Jewish Home LA - 2-11-21

Page 1


The Week In News

2

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY

THIS SHABBOS!

THE ‫ זוהר‬TEACHES THAT WHENEVER THE ARON KODESH IS OPENED,

IT IS AN EIS RATZON. ALL THE MORE SO THIS SHABBOS WHEN 3 SIFREI TORAH ARE TAKEN OUT!

CITICOM! 718.692.0999

MANY STUDENTS OF THE BAAL SHEM TOV TESTIFY THAT AT THAT MOMENT THE GATES OF COMPASSION ARE OPENED AND GREAT THINGS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED...

FOR A FREE DISPLAY FOR YOUR SHUL, PLEASE EMAIL STOPTHETALKING@GMAIL.COM


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

3

LOOK OUT FOR OUR FULL COLOR BROCHURE in your area this week!

14

8 718.831.778

COLLECT

$400 or more

RECEIVE YOUR PRIZE & FREE AIRPODS PRO

Lookalike

130 FUN PRIZES TO CHOOSE FROM! GET ENTERED INTO A SPECIAL RAFFLE OF PRIZES VALUED AT

$2000 AND RECEIVE YOUR PRIZE!

AS THE ORIGINAL PURIM PROJECT

WE WILL BEAT ANY OTHER ADVERTISED OFFER!

DANCE ON PURIM,SMILE ALL YEAR

PURIM PROJECT

#


4

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | 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, The famed chassid Reb Binyamin Kletzker used to relate that his first interaction with Chassidim was watching Reb Zalman Zezmer during Parshas Zachor. He was awestruck by the visible expression of hatred toward the accursed nation of Amalek and what they represent. What’s so important about hating Amalek? It’s understandable that we need to be rid of that terrible nation, but why the need to bring up the hate on a daily basis? Rashi on Chumash tells us that Amalek wasn’t looking for personal gain. They knew they would lose. They just wanted to cool off the awesome respect the nations of the world had toward the Yidden. The example Rashi brings is of a boiling bath that no one would enter. Until someone came along, went inside, got burned but cooled it off for the rest. Same with Amalek. The red sea had miraculously split to let the Yidden through. Before that the most advanced nation in the world had been punished in a supernatural way. The

Jewish people were practically untouchable. Along comes Amalek and wages war. Although defeated, the damage was done. In avodas Hashem, Amalek is the cold feeling of apathy we have when we get passionate about Torah and Mitzvos. The thought that prompts us to do sit back and do nothing. It’s that initial splash of cold water that needs to be rooted out. The Rambam writes that one who believes in the coming of Moshiach but doesn’t await his coming is still considered to be denying the truth of Torah shel baalpeh. Reb Chaim Brisker explains that a real belief in the coming of Moshiach automatically leads to a constant yearning for his coming. There’s a thin separation between indifference and denial. The complete destruction of Amalek will happen when Moshiach comes and the truth of Hashem’s existence will be seen by all. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos, and a joyous month of Adar,

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


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

More pathways to success, right in your own backyard. Touro College Los Angeles. At Touro College Los Angeles we offer a

supportive environment, small personalized classes, and educational pathways in Business, Health Sciences, Judaic Studies, and Psychology that help you develop the skills you need to succeed. Separate Men’s and Women’s Divisons.

Open House ZOOM LINK PROVIDED WHEN YOU RSVP RSVP: Barbara.Avitan@touro.edu or 323.822.9700 ext. 85150

JOIN US! VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE FOR MEN & WOMEN

Wednesday February 17 8 p.m.

tcla.touro.edu

5


6

TheHappenings Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Chinuch of Today is Coming Back to Inspire Los Angeles Parents by Yehudis Litvak After two successful years of packed Chinuch of Today events in Los Angeles, Rabbi Yaacov Goodman of Yedidim and the local steering committee will not allow the current pandemic to get in the way of chinuch inspiration. This year, they are shifting to a virtual platform to host Chinuch of Today 2021, specifically planned and scheduled for the Los Angeles Jewish community. The local committee and sponsors were just as eager to get involved in this virtual event as in the prior years’ in person events. Unfortunately, one of the prior sponsors, Nachi Silverman, is currently in the hospital on a respirator, fighting coronavirus. His family reached out to Yedidim and offered to sponsor this year’s event in the zchus of Mr. Silverman’s refuah sheleimah. The event will begin on Thursday

night, February 11th, with an evening of empowerment and inspiration with two prominent chinuch experts, Rabbi Zev Leff, Rav and Rosh Hayeshiva at Moshav Matityahu, and Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky, Rosh Hayeshiva of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington. Both rabbis will address the challenges of this past year and share strategies for dealing with these challenges. The topic of current events will continue on Motzaei Shabbos with a Chinuch Think Tank. The panelists, Rabbi Sholom Tendler, Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky, Rabbi Mordechai Becher, Rabbi Dovid Revah, and Rabbi Dovid Kaplan, will answer questions spanning topics from the rise in anti-Semitism to racism to socialism, as well as Jewish pride in today’s world. The panel will be moderated by Rabbi Yaacov Goodman. “It is important for people to know

