A PUBLICATION OF THE LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY see back page
Hillel Hebrew Academy 64th Annual Scholarship Banquet A Banquet to Remember! - 7
B’lev Ari Block Program Expands to Los Angeles - 8
YULA Seniors Enjoy Action-Packed 10-Day Trip to Israel - 16
Anne Frank’s Step-Sister, Eva Schloss, Visits Chabad @ USC - 12
To the Edge of our Universe – 18 Knowing when to Walk Away Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn Face Time 19 Rabbi David Mahler Yisro — The Super-Mind 20 Rabbi Reuven Wolf
ג‘ אדר- כ‘ שבט.
Jan. 31 - feb. 13
. vol 1, #3
The Jewish Home January 31, 2013 2
Contents Exclusive Interview with California’s Very Own 8th Day’s Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus. . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Forgotten Heroes - Uriah Levy Saluting Principles and Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Community Up to Date with the Wiesenthal Center . . . . . . . . . 14
Jewish Thought To the Edge of our Universe – Knowing when to Walk Away - Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn . . . . . . . . . . 18 Face Time - Rabbi David Mahler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Parsha Yisro: The Super-Mind- Rabbi Reuven Wolf. . . . . . 20
Parenting & Education Hillel Parenting & Education Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Roadblocks on the Path of Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Can I Fall in Love Again? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Israel Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Lifestyles Travel: From Sea to Shining Sea : Louisiana. . . . . . 46 Super Bowl Fever – Great Recipes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Health & Fitness - Eating and Exercise. . . . . . . . . . . 43
Thanks again to everyone for the positive and constructive feedback, including many suggestions for upcoming articles. It is greatly welcomed and appreciated! There is so much to cover in LA that I barely know where to start... First off, this week we have articles relating to Holocaust Remembrance Day which took place this past Sunday, and we’re also including a piece on what’s new at the Wiesenthal Center - including their new Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and a discussion with their executive director. We did a quick chat with Reb Shlomo Yehudah Rechnitz, a renowned master of good deeds, about the recent Torah Umesorah midwinter conference he so graciously sponsored, aaaand last but not least we sat down with the world-famous - but lucky for us they’re local - 8th Day! I bet you won’t guess some of their answers... Check out these exclusive interviews in addition to our weekly columns -including guest columnist Rabbi David Mahler discussing an issue very pertinent to our times... We’ve also got community events, news, stories, jokes, you name it. Have an idea? Want to see a specific story or interview? Have a critique? Send ‘em all to email@example.com. Once again, from us at The Jewish Home of LA to you, our dear readers, thanks for the support and feedback as we continue creating LA’s very own religious Jewish community newspaper. Have a wonderful Shabbos,
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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, February 1 Parshas yisro Candle lighting 5:06 Shabbos Ends 6:04 Rabbeinu Tam 6:37
Friday, February 8 Parshas Mishpatim Candle lighting 5:13 Shabbos Ends 6:11 Rabbeinu Tam 6:43
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January 31, 2013
Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
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The Jewish Home January 31, 2013
Feature Interview INTERVIEW Exclusive Interview with California’s Very Own 8th Day’s Shmuel and Bentzi Marcus The Marcus brothers - founders of the hugely successful 8th Day band - dish on getting pre-concert butterflies, finding musical inspiration, and the story behind their rise to global Jewish stardom. By Rachel Wizenfeld
The Jewish Home
January 31, 2013
Jewish Home: How did you get started as the great 8th Day? I’m sure that as brothers you’ve been singing together for years, so what’s the story behind your rise? Shmuel: Many people discovered 8th Day after we released Ya’alili, however we have been writing and playing music for a while. For example, the song Manhattan 2.0 off our new album “All You Got,” is a remake of a song from our first album that most people don’t know about which was released in 2005. Bentzi: Ya’alili definitely was a big hit and got us a lot of recognition, but the band started many years before that. We had a lot of releases before that and had a lot of fans, we were doing shows and traveling. Ya’alili took it to a whole new level globally - in Israel, Europe, Australia, all over the world. (Their early albums, Tracht Gut and Brooklyn, are both available on iTunes, Amazon & MostlyMusic.com.) Shmuel: I don’t know why [Ya’alili] was a hit. The song definitely took off before the music video (filmed at Pomegranate supermarket in Brooklyn), and the video took it to a new level, a new audience. It just caught on. You never really know with hit songs, it’s just one of those things. It touched a nerve, it was exciting, catchy, it had a good beat.
Bentzi: It caught on with many different types of Jews: religious, non-religious, Israeli, Sephardic, Modern Orthodox, wherever we went, no matter what type of crowd or what type of school, Ya’alili was a big hit. There’s definitely no formula to that, or rhyme or reason to that. Bentzi: We’ve been singing together as brothers since we were kids. Our family is very musical and music was always in the house. We started writing songs as we got older, and the band evolved naturally. We definitely didn’t plan it, it wasn’t a conscious thing. JH: Give us a peek into your creative process. How do you come up with your songs? Bentzi: There really is no ‘’process’’ per se, we just work together to come up with interesting and inspiring ideas musically and lyrically. If you’re having fun and doing what you believe in, something good is bound to come of it. There’s no timetable. A song could take five minutes or it could take five years. The best way to put it is a song is inspiration. It’s a feeling, a thought, a mood. It’s intangible, not like an essay or something you can just kind of think it through or just write it. There’s no real formula for that. JH: What do you do to get inspiration?
Bentzi: Just by touring and playing live, by being in the studio. We just did a show in Edmonton, Canada, and by traveling to different parts of the world, the East Coast, Florida, seeing different audiences…it’s hard to say. Life is inspiring! Thank G-d we get to do music every day. We grew up in a Chabad family, we were raised Orthodox, so we definitely have a lot of roots in Torah and that definitely informs and infuses our songwriting and overall product. JH: What do you both do outside of 8th Day? Shmuel: I’m a Chabad rabbi, my dad is rabbi of the Chabad of Los Alamitos in Orange County, and I work with the youth and college students there. Bentzi: I’m in music full time. I have a studio and a production company. 8th day is my main gig; everything else has slowed down as 8th day has gotten busier. JH: How often are you away on tour? Shmuel: It’s seasonal. I would say a few times a month. There’s no set schedule, whatever comes up. Sometimes we’ll go out and do a two-week tour, and sometimes it’s just a day or two days. JH: Do you get butterflies or nervousness before a show? Bentzi: Of course, yes. It’s very natural to get nervous, but the more prepared you are and the more you do it, that lessens. Once you’re on stage and the crowd gets into it, it’s one of the easiest and funnest things to do. The band’s in the groove, you’re in the groove. That’s part of why you’re nervous, because everything has to fall into place. Shmuel: It depends on where the show is. Our next show is in Los Alamitos, it’s a big Purim concert that we do every year, and our families will be there, our parents - our biggest critics will be there! Bentzi - We’re very excited about that show. It’s a good example of when you have very good vibes, and the crowd gets into it. It gets going with the audience and the band together - it’s a joint effort. JH: Describe your family – are you married? Kids? What do they think of you being in band? Bentzi - We both have families, they are very supportive; always the first ones to call after a show to see how it went. JH: What’s your favorite song (or two) that you’ve released? Which is a favorite of your kids? Shmuel: It’s like kids, you can’t pick favorites. Bentzi: The song you’re working on is usually the favorite. My kids love whatever is new…and Ya’alili. JH: What’s next for you? Do you have
plans in the near future for another CD? More concerts? Partnerships? Shmuel: Yes, our new album will go into pre-production shortly. We just did an animated music video for “All You Got”, the title track off of our latest release. We partnered with a very talented artist from NY named Annita Soble and she did a great job animating the video. We also released a music video for “Cheery Bim,” both are available on YouTube. We are looking forward to our next show in Brooklyn, for the Soul II Soul Concert on February 10th, where we’ll be debuting our latest live show format G-d willing. We’ll also be performing in Chicago on March 3rd and many more cities after that. It’s very exciting! The album that came out in June is still getting a lot of buzz, sales are still strong, thank G-d, on iTunes and in stores. Bentzi: We have some new tunes we’re working on that we’ll test out at the Purim show (in Los Alamitos). We like to test out new songs. Between shows we’ll find the time to get the new album going. JH: What’s an unexpected bonus or benefit from being in 8th Day? Bentzi: We get asked to perform for special fans who are unfortunately bedridden or in a hospital. When we make them smile that’s the biggest bonus possible. This is the biggest perk of doing this – you get the chance to touch people with your music, and to make them smile or put them in a good mood for the hour, it’s the greatest feeling. We try to do it as much as we can. It’s tough when you travel, but we try to make time - sometimes it’s through Chai Lifeline, sometimes it’s through a friend or maybe we know them. Shmuel: We had a woman who after a show in Texas emailed us that she started lighting Shabbos candles, she was so inspired. We went back there again, and she came up to us and said that a year later, she joined her local Chabad - now they’re fully observant. Another woman, the husband wasn’t religious and she was, she brought him to a show and after that he came Shabbos observant. We have a lot of stories like that which are amazing. JH: What’s your favorite city to perform in? Where are your biggest fans? Bentzi: Wherever you’re reading this is probably our favorite city. The Yerushalayim concert was pretty special, but they’re all great and unique. We are very blessed to do what we do. JH: How old are you both? Bentzi: We feel like we’re 22! (Editor’s note: I heard a 39 muttered in there somewhere.) Shmuel is older.
After singing our Tu B’Shvat songs we shared how Hashem created trees, grass, fruits, vegetables, grains and wheat. We thanked Hashem and celebrated Tu B’Shvat with a Brachot Fair. The Early Childhood Department was turned into an exciting round robin. During our round robin, each grade went into a different classroom for a learning activity about that bracha. The Pre-Nursery classrooms were responsible for of the brachot of Shehakol and Ha’ Adama. The children picked out the fruits that they liked and made delicious smoothies and a healthy salad. The Nursery classrooms celebrated with their friends by learning the brachot for Ha’etz and Ha’Motzi. Their activities included mixing different ingredients
(flour and water for matza, and flour, water and yeast for challah and bread) The children then sampled different types of bread- matza, bagels and challah in a taste testing contest. In the next classroom they enjoyed squishing grapes to make grape juice. Traveling through the Kindergarten classes the children learned about the brachot of Mezonot , Ha’etz and Ha’Adama . They played a guessing game which foods are mezonot. They tasted yummy mezonot treats. The Morot asked: “Who can guess what is in the basket?-מה בל סאל. Classifying skills were learned through sorting and by recognizing similarities and differences. The Morot read a story in Hebrew about a farmer and his carrot garden. The children enjoyed tasting
baby carrots. The 6th grader girls joined their Pre1st buddies as they planned their Brachot Fair activities. The girls facilitated the learning activities by giving the children shekels to purchase fruits and vegetables— hot corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers, papaya, melons and made fruit kabobs and vegetable faces. The yeladim spoke in Hebrew to each other to ask for the food they wanted to purchase and enjoy. Everyone enjoyed the hands-on learning experiences and left with a tummy full of food and smiles on their faces. The yeladim kept saying, “This is so much fun!” One yeled even asked, “Can we do this every week?”
Arnold Schwarzenegger Wants His Name Removed From Turkish ‘Hitler Exhibit’ Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants his name to be removed from a poster of historical figures and celebrities on display at a prominent mall in Istanbul, Turkey, because the poster prominently displays Adolf Hitler. The poster, titled “Who Would You Like to Meet if You Could?” can be seen at the Sapphire Mall, an upscale mall in Istanbul. It has a list of historical figures as Suleiman, Ataturk, and Lenin as well as celebrities like Schwarzenegger, the Beatles and Michael Jackson. However, the most prominent name as well as the only figure depicted on the poster is Adolf Hitler. Governor Schwarzenegger, in an email this morning to Rabbi Marvin Hier,
Founder and Dean of the Wiesenthal Center, wrote: Thank you for alerting me about the offensive exhibit at the Sapphire Mall in Istanbul, Turkey. I understand that my name is included with others in an exhibit called “Who would you like to meet?” that features a large photograph of Adolph Hitler. As someone who has had a long relationship with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and despises everything
that Hitler stood for, it is repugnant to me to have my name in any way associated with history’s greatest criminal, responsible for the murder of more than six million Jews, along with millions of other victims. I authorize you to contact whomever is responsible for this exhibit and to take whatever steps necessary to immediately remove my name from this display. Earlier this week, Wiesenthal Center
officials protested the Hitler display to the Turkish ambassador in Washington, D.C. as well as Turkish officials in Ankara, urging that this offensive poster be removed. For more information, please contact the Center’s Public Relations Department, 310-5539036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @ simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
Hillel Hebrew Academy 64th Annual Scholarship Banquet A Banquet to Remember! On Sunday, January 13, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy hosted its 64th Annual Scholarship Banquet at the downtown Westin Bonaventure Hotel. The theme of this year’s banquet was kochavim— stars—which aptly defines Hillel’s children, the most important stars. The Hillel family wants the best for their children. Supporters who contribute to Hillel value its educational process and the future of the children; they are keenly aware that the only way Jewish education exists is through financial support. In his keynote address, Rabbi Sufrin, Head of School, connected the theme of the evening to the brightest stars – the children who sang in the Harwitt Ensemble, a group of over 100 talented voices from grades 3-7 – to those who dedicate their lives to help others such as the Speaker of the CA Assembly John Perez and David Siegel, Consulate General of Israel, both of whom were in attendance. The evening gave opportunity to highlight and honor several pillars of its school
community. Adom and Julie Ratner-Stauber, who support Hillel whenever the need arises, were Guests of Honor. Moshe Yehuda Fritz and Shirley Friedman, supporters of Jewish education for over thirty years, were acknowledged as Grandparents of the Year. Craig and Esti Levine were fittingly honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for continuing support of Jewish education. The Honorable California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez was recognized with the Community Service Award for valuable and constant support of quality education. “I was touched to see that our children’s education means so much too so many. I came away from the night feeling proud that the future of Jewish education in our community is in good hands.” Adom Ratner Stauber Guest of Honor. Parents, grandparents, faculty, and friends enjoyed a program of song presented by Hillel’s 8th grade graduating class and the school choir of 3rd through 7th graders. The evening of comedy and music, which
featured the Moshav Band, was a memorable night as Hillel saluted the stalwarts of its community and thanked them for their unwavering support for education. The eighth graders were joined onstage by multi-platinum recording artist Matisyahu
for One Day and Sunshine, as a surprise to end the amazing evening. The stars certainly shined bright for Hillel.
January 31, 2013
The entire Early Childhood of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy celebrated Tu B’Shvat by learning about the importance of this holiday & how we must always thank Hashem for the food that He gives us. How do we do that? By saying a bracha before we eat. Hashem created the trees we are so thankful for, & He created the fruits & vegetables we enjoy eating so much! We sang a song, Ma Yesh L’Etz, & compared what is on our bodies to the parts of a tree. Our legs are the roots, our stomach the trunk, our outstretched arms are the branches, & our fingers are the leaves. We started by planting a seed into the ground and then our legs become the roots. We’ve grown like the grass, flowers, and trees to the song How Does The Grass Grow?
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Hillel’s Tu B’Shvat Brachot Fair
The Jewish Home
January 31, 2013
First Mid-Winter Torah Umesorah Conference in LA Rewards, Inspires Educators By Rachel Wizenfeld
While tuition payments may seem higher than ever, it certainly isn’t Jewish educators who are reaping the profits. Underpaid, underappreciated, working many extra (and unpaid hours) at home and dealing with gripes at every turn, being a Jewish educator certainly isn’t the most enviable job, though it is arguably one of the more important professions in our community. Which is why it was such a generous
gesture for Shalom Yehuda Rechnitz to organize and subsidize the first mid-winter Torah Umesorah conference in Los Angeles, to give Jewish principals and teachers on the West Coast a chance to revitalize themselves and their teaching methods. For years, Torah Umesorah held a mid-winter principal’s conference which drew only about 20-30 people, according to Mr. Rechnitz. So he decided to amp up last year’s program with a conference for
500 principals and teachers in New York– followed by this year’s in LA, “to give the opportunity to West Coast Rebbeim who never really get to go to conventions because they’re so far away,” he said. Held at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza at Thousand Oaks on January 17 and chaired by Rabbi Berish Goldenberg, principal of Toras Emes Academy, the conference drew nearly 600 people – equally men and women - from a range of schools in LA, including Toras Emes, Ohr Eliyahu, Bais Yaakov, Yeshiva Gedolah, MBY, Valley Torah and more. Half were from out of town, including educators from Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Detroit and a handful from the East Coast. “Altogether, it’s a nice gesture for underpaid, underappreciated people who work hard the whole year, and finally they get to enjoy a nice Shabbos with their friends, so there’s an occasion part of it,” said Mr. Rechnitz. “But besides that, there’s a lot to gain from different experts out there in chinuch. If you just tell someone to go to ten speeches upstairs in Bais Yehuda, most people wouldn’t do it. But in a Shabbos atmosphere and with other people together, it becomes a lot more inviting.” Mr. Rechnitz added that many people came over to him saying that this was the first convention they were ever at. “It’s
possibly $1000 to go to a conference, including a ticket, so it’s a first-time experience for them and something they really enjoyed.” The Tolner Rebbe spoke several times over the weekend, focusing along with the other speakers on how today’s chinuch is different than years ago, how to keep boys and girls interested in what they’re doing, the crisis of kids going off the derech, dealing with different kinds of abuse, but “mainly how to keep children interested in today’s environment when there are so many things and forces pulling from all sides,” said Mr. Rechnitz. Mr. Jim Fay, co-founder of the Love and Logic Institute, presented a session for principals, and other psychologists, educators and therapists gave a range of presentations as well. Does Mr. Rechnitz plan on doing this again next year? “We’re taking it one year at a time,” he said. “We probably would do it in NY or LA so at least some people wouldn’t have to travel; the feedback we’re getting is people really, really enjoyed it. They said it was the best convention - at least they told me it was the best convention they were ever at: good ruchnius and gashmius, the food and hotel were nice, people were taken care of.”
