Jewish Home LA - 1-14-21

Page 1


The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home




Dear Readers, In the oral history of my family there is a description of my great grandfather, R’ Uziel Chazanow, a’h, arguing with his siblings about the virtue of communism. They felt it was a liberating movement that would finally get rid of the czar and his anti-semitic decrees. He disagreed, arguing that it was a G-dless thirst for power that would end in a lot of bloodshed. He quipped: families are routinely torn apart dividing assets from an inheritance and you expect a country of strangers to divide resources evenly? Foolishness! Greed masquerading as virtue has heavy consequences. We know how it turned out. Communism resulted in more deaths than Nazi Germany. Despite this reality, when my great aunt Fanye left Russia at the end of the 80s, she was totally unaware and indeed surprised to discover that Stalin, yemach shmo, was an evil person. There was absolute control of what people saw. Which brings us to current events. Leftist activism currently rules the day in almost all universities. Students who voice opinions not in line with the mob get shamed, bullied or even physically attacked. Mainstream personalities such as Ben Shapiro were either outright denied permission to speak and if they got permission, needed a huge police presence to protect those students wishing to hear his lecture. Leftist activism caused the reality of increased Anti-Semitism to be practically ignored because it doesn’t fit with the narrative of the left caring for minorities. Indeed, just one year ago NYC had a string of attacks targeting visibly Jewish persons without stealing anything from them, and yet next to nothing was done by Mayor De Blasio. When, right here in LA, the mob - ostensibly rioting about civil rights - showed frightening expressions of Anti-Semitism, it was brushed under the rug. In this week alone, three restaurants in Portland serving Israeli cuisine were vandalized. Where’s the outrage? Leftist activism created an extreme reality of cancel culture where they can target a corporation or business and in no amount of time shame them into falling in line. This is a very dangerous reality. Leftist activism attacked relentlessly attacked Bush McCain and Romney yet pretends this is about Trump. Leftist activism created the slogan #notmypresident, made the power of impeachment a political tool and created a pressure campaign for athletes and companies to boycott routine visits to the White House. Leftist activism allows for the looting and wanton destruction of body and limb for months straight, while calling them “mostly peaceful protests,” allowing groups and individuals to use their social media platforms to create spontaneous protests.

On the international front leftist activism supports sending 1.7 billion in cash to the country responsible for the most deaths in the middle east in the past hundred years yet will call for the financial boycott of peaceful Israel. Leftist activism allows for personal attacks against politicians you disagree with, calling for lists and public shaming of anyone who worked in the previous administration. It looks like the mob, it smells like the mob - because it is the mob. And when the mob controls most of the media, it’s a recipe for disaster. There isn’t a single mainstream public figure who wasn’t authentically disgusted by the violence at the Capitol last week (a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of respectful, hardworking people who were there.) The same cannot be said when the perpetrators are Antifa or far-left activists. There’s a great idea expressed by civil rights attorney Alan Dershowitz. Don’t judge people by how they treat upstanding individuals, judge them by how they treat people who made mistakes. Their reaction tells you exactly who they are. The collusion of a few individuals in removing the Parler app from the world wide web should shock anyone wary of so much power in the hands of so few. We believing Jews have a fairly good ability to see past tyrannical leaders who claim their power grab was for the people, for public safety or for public health. Perhaps that’s the reason we were always the first target of the newest dictator on the block. Knowing all this doesn’t change the reality, and perhaps the only thing most of us can do is register our disgust by deleting the Facebook owned WhatsApp app and switching to Signal, but it does give us a starting point of at least knowing what’s going on. But I digress. World events are completely in the hands of Hashem. We are in great Hands. We will continue to increase our acts of holiness, goodness and kindness. And we have complete bitachon in Hashem that even while we are still in golus we will have light, joy and gladness. With Hashem’s help, we look forward to seeing how current events are ushering us into the time when there shall be no more greed or strife, for the world shall be filled with knowledge of the Creator. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y 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. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Reb Mielech Biderman, shlita:

TEFILLAH BRINGS THE SHEFA And the children of Israel groaned from the labor, and they cried out, and their cry ascended to G-d from the labor (Shemos 2:23). The Ramban and Rabbeinu Bachaya both explain that even though the designated time for the Jews to be redeemed had already come, they were only redeemed after they called out in prayer to Hashem. It was their cries and wailing that “reminded” Hashem of his covenant to redeem them. This teaches us that a person should always allow himself to pray and ask G-d for all his needs. Even if the “shefa” (overflowing abundance) is prepared for him in shamayim, he will only receive it with tefillah.



TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

More Than Just a Fundraiser:

Amudim’s Unite to Heal Triggers Global Influx of Calls for Help

While most organizations would find themselves taking a well-deserved break after an intense campaign that successfully surpassed their fundraising goals, life has been busier than ever at Amudim, with the number of calls coming in and new cases opened hitting unprecedented levels since Unite to Heal made its way into the record books on December 20th. A 36-hour jam-packed event featuring more than 100 well-known rabbis, mental health professionals, educators, entertainers, public speakers, community leaders, athletes, and other well-known personalities, Unite to Heal topped its $5 million goal, with 10,319 unique donors digging deep into their hearts and their wallets to show support for Amudim and those who seek out its services. But in addition to covering a significant portion of Amudim’s $6.4 million budget, Unite to Heal was also a massive awareness event, one that drew nearly 700,000 viewers from all across the globe. With the pandemic sparking a monumental mental health crisis, Amudim

has seen its case volume rising exponentially over the past ten months, with an 82 percent increase in active cases over the past year. Amudim opened 189 new cases in the first two weeks of December alone, with 248 new cases opened in the days following Unite to Heal through the end of the month and 2,300 calls, emails and messages coming in over social media during that same time period. Unite to Heal struck a chord that resonated with donors both near and far. While domestic donations came in from 33 states with New York, New Jersey and Maryland leading the pack, Israelis in 24 different cities also sent in their financial contributions as did donors in Canada, England, Belgium, France, Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Scotland, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Mexico, Panama and Chile. In addition to the calls for help from individuals generated by Unite to Heal, Amudim has also received calls from Australia, South Africa, Belgium,

