Page 1


2

The Week In News

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

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

LOS ANGELESFAIRFAX LOS ANGELESLA BREA LOS ANGELESS. MONIA LOS ANGELES-PICO LOS ANGELES -WESTWOOD MALIBU MANHATTAN BEACH MARINA DEL REY MISSION VIEJO MOORPARK NEWBURY PARK

NORTH HOLLYWOOD PALM SPRINGS PACIFIC PALASADES PASADENA REDONDO BEACH SHERMAN OAKS SIMI VALLEY STUDIO CITY TEMECULA THOUSAND OAKS TORRANCE VALENCIA VAN NUYS WOODLAND HILLS

Dear Readers, It’s time for a hard and honest conversation: what is the price tag for locking down society and living in fear? Consider: 1. The mental health of children, youth, teenagers and elderly. 2.

The increase in suicide.

3.

Substance abuse and other addictions.

4. The usual life threatening or serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc. being diagnosed much later and at times too late. 5. The undiscovered medical cures being held up by these lock downs. 6. The economic future of tens of thousands of businesses which will probably declare bankruptcy when this is behind us, wiping out billions of dollars. Not to mention a year’s worth underproduction. 7. The spiritual and moral decline of a society becoming increasingly hostile to one another. We don’t eat, drink, go to work or spend time with others simply for selfish reasons. We were born into this world to accomplish and build, to innovate and find solutions. Shutting down has enormous ramifications. There’s also the question of what exactly these lockdowns accomplish. This virus seems to spread regardless of whether a state is locked down or not (see FL and CA.) How about the Torah’s view on questions like this? What’s the risk demarcation in Halacha at which point we close Shuls? When do we close the doors of the Beth Medrash or Talmud Torahs? In the past our people literally risked their lives to be able to Daven and learn. Of course we don’t want to endanger others, but is it really that clear cut? By what amount does the danger get lessened when the young don’t get together? Further exasperating the equation are today’s

corrupt politicians who do not view this simply from a medical perspective. Indeed, there are plenty in the medical field who disagree with how they are handling it but are attacked and sidelined when they share it publicly. What’s more, there are doctors who have formulated doses of available medicines and have seen success with them yet have been shamed and ostracized when publishing their findings. It’s only now that some of their suggestions given in March are being looked at positively. Then there are the politicians themselves who have been found dining indoors or going to the gym and have publicly allowed and even supported mass demonstrations - when they align with their cause. Bottom line - what does Halacha say for Yidden to do? Is it independent on which state’s laws they are under or do we shutdown public Yiddishkeit because our Governor is from a specific political party? (My brother and his wife are Chabad Shluchim to Brandon Florida and under one set of laws and my sister and her husband are Chabad Shluchim to Annapolis Maryland and under a completely different set of laws - public schools are still closed!) The current post shtetel and public reality of Jewish life gives our Halachik decisions a unique challenge but by no means does it dictate it. There are many causes for this disaster. To name a few; a Media addicted to sensationalism and fear eroding the social order. The shouting down of opinions expressed from what’s perceived as the right. And a secular society that needs to feel like they have a solution for everything even if it causes more damage, instead of doing their utmost to keep safe while accepting there’s a Creator in charge. May Hashem heal all who are sick. Get rid of this plague. And help us get out of this safely and successfully. Even before then, we should experience the redemption from all our challenges and tribulations with the coming of Moshiach ben Dovid, now. 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


DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

3


4

The Week In News Living with the Times

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

This Is Real

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman This week’s parsha, Vayechi, tells of the passing of Yaakov Avinu. The posuk states, “Vayikrivu yemei Yisroel lomus vayikra levno leYosef” (Bereishis 47:29). As Yaakov’s final moments of life approached, he called for his son, Yosef. He urged Yosef not to bury him in Mitzrayim, but in Eretz Yisroel: “Al na sikbereini beMitzrayim. Veshochavti im avosai…” He asks Yosef to swear that he will bury him amongst the avos, repeating the request by stating, “Veshochavti im avosai.” The Torah generally refers to our forefather as Yaakov when denoting something that is in the present, while the name Yisroel connotes eternity. We must understand why in this instance the Torah refers to him as Yisroel, when he was discussing matters relating to the present. Additionally, why did Yaakov feel it was necessary to repeat the request? Why did he call Yosef to his side to make these requests? Why didn’t he speak to the rest of his children and notify them of his wishes? Regarding this final question, Rashi explains that Yaakov made the request of Yosef because “hayah beyado la’asos,” he was the one who was able to carry it out. However, since the Torah refers to him as Yisroel, this meeting, the conversations, and the request are apparently matters of eternal value. Thus, these favors Yaakov asked of Yosef should be understood as matters of longstanding impact. Perhaps we can understand the request being made of Yosef on a deeper level, bearing in mind the explanation of the Baal Haturim in Parshas Vayishlach. On the posuk which recounts that Yaakov said to Eisov, “Vayehi li shor vachamor” (Bereishis 32:6), the Baal Haturim writes that Yaakov wasn’t only referring to his ownership of cows and donkeys, but, more significantly, to his two sons who had the ability to confront Eisov. Yosef, who the posuk refers to as shor, is the alternate power to Eisov. Yissochor, who is referred to as chamor, has the power of Torah, because of his diligence in its study. The Ramban at the beginning of the parsha (47:28) states, “Yaakov’s descent to Mitzrayim is similar to our present exile in the hands of the chaya harevi’is, Romi harasha… The golus is extending for a long time, and unlike previous exiles, we do not know when it will end.” From the words of the Ramban, we see that golus Mitzrayim contains lessons for us in golus Edom. Yaakov’s discussions with Yosef pertaining to golus Mitzrayim have relevance to us in our day. These pesukim tell of cosmic events. Yaakov was laying the groundwork for survival for his children, and their children, in golus, as well as their eventual

redemption. He was joining with Yosef to craft a code of endurance and triumph, igniting that lehavah, the flame that will ultimately consume Eisov. Thus, we can understand the seemingly repetitious request: “Vayikra levno leYosef vayomer… al na sikbereini beMitzrayim. Veshochavti im avosai…” Yaakov said, “Do not bury me in Mitzrayim. I wish to lay with my fathers.” Then he said, “Unesosani miMitzrayim ukevartani bekevurosom - Carry me from Mitzrayim and bury me in their burial place.” Yaakov was making two distinct requests. Yisroel, the sheim hanetzach, the name that denotes eternity, was requesting, “Although I am now in Mitzrayim, the most tomei of all the lands, with wicked people and a wicked king, please do not bury me, Yisroel, here. Do not bury the netzach Yisroel, the traditions and beliefs that I received from my fathers, in this impure place. Remain separate from these profane people. Don’t permit yourself and your children to be influenced by them. Veshochavti im avosai. I wish to be like my fathers, Avrohom and Yitzchok, and be a link in a holy chain, with offspring who follow in my path.”

Mitzrayim and the other future exiles. Hence the use of the name Yisroel. Then, after he expressed his wish for the future, he made his request for the present: “Ukevartani bekevurosom.” Yaakov pleaded with his son, “Al na sikbereini beMitzrayim. Don’t bury me, my middah and my hard work, in Mitzrayim.” Yaakov appealed to Yosef and not to the other brothers, because the matter he was attending to was not simply with respect to where to bury him, but how to stand up to Eisov and Edom throughout the ages. Yosef was the antithesis of Eisov. He was the son with the ability to carry out Yaakov’s request of transmitting to future generations the secret to surviving and thriving in the hostile setting of golus. Additionally, Yaakov perceived that Yosef, the kadosh, who perfected the middah of yesod through personal purity and strength, had mastered the ability to transcend the lures of Mitzrayim, the ervas ha’aretz, the capital of permissiveness and hedonism. That, combined with his inherent ability to battle the forces of Eisov, is why Yaakov requested this of Yosef and not his brothers.

Hashem sends us prompts to remind us that our lives require spirituality, focus and purpose. How will that be accomplished? Yaakov makes it clear: Not only by asking to be buried in holy soil, but by emphasizing, “Veshochavti im avosai. I want to rest with my fathers. I want to be connected to them and attached to their sacred mesorah.” Yaakov tells Yosef, “You will be able to do that if unesosani miMitzrayim.” While the simple translation of unesosani is to carry, the word also means to uplift and raise (like the meforshim explain on the posuk, “Naso es rosh Bnei Yisroel”). Thus, Yaakov was telling Yosef, “In order to accomplish my wish to be an av, with sons and grandsons following in my path, you must raise me and what I stand for over the Mitzri culture. Raise me higher than Mitzrayim. You, Yosef, my son, have to remain elevated. Remain above your surroundings. Raise your children to live on a different plane. That’s how we will remain connected to the avos.” When Yaakov said, “Unesosani miMitzrayim,” he was referring to the need to remain above the prevailing tumah of

