couple, they are together indeed forever in a very wonderful place. Elisheva is also with her best friend, Miriam Holman, a”h. May we all be zocheh to wake up, smell the coffee all the time... And may we be zocheh to bring more simchas hachaim into our own lives for our own sakes and for those around us... For those who davened for Elisheva and Yisroel yesterday when they were missing, know that no tefillos are ever in vain, coming from a chazzan, someone who knows. Tefillos are saved up in Shamayim for another rainy day... May Hashem bring Moshiach b’mheira v’yamainu. U’macha Hashem dima mei’al kol panim.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018


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TJH g! Fraud Warnin MEDIATELY! EASE READ IM PL ! G IN N R A W US! THIS IS SERIO called the om a company fr pe lo ve en ! This If you get an OT OPEN IT Serv ice, DO N e nu year. ve y Re er ev al e Intern nd this tim ou ar am sc a , which group operates e them money s that you ow m ai of escl r n io tte at le r er Thei y for the op pa to e us d an vernment. they w ill take ted States go ni U e th of ns used sential functio IRS collects is e money the Th on ! ue nd tr pe un de is ch This ions whi other corporat s ou ri va nd to fu . ay in business subsidies to st tfit other shady ou has ties to an n tio m za ai ni cl ga This or ion, who ty Administrat ri cu Se ve al sa ci d So an called the lar paychecks from your regu e month es us A to take money SS e In tr uth, th t. en em fare tir re it for your corporate wel e misguided m sa e th r fo ey to pay mastermind. the IRS helps , hard-workbilked honest ve ha ts tis ar rs. Don’t be These scam llions of dolla bi of t ou s ing A merican among them!

Centerfold You gotta be


Late one night a mugger wearing a ski mask jumped into the path of a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs. “Give me your money,” he demanded. Indignant, the affluent man replied, “You can’t do this – I’m a U.S. congressman!” “In that case,” replied the robber, “give me my money!”

Taxing Comments • “Taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.” -Gerald Barzan

• “People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.” -Unknown

• “The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.” -Will Rogers

• “More than ever before, Americans are suffering from back problems: back taxes, back rent, back auto payments.” -Robert Orben

• “The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” -Winston Churchill • “If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don’t teach him to subtract—teach him to deduct.” -Fran Lebowitz • “[On filing for tax returns:] This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.” -Albert Einstein • “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” -Benjamin Franklin

• “Isn’t it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool’s Day and ends with cries of ‘May Day’?” -Rob Knauerhase • “We’ll try to cooperate fully with the IRS, because, as citizens, we feel a strong patriotic duty not to go to jail.” -Dave Barry • “How is a mugger different from the Internal Revenue Service? Both take your money, but the mugger doesn’t make you fill out forms.” -Jacob Sullum

The Jewish Home | APRIL29, 12,2015 2018 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER

Taxing Trivia 1. What is IRS an acronym for? a. Invisible Rattle Snakes

2. Which of the following states has no income tax?

golf courses around the country – on planes which are flying spas. It’s very hard for them, and hopefully the federal income tax helps us line their pockets well enough to reward them for all of their hard work.

a. Delaware

b. It’s Really Stealing

b. Florida

c. I Remain Solvent... barely

c. Utah d. California (ha, ha, ha)

d. It Really Stinks

f. Intentional Raiding Society g. Incredibly Rude and Smug h. Internal Revenue Service….and all of the above…ding! ding! ding!

a. To pay politicians who sacrifice so much for the greater good. Whereas most Americans travel in luxury, they are forced to travel in big, black Suburbans, driven by scary looking security guards. They are also forced to travel – to various

4. D 5. A- The sale of illegal drugs is taxable in North Carolina. Of course, the drug dealers wouldn’t report the income if it meant that they would be busted for the sale. So the way it is set up is that the dealer would go to the authorities — anonymously, of course — and pay a tax based on the weight and the type of drugs he was holding. He would be given a tax stamp, not

 Answers

3. Federal income tax was first established for which purpose?

b. To fund bridge and tunnel projects c. To fund the Civil War d. To fund World War I 4. The FBI employs 36,000 people. How many people are employed by the IRS?

d. 114,000 5. If someone sells illegal drugs in North Carolina is he obligated to pay tax on it? a. a. Yes b. b. No 6. Approximately how many words is the U.S. Tax Code? a. 300,000 b. 700,000 c. 1.2 million d. 4 million

a. 12,000 b. 56,000

1. H 2. B- The other states with no income tax are Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Washington (state, not D.C. obviously, which has that whole “taxation without representation” shtick that they cry about all day). 3. C- In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law. Good job, Confederates, way to go!

e. Very Bad Agency (Perhaps that doesn’t make sense...I just did my taxes, nothing makes sense right now)

c. 73,000

 Form AK75-42(b)6(b) b(6)6(b)71-37S(5)A (Short Form: Wisdom Key) 5-6 correct: You know way too much. You know what they say about people who cheat at TJH trivia? They probably cheat on their taxes as well. Who is knocking on your door? 3-4 correct: You are a "50 percenter," like the rest of us taxpayers in New York. 0-2 correct: You know nothing about taxes, you probably never paid them. Hey, you should run for office; you have the right resume.

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unlike the tax stickers on cigarette packs. The dealer could then place the stamp on the drugs he is selling. Needless to say, the drug dealers – for some odd reason – don’t comply. (Come to think of it, the lawmaker who thought of this plan may have been one of their clients.) 6. D- Maybe as a punishment every politician in Washington should have to read all 4 million words.


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Torah Thought

Parshas Shemini By Rabbi Berel Wein


ow are we to view and deal with the unavoidable tragedies that occur to all of us in our lifetimes? No one really escapes unscathed and untroubled from life in this world. The nature of human beings is that we are all mortal and therefore sadness and tragedy are always waiting for us in the wings. As such, the story of the death of the two

elder sons of Aaron as recorded for us in this week’s Torah reading has personal relevance to all of us. In fact, all of Torah deals with our current lives and circumstances, even if perhaps it is not visible to our limited eyes and minds. But this startling narrative of tragedy and death striking the great family of Aaron and Moshe suddenly and

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without warning, marring the great day of anticipated celebration at the dedication of the holy Mishkan/Tabernacle, strikes us as being particularly poignant and depressing. This is especially true because the tragic events were so unexpected and, to a great extent, remained inexplicable at least in ordinary human terms and understanding. There is an obvious lesson that the incense offering that had the power to arrest plague and save lives also had the ability to be lethal if used incorrectly and without G-dly command and instruction. The deeper, transcendent and overriding message of understanding the heavenly

of tragedy and unequaled personal pain, silence is perhaps the only reaction for human beings. Truth be told, there is really nothing that can be said to explain the judgments of Heaven. This is one of the reasons that in visiting the house of a mourner one should not speak unless and until the mourner has spoken. People should avoid saying things that are banal and trite for they bring little comfort and consolation to those who are bereaved. The entire book of Iyov teaches us the futility of railing against Heaven or of attempting to explain rationally what is essentially irrational and beyond the scope of our un-

Truth be told, there is really nothing that can be said to explain the judgments of Heaven.

system of justice in the world, both on an individual and national basis, certainly escapes our understanding and thinking. What can certainly be learned from the words of the Torah is the reaction of Aaron to this shocking tragedy. The Torah records for us that Aaron remained silent. Jewish tradition holds that this type of reaction to tragedy is a correct and worthy one. I have written often about the value of silence as exemplified in Jewish life and tradition. But here in the face

derstanding. It is interesting to note that throughout the world hospitals contain signs that ask for silence. This is not only for the comfort of the patients but is also a reminder that there is really nothing significant to say. Sympathy comes from the heart and not from the tongue. The greatest comfort one can bring to another human being many times is merely one’s own presence without having to express any words. Shabbat shalom.

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From the Fire

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


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

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

G-d’s revelation in the Mishkan. In the language of the mekubalim, they created a separation between yesod Abah and yesod Imah. But these commentaries do not explain the rest of the pasuk in which the Torah explains their sin. Each one “took his fire-pan, put fire in them and placed incense upon it.” Their explanation accounts for why it was a problem for Nadav and Avihu to bring a human fire before the revelation of Hashem’s fire. But they do not explain the Torah’s emphasis on the fact that they placed incense on this fire. Let us first understand more about the nature of this eighth day on which the kohanim brought sacrifices to Hashem and then we can suggest an approach which will explain the significance of the incense. Moshe told the entire Jewish people (ibid. 9:6), “This is the thing that Hashem has commanded you to do and the glory of Hashem will appear to you.” The purpose of the day was (ibid. 4) “today Hashem is appearing to you.” The last time Hashem ap-

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

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elation at Sinai and the Mishkan/ Beis Hamikdash is also expressed through the fact that there are only three occasions on which communal peace offerings are brought: (1) at Sinai (Shmos 24:5); (2) on the day of the kohanim’s inauguration into the Mishkan’s service in this weeks’ parsha (Vayikra 9:4); and (3) throughout the generations on Shavuos (Vayikra 23:19), the anniversary of the day Hashem gave us the Torah on Sinai. The connection between these days is clear. Each of them represents a joining of the world above and the world below. That is why a communal peace offering is brought. The significance of a peace offering is that it is consumed jointly by Heaven, the kohanim, and the owner of the offering. Because these three occasions represent a direct encounter between the entire Jewish people and Hashem, it is appropriate to bring a joint offering which is “consumed” both by Hashem above and His children below on each of these days. Perhaps based on the above we can understand the sin of Nadav and Avihu and how it relates to the incense they brought. As we said above, Nadav and Avihu were not with the rest of the Jewish people at Sinai. They came closer to the mountain than everyone else and were “cut off” from regular Jews. The pasuk says regarding Nadav, Avinhu and the other elders (Shmos 24:1011), “And they perceived the G-d of Israel…and upon the nobles of Israel He did not lay a hand and they saw G-d…” But they were not the only ones who perceived Hashem at Sinai. As we quoted earlier: “And the appearance of the glory of Hashem was like a consuming fire at the top of the mountain before the eyes of the Jewish people.” The rest of the Jewish people also experienced a revelation of G-d. It is possible, however, that because Nadav and Avihu were cut off from the average Jews, they may not have realized that Hashem considered the entire Jewish people worthy of revelation. They might have thought that such a direct encounter with G-d was reserved for “the nobles of Israel” like themselves and the elders. It may not have occurred to Na-

dav and Avihu that the “proletariat,” the average Jews, the “riff raff,” were capable or worthy of receiving Hashem’s presence. It could be that when the whole Jewish people witnessed Hashem’s revelation through the fire on the altar (Vayikra 9:24), “the entire nation saw, sang praises, and fell on their faces,” Nadav and Avihu might have seen this as extremely

woodchoppers to the water drawers (Devarim 29:10). But this was a mistake. That is why Moshe explained to Aharon after Nadav and Avihu’s deaths (Vayikra 10:3): “This is what Hashem spoke [when He said], ‘I will be sanctified through those close to Me and before the entire nation I will be glorified.” A direct relationship and revelation

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

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

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

Rav Moshe Weinberger, shlita, is the founding Morah d’Asrah of Congregation Aish Kodesh in Woodmere, NY, and has served as Mashpia in Yeshiva University since 2013.

of Hashem is not only for the “nobles of Israel” and “those close to Me” like Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, and Avihu. It is for “the entire nation.” Yiddishkeit



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Between the Lines

Protocols about the Elders of Zion By Eytan Kobre

Gauge a country's prosperity by its treatment of the aged. -Rebbe Nachman of Breslov


he 1984 United States presidential election pitted 56-year-old Walter Mondale against the older incumbent, 73-year-old Ronald Reagan. The media, as it is wont to do, made hay of Reagan’s age, even questioning his capacity to serve another four-year term. In a memorable debate, however, Reagan turned the issue of age to his advantage. When asked by the moderator whether he would be able to execute his duties as president despite his age, Reagan joked, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” The audience laughed. The moderator laughed. Mondale himself laughed. And Reagan went on to win the election in a landslide. Mondale later admitted that he had been outfoxed by the clever – and older – Reagan.