B’lev Ari Block Program Expands to Los Angeles The B’Lev Ari Beis Medrash Program has officially expanded to the Los Angeles Area. On Sunday night, January 20th 2013, at Sharei Torah, there were over 15 special needs and developmentally disabled men that paired up with volunteer members of the community to learn all about Tu B’Shvat. The excitement was in the air. This is the second program in LA and we will continue to meet monthly. The purpose of this program is to ensure that everyone is given an opportunity to learn according to each persons level and interest. The chavrusah style learning allows the men to learn in a warm and inviting environment. It is lead by the fantastic Rabbi Dovi Block, whom we are so lucky to have recently moved to Los Angeles as the new 7th grade rebbi at Yeshivath
Yavneh. Rabbi Block led the program to success in Yeshivath Shor Yoshuv in New York and now we hope to bring the same success to Sharei Torah in LA. The program began with a pizza dinner and ended with dancing and live music, thanks to Rabbi Chaim Friedman.
dedicated much of his summers and spare time working with these special individuals, via organizations such as Ohel and Camp Simcha. Ari’s parents, Dr. Robert and Thea Block of Lawrence, NY, sought to combine Ari’s two passions and created the B’lev Ari Foundation. They started
The program is in memory of Ari Block Z”L who was niftar over 5 yrs ago. Ari was a kollel member of Yeshiva Shor Yoshuv, while also on his way to receiving a masters degree in special education. Ari
the program in Shor Yoshuv four years ago and now it continues to grow. With the help of Ari’s cousin, Rabbi Dovi Block, and Ari’s sister and brother in law, Rachel and Josh Tomaszewski, the idea to spread
this beautiful program to LA has come to fruition. The B’Lev Ari program meets monthly at 6:30pm on a Sunday night in Beis Medrash Shaarei Torah. The next program is February 17th. Many of the men come from Etta Israel residences and are also members of Yachad and Hamercaz. Although, it is not necessary to belong to an organization to participate in this program. All are welcome. The B’Lev Ari program also welcomes their new assistant p r o g r a m m e r, Chaim Yaakov Abbot, who will be helping develop each program. All interested families are encouraged to contact Rabbi Dovi Block at 917-575-4085 or Josh Tomaszewski 323842-0445 for further information and participation.
Rabbi Stulberger is in Israel this week visiting our alumni. Here are some pic-
tures of the Boys Division Alumni Dinner and Girls Division Alumni Dinner:
YULA Junior Paintballing and Shabbaton
away with many new bruises. On Friday night, the students ate dinner at the homes of different rebbeim, including 9th grade rabbis and current junior rabbis. After the meal, all the students gathered for an inspiring Oneg at Rabbi Abramczik’s house, complete with singing, divrei Toray, and importantly:
Jeff’s wings! At a late hour, everyone finally retired to their homes and went to sleep. The next morning, the students davened at different teen minyans before meeting up for lunch at AISH. Here, the students sang, ate a delicious lunch, and heard Divrei Torah from many students as well as Rabbi Schreiber. After lunch, the students had an hour of Shabbos menucha, before meeting up again to conclude Shabbat with Seudah Shlishit at Rabbi Glass’s.
It was a busy, exciting, and memorable weekend!
January 31, 2013
Last Shabbos, the YULA Boys 11th grade had a very special city Shabbaton. On Friday, the juniors davened early, and then took a bus out to Paintball USA. They played paintball for three hours, and everybody had a great time and walked
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Vally Torah High School Alumni in Israel
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The Jewish Home January 31, 2013
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January 31, 2013
Anne Frank’s stepsister speaks about Holocaust at USC Students at USC were able to witness history last Tuesday evening as Eva Schloss—Anne Frank’s posthumous stepsister—related her Holocaust experience to the 1,000 students and community members who filled Bovard Auditorium. Mrs. Schloss, 84, remembers her childhood in Vienna as peaceful and happy. But Austria’s embrace of Hitler threw her family into turmoil. When the Austrian government implemented in 1938 a vast array of anti-Semitic laws, Eva’s family fled to Belgium and, eventually, Holland, where she met Anne Frank. Schloss said that she and Anne Frank had opposite personalities. Frank was very interested in fashion, while Schloss was interested in sports. “She was a big, big chatterbox,” Schloss said. “At school she was called
‘Mrs. Quack Quack’ because she never could be quiet.” The evening was moderated by Chabad of USC’s Rabbi Dov Wagner, but at times it seemed as if Mrs. Schloss was alone on stage, describing to a captivated audience her searing experiencein Nazi-occupied
Eva and her parents Fritzi and Erich Geiringer
Europe. Judah Joseph, a freshman at USC and organizer of the event, said that with many Holocaust survivors passing away, events like these are particularly valuable. “Holocaust education does and should not end in middle school,” Joseph said. “Events like these are an essential way to educate young people about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”
Schloss struck a particularly emotional tone when speaking of her brother, Heinz, who was murdered by the Nazis at the Mauthausen concentration camp just days before American forces arrived. Alex Fullman, another USC student, expressed his gratitude at having access to a firsthand account of the Nazi genocide. “I had never before heard directly from someone in hiding from the Nazi regime.”
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January 31, 2013
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Up to Date Happenings
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January 31, 2013
Up to Date with the Wiesenthal Center - A Discussion with Rabbi Meyer May, Executive Director By Rachel Wizenfeld
With a new Museum of Tolerance underway in Jerusalem and a soon-to-be released documentary based on The Prime Ministers, an acclaimed nonfiction account of Israeli leadership by Yehuda Avner, the Wiesenthal Center is moving full force ahead on its vision: to confront anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promote human rights and dignity, stand with Israel, defend the safety of Jews worldwide, and teach the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. The Jewish Home talks with Rabbi Meyer May, executive director of the Wiesenthal Center, for the latest.
Center for Human Dignity Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem The Wiesenthal Center is finally making headway on its much-anticipated Museum of Tolerance of Jerusalem. After 10 years of navigating building permits, controversy that seems to surround any Jewish building project in Jerusalem and other roadblocks, the MOT in Jerusalem is now expected to be open for visitors in 2015. According to Rabbi May, “It’s not focused specifically on the Holocaust, but rather 2,000 years of Jewish history: what we’ve contributed to the world, the trails of Jewish people, how we emerged with our own state, and the challenge to prove that we can get along with each other.” The museum will be unique in that it will deal with the broadest issues of tolerance and human dignity in the most critical area of the Middle East. It will address issues within the Jewish community, religious, nonreligious, Sephardim, Ashkenazim, and broader issues: people of different faiths, how can people of different faiths navigate the landscape so that they can successfully live together; and how to truly achieve peace. “Yerushalayim means “City of Peace,” yet we are far from it,” said Rabbi May. “It has long been a place of political and religious strife, even psychological strife. [The museum] is going to help people understand the responsibilities for respect and human dignity, and a commitment to advance human dignity - for Jews and gentiles, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians.”
When completed, The Center for Human Dignity - Museum of Tolerance is set to include a children’s museum of tolerance and an adult museum of tolerance, an international conference center, a theater for important motion pictures and documentaries, and an outdoor amphitheater which will be able to seat 1,000 people. The entire space is planned to cover 175,000 square feet, making this museum the largest of the three Museums of Tolerance. There will be two main sections within: “A people’s journey,” which will ask: “How did the Jews survive for 3,500 years?’” and a social lab, which will confront Israel’s issues as they are today, including domestic and international issues, but not the Middle East peace process. The museum is located at a meeting site of three main streets in modern day Jerusalem: Hillel street: a bustling commercial zone; Moshe Ben Israel street: a road crossing a nearby park; and Moshe Salomon street- Nachalat Shiva’s pedestrian mall, a tourist hub, full of restaurants and shops.
The Prime Ministers Documentary The next documentary to come out of Moriah Films (Moriah Films is affiliated with the Wiesenthal Center) will be based on The Prime Ministers by Yehuda Avner – a critically acclaimed account that gives readers an intimate look at contemporary Israeli history. The world premier is scheduled for April 24 in Los Angeles, but the documentary is still unfinished with several pieces of narration still undone, according to Rabbi May. A finalist for the 2011 National Jewish Book Award, The Prime Ministers sold more than 30,000 copies in the U.S., about 10,000 copies in Israel and thousands of digital versions on Kindle. Directed by Richard Trank, executive producer of Moriah Films, this will be the 13th full-length documentary created through the Wiesenthal Center’s film division. Since its inception they’ve won two Academy Awards - one for Genocide with Elizabeth Taylor (released in 1982) and one for The Long Way Home, 1997. “We get the greatest of Hollywood, and that’s why these films have reached more than a half a billion people around the world,” said Rabbi May. “We live in Hollywood, so to reach
The Museum Tolerance more people ofand show Jerusalem our message of contemporary Jewish history, the State of Israel, the What is triggering this spread of • An extraordinary 3-acre site in the heart of West Jerusalem • A 5-minute we walk from King films David and Holocaust, usetheour toDavid getCitadel the hotels message anti-Semitism? • First week in June, 2010, three renowned Israeli Architects will submit conceptual plans and models for the new Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem across goesarchitect to places where people don’t • Endand of June,itwinning announced • Budget not to exceed $100 millionIran, – more East than halfBerlin.” already raised know anything – China, Rabbi May: I believe anti-Semitism is a fundamental reality of life for Jews, from the earliest times in history it doesn’t go away, but Rabbi May discusses what the there are certain things that trigger it more. TerWiesenthal Center is doing to com- rible financial situations have triggered it, now the policies of the state of Israel are triggering bat rising global anti-Semitism it. It necessarily affects Jews, because even if you say you’re against Israel, not Jews, it’s realRabbi May: There’s no question that anly a cover. Because the vehemency with which ti-Semitism is increasing. It’s a virulent new these people attack Israel is not with the same strain of anti-Semitism. We have a very toxic vehemency as other countries. environment, even in America. Canada is already very toxic, and it’s going on in London, in What are you most proud of in France, there has been an explosion of anti-Semitic events in Denmark – Denmark - which the work that you do for the Wiesenwas a safe haven for Jews in the Holocaust! - thal Center? now people are saying don’t walk around there with a yarmulka. Now it’s dangerous for Jews. Rabbi May: I’ve been there 35 years. What It’s a very, very toxic situation as far as we’re proud of is that we’re helping to give Jews worldwide go. There’s a terrible isolation Jews worldwide a sense of confidence, a sense for Israel - a country that is the most democratof security that an organization that is cutting ic in the whole area. There’s a terrible double edge is helping them. It gives us satisfaction standard with regards to Israel. Everything Isra- that we’re making a difference, that we’re a el does is a big deal in the U.N. How dare they voice that reflects them, reflects their views, have a resolution on settlement building, E-1, reflects their outrage and concerns. That’s imwhen 60,000 people are being killed in Syria portant to me. and the U.N. can’t muster any effort there? We We’re not just walking without a following. have a feckless and corrupt UN which allows There are 400,000 families that are members of countries like Syria to actually be the Wiesenthal Center. 125,000 criminal juson the human rights council and tice professionals have been trained through commission - it’s a farce. our Tools for Tolerance training, ranked second We’re confronting issues out of 300 diversity training courses nationaround the world, anti-Semitism wide. There have been 5 million visitors to our around the world, efforts to dele- museum in LA, 98% are not Jewish. So many gitimize the state of Israel, to use of them say their life has changed through godouble standards in relation to ing through the museum. Israel. We’re dealing with issues such as government intervention in ritual slaughter and brit milah around the world, in Germany and Sweden. We have an overall commitment to confronting anti-Semitism - an ever increasing global anti-Semitism. We need to be speakers for Israel and defend Israel. It’s definitely not a safe time and it’s a great cause for concern. It’s hard to imagine that we would have to say to survivors of the Holocaust that we see anti-Semitism coming back during their lifetime.
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Happenings 68 Years After the ‘Liberation’ of Auschwitz --Lessons Learned and Unlearned By Rabbi Abraham Cooper
The Jewish Home
January 31, 2013
On January 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz Birkenau Death Camp. Actually “liberated” is the wrong word. Opened the gates of hell is more appropriate a term. The numbers of murdered are staggering. According to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust nearly a quarter of the 6 million Jews killed in Holocaust were mass murdered there, most in gas chambers. Of the 400,000 political prisoners brought to Auschwitz, only 65,000 left alive; of the
16,000 Soviet POWs, 96 returned home. Stalin was reported to have said, “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths a statistic.” But these statistics further illuminate the capacity of humankind to do evil: Between Dec 1, 1944 and January 15th, 1945, 514,843 pieces of men, women’s and children’s clothing were shipped to Germany from Auschwitz. In the warehouses, Soviet troops found over a million men’s suits, women’s dresses and baby clothing, thousands of pairs of shoes and 7.7 tons of human hair. So it was appropriate for the United Nations to designate January 27, 2013 International Memorial Day. So how is humanity doing in the memory department? On the one hand, the number of Holocaust memorials, museums, movies, websites and books continue to proliferate. The words of Anne Frank, one of the 1.5 million Jewish kids who perished in the Nazi Holocaust, continue to inspire new generations of young people. On the other hand, the Nazi genocidal anti-Semitic and racist ideology is alive and well, even in democratic countries
on the continent where the Third Reich wrought such devastation 70 years ago. In economically devastated Greece, the Golden Dawn Party invokes Nazi era antiSemitic stereotypes as part of its ugly populist agenda to win more votes and clout. In Hungary, whose fascists abetted the Nazis to deport 400,000 Jewish citizens to their death at Auschwitz in the closing months of WWII, leaders of the Jobbik Party leverage their hatred of Gypsies (Roma) and Jews—two minorities who were experimented upon, shot and gassed at Auschwitz—to win headlines and more seats in Parliament. A generation after Auschwitz, many European Jews still look over their shoulders. Religious Jews in Malmo, Sweden can’t count on the police or courts to defend them from serial hate crimes. In Copenhagen, Jews are told not wear a yarmulke, Star of David necklace or speak Hebrew on the streets. In Germany, a respected member of the media likens ultra-Orthodox Jews to Islamist extremists who he says are motivated by the “law of revenge.” In France, authorities and Jewish com-
munity leaders are grappling with deadly hate crimes, not so much from neo-Nazi thugs, than from radical Islamists who are at war with all Jews. They get their inspiration from Iran’s Holocaust-denying Mullahs and Egypt’s now powerful Muslim Brotherhood. If we want to show that the world has learned its lessons from January 27, 1945, we need the European Union and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to join the Obama administration in condemning Egyptian President Morsi’s depicting Jews as the “sons of apes and pigs.” We need to signal the governments in Hungary, Greece, and the Ukraine, that mainstreaming of Jew-hatred could cost them dearly when they coming knocking at Washington’s door for help. So as the world pauses for a moment this week to bow our heads honoring dead Jews, we urge leaders to re-commit to protect and respect the Jews who are alive and living among us.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper is associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A. Follow the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Facebook and on Twitter. This article first appeared on foxnews.com.
YULA Seniors Enjoy Action-Packed 10-Day Trip to Israel Over January winter break, nineteen YULA seniors participated in an exhilarating and action-packed 10-day trip to Israel. Led by Rabbi Abramczik and Rabbi Baalhaness, the students had the opportunity to visit 15 yeshivot and experience what day-to-day life is like in Israel. Highlights from the trip included adinner with Israeli soldiers and a Shabbat meal with dozens of YULA Boys School alumni. Here is a recap of the trip experience, as told through the eyes of YULA senior Joshua Morrow. “Our experience in Israel was truly remarkable. Even the people who had been to the Holy Land before were entranced by the majesty and spirituality of Eretz Yisrael, particularly after having been shown a fresh side by Rabbis Baalhaness and Abramczik that no YULA student had seen before. The Kotel specifically was mesmerizing. The idea that our ancestors have touched these stones crying for our redemption and salvation has inspired all of us to be the next great people to have touched and been touched by these stones. The Rebbeim could not have been better at instilling in all of us a perspective regarding the enormity of the sacrifice and significance of our experiences. Amongst the extensive catalogue of yeshivot that we visited, the list included Torat Shraga, Derech, Yesod, Ruach Chaim, Ohr Yerushalayim (OJ), Mevasseret, Neveh Tzion, Yishrei Lev, and
Shaalvim. All of the Yeshivas and their Rabbis showed tremendous attention to detail; at every turn and at every yeshiva, we were treated as adults and equals. Our visits to the Yeshivot included many outstanding highlights. OJ’s seclusion from the chaotic big city life was a welcome respite to our overwhelmed senses. Yishrei’s fantastic modern accommodations and exceptional quality of learning was most impressive. Neveh’s remarkable Shana Bet percentage wowed every member of the trip, Rabbi and student alike. The Rabbis’ ability to forge lasting bonds is a credit to their selflessness and dedication to their talmidim. Mevasseret provided a welcoming home, littered with YULA alums, and every Rabbi and student, alum or not, made us feel at home in a very YULA way. YeshivatShaalavim was also impressive; with nothing besides the Yeshiva and the 400 family community around us for miles, Shaalvim is a hub of learning and Torah and my personal favorite stop of trip. Walking in to the Beit Midrash, the electricity is palpable and crackling. The trip also included a visit to the Blind Museum in Tel Aviv. Every museum-goer is subject to a complete indoor blackout where the hand in front of one’s face cannot be seen. By the end of the experience, every person had a newfound appreciation for, not only sight, but also all of our blessings. Our entire group said the bracha of Pokeiach Ivrim with the most intense meaning the next
morning. We also made our way through the crowded streets of Bnei Brak, the worldwide hub of Chasidim and Ultra-Orthodoxy throughout the world. Our trip was entirely driven by the prospect of praying with and being blessed by the foremost Rabbis of our age, Rav Chaim Kaniefsky and Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman. Despite their advanced age, the depth of their knowledge is clear by just looking in their eyes. Their bodies have long since worn out, but their minds are more active than we can begin to fathom. We also visited one of the holiest cities in our storied religion: Chevron. After arriving, we were treated to a captivating presentation by Mr. Yigal Kutai, who has lived in Chevron for over 40 years, dedicating his life to keep
the Jewish settlement next to one of our holiest sites intact. The tour of the city was heart wrenching and reminded us how fortunate we are to be able to visit the graves of our forefathers, something that has not been possible for 700 years. Everyone left the trip with a newfound appreciation for Medinat Yisrael and the sacrifices that have been made for our sake and the sake of the Jewish people, of which we are the future and the soon-tobe present. A special thank you to Rabbi Abramczik and Rabbi Baalhaness, who made the trip both meaningful and fun.”