England and Switzerland from those interested in setting up services to serve their local communities. Although the $5,034,632 raised by Unite to Heal is extremely significant to Amudim’s clients, the knowledge that more than 10,000 people on six continents came out to in a show of support was the ultimate affirmation to those whose struggles had been swept under the proverbial rug until recently. “This was the vision of our founder, Mendy Klein z’l, who wanted to make sure that Jewish communities all across the world had access to services such as those being provided by Amudim,” said Amudim founder and CEO Zvi Gluck. “Mendy would remind us over and over again that no matter how much we did it was never enough and we continue to carry on his legacy by doing everything we possibly can, and then some, so that no one in any of our communities should ever have to suffer in silence.” While Unite to Heal gave Amudim the ability to hire three additional case manag-

ers to meet the burgeoning need created by the pandemic, the campaign itself has triggered an avalanche of activity that makes the necessity of additional hires abundantly clear. The irony of a fundraiser only creating a larger need for funds isn’t lost on Gluck or anyone at Amudim. “Based on what we have seen these last few weeks, we anticipate the increase of calls for assistance to continue to rise in 2021 and we will do whatever it takes to meet that demand,” said Gluck. “Baruch Hashem, we have seen the stigmas that prevented people from seeking help eradicated, watched as communities began embracing those in pain instead of pushing them aside and been overjoyed to see a growing awareness of abuse, addiction and mental health issues. We hear Mendy Klein’s words echoing in our ears every day and hope that the community will continue supporting us so that help for those in crisis can always be just a phone call away.” To watch segments of the event, please visit

out-of-pocket. RCCS worked tirelessly to get her a legal exemption to be able to be seen for the initial appointment. Her insurance denied the first claim; RCCS paid for her visit through its medical subsidy grant program. After that initial appointment, the doctor informed the RCCS team that she needed to have surgery immediately. RCCS’s team went to work around the clock, until she was able to get the proper insurance. At the same time, the medical advocacy team battled with the hospital to clear her for surgery - even as she sat in the waiting room. B”H, RCCS was able to get her cleared for surgery and the surgery was a success. She still deals with quality-of-life issues and some complications, and RCCS has been standing by her side, helping, and guiding her throughout the whole ordeal. RCCS dealt with another case recently with a young man with esophageal cancer that kept coming back. After having a major surgery in a top hospital, which un-

fortunately was unsuccessful, the doctors despaired. But the RCCS team was not ready to give up on him. RCCS was able to have him transferred to another hospital and found a new top doctor to take his case. B”H, the doctor is still actively treating this patient and managing all his challenges, and the cancer is continuously shrinking. Cancer is a terrible, terrifying, and life-changing disease. RCCS makes sure that our community can fight it. They deal with each case, provide advocacy, provide financial backing, provide emotional support from the very first vital days until the very end, no matter what. They make sure the members of our community are not left out in dealing with this dreadful disease. Please find it in your hearts to help this vital organization, and all that they do for our community @ WWW.LA4RCCS. ORG.

Message from RCCS Dear Neighbor, The Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) is having its annual Los Angeles campaign. In the past 12 months, RCCS has been providing services to 48 cancer patients in our own Greater Los Angeles community, requiring a budget of over $436,000. Unfortunately, this year, with the current challenges we can’t hold our regular event, however we ask you, please “Don’t turn them away”! Don’t turn the Los Angeles families that count on RCCS away. Make a lifesaving donation today @ www.LA4RCCS.ORG. What is RCCS? For over 20 years, RCCS has been dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families receive the best medical care to help them recover from their dreaded illness. RCCS currently oversees the cases of over 2,700 cancer patients worldwide. Very often, when a patient is G-d forbid diagnosed, their lives are literally hanging in the balance. One or two days can be the difference between life and

death. The worst thing for the patient is not having immediate access to the best care and specialists because they lack the guidance and connections, or because they cannot afford access to the proper care. Enter RCCS. RCCS acts as a liaison and advocate for the patient, helping to guide them through the confusing maze of physicians, hospitals, and treatments, and pay insurance premiums for those that cannot afford to pay. But more than that: This organization, with its unparalleled connections to the top specialists in the country, procures appointments to the top doctors in the field. Here are two stories of how RCCS just recently helped a cancer patient. An older woman with several children was diagnosed with a rare and fast-growing cancer in several of her organs. This woman needed to be seen immediately by a very specific doctor who specialized in this type of cancer. However, she did not have the proper insurance, and there were complications with simply paying

The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

THANK YOU! $5,047,143










If you or someone you know needs help, please call us. Confidential hotline: 646-517-0222 OUR SPONSORS




The Week In News Living with the Times

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Yossel’s Rule

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman My dear friend, Yossel Czapnik z”l, was a keen observer of the human condition. Invariably, whenever someone was found to have engaged in wrongful or detrimental behavior and people would wonder how it was possible for the person to act so foolishly, Yossel would always give the same answer. He would say that it happened because the person didn’t learn mussar. The study of mussar keeps a person straight, honest, and humble, and prevents him from engaging in self-destructive behavior. Yossel fell victim to Covid before Pesach, but his lessons are as true as ever. This week’s parsha offers ample evidence of Yossel’s message as we ponder the actions and reactions of the recalcitrant Paroh and his inability to think logically. But we don’t have to go back to the days of the makkos for an application of the lesson. Apparently, the president’s electoral loss has affected his ability to think and act rationally. His ego led him to act in ways detrimental to himself, the country, the causes he championed, and all Americans. It is a disaster on too many levels. While it is true that he called for a peaceful and patriotic protest at the Capitol, when the horrific happened, his message calling for the craziness to end was tepid at best, and certainly unbefitting for the person charged with running the country. A strong condemnation of the violent and irresponsible actions was in order, delivered with conviction from a leader who cares about law and order. His failure to do so destroyed not only his legacy, but the legitimacy of the Right and the Republican Party, along with the important positions they represent. His lack of communication with the people of this nation is an abrogation of his duty and responsibility. What happened last week in Washington is a national tragedy. In a civilized country, disagreements aren’t settled by acts of violence. There is no justification for what occurred in the Capitol. No matter what people are upset about, they should never be permitted to take over the Capitol building and engage in wanton acts of insolence and destruction. It has been said that the coddling of the rioters who, during the past summer of rage, caused billions of dollars of damage to government buildings and businesses was seen by those on the fringes as legitimizing violence as a method to achieve political gain. But by a minority doing what they did, with the apparent blessing of the president, the Right, as a whole, has been robbed of moral high ground and the cause of traditional values and freedoms has been seriously impaired. The country will recover but will be

paying a heavy price for many years to come. People who are ego-driven and self-centered end up acting in ways that are detrimental. The Democrats have been driving the media narrative and owning it for the longest time now. Trump stood up to them and plowed ahead with the agenda he was elected on, following through on virtually every promise he made. For whatever reason, Hashem caused his opponent to be declared the victor and there was nothing Trump could do to retain his position. What happened since the election results came in, fit very neatly into the narrative his enemies had created about Trump, and validated everything they had been saying and predicting about him for the past four years. Democrats will now be in control of the Congress, Senate and White House, and their mission will be to undo everything that Trump accomplished as they press ahead with their progressive plans for the country. It is no longer important how they won the White House. The fact is that they own it for the next four years. They outsmarted the Republicans at every turn and can be counted on to do that for

