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The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

University: Making an Impact Meet Dr. Meir Shamay, head of the Daniella Lee Casper z”l Viral

Oncology Lab at the Bar-Ilan Azrieli Medical School. Dr. Shamay and his team study the spread of viruses and look to find new forms of early detection and treatment.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Dr. Shamay is among Israel’s top specialists in studying the link between the Epstein-Barr virus

(EBV) and the development of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His research, funded by the Elias, Genevieve, and Georgianna Atol Charitable Trust, is focusing on the development of life-saving drugs that target virally infected cells. A beautiful tribute to the memory of the special young woman whom this vital laboratory has been named after.

Ron Solomon, Executive Vice President ● 8730 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 550 ● Beverly Hills, CA 90211 AFBIU.org ● 310-652-3601

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The Week In News

CONTENTS COMMUNITY Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Dear readers, It’s counterintuitive, but the older we get—obtaining wisdom, achieving goals, and gaining mastery over ever greater skills—the more we perceive

JEWISH THOUGHT Torah Musings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Living with the Times . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Weekly Daf . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

the Creator’s involvement in our lives and His ability to lend us the strength to be who we are meant to be. Yet, our cynicism can develop at an almost parallel pace. Yes, we see

FEATURE 2018 Year in Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Divine Providence in our lives and in the world at large, but does it really

LIFESTYLES

make a difference if we say the words of davening clearly? If we hold in

Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

feelings of anger one extra time? Or if we’re more meticulous about the

NEWS

performance of mitzvos?

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

The Jewish Home is distributed bi-weekly to: ANAHEIM AGOURA HILLS BEVERLY HILLS BURBANK CALABASAS CAMARILLO COSTA MESA ENCINO GLENDALE HUNTINGON BEACH IRVINE LONG BEACH LOS ANGELES -BEVERLY HILLS

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The medrash tells us that, “G-d desired a dwelling place in this world.” Not in the spiritual worlds of perfect angels. In this physical world of time, space and matter. Of ego, jealousy, and hate. In this world, we are expected to elevate each action, speech, and even thought to be in line with the will of our Creator as expressed in the Torah. As it says in Pirkei Avos, “One hour of Torah and good deeds in this world is worth more than all of the World to Come.” When we act this way, we become partners with the Creator, so to speak. He created something from nothing. We elevate something and infuse it with G-dliness. It’s happening already, even if we only get to see it when Mashiach comes. The next time our cynical voice says, “What are you accomplishing with this cold action?” we should answer, “everything.” Wishing you a rejuvenating Shabbos,

Shalom

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


TheHappenings Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Bring Learning to Life, In Los Angeles: The Rav Chaim Yisroel Belsky, ztz”l, Global Chullin Initiative: Bringing Chullin to Life It may be hard to imagine anything greater than the last ma’amad at MetLife Stadium in August of 2012, but, get ready for the 13th Global Siyum HaShas of the Daf Yomi. The Siyum HaDaf is just a little more than a year away, and the Agudah is gearing up for the greatest Torah celebration in recent Jewish history. Since Rav Meir Shapiro initiated the learning of Daf Yomi at the Agudah Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna in 1923, the Agudah has been at the forefront of expanding Torah learning through the daf. Since the Churban Europa, there has been an exponential increase in Daf Yomi learners form siyum to siyum. The Agudah strives to make Daf Yomi as accessible and relevant to as many Jews worldwide as possible. With the revolutionary Chavrei HaSiyum Initiative announced at this past Agudah Convention and the upcoming mobile app release, no stone is being left unturned. The Toras chaim will come alive. Chullin, one of the most complex mesechtos for lomdei Daf Yomi, will be brought to life by Rabbi Amitay Bendavid, author of Sefer Sichas Chullin. Rabbi Bendavid, an acknowledged expert in the fields of shechitah and nikkur, has also, literally, written THE book on Chullin. His Sichas Chullin is required reading for anyone learning the mesechta. Chazal tell us eino domeh shemiya l’r’iyah; in his presentations, Rabbi Bendavid will be teaching halachic concepts and animal anatomy which are better understood off the page. The series of presentations are dedicated in memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, ztz”l, who dedicated his life to sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of Torah and science with a hands-on approach. He brought the most obscure sugyos to life for thousands of talmidim worldwide, and teaching Chullin was his special passion. Thousands of his talmidim in Torah Vada’as and at Camp Agudah fondly remember his clarity, breadth of knowledge, and, most of all, his hands-on method of teaching Torah. The Global Chullin Initiative aims to carry on his great legacy by bringing Chullin to hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world. We invite the entire Los Angeles community to join us, on Monday, January 7th, at Merkaz Hatorah Community Kollel in Beverly Hills. The presentation will begin at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 8th at Kollel Los Angeles, the presentation will begin at 8:00 p.m. Stay tuned, there will be more locations announced. Rabbi Labish Becker, Executive Director, and one of the organizers of the initiative said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for lomdei hadaf and others to truly experience and understand in a very practical way what Chazal are telling us to do in Maseches Chullin. We wish to gratefully

acknowledge the support of Meal Mart—a Alle Processing brand—for sponsoring this series, enabling tens of thousands of people nationwide to participate.” For local sponsorship opportunities please speak to Yisroel Gelb at (323) 6326864.

Shalom Bayit LA & YICC Young Community Present

How to Marry The Right Person A life-changing interactive lecture by

Chana Levitan International lecturer and bestselling author of I Only Want To Get Married Once

Chana Levitan, MSc, is an educator, speaker, marriage therapist and author with over twenty-five years of teaching and counseling experience. Her bestselling book I Only Want to Get Married Once is a clear and practical guide to choosing the right marriage partner. Chana has lectured extensively across the globe on five different continents and has counseled thousands of men and women on dating and marriage.

Sunday, January 13th 7:30 p.m. Young Israel of Century City 9317 W. Pico Blvd., LA 90035 Exclusively for men & women who are single or dating. Event moderated by Rabbi James Proops

SHALOM BAYIT LOS ANGELES

www.shalombayitla.org

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The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News Torah Musings

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JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Flask or Fuel: Do you have it in you? Sarah Pachter

It’s neither Chanukah nor Purim, but as we’re traveling from one to the other, here is an idea that links the two: One day, many years ago, I was racing around Manhattan from errand to errand on foot. The rain was pouring down even though I was in no mood to face the filth and stench of New York City street water. While crossing the street, I came across a large, murky, brownish-green puddle. There was no other path to take to the other side of the street. Exhausted and short on time, I also couldn’t deal with wading through the muck, so I decided to try to leap over the puddle. Sure enough, I skipped over the whole thing and reached the curb. But then I noted something interest-

ing. The leap had energized me—my next few steps after the puddle more bounce to them. I was almost propelled into a run! Sometimes, when we feel we have nothing left inside, we have to push forward anyway, and then we will discover we have much more energy than we realized. Imagine how the Jewish people felt centuries ago when the Hellenists had ransacked the Temple. After the Maccabees won the war, we returned to the Beit Hamikdash, only to discover that there was just one flask of oil left. This would only be enough for the menorah to burn for one day. It would have been completely understandable if the Jews had responded with dejection and not lit it at all!