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January 31, 2013
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
To the Edge of our Universe – Knowing when to Walk Away
The Jewish Home
vative. We are asked to become partners in creation. G-d is not content with us standing outside the fire. We are all captains. We are harbingers of change and difference. Sometimes life seems to push back and tell us that we’re not capable of making a difference. To that narrative we have to be forceful enough to say “no”! The saintly Hassidic master – the Bobover Rebbe lost everything in the Holocaust- family, friends, followers, disciples, and students. The Rebbe arrived in America after the war with nothing but the clothes on his back. The average human, after witness-
t was just after midnight as I stood at the bottom of a parking garage in Secaucus, New Jersey. I and over 1200 other people were getting ready to walk through fire. For over 13 hours we’ve been pumped with the message that anything is possible – and now we were going to prove it. Flash forward two hours. I’m driving alone in my car, totally lost somewhere near the Meadowlands or is it East Brunswick? I keep telling myself “anything is possible” – and then I tell myself “yeah, so is getting lost.” The modern self-help movement, or millionaire messenger troop, will tell you that we can do anything once we unleash the Kraken within. Tony Robbins qualifies that statement with something a bit more inspiring “what we thought were our limitations, are not our limitations.” There is great truth to this paradigm. We all put up walls. These walls of limitation are synthetic, creations of our own need for self-sabotage and preservation. Nevertheless, at some point – you can fire yourself up, you can dig deeper than you’ve ever have been able to dig and still find that you slip. You may find that affording the biggest house on the block is still out of your reach. Maybe the message is one of a more Qui Jong nature, stop trying so hard. Conquering the world is hubris. It’s a mistake. Maybe G-d gives us the illusion that we can achieve, succeed, and build – when in fact we are capable of nothing significant – only smoke and mirrors. Can I conquer the world or am I confined to the realism of my space? Success according to Judaism is living comfortably with the knowledge that I am capable of colossal achievement but G-d can at any moment tell us “that space is not for you to conquer.” A statement of power emerges from the pen of ancient Jewish scholars (Avot D’Rebbe Natan) – “May you always be the captain of your ship.” In other words, as the American Novelist Louisa May Alcott put it - “I don’t worry about the storms, I am learning to sail my own ship.” We are called upon to be bold and inno-
those words in our tradition when a text is at completion, “until there.” Here is one bit of advice that may take us in a different direction. Sometimes a problem or a challenge is just that – a problem or a challenge. Often they allow us to rise above and bring out the best that we have hidden within. Other times those challenges evolve and they ultimately become that wall where G-d says “until there.” Perhaps we are capable of extending our reach if we make decisions before they become problems. In the book Flash Foresight by Daniel Burrus, he argues that
how does one know when the proverbial wall in front of your charge is a wall that is synthetic & still can be traversed? ing such destruction, would give credence to the push back and live out their days in depression or apathy. The Bobover Rebbe was not willing to accept this fate. Piece by piece, brick by brick he rebuilt first himself, then his family, and then an entire dynasty. But then when we are at our most powerful, when there is nothing that can get in our way – when we make decisions that seem to alter the course of destiny – G-d says “hold.” Here is where the line in the sand is drawn. Here is where you must set up your station. Moses had grand dreams of entering the land. He was an unlikely conqueror, a leader of men. He was humble, he was valiant, he kept leading and charting new course when the tide was against him – but Israel, as the poet says “that ever elusive dream”, was no longer in the cards for Moses. There is plenty of area for us all to master. There is no shortage of impactful space. But at some point G-d lets us know that our domain, our world, ends right at this point. The Sages teach “Who is happy? He who is content with his portion.” Happiness comes from harnessing the powers availed to us within our orbit. Beyond that – is meaningless for our decisions. It’s not our portion of the world. This thought may at first seem inhibiting but on the contrary, it’s liberating. There is no room for jealousy when you don’t have job x or house y because those positions and acquisitions are not even in your realm of existence. Chart your course; be bold, be strong, be creative but know that at some point G-d can turn to you and say “ad kaan”,
so many of our battles would cease to exist if we can learn to see the problem before it happens. If we can plan for success and see our hurdle before it gets there, we can better manage it. Turning a problem into an opportunity is almost overwhelming once the problem has hit and often it’s too late. Become proactive. Proactive change (before a problem forces you to change) is a very powerful tool to help ensure, as best as possible, that you still have room to maneuver. The question you may ask, though, is how does one know when the proverbial wall in front of your charge is a wall that is synthetic and still can be traversed, or is a wall that G-d has placed there to tell you “until there”? I would simply say that if the only way to scale that wall is by hurting others or by going against your moral compass then you know it’s the end of your space. Kansas City Royals veteran Pitcher Gil Meche knew where his space ended. At 32 he walked away from a guaranteed 12.4 million dollars. Why? He felt that after a series of injuries he wouldn’t be able to properly do the job. Taking that money would simply be wrong. Another way to know if you have come to the limit of your particular orbit is if the job at hand is asking you to compromise your identity, values, and/or your loved ones. No real long term success can come about by being somebody that you are not. Adjusting is always necessary to find true success, but to adjust to the extent that you no longer recognize yourself or adjusting yourself to the point where those that care most about no longer recognize who you
are – is a shift that G-d does not ask of you. How do you know when it’s your time to quit a particular job or a particular project? It is not an indicator when your job or investment hits a low point. The low point may in fact just be the great battle cry you need to make some shift that places you into the category of winners. Knowing when to quit is about recognizing what truly makes something a “low point”. Am I no longer reaping value from what I set out to do? If my low point comes because I’m doing the same things I’ve always done and it’s not working – that’s not a sign to quit, that’s a sign to try your job a little differently. But if your low point comes because you’re not feeling the same invigoration you’ve always felt – then it may be a sign. Another indication that it’s time to stop pursuing the path you’re on is when your current venture is capitalizing on all your weaknesses and ignoring most of your strengths. According to numerous sources, the ancient Egyptians who enslaved the Israelites, had an insidious trick by which to weaken the spirit of the people. They would give the men the jobs normally given to the women, and they would give the women jobs normally given to the men. When we’re doing those things that go against our nature, or are just the things we are weakest at – it can literally tare you apart. You also have to be careful about irrational behavior. Ori and Ron Brafman, in their book, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, make this case pretty clearly. At the beginning of their work they talk about an airplane pilot who took off in fog without getting clearance from traffic control. His plane crashed and over 500 people were killed. The tragedy is explained by irrational behavior. He went through all the negative consequences of leaving late or having to stay overnight and all those trivial consequences meant more to him than departing safely. We tend to fear the smaller more immediate loss even at the possible expense of disaster. If a situation is simply not working but the only reason you’re staying in it is because you’re afraid of a new job hunt, or maybe being behind in your bills for several months it’s simply not worth your diminished quality of life, possible depression, and later regret of not seizing other opportunities. Know when you’ve hit the edge of your universe and respond accordingly. Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is currently the Rav and Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi David Mahler
The Jewish Home
Face Time board to avoid facing a friend or colleague. However, we all must be cognizant of the importance of conversations and interactions. They make us better people. This is a lesson we cannot only teach in schools. All of us must impart to the i-generation how vital and rewarding a society of real, live contact is. This past summer I purchased my first Macbook computer and have converted from using a Skype to Apple’s Face Time. Connecting with friends and family on the
Rabbi Mahler came to Los Angeles after being the Director of Student Activities at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ, and the Assistant Principal at the Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, NY . Rabbi Mahler earned his semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg in Yerushalyim and is a graduate of Yeshiva University where he earned his Master’s in Secondary Education and his Semicha. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Azrieli Graduate School. Rabbi Mahler believes in creating a student-centered instructional environment which promotes participatory learning and independent thinking. Learning must be joyous and exciting and offer growth opportunities through hands-on and authentic learning experiences. It is of the utmost importance that students be inspired to embrace learning, motivating them to discover their strengths, and provide them with the tools to pursue their interests. Guided always by Torah values, it is Rabbi Mahler’s goal that students understand their responsibility to Am Yisrael and to Medinat Yisrael while broadening their knowledge base and acquiring new skills, and at the same time cultivating an appreciation for literacy and learning.
The ever-present “i” in this younger generation can stand for isolation. other side of the country and all over the globe has never been easier or as enjoyable. Face Time. It’s an interesting name with respect to today’s technology, perhaps not as much a name but more of a reminder.
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January 31, 2013
t’s amazing that over a dozen years and a dozen eighth grade graduation trips, some things remain remarkably constant. The trips provide the class their final opportunity, their last few days together to gel one last time. Indeed, the camaraderie on the trips is something I cherish as an educator and I find the bus, not the monuments or landmarks, to be the highlight of each trip. All the students gabbing, joking and singing together, just passing the time, and interacting with each other without any care of upcoming exams or term papers. A recent trip though was a change. The boisterous din I was accustomed to has given way to a soft whisper, even a silence. There is an entire class on one bus, yet each student in their own world. Each student has a gadget, a phone, ipod, an e-reader or other multimedia device. One student is watching a movie, another texts his parents or sends them a photo of the Washington monument, and others play video games, listen to music or read quietly. A world of isolation on a crowded bus. A younger generation with substandard social abilities is being groomed. Our generation of pre-teens and adolescents are immersed in a world of advanced technology, yet it is negatively influencing their social interactions. The ever-present “i” in this younger generation can stand for isolation. The preoccupation with technology results in being cut off from personal interactions and new experiences. James Diamond, in The World Until Yesterday, reviewed last week in the New York Times’ Book Review, contrasts our Western society with other more traditional ones around the globe. He observes “we live in codified, impersonal societies whereas they live in un-codified but more personal societies”. Almost exactly reflecting my time on the school bus, Diamond notes “we sit around subway cars lost in our thoughts and smartphones, but people in traditional societies converse constantly, learning from one another and sharing”.
Or, as Dr. David Pelcovitz of Yeshiva University notes in the name of his father, Rabbi Ralph Pelcovitz, we are living in a time of communication without connection. A person can receive hundreds of e-mails and text messages, update their Facebook page and send a myriad of tweets during the day yet personally interact with just a handful of people. Is this really so wrong? Do we need to speak face to face with a friend, relative or colleague? It turns out that it is. Jewish tradition stresses the idea of the face to face encounter. Shlomo HaMelech (Mishlei 27:19) writes just as “water reflects a face back to a face so one’s heart is reflected back to him by another.” According to Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, this means kindred hearts find their sentiments, feelings and convictions reflected in one another. One feels for another, forging a bond when they are panim el panim. Rabbi Chaim Shmuelivitz notes in his sefer, Sichot Mussar, the Torah three times states Moshe “saw” the burdens of his people (Shemot 3:11-12), and that on Yaakov’s deathbed, unable to see Ephraim and Menashe, he makes sure to touch and hold them before blessing them (Bereishit 48:10). We need the visual cortex to really connect. We simply do not connect as well through media. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, in To Heal a Fractured World, develops this point beautifully. “Societies are only human and humanizing when they are a community of communities built on face to face encounters. The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that we cannot see God face to face yet follows that we can only see God in the face of another”. Neurological science has proven what we’ve known for so long. It has identified the presence of mirror neurons that fire both when an animal or person acts and when the animal or person observes the same action performed by another. The neuron mirrors the behavior of the other, as though the observers were themselves acting. Our brains are hard wired to empathize and connect with others we interact with visually. We are programmed to become sad when we see a person crying or happy when seeing even a total stranger laughing. Emotions are contagious. I wish I could look myself in the mirror and say that I practice all that I preach but all too often I use a phone or a key-
The Jewish Home
January 31, 2013
Rabbi Reuven Wolf
his week we learn about Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah. Of course, we are already about a third of the way through the Torah, which we have been reading every week since we began again with Bereshis on Simchat Torah a few months ago. If we were to ask, what have we been studying all these months if the Torah hasn’t been given yet, we could say simply that the Torah records that which happened before the Torah was given. Looked at simply, this shouldn’t pose any problem. Yet, on a spiritual level, there is a problem. In the cycle of reading the Torah through the year, we are supposed to relive the events that are contained in each Parsha, and on the week we read that Parsha. Yes, we’ll also celebrate the giving of the Torah on the sixth day of the month of Sivan a few months from now, but the annual reading of the Torah is something that has to be experienced. When we read a Parsha, we must experience that Parsha, learn from it and apply it in our own lives. But how can we experience a giving of the Torah during this Parsha, Parshas Yisro, if we have been learning Torah all these months? A question that may be related, asked by many commentaries, is, “Why does the Torah start with the letter Bais?” Shouldn’t the Torah have started with the first letter, an Alef? Among the many answers given is the idea that the Torah wants to convey that the Creation of the world is of secondary importance: It’s Bais, number two, to what is most important—the Torah itself. This is because the entire purpose of Creation is the Torah; without Torah, there’d be no reason to create a world. But the beginning of Bereishis is not simply an account of the Creation,. According to Chassidic and Kabbalistic understanding of the first words of the Torah, it is an utterance of G-d that set the entire
Creation into motion. So shouldn’t Bereishis still have started with an Alef? Clearly, however, there is a higher quality of Torah with the giving of the Ten Commandments and the Revelation of the Almighty at Sinai. In spite of having learned and read the Torah all these weeks, we are now reading and learning a higher level of Torah, a Torah that starts with an Alef, which is how the Ten Commandments starts: Anochi Hashem Elo-kecha—“I [says Hashem] am the Lord your G-d…” The Sages, in fact, tells us (in Tractate
the beginning of Bereishis is not simply an account of the Creation Shabbat) that the Alef of “Anochi” indicates this because the four Hebrew letters of Anochi forms an acronym: Ana Nafshi Kesavis Yehavis—“I [G-d says] have My Soul Written [on the Tablets] and have Given them.” In this, G-d is saying that He has imbued Himself—His “Soul”— into the Torah itself. This great gift affects all of the Torah, including the parts of the Torah that came before. Bereishis is now at that same level of G-dly Holiness that was experienced at Sinai—and that also happens in this week’s Parsha. As the Zohar says, O-raisa ve-Kidsha B’rich Kulo Chad—“The Torah and the Holy One, Blessed be He, is One.” This breakthrough begins this week in Parshas Yisro. Now, one could still ask, didn’t we already have the Torah? Haven’t we learned that Abraham studied the Torah and performed the Mitzvot? Isaac studied Torah, and Jacob spent 14 years in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever, and then taught everything he knew to Joseph. When the Jews de-
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scended to Egypt, we learn that Judah went ahead and founded a Yeshiva there (because a Jew simply cannot live in a place where one can’t study Torah), and that all the Jews learned Torah until they were enslaved by Pharaoh—but the Tribe of Levi continued studying Torah. So weren’t we receiving something we already had? The answer is no: the Torah that the Patriarchs and the Hebrews of Egypt studied was the Torah of Bereishis—a Torah that, however deeply these giants of Faith and understanding may have delved, they did so in the finite dimension of Creation.
