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The Week In News

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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‫מנחה‬ ‫סעודת שבת‬ ‫שחרית‬ ‫ סעודה שלישית‬Mr. & Mrs. Shlomo ‫קהילת יעקב‬ ‫שערי תורה‬ Yehuda Rechnitz Rabbi Gershon Rabbi Nechemya Bess ‫שליט"א‬ Langer ‫שליט"א‬ 7211 Beverly Blvd. 334 N. La Brea Ave. 8:30 am 5:00 pm

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‫אכסניא‬ ‫סעודת ליל שבת‬ Mr. & Mrs. Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz


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The Week In News

CONTENTS COMMUNITY Inclusion of Anti-Semitic Piece Mars Los Angeles Art Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

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

FEATURE Robert Kraft A Story of Brady, Belichick and Israel. . . . . . . . . . . . 16

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Dear readers, Lashon hara: One might say this is the single most destructive behavior in a community. It creates a deep mistrust when community members constantly hear others spoken about with derision. It leads to division and competitiveness. It significantly hampers any activities needing collaboration. There’s also its effect on children. When they hear us speak about neighbors or relatives, it feels hypocritical to them when we then tell them the Torah teaches us how to feel and to rise above our surroundings. Why didn’t we resist the desire to gossip? Why didn’t we take the high road? The biggest loss, however, is the missed opportunity to create oneness by speaking of others with respect or, at least, understanding. Giving the benefit of the doubt, admitting we would never want to be in their shoes, allows us to connect to our fellow Jews. Maybe this is why the yetzer hara puts up such a big fight on this subject. He makes us feel full of righteous indignation at the slightest “infraction” we spot in other people, as if all we need is to condemn So-and-so’s action, and world peace will prevail. In reality, however, such times establish the perfect opening to say, “It makes sense to feel this way, but there’s so much I don’t know. I wouldn’t others looking into my life from the outside and judging me.” Adding in ahavas Yisroel is the best medicine for the challenges of our times. When our children see us constantly looking deeper, beyond superficial labels, seeing people as trying to do the best they can, our children develop greater resistance to reactionary responses. It will then be a lot easier for them to look beyond the smoke and noise of our superficial times and see a world in which Hashem’s original plan is almost complete. Wishing you a wonderful 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


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The Week In News

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The Week In News Activism

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Inclusion of Anti-Semitic Piece Mars Los Angeles Art Show Rabbi Shalom Rubanowitz and Shlomo (Sam) Rubanowitz January 23-27th, the Los Angeles Convention Center hosted the L.A. Art Show. It was a scene for art lovers to marvel at— unless you cared about Holocaust Remembrance, anti-Semitism, and fair portrayals of Israel and the Middle East. My family and I—together with Eli Weisman, a board member of the Shul On the Beach, in Venice, California—entered the more than 200,000-square-foot exhibition space on the last day of the show, which was also International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Immediately, we were greeted by what seemed to be a framed map of the Middle East, with Israel as the prominent subject. Upon our initial, cursory view, the piece seemed to show the artist’s belief in Israel’s dominance over its surrounding countries, with its large center position in the painting, and with its neighbors occupying various “minority” positions around it. But upon closer inspection, Eli Weisman noticed something we hadn’t at first. The map is actually one of Eastern Europe, with Israel strategically placed and portrayed as Germany, and with its neighbors depicted as surrounding Euro-

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pean countries. I spoke to Mr. Matthias Kunz, a partner of the Sabine Knust Gallery in Munich, Germany, and the representative of the gallery at the show. He confirmed the obvious: that the artist, Daniel Richter, a German, intended to portray Israel as Nazi Germany, and not simply as a country occupying too much geographic space or asserting domination over its neighbors. Kunz explained that the art and its exhibition was intended to “create a dialogue.” He said that the piece received little to no significant reaction, criticism, or

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opposition during its exhibition, by show visitors or any members of the Jewish community. Spurred by this clear depiction of public anti-Semitic sentiment, I recorded a live video report of my reaction and opposition to the piece of “art” and posted it on Facebook a day later. As part of my message, I called on Jews and good people around the world to raise awareness of this incident of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as Jewish and Non-Jewish tolerance of such open hatred. Readers who wish to watch the vid-

eo of the exhibit may find it here: https:// www.facebook.com/shalom.rubanowitz/ videos/10218241109843294/ Shalom Rubanowitz is a Los Angeles attorney and the rabbi of Venice, California’s Shul on the Beach. Shalom can be reached at shalom@shalomlawoffice.com and at rabbi@shulonthebeach.com. Shlomo (Sam) Rubanowitz is a student at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles and a staff writer for the Shalhevet Boiling Point. Shlomo can be reached at therealsamurban@gmail.com.