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We knew we didn’t have enough, yet we used what we had left, and look what that led to! We’re still lighting our own menorahs, thousands of years later. That one flask of oil, and our willingness to try, created a domino effect that we are still celebrating centuries after.1 Sometimes we feel there is only a little bit of fuel left inside. We may not have much to give, but if we offer what we have, Hashem takes our efforts and does the rest. “Open up for me an opening like the eye of a needle, and in turn I will enlarge it to be an opening through which wagons can enter,” (Shir Hashirim Rabbah 5:2). But there is a caveat. There were many flasks of oil found throughout the Beit Hamikdash. However, in order to be used, the vessel had to be whole and filled with pure oil. These extra flasks had been rendered unusable because they were either broken or defiled. The message is clear. Even if we have all the fuel in the world, if our vessel is not whole, shalem, we cannot give forth of ourselves. My friend was once discussing an issue regarding her sister with me. Growing up, this sister had difficulties in school, and despite the fact that her parents devoted the majority of their time to this one child, nothing was ever enough for her. She was always insisting her parents did not love her. To this day, my friend describes her sibling as entitled, with an insatiable personality. When your cup has a hole in it, it doesn’t matter how much you pour in—it will never fill up. If a cup is cracked, not only can it never be filled, but it can also never overflow to give forth. When your vessel has a hole, you can’t possibly fill up, and therefore you can’t feel the love pouring from another. There is a famous phrase, “Ain kli machzik brachah ela ha’shalom,” meaning, “There is no vessel that fills with blessing like peace,” (Rabbi Shimon ben Chalafta, Mishnah Oktzin Chapter 3). Shalom shares the same root as the word shalem, whole. When someone is whole— or has shalom—a person has the capacity to be filled with blessing. We must be whole within our own selves, and whole as part of the relationships in our lives. Perhaps this is why we see the concept

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Source credit: Dvar Torah given by Dr. Dovi Prero

of vessels throughout the Torah: Our bodies are considered vessels, holding a soul or even another being (during pregnancy). The Talmud relates that Yaakov crossed back over the river to retrieve a few vessels he left on the other side. The vessel is everything. Recognizing this is our most vital tool in maintaining emotional health, physical health, and harmony within our natural environment. When I came home from the hospital after giving birth, the nurses gave me a 32-ounce water jug in order to help ensure I was drinking enough at home. I noticed that on the days when I walked around with this water bottle, I drank significantly more water than when I was using a standard 16-ounce bottle. I knew I was supposed to aim for eight cups of water a day, but the size of the vessel had a significant impact on how much I actually drank. I realized then that whatever the size of our vessel is, that’s the amount we will consume. It’s not as much about how much fuel we have, but how big our hearts and vessels are that determine our ability to give and push through. Although Chanukah has passed, the lesson still holds true as we transition into the next holiday, Purim. (Plus, I figure as long as Ralph’s is still playing Chanukah music, I can write about Chanukah lessons.) On Chanukah, we work on widening our vessels, ensuring they are whole, so when it’s time to give mishloach manot and tzedakah, we can pour forth wholeheartedly. Chanukah is about making sure the vessels are intact, so we can then fill them and on Purim, share with others. Rabbi Eytan Feiner notes that on Chanukah, we spin the dreidel from the top, while on Purim, we spin the grogger from below. On Chanukah we were open vessels, receiving G-d’s miracle from above. We were undeserving of his outpouring, since most of the Jewish people had succumbed to Greek ideologies. On Purim, however, the miracle was stirred from below. We had to fast to bring forth G-d’s miracle, while Esther pushed herself, despite her uncertainty in her own abilities to save us. On Chanukah, we are vessels receiving Hashem’s light, while on Purim, we mimic G-d through giving and tzedakah, causing that light we received on Chanukah to be spread forth eternally. As our world keeps spinning, irrespective of our exhaustion level, we all have it “in us” to keep on going. The next time you feel low-energy or that you have little oil left, remember that, ultimately, you are a kli, a vessel, holding the greatest light of all—your soul. With this wholeness, even if we feel we have nothing to give, we truly can give anyway, and Hashem will respond exponentially.


The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Live hands-on demo! Understand the halachos of shechita What makes an animal treif? What’s the REAL difference between glatt and non glatt kosher meat?

Los Angeles Community-wide Events

Learn about Korbanos

RAV CHAIM YISROEL BELSKY ZT”L

Bring Learning to Life

GLOBAL CHULIN INITIATIVE

Rav Belsky dedicated his life to sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of Torah and science with a hands on approach bringing the most obscure sugyos to life for thousands of talmidim worldwide. The Global Chulin Initiative aims to carry on his great legacy by bringing Chulin to hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world.

with

‫דוד שליט״א‬-‫הרב אמתי בן‬ ‫מ ח ב ר ס פר שיחת ח ולי ן‬

Monday, January 7

Tuesday, January 8

Merkaz Hatorah Community Kollel

Kollel Los Angeles

9030 W. Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills 90211

7216 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Live Presentation 3:00-5:00 PM

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Living with the The Week In Times News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Mokir Tov

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman This week marks the end of my sojourn in the beautiful town of Monsey. I was born here, and besides the time I spent in yeshiva and Yerushalayim, I’ve lived here my whole life. My father came to Monsey in 1952 to learn at Bais Medrash Elyon, and its kollel and never this town. Bais Medrash Elyon gave birth to this great place, producing exemplary talmidim and a Torah town. My first memories involve me as a toddler taking baby steps in the shadow of towering giants. Now would be a most appropriate time to be makir tov for having been blessed to live in this pastoral, peaceful town. I publicly express my appreciation to all the fine people who have lived here since I came here, and who created and sustained a great place to grow with the ruach of Torah. I also thank all the fine roshei yeshiva, rabbonim, mechanchim and moros who taught me and my children, and all the children here, marking Monsey’s young with greatness and wholesomeness, enabling them to grow and succeed. The baalei chesed who make this place livable for so many are unsung heroes who have earned eternal reward. The shopkeepers, professionals, doctors, lawyers and accountants here are special, as are the butchers, electricians, plumbers, bakers and fixermen. I appreciate all of you and your contributions. I would love to write a book depicting the people I grew up knowing, people blessed with so much. Many of them have since passed away, but their memories live on in my heart and I am sure the hearts of many. The town continues to expand, attracting good people with personality and greatness. Each deserves their own book. Maybe one day I will merit to commit my memories to writing so that others can enjoy and appreciate these people and their stories. A special person I came to know in Monsey passed away this week. He wasn’t from Monsey, he was from Tzefas. Rav Elozor Mordechai Kenig zt”l spent much time here as he waited for a lung transplant and then recovering from the intricate surgery which saved his life. He would then

come for regular check-ups. He stayed in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Klein, whose extended hosting and care raised the bar in chesed. Towards the end of his first long stay here I came to meet him and was immediately smitten by his ehrlichkeit and kedusha. He possessed an inner happiness and calm I had never seen elsewhere. We had a long discussion and continued it upon his return here. He opened my eyes to chasidus, we would spend many hours learning together and discussing matters of hashkofah. When he was here I would daven by him. His tefillos were otherworldly, beautiful and unrushed, each word was recited with meaning and heart. He was a living example of the way Hashem meant for us to live and to conduct ourselves. With unfailing emunah, he was always at peace and content. I would always leave him happier than when I had arrived, no matter the occasion.