The posuk continues: “Vayishova lo vayishtachu Yisroel al rosh hamittah - Yosef swore that he would do as his father asked. Yisroel bowed to him in appreciation towards the head of his bed.” Once again, the posuk refers to Yaakov as Yisroel, because he wasn’t just bowing in appreciation of the fact that he would be buried near his father and grandfather in Eretz Yisroel. The eternal Yisroel of netzach was bowing to the eternal middah of Yosef. Yaakov was comfortable in the assurance that his avodah would continue. Therefore, the parsha continues with the narrative of the brachos that Yaakov gave to the sons of Yosef. Yosef brought his two sons, the guarantors of the derech of the avos, the fusion of Bais Yaakov and Bais Yosef that can negate the koach of Eisov. Yaakov saw nitzchiyus. He saw these children of golus, born in impure Mitzrayim, but committed to derech Yisroel saba. He responded by giving them brachos, the blessings that have echoed ever since in every Jewish home:

“Hamalach hagoel osi mikol ra yevoreich es haneorim veyikorei vohem shemi vesheim avosai Avrohom v’Yitzchok veyidgu larov bekerev ha’aretz” (48:15-16). This brocha of Yaakov is the culmination of the parsha as we have understood it. When Yaakov saw Menashe and Efraim, the sons of Yosef, he perceived that his offspring would succeed in remaining loyal to his heritage in the exile. Thus, he said, “…haElokim asher hishalchu avosai lefonov Avrohom v’Yitzchok haElokim haroeh osi mei’odi ad hayom hazeh. That same derech that Avrohom, Yitzchok and I have walked on will continue throughout golus.” “Hamalach hagoel osi mikol ra yevoreich es haneorim.” Yaakov appreciated that Efraim and Menashe carried a strength that others did not have. The malach who protected Yaakov as he descended into exile from his father’s home, protected his grandchildren in their golus. Yaakov davened that his grandchildren would have the tenacity and determination in golus Mitzrayim and golus Romi to remain loyal to the precepts of Avrohom and Yitzchok: “veyikorei vohem shemi vesheim avosai Avrohom v’Yitzchok.” The posuk in Chagai (2:9) relates the prophecy that the second Bais Hamikdosh would be more glorious than the first: “Gadol yihiyeh kevod habayis hazeh ha’acharon min harishon.” Rav Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin asks that this prophecy is apparently refuted by the fact that many of the revealed nissim of the first Bais Hamikdosh, such as ruach hakodesh and the Heavenly fire, were absent in the second Bayis. How, then, can the novi say that the splendor of the second Bais Hamikdosh would exceed that of the first? Rav Tzadok quotes the Sefer Heichalos, which explains that in the absence of those open miracles and being removed from the tangible presence of the Shechinah, more glory was present, because the people had to expend their own effort to create the kedusha. The glory that is achieved by hard work and struggle is superior to that which arrives as a gift from Heaven. People who work hard for their income appreciate what they have much more than those who live lives of dependency. Yaakov perceived that a new era was beginning. He derived satisfaction in seeing that Efraim and Menashe, despite being children of golus, were living as their avos. He perceived that they would serve as a paradigm for future generations, portraying that it is possible to achieve exalted levels even when trapped in a foreign place. After learning that his beloved son, whom he had not seen in twenty-two


