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La Brea sisters run in Chai Lifeline marathon - 7

LINK Kollel in LA Hosts Two Successful Shabbatonim - 7

Westwood Kehilla Installs First New Rabbi in 18 Years - 16 Where you’ve Never Been Before By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn


OP-ED Ed Koch & the Unanswered Question By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein


Terumah — Everyone’s Invited By Rabbi Reuven Wolf Students Write What Israel means to me

Students from Shalhevet, Hillel & YULA

22 31

‫ יח‘ אדר‬- ‫ ד‘ אדר‬.

Feb. 14 - feb. 28

. vol 1, #4

The Jewish Home february 14, 2013 2

Contents Ed Koch & the Unanswered Question By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Forgotten Heroes - General Frederick Knefler, a Jew Who Served His Country with Honor. . . . . . 40

Community Jewish Thought Where you’ve Never Been Before By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Students Write - What Israel means to me Students from Shalhevet, Hillel and YULA . . . . . 31

Parsha Terumah — Everyone’s Invited By Rabbi Reuven Wolf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Parenting & Education Hillel Parenting & Education Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

I hope you all had an enjoyable two weeks as we continue on through this LA winter. This week we’ve decided to try something new: We all know - nay we’re all experts on - the situation of our economy and how difficult it can be to follow through with our dreams, aspirations and economic goals. We decided to highlight two companies: one already successful and one in its earlier stages. Our hope is that these profiles will encourage you if you have an idea but are hesitant or afraid of launching something new, and will alsohelp the hardworking risk-takers who have already brought their ideas into the marketplace. If you know of someone we should be profiling, please let us know at editor@jewishhomela.com. We have also added some of the high schools to our student column, this week featuring an important subject most dear to us all. We thank our students for their time and effort - it is greatly appreciated! We would like to thank Rabbi Einhorn for another great article on how we can improve ourselves on this journey called life, as well as Rabbi Adlerstein for his article on a most fascinating twist of events which touches the core of who we are. Many of you have been requesting that we run a serialized novel and we are happy to announce that we will be including one with our next print…so stay tuned! Until then, enjoy what you have, reach out for what you want andplease share it along the way. Have a most wonderful Shabbos,


National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38


Shalom Rubashkin

Travel: From Sea to Shining Sea: Maine. . . . . . . . . . 45 The Aussie Gourmet: Ideas for Your Purim Seudah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Health & Fitness - Purim: A Joyous Occasion!. . . . 44 Keeping that Newlywed feeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

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managing editor


Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


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Account Executive


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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, February 15 Parshas terumah Candle lighting 5:19 Shabbos Ends 6:17 Rabbeinu Tam 6:51

Friday, February 22 Parshas Tetzaveh Candle lighting 5:25 Shabbos Ends 6:23 Rabbeinu Tam 6:57 Correction: A Picture appearing in Vol #1 Issue #2 of The Jewish Home mistakenly labeled the picture on page 16 as being a Shmira Patrol event it. It should have stated “the LA Shmira Patrol was a guest at the Orthodox Jewish Chaplaincy Event.

The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

february 14, 2013

Community Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

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well-known senior lecturer for Gateways seem to prosper in this world; a comparison of the Oral and and a former popular Written Torahs; and a Rebbe in Ohr SomayTorah perspective on ach’s Introductory the spiritual roots of Program. Over 150 the Arab-Israeli conpeople attended   at flict.  His quick and least one of his five often subtle Austrascintillating presentalian sense of humor tions over Shabbos. added spice to his His talks includbreathtaking  presening a fascinating tations, keeping evdiscussion of what eryone up even long Kabbalah is and how after the delicious we can utilize its  cholent went down. teachings to enrich Motzei Shabour spiritual lives; a bos, Rabbi  Becher concise guide to the principles of chinuch discussed the con(“10 Commandments troversial issue of of Parenting”); an feminism’s demands authentic Torah apfor egalitarianism in proach of  why the issues  between the righteous seem to genders. He delinRabbi Mordechai Becher lecturing suffer and the wicked eated the differences at LINK Kollel

between a man’s avodah (“outside in”) and a woman’s service (“inside out”) and applied that paradigm  to many situations in life and observance. Finally, on Sunday morning, he addressed areas of potential conflict between Torah and science, showing that there was much more of a harmony between them than imagined. As it does on a  nightly basis, LINK’s special programs attract a broad  crosssection of LA’s Jewish community: Ashkenazim, Sefardim, Baalei Teshuva, Not-yetobservant, Frum From Birth and people from all shades of the Orthodox spectrum (left, right and center). All are united by a common thirst for knowledge and spiritual growth in a warm  yet serious learning milieu.    LINK was founded by Rabbi Asher Brander in 2002 and offers over 50 weekly and daily classes. For more information, please call (310) 470-LINK  or log onto www.linkla.org .

La Brea sisters run in Chai Lifeline marathon For two local sisters—Mushka and Dina Nathanson—raising money and running in Chai Lifeline’s Jan. 27 marathon in Miami wasn’t just an act of charity.

It was a major victory in what has been a dramatic journey.

In Jan. 2008, Mushka, then 11, was diagnosed with liver cancer. For six months, she underwent intensive treatment and spent many nights at Cedars-Sinai Hospital and Children’s Hospital. In Jun. 2008, the cancer went away. During that time, Chai Lifeline made life much easier for the entire Nathanson family. “It was just phenomenal the support that they gave,” said Reuven Nathanson, Mushka’s father. Reuven and his wife, Chana Leiba, spent many long nights in the hospital with their daughter. And from providing kosher meals for the entire family to sending a “big sister” to spend time with Dina, then

8, Chai Lifeline made a difficult period a little bit easier. And when the Nathansons couldn’t be in the hospital, Chai Lifeline even sent volunteers to keep Mushka company. “Without people coming, it probably would have just been really lonely,” Mushka, now 16, said. Although there hasn’t been a relapse and the five-year “clearance period” is fast approaching, the memory of fighting the liver tumor and of Chai Lifeline’s support is still very clear in the Nathansons’ minds. So when Mushka and Dina, now 13, found out about this year’s Miami Marathon, they were eager to raise money and participate in the race. They raised a total

of $7,200, significantly more than their minimum requirement of $6,000. Their training—which sometimes included a morning run from their La Brea home to their Pico-Robertson school—began in July, and didn’t let up until the day of the race. The marathon and half-marathon drew 25,000 runners and was held in downtown Miami. Mushka and Dina ran in the half marathon—13 miles—and finished in 3:31 and 3:07, respectively. The two sisters said that the training period and race were very difficult, but when asked whether they are glad to have participated, their answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

YULA Students Take Home Top Awards at YU National Model United Nations Mazal Tov to the YULA students who took home Best Delegation honors and many top awards at the YU National Model United Nations last weekend. YULA’s 18-student team beat out 47 other Jewish Day Schools across the nation to win top honors this year. This is YULA’s ninth win as “Best Delegation” in its 14-year history of participating. For YUNMUN XXIII, 48 Jewish day schools from across the United States and Canada participated, as well as schools from San Paolo, Brazil and Johannesburg, South Africa. YULA’s delegation represented Syria, Uganda, and Luxembourg.  The members of the team were Asher Alter, Jonathan Hermel, Micah

Hyman, Noah Kest, Benji Kurnick, Eitan Meisels, Asher Naghi, Naphtali Nektalov, Elon Swartz, Jasmine Peled, Lizzie Peled, Shana Salomon, Alexa Hanelin, Gabriella Mahboubi, Sabrina Mahboubi, Deena Felsenthal, Robbie Lurie, and Olivia Levkowitz. The captains were Alexa Hanelin, Shana Salomon, and Elon Swartz.  Mrs. Pam Felcher was the Girls chaperone, and Dr. Paul Soifer was the faculty advisor.   Congratulations to the following students on their individual awards at Model UN as well: Micah Hyman (Best Delegate), Noah Kest (Best Delegate), Shana Salomon (Best Delegate), Asher Alter (Honorable Mention), Deena Felsen-

thal (Honorable Mention), Alexa Hanelin (Honorable Mention), Benji Kurnick (Honorable Mention), Olivia Levkowitz (Honorable Mention), and Lizzie Peled (Honorable Mention). The Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) is a student-run simulation of the workings of the real United Nations that gives students an opportunity to experience and learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy. Playing the roles of delegates to actual United Nations member nations, participants represent a variety of positions, often ones with which they may not agree. In advocating for a given country, students must conduct thorough research

of that country’s interests and policies across a wide range of issues and concerns, adding both to their knowledge of world affairs and to their appreciation of and facility with research, preparation, communication and critical evaluation.

february 14, 2013

The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles hosted back to back Shabbatonim on Shabbos Shira and Parshas Yisro, attracting a wide  variety of  participants. The first Shabbaton featured LINK’s beloved former Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Mordechai Lebhar (now Rosh Kollel of Yismach Moshe in Toronto). Many of his former students  during his illustrious five year tenure at LINK came to hear his indepth lectures on many halachic subjects. These  included Baalei Teshuva deciding on which  minhagim to follow as well as the intricate  subject of  competition, business practices and “stealing clients”. He also a addressed a forum on the vexing question of parent-teenager  communication as well as offering an interesting perspective on the status  of minhagim in Eretz Yisrael today (vis a vis Sefardim and  Ashkenazim). The following Shabbos, LINK hosted a full-scale Shabbaton (including 3 catered meals) with Rabbi Mordechai Becher, a

The Jewish Home

LINK Kollel In LA Hosts Two Successful Shabbatonim


The Jewish Home

february 14, 2013


The Live Siddur, Chief Rabbi Sacks and Rabbi Sufrin

By: Rabbi Yahel Tsaidi, Principal Judaic Studies, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills Dr. Frank Luntz, the well known political analyst, in a recent discussion regarding the next generation of Jewish leaders, shared why synagogue attendance was not currently part of his life, despite having a strong Jewish identity. He explained that when going to synagogue, he cannot relate to the fact that he does not know what he is saying during prayers. This story is not novel to many of us. Many like to refer to the decreasing numbers of adolescents attending shuls. The crux of the issue may be the same as Frank Luntz expressed. It is the lack of comfort and independence that youth feel when navigating the siddur, as well as not feeling how prayer is a way to interact with G-d. In short, many of our adolescents simply do not know what they are saying or reading and have rarely discussed or contemplated why they are saying it. Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy is embarking on the creation of a Tefillah curriculum that specifically addresses this issue. The curriculum will focus not only on the rote reading and the exercise of page turning from brachot through Aleinu, or the choreography of when to stand and when to sit, but the objectives will also include an understanding of the structure and meaning of each tefillah while appreciating the vision and wisdom of Anshe

tion and publishing of a new and groundbreaking children’s siddur set. In putting together the select team of visionaries and editors, Koren has invited a team to include Dr. Scott Goldberg, representing Yeshiva University, and Rabbi Sufrin, representing the North American Jewish Day Schools. Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks will also be involved in the project, as his Koren Siddur will serve as the end goal for the project. This project, when complete, will also serve as a resource for schools throughout the country to use in conjunction with their tefillah programs. A number of schools throughout the United States have already signed up to begin using the program when it is completed in the fall of 2013. Knesset Hagdolah, David Hamelech, and Chazzal in the creation of the modern day siddur. Hillel’s Judaic Studies rebbeim and morot have begun to strategically select sections of the tefillah and are developing seven minute Prezis (Prezis is an interactive computer based program) to be displayed on a 60-inch screen at the front of the room during Tefillah. The screen will progress through the tefillah using visuals, explanations, and interactive engaging

segments. This will allow the students to relate to the segment of tefillah being recited at that moment in the prayer. It will also stimulate the student to find ways to engage with G-d while praying that specific part of the liturgy. In addition, the Head of School, Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin, has been invited to take part in a joint project of Koren Publishing Company and the Yeshiva University College School Partnership as part of the editorial board, spearheading the prepara-

For further information about the syllabus and the Chinuch Siddur project please contact info@hillelhebrew.org.

“Master Fundraiser Forum” Prepared for Seasoned Fundraising Professionals By: Shimmy Blum

In light of the various challenges that our community faces nowadays, it can be easy to overlook the amazing strides that we have made over the past decades, with great Siyata Dishmaya. The vast, fast growing network of beautiful batei Medrashim, sophisticated mosdos hachinuch catering to both mainstream and special needs children, and wonderful organizations for every chessed project imaginable, remains our best line of defense to conquer all the challenges we face. It is crucial to bear in mind, though, that these indispensable resources did not come about on their own. Everything, from founding an ambitious institution to meeting day to day expenses, entails a complex financial struggle. Thankfully, klal Yisroel has been blessed by a small army of unsung heroes who have dedicated themselves to raising the necessary funds on our behalf against all odds. The Ponovezer Rav zt”l, an early trailblazer in building mosdos haTorah, was known to say that he would quietly daven

that potential donors should not open the door when he knocked on them. Fundraising can at times be humiliating, frustrating and seem futile. Yet, with an eye on the ball, persistence and wise maneuvering, successful fundraisers have been able to accomplish immeasurably on behalf of Klal Yisroel, b’Siyata Dishmaya. The heroes on the front, however, have no time to sit back and revel in their triumphs. During every minute of the day, they are preoccupied with ensuring an even brighter future for their respective institutions and the neshamos they cater to. To this end, a special event will be held to pay tribute to the accomplishments of successful fundraisers and exchange ideas on how to most effectively accomplish in the future. On Wednesday, February 27th, Bottom Line Marketing Group will BE”H host the “Master Fundraiser Forum” entitled “The Winning Edge,” catering to both men and women in the field. The RSVP only forum, to be held in the grand ballroom of a major New Jersey hotel, will feature a 12 hour smorgasbord of

seminars, presentations and Q & A’s with veterans on all sides of the equation, including prodigious fundraisers, marketing gurus, major donors and more. The speakers list includes names like Rabbi Simcha Scholar, Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser, Rabbi Richard Bieler, Rabbi Eliezer Stern, Mr. Norman B. Gildin, Mr. Richard Jedwab, Mr. Shea Rubenstein and Mr. Marty Siegmeister. Broad attendance by the top talent in the region is expected, and the schedule has been designed to accommodate networking between attendees as well. Yitzchok Saftlas, founder and president of Bottom Line Marketing Group, relates that this bold program is the result of his over two decades of experience in the field. Bottom Line counts many prestigious mosdos and organizations as clients. Mr. Saftlas has intimately involved himself in organizing and fine tuning successful events, PR material and general fundraising strategies to help them remain respectfully afloat. Over the years, he has delivered various well received lectures on topics related to institutional fundraising

and marketing, and can hardly contain his excitement for the upcoming event. “The Master Fundraiser Forum involves months of meticulous preparation,” Mr. Saftlas relates. “Baruch Hashem, we managed to put together a top-notch lineup of speakers, and ensured that every last detail makes the event conducive to long term success.” The full day forum will include three upscale meals catered by L’Chaim Caterers of Monsey in a very comfortable atmosphere. A nominal fee will be charged in order to cover all the costs involved, but the time and money invested promise to pay great dividends. “The event’s call to action is, ‘Spend 12 hours and gain 12 months of fundraising success,’” Mr. Saftlas sums up. “We’re doing everything possible to BE”H live up to that promise.”

For more information or to RSVP, please call (718) 412-3520 or visit www. MasterFundraiser.com


Association leaders said Spitzer was a natural choice for induction into the organization. Spitzer received the award at the association’s December meeting in Tel Aviv, where he delivered four lectures about innovations in hip and knee replacement surgery. “Andrew is not only an excellent teacher and speaker but a real, true friend to Israel and Israeli orthopedics,” said Steven Velkes, MD, the association’s treasurer and chair of the Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery at the Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus) outside Tel Aviv. At Cedars-Sinai, Spitzer serves as both surgeon and researcher, focusing on implant designs, blood management in total joint replacement, prevention of blood clots, and the non-operative management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Spitzer has written numerous articles for peer-reviewed publications, contributed chapters to textbooks on hip and knee replacement, and lectured extensively and presented scientific papers around the world. He also serves as a consultant reviewer to many of the major orthopedic journals, including the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research. He is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, the Western Orthopedic Association, the California Orthopedic Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Rosh Chodesh Adar was celebrated with a gala breakfast. The monthly Torah and Midos awards were presented to the students and the boys were treated to a special surprise: a Mariachi Band in honor of Chodesh Adar.

february 14, 2013

Director of the Joint Replacement Program at the Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Center given rare honor for contributing to understanding of orthopedic surgery. LOS ANGELES — Feb. 1, 2013 – Andrew I. Spitzer, MD, has traveled to Israel more than a dozen times over the past decade to perform his own brand of community service: Teaching surgeons the latest techniques for replacing hips and knees while treating many patients without charge. Now that work has earned Spitzer, director of the Joint Replacement Program at the Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Center, a rare distinction. He is one of only a handful of American surgeons to be named an honorary member of the Israel Orthopedic Association. “It’s the highlight of my professional career,” Spitzer said. “It’s nice to be recognized for what has come to be a passion of mine.” Spitzer got involved with the association in 2003, when he decided to put his surgical skills to use in hope of helping the Jewish state. He took on surgical cases that would serve as teaching opportunities for residents and staff at hospitals in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba, among other places. He began attending the association’s annual meetings and delivered lectures to fellow orthopedists about his specialty, joint replacements for hips and knees. “I wanted to contribute in some way to Israeli culture, to celebrate their yearning for knowledge,” said Spitzer, who also is a member of the Cedars-Sinai/USC Dramatic Arts Dance Medicine Center. “I thought this was a great opportunity to make a contribution in a positive way.”