Later, at melava malka, we seek to further prepare for that transition. We sing “al tira avdi Yaakov.” We say, “Fear not, Yidden. You are equipped with the strength and ability to rise above what is out there and still remain true to yourselves, to each other, and to the Torah if you remain loyal to the teachings and lessons handed down from Yaakov Avinu.” We proclaim that in order to navigate the highways of life and plow ahead despite the storms that inevitably seek to block us, we have to follow the path of Yaakov and the other avdei Hashem. Only by following the Torah and its mitzvos can we think of setting out on the road that is olam hazeh. Only by reinforcing ourselves with Torah and mussar will we be able to move ahead and accomplish the missions we were sent here to carry out. The children of Yaakov stood out in Mitzrayim because “lo shinu,” they refused to change and adapt. Lo shinu - they remained loyal to the Torah that Yaakov transmitted to them and that Yehudah taught in the yeshiva he established. Lo shinu - they knew that everything else is transitory. Lo shinu - they knew what was true and what was lasting. Lo shinu - they

As people of faith, we know that there is something going on behind the scenes, way deeper and more impactful than we can imagine. the foreseeable future. They set the national agenda and presented their case in a way that appealed to the masses of voters. They are winners and the Republicans are losers. We live in a world where nothing is as it appears. We don’t know whom to trust and where to turn for direction and support. Every week, we bid farewell to Shabbos with Havdalah. We light a multi-wicked, wine-stained candle and start thinking of the coming week. We proclaim, “Hinei Keil yeshuosi evtach velo efchod.” We proclaim that although we don’t know what the new week will bring, we aren’t afraid, because we know that Hashem will be with us. As we leave the holiness and peace of Shabbos and embark on our weekly venture into our everyday routines, we say to Hashem, to ourselves and to our families that we do not fear as we go back into the turmoil that is life, since we are armed with emunah and bitachon.

knew what was false, fleeting, and temporary, and they knew that to survive as a people in a different country, they had to remain steadfast in their dedication to Yaakov’s ideals. The posuk in the first perek of Tehillim admonishes us to be as trees planted on the banks of rivers, with deep roots - entrenched shoroshim - linking us to Har Sinai and the greatest mortals the world has known. We are guided by their legacy and teachings. We have a rich mesorah. We drink from the palgei mayim of our timeless Torah, as did “avdi Yaakov.” Despite their challenges and obstacles, the Bnei Yisroel in Mitzrayim lived with the ideal of “lo shinu,” remembering where they came from and where they were headed. In the land of Paroh, this was important. His leadership was based on fiction and false perceptions, as Rashi states on the words “Hinei hu yotzei hamoymah”

(7:15). Paroh created a fictitious narrative about himself. He was unable to redirect his life even in the face of the makkos. The ego-driven lie he had fashioned about himself allowed him to lead a blissful existence. However, his conceit prevented him from recognizing that he was up against a higher power and the enslavement of the Jewish people was coming to end, thus bringing calamity upon himself and his nation. It was in this climate of Mitzrayim, where fiction masqueraded as fact, that the grandchildren of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov distinguished themselves, a goy mikerev goy standing tall, a nation of truth and destiny. When we live through times such as ours, incidents such as those that occurred last week should remind us that instead of seeking to blend into the cultural fabric of the country, we should remember who we are and from where we come. We have a destiny. The truth must be our guide and protecting it our concern. We have to be honest with ourselves, confront our imperfections, and overcome them. We must set goals for ourselves and our personal development, never resting from laboring in the pursuit of excellence and G-dliness. As we study these parshiyos of geulah, we should rededicate ourselves to living lives of truth, Torah and mussar, and being true to ourselves and our destiny. We dare not be impressed by the allure and glamour of fleeting beauty and popularity based upon superficiality and fallacy. We have to remain a people of depth and intelligence, of loyalty and determination. When the world shakes, we should rededicate ourselves to Torah to ensure that we are living proper lives. We should make time every day to learn some mussar to keep us faithful to ourselves and help us defeat the yeitzer hora, which seeks to destroy our decency and goodness. We are a nation of survivors. If we stand tall, remind ourselves who we are and what we stand for, and work together to build a brighter future, we will soon merit the geulah. If we recognize our strength and power, we can remedy that which needs rectifying and reinforce that which requires strengthening. Let us not be like the people of Mitzrayim and their leaders who were blindsided and unable to act sensibly and responsibly. The first prime minister of Israel was thrown out of his party after having led the country for many years. When he opened a new party and ran for his old job, he went down in defeat and retreated to his home in Sde Boker. Reporters had many questions as the man who had dominated the country retreated to the sidelines. When asked if he would have done things differently, he answered that he was satisfied with every decision he made except for one. Ben Gurion said that he regretted freeing yeshiva bochurim from army duty. Rav Zvi Shvartz of Rechovot recounts

The Week In News Living with the Times

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

that he was learning in the Chevron Yeshiva at the time. Together with other bochurim, he shared the comment with Rav Chatzkel Sarna, the rosh yeshiva. Rav Sarna explained to them how that fateful decision came about. “Lev melochim vesorim b’Yad Hashem,” he said. The prime minister’s decisions were not his; Hashem managed everything so that it would be for the benefit of Klal Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel. Therefore, although he would have done things differently, at the time he wasn’t able to decide differently. In hindsight, he saw that with every issue, he had taken the correct course of action. So, too, when it came to the question of drafting yeshiva bochurim, Hashem put the idea in his head to allow them to study Torah and help rebuild what was lost during the Holocaust. When he looked back at it, he couldn’t believe that he decided to exempt them. Similarly, in our day, politicians make promises and lay out plans for what they will do should they get elected, but when they get into power, very often they take a totally different course. This is because it is not up to them anymore. Once they are in a position of authority, Hashem takes over the decision-making process and they act the way Hashem has guided them. They are no longer in control. We see things going on and don’t understand how they can happen. The political world is in upheaval and nothing makes any sense. How can it be? How can it be that in this advanced age, people act so uncivilly, lacking intelligence and decency? Lev melochim vesorim b’Yad Hashem. The only rational explanation is that Hashem is directing the thoughts and actions of people in power for reasons only He knows. Since the onset of the Covid pandemic, nothing has proceeded rationally. Everything that has happened defies explanation. From the way the virus works, to the many missteps taken in battling it and healing people afflicted with it, to the near miraculously fast discovery of vaccines, to the way this country and many others have botched their delivery to the citizens, nothing makes sense. And nothing that happened on the political scene can be explained easily either, from the George Floyd riots, to the presidential campaign and election, to the rush at the US Capitol last week. It all defies logic. American Jewry had believed that the freedoms promised us by the constitution will protect us from those who would seek to harm us. But recent events have caused everyone to recognize that our safety, along with the rights to worship and practice religion as we please, can no longer be taken for granted. Now there are politicians and corporations who are seeking to destroy the protections the constitution affords citizens of these United States, protections that enabled this country to grow and prosper and be a beacon of democracy, proclaiming freedom throughout the world. They couch

their designs in lofty terminology, yet they jeopardize free speech and expression. We try to make sense of the bizarre. We don’t understand what is happening. But as people of faith, we know that there is something going on behind the scenes, way deeper and more impactful than we can imagine. Far be it from me to try to understand Hashem’s plan, but it is obvious that Hakadosh Boruch Hu is laying the groundwork to bring us Moshiach. We all know that it was foretold that in the times of Moshiach, we will recognize that ein lonu lehisha’ein ela al Avinu

shebashomayim. We will have no one to depend on but Hashem, as everything else that we believed in will crumble. Let us recognize that all that transpires is part of a Divine plan. We may not always understand the workings of Hashem, but we must recognize that they are what causes everything to happen and nothing happens just because. We may be in for hard times, but let’s keep it all in perspective and remember that it is up to us and our maasim tovim to determine the outcome of this trying historic period. Lev melochim vesorim b’Yad Hashem. We don’t know what the Ribono Shel Olam

has in store for the country, for the world, and for us, but we ask that He protect us as the plan unfolds and that it should lead to the swift coming of Moshiach. We don’t need to be lectured by politicians and others who are motivated by polls and egos. Let us seek the refuge and direction of sifrei mussar for direction in self-improvement and behavior so that we don’t engage in the types of actions that destroy people and nations. Remember Yossel’s rule. It can save you much personal aggravation and help bring the geulah.