and behavior. In this week’s parsha, Vo’eira, we learn of the makkos that Hashem performed in Mitzrayim leading up to our rescue from there. Moshe was called upon to initiate seven of the punishing supernatural occurrences. Three were performed by Aharon, who struck the Yam Suf to turn it to blood and to commence the makkah of tzefardeia. He hit the dirt to bring forth kinnim. Chazal explain that because the Yam Suf protected Moshe when he was set afloat in the river as a baby, he would not, out of gratitude to the water, hit the water to set off the plagues (Rashi, Shemos 7:19). The Gemara (Bava Kama 92b) derives from this that a person should not cast stones into a well from which he drank. We are proscribed from bringing any harm upon anything from which we benefitted, and certainly from harming a person who benefited us. Likewise, Moshe Rabbeinu did not strike the ground to bring forth lice during

Gratefulness is the foundation of Jewish life. I’ll never forget the Shabbos I spent with him in Tzefas together with my friend Chaim Klein. To welcome in Shabbos in his shul set atop a mountain in that holy city was supernatural and something we will never forget. Singing Lecha Dodi to a simple lovely tune, watching the sun was setting over the kevorim of the holy tzadikim, the chachmei emes who populated Tzefas and taught Klal Yisroel so much of what we know and appreciate about Yidishkeit, was a life-altering experience. The parshiyos of Sefer Shemos form the foundation of our belief, as they detail our life in Mitzrayim, our freedom from there, and formation into a nation at Har Sinai. Along the way, there are many lessons we glean from the parshiyos that are oft-repeated but essential to our growth

the plague of kinnim, because, as Rashi explains, the dirt “protected him when he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand” (Rashi, Shemos 8:12). Although dirt and water have no feelings or bechirah, Moshe showed appreciation for the benefits he received from them, because hakoras hatov is not about the benefactor, but about the recipient. People who are makir tov appreciate the daily goodness they experience. They appreciate everyone who has helped them get to where they are. They don’t ignore the “little” people who enhance their lives in ways big and small. If you don’t do the small things right, you won’t do the big things right either. If you don’t appreciate the small things, you won’t appreciate the big things either. Grateful people notice

and appreciate all things from which they benefit. We must recognize that people are not objects we take advantage of, and when we think we have gotten as much as we can from them, or don’t need them anymore, we trash them, forget about them, ignore them, and move on to the next person we can squeeze before eventually dumping him. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Never think you’re done with someone or don’t need them anymore. The foundation of being a mentch is to always remember what a person did for you when you needed that person. Never forget it or stop feeling your debt of gratitude. Many years ago, I did a favor for Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, founder of ArtScroll/Mesorah. For the rest of his life, he befriended me and was exceedingly kind. Every few years, he would remind me of what I had done and remark that he would never forget it. Long after I had forgotten, he would remind me. That is a mark of greatness with roots in Torah. If we are cognizant and notice everything that goes on around us, we are better people. Moshe Rabbeinu didn’t refrain from hitting the water and sand out of concern that he would, in some way, be hurting an innate, inanimate object, but, rather, because he would be hurting himself. Though water has no feelings, Moshe did and was thus unable to act disrespectfully to something that had helped him. Bilam beat his loyal donkey. At the time of creation, the animal was given the gift of speech so that it could berate Bilam for smiting the beast of burden. And what did the animal say? It gave Bilam mussar: “After all I’ve done for you, how can you hit me?” An animal is a creature created to serve man, yet it has a right to complain when a person beats it. A person who presents himself as intelligent and close to G-d must behave with kindness and compassion to others, and to do so, he must be the type of person whose refined character is fashioned through appreciation of what others do for him. Not doing so, earned Bilam the ire of his donkey and eternal derision. Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv once said that hakoras hatov is not remuneration that you pay someone for a favor he or she did for you. Hakoras hatov is a never-ending obligation, because the Ribbono Shel Olam wants us to be people who always remember that everything is a gift. Hakoras hatov is an opportunity and a means of keeping our value system intact. It is not about him. It is about me. Developing the middah of hakoras hatov is essential to our growth. It is so easy to take others for granted. We are placed in this world to achieve greatness. It starts with the little things. Appreciate even what simple people do for you. Always be courteous and you will grow. It is not for noth-


The Week InTimes News Living with the

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

ing that if you look up the word appreciate in a thesaurus, you will see that included in its synonyms are gain, grow and rise. The posuk in Mishlei (27:21) speaks of the gauges used for precious metals. A refining pot is for silver and a furnace is for gold. And what of man? The posuk concludes, “And a man according to his praise.” Rav Elya Lopian explained that when a silversmith appraises the value of silver, he uses a refiner to see how pure it is. The measure of a man’s purity is seen in “mehalelo,” which literally means praise. The best indicator of a refined nature is a person’s ability to give thanks and praise. Rav Chaim Shmaryohu Dardak, a Bnei Brak resident, was close with the Steipler Gaon. His son, Rav Yaakov, lived in America and was also helpful to the Steipler. One day, the son wrote a letter with questions pertaining to a chapter in the Steipler’s sefer, Kehillos Yaakov. Although the Steipler was old and no longer responding to letters, he toiled over his response to the young man, reviewing the questions and answering each one, adding another chiddush. When he was done, he gave the letter to the senior Rav Dardak to send to his son in America. A few days later, there was a knock at Rav Dardak’s door. It was the Steipler Gaon. “Have you sent the letter?” the Steipler asked. “No, not yet,” the father answered. “Boruch Hashem. I rewrote it. Please use this one,” said the Steipler. The father accepted the paper and went to replace it in the envelope he had prepared to send to his son when he would find someone traveling to America. He compared the two letters and noted that they were the same length and appeared similar. Bewildered, he hurried to the Steipler’s home. “Yelamdeinu rabbeinu. Why was a new letter necessary if there were no changes?” The Steipler explained, “I no longer have the strength or energy to respond to people in writing, but when your son wrote, I knew that I would make an exception. After all, how can I ignore someone who helped me so much? Where’s the yosher in that? So I sat down and wrote a letter, which I gave to you. “Then,” the Steipler continued, “a few days passed and I reconsidered. Should I have written out of a sense of duty? Out of obligation? No! The correct attitude should have been hakoras hatov, appreciation towards a person who helped me. So I felt like I had to rewrite the letter, allowing feelings of hakoras hatov to guide me. The content of the two letters is the same, but the second one is totally different from the first!” The recipient would never have known the difference between the two letters, but the Steipler was teaching that hakoras hatov is about us, our internal avodas hamiddos and spiritual balance. Perhaps we can understand why this lesson is taught in Parshas Vo’eira, at the