The Week In News Living with the Times

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

years, was alive, Yaakov Avinu hurried to Mitzrayim. On the way, he stopped in Be’er Sheva (46:1). The Medrash states that he stopped there to cut cedar trees for use in the construction of the Mishkon when his grandchildren would eventually be redeemed from golus Mitzrayim. In the midst of the commotion and excitement, Yaakov Avinu was focused on his mission of leading his family into golus. He maintained his equanimity, ensuring that his children would have what they would need to exist in golus and when they would be redeemed. The Torah (49:1 and Rashi inter loc) relates that after he blessed his grandchildren, Yaakov gathered the family together and said that he would tell them what would happen at the End of Days. Yaakov was inspired to reveal deep secrets about the future. He saw that although they were born in the exile, Efraim and Menashe possessed the strengths of Yosef. He was comforted that his offspring would be able to withstand the golus and would merit redemption at the End of Days. Yaakov wanted to speak about the period of Acharis Hayomim, in which we are now living. He was unable to, as Hashem removed that ability from him. We don’t know what he was going to say. We don’t know when Moshiach will come. We don’t know how much more we will have to endure until that time. What we do know is that if we would dedicate ourselves to teshuvah and tefillah to bring about his arrival, we could hasten his arrival. The Zohar writes that if only “bei knishta chada,” one group of ten good people, would fervently daven for Moshiach, their efforts would definitely have a positive impact. As we suffer now from corona and wonder about the incoming White House administration and the political instability in Eretz Yisroel, we are reminded that plagues and political uncertainty are not natural phenomena. They are brought by Hashem to cause us to reflect upon our situation and improve our ways, seeking to become closer to Hashem, who awaits our tefillos and mitzvos. Nothing takes place in this world unless it is preordained. Our actions affect outcomes. If we want to be rid of the virus, we must demonstrate that we understand that it was brought to this world to cause us to do teshuvah. We cannot continue leading our lives as previously and expect to be rid of the plague. We have to show Hashem that we are better for it. We have to increase our devotion to performing mitzvos and averting anything that weakens our devotion to Hashem and Torah. Hashem sends us prompts to remind us that our lives require spirituality, focus and purpose. We are reminded that we are in golus and have become shallow, seeking superficiality and being satisfied with trivial pursuits. The Torah recounts that Yaakov Avinu told his children in this week’s parsha about what he accomplished “becharbi uvekashti,” through tefillah, to convey

to us that any time in our lives when we are faced with difficulties, the ticket out is through davening. Although we don’t have the Bais Hamikdosh, and Hashem is hidden from us, we are able to help and save ourselves through reaching out to Him. With dedicated faith, emunah and bitachon, we can reach Him and merit salvation when we are worthy. Yosef’s brothers couldn’t face him after he revealed himself to them and told them who he was. They were astounded and embarrassed. They had spent much time with him during their trips to Mitzrayim to pro-

cure food for themselves and their families, yet they viewed him as a gentile potentate and had no inkling that perhaps he was one of the greatest tzaddikim of the generation. Had they been seeking gadlus, had they been fulfilling the dictum of Chazal of “Eizehu chochom, halomeid mikol adam,” perhaps they would have perceived greatness in the man they were negotiating with. It wasn’t on their mind. Moshiach must be on our mind. The Brisker Rov writes in his sefer (Parshas Bo) that there was no time limit given for this golus, the final exile, and therefore the geulah can occur at any time.

More pathways to success, Right in your own backyard. Touro College Los Angeles. Apply now for Spring ‘21

If we follow Hashem’s word, we can merit that it takes place today, and thus we proclaim, “Achakeh lo bechol yom sheyavo.” Similarly, the Mabit writes in Bais Elokim that at any time during our golus, if we do teshuvah and return fully to Hashem and follow His instructions, He will redeem us. This is real, it is not a drush vertel. When we accept it as reality and act upon it, rectifying our actions, davening with concentration and kavanah, with dedication to Torah learning and observance, we can and will be zoche to the geulah sheleimah immediately.

APPLY NOW for Spring!

Generous financial aid for those who qualify. Degrees offered in Judaic Studies, Business Management and Administration, and Psychology. Pre-Health Science concentration offers all prerequisite classes for medical school, dentistry, occupational therapy and more.

tcla.touro.edu

FOR MORE INFORMATION tourola.admissions@touro.edu

5


6

Sarah's The WeekCorner In News

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Everything Has A Price Sarah Pachter

At the beginning of my marriage, one evening my husband came home with a shopping bag from a local New York City market. We lived in a beautiful neighborhood, but there were no kosher stores nearby. I opened the bag, pulled out some grapes, and scanned the receipt to see almost twenty dollars written on the bottom line. I looked in the bag for more items, but there was only the one bag of grapes. Coming from a small town, I could not believe one tiny bag of grapes sold for $20.00! Considering that this took place more than 13 years ago, you can just imagine what the total would be today. These grapes were not exactly in our budget. “Twenty dollars for a bag of grapes!” was my eloquent response. This became a running joke between us, but it took some time before we started laughing instead of sighing about it. The grape incident reinforced my opinion that the Manhattan “air” was too expensive for me. Later, I learned the air in Manhattan is actually quite pricey. “Air rights” is a term used in real estate to describe “the interest in the ‘space’ above the Earth’s surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and develop the space above the land without interference by others.” (en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Air_rights) In Manhattan, air rights are being sold to neighboring buildings, and the value is literally skyrocketing.