Attention High School Seniors & their Parents


Touro College Los Angeles invites High School Seniors & their Parents to an information session


Getting the most out of your year + Financial aid opportunities • • • • •

Choosing a Seminary or Yeshiva Planning your year TCLA Israel Option Affording Seminary or Yeshiva in Israel Planning for after Seminary or Yeshiva


Touro College Los Angeles strives to provide its students with an education based on Jewish ideals to prepare them for a life of value.


Where Knowledge and Values Meet @TouroCollegeLA Touro College Los Angeles is a division of Touro University Worldwide, which is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC): 985 Atlantic Ave. #100, Alameda, CA 94501-6444: Tel. 510.748.9001. Touro College Los Angeles is an Equal Opportunity Institution.



Sarah's The WeekCorner In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Big People, Big Problems Sarah Pachter

Little kid, little problems. Big kid, big problems. When children are young, a big concern may be figuring out which foods to offer picky infants or how to baby-proof the house for a rambunctious toddler. As children age parental concerns evolve. Peer pressure rears its ugly head, emotions run high, and our children are faced with difficult choices. The physical exhaustion from young children seems to pale in comparison to navigating the emotional rollercoaster of raising older children. However, as they grow, the reverse is true as well. The bigger they become, the smaller their problems can seem. Mr. T. Harv Eker, billionaire businessman and motivator, explains in his bestselling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, “The secret to success is not to avoid or get rid of your problems, it is to grow yourself so you are bigger than any problem.”1 In life, every person is tasked to grow spiritually. We do this by slowly moving up a figurative ladder. The lowest rungs are beneath us and represent easy challenges that we are to conquer. The highest rungs, representing the more difficult challenges are seemingly out of reach. Our job is to slowly conquer each rung, until they too are beneath us. Therefore, at times we may be actively battling the evil inclination, while at other points in life there will be no struggle to choose correctly. This is because the levels below this one have already been conquered. Each time one defeats the evil inclination by choosing to do good, his Nekuda Habechira, the power of free will, is raised a bit higher, and that choice will 1 Eker, Harv T., Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, pg. 107

be easier for him to make in the future. Eker explains this concept with the following analogy. Using a scale of 1 to 10, imagine you are a person who has the character and attitude of a Level 2. Suppose you are experiencing a Level 5 problem in your life. This Level 5 problem would certainly feel very serious. Now imagine you have matured and developed yourself into a Level 8 person. That same Level 5 problem would magically not be considered a big problem anymore. At Level 10, that initial Level 5 problem is now not a problem at all. It doesn’t even register in his psyche as an issue, and there is no negative energy surrounding the problem. It is an everyday occurrence, like eating breakfast or driving to work. I was out on a walk with my husband one evening with our then three-year old who had fallen asleep in the stroller, and we were taking advantage of the rare opportunity to talk. We passed by an acquaintance, and as she saw us she casually remarked, “Wow, one kid? Now, that’s a vacation!” I chuckled uncomfortably, but thought to myself, Seriously? This child is so rambunctious! My sister calls him the Tasmanian devil because he moves so fast! Hardly a vacation. Years passed as my family grew Baruch Hashem. I can now better understand her perspective. However, in some ways, caring for four children is easier than one. When I had only one child, I was a new and inexperienced mom. It was difficult to get out of the house. The diaper bag, the change of clothing, the snacks, the milk... it all took time to be packed, and seemed impossible to remember! Now, with four children, I have a routine. I have systems in place, and older children to help make

the process more efficient. As a mother of one, I was still adjusting to the drastic life change. A new mother needs to learn to give of her own needs for the needs of her child. By the time I had four children, I was accustomed and welcomed this change. I “grew” bigger than the problem. Everyone has challenges, most of which do not magically disappear. It is not about the size of the issue, but rather about how large we become relative to our issues. Eker remarks that the bigger we develop ourselves, the more we can handle problems with ease. Then, the more responsibility we can take on, the larger the business we can manage, the more wealth we can handle, and the larger we can become spiritually.2 Eker describes a time in his younger life where he made a tremendous amount of money. Almost immediately he lost it all because of overspending and bad choices. He firmly believes that if we don’t grow ourselves large enough to hold the wealth we make, we will lose it. The only way we will maintain wealth is by developing ourselves into a “vessel” to hold it. How, then, do we grow ourselves? We must start from the inside out. Our outer world is created from our inner world, and is merely a reflection of what is happening inside. If something is wrong on the outside, it is the inside that needs fixing. Eker eloquently explains, “If you want to change the fruits, change the roots. If you want to change what is visible, you must first change what is invisible. Unsuccessful people are constantly trying to avoid problems. They back away from


Eker, T. Harv, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind, pg. 107-108

challenges.” Whereas successful people approach challenges head-on, hoping to conquer the problem, and themselves, in the process.” Rather than trying to change our problems, we will be more effective by changing ourselves in order to solve our problems. Our problems mature as we do, and life can feel unfair and overwhelming at times. However if we change our perspective, the reasoning becomes apparent. I often think about my son and his attitude towards homework. “I wish I had Nava’s homework! It’s so easy! All she is doing is adding basic numbers!” Josh complained one evening. My response was, “Really though? I know it might be nice to have easier homework for a night or two, but wouldn’t it be boring and a waste of time to continually do something so easy? It’s beneath you, Josh. Take pride!” We must accept the fact that as we mature, so will our challenges. The key to growing “bigger” is pushing ourselves beyond our comfort level, without stretching to the point of breaking. I recently lost a beloved relative who owned an immense property in North Carolina that spanned almost 200 acres. She lived in a beautiful, two-story home, with vaulted ceilings and plenty of natural light. Starting from when I was about five, our family made yearly visits there. We anxiously anticipated the next visit as soon as that year’s vacation was over. As we grew older, life got busier, and many years passed before we visited again. When I was finally able to return as a teenager, I was immediately jolted by the size of her house. Somehow, the house seemed to have shrunk. The ceilings were not so high after all, and it was essentially a normal two-story home. Of course, the only thing that changed was my perspective. The bigger I became, the smaller the house appeared. The same is true of our problems. In Judaism, there is no stagnation— problems and challenges will arise. Will we rise, is the question. Life is like an escalator, we are either going up or down. (Source) I urge us all to move up the escalator of life so that all the problems below us seem small and surmountable.