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They could not use Torah to experience and connect to the Mind and Soul of G-d— that did not become possible until the Revelation at Sinai. The Ari-zal points out that, in Birkat HaMazon, Grace After Meals, in the second paragraph (Nodeh L’cha—“We thank Thee”), we offer a prayer of thanks to G-d for all he has given us to survive, and we thank Him “ve’al toras-cha she’li-ma-detanu”—“for Your Torah that You have taught us.” The Ari-zal focuses on the apparently unnecessary additional word, she’li-ma-de-tanu–“that You taught us.” The prayer would have been complete without that word. But with the addition of “that You Taught us,” says the Ari-zal, the prayer introduces a distinction. That distinction, in the Kabbalistic terms used by the Ari-zal, is between “Your Torah” on the one hand—a Torah that is G-dly, the Torah that comes from the world of Atzilus, the world of Emanation, the highest level of the Sefirot. But we also have the Torah “that You, G-d, taught us,” on the other hand: a Torah in the next level of reality, a Torah from the world of B’riah—a lower world of Emanations. Before the Giving of the Torah at Sinai, when people came to understand Torah, they were deriving their understanding from their intellectual study of Creation. Since the Torah was the “blueprint” of that Creation, they could obtain an understanding of the Torah from what they could deduce and derive from their observations of the world G-d created. This is described by the Sages as Leki-chat HaTorah—“Taking the Torah.” They received only what they could take out of their analysis and insights of the Created world. But after the Giving of the Torah at Sinai, the soul of those who experienced
the Revelation there were imbued with the power to go beyond that limit and delve into the Torah that is G-d’s Torah—the Torah of the highest realms of Atzilut. That’s why we say in the Blessing over the Torah—every morning and when we go up to the Torah for an Aliyah: V’nosan lonu es Toraso—we bless “He who gave us His Torah.” The soul of a young child at the beginning stages of learning Torah is, in fact, being imbued by the very experience of learning Torah even at the most elementary level—imbued with the power and the potential to delve further into the Torah than the level that was available even to our Patriarchs. That’s how the Ari-zal answers that classic question of why the Torah begins with a Bais: Before the Sinai experience, the Torah that was available was the secondary Torah—the Torah of Bais: the Bais of Beraishis, Bais for B’riah. When the Torah was given at Sinai and the Revelation imprinted on the Jewish souls who stood there, the Torah that became available was the Torah of Alef: the Alef of Anochi, Alef for Atzilut. Is it any wonder, then, that we read this portion of the Torah with gratitude, excitement and great joy. That is why the Sages say that when a person comes to the Gan Eden, the world of the afterlife, Ashrei mi she’bo lekan vetoroso beyodo—“Praised is the one who comes here [to Gan Eden] with his Torah [the Torah he acquired during his or her lifetime on Earth] intact and at hand.” We may well wonder why, since so much of the Torah that we study has no application to the next world of Gan Eden. What good is that Torah knowledge there? But all of Torah contains, beneath outward material “shells,” deeper meanings that open up greater understanding of the world. As we probe beneath these outer shells of the mundane details, we uncover profound truths until, at some point, we reach a higher realm of existence. We can enter the realm of the Divine spiritual Emanations—the world of Atzilut.
Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.
Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential.
-A mom of four iPad/pod/phone obsessed kids
Dear mom of 4 iPad/pod/phone obsessed kids: Always remember the following when addressing these challenges: a) The mitzvah to educate our children is like any other one. It needs effort and focus. Of all the commandments G-d blessed us with, this actually is one of the more difficult ones. It takes a lot of thought and subsequent planning to how to best educate our children to grow up as Torah Jews with a strong set of values. Technology is not the first challenge to this goal in the history of humankind. Every generation has its challenges, and technology is one of ours. b) Prohibition as an approach to solving outside challenges has failed in most instances. We strongly believe that everything G-d has allowed man to discover can have positive attributes as well as negative ones. Our job is to discover how to synergize these gifts and allow them to enhance our value systems through a seamless integration, but at the same time, filter that which can lead to negative outcomes. c) As parents and schools, we must always remember that we have the responsibility to act as the adults in the relationship with our children and students. We cannot simply allow them to have everything and do with technology all that they wish. We have to filter their actions and guide them
to make good choices. We view technology, not as a hindrance or a distraction, but as a tool to enhance learning, life and our service of G-d. Our Sages tell us that even Torah can be an “elixir for life,” or if used improperly, an “elixir for the opposite.” Every tool, when used correctly, leads to blessing and productivity, and when used improperly, leads to tragedy. Set boundaries with your children when using this great gift of technology. As your children get older, discuss with them the potential dangers associated with inappropriate use, and advise them what steps you have taken as parents to help guide them to make the right decisions when using their tech tools. At Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy we model appropriate use of iPads by utilizing iPad technology to teach topics such as the creation of the western calendar, integrating it with both the teaching of the Jewish calendar and the solar system. For Tu B’shevat—New Year for Trees—the Hillel students experienced a unit on photosynthesis and leaf identification, as well as learning to identify the appropriate blessings for fruits and vegetables, all using the technology advancements of the iPad. You can also use this, for example, when praying at home. Have your children take a virtual tour of the Kotel and the Cave of Machpelah so they can appreciate the parts of tefillah that refer to these landmarks in our lives. When reading a section of prayer that praises G-d for His creation, have them look at a natural wonder of the world using the iPad. Open the world for them using technology. The more they see how these tools can be used for positive, the more they will be inspired to seek ways to show how they can accomplish these goals by themselves using technology. However, all is guided by the principle that you, as mom, and the schools must
Q: My daughter has high-anxiety and settles for nothing less than top grades. She participates in every conceivable extracurricular activity, and everything has to turn out perfectly. How can we help her balance her drive for excellence with the need to be human? -A caring mother
Dear Caring Mother, Children often believe, consciously or unconsciously, that their personal worth is attached only to what they achieve. As a result they are often self-critical when comparing themselves to others, and they often feel little satisfaction, even after expending prodigious effort.
Spend time with your child to reinforce the value of “self.” Show your child how each person has something to add to the world. Give her examples of ways she can value herself and how to take the time she needs to balance her daily challenges in and out of school. Provide unconditional love and attention to your daughter. Give her time when it’s just “you and her.” Let her feel she is special and let her see how “down-time” is not “wasted time.” Show her how people function better when less stressed. Reinforce that you appreciate the value of hard work, but success comes through balance. Do not preach to your daughter. Advise her and find the right moments to help her see the value of her “neshama”— soul— and her gift to this world. You may want to discuss with her the implications of the mishna in Ethics of our Fathers (end of Chapter Two): “ . . . it is not for you to be the one to complete the work (on this world) but you are not free from attempting to complete it.” Discuss the value of perfection while understanding that, as humans, we have to balance our dreams. Always remember that we all appreciate being valued. Praise her for efforts and accomplishments and remind her that she has a beautiful life ahead in which she can reach many more goals, as long as she continues to strive with balance. To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, email email@example.com. We want to hear your thoughts. This article was compiled by the Educational Administrative Team of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and edited by the English Language Department.
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January 31, 2013
Q: My kids are inundated with technology and gadgets. I am so afraid that this can distract them from their studies and be such a challenge to their Jewish values. How can families and schools make use of technology in a way that allows it to fit into our values?
build the fence to protect our children as they use these amazing tools. Filters are a must. Always know what your children are looking at. There are many programs available to help you be the parent and the school be the monitor of our children’s access to this world. In addition to addressing the “whats” and the “hows” of its use, discuss what is considered an appropriate amount of time to devote to these devices. Do not abandon the need for physical exercise. Do not abandon the need for inter-personal collaboration and talking beyond the world of text. Encourage them to benefit from the tactile use of the textbook, especially as Shabbat is a time when we naturally break from technology to enjoy the world in its fine raw state. These are just starting points. Remember, invest with your children and they will benefit and grow from these amazing tools. They will love you more for your guidance and limits.
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Education: Question & Answer
The Jewish Home January 31, 2013 22
The Jewish Home January 31, 2013
T h e J eHome w i s h h January o m e n m 31, ay 22013 4 , 2012 The Jewish
In the Kitchen Super Bowl Fever Hey there, El Senor Kosher Gastronome aqui, with an excellent way to clog your arteries on Super Bowl day. The Super Bowl has really become synonymous with 1) commercials 2) over-eating, and possibly in 3rd place – football, which is fine, because yet once again my beloved Jets have eluded to heed my advice to hire me as their quarterback, and lo and behold they missed the playoffs. So now I have to hang my head whilst surrounded by a whole bunch of Ravens fans?? Uh-uh, not happening…So the alternative option—food induced coma! Let’s get cooking! When I was looking for what to make for a Super Bowl party, someone suggested onion rings, and I’m not gonna lie, I love me some onion rings. So out came my trusty Dutch oven, and I put many a glug of oil into the pot (about 2-3 cups…enough to cover the onions, and have enough volume to maintain its heat… we’re deep frying, not pan frying), and put the spurs to it, cooking over high heat. (We’re looking for 350 degrees on a thermometer; if you don’t have one, you can test that with a popcorn kernel…whenever it pops, you’re ready to fry.) One of the biggest problems with frying onions is that onions are chockfull of moisture, so in order to fry them to the state of super deliciousness you need to first drive out all of the moisture. This will ensure the eventual crust will stick better to the onion, and the onion won’t be undercooked and too mushy. One way to do this is by soaking the onions first to soften them, and you can use buttermilk,
or salt water, but to infuse more beer flavor, we soaked it in beer. While the onions were soaking, and the oil was heating, I made the batter. The batter is an important part, because you don’t want it too “cakey” nor too thin. So we needed some lift, but we also needed crunch. For the lift part, the recipe calls for baking powder to supply the airiness, and to counteract that for crispness, it calls for flour and cornstarch (cornstarch being pure starch will gelatinize faster, and absorb more water). So I combined all of the dry ingredients, and slowly started whisking in the beer, until it was the consistency of a thick paste that left a trail as it’s dragged over the batter; know what I’m saying? When the oil was ready, one at a time (I know, it is a little annoying, but seriously we’re talking the best onion rings you’ve had in a long time…can you put a price on that??) dip them in the batter to fully coat, and using tongs, transfer to the hot oil. Fry until browned, about 6-7 minutes, flipping over once. Transfer to wire rack, and sprinkle a little kosher salt over still hot onion rings, and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. If you’re planning on making these ahead of time, pre-heat the oven to 200°, and place the wire rack in the oven. The onions will crisp up some more, and keep warm. And don’t forget to head on over and check out my blog, I’m even funnier over there.
Beer Battered Onion Rings Ingredients 2 sweet onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds 3 cups beer 2 teaspoons cider vinegar Salt and pepper 2-3 cups vegetable oil 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cups cornstarch 1 teaspoon baking powder
at a time, until batter is thick enough that it falls from the whisk in a steady stream and leaves a faint trail across the surface of the batter. Pour off liquid from onions. Pat onion rounds dry with paper towels and separate into rings. Transfer one-third portion of rings to batter. One at a time, carefully transfer battered rings to the oil. Fry until rings are golden brown and crisp, about 6-7 minutes, flipping halfway through frying. Drain rings on wire rack set on baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Return oil to 350° and repeat with remaining onion rings and batter. (If planning on keeping for a period of time, preheat oven to 200°, and hold rings in there until needed.)
Directions Place onion rounds, 2 cups of the beer, cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in zipper-lock bag; refrigerate 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°. While oil is heating, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Slowly whisk in ¾ cup beer until just combined (some lumps will remain). Whisk in remaining beer as needed, 1 tablespoon
These amazing onion rings are adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.
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Nossi Fogel lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he’s a dental resident, and enjoys anything about food, including cooking, taking weird pictures of food, writing obsessively about food, and taking long walks with food as well. He currently writes the blog The Kosher Gastronome.
Super Bowl Fever Beer Braised Sausages
These beer braised bites have deep layers of flavor and get a nice balanced kick from the spicy mustard. Ingredients 4 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, such as Gold’s Dijon Mustard 1/2 to 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish, such as Gold’s White Horseradish 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 6 turkey sausage links (about 1 pound) 1 cup beer Directions Prepare dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, soy sauce, mustard, horseradish, and pepper. Stir until smooth and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage links and brown on all sides, cooking about 12 minutes total. Carefully add beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until sausages are cooked all the way through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cut into bite-size pieces. Serve with Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce. MAKE IT A MEAL: Instead of cutting sausages into bite-size pieces, place 2 or
3 links on a dinner plate with a dollop of Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce. Serve with your favorite boxed couscous. Stir 2 chopped scallions and ¼ cup chopped olives into the couscous just before serving.
Greek Chicken Kabobs Red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and oregano are a delicious Greek-inspired departure from the typical Italian or teriyaki-flavored versions. Ingredients 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into ½-inch chunks 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Zest of 1 lemon 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 10 grape or cherry tomatoes 1 small red onion, cut into 10 1/2-inch chunks 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper Directions In a medium bowl, combine chicken with olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest, oregano, and garlic powder and toss to combine. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400° F. Take one small 5-inch skewer and thread each with 3 pieces of marinated chicken, one tomato and one onion wedge. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 10 kabobs. Transfer to a greased sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Broil on high for a few minutes to brown if desired. Serve warm. MAKE IT A MEAL: Instead of skewering the chicken, simply bake it in the oven. Fill 2 pitas with cooked chicken and some chopped romaine lettuce. Top with halved tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion. Drizzle with tahini to serve. As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine – Jan/Feb 2012.
Jamie Geller is the only cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche as everybody’s favorite cook next-door. Specializing in scrumptious meals that are a snap to prepare, she authored the Quick & Kosher Cookbook series and is co- founder of the Kosher Media Network, which recently launched the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine and companion website JoyofKosher.com, a social network for foodies. Jamie hosts the popular Quick & Kosher cooking show online at youtube.com/ joyofkosher and on-air on JLTV. Jamie and her “hubby” live in Israel. Their five children give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen — fast.
T h e The J e wJewish i s h h oHome m e n m ayJanuary 2 4 , 2012 31, 2013
In the Kitchen
January 31, 2013
The Jewish Home
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The Jewish Home January 31, 2013
h e J e wHome i s h h o mJanuary e n m ay 31, 2 4 ,2013 2012 The TJewish
You Gotta be
Submitted by Gavriel Weinberg Over breakfast one morning, a woman says to her husband, “I’ll bet you don’t know what day this is.” “Of course I do,” he answered, as if he was offended, and left for the office. At 10:00 a.m., the doorbell rang and when the woman opened the door; she was handed a box of a dozen long stemmed red roses. At 1:00 p.m., a foil-wrapped, two-pound box of her favorite chocolates was delivered. Later, a boutique delivered a designer dress. The woman couldn’t wait for her husband to come home. “First the flowers, then the chocolates and then the dress!” she exclaimed. “I’ve never had a more wonderful Groundhog Day in my life!
Submitted by Clara Harnow Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was born on April 14th and named April. The second child was born two years later on April 16th and named May. The third child was born on May 16th. What was his name? Answer on next page
A PERFECT TEN Each of the following clues refers to a word that begins with “ten.” For example if the clue is “a game played with rackets,” the answer would be “TENnis.”So, can you score a perfect TEN (I bet if you play close atTENtion, you can)? 1. Unsubstantial 2. Delicate or gentle 3. A sinew 4. Persistence and determination 5. Capable of being stretched 6. Between the bass and alto 7. Stretched tight (or stuck in traffic and late for a meeting) 8. Temporary dwelling 9. An opinion held to be true. 10. Inclination
Answers 1. Tenuous 2. Tender 3. Tendon 4. Tenacity 5. Tensile 6. Tenor 7. Tense 8. Tent 9. Tenet 10. Tendency
Amnesia: What did you just ask me? Apathy: I don’t care. Bigotry: I’m not going to tell someone like you. Egotistical: I’m the best person to answer that question. Evasive: Go do your homework. Hostility: If you ask me just one more question, you are not going to know what hit you! Ignorance: I don’t know. Indifference: It doesn’t matter. Influenza: You’ve got to be sick to ask me that question. Insomnia: I stayed awake all last night thinking of the answer. Narcissism: Before I answer, tell me, don’t I look great? Over-Protective: I don’t know if you’re ready for the answer. Paranoid: You probably think I don’t know the answer, do you? Procrastination: I’ll tell you tomorrow. Repetitive: I’ll tell you the answer. I’ll tell you the answer. Self-Centered: Well, I know the answer, that’s all that matters. Snobby: Uh, excuse me! Suspicious: Why are you asking me all these questions?
2. Call it what you want, the “Harbaugh Bowl,” or the “Bro Bowl”—is this the first time two brothers are in the same Super Bowl? (Just in case you haven’t heard a thousand times already—the head coaches of the 49ers and the Ravens are brothers...go ahead, it’s okay to weep.) a. Yes b. No 3. Who holds the Super Bowl record for the most yards receiving in one game? a. Michael Irvin b. Rickey Sanders c. Lynn Swann d. Jerry Rice
c. New Orleans d. Miami 6. Which head coach has taken his team to the Super Bowl the most times? a. Bud Grant b. Marv Levy c. Don Shula d. Tom Landry 7. Which team won the most Super Bowls? a. Patriots b. Jets (“We are going to win next year guaranteed...trust me…we are going to be scary.” Settle down, Rex.) c. Cowboys d. Steelers 8. The winning Super Bowl team gets the following trophy: a. NFL Championship Trophy b. John Madden Trophy c. Uhavenoclueaboutfootball Trophy d. Vince Lombardi Trophy
4. Which NFL player guaranteed his team would win Super Bowl III the week before the big game? a. Don Shula b. Joe Namath c. Johnny Unitas d. Earl Morrall 5. Which city has hosted the most Super Bowls? a. Los Angeles b. San Diego
GOt fuNNy? Let the Commissioner decide.