There is a limit on how tall a building in Manhattan can be. To circumvent this barrier, a building can purchase the air rights of a neighboring building in order to build taller than normally allowed. Such air rights are being sold for hefty sums, providing investors and owners with a significant profit. “Finding money out of thin air” is a new reality for those living in Manhattan—and a few other select cities, too. It’s amazing that the sky above buildings, which has no real boundary, physicality, or line of demarcation, has such tremendous value. When it comes to real estate, we accept the value of the intangible. Spirituality, however, is a much harder sell when trying to understand its infinite worth. We can’t see, feel, or touch air, but it’s there. It keeps us going, and it’s invaluable. Similarly, we can’t see spirituality, but its effect on our lives spans generations. When the wind blows, we can’t see the actual air moving. We see only the effects of wind—trees blowing, leaves shaking, or the cool breeze on our face on a sunny day. The concept is the same with spirituality. We can’t see spirituality and we can’t touch it, but we can experience its power. A smile, warmth in one’s heart, and the energy to overcome obstacles are all effects of spirituality. When we “feel” the ethereal, it is a pleasure that is indescribable. My son was away this summer for sleep-away camp. We counted down the

days in anticipation of his return back home, and wanted that first Shabbos together to be special. At the table, all the children sat peacefully while we sang zmirot, exchanged stories, and bentched out loud. I could feel an energy in the air, but couldn’t name it. The feeling of love as a family reunites is not something tangible, but it is very real. (If only this could happen every Shabbos!) This leaves me wondering, if spirituality has so much power and a positive effect on the world, then why doesn’t Hashem reveal Himself to us in a more obvious way? Why doesn’t He allow us to “see” His presence? This Mashal explained by Rabbi Shalom Arush (The Garden Of Emuna, pg. 170) described this concept beautifully. Imagine the electric company wanted to save money, so they closed down their transformers and relay stations, and sent a direct cable from their main generator to your house. If you switched on your 100watt bulb in the living room, 50,000 watts of power would come through the cable. The bulb would burst into smithereens in a split second. Even worse, the cables in your walls would explode, and the whole house could catch fire. For that reason, the electricity can’t reach your home without a series of transformers, circuit breakers, and relays that reduce the core power of the generated electricity to a measure that you can safely use. By the same token, Hashem’s Divine light is infinite. Hashem doesn’t give us an illumination that is too strong for our souls to handle; otherwise, we’d burn out, die,

become insane, or lose our faith altogether Heaven forbid. Consequently, Hashem—like a good coach—gives us opportunities to strengthen our spiritual selves to become sturdy vessels to receive more divine light. Our bodies are receptors of spirituality. We are like outlets that can connect to our own higher power, Hashem. But too much revelation of spirituality would be too intense to bear. Perhaps this explains why when Hashem revealed Himself to us on Har Sinai, we were unable to handle the intensity of the moment, and asked Moshe to step in. Spirituality, like air rights, has an incredible value. Our job is to learn how to tap into it and receive the maximum benefit. The taller the building, the deeper the foundation must be; similarly, in order to tap into Hashem’s light, our vessels must be very strong. Rabbi Arush notes that we can strengthen our vessels through Torah learning, tefilah, chesed, mitzvot, and even suffering. All of these help our physical bodies bring more divine light into the world. Whether we are caring for children, immersing in the mikvah, or praying, we are strengthening our vessel to reflect Hashem’s light. Just like the unconventional concept of air rights, whether we feel it or not, believe it or not, or even agree with it, something of value is taking place all around us. We are all heirs of an incredible yerusha, the Torah we received on Har Sinai. Spirituality, in all its power, is not actually meant to be seen, and although we can’t experience Hashem with any of our senses, the power has an exponential value—much more than some expensive fruit! With this in mind, we must protect the investment of our “heir rights.” Little by little, our outlets and vessels to connect to Hashem can strengthen to reflect more light in our lives. As we improve ourselves, we can reach higher into our personal air rights and constantly grow stronger.


DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Year in Review The Week In News

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

F

or many, 2020 was filled with a lot of stress and anxiety. Hundreds of thousands lost their lives, and many are still suffering from the effects of the coronavirus. As we take a look back,

we endeavor to walk you down memory lane and give you a glimpse of the year that was. But, after much thought, we decided not to focus on the hardship that we endured. Instead, we tried to give you a brief overview, TJH-style, of what took place the past 12 months and bring a smile or two to your face as you remember that there were some interesting, exhilarating, momentous, and even confusing events that made up the year 2020.