The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home




patients served



annual L.A. budget





70 10

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Chava Willig Levy

and a “Breathtaking” Exploration of Music A Soundtrack of Spirituality, Strength & Survival BY MICHELLE ZIMMERMAN


hat are the three most important things I should know about you?” It’s a question Chava Willig Levy often leads with during her popular motivational speeches. It’s a question she posed in her days giving corporate training seminars. It’s a question that broke the ice on her first date with her husband, Michael, almost 40 years ago. When asked the same question, her answer now is the same as it was then: “I love music, I love words, and I love children.” Her disability? “That,” she explains, “is the fourth most important thing you should know about me.”

Feature The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home


a woman who is known as an accomplished writer, editor and singer, music has been a constant chorus in her life. As a childhood polio survivor and an advocate for people with disabilities, music has been a lifeline and a lifeforce. A self-described “kosher ham,” Chava is no stranger to sharing her inspirations and insights. Her 2013 memoir, “A Life Not with Standing,” is a coming-of-age story that details her journey to overcome obstacles and fulfill her dreams. Chava’s words are made more compelling by the lyrics interwoven throughout, giving the book a veritable “soundtrack.” Chava now brings her passion for music to the masses with a captivating podcast called Breathtaking. In her debut episode, she welcomes the listener by explaining that the podcast is “celebrating all the things that take my breath away, including (but not limited to) music, words (particularly lyrics), children, Judaism, womanhood, parenting and living life with a disability.” The timing of Chava’s latest endeavor couldn’t be more apropos. “The current pandemic has left so many of us feeling isolated and unsettled. Music has been a very therapeutic part of my life, sustaining me through challenging times,” she said. “It has given voice to my bitachon in Hashem. This podcast is a way for people to connect with music, and with one another, at a time when we need to find gratitude for all that is beautiful in the world.”

A Bar Mitzvah Bracha

Breathtaking began because of a bracha. When Chava was invited to speak at her great-nephew’s bar mitzvah celebration last February, it was natural for her to mark the milestone with music. Because she does not sing in front of men, she enlisted the bar mitzvah boy’s three uncles to illustrate her words with snippets of music. The first two parts of this musical bracha were slightly different renditions of the opening line of the song “Try to Remember,” composed by Harvey Schmidt. The hall was quiet as first one and then another uncle sang “Try to remember the kind of September/When life was slow and, oh, so mellow.” Chava had them each repeat their portions and then guided the crowd to pinpoint the difference in the two deliveries, which was the note in which the word “slow” was sung. She explained that while the first version is the universally recognized one, when given another listen, the rare second version can be not only appreciated but admired.

“When music – or life – takes you by surprise, may you be willing, may you be open to take a second listen or a second look.” With the crowd enthralled by this musical observation, it was on to parts three and four of Chava’s bracha, which opened with an uncle singing the first nine notes of Mozart’s 40th Symphony’s third movement, composed in 1788. It was followed by another uncle singing

Tante Chatcha and her daughter, Bracha Temma

the first nine notes of “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” composed by Jerry Bock in 1964. Chava pointed out that the first nine notes of these compositions are identical but with different rhythms. She even facetiously speculated that while Mozart may not have intended for his symphony to be modified 176 year later for a musical set in a shtetl, he, too, would have grown to see the beauty in the differences. The stage was now set for the actual bracha, and Chava delivered a heartfelt one: “When music – or life – takes you by surprise, may you be willing, may you be open to take a second listen or a second look. May you discover beauty in the things that at first seemed all wrong.” “This bracha not only showcased my appreciation for music, but it also encapsulated my view of life,” she said. “Life is not always easy, but sometimes we need to adjust our perspective to realize that variations from our original plan can still be fulfilling.” Chava had no idea that her message would take on greater relevance a few weeks later with the arrival of COVID-19. With the encouragement of her family, she set out to share her music appreciation with a larger audience, and the podcast was born.

A Musical Legacy

Before Chava and Michael filled their home with music for their children Tehilah and Aharon, Chava’s musical roots began in the home of her parents, Rabbi Jerome and Ella Willig, z”l. Family legend has it that, at 18 months, Chava stood on the coffee table and sang Franz Lehar’s “Merry Widow Waltz.” The music originated with her mother, born in Oswiecim, Poland, and raised with chassidic melodies. Under the tutelage of her older sister Chatcha, Ella was also introduced to classical composers like Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Chopin. When Ella immigrated to the United States with her parents and unmarried siblings in 1934, Chatcha stayed behind with her own family. Tragically, Chatcha perished in the Holocaust. Chava is her namesake. “I definitely feel that I inherited Tante Chatcha’s love for music and that my mother upheld her sister’s legacy by making music central to our home,” Chava said. The Willig family treasured their records and their prized RCA Radio-Victrola. Along with her siblings Mordechai, Temi and Dovid, Chava was surrounded by all types of music. Ella exposed them to contemporary American songs as well as tunes from around the globe. There were albums of Jewish music and children’s songs. Of particular

fondness was a series of albums by Gladys Gewirtz, each devoted to a different Jewish holiday. The family also enjoyed singing and was known for their lively renditions of zemiros and Broadway showtunes. Ella took guitar lessons, and Chava’s siblings took piano. Because her paralyzed arms prevented her from playing the piano, Chava pursued her singing talent. While not as musical as his wife, Chava’s father Jerome was an enthusiastic supporter who sang along and treated the family to records. On one occasion, he “moved mountains” to ensure a stretcher-bound Chava could attend an Enrico Macias concert at Carnegie Hall. Entertainment aside, music became a critical companion for Chava during her childhood and adolescence, when her disability necessitated frequent hospital stays. She recounts in her memoir, “I didn’t know it then, but music, reassuring or terrifying, was medicine for me, a vehicle for facing vulnerability… The record player’s needle and the hospital’s hypodermic needles: both kept me alive.”

Inspiration on the Airwaves

One of the most anticipated musical moments for Chava and her family was the nightly radio program, “Music from Around the World.” Hosted by Erwin Frankel on WABC-FM from 1959-1972, this hour-long program showcased an eclectic array of international music. In his New York Times obituary from 2012, Frankel, who was also a concert promoter, is credited with broadening “the American cultural palette.” In Chava’s estimation, his broadcast led her to many musical discoveries and made her “a citizen of the world.” More than his musical influence, Frankel brought Chava a personal dose of encouragement and validation. In the days before Instagram or Twitter made it simple to connect with a celebrity, there were handwritten letters. Over the years, Chava would correspond with Frankel about his shows, requesting songs and updating him on her life. It was a time when reading a letter on-air and mentioning Chava’s name was a thrill. What started as a fan/host relationship eventually became a mutual friendship that extended beyond music. Frankel even attended Chava’s wedding in 1983 and her daughter Tehilah’s in 2011. “Erwin Frankel left me with such an indelible example of kindness. He drew me in with his velvety voice and taught me so much about music,” Chava said. “As I host my podcast, I feel like he’s on my shoulder.”