When initiating the kohanim and instructing them on the sacrifices they were to bring, Moshe summoned not only Aharon and his sons, but also, curiously, the Elders of the Jewish people (Vayikra 9:1). Now, Aharon and his sons were the ones being initiated. But the Elders? Their presence seems unnecessary. While there are other explanations, some maintain that the Elders were invited simply to accord them honor (Haamek Davar, Vayikra 9:1). As R’ Akiva put it in expounding upon the inclusion of the Elders, the Jewish people are likened to a bird: just as a bird cannot fly without wings, so the Jewish people cannot function without their Elders (Vayikra Rabba 11:8; see Shemos Rabba 3:8). Today’s youth-centric culture deems age a liability. But our regard for the elderly could not be more different. We believe that the elderly flourish (Shabbos 152a; Kinim 3:6; Tehillim 92:15), are good for society (Avos 6:8), and are to be “treasured” (Eruchin 19a). “The building of the young is destruction, whereas the destruction of the elders is building” (Nedarim 40a; Megilla 31b). To us, “old” (zakein) is synonymous with “wise” (Kiddushin 32b). Grey or white hair is to be paraded, not

plucked; old age is a source of pride, not something to hide. Indeed, our Elders were essential to the Exodus from Egypt (Shemos Rabba 15:5), and they play a pivotal role in transmitting our tradition. Moshe received the Torah and conveyed its teachings to Yehoshua, who then transmitted it to the Elders before it was disseminated to the people (Avos 1:1). The Elders were the conduit by which the Torah was diffused to the masses. Reb Yaakov Kamenetsky was once traveling by airplane with his son and granddaughter, seated next to the Secretary-General of Israel’s Histadrut (federation of trade unions). Amazed at the dedication of the son and granddaughter to the elderly rabbi, the secular Secretary-General bemoaned to Reb Yaakov that his children and grandchildren hardly paid him any attention. Reb Yaakov explained the difference. To “modern” and “evolved” people who subscribe to Darwinism, the elderly are belittled because they are simply one step closer to the apes from which humanity supposedly evolved. Torah observant people, however, regard the giving of the Torah as the central event in history, with each ensuing generation drifting further from that apex. So

it is only natural for the younger generations to revere the older ones. Because of their vital role in our heritage, it is a “lofty obligation” to honor the elderly (Pele Yoetz, Zakein; see Vayikra 19:32; Bava Basra 10b). This is true even for those who are unlearned (Kiddushin 33a) or no longer possess full mental faculties (Berachos 8b). G-d Himself accords honor to the elderly (Bereishis Rabba 5:12; Vayikra Rabba 11:8), and greeting the elderly is tantamount to greeting G-d’s Divine Presence (Bereishis Rabba 63:7; Tanchuma, Ki Sisa 27). But while we rise in the presence of the elderly (Minchas Chinuch, Commandment No. 407; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deiah 244:1; Rosh, Kiddushin 33a; Bamidbar Rabba 15:13), we best honor them by seeking out and heeding their counsel (Pele Yoetz, Zakein). That validates their continuing vitality. Even at an advanced age himself, the Gerrer Rebbe made it a practice to visit the elderly. In addition to the kindness involved in doing so, the Gerrer Rebbe was motivated by a unique perspective on aging: “The elderly barely have bodies, and their physical yearnings have long been abandoned. When I look at them, I see pure souls. And there is nothing more inspiring

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than spending time with pure souls!” Shed of his declining physical being, man attains a purer and more spiritually-evolved state (see Maharal, Avos 5:22). The very notion of physical aging materialized only at the behest of an elder – Avraham Avinu – who recognized that, without visual cues to herald the onset of old age, society lacked a proper pecking order (Bava Metzia 87a; Bereishis Rabba 65:4; Tanchuma, Noach 14 and Chayei Sara 1). So, at its core, aging affords young people to appreciate and honor elders, showing reverence and respect for a life of accomplishment and a wealth of experience. Now, to be sure, youth has its benefits: it is new and exciting and energetic and enthusiastic. But it also lacks the experience and perspective that comes only with age. The goal is to access the wisdom and experience of the elderly while maintaining youthful energy and exuberance. That was Avraham’s secret. He possessed a coin emblazoned with an el-

derly man and woman on one side and a young man and woman on the other – both representing Avraham and Sara (Maharsha and Etz Yosef, Bava Kama 97b). The coin thus embodied Avraham’s secret – the uncommon ability to cherish the wisdom and perspective

of renewal – that we are reminded not to dismiss the benefits of age and experience. This was reaffirmed by the Sages each year, when, at the Simchas Bais HaShoeva, they would declare, “Praised is our youth that has not em-

The goal is to access the wisdom and experience of the elderly while maintaining youthful energy and exuberance. of old age while retaining the exuberance of youth. Perhaps that is the reason some end the Hallel of Rosh Chodesh with the verse, “And Avraham was old, well on in years, and G-d blessed Avraham with everything” (Bereishis 24:1). It is precisely on Rosh Chodesh – at a time

barrassed our elderly” and “Praised are our elderly that have atoned for our youth” (Sukkah 53a). We must not disregard the youth, but we also cannot afford to dismiss the old. As former Harvard University President Abbott Lawrence Lowell put it, “You will be courteous to your elders who


have explored to the point from which you may advance, and helpful to your juniors who will progress farther by reason of your labors.”


ust before the final redemption, “youngsters will put elders to shame, elders will have to rise for youngsters” (Sota 49b), and “the young ones will rule over the elders” (Yeshaya 3:5; Chagiga 14a). That is an apt depiction of our youth-worshiping society. The elderly are branded as out-of-touch and are discarded in favor of “relevant” and “sophisticated” youngsters. With so many older people chasing youth, it is no surprise that the youth has no respect for the elderly. But can we speak of the promise of the next generation without due regard for the previous ones? Eytan Kobre is a writer, speaker, and attorney living in Kew Gardens Hills. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home



Revital Curiel Exponential LifeSaving By Raphael Poch


ne of the most important positions in any emergency medical service (EMS) organization is that of course instructors. These instructors are responsible for training new EMTs and are thereby directly responsible for the quality of treatment their train-

ees give to patients. This is exactly why United Hatzalah employee and volunteer paramedic Revital Curiel was inspired to focus her efforts  on training other EMTs. “I remember, when I was seven years old, I was playing with my four-year-old brother. While we

were playing, he fell and injured his head and there was blood everywhere. Acting on instinct, I grabbed a piece of cloth and put it on his head while applying pressure to the wound. Looking back on that incident, it seems that I already knew what my future calling would be, even back then,” she said. Curiel, who is married and a mother of two, soon to be three, works for Israel’s national volunteer emergency medical services (EMS) organization United Hatzalah as part of the medical training department and is also the supervising paramedic for the entire Negev region. In addition, she teaches a variety of training courses for the organization. When she is not volunteering or instructing classes, she works at enhancing the education and training systems of the organization to enable other training instructors to reach a wider range of topics in a more in-depth fashion. Previously, she was also a training instructor for  medical  officers  at  the IDF’s Bahad 10 medical training base and was released from her extended military service one year ago. Curiel recalled a sense of helplessness that she suffered when she  was beginning her service in the IDF during the second Lebanon War. She spoke about how she was confronted with the harsh realities of trauma scenes and how they further inspired her to become a paramedic. “Even though I was exposed to

serious trauma incidents, medical emergencies and numerous wounded soldiers during the war, I was unable to help, as I did not have the knowledge necessary to treat the people who needed it. I made the decision then to study medicine,” she said. “When  I  finished  the  army,  I  underwent training to become a full-fledged paramedic. From there  I decided that knowing what to do wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to teach others what they could do to help, so I became an EMT and paramedic course instructor. Through sharing the knowledge I have and teaching others what I know, I can now help people in all kinds of situations myself, or through those I train. Knowing that I am making a difference is simply the best feeling  there is. This is what I like to call exponential growth in life-saving. The more people that are trained, the more people can be saved.” Curiel just finished a stint of six  years of teaching new volunteers how to become EMTs with United Hatzalah. In addition to the EMT training she provides, she has also conducted ALS refresher courses for the paramedics who work with the organization. “I got my start training EMS personnel in the IDF. The people whom I trained began to tell stories of the people that they had saved, and I realized that I was part of that. I was there with them saving the person. As I was the one who gave the tools and the education necessary to help people, I had a vi-

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tal part to play in the rescue efforts  of my students as well. This is how I can reach more people in need of help. I am happy to endow the gift of knowledge of how to save lives,” she said. So far, Revital has instructed over 300 volunteer EMTs with United Hatzalah and over a thousand more in the IDF. If you calculate the number of people that each of those medics or paramedics have saved, the number is astronomical. One story that stands out in Revital’s mind was of a motorcycle accident involving the police force. “While I was finishing my paramedics course, there was a car accident involving  a  police  officer  from  the  motorcycle  squad.  It  was  the  first  serious trauma case where I had to take command of the scene. I had to work opposite all of the various security forces including the IDF, the police force and other rescue units. I had to take command of all of the medics who responded to the

scene and it was my trial by fire. The  experience was shocking, in a good way, and one that really got me into the mindset of controlling a trauma scene.” A few years later, Curiel was

of my first experience in command  with the police officer from the motorcycle squad. A man in the course stood up and said, ‘I’ve been looking for you all these years. I just want to say thank you for saving my life.’

So far, Revital has instructed over 300 volunteer EMTs with United Hatzalah and over a thousand more in the IDF.

teaching a week-long refresher course for police medics in the Negev. The course material was focused on the proper response to traumatic incidents. “When I began to describe how to approach a trauma scene, I used the example

The man I saved then was now the medic standing in front of me. He, in turn, has been saving lives for quite some time,” Revital explained. Curiel saw this as another example of the exponential increase in life-saving. “That sense of helpless-

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ness in the face of an emergency is the worst feeling there is. I know because I’ve experienced it,” she noted. “The uniqueness of United Hatzalah is that it is an organization that enables people everywhere by giving them the knowledge and ability to help their friends, family and neighbors. When an emergency happens, those in close proximity to the incident will know how to respond. The training of its volunteers, as well as the general public, and by initiating public awareness campaigns, has made a huge impact in both the EMS response times throughout the country, as well as the projected survival rate of critical patients who can be saved. Having people who know what to do in the face of a medical emergency, alerting them to the emergency taking place and giving them the tools they need in order to make a difference  is what  the organization is all about. “In the field of EMS, these things  are simply priceless.”

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Secrets to His Success

Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l 30 Days Since His Passing By Susan Schwamm

Speaking with TJH two years ago, Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l, noted at the end of the long interview that he knew thousands of people. “How do you manage to remember everyone?” the interviewer asked him. “Well, if I like you, I remember you,” the rav, who was 95 years old at the time, said. “You must like a lot of people,” the interviewer rejoined. “Yes, I definitely do,” Rabbi Pelcovitz responded.


n encounter with Rabbi Pelcovitz meant not just a few moments of chitchat. With his distinctive smile and wit, he instantly related to all, regardless of age, affiliation or attitude. People were not just congregants or passersby. They were humans, tzelem Elokim, each with their challenges and triumphs, accomplishments and losses, humor and pain. Although Rabbi Pelcovitz was the consummate people’s person and that was his primary focus, his vision was broader in scope as he spent over six decades molding the Far Rock-

away community into a bastion of Torah and derech eretz. What was Rabbi Pelcovitz’s secret? How was he able to see a desert with just a few tents of Torah and then help to build the flourishing paradigm of Torah and tefilla that we have today in our community? How was he able to unite a kehilla that consists of black hats, baseball hats, and bare heads? How was he able to insist on halacha without alienating those who perhaps were not as stringent? Why did every person he encountered feel that instant connection with the rav?

Watering the Seeds It was over six decades ago when Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l, moved to Far Rockaway. The then-fledgling community that sat on the border of Queens and the South Shore of the Five Towns was a new frontier for pioneering Orthodox Jews who were inching away from the tenements on the Lower East Side and the crowded streets of the Bronx. A large portion of what is now prime real estate in Far Rockaway was, back then, uninhabited marsh land. There were a total of two shuls in the area – Shaaray Tefila and Kneseth Israel, which was located

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Breaking ground

on Nameoke Street and Dinsmore in Far Rockaway and was, indeed, white. The Far Rockaway-Five Towns community was home to just a few Orthodox families, and there was a smattering of schools and groceries that were dotted throughout the landscape. But the young rabbi was hopeful. He envisioned a bustling, Torahdik community where all types of Jews could raise their families in a safe, warm and loving environment. Yes, seen through the lens of 2018 it’s quite feasible. But, at the time, Rabbi Pelcovitz was stepping into the unknown, armed with only his passion for spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit and the hope that others would join him on his journey. “The community when I came here had a limited number of people who were shomrei mitzvos, shomrei Shabbos, who were people who knew how to learn or wanted to learn,” he told TJH in 2016. “And one of the major challenges that I found when I came here was to create in the people a desire to want to learn, to want to know more, to want to grow.” Despite it being a challenge, Rabbi Pelcovitz rose to the occasion – and he brought the community up with him. Slowly, he introduced adult learning classes to both men and women in the community. His lectures filled the shul on Shabbos and during the week. He helped to expand the chevra kaddisha within the community and taught halachos to both the men and the women, establishing the 7 th of Adar as Chevra

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The White Shul, in its original place with its trademark color

Kaddisha Day to give honor to those who toil in this most worthy chessed shel emes. Indeed, the community was receptive to Rabbi Pelcovitz’s ideals, and its spiritual growth came at a rapid pace. In a feature on Rabbi Pelcovitz in the book, The World That Was: America, Rabbi Pelcovitz recalls his

that as time passed there were social pressures to be more Observant. For example, having a sukkah was an act of courage. In Far Rockaway, even in the ‘50s, it had reached a point in certain neighborhoods that if you did not have a sukkah you were ashamed. People built sukkahs who were not even that frum. “The benefit was that, eventually,

"You try to have a lasting impact on them, so they will continue to be your talmidim for years to come."

early days as a rav in the Far Rockaway community. “People were moving to this [Far Rockaway] community who were shomer Shabbos, yeshiva educated, and committed Jews. It was a breath of fresh air [as compared to his other positions as a rav],” Rabbi Pelcovitz said. “A definite advantage of this was that you were dealing with those who were receptive to what you wanted to present and accomplish.” The Far Rockaway community wanted to grow. “The climate of the community – and it was amazing to see – was

some of these people became Observant for the proper reason and not just to keep up with the Joneses.” Seeing that his kehilla was ripe for Torah learning, Rabbi Pelcovitz urged his community forward. He was instrumental in helping to establish the Vaad Hakashrus in town and in building a mikveh in Far Rockaway for the community. Every decision of his made along the road in elevating the frum community in Far Rockaway was made with an adherence to halacha. In fact, when working on the eiruv at the time, Rabbi Pelcovitz invited Rab-

bi Shimon Eider, who was the known baki at the time on eiruvim, to help establish the eiruv. “He also knew,” said Dr. Nachum Pelcovitz, Rabbi Pelcovitz’s youngest child, “that he would need the haskama of the gadol ha’dor as there were very few eiruvim in America at the time.” He involved Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, to ensure that there would not be any conflicts within the community when it came to the eiruv. “He set forth to establish a Torah community,” Dr. Pelcovitz said, “and that’s what he did.” Daas Torah was also asked when it came to the mechitza in the new building of the White Shul. (The shul moved to its current location in 1964.) Rabbi Pelcovitz consulted with Rav Moshe and there were certain changes that were made to the original plans of the mechitza to ensure that it was k’halacha. “He made sure to get Rav Moshe’s haskama so that everyone would be onboard and that nobody should question it.”