VTHS Rosh Chodesh Breakfast

West Coast NCSY’s Torah High back in Los Angeles Torah High, a program of West Coast NCSY, is back in the Los Angeles area, and its goals are noteworthy for students in public high schools. Torah High provides meaningful Jewish learning experiences for teens; fosters identification with Israel, strengthens Jewish identity, develops Jewish literacy, provides college credits for high school students, and encourages connection to the Jewish community. The program returns for its third year at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 12800 Chandler Blvd, Valley Village and is held Monday nights.  College credit for 11th and 12th graders is given through a partnership with American Jewish University. 

Two courses are currently offered: Living Tanach (Bible), from 5:00-5:50 p.m., taught by Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom; and Hebrew Chat, 6:00-6:50 p.m., taught by Sara Solomon. Students can register for one or both courses. The two instructors, who have years of experience teaching in Los Angeles, are excited to be returning to this dynamic program.  The Living Tanach course provides a deeper understanding of the Rabbinic Bible and its commentaries, and through it, an attachment of the students to their heritage. Students will study classical Jewish texts and learn how to apply their teachings to their daily lives. The course will

teach students to appreciate and partake in the history, culture and traditions of Jewish life. Hebrew Chat is designed to enable students to communicate with native speakers in Hebrew. Students will use intermediate language and read age and language appropriate passages for various purposes.  Through activities such as presentations, reports, debates and seminars, students learn to work cooperatively, develop thinking and communications skills and acquire self-confidence. Reading knowledge of Hebrew is not a requirement. Solly Hess, Regional Director of West Coast NCSY and Director of Los Angeles

The Jewish Home

Orthopedic surgeon recognized for dedication to advancing hip, knee surgery in Israel


Torah High, declared: “Torah High offers students a unique avenue for Jewish education. With a combination of skilled instructors and outside the classroom experiences, Torah High educates Jewish teens in engaging and appealing ways. We are so pleased that Shaarey Zedek is hosting this year’s program, making it easier for Valley families to participate in this incredible educational initiative.”

For more details, visit www.westcoast. ncsy.org/th, call 310-229-9000 ext. 209, or email th@ncsy.org.


eizepye eini el oikix`n xeaivd mr eizeiyxt milynd lk

february 14, 2013

(:g zekxa)

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The Jewish Home

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The Jewish Home february 14, 2013


The Jewish Home

february 14, 2013


Wiesenthal Centre to EU: “Ban Hezbollah Now - Further Vacillation will not Grant Europe Immunity” Paris, 6 February 2013 In a letter to European Union High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton of Upholland, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, claimed that “despite continuous requests, for the last year, from the United States administration and entreaties from the Middle East that the European Union place Hezbollah on its terrorism list, on a par with Hamas - both its political and military wings - the EU has vacillated, at one point arguing that Hezbollah does not act on EU soil.” The letter noted that “the UN enquiry

into the murder of the late Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri in 2005, indicated conclusive evidence of Hezbollah complicity, though the official report is still pending,.” continuing, “now the Interior Minister of Bulgaria, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, has announced the official findings linking to Hezbollah, the financing and authorship of the attack on an Israeli tourist bus on July 18, 2012 killing 6, including 1 Bulgarian citizen and wounding 32.” Samuels stressed, “This atrocity happened in an EU member state. Every EU government is fully aware that Hezbollah is present across Europe, fund raising, recruiting, and preparing further attacks.”

The letter argued, “This was the situation in Latin America that, in 1994, led to the Hezbollah bombing of the AMIA Jewish Centre in Buenos Aires, leaving 85 dead and over 300 maimed - a situation of infiltration that is worsening across that continent as the presence there grows of Hezbollah’s patron, Iran.” Samuels pointed to the irony that, “The EU employs a regime of sanctions against Tehran, and morally supports the victims of the Syrian genocide, perpetrated by the Assad regime which is maintained by Iran.” Also emphasising, “While the EU supports the French campaign against Salafist terrorism in Mali, while - until

now - shielding the greatest threat to Europe - Hezbollah.” The Centre recalled, “The late Simon Wiesenthal would say, ‘What begins with the Jews never ends with them’!”, declaring that ‘All Europeans are at risk, Christians, Jews and Muslims’.” “We urge you to ban Hezbollah now. Further vacillation will not grant immunity, indeed it will damage the efforts of all those who fight terrorism worldwide. We know from history, that appeasement has always led to the abyss,” concluded Samuels.

Wiesenthal Centre to French Education Minister: “Ban Palestinian Agitation From French Elementary Schools” Paris, 5 February 2013 “A school is a place to inculcate fraternity and tolerance, not hate and violence” In a letter to French Education Minister, Vincent Peillon, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International

Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, protested newspaper ad invitations to an anti-Israel hatefest at a Paris primary school – l’Ecole Primaire publique, 13 rue Fagon. Samuels noted, “Frustrated by their failed attemps to use Paris universities as their propaganda podium, Palestinian or-


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ganizations and their French fans will now target infants and teenagers in their political campaigns for boycott, Gaza, support for Hamas.” The letter stressed, “It was the diet of Jihadist websites and Islamist satellite television that has transplanted the Middle East powderkeg to the streets of Paris, Marseilles and other cities across France,” continuing, “Now children in public schools will be vulnerable to the anti-Semitic poison that turned on the kidnappers of Ilan Halimi and motivated the murder of Jewish children in Toulouse by Mohamed Merah.” Samuels pointed out, “While France combats Islamic terrorism in Mali, Algerian Salafist leader, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has publicly threatened to hold the Jews of France as responsible scapegoats and ‘targets of new Mohamed Merahs’.” The Centre urged the Minister “to ban this gathering as a menace to public order and, by demonizing the Jewish State, encourages an atmosphere for further anti-Semitic assaults in France.”

The Centre emphasized,”This ban should stay in force and apply to all further abuse of State Schools as platforms for political agitation. A school is a place to inculcate fraternity and tolerance, not hate and violence,” concluded Samuels.

For further information please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels (00)33 609770158, 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).

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The Jewish Home february 14, 2013

The Jewish Home february 14, 2013 14


The Jewish Home february 14, 2013


The Jewish Home

february 14, 2013


Westwood Kehilla Installs First New Rabbi in 18 Years The Westwood Kehilla, a small but vibrant community just several minutes’ drive out of Pico-Robertson, installed Rabbi Avi Stewart this past Wednesday at a formal dinner.  Since Rabbi Asher Brander left Westwood to start the LINK shul and kollel in 2011, the Kehilla had been searching long and hard for a man to fill their top slot. Rabbi Stewart, a homegrown LA native with experience in rabbinics, Jewish

programming and outreach on both the East and West coasts, has been a wonderful choice, according to members of the Kehilla.  Most recently Rabbi Stewart was a member of the Jewish Study Network in Palo Alto, which connects less-affiliated Jews to Jewish learning and enrichment opportunities, and before that he worked

as a rabbinic intern at Bnei Jacob Shaarei Zion in Baltimore.  Trained as both a rabbi and a therapist – he currently interns with Dr. David Fox, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills in addition to his new position in Westwood – Rabbi Stewart said that his passion is helping people in whatever way he can.  His wife, Shaindy, who teaches

special-ed limudei kodesh at Maimonides,

shares his goal, he said.  Together they have four children.  Living in Westwood “is the best of both worlds because it combines the smalltown flavor with the convenience of a large Jewish community – schools, mikvaos, Glatt Mart, all the infrastructure is within 5.5 miles,” said Rabbi Stewart.  For him and his wife Shaindy, who grew up in Toronto, “the sense of community you have in a small town is really unparalleled...if you want to feel like you’re part of a real community, come spend Shabbos – you’re invited!”   In addition to his synagogue work,

Rabbi Stewart hopes to rebrand the Westwood Kehilla as an outreach center dedicated to keeping Judaism real and relevant in West LA, and providing classes and programming to attract less-affiliated Jews in the neighborhood.  So far he organized a “Let My People Glow” Chanukah party and is starting a weekly Tot Shabbat morning experience for kids as well as a unique Pesach-prep series for children and their parents.  Readers are welcome to check out the new Kehilla website and programming at www.kehilla.org.   

“We hope [these programs] will attract our neighbors to try us out,” Rabbi Stewart said.  “Once people come, they love it.”

Kosher Gourmands Treat their Tastebuds at International Food and Wine Fest Kosher wines are becoming some of the most coveted; according to David Whittemore, marketing director for Her-

zog Wine Cellars which organized the International Food and Wine Fest (IFWF) held last week, Israel is “one of the world’s hottest and most focused-on new wine regions,” and the IFWF is “’the’ event on the West Coast to taste the wines of Israel… in addition to the lineup of truly incredible wines from around the world.” More than 1250 wine enthusiasts agreed to shell out an entrance fee to come to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for the chance to taste 274 different wines from 10 countries (France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, United States), along with cuisine - more than 20 different dishes in all - prepared onsite by the chefs of the popular Tierra Sur restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, CA.

“We could not be more excited about the 2013 International Food & Wine Festival!” said Whittemore. “This was a unique and ideal opportunity for people to sample hundreds of different kosher wines from across the globe, all in one place. It really can help folks shop for what they like without having to purchase the bottles. A bit like a wine shop where you can literally try everything.” While the event is always 100% kosher, Herzog wanted to make the event approachable to all people who love great wine, and therefore didn’t peg it specifically as a kosher event, in contrast to its sister events: the Kosher Food and Wine Experience (KFWE) held in New York and the UK. Together, the three events highlight the global portfolio of Royal Wine Corp. and provide the most comprehensive array

of ‘who’s – who’ in the global kosher wine industry, Whittemore said. The event brings in wine enthusiasts

from major wine retailers to professional collectors to folks who just love great wine. In addition to tastings, attendees were able to meet the winemakers and sample complementary dishes prepared by the chef at Tierra Sur. Herzog Wine Cellars produces more than 50 different premium kosher wines, made from the grapes of California’s most popular regions, including: Napa Valley, Mendocino County,

Monterey County, Central Coast, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills and more, according to the company.



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The Jewish Home


Judaism Alive

february 14, 2013


Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

Where You’ve Never Been Before

The Jewish Home

through that fatigue on your own. But let’s stop for a second. Why do we keep taking vacations in some form or another when we are able – the preparation is extensive, the costs are prohibitive, the family fighting can be frequent, and the return home can be…well, were not allowed to complain about that part, so why do we do it to ourselves? On a philosophical level – what is the function of a vacation? Escapism, by its nature, can’t work. Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer used his artwork to escape his chaotic and dysfunctional life, only to find


aniel Freedman, Forbes witty pundit, points out one of the true ironies of life. There may be nobody more trapped in this world than a man wiped out from his return from vacation. He has absolutely nobody to complain to. Those who were not as fortunate as he was to take a vacation are not interested in hearing him rant about how tiring all the flying and unpacking and taxis and going through customs was. You have to suffer

it for you Wholesale” (later adapted into the movie Total Recall) illustrates the catastrophic results of trying to escape. So why do we do it? The value of a vacation is in acknowledging that all of life is about moving to a place where you have never been before. If you are blessed to take some time away with your children and family – focus on taking your relationship as a father, mother, brother, cousin to a place where you as a family have never been before. That is vacation. I don’t mean geographically, but rather I mean experientially. Experiencing

You have to suffer through that fatigue on your own. that in the moments he stopped painting he would crash emotionally much more than before he had his escape. Philip K. Dick in his haunting story “We Can Remember

the people you care about in a different backdrop and a different context, helps you define the sweep of your relationship. With this definition, one doesn’t have to travel far to see something that they haven’t yet. You can take a vacation for a few moments even in your mind. Shift your consciousness to an area or realm that you haven’t explored before. The German Rabbi and community leader Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, at the end of his life, announced his plans to visit the Swiss Alps. When asked why he was going through this effort, he responded that he didn’t want to stand before G-d on judgment day and be asked “Samson, why didn’t you visit my Swiss Alps.” The essence of this story speaks to the migratory nature of the human condition. We need to keep moving. The Lubvaticher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, explains the Biblical verse “V’halachta B’drachav” “And you shall walk in His ways” in this vein. The verse is not so much about following G-d as it is about walking, or moving. The human being is implored to be a mover. Our job is to take our soul somewhere it has never been before. Philosopher, Rabbi, and Medicine Man, Maimonides compiled a list of the 613 Biblical commandments. In his list he left out the charge to follow G-d in His ways. Why? Using the thesis of the Lubavitcher Rebbe we can explain that Maimonides left it out because it is a commandment that relates to all the other commandments. It tells us that when we do any good deed it needs to take us to a place we weren’t before. If you are not moved after helping the poor with a meal, then something is missing, you’ve done something wrong. A mitzvah (deed) by its nature must catapult you to a different station.

In the beginning of his great and mysterious journey, Abraham was told by G-d, “Lech Lecha” – usually translated “go for yourself”, but literally can be read as “go to yourself.” Abraham, there is no greater journey you can take, no more undiscovered terra firma than the edges of your being. Find it – bring light there. Move around within yourself, and let your physical journey serve as a metaphor for your spiritual internal journey. Movement. We are all moving. Some forward and some backward, but we are all moving. All of life’s vistas afford us a different vantage point from which to view life and from which to view ourselves. The spirituality that I have cultivated standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem is in some ways different than the spirituality that I have cultivated why looking at a sunset. Why though, why you may ask, do I need to go to a place where I have never been before? The Torah teaches us “V’chai Bahem” – “and you shall live by them.” The law, morality, our good deeds they’re meant to be alive. There is a certain vitality, to loving others, for example, when my love is shared beyond my immediate space. My Torah study is given a certain gravitas when I can take what I’ve learned explain its relevance and profundity to students in different parts of the world.  This, however, is where I am unsure. I am unsure if we give our deeds life by bringing them to new spaces, new mind frames, new landscapes, or it is the opposite, maybe the idea is that we give our new spaces life by bringing the deed to it. In Kabbalah, at the earliest stage of creation G-d’s light was too strong and it shattered the Holy Vessels used to contain that light. The shattered pieces of the vessels have been scattered to the farthest reaches of the world. Some say to the farthest reaches of our soul. The mitzvah, the observance of our faith in action, is the clarion which brings these shattered vessels back together. And like a troubadour we go from place to place, with our deeds in hand, locating the lost sparks. So go – go to bring light all over the world, go to bring light to those that you go with, go to bring light to the morality that you live. And never forget – there is no further destination that we can travel to than to the core of our identity. 

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 rabbieinhorn@gmail.com


Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

The Jewish Home

Ed Koch & the Unanswered Question

e was as direct, forceful and iconoclastic in death as he was in life. Not halachically committed during his lifetime, he ensured that an entire world would understand that the core of his self-definition was his Jewishness. His rabbi was Orthodox, but he never represented himself as observant. Yet, he sat shivah for a parent at Gracie Mansion. Not given to backing down from a position because of what others would think, he treated Torah differently. Thus, when the media once learned that he had choked at a restaurant, he created a white lie around the incident. The offending food had been pork, but he explained later that far be it for him to publicly advertise his disregard for this most basic requirement of kashrus. He evidenced thereby the midah of shame/ boshes that the gemara in Yevamos tells us is one of the three national characteristics of authentic Jews. When his rabbi tried to find him a more traditional Jewish place of interment, he turned down several alternatives, preferring not to leave Manhattan, and to park himself among the common folks in Washington Heights. He selected the text for his tombstone years in advance, combining the famous last words of Daniel Pearl Hy”d with the Shma, in Hebrew and in translation. To the “I am a Jew” line he appended an explanation of how Danny Pearl uttered those words just before his beheading by “Muslim terrorists.” Ed Koch knew how un-politically correct those words were, chose them deliberately, and literally chiseled them in granite for all time, directing the attention of millions to what he believed to be the source of a threat to civilized humanity. Danny’s father, my friend Dr. Judah Pearl of UCLA, conveyed his thoughts about Koch’s memorializing his son in an article in Tablet. In 2004, he and his wife

We might be struck somewhat less dramatically by the fact that Ed Koch died on the eve of the reading of Yisro, home to the Aseres HaDibros. Chazal assume that a number of differences between the versions in Shemos and Devarim owe to both of them having been stated simultaneously. (Zachor andshamor are perhaps the most well-known example.) Maybe Ed Koch’s tombstone mirrored that quality of the luchos. Maybe the answer to Dr. Pearl’s question is that the two epitaphs on

Jew” finds its true meaning, and its promise for the future, in “Shema Yisrael… Hashem echad.” Whatever Ed Koch meant, by now he knows this to be true.