clear hashkafa in order to give it over to their children,” explains Rabbi Goodman. The global turmoil of last year raised a lot of hashkafic issues that this event is going to address in order to bring some clarity to local Jewish parents. The goal of the event, says Rabbi Goodman, is for parents to walk out feeling empowered. The heavy topics are not meant to bring overwhelm and depression. To the contrary, Chinuch of Today aims to help parents feel that they are able to handle today’s challenges, are equipped with the necessary tools, and know which steps to take next. In addition to Chinuch of Today events, Yedidim also conducts chinuch webinars, as well as support groups for divorced mothers. “These families need the most help,” says Rabbi Goodman. With Covid restrictions, the mothers are finding them-

selves truly alone. Rabbi Goodman tells of a mother who was very nervous last year about making a Pesach seder on her own. With the support group’s guidance, the seder turned out so wonderful that her children asked if they could always do it on their own. In the past, the feedback from Chinuch of Today’s events has been tremendously positive, and the organizers are hoping that this virtual event will be just as helpful to the local community. To find out more and to register, visit yedidim.org/events. Note that there are separate registration forms for the Thursday and Motzaei Shabbos events.

Press release: Pesach will still look very different this year. Whle many people may consider staying home with their fami-

ly, many people this year are traveling to a Pesach program after being bunkered up in their house over the last 10

months. Last year when COVID-19 hit the world the Pesach industry was shook. Ultimately, every Pesach program had to cancel due to capacity requirements, government restrictions or safety guidelines they couldn’t meet. Hotels shut down, airlines paused and many people who would typically go away, for the first time in 40 years stayed home, cooked and cleaned and spent the seder with their family. This year, fortunately the Passover Program industry has rebounded and while their are roughly only 30 Passover programs confirmed this year, many people are interested in getting away and traveling to one of them. People haven’t traveled in 10 months; they miss the ambience, the programming, the hotel amenities and want to travel to a program whether it’s locally or in a different state or country. Thankfully, there are many Pesach programs happening this year all around the world. Whether you want to travel to Florida to Lasko Getaways, Mexico to Haafikomen or Diamond Club, Dubai/Abu Dhabi to KDeluxe, Puerto Rico to Kosherica, Passover tour operators have made it possible for thousands of people this year. Avi Lasko of Lasko Getaways in Miami Florida says, “Florida will be the place to go this year for many US Pesach travelers and abroad. Our #1 priority is to keep all our guests safe while making it an enjoyable experience from our one of a kind waterpark, live concert and incredible food. Thankfully, we’re able to do that again this year, while giving everyone a truly amazing experience

as we have done the past 30+ years.” It’s going to be a different year on these programs; mask wearing, social distancing, outdoor dining, lower capacity requirements, children pod groups but when you think about it, this is all for the safety of the guests. This is to make everyone feel comfortable with knowing that every Pesach program out there is doing their very best to continue the decades of tradition of going away on a wonderful piece of program this year. The biggest question is which program to choose. When you’re looking for a program this year in Florida, Puerto Rico, Dubai, Mexico, how do you know who is confirmed to have a Peach program, what the prices are, how the food is, how the programming is, or what safety precautions these programs are putting in place? Thankfully there’s now a onestop shop website called passoverlistings.com that makes it very easy for a Pesach guest and traveler to do all their research and contact a program directly with a quote inquiry or a question about their program. With thousands of reliable reviews from prior guests on their website, you can easily choose which program you may be interested in and contact the program directly. If you are looking for more information on a Peach program, check out passoverlistings.com!


Sarah's The WeekCorner In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

Inspiration During Difficult Times Sarah Pachter

It was almost a year ago when Los Angeles County announced the Stay At Home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, this year has been a challenging one for most of us. Although we are all in different boats, the ocean is the same. We feel burnt out and worn down from the distress that COVID-19 causes in our life, and could use some inspiration to pick us up. If anyone can serve as an inspiration, it’s Cheri Tannenbaum. She certainly knows a thing or two about struggle. Cheri was diagnosed with a rare disorder called dystonia, which leaves her handicapped in many facets. Her speech and ability to walk are compromised, making basic activities difficult to perform. Rather than falling to despair, she approaches each day with resilience. She wrote a book, Woman of Few Words, in which she shares mantras she lives by, and other strengthening quotes. I compiled some of my favorites from her book, and feel that these ideas can offer us another perspective of suffering during these trying times. “[A nisayon] You could look at it another way. The word nisayon has the word nes in it, which means miracle. The test is there to bring out the miracle in you, to elicit strength that is uncharacteristic and unfamiliar. God is not picking on you, rather he’s training you to be miraculous.” Rochel Holzkenner1 “You are playing a game called “My Perfect Life.” Every day, you strive to have perfect health, perfect finances, and the perfect marriage. Or as close as you can get to them. When suffering occurs, you’re angry because that means your game is being ruined. What game is G-d playing? It’s called “The Perfect Story.” G-d wants to tell the greatest story ever told… So where are you in this game? You’re on camera! You’re an actor and He’s the director. You’ve been in this movie the whole time. The problem is, you don’t realize you’re in it... Until one day you decide to listen. The words you hear affect you to the very core of your being. You begin to feel like you’ve awakened from a bad dream. Things begin to come into focus. This is what the director said, “my