1

7


8

12

Year in Review The Week In News OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Winners & Losers of 2020 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Winners nk a l P r u o H 8 196 Math Questions

NADUB Gill is only 10 years old, but he’s better at math than most adults. The Pakistani boy was able to solve 196 math questions in just one minute this year. He said he was “very thrilled and excited” upon earning the Guinness World Record for his achievement.

$110.3B Gain

ELON Musk must be smiling. In 2020, he had the biggest one-year gain of any billionaire since Forbes started tracking wealth. Musk started out the year with a net worth of $26.6 billion – not too shabby. But the past twelve months saw him aggregate his wealth. The Tesla CEO and SpaceX enthusiast is now worth an eye-popping $136.9 billion. With SpaceX launching a manned orbital mission this year and with permission to shuttle astronauts from NASA to the International Space Station, we’re thinking that the sky’s the limit when it comes to Musk’s wealth.

DO not stand next to George Hood at the gym. The retired police officer and current personal trainer managed to break the world record this year for the longest plank. The 62-year-old held a plank for a whopping eight hours. He admitted, “There are times you get selfdoubt. You get bored. You wonder if it’s worth anything.” It better be worth something, George, if you’re spending eight hours doing it.

$67.5 Billion+

WHERE would 2020 be without Jeff Bezos? Millions of people around the globe survived lockdowns and quarantine because of the Amazon boxes that faithfully showed up at their door. This year was really good for the founder of Amazon. Bezos’s net worth skyrocketed by an extra $67.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) from just March to June this year. In fact, in August, Bezos became the first person in history to have a net worth above $200 billion. Oh, and if 2020 was brought to you by Amazon, it was also brought to you by Zoom. Eric Yuan, the founder of the video-conferencing platform (can you unmute me? I can’t hear you), grew his nest egg by over $2.5 billion.


14

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Year in Review The Week In News

Losers

ty i C k r o Y w Ne

Retail

2020 was a brutal year for restaurants and stores. According to Coresight Research, as many as 8,400 American retailers closed this year. In terms of restaurants, around 17% of restaurants in the U.S. permanently closed – a devastating 110,000 eateries that have closed for good. Along with the closures of retail stores and restaurants came a wave of bankruptcies from companies that we had grown to take for granted in malls across America. Pier 1 Imports called it quits in February; Modell’s shuttered in March; and J.Crew Group went bankrupt in May, although it exited bankruptcy in September and named a new CEO in November of this year. Neiman Marcus also was hit hard, and JCPenney closed a third of its stores this year. Lord & Taylor called it quits after nearly 200 years in business, and New York’s beloved Century 21 said sayonara to all its 13 locations after six decades in the Big Apple.

USPS

WHAT was once the most coveted real estate and business center in the world saw a dismal decline this year. Aside from the horrific number of tragedies the Big Apple saw in 2020 due to corona, scores of protests turned the city into a third-world country. Rioters and protesters smashed storefronts and made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. Furthermore, Mayor Bill de Blasio brought hundreds of homeless into hotels in swanky areas, ostensibly to keep them safe and healthy while forcing NYC residents to flee either out of state or to the shores of Long Island. Lawlessness and crime skyrocketed in 2020 on the streets of New York. And companies began offering their employees a work-at-home option. What, then, was keeping NYC residents in the Big Apple? Not much. According to the United States Postal Service, around 300,000 residents have fled New York within the last eight months – and that translates into more than that number, as the USPS doesn’t consider all members of a household in its numbers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more residents escaped from New York over the least year than from any other state. Depressing, for sure. But don’t count New York out just yet. As “The Boxer” famously says, “I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains.”

r e p p i R e h t Nancy IT was the rip heard around the world. After President Trump gave his State of the Union address on February 4, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stood up and ceremoniously ripped a copy of the President’s speech in half. Although Pelosi stayed throughout the speech – other Democrats walked out in protest – she made her disdain for Trump clear with her tantrum-y act that would get most 3-year-olds sent to their rooms. Of course, if Pelosi was sent out of the room for her actions, she would take her $12 tubs of ice cream with her – because that’s her way of getting through tough times. The Speaker did not apologize for tearing up Trump’s speech – which she called a “manifesto of mistruths.”