Elevating the Small Towns Rabbi Pelcovitz was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1921. His father, Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovitz, was the rav of the shul in Canton. In 1928 the family moved to Bridgeport, CT. There, young Raphael attended public school and a Talmud Torah in the afternoons. When Raphael was just 12-yearsold, Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovitz sent his son to learn in Eretz Yisroel, something that was not done in those days.

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A copy of the Saratogian newspaper announcing Rabbi Pelcovitz's position as rav in the shul in Saratoga Springs

Raphael traveled with his mother and sisters by boat for two weeks before finally reaching the Holy Land. His mother had traveled with his sisters to find a shidduch for one of the Pelcovitz daughters and, indeed, once they came to Eretz Yisroel, a suitable shidduch was found. The wedding was held in Eretz Yisroel after Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovitz journeyed from the United States to attend the simcha. Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovitz, with his long white beard, was part of a group of rabbanim who joined in the Zionist conferences in Europe. Perhaps that it why he sent his son to learn in Eretz Yisroel at such a tender age. After the nuptials, Raphael stayed in Israel with his sister and new brother-in-law and learned in the mechina of Chevron Yeshiva, celebrating his bar mitzvah without the rest of his family. He stayed there, learning diligently, for four years until unrest and riots forced him back home. When Rabbi Pelcovitz came back from Eretz Yisroel, he went to Torah Vodaath, where he learned under Rabbi Shlomo Heiman. Rabbi Pelcovitz was known for being an ilui, earning a certificate of semicha from Rabbi Heiman at the young age of 20.

When he was given the approbation Rabbi Heiman told him to hide the certificate in a drawer until he would come of age, as he was really much too young to have used it. Learning in Torah Vodaath opened worlds for Rabbi Pelcovitz. He spoke of his love for his rebbe who taught him how to learn a blatt Gemara and how to give over a blatt, an essential component for rabbanim when learning with their kehilla. Another person who had a seminal influence over Rabbi Pelcovitz while he was learning in Torah Vodaath was the menahel, Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendelowitz. Rabbi Mendelowitz imparted hashkafa to the boys, giving over shiur to select bochurim. In those days, there was no dormitory in the yeshiva; students would rent rooms. Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovitz would send his son money for room and board, and Raphael taught in the Talmud Torah to earn extra money. Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz’s first foray into chinuch was as the principal of a day school in Hartford, CT. In the 1940s, a day school was almost unheard of and the concept of not attending a public school was considered by many to be un-American. Despite the uphill battles and the very few supporters that he had, in his two

Addressing his congregants with wit and wisdom

years as principal Rabbi Pelcovitz expanded the school and recruited new students. A new community came knocking, this time by way of the rabbinate. Rabbi Pelcovitz applied for and was accepted to the position of rabbi of the shul in Saratoga Springs, NY, and principal and teacher in the Talmud Torah in January 1945. During the year, the community in Saratoga Springs was small. There was only one shul in town, and not everyone who attended was frum. Even so, the lectures given by Rabbi Pelcovitz were given in Yiddish. During the summer months, though, the town’s mineral baths drew Jews from the city who basked in the warm weather, balmy temperatures, and calming spas found in Saratoga Springs. In those months, the shul had no trouble finding a minyan. When Rabbi Pelcovitz came to town, there was only a minyan on Shabbos. Slowly, he urged his congregants to join him during the week, particularly on Monday and Thursday when there was laining. The children of the town attended Rabbi Pelcovitz’s Talmud Torah, where many children of different ages learned about Yiddishkeit together. After two years leading the Sara-

toga Springs community, Rabbi Pelcovitz was offered a position in Akron, Ohio. The community there was bigger and Rabbi Pelcovitz didn’t have to lead the Talmud Torah, as the community itself – and not the shul – had a Talmud Torah for the community’s children. At the time, the Conservative movement began to hold sway over some of the Jews in Akron and there were congregants who left to the movement. Rabbi Pelcovitz described those days as “swimming against the current.” European-born Jews were pushing for their families to become more Americanized, hoping – foolishly – that modernizing their children would keep them from going astray. Despite the pull and nagging of his congregants, Rabbi Pelcovitz upheld the values of Yiddishkeit and compelled his congregation to join him in keeping halacha. He did this by remaining firm and sincere and consistent in his views. One area in which this was particularly evident was his success in keeping the building of his new shul within halacha. In those days, some congregations – and certainly those who wanted to “modernize” Judaism – wanted to forgo the mechitza and install a microphone to be used on Shabbos in

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At his great-grandson's bris with his family

shul. But Rabbi Pelcovitz won on both counts when the new shul was built in Akron: it had a proper mechitza and there was no microphone. “If you are strong and willing to do what is necessary, putting yourself on the line, 99% of people will accept what you say,” Rabbi Pelcovitz said about his time in Akron. Rabbi Pelcovitz also observed that there was a lack of interest in his congregants in Yiddishkeit. The older generation was dying out; the younger generation didn’t have knowledge about their past. As such, he arranged classes to educate his members, calling am ha’aratzus the greatest threat to Yiddishkeit. He also reached out to them, connecting with them and forming friendships. “It was not a conscious type of thing like today’s kiruv work – there was no label associated with it then,” he said of his relationships with his congregants. “You try to have a lasting impact on them, so they will continue to be your talmidim for years to come.” Aside from the relationships with his members, in those days, being a rabbi in a small town bettered the community and made the congregants hold fast to their past. “Just the rabbi’s presence can have an effect,” Rabbi Pelcovitz noted. “I learned this from a man in Saratoga Springs. He came over to me and said, ‘I’m glad you’re in town because Pesach is coming and when a rabbi is in town I don’t eat chometz. When there is no rabbi I feel differently.’ Similarly, in Akron,

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Celebrating his grandson's pidyon haben in January

people would say to me, ‘Your presence has an impact.’” After a few years in Akron, Rabbi Pelcovitz made his way to Far Rockaway, NY. The rest, as they say, is history.

Secrets to Success Just as a rav is multi-faceted, his kehilla is varied, with members spanning a spectrum in hashkafa, ideals

cades as rav of the White Shul, helped his kehilla reach new heights. It’s hard to pinpoint his secret to success. Perhaps that is because there was not just one secret behind his towering accomplishments. Part of Rabbi Pelcovitz’s success in helping to cultivate a vibrant frum community in Far Rockaway was his focus on the youth. Families with children were moving into

"Above all, he must understand that it is far more important to convince people than compel them, to mold rather than manipulate, to motivate rather than manage, and to inspire rather than to impose."

and values. And each individual within that kehilla is unique, with distinctive character traits, wants and needs. A good rav, then, in order to be successful, needs to be limber. He needs to be able to uplift his congregation regardless of where they stand. He needs to draw some closer than others; he needs to reach out further to others. Rabbi Pelcovitz, in his three de-

town and Rabbi Pelcovitz saw the utility of getting the youth involved. To that end, he helped establish a Youth Activities Committee, where young children were able to attend programs on Shabbos and Sunday. A youth minyan was formed; Shabbos afternoon groups were offered. Chol hamoed trips and activities for children on Sunday were instituted. The shul was not just a place to daven.

It was a vibrant, integral part of the families’ lives. The young families who were moving into town were welcomed into the shul, joining the board and helping to establish new programs. They felt that they were needed and instrumental in the shul’s success and growth. Two years ago, when Rabbi Pelcovitz was feted at the White Shul for his 65 years of leadership in the community, he spoke of his sincere, deep love for his congregants and the community. “The secret of our success,” he told the crowd, “has been the fact that we’ve looked upon each other as achim, brothers. When we speak of achim, we are saying and we are looking at our connections – every man, every woman, every individual in shul – we were not just givers and receivers... We needed to be m’shtatef with one another.” That relationship of giving to one another ensured a deep connection between the rav and his kehilla. “There is so much emes and so many feelings and emotions and so much ahava and kavod that are mutually flowing in two directions – of individual to his tzibbur and from the tzibbur to an individual,” Rabbi Pelcovitz said. He urged the crowd, “You need to be extremely sensitive to every need of your students, your congregants, of your children, especially as they grow up.” Perhaps that was also part of Rabbi Pelcovitz’s success. It was the


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With his wife, Shirley, at a recent event

nuances that he noticed within each person, the uniqueness of every individual in his shul that did not go ignored. When speaking with his kehilla, a rav tailors his message to his crowd – and to each person within that crowd, helping them to grow in their individual way. “A rav learns over time that he must choose the areas which to him are most important and then energize the people to follow him and the example he sets,” Rabbi Pelcovitz told TJH two years ago. “Above all, he must understand that it is far more important to convince people than compel them, to mold rather than manipulate, to motivate rather than manage, and to inspire rather than to impose.” Rabbi Pelcovitz spoke of Rav Chaim Brisker and how, besides being a teacher and a preacher, Rav Chaim reminded his children that a rav must be concerned with the welfare and the wellbeing of his people. “Moshe Rabbeinu is the only one that we call ‘Rabbeinu,’” Rabbi Pelcovitz noted. “He was not just the ultimate teacher and classical teacher, but he was also concerned for the welfare of the people. It all comes back to the welfare. And the welfare of the people is not something that should be looked upon as being beneath my dignity. “There was a time when rabbanim’s primary concern was the

welfare of their community – is there a person who is suffering? Is there a person who is sick? “All the stories that you hear from gedolim, the stories that came down the corridors of time without any compromise, were the stories about concern and chessed. And the reason is because man is created b’tzelem Elokim. Hashem always gives. Therefore, you cannot break the mold of what is in your DNA. That is the DNA of a person, to be a nosain.” During shiva, Dr. Nachum Pelcovitz noted that he was amazed at the span of his father’s relationships with generations upon generations within the same family. Rabbi Pelcovitz maintained relationships with hundreds of individuals throughout the years, joining them in their simchos and their times of sorrow. “The best way to summarize it,” Dr. Pelcovitz said, “was when a gentleman came over to me with tears in his eyes saying that my father was his m’sader kiddushin at his wedding and that my father spoke at his 50th wedding anniversary. You see the extent of the kesher he had with people and the impression he had on people. He never severed that relationship.” Dr. Pelcovitz noted that, aside from the constant concern and the connection with each individual, part of Rabbi Pelcovitz’s success was his yashrus and consistency in all matters.