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Leading member of Hungarian Parliament, Janos Halasz and Hungarian Ambassador Tamas Szeles met with attorney Andrew Friedman, L.A. County Commissioner. Their discussion centered on the welfare of nearly 100,000 Jews currently living in Hungary. In particular, Debrecen, the second largest city in Hungary, is undertaking projects for tourism to the Kever of Reb Shayele, who is buried in Keresztur near Debrecen. Also discussed was assistance the Hungarian government may render to Rabbi David Keleti (Project Lativ-Reviving Hungarian Jewry) in Budapest. The Lativ movement teaches Judaism to Hungarian youth, ages 18-35. Currently there are 290 students and alumni of Lativ. Pictured L to R: Hungarian Ambassador Tamas Szeles, attorney Andrew Friedman, Janos Halasz, Hungarian Parliament member


JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News Torah Musings

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Inner and Outer Packaging Sarah Pachter

One afternoon my son brought a small toy home for his baby sister after a doctor’s visit. Unable to contain her excitement, she reached for the toy, which was wrapped in a small plastic box. Well, what do you know? My baby took one look at the toy and tossed it aside! She was more interested in the packaging than the toy itself. Even when my son insisted that she hold the toy, placing it back in her hand, she immediately threw it behind her and reached for the box again. She could not get past the packaging. It was humorous, but it got me thinking about perspective and illusion. A child doesn’t have the understanding to realize there is more behind the outer appearance of something or someone. Yet as adults, I have found we are often guilty of the same. We focus on the exterior of others to a proportionately greater degree over what is inside someone—their values, their character, their sense of righteousness, their soul. As a speaker, how I present myself on the outside has a huge impact on the audience’s willingness to accept my message. We all make snap judgments unconsciously because of the disproportionate value our society places on materialism and external beauty. This is particularly pertinent—and poignant—in the dating world. A student of mine in her thirties recently complained about the superficiality of men today, claiming they only want to date supermod-

els, rejecting anyone else. She continued to explain that it was important to her to find someone who would love her for who she was on the inside. I respected her sentiments. A few days later, something interesting happened; she called complaining about a candidate the dating website had sent her. “Sarah! He’s forty, bald, and overweight! Can you believe it?” She exclaimed. I had to gently remind her of her earlier concerns, that we can’t be so quick to judge. When it comes to our “packaging,” we expect others to tear straight through our “wrapping.” Yet, we too have trouble seeing past the external. As much as we would like to think that most of the time we do see beyond someone’s exterior, it seems to trip up even the best of us. Seeing my daughter’s and student’s inability to see past outer appearances got me thinking about modesty. Modesty is a character trait that is obligated equally by men and women that helps us reflect our G-dliness, our inner soul. In other words, it is about using discretion to reflect our neshamah. I am not simply referring to clothing, because modesty encompasses every facet of our lives. Everything from the way we communicate, to how we conduct our daily activities can be guided by modesty. We can practice modesty in three distinct ways: seeing the inner beauty of others, guiding others to see our inner selves,

and seeing the inner beauty of the life G-d provides us. Seeing the Inner Beauty of Others A truly modest person works not only to allow their inner essence to shine but also works to see the penimi’ut of others. I was at the Santa Monica pier with my family when my children spotted Elmo waving and urging tourists to take a picture with him. By the end of the scorching hot day, it seemed that Elmo needed a breather from his stuffy costume. He took his large Elmo head off and began to wipe his brow. To my surprise, the person underneath the mask was not a “him,” but an elderly woman! I had made assumptions about this person based on the outer costume. Modesty means humbling oneself enough not to judge others’ outsides or the life they have chosen for themselves. When we are free from judgment towards others, it enables the person before us to be at ease with us and their authentic self. When we judge others, they can feel it, and they may not be forthcoming; instead, they may continue to wear their mask for self-preservation. Eventually, all packaging withers, while the soul of a person is eternal. A sign of maturity and wisdom is a person who acts not as my baby did, but with the ability to pause and look deeper. Odds are, you’ll find something much more worthwhile! Guiding Others to See Our Inner Selves I was preparing a class about modesty when my daughter brought home a painting she created of a “camel.” (I put “camel” in quotations because it needed some interpretation.) It was on a canvas that was the size of a 4” x 6” file card. I put it in a small Ikea frame and added it to our wall gallery. Imagine if I had placed her 4” x 6” painting in a huge frame that took up the space of the wall. The artwork would become secondary and almost invisible. A frame must be proportional and appropriate. The Ikea frame that is perfectly acceptable for my children’s art would not be acceptable for a masterpiece by Van Gogh. It would be a disgrace!

Ideally, the frame and the painting should compliment one another. That is the body soul relationship. To the onlooker, we appear to be all body, but there is a beautiful neshamah inside that can shine if we allow it to. Modesty is tempering one’s exterior so that people are forced to look inside. The exterior neither outshines nor understates our interior. Modesty is using discretion with our words and actions, which in turn causes others to see more of us than just our outsides. Seeing the Inner Beauty of Our Lives Hashem, too, is an artist; He has created a beautiful tapestry-like masterpiece called the world. From His vantage point, everything aligns perfectly, and the work of art is quite spectacular. Each woven thread begins and ends with purpose to create an overall image that “makes sense.” From the earth below, we see the backside of the tapestry—which has many knots and bumps. We can see fragments of a beautiful image, but it doesn’t always look perfect or even seem logical. Being modest means being humble enough to surrender ourselves to G-d’s trajectory for us. We might not always agree with this trajectory, we might often feel powerless over it, but there is always beauty and an inner lesson to gain from life’s experiences, good or bad. This requires looking inward, seeing beyond the appearance of something on the outside. A friend of mine whose husband passed away said, “Years later, I am still dealing with acceptance. Sometimes I look around me and think, is this really my life? Sometimes I have to dig deep inside to see the beauty that is all around me.” Modesty is a multifaceted mitzvah and requires tremendous humility and perspective. The irony of my daughter only wanting to play with the outer wrapping of her toy is that more often than not, it is what comes from within that is our greatest gift. With humility, we find the inner light of others, we come to know who they really are, and in return, they get to see our own inner beauty. Once we understand this, we appreciate the intangible greatness within our own lives.


