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Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Spotlight on Adas Torah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
In this edition, we’ve added a section where you can see what’s happening in the LA
The City in Pictures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Jewish community through the lens of a camera. We are also proud to include a new column
Real Estate Setting the Stage Sells Your Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
to be run by the Touro Los Angeles faculty which will, G-D willing, address and discuss an
Cover Story - How Touro is Building a Stronger Los Angeles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
array of relevant and educationally-oriented topics of interest to you, our readers.
There is Magic Everywhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Students Write . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Touro Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
very timely as we come from Lag Baomer with its lessons of treating each other with respect. As we head towards Shavuos, when we all came together as one to receive the laws and way of life which direct and guide us to this very day, let’s take inspiration from our children who
Education Question & Answer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
are clearly learning these lessons so deeply. So sit back, relax, enjoy the holiest day of the week, and perhaps become inspired to do
Parsha Behar - Taking Interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
one more good deed -- thereby making this world a better place.
Have a wonderful Shabbos,
Op-Ed How Judaic Studies can be Relevant in a Modern World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Humor & Entertainment Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Emek Fun Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Serial Novel – Moon Cap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
News Global News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 National News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Odd-but-True Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Israel Israel news. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Yom Hazikaron. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Publisher & editor
Lifestyles Travel: Vienna, Austria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Recipe: Dulce de Leche Liqueur Cheesecake . . . . 46
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Shabbos Z’manim Friday, May 3 Parshas behar Candle lighting 7:21 Shabbos Ends 8:21 Rabbeinu Tam 8:52
Friday, May 10 Parshas Bechukosai Candle lighting 7:26 Shabbos Ends 8:27 Rabbeinu Tam 8:58
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.
May 2, 2013
As usual, the articles written by students of the local high schools are first rate, and also
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Wow, did these two weeks fly by. There’s so much going on!
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May 2, 2013
Yom Hazikaron Earlier this month marked Israel’s 65th Yom Hazikaron. Like most memorial days, Yom Hazikaron began as a remembrance day for fallen soldiers. But over time it has become a day for remembering victims of terrorism as well, both in Israel and around the world. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his address to bereaved families, “On Memorial Day we remember our fallen loved ones, who fell during the Israeli wars and the acts of terror throughout the years.” Unfortunately, there are many to remember. From Israel’s founding in 1948, thousands have lost their lives both in the seven major wars that Israel has fought in and in terrorist violence around the world. 23,085 people have died defending Israel since 1860, when the first Jewish settlers left the (relatively) safe confines of Yerushalayim. Nearly 10,000 of those 23,085 died outside of major wars. Over 75,000 Israelis have been wounded in combat. The fallen include members of the IDF, but also Israel Prisons Service, Israeli police and Border Police, Mossad, the Shin Bet, and other security forces (as well as the pre-Independence Jewish Brigade and Jewish Legion). According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, these groups together have left behind 17,553 bereaved families, 2,324 orphans, and 4,964 widows. More than 1.5 million Israelis visited military cemeteries this Yom Hazikaron. Since last year, 92 members of Israel’s security forces died defending their country. Among those were 37 IDF soldiers, 12 members of other security agencies, and 43 disabled IDF veterans who died due to the disabilities they incurred in battle. Among those killed this year was Sargent Nathaniel Moshiashvili, 21, from Ashkelon. He died responding to an incident where a terrorist was crossing illegally through the security fence from
Gaza into Israel. A bright young man, he finished the Israeli Matriculation exam with a 95 average. Private Emanuel Partok, 18, was killed by a Hamas rocket when his unit was sent as reinforcements to the area around the Gaza Strip during Operation Pillar of Defense. He grew up in a Charedi family in the West Bank town of Emanuel. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal. First Lieutenant Boris Yarmolonik, 28, was injured by a rocket in the Eshkol Region and died as a result of a severe head injury the following day. Five other soldiers were injured in that attack. He was an IDF reserve officer from Netanya. Boris was remembered by friends and family as an excellent student and a quiet, peaceful, and friendly man. And Private Nathaniel Yahalomi, 20, was killed when three terrorists opened fire on his squad as they patrolled the Israeli border with Egypt. He was posthumously promoted to corporal. Nathaniel was a hesder yeshiva student from the small Orthodox community of Nof Ayalon, and was fulfilling the military part of his service in the Artillery Corps. According to his sister, he had insisted on serving in a combat unit despite the fact that his poor eyesight might have exempted him. Based on reports from the incident, he and others in his unit may have been giving water to a group of African asylum seekers when the terrorists opened fire. Another soldier was injured in the attack. In this same year, nine Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks in Israel and around the world. Among those were five Israelis killed in a suicide bombing on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria. The bombing happened on an Israeli-operated tour bus transporting 42 Israelis who had just arrived from Tel Aviv. The Bulgarian driver of the bus also perished, and 32 people were injured, in a blast so large it damaged two other buses. Itzik Idan Kolengi, 27, and Amir Menashe, 28, were
By Alisa Roberts
among those killed. Childhood friends from Petah Tikva, they were traveling together with their wives, who were both injured in the attack. The Kolgenis were taking their first long weekend away from their 1-year-old daughter, who was staying with her grandparents. Maor Harush and Elior Priess, both 26 and from Akko, were also childhood friends. They were in Bulgaria vacationing with another friend, Daniel Fahima, who was seriously injured but survived the blast. Kochava Shriki, 44, was from Rishon Lezion. She and her husband had been undergoing fertility treatments for some time without success, but just before the bombing she called her sister to tell her that she was finally pregnant. Her husband, Yitzchak, was separated from her in the confusion of the explosion. He survived. All losses in war and terrorism are tragic, but Israel as a nation – and the Jewish people at large – may feel their losses a little more urgently. Israel’s
wars are not distant struggles, but fights that often reach civilian doorsteps and that to every Israeli involve someone personally known and loved. Added to which the Jewish people, though tenacious and growing, are still only the smallest fragment of world population. To put it in context, Israel lost 6,373 Israelis in the War of Independence. That number was more than one percent of the Jews in Israel at the time. Israel mourns each name added to the list, and we mourn with them. Prime Minister Netanyahu offered another facet of this mourning. “There is no real cure and no complete comfort. But there is one deep and thorough consolation: the knowledge that in the merit of our fallen loved ones, the State of Israel was established and the stature of the Jewish people straightened. In their merit we live here, and will live here forever. May their memories be blessed.”