Celebrating his 97th birthday with his family on Motzaei Yom Kippur

Reading the megillah on Purim

“He felt that emes and being yosher would always get through to everybody at whatever level they are in Yiddishkeit. He was extremely consistent,” Dr. Pelcovitz said. “He always had respect for everybody, no matter what type of hashkafa they had. He connected with others who were consistent and had yashrus in their views. He seemed to understand people and was able to understand where they were hashkafically and in life in general.” It was this yashrus that Rabbi Pelcovitz brought with him from Torah Vodaath and that served him in every kehilla that he led. He wouldn’t back down when it came to halacha and stood firm in the name of Yiddishkeit despite tremendous pull the other way. Rabbi Pelcovitz’s adherence to halacha and yashrus was infused with an optimism, a joie de vivre. He would sprinkle his lectures with words of wisdom entwined with witty jokes and lines, drawing in his listeners. Optimism was integral to Rabbi Pelcovitz’s success. Indeed, half a century ago, the world was very different. Rabbanim were not held in the esteem they are held today. Many times, rabbanim were forced to swim against the tide, and some – sadly – succumbed to the pressures of their kehilla, letting halacha go by the wayside. But Rabbi Pelcovitz, with his op-

timism, yashrus, and love of another Jew managed to swim upstream, bringing his kehilla along with him. His optimism was highlighted in the hakaras hatov he had to his Creator. “He gave thanks to Hakadosh Baruch Hu every day,” Dr. Pelcovitz noted. “Prior to his petira, he told us how lucky he was and how thankful he was and how good Hashem was to him, allowing him to see so many generations. He was zoche to be sandek at a great-great-grandson’s bris – that is something you don’t normally hear about! And he was zoche to have his wits and chochma with him until the end.” Two years ago, at the White Shul event, Rabbi Pelcovitz quoted Irish playwright Samuel Beckett during his speech: “Ever tried, ever failed – no matter. Try again, fail again – fail better.” “There is so much chochma and wisdom in that. You realize that your journey is never complete,” Rabbi Pelcovitz, 95-years-young at the time, said. “You’re always en route. And when you try, you don’t always succeed; very often you fail. It doesn’t matter. Try again, fail again – but this time fail better.”


abbi Raphael Pelcovitz’s life journey took him from Canton, Ohio, to Israel to Saratoga Springs to Akron and finally to Far Rockaway and the Five Towns. His

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A relationship of love with his kehillla

voyage was filled with successes and challenges, and yet, throughout the decades, Rabbi Pelcovitz shouldered on. What may have been a journey started off by an intrepid American

boy hoping to make a small mark on Judaism in America ended with him being forever remembered as a founding father of what is considered today to be one of the premier Orthodox

communities around the globe. His mission – accomplished. May HaRav Raphael ben HaRav Ephraim be a meilitz yosher for our community.

The White Shul will be publishing a Sefer Zikaron for Rabbi Pelcovitz at their upcoming dinner. To contribute with letters, photos or recollections, please contact

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 Jewish Home APRIL 12, 2018 | The| The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

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

Dear Navidaters,

My mother raised me and my siblings, from an early age, to be very practical when it came to marriage, career, and finances. She married very young, was never able to pursue a career, and she and our father always struggled somewhat financially. So from early on, the message was that we get our master’s in whatever field we choose and then, at age 22 or so, would begin to date and worry about marriage.

Even though my friends came from homes with totally different messages, I respected my mother’s opinion and had every intention of following her advice and not even date until I had a degree in hand. After Israel, my friends were busy with shadchanim and dating and I was on a totally different page and I was O.K. with that. My mother’s advice made sense to me. I’m in law school and, despite my lack of any effort, I met a guy in class. It really came from left field. We just happened to have sat next to each other in class, and coming from the most innocent of places, we began to chat and get to know one another. We found we really had a lot in common and had a tremendous chemistry together. After class, we would sometimes go out for a cup of coffee or just take a walk together. We both have several more years of school ahead of us and I really don’t know what to do. I know that if I mention him to my parents, they will go ballistic! This was not the plan! But I really am developing very strong feelings for him, and I know the feelings are mutual. He wants to start “officially” dating and I’m afraid to rock the boat. I always assured my parents that I agreed with their sentiments and I don’t want to disappoint them. On the other hand, I have friends who are already complaining to me about their dating and how difficult it is to be set up with someone wonderful. How should I handle this?

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. espectful communication is the way to go. Make sure to acknowledge the practical aspect of your parents’ experience and approach as well as the high cost of your law school education. We can safely assume that you took out student loans to pay for school as your parents don’t have means. This means that you are already in debt. Tell your parents that you appreciate the training they gave you in life skills and being prepared to support oneself. You need to mean it. Show them that you value the fact that you had to earn your pocket money and get summer jobs. Need has made you stronger, more inde-


pendent, and motivated. Statistics show that people who earned money when they were kids earn more later in life. Nonetheless, share with them that opportunities do come your way and you want to start dating someone you met at school. Reassure them that this doesn’t mean you are disregarding their approach. Show them that you are practical and are not committing to marriage while still in school, and demonstrate that you understand debt, budgeting family finances, and what costs are involved in raising a Jewish family. You will not rush into something but you want to explore your relationship with this young man and see where it goes. Hashem is the ultimate shadchan and you will see if this relationship with a fellow student is one of His matches.

Your parents will worry that you will marry the first guy you date. Their concerns about your debt are valid, and they are nervous about you going forward with someone who cannot support you yet. Be frank yet be sensitive to their fears. Bring him home and have them meet him informally so that they can see his positive qualities. Take it slow. Be transparent and understanding. And see what develops. The present is not necessarily the future. Most people need to get their feet wet and do not marry the first person they date. Learn communication skills as you go and see what happens as you respectfully keep your parents in the loop about what is going on inside your head and heart.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A. ours is another example of “Mommy plans, G-d laughs!” There are many single women out there – with degrees and impressive salaries – who would trade places with you in a heartbeat. Specifically, they would swap their diplomas for a compatible, fulfilling relationship. If common sense does not conv ince you, consider these facts. There is a large cohort of professionals – I’m talking doctors, accountants, social workers, teachers, and nurses – who are dating and waiting. When they will marm ry, time will tell. There is an equally high number of couples who are finishing college or professional school while enjoying the benefits of a happy marriage. Almost all will graduate. Remember, school years are proscribed and finite. The dating period (AKA, The Parsha) is nebulous, lasting from several

Rules are meant to be broken.

months to who-knows-when. While I can’t predict whether you’ll marry your surprise suitor, I encourage you to give this young man serious consideration. About your mother going ballistic? Trust me when I tell you that, in spite of her “Not-Before-Age-22” caveat, she may privately doubt the wisdom of her logic. Even if she initially balks when you tell her about your “college friend,” I’m sure she’ll give you her blessing if you explain your sincere, carefully considered intentions. Sometimes it takes a shadchan; other times, by the grace of Hashgacha, your bashert may land gently on your doorstep.


The Shadchan Michelle Mond an plans and G-d laughs.” Isn’t it true? Do not miss the opportunity to go out with Mr. Classmate. If your relationship flourishes toward engagement, start by figuring out a financial plan for the first few years until employment. Once you have a solid plan, speak to your parents and disclose your relationship and communicate your plan so that they appreciate your level-headed approach. Don’t fear a negative reaction from your parents. Realize that rules are placed by your parents as safeguards, to instill a mindset and guide your actions to protect you



OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

from entering into a relationship in which there is no foreseeable plan for financial stability. However, rules are meant to be broken, and when situations such as these arise, your parents will likely be open to considering your individual situation. Indeed, you are both in respected graduate programs and on a path towards financial stability, G-d willing. You might have to tighten your belts for the first few years, but given your career plans, this financial struggle will be short-

lived. Hatzlacha!

The Single Tova Wein hat an unexpected and exciting occurrence. I think you are quite lucky to have met someone worth getting to know in such a natural and easy way. More people


The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

should be so lucky! I think it would be a big mistake not to pursue this potential relationship. My guess is that despite your parents’ general rules, they are open minded enough to understand that life happens and we can’t plan every detail of our lives. Maybe their fear is that you’ll drop out of school or not be able to support yourselves, should this relationship turn into the real deal. I think you need to discuss this with them and assure them that you have no intentions of giving up your schooling and ultimate career and that you’ve given some thought to how you would manage,


It is important to develop your own voice and be able to express it.

should this lead to marriage. Show them that you are mature and have thought this thing through. After a few well- intentioned questions, no doubt your parents will be thrilled for you and encourage you to move forward.

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


h i s r e l at ion s h ip ought to be given a real shot. You have to take it out of the dark and bring it into the light of day, which entails letting your parents know you’ve met someone wonderful. Chemistry, shared interests and strong feelings are hard to walk away from. If you don’t pursue it, you will always be left wondering, Was he the one that got away? Your mother and father raised you with a very admirable message and work ethic. Before you enter marriage, be able to support yourself. Your parents understand how difficult financial strain can be on a marriage and family. And they are right. They love you and they want to shield you from the hardship they experienced and continue to experience. And look at you…they raised you well. Here you are in law school, having absorbed their values and having had every intention of going with the program. You’ve met a wonderful guy. We truly have no control over when the right one

comes into our lives… for better or for worse. What I am sensing from your email is that you are scared to speak to your parents. Maybe you are scared to disappoint them; maybe you are scared of making the wrong decision yourself. I don’t know. And I also don’t know what will happen with this relationship. What I do think is of utmost importance is that you develop the confidence as a young woman to speak directly with your parents about what is going on and what it is that you want. You’re an adult now, soon to be a lawyer. Whatever happens, it is important to develop your own voice and be able to express it, even when you are very afraid of deeply disappointing someone or making them “go ballistic.” So, have you thought about what it is that you want? You have op-

tions. I don’t know where you stand hashkafically, but I know many couples that met in graduate school and either dated until they graduated and got engaged after graduation. Then got married after one or both had jobs. Then, there are those couples that meet in graduate school and for their own reasons decide to get married in grad school. They create a financial plan, living within a strict budget and making it work. For now, put the bigger picture on the backburner, and focus on one task: talking to your parents. Here is a potential script for the conversation with your parents: There’s something important I need to speak with you about. A while back, I met someone in law school. I never planned for this to happen. What I planned was to date after law school, once I was settled financially, in line with the way you have raised me, for which I have the utmost respect. He and I have been spending time together, and we have feelings for one another. I’ve decided that I have to explore the possibility of a real relationship with him. I hope we can

talk about this and approach this as a team. I’m open to discussion and hearing your concerns, and I hope that you’ll be open to what I’m experiencing. Good luck with the conversation! If your parents truly do “go ballistic,” hopefully once they calm down they will be able to hear you. And if they are very tough and unrelenting types with a “my way or the highway” approach, then you will have to decide at what point you are going to give yourself permission to do what you know is right in your own heart. Sincerely, Jennifer Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up a consultation or to ask questions, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. Visit for more information. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram for dating and relationship advice.


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Dr. Deb

The Weirdness When Your Family is Your Shabbos Goy By Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.


was nervous. Yes, even I do get nervous. Basically, I had offered to make Pesach – all of it – for my children in Eretz Yisroel because my daughter-in-law was due three days before Pesach. My son, kindly, said, “No, it’s okay, Ima. You just sit and relax.” But my daughter-in-law, smart woman that she is, took me up on my offer.

ISRAELI EDUCATION So, I came to make Pesach in someone else’s kitchen. But she was really nice about it. “My kitchen is your kitchen, Ima,” she said. So I started cooking. And cooking. You know what it is; I don’t have to tell you. But that’s not what made me nervous. What I really didn’t like was the idea of conducting the seder with the children all by myself if my daughterin-law’s baby decided to arrive after her due date. “Don’t worry, Savta,” my ten-year old grandchild reassured me, “I’ll

help you.” And let me tell you, he would have been able to. Don’t underestimate Israeli education. He blows me away every day. For example, when my son was setting up his Yam Suf display on the table, the six-year-old wanted to know why he was rolling the blue tablecloth in plastic cups. Since her Hebrew is excellent – she was teaching me vocabulary – I explained that he was creating the chomot, the walls of water, for the Yehudim to pass through. “Kir” my son said, “is wall.” “The Torah uses the word chomot,” I said. At which point, my tenyear-old grandson sang the pasuk with the trop and commented, “It’s in parshas Beshalach.” Whoa. My eightyear-old grandson chimed in, “We all know the words and the trop for Chumash. Our rebbe reads from the Chumash and the class gets points for finding his mistakes!” As it turned out, the baby was very considerate, arriving punctually

on her due date and allowing mommy to get home Friday afternoon. But the power of Israeli education was not lost on me when she made it to shul Shabbos to bentch gomel. It seems she could not find the place for this particular tefillah, even with an ArtScroll. Finally, she sent for the ten-year-old, and he pointed out that she was looking in the section of brachot when this tefillah is recited during the Torah reading. He found it in less than two seconds. So we had the pleasure of celebrating the chag together as a family, with the new arrival dutifully crying for attention as soon as her mom got seated comfortably at the table. Her presence did not keep the other children from enjoying the seder. Every year, my son and daughter-in-law make a game out of asking the children questions. When they know the answer, they get tossed a jelly bean or some other candy. This year, my daughter-in-law forgot the candy. (I

think she had a few other things on her mind.) But since Pesach prep was pretty much done when she got home, she and my grandchildren had the pleasure of cutting out “tickets” with “prizes” to be delivered during chol hamoed like, “Get to sit next to Abba” or “read an extra chapter” or “choose a movie to watch” for answering questions. Now that I think about it, I’ll divide the credit for the knowledge my grandchildren have between their schools and the love their parents bring to their home education. There was a moment at the seder which made my night. My grandson (yes, the ten-year-old) challenged my son with a question. My son answered it, and then my grandson went one further, “And what is the source for that?” My son didn’t know. So my grandson told him. Did I shep nachas? You bet I did. And we got done by 11:30 anyway, dinner and all.