The Week In News

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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Living with the The Week In Times News

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Smart

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman This week’s parsha begin with the words, “Ve’eileh hamishpotim asher tosim lifneihem - These are the rules and laws to place before the Jewish people.” Rabi Akiva (Mechilta, Mesechta D’Nezikin, 1) sees hints from the way the Torah expresses the words of Hashem to Moshe as a lesson for the proper methodology of teaching. He explains that the term “tosim lifneihem” is used to instruct those who transmit our heritage and mishpotim to place timeless ideals, values and lessons before their students as a shulchan aruch, a prepared table. Great teachers expend much energy to be able to fulfill that dictum and present the Torah before their students as a shulchan aruch, filled with a variety of delectable mouthwatering foods laid out in a way that everyone can take part in the feast. One such rebbi was Rav Mendel Kaplan, who made each day such an experience. As was the habit of his great rabbeim, Rav Mendel created an atmosphere in the shiur room in which we, talmidim, fed off a variety of Torah “foods” set before us, growing in Torah as we also felt ourselves being handed tools to face the future. Among other things, he would analyze the headlines and lead stories of the newspaper through the prism of the Torah, revealing the significance and relevance of each story to us. A tale is told that one Shabbos day, a villager in the mythical village of Chelm returned home and repeated the rabbi’s sermon to his wife. “You know?” he told his wife. “The rov said that Moshiach might come very soon and take us all to Eretz Yisroel.” The wife wrung her hands. “But if that happens, what will be with our chickens? Who will feed them? And how will we live?” The husband stroked his beard and pondered her question. “Good point,” he said. “But you know, life here is rough. The goyim are always after us. We are poor, our home leaks, and our feet are cold the whole winter. We might indeed be better off in the Holy Land.” The wife contemplated his wise response and then her face lit up. “I know

what to do!” she exclaimed. “We will ask Hashem to send the goyim to Eretz Yisroel and we can stay here, with our chickens!” Too often, we are like that silly couple, totally missing the point of what is going on around us, failing to get the messages and misinterpreting blessings for the opposite. We think that we have a keen understanding of life in general and particularly that which happens in our little corner, but, in fact, we need people like Rav Mendel to explain to us what is going on and the wisdom that lies between the lines of newspaper print. Chazal teach, “Lomoh nikra shmoh Sinai? Why was the mountain upon which the Torah was given called Sinai? Because of the sinah, the hatred, that emanated from there.” When the Jews received the Torah and became the Chosen People, a virulent, relentless hatred for the Jewish people was born. That hatred will persist until the ar-

sult remains the same: Jews are despised, mocked and vilified. Jews are judged by a double standard, and the state founded to eradicate anti-Semitism has instead become a focus and magnet for that very hatred we are all familiar with. Meanwhile, anti-Semitic incidents rise, not only in Europe, but also here in the United States, where swastikas regularly appear, and Facebook posts call for Jews to be gassed and Hitler to finish the job. The Democrat Party promotes Jew-haters, especially those who couch their hatred in words that have gained currency of late, such as concern for the poor Palestinians and abhorrence of the rich. Jews who don’t hue to the progressive orthodoxy are chased from campuses and publicly censured. Liberal Jewish groups join the anti-Israel movement in a bid to be accepted and get ahead in today’s leftist-socialist reality. Holocaust education has become passé and is viewed as trite, or worse. Museums,

The task of man is to be intelligent and smart. rival of Moshiach. It is not only ever-present in our history. It is as real today as it ever was. Sunday was the anniversary of the day Auschwitz was liberated in 1945. We have come a long way since the awful days of the Holocaust, when anti-Semitism led to the murder of at least 6,000,000 of our brothers and sisters. The Holocaust has been commemorated ever since, and schools, museums and cultural centers have been engaging in various educational activities in a bid to ensure that such a dastardly act never takes place again. But old habits die hard and the world’s irrational hatred of Jews has continued unabated, though at times it is hidden better and at others it has become more sophisticated, with an intellectual bent. The re-

lectures, trips and the rest are useful for organizational fundraising and feel-good publicity. They no doubt have some influence in addressing institutional biases and reinforcing the moral grounding of the more intelligent and decent people out there, but the scourge of anti-Semitism is felt on Main Street and Jewish communities all across this country. When intolerance rears its ugly head, we must take on the haters and expose them for what they are. When bigots say that we smell up airplanes, poison the atmosphere, ruin neighborhoods and bring down home values, we must fight them with the truth. When a minority of our people behaves in a way unbecoming the Am Hanivchar, we need to call them out as well, lest oth-