1

Rochel Holzkenner, “Faith Under Fire” from Chabad.org

child I choose you for the specific role for a reason. I waited a long time for you to turn to Me and find out what it was... Your role is to find a way to be a hero for someone else… I wish you to uplift others who have fallen with a kind word or small act of charity. I wish you would feel grateful for all the good that surrounds you, and that you would humbly accept the challenge to overcome the rest… And where will I be? I will be with you in that moment of pain... because we are not separate... and you’ll never be alone.” Shmuel Pollen2 “I realize that my intentions had not been pure to begin with. In the back of my mind, I wanted this esteem that would come with being the only woman shatnez tester in Israel. Without pure intentions, things usually do not work out.” Cheri Tenenbaum3 “It would be so much easier for me to just crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and never get up. From the first day of my illness to this very day, I wake up each morning, say Modeh Ani (the prayer said upon awakening in the morning), push myself out of bed, and consciously and deliberately choose life. I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life so that you and your descendants shall live. (Deuteronomy 30:19) Happiness is a choice. I must take life every second as it comes. I know that my day will be a constant struggle and full of humiliation. I try to surround myself with positive, supportive people. I take help from others when I need it. I try to give to someone else, to transcend my own self absorption.” Cheri Tenenbaum4 “All of the struggles, all of the complications and obstacles of life, are sent to us as an opportunity to spur us along towards [the] greatness of the creation of the mind. These small struggles are all intended as goads to prod us towards the realization that we must turn to Hashem. Every small challenge that your face is actually challenging you to recognize that Hashem is

2

Shmuel Pollen, “Why Does G-d Allow Suffering?” from Chabad.org

3

Cheri Tenenbaum, Woman of Few

everything, and that he’s your address for anything you want.” Rabbi Wohlhendler, Adapted from Rav Avigdor Miller’s Parsha tapes5 “Our relationship to Hashem is often dependent on his ability to fill our needs and desires. As human beings, we naturally desire pleasure and comfort. When we are showered with what we define as good, we generally do not question God‘s ways. If life events do not clash with our perception of good or comfortable, then we are not provoked to question his divine plan. We merely take things for granted and expect them to flow as we believe they should. However, if our needs and comforts are not met, we may begin to question his ways. This mistaken outlook is a product of our limited egos, a lack of knowledge of the full picture and a lack of emunah of everything that happens is for the best.” Orit Esther Riter6 “One of the most difficult parts of any hardship is feeling that we are going through it alone. We often think that nobody understands what we are experiencing. However there is a remedy. We would have so much comfort if we internalized the fact that we are never alone. Hashem knows exactly what we are experiencing. He knows how hard it is, and he feels it even more than we do.” “We Are Not Alone”7 “Faith is not knowing what the future holds. It’s knowing who holds the future.” Rabbi Benjamin Blech “In the morning prayers, we thank G-d for giving the rooster the intuition and ability to differentiate between day and night. Rabbi Nachman of Breslov says that we also have the ability to differentiate. What does the rooster differentiate? When does it sense day? When it senses light coming at the darkest moment of the night. The last part of the night is the darkest moment of the night. Even when things seem so very dark, the rooster has the ability to sense and understand that there will be light. No matter how dark our life may seem, no matter how difficult it may seem, we need to say, ‘Thank you, Hashem, for giving me the ability to sense that even in