formative stage in which the family of Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov becomes the Am Hashem. Rav Chaim Vital in Shaarei Kedusha (perek 1) famously writes that there is no Biblical mandate to have good middos, but proper middos are a prerequisite to receiving the Torah. It’s the hakdomah to the Torah. These parshiyos at the beginning of Sefer Shemos lead up to the parshiyos of kabbolas haTorah. A nation destined to receive the gift of Torah, had to first develop proper middos. Throughout the story of the servitude in Mitzrayim, we see chapters that indicate to the nobility of spirit of the wives who endured oppressive days, but would lift the spirits of their husbands at night. We note the selflessness and sacrifice of the shotrim, who accepted beatings on behalf of other Jews. We study the chesed performed by the mother and sister of Moshe Rabbeinu, spiting Paroh to help newborns and their mothers. And as the makkos come, Moshe teaches another lesson. There was no one better to teach that lesson than he, the onov mikol odom, the humblest of all men, who understood that everything is a gift. It’s the baal gaavah who refuses to recognize how beholden he is to those around him, for his arrogance precludes him from seeing the truth. A rosh yeshiva once noticed a married talmid waiting on a street-corner outside his yeshiva, clearly agitated. “Let me guess,” the rosh yeshiva said. “You’re waiting here for your wife to pick you up and she’s late.” The fellow nodded. “Exactly.” “You’re cold and hungry and just learned a full first seder and you don’t want to wait. You’re wondering why she can’t just be on time, right?” The young man blushed and admitted that those were his thoughts. “Now, here is what I want you to do,” the rosh yeshiva said. “Until your wife comes, think about how much you owe her, how much hakoras hatov she deserves, how she married you and takes care of you, and how she raises your children and encourages you and respects you. Don’t think about anything else and you’ll see that when she comes, you will feel it and she will feel that you feel it!” Upon returning home from davening on Friday evenings, the Alter of Kelm would enter his home and stop for a moment. Standing by the door, he would look around and reflect on the many preparations for Shabbos undertaken by his wife. He would look into the dining room at the table and see how nice it was set. He would glance into the kitchen and see the different foods she had cooked. He would take in all that the rebbetzin had done, so that he would not be a kofuy tov, but would recognize and appreciate her goodness. This is something we can all emulate. Rav Avigdor Miller said that along with everything else, thankfulness is a segulah for good health and long life. Life is too short to be spent angry, insulted or resentful about perceived wrongs. Training yourself to see the chassodim all around opens a person to new avenues of happi-

ness. Of course, the middah of hakoras hatov causes us to appreciate all that Hashem does for us. This week’s parsha supports our emunah and bitachon, as we see how Hashem orchestrates what happens in this world. This reinforces our obligation to be thankful to our Maker and Provider. To appreciate that all is from Hashem also enables us to persevere in tough times. When we recognize that things that challenge us are brought upon us by Hashem, with firm belief we are able to maintain the strength necessary to carry on. We recognize that we are not alone, and that which happens is not by happenstance. Everything happens for a reason, and by cleaving to Hashem and His mitzvos, we are granted the ability to surmount the challenge. Moshe Rabbeinu was engaged in a battle with Paroh, the ultimate kofui tov. The savior of Mitzrayim and its economy was Yosef, but the king claimed that he didn’t know who Yosef was, lest the memory obligate him (Shemos 1:8). The awareness that we give ourselves through being makir tov is to enable us to learn to see, recognize and perceive the truth. It is the secret to having emunah. Paroh was a kofer and Moshe was a ma’amin. It’s easy to fall into a rut of negativity. Life is rough. Parnossah doesn’t come easy. Chinuch is challenging. People can

be mean and fail to understand what lies in our heart. Moshe Rabbeinu teaches us how to achieve geulah and how to develop emunah. We are here to change the world and make it better. We can only do that if we recognize the problems other people have and the pain they are enduring. We can only contribute if we care about other people and appreciate their contributions to the spirit and essence of the world. To make the world a better place, we need to have hope and be able to offer hope to others. We have to respect other people and care about them. Moshe Rabbeinu grew up in the king’s palace with nary an apparent worry. Yet, he ventured out to check on the situation of his brothers and sisters. He felt their pain. He risked his life to help a fellow Jew who was being pummeled by a Mitzri policeman. It was from that moment that he began the ascent that led him to become the greatest man who ever lived. Everything we have is a gift from Hashem. Never forget that and never cease being thankful. Modeh ani is how we begin each day, for gratefulness is the foundation of Jewish life. We achieve joy in life by helping others, appreciating others and treating others the way we would like to be treated. The first step is by being a makir tov.

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The Week In News Torah

Book Review

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Weekly Daf

Passport Control

Can we combine two rulings that are based on different reasons?

by Gila Green (S & H Publishing, Inc. 2018) Reviewed by Rebecca Klempner

Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of RealClearDaf.com

It is no easy task to formulate a final ruling on so many issues that are dealt with in the Gemara. It is truly a blessing when the gemara concludes: “The law is…” for in these instances we are provided with clear practical guidance on the matter at hand, and most often such rulings will be directly codified into the Shulchan Aruch as such... nice and easy. But, of course, there are innumerable instances where the gemara does not issue a final ruling, or we might have contradictory conclusions between different gemoros, or a situation which isn’t directly addressed by the Gemara at all (think microwaves on Shabbos or constructing eruvin in modernday cities). And so disputes about how to rule have arisen across the gamut of halachah—from the early Geonim until the arbiters of halachah (or poskim) of our time. One of the most basic tools in the kit of a posek is the method of tziruf, combination. That is, the posek will marshal as many proofs as possible in support of his ruling; for surely a ruling backed up by ten gemoros has much more teeth than a ruling only supported by one. On Wednesday’s daf this week (36a) the Amora, R’ Oshaya, utilizes this method of tziruf. The case under discussion deals with the question of whether blood from shechitah makes food susceptible to tumah, ritual impurity. Even on the assumption that shechitah blood does have this capacity in general, the gemara discusses what would happen if the blood was no longer present on the food by the time the shechitah act was completed. On the latter question R’ Chiya (according to R’ Pappa; see there) rules that such blood does not make the food susceptible to tumah and on the first question there is a dispute between Rebbi and R’ Shimon (Rebbi holds that shechitah blood always has this capacity). Regarding the practical halachah in a case where the blood was no longer on the food by the

end of the shechitah, R’ Oshya makes the following argument: Both R’ Chiya and R’ Shimon agree in this case that the blood cannot make the food susceptible against the sole opinion of Rebbi who says that the gourd would become susceptible even in this case. Since it’s “two against one,” the halachah is that the gourd did not become susceptible to tumah. Many poskim (including: Maharik, R’ Akiva Eiger, Noda Beyhuda, Lev Aryeh) prove from this gemara that it is acceptable to combine different opinions about a halachah—even if the opinions are based on different reasons. For that is exactly what we have in this gemara: Though R’ Chiya and R’ Shimon agree that the gourd didn’t become susceptible to tumah here, they each say so for completely different reasons. Yet the Shach (Yoreh Deah, Siman 242, “Summary of Deciding Halachah”, letter 6) states plainly that we cannot combine two opinions to decide the halachah if they are based on different reasons. Surely the Shach was well aware of our gemara (in addition the Noda Beyehuda cites a Rambam who appears to take the same position as the Shach), so what would the Shach say in response to this gemara? Perhaps the Shach would argue that our gemara should not be interpreted as a rule meant for broad application. For the Shach would emphasize that the strength of R’ Oshaya’s point is significantly weakened by the fact that the two opinions which he seeks to combine employ mutually exclusive reasons. Now clearly, along with his total grasp of all of the aspects of the case and his “Amora’s license,” R’ Oshaya felt that we can utilize the intersection of the two opinions to “tip the scale” and formulate a ruling. However, the Shach would argue, to base a ruling entirely on combining two opinions who argue with each other’s reasoning is not an acceptable practice.