ers point to those individuals as an excuse to harm our entire community. Rashi, in last week’s parsha, tells us that Yisro went to Klal Yisroel after hearing about Krias Yam Suf and Milchemes Amaleik. Meforshim teach that these two occurrences spoke to him because they told a story. They demonstrated not just how much Hakadosh Boruch Hu loves the Jewish people, but how much the nations of the world hate us. Yisro contemplated the duality of our role, to be loved by Hashem and hated by everyone else and knew that this belief was truth. Truth is always resisted. When Albert Einstein came up with his theory of relativity, it was initially mocked by the wider scientific community. Apparently, they feared that the Jew and his earth-shattering brilliance would render them irrelevant and outdated. Someone showed Einstein a book that was written against him titled “One Hundred Scientists Against Einstein.” The professor shrugged and said, “If I was really wrong, why wouldn’t one be enough? Why do they need one hundred?” He knew what we know - that the truth is resisted with disproportionate passion and energy. Ma’amad Har Sinai and its result, the formation of our nation, engendered unprecedented hatred, and we are still feeling its effects in 2019. Following the First World War, the nations of the world, led by United States President Woodrow Wilson, formed the League of Nations with the stated guarantee that a world war would never again take place. From the ashes of the Second World War, the United Nations was formed so that a monstrous demagogue like Hitler would never again rise to power. Unity, it was thought, would be a barrier no dictator could overcome. The organizers didn’t factor in apathy and indifference. They didn’t factor in corruption and bigotry. Though it was founded in the shadow of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism was the least of their concerns. More recently, the post-9/11 surge of responsibility saw world leaders announcing that it was a new world and new age, and that they would never allow terror to wreak mayhem of such magnitude again. President George W. Bush declared his doctrine for fighting the Axis of Evil, and Americans and every democratic nation supported him. He declared war on al-Qaeda, Iraq and the Taliban. Everything takes place these days at such a fast pace that you can barely keep up with what happened. Before you know it, it’s old news. America is the land of fastfood and high-speed everything, a country of instant results and instant gratification. Wars are messy and protracted, and Americans have no patience for battles that aren’t won overnight, no matter the conse-


The Week InTimes News Living with the

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

quences. President Bush’s successor ended the war in Iraq, allowing Iran to establish a foothold in the country so many Americans died for. The Taliban in Afghanistan are biding their time and are poised to fill the vacuum created by the eventual American departure. Syria bombed its own citizens and a lengthy civil war was fought for years. President Barack Obama drew a red line in the sand, and when the Syrian Butcher-inChief marched right over the line, nothing happened to him. President Donald Trump has announced his intention to get out of that mess and leave the Jew-hating leaders of Turkey and Iran in charge together with Assad. Nobody cares. The UN certainly doesn’t. We live in frightening times. Yet, we go about our daily lives as if there is no sword hanging over us. We don’t think about Iran closing in on Israel, we don’t think about the prospect of Binyomin Netanyahu losing power, and we don’t think

about the growing push for socialism in the United States. As Jews are beat up, hate screeds propagate and reminders of the age-old sinah become more prevalent, we bicker over nonsense, pursue trivialities, and worry about matters of little consequence. A good place to start would be to better monitor the reading material we bring into our homes and digest. We are influenced by the written word, and ever since the invention of the printed medium, people have used newspapers and magazines to smuggle corrupt ideas and thoughts into homes considered protected. This science was perfected by the Maskilim, who, writing in poetic Hebrew, quoting pesukim and teachings of Chazal, poisoned generations of ehrliche Yidden. Insidious subliminal messages penetrate slowly, causing superficiality and warped thinking as well as changing views and beliefs. People who write for - and address -

our world are also obligated by the command of “Eileh hamishpotim asher tosim lifneihem,” to only put in front of the public material that is just, truthful and ehrlich. The Alter of Kelm explained “asher tosim lifneihem k’shulchan aruch” to mean that the expansion of knowledge and intelligence emanates from having a good taste and experiencing the pleasant flavor inherent in what you are studying. A melamed who can teach his charges with intelligence and a flavor to savor will plant in them a craving to study more and grow in the subject matter. The difference between a superficial understanding and one of depth and intelligence is vast. The person with a simple understanding has virtually nothing, but when he adds flavor and spice, a new world opens up before him. The Alter concludes that the task of man is to be intelligent and smart. We can all realize that goal if we study with depth and aren’t satisfied with a sim-

ple, flavorless, superficial understanding. We need to study the laws laid forth in this week’s parsha, teaching us how to conduct ourselves, properly understanding and observing them. We need to understand what is going on around us and properly interpret what it means for us. We need to be more honest and forthright, treating people better and with respect. We need to follow the words of the Torah, so that our lives are ones of kiddush Hashem and not the opposite. In Parshas Mishpotim, the Bnei Yisroel reached the apex of mankind when they proclaimed, “Na’aseh venishma,” encompassing the unity and commitment we are placed in this world to accomplish. Let us bring in to our homes only material which enhances us as people and as Torah Jews. Let us merit to toil in understanding and appreciating Torah, following its every word, allowing us to once again climb the summit and reach the peak.