Rabbi Adlerstein is the Director of Interfaith Affairs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and holds the Irmas Adjunct Chair in Jewish Law at Loyola Law School. He is the Founding Editor of Cross-Currents, and on the editorial boards of Klal Perspectives and Jewish Action. Artscroll published his work on Be’er HaGolah of the Maharal; he just released an English adaptation of Nesivos Shalom on Chumash. This article first appeared on cross-currents.com

Why be proud? What particular elements are there to be proud of? that tombstone are really one, and were given bedibur echad. Ultimately, “I am a

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february 14, 2013


Ruth asked 300 people to submit essays (subsequently published in a marvelous volume) of reactions to their son’s last words. What did being Jewish mean to them? Ed Koch’s essay focused on terrorism and his anger over it, seemingly coupled with his perpetual consciousness of having risen from humble immigrant-family roots to ascend to the top. The Pearls found that submission out of character with the others. Koch never explained, at least publicly, what that meant beyond triumphalism and the joy of making it as a minority. Why be proud? What particular elements are there to be proud of? Surely there is more than the fact that we have survived persecution and genocides for being who we are. Dr. Pearl then moves on in his Tablet piece to other topics, without providing an answer to this all-important question. Why, indeed, continue to be proud? Jews are often proud of the historical contribution that Jews have made to the world, but completely flustered when asked why the world still needs them. When one of the granddaughters of Moses Mendelssohn told her family that she intended to become a Lutheran, her father reassured her that this was perfectly acceptable. Jews had made their contribution to the world. Those who bought into that Jewish message happened to be Lutherans at the time, so joining up with them was the natural continuation of the Jewish experience. Having given the world so many things of value (equality under the law; the sanctity of individual life; the utopian ideal, to name a few), was it not time for Judaism to sing its swan song? Having given the world a stunning performance, what can we do for an encore? Dr. Pearl has his answer; I have mine. We are both uncomfortable with each other’s answers. The question remains perhaps the most important one that any Jew can ask. Yehudah Pearl could not help but take note of the irony in Ed Koch dying exactly eleven years to the day of Danny’s murder. The fact that Koch has now died on the same day as our son seems to be yad hahashgacha, the hand of providence, at work. If I were a believer, I would say: How could anyone doubt God’s existence? Instead, I am struck by what a strange, surreal coincidence this is.



february 14, 2013

F e b r u a ry 1 4 , 2013

The Jewish Home

The Jewish home n

You Gotta be



Submitted by Heshy Finkel After working for many years in the garment business, Bernie decides to retire. He tells his friends of his plans and they ask him what he plans to do with his free time. “Well,” he says, “I plan on joining the New York Athletic Club.” “The New York Athletic Club? They’ll never let a Jew in there.” “Just wait and see,” says Bernie. So one day, after he retires, Bernie gets up in the morning and puts on a blue blazer with gold buttons. He buttons up a pinstriped shirt, dons a red tie, puts on khakis and tassel loafers and heads out to the New York Athletic Club. When he gets there, he is ushered into an ornate sitting room. The interviewer starts to ask Bernie some questions. “Your name, sir?” “It’s Bernard Stratenhaus, III,” Bernie answers. “And your profession?” “Well, I’m retired now, but I used to own a boutique advertising firm on Park Avenue in the City.” The interviewer nods. “Are you married?” “Yes, my wife Mary is very active in the Junior League.” “Do you have any children?” “Yes,” Bernie responds, “we have two children—Chip and Bunny. They are both attending Harvard and Yale, respectively, and should be graduating with honors.” “And your religion?” the interviewer asks. “Oh, yes,” Bernie replies, “we’re goyim.”

The Eyes...They see

Submitted by Anna Emert A man drank some spiked fruit punch at a party and then left later on. Other people at the party who drank the same punch died of food poisoning. How did the first man escape death? Answer on next page

• It doesn’t bother you to use an airport named for a man who died in an airplane crash. (Will Roger’s World Airport in Oklahoma City is named for...you guessed it…Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash.) • You have used the phrase “fixin’ to” during the last three days.

Just in case you didn’t know, an “anagram” is a word (phrase or sentence) formed from another by rearranging its letters. For example, “angel” is an anagram of “glean.” In the following sentences, two numbers are given in each sentence that need to be replaced by words. Each word is an anagram of the other. The numbers represent how many letters are in the word (that is why the numbers are the same...aha, ding-dong). Ready, set, go:

• Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date. • You’ve been excused from school because “the cows got out.” • You can recall hot summers by the year they happened easier than you can remember your mother’s birthday. • You have owned at least one belt buckle bigger than your fist.

2. Read further, and you’ll see that he (4) on the (4) of March.

• A bad traffic jam involves two cars staring each other down at a four-way stop, each determined to be the most polite and let the other go first.

3. I love fruits, especially (6) and sour (6)!

• Your “place at the lake” has wheels under it.

4. The raised (4) (4) listeners by making it possible for the crowd to see the speaker.

• You aren’t surprised to find lunch, ammunition, and bait all in the same store.

5. It is amazing how Joe (4) his (4) through his opponent’s guard to land a punch.

• A Mercedes Benz is not a status symbol. A Ford F150 4x4 is.

1. We had driven over a (4) to find a restaurant that served key (4) pie.

6. Her face became (4) when she thought that he was going to (4) from the balcony. 7. What a (4) life the gangster did (4). 8. He used a special (4) to break into the safe and make off with the (4). 9. He did not (6) vision in his right eye after the damage to his (6). 10. The (5) bit her when she leaned against the (5) tree.

ANSWERS: 1) mile, lime 2) dies, Ides 3) melons, lemons 4) dais, aids 5) fits, fist 6) pale, leap 7) vile, live 8) tool, loot 9) retain, retina 10) cobra, carob


• The toothbrush is a family heirloom handed down from one generation to the next. • When the tornado siren goes off, you go into the yard to gather up the old kitchen sinks. • The ironing board doubles as the buffet table at family gatherings. • You crossed state lines on more than one occasion to get beer. • You learned how to shoot a gun before you learned how to multiply. • You have had this conversation: “You wanna Coke?” “Yeah.” “What kind?” “Dr. Pepper.”



2. Who decides whose portrait appears on currency? a. Since 1938, General Mills cereal has had a biannual cereal box contest in which children submit their vote for who should appear on upcoming bills. This tradition began when FDR wanted children, who were living through the Depression, to feel hopeful about money. b. The Vice President. (Why do you think Donald Duck appears on the new dollar bill?) c. Treasury Secretary. (Mr. Lew, I know you read TJH...um, uh, I kinda’ think I’m good looking. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t be a good choice for the next “hundy” bill.) d. The Chinese government, after all, they own all the bills anyways. (Okay, politics: check.)

Answers: 1. D 2. C 3. A 4. B 5. A-Since 1983, pennies are made of 97.5% zinc and plated with a thin copper coating. 6. B 7. D 8. A-Even if 50% of the bill is identifiable as United States currency, if you provide evidence that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Treasury that the missing portions have been totally destroyed, you will get a refund. (WAIT!!! Don’t try this. It is illegal to purposely

3. What’s the average life span of a dollar bill? a. 4.8 years b. 12.5 years c. 22.1 years d. 34.9 years 4. Who is pictured on the back of a penny? a. George Washington b. Abraham Lincoln c. Benjamin Franklin d. Thomas Jefferson

8. If you have money which is destroyed and you want a replacement, how much of the money must still be recognizable? a. More than 50% b. 75% c. 90% d. There is no way to get a replacement for money that you destroyed. (Sorry, learn how to treat your money better.)

5. Pennies are made up of only 2.5 percent copper. Which other metal makes up the bulk of these little nearly worthless coins? a. Zinc b. Bronze c. Brass d. Plastic

9. How many times can paper currency be folded before it tears (according to official government estimates)? a. 1,000 times b. 2,500 times c. 3,000 times d. 4,000 times

6. How much U.S. currency is currently in circulation? a. $200 billion b. $750 billion c. $1.6 trillion d. $4.7 trillion

10. How many times is “USA” printed on each $100 bill? a. 6 times b. 8 times c. 10 times d. dozens of times

destroy U.S. currency, so stop trying to be smart...put away your video camera, unless you want to be placed in cuffs!) 9. D-Currency paper is composed of 75% cotton and 25% linen. It would take about 4,000 double folds (first forward and then backwards) before a note will tear. 10. D-Microprinting appears as just a thin line to the naked eye, but can be easily read upon magnification. Microprinting began in 1990 with the addition of the words “The United States of America” printed around the edge of the portraits. The new bills still use microprinting, but in a different location. These words now appear around Ben Franklin’s lapel. In addition, the words “USA 100” are printed tens of

times within the lower left “100.” The “1” is actually less than half an inch in height, and has “USA 100” printed in it dozens of times. (Source: my magnifying glass and a lot of time to analyze the many hundred dollar bills in my pocket)

Got fuNNy? Let the Commissioner decide.

Send your stuff to centerfold@fivetownsjewishhome.com

Wisdom key: 7-10 correct: You are a winner! Here, take one of my hundreds...Oh man, they are all falling out of my pockets, gosh, what is going on here...I am a mess, that’s the problem when you have too many of these. 4-6 correct: “efil ni erehwon uoy teg lliw ytircoidem” That is Latin for: “mediocrity will get you nowhere in life” (or maybe it’s just backwards English). 0-3 Correct: Hey, listen, there is this great contest being ran by the Treasury Department right now. They say that it is very hard to destroy dollar bills. So they want people to send them videos of themselves tearing bills. You should sign up. You can win good prizes (... like 30 days in the State Penitentiary).

Answer to riddle: The poison was frozen in the ice cubes which gradually melted later on. The man drank the punch while they were still frozen and so was saved.

1. What does the Latin term “annuit coeptis,” which appears above the pyramid on the back of the $1 bill, mean? a. Please remove before placing dirty clothing in washing machine b. Good for a cup of coffee at least c. You don’t own me; I own you d. Providence has favored our undertakings

7. How much does it cost the Mint to create each $1 bill? a. one tenth of a cent b. 1.2 cents c. 2.2 cents d. 5.2 cents

T h e Jewish J e w i s hHome h o m e nfebruary F e b r u a ry 4 , 2013 The 14, 12013

With Jack Lew’s confirmation for Secretary of Treasury coming up, we figured we should all brush up on our knowledge of money, because if things fall through for him, maybe one of you will get the call.

Hasidic Thought

The Jewish Home

february 14, 2013


Rabbi Reuven Wolf


Everyone’s Invited


e enter the month of Adar and the season of Purim with a sense of joy: as the Sages say, Mi’shenichnas Adar, marbim b’simcha—“When Adar arrives, we increase our joy.” But joy is a difficult thing to legislate: If one doesn’t feel happy—and when we look at the world, we don’t find a great deal to be joyous about— then how is one to generate a sense of joy? But we know that there is a close connection between the content of the Parsha, the Torah portion we read at this time and the needs of the calendar and the Jewish holidays. And it is a fact that the beginning of the month of Adar always happens at the time we read the Parsha of Terumah and the next several portions, in which we read about the commandment and the details of building the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. Evidently, the idea of creating a “home for Hashem”—a place where the Shechina, the Divine Presence, can dwell amid the Nation of Israel—is a source of joy. Let’s take a closer look at that. Two difficulties we encounter in the Parsha, seemingly unrelated to one another, may give us some insight into why building a Mishkan (and later, a Bais HaMikdash—a Holy Temple) should bring joy to our hearts. The first difficulty involves the materials used in the building of the Mishkan. All types of materials were used: animal, vegetable, mineral—and even human craftsmanship and artistry. The boards used for the walls of the Mishkan were acacia trees; the curtains were animal hides—but most important and mentioned first (25: 3) were the minerals used: gold, silver and copper. The reason, the Chassidic masters tell us, is that the entire goal of the Mishkan is to bring Hashem into the lowest and most material part of the physical world. Animals, and even vegetables, have some lifeforce behind their existence and we perceive something spiritual even in a piece of wood. But a stone or a piece of metal

is simply brute existence. Significantly, the Bais Hamikdosh was all stone, without animal and vegetable materials. That is the “ideal” home for the Divine Spirit—to create a dwelling place for the Highest of the High amid the lowest form of existence. But ever since the example of Cain and Abel, in which the sacrifice to G-d by Abel of the best of his flock was accepted by Hashem, but the half-hearted offering of the lesser of his produce was rejected by G-d, we know and have the well-established principle that, Kol chelev La’Hashem—“Only the best is to be offered to

the Mishkan was a gift by Hashem to three kinds of Jews G-d.” So we may well wonder, why not use only gold for the Mishkan—or at least gold and silver only (since silver is also a precious metal)? Why is copper among the items to be used at all? To answer this, let’s take a look at a larger problem: the sequence of events relating to the building of the Mishkan. In the Torah, the order of subjects in the text is: first comes Matan Torah—the Revelation at Sinai, which appears in Parshas Yisro, followed by the laws between people and their neighbors as set forth in Parshas Mishpatim; then, in Parshios Terumah and Tezaveh comes the first section relating to the Mishkan, in which Moshe is directed to build the Mishkan and to collect gifts and contributions from the Israelites. Then, suddenly, in Parshas Ki Sisah, the Sin of the Golden Calf—the Chet HaEgel—is described. And then after that, the Torah text resumes discussing the



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building of the Mishkan in the remaining Parshios of the Book of Shemos (Exodus), Parshas Vayakhel and Pikudei. Why, one may wonder, is the material concerning the Mishkan broken up like that? In fact, what do we believe was the actual sequence of events that are described in this unusual way in the Torah, since we have a basic principle that is applied many times in the Torah, that, Ayn mukdam u’me-uchar ba’Torah—“There is no strict adherence to chronological order (“no necessarily earlier-or-later”) in the Torah. The Torah is not simply a historical record and it will devi-



ate from strict chronology to teach a lesson. So what was the order of events here? Not surprisingly, there are three basic opinions in the commentaries. Lesser known, but still important, is the view of the Zohar: The Zohar says that everything connected to the Mishkan—from the directive to Moshe Rabeinu, to the collecting of contributions from the Israelites and assembling the materials to be used; everything up to, but not including, the actual building of the Mishkan, took place before the Sin of the Golden Calf. The proof of this, says the Zohar, is that when Aharon asked the Israelites for gold to make the Golden Calf, they had none—they had to use their jewelry, since they had already donated their gold for the building of the Mishkan. Rashi, basing his opinion of the Midrash Tanchuma, says the entire project of the Mishkan occurred after the Sin of the Golden Calf. But then, why is that portion sandwiched between two sections about the Mishkan? Says Rashi, the Torah did that to spare Israel the shame and embarrassment of having sinned so grievously. In effect, the Chet Ha-Egel is tucked away and hidden in a lengthy passage that speaks well of Israel—their enthusiastic contribution and building of the Mishkan. That is why, Rashi continues, the Mishkan is called “Mishkan Ha-Eidus”—the Tabernacle of Testimony: it testifies to Hashem’s acceptance of Israel’s repentance—that they are fit to have a place in which the Shechina, the Presence of Hashem, dwells. But there is a third opinion, that of Nachmanides (the Ramban), and also voiced as a minority opinion in the Zohar. It all happened, says the Ramban, just the way

it appears in the text: First came the directive to build the Mishkan; then came the Sin of the Golden Calf; and then came the completion of the task of building the Mishkan. Now the Zohar and Rashi seem to be on firm ground: The Mishkan was a gift of Hashem, either to the holy and righteous Israelite nation, the ˆTzadikkim, who stood at Sinai and accepted the Torah so enthusiastically (as the Zohar says); or else a gift to the penitent Israelites, the Ba’alei Teshuvah, whose repentance was accepted by G-d and sealed with the building of the Mishkan, as Rashi says. But if the Ramban is correct, then why is there no question voiced—by Moshe Rabeinu, at the very least—after the Sin of the Golden Calf whether the plan to have a Mishkan and for Hashem to dwell amid the Israelites was still in effect, still a “go”? The answer, say the Chassidic masters, is that the Mishkan was a gift by Hashem to three kinds of Jews: to “golden Jews”— those are the Jews who repented after the Chet Ha-Egel, the Ba’alei Teshuvah, who stood higher in the eyes of Hashem than the purely righteous; to “silver Jews”—the Tzadikkim, Jews who stood at Sinai and achieved heights of Prophecy greater than the Prophet Ezekiel; and even to the “copper Jews”—Israelites who were sinners and who had broken the first two Commandments by abandoning G-d and by serving an idol. And therein lies the great joy we feel this time of year: in spite of where we stand in terms of our commitment to and observance of Torah, Hashem desires to dwell amongst us and to provide us with a means of connecting to G-odliness and to the Shechina. Significantly, the metal that was used at the very entrance to the Mishkan—the sockets that held the pillars on which hung the curtains of the Chatzer, the Mishkan courtyard—was copper. Entering into the Holy Temple requires the participation of all three kinds of Jews— the “welcome mat” is out for all of us. And if that isn’t something to be joyous and hopeful about with the coming of Adar, then what is? 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.