5 Rabbi Wohlhendler, adapted from Rav Avigdor Miller’s Parsha tapes

my darkest moment, light will come.’ Rabbi Yechiel Spero8 “There is no “I can’t.” God can make anything possible in our lives. We need to wake up every day and look at the road ahead, saying: With G-d’s help, I can do this.” Sarah Debbie Gutfreund9 “God has more information than we do; thus we cannot judge Him and say he is doing something bad. We trust God and say, “I haven’t yet figured out why, but God knows this is for the best.” “Suffering: Why?”10 “Although it may seem counterintuitive, the moment of our greatest pain and sorrow is the moment when we can feel Hashem’s embrace. At a time of hester panim [G-d’s hiddenness], Hashem is very close. Sadly, all too often, when we are struck by troubles and misfortunes, we close our hearts. We shut our lips from prayer and turn away from Hashem. We can instead offer up our pain to Hashem and in doing so, access his love. These are times that are supercharged; from within them, we can gain a relationship with our maker that is laden with love.” Rebbetzin Shira Smiles11 “We need to know that Hashem is closest to us during our most difficult moments. He comes at times of hardship and pain to be with us to encourage us and to tell us, ‘I wish it could be different now but this is what you need. Do not worry, I’m here to help you.’ Whenever we are in pain, God is also in pain.” Orit Esther Riter12 “God gives everyone exactly what they need to achieve their purpose in the world. It doesn’t matter what anyone else has. Life is about doing the best we can in the situation that God put us in. It is so important to remember that we have no control over the results. All that matters is our effort.” “Why Me?”13

8 Rabbi Yechiel Spero, Inspiration Daily, Yeshiva Ateres Shimon 9 Sarah Debbie Gutfreund, “Lessons from Running” Aish.com 10 11

“Suffering: Why?” aish.com

Orit Esther Riter dailydoseofemuna.com

Words, page 50

com

6

Orit Esther Riter, dailydoseofemuna.

Rebbetzin Shira Smiles “Eshet Lot: Salt of the Earth”

4

7

“We Are Not Alone” Daily Emunah

12 13

Cheri Tenenbaum, Woman of Few

Words, page103-104

column, ou.org

“Why Me?” Daily Eumunah ou.org

7


8

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

‫ס‬ ‫פ‬ ‫ו‬ ’ ‫ר‬ ‫ח‬ ‫לקי המ‬ ‫פ‬ ‫מ ת‬ ‫ח‬ ‫שנה ב על‬ ‫רו‬ ‫ר‬ ‫ה‬

Groundbreaking

‫ספר‬ ‫המפתח‬

NEW!

Following the success of the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah over the past decade, Dirshu is proud to announce the release of the Mafteiach, a breakthrough in the world of Limud Halacha. Welcomed with enthusiasm by Gedolei HaPoskim and Dayanim, the Mafteiach features a comprehensive index, enabling one to find any halacha on any topic along with sources, Teshuvos, explanations, commentary and modern Psakim, in the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah and its Biurim and Musafim.

Available at your local Seforim store or direct from the distributor, Israel Bookshop at 888-536-7427 / IsraelBookshopPublications.com


The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

9

!‫יומא טבא לרבנן‬

New Release!

$

$

19.99

14.99 Introduc tory price

A comprehensive index on the Mishnah Berurah, enabling one to find any halacha on any topic in Orach Chaim

Received with acclaim by Gedolei HaPoskim, Dayanim and Roshei Yeshiva around the world

Features a comprehensive English glossary for commonly used words

A necessity for every home

BottomLineMG.com

Where do I loo k up t halach he os of d avenin while f g eel of win ing the eff ect e? Tod ay is P and I urim am a b it “hig may I h”, daven M Maari incha/ v?

Companion to the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah


10

Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

There is Always Hope

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

This past Shabbos, when we were mekadeish the incoming month of Adar, everyone felt a tinge of happiness. Soon, Purim will be here and we will celebrate the victory over Haman and Amaleik back in the days of Shushan. Adar is in the air and we all took a breath of relief. We consider all that has transpired since last Purim and offer a prayer of thanks that we are here. There has been so much sadness and tragedy during the past year. Everyone is looking forward to the simcha of Purim and its story of redemption, hoping that we will soon merit our own stories of restoration and recovery. This Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Adar, we read the first of the four special parshiyos, Parshas Shekolim. “B’echod b’Adar,” on the first day of Adar, Chazal instituted that “mashmi’in al hashekolim,” we discuss the obligation to donate a half-shekel to the Mishkon. Essentially, the call for machatzis hashekel is one for achdus. Everyone participates and contributes the same amount. It is for this reason that Chazal say that the mitzvah of shekolim was as a preemptive strike to offset the shekolim that the evil Haman offered Achashveirosh for the right to destroy the Jewish people. The mitzvah has several angles. Rav Dovid Cohen, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chevron, discusses in the second volume of his monumental Mizmor L’Dovid different aspects of the counting of the Bnei Yisroel, which we read this Shabbos from Parshas Ki Sisa (30:12). Hashem commanded Moshe to take a half-shekel from each person and to count the coins, instead of the people, so that the counting would not cause a plague. Rabbeinu Bachyah (ibid.) explains that when people are counted one by one, they

are in jeopardy, because then each person has to stand on his/her own merits. However, when a person is counted as part of a group, each person is judged collectively as a member of Am Yisroel and the zechuyos of the entire community allow each person to be judged favorably, as the communal merits accrue to all the members of Klal Yisroel. Rav Yitzchok Eizik Chover explains further that the reason there is no plague when Jews are counted in this manner is because there is achdus among them, and the Shechinah is thus able to rest among the Jewish people. When the Shechinah

negef. Counting the Jewish people through their equal donations of half-shekel coins serves to unite them and averts all sorts of unpleasantness. The Alter of Kelm would famously position himself at the center of the bais medrash on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He would say that the strongest source of merit on those days of judgement is the communal strength of a klal. Thus, he ensured that he was part of the klal and would not stand out in any way that would cause him to be viewed independently. He would quote the Isha Hashunamis who helped Elisha the prophet in his time of