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ANSWERS 1. Wow! Starting off with a trick question. The game will be played in Met Life Stadium which is in New Jersey. So “B” is the right answer. But many of the events surrounding the games will be held in New York City (how’s that for living in our shadow, Jersey?), so if you answered “A,” don’t beat yourself up over it. 2. B- Two sets of brothers have played in the same Super Bowl but were on the same team. The Blackwoods with the Dolphins in ‘82and ‘84, and the Griffins with the Bengals in 82. 3. D-Jerry Rice had 215 yards on 11 catches for San Francisco in 1989. 4. B-Joe Namath famously guaranteed his Jets would beat the heavily favored Colts one week before the big game. 5. D-Miami has played host to ten Super Bowls. 6. C-Don Shula has been to the Super Bowl six times as a head coach, once with the Baltimore Colts and five times with the Miami Dolphins. 7. D- The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 6 Super Bowls. The Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers have each won 5. 8. D-In 1970, the championship trophy was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy, in memory of legendary Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. It is created by Tiffany & Co. and is valued at $50,000—a purely silver trophy. Answer Key: 5-7 correct: Congratulations!! You win tickets to the big game. Just go to the Superdome in New Orleans and wait outside Gate 83. We will meet you there. 3-5 correct: Congratulations!! You win tickets to the big game. Just go to MetLife Stadium and wait outside Gate 83. We will meet you there. 0-2 correct: See question #7 answer C. It sums you up to a tee.
Answer to riddle: Johnny (duh!)
1. Where will the 2014 Super Bowl be held? a. New York b. New Jersey c. Miami d. Dallas
January 31, 2013 T h e The J e wJewish i s h h oHome m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012
SUPER BOWL trivia
The Jewish Home
71 Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” “Uh...it’s your world, man.” - President Obama to LeBron James this week when the Miami Heat were at the White House to celebrate their 2012 Championship victory and LeBron asked the President whether he should say a few words “The Pentagon has allowed women to serve in combat. Yeah, the hope is that we can now finally defeat the Taliban by giving them the silent treatment.” - Conan O’Brien “Those crazy crackers on the right, like if they start with their very hateful language, that is going to kill them.” - MSNBC Contributor Karen Finney discussing the “negative tone” of the Republican Party “In a big meeting of the Republican National Committee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal told the GOP to ‘stop being the stupid party.’ Then Texas Governor Rick Perry gave the rebuttal.” - Jay Leno “I think the President understands the Constitution enough to know that he would prefer a different type of constitution. [Supreme Court Justice] Ginsberg said she admired the South African Constitution. So, I think that’s more of where the President is coming from. They would rather have positive rights, enumerated, that everyone has the right to water, housing, haircuts, you name it.” - Rand Paul “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.” - Japan’s finance minister discussing what to do about old people whose medical care places financial burdens on the country “Joe Biden made another one of his famous gaffes on camera Monday, saying he was proud to be president of the United States. I guess he forgot he wasn’t at home standing in front of the bathroom mirror.” - Jay Leno “The truth is that most of the big issues that are going to make a difference in the life of this country for the next thirty or forty years are complicated and require tough decisions, but
are not rocket science.... So the question is not, do we have policies that might work? It is, can we mobilize the political will to act?...If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.” - Barack Obama in an interview with The New Republic
“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football. I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence.” - President Obama weighing on the prevalent discussion of the dangers of professional football
“It’s dead, dead, dead.” - Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia explaining that judges should judicially legislate changes to the Constitution as it must be maintained in its original form
“Well, I have a four-month, almost fivemonth-old son, Jack Harbaugh, and if President Obama feels that way, then there will be a little bit less competition for Jack Harbaugh when he gets old.” - Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers
“I’ve got a simple idea: Let’s give up on the Constitution. I know, it sounds radical, but it’s really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. For example, most of our greatest Presidents – Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and both Roosevelts – had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way. To be clear, I don’t think we should give up on everything in the Constitution. The Constitution has many important and inspiring provisions, but we should obey these because they are important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago.” - Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman in a CBS News segment titled, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.” “The CEO of Whole Foods is criticizing Obamacare, once again calling it fascism. He did this before when he called it socialism. And he said the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money. As opposed to shopping at Whole Foods, where you eventually run out of your own money.” - Jay Leno “I need you in the game. With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.” - Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. in a 30 second ad
“(Obama) knows that we’re not going to play ‘gotcha’ with him, that we’re not going to go out of our way to make him look bad or stupid.” - Steve Kroft explaining why President Obama likes to appear on 60 Minutes “Don’t Honk.” - Signs in NY City that the Department of Transportation is removing from all locations “Yesterday House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama’s focus is to annihilate the Republican Party. Do the Republicans look like they need help from President Obama?” - Jay Leno “We will look forward to interrogating him at his hearing…mercilessly. We will bring back— for the only time—waterboarding to get the truth out him.” - Senator John McCain joking about John Kerry’s Senate confirmation hearings to be Secretary of State “Video game-maker Atari has filed for bankruptcy. Atari fans are so upset they’re organizing a massive letter-writing campaign to President Reagan.” - Conan O’Brien “Women serving in the United States military will now be serving in combat. Finally there will be somebody in the tank who will stop and ask for directions.” - David Letterman
T h e J e w i s h h o m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012
January 31, 2013
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Global 233 Dead in Tragic Fire at Nightclub in Brazil Excitement turned to tragedy after a fire raced through a packed nightclub in Southern Brazil; at least 233 people were declared dead. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials believe it was started by a flare lit by a band member which then quickly spread. Patrons raced to leave the club but one of the exits was closed and some patrons did not know where the exits were located. Initially, bouncers at the bar thought that patrons were rushing to leave to skip out on their tabs and tried to thwart their efforts at escaping death. According to a security guard, the club was filled to capacity with 1,000-2,000 club-goers early Sunday morning. Police estimated that the crowd was made up of at least 900 patrons. At least 100 of those patrons were injured and hospitalized after the fire. A survivor of the fire, Aline Santos Silva, described the chaos. ““It was really fast. There was a lot of smoke, really dark smoke. We were only able to get out quickly because we were in a VIP area close to the door.” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut short a visit to Chile and visited families of the victims and met with relatives of the injured at the hospital. She declared a national three-day mourning period for victims of the tragic fire.
North Korean Leaders Are Capable of “Immortal Feats”
but since the death of Kim Jong Il, the press being released there makes it almost impossible not to laugh. The KCNA’s latest statement hailed its recent satellite launch as a demonstration of its “space science and technology and its overall national power.” This “stark fact” was “favored by the world.” No matter that the United Nations Security Council had agreed to a resolution to sanction North Korea over the launch, which is feared was actually a test of long-range missile technology. This claim was simply the “brigandish logic” of the U.S., and the Security Council was nothing more than “a marionette.” But, again, there is really no need for North Koreans to worry; their country is “a political, ideological and military giant” run by “peerlessly great persons of [the sacred] Mt. Paektu.” Other statistics being reported by the media in North Korea about their deceased fearless leader Kim Jong Il are even more “impressive.” They include him scoring eleven holes-in-one in his first ever round of golf, directing action movies, writing operas and piloting jet fighters. I don’t know how he did it all… and still had time to oppress an entire country.
Thousands Expected to Flee to UK In 2014 for Job Opportunities Although we just started 2013, some are already looking at 2014 for better jobs and it looks like England is the place to go. The UK has plans to relax the employment restrictions on December 31, 2013 which will likely result in an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians into Britain in search of better job opportunities.
According to the latest headline coming out of North Korea, the dictatorship’s leaders are “peerlessly great” and capable of “immortal feats.” Meanwhile the media in North Korea publishes reports on how the Americans are “imperialists” who use “brigand’s logic” and critics are just “rats” scurrying about in a ditch.
The state-controlled media has long been known for its flowery exaggerations,
The Department of Work and Pensions confirmed that visitors from the European Economic Area who demonstrate that they “have or retain worker status may be able to claim income-based jobseekers’ allowance, income support, housing benefit, council tax benefit, income-related employment and support allowance, and state
pension credit. We are obliged under EU law to pay some income-related benefits to EEA workers, self-employed people and jobseekers,” said a spokesman. The new law will be effective January 1, 2014. Some predict that for the next five years there may be as many as 70,000 people immigrating to the UK. Once immigrants get hired and become an employee of the country, they become eligible for a host of other income-related benefits far more generous than anything their home countries offer. Access to welfare payments in Britain is easier than in either Germany or France, which will be relaxing work restrictions at the same time. Job agencies are reporting that they have an overwhelming number of applicants for 2014. Some agencies have stopped accepting applications since their waiting lists are too long. Minimum wage in the UK is £6.19 ($9.72) per hour. Meanwhile, the average weekly wage in Bulgaria is £63.50 ($99.67) and £86 ($134.99) in Romania.
More than 40% of France’s Population Believe Jews Have “Too Much Power in Business” January 27th was the International Day for Countering Anti-Semitism. Prior to that day, the World Zionist Organization produced a survey in France on anti-Semitism and the public’s perception on Jews and Israel. According to Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, “2012 saw an increase in anti-Semitic expressions due to anti-Semitic parties’ rise to power in different countries and the growth in acts of violence motivated by anti-Semitism. However, the past year saw a decline in the battle against the State of Israel’s legitimacy.” In fact, more than 40% of France’s population believes that Jews have “too much power in the business world.” 47% think that French Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to the country they live in.” 19% of young men up to the age of 24 have negative sentiments towards the Jews of France, while 43% of people with higher education expressed positive feelings towards them. The survey further reveals that 54% of France’s residents, mainly academics with a high income, believe that acts of violence stem mainly from anti-Jewish sentiments rather than from an anti-Israel stance. According to Yaakov Haguel, head of the WZO’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, “There has recently been a sharp rise by dozens of percentage points in anti-Semitic expressions and incidents
in France. The entire world must wake up and fight the expressions of hatred and anti-Semitism which cause hundreds of thousands of Jews to live in fear.”
Thai Activist Sentenced to Prison As American citizens, we take our freedom of expression rights for granted. Around the world, people have been jailed or even killed for saying what is considered to be the wrong things. In Thailand, for example, the lese majeste laws speak about the crime against violating the monarchy. One of the aspects of the law states, “Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.” The law, though, does not define what exactly defamation or an insult to the monarchy is. Recently, rights groups have tried their hardest to procure freedom for Somyot Pruksakasemsuk. The Thai labor rights activist has been jailed since 2011. Much of the case against the crusader was overshadowed by the harsh nature of Thailand’s lese majeste laws, which have been criticized for violating the freedom of speech.
The articles in question that Somyot was under investigation for were published under pseudonyms in Somyot’s now-defunct Voice of Taksin magazine, which he launched in 2009 to compile political news and anti-establishment articles from writers and contributors. Judges determined that both articles in question contained content that defamed the royal family and since Somyot, as a veteran editor, knew the articles and chose to print the stories anyway, he deserved ten years in prison. Somyot said he plans to appeal the verdict but has no intention of seeking a royal pardon. He was arrested a year after his articles were published in 2010.
Egypt Football Verdict Sparks Violence Although Egyptian judges handed down harsh sentences to those involved in last year’s deadly riots, very recently it
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was forced to cancel a pre-planned trip to Ethiopia and held an emergency meeting with his security cabinet to discuss the violence popping up across the country.
France’s Richest Man Moves to Belgium
But that did not end the violence. Clashes erupted on Saturday between relatives of those sentenced to death and police guarding the prison where those convicted are being held. The violence spread with reports of rival groups of football fans firing live rounds at each other and police. Reinforcements from Egypt’s Second Army were ordered into the city to prevent
Bernard Arnault has officially moved to Belgium and his multi-billion dollar fortune moved along with him. His problem is solved. He will not be required to pay the new socialist super-tax of his native country, France. Socialist President Francois Hollande has imposed a 75% income tax rate on the mega-rich and this has not made the wealthy too happy. Arnault insists that he only moved his cash and assets for “family inheritance reasons.” Mr. Arnault applied for a Belgian passport last year, just after the Socialists won elections in France. The billionaire made his fortune off luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Guerlain, Moet & Chandon champagne, and Hennessy cognac. He owns several homes around the world. Belgium’s tax laws are more lax than France. Recently, their inheritance tax was raised three percent, compared to11 percent in France. There is no wealth tax in Belgium either. Arnault is still awaiting official word on his citizenship. The Belgian Office of Foreigners has suggested it might deny Mr. Arnault’s request for a passport, but the final decision will be taken by the Brussels
Google Earth Exposes North Korea’s Secret Prison Camps
Human rights activists are turning to Google Earth to identify the vast network of prison camps that garnish the North Korean countryside. It is believed that approximately 200,000 people are being held hostile in the camps. Rights groups are pressuring the United Nation’s high commissioner for human rights to open an international investigation into Pyongyang’s
January 31, 2013
further clashes and help restore order in the region. A curfew was being imposed to calm the situation. There were rumors that a group of fans were attempting to block the city’s main railway station.
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seems like the public still hasn’t learned… Judge Sobhi Abdel Meguid read out his verdict convicting 21 of 74 defendants to death in a 2012 Port Said football stadium riot that killed 74 people on Saturday. Family members of those killed in the stampede interrupted sentencing to applaud the verdict.
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January 31, 2013
“deplorable” record on its citizens’ rights. North Korea insists that the camps do not exist and are merely foreign propaganda, but thanks to the brilliance of high-resolution images from outer space that claim has been almost entirely disproved. On January 18, the North Korean Economy Watch website announced that a new camp had been identified alongside an existing detention facility in Kaechon, South Pyongan Province. Using newly provided Google Earth images, analyst Curtis Melvin was able to see that in fact there is a new camp site alongside Camp 14 and has a perimeter fence that stretches nearly 13 miles. The camp has maximum security with two checkpoints along the fence and six guard posts. The facility had to have been built since December 2006 which is the last time the images of the region were released. It is extremely unusual for prisoners to escape successfully from prison camps. From the mere few who manage to escape, it is almost unheard of that they reach freedom outside the country’s borders. A failed attempt to escape results in execution. The few who have made that incredible escape tell stories of unsettling torture and horrifying suffering. Inmates can be imprisoned for life, along with three generations of their families, for anything
deemed to be critical of the regime. They are forced to survive by eating rats and picking corn kernels out of animal waste. A new report by the National Human Rights Commission suggests some inmates were imprisoned for attempting to flee the country in search of food or work. Others were detained after being overheard praising South Korea. Men, women, and children are required to work for up to 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions, often in mines or logging camps. Shin Dong-hyuk is a North Korean man who managed to escape from Camp 14 and leave the country. His story of struggle is told in the book, Escape from Camp 14. As people living in the United States, it is hard to empathize with the pain, suffering and madness of living in North Korea. The fear, slave mentality and selfishness that North Koreans feel are part and parcel of the regime. The fear of execution is constant; parents will tell authorities about their children’s “crimes” in order to procure better entitlements for themselves. There is no such thing as love between parent and child in these camps— the children live in bunkers and barely know their parents. Activists say that as many as 40 percent of inmates die of malnutrition, while others succumb to disease, violence, tor-
ture, abuse by the guards, or are worked to death.
Dubai to Build World’s Largest Underwater Hotel
Dubai is renowned for taking on elaborate and extravagant projects. It is home to the world’s largest mall and the world’s tallest building and will soon be home to the world’s largest underwater hotel. Polish company Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) designed The Water Discus Hotel with the help of Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult AG. The hotel will be constructed with two discs: one suspended above water and the other extending underwater. The discs will be connected by five legs, and a vertical shaft in the center will house stairs and an elevator. The underwater portion will be around 32 feet beneath sea surface. It will have 21 double occupancy rooms, a dive center, and a bar. The décor of each room has been designed to ‘integrate with the underwater world as closely as possible.’ The modular design of the hotel has been designed in a unique way so that if need be, it can be transferred to a different location in case of environmental or economic concerns. The surface discs are detachable from the main structure and have been designed to be buoyant should any natural disaster strike. Bogdan Gutkowski, President of BIG, believes that the project will benefit the tourism industry in Dubai. “Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the hotel and tourism sector, housing and city sector in the coastal offshore areas, as well as new opportunities for ecology support by creation of new underwater ecosystems and activities on underwater world protection,” he told World Architecture News. “Additionally we would like to create here in the UAE the International Environmental Program and Center of the Underwater World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for oceans and seas environment protection and research.” Now when you go on vacation you can say you were sleeping with the fishes… and lived to talk about it!
Scanning the Sidewalks in Rio De Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a city that receives throngs of tourists each year— about 2 million. Their new plan to embed bar codes into sidewalks mixes technology with tradition to provide information to tourists. The first two-dimensional bar code was installed on Friday into the mosaic sidewalks at Arpoador, a massive boulder that rises at the end of Ipanema beach. The image was implanted into the sidewalk with the same black and white stones that decorate sidewalks around the city. Tourists need to download an app to their smartphones and snap a photo of the QR code. The app will read the code and direct tourists to a website that will give them a map of the area along with all the information of the landmark in three languages— Portuguese, Spanish or English.
At Arpoador, a tourist will learn that the spot gets big waves, making it a hot spot for surfing and giving the 500-meter beach nearby the name of “Praia do Diabo,” or Devil’s Beach. They could also find out that the rock is called Arpoador because fishermen once harpooned whales off the shore. The city’s plan is to install 30 of these nifty barcodes at beaches, vistas, and historic sites throughout. That’s bringing tourism to a whole new level!v
Israel Kever Yosef Desecrated Again A group of Israelis visiting the kever of Yosef in the Palestinian-controlled town of Nablus (Shechem) on Wednesday were shocked to find the holy landmark severely desecrated. Sefarim were burned, furniture smashed, the smell of urine was overwhelming, and there was obvious evidence of an attempt to burn down the structure.