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february 14, 2013


By: Jared Sichel

Jewish LA Start Ups

How one company made it big and one hopes to follow suit


here is no shortage of great business ideas. Every minute, someone envisions a new product or service that the market demands. But usually, they either forget the idea, doubt the initial vision, or try and fail to create a successful business. The vast majority of business ideas don’t lead to a dime of profit. That’s no surprise—to make a new enterprise successful is incredibly difficult. The goal of this column is to make the hard work of trying to make money easier—even if just marginally—for entrepreneurs in L.A.’s Jewish community. To that end, we will highlight at least two companies—one that’s starting up and trying to make it, and one that’s already there. Every company we look at is owned by someone who’s involved in L.A.’s Jewish community—or at least in one of the many Jewish communities in Los Angeles. This week’s column looks at two companies—one, Prodégé, is relatively new but already grossing in the tens of millions. The other, 121TutorAgency, is in its infancy stages but hopes to capitalize on a potentially profitable market.

Prodégé Monetizing web surfing Do you shop online? Watch videos? Use Google? Then you should be happy to know that you can make money doing the things you already do on the Internet. How?

to manage MYM on a daily basis. In 2005, Gorowitz founded Prodégé, renting office space in the Redondo Beach JCC. His initial concept was that Prodégé would help charities make money by mon-

of the money went to the website’s host and some stayed with Prodégé. Prodégé awarded some of its revenue to users of the site as “rewards”—i.e. points that could go towards buying team merchandise.

Gorowitz created Swagbucks.com, which today has over 60 employees, nearly 7 million users & grosses over $35 million annually etizing the use of Internet search engines. The idea was that every time someone uses the Prodégé installed search engine on a charity’s website, Prodégé will collect revenue—á la Google—and share some of that revenue with the charity. Soon thereafter, in 2007,Gorowitz expanded the concept by partnering with celebrities and professional sports teams to provide fans rewards when they used, for example, the search engine for the Indiana Pacers, searchwiththepacers.com. Prodégé would receive revenue when someone used the search engine, which happened to be powered by Google and Ask.com. Some

Josef Gorowitz

Swagbucks.com. Swagbucks was created in 2008 by Yosef Gorowitz. Gorowitz, now 31, grew up in Brooklyn and traveled around the world until returning to New York at age 20. It was there— working for his grandfather—where he learned much of what he knows about business. Gorowitz’s grandfather manufactured commercial vinyl wall coverings. “That one year of mentorship,” Gorowitz said,“Probably taught me a lot more than I could have learned in business school.” After working for his grandfather, the young entrepreneur and his brother, Mendel, created a joint venture, called MYM Trading, to import bulk honey from Argentina. Yosef is still a partner in MYM, but after getting married and moving to Los Angeles in 2004, his entrepreneurial projects meant that he no longer had the time

Prodege Board Room

This was the core idea of Swagbucks— to create a site, powered by Google’s search engine, where people could go for everyday Web surfing, and earn rewards at the same time. In 2008, Gorowitz created Swagbucks.com, which today has over 60 employees, nearly 7 million users and grosses over $35 million annually. In reality, Swagbucks is Prodégé, comprising 99 percent of the business. Swagbucks has six segments: search, shop, watch, play, answer, and discover. From exploring products on Amazon to watching videos to answering surveys, you can spend the better part of a day using one website for the same tasks that normally require at least five. I asked the founder his vision going forward for Swagbucks: “To evolve and to optimize. We are going to make it more tailored for the individual consumer.” He didn’t elaborate, but one can infer that Swagbucks wants to ride the targeted advertising wave by tracking users’ tastes and putting in front of them products that their Web footprints indicate they like. Have you been searching the Web for some new oven mitts? Well there just happens to be a great deal on kitchenware that Swagbucks is featuring for you. You spend


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february 14, 2013


success? “The number one and most important rule is to think positive and to have a pos-

ucts of yeshiva high schools want to help local teenagers navigate high school and get into college. And maybethe founders

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Naturally, plenty of students fall through the educational cracks.

Prodege featured on INC.com

less time searching, buy what you want, and to top it off, you earn a reward.

Gorowitz’s advice for budding entrepreneurs looking to learn a lesson from his

itive outlook,” he said. “Just doing that on its own—it affects the outcome.” To maximize his control over operations, Gorowitz never took money from major investors—passing on opportunities to be flush in terms of capital so that he could mold Prodégé in his image. “I did not want to bring in institutional money, because I would feel that they [the investors] start dictating you and you lose your entrepreneurialspirit.”

of121TutorAgency will even create a successful business along the way. In 2008, Schutzman, 28, and Korobkin, 25, started 121as a one-on-one tutoring company for students who needed to spend extra time on select subjects. Schutzman, who graduated from Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA), told me that he doesn’t think that private high schools are adequately delivering on the $25,000 tuitions parents pay every year. “We know the students are under pressure. The parents pay a lot of money,” Schutzman said. Naturally, plenty of students fall through the educational cracks. For some, the teacher moves too fast—for others, the teacher’s form of teaching doesn’t fit with the student’s form of learning. “It’s tough when you’re 14 or 15 to performat high levels.” Schutzman said. “A lot of students have a drop in self-confidence when they enter high school.” Six months ago, Schutzman and Korobkin remodeled 121. Their biggest

When he was working for his grandfather, and even when he started Swagbucks, Gorowitz never imagined he’d be as successful as he is now. But one thing he does know is that his optimism has helped his bottom line: “Think good and it will be good.”

121TutorAgency Supplementing the Schoolroom Dan Schutzman and Eli Korobkinknow education. The two L.A. natives and former prod-

Dan Schutzman

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homework lab

february 14, 2013

ministration. Korobkin wouldn’t cite specific revenue numbers, but did say that it has increased “rather nicely” since the remake of the company six months ago. The goal, Schutzman said, is to expand steadily, continue to selectively hire experienced tutors, and to find a way to help every student who needs a hand. “If a client comes to us with a specific need, we do whatever we can to fulfill that need.” Go to www.121tutoragency.com to learn more about the company. Dan and Eli can be reached at info@121tutoragency.com.

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change was creating “homework labs”— sessions where students can find help navigating the anxieties of high school, including homework and preparation for college. Because of their connections to L.A.’s Jewish community, the two businessmen know how to market to what is currently their largest customer base. They hope, though, to branch out from the Pico educational scene to schools across Los Angeles. 121 offers bulk rate packages and an individual pricing structure. Most of its group tutoring sessions are at YULA, and the company administers full-semester math and English classes, with grades, essays, and exams—all approved by the ad-


T H E J E W I S H H O M E n M AY 2 4 , 2012 The Jewish Home february 14, 2013




Compiled by Nate Davis

“Say What?”

“Some self-portraits painted by former President George W. Bush have leaked onto the Internet. Bush said, ‘If you like these, wait until you see my self-portraits of other people.’” - Conan O’Brien

“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wants to become the first Iranian to go into outer space. He wants to study the effects of anti-gravity on anti-Semitism.” –Jay Leno

“Before he lay in a hospital bed, convalescing after reconstructive knee surgery, I thought that Robert Griffin III would be the perfect person to take on a problem that’s been plaguing Washington for decades: our football team’s ill-considered, objectionable, offensive, racist, totally unacceptable name.” - Washington Post columnist Mike Wise in an article advocating changing the Redskins name because it is insulting to Indians

“PC [political correctness] is dangerous...It muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them. It keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of society is being changed. We cannot fall for that trick. And what we need to do is start talking about things....The PC police are out in force at all times… We’ve reached a point where people are actually afraid to talk about what they want to say.” - World renowned neurosurgeon and bestselling author Dr. Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast before tearing into Obamacare, with the President sitting to his right

“My Jihad Is to Build Friendships Across the Aisle...My Jihad Is To Build Bridges Through Friendship…My Jihad Is Not To Judge People By Their Cover.” - Some of the banners appearing on Chicago area buses, sponsored by The Council on American-Islamic Relations in an effort to repackage the word “Jihad” “After a few days in the sun, Ari and Rahm could pass for African-Americans, which led to the occasional dustup on a beach that was segregated in custom and practice. Certain people— mostly white males between the ages of 10 and 15—made it their business to enforce the unwritten whites-only rule. When they called my brothers [derogatory racial names] and tried to bully us off the beach, we—naturally—refused to move. Instead, one of us would answer, ‘You can’t make me leave.’” - From Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezekial’s upcoming autobiography “This was a necessary evil. G-d bless you sir.” - A rapper in L.A writing words of encouragement to Chris Dorner, who killed four innocent people and called the father of one of his victims repeatedly and taunted him that he failed at protecting his daughter “Supporters of Hillary Clinton have already started a 2016 super PAC on her behalf called ‘Ready for Hillary.’ And more cautious Democratic supporters have started another super PAC called ‘Bracing for Biden.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“Monopoly is getting a big makeover. They want to make the Monopoly game more modern and bring it up to date to reflect our current culture. Like, in the new version of Monopoly, the banker never goes to jail.” –Jay Leno “A new study says that working fewer hours can slow global warming. So you know what that means? President Obama’s economic policy is also his climate change policy.” –Jay Leno “Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of. In fact they’ve been neglected... Betrayed is a good word.” - Sgt. Munley who stopped the Fort Hood murderer, Abdel Hassas, discussing on ABC News how President Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of. “This is kind of disturbing. The Justice Department has concluded that the President can order drone strikes on American citizens. And today, Rush Limbaugh came out in favor of Obamacare.” –Jay Leno “It was just revealed that the Federal Reserve was hacked on Sunday. It’s pretty serious. In fact, they say the hackers could’ve made off with as much as negative $14 trillion.” –Jimmy Fallon

“What’s that apparatus?” - Fidel Castro when an interviewer took out a smartphone “The Pope is resigning! I guess he took that Notre Dame loss to Alabama a lot harder than people thought.” - Jay Leno “Pope Benedict announced he’s retiring. This is a pretty dramatic change. It means he will go from wearing a robe all day to wearing a robe all day.” - Conan O’Brien

Excerpts from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s Congressional testimony regarding Benghazi: Sen. Graham: Your testimony, as I understand it, Secretary Panetta, that you talked to the President of the United States one time. Sec. Panetta: I talked to him on September 11 with regards to the fact that we were aware this attack was taking place. Sen. Graham: One time. Sec. Panetta: Right. Sen. Graham: What time did you tell him that? Sec. Panetta: I think that was approximately about 5 o’clock? Sen. Graham: It lasted almost eight hours. And my question to you is during that eight-hour period, did the President show any curiosity about how’s this going, what kind of assets do you have helping these people? Did he ever make that phone call? Sec. Panetta: Look, there is no question in my mind that the President of the United States was concerned about American lives and, frankly, all of us were concerned about American lives. Sen. Graham: With all due respect, I don’t believe that’s a credible statement if he never called and asked you, are we helping these people; what’s happening to them?


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Parenting Education: Question & Answer 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 educationqanda@hillelhebrew.org and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks.  All names will be held confidential.

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february 14, 2013


and perseverance • Assists in developing a positive selfimage • When performed in a group, helps build team skills, cooperation and other social skills. Research from Yale University also shows very strong support for structured play. The found that “children who take part in organized activities benefit developmentally. They are healthier, judging from their academic performance and indicators of psychological and emotional wellbeing and self-esteem, as well as from their parent-child relationships...” Free play

Q: As a parent how can I ensure that my child’s playtime is wholesome and yet allows her to be a child? -A loving mom Dear Loving Mom, Play is the cornerstone to child’s development in the early years – but is one form of play better than another? There are benefits to both free play and structured play.  At Hillel, both are invaluable and give opportunities for our children, regardless of age or grade, to gain important life skills.   Both forms of play are valuable in their own right – the key is finding the balance that suits your child and your family.  The different types of play: free and structured.  1. Free Play: when children are left to their own devises to find something to amuse them, explore, create and/or imagine in a safe environment, undirected by adults.

2. Structured Play: when children are directed in specific activities structured by adults to develop the skills necessary for the child to be a successful later in life. PE classes are the school’s structured play.  Outside of school, structured play can take many forms:  karate class, football, baseball, soccer or lacrosse leagues, etc. Structured play In the simplest terms, structured play is showing your kids new skills to try out. It is teaching them something new that they don’t yet know how to do, and there is a huge amount of value in that on so many levels. Scientific research has proven that structured play : • Enhances overall development and learning capabilities • Supports healthy brain development by providing new ideas and opportunities • Increases physical skills and motor development • Provides exposure to self-discipline


‫מוהל מומחה ומוסמך‬ Traditional Ritual Circumcision Rabbi Sholom D. Langsam CM, NREMT

(216) FOR-BRIS 367-2747 rabbi@certifiedmohel.com www.certifiedmohel.com 434 N Alta Vista Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036

Free play is a hugely valuable activity that also must not be underestimated or neglected. Your child can learn so very much from self-directed activity. Some experts suggest that free play and “directed free play” (where an adult makes suggestions and/or participates in free play with their child) should make up the largest component of your child’s play experiences during 0-3 years. It’s valuable to your child’s overall development, it’s easy and it’s fun. It has been suggested in the literature, that with today’s busy lifestyle, we tend to forget to let children have sufficient “downtime” in the form of free play. Often when children are not engaged in a structured activity, they are being entertained by the “box” (whether that’s the TV or the computer). In general, our society struggles to allow children to play independently and we attempt to entertain children and keep them busy to avoid boredom. However, a little bit of boredom never hurt anyone – in fact it has been shown to be the birthplace of imagination and creativity. When leaving children to their own devices to entertain themselves, they may become bored initially…..but wait…. if you weather the few groans and moans of “I’m booorrred” (although you will rarely hear a young child say this as they instinctively know how to explore unaided), eventually your child will think of something to do. The more they practise entertaining themselves, the better they will become at it. This process fosters brain development, independence, self reliance, creativity and imagination. It is a relaxing, enjoyable and stress free activity for your children to participate in. So which form of play is better? Both structured and free-form play, contribute significantly — and in different ways — to your child’s development. Both  are equally important and a part of your child’s daily schedule at school.  They are complimentary, and each provides impor-

tant aspects for your child’s needs. It is all about balancing the two forms of play in a way that suits your child and your family. So how much of each? - Our recommendation is: Both forms of play have so much to offer - it’s about striking the balance that is right for you and your child. Each family will be different when considering the optimal time recommended spent teaching new skills to your child each week. As a starting point for 0-3 year olds perhaps put aside 15-30 minutes a couple of times a week to try something new with your child and see how that goes. If both you and your child are enjoying the experience you can increase how much you do accordingly. If your child is unfamiliar with structured activity, you may find he has a very short attention span to begin with. As your child becomes more familiar with the learning process, you will notice his attention span increase and you will both find the sessions more rewarding as he learns to concentrate for longer. Outside of school, it’s important to take note of the numerous recommendations by top child development programs and institutes. For example, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education offers these recommendations for DAILY physical activity levels in preschoolers; • Accumulate at least 60 minutes of STRUCTURED physical activity (organised by either you or another adult) • Engage in at least 1 hour, and up to several hours, of FREE play • Not to be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, unless they are sleeping • Limit time spent watching TV (videos or DVDS), on the computer or playing video games to no more than 1-2 hours per day.

Play on!

To continue the dialogue and share other ideas on this topic, email educationqandq@hillelhebrew.org. 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.

Students Write

31 The Jewish Home

Supporting Israel

By: Alex Reich 8th Grade student Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy

night. I marveled at this total dedication to a cause and finally realized that it was this very absolute and unwavering support that ensures the survival of the State of Israel. Because Israel lives in a constant state of the unknown, we must also always show our unconditional support. Zionism is a fundamental lesson taught every day to the children in Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. We are taught that Eretz Yisrael is the land promised to our forefathers; it is our homeland. The continued existence of Israel and our unyielding support for this cause is an imperative. I may live in America, but Israel is always in my heart and on my mind.