Gila Green’s recent novel, Passport Control, is not light entertainment. But it’s perfect for those readers interested in a suspenseful, well-written, and thought-provoking piece of literary fiction that may make them deeply uncomfortable. On its most superficial level, Passport Control depicts the coming-of-age of Miriam Gil. In 1992, Miriam is 20 years old, and living in Ottawa. Her mother is long dead; her father has taken up with a new girlfriend, and Miriam feels increasingly squeezed out of his life. Eventually, her father suggests that she move out of the apartment they share. Miriam, like the novel’s author, is a Canadian born to an Israeli father— but she has never visited Israel herself. Partly in revenge and partly as an escape, Miriam heads to Haifa for a year of overseas study, vowing to contact her father’s long-ignored brother. “I’ll call the one place he doesn’t want me to call and write a letter to the one person he doesn’t want me to contact. If my own father’s throwing me out of his house, I’ll make it so painful that he’ll regret it, and I’ll prove to myself that I lost one parent and don’t need the other (p. 4).” It is at this point when the political converges with the personal. Miriam, like many Canadians, is of a liberal political bent. While not entirely against Zionism, she also does not embrace it. When she shows up at the dorm in Israel, she discovers that one of her roommates is Palestinian. Miriam wants to give Farzeen the benefit of the doubt…but prickly Farzeen doesn’t make it easy. On the other hand, Miriam doesn’t find her Jewish roommates, Simona and Dalit, much more sympathetic. Only Arslan, an Israeli Druze, is an enjoyable roommate for Miriam. Everyday life on campus and in the community exposes Miriam to both the pleasures of Israeli life and its challenges. She misses the boyfriend she left back in Canada and even her emotionally-distant father. Her most well-intentioned actions seem to go wrong. Eventually, Miriam makes another friend on campus, Valerie, and when she visits Uncle Moshe and Aunt Leah, she befriends a fellow kibbutznik, Guy, as well. The novel grows increasingly claustrophobic as Moshe and Leah’s initially warm welcome mysteriously dries up, terrorism intrudes on Miriam’s personal life, and a puzzling bureaucratic glitch causes her to be kicked out of her university program.

The familial grudges and secrecy which drove Miriam to Israel in the first place follow her there and intensify. Green perfectly captures the naïveté, bravado, and confusion of a 20-year-old. This portrayal will resonate with readers, even though it’s not entirely sympathetic. Miriam’s triple identity—as Canadian, youthful, and a product of the early 1990s—allows us as readers to access a more naïve and less political perspective than we may possess ourselves. As Miriam begins to question her own preconceptions about her personal life and about the country she’s visiting, Green invites us to interrogate Miriam’s beliefs and our own. (Green leaves her own opinions intriguingly opaque.) If I had my way, Passport Control would have shown a little more of Miriam’s inner journey between the tragic second-to-last chapter and more hopeful final one, but the conclusion was intellectually satisfying and emotionally draining, and readers will be more-or-less satisfied by the ending. While the book does not have a great deal of on-page violence or adult situations, there are a few, slight such incidents, and many mature themes come up. Miriam is a traditional Jew, not an Orthodox one, and is a typical secular college student. The language is entirely clean, but this is definitely a book for readers 16 (at least) and up—it would work exceptionally well in a classroom or book club setting. Passport Control is available for sale via Amazon.


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JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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DIRSHU INTERNATIONAL ‫תשע"ט‬ s 2019 CONVENTION o b b Sha old S ! Out

‫שבת פרשת בא‬

‫ תשע"ט‬,‫ז' שבט‬-'‫ · ה‬JANUARY 11-13, 2019

This ‫ שבט‬Celebrate J Simchas Torah Once Again ...

oin together with Lomdei Dirshu to participate in the upcoming convention marking

outstanding Ameilus B’Torah – which will celebrate the tremendous achievements of many thousands from across all segments of Klal Yisrael who have learned with accountability in an unprecedented way.

BottomLineMG.com

The event will be graced by Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshiva, and Rabbanim from across North America and abroad – all gathered for an uplifting maamid of Kiddush Shem Shamayim and Kavod HaTorah.

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CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS The overall program will c"qa be graced by the presence of Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbonim, shlita:

Shiurim in lomdus, drush and chizuk from Gedolei Yisrael and leading Rabbonim

Shirium in Halacha from leading Poskim and Dayonim

Comprehensive program for women

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To reserve a seat or for information about possible transportation from other locations:

Call:

888-5-Dirshu x.106

Email: Info@DirshuNJ.org

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In Feature OCTOBER 29, 2015 OCTOBER 29, News 2015 || The The Jewish Jewish Home Home 78 The Week

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

PLACES in the SPOTLIGHT // 2018 Year in Review HELSINKI After meeting for extended faceto-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16, President Donald Trump and Putin emerged to face the press in what many consider not to have been Trump’s finest hour. Mr. Trump declined to confirm the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the U.S. elections. Putin seemed to toy with Trump and even gave him a FIFA soccer ball and quipped, “Now the ball is in your court.” The Secret Service quickly secured the ball and flagged it as a security risk.

PARADISE, CALIFORNIA This Northern California town was devastated by the wildfires that raged in November, killing at least 87 people, burning 153,336 acres, and destroying 13,972 homes and 528 commercial buildings.

HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND After a series of earthquakes, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted on May 3, opening fissures which caused ash plumes as high as 30,000 feet above sea level to spew out of the summit and sent lava pouring into residential areas, destroying 700 homes.

WINDSOR CASTLE, ENGLAND 18 million people in the United Kingdom and 28 million people across the pond in the U.S. tuned into this year’s royal wedding when Prince Harry took American actress Meghan Markle as his princess on May 19. The wedding, which cost an estimated $45 million, was attended by 600 invited guests as well as 2,640 members of the public who were present to witness the wedding procession on the grounds of Windsor Castle. After the wedding, more than 100,000 well-wishers gathered on the streets of Windsor to watch the newlyweds’ carriage procession.


JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News79 Feature

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

JERUSALEM On May 14, the United States officially moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Despite a 1995 U.S. law that requires the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem, there hadn’t been a U.S. president since then who had the moxie to formally move the embassy from Tel Aviv. When Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last year and then moved the embassy in May, he made lifelong friends with Jews and Israelis around the world. The Palestinians, though, were none too happy. The U.S. president noted that the embassy move took Jerusalem, “the toughest part of [peace] negotiations, off the table.” Signs in Hebrew and English thanking Trump were plastered on buses and walls around the Israeli capital during the embassy’s opening.

THAM LUANG CAVE, THAILAND On June 23, twelve boys and their soccer coach went exploring in a cave when monsoon rains flooded the cave and trapped them. They were presumed dead. Nine days later, they were all miraculously found alive, 2.5 miles from the cave’s entrance. But getting the boys out of the cave proved challenging due to rising water filling sections of the cave. Numerous options were considered, including teaching the boys to swim out with scuba gear or leaving them with supplies to wait until the water drains away after the monsoon season would end four months later. Various countries – including Israel, which sent communication technology which was used throughout the rescue effort – joined together, and within 17 days all the boys and their coach were rescued. The extraction was fraught with danger, with each boy being accompanied by professional divers, who guided them through flooded areas while wearing full scuba gear.