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Winter Break 2013
January 23/12 Shvat
Yesodot-Netzer Hazani; the indomitable Anita Tucker, winner of Moskowitz Prize for Zionism. Netiv Ha'asara; a Gush Katif farmer's new hothouse and a northern Gaza view. Cafe Cafe in Sderot for a mehadrin dairy lunch. The Black Arrow Memorial, symbol of the region's 'battle heritage'. The 5th century synagogue mosaic at Hurvat Maon. South to Yamit's Steel Memorial Tower alongside Holot Halutza's Gush Katif replants; the farms, homes and people of Nave and Bnai Netzarim. Tomatoes in the sand—again; inspiration and personal sacrifice in the air—still.
ThurS January 24/13 Shvat
ThE Shomron iS
Tapuach; where 4 legged defenders of the Land are bred and trained. Itamar; to Zimmerman's organic farm for jams and cheeses in Gav HaHar. Yitzhar; HaCohen's Flour Mill and a luscious lunch at Savta Chana's warm home. Tel Aufer; the Ofra of Gideon the Judge? Shilo; Meshek Achiya, because olive oil is only part of the story. Ending our day with Amichai Luria at his award winning Shilo Winery.
Enrich your Tu B'Shvat Seder - and your Spirit.
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We leave from the Liberty Bell Parking lot Jan 23: promptly at 8:15am, return approximately 7pm. Jan 24: promptly at 8:30am, return approximately 6pm. Cost per day including lunch: $65/adult $55/student in Israel or child under 12. For reservatIons & Further InFormatIon vIsIt
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...wiTh EvE harow
January 31, 2013
Tu B'Shvat Eve Trips
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killed defending the site. Israel then agreed to surrender control to the Palestinian Authority with guarantees that the holy place be protected. Just a couple hours after Israel evacuated, a Palestinian mob was permitted to storm and raze the site. Jewish groups periodically visit the site under army protection, and have restored much of the damage, but the tomb is regularly desecrated by local Palestinians.
“Only barbarians would do horrible things like this to such a holy site,” local Jewish leader Gershon Mesika said. “Israel can no longer allow its holy places to be freely desecrated.” Kever Yosef is located on the outskirts of Nablus, a large Arab-dominated town that occupies the location of biblical Shechem. Until the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, Israel maintained an IDF-protected enclave around the tomb, allowing Israelis to freely visit. In late 2000, the tomb was besieged by Palestinian mobs and an IDF soldier was
Arabs, drawing parallels with the mass murder of Jews in World War II. “Having visited Auschwitz twice... I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza,” he wrote.
British Lawmaker Says Jews Inflict Daily Atrocities on Arabs in Gaza A British lawmaker, David Ward, accused “the Jews” of “inflicting atrocities on Palestinians on a daily basis.” And yet, in a post on his website on Friday, Liberal Democrat David Ward said he had signed a book in Britain’s House of Commons “honoring those who died during the Holocaust.” He also used the blog to criticize Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Authority
The comments came ahead of Sunday’s Holocaust Memorial Day, which marks the 68th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz by Soviet troops. The remarks were condemned by the Liberal Democrats who said the politician’s use of language was “unacceptable.”
Obviously, this false and anti-Semitic comment generated an uproar of disapproval so Ward made a feeble attempt at an apology. Ward, who represents Bradford East, in northern England, defended the comments at the time, saying he had been to Gaza and witnessed “what is, in effect, apartheid.” On Saturday, he published a statement on his website saying: “My criticisms of actions since 1948 in the Palestinian territories in the name of the State of Israel remain as strong as ever.” He continued, “In my comments this week I was trying to make clear that everybody needs to learn the lessons of the Holocaust. I never for a moment intended to criticize or offend the Jewish people as a whole, either as a race or as a people of faith, and apologize sincerely for the unintended offense which my words caused.” Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said the comments were “sickening and unacceptable.” “I am deeply saddened that at this somber time, when we remember those who were murdered by the Nazis, Mr. Ward has deliberately abused the memory of the Holocaust causing deep pain and offence,” she said.
He said that Israel is facing a “crisis of leadership.” “Israel doesn’t have a strong ruling party, the way [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu aspired for when he said Israel needs a strong party to lead it,” Nasrallah said. “The elections did not produce a strong party to lead this entity and now it is without a strong central leadership,” he added. Nasrallah referred to former prime minister Ariel Sharon as “the last king of Israel.” Nasrallah’s rhetoric echoed comments made by his deputy, Naim Qassem, on Thursday. “Israel held polls and some waited to see who would win ... but in Hezbollah we did not wait for results because we believe Israel has entered the stage of defeats and the results today show the defects [that emerged] after the July 2006 war ... and the Gaza war,” The Lebanese Daily Star quoted Qassem as saying. “This means that the Israeli project is gradually descending into the abyss, and here we have to stay steadfast to face the remnants of this project,” he added. Our enemies are always ready to pounce.
U.S. Pressures Israel to Resume Peace Talks The U.S. is still hoping and demanding that Israel cooperate in talks about the two-state solution. They understand the agreement must wait until Israel forms a
Christian Pastor: “Israel is the Safest Place on Earth” Apostolate Renê Terra Nova, the head of the International Restoration Ministries in Manaus, Brazil, has brought thousands of Christians to Israel. He has been coming to Israel since 1991 and says that his followers “leave this country in love and become ambassadors of Israel.” Terra Nova, who is the leader of one of the largest Evangelical communities in South America, sat down with The Jerusalem Post to explain his love with the Holy Land. The pastor explained that after hearing a lecture many years ago on the theological importance of the Jews and Israel he
became convinced that the Jewish community has “a fundamental role on this planet.”
After his first visit to Israel, Terra Nova began bringing groups of pilgrims to the country. “First of all, I became a Joshua, like in the biblical account. I came to know the land and I came through the land and I discovered that the fruits of the land were very good,” he said. “Israel is the safest place on earth.” By 2008, he said, he was leading as many as 2,500 people on pilgrimages. The other pastors in his extensive network also began leading groups. “It is difficult to measure how many people I have brought here,” he said. “All of the pastors and apostles under me also bring thousands of
people to Israel. My followers talk about Israel with a lot of love and they have a passion for the Holy Land and the Jewish people.” The Evangelical community, he continued, is “willing to be an army to fight for Israel.” Like many Christian Zionist leaders around the globe, Terra Nova is hawkish on issues related to the peace process and territorial concessions. Israel has enemies, he ventured, in order to give the Jewish people an opportunity to control more land. “Every war is a seed for a new territory,” he believes. He has believes that most Brazilians are supporters of Israel.
Israel’s Human Rights Record “Concerns” UK Britain has included Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, on a list of 28 countries whose human rights record is of “concern.” In a quarterly report published on Thursday, Israel sits in the company of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Zimbabwe – countries the foreign office considers to
Hebron, the ultimate family experience in Israel! Isn’t it about time you took your children to visit your great-grandparents in Hebron? New armored buses, inspiring guides like Rabbi Simcha Hochbaum, David Wilder and Dan Rosenstein, Hebron’s historic sites and our pioneering spirit - all come together to make this tour your most moving day in Israel!
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January 31, 2013
Israel’s close elections have inspired Hezbollah. The chief of the terrorist organization, Hassan Nasrallah, claims that the results of the election prove that Netanyahu is not providing strong leadership since the country was so divided in its vote. He is urging Palestinians to take advantage of this weakness and to increase their resistance.
coalition. But that doesn’t mean they will stop sending memos. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland stressed on Friday that the U.S. intended to work on bringing the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. “We are at the stage now… where we’re going to have to wait and see what the makeup of the Israeli government is going to be and how it approaches the longstanding critical issues that we share,” Nuland said. “We know where we want to go and we know where we believe they also want to go. If we can be helpful, we will continue to try.” Nuland stated, “Israel continues to be a democratic beacon out there in the world and to have a very vibrant system and process for ensuring that the people’s voices are heard in the political process. But how that’s going to translate in terms of either government formation or government policy,” she added, “is to be determined.” Future U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chimed in, saying, “My hope is that perhaps this can be a moment where we can renew some kind of effort to get the parties into a discussion to have a different track than we have been on over the last couple of years.” Kerry insists that President Barack Obama is determined to help resolve the conflict and grant Israel the security it deserves and the Palestinians the independence they deserve. Jordan’s King Abdullah reflected U.S. sentiments on Friday, saying “If we’re not too late ... the two-state solution will only last as long as Obama’s term; if it doesn’t happen by then, I don’t think it will happen.” Speaking in front of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Abdullah said that in order to achieve security in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must end and that regardless of Israel’s election results, peace and security must be a top priority for Israelis. Hey America! Ever heard of the expression, “Easier said than done?”
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Hezbollah Uses Israeli Elections to Inspire Resistance
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January 31, 2013
have a human rights record “of particular concern.” The Palestinian Authority is also included on the list although it is noted that Israel’s refusal to deliver Palestinian customs revenue has undermined the Palestinian leadership’s ability to enforce law and order. According to the report, the four-page entry on Israel focuses on November’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza and recently announced plans to expand Israel’s settler presence in the West Bank. About a month ago, Human Rights Watch published a report saying Palestinian armed groups had violated the laws of war during the November conflict by launching hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel. According to the IDF, some 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas.
National Millions Say “Aloha Hawaii!”
2012 was a record year for Hawaii. The land of hula dancing and volcanoes received more visitors than ever before. Tourism officials suspect that the record high number is accredited to an increase in flights and a weaker dollar. Almost 8 million people visited the Aloha State last year, more than a third of a million more than the previous record set in 2006 and a rise of 9.6 percent on 2011, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said. The surge in visitors collectively spent a record $14.3 billion, according to preliminary statistics. The tropical island is a vacation destination for many Americans (including the First Family) and Japanese tourists. Japanese tourists account for nearly 17% percent of the rise, about 1.5 million of the state’s visitors. The state’s New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to attract 8.2 million visitors, Mike McCartney, president & CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority, said in a statement. Aloha! Count me in! I’ll start packing my grass skirt and practice the hula.
Could the New Beverage
Law Be Racist?
Opponents of the city’s limit on the size of sugary drinks are raising questions of racial fairness alongside other complaints as the novel restriction faces a court test. The NAACP’s New York State branch and the Hispanic Federation have joined forced with beverage makers and sellers in trying to stop the new law that will limit the size of sugary drinks. The law is set to take effect March 12. Critics are calling the law an inconsistent and undemocratic regulation. City officials and health experts defend it as an effective and direct attempt to fight obesity. With a hearing set for Wednesday, the issue is complicated for the minority advocates. Obesity rates among blacks and Hispanics are higher than the national average, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control. The group says in court papers that they’re concerned about the discrepancy, but the soda rule will unduly harm minority businesses and “freedom of choice in low-income communities.” The law was proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration as the latest healthy-eating initiative. The beverage rule bans sellers from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers bigger than 16 ounces. Violations of the law can bring $200 in fines. Sellers will have a short grace period and the city will not impose the fines until June. The American Beverage Association and other groups, including movie theater owners and Korean grocers, sued. They argue that the first-of-its-kind restriction should have gone before the elected City Council instead of being approved by the Bloomberg-appointed health board. Five City Council members reverberate that view in a court filing, saying the Council is “the proper forum for balancing the city’s myriad interests in matters of public health.” The Bloomberg administration counters that the health board, made up of doctors and other health professionals, has the “specialized expertise” needed to make the call on limiting cola sizes. The suit also argues the rule is unfair since alcohol, unsweetened juice, and milk-based drinks are excluded, as are supermarkets and many convenience stores
including 7-Eleven, home of the Big Gulp. The NAACP and the Hispanic Federation, a network of 100 northeastern groups, say minority-owned delis and corner stores will end up at a disadvantage compared to grocery chains. “This sweeping regulation will no doubt burden and disproportionally impact minority-owned businesses at a time when these businesses can least afford it,” they said in court papers. Instead, they maintain that the city should focus instead on increasing physical education in schools. It seems that this new soda law is not really black and white.
Moving on Up Americans are on the move. And it seems like the hot spots are the places to be. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 36 million people relocated in 2012, an increase from 2011’s record low mover rate of 35.1 million. And while many of those stayed within the same county, plenty of them packed their bags and moved to a different state.
Data from Penske Truck Rental, a global transportation services provider, showed that warmer climates were the biggest impetus to move last year. Check out where Americans moved in 2012. Number ten on the list is Sarasota, Florida. Here Americans can buy a home for just $165K and enjoy white sand and calm blue waters. Charlotte, North Carolina, took the ninth spot. It’s a major financial center and is home to NASCAR and great golf courses. Seattle, although not warm and sunny, has gorgeous mountain views and the famous fish market at Pike Place Market. Homes are a little more expensive—around $363K—but it is a great place to find a job and enjoy life. Denver, Colorado, came in at the seventh spot. If you’re a skier, it’s the dream place for you. Houston, Texas, has beautiful winters and amazing employment opportunities, although I will caution you not to move here if you don’t like the
heat. Chicago came in fifth on the list. The Windy City offers low-cost housing, great opportunities and a wonderful “bigtown feel.” Mickey Mouse’s hometown, Orlando, Florida, is the fourth on the list. Homes are inexpensive here and it is home to more pro golfers than any other city in the world. Phoenix, Arizona, is the perfect spot to revel in the sunny weather. Dallas, Texas came in at number two on the list and is home to great shopping, entertainment and good, ol’ Texas-style fun! Atlanta, Georgia is the number one place Americans moved to this year. The city has earned this honor for the third year in a row. Residents love the perks of being in a big city with warm, sunny weather. Homes are affordable and the people are fun-loving and kind. Time to start packing.
Obesity Increases Risk of Death During Car Crash It seems that individuals suffering from obesity are not only at greater risk for heart disease and other health-related problems but they also have an increased risk of death during car crashes, a new study suggests.
In the study, obese drivers (classified as a person with a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 35) were 20 percent more likely to die during a car crash compared to individuals that weigh within normal range. Morbidly obese individuals (those with a BMI of 40 and above) were 80 percent more likely to die in a car crash. Researchers maintained their thesis after accounting for other factors that could influence the risk of death in a car crash such as age, alcohol use, seat belt use, and whether or not the air bag deployed. A study published in 2010 found an increased risk of death during car crashes for people with a BMI over 35 and this study reaffirmed the findings of the previous study. The new study analyzed information from 3,400 pairs of drivers (one from each vehicle) involved in a car crash between 1996 and 2008. To be included in the
Life expectancy is increasing nationwide but some states are seeing a particularly high number of people living to the age of 100. Nationwide, the centenarian population (individuals who live until 100 or older) has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades. In 1980, there were 32,194 people who were age 100 or older, and in 2010, that number jumped to 53,364, according to new Census Bureau data.
An Army Fit to Fight
Here are certain common living conditions that centenarians share. For one, a large majority of the oldest U.S. citizens live in urban areas. “As age increases, the percentage living in urban areas also increases,” says Amy Symens Smith, chief of the age and special populations branch at the Census Bureau. About 85.7 percent of centenarians lived in urban areas in 2010. “Living in the city, you have a lot more mental stimulation and the symphony and better doctors and hospitals and more social networking,” says Gary Small, a professor on aging and director of the UCLA Longevity Center in Los Angeles. “There
It’s all been heard before. Women don’t have enough upper-body strength… they can’t run as fast…All the arguments against letting women serve in the military are being made once again as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted restrictions
on women serving in direct combat roles. Experts on fitness and women in the military say the past two decades have shown that being female is not the biggest barrier to serving on the front lines. But being fat is. “I don’t think gender is a factor at all,” says retired Navy rear admiral Jamie Barnett, who is now at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. “I do think there are physical requirements and not all men or women will be able to meet those physical requirements. Those physical requirements should be tied specifically to making sure the job gets done.” Each branch of the army—Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines—have specific requirements for physical fitness. All have a minimum standard, calculated using three exercises that include running, either pull-ups or push-ups, and sit-ups. In some cases, women’s requirements are lower but not in the Marines. Barnett, a member of a group called “Mission: Readiness,” signed a report on the dangers posed by obesity to U.S. security. “Once you establish objective criteria for what the requirements are for a military job, then I say let women compete for those and let the best man or woman get
the position,” says Barnett, who served in Iraq and who was deputy commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, with sailors serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I think what we’ll find is there will be a lot of women who will be able to meet even the hardest positions.” Edward Archer, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Carolina explains that yes indeed, the average woman is weaker by nature and has less heart, lung and blood oxygen capacity than the average man. “But an elite female athlete can outperform the average male soldier easily in many ways,” he adds. “We are too unfit to fight, is the term. We are definitely an unfit society,” Archer said. “They need basic training to get ready for basic training. This is true of both males and females.” “Already we see only one in four Americans between ages of 17 and 24 who can join the military,” Barnett said. “The single biggest reason is that they are overweight.” “My view is you can get the job done better if you can draw on the best talents that America has to offer, regardless of gender,” Barnett said. “If you have to be able to swim 3 miles in a certain amount of time, then it doesn’t matter what gender
January 31, 2013
Living Long in North Dakota
are more resources, and there is better transportation.” The national average of living to the ripe, old age of 100 is 1.73 per 10,000 people, while the West and South have below-average proportions of centenarians; the Northeast and Midwest have the highest proportions of centenarians. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in local areas, including access to medical care, diet, exercise, the culture, risk-taking, and more smoking,” says Linda Waite, a sociology professor and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago. “People in the Northeast tend to be more highly educated, and education is associated with a longer life expectancy.” The proportion of centenarians in the United States is smaller than that of many other developed countries. For example, in Sweden for every 10,000 people there are 1.92 centenarians, in the United Kingdom there are 1.95, and in France there are 2.70. Japan has 3.43 centenarians per 10,000 people, beating even our longest-lived state, North Dakota, which has 3.2 centenarians per 10,000 people. North Dakota is home to 221 centenarians which make up 0.032 percent of the population. South Dakota had 240 centenarians in 2010, 0.03 percent of the population. Iowa has 0.028 percent of residents reaching the age of 100. Nebraska had 501 centenarians, which accounts for about 0.027 percent of the state’s population. Connecticut had 930, 0.026 percent of the population. While New York State has 4,605 centenarians, it is only 0.024 percent of the population. New York was followed by Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Hawaii.