Spotlight on Adas Torah
With Major Expansion Planned for 2014, Adas Torah Looks Forward to Even More Growth Adas Torah, located on South Beverly Drive between Pico and Olympic, boasts a thriving community of families both young and old, and households of both working professionals and men learning in yeshiva. Now in its ninth year, the shul is looking forward to an expanded space and more opportunities for programming and growth as they take over the spacious Victory Furniture store on Pico and Wetherly, which has been
there for decades. “We are looking forward to being able to provide our members with a proper shul and ample space,” says Rabbi Dovid Revah, who has served as the synagogue’s rabbi since a year after it was founded. Adas, which currently owns the property, is wrapping up entitlements and approvals and will soon start on renovations. The plan is for the new
space to be open before Rosh Hashanah in 2014, according to Yaakov Siegal, an Adas board member. The location is strategically beneficial; being further east, the shul can more easily draw from people who live east of Robertson or in Beverlywood, which is especially helpful during the week, on Friday night and for Shabbos Mincha, when many people want a
By Rachel Wizenfeld shorter walk. Seigal estimates that the new space is nearly three times bigger than the current shul, making it easier to bring people together for one main minyan. Currently Adas has two main minyanim, which is not by design and more a function of their current space. “There is literally no room in the shul. Both minyanim are packed every
Mrs. Shifra and Rabbi Dovid Revah, Josh and Ariella Kaufman
might wonder if Adas can sustain itself as people look to buy homes in more affordable areas, but Siegal says that thankfully that hasn’t proven to be an issue. “You would think so, but Baruch Hashem a lot of members have been staying on and have bought homes. I don’t think a lot of people want to leave the shul and want to do what they can to stay.” Adas recently held its annual dinner at the Smog Shop in Culver City, in which 170 people showed up to honor Josh and Ariella Kaufman. Since Adas is situated close to the Crowne Plaza on Pico and Beverly, many tourists and visitors wind up davening there, and the Kaufmans are very active at welcoming and inviting people into the community. While their new location on Pico will mean a farther walk from the hotel, the new building “will have a real sense of presence, which will demonstrate the importance of Adas Torah’s mission in the community,” says Siegal. “We want Pico-Robertson to be a community which cares a lot about Torah and Mitzvos and wants to grow.”
Rabbi Yisroel Gordon and Rabbi Dovid Revah
Rendering of the new building
Photo Credit: Jonah Light Photography
and Mrs. Revah, who are “phenomenal at building personal relationships with families in the community,” says Siegal. “They care a lot about the families and it very much shows.” Mrs. Shifra Revah recently began teaching group women’s classes and opened her schedule to learn one-on-one with the women in the shul, something which many women have been taking advantage of. Much of the shul’s programming is targeted towards working professionals, including a shiur for doctors on medical issues, a shiur on business ethics for people working in business, as well as a lunch and learn class at a law firm in Century City, all given by Rabbi Revah, who also works as a rebbe at Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles. Each Shabbos afternoon there is a halacha chabura in which different members of the shul rotate giving a halacha shiur. “They [the Revahs] realize – that people - especially people in the professional world – need chizuk… Rabbi Revah and the shul in general is good at being mechazek people.” With such a young membership, one
May 2, 2013
our families with Torah values in a fastchanging world.” Siegal agrees. “It’s probably the most diverse shul in Pico – it has Ashkenazim and Sephardim, young people and old people. There are people in their early 20’s, and then people in their 50’s and 60’s.” While a large contingent from the shul identifies with YU Modern Orthodoxy, he says there is also a large group of people who have learned in yeshivas their whole life, as well as people who are new to Torah observance. “I don’t think you have that diversity in any other shul in the neighborhood.” What joins everyone together, according to him, is that everyone is interested in growing religiously and in strengthening their commitment to Torah and Mitzvos. Currently there are about 120 families who are members of Adas, with 10-12 new families joining each year, estimates Siegal. The greatest growth comes from young people; as newly married couples or young families in their early to mid-20’s move back to LA, many of them are attracted to Adas. In addition to the community, a big draw is Rabbi
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Shabbos,” he says. While the expansion is expensive, Siegal says that people in the shul and the greater community have been very supportive in funding this effort. Originally from the east coast, Siegal and his wife Bruria, who is from Teaneck, NJ, knew they wanted to leave New York and checked out half a dozen communities, including Boston, Denver, Dallas, Cleveland and Baltimore. A friend convinced them to come to Los Angeles for Shabbos and meet Rabbi Revah, which was the deciding factor in their choosing to move to LA six years ago. What draws them to the shul is the sense of community. “Even if people only show up once a week for Shabbos, they’re totally part of the Adas Torah community. Their friends are Adas Torah members, they go to each other for Shabbos, they go to each other’s simchas,” he says. “I think we are a shul that is hard to label,” says Rabbi Dovid Revah, “We are a diverse group that is united in a common desire for growth, and looking for a community which will help us raise
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May 2, 2013