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The Weekly Daf Are the kosher-signs just signs, or are they reasons? Rabbi Shmuel Wise, Maggid Shiur of RealClearDaf.com

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Reb Elchanan Wasserman in his Koveitz Shiurim (Chullin; letter 27) engages with this question as it pertains to the gemara’s discussion of Monday’s daf this week (Chullin 62b). R’ Pappa there rules that the “swamp-rooster” is among the non-kosher birds, but the “swamp-hen” is among the kosher birds. A trick to remember this, R’ Pappa offers, is to recall the halachah that a male Ammonite convert is prohibited to marry into the congregation, but a female Ammonite convert is permitted. At first glance, it would appear that these two “swamp” birds are of the same species—yet somehow the male version of this species is on the non-kosher list and the female version goes on the kosher list. Tosofos here, however, rejects such a reading, pointing out that if they are of the same species then by definition the “swamp-rooster” was born of the “swamp-hen”—a kosher bird and since “anything that comes from something permitted is itself permitted,” the “swamp-rooster” should also be permitted. Rather, Tosofos explains, these two birds are of two different species, one kosher the other not. Tosofos in Niddah (50b) however explains differently. Tosofos there suggests that the “swamp-rooster” and the “swamphen” are indeed of the same species. Yet the “swamp-rooster” specifically is not kosher because it lacks the kosher-signs of birds delineated in the mishnah on 59a. As to the rule which says, “what came from something kosher is itself kosher,” Tosofos there explains that that rule doesn’t apply to a creature that develops in an egg outside of the mother’s body (see there for further elaboration on this). Tosofos in Niddah seems to make the astounding suggestion that the kosher-signs we are learning about in these dapim are not simply ways to refer to the species that are kosher but they themselves are what makes the animals kosher! Indeed, Reb Elchanan understands that this is the very point of contention between Tosofos here in Chullin and Tosofos there in Niddah: Tosofos here con-

tends that the kosher-signs are nothing more than signs that point to certain species that are kosher. Thus, it is untenable that there would be a species with a non-kosher male version and kosher female version: it’s either a kosher species or a non-kosher species. Tosofos there in Niddah, on the other hand, understands that everything is about the signs: With the signs the individual animal in question is kosher; without them it is not. Hence, it’s entirely plausible to have a kosher and non-kosher animal within the same species. The notion that the presence of the kosher-signs is what makes an animal kosher seems hard to reconcile with the plain understanding of the laws of the kosher animals. Consider: If everything revolved around the kosher-signs there should be no need for the Torah to mention any particular species. Why then does the Torah do so by the kosher animals and birds? In fact, when it comes to the kosher birds, the Torah doesn’t even mention the kosher-signs whatsoever and instead just lists the non-kosher birds! Evidently the Torah did in fact prohibit entire groups (species) of animals and the kosher-signs are merely a means of describing the groups of animals that are prohibited. But what of the words of Tosofos in Niddah? Didn’t Tosofos there state regarding the swamp bird that only the male which lacks the kosher-signs is not kosher? It could be suggested that Tosofos himself is struggling with this very issue when he raises the point that “what is born of something kosher is itself kosher.” Tosofos deals with this problem by suggesting that the “swamp-rooster” is not technically born of its mother (see above). Thus, Tosofos is arguing that in light of the facts that a) the “rooster hen” has different physical attributes than its female counterpart (that do not display the kosher signs) and b) it isn’t legally born of its mother, the halachah views it as a different species with respect to its kosherness. This would mean that Tosofos in Niddah agrees that the kosher-signs merely refer us to certain groups of kosher animals.


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Profile: Matt Gottlieb: From Israel to Hollywood Rebecca Klempner Although he doesn’t feel like he’s received his “big break” yet, you may already recognize Matt Gottlieb’s face—or his voice. An Israeli-born actor, Gottlieb, is part of surge of Israeli programming hitting English-language platforms. Last year, he performed a lead voice-over role on the acclaimed series Fauda, and he is part of the ensemble cast of When Heroes Fly, now playing on Netflix. A 29-year-old native of Haifa, Matt Gottlieb is the child of a father born in Romania and a Sabra mother of Iraqi descent. He decided to pursue acting in his early teens. “I was very shy and reserved growing up and acting forced me to come out of my shell and grow as a person. I met ‘my people’ in the acting world, as I had had a hard time connecting with people growing up. And I found a sense of purpose in acting that I could only find in few other things in life.” Eventually, he arrived in New York. While studying acting, he was cast as a homeless Russian Jew in a play called The Ryan Case: 1873. “The play was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, which in turn opened up a lot of opportunities for me.” It also helped him receive an O-1 artist visa, which allowed him to head to L.A. and work in Hollywood for the next three years. Gottlieb’s career got another boost last May, when he was cast in a lead voiceover role on the Netflix show, Fauda. “I got to work with people who’d been on major TV shows and movies and be a part of the production for the entire second season. That also created some big opportunities for me and elevated my ‘status’ in the industry.” His success in that role helped him score the role in When Heroes Fly. When Heroes Fly follows the challenges of soldiers during and after the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon. On the show, Gottlieb plays multiple supporting roles, most notably Alon. “Alon is a soldier and serves as a control room operator. He is seen in flashbacks as he guides the field soldiers during their mission.” Unlike U.S. programs, it is no longer rare to find Orthodox characters on Israeli shows. One of the more minor characters Gottlieb portrays in When Heroes Fly (as well as a major role played by another actor) is shomer Torah u’mitzvos, and he has played additional frum characters at other points in his career. “Though I’m not shomer Shabbos, my grandparents on both sides were observant, so I grew up with Jewish tradition having a strong presence in my life…along with the responsibility I feel to represent these characters and shomrei Shabbos accurately, I am also thrilled for the opportunity to do justice with their stories. It’s important to me to have these roles be played by actors who have a connection to and feel strongly