There are always things to be thankful for. is among them, there can be no negef, no plague. The Jewish people are compared to a body comprised of many parts, each one vital. There are bones and sinews, tendons and organs, and the body functions only when they are all working in perfect tandem. As long as they are, the neshomah is present in the body. When different parts of the body break down and cease to perform their functions, the neshomah leaves the body and it dies. Similarly, when there is achdus among the Bnei Yisroel and we are unified, the Shechinah hovers over us and does not allow a negef. When there is peirud and the Jews separate from each other, the Shechinah departs, and there can be a

need. In appreciation, Elisha asked her if there was any area in which she required a special favor that he could perform for her. She responded, “Besoch ami anochi yosheves - Amongst my people I dwell,” (Melochim II, 4:13). She responded that she was merely one amongst many, for there is no station loftier or more glorious than being a Jew amongst Jews. Once, when Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk was ill, he was asked for his mother’s name so that Jewish communities could pray for his recovery. The great gaon replied with the words of the Isha Hashunamis. He said that rather than specific prayers, he would appreciate tefillos on behalf of all the cholei Yisroel, which would include him and help him as well.

He explained that if the tefillos were offered just for him, the Heavenly Court would examine his life as it considered whether he should live. “And who knows if I will be found worthy?” wondered Rav Meir Simcha. “As a Jew amongst Jews, however, everyone is worthy.” The Alshich, quoting Rav Shlomo Alkabetz in Menos Halevi, says that each person gave a half-shekel for the census so that no one would feel separated from the others. Rather, everyone realized that without the others, he is not whole. Every Jew understands that his soul is intertwined with everyone else’s. Thus, everyone gives a half and, together, the entire group forms a whole being, which nourishes each one if its members. This is why, say the Chofetz Chaim and Rav Yitzchok Eizik Chover, the silver half-shekel coins each person contributed for the counting were melted down to form the adonim upon which the Mishkon stood. The foundation blocks were not fashioned of the silver which certain people contributed to the Mishkon Building Campaign in response to Moshe Rabbeinu’s appeal. Rather, they were made of the coins that everyone gave equally to symbolize the importance of achdus in establishing the dwelling place of the Shechinah among us. This use of the machatzis hashekel underscores its special properties. The purpose of the Mishkon was to show the Bnei Yisroel that even after the Eigel, Hashem still loved them because they are collectively His people. After all is said and done, after all the actions and words each Jew performs, we are all equal members of the Bnei Yisroel. The foundation of the Mishkon came from donations that reflected this truth. The contributions caused a realization of our achdus, which is at the foundation of the Mishkon, and thus the Shechinah was enabled to rest among us, hovering over the Mishkon. For most people, Purim marks one year since we were attacked by the coronavirus. Let us use this period of shekolim and the miracles of Purim, which were fostered by achdus, to do what we can to strengthen unity in our world so that we may merit the return of the Shechinah and its protection from ongoing negef. This week, we usher in Adar, the month that embodies simcha and achdus.


FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News ‫בס"ד‬

Living with the Times

Virtual -3 Annual rd

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH TO

LOS ANGELES WEEKEND

OPENING SESSION:

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH 2021

an Evening of Empowerment and InspiratioN

THURSDAY, FEB 11TH 8:30PM

While we are all familiar with the generally accepted Purim-related reasons for the increase of joy during this month, the Sefas Emes offers an interesting illumination. He says that since the Jewish people annually donated their half-shekolim to the Mishkon during Adar, it became a month of joy because their acts of donating caused them to be besimcha. We recreate that simcha by reading the parsha of shekolim as Adar commences. We strengthen our commitments to each other and experience the satisfaction felt by a baal tzedakah. The parshiyos of nedivus lev lead into a season of joy. During this month of marbin besimcha, let us concentrate on finding things to be happy about. Let us remember that we are ma’aminim bnei ma’aminim. We are people of deep faith. We know that just as sure as melting follows snow and sun follows rain, there is always a reason to hope and our faith will definitely be rewarded. The Kamenitzer rosh yeshiva, Rav Yitzchok Scheiner, whose memory is fresh in our minds, spoke about his memories of the Chazon Ish. He related that besides his amazing brilliance, tzidkus and everything else that the Chazon Ish is famous for, “upon meeting him, you were overwhelmed by the impression of a freilicher Yid, with a face that radiated happiness.” The Chazon Ish was encumbered by many personal hardships, which were compounded by him listening to challenges and tzaros of the people who flocked to him seeking advice, consolation and support. How was the sickly, weak, poor man able to always radiate happiness? The Chazon Ish offers a hint in his published letters, where he writes, “Ein kol eitzev ba’olam lemi shemakir ohr ha’oros shel ha’emes. Those who perceive the light of truth have no sadness.” Those who know that everything that takes place is Divinely ordained for a higher purpose, those who know that there is no happenstance, those who know that a proper life is one lived with emunah and bitachon, and those who know that there is never a reason for yei’ush and that there is always room and reason for tikvah are never sad. The Chazon Ish was one of those people. We can all be among those people and always find reason for joy, especial-