Jewish Community leaders endorsed Michael Feuer for Los Angeles City Attorney in the upcoming City General Election scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Mike Feuer is one of California’s leading lawmakers and attorneys. A former Majority Policy Leader of the California State Assembly and Chair of the California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, Mike has written some of the state’s most important public safety, children’s health, consumer protection and environmental laws. Mike previously served for six years on the Los Angeles City Council, where he wrote some of the toughest laws in the nation to curb gun violence, fought successfully for anti-gang and after-school programs, and funded jobs for disadvantaged youth. He initiated L.A.’s 3-1-1 non-emergency services system, improving 9-1-1 response times and making L.A. government much more effective. Mike was the Council’s leader on ethics reform and spearheaded business tax reforms. He chaired successful Council efforts to deliver on-time, balanced budgets and championed the rights of disabled people, senior citizens and children. Prior to his work on the City Council, Mike directed one of the nation’s leading public interest law firms, Bet Tzedek Legal Services (The House of Justice). Under Mike’s leadership, Bet Tzedek helped more than 50,000 indigent, primarily elderly or disabled clients on crucial cases involving nursing home abuse, consumer fraud, access to health care, housing, Holocaust
restitution and more. The Los Angeles Daily Journal wrote that he turned Bet Tzedek into a national success story, and named him one of California’s 100 Most Influential Attorneys. Mike has also taught at the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA School of Public Affairs. He practiced law at
two of the nation’s leading firms, Hufstedler, Miller, Carlson & Beardsley and Morrison & Foerster. He began his career as a judicial clerk for California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin. He has received numerous awards reflecting the breadth of his
achievements as a legislator and lawyer. A Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Mike and his wife, Gail Ruderman Feuer, have been married for twenty-nine years. They have 2 children, Aaron and Danielle.
Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Remembers Yom Hashoah by participating in the 6 Million Coins Project On April 7th 2013 Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy joined with Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries to commemorate the Shoah through the 6 Million Coins project at Mount Sinai in Simi Valley, California. The 6 Million Coins project was created by Mount Sinai as a way of memorializing the Shoah. Six million coins will be collected over the next year in remembrance of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy fourth grade student Ori Rabinovitch relayed his recent encounter with an 85 year old survivor who was unable to afford a hearing aid. This inspired Ori to write to Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries requesting that
they grant his wish to provide this survivor with a hearing aid as part of the six million coins initiative. Ori shared this with the group of approximately 500 people gathered from throughout Southern California for the day’s event. At the Service, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Head of School Rabbi Y. Boruch Sufrin was honored by Mount Sinai General Manger Len Lawrence with the opportunity to read Tehillim. After hearing Ori speak Len offered this “I must tell you that Ori was a HIT! I was so impressed with this fine, young, Jewish child - but - more so I was impressed with his teacher. Why, you ask? One reason is the language that he used in his email
- Ori said “I learn at Harkham” - he did not say I go to or I attend - but I learn! If ever you want a measure of the success of your vision - there it is in a 10 year old little package. I LEARN” The students and staff of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy continued to learn about and commemorate the holocaust in a special
assembly held on Monday April 8th at their Beverly Hills campus.
power and justice that they consistently exhibit. To convey the situation’s complexity, Dr. Resnick brought numerous examples of the difficult circumstances the IDF faces on a regular basis. There is no greater honor or privilege than to serve in the army of the Jewish state. Dr. Resnick stressed that a strong IDF is the ultimate guarantor of Israel’s existence. Through hearing about Dr. Resnick’s inspirational experiences, the students were able to commemorate our fallen family in Israel on this moving day.
Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy Celebrates the 65th Birthday of the State of Israel and the 101st Birthday of Rose Rich On April 16th 2013 Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut. Approximately 600 children from Early Childhood through 8th grade and community members gathered for a biodegradable balloon release. The balloon release was followed by a parade around the campus with Israeli flags followed by Israeli dancing. While celebrating the birthday
of the State of Israel, students and faculty were surprised with a birthday cake and celebration for Hillel supporter Rose Rich, a former educator who celebrated her 101st birthday along with her son Mr. Shalom Dreampeace Compost. The festivities were followed by an outing to Brandeis Bardin Institute where students continued the celebration.
Inclusion on Full Display at Valley Yachad Bowling Event After a very successful Valley Yachad kickoff event a few weeks ago, the newest chapter of Yachad Los Angeles is in full swing. The most recent event, “Bowling at Pinz,” was a fan favorite. With over fifty bowlers, Yachad virtually took over the bowling alley and impressed the crowd. Many participants broke the 100 point mark and one bowler, Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg of Shalhevet High School, got three strikes in a row for a “turkey.” While enjoying delicious snacks, everyone was able to reconnect with friends they had met a few weeks ago as well as welcome the new faces to Valley Yachad. The warmth and friendship extended to each participant
illustrated to the entire bowling alley what true inclusion can and should look like. There was a focus on the essence of each individual, valuing each and every person’s abilities and strengths. The recent growth of the valley chapter is incredibly exciting, as the programming and services will be increasing in the coming weeks and months. Yachad champions the inclusion of all Jewish individuals with disabilities in the full spectrum of Jewish life. For more information about Yachad Los Angeles and to get involved, please contact Ian Lurie at 310-229-9000 ext. 206 or LurieI@ou.org.