Supporting Israel and the Jewish Conversation One of my earliest recollections is of my parents planning our family’s trip to Israel. We try to go every two years, and the landscape and everyday life in Eretz Yisroel has become as comfortable and interchangeable to me as my daily routine in America. That said, until this past trip, I don’t think I really appreciated or understood why a Jewish homeland, my Jewish homeland, is so important to me. Our family, and particularly my uncle, is very involved with the IDF. We have hosted soldiers from every walk of life in both Israel and America and have dedicated our time to this very worthy cause. This past summer, I experienced an event that changed forever my perception of the importance of the State of Israel and the sacrifice that is required to keep Israel a viable and functioning country in the Middle East. I went to visit the navy base in Haifa to participate in a ceremony where my uncle was honored for adopting the navy platoon that commands both of Israel’s submarines. After the ceremony, we toured the base, met with the sailors and viewed the interiors of the submarines. The living conditions were sparse and so minimal that simple daily tasks required herculean patience and dedication to a cause that I could not fathom. Yet, each and every soldier we spoke with proclaimed their love for the IDF, the submarines and the living conditions! One soldier explained that while in his tiny bunk, he pictured himself cocooned in the Israel flag with his fellow soldiers, and it helped him sleep peacefully every

By: Elon Swartz Elon Swartz is a senior at YULA Boys High School. He has been accepted early admissions to Princeton and will study at a Yeshiva in Israel next year. There is an old joke that if two rabbis sit together for over 24 hours to discuss any given issue, they will produce three opinions between them. This joke appeals to me particularly because I believe that it realistically highlights the argumentative discourse that lies at the heart of the Jewish tradition. After all, it is such argument and debate that was embedded in Talmudic and rabbinical texts long before the modern Socratic method. Israel, in my opinion, is the quintessential place where Jews argue. Because Jews in most denominations feel that they have a stake in Israel (due to the history and deep roots with the land), each of them wants his or her voice to be heard in the country. Therefore, we, as Jews, often find ourselves arguing over the identity of Israel and her place in the modern world. And in Israel, our arguments and ultimate decisions actually have a practical impact - because we have sovereignty over the state, what we decide as best for Israel ultimately translates into what defines her. In my opinion, this “argument” over Israel and her identity is what makes the country so very important to us. While the discourse can, at times, be both controversial and unpleasant, like all honest conversation, it ultimately helps lead us to the best solutions - what Maimonides

would call the pleasant and truthful “middle path.” For example, there seems to be a fundamental disagreement between Jews of Haredi and more modern backgrounds in Israel over the place of religious Jews in army service. Without delving into the sensitive politics or taking a side, I would merely point out that the very conversation between Orthodox Jews on this particular issue has yielded what I believe to be beneficial results. In Dati-Leumi communities, more young men than ever before are studying at Hesder yeshivas. And in the Haredi communities, Haredi fighting units have, for the first time, been established. It is without a doubt that these developments have been aided by the argumentative discourse over the issue. Fortunately, discourse over army service is just one of many conversations in the State of Israel today. Because Israel is a democracy, conversation is inevitable; the very nature of the political scene demands it. And so, in my humble opinion, Israel’s unique status as a democracy in the Middle East is not merely an attractive public relations label that helps to garner support for the state, but is rather the very foundation that gives the state its Jewish character. By acting as a cultural and religious center around which meaningful Jewish conversations can take place, the State of Israel fosters arguments that help to define us and sensitize us to each other in a meaningful, sophisticated, and very profound way. Thus, I support Israel because I support the Jewish conversation. It is the conversation that defines our sacred Talmud, and a similar spirited conversation that keeps Torah and Judaism alive and vibrant today.

How Could I Not Support Israel? By: Adina Weinreb Student at Shalhevet My first trip to Israel was when I was twelve years old. My family put so much preparation into the trip: packing bag after bag, writing many drafts of itineraries, and purchasing a few books too. We visited the most spectacular places: the Kotel, Masada, Ein-Gedi, and Ben-Yehuda Street. I was even able to complete my Bat-mitzvah project by bringing the money I had raised to AMIT Beit-Hayeled to sponsor another girl’s Bat-Mitzvah. I had learned about Israel all my life but as I got on the plane

back home I truly realized how much I loved Israel. I knew it inside of me, but why? Now as a high-school student, and after much learning and guidance, I have just begun to understand why I love and support Israel. Most importantly, Israel is vital to the Jewish People because we need a homeland. Firstly, Jews need Israel to escape anti Semitism. It seems that from day one of Jewish existence Jews have been persecuted. So many different nations have attempted to wipe out the Jewish people, in all time periods and all across the globe. The Jews need a place to rule themselves free of outside interference- a place to just be Am Yisrael. Secondly, it is imperative Jews have their own state in order for Judaism to represent itself as a nation and make a Kiddush-Hashem. The Israelis teach the world how to prevent and clean up after terrorism. They set an example by helping so many other nations in their times of trouble. Israel creates innovations in science, technology, and medicine that benefit the whole entire world. Another reason I support Israel is because having a Jewish homeland allows our unique culture to flourish. In Israel Jews can speak the holy language of Hebrew. A religious holiday is also a national holiday. Israelis can write poetry of Jewish struggles throughout history, which inspire the nation. Israel has its own political system where Jews can participate freely and fully. I also support Israel because God promised it to us in the Torah. As God sad to Avraham “Go for yourself from your land, amd form your birthplace, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make you into a great Nation”(Genesis 12:1-2) The reason a Jew is able to feel so connected with the actual land of Israel is because God gave it to us. The land historically goes back to our ancestors and gives B’nai Yisrael a special bond with the land. It is amazing what Israel has become today. A Jewish people have come to live in their promised land. In this land they can make a Kiddush Hashem, experience a unique culture, perform many mitzvot specifically related to Israel, all without the threat of anti-Semitism. I pray for Israel multiple times a day, I ing songs about Israel, and learn about it. From my first years singing Ha’Tikva, to praying for Israel, from my trip to Israel, to my years in Jewish day school, my life has been and Education on Israel. How could I not support Israel?

february 14, 2013

Why I support Israel


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Global Canada Dismisses the Penny

Last week, the Royal Canadian Mint announced that it will officially stop distributing Canada’s iconic penny to financial institutions. Due to this announcement, businesses will be forced to round cash transactions to the nearest five-cent increment in a “fair and transparent manner” although there are still 35 billion pennies in circulation. It will still be many years before they become rare and extinct. The pennies will remain legal tender indefinitely, but it’s at the discretion of individual businesses if they’ll accept the coins. From there, businesses can hand them over to banks, who can pass them on to the Canadian Mint. The coin’s last stop after the Mint will be a foundry, which will melt the pennies down and recycle the metal. “We have never done this in Canada,” Mint spokeswoman Christine Aquino said. “We estimate three to four years [to get pennies out of circulation].” The move comes nearly a year after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the demise of the penny, whose production cost came to exceed its monetary value: it cost 1.6 cents to make each penny. I guess they’ll have to change the phrase: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Book Whose Main Character is Adolf Hitler is Bestseller in Germany Er Ist Wieder Da (He’s Back) has sold more than 400,000 copies since its release, putting it at the top of the Spiegel’s bestseller chart since mid-December. But this book is no fun read. The front cover is framed by Hitler’s trademark side-parting, with the title squashed into

the silhouette of his signature moustache. In the novel, the author, Timur Vermes, relates Hitler’s cult personality to our modern celebrity obsession. Vermes embellishes his thesis with dark humor through the 397 pages and discusses Hitler’s interaction with modern innovations.

He predicts Hitler’s reaction to jeans, the ringtone on his new smartphone, his new car, and the disappointment he would face if he learned that his first-choice of email address, Hitler89, has been taken. The fictional narrative is written from Hitler’s perspective, and deliberately evokes Mein Kampf. Of course there have been many critics who accuse Vermes of serious bad taste in his subject matter. Daniel Erk, a German author, has criticized Vermes for cashing in on a controversial topic that, in his eyes, reinforces the notion that “this crazy man is only person to blame.” He said, “This is how Germans absolve themselves of any wrongdoing and responsibility. This Hitler is the sole person responsible for the war and genocide.” Strangely enough, Vermes is completely in agreement. “We have too many Hitler stereotypes, which are always the same – the monster that enables us to reassure ourselves,” he told German media. “Often, we tell ourselves that if a new Hitler came along, it would be easy to stop him. I tried to show the opposite – that even today, Hitler might be successful. Just in a different way.” The book is due to be published in English by MacLehose Press by the end of 2014. Until then, the book is only available in German in Germany. Translations will also be available in 16 other languages, and predictably so, there are already rumors circulating that a movie deal is being negotiated.

Drug Lords Continue to Control Mexico Mexico is plagued by violence; no one

is safe from the drug gangs. Last week, Wilfrido Flores Villa, the mayor of the Michoacan town of Nahutzen, was having breakfast with his wife in a restaurant when he was gunned down. He is the 31st mayor to be murdered since drug-related violence began an upward spiral in 2006. To avoid a similar fate, mayors in the western state of Michoacan admit they must pay off drug cartels to save their own lives. “The lack of security has affected us. It is something that everybody knows about but doesn’t talk about, because we are afraid of facing organized crime,” said one of five mayors who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “We have to pay them a tax,” the mayor said. “They don’t leave you a choice. As the saying goes, ‘either cooperate, or it’s your neck.’” The gangs operating in Michoacan target everybody from the rich to the poor. They are all demanded to pay a tax to avoid being kidnapped or killed. “It’s not something we want to do. It’s something we are forced to do. We have nowhere to flee to. They don’t give you an option,” the mayor said. Gang members brazenly enter city halls without warning to collect their extortion money, which totals around $800 a month. “We want action, coordination, results for people, not just statements,” Michoacan Governor Fausto Vallejo said on Wednesday after talks with Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong. “Before, they would tell us, ‘Here come 20,000 soldiers to protect you from crime,’ and if the soldiers, the marines and the federal police arrived, the criminals would go on vacation,” he said. “Now, we need different results.” Some 50,000 troops were deployed across the nation by then-president Felipe Calderon in 2006. Yet those masses failed to protect the people of Mexico. Since then, over 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.

UK Considering Monitoring all Internet Usage Suppose the CIA announced that from here-on-in they would monitor every citizen’s internet use, email, and social media accounts. Would you be okay with that? Would you feel that it is a breech on your personal security? This isn’t a new discussion. If you recall, the debate was hotly debated during the Bush administration with regards to phone tapping. Now Britain is facing similar debates. United Kingdom’s spy agencies want

to install “black box” surveillance devices across the country’s communications networks to monitor internet use. The spy network will rely on a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection to log data from communications ranging from online services like Facebook and Twitter, Skype calls with family members, and website visits. Of course, this proposal has been met with resistance and outrage. The average person is uncomfortable being watched by Big Brother. The report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, published on Tuesday, gives UK intelligence agencies’ perspective on the government’s draft Communications Data Bill, which is intended to update surveillance powers. The government argues that swift access to communications data is critical to the safety of the country. It will help fight terrorism and other crime. But this bill will not happen overnight since the Liberal Democrats dropped support for the bill. Security Service Chief Jonathan Evans said, “Access to communications data of one sort or another is very important indeed. It’s part of the backbone of the way in which we would approach investigations. “I think I would be accurate in saying there are no significant investigations that we undertake across the service that don’t use communications data because of its ability to tell you the ‘who’ and the ‘when’ and the ‘where’ of your target’s activities.” Opponents also challenged the government, comparing this new proposal to that of other totalitarian regimes that the UK government is known to criticize. Emma Carr, deputy director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “Using highly intrusive technology to monitor how people use the internet is not something that a civil society should be using on every citizen. The danger is that the whole communication, including content, is inspected and potentially stored, intruding on people’s privacy in a dangerous and unprecedented way. This sends a highly dangerous signal to regimes around the world who are looking for justification to use similar equipment on their populations.”

Australia Bans Birthday Cake at School “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.” These words are sung around the world in celebration of one’s birthday. But children in Australia will not be able to blow out the candles on their birthday cakes. Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council has issued


Medical professionals agree that the new rules are excessive. “If somebody sneezes on a cake, I probably don’t want to eat it either,” Australian Medical Association President Steve Hambleton said. “But if you’re blowing out candles, how many organisms are transferred to a communal cake, for goodness sake?” The guide, entitled “Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services,” does offer a solution. “To prevent the spread of germs when the child blows out the candles, parents should either: provide a separate cupcake (with a candle if they wish) for the birthday child and enough cupcakes for all the other children [or] provide a separate cupcake (with a candle if they wish) for the birthday child and a large cake that can be cut and shared.” The new regulations also allow day care centers to disregard doctors’ notes about when a child is well enough to return to school. Instead they are required to comply with government-determined “exclusion periods” for various illnesses. Clearly birthday cakes in schools is nothing to sneeze at.

Australian Billionaire: Money is “Poisonous” for Kids Graham Tuckwell is an Australian entrepreneur who built the multi-billion-dollar financial empire, ETF Securities. He recently announced that he is donating $50 million to Australian National University for scholarships. When asked the reason for his generous donation, he answered that wealth can ruin your children so he prefers to give it away. “Lots of money is poisonous to have,” he said. “If they create things themselves, then it’s a sense of achievement. Whereas if you just give them stuff, it almost destroys their desire to do things and you actually end up with kids that are a lot worse off.” He said that while many of today’s rich are giving their fortunes to charity, “in some cases they pass the wealth down to later generations who have behaved badly. And I think that’s a really bad example.” His gift to the university will go to scholarships for kids with “innate smart-



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“We introduced new national standards to lift the quality of child care across Australia because we believe parents deserve peace of mind when they drop their child off they are receiving quality care to a high standard,” Australia’s Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, Kate Elliss, explained in a statement. “All services

across the country will be assessed and rated against new National Quality Standard which will ensure that services are meeting basic requirements including children’s health, safety and wellbeing.” However, many parents are not too thrilled with the guidelines. “I think that we are protecting our kids too much,” one parent from Sydney, Australia said. “Let the kids be kids, get some germs, build up the immunity, and get on with it. How about the politicians focus on getting other things right?” “This rubbish has got to stop,” said another mom who is a nurse. “Kids have been playing in sandpits for years. Kids have been playing in dirt for years. Kids have also been playing with communal toys for years … Kids need to be subjected to these things to build a healthy immune system. These so-called experts who seem to know more about health than doctors, won’t be happy until kids are kept in a sterile environment, which will then put the child at risk every time it leaves the house.” A day care supervisor at the school expressed her regret with the ruling. “It will be very sad for the children,” Kristy Strong said. “It will take away the excitement of it all.”

The Jewish Home

new guidelines for children celebrating their birthdays at school. One of the recent rules mandates that children are not allowed to blow out candles on birthday cakes because it spreads too many germs.



The Jewish Home

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ness” and who have a well-rounded life. Tuckwell’s philosophy is similar to Warren Buffett’s. Buffett has been quoted as saying that the wealthy should leave their kids “enough to do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.”

pope, or a yellow one, or a red one, or a Latin American,” said Guatemala’s Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales. Some also say that they would be looking for a younger man to lead. Others are looking for a pope to be more diplomatic or more open to reform.

Guatemala Declares National Coffee Emergency

“Generally speaking, if you look at the people in Australia that have got huge amounts of wealth, without naming any, they generally have not put the majority of their wealth behind strong philanthropic causes,” Tuckwell said. He told reporters that his four children will receive “a bit of money” and “a great education courtesy of their parents.” Other than that, they will have to earn their own success. I suspect that “a bit of money” is slightly more than a weekly allowance of lunch money.

Pope Benedict to Step Down On Monday, Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church and the world by announcing that he would step down. He is the first pope to do so in 700 years; other popes have lived out their term until their death. Pope Benedict said that he no longer had the mental or physical capacity to carry on with his role. It is interesting to note that the 85-year-old German always maintained that he never wanted the role of the papacy. During his reign, starting in 2005, he proved to be a conservative on social and theological issues, fighting what he saw as the secularization of society. He opposed embryonic stem cell research and resisted allowing women to be ordained as priests. He also apologized for the Church’s failure to root out child abuse by priests. He angered Muslims by declaring that Islam is a religion of violence. It is expected that a new pope will be elected by the end of March. The Catholic world hopes that there will be no friction between a living “ex-pope” and the reigning pope of the time. Some surmise that the new pope will be chosen from the developing world. “It could be time for a black

Guatemala’s president declared a national emergency on Friday. There was no natural disaster and they are not declaring bankruptcy, but they are suffering a severe coffee bean shortage. There has been a spread of coffee rust, a fungus that ruins coffee bean plants. This fungus is affecting 70 percent of Guatemala’s crop and has hit other Central American countries, too. President Otto Molina Perez ordered the release of more than $14 million to aid coffee growers. He said the funds would help 60,000 small farmers buy pesticides and also finance instruction to teach them how to prevent the disease and stop it from spreading. “If we don’t take the needed measures, in 2013-2014, our production could drop by 40 percent,” Molina said. Coffee rust, which can kill plants by withering their leaves, is also affecting plantations in El Salvador, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica. Mexico’s agriculture authorities reported the fungus too but as of now, it has not damaged plants. Molina said the pesticides will start being applied to coffee plants in April with two more follow-up treatments. Nils Leporowsky, president of the National Coffee Association of Guatemala, said coffee is grown in 206 of the country’s 333 municipalities. “We have planted 667,000 acres of coffee and of that 477,000 acres have rust, affecting 70 percent of the total,” he added.

Leporowsky said coffee growing generates 500,000 direct jobs as well as 700,000 additional jobs in related businesses each year. “We have lost 100,000 direct jobs already and that will affect millions of people,” he said.