A Sophisticated Symphony of Sounds When discussing Br e ath-



Feature The Week In News

Erwin Frankel

Creating the podcast

taking, Chava shared two anecdotes. One is that she has what a friend jokingly

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

called a “melody malady,” where “everything in life makes me think of a song.” The other is a drasha she once heard from Rabbi Norman Lamm, z”l. “Rabbi Lamm was explaining that the word ‘enthusiasm’ comes from the Greek ‘en theos,’ which means G-d is in you,” Chava recalled. “In my case, I think that maybe Hashem gave me this tremendous enthusiasm for music so I can disseminate that joy – and, in a way, an appreciation for Hashem’s gift of music – to the world around me.” Breathtaking offers a sophisticated symphony of sounds. Chava’s elegant hosting style is reminiscent of an earlier, simpler time when people would gather for an evening radio show and just focus on the music – without other distractions. At the basic level, listening to her podcast is like attending a music appreciation class led by a well-versed expert who provides a poetic analysis of the lyrics and a rich historical background. Chava’s carefully-curated playlists make the listener pay attention and discard any preconceived musical notions. Her selections are not cookie-cutter hits. Following Erwin Frankel’s example, she chooses songs from around the world – and many are obscure. Chava takes a thematic approach to her podcasts, and each theme fills three episodes. Those themes include relationships, feelings, nature, faith, legal holidays, and Israel. There are also explorations of lesser-known composers, and even a tribute to her high school music appreciation teacher, Mr. Inniss. Chava juxtaposes unexpected musical styles within the same theme, and her execution offers an element of surprise. In her “Good Vibrations” series, she begins by informing the listener that she “will not be featuring any Beach B o y s

tunes.” In the perfect embodiment of her wit and originality, this series actually opens with a selection from Sesame Street: a duet by Kermit the Frog and Aaron Neville. “Vibrations,” actually refers to “vibrato,” which is a shimmering quality in vocals or instruments. She points out that when it comes to vibrato, “you can hear the pulsating air passing through the vocal cords,” illustrating this with a few seconds of a Handel flute sonata, followed by John Langstaff’s “The Tottenham Toad.” Chava closes out this podcast with Nancy LaMott singing with her trademark vibrato “Help is on the Way,” a song that she says “helps any despair that I feel magically evaporate.” These are imaginative and unique playlists that even the most seasoned listener would never anticipate.

“I didn’t know it then, but music, reassuring or terrifying, was medicine for me.” Providing Culture and C onnection

Chava explains her approach to music from a religious perspective. “As a religious Jew who loves music, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to find secular songs expressing spirituality, a spirituality that many (not only Jews) are blessed with and that can connect us all.” There are, of course, Hebrew songs as well, and she always translates the lyrics so that they will “speak to whoever is listening.” Chava’s podcast has garnered a steady following, appealing to friends and captivating new acquaintances from around the world. Larry Dachslager, a theater teacher and lyricist from Las Vegas, NV, originally connected with Chava as part of a Broadway showtunes group on Facebook. “I was first attracted to Breathtaking because Chava focuses on lyrics, which is rare,” he said. “Chava’s master stroke as a host is that she keeps each episode short so the music can really be absorbed. She encourages the listener to shift focus away from aspects we think we know and to hear the songs differently.” Mindy Sussman, a resident of Inwood who has been friends with Chava since their Stern College days, said, “The podcast really shows Chava’s creativity and originality. I’m a musical person, but she is an absolute connoisseur with a vast knowledge and an incredible collection that includes a lot of hard-to-find mu-

sic. Before Corona, her home was a gathering place to enjoy music and now she continues to share her talents over the airwaves.” “Breathtaking has provided a safe, enriching activity for people to still experience the arts and enhance their taste in music,” said Laurie Adler, a long-time friend from Woodmere. “During such an isolating time, Chava has created a community of followers who are connecting not only with her music but also with one another. I personally enjoy listening with my mother, and it is a gift right now to be able to share the music.” According to Chava, one of the most gratifying parts of hosting Breathtaking is interacting with listeners. “If I know that I want to feature an Israeli song that relates to the theme of the week, and I’m having trouble thinking of one, I’ll post a query to an Israeli music Facebook group. Same if I’m searching for a Broadway song. And, of course, I also reach out to my Breathtaking WhatsApp group.” One such loyal contributor is Moshe Silberschein of Jerusalem, who used to sing with Michael in the Zamir Chorale and also serenaded the couple under their chuppah. “I’ve gone from friend to fan, and I look forward to the podcast because it’s calming, eclectic and fun,” Moshe said. “I get a kick out of being one of Chava’s ‘regulars,’ and she gives me a mission, like translating Hebrew lyrics. “Chava really delves into the nuances of the language. Two weeks ago, we pieced together a Kabbalistic insight into an Israeli song which she shared with her listeners. A few months ago, Chava even had me record part of a Hebrew round and then added other friends and played the finished song on the podcast. I’m glad to be part of the music.” Each three-part series of Breathtaking airs Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Listeners can enjoy all episodes on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. Chava closes all her podcasts with the warm refrain, “Signing off for now, with a song in my heart.” Listeners will understand that her bracha is in fact for everyone: “When music – or life – takes you by surprise, may you be willing, may you be open to take a second listen or a second look. May you discover beauty in the things that at first seemed all wrong.”

Chava can be reached at b r e a t h t a k i n g. p o d c a s t@g m a i l . c o m for musical or life connections! For further information about Chava’s memoir, visit

Emotional Health The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Ten Steps to Transforming Shame and Building Self-Esteem Rabbi Dov Heller, LMFT