May 2, 2013
On Monday, April 15, in commemoration of the thousands of innocent Israeli soldiers and citizens that have perished since the state’s inception, YULA Boys School hosted Dr. Uri Resnick, the Deputy Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, to address the student body. Dr. Resnick, who made aliyah from Canada after high school, served three years in the Givati unit. Having served as a soldier and lived in Israel for many years, Dr. Resnick shared his perspective on the uniqueness of the IDF and the rare fusion of
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Yom Hazikaron at YULA Boys School
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May 2, 2013
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UCLA Hillel annual Gala
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The Great Parade
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The overflow crowd at this year’s Auction were entertained by Mark Schiff. The winners left with their prizes, but everyone left with a smile.
Yom Hazikaron at EMEK Tehilim, Av Harachamim, and Yizkor in both Hebrew and English over the loud speaker. You can watch a small clip on our Emek Hebrew Academy Facebook page.
May 2, 2013
On April 15th at 9:50am, in commemoration on Yom Hazikaron, Emek's entire student body and staff stood to remember Israel’s' terror victims and fallen soldiers, while listening to the 5th graders recite
Friendship Circle at The Great Parade Finding it difficult to entertain and involve their special needs children in community-wide events, parents are often left with no other choice but to leave them out of the festivities. But this past Sunday, special needs kids and their families were able to celebrate Lag B’omer at the community-wide Great Parade enabled by the Friendship Circle. The Friendship Circle of Los Angeles (FCLA) is an organization dedicated to providing friendship, inclusion, recreation and Jewish involvement for Jewish children and young adults with special needs. Friendship Circle director, Michi Ravnoy long dreamt to have these kids included: “This day of joy and Jewish pride should be celebrated by all Jewish children”, said Ravnoy. “Children with special needs deserve to experience the joy with the rest of the community.” While the Friendship Circle houses a Hebrew School, organizes holiday events for every Jewish festival, hosts birthday bashes and coordinates life skills clubs such as a weekly basketball club for teenage boys; this was an event which was outside the safety net of the organization, often an overwhelming notion for children with special needs and their parents. Friendship Circle left no stone unturned in creating a welcoming environment for the children at the parade and were joined
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by teams of teen volunteers to ensure a safe and exciting experience. Children received gluten-free snack bags, balloons, had their caricatures drawn and bubble machines waved through the crowd to generate excitement. Friendship Circle parents were overjoyed at the opportunity that their family was finally able to participate together. “My son counted down the days to the parade” says Chani Lazaroff, Friendship Circle parent, “there was no end to his excitement that he was able to march in the parade”. Mrs Farideh Gabay adds: “Bracha was chosen together with the other children to say a verse and open the program,” she says emotionally. “She was so excited. Friendship Circle made it happen.” The Friendship Circle’s Los Angeles chapter provides services for 140 children and young adults with the help of almost 400 teenage volunteers who come from over 55 schools around LA. Friendship Circle celebrated its 10 year anniversary at their Annual Evening of Recognition on Wednesday May 1st at the Nessah Synagogue which honored their 392 teen volunteers along with Dr Ze’ev and Mrs Varda Ravnoy, the Elpas Family and Samantha Simon. For more information on the Friendship Circle call: 310 280 0955 or visit: www.fcla.org
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May 2, 2013
SWC Blasts Dutch Paper for Using Nazi Imagery to Depict Israel as Nuclear Threat Having just returned from a four-day trip to The Netherlands to discuss the ever-growing topic of anti-Semitism, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center is protesting a cartoon published in the Dutch newspaper, De Volksrant by Jos Collignon which uses Nazi imagery to depict Israel as a threat to world peace. Below is his protest submitted to Volkskrant editor-in-chief: "Last week I met in the Hague with Deputy Prime Minister Asscher, intelligence officials, and Dutch Parliamentarians at The Hague to discuss the posting by Sharriah4Dutch of a new fatwa about attacking European Churches and Synagogues and the Simon Wiesenthal Center's alarm over growing anti-Semitism in The Netherlands. I referred to the respected Ebert Foundation poll that showed over 38% of Dutch respondents said that Israel is exterminating Palestinians the way the Germans exterminated the Jews! Shocking? Perhaps not, considering decisions like your paper's to publish a cartoon [see photo] depicting Israel as the lying hooked-nosed religious Chasidic Jew commiserating with a North Korean counterpart over their nuclear capabilities. Never mind that it is Mullahs in Tehran who are working hand-in-hand with Pyongyang to threaten regional and world peace.