Russian Canadian Spy Sentenced to Prison

Jeffery Delisle will spend the next 20 years in a Canadian prison. The naval officer was found guilty of handing over national secrets to Russia for more than four years. The information he disclosed had rippling effects. It damaged Canada’s relations with the United States and other key allies. Sub-Lt. Jeffrey Delisle, dressed in a blue hooded sweatshirt and jeans, showed no reaction when delivered his sentence. He was also fined $111,817 (Canadian), the sum he received from his Russian spymasters. Delisle, 41, worked at a security unit in Halifax that tracked vessels entering and exiting Canadian waters. He stole secret information by copying it onto a computer memory stick. Since Canada shares sensitive information with the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia, this breech in security threatened many countries. Some allies threatened to withhold intelligence unless Canada tightens security procedures. General Tom Lawson, chief of the Canadian defense staff, promised that Canada is working on beefing up security. “A critical foundation of our intelligence mission is the mutual trust we have forged with our allies ... Sub-Lieutenant Delisle failed each and every Canadian,” he said in a statement. Suspicions first began circulating when authorities noticed Delisle returned to Canada from a meeting with a Russian handler in Brazil in 2011. He returned with tens of thousands of dollars in cash and pre-paid credit cards. This prompted an investigation that ended with the officer’s arrest in January 2012. Taking the time he served in pretrial custody into account, Delisle will spend 18 years and five months in jail.

Woman Accused of Being

a Witch Burned to Death Although this is 2013, it’s hard to imagine that things like this happen around the world. Kepari Leniata was a mother and a daughter; she was also suspected of being a witch. The 20-year-old woman from Papua New Guinea was accused of practicing witchcraft which ultimately lead to her brutal death. She was attacked by her neighbors and accusers, tortured, and the burned alive. Hundreds of witnesses stood by and watched. Some even took photographs but not one attempted to stop this heinous crime. The prime minister, police and diplomats of this South Pacific island have condemned the killing. The initial accusations were made by the relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in the hospital the day before. Deputy Police Commissioner Simon Kauba criticized investigators for failing to make a single arrest. Police spokesman Dominic Kakas said that the public has not been cooperating with police and that the police were not working hard enough to find those responsible. “He was very, very disappointed that there’s been no arrest made as yet,” Kakas said. “The incident happened in broad daylight in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses and yet we haven’t picked up any suspects yet. He was very, very curious about that and he blasted the investigators on the phone,” Kakas added. Strangely enough, the prime suspect is the victim’s husband. He fled the province immediately following the killing. Kakas did not know if there were a relationship between the husband and the dead boy’s family. Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga described the murder as “shocking and devilish.” “We are in the 21st century and this is totally unacceptable,” Commissioner Kulunga said in a statement. Prime Minister Pete O’Neill said, “It is reprehensible that women, the old, and the weak in our society should be targeted for alleged sorcery or wrongs that they actually have nothing to do with.”

Egypt Bans YouTube YouTube has been banned for an entire month in Egypt. After the video-sharing website refused to remove an American-made, anti-Islam video, an Egyptian court ordered a one-month ban. The video titled, “The Innocence of Muslims,” portrayed Islam’s prophet Muhammad as a fool and a womanizer and sparked violent protests across the Muslim world in September. Cairo’s administrative court ruled in response to a suit filed by an independent


Hamas Denies Agreeing to Two-State Solution Last month, Jordan’s King Abdullah reportedly informed U.S. President Barack Obama that Hamas was ready to accept a two-state solution that guaranteed Israel’s future existence. Abdullah met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Damascus, where the latter was said to have expressed a sincere change of attitude toward the peace process.

Of course, the media immediately jumped on the comment and began shouting from the rooftops for Israel to return to peace talks. It was two short days of tantruming before Hamas put the rumor to rest. False alarm. Hamas officials said in a statement released to Palestinian media that “Hamas will not change its position” regarding Israel’s existence. Senior Hamas official Yahya Moussa said, “We will never agree

Israel’s Secret Billionaire Way back before technology companies were the biggest thing on the market, Israeli entrepreneur Shaul Shani teamed up with Oded Pollig to form Oshap Technologies. It was in 1985, on the scenic beaches of Herzliya Pituah, at the heart of what would become Israel‘s tech economy. The company, which created software for industrial automation, turned its first profit four years later in 1989 earning $35 million in revenues. Since that time, Shani has managed to scale his fortune through founding, investing in, and selling technology companies. Some, like Sapiens and DSP Group, still trade on the Nasdaq. Others, like Technomatix and Precise Software, are things of the past. Shani hit it big in 2009 when a company he founded in 1998, Brazillian outfit Global Village Telecom S.A., sold to France‘s Vivendi S.A. The Vivendi deal bought up 37.9% of GVT outright, and granted the French company irrevocable options to buy another 19.6% of the telecoms outfit. Standing to gain from the sale: Swarth Investments LLC, Swarth Investments Holdings LLC and Global Village Telecom Holland BV; all affiliates of secretive private equity company Swarth Group. Swarth was reported to have made roughly $1.25 billion from the sale. Shani was reported to be the owner of Swarth. Forbes only recently got wind of Shani’s billionaire status. For years, they attempted to track him down, a fate which proved to be nearly impossible. They also wanted to prove that Shani was the sole owner of Swarth Group which was also a difficult mission. Swarth Group has no web presence. Phone numbers supposedly associated with the company, found in database research, were actually associated with Petah Tikvah-based ECI Telecom, now Swarth Group’s largest holding. Shani’s name was not in ECI’s operator database and no operators had heard of Swarth. Eventually, a source familiar with the company contacted Forbes and confirmed that Shaul Shani is indeed the sole owner of Swarth Group, meaning that he is the sole beneficiary of the company’s sale of The Global Village Telecom stock and the sole owner of Swarth’s 44% stake in ECI. Based on these findings, Forbes estimates Shani is worth at least $1.3 billion, although the source suggests that discreetly-held assets from sales of previous ven-

tures could put Shani closer to $2.5 billion. Forbes was unable to attain the rights to the few photos in existence of Shani and of course, he could not be reached for comment. My mother always said that blessing is found in things that are hidden from the public view. This rich Israeli is certainly an example of that.

Obama to Visit Israel for First Time as President A Facebook name “Speech for Peace” is an initiative that seeks to bring President Barack Obama to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to speak directly to the public. As of Sunday, February 10, the page received over 2,500 “likes” since being established on Wednesday, February 6. Rabin Square is a symbolic site where former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995. Ever since the murder, the square has been a hotspot for rallies, protests, and demonstrations for those seeking change. The petition was initiated by Uri Appenzeller and has been linked to the official White House website, calling for Obama to speak directly on “our people’s friendship, the hope for change, and the prospects for peace, security and prosperity in the Middle East.” Both the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Israel this spring, for the first time since he entered the White House in 2009. The President is expected to visit in late March. The visit will be part of a regional tour. It is expected that Obama will also visit Ankara, Amman, Riyadh, Cairo and Ramallah.

Abbas Gathers Palestinians Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called a meeting for all Palestinian organizations in the Egyptian capital. This was his last ditch effort to reconcile his Fatah movement with the rival group Hamas. Fatah and Hamas, which respectively govern the autonomous areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed an Egypt-mediated reconciliation agreement on April 27, 2011 in Cairo. But most of its clauses went unheeded and deadlines were constantly postponed. The objective of Friday’s conference was to implement some of the most important terms of the agreement, particularly organizing long-awaited elections and the formation of a transitional non-partisan

government to oversee parliamentary and presidential polls.

National Love My Job! In a perfect world, everyone would love their jobs and be content with their salaries. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are some companies throughout the nation that are known for paying well and keeping their employees happy.

The first annual list of the Best Employers in America by PayScale and Business Insider evaluates companies by both pay and happiness. The winner this year is a New Jersey biopharmaceutical company called Celgene Corporation. The company currently employs more than 4,500 employees. Ninety-one percent reported high rates of satisfaction. The median salary is $118K after about five years. Google was ranked number two. Headquartered in California, the company employs more than 30,000 people. Employees reported an 81% satisfaction rate and the average pay is about $119,000 after five years. Mastercard Worldwide ranked number six, Yahoo number eight, Microsoft number 14, and Johnson & Johnson at number 18. Well, guess what America? Maybe you should put TJH on the list because I certainly love working here!

Why Did the Lights Go Out at Super Bowl 2013? The Super Bowl is the most watched sports event in the country. The game itself generates hundreds of millions in revenue but that didn’t stop a technical error from occurring shortly after half time. Just when the game was heating up, the stadium went dark for a half hour, disrupting the game. Entergy New Orleans, the company that supplies power to the Superdome in New Orleans where the football game took

february 14, 2013


to giving the Zionist state one inch of the land of Palestine.” Moussa stressed that Hamas remains committed to the “liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.”

The Jewish Home

Egyptian lawyer. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq, who presided over the case, said the ban would also apply to other websites that circulated the video. That may include Facebook and Twitter. It was not specified exactly when the ban would take effect. Implementation of the ruling is left to Egypt’s prime minister and communications minister. The court’s decision can also be appealed. “This is a temporary punishment, you could say, for these websites for participating in this,” Tawfiq said. In November, an Egyptian court imposed death sentences on seven Egyptian Coptic Christians, including the filmmaker, along with Florida-based pastor Terry Jones, in connection with the film. Analysts interpreted the sentences as largely symbolic because all were tried in absentia. According to a 2010 survey, only about 18 percent of Egyptians are Internet-users.



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place, revealed the source of the outage. It announced on Friday that it was caused by a device installed specifically to prevent a blackout. The device, called a relay, had been installed on switching gear to protect the Superdome from a cable failure between the company’s incoming power line and the lines that run into the stadium.

Entergy officials say the device had performed with no trouble during last month’s Sugar Bowl and other large events. The relay has since been removed and replaced. Last weekend, the Superdome hosted a Mardi Gras event, its first big event since the Super Bowl. All systems remained working throughout the black-tie affair and the event went on without any electrical glitch.

Weekend Mail No More For the last several months, the United States Postal Service has been negotiating whether or not to continue delivering mail on Saturdays. Last Wednesday, the Postal Service officially announced that firstclass mail will no longer be delivered on Saturdays. Packages, mail-order medicine, and express mail will continue to be delivered but not letters, bills, and catalogs. Post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that

reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO, at a news conference to announce the changes. The goal of the change is to help the 237-year-old agency during financially troubling times. The move is expected to save about $2 billion a year. In the 2012 fiscal year, package deliveries rose 8.7%. It remains unclear whether the USPS can individually reduce service for firstclass mail to five days from six days a week without Congressional approval. Congress has resisted the idea, although it may be more open as it seeks to reduce spending. The USPS does not get tax money to fund its day-to-day operations. No Penny Saver? No Lands End catalog? What will use to catch the wax of our Havdalah candles?

$200M Credit Card Fraud

Schemers used the credit cards to fund luxury automobiles, electronics, spa treatments, high-end clothing, and millions of dollars in gold. Authorities said the fraudsters also hoarded large sums of cash. Approximately $70,000 in cash was found in one defendant’s oven. The scheme primarily targeted credit card companies but U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said that customers may feel the impact of this inimitable scheme. “Through their greed and their arrogance, the individuals arrested today and their conspirators allegedly harmed not only the credit card issuers, but everyone who deals with increased interest rates and fees because of the money sucked out of the system by criminals acting in fraud rings like this one,” Fishman said. Alleged ringleaders, Babar Qureshi and Muhammad Shafiq, were due to make their initial court appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in a Newark federal court along with the other 16 defendants.

Virginia Wants to Create Their Own Currency

Eighteen people have been charged in what federal prosecutors in New Jersey called one of the largest credit card fraud schemes ever uncovered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The thought-out crime spanned across 28 states and eight countries. “The defendants are part of a massive international fraud enterprise involving thousands of false identities, fraudulent identification documents, doctored credit reports and more than $200 million in confirmed losses,” FBI Special Agent James Simpson said in court records. According to court records, the scheme involved three basic steps: creating thousands of fake identities, pumping the credit histories of those fictitious people, and then swiping the fraudulently obtained credit cards. “Due to the massive scope of the fraud, which involved over 25,000 fraudulent credit cards, loss calculations are ongoing and final confirmed losses may grow substantially,” Simpson said.

Lawmakers in Virginia are preparing for the collapse of the U.S. dollar. In anticipation, they are considering minting their own state coinage. Earlier this week, a proposal to study the effectiveness of such a plan “sailed through” the state’s lower house. It read: The idea that Virginia should consider issuing its own money was dismissed as just another quixotic quest by one of the most conservative members of the state legislature when [Virginia Del. Robert G.] Marshall introduced it three years ago. But it has since gained traction not only in Virginia, but also in states across the country as Americans have grown increasingly suspicious of the institutions entrusted with safeguarding the economy. Whatever happened to “One nation, under G-d, indivisible…”? What’s with the change?

Most Expensive States for Raising Children Children are the pride and joy of our lives. We stay up late rocking them to sleep, soothing their brows, and com-

forting them. But raising children is expensive. Upon considering the best place to raise children, parents generally consider education options, weather, and more recently, cost of living. It seems as if expenses continually increase while income remains fixed. No parent can deny that children are the greatest joy in life but they are also unquestionably the biggest expense too. (And they’re worth every penny!)

A recent study revealed the most expensive states for raising children. The cost of raising children was determined by averaging the yearly costs of fulltime child care, yearly housing costs, the average in-state tuition and fees at a public university, and the average yearly food costs according to region The most expensive state for raising children is New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s average in-state tuition cost for a four-year program comes in at a whopping $14,576 – the highest of any state on the list. In fact, the University of New Hampshire, the state’s only public university, has the highest tuition rates in the nation. New Hampshire also ranks in the top 20 for both child care costs (based on full-time care for a four-year old in a child care center) and housing costs. The Garden State takes second place on the list. New Jersey is similar to New Hampshire in that the costs for child care and food are expensive, but it is the housing costs that really account for earning New Jersey the number two spot on the list. New Jersey has a yearly average housing cost of $5,300 per child. Massachusetts comes in third on the list followed by Rhode Island. At the bottom of the list is Vermont but that doesn’t mean it’s cheap to raise a kid there. The annual cost of raising a child comes in at about $25,707 since the state has the highest food costs of any state in the top five with an annual cost of $1,750 per child.


Late last week, Enterprise Florida, an organization promoting Florida’s job growth, held a press conference to unveil its slogan: “FLORIDA: The Perfect Climate For Business.” Florida Governor Rick Scott posed for pictures with board members from the publicly funded group, holding a sign with the logo of the state’s “first-ever business brand.” The logo features a necktie in place of the “I” in “Florida.” The general public thought the sleek logo was clever and attractive but as usual it was met with its fair share of criticism. “Your tie logo is offensive,” one commenter wrote on Enterprise Florida’s Facebook page. “What, business is men only?” “Not very female friendly at all,” another wrote. “With so many new women business owners impacting our economy… you should consider ditching the tie.” Florida is home to more than 587,000 female-owned businesses, ranking it No. 4 in the country, according to a 2012 study. California ranks first, with more than 1 million female-owned businesses. “This logo sends the wrong message,” another critic wrote. “It seems to scream ‘we don’t hire women.’ Maybe that was not the intention, but that is the message.” “I thought immediately that it set us back, all the work that we’ve done,” Pamela Rogan, the president of the Central Florida chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, said in a statement. “It’s not that they have to make it pink or ‘girlie,’ but maybe put a briefcase or something like an iPhone or a smartphone in there to represent business.” Despite the backlash, it does not appear Enterprise Florida is considering changing the logo. “If you see a tie, you think busi-

Workers Spend 60-80% of their Time at Work on the Internet This one comes as no shock… According to Newswise, the average worker spends 60 to 80 percent of their Internet time at the office engaging in tasks that have nothing to do with their jobs. The study was conducted by a researcher at Kansas State University. Joseph Ugrin, an assistant professor of accounting at KSU, reportedly teamed up with John Pearson, an associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University, to investigate the inefficiency of the American worker. They discovered a common thread amongst all employees old and young alike; they are deviating from work tasks during the day at disturbing rates. “Older people are doing things like managing their finances, while young people found it much more acceptable to spend time on social networking sites like Facebook,” Ugrin was quoted as saying. “We found that for young people, it was hard to get them to think that social networking was unacceptable behavior [at work],” Ugrin observed. “Just having a policy in place did not change their attitudes or behavior at all. Even when they knew they were being monitored, they still did not care.” Yet employers do not strictly monitor employee’s online activity although they have the right to and rarely give a consequence. It seems as if they are turning a blind eye to what’s really going on, and many of their businesses may highly effected. Ugrin pondered, “We don’t want to make everyone at work upset because the corporate office is watching over their employees’ shoulders … but what if workers are wasting all of their time online? Where’s the balance?” I guess that means that I’ll have to work on my kids’ Purim costumes when I get home…oh, well.

february 14, 2013

Does Florida’s New Business Logo Discriminate Against Women?

ness,” Melissa Medley, chief marketing officer for Enterprise Florida, explained. “There’s nothing sinister here. There’s no secret formula [for] how it was approached.” She added, “I recognize some people might look at that and connect to a man’s article of clothing. Most people do so because they haven’t seen the rest of the campaign.”

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California, Illinois, Minnesota and Hawaii were among the top 15 most expensive states. Clearly this study did not consider the costs of private school, kosher food costs, and the tuition crisis of Jewish schools because then New York would surely make it to the top five.