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

BABY NAMING The next day, the day my daughter-in-law got some help finding the page, you could find me in the women’s section intently listening for the baby’s name. Some well-meaning lady asked me if I was the savta. I smiled, said I was, and then kept listening for the Name. I truly believe that ruach ha’kodesh is given to parents when they are to decide the correct name for their new child. It’s not my place to mess with that. I’ve heard many terrible stories of people who wanted to dictate to their children what their grandchild’s name “should” be. It shouldn’t. People who feel this way need to stop playing G-d. They were not given that ruach ha’kodesh. I do understand the desperate desire to cling to their pasts and their idealized histories of their relationships with their own parents. We would all rather re-paint our pasts in a more acceptable light than it really was. That does feel like healing. But the reality is that if your parents were wonderful people with marvelous middos then

you must have acquired some of those great middos, too. And then of course you would have transmitted them to your children who would be proud to

the issue of what name a child “should” be given and I have now been blessed by a baker’s dozen grandchildren, all with beautiful and meaningful names

I heard one of them say, "The Americans think we're weird for finishing the chag a day early." Boy, did he nail it.

honor you and their grandparents by bestowing those names on their children. If, on the other hand, there was pain involved in the relationship for either generation, then it is maybe better to let the name go, along with the bad memories. I think it’s better to start fresh than to create fantasies about who people were. In any event, I haven’t ever interfered or even raised

and sweet personalities.


The second day is always weird for me in Israel. That is the only word I have for it. The buses are back running and cellphones are re-glued to everyone’s ears. As I was walking to the second seder, hosted by a Far Rockaway transplant, someone on the street stopped to chat with a friend who was driving by. I heard one of them say, “The Americans think we’re weird for finishing the chag a day early.” Boy, did he nail it. But what’s interesting is that they don’t think it’s weird at all. My son doesn’t. My Far Rockaway friend doesn’t. It’s normal to them and it’s our problem. The weirdness got a little worse when I got back from shul the next day and wanted to have a Yom Tov-dik lunch while they were making matzah pizza. I’d eaten my main course and took out a couple of wonderful chocolate chip cookies from the freezer. “So,” I asked my oldest grandson, the ten-year-old, “if I wrap these in foil and put them in the oven with your milchigs, they will stay parve for me, right?” “Right,” he answered. “But I can’t tear the foil,” I said. With a big grin, he tore the foil for me, wrapped my cookies in it, and stuck them in the oven. “I get it,” he smiled.

REALITY But everything here is not all rainbows and butterflies. Last week a one-month-old baby drowned and the mother was a suspect. The investigators wanted to do an autopsy; huge protests sprang up throughout the country. It’s wonderful that they

care about halacha, but something is missing if there was insufficient support for a woman going through a turmoil none of us can appreciate to do such a horrific thing. Even if it wasn’t intentional, she clearly must have needed assistance to get through the baby’s endless crying and her lack of sleep. I am reading a book advertised in this paper, Sacred Soil, which talks about the extra level of spiritual power one gets – gratis – just by being in the Holy Land. Of course, with our bechira chofshis we can use that power for good or for evil. So the struggle will be harder for weaker people or people who were never given the tools to cope with the adversities of life. But that is not only their challenge, it’s ours, too, because we can help them. What if we don’t feel we have the tools? The author answers: So get them. Maybe that’s our purpose here.

HEBREW Getting on the bus is always an adventure. Will I get lost? Will the bus driver look at me like I’m a fool if I speak Hebrew? Will I be mad at myself if I miss an opportunity to learn by not speaking Hebrew? But little by little my Hebrew is improving. I know to say “yom tov” like the Israelis so politely do when wishing one another a “good day.” I finally figured out the difference between a shekel coin and an agurah. (That’s because I Googled them before I went and studied the pictures. My eyes are not so good and it doesn’t do to whip out reading glasses and maybe a magnifier when boarding the bus.) This time, when heading toward the tachana merkazit, someone actually asked me for directions in Hebrew. That made me feel good although I had no idea where she needed to go. At least everything looked familiar enough from last year that I didn’t get lost myself. To me, because I missed so many years while my husband was unable to travel, the whole thing is an exciting adventure. Can’t wait for my next visit there. It’s starting to feel like home. Dr. Deb Hirschhorn is a Marriage and Family Therapist. She can be reached at 646-54-DRDEB or by writing drdeb@

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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Health & F tness

Spring Training Get Your Body Back Into Healthy Shape By Aliza Beer MS, RD


esach is behind us, and now is the perfect time to get back into healthy eating and exercising. The spring and summer months are optimal times of the year to lose extra pounds and increase physical strength. There are a number of reasons why this time of year is more conducive to weight loss and increased levels of activity. The weather will warm up, (eventually!) and the days are getting longer. This, in turn, will lead more people to start walking and biking after work or school. Warm weather directly affects water consumption. The more water you drink, the more full you will feel and therefore you will consume a little less food. The spring and summer seasons also brings with it a plethora of delicious fruits and veggies to snack on. The beautiful weather and sunshine helps many with their emotional health, as they feel less depressed and are not seeking comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the colder months and try to eat their way out of the depression. Whether or not you gained weight over the winter or Pesach, now is the best time to get back into healthy eating habits. • Eat Less Red Meat: We had more than our fill of lamb and roasts over Pesach. Red meat is higher in fat and calories than chicken. Try to

keep your red meat consumption to no more than two servings a week and choose lean meats. Always cut or trim off any visible fats. • Eat More Fiber: Fiber expands in your stomach and makes you feel full. It also slows the rise of your blood sugar and helps keep your bowel movements regular. Every meal should include some kind of fiber, either from vegetables or whole grains. Some high fiber veggies are Brussels sprouts, artichokes

your insulin level. Only eat high fiber, whole grain, or whole wheat breads/crackers/cereals. Some examples are Fiber One or All Bran cereals, steel cut oatmeal, Ezekiel bread or Dave’s Killer bread, Wasa crackers, or GG Bran Crispbread crackers. • Avoid Sugar: Sugar is the poison in the American diet. By eliminating sugar, you will also eliminate most baked goods that contain tremendously unhealthy

Helpful hint: drink a full glass of water right before each meal and you will lose weight.

and broccoli. Roast them in the oven with a little olive oil or Pam and season with your favorite seasonings like salt and pepper and throw in some fresh garlic for extra flavor. • Avoid White Flour: This is one of the fundamental basics for good health. Banish white flour from your life. White flour converts into sugar quickly and will spike your blood sugar, which in turn spikes

fats as well. If you must have a treat like a cookie or biscotti, bake it with applesauce, stevia or agave and use whole wheat flour, oats or almond flour. Add blueberries or a little bit of dark chocolate shavings. • Fill Up on Fruit: We will now have a variety of vitamin-packed, high fiber fruits to choose from. Your snacks should consist mostly of fruits. Everyone

should eat an apple a day. They are extremely rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. Berries are also super healthy, being high in antioxidants and fiber, and blueberries and strawberries contain compounds that help widen the arteries. • Drink Water: Don’t touch soda or juice! They are pure sugar and a complete waste of calories. Everyone should be drinking 8 cups of water a day. If you don’t love water, then try seltzer or flavored seltzer. You can flavor your water by buying a special cup with a “cage” in it for frozen fruit. This can be purchased in Bed, Bath, and Beyond or on Amazon. Put in your favorite frozen fruit like strawberries or mango and fill the bottle with water. The frozen fruit will naturally flavor your water. Helpful hint: drink a full glass of water right before each meal and you will lose weight. The water acts like an appetite suppressant and you will eat less at each meal. • Portion Control: Over yom tov we get accustomed to eating larger portions. It’s OK to cut back now and eat a little less. Our dinner plate is called a portion plate, and half of the plate should consist of vegetables, a quarter of it the protein, and a quarter of it the whole grain carb. If you cannot fit all of your food onto one plate, then you are taking too much food. Diet tip: eat until you are satisfied, not until

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

you feel full. Once you are no longer hungry, walk away – you are done! • Get Moving: Exercise will burn off those unwanted calories, strengthen your heart and bones, and release endorphins that will elevate your mood and general feeling of wellbeing. There is no downside to it. Not everyone is cut out for boot camps or spinning classes.

Just do something every day, whether it’s walking, biking, or swimming. Participate is some kind of cardio for at least 30 minutes a day. This is the perfect time of the year to change your life by addressing your diet and exercise habits. Starting to eat healthier now will have a lasting impact on your mind and body in the longterm. By tran-

sitioning into the warmer weathered seasons, your body is poised to move more, drink more water, and eat healthier. However, in order to succeed, you must start with a plan to take advantage of this time of year. Be persistent and focused. Some days will be better than others, and that’s OK. Life is not perfect. Implement my suggestions, but

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don’t view this as a diet, only as a way of life. A gitten zimmer!

Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz show. Aliza can be reached at

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The| The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 Jewish Home


Parenting, Then and Now An Interview with Mindi Werblowsky, LMSW


adraigos has taken a leading role in providing education, support, and practical advice for parents in the Five Towns community and beyond. As part of their Parenting Matters program, Madraigos runs ongoing Parenting classes, Parenting Support Groups at various levels, and community lectures throughout the year. Four parent groups have completed the curriculum with a fifth group to launch soon. Several months ago, Madraigos ran a tremendously successful event entitled “Be the Parent Your Child Craves” featuring Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein and Dr. Brad Reedy. The event, which was attended by over 500 parents, created such a buzz that over 10,000 people viewed the recorded presentation video on social media. Building on the success of Parenting Matters programming, Madraigos will host a second community Parenting Matters event entitled “Parenting, Then and Now” featuring Rabbi Berel Wein and Dr. David Pelcovitz scheduled for April 19th at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence at 8 PM. This event is dedicated in memory of Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l, Rav of the White Shul and beloved father of Dr. Pelcovitz, as well as Mrs. Mira Wein, a”h, beloved wife of Rabbi Wein. Madraigos gratefully acknowledges key sponsors, Cross River and Touro College and University System, for generously supporting this important community event. Madraigos also appreciates the event’s supporting sponsors which include Bank United, Seasons, and Torah Anytime. To learn more about Madraigos’ vision and mission as it pertains to the Parenting Matters programs we interviewed Mrs. Werblowsky Saketkhou, LMSW, the newly appointed Clinical Director of Madraigos.

Parents have a critical role in their children’s lives. How do parents feel about their unique role in today’s society? When conducting assessments, Rabbi Silver and I frequently see that parents feel frustrated. Parents frequently ask us. “Why is parenting so different nowadays?” “Why is what I am doing not working?” “How come it worked for my parents?” The role as a parent has always been a challenge and now, in today’s culture, more than ever, parents are discouraged and don’t know where to turn.

out whatever they want on their own. Therefore, parents are no longer the primary source of knowledge for them by any means. So, besides the obvious life-threatening risks that accessibility to technology poses, it breeds an attitude in children where they think they are smarter than their parents. Parents even reinforce this dynamic when they ask their children to teach them how technology works. This kind of attitude has contributed to the role reversal in the parent/child relationship in society today. Dr. Pelcovitz will discuss this issue in further detail at the upcoming

Children may want certain items, but what they want more than anything is their parents' focus and attention.

Rena Kutner, MFT, and Rivki Rosenwald, ESQ, MFT, who facilitate the Madraigos parenting support groups for parents of adolescents, receive the same feedback. In fact, several parents who have already raised older children “without a problem,” now seek guidance and support as they struggle to raise their younger children. These parents report that what worked for their older children doesn’t work anymore with their younger children. We all know that technology poses a definite challenge in parenting. What are your thoughts on this? At times, children feel that they have much more knowledge than their parents. They tend to feel they can find

Parenting Matters event on April 19th. The level of respect in the parent/ child relationship has declined significantly. Yes, the dynamic has definitely changed. Today, kids feel like they’re equals with their parents. Parents no longer enforce the same boundaries that used to exist in the past. Additionally, nowadays, there is less regard for privacy in families. We find that children are often privy to details of their parents’ relationship which a child should not be exposed to. As children are raised in the era of entitlement, they demand explanations and answers from their parents. The age of “because I’m your father/mother and I said so” is ceasing to exist.

How do parents’ financial priorities affect the parenting process? From my experience, even in our Orthodox microcosm, kids today feel entitled. They have greater expectations with regard to materialism. They just want M-O-R-E! In general, parents extend themselves in an effort to meet these expectations. However, every person can only expend a certain amount of time, energy and focus before becoming depleted. If a parent is focused on meeting these material demands and expectations, they will not have any energy left to focus on being there emotionally for their children. Many teenagers have told me that their parents equate love with giving them material possessions. And for most teens, they do not feel that it is enough. Children may want certain items, but what they want more than anything is their parents’ focus and attention. Rabbi Berel Wein will expand on this idea at the upcoming Parenting Matters event on April 19th and explain how this differs from parents in the previous generation. To hear directly from Rabbi Wein and Dr. Pelcovitz on the topic, “Parenting, Then And Now- What’s Changed,” parents are invited to attend the upcoming Madraigos’ Parenting Matters event on April 19th at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence. Online registration is available at https:// Walkins are welcome and encouraged.