SENTOSA, SINGAPORE

MARS On November 26, NASA’s InSight lander landed on Mars with the goal of giving the Red Planet its first thorough checkup. Since landing, it has been providing photos of Mars, including a selfie which it took by using a robotic arm.

After months of preparation President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, AKA “Little Rocket Man,” on June 14. After meeting with Kim for approximately five hours, the two agreed to denuclearization in North Korea but the terms were vague. “Today is the beginning of an arduous process; our eyes are wide open,” declared President Trump. Kim said, “Many people in the world will think of this as a form of fantasy from a science fiction movie.” The two seemed to click, with Trump quipping to photographers at one point, “Getting a good picture, everybody? So we look nice and handsome and thin and perfect?”

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News Feature

all GOOD THINGS must come to an END //

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

2018 Year in Review

CLOSED // Toys ‘R’ Us 142 Sears Stores Another casualty of declining brick and mortar stores, the once-dominant retail chain that changed how Americans shopped and lived filed for bankruptcy in October. The 132-year-old company, which was the first “everything store” stocking everything from jewelry to clothing, from hardware to prefabricated homes, has been in steady decline over the past decade. In 2009, there were 3,921 Sears stores; now there are approximately only 700 left. Experts put the chances of Sears surviving at slim-to-none. Aside for grappling with a pension of roughly 100,000 retirees that is underfunded by at least $1.5 billion, the money generated at the stores is insufficient to pay the company’s bills. Some vendors, like Whirlpool, stopped supplying to Sears altogether. To-date, Sears has spun out 250 of its best properties into real estate investment trust offshoots known as Seritage. If Sears’ recent history is an indication, it’s “Searsyonara” to Sears.

This closing strikes close to the heart of anyone who ever sang the “I don’t want to grow up. I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid” jingle. In the age of Amazon, e-commerce and facing competition from Walmart and Target, the toy store buckled under its debt and filed for bankruptcy in September, closing 744 stores in the U.S. The store may be gone, but the jingle – and Geoffrey –will live in our hearts.

Brookstone Next time you are in a mall and feel like you need to sit down for a quick massage, you won’t have the Brookstone store to head to. The store of quirky gadgets filed for bankruptcy in August and is closing all 102 of its mall stores. Brookstone will still keep its 35 airport locations open. So, if you have a sudden need to purchase Golf Ball Finding Glasses that can morph into a pocket drone, you will just have to go to the airport. Once you’re there, enjoy the massage chair!

600 Mattress Firm Stores After restructuring its debt in bankruptcy proceedings in October, Mattress Firm closed 600 stores. Although that sounds like a lot of stores, they still have 2,600 open Mattress Firm stores across the U.S. And, for today only, they are running an 11-hour mattress sale… Hurry! This sale ends fast.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

The Week In News Feature

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

RIP

DIED //

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN // August 25, age 81, Vietnam War hero and U.S. Senator for Arizona

BARBARA BUSH //

PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH //

April 17, age 92, wife of President George H.W. Bush; mother of President George W. Bush

November 30, age 94, 41st President of the United States

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.” “You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

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“Read my lips: no new taxes.” “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” “Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel. They’ll tell you.”

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER // June 21, age 68, Pulitzer Prize winning conservative author and columnist

“If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we’ll get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do. Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening. I feel it powerfully still. Do not despair of our present difficulties, we believe always in the promise and greatness of America because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit, we never surrender, we never hide from history, we make history. Farewell fellow Americans. G-d bless you, and G-d bless America.” – Ending of his final statement

ANTHONY BOURDAIN // June 8, age 61, celebrity chef and host of iconic food and travel show, “Parts Unknown”

“You’re betraying your whole life if you don’t say what you think – and you don’t say it honestly and bluntly.” “You’ve got to learn the texts, you have to know Talmud, you have to be able to read Rashi, you have to know what’s there.” “Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language and worships the same G-d that it did 3,000 years ago.”

“I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life – full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.” – The ending of his parting article

“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.” “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”

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JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home


JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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Dirshu The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Gedolei Yisroel Give Chizuk to Lomdei Dirshu in Advance of Siyum on Chelek Gimmel of Mishnah Berurah World Siyum Details to Be Unveiled at Grand Melava Malka at Dirshu Convention by Chaim Gold

“You will see, the olam will sit and learn [Chelek Daled of Mishnah Berurah]. They will be matzliach!” Those were the words of HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva, responding to the news of the siyum of Chelek Gimmel of Mishnah Berurah in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Program and the commencement of Chelek Daled. Rav Moshe Hillel was responding to the feeling of some that it is difficult to learn Chelek Daled because it contains the complex halachos of Eruvin. Rav Hirsch acknowledged the difficulty while simultaneously conveying the concept that he was very confident that Lomdei Dirshu, would persevere, just as they have been tested on the first three volumes of Mishnah Berurah. World Siyum Details at Grand Melava Malka The recent meeting with Rav Hirsch, while he was in America, was one of numerous meetings with Gedolei Yisrael in honor of the upcoming siyum on Chelek Gimmel at the Grand Melava Malka to be held during the Dirshu International Convention this coming Shabbos Parshas Bo at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. At the melava malka, the exciting plans for Dirshu’s World Siyum will be unveiled. The assemblage will hear detailed plans of large gatherings promoting kovod haTorah and recognizing the accomplishments of Lomdei Dirshu. The siyumim will begin with massive siyumim in Eretz Yisroel, followed by England, France and South Africa, and culminating in a enormous siyum at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, in mid-February, 2020. Senior members of the Dirshu’s hanhala led by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, visited with numerous Gedolim both in the United States and Eretz Yisroel, where the Gedolim gave them chizuk in advance of the upcoming siyum on Chelek Gimmel and also gave their brachos for the plans for the World Siyumim to be held next year. Among the Gedolim visited in America were HaGaon HaRav Matisyohu Salomon, shlita, Mashgiach Beth Medrash Govoha Lakewood, the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, shlita (who was in America for a visit), HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Tiferes Yerachmiel,

Rav Dovid Hofstedter consulting with Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch in advance of the Dirshu Siyumim

the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, shlita, and the Vienner Rav, Rav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita. Meetings with leading senior Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael representing the entire cross-section of Charedi Jewry, Litvish, Chassidish and Sefardic, culminated in a deeply moving maamad held at the home of the Sar HaTorah, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita. Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch: “Nifla Meod! Nifla Meod!” At the meeting with Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Rav Hofstedter explained how many of the Lomdei Dirshu will be making a siyum for being tested on the entire Shas. Some have even taken cumulative tests on all of Shas and are true Shas Yidden. “Many of them did not even realize that they had the kochos to learn and be tested on Shas, but the challenge and perseverance of learning with a goal and accountability brought out latent abilities in them that they had not even realized they possessed!” Rav Moshe Hillel, who was visibly moved, exclaimed, “Nifla meod! Nifla meod!” He then gave his heartfelt bracha that all of the siyumim should be a source of increasing k’vod shomayim without any michsholim. “The main thing,” he stressed, “is to increase k’vod shomayim.” The venerated Mashgiach of Lakewood, Rav Matisyohu Salomon, despite his weakness and compromised health, felt compelled to make time to meet with Dirshu’s hanhala to give his bracha in advance of the siyum and in advance of large