Never mind that no Arab leader feels threatened by Israel's nuclear capabilities, only Iran's nuclear ambitions. So it seems that tried and true Nazi Jew-hatred imagery still works for at least 38% of your fellow Dutchmen. Perhaps though as editor-in-chief
you might want to apologize for the timing of this particular outrage as it came 24 hours after an Iranian citizen burst into a synagogue in Paris where he stabbed a (hooked nosed?) Rabbi and his 18 year-old son screaming, "Allah Akhbar". The Simon Wiesenthal Center is
one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
“Great Parade” Commemorates Lag B’omer along Pico Blvd Pico Boulevard was closed to traffic between Livonia and Doheny for nearly the entire day Sunday as an estimated 5,000 people gathered in honor of the LagB’Omer “Great Parade and Day of Jewish Unity”. The event was hosted by Rabbi Baruch Cunin of Chabad of California, Rabbi Mayer Green, Rabbi Mendel Duchman, and Rabbi Chaim Mentz. The festivities included performances by special guest Dudu Fischer, along with The Sam Glaser Orchestra and the Chedar Menachem Boys Choir.on a makeshift stage in front of Bais Chaya Mushke Girls School. Various Chabad Houses, Yeshivos, Day Schools,
and after school programs participated in the festivities. Floats created by or sponsored by these organizations streamed across Pico Boulevard in procession, depicting themes related to the holiday of Lag B’Omer as well as other Jewish events or ideas. Other organizations participating in the procession included the Los Angeles Fire Department, Hatzalah of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, The Friendship Circle Los Angeles, and Fueled by the Fallen. Assemblyman Richard Bloom was honored as the Grand Marshall. The parade was followed by a fair that featured rides, game booths, a petting zoo,
kosher food stands and other attractions. Lag B’omer is a day of celebration for the entire Jewish world, as it commemorates the end of a tragic period when nearly 24,000 students of the Great Sage Rabbi Akiva died in a plague. Commemorating Lag B’omer with a parade was instituted by the Laubavitcher Rebbe in Crown Heights in the early fifties. The parade is held in Los Angeles whenever Lag B’omer falls on a Sunday. This year’s parade was the third held in Los Angeles. “The idea of the Lag B’omer parade was to bring Jewish pride to the Jewish People, so that Jewish Children would
be proud of their identity and go on to do Torah and Mitzvos,” stated Rabbi Mayer Green, one of the events hosts. “I think that it was nice to be part of something for the entire community that brought us together” stated Rabbi Duchman, another host of the festivities and the primary organizer of the parade.” We grew up with this in Crown Heights and we wanted something for the Los Angeles Community.” See the Jewish News CA spread on page 12 for pictures.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
step, and yes – even every operation brings us in touch with people and experiences that are new and diverse as the universe. Every store we pass on the way to work tells over a 1,000,000 new stories each and every
their insecurities melt away. Attending to the little things can create an unmatchable rapport between two people. Telling your children a story is the most simple, most innocent act in the world- but it literally shifts the course of history. Theologian G.K. Chesterton once said that fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. One tale told, can make a child believe. What a world we live in. This is a world where every encounter is magical. Every encounter helps us align ourselves with destiny and choice. To think that the properly placed smile, to the right person, at the right time – can lift a soul and create a ripple effect that echoes throughout eternity – is staggering. Dr. Ryan, you are not just a doctor, you are a harbinger of magic and change. There is an interesting but logical correlation. When we know that we are making a difference we are also more productive. In a recent study it was found that telemarketers who felt that their work had an impact on people’s lives actually made more successful calls. The key to your happiness at work is to understand the impact that your work has on other people. Even if you are working on something as emotionally detached as melding gate wire, you have to use your broader vision to appreciate how the work that you do makes the world this much better. Every little gesture can have some greater impact. Seeing the import and magnitude of your small actions can make each day of your life a brilliant one.
Every little gesture can have some greater impact. day. Each of these stories are pregnant with the possibility of newness. Those stories contain the potency for innovation. In 1801, Sir David Brewster graduated with an honorary master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh. He was also ordained to preach. But his first sermon turned into his last sermon. Brewster was so nervous when he spoke that he promised never to preach again. In the words of a close friend of his “It was a pity for the National Church of Scotland, but a good day for science.” Brewster decided to pursue his first love, the science of optics. One day he broke a lens that he was working on and all he had on him to replace it with was a piece of colored glass. Suddenly, a slight deviation in his day produced an invention that has captured the imagination of children ever since. Brewster called it a kaleidoscope. Every passing moment is an opportunity to explore the endless narrative and nuance of the human condition. There is magic everywhere. There is another direction to take this insight. We have mentioned, up until now, that every moment and every interaction is an eye opening opportunity. The eye opening opportunity is not just for us, as the observer, to feel alive but it also translates to constant opportunities to make a difference in somebody else’s life. There are so many ways you can better other people’s lives. Not only are there so many ways, but those ways can often be so easy. A word of encouragement to a co-worker can entirely change their performance. A gesture of love to a peer can make
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is the Rav & Dean of Yeshivat Yavneh in Los Angeles. He is the creator of WINGS; a synagogue consulting group for the Orhodox Union. He is also the author of 3 sefarim. For any comments, thoughts, or observations email the Rabbi at firstname.lastname@example.org
May 2, 2013