For further information about our programs please contact Mindi Werblowsky, Clinical Director of Madraigos, who can be reached at 516-371-3250 x 112 or

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018


Dedicated in Memory of

Thank you to our supporting sponsors:


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Health & F tness

Concussions and Children By Hylton I. Lightman, MD, DCH (SA), FAAP


he Pesach dishes are packed away and chometz is once again ubiquitous. Although here on the calendar spring has not yet quite sprung, Little League season is looming, as is a return to outdoors sports and activities. So there’s no time like the present to segue to a discussion about concussions and children. What does a parent need to know? Let’s define “concussion.” A concussion is a complex process that affects the brain. Typically, it’s an injury brought on by a mechanical force that causes temporary changes in the way the brain works. People think they happen when someone is knocked unconscious while playing sports. This is true only partially. Most concussions occur off the playing field or court: Think car or bicycle accidents, fights, or even minor falls. Concussions can happen with any head injury, often without a loss of consciousness.

In a concussion, the force is transmitted to the head and can result in usually short-lived symptoms such as headaches, brief loss of consciousness, nausea, and/or dizziness. These symptoms are believed to be due to a temporary shift in the neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow cells to communicate) in the brain. This helps explain the symptoms associated with a time-limited injury such as a concussion. In reality, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. The brain, comprised of soft tissue and cushioned by spinal fluid, is encased in the hard, protective skull. It can move around inside the skull and even bang against it. If the brain bangs against the skull – for example, in a fall on a playground or a whiplash-type of injury – blood vessels can tear and the nerves inside the brain can be injured. These injuries can cause a concussion. Diagnosing a concussion can

be a frustrating process. Whereas an x-ray or MRI will reveal a broken bone or torn ligaments, present technology doesn’t include imaging or blood tests that enable a definitive diagnosis of a concussion. Medical providers will sometimes order head CTs or brain MRIs to make sure that there is not a more severe injury, i.e., bleed into or around the brain, but the scans cannot diagnosis a concussion. Currently, diagnosing relies on a detailed history and physical exam. Does your child have a history of headaches or migraine headaches? Is there a learning disability? Is there a tendency to depression or anxiety? If an injury occurs when a child is playing in an organized sport, a sideline assessment should be performed to look for common post-concussive symptoms. Depending on the severity of the presentation, your physician may refer you to an emergency department in order to evaluate and

to help rule out a more severe injury. You may wish to check out whether your child’s school, camp, athletic team or gymnastics program has an emergency protocol in place. If yes, are you aware of what is the protocol should there be, G-d forbid, an injury or accident? I advocate that any child involved in contact sports or gymnastics should complete a yearly – either at the pediatrician’s office or for the athletic director – SCAT2. This assesses brain function. By having a baseline completed SCAT2 on record, it can serve as a basis of comparison if there are any injuries. What should be done for one who has had a head injury or concussion? First, seek professional help. Coaches and/or Certified Athletic Trainers (CATs) are often the first people on the scene when a child is concussed. Ideally, they have been trained to conduct a proper sideline assessment. Ideally, many perform

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

baseline assessments prior to a season beginning so there is a sense of each person’s bottom line. Further, they should be in touch immediately with your child’s pediatrician or Hatzalah. Getting an immediate sense of how your child is doing after an impact is the most important step in protecting him from worsening head injuries. If there’s a head impact, it’s best to sit it out. Obtain the proper sideline assessment no matter what because you can still sustain a concussion without losing consciousness. The person should be watched closely for signs of a concussion, even if the person feels okay. An undiagnosed concussion can put someone at risk for brain damage and even disability. So anyone who has any symptom of a concussion should be seen as soon as possible by a doctor. Sports-related concussions glean loads of attention. If you suspect a sports-related concussion, please

take the following steps: 1) The player should immediately stop playing or practicing; 2) The player should be checked by a doctor before resuming practicing or playing. Pediatric neurologists claim that

What do we do for the other 20%? If you have concerns, have your child reevaluated: You know him best. There’s no one “prescription” of rest and that can be applied to all cases. The nuances of each injury and the

Getting an immediate sense of how your child is doing after an impact is the most important step in protecting him from worsening head injuries.

most (80%) concussions are resolved within 2-3 weeks of the injury. Rest (both physical and mental) is a big factor here and your physician can help guide you.

individual patient need to be considered before determining ongoing intervention and treatment. It’s important that you communicate regularly with the physician.

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As the weather is forecasting warmer temperatures, we will be outdoors a lot more. Kids will resume riding bikes to school. There’s also skateboarding. Please make sure that your child wears his helmet and follows the rules of the “road.” People may try to taunt him into being a daredevil. Empower your children from the inside out to follow the rules that are there for their protection and wellbeing. If they don’t take you seriously, consider sitting together with them and visiting websites such as which has pictures and videos of children who have sustained head injuries – and whose lives have been changed irreversibly. As always, daven.

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, on Instagram at Dr.Lightman_ or visit him on Facebook.

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Melatonin Dracula of Hormones By Sabrina Stempel


ut it’s natural!” is often the argument given by parents with whom I consult. Melatonin supplements are all the rage amongst millennial parents. Melatonin, or “the sleepy hormone,” is produced in the pineal gland which controls sleep and wake cycles. Over the last 15 years, melatonin supplement sales have gone up by 500 percent, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, as it is becoming more readily available. The popularity of melatonin supplements is due in part to modern parents’ desire for quick fixes and immediate results. A parent struggling with a young child’s sleep may turn to these supplements thinking it’s “natural” so it can’t hurt. It’s certainly better than giving a child Benadryl on a daily basis but there is a lot to understand when it comes to using melatonin supplements safely.

There is a false sense of security with a “natural” product. The U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows synthetic melatonin to be sold as a

substance, the FDA does not regulate the supplement and the dosages listed on the bottle are not controlled either. This can lead a consumer to give a child the wrong

Cutting out the "waker foods" in the second half of the day and including "sleepy foods" in your child's dinner will make a tremendous difference.

dietary supplement without needing approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it is found naturally in some common foods. Since it is not a controlled

dosage or to administer the correct dosage at the wrong time of day. Research is still being done to figure out what dosage is appropriate for each type of sleep problem or

disorder and the timing for taking it. Taking the wrong dosage or taking the right dosage at the wrong time can reconstruct your biological sleep wake cycles in the wrong direction. It is important for parents to realize that this is a hormone, not a vitamin or herb, and to familiarize themselves with the possible negative effects. Some concerns over the chronic use of melatonin supplements are the premature onset or delay of puberty in children. Some parents have noticed their toddlers start to sweat a lot, experience night terrors, or fall asleep abruptly in the middle of an activity. Another concern is that chronic use of melatonin supplements actually creates a self-inflicted deficiency. Over time, the body becomes so used to not needing to produce melatonin naturally that it thinks it does not need to produce the hormone at all anymore.

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

Australian Professor David Kennaway, who has studied melatonin for 40 years, published a paper in the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health stating that while there have been no thorough, longterm safety studies of the use of melatonin to treat sleep disorders in children, studies done on humans and animals have shown that the supplement causes changes in physiological systems, including the reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems. There is lesser concern for occasional use of the supplement, but even in those cases, parents should use the smallest dosage possible. Some of the reasons why synthetic melatonin was first introduced to the market were to help adults who work night shifts or have jetlag from frequent traveling or for autistic children who may have insomnia due to dysregulation of the melatonin pathway. Once parents started to see these supplements on the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores, a lightbulb went off! What a great, quick fix for solving my child’s bedtime battles! Parents and physicians are too often quick to give a pill or supplement before even looking further into behavioral or medical issues that could be the root of the child’s inability to fall asleep quickly. Research has shown no difference between the desired effect of melatonin supplements and consuming foods which contain higher levels of tryptophan and limiting light exposure. Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases the neuro-transmitters, serotonin and melatonin in your brain’s pineal gland. Both of these brain chemicals control the timing of your biological clock’s sleep-wake cycle.  Some of these foods include legumes, red meat, poultry (turkey in particular), oats, cheese, fish, eggs, and bananas. Choosing some of these foods for dinner along with a glass of warm milk or “sleepy time tea” (which can be found in any grocery store) can help the serotonin and melatonin flow in time for bedtime. There are also foods to avoid which can keep a child up. Included

in this group are foods containing caffeine, such as chocolate (that means no chocolate milk), soda, caffeinated tea, or coffee. Foods which are difficult to digest, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, corn, and sugary foods or drinks, should also be avoided. Cutting out the “waker foods,” as Dr. William Sears, author of The Baby Sleep Book, likes to call them, in the second half of the day and including “sleepy foods” in your child’s dinner will make a tremendous difference. Melatonin is sometimes referred to as the “Dracula of hormones” because it is only released in the dark. Aside from keeping the house dim when it’s close to bedtime and setting the sleepy tone in the home, it is key to avoid bright or blue light, which is emitted from screen exposure, before bedtime. When the eyes’ retina absorbs bright or blue light, melatonin production will not happen. The best thing to do is to avoid screen exposure 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Lastly, parents also need to reflect on their child’s schedule. Is your child napping at an age-appropriate time and length? Is bedtime too late or too early for their age? Bedtime that is too early will only frustrate a child and build up anxiety and negativity toward sleep. Bedtime that is too late produces overtiredness and irritability, creating negativity and frustration. While the safety of melatonin supplements is still the subject of research, I urge parents to try natural ways of triggering melatonin flow. Speak to a sleep professional before administering melatonin supplements and about what other factors you should investigate that may solve your child’s sleep problems.

Sabrina Stempel is Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, the Founder of Baby Sleep Train™, and the Midwest Regional Director of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. She works worldwide with families of children ages 0-6 years and can be reached at


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Trnare tristique. Morbi tempor eros quis eros ultricies, vitae pulvinar felis rutrum. In vitae lacus eget erat interdum vehicula quis non tellus.


Rotation Nation

Shawarma Facts, Tips, and Rants By Naphtali Sobel

Photos by Rebecca Sobel


ow that Pesach is wrapped up, a few ideas come to mind. One is fresh bread, and two is spring, which equals lamb. Considering Yom Ha’Atzmaut is coming up, it’s only appropriate I write a column dedicated to shawarma. Fact number 1: Shawarma means to rotate. The Greek gyro and the Turkish donner also means to rotate. Fact #2: Gyro is actually pronounced yeero. The Italian hero sandwich actually stems from the word gyro. Fact #3: In etymology, the English word spit (skewer) stems from the Hebrew word shpood (skewer). Fact #4: Lebanese immigrants to Mexico brought along shawarma. It is known in Mexico as tacos al pastor (shepherds’ tacos) or tacos arabes (Arab tacos). The immigrants adapted the dish to swine since it was more common to Mexico. Some recipes contain up until 50 spices and seasonings such as annatto for red coloring, and the spit is often topped with a pineapple. They adopted the common corn taco instead of the wheat-based laffa

flatbread in their dish. Fact #5: The shawarma spit is often topped with layers of fat such as lamb to drip and baste the meat and often vegetables such as onion, tomato or pepper. This is also used to baste and flavor the meat. Fact #6: Shawarma can be made with varieties of meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, veal or lamb. Always question when a restaurant offers lamb shawarma. Often, it’s poultry shawarma with layers of lamb fat on top or even just “lamb” seasoning. Besides lamb, I prefer the chicken shawarma as long as it’s dark meat. White meat should never be put in shawarma although some places do. Fact #7: The word “laffa” comes from the Hebrew word ofeh, which means bake. It is baked in a pit-like oven called a tanoor. The Indian tandoor, Arab taboon and Uzbeki tandyr, are all related to the word tanoor. Fact #8: Judge a shawarma joint by its laffas. If they take enough pride to bake their own bread, they likely take pride in all their products. Fact #9: Most people enjoy amba

on their shawarma but don’t actually know what it’s made of. It is a mango relish containing spices such as turmeric and fenugreek. Fact #10: Often shawarma places have a condiment of sliced onions and sumac. Sumac grows on shrubs in the Mediterranean region and have a tart lemony flavor. Interestingly, sumac is actually related to the cashew family. Fact #11: Chatzi-chatzi (50/50) is a term for ordering a laffa containing half schnitzel and half shawarma. This is a perfect combo when you’re experiencing ambivalence. Fact #12: Shawafel is when your laffa contains half shawarma and half falafel. Fact #13: Meurav Yerushalmi or Jerusalem mix is great alternative to shawarma when you’re at your favorite shawarma shop. It is usually prepared on a griddle (or plancha in Spanish) containing assorted meats and organ meats such as hearts, livers and spleen and always a healthy dose of onions. Fact #14: Shawarma usually comes with a side salad. Never waste precious laffa real estate on salads. It just

means you’re getting less protein. The only foods that belong in a laffa are chummus, charif, a few chips, and, of course, shawarma. Fact #15: American foods are always best chased down with a Coke. Israeli food is always best chased down with fruit nectars, Mirinda or Fanta, as they are synonymous with Israeli food culture. Fact #16: When the fat on top of the shawarma gets really crispy, ask your server to give you a few shavings with a dash of extra shawarma spice rub. In life, one must know who to be friends with. This delicacy is chaval al hazman. Fact #17: Although beef might have more accolades on the food pyramid, when it comes to shawarma, trust me, you should avoid beef at all costs. It is usually tough and not as sweet as lamb or poultry shawarma.