World Siyumim to be held next year. The Rachmastrivka Rebbe: Lomdei Dirshu Emerge with a “Rechush Gadol” The Rachmastrivka Rebbe of Boro Park, one of the elder Rebbes of our generation, said about the Dirshu learners, “They have acquired a rechush gadol, great [spiritual] wealth!” The Rebbe added that by increasing Torah learning and promoting constant learning, chazara and goal setting, Dirshu serve as a manifestation of the words that we say in davening every day, ‘Yagdil Torah v’yaadir - the Torah is made great and glorious.’ One of the inspiring meetings was held with Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Tiferes Yerachmiel. Rav Schustal encapsulated one of the most remarkable aspects of being part of Dirshu with a thought from Rav Yeruchem Levovitz, Mashgiach of the Mir. He said, “When each lomeid is learning on his own with great toil, he may think that he is learning on his own or with his chavrusah or in a shiur, in truth, however, he is a shutaf, a partner with all of the many thousands of lomdim in Dirshu the world over. “It is like a person seeing or meeting a brother whom he has never seen before. Just because he has not seen him, does not make him less of a brother. There is a closeness of relationship by virtue that they are all engaged in a joint mitzvah.” Rav Schustal will be attending the Dirshu Convention this coming Shabbos Parshas Bo and will be delivering a shiur to the entire assemblage. Mareh mekomos will be given in advance of the shiur so

that the lomdei Torah will be able to properly prepare. The Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe, shlita: Dirshu the Achsania of Torah The Sanz Klausenberger Rebbe, shlita, has been an enthusiastic supporter of Lomdei Dirshu for decades. When the hanhala of Dirshu came to visit the Rebbe at his home in Boro Park, the Rebbe was effusive in his excitement about the upcoming siyumim. The fact that Dirshu was enriching Klal Yisrael with true Shas Yidden was a particular source of pleasure and excitement to the Rebbe. The Rebbe explained how it had always been the fervent desire of his father, the previous Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, to enrich Klal Yisrael with young talmidei chachomim who were such bekiim in Shas that they were able to be tested on all of Shas. Dirshu is accomplishing this. The Vienner Rav, Rav Asher Anshel Katz: “Dirshu Deserves Credit for The Many Similar Programs That Have Sprung Up in its Wake” The Vienner Rav, Rav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita, greeted the hanhala of Dirshu by expressing his personal hakoras hatov. “My own children and grandchildren learn and take the tests in the Dirshu programs. They have derived tremendous benefit in their learning and aliyah in Torah as a result.” After hearing of the plans for the numerous siyumim to be held at the Dirshu World Siyum next year, the Rav was very pleased and said, “The truth is, Dirshu deserves credit not just for Dirshu but for the many similar programs that have sprung up in its wake. All of them have their roots in Dirshu.” As the Lomdei Dirshu anticipate the International Convention to be held on Shabbos Parshas Bo, and the siyum to be held at the Grand Melava Malka seudah, there is much interest among the general public regarding the historic nature of the worldwide siyumim to be held next year culminating in the massive demonstration of kovod haTorah in America with the siyum at the Prudential Center in Newark. The Melava Malka is open to the public and busses will be provided from major frum centers and entire assemblage at the grand Melava Malka will hear a detailed outline of the exciting events that will be graced by leading Gedolim from across the world.


The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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"`ad m‫ל‬er oa `edy e‫ ל‬ghan mei ‫ל‬ka zek‫ל‬d dpeyd ‫ל‬k"

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The Week In News

The Week In News

The State of Happiness

A new study suggests that income is less of a factor in personal happiness than previously thought. According to a new Gallup poll and data from the World Bank, many third world countries enjoy high levels of happiness and satisfaction in their lives despite having the lowest average income in the world. While one’s standard of living has a large impact on one’s happiness, the

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

data showed that other factors influence the happiness index as well. According to the World Happiness Report for 2018, happiness is more complex than just one variable. Researchers that wrote the report used six variables that contribute to happiness: social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity, corruption, GDP per capita and life expectancy. Among indicators researchers also looked into was the personal safety citizen’s experience, the social safety net, and the overall sense of satisfaction. Unsurprisingly, the happiest countries in the world are all Nordic; Finland took the top slot. Norway, Denmark, and Iceland came right behind. Switzerland rounded out the top five happiest countries. These are all countries that are well known for their generous social services, superior education, and excellent healthcare. A country that also reported high levels of happiness is Costa Rica. Despite a low GDP and average income, citizens said that they have high personal satisfaction, overall contentment, and a strong social network that stresses solidarity. The United States came in 18th on the list, lagging behind Canada (#7), Australia (#10), Israel (#11), and Germany (#15). The United Kingdom nabbed the 19th slot. On the other side of the happiness scale are 18 African countries such as Zambia, Botswana, and Madagascar, which suffer from overwhelming corruption and a stag-

nant economy. According to the study, the unhappiest nation in the world is Venezuela, which is in the midst of a devastating financial crisis and runaway inflation.

After 60 Years, the Cuban Gov’t Begins to Crack

After six decades of draconian Communist rule, Cuba’s repressive regime is showing signs of softening. Cuba has been a socialist country for over 60 years. Recently, however, it has been taking steps to be more open to the private sector and the business community, something that was previously seen as unthinkable. Since taking over for Raul Castro as president six months ago, Miguel Diaz-Canel has shown a leadership style that radically differs from his predecessors. Currently, Cuba suffers from stagnant economic growth and the inability to provide for its citizens. However, the new president exposed internal conflicts earlier this year and reversed numerous government

decisions that were unpopular. Diaz-Canel softened the government stance on independent art, removed some government control over the private sector, and promoted a new constitution that creates the post of a prime minister. William LeoGrande, a Cuban expert at the American University, said that the aforementioned steps are a dramatic change for the island nation. “By revising the regulations governing the private sector and making concessions to the artists on the decree law regulating the arts, the government has shown a responsiveness to organized public pressure that is unprecedented,” he said. Diaz-Canal has also pledged to roll back onerous regulation that has crippled the private sector. Among the regulations he cut is a law limiting the number of chairs allowed at private restaurants, which effectively limits the food establishment’s customer base. Another law that has been erased put a cap on business licenses afforded to individual Cubans. Despite the changes, Diaz-Canel insists that he is not attempting to do away with Cuba’s Communist nature. “There’s no reason to believe that corrections are steps backward, or to confuse them with weaknesses when the people are heard,” he said last week. “Revolution is to change everything that should be changed. None of us is as powerful as all of us together.”


The Week In News

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

More Power for MBS? King Salman of Saudi Arabia re-structured the kingdom’s cabinet last Thursday, shuffling ministers and security chiefs while keeping the power in the hands of his son and designated heir, Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Ibrahim Al-Assaf was installed as foreign minister, taking over from Adel alJubeir. A slew of senior intelligence personnel were fired, and Prince Abdullah bin Bandar was appointed as the head of the National Guard. Adel al-Jubeir had become the Saudi foreign minister after a successful career as an ambassador to the United States. Jubeir will now be the minister of state for foreign affairs.