The Ryan Case

some wonderful people in the process. The same can be said for the Jewish community that exists here. It has done so much for me, and I hope to be able to give back to both moving forward.” Gottlieb finds Jewish life in the U.S. differs from that in Israel. “[In Israel, v] ery few businesses are open on Shabbat, and even though there are many secular homes (including the one I grew up in), the Jewish holidays are observed by most families and important dates on the Jewish calendar are at least acknowledged, both at home and in school. In L.A., one has to make an effort to stay connected to their Jewish roots. It’s easy to get lost in the environment, and Jewish holidays can feel like regular days, unless one makes an effort to be a part of the community. “I think there are advantages to this as well. I see value in having to work to stay connected to my roots. I think it strengthens the connection and validates it as part of my identity, as opposed to being a byproduct of living in Israel. In other words, it’s a choice I made and not just something I was born into.”

Although he is now on the small screen, Gottlieb remains engaged with the theater world. He’s part of Slauson R.C. (pronounced “Rec”) a theater program created by Shia LeBeouf which operates in South L.A. and strives to include local residents. In the spring, he plans to put on the first play at Slauson R.C. Gottlieb also expects to record voiceovers for Season 3 of Fauda. However, “it is now the busy season for actors in L.A., and auditions are ongoing, so any job bookings can alter these plans in an instant.” What advice does Gottlieb have for aspiring actors? “The competition here is fierce, talented, and hard working. I believe the only way to get ahead is to outwork it and constantly grow as an artist, which means stepping out of one’s comfort zone. That being said, we all have our beliefs and moral standards, and those shouldn’t be compromised, as they define who we are, and at the end of the day the best thing we can bring to any role is ourselves.”

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about the subject matter.” Currently, there is a variety of Israeli shows available for Americans to stream, including Srugim, The Baker and the Beauty, Hostages, Mossad 101, and Shtisel in addition to Fauda and When Heroes Fly. I asked Gottlieb why U.S. audiences are suddenly more interested in programs that originate in Israel and which reflect the Israeli experience. “I think it’s because the world is more connected than ever, largely thanks to social media and all the new platforms that create their own content, so the U.S market is more open to ideas from outside. In addition, the Israeli shows that I got to watch and work on have just been excellent, and the industry there certainly deserves credit for producing such high-quality content on an international scale.” Many Israeli actors work in U.S. based productions, as well. “There is a small but strong Israeli community of actors in LA, where everyone knows everyone. During my first few years here, I purposely wanted to try and blend into the American culture and [the] entertainment industry.” Eventually, he recognized his error and sought out more of his compatriots. “I was welcomed with open arms and got to meet

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Robert Kraft A Story of Brady, Belichick and Israel By Susan Schwamm

s America gears up for another Super Bowl, viewers will once again either smile or look chagrined at the sight of the ageless 41-year-old quarterback Tom Brady and his hoodie-wearing genius head coach on the sidelines, Bill Belichik. It seems like this duo has some secret recipe that nobody else can seem to figure out. “This year, they are too injured,” “now they are too old, “they no longer have a deep threat” are common refrains amongst sports aficionados early in the season, and yet Brady and Belichick prove them wrong time and time again. Even when they are defeated in the Super Bowl, it often requires last minute heroics by the opposing team, such as catching the ball with a helmet, to win over Brady and his team. A common sight in the last minute of the Super Bowl featuring the Patriots is when the camera pans up to a booth way above the stadium. In the booth sits an older gentleman with a pristine white shirt, a solid colored tie, a deep suntan and a large smile – on the brink of another ring. That man, Robert Kraft, may be the secret to this dynasty’s success. You see, Kraft is the chef who came up with this victorious recipe. Kraft, who is Jewish and went to Hebrew school, purchased the Patriots two decades ago for a then-record price of $172 million. Before Kraft purchased the Patriots, the team was in disarray and bounced around to different owners. In the five seasons before

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Kraft purchased the team, the Patriots were 19-61. Since Kraft took over, the Patriots have won 18 division titles, nine conference crowns and five Super Bowl championships. Today, the Patriots are the sixth most valuable sports franchise in the world and are worth an estimated $3.8 billion, according to Forbes. The two now-obvious picks which turned around the Patriots are Brady and Belichick. But when Kraft made the decision to choose these two, they were far from obvious. Brady, who is now considered by many to be the best quarterback in the history of the NFL, was chosen by the Patriots in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft. Today, Brady is the only player from that draft who is still playing for the team that drafted him. And today he is no longer the scrawny kid who was passed over 198 times before finally being picked, but a future first-ballot Hall of Famer who holds the record with 207 regular season wins. Kraft often reminisces about his first encounter with Tom Brady after picking him. “I still have the image of Tom Brady coming down the old Foxboro Stadium steps with that pizza box under his arm, a skinny beanpole,” Kraft often quips verbatim. “When he introduced himself and said, ‘Hi, Mr. Kraft,’ and he was about to say who he was, and I [said], ‘I know who you are, Tom Brady, you’re our sixth-round draft choice.’ And he looked me in the eye and said, ‘And I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.’” After repeating that story, Kraft inevitably adds that Brady is, in fact, the greatest of