Naphtali Sobel is an experienced chef and food consultant. He is available as a personal chef and for consulting. He can be reached at

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018 The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015



6 cups high gluten flour 1 TBS kosher salt 1 ½ TBS active dry yeast Pinch of sugar 2 TBS oil of preference 3 cups ver y warm water


4 boneless chicken bot toms 1 breast of lamb (optional) 1-2 TBS oil For Spice Rub 1 TBS cor iander ¾ TBS cumin 1 tsp curry powder 1 pinch cinnamon 1/8 tsp cayenne


Yo u


N aphtali Sobel

1/8 tsp white pepper 1 TBS onion powder ¾ TBS garlic powder sommé) ¾ TBS chicken soup base (con


st in one of Prepare the laffa: Activate yea a pinch of h wit er wat m the three cups of war Add salt, hy. frot n whe d sugar. Yeast is activate ing 2 cups of yeast mix ture, and the remain ed for 8-10 spe low on Mix water to the flour. . Let rise utes min 3 10-1 for minutes or by hand ividual ind 8 into te ara sep for one hour and utes. min 30 20nal itio balls. Let rise for add cookn dow ide ups or pan Place a cast iron ilbro t hea Pre n. ove the of ie tray in middle is gh dou re befo s ute min er on high about 15 r nte cou or le tab le ink Spr ready for bak ing. and roll dough wit h semolina or cor n mea l ing pin. Bake roll a g usin into 9 inch rounds e until dough each round of dough one at a tim ll charred sma two or one is blisters and there uld take sho e tim ing Bak marks on the bread.

a. If your oven about 2-2 ½ minutes per laff n on highest ove does not have a broiler, place setting. oil on chickPrepare the shawarma: Rub

unts of spice en and lamb. Apply liberal amo 35 minutes 30for °F rub. Bake chicken on 350 minutes. 50 40for and lamb breast on 350°F the laffa in e plac Slice chicken and lamb and

sandwich. spice rub on Tip: Apply extra shawar ma French fries. d to scramTip: Spice mix can also be use ping. This top s mu ble chopped meat as a hum ma. is known as sloppy shawar

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In The K


Chicken Quinoa Bowl By Naomi Nachman

Rice or quinoa bowls have become very popular in the last few years, and have been making their way into kosher cookbooks, magazine articles and restaurant menus. I have never been a big fan of rice, but I do love quinoa, so I replace the rice with quinoa, which is also a little healthier, as quinoa is considered part protein and not just a full carbohydrate.

Ingredients 1 lb. chicken cutlets cut into long thin strips ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup mirin 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 TBS honey (divided) 5 scallions, sliced (divided) Black pepper 2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced ¼ cup rice wine vinegar ¼ cup water 1 TBS kosher salt 2 cups cooked quinoa, warmed Sesame seeds

Preparation In a medium bowl, mix together chicken soy sauce, mirin, garlic, 3 tablespoons honey, 3 scallions, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside to marinate. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine cucumber, carrot, and 1 tablespoon salt. Add vinegar, water, remaining honey, and remaining scallions. Mix until combined and chill until ready to serve. Preheat a grill pan to medium-high. Once hot, remove the meat from the marinade and place on the grill. Season with pepper and grill the chicken for about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Divide quinoa, chicken, cucumber, and carrot among four bowls. Sprinkle bowls with sesame seeds.

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

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Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

If this were the shoe on the other foot – if this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer’s office – the ACLU would be on every television station in America jumping up and down. The deafening silence of the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling. – Alan Dershowitz on Fox News following the raid of the home and offices of President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and the potential “intrusion into lawyerclient confidentiality”

I am an observer; I investigate nothing. All I do is look and write what I see and what I hear, and my job — which has nothing to do with truth — is to take what I see and what I hear and write that in a way that readers can come as close as possible — as close as I came — to the experience of doing this. I want to be able to turn what I see into something that a reader says, “Oh, I see that too.” - Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff speaking to the student publication of his alma mater Vassar College and defending his work on President Donald Trump’s administration

Scientists have invented sensors that you can mount onto your teeth to track your diet from inside your mouth. Or, you could just eat less. – Conan O’Brien

No leader in history has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews and Israel. [Trump] has already created a great tikkun (reparation) for the Christians through his unprecedented relationship with Jerusalem. Trump is the representative of Edom that will perform that final historic reparation for his entire nation by building the Temple. - Rabbi Yosef Berger, who is the rabbi in charge of Dovid Hamelech’s kever on Mount Zion, in a recent interview with Breaking Israel News

It sounds illogical that the Third Jewish Temple will be built by non-Jews, but rabbinic sources state explicitly that this is what they must do to fix the historic wrongs that were committed. - Ibid.


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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015


To me it’s creepy when I look at something and all of a sudden it’s chasing me all the way across the web. I don’t like that. - Apple CEO Tim Cook talking about online ads and discussing Facebook’s business model in an interview on MSNBC

We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers, if our customers were our product. We’ve elected not to do that … We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty. - Ibid

You know, I find that argument, that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you, to be extremely glib. The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay and therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people… But if you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford. - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responding to Cook in a Vox interview

Hey Netanyahu! You are an occupier. And it is as an occupier that you are on those lands. At the same time, you are a terrorist. - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a speech on April 1

The most moral army in the world will not be lectured to on morality from someone who for years has been bombing civilians indiscriminately. Apparently this is how they mark April 1 in Ankara. - Prime Minister Netanyahu’s tweet in response to Erdogan

You take my record of accomplishment, you compare it to any governor in modern history, and I think you will see that we have done more. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an interview with NY1

I think it’s important that we don’t all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me. - Ibid

It’s not a political statement and I didn’t do this because someone dared me to do it. Just don’t like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry. – SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet after deleting the Facebook pages for both of his companies

This is yet another political move by the Trump administration to implement its white supremacist agenda and to drag our nation back to the false “white paradise” of the 1950s. - Statement by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about the Commerce Department’s decision to ask people in the 2020 Census if they are American citizens – a question which has been on numerous previous censuses

If you want to have an arms race we can do that, but I’ll win. - President Trump to Vladimir Putin during a recent phone conversation, according to an NBC News report


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I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations. - Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a recent interview with The Atlantic, in an apparent shift in policy towards Israel

We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.

An 80-year-old man in Arizona is on trial for robbing a bank. Apparently, he slipped the teller a note that said, “Do you know why I came in here?” – Jimmy Fallon


- Ibid

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Annual Scholarship Dinner


Eli and Julie Verschleiser Guests of Honor

Steven and Dr. Alissa Grill Parents of the Year

Rabbi Ari Boiangiu Rebbe of the Year

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Class of 2008 on the 10th Anniversary of their Graduation Class of 1998on the 20th Anniversary of their Graduation Sunday Evening April 29, 2018 • 14th of Iyar 5778 5:15pm Buffet Dinner The Mansion in Lawrence 140 Central Ave, Lawrence, NY 11559 For more info call 516-371-5824 Ext. 102



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law. - London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeting about London’s new policy of not allowing people to carry knives because of a dramatic increase in knife attacks in the city

I tried to do it in a way that didn’t overtly involve me. - Bill Clinton in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10, confessing that he intervened in the 1996 Israeli elections to try to help Shimon Peres defeat Benjamin Netanyahu

[Netanyahu] wanted me to know that he knew I wasn’t for him and he beat us anyway… And he was being very “Bibi.” … I wasn’t so much angry as just bemused by the brashness with which he played his hand. But that’s who he is. He did a very good job of it. – Ibid., recalling Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first visit to the White House after winning the 1996 election

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I worked almost continuously to clean until the holiday came clean and I did not have time to think about the extra task that I had this year. During the holiday, my rabbi came to me and asked me why I did not come to sell chametz this year. Then I remembered that I had actually forgotten to sell the chametz. - A grocery storeowner in Yerushalayim recalling to Kol Berama how he forgot to sell his chametz before Pesach because of the absence of his brother, who had been responsible for the sale for many years

We took out the chametz and completely burned it. I was left with a loss of NIS 50,000 but Jewish law is Jewish law. - Ibid.

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Political Crossfire

Trump is Threatening to Repeat Obama's Mistakes By Marc A. Thiessen


uring the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump excoriated President Barack Obama for “the way he got out of Iraq,” which Trump said “was the founding of” the Islamic State. As president, Trump reiterated during a meeting with Iraq’s prime minister that “we should never ever have left. A vacuum was created.” Trump was right. Obama’s withdrawal did create a vacuum the Islamic State quickly filled. So why is Trump now threatening to repeat Obama’s mistakes by withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria? The president recently announced that U.S. troops will be “coming out of Syria ... very soon” because “we were very successful against ISIS” and it is time to “let the other people take care of it now.” That is exactly the rationale Obama used when he pulled U.S. forces out of Iraq. The terrorists had been driven from their strongholds, and, according to then-CIA Director John Brennan, they had just “700-or-so adherents left.” So Obama decided, with the Islamic State apparently defeated, that it was time for the United States to come out and let Iraqis “take responsibility for their country.” But when Obama took the boot off of the terrorists’ necks, it allowed the Islamic State to regroup and reconstitute itself. Trump corrected this catastrophic mistake when he took the gloves off our military and drove the Islamic

State from its physical caliphate. He deserves credit for this achievement. But the Islamic State is not defeated; it has simply reverted into an insurgency and remains a terrorist network with global reach. And it is not the only terrorist threat in Syria. Al-Qaeda also has an army there waiting in the wings to replace the Islamic State. According to the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project, “Al Qaeda ... is

its strongholds by working with Kurdish proxies despised by Turkey. If the United States leaves, Turkey will go after our Kurdish allies, leaving the Islamic State free to regroup and reconstitute – just as it did after Obama’s disastrous withdrawal from Iraq. That’s not all. A U.S. withdrawal would create an Obama-style vacuum that would be filled by Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, and the Assad regime. Iran and Syrian President Bashar

If Trump pulls out of Syria now, he will leave behind a haven for al-Qaeda.

more dangerous than ISIS” because although they share “the same aims as ISIS, including the intention of attacking and destroying the West,” al-Qaeda is less focused on developing a physical caliphate and more on “insinuating itself inside Sunni insurgencies by harnessing popular grievances ... while continuing to build capabilities that could be turned against the West.” If Trump pulls out of Syria now, he will leave behind a haven for al-Qaeda. And his withdrawal could also precipitate the comeback of the Islamic State. The Trump administration drove the Islamic State from

al-Assad would escalate their brutal campaign of atrocities in Syria – including crossing Trump’s red line on the use of poison gas – which would radicalize the Sunni population, driving them into the waiting arms of al-Qaeda. This could also create a new refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing to the West. An Obama-style withdrawal from Syria could also free Iran to establish a massive military presence in southwestern Syria, which could spark a catastrophic war with Israel. Israel recently shot down an Iranian drone that had infiltrated its airspace

from Syria and accused Iran of building sites in Syria to produce precision-guided missiles. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel “will not allow a regime hell-bent on the annihilation of the Jewish state ... to entrench itself militarily in Syria,” and warned that if Iran tried to do so, Israel would act “not only against Iranian proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.” If our goal is to protect Israel and constrain Iran, withdrawal from Syria would do the opposite. What should Trump be doing in Syria? He should maintain a U.S. presence to secure our military’s gains, protect our Kurdish allies, keep the Islamic State down and prevent al-Qaeda from capitalizing on the Islamic State’s demise. He should prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria, expanding its military presence and threatening Israel. And in the longer run, he should be working to separate the Sunni population from al-Qaeda by cultivating Sunni partners in Syria who are allied with the United States against the Salafi-jihadist cause, as well as the growing Iranian-Russian-Assad-Hezbollah alliance. The temptation to declare victory in Syria and withdraw is understandable. But before he does so, Trump should ask himself: What would Obama do? Then he should do the opposite. (c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

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Political Crossfire

Snapshots of Soldiers on the Front Lines of Syria By David Ignatius


ne face of the war in Syria that Americans don’t often see is the U.S. Army trauma surgeon, standing in the midday sun on the outskirts of Raqqa, taking a brief break from her near-constant duty in the operating room treating Syrians whose limbs have been shattered by bombs and booby traps. The doctor is a lieutenant colonel serving with U.S. special operations forces, and under the ground rules for my four-day trip to Syria in February, I’m not allowed to use her name. She’s a trim, clear-eyed woman who speaks with a soft, firm voice and a conviction about her work that melts your heart when you listen to her talk. The lieutenant colonel tries to put broken bodies back together, all day, every day. When I spoke with her, she was the only experienced trauma surgeon in the region, which meant that all the worst cases came to her. She described operating on all four limbs of some severely wounded Syrians. She recalled one especially horrible day when nine injured children were brought into her operating room at one time. Her patients are almost all Syrian civilians, people who have been maimed by hidden IEDs and bombs as they tried to return to their homes after Raqqa was liberated last October in a bloody, house-to-house fight by the Kurdish-led Syrian Demo-

cratic Forces and their American allies. The lieutenant colonel says that a dozen times a week she treats people who are at “death’s door.” She says that she’s able to save 95 percent of her patients. And here’s the most striking fact: this military surgeon is grateful for the chance to be in Syria and help put the people and their country

ing to commanders – that Trump doesn’t understand. So before U.S. forces start coming home, here are a few portraits from my notebook, sketched during my trip to Syria two months ago. Let’s start with the on-theground commander of U.S. forces inside Syria. He’s been working with the Syrian Kurds for nearly four