ly during Adar. Even when things aren’t going well, there are always things to be thankful for. We need to consider them instead of floundering in self-pity and sadness, which don’t do us any good. Sadness is one of those things which feeds on itself. It is very difficult to climb out of a rut. Being positive gives us the power and the courage to benefit from every moment. As dark as everything seems, there is always some light to reflect on, positive things to remember and be thankful for. Following the reading of Megillas Esther on Purim, we recite the piyut of Asher Heini, which describes the wickedness of Haman and delineates the reasons we celebrate his downfall. The first line of the piyut begins with an alef, and each subsequent line starts with the next letter of the Alef-Bais, concluding with the letter tof. The verse that begins with the letter vov states, “Velo zochar rachamei Shaul…” Haman lacked the middah of hakoras hatov and conveniently forgot that the Jewish king Shaul had mercy on his grandfather over 400 hundred years prior. Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, who was niftar last week, explained that we learn from this the importance of possessing proper middos and appreciating benefits we have accrued from others. Although Haman was wicked and desired to kill all the Jews in one day, his lack of appreciation of a favor that was done to his ancestor is recorded to his everlasting demerit. Let us remember to appreciate those who have improved our world and made it a better place. Let us do what we can to emulate them and follow their example. Besides bringing joy to others, it will contribute to our own sense of simcha. Let us seek to foster unity and camaraderie. Let us try to be uniters, not dividers; problem-solvers, not creators; joyful, not sad; and positive, not negative; and seek to enlarge our tent, instead of shrinking it. Let’s not be judgmental. Maybe just for this month let’s try to give other people the benefit of the doubt. Let us do it with dignity and grace; and find favor in the eyes of Hashem and our fellow man. Let us do it so that we merit the geulah sheleimah bekarov.

RABBI AHRON LOPIANSKY

RABBI ZEV LEFF Rav and Rosh HaYeshiva Moshav Matityahu

Rosh HaYeshiva of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington

DEALING WITH AND GROWING FROM ADVERSARY AND DIFFICULT TIMES

think tank

ANTICIPATING THE UNANTICIPATED

Giving over the Torah's HashkafA on Today'S Most pressing iSSueS to our childreN

MOTZEI SHABBOS, FEB 13TH 8:30PM

AN EVENING OF PARENTING AND UNDERSTANDING CURRENT EVENTS: RABBI

RABBI

AHRON LOPIANSKY

SHOLOM TENDLER

FACING ANTISEMITISM INSULATING OURSELVES FROM TODAY’S “PROGRESSIVE” WORLD JEWISH PRIDE

RABBI

DOVID REVAH

RABBI

MORDECHAI BECHER

MAKING IT THROUGH COVID MENTALLY & SPIRITUALLY INTACT EQUAL RIGHTS: HOW EQUAL?

RABBI

DOVID KAPLAN

MODERATED BY RABBI

YAACOV GOODMAN

FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL: TO REGISTER, GO TO:

yedidim.org/events

info@yedidim.org OR CALL MRS. AVIGAIL ROSENBLATT AT:

323-864-0698 The Chinuch of Today Weekend is sponsored by the Silverman children in the zechus for a quick and complete recovery of their father, Nachi Silverman. ‫( נחום אברהם בן רבקה‬Nachum Avraham Ben Rivka) Chinuch of Today is a project of Yedidim

YEDIDIM

11


12 74

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Feature The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

I N

M E M O R Y

My Uncle Shea Remembering Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, zt”l By Yaakov Ganz

R

abbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, or Uncle Shea as he was known in the family, was an unusual person. This is not news to anyone. The rabbi doctor part is less uncommon than it sounds. Every community has its handful of dual discipline Torah scholar/professionals. I always thought of him in my own mind as my Modern Orthodox chassidishe uncle. I think he would have liked that. I think that reflects something more unusual about him than his diverse erudition. He wore a shtreimel, a beard and peyos, but he saw himself and the world around him with a subtlety and depth that greatly transcended such superficialities as uniforms, materials of head coverings, traditions of study or prayer, minhagim, and the like. He was not greatly impressed by titles or club memberships. He saw each person really as a tayereh neshama and a chelek Elokim mimaal. What else could matter? This went for old and young, men and women, the learned and the pedestrian, Jews and nonJews. He is probably the only person in the world who, besides for other singularities, had a close personal relationship with the Steipler Gaon, zt”l, and with a bishop of the Catholic church.