None of us really know the struggles of other human beings. People, who we assume live lives of perfection, are often facing extraordinary adversity. This is not so much a variation of “grass is always greener on the other side” but rather this is more about our obliviousness to the “grass” on the other side. Let me share with you a story about a student of mine. From your perspective he may seem to have it all, but the truth is, all that matters for our emotional state is our own perspective at a given time. I was taking a walk with this student. Let’s call him Ryan for now. He is a successful and good looking doctor in his 40’s. He has every Jewish mothers dream – his own practice. One Saturday afternoon on the way to a class that I was giving – Ryan confessed: “Rabbi, my life has nothing. Every day I get to my office at the same time, I do the same procedures, my office staff does the billing – and that’s it, every single day.” It was clear that he became a doctor to make a difference and now everything is all the same, day in and day out. No tension over whether this operation will work or not. No conflict with his office staff. No uncertainty as to whether he will be able to pay for the things he wants in his life. We all crave certainty and stability in our lives but we often don’t realize that variety and, ironically, uncertainty can be a tremendous passion driver. Should Ryan tie one hand behind his back while doing a procedure? Should he hire off the wall office staff whom he can’t rely on? I am sure that you would agree that this manufactured form of variety is not the answer. How do we make our often monotonous lives meaningful? Let’s
take a step back. For many people the hum drum of life is what they crave. Years of instability and a childhood of uncertainty could actually drive an individual to seek out a “boring” life. But for people like Dr. Ryan – what should we do to generate distinction in our lives? Malcolm Gladwell, the author who gifted the world with “Tipping Point” and “Blink” put together a collection of his essays in a book entitled “What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures.” The introduction to this compendium is inspiring. He digresses into a discussion about how he generated ideas for books and articles – “the trick to finding ideas is to convince yourself that everyone and everything has a story to tell.” Wow! Imagine living life with that mindset. Now I don’t like his word choice “trick”, and neither does he, but the essence is true. Everyone and everything has some story. The founder of the Hassidic Movement – the Baal Shem Tov – explains the Hebrew word for Bible: Torah. Torah literally means “teaches.” The primary lesson, says the Baal Shem Tov, of the Creation story and the entire Bible is that anything which teaches is at its core – Torah. If I learn about development from a butterfly then that is Torah. If I learn about resilience from a disadvantaged child then that is Torah. And if I learn about loyalty from my wife then she is Torah. Everyone has a story, everyone shares a lesson. Everything has a moment. The eccentric teacher, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov encourages us to live our lives trying to find the inner wisdom of everything we encounter. I guess this is a deeper version of what Oprah means when she professes living mindfully. When coming to work or school or anywhere in our personal lives most of us crave a stable routine. Nevertheless, like Dr. Ryan – we want to feel alive. The opportunity for something new isn’t far away in some mystical city on a cloudy mountain top. Every day, every
The Jewish Home
There is Magic Everywhere – Making a Difference every Waking Second
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
Rabbi Reuven Wolf
Taking Interest The Parsha—Parshas Behar—contains a number of Mitzvos and laws regarding business and buying and selling. We already know that these laws are not just civil laws aimed at simply providing order among the people. They often serve as a model for deeper concepts regarding our relationship with Hashem and the performance of Mitzvos. This is why the Parsha immediately following the portion relating the giving of the Ten Commandments is Mishpatim—a Parsha filled with such civil laws. In our Parsha, we have such a Mitzvah—the prohibition against lending money on interest. The verses are in Chapter 25, verses 35 to 38. Verse 35 exhorts us to help our fellow by lending him money before he becomes poor and needs to ask for charity. (Lending a person funds when he needs it is better than giving him Tzedakah after he has fallen on hard times.) Verses 36 and 37 forbids taking any interest—Ribbis—for such a loan, adding the phrase, “You should have fear of Hashem” to strengthen the prohibition. And then, in Verse 38, comes a kind of “signature” for the precept—Hashem’s signature, one might say, in which the Torah reads: “I am the Lord your G-d, Who took you out of the Land of Egypt, in order to give you the Land of Canaan, and to be for you your G-d.” Now, we find such a statement—“I am Hashem, your G-d”—often at the end of passages containing Mitzvos; it underscores the seriousness of the Mitzvah and is meant to imbue a reverence in the hearts of the people. But here, the “signature” used is a particularly full one and it mentions the Exodus from Egypt, which is not nearly as common in the Torah. We find this full formulation with those Mitzvos that we often regard with reverence and awe—a mitzvah like Tzitzis (wearing fringes on four-cornered garments)—only rarely with laws regarding monetary transactions. Rashi explains this verse by saying that the Torah wanted to admonish those people who would try to sidestep this law by falsely claiming that the money they were lending was not their own, but was given to them for the purpose of investing, which is exempt from the prohibition of Ribbis. The verse thus reminds the lender that Hashem knows the truth about whose money was lent, even if other people don’t. Yet, to add this, the shorter signature phrase—“I am Hashem, your G-d”—would have been enough. Why the elaborate, full version that mentions the Exodus and the Land of Canaan? In keeping with this verse—or perhaps because of it—the Midrash called the Sifra comments that if a person lends money with interest, it is as if he has denied and rejected the truth of the Exodus from Egypt; and if he refrains from lending money on interest, it is as if he has declared his belief in the Exodus from Egypt. Quite a remarkable statement for what seems like a very dry economic law,
but the Midrash goes even further: Lending money on interest is tantamount, says the Midrash, to rejecting the Kingship and Supreme Rule of Hashem over the Universe; and refraining from lending on inteest is comparable to accepting that majestic rule. Finally, the Midrash declares that lending another person money without taking inter-
why would the Rabbis suggest what appears on the surface to be such “shady” reasoning to allow people to circumvent the law? This is not something we can shrug our shoulders about: many Jews for generations have criticized Rabbinic enactments of this kind as being hypocritical and disingenuous. Is there a way of understanding what is happening