Shame is the emotional experience underlying low self-esteem. It’s that awful feeling generated by perceiving one’s self as bad, defective, incompetent, unattractive. Everyone experiences shame from time to time. I meet someone I know and call them by the wrong name. “Oy, I can’t believe I’m so stupid,” I tell myself. The shame stings for a while but I move on with my day. But some people are not able to move on from such an experience so quickly. They obsess about their mistakes, beating themselves up without respite. Such people suffer from what is often called, “toxic shame.” Toxic shame is perhaps the biggest psychological problem of our generation and it’s the greatest obstacle to emotional well-being and spiritual growth. Toxic shame is destructive in six ways: 1. It leads to self-hate, depression, hopelessness, and addictions. People often turn to drugs to numb the unbearable pain of shame and self-hate. 2. It leads to perfectionism and grandiosity. 3. It leads to jealousy and comparing oneself to others which results in a loss of independence, personal agency, and selfdirectedness. 4. It leads to panic, fear, and anxiety as one desperately tries to salvage his damaged self-worth which is living in a selfpreservation mode. 5. It leads to being terrified of emotional intimacy because of one’s fear of being vulnerable and being “seen.” 6. It leads to perceiving God as punitive, living in fear of punishment by a God they can never please. Toxic shame is usually the result of some kind of childhood trauma involving constant criticism, punitive discipline, lack of attunement to feelings and needs, narcissism, cruelty, being compared to siblings, verbal abuse, unfair treatment, deprivation, and more. As bleak as this may sound, there is hope. In fact, I guarantee that anyone who recognizes their suffering and wants to find true relief can do so with the proper psychological and spiritual guidance. Identify something you constantly beat yourself up for and use these ten steps to begin a process of transforming your shame into self-esteem. 1. Face the truth. First of all this means feeling your shame and taking full ownership of it no matter how uncomfortable it is to do so. Secondly, acknowledge how much you are suffering because of this crushing sha me. Exercise: Say, “Today I have decided that it is no longer acceptable to live a life of suffering and selftorture.”

2. Recognize that this flaw, limitation, mistake, habit, sin does not define you. Try to understand that you are not this flaw. You are a human being who has this flaw. Exercise: Say, “Starting today, I refuse to let myself be defined by this flaw.” 3. Recognize that God does not expect you to be perfect and that He fully embraces and accepts you with this imperfection. God gave us a commandment to correct our mistakes (teshuvah, repentance) because He loves us and knows we will constantly fail and fall short. God loves our humanness. Free yourself from the need to be perfect. God has plenty of beautiful angels. What he needs is real human beings. Question: If God fully accepts me and loves me with this flaw, why can’t I accept myself with this imperfection? Exercise: Say, “The truth is I am a messy human being and it’s great to be human!” 4. Recognize that the true purpose of life is to grow, not to be perfect. The Jewish refrain for life is “progress not perfection.” When we live with a successfocus, we will always feel discouraged and depressed. When we live with a processfocus, we will feel alive and joyful. Question: Can you see this flaw as an opportunity for self-improvement and not more evidence that confirms you’re bad? 5. Recognize that we can only grow from the place of our present struggle. This requires self-understanding and above all, self-honesty. Authentic growth is about taking one small step at a time. We can never make big leaps. People who struggle with shame tend to aim too high and as a result crash and feel even worse about themselves. Exercise: Identify the point where your real struggle is with this issue and make a plan for how to move to the next step only. 6. Recognize that it is essential to learn to be patient with yourself, to have self-compassion, and to be kind to yourself. Being patient means accepting that it is hard to be a human being. There are not quick fixes or magical solutions to our struggles. It means accepting that growing is slow, frustrating, and at times imperceptible. Exercise: When you make a mistake, fail, or fall short say, “I’m not bad. I’m human and it’s ok to make mistakes and be imperfect.” 7. Recognize that it is essential to know how to manage social pressure. The society we live in defines what success and failure, winning and losing is in both the secular and religious worlds. These definitions of success and winning can be crushing and discouraging for the majority of people who will never win the “gold medal.” One of a human being’s greatest

fears is to be a failure. When we measure ourselves by society’s standards of success and failure, we most always will fall short and end up feeling like a failure. Question: How does society’s expectations and pressures make it hard for me to accept myself with this imperfection? 8. Recognize that it is essential to formulate your own definition of success and failure that will protect you against social pressure and guarantee that although you may fail, you will never feel like a failure. Exercise: Formulate your own definition of success that will insure that you feel like a winner even as you fail and fall short. 9. Recognize that you are a unique person with special strengths and creative powers and that you have a unique contribution to make in the world. The purpose of life is to discover your gift and then give it away. Shame is ultimately transformed when we identify and take ownership of our unique mission. A person who is making his or

her unique contribution to the world will surely feel proud and good about herself. Exercise: Clarify what you most enjoy doing that also has a positive impact on others and the world. 10. Recognize that you are on a journey towards being free of shame. Never be afraid if you get stuck to reach out for help. As the Talmud says, “The prisoner cannot free himself from the prison.” And above all, never forget to reach out to the One who ultimately cares about your success and happiness. He is always there to help you. These ten steps need to be reviewed over and over and practiced daily. This process of transforming shame takes work. But I fully believe that if you have decided you can no longer live in “shame prison” any longer, you will find the key to set you free. And when you finally learn how to be and to embody being an imperfect human being, free of self-hate, you will experience the true sweetness of being alive.



Review TheBook Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home

I’m Not the Boss, I Just Work Here by Howard Jonas

Reviewed by Sarah Pachter

I’m Not the Boss I Just Work Here, by Howard Jonas, is a compelling memoir that serves as inspiration for those looking to achieve financial success and spiritual growth. Jonas is the founder and CEO of IDT, a telecommunications company whose stock is traded on the NYSE. In addition to being a successful businessman, he is also a father of nine, philanthropist, and spiritual giant. While his accomplishments certainly give him the credibility to share secrets to success, his relatable tone allows the reader to forget his intimidating resume and regard him as a good friend simply giving advice. In this work, he brilliantly combines Judiaic and secular sources, while weaving in real-life experiences to cultivate his point. The book invites the reader to join him on the journey of his life. His writing is clear and illustrative, which enables the reader to experience his progression from his first job as a child to becoming the founder of IDT. The real secret to his success lies in my favorite chapter, called Sweeping Your Way to the Top. This chapter describes a Biblical story about Yosef Hatzadik who was a slave in Pharaoh’s palace. Yosef was different from

the other servants. Everyone else could be found slacking off or resting when Pharaoh was absent. Yosef, on the other hand, worked during every possible moment. His role was ‘sweeper of the floors,’ but he took pride in this position, making sure the floors were always spotless. One evening, when all the other servants were done, Yosef was alone, still sweeping. When Pharaoh discovered Yosef, he thought, Here is an honest and hardworking man who doesn’t steal even one moment from me. A person like this needs a larger role in this palace. Yosef worked his way up, eventually becoming Viceroy to Pharaoh, solely because he gave his all in everything he did. Yosef served as Jonas’s role model. Jonas began his career working at a hot dog stand. Although he just sold hot dogs, he made sure his hot dogs were the best on the street, and that they stayed open later than every other stand around. This work ethic stayed with him throughout his various professional phases, enabling him to “sweep” his way up and become who he is today. I was impressed by how Jonas, with all his mega success, shows his fallibility by sharing the riveting story of when he succumbed to depression. He also describes

lessons. I was struck by how he seamlessly tackles difficult questions, such as, Why do bad things happen to good people? Does G-d exist? Why is there suffering in the world? Why did the Holocaust happen? Not only did his answers reinforce my own faith; they have also provided me with better answers to the questions my students often bring up. My favorite passage of the book is about choice, and how our lives look the way they do because of the choices we make. The only choice any of us have is what to do with the present: to be good, to be indifferent, or to be evil; to rise to challenges or to flee from them; to share in the work of perfecting the world or just throw up our hands in surrender. Frankly, I thank G-d we’re free to choose. And I also think the choice is clear. This book presents itself as a memoir, but it’s actually so much more. The chapters flow chronologically, but any chapter can be picked up and enjoyed on its own. Readers from all faiths or levels of religious observance can appreciate this book, as it covers universal topics in an enjoyable way. It is short and easy to read, but can truly transform your life.