He talked to children with respect. This is not a platitude. When we spoke, I always felt like he thought I had something genuinely useful to say, and I would rack my brain for the bright thing he seemed to be expecting. In retrospect, I think this is simply the way he saw everybody. He was very smart and knew many things, but his mind was always hungry for new learning, for new experiences, for knowledge or understanding that could come from anywhere or anyone. He wore techeilis in his tzitzis because it was presented to him and it made sense. He wasn’t concerned with who else was or wasn’t wearing them. I worked with him for a time at a drug rehabilitation facility in Long Island, and he told me this story:

I was standing outside of my house in Pittsburgh one morning, and I was feeling very depressed. I can’t remember anymore what it was that had gotten me down that day. In any case, some people from the hospital were walking by, and they were on their way to a meeting. They said, “Good morning” to me and they could tell that I was out of it and one of them said, “Hey, Twerski” [in his stories his interlocuters were always calling him by his last name only, though I never myself heard anyone address him that way]. “Twerski, you look lousy. Come with us to the meeting.” So I thought, OK, why not? I went with them, and this fellow gets up

at the meeting and says, “When I came here, I had lost everything in my life. My job, my family, my money, my home, my friends, my health. Everything. Some days I feel like I just can’t go on. But then I think, ‘G-d brought me this far. He’s not going to leave me here now.” And then my uncle turned to me and, with a certain bashful self-deprecation, said, “That really picked me up.” You cannot imagine the respect and admiration Rabbi Twerski had for the people our society considers to be its least respectful and admirable members. I think part of the reason he was drawn to addicts is because, when you’ve lost everything, all that’s left is you. The real you. No pretensions, no airs,

no pursuit of prestige or recognition or other material things. Your existence becomes quite a bit more spiritual, essentially by default. He wanted to connect to real people. He wanted to touch your soul and be touched by your soul. That was something in which he found indescribable value. More than anything, I think he was a baal chessed. He consulted and counseled and, when there was nothing else, listened and empathized with the pain of a near constant stream of people who sought his help from all over the world. I was not a little aware of the celebrity of my famous uncle, and I took some pride in dropping his name when the opportunity presented itself. I said hello to him at family simchas like any of the dozens of other nieces and nephews and relatives and friends and students who would gather around him when he walked into a room, but still, he hardly knew me. But when I once asked him to introduce me to a certain prestigious person with whom he was acquainted, I got an email from this person I think around five minutes after I asked my uncle to make the introduction. When I emailed him a question about a client I was struggling with just a few months ago, at which time, confined to a wheelchair, he


Feature The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

was quite old and frail and I’m sure was still receiving constant emails and calls for help, he responded almost instantly. In his typical fashion his diagnosis was that my client suffered from low self-esteem, which made me laugh a little. But it was clear from his response that he had spent time reading my email carefully and his advice about how low self-esteem was affecting my client and what I could try to do to help him work through it was very particular to the case and not a boilerplate in any way. When Rabbi Twerski’s first wife, my Aunt Goldie, a”h, was nifteres, he brought her to be buried in Eretz Yisroel. I was learning there at the time, and I came to the kevurah, as did many other people. Rabbi Twerski had grandchildren and relatives

and talmidim and friends living in Eretz Yisroel and quite a large crowd came to pay their respects. I remember standing in that throng as the slight form of my un-

was providing him some vital support. Of course, this could not have been the case. In a state of such pain and despair, barely being aware of his surroundings and acting,

good thing I’m here for him!” I would lament that they don’t make his kind very much anymore, but I don’t think there were ever that many people like him. For

I think part of the reason he was drawn to addicts is because, when you’ve lost everything, all that’s left is you.

cle stood among us brokenhearted and consumed with his loss. He hugged every single person and thanked them for being there. I think there must have been over fifty of us. When he hugged me, I doubted if he even knew who I was and yet I felt like I

I think, not even with real consciousness, he wanted each of us to feel that we were valuable, that our presence there was significant. The feeling I had after hugging him I saw mirrored on the faces of everyone else there when their turn came: “It’s a

those of us who were fortunate to know him, to learn from him through his lectures, his books, or his teachings, we know what a singular soul he was. We know of his exceptional mind and his even bigger heart, a heart of insight and a heart of deep

feeling. He believed in the greatness of all people. In his memory, we can look at our friends and our neighbors, our family and community, all the people of the world we live in, and instead of seeing people we compete with or disagree with or are different than, we can see souls that are special and have something unique and valuable to contribute to the world and to us personally. This would be a great zechus for his neshama. (And more so for ours. I think we need it more than he does.)