all time. When asked about the story in a recent interview, Brady laughed and said, “I’m not sure I said it like that — we dispute that all the time. I think I said, ‘I don’t think you’ll ever regret picking me’ but he remembers it differently.” Despite their divergent recollections of their initial encounters, Brady considers Kraft “like a second father.” In 2018 he told a sports interviewer about Kraft that “he’s been part of so many important events in my life… I love him like a dad.” Whereas not much thought was given at the time to the sixth-round draft pick, Kraft’s choice of Bill Belichik as head coach in 2000 was more questionable. Although he had been in various coaching positions in the NFL since 1979, Belichik’s only real stint as a head coach was not very impressive – from 1991 to 1995 he led the Cleveland Browns to a subpar record of 36-44, with only one winning season. Even more, Belichik had accepted the job as the head coach of the Jets and quit that job one day into it, resulting in the New York press referring to him as “Belichicken” and “Belichick Arnold.” The NFL even ruled that Belichick had breached his contract with the Jets by quitting and prohibited him from coaching in 2000 without the Jets’ consent or compensation. Kraft reached an agreement with the Jets to allow Belichik to take the New England head coaching job in return for New England’s first-round pick the following year and several later round picks over the following years. Within two years of these picks made by Kraft,


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the New England Patriots won their first-ever Super Bowl. Over the next 15 years, they appeared in seven other Super Bowls and won four of them. Next Sunday, they will once again play for the Lombardi Trophy. But, according to Kraft, there is more to victory than just Brady and Belichik. There is also Israel. t the 2017 ribbon cutting ceremony at the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem, Kraft noted, “My late, darling wife, Myra, always used to tell me that until I start building football in Israel, I would not win anything with Patriots.” He added, “That happened in late 1999, and we won our first Super Bowl in 2001. Now we have five championships, and I can’t ignore the connection between our continuing to support development in Israel and our great accomplishments.” Myra, who passed away in 2011 from cancer, was resolute about supporting charities. Her heart was connected to causes that promoted Jewish causes and helped raise the esteem of Israel in the world’s eyes. According to the Boston Globe, “So involved was Mrs. Kraft in philanthropy that perhaps her biggest worry when her husband bought the Patriots in 1994 was that the large sums of money spent and borrowed would curtail their giving. He assured her they wouldn’t.” Robert, it seems, continues to keep his promise. Myra’s love for Israel started at a young age. Her father, Jacob Hiatt, escaped the Holocaust by emigrating from Lithuania to the United States in the mid-1930s. He lost his parents, brother, and sisters in the concentration camps. When Myra was 5 years old, in 1948, her father visited the DP camps in Europe and then traveled to Israel, which was on the cusp of becoming a state.

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Robert and Myra on their wedding day

Young Myra wanted to help him in supporting the Jewish state-to-be at home in Worcester. “One morning I got up, took a bag, and decided to go out to the neighborhood to raise money for the poor children in Europe and Palestine,” she told the Jerusalem Post in 2008. “I went door to door. My mother was getting frantic because I was late and she had no idea where I was. I came in dragging this sack of money.” By the time Robert purchased the Patriots, Myra was supporting philanthropic causes in the millions

“Myra was completely in love with the country. Every stone, every rock, every tree. And she knew all their names.” of dollars. Together, Robert and Myra founded the “Passport to Israel” program which has sent nearly 2,000 Jewish Boston area teenagers to visit Israel. Robert was born in Brookline, Massachusetts; Myra was born in Worcester. Massachusetts was, and still is, a state close to their hearts. Ever since he first visited Israel in 1963 on their honeymoon, Robert’s love of the Jewish State remains deep. Connecting teenagers in their state to the land that they love is a duty that the Krafts have

taken upon themselves. But it’s not just teenagers whom they bring to visit the Holy Land. The Krafts have helped to bring myriad people to Israel, including NFL players who have only read or heard about the Holy Land in the Bible. Barry Shrage, who was the president of Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies, recalled Myra and Robert’s love for the Holy Land to the Times of Israel. “Robert loves taking people to Israel,” Shrage told the outlet. “Myra was completely in love with the country. Every stone, every rock, every tree. And she knew all their names. “It was a way for her to express her intense feeling of love for the country. It was very important to her… She really was a beautiful person.” Myra would take groups of participants to tour the land, even bringing hundreds during the Second Intifada, when many tourists would have stayed away. She would implore local storeowners to keep their stores open late so she could bring groups to their shops to help support the struggling businesses. Myra was also influential in the plight of Ethiopian Jews, helping to bring them to the Jewish State and chastising politicians who she felt were not working hard enough on their behalf. The Krafts are credited with supporting American-style football in Israel. Aside for building the $6 million Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem, which has two soccer fields and a football field (and is located off of “Kvish Achad [Road 1], much as Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play, is located off of Route 1), Robert Kraft has donated tens of millions of dollars towards Israeli and Jewish causes. He also sees it as his mission to change the way the world views Israel. To that end, he has arranged several missions to Israel with NFL Hall of Famers. “I was on a trip to Canton, Ohio, and I visited the Hall of Fame. I thought to myself that these people are like modern gladiators; people in America worship them. They have the same value as a year’s worth

Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Robert Kraft, Jim Brown and Joe Greene, from left, at the Western Wall in Israel (Courtesy NFL Films)

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of public diplomacy [for Israel],” he told Israel Hayom. Ahead of his 2015 trip with nineteen Hall of Famers, Kraft said, “[Myra] and I started doing this a long time ago, taking different people to Israel. We wanted them to see what it really was, not how the media sometimes portrays it.” Former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN.com that Myra invited him and his wife to tour the land when she was sick. “I remember sitting in the training room with her one day; we were both getting treatment, and she invited [my wife] Kirsten and I to Israel with her and Mr. Kraft,” Watson recalled. “I thought she was kidding, but that’s the kind of person she was: so gracious, generous and hospitable. “I specifically remember how comfortable she made us feel. We did not know most of the people on the trip but she went out of her way to introduce us to everyone, like we were her kids, as well as educating us on the many places we visited,” Watson remembered. “I also didn’t realize what a sense of humor she had. She and our tour guide had us rolling.” In 2006, Tom Brady joined Robert on Tom’s first visit to Israel. During the Friday night dinner, which was led by a Chabad rabbi, some members of the group got up to dance. Brady joined in. “He was enormously moved,” said one participant. During that visit, Brady visited an IDF base, where he met soldiers and saw a demonstration of weapons being fired. When asked by soldiers if he would play football with them, Brady responded wryly, “I don’t mix business with pleasure.” Brady, who is not Jewish, keeps a menorah in his Brookline home. His trip with Kraft seems to have been inspirational. During his 2015 trip to Israel, Robert told the crowd the impetus behind his urge to share the Holy Land with others. “I grew up in a traditional family,” he said. “I put on tefillin when I was young. My first trip to Israel was in 1963, for my honeymoon, and I remember how angry I was when I looked out the balcony at the King David Hotel and saw armed Jorda-

nian soldiers keeping me from visiting the holy sites.” After the 2015 trip, former Viking Paul Krause, who retired in 1979 and still owns the NFL record for career interceptions, recalled an experience he had on the expedition. “We were signing autographs one night and this older guy came up to me and says, ‘So, you’re the one who has 81 interceptions?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m very proud of that.’ He says, ‘Well, I want to tell you something. I have 1,700 interceptions.’” Krause explained, “He was the guy who invented the Iron Dome, which protects Israel from missiles. He’s got 1,700 hits on missiles coming into Jerusalem. I told him, ‘Your 1,700 interceptions are a heck of a lot more useful than my 81.’” In 2017, Kraft took another group of Hall of Famers, including Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Gerome Bettis, Joe Montana, John Stallworth and Roger Staubach, to the Holy Land. After the trip, Bettis, AKA “The Bus,” reflected on his trip and said, “One thing that was resounding was the resolve of the Jewish people.” The Pittsburgh Steelers iconic halfback added, “The message that you get – outside of the things that happened in each person’s individual life – was their love with the state of Israel, their country. But also the understanding that they were a people who were bashed and beaten, and they were able to rise and overcome it. You get that message with every single person you meet.” The 2017 trip was filmed by NFL Films and aired on the NFL Network, titled, “NFL Films Presents: Touchdown in Israel.” Keith Crossrow, an NFL Films producer, expressed that “this is one of the most rewarding films we’ve ever done.” In the film, Kraft can be seen choking up, “Everywhere I go, I see my wife [Myra] here.” The emotional connection to the land wasn’t just felt by Kraft on the trip. Crossrow noted, “All 18 NFL legends had such personal, emotional reflections of their experience on that last night. They also talked about their lives. I hope the six minutes [of that dinner] we showed gives viewers an idea of how remarkable the dinner

A light exchange between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Robert Kraft in 2012

Inaugurating Israel’s first full-size American football field with NFL “Gold Jackets” in 2017

was. What Mr. Kraft did was give something back to players that have meant so much to the NFL. He gave them a life-changing experience. “It was truly a mitzvah.” ast week, Kraft was awarded Israel’s 2019 Genesis Prize, known as the “Jewish Nobel Prize,” in recognition of his philanthropy and commitment to combatting anti-Semitism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to present Kraft with the award in Jerusalem in June. “This award amplifies my ability to raise both awareness and additional funds to fight anti-Semitism, attempts to de-legitimize Israel and other forms of prejudices,” Kraft said, upon the announcement that he won the honor. At the age of 77, Robert Kraft’s mission to help Israel is ever-present. At the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem, which was attended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Kraft began his speech by saying: “Shalom chaverim. It is an honor to be here in Jerusalem, the holy city, the center of spirituality for all of the nation of Israel. When I reached the age of bar mitzvah, I got a pair of tefillin from my father, of blessed memory. Every morning I would put them on and say the Amida while facing the direction of Jerusalem and dreamed of the day when I could visit Jerusalem and pray at the Kotel. “Today, I have the privilege and honor of standing here before you, and I continue to thank G-d that I have the ability, with my family, to help in the building of Jerusalem and with G-d’s help to continue to do so in the future.” Win or lose this Sunday, Robert Kraft is a winner on and off the field. The uniqueness of the recipe of his team’s success rivals any spice one may find at the Machane Yehuda shuk. For Patriots fans, hopefully that recipe will cook up something good next Sunday…and beyond.

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Like a father to Tom Brady


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