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study, the drivers in the pair had to be driving similarly sized cars. Because the study involved pairs of drivers, characteristics of the crash, such as the severity of the crash and how long it took for medical services to arrive on the scene, would be the same for each person in the pair. About 18 percent of those in the study were considered obese. Since obese people are more likely to have medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, it increases their risk of dying during a car crash. Researchers suggest changes in car design may be necessary to better protect obese drivers. One study found obese drivers traveled farther in their seats before their seat belts engaged during a crash compared to normal-weight drivers. The delay in seat-belt activation was due to more soft tissue in the abdomen that prevents the belt from fitting close to the body. Interestingly, being underweight also increased the risk of death, but this effect was only seen in men.
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January 31, 2013
Revenge for the Founder of Reddit The hacker-activist group Anonymous took responsibility for hijacking the US Sentencing Commission’s website to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who took his own life earlier this month. The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago “a line was crossed.” The FBI is currently investigating the incident. Hackers are threatening to publicize secret information that they obtained when infiltrating government computer systems. Swartz helped create Reddit and RSS, which posted millions of court documents for free online. Officials say he helped illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse. Family and friends claim he killed himself after he was hounded by federal prosecutors. The FBI’s Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said in a statement that “we were aware as soon as it happened and are handling it as a criminal investigation. We are always concerned when someone illegally accesses another person’s or government agency’s network.”
Trump Eyes The New York Times
It’s safe to assume that Donald Trump loves the spotlight. Over the years, he has made many attempts to get his name in the headlines of the very newspaper he wishes to buy. Trump latest thrill is to find a way to create the news, literally. According to reliable sources, Trump has engaged in more than one meeting to discuss the possibility of buying New York’s prestigious publication, The New York Times. The exact details still remain a mystery. Experts say it is highly unlikely a deal will be reached since the Sulzberger fam-
ily, which controls the company’s voting shares will most probably not accept his offer. A spokesperson for Trump declined to comment as did a spokesman for the Times. I love The Donald—he just loves to make news!
That’s Odd One Burger for the Road…the Dusty Road
David Kime was one great guy. He loved Burger King so much that he treated all of his friends to Whopper Jr. burgers... at his own funeral. To give him a fitting send-off at his funeral last weekend, David Kime’s funeral procession stopped at a Burger King where each vehicle in the funeral procession went through the drive thru for burgers. Kime’s daughter said the stop at the drive thru wasn’t a joke, rather it was a joyful way of honoring her father and the things that delighted him. “He lived a wonderful life and on his own terms,” she said. According to his daughter, Kime considered his kids to be health freaks because “we ate things that were green, like broccoli.” Despite being a borderline diabetic and having a pacemaker fitted, her father had refused to change his diet, telling her: “I won’t live longer, it will just seem like it because I’ll be more miserable faster.” Kime’s eating habits brought on his demise at the young age of 88 years old. He was a decorated World War II veteran. Kime got one last burger, too, the York Daily Record reported. It was placed atop his coffin in the cemetery. Margaret Hess, who manages the Burger King frequented by Kime, stated, “It’s nice to know he was a loyal customer up until the end – the very end.”
Drunk and Dumb— a Crazy Combination Early Saturday morning, Bryan Wendler, 30, was arrested for drunk driving after he was found passed out at the wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier. The car was parked but its engine was still running in the middle of a Wisconsin road. He failed a
series of field sobriety tests and appeared “dazed and confused,” according to a Marathon County Sheriff’s Department report, which noted that a deputy spotted an unopened six-pack of beer on the vehicle’s passenger seat. This is not the first time Wendler has been caught driving drunk—he has run into law enforcement at least five times before while he was intoxicated, which makes his choice of wardrobe all the more strange. When he was arrested, Wendler was wearing a shirt referencing drinking and a “free Breathalyzer test.” Apparently, he
Neighbors are not pleased with the presence of these squatters. “We’d be thrilled to get our street back the way it was,” said Yvonne Boice, who lives on the opposite side of the street from the foreclosed home. The home had stood empty of owners for 18 months. Bank of America foreclosed on $2.5 million owed on the house and took possession of it in July, according to county records. Soon after that, Barbosa claimed “adverse possession” of the house. Adverse possession is a state law which allows someone to move into a property and claim the title, if they live there for a certain period of time.
did not take the shirt’s words too seriously or maybe he just can’t read after imbibing so much booze?!
Squatters Take Over $2.5M Boca Mansion Andre Barbosa has been living in a lavish $2.5-million Boca Raton mansion for months. But it’s not his or maybe it is, depending on how you view the law. A filing in Palm Beach County court on Friday names the 23-year-old Brazilian national and eight other unknown people as defendants for their attempt to stake a claim on the waterside property at 580 Golden Harbour Drive in Boca Raton. Bank of America is currently claiming rightful ownership of the home. Barbosa’s soliciting a vague Florida real estate law and states that he legally owns a portion of the foreclosed property, a 7,522-square-foot, 5-bedroom home that features canal views and whose interior includes pillars, a curved staircase and marbled bath. The bank, though, claims that Barbosa is liable for more than $15,000 for breaking into the house.
Barbosa has remained elusive, however. But someone posting under his name on Facebook shows a picture of two friends posing next to expensive sports cars. When police arrived at the house on December 26, Barbosa presented them with the “adverse possession” paperwork. Authorities suspect that it will take a few weeks of legal proceedings to actually eject the squatters from the property. Hey, if you’re gonna take over someone’s house, you might as well choose one with great showers and an amazing view.
Rare Silver Coin Sells for $10M A 1794 silver dollar was auctioned off for a record $10 million at an auction last Thursday. Experts suspect that it was the
Tide Thieves on the Loose We are told to lock our doors at night, keep our jewelry in safe deposit boxes and store valuables in a safe. But we were never told to hide our laundry detergent from thieves. Retailers in Colorado are starting to keep their Tide laundry detergents under lock and key and are hiring undercover security guards to patrol their aisles.
the bank for more pennies. The bank tellers got involved. “After we told them what we were up to they started tracking the project themselves, and I was always passing my iPhone through the glass window to show them pictures,” Lange said. The couple created a blog called ThePennyFloor.com about the project.
Police in Colorado are searching for a man they believe has stolen more than $8,000 worth of Tide laundry detergent in the Ft. Lupton area in Weld County. Police said the male suspect has been caught on surveillance videos from six different stores, stealing Tide and expensive face lotions. Tide has become gold to shoplifters since it is easily recognized with its bright-orange container, easy to resell, and a necessary product in every home. Could this be considered a case of money laundering?
Luckily, their flooring plan makes “cents”; they own their place and don’t rent it and so will be using their pennies for a while. Kind of makes me wonder why I put my money in a bank when I can just put it on the floor…
Floor of Pennies Ryan Lange and Emily Belden wanted to revamp their bedroom but they couldn’t decide on the décor. Finally inspiration struck. “We’d been looking up options and were thinking about being green when I said we should just tile the floor in pennies,” Lange, an entrepreneur explained. Belden wasn’t as excited by the idea at first. “I came home one day and found a small corner was done, so I thought ‘I guess we’re doing it,’” she recalled. That was the beginning of a fourmonth long project. The couple laid down a special glue to act as the grout and individually placed down 59,670 pennies heads up across their 380 square foot bedroom. They dubbed their nightly activity “pennying.” “Once we were halfway done, we were kind of over it, but I knew it was something that one day we could look back and laugh at it,” Lange said. Once the floor was complete they sanded it down to a shiny copper sheen and cemented it with a clear coat as smooth as a sheet of glass. They spent close to $1,000 on the project, which made for a lot of trips back and forth to
Crybaby Crook Generally when there’s a holdup the man being held up gets emotional. In this story, the crook was the one who actually started crying. A man attempting to rob a Papa John’s pizza restaurant in Montana’s capital tried to get a little sympathy from the cashier he handed a note to. Reportedly, the man entered the restaurant just after midnight Monday and gave the cashier a note demanding money. As the employee started to hand it over, the man dressed in a black hoodie with a red bandana covering his face broke into tears. He confessed he was doing the deed for his wife and child. “The clerk talked to him for a while,” Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said and eventually concluded that some pizza, wings, and soda on the house was enough. When his order was ready he simply took the food and left. “The clerk handled it well,” McGee said. “You have to put yourself in his shoes in this situation. No one was hurt.” Police are still looking for the man so they can discuss the episode. He is described as 5-foot-9 with a slender build. It is unclear whether he will be charged with a crime. Perhaps the police just want to buy him supper.
Students Hand Over the Crown Three Tennessee homecoming king nominees made a unanimous decision that no matter who won the coveted title, they would give the crown to a beloved student with a genetic condition. Students Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom were all nominated for homecoming king at Community High School’s basketball homecoming ceremony. They collaborated and decided that whoever the winner was, they would turn over the honor to junior Scotty Maloney, who has Williams Syndrome, a neurological disorder that inhibits learning and speech. “I’ve been blessed with so many things,” Cooper told said. “I just wanted Scotty to experience something great in his high school days.” “He’s always happy, so he deserves some recognition for who he is,” Gibbs said. In the end, Cooper actually won the popular vote for king, but when the official announcement was made at a Friday ceremony, the principal told the crowd what the nominees had decided to do. “When they called [Scotty’s] name, his eyes got really big and I don’t know that he registered exactly what was happening. He knew something was,” Maloney’s teacher Liz Hestle Gassaway said. “It was very, very emotional.” The crowd erupted with cheers and Maloney got a long standing ovation as he was awarded his “King” medal. “It was just a ton of emotion from everybody,” Grissom said. “I think I saw Scotty shed a few tears. I know Jesse was pretty emotional. We were all emotional out there on the court.” “Scotty is fabulous. He is a superstar. He knows everybody. There’s not one person that Scotty does not know,” his teacher said. “To know him and meet him is to love him.” Gassaway believes that the nearly 500-student school in Unionville, Tenn., is “one of the best schools in the world when it comes to dealing with special needs children.” “We want people to have more empathy towards people, not be scared of people with disabilities,” she said. “We want them to embrace them, more like the boys did.” It seems that these three boys truly are deserving of “king” status—to be able to make someone else happy is the most regal thing of all.
January 31, 2013
“We felt in our heart that this would be the very first coin to exceed the $10 million barrier in auction and were in fact prepared to bid much high in order to acquire this unique piece of history,” the company said in a statement. The company said they have no plans of reselling the coin in the near future. David Bowers, chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers Galleries, said, “It is the first American metal dollar struck and the finest known. You have these combinations coming together. No museum has an equal piece.” The coin was part of the Cardinal Collection, amassed by the collector Martin Logies. Bowers described the collection as the “Old Masters” of coins struck during the earliest years of the U.S. Mint. “I think it is extraordinary and I am very pleased that the first silver dollar is the first to top the $10 million threshold,” said Logies, who purchased the coin three years ago. “We’re continually surprised by surprises,” Bowers said, adding there are several million coin collectors around the globe. “They want to collect coins for appreciation, art, rarity and beauty.” The record-setting coin shows a profile of Miss Liberty facing right surrounded by stars representing each state in the union. The design was only used in 1794 and briefly the following year.
Recently, there has been an alarming increase in laundry detergent thieves. The Colorado Retail Council hopes to control future shoplifting of laundry detergent with these new measures. “It’s a very large problem that we have to spend a lot on and, unfortunately, that cost gets passed on to the costumer,” Chris Howes, president of the Colorado Retail Council, said.
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first such coin struck by the U.S. Mint. The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar more than doubled the previous $4.1 million auction record for a coin set in 1999, auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries said. Legend Numismatics, a rare-coin firm based in New Jersey, bought the coin, which was the highlight of the evening sale in New York that fetched a total of $17.2 million.
January 31, 2013
Roadblocks on the Path of Learning
f you peek into most third grade classrooms, you’ll see most children staring attentively at the teacher, a few gazing into space, still some more searching around inside their desks, and a handful furtively eliciting attention from their surrounding classmates. Just last week, when I observed a classroom, I saw Sara continually knocking her pencil off of her desk, Raizy squinting at the blackboard trying to make sense of what seemed like gibberish to her, Devora mumbling the words under her breath in an attempt to memorize them, Malkie and Naomi passing notes, and Basya hunched over in her seat trying to attract as little attention as possible. Of course, their teacher was aware of much of what was going on and continually tried to get the girls back to the lesson at hand. She told me later that she was baffled by some of her students’ failing grades. After all, Raizy and Basya have the highest IQs in the class. “What am I doing wrong?” she asked me. “Sometimes, there is nothing more that a teacher can do other than recognize the issues at hand,” I told her. Often, it is more complicated than simply getting smart children to pay attention in order to excel. This started me thinking about all of the different issues that arise within education today. Why is it that some children, regardless of their intelligence are excellent students, while others fail? Aside from IQ scores, what are some obstacles to productive education? Visual Processing Disorder A visual processing (or perceptual) disorder refers to an inability to make sense of information absorbed through the eyes. This does not mean that the child has trouble with sight and needs glasses, rather it involves difficulties processing the visual information in the brain. Some indications of visual processing disorders are: • Spatial Relation: Spatial relation is distinguishing the positions of objects in space. For reading and math, it is very important to understand spatial relationships. The ability to identify words and numbers as separate entities is essential for reading skills. In addition, confusion of similarly shaped letters such as “b” and “d“ or “p” and “q” can be attributed to a problem with spatial relation. • Visual Discrimination: Visual
discrimination involves differentiating objects based on their individual characteristics such as color, form, shape, pattern, and size. When dealing with reading and math, difficulties with visual discrimination can lead to trouble with charts, graphs, or recognizing letters on the chalkboard. • Visual-Motor Integration: Visual-motor integration requires the combination of visual cues to guide movements. Children who have deficits with visual-motor integration are often seen as clumsy or awkward because they have a hard time figuring out where their body is in relation to other objects. This lack of integration can lead to problems with writing and organization. In addition to these academic impacts, a lack of visual-motor integration can cause problems in children’s lives both socially and athletically. Auditory Processing Disorder Like visual processing disorder, auditory processing disorder can interfere with children’s ability to learn, regardless of their intellect. An auditory processing disorder interferes with a person’s ability to make sense of information taken in through the ears. This does not mean that the person cannot hear or is deaf. Rather, the sounds enter the ear and the brain, but the person cannot decode them to understand what they mean. Some indications of auditory processing disorder are: • Auditory Discrimination: Auditory discrimination is the ability to recognize differences in phonemes (sounds that relate to certain letters). Recognizing phonemes in the foundation for phonics – the way most children learn how to read. • Auditory Memory: Auditory memory involves storing and recalling information which was given verbally. People who lack auditory memory will have a lot of trouble following directions or remembering details of stories that are read aloud in the classroom. • Auditory Sequencing: Auditory sequencing is the ability to remember
the order of items in a list or the order of sounds in a word. One example of a problem with auditory sequencing is saying, “comtuper” instead of “computer.” Focus Another roadblock to achievement in school that has nothing to do with a child’s intelligence is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects between 8-10% of school age children. Dr. Richard Kingsley of KidsHealth explains, “Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what’s expected of them but have trouble following through because they can’t sit still, pay attention, or attend to details.” Because children with ADHD have troubling focusing on one thing at a time, if unnoticed, ADHD can learn to devastating learning deficits. Up until 1994, ADHD was known as Attentive Deficit Disorder or ADD. In 1994, it was renamed ADHD and broken down into three separate subtypes with specific characteristics. • Inattentive Type, with signs that include: • Difficulty with sustained tasks • Noticeable listening problems • Difficulty following directions • Tendency to lose things such as toys, notebooks, or homework • Distracted easily Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, with signs that include: • Fidgeting or squirming • Difficulty remaining seated • Always “on the go” • Difficulty waiting for a turn in line • Excessive talking • Problems with interrupting and intruding The third type of ADHD is a combination of inattentive type and hyper-
active-impulsive type and is the most common form of ADHD. Self Esteem Self-esteem, or believing in oneself, is another extremely important element required for successful learning. Children who are not confident in their abilities will simply give up without trying. Often, children with low selfesteem will encounter problems with bullying as other children will notice their lack of confidence and single them out. In turn, the children with low selfesteem will choose to remain silent in class in order to avoid their classmates’ criticism, leading to further academic problems. According to Dr. Richard Besser, author of Your Family’s Health: Kids and Height, indicates that signs of low self esteem include: • Reluctance to try new things because of a fear of failure • Negative comments about oneself such as, “I’m stupid” or “I’ll never get this right.” • Giving up quickly and stating that is it because of “boredom” or “tiredness.” • Lack of friends in and out of school. Surmounting the Roadblocks The first step towards helping your child succeed in school is recognizing if there is an underlying reason for their failure. Depending on the “roadblock” tripping up your child, there are different methods to overcoming it. You can work towards success with the school, the teacher, and an educational specialist. As I always say, “If he can’t learn the way we teach, we had better teach the way he can learn.” An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@ verizon.net. . You can view her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.