Yaakov Ganz learned for many years in Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. He has a marriage therapy practice in Queens and Long Island.

Book Review

A Princess Without a Crown by Jenna Maio

Reviewed by Sarah Pachter

A Princess Without a Crown, by Jenna Maio, is an inspiring memoir about a young woman’s journey towards Orthodox Judaism. Jenna grew up on Long Island, less than a mile away from the central hub of the Orthodox community. Surprisingly, she had no exposure to Orthodox people, nor any observant friends. The gripping story takes the reader on a three-part journey, described as inspiration, struggle, and actualization. Visiting various cities like Hewlett, NY, where Jenna grew up, Atlanta’s Emory University, her alma mater, and Jerusalem’s Neve Yerushalayim where she began her inspiring process, allows the audience to follow her path right along with her. I loved how accurately she describes the nuances of these locations and their varying cultures. She humorously shares aspects of each through the use of colorful characters and imagery. Jenna Maio’s resume is impressive; before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School, she received the prestigious Dean’s Scholar Award. Later, she worked for the Supreme Court of Israel, all while pursuing a Torah-observant lifestyle. Through the book, the reader has a rare opportunity to peek inside the mind of someone who is exposed to Judaism for

the first time. She discusses the rewards and challenges of the process of becoming observant in an honest and vulnerable manner. It is her transparency that causes the audience to examine their own faith, and question for themselves why they perform the various customs and laws that Judaism demands. The answers she relays will inspire each reader to deepen his or her own relationship with Hashem. For example, when Jenna studies at Neve, a seminary in Israel for baalei teshuva, she asks a thought provoking question: “I don’t understand, is doing mitzvot the only way to connect to God?” Rabbi Kass, her teacher, responds, “Torah and mitzvot do not have a monopoly on connecting to G-d, but G-d designed the Torah and mitzvot to enable a more efficient and intense relationship with him. If you want to have a connection with someone, you can do it pretty easily, but there’s a difference between simply saying ‘hello’ and buying someone their favorite candy. Each act will create a different level of connection.”

The author’s passion for truth forces the reader to face themselves and the intensity of their faith. The chapter entitled Teshuva was powerful in doing that, and brought me to tears. It is here that Jenna beautifully describes one of her first experiences praying alone in her room. She writes, “I take a deep breath and I think, Talk to God? How do I do this? Just try.” The scene depicts how she begins to sway back and forth, and her face becomes wet with tears. Upon finishing, she feels like G-d had just hugged her. After this first teshuva experience, she opens her eyes and expects the room to look different, but everything is the same. The only thing that has changed was her. When she returns from Israel, Jenna describes the difficult reactions she faced from family members who didn’t understand her personal transformation or desire to seek truth. Their responses ran the gamut from indifferent to antagonistic. She relates several uncomfortable incidents, including a moment when her parents de-

manded that she get into a car on Shabbos. Her conviction was commendable as she describes her inner turmoil when she respectfully declined. I was deeply impressed by how Jenna managed to hold the inspirational teachings she learned in her heart to help guide her through dark moments. I was also humbled by her ability to see G-d’s hand in everything that occurred throughout her journey. Although this book is a memoir, it can serve as a practical guide for anyone looking to grow spiritually. Additionally, anyone with a friend or family member who is becoming more observant would benefit from reading this book. It offers a different perspective than what is often shared, and provides a greater understanding of what someone on the path of spiritual discovery is experiencing. Jenna has an uncanny ability to grab her reader and not let go until the last page. Through sharing her riveting tale, her book reawakened my spiritual desire to come closer to Hashem. I recommend this moving story, as it holds the power to reignite or reinforce anyone’s spiritual journey.

13


14

The Week In News

FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

9 2 # W O L L MARSHMA

! ! ! E R E IS H

0 0 1 of pages

s

comic

THIS IS THE COMICS YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO READ.

EDUCATIONAL AND ENJOYABLE AT ONCE!!!

GET IT IN YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Visit: www.marshmallowcomics.com or call: 845-531-0246


FEBRUARY 11, 2021 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

15


u s s i h t

! y a d n

CAMP MUST GO ON

$

sunday feb.14

3 MILLION IN 36 HRS

2X

matching funds campaig n

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

4 PM "WE NEVER GRADUATED HASC" RAPID-FIRE WITH CAMP ALUMNI 5 PM A TIME FOR MEMORIES 7 PM A TIME FOR MUSIC 34 8:30 HALFTIME PERFORMANCE

tune in live

THISISHASC.COM

HALFTIME MUSICAL PERFORMANCE HASC CONCERT OVER THE YEARS SUKI & DING PRODUCTION

sunday

free access

SHULEM LEMMER ★ ELI SCHWEBEL HASC CAMPERS

thisishasc.com