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february 14, 2013


That’s Odd Largest Prime Number Discovered A prime number is a natural number greater than 1 that cannot be divided by a number other than one and itself. For example, the numbers one, three and seven are prime numbers. The largest prime number has just been discovered, and it has 17,425,170 digits. It was discovered by Curtis Cooper, a mathematician at University of Central Missouri. This is the third prime number discovered by Cooper. It was discovered through an enormous network of volunteer computers devoted to finding primes. The network, called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), harnesses about 360,000 processors operating at 150 trillion calculations per second. “It’s analogous to climbing Mt. Everest,” said George Woltman. Woltman helped create GIMPS. “People enjoy

it for the challenge of the discovery of finding something that’s never been known before.” After the prime was discovered, it was double-checked by several other researchers’ programs. To manually search for prime numbers, one would need to divide every potential candidate by every single number smaller than itself. “If you were to do it that way it would take longer than the age of the universe,” Woltman said. Instead, mathematicians have devised a strategy that heavily reduces the time to find primes. That method uses a formula to check much fewer numbers. The new discovery makes Cooper eligible for a $3,000 GIMPS research discovery award. The last prime number discovered in 2008 was a mere 12,978,189 digits long.

Book Returned to Library 55 Years Later What is the late fee on a library book that is 55 years overdue?

A copy of Fire of Francis Xavier was returned to the Fort Washington branch of the New York Public Library early last week. The last check-out date on the book’s library card says April 10, 1958. Public relations manager for the library system, Amy Geduldig, said the book arrived in the mail along with a $100 check. There was no note. The library does not know who returned the book and Geduldig wouldn’t say who the check was signed by. “The check is a very kind gesture,” she said. Currently, the library’s late fee for hardcover books is 25 cents per day. That would equal $5,018.75 in fees for a book that is 55 years overdue. But the policy in most libraries is that the maximum fine for a late book is the cost of the book so the $100 check will suffice. Wonder if the borrower even read it…

Married for 80 Years How long have you been married for? Whatever your answer, John and Ann Betar have most probably been married for longer. This year, the couple from Fairfeld, Connecticut, celebrated their 80th anniversary. The parents of five, grandparents of 14, and great-grandparents of 16 were married on November 25, 1932.

They were selected for the 2013 award by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, a marriage enrichment group that organizes a search each year to promote the virtues of lasting marriages to inspire young couples. John and Ann will be named the longest married couple living in the U.S. There may be other couples who have been married longer in the U.S., but none were formally nominated, according to the group. The family celebrated the award ceremony on February 9 at the home of one of the Betars’ granddaughters, Heather Mitchell. “I’m always blown away by their incredible optimism, deep sense of

compassion and modesty,” Heather said before their anniversary. “They are true beacons – inspirational people who emit such joy without even knowing it.” “What an inspiration Mr. and Mrs. Betar are to all of us. They made a commitment to each other 80-plus years ago and they have kept that commitment over these many years. They truly are a sign of hope to us all,” Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s Ron and Judy Pekny said in a statement. The two met when they were growing up in the same Syrian community in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Ann had to fight to marry John, now 101 years old. Her parents had set up an arranged marriage for her. “We are very fortunate. It can be repeated and repeated,” Ann Betar, 97, said. “It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing.” May they enjoy many more happy years together!

Apple Sells its 25th Billion Song Apple’s iTunes music store celebrated a big number last week. After a decade in business, it hit its 25 billionth download. On average, that is equivalent to selling more than three songs for every person on Earth. The unassuming buyer of the 25th billion song was a German student who was surprised to receive a gift card worth 10,000 euro. Economics student Phillip Luepke, 22, of Hanover, Germany, downloaded a techno song and admitted, “I was very surprised to hear the news.” “I woke up this morning and had an email from Apple saying I had the 25 billionth download,” he said. “In fact, I didn’t quite believe it at first. It’s a new feeling for me.” On average iTunes’ Cupertino, California, based online store sells about 15,000 songs per minute. The store has a catalog of more than 26 million songs in 119 countries.

62-Year-Old Bird Gives Birth The oldest known living wild bird


The Cat’s Meow

“To know that she can still successfully raise young at age 60-plus, that is beyond words,” USGS bird banding program chief Bruce Peterjohn said. “While the process of banding a bird has not changed greatly during the past century, the information provided by birds marked with a simple numbered metal band has transformed our knowledge of birds.” There are other albatross birds in the wild that are estimated to be around 50-years-old, but Wisdom is the only one on record to have given birth at such an old age. Wisdom gave birth two years ago to another chick, and has given birth to a total of five chicks since 2006. In 2001, Robbins “rediscovered” Wisdom, helping the USGS determine her age and track her record-setting reproductive habits. “While I have grown old and gray and get around only with the use of a cane, Wisdom still looks and acts just the same as on the day I banded her,” said retired USGS scientist Chandler Robbins, who was in his 40s when he first banded Wisdom in 1956.

Singing His Defense Callius Moon is facing two felony charges: malicious destruction of fire to police property and resisting or obstructing a police officer. The Detroit man is being accused of threatening to kill his friend. But apparently Moon has his own way of doing things. As he was arraigned on Tuesday in Warren District court, the

A few weeks ago, TJH told readers about an important update in the world of fun and games. Hasbro, we related, was set to add a new token to the popular game Monopoly and eliminate another one in its stead. Well, after hundreds of thousands of votes, and I am sure many hours of deliberation, it was decided: the cat is in and the iron is out. Apparently many fans felt that the delicate feline would help them acquire more houses on Boardwalk and Park Place. Other choices included the robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar. Fans also got to vote on which piece will be eliminated from the game. The boot, iron and wheelbarrow were all tied for last place at one point but ultimately it was the iron that was “fired.” I’m just happy the top hat was affected—that’s my favorite token and has helped me clean out the bank on more than one occasion!

Student Sues University for a Low Grade Sometimes I wonder what has gotten into students these days. This week, a graduate of Lehigh University sued the school for $1.3 million in damages because she received a C+ in a class she took in 2009. Megan Thode, 27, says the low grade ruined her chances of becoming a licensed professional counselor, and she is suing the school for the pay she loses from not being able to work in that profession. Thode received the grade due to a lack of classroom participation. At one point, she used profanity in class. At another point, she started crying during class. Thode, though, maintains that the school gave her the grade because they

did not agree with some of her views. It is interesting to note that Thode’s father is a professor in the school. As such, she did not have to pay tuition for her undergraduate and graduate degrees and was given a job through her schooling. Apparently, being spoiled and bratty does not end when children grow up.

Man Quits Job Because of Superstition Walter Slonopas, a Tennessee maintenance worker, did not want to condemn his soul and therefore he quit his job. When Slonopas received his W-2 tax form, it was stamped with the number 666. In Christianity, that number refers to evil forces. But in reality, the number on the form had no deeper meaning. The company that handles payroll for Contech Casting LLC says the number meant Slonopas’ form was the 666th one mailed out. This isn’t the first time Slonopas has had an encounter with number 666. Upon beginning his employment, he was supposed to be assigned No. 668 to use when he clocked in. However, there was a slight mix-up and he was mistakenly assigned 666. He complained and got a new number. A company spokesman says Contech would send a new W-2 and wants to rehire Slonopas. But Slonopas says, “G-d is worth more than money.”

A Doctor’s Healing Words

ment to a family grieving from the loss of their mother. This doctor, who works at New York Presbyterian Hospital, wrote a heartfelt note to the family of the deceased when he heard she passed away. The note was posted online and millions have been touched by his concern and kind words. In the note, he writes that this is the first such note he wrote in the 20 years he has been working in the ER. But this time, he felt the urge to reach out to the woman’s relatives. “However, in your case, I felt a special connection to your wife … who was so engaging and cheerful in spite of her illness and trouble breathing,” the doctor wrote. “I was also touched by the fact that you seemed to be a very loving couple. You were highly supportive of her, asking the right questions with calm, care and concern. From my experience as a physician, I find that the love and support of a spouse or a family member is the most soothing gift, bringing peace and serenity to those critically ill.” In conclusion, he expressed his sorrow for their loss. “I am sorry for your loss and I hope you can find comfort in the memory of your wife’s great spirit and of your loving bond. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.” The note provided some solace to the family when they read of the impact their mother had on others. And many were surprised that the busy doctor took his time out to reach out to the family. Sometimes it is words, not actions, that heal.

An emergency room doctor’s healing words provided comfort and encourage-


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february 14, 2013

defendant mounted into his defense in song. Moon began telling his side of the story in a freestyle rap. He sang that people were trying to “put it on [him],” among other things. He then offered a few additional verses in which he began to use profanity. It was then that District Judge John Chmura told Moon “that’s good” and the “show’s over.” Moon has requested a court-appointed attorney. I guess the show is over.

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in the world has given birth to a healthy hatchling. The 62-year-old bird, “Wisdom,” last made headlines in 2011, when the albatross survived the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami. Wisdom has lived nearly twice as long as the average Laysan albatross. She was given her name after being tagged by a U.S. Geological Survey researcher in 1956. The USGS said in a statement that since being tagged, Wisdom has flown an estimated 2 million to 3 million miles, or “four to six trips from the Earth to the moon and back again with plenty of miles to spare.”


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Forgotten Heroes

Avi Heiligman

General Frederick Knefler

A Jew Who Served His Country with Honor


any of the generals and top brass on both sides of the American Civil War (18611865) had prior experience in another war. For most of them, it was the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) from which the officers joined either side of the Civil War. A few gained their experience in wars taking place in Europe. One of these officers was Frederick Knefler who had a most unlikely path to becoming a brigadier general. Frederick Knefler was born to a Jewish family in Arad, Hungary, on April 12, 1812. His father, Nathan, was a doctor who, along with many compatriots, wasn’t very happy with the ruling family and joined the revolutionary army during the 1848-1849 Hungarian War of Liberation. Over 10,000 Jews, along with fifteen-year-old Frederick and his father, who became a regimental chief physician, enlisted with the army. The revolutionaries were winning the war until the ruling family asked Czar Nicholas I for help. With help from the Russians, the Hapsburg ruling family soon defeated the revolutionaries and a lot of the former soldiers were forced to flee. Many of them chose to go to America. The Knefler family was among a group of refugees that settled in Indianapolis. Dr. Nathan was one of the founders of the Indianapolis Hebrew Synagogue, the city’s first shul. Young Frederick was sent to New York to train as a carpenter and practiced that trade in Indiana while studying law. He became an assistant to the clerk of Marion County, a man by the name of Lew Wallace. The Civil War began with the Southern attack on a Northern stronghold in the South, Fort Sumter. President Lincoln recognized the need for men to fight the war and tasked the governors of each state remaining in the Union to come up with their assigned quota. Indiana’s governor, Oliver Morton, appointed Lew Wallace as adjutant-general and ordered him to raise the men for the army. Wallace, in turn, asked Knefler to be his main assistant in this task. After raising five regiments, Wallace was given command of the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment, and Knefler was com-

missioned as a first lieutenant in it and soon was promoted to captain. The regiment was ordered to the Washington, DC, area but missed the war’s first major fight, the First Battle of Bull Run. Since the regiment was a volunteer group and they only signed three month papers, they returned to Indiana where Wallace set about to muster another regiment, this time with three year commitments. Knefler was one of the

moved to capture the strongly defended Fort Donelson on February 14, 1862. However, this time Foote’s boats were mauled by returning cannon fire coming from the fort. Despite this setback, Grant’s infantry surrounded the fort and the Confederates were left with only two options: they could surrender or they could try to break out in the early morning hours. They chose the latter, and for several hours, a bitter fight en-


first to sign on and was given the rank of captain. Soon Wallace was appointed brigadier general and Knefler followed him as his assistant adjutant-general. Before General Ulysses S. Grant was appointed commander of the Army of the Potomac and in essence the commander of the entire army, he was

sued. One Union division was shattered but Wallace’s led by Knefler’s “prompt and efficient service in the field” saved the battle for the Union and pushed the Confederates back into the fort where they were forced to capitulate. With the success at Fort Donelson, Grant decided to continue the offen-

commander of the Army of the Tennessee (the Union armies were named after rivers where their main command originated from). The U.S. Navy, under Flag-officer Foote, captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River with little difficulty and Grant, with three divisions, one of them commanded by Wallace,

sive and attack Confederate positions at Pittsburg Landing in Mississippi. He had six divisions, including one under Lew Wallace and another led by the still-unknown General William Tecumseh Sherman. The battle began at a place called Corinth, it was later called the Battle of Shiloh. Grant had only five

divisions because Wallace was six miles away with 7,000 men. The Confederates knew that more Union troops, under General Buell, were coming and decided to attack without delay. Grant was taken by complete surprise and as his five divisions were being manhandled, he hurriedly called for his sixth to come at the fastest speed possible. Through a mixture of miscommunications and a letter lost by Knefler, Wallace and his division did not make it there on the first day of battle. Grant held on by the skin of his teeth and during the middle of the night was reinforced by Wallace and Buell. The Union won the battle but at a high cost in casualties. Looking for a scapegoat for the high price in human lives, Grant put the blame on Wallace and had him relieved of command. Knefler was devastated and wrote to Wallace, “I wish the President could hear how the people of Indiana feel about the treatment of their best soldier.” Upon his return to Indiana, Knefler was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of the newly formed 79th Indiana Infantry Regiment. It took time for his men to realize that although he was a strict disciplinarian, he was a good leader and cool under the stress of battle. As soon as the men were mustered, they were sent to join General Buell’s Army of the Ohio fighting in Kentucky. The 79th was placed under Brigadier General Sam Beatty’s division and they saw action at the battles of Perryville and Stone’s River where they lost one-third of the 341 men in the regiment. The Battle of Chickamauga took place on September 19 and 20, 1863 and the 79th Indiana was a critical part of the battle even though it ended in the Union Army’s defeat. General Rosecrans, who had taken over for General Buell, was fooled by Confederate General Braxton Bragg who looked as though he was retreating to the south. Instead he turned north to meet the Union Army at Chickamauga. The Union army was in disarray, as many units were thrown pell-mell into the battle including the 79th Indiana. Under the leadership and tactics of Knefler, the regiment bravely charged and captured a battery of four guns and caissons. The Union lost the battle the next day and went into retreat

General Beatty became ill and Knefler died in 1901 and was mourned by the was chosen to replace him even though entire city for his selfless dedication he was still a colonel. There were sev- to his country. The Indianapolis Joureral bitter battles in which Knefler and nal wrote, “He was one of the first to his brigade stood out for their bravery enlist, taking whatever place came to including confusing him, serving faiththe enemy during the fully and tirelessly Battle of Nashville. in the position to By early 1865, which he was asthe Confederates had signed . . . During been driven entirely his four years spent from Tennessee, a at the front in doing feat acknowledged by the duties assigned Congress in March. him he won the For his gallantry and regard of subordibravery in battle, nates and the confiKnefler was brevetted dence of superiors. brigadier general on No better, braver March 13, 1865. Few soldier than he ever other Jewish soldiers buckled on a sword during the Civil War . . . No truer Ameriattained the rank of can ceased to live, general, and Knefler no better citizen certainly deserved the in all the duties of General Lew Wallace honor. The war ended citizenship was left less than two months later, and the en- in the city when the feeble flame of that tire 79th Regiment along with Knefler manly spirit flickered out.” was mustered out of the Union Army. After the war, Knefler returned to Indianapolis to practice law with a for- Avi Heiligman is a weekly contributor to mer U.S. attorney general. In 1876, he The Jewish Home. He welcomes your comwas appointed by President Rutherford ments and suggestions.for future columns Hayes as the head of the pension of- and can be reached at aviheiligman@ fice in Indianapolis. Frederick Knefler gmail.com.