j a n u a ry 3 1 , 2013
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A Clearer Perspective
Health & Fitness Aliza Beer
Eating and Exercise
nowing when and what to eat be- exercise meal (or at most meals for that fore, during, and after workouts matter!). can impact the 5. Working way you feel and the Out After Work. effectiveness of the Eat a healthy snack exercise. Whether consisting of a carb your goal is weight and protein in order loss or muscle gain, to have enough enfollow these guideergy for the workout. lines for the best nuBest bets: cheese trition to maximize and crackers, cottage your exercise regicheese and veggies, men: or fruit and whole 1. Eat a Healthy grain muffin. Breakfast. If you 6. After the exercise in the mornWorkout. Eat a ing try to eat your well-balanced meal breakfast one to two with whole grain hours prior to workcarbs, protein, and fat ing out. Some good to help you recover. breakfast options are Exercise should whole grain bread become an integral with peanut butter, part of our lives. Our whole grain cereal bodies were designed with milk and berto horde food so, in ries, or yogurt with essence, we are what cereal and berries. we eat. This is why 2. Size Matters. we need exercise to Eating too much before you exercise will lose the excess and unneeded fat, and leave you feeling sluggish, or you might also to build up muscle to make our bodhave stomach cramps. Eating too little ies powerful. The main goal of fitness may not give you the activities is to build energy needed for the up the maximum workout. In general, amount of muscle The main goal don’t exercise for 3 – with the loss of the 4 hours after a large maximum amount of of fiTness meal. fat. However, your acTiviTies is To 3. Drink. You results may remain need adequate fluids enigmatically hidden build up The before, during, and behind layers of pure maximum amounT after exercise to help fat. Therefore, it is prevent dehydration. imperative that you of muscle Drink about 2 – 3 eat properly around cups of water during the duration of your wiTh The loss the 2 – 3 hours before planned workout. of The maximum your workout. Drink Food and muscle ½ to 1 cup of water have a unique antiamounT of faT. every 15 – 20 minthetical relationship utes during the workso make sure to folout. Drink about 2 low these guidelines – 3 cups of water after the workout for and you’ll be able to see robust abs! every pound of weight you lose during the workout. Water is the ideal beverage, but if you are working out for over Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with an hour, drink a sport drink to replace a Master’s degree in nutrition. She has lost electrolytes. a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. 4. Foods to Avoid. Foods with a lot Patients’ success has been featured on of fat can be difficult and slow to digest, the Dr. Oz Show. Aliza’s new line of preand may remain in the stomach a long pared, healthy meals-to-go are available time. Avoid meats, doughnuts, fries, at Gourmet Glatt. Aliza can be reached potato chips, and candy bars in the pre- at email@example.com.
T h e J e w i s h h o m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012 The Jewish Home January 31, 2013
January 31, 2013
Deb Hirschhorn, Ph.D.
Can I Fall in Love Again?
havi looked out the window, wondering if some magic would fall from the sky. It didn’t, but she thought that’s what she needed. She was so, so tired of the endless arguments with Sammy. He was so irrational, that was the worst of it. If she had the nerve to disagree with his take on things – whoa – that was a capital crime. He would explode, tell her she was “attacking” him, and stop talking to her. She was a fun-loving person; she didn’t like being stuck in this bad place. She wanted o-u-t and she wanted it now. That’s not all: It wasn’t enough to no longer fight. She wanted a husband to confide in and do fun things with; she wanted a friend. And Chavi wanted love. Dr. Deb said you can go from hate to falling in love all over again – with your husband. Really? How in the world is that possible? What’s “falling in love” anyway? Let’s look at this giddy feeling called “falling in love.” It’s all about how the other person makes you feel and how you feel about him (or her). In fact, the real truth is that how you feel about him follows from how he makes you feel. Here’s why: The “falling in love” kind of love, is about receiving. The other kind of love—the tender feelings for children, or the compassionate love that you have when you’ve been married 50 years—is about giving. So, if that’s true, what is it you’re
receiving when you fall in love? What you receive is tremendous. You get a clear, bright, and shiny message of validation of yourself as a person. Many people can try to give you this message but it doesn’t work with all those other people. The one person with whom it works proves to you in the course of being together that he (or “she”) really gets who you are. Only someone who has plunged the depths of your selfhood and finds you amazing, special, and wonderful can validate
You’re exhilarated because after carefully letting down your guard to someone, this person has appreciated having been given the tremendous gift of yourself. As you let him into the private domain of your soul, he did the same. And what did you find inside his heart and soul? – a self that is very similar to yours! So what’s “falling out of love”? The answer is betrayal. You have opened up your soul; you’ve been vulnerable, and
onlY SomEonE Who hAS PlUnGED ThE DEPThS of YoUr SElfhooD AnD fInDS YoU AmAzInG, SPECIAl, AnD WonDErfUl CAn vAlIDATE YoU.
you. There may be many people that you date who feel as though they love you, but in your opinion, they don’t know you. Therefore, it’s impossible for them to validate you. You see, knowing the other person, genuinely knowing, is the cornerstone of intimacy. So you have opened your heart to one person and you felt understood. This person, in return, continues to be intrigued by that process of knowing you, and wants more. What could be a better experience than that?
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what did you get for it? You got hurt and betrayed. Even ignoring a spouse when she’s talking is betrayal. She is sharing herself and this gift, once precious in your eyes, means nothing; you’re not listening any more. When this continues, the commonalities aren’t so apparent. Your spouse might be hurt too. He, too, feels betrayed. Whatever it was he expected from you doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. Chavi feels betrayed. Yet, she really doesn’t want a divorce. Who wants to start looking for someone else when you have a family? And she knows very well it’s not so likely she will meet the right person. Sammy was the right person once. Maybe he can be again…. Here are the steps Chavi and Sammy will want to take: 1. Sammy has to work on being dan l’chaf zchus to Chavi. He has to stop blaming her. He has to allow her to have different opinions and be all right with that. 2. Sammy must prove to her that he has changed. He must be patient and not expect Chavi to fall into his arms the minute he insists he is now different. He has to understand that he needs to be the giver for Chavi to fall in love with him again. 3. Chavi must be patient, too—with him and with herself. Sammy will slow-
ly realize that Chavi has been deeply wounded in the relationship and healing takes time. 4. This is the wonderful step. It is akin to noticing how your child is improving in math or picking up a language. Chavi will start to see that Sammy is growing. New behaviors replace the old, ugly ones: consideration, gentleness, sensitivity, generosity of time and effort. From this, respect and trust begin to grow. 5. Respect and trust will allow Chavi’s heart to open up, little by little. 6. In turn, Sammy will be able to talk about his dawning awareness of his past selfishness and hurtfulness and his regrets for that. In these admissions, he too, will be vulnerable, and this will open the door wider to falling in love again. How can Chavi help Sammy get this process started? How can they do the first step? I would suggest they sign a happiness pledge which would read something like this: “We, Chavi and Sammy, want to be happy. We want to be happy together. Therefore we commit to work hard on being dan l’chaf zchus. If something bothers one of us, we will assume it was meant differently than we took it. We will not blame or attack. We will practice saying nice things to each other many times a day.” Is this process easy? No. Retraining your entire way of thinking is difficult. But, what’s the upside of this difficult process? It’s more than falling in love and even more than preserving a family. It’s something rich and mature that you can’t feel the first time around: It’s a rock-solid knowledge of who this other person really is, leading to a much deeper bond, greater respect, and stronger trust than you could ever have with a new person.
Dr. Deb Hirschhorn has had over 35 years clinical experience. She has been in numerous publications, both professional and for the public, and has appeared on TV and has been featured on radio. She practices Marriage-Friendly Therapy. She has a local practice in Woodmere, N.Y. See her website, http://drdeb.com, or call her at
j a n u a ry 3 1 , 2013
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45 Avi Heiligman
Saluting Principles and Values twenty-one ships. Levy was placed Pedro, was so impressed with Levy that sale, he bought it. Even though his navy in charge of one of these captures, the he offered him the rank of captain (the duties required that he be in New York Betty, but on August 12, 1813, the Betty highest rank in the navy at the time) in for much of the time, Levy used Monwas captured. Two days later, the Argus his navy. He refused the offer and rode ticello as a vacation home and his famwas captured by the British ship, the a wave of popularity back home in the ily moved there permanently. He fixed up the rundown property and showed Pelican, and the entire crew, including States. Uriah, was interred in Since he was offered a shore job and it off to visitors, and when he died in England for the rest of not another command, Levy decided 1862, the U.S. government didn’t want the war. to become a private citizen and went it because it was in the South and had After returning to into real estate in New York (Jewish no way to look after it. It was confisthe United States, he real estate agents have a long history cated by the Confederacy but after the was assigned to the USS in the United States) and became very war, it was returned to Levy’s heirs. His Franklin as a second wealthy. He was still in navy, though, nephew, Congressman Jefferson Levy, master. Anti-Semitism and in 1938, he was given another com- bought it out from the other heirs and shown by other sailors mand. Levy developed his own system spent a lot of his own money for the was a problem for Levy, of discipline, substituting mild reforms restoration and preservation efforts. He and when a drunken for corporal punishment. Because of his sold in 1923 to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation that officer provoked him, refusal to ineventually made Levy retaliated. The flict corporal into a museum. officer challenged p u n i s h m e n t The foundation him to a duel. In those on a young had anti-Semitic days, a man could not seaman, he members on its back away from a duel was courtboard and until (where the two combat- martialed and the 1980’s gave ants shoot at each from a predetermined d i s m i s s e d very little credit distance) without shaming his name for from the serto the two Levy a very long time, so Levy accepted and vice; however, men who had killed the officer. He was indicted but President Tydone so much was found not guilty as dueling was an ler overturned Monticello as it looks today for the property. acceptable way of settling arguments. the decision. Finally, in 1985, Despite this black mark on his re- In 1850, a cord, Levy was commissioned as a lieu- member of Congress took up the case the two were honored in a ceremony tenant. Aboard the USS United States, for anti-flogging, and in 1862, it was and there are memorials and information on-site about Uriah and Jefferson Levy got into another fight (not a duel passed as a law. this time around) and after a court marRight after the last of the six Levy. Uriah married his niece in 1853 aftial, was dismissed from the navy. The court-martials against Levy was overonly person that turned and he was ter both of her parents died. She was 18 could make this rulreinstated, Levy while he was 61 (talk about the shiding official was the took command of duch crisis and they were a frum couple, President and two the warship, Mace- too!). He died in 1862, and was buried years later, followdonian, and became in a Jewish cemetery in New York, with ing the advice of the commander of the both military honors and Jewish tradisecretary of the navy, entire Mediterra- tions. His legacy lives on, as the USS President James nean Fleet. In 1960, Levy, a WWII destroyer escort, was Monroe reversed the Congress created the named after him as well as the Jewish court’s ruling. Levy rank of Commodore chapel in the Norfolk Naval Base. Uriah was subsequently and appointed Levy P. Levy is best remembered for his role given his first comto the highest rank in in banning corporal punishment in the navy and his dedication for the men that mand on a gunboat the country. appropriately named Levy was an served under him, making him a hero the USS Revenge. admirer of Thomas behind the lines. In 1925, Levy Jefferson because was the second he was a major adlieutenant aboard vocate among the Levy's tombstone in the USS Cyane. He Founding Fathers for Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to Beth Olom Cemetary in Queens was instrumental the freedom of reli- The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comin aiding an American forced into the gion. When Levy heard that Monticello, ments and suggestions.for future columns Brazilian Navy and whose life was in Jefferson’s plantation in Virginia, had and can be reached at aviheiligman@ danger. The Brazilian Emperor, Dom come upon hard times and was up for gmail.com.
January 31, 2013
he military history of the United States is filled with heroes and people who deserved to be remembered. Most of the heroics took place on the battlefield where lives were on the line. Sometimes military heroes are people who may have or have not served on the front line but were servicemen and women who left a legacy for generations to come. Prior to the Mexican American War (1846-1848), flogging was an acceptable form of punishment in the American Navy. Uriah Levy was the man who changed that policy and was kicked out of the navy (later he was reinstated) for standing up for the right thing. Uriah Phillips Levy was born on April 22, 1792 into a religious Jewish family in Philadelphia. His grandfather, Jonas Phillips, came to the United States from Germany and fought for the patriots in the Revolutionary War. Uriah’s nephew became a Congressman from New York. His family was thoroughly dedicated into giving back to the country that gave so much to them in particular with religious freedom. His great-great grandfather was one of the few Jews to escape the Spanish Inquisition to make his way to America via England. As well as being loyal patriots, the Levy family was drawn to the sea, and Uriah continued the tradition. He ran away when he was ten to sail as a cabin boy but returned to Philadelphia to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah with his family. In 1806, Uriah gained valuable skills as an apprentice on a family friend’s ship and a few years later graduated from navigation school. Levy was twenty when the War of 1812 against Great Britain broke out, and he volunteered for military service. The captain of his ship quickly recognized his skills, and he was appointed as a sailing master on the USS Argus. After dropping off an American minister in France, the Argus sailed to the English Channel and captured at least
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T h e J e w i s h h o m e n m ay 2 4 , 2012
T h e J eHome w i s h hJanuary o m e n m 31, ay 22013 4 , 2012 The Jewish
Leisure & Travel
From Sea to Shining Sea : Louisiana
trip to Louisiana will be filled with fun, food and lots of music. The state is known for its music and the lively Mardi Gras events that take place there. Looking to be truly patriotic? Head down to Winnsboro, the “Stars and Stripes Capital of Louisiana.” On special occasions and certain legal holidays your eyes will blur from the 350 American flags proudly swaying in the wind on highway 15. Rayne, the Frog Capital of the World, will delight your enthusiastic kids with its annual Frog Festival held every November. Murals featuring Kermit and his friends dot the city and your car will be filled with the sounds of ribbit as you drive along. Speaking of animal sounds, “quack” is the sound heard most often in Gueydan, the Duck Capital of America. Watch out for their yellow feathers as you drive down the roads. The state of Louisiana is always on the move. In fact, it is home to one of the only mobile national monuments— the Saint Charles streetcar in New Orleans makes headlines as it moves along. (The only other one in the whole country is San Francisco’s cable cars.) Are your teens itching for adventure while on vacation? The town of Jean Lafitte was once a hideaway for pirates—“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” But don’t worry about having too
much fun when visiting Louisiana— there’s plenty of places to relax, rest and enjoy one of America’s beautiful states with your family. Things You Won’t Want to Miss At Home with Nature A visit to the state’s first state-supported arboretum in the United States will make one feel at one with nature. The Louisiana State Arboretum is large and is home to more than 300 acres of natural growth. If one walks slowly with a discerning eye, one can see almost every type of vegetation in Louisiana. Sycamores, maples, beeches, ferns and magnolias grow majestically from the ground. Wildlife call the arboretum their home as well. You may catch a glimpse of a fox, wild turkey or white-tail deer when strolling along. Because picnicking is not allowed in the arboretum, make sure to stop by Chicot State Park nearby. The park covers 6,000 acres of rolling hills including a 2,000-acre reservoir with myriad fish swimming along. There are over 200 campsites, pools, bicycling, hiking and backpacking trails for visitors’ use—the kids will have fun, the adults will relax, and everyone will leave with a closer connection to nature. The Heart of the Mardi Gras New Orleans was hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina and is still working on standing on its own.
Even so, the city, famous for the annual Mardi Gras, is host to fun parties, joyful music, and colorful costumes. In fact, visitors can tour Mardi Gras World, where one can see how the floats of the annual parade are made. Preservation Hall is where New Orleans Jazz is honored and protected. Live jazz performances can be heard on the evenings on the weekend. And of course, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival features musical genres from across the board. When visiting New Orleans, make sure to sleep a lot beforehand— there is too much excitement there and you don’t want to miss a thing! Swimming with the Fishes… or the Turtles The word swamp doesn’t conjure up thoughts of something you’d want to do on vacation, but when you’re in Baton Rouge, make sure to take an Alligator Bayou Swamp Tour. Visitors ride on a boat and get to meet and greet animals from the swamp including alligators, snapping turtles, and nutria, a rodent that’s common in Louisiana that’s a cross between a beaver and a rat—watch out for its large teeth! Speaking of interesting animals, the Global Wildlife Center is home to thousands of animals from all over the globe. Want to go camelback riding? This is the place to go! The Louisiana Renaissance Festival is the go-to place for en-
tertainment for families on weekends in November. The festival takes one back in time to the European Renaissance but this trip in time is not in the least boring. The “mini-theme park” is replete with over fifty shows daily, lots of shopping, and tons of people in costume. Jousting is a favorite among festival goers; knights in shining armor—who can beat that? Make sure to leave a day just for this—it’ll be hard to fit it all in. Frogmore Plantation A trip to Frogmore Plantation is a blend of old and new. Visitors will get to see how a working cotton plantation operated in the 1800’s and evolved into a modern cotton plantation and gin of today. Slavery was prevalent in the South; that’s how cotton was produced back in the 19th century. Visitors can walk through authentically furnished slave quarters and hear the echoes of the slaves’ voices of the past. You’ll hear their music and learn about their customs—it’s certainly a walk through time.
dr. david NeSeNoff
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