We yearn to have Hashem become our partner in the righteousness est, is comparable to fulfilling all the Mitzvos of the Torah—and lending out money on interest is like violating all the Mitzvos. As if that weren’t enough, the Midrash goes even further: A person who lends out money on interest will not merit to be resurrected (Techi’yat HaMeitim) when the Messiah comes. What is it, one may well wonder, about this prohibition that inspires such extreme views by the Midrash? Enter Heter Iska The situation becomes stickier when we learn that the Rabbis have enacted a way that seems on the surface to be a way of circumventing the prohibition. It’s called “Heter Iska” and it restructures the loan so that it becomes an investment. The “lender” in this case become a partner in the venture and is entitled to a return on the investment from the profits the “borrower” sees from the money. Of course, such a transaction has an inherent element of risk that is not present— or at least not to such a degree—as a loan. If the business venture is not successful, the money may not be repaid and the person providing the funds will lose out. But there is some similar risk with any loan: a complete collapse of the market, the economy, or just of this businessperson—all may also result in failure to repay if it’s just a conventional loan. But the Rabbis instituted this method because they were afraid that the prohibition of Ribbis would prompt Jews to refrain from lending money to anyone under any circumstances—even when the chances of being repaid from the profits of the venture are good—because in the society at large, lending money on interest is done and allowed— it’s only in lending money to a fellow Jew that Ribbis is prohibited. Many who have heard of this device have seen this as problematic: it seems to many modern minds as a subterfuge—a kind of “hair-splitting” that violates the spirit of the law, even if there is some way of construing the transaction in some twisted way that makes it seem okay. Whom is anyone fooling? Call it what you want—it still appears that the recipient of the money is paying the provider of it a fee for use of the funds. Why isn’t that really Ribbis—and more important,
here that will make the device and practice of Heter Iska something that is not only in keeping with the spirit of the law, but will make Heter Iska consistent with—and even a shining example of—the concept that lies at the foundation of the prohibition of Ribbis? Yes, in the Chassidic view of what is going on, there is. It is predicated on the idea that when a Jew does a Mitzvah, Hashem also does the Mitzvah—when we put on Tefillin, Hashem puts on Tefillin; when we study Torah, Hashem studies Torah as well; and when we give Tzedakah or, better, provide our fellow financial aid in the way of a free loan, Hashem participates in that act by blessing the venture for which that money will be used. As the Ba’al Shem Tov put it, “Hashem Tzilcha”—“Hashem is your shadow.” This idea is reflected in the Chassidic understanding of the Blessing, the B’racha, that we recite before we do a Mitzvah. We say, “…asher ki-de’shanu be’mitzvosov, ve’tzivanu le…”—[Blessed art Thou, Hashem…] “who sanctified us with His Mitzvot, and commanded us to [perform such-andsuch a mitzvah].” But the language seems redundant: it should simply read: “…asher ki-de’shanu, ve’tzivanu le…”—“…who sanctified us by commanding us to—“, or else, ““…asher ki-de’shanu be’mitzvah shel…”—“Who sanctified us with the Mitzvah of—“ Some will say that the repetition is there to thank Hashem for all the Mitzvos, but why. That explanation may strike some as a bit far-fetched. The Chassidic interpretation is that when we speak of “His Mitzvot” in the Blessing, we are speaking of the Mitzvot that He, Hashem, does—both before we do the Mitzvah, for on a certain level we are emulating Hashem when we do Mitzvos, but also His performing the Mitzvos along with us. Hashem’s performance of the Mitzvah, in fact, elevates the entire activity to a higher realm of Holiness. This will help us understand what is involved and what is at stake with the prohibition of Ribbis: If we lend our friend money that will enable him to overcome adversity and make a living, Hashem is part of the
process—Hashem becomes a partner in the enterprise as a result of the act of kindness and loving support that the loan represents. In that case, setting up a Heter Iska is a model for exactly what is happening in the higher spiritual level: Hashem becomes a partner in the enterprise, and thus it is blessed. Hashem emulates, as it were, the human provider of the funds, and becomes a partner in a real, palpable sense in what is being done with the money. Looked at from this perspective, a Heter Iska involves the provider of the funds taking a greater interest in what is going to be done with the money, even greater than someone who lends the money interest-free! If we think about it and look for the deeper meaning, isn’t something very much like a Heter Iska what we are trying to effect when we do a Mitzvah and when we use any of our talents and resources to do a righteous deed? We yearn to have Hashem become our partner in the righteousness—to give us the strength, the abilities, the resources that allows us to perform the Mitzvah and to help another person. But not as a gift or a loan—we hope that Hashem will give us the powers to do Mitzvos as a partner; that He will delight with us as we perform the Will of G-d using that which he has given us for that purpose. We eagerly enter into a Heter Iska with Hashem: grant us the will and the power and the materials to do a Mitzvah, and we will gladly and gratefully count you as our partner in the Mitzvah, just as You will rejoice with us. This is why this Mitzvah of not taking Ribbis—especially as it has been developed and expanded by the Rabbis through Heter Iska—is so important: It intensifies the involvement of both the human provider of the money, and of Hashem through His taking an interest in this act of loving kindness between two friends and His emulating involvement. We can see how this lay at the foundation of all Mitzvos; how it encapsulates belief in the Exodus from Egypt and entry into the Land of Cannan (the essential creative act of the Nation of Israel); how it expresses service and allegiance to the Kingship of Hashem over all of Creation; and how it can and may determine who will be Resurrected at the coming of Moshiach, and who will not. Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. He was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy. Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.
Education is at the fore of every parent’s mind. Parents and Educators have many questions, concerns and worries. If you wish to have your question or issue considered by a team of Educators feel free to email email@example.com and your topic may be discussed in this column in future weeks. All names will be held confidential.
Dear Quality Over Quantity,
Parents and community members can always find ways to be involved in their child’s education. How can this be best accomplished? It is a simple strategy of success: simply by stepping up and giving a certain amount of time and energy. You have many gifts to offer your child’s school. Whether you are
part of their community. Contrary to what one might think, it doesn’t take a lot of time to show your commitment. Every school has multiple opportunities for you to get involved. You might consider reading to your child’s class in the library, volunteering to chaperone a school trip, to stuff envelopes for an upcoming school mailing, to organize your school’s lost and found, or to offer to be a parent ambassador for your school. You might want to consider doing a cooking project, teaching students how to play chess at lunch, or to help plan a school function. Get involved at a committee level, spearheading different projects, whether they be fundraising, educational or communal. Ask your school about opportunities to get involved. You might be surprised at how many ways there are to get involved at all levels.