Other agencies that had their directors replaced are the Directorate of Public Security and the Information Ministry. The King also ordered a new space agency created to be headed by former astronaut Prince Sultan bin Salman, another one of his sons. The changes come amid rising international backlash to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi earlier this year. 33-year-old MBS has been under intense international pressure recently since a team of Saudi undercover agents killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul back in October. Western intelligence agencies concluded that MBS most likely knew about the attack or ordered it himself. Both the CIA and England’s MI6 say that he was likely behind the grisly killing of Khashoggi. Mohammed bin Salman is also behind a Saudi military campaign in Yemen that has created a humanitarian crisis in that country as they endeavor to battle the Houthis rebels. However, the recent cabinet reshuffle appears to have buttressed Mohammed bin Salman’s position. With all of the people promoted to the various cabinet positions being known as close associates to MBS, the crown prince now enjoys almost total control over the Saudi government.

Russia Detains American Russia’s FSB state security service said on Monday that it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow and had opened a criminal case against him. The FSB said the American had been detained on December 28 but it gave no details of the nature of his alleged espionage.

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The English-language service of TASS news agency named the American as Paul Whelan. Paul’s family said that he was in Russia for a wedding. “Paul is a retired Marine and was visiting Moscow to attend a wedding,” his twin brother, David, told CNN. “We are deeply concerned for his safety and well-being. His innocence is undoubted, and we trust that his rights will be respected.” Under Russian law, espionage can carry a sentence between 10 and 20 years in prison. Earlier this month Russian national Maria Butina pleaded guilty in a U.S. court to a conspiracy charge in a deal with prosecutors and admitted to working with a top Russian official to infiltrate American conservative activist groups and politicians as an agent for Moscow. Russia’s relations with the United States plummeted when Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and Washington and Western allies imposed a broad range of sanctions on Russian officials, companies and banks.

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Across Yemen, factions and militias on all sides of the conflict have blocked food aid from going to groups suspected of disloyalty, diverted it to front-line combat units, or sold it for profit on the black market, according to public records and confidential documents obtained by the AP and interviews with more than 70 aid workers, government officials and average citizens from six different provinces. The problem of lost and stolen aid is common in Taiz and other areas controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which is supported by the Saudi-led military coalition. It is even more widespread in territories controlled by the Houthi rebels, the struggling government’s main enemy during the nearly four years of warfare that has spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Some observers have attributed the

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The Week In News near-famine conditions in much of the country to the coalition’s blockade of ports that supply Houthi-controlled areas. But AP’s investigation found that large amounts of food are making into the country, but once there, the food often isn’t getting to people who need it most – raising questions about the ability of United Nations agencies and other big aid organizations to operate effectively in Yemen. The investigation also points to the Houthis who have managed to divert the food aid to their organizations without distributing it to those who are in need. The UN’s World Food Program has 5,000 distribution sites across the country hoping to distribute food baskets to 10 million people a month but it acknowledges that it can only monitor just 20 percent of the deliveries. This year the UN, the United States, Saudi Arabia and others have poured more than $4 billion in food, shelter, medical and other aid into Yemen. That figure has been growing and is expected to keep climbing in 2019. Despite the surge in help, hunger – and, in some pockets of the country, famine-level starvation – have continued to grow. An analysis this month by a coalition of global relief groups found that even with the food aid that is coming in, more than half of the population is not getting enough to eat — 15.9 million of Yemen’s 29 million people. They include 10.8 mil-

JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

lion who are in an “emergency” phase of food insecurity, roughly 5 million who are in a deeper “crisis” phase, and 63,500 who are facing “catastrophe,” a euphemism for famine. Counting the number of people who have starved to death in Yemen is difficult, because of the challenges of getting into areas shaken by violence and because starving people often officially die from diseases that prey on their weakened conditions. The nonprofit group Save the Children estimates that 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died from starvation or disease since the start of the war. In some parts of the country, fighting, roadblocks and bureaucratic obstacles have reduced the amount of aid getting in. In other areas, aid gets in but still doesn’t get to the hungriest families. The war in Yemen began in March 2015 after Houthi rebels swept out of the mountains and occupied northern Yemen, forcing the government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi into exile. After the rebels began pushing farther south, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states formed a coalition to take on the Houthis, describing their involvement as an effort to stop Iran, which has ties to the Houthis, from gaining sway over Yemen. The coalition launched a rolling campaign of airstrikes and imposed an air, land and sea embargo on the rebel-held north. The Houthis, in turn, have blocked a key access

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route to Taiz, making it difficult for aid groups to get food and other supplies into the city. The Houthis, a Zaidi-Shiite religious movement turned rebel militia, control an expanse of northern and western Yemen that is home to more than 70 percent of the country’s population. In these areas, officials and relief workers say, Houthi rebels have moved aggressively to control the flow of food aid, putting pressure on international relief workers with threats of arrest or exile and setting up checkpoints that demand payments of “customs taxes” as trucks carrying aid try to move across rebel territory. “Since the Houthis came to power, looting has been on a large scale,” said Abdullah al-Hamidi, who served as acting education minister in the Houthi-run government in the north before defecting to the coalition side earlier this year. “This is why the poor get nothing. What really arrives to people is very little.” A senior UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the issue, told the AP that enough aid is coming into the country meet the demands of the hunger crisis, but much of it stolen. “If there is no corruption,” he said, “there is no famine.”

Russia’s “Invulnerable” Nuclear Missiles

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country developed a new hypersonic missile system that is “invulnerable” to U.S. defenses. The impenetrable system will enter service in 2019, the Russian leader said after a test of the missile on Wednesday. “This is a wonderful, excellent gift for the country for the New Year,” state-run news service Tass quotes Putin as saying. The Avangard hypersonic system was

tested from the Dombarovsky military airbase in southwest Russia, according to Tass. Earlier reports say the Avangard has intercontinental range and the ability to fly as fast as Mach 20, more than 15,000 miles per hour. As it closes in on its target, the missile with a maneuverable gliding warhead can adjust both altitude and direction to avoid defenses and fly low enough to avoid most interceptors. “It will be practically invulnerable,” Putin said when he boasted of the Avangard during a March address to the Russian Parliament. While there was no immediate Pentagon or State Department comment on Putin’s announcement Wednesday, a US official expressed doubt to CNN about the weapon systems which Putin talked about in March, saying they were not close to operational. Despite skepticism and the likelihood that his announcement is mere bluster, Putin’s declaration indicates Moscow is still pursuing weapons systems that give the Pentagon pause for thought. Besides Russia, the U.S. and China have been working on hypersonic weapons. These weapons will change the face of warfare, if they are used, G-d forbid. Beijing says it successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft in August, flying its Starry Sky 2 vehicle at Mach 6. It did not say what plans it has for hypersonic technology other than to contribute to its aerospace industry. The U.S. Air Force earlier this year awarded a $928 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop a hypersonic missile. Moscow’s Avangard announcement comes less than a month after Washington said it would stop adhering to a decades-old nuclear treaty in 60 days unless Russia returns to compliance with it. The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty forced both countries to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between approximately 300 and 3,400 miles. The U.S. says specifically that Russia violated the INF when it developed and fielded the 9M729 missile system in 2017. Russia denies violating the pact. The intercontinental-range Avangard would not have been covered by the INF. But Wednesday’s announcement seems likely to be another thorn in increasingly prickly U.S.-Russia relations.


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JANUARY 3, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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