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Indiana Regiments were at Chattanooga. At the combined and Knefler site of the battle, a monwas the overall comument was erected in mander. honor of the regiment’s The attack up Misservice. sionary Ridge was one The Union high comof the most brilliant mand wasn’t pleased at charges during the enall with the results comtire war. Knefler led his ing from the Army of the regiments to the base of Ohio and therefore apthe ridge and captured pointed General Grant rifle pits. Not satisfied commander of all the with just the base of the Union armies in the west. He arrived in Tennes- Knefler in his colonel’s uniform, ridge, he led the two circa 1862 divisions, who were insee in time to repair the spired by his tenacity, mistakes and losses from Chickamauga and to pressure General up the ridge. The rejuvenated Federal Bragg’s Confederate army near Chatta- troops advanced up the ridge with such nooga once more. Bragg had placed his speed that the Confederates had no time forces around the city in a place called to face the threats and the Union troops Missionary Ridge, and on November captured the ridge. Bragg and his forces 23, 1863, the Union army attacked. Two were now the ones in shambles and on days later, the battle was still raging and the run. After the battle, in his report, two Union armies couldn’t make much General Beatty complimented Knefler progress against determined Southern for the charging of Missionary Ridge resistance. At 4 PM, Grant sent the “richly merits a commission as brigaword to General Thomas, nicknamed dier-general for his gallantry displayed the “Rock of Chickamauga” for his his- in the charging and taking of Missiontoric stand during that battle, to send ary Ridge.” After Missionary Ridge, the 79th the Army of the Cumberland to take the ridge. General Sheridan’s division, with participated in a few more battles until five Indiana regiments, was one of the they were transferred to General Shertwo divisions selected to spearhead the man’s army which was preparing to attack. For this attack, the 79th and 86th march to Atlanta. During the campaign,

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Sorah David

The Jewish Home

The Jewish home n

february 14, 2013

F e b r u a ry 7 , 2013

Family Life


here is a troubling phenomenon taking place around us. It is an issue which gets lost among the myriad issues we all face daily. The issue is about a certain distortion of priorities. I am talking about the disintegration of marriage even in the beginning stages. I am not talking about divorce. That is a sad reality all its own. What I want to bring to light is a certain unimportance placed on marriage today. Many people will be shocked by my statements. Allow me to elaborate. I want to share a story with you which will help illustrate my point. Years ago I went to visit a friend who had just gotten married. At the time, I had been married for about three years and had two children. Life with two small children very close in age was hectic to say the least. It was Shabbos afternoon, and my friend was staying by her parents that Shabbos. I went to visit just as her father and her new husband left to mincha. Suddenly the skies opened up and it began to pour. My friend began to worry that her husband would now be stuck in the downpour and he would get soaked. “I must go bring him his raincoat. Otherwise he will have to walk home without a coat. It will only take a few minutes. I should really run to shul and bring him his coat.” I very swiftly talked her out of such a silly idea! What a naïve young newlywed, I thought. Just wait until she has children and life gets hectic! She won’t be able to pick up and run to bring him his coat. What a crazy idea to go out in the rain only to bring someone else a coat so that they don’t get wet. After all, a little rain never killed anyone! Due to my insistence, I am sad to say, she did not bring him his coat. Later that night I had a change of heart. I began to think, “Wow. Look what a selfless thing she wanted to do for her husband. How I wish that I could do that. Of course life gets hectic but right now she can do such a thing. I hope that she always desires to be so thoughtful of her husband’s needs.” So I called her up and apologized. I apologized for squelching her desire to help her new spouse in this way. My life was chaotic and busy and I had lost sight for a moment of the core importance of thinking of my spouse’s needs.

In the same vein, I have noticed a general complacent attitude among people who are married even for a few years. Lately I have been hearing poisonous comments from young women, which corrode the very core of their marriage. I will share with you some of the comments I have heard most recently. “It is just us for Shabbos. I don’t need to make anything. Whatever I make my husband will have to deal with.” “If it is just us for Friday night I will definitely not be dressed. My pajamas are what you will find me in.”

“Dinner? I don’t make dinner. My kids are little and they barely eat anything. My husband will have to fend for himself.” Finally, the saddest one in my eyes: “Who needs to celebrate an anniversary? After a few years, who cares? It’s all the same thing year-in and year-out.” These comments are only a few of the many disparaging quotes I have been privy to. I am not telling anyone to dress up in their finest clothes and heels for Friday night if that is not your style. Nor am I telling a young wife to cook a ten course meal that may or may not get eaten. Each couple must decide what works and what feels comfortable for them. What I want to bring to light is the overall attitude of “why should I extend myself for my spouse?” This thought process is detrimental on so many levels. If you think about it, it is a very backwards mentality. The message which

comes across is that impressing strangers or guests is more important to me than impressing my spouse. I would rather go out of my way for an outsider than for the one person who is supposed to be the center of my universe. How troubling it is that so quickly a couple seems to lose the willingness to go out of their way for each other. We are shortchanging ourselves and our marriages. This trend need not continue any longer! I recognize that all of our lives are busy b”H. Life gets busier and more hectic as time goes by. At the same time, there is a need for going back to basics. Remember that at the crux of all the chaos is hopefully a wonderful spouse who you chose to spend your life with. Cultivate that thought and build on it daily! When a couple is accustomed to behaving in ways that keep their spouse at the forefront of their minds, as life gets more hectic, the bond that the couple has created will continue to help them through those difficult times. Here are some ideas that I am sure you have heard before. I want to reiterate them since they are really so vital in maintaining that special bond between spouses. Spend time with your spouse. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Designate a time to sit on the couch and chat. Take a walk with no distractions, on some consistent basis. It works wonders and it is free. I have been seeing couples around the neighborhood in recent months walking and talking. It makes me smile to see a husband and wife who took time out of their day to walk together. The fresh air and the chance to discuss important things (or silly things that make you laugh together) is a gift you can give yourselves. Alternatively, if you need to run an errand and by some miracle you can go out together – do it! Quick trip to CVS or Target anyone? Seek out ways to spend quality time together. Your marriage will thank you. Do kind things for each other every day. Any small act can come into this category. Make your spouse lunch for the next day; prepare something they like for dinner, clean up the dishes after dinner if that is helpful. Fill their car up with gas so that they don’t have to make another stop. Anything that shows “I

olden days, people wrote notes to each other and stuck them in their loved one’s bag. At lunchtime when they opened their bag at work they were surprised to see a special note meant to brighten their day. Writing notes may seem out of style, but you can modernize on the same idea. In today’s world it takes only a moment to send someone a message which says, “I am thinking of you…Thanks for…[add your own ending].” Of course, emails or texts shouldn’t replace real commu-

nication, however, it is nice to get a reminder of how much you are appreciated or thought of during the day. So send your spouse a message of some sort today and hopefully you will have the pleasure of receiving one as well. It will definitely bring a smile to your face! Who doesn’t need that? These things seem simple enough (maybe too simple), but as our families grow, these things may get thrown by the wayside. A young couple’s priorities can shift until their marriage is no longer at the top of the list. Before a couple realizes it they have (with Hashem’s help) children, jobs, family obligations, and

the list goes on. This is especially true in this era which we all find ourselves. There is always too much to accomplish and not enough time to slow down. To combat this slow shift in priorities, a couple must decide from the outset that their marriage is the most important priority (that they are the most important to each other). They must hold onto that belief day in and day out. Be zealous about it. Care for this belief like it is a priceless gem. In turn, their marriage will be a treasured, joyous union. When a couple can each do their part to think of the other one on a daily basis this flows naturally into all aspects of their life— how they act towards each other, how they greet each other at the end of a stressful day, how they speak to each other. Every facet of their lives will be elevated and in turn their lives together will be much richer. When a couple thinks of each other on this consistent basis it never feels like either party is overextending themselves. It feels more like each one is receiving. This may seem simplistic and old fashioned; however, sometimes going back to basics is necessary. In our fast-paced world it is more important than ever to hold onto positive, basic but proven ways of making our marriages the priority they should be. Let’s make our marriages priority number one, from day one. And if you have lost sight of these basic ideas in the jungle which we call life, it is never too late to go back to basics. Happy bonding!

Sorah David resides in Woodmere with her husband and children. She gives one-on-one kallah classes and can be reached at newleywedforever@gmail.com .

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thought of you and wanted to help you in this way.” Communicate your feelings in a healthy way. Many times small things can spiral out of control when swept under the rug during the beginning stages of marriage. Discuss things openly and clearly. When small miscommunications or misunderstandings are defused quickly, they hopefully won’t grow out of control. When I was first married, I worked full time including Fridays. On Thursday nights I would cook for Shabbos. Late one Thursday night, as I stood and prepared the cholent, my husband came and asked what he could do to help. “Nothing,” I said, thinking he could sense the exhaustion in my voice. “Just go to sleep if you want to.” Although I did want help, I didn’t want to ask him to help me. I thought that he should just know what to do! So guess what? He went to sleep! Boy, was I mad! Clear communication would have solved this misunderstanding. Had I asked him to help me peel potatoes or chop vegetables he would have gladly picked up the peeler or knife and gotten to work. Now we can look back and laugh about that story. Taking this idea a step further, seeking proper professional input early on need not be a sign of impending doom. It is a healthy way to smooth out the bumps in the road sooner rather than later. In this way, the couple can have an easier time getting acclimated to married life. Elisheva Liss, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, wisely relates, “When dealing with areas of real conflict, the longer a couple waits to seek help, the harder the conflicts are to resolve. Couples are often surprised at the possibilities that arise with proper early guidance.” Reach out to each other during the day. In the

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Health & Fitness

Aliza Beer

Purim – A Joyous Occasion! It’s that time of the year again Girls are princesses and boys dangerous men To masquerade oneself is the theme Limitless hamantashen and alcohol is our dream Like all good things, the day does come to an end Disguises are removed and we must try to mend It’s feasible to gain five pounds in that one meal Subsequently, diet and exercise will help you deal It took only hours to gain those pounds But on the treadmill, you will do

many rounds So how do we survive the day without being a fress? I will tell you the secret to your success Treat Purim like an anniversary, celebration, or birthday Have a couple of treats, but don’t completely stray Making choices in life is what we do Eating to oblivion is not being a good Jew Eat breakfast just like on any typical day Fruit will be snacks, up your blood sugar will stay You will sit down to the seudah not very hungry at all

Mission accomplished, you are the smartest one of all! During the meal be sure to treat yourself to something yummy I don’t advise you totally deprive your tummy (that would be crummy!) Pretend it’s a Shabbos meal, not a food fest Ultimately, you will achieve enormous success! However, if you succumb and ignore my advice Don’t despair, diet and exercise once or twice The damage is done, and is not irreversible If you need extra help, I’m always available! To my wonderful readers and patients, wishing you a happy Purim!!

Aliza Beer is a registered dietician with a Master’s degree in nutrition. She has a private practice in Cedarhurst, NY. Patients’ success has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show. Aliza’s new line of prepared, healthy meals-to-go are available at Gourmet Glatt. Aliza can be reached at alizabeer@gmail. com.


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february 14, 2013

The Jewish home n

Susan Schwamm

The Jewish Home

Leisure & Travel

From Sea to Shining Sea : Maine


f you’re visiting a state that’s been nicknamed “Vacationland,” you know you’re going to have a great time. Visitors flock to Maine for the myriad seashores, wonderful outdoor activities, and its relaxing atmosphere. It doesn’t hurt that the state is known for its seafood. Its lobster (or so I’ve heard—I can’t say I’ve ever tasted it!) is truly famous—40 million pounds of lobster is caught off of the coast of Maine. And if you’re in the mood for some blueberry pie, Maine is the place to go. 99% of all blueberries produced in America come from Maine. I’m coming right over! After so much eating, perhaps some food is left in your teeth. Well, then, it’s good you’re in Maine. The state is a huge producer of toothpicks so you can keep your mouth happy and food-free. Some pretty famous people call Maine their home. Former President Bush (41) and his wife, Barbara, vacation in Maine in the summertime. Stephen King lives in Bangor, Maine. In fact, he financed a professional-quality Little League baseball diamond to be built behind his house. Guess what locals secretly call it? Field of Screams! Some companies call Maine their home as well. L.L. Bean is located in Freeport and Poland Spring water is produced in Poland Spring, Maine. The state is also the first to greet the sun every

morning. Eastport is the most eastern part of the United States and is therefore the first to get the sun’s golden rays every day. So rise and shine! Bring your cameras and sneakers and head out to Maine for a relaxing, wonderful vacation. Things You Won’t Want To Miss From Coast to Coast When visiting Maine it is hard to not visit the coast—the state has around 5,500 miles of gorgeous coastline and about 2,000 islands. The picturesque views are breathtaking and it is relaxing just to watch the water and boats. Because so much of Maine is about the coast, there are many activities to enjoy on the water. Take time to go whale-watching—it’s always spectacular to watch the majestic whales gracefully jump in and out of the water. For those who love to fish, there are many opportunities to do so, and white water rafting is so much fun in the spring and summer! Sailing the High Seas Speaking of boats, Bath, Maine, is known as the City of Ships. The city has been building ships for 400 years! Visiting the city of Bath is a delight—it’s wonderful to explore to small, quaint shops, and the Maine Maritime Museum is exciting for all ages. The

historic waterfront is right off the main street and many activities take place here during the year. Nature’s Best So much of the beauty of Maine is found in the simplicity of the nature found there. Acadia National Park is the only national park found in New England. Spend at least a day in the park, hiking and exploring. Visitors can walk past a lighthouse with spectacular views, and journey to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain along the east coast of the United States. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. Biking, horseback riding, bird watching, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling is fun for the whole family. High Tide, Low Tide Although this is may more be of a Canadian landmark, the Bay of Fundy is an alluring place to visit. Located on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, a small portion touches the state of Maine. The bay is known for having the highest tidal range in the world—that means that the high tide and low tide water level differs dramatically. In fact, at one point during the day, visitors can kayak around the bay. Come to the bay a few hours later and you’re walking on dry land.

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In the Kitchen


Ideas for Your Purim Seudah

his past week, I attended the Kosher Food and Wine 2013 Expo. What an amazing night it was! The event was run by Royal Wine Corporation and it was at Pier 60 in Chelsea Piers. They had thousands of bottles of wines and liquors to sample. Not only were there lots to drink, but also lots to eat. There were restaurants and caterers from all over the NY/NJ tri-state area giving out samples to try. The food was exquisite and presented so artistically. All of the top New York restaurants such as Le Marais, Prime Grill, Abigail’s, Pardes (and even Pomegranate Supermarket from Brooklyn), just to name a few, had magnificent showcases of scrumptious gourmet delights for everyone to taste. With all the awesome food and drinks at hand, I had to decide how to incorporate some of these fun ideas into my Purim seuda. I love to make cocktails for my Purim seuda guests. I sampled some delicious cocktails, made by Walders, a

Naomi Nachman Ideas for Your Purim Seudah

company that makes a creamy vodka drink. I was really wowed! They gave out samples of cocktails which had their creamy vodka as a base. That was my favorite cocktail of the evening. The following wines were among favorites: Laurent-Perrier Champagne (the best Brut Rosé I ever tasted); Morad Winery of Israel, the most amazing passion fruit wine (which I will definitely be serving at my Purim seuda). A very big “shoutout” to Ari Bergman (who knows my husband more than 30 years) whose vineyard in Netofa in the Lower Galil of Israel makes a delicious Rosé wine, a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre. That was the highlight wine for me that evening. Below is recipe for a cocktail using Walders Creamy Vodka that you can serve as a starter drink for your Purim seuda, as well as a delicious roast to make for the main course of your seuda.

Roast with Red Wine Reduction Ingredients 5 pound beef shoulder roast or California roast 1 large onion, sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp kosher salt Crushed black pepper 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp cumin cloves garlic, crushed 1 cup ketchup 1 cup red wine (I prefer Domaine Netofa Red from Israel. It is a medium-bodied wine with a hint of herbal bouquet which complements the spices used in this recipe.)

Preparation Place the onions on the bottom of a roasting pan. In a small bowl, mix the mustard, garlic, oil and spices together to form a paste. Rub the paste all over the meat. If you have time, let the meat stand at room temperature for a few hours to absorb some of the flavors. In a separate bowl, mix the wine and ketchup and pour over the meat right before placing in the oven. Insert oven probe into the thickest part of the meat and set the probe to 135°. This will be rare. You can always cook it longer when reheating after slicing the meat. Set the oven temperature to 375° for 45 minutes to brown the meat, then lower it to 350° and cover the meat. Let it cook until the probe hits 135° internally. Once the probe has hit 135°, take the meat out. When the roast has cooled, slice thinly and pour sauce over roast or place in a gravy boat.

Walders™ Pineapple Cocktail Recipe by Walders.net Ingredients 1/3 glass Walders Vodka and Vanilla 2/3 of a glass pineapple juice Crushed ice Preparation Fill a tall glass with crushed ice and fill a third of the glass with Walders Vodka and Vanilla. Fill the remainder with pineapple juice so the cocktail is right to the top of the glass. Stir and garnish with a wedge of pineapple.

Naomi Nachman moved from Australia approximately 20 years ago and, in 2004, started “The Aussie Gourmet” to cater weekly and Shabbat/Yom Tov meals for families and individuals within The Five Towns and neighboring communities. Naomi is also sought after to teach cooking classes throughout the NY/NJ Metropolitan area (from Scarsdale to Boro Park, Manhattan to Teaneck, the Hamptons and Connecticut… and of course, The Five Towns). She has also taught classes in Florida, Australia and Israel. Naomi is a guest host on the QVC TV network and has been featured in cookbooks, a cooking CD and a variety of newspaper articles. Naomi currently lives in Woodmere, NY with her husband and 4 daughters.


47 The Jewish Home february 14, 2013

SundAy, FebruAry 24 At 5:30 pm Join us for our AnnuAl GrAnd Purim festivAl!

At Chabad north Hollywood: 13079 Chandler blvd

• megillah reading • Program for the children • Come dressed in your itAliAn Costume! • delicious Purim feast Please call 818-989-9539 for more information or visit www.chabadnH.com

Fee: $15 per Adult $12 per child




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Phone: PICO: (323) 933-8283 • FAIRFAX: (323) 655-8870 Email: PICO: westernkosherpico@gmail.com fairfax: ORDERS@WESTERNKOSHER.COM VISIT: Pico: 4817 West Pico Blvd. LA, CA 90016 Fairfax: 444 N. Fairfax Ave. LA, CA 90036

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