He's older than most of the other soldiers, who joke that it's dangerous to be near him because he's a bullet magnet.

back together. “In the States, if I didn’t show up for my job, someone else would do it. Doing what you’ve been trained to do, and contributing to something greater than yourself, is very important. It’s an honor for us to be here.” The lieutenant colonel is part of the Syria mission that President Trump seems determined to end. Reflecting on her and the scores of other U.S. soldiers I’ve met on three trips to Syria since 2016, I can’t help thinking that there’s something about this mission – which has been low cost and high success, accord-

years since the battle for Kobani in October 2014. U.S. commanders saw that the Kurds were ready to fight and die against ISIS. What emerged was a brotherhood of battle. The commander is driving our vehicle along a rutted track near a frontline position outside Manbij, in northern Syria. He seems to know every curve and bump in the road, and he speaks Arabic, too. He has lived this war. When I ask how the pieces of the Syria puzzle will eventually fit he responds: “There’s not a military answer to that question.” We’re at the berm at the eastern

front, near Shaddadi; ISIS forces are hidden about two miles away. U.S. and SDF troops man a simple, makeshift fortification, topped by an observation post shielded by a tin roof and oriental carpets. Down below are two trenches to stop car bombs. Walking away, I talk to a sergeant major who’s traveling here with one of the commanders. He’s older than most of the other soldiers, who joke that it’s dangerous to be near him because he’s a bullet magnet. He has four purple hearts, all earned in Iraq, and six bronze stars. I ask how he was wounded. He pauses, scratching his head as if to think. One was a mortar round, another was a hand grenade, a third was hand-to-hand combat when he was attacked by a man dressed like a woman, a fourth was when he was shot in a helicopter. Why does he keep coming back, for deployment after deployment? He pauses, not sure how to answer, and then says simply that he’s lucky to serve his country. I’m flying out of Syria on a C-130 cargo plane. Sitting next to me is a young officer who’s upset to be on that flight, for two reasons. He’s going home to see his mother, who’s very ill. And he’s leaving his comrades on the battlefield before the fight is over. He hates that last idea. So should we all. (c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Forgotten Her es

Captain Irving Schechter A Hero in the Pacific By Avi Heiligman


he summer of 1944 proved to be a major turning point for the Allied armies across the globe during the Second World War On June 6, hundreds of thousands of soldiers invaded France and through these landing eventually pushed into Germany to defeat the Nazis. Also in June, the Allied armies captured Rome and maintained pressure on the Italian Front. On the Western Front, Soviet forces destroyed an entire German Army Group and pushed all Axis troops out of Romania. The Battle of the Philippines Sea resulted in many Japanese planes being destroyed along with their experienced crewmen. The Mariana Islands were wanted for bomber bases by the American military, and Tinian and Guam came after the capture of Saipan. The islands were near the equator and as such were excruciatingly hot during the day. They were covered in malaria-infested jungles that became very muddy during the rainy season. Many soldiers had to be hospitalized with malaria and other jungle diseases while stationed and fighting on the islands. On the other side, many of the Japanese soldiers were veterans of other campaigns. The Japanese marines on Tinian fought in Manchuria and were more seasoned than their

Americans counterparts. The Japanese military code, Bushido, stated that the emperor was a deity and that no land should ever be lost in combat. Being taken prisoner was not in their dictionary. They would fight to the death, even to the point where they would make suicidal charges called banzai attacks. Two American Marine divisions along with an army regiment made the assault on July 24, 1944 against over 8,000 entrenched Japanese soldiers. The 24th regiment of the

“Buck” Schechter went to the University of Iowa and received his law degree from New York University. H decided to join the Marine Corps before Pearl Harbor after seeing the fall of France in 1940. The skinny captain was leading the assault in the Philippines Sea and was to protect the regiment’s flank and, in essence, the entire operation’s left flank. The company landed intact but was met with heavy fire as soon as it tried to move inland. The Navy Cross awarded to him

"Furiously attacked by the Japanese just before dawn, he constantly exposed himself to hostile fire to direct his unit."

4th division was assigned to attack White 1, the code name for one of two landing beaches. White 2 was handed to the 25th regiment, also of the 4th division. Captain Irving Schechter of Smithtown Branch, New York, was the commanding officer of Company A, First Battalion, Twenty-Fourth Marines, Fourth Marine Division.

describes his actions during the battle: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Irving Schechter (MCSN: 0-7727), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism … Assigned the hazardous task of seizing a beachhead

and protecting the left flank of the entire landing force, Captain Schechter landed his company on an extremely narrow beach among pitted cliffs and coral boulders and, capably directing the movements of his men, boldly seized the initial objective and organized a defensive position for the night. Furiously attacked by the Japanese just before dawn, he constantly exposed himself to hostile fire to direct his unit and, despite the tremendous odds, inspired his men to hold on until they annihilated the enemy. Although his company could man less than sixty rifles by daylight, he resumed the advance to expand the beachhead and, during four hours of intensive fighting under his leadership, accounted for four hundred Japanese dead and the capture of large quantities of automatic weapons and mortars. Carrying out his dangerous mission with consistent skill and courage, Captain Schechter contributed essentially to the success of our forces during an important campaign, and his bold tactics and brilliant leadership were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. After the battle, Schechter was promoted to major and assigned the position of operations officer in battalion headquarters. After his successor, Major William Stewart, was

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

killed on Iwo Jima, Irving took control of Company A once more. After a memorable stint as commander when he killed a Japanese sniper who was about to shoot at one of his men, he was sent back to headquarters. His best lieutenant, Roy Wood, took control of the company for the rest of the war. In addition to his Navy Cross,

Buck also received the Silver Star on Namur, the Bronze Star on Iwo Jima and the Purple Heart for a wound he got on Saipan. Schechter retired from the Marines in 1947 as a colonel and returned to New York to become the town attorney for Smithtown. He died January 7, 1992 at the age of 87. Tinian was secured on August 1








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but the last Japanese soldier refused to surrender until 1953. Tinian became an important base for B-29 Superfortress bombers and was the home for the bombers that flew on the atomic bombing missions in August 1945. Men like Schechter were the backbone for the Marines during the war where, as Admiral Chester Nimitz said upon reflecting on the

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Marines who fought in Iwo Jima, said, “Uncommon valor virtue was a common virtue.”

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


APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018



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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015




Auditors on Deck By Allan Rolnick, CPA


aseball is back, even as some teams are looking at early-season snow days. Little leaguers across the land are donning gloves and getting ready to watch their favorite big-leaguers take to the field. Stats geeks are prepping spreadsheets to crunch numbers like WAR (Wins Above Replacement), BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play), and LWCT (Largest Wad of Chewing Tobacco). And the umpires at the IRS are watching a new pitch that Washington just threw across their plate, too. Since 1921, code section 1031 has let you exchange property you’ve held for business or investment without paying tax on your gains. These “like-kind” exchanges usually involve real estate. They also include vehicles and equipment — if an upand-coming CEO wants to swap his company’s tired old Gulfstream IV for a newer, shinier model V, that’s cool, too. The IRS has even ruled that “trades of player contracts owned by major league baseball clubs will be considered exchanges of like-kind property.” But last year’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act trimmed the roster on like-kind exchanges to real estate only. And

that means some teams may already be behind in the count for taxes they owe on their trades! Here’s the challenge: how exactly do you value a baseball player’s contract? The New York Times offered an example when they first reported the problem: last year, the Detroit Tigers sent right-handed starting

The veteran Verlander is clearly “worth” more. But he’s 35, and he can’t keep throwing heat forever. So how do you quantify his contract with a number the IRS will accept? Is it the $28 million/year he earns today? (Fun fact: that meant $136,000 per inning last season.) Or is it “some calculation of the total future value

How do you assign a "net present value" to an unknown quantity like Perez who isn't even old enough to buy a drink?

pitcher Justin Verlander, four years into a six-year, $162 million contract, to the Houston Astros. The Astros sent back 20-year-old outfielder Daz Cameron (now playing for the Single-A Lakeland Flying Tigers), 19-year-old Venezuelan righty Franklin Perez (now playing for the AA Erie Sea Wolves), and 21-year-old catcher Jake Rogers (also playing for the Sea Wolves).

Mr. Verlander will bring to the team, minus the total future value it gave up in the prospects it traded away — and possibly adjusted for the amount the team will have to pay Mr. Verlander?” And Detroit faces a different challenge. How do you assign a “net present value” to an unknown quantity like Perez who isn’t even old enough to buy a drink? Any Bull Durham fan

can tell you sometimes all it takes is the right coach to turn a prospect into a phenom. But how do you push him into playing his best ball without pushing him into Tommy John surgery? And what if his trip to “the show” lasts just 21 glorious days? Finally, what about the human cost of all this activity? How do you put a price tag on a 10-year-old Pittsburgh fan’s tears when you tell him his beloved Pirates have traded his hero Andrew McCutcheon to the hated San Francisco Giants for a rookie pitcher, a minor-league outfielder, and “$500,000 in international signing bonus allocation,” whatever that is? The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is full of hanging curveballs like the new like-kind exchange limits. That’s why you can’t just wait for April 15 to roll around and hope for a “cheese dog” across the plate. Make sure you’re ready to take a swing at a plan and see how much you can save.

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

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018

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APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Life C ach

Unlocking the Secret By Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., MFT, CLC


ome people may remember an old commercial that said, “Piston engines go boing, boing, boing but Mazda engines goes mmmmmm.” It was advertising a nice, quiet engine. This time of the year kind of brings back that commercial to me: Matzah chewing goes crunch, crunch, crunch, but the challah goes mmmmmm! So, our ears are back to enjoying the soothing quiet as a nice warm piece of challah is being digested between our teeth. But I’m here to warn you. Remember there is a tradition of some to keep that crunch going. So, hold onto your caps! And I don’t mean hold onto your hats – I mean, caps. All that dental work you’ve ever had can go right down the tubes if you happen to be the one who bites into that metal slab hidden inside the challah. Yes, many people traditionally bury a key inside the challah the first Shabbos after Passover. I’m sure some of them don’t even have a clue why. Bad sense of humor, perhaps?! It could be that, or the old Fiddler on the Roof explanation: tradition! Tradition is certainly always a good reason to do something. It keeps our connection to, and respect for, what mattered to our ancestors going. But it might be nice to know some of the reasons we have this tradition,

especially since we do endanger our valued molars. So, one reason is that the manna stopped falling right after Pesach. It was a source of easy sustenance. Therefore, we are symbolically asking G-d to open the gates of financial success post-Passover because we realize our contribution and work must help to bring us sustenance.

giant response. After Pesach we should realize that freedom comes in many forms: physical and mental, concrete and spiritual. Passover is a time to become open to the idea that even if G-d hasn’t delivered freedom yet physically in all situations, we should realize we have been given the tools to find it through attitude and optimism.

I'm baking a combination lock into my challah.

A kabbalistic reason is that during Pesach the upper gates of heaven are open but after Passover they are shut once more. We are asking G-d to use that key to keep those high-up gates open for us. There is a phrase in Shir Hashirim (Rabbah) that proclaims that G-d promises that if we open the connection with him the size of a pinhole, He will reciprocate by opening the relationship great enough to fit a chariot through. When we show G-d the key, we are symbolically opening that connection – and we’re hoping G-d will take notice and make His

With the key we put in our challah, we can be open up to the idea of finding freedom from burdens, struggles and life’s mysteries. However, these days a lot more people use passcodes than actual keys. Therefore, I’m baking a combination lock into my challah. Wow, talk about potentially needing to go for dental work. If you bite into one of those chunky guys, watch out! Who knows? Maybe, secretly, I’m trying to drum up work for my daughter-in-law and niece; they are about to start the clinical portion of dental school.

The ultimate concept is to use this key as a reminder that you have the opportunity, as a newly freed person, to open new highways and byways for yourself. Can you see a theme running through our Jewish holidays? Rosh Hashanah is our new year; it is an opportunity to start over. Each new month is a new opportunity to start over. In fact, each morning we are told is a new day; we have an opportunity to start over. And now with this “key Shabbos” comes yet another reminder of the glorious opportunity we always have to open up new beginnings, new ways of thinking and living. Sure, some people may think I just want to continue where I left off. It’s too burdensome to keep starting all over. There is truth to that. But think – the effort may be worth it. Every time you start over you open a door again. Remember how these metal keys work. You need to put the effort in and turn them once again each time. Yet, it’s worth it. Because it gets you the chance to enter anew. So use that key – step out of the past, unlock new vistas, and start renewed!

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

The Jewish Home | APRIL 12, 2018



APRIL 12, 2018 | The Jewish Home

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-12-18  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-12-18

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-12-18  

Five Towns Jewish Home - 4-12-18