THE United States Postal Service has a really bad rap as it struggles to deliver mounds of circulars, political ads, bills, and overdue notices to millions of Americans through the snow, rain, heat, and gloom of night. Although it had been going through a tough time for tens of years, the USPS was thrown into the spotlight this year when citizens doubted that their mail-in ballots would get into counting centers on time – or even get there at all. On November 4 – and even days after Election Day –the USPS asserted that it came through for Americans and democracy in a big way. There are, certainly, critics who doubt that the USPS delivered the mail and delivered it on time. Still, the agency is in peril. Its 644,000-person workforce delivers and sorts the mail mainly by hand, hardly an efficient system. In November, the USPS reported that it suffered a net loss of $9.2 billion in fiscal year 2020 – up $363 million in losses from 2019 due to a decline in mail due to the pandemic. The $10 billion loan it received from Congress this year is a mere Band-Aid on the struggling agency, as Americans turn more to email and texts and less and less to handwritten notes of appreciation.

9


8

10

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Year in Review The Week In News

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

Around the Globe 2020 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >> Iran On January 5, Iran announced that it would no longer limit itself to restrictions contained in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, essentially telling the world that it is going back to pursuing nuclear goals.

>> China On January 7, Chinese authorities confirmed that they identified a fatal virus that killed Chinese citizens as a novel coronavirus. On January 30, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. On March 11, it declared it a pandemic.

>> Ukraine Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 bound for Kiev, Ukraine, crashed after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, on January 8, killing all 176 people onboard. On January 11, it was confirmed that Iran shot down the airliner.

>> Lebanon >> United Kingdom The UK became the first country to leave the European Union when it officially left the EU on January 31. It took three-and-a-half years and three prime ministers to get the job done. On a lighter note, England faced another exit of some sort when Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, decided to leave the UK and their roles in the royal family for Hollywood.

At least 204 people were killed and more than 6,400 were injured when a warehouse housing explosive material blew up in the port in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4. It is said that Hezbollah had been housing the ammonium nitrate for nefarious reasons.


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

Year in Review The Week In News

DECEMBER 31, 2020 | The Jewish Home

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >> Africa Residents of Africa can now breathe a sigh of relief. In August, the continent was declared free from wild type polio after a decades-long campaign to stamp out the virus, which had, at one time, paralyzed more than 75,000 children in Africa annually.

>> Belarus After President Aleksandr Lukashenko was declared the winner in this year’s elections in Belarus – long described as Europe’s last dictatorship – protesters took to the streets almost daily for several weeks after the August 9 vote. Still, Lukashenko remains in power. His challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, fled to Lithuania and is still popular with supporters.

>> United States

>> Antarctica >> Israel Never had the State of Israel been so busy making agreements with its neighbors than this year. With the Abraham Accords, the Jewish State shook hands with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. But that was just the beginning. Since August, the U.S. has helped to broker normalization agreements with Israel and Sudan and with Morocco, with more countries hopefully on the horizon.

By mid-December, it was revealed that coronavirus had hit Antarctica, the last continent on Earth to have been spared the pandemic, when Chile’s armed forces confirmed that its staff had been infected at its base on the tip of the frozen peninsula.

“Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” were chants that rocked the nation after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, on February 25, and George Floyd on May 25 while in police custody. Thousands of people took to the streets. In many cities, rioters and looters smashed store windows and looted stores. Subsequently, masses pulled down statues that they said were connected to racism including those of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant.

9

11


2,711 BLATT TU B’SHVAT

TOGETHER for SHIDDUCHIM

1 DAY 01.28.21

We are all looking for ways to help those that we know are looking for their bashert. In a day of Torah learning and achdus, Shas for Shidduchim gives you the opportunity to gather real z’chusim.

~C.G

.*

BottomLineMG.com

Lichv od Chica Rabbi Fu go Ch erst a esed Fund nd , I just want ed main reaso to let you n was f k or z’ why I cam now tha c t th h e us to th is 33 is eve e years for a frie nt last n old and nd of mi n B ight was h ORUCH HA e who SHEM is L’C , haim . May w news e continu from e to h ear g all the s ood ingle s.” *This is a REAL testimonial. Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

SPONSOR A DAF IN THE Z’CHUS OF A SINGLE THURSDAY, JANUARY 28TH, 2021

Shas4Shidduchim.org All proceeds go directly towards helping with shidduch challenges.