how he crawled out of it even stronger. His bravery for revealing his darkest moments is commendable because it gives the reader inspiration and tools to continue developing resilience within themselves. His spiritual journey is equally as fascinating. I loved how he incorporated stories of his childhood, and utilized seemingly mundane anecdotes that served as metaphors for deep and thought-provoking

Cpi Urges Community To Tap Into New, Outpatient Covid-19 Antibody Treatment Covid Plasma Initiative’s lifesaving efforts have expanded to include the facilitation of a newly available, potentially life-saving antibody treatment referred to as monoclonal antibodies. Now in its sixth week of availability, CPI has facilitated the treatment for hundreds of people across New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, Florida and more. The treatment is an infusion of lab manufactured, concentrated antibodies, similar to the antibodies present in convalescent plasma. It is the treatment given to President Trump and Governor Christie and has been available to the public for the past six weeks. The data thus far - and feedback from patients - is extremely positive. Covid Plasma Initiative has tracked approximately 600 NYC area high-risk patients who received monoclonal antibodies treatment in the last 5 weeks. Only 4 (.66%) were subsequently hospitalized for worsening symptoms. That’s in comparison to the usual hospitalization rate of >10% in highrisk patients. CPI’s plasma collection drives have made national and international headlines and have helped countless patients hospitalized with severe Covid-19 symptoms. Now they are educating the public on the availability monoclonal antibodies; a quick and easy outpatient treatment which

thus far seems to be helping people avoid hospitalizations altogether. Ads were placed this week in numerous publications across Jewish communities in the US, sharing specifics about the treatment; what it is, who qualifies and where to go in your community to receive it. Dr. Yosef Levenbrown is a Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Specialist at Dupont Hospital and the Medical Director of CPI (Advisory Board). He explains that the data from this double-blind randomized control trial showed that monoclonal antibodies can, potentially, reduce hospitalization significantly and decrease symptom severity. Dr. Jeffrey Bander of Mt. Sinai Hospital states, “We’ve seen great efficacy with these drugs. As the sole outpatient treatment, monoclonal antibodies have the potential to prevent an otherwise at-risk patient from being hospitalized and keep beds available for the critically ill.” “It’s a miracle drug,” shares Mr. Yehudah Serle, (brother of Mordy Serle one of CPI’s founders) who just recently tested positive for Covid-19 and received monoclonal antibodies. “One day I wasn’t feeling too good. I got the treatment and the next day, B’chasdei Hashem, I was feeling much better.” Another patient, who asked to remain anonymous, thanked CPI for their assis-

tance stating, “Just wanted to thank you for the referral to Richmond University Medical Center for monoclonal antibodies. My husband was in and out in four hours total. It was a simple and easy process and he already feels better today. He is dressed and at his desk learning Daf Yomi. Tizku l’mitzvos!” Monoclonal antibody treatment can be accessed by anyone who tests positive (via PCR test, NOT rapid) and is considered ‘at risk’. A person is defined as ‘at risk’ if they have one of the following factors: diabetes, obesity, immunosuppressed, over 65, and over 55 with hypertension. Other factors will qualify as well. The FDA advises that monoclonal antibody treatment start as soon as possi-

ble after a positive test, preferably within 24 hours and no later than 10 days after symptom onset. It is therefore imperative to take a Covid test right away if you have symptoms or were exposed. Contact your doctor immediately to discuss whether this treatment is appropriate for you and if so, to arrange treatment. Hospitals currently providing monoclonal antibodies include: Mt. Sinai (NYC), Maimonides (Brooklyn), Northwell (LI and SI), Good Samaritan (Rockland), Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (NJ). (Please note that not all hospitals on this list are similarly recommended for COVID-19 inpatient care). IMPORTANT REMINDERS: COVID-19 can cause “silent hypoxia”, an undetected drop in oxygen levels. A pulse oximeter is simple to use and identifies low oxygen levels before they become dangerous. Consult with a medical professional if levels drop below 95. If you need to be hospitalized do not ‘wait and see’. Choose a hospital with up-to-date treatments: plasma, steroids, blood thinners etc. CPI currently recommends Mt Sinai hospital. FOR MORE INFORMATION: www. CONTACT:

The Week In News

JANUARY 14, 2021 | The Jewish Home




COVID POSITIVE? COVID EXPOSURE? Treat early, treat wisely.

MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES have been shown to significantly reduce symptoms and hospitalizations for people with mild to moderate symptoms. If you were exposed or have symptoms, don’t wait.

Get tested and take action NOW.


Lab manufactured antibodies to combat COVID-19 FDA authorized (EUA) IV infusion in an outpatient setting Given within the first few days of onset Helps avoid hospitalization

High-risk patients within first days of positive test Individuals over age 65 Any age with obesity (BMI >35), diabetes or immunosuppressive disease Individuals over age 55 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension

*See website for comprehensive details

HOW DO I GET TREATMENT? ER walk-ins: Olympia Medical Center, PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital, Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital, Long Beach Memorial Hospital Cedars Sinai Medical Center Infusion Center (with referral) Available via Coram, call 866-3160264. A CVS Health/Coram infusion nurse will administer in-home treatment. Doctor referral needed. For CPI assistance call/text Gitty at 323-833-1092 Hospital policies may change; confirm availability by contacting the ER. Bring positive COVID-19 test results. Ask for "OUTPATIENT monoclonal antibodies treatment for COVID-19."

Email: Tel: 828-4-Plasma • CPI is a non-profit 501c3 founded and run exclusively on a volunteer basis. CPI coordinates access to medical care and information relating to the treatment of COVID-19. We have gained national and international recognition for our efforts to help save lives by facilitating plasma donations. CPI has partnered with Operation Warp Speed to further antibody treatments.

Disclaimer: The above does not take the place of medical advice. If you received a positive COVID-19 test result, please discuss with your healthcare provider.



e b o t d e e t 100% guaran ! t e y r e m m u s our best

True. It's our first summer know what we mean. Special Program for 8th & 9th graders

1 week of travel each half More details to follow

for grades

R' Yosef Wartelsky

Rav tzvi Yaakov Stein ‫שליט”א‬

Rabbi tsvi Greenfield

Rabbi Peretz Strickman

Rabbi Yitzy neuman


MaRah D'aSRah

heaD counSeLoR

LeaRning DiRectoR

JR DiviSion heaD


are you ready to believe?

Rabbi Baruch Levine


Shalom Shachna Stein

R’ Sruly Besser

Our talent and skill development mashpiim will be with us for extended shabbosim and various other times throughout the summer.