May 2, 2013
I’m a working parent who cares deeply about my child’s education. I want to be involved in my child’s school, but I only have about an hour a month at most to devote timewise. Any suggestions? Signed, Quality over Quantity
an author, lawyer, business person, doctor, therapist, engineer, or a stay at home mom or a dad, please think about sharing a skill or a unique talent with your child’s school. Contact your child’s teacher directly and have a meannigful conversation about how you can best give back to your child’s class. We have to be united in the education of our children if we are to be successful. Each family is pivotal to the strength and well-being of a school. You, the parents, can give so much to the team. If your son or daughter sees you working together with their school and feels the commitment from you, he/she will excel, feel nurtured and be empowered. It will imbue a sense of pride when your child witnesses your involvement and commitment. They will see school is not just a place for kids, but for the whole family, as an integral
The Jewish Home
Question & Answer
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
How Judaic Studies can be Relevant in a Modern World
Rabbi David Stein and Noam Weissman
Daunting Challenges The problem is so obvious that we simply can’t ignore it anymore. A growing pool of data – some anecdotal, some being developed through pioneering studies of Orthodox day school education – is making it clear that our day schools must do a better job of inspiring our children to lifelong engagements with Jewish community, learning and practice. As graduates of Modern Orthodox day schools ourselves, we’ve seen firsthand the glaring gaps in the standard high school educational experience. Put simply, we were never shown why the ancient texts, conversations and traditions of the Talmud should matter to our lives. Today’s Jewish high school student doesn’t recognize the relevance of Torah learning to modern daily life, and it’s because all too often our curricula focus on teaching students how to learn Torah, but not why they should. The tragic result is that students fail to develop basic appreciation for Torah learning; they’re often either uninterested in or unfamiliar with the basic discussions about Jewish faith, law, exegesis and values necessary to sustain their religious encounter with the modern world. Now, years after experiencing it ourselves, we’re trying to correct this educational gap. Yet pedagogical effectiveness is not our only problem. At the same time, our communities are facing acute problems of rising tuition costs and day school attrition. While the day school tuition crisis will not be solved overnight, it’s clear to us that these problems are related; the less effective day school education is, the less likely it is to be seen as a worthy investment of a family’s resources. In order to begin addressing these challenges, then, educational institutions must provide a structured, effective and professional Jewish educational experience that is worthy of a family’s investment. We must elevate the impact of Judaic studies throughout
the country by create a clear, coherent and structured curricular platform that can be used to share materials, experiences, methodologies and training for educators. These are among the most daunting problems we face today, challenging the long-term sustainability and strength of our institutions, our communities and even our families. We’ve pioneered an approach at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles to address these challenges that is gaining traction and recognition – an approach that has transformed our school and community in profound ways. Pioneering Solutions Jewish tradition is not ancient – it’s living, breathing and responding to the world, and we must develop new approaches to illuminate the tapestry of tradition that is so often lost in the linear model of traditional education. Here’s what we’re doing to communicate the relevance and vitality of Jewish tradition a modern world: Lifelong commitment must begin with intimate introductions. For Talmud, freshmen and sophomores study the principles, development and procedures of Jewish Law: where does halakha come from and what are its foundational principles? Students explore the sources and nature of rabbinic authority, the role of logical reasoning, precedent, dissent and popular practice within halakhic decision making, and the process by which ancient Talmudic discussions inform modern-day decisions about electricity, medicine or society. For our Tanakh students, the introduction begins by asking a similar set of questions about exegesis and canonization, belief and values latent within Biblical analysis. The goal is simple: to help students develop the skills to learn independently, to help them recognize the role that Jewish texts play in helping us understand Jewish values, halakhah and morality, and to equip them with the tools to take part in applying those values to the
מוהל מומחה ומוסמך Traditional Ritual Circumcision
world around them. Armed with these introductions, our methodology challenges students to put theory to practice by analyzing modern topics that Judaism has grappled with: Zionism, war and peace, women and Judaism, electricity on Shabbat, science and morality in the Bible and responses to the Documentary Hypothesis. A question about the use of a particular technology on Shabbat may rely on multiple Talmudic passages, various medieval commentaries, heated debates between contemporary authorities and nuances of engineering and circumstance; similarly, Orthodox responses to Biblical Criticism require a combination of Biblical text, midrashic interpretation and linguistic subtlety. Behind every halakhic decision, underneath every contemporary Jewish issue, there lays a process of analysis, discussion and interpretation that spans millennia. By illuminating this process through a clear, scalable, spiraled and repeatable methodology spanning the entire high school experience, we introduce students to the nature, function and values of their heritage and then challenge them to use these tools to understand Judaism’s varied responses to modern issues. Through this approach, we’re revolutionizing how Jewish high school students relate to their heritage. Our goal is to equip students with the tools to appreciate the beauty of our tradition, preparing them for a lifelong encounter with Torah study. Students will no longer be able to simply claim that the sacred texts and heritage before them are arcane or irrelevant; instead, our goal is to inspire them to become a part of its continued development. In the short term, the student outcomes that we have witnessed have been breathtaking. This curriculum has generated a passion for Judaism within our students that has been marked by three separate yet related student outcomes: First, the development of textual skills and the confidence to engage in Jewish learning. Second, the conceptual ability to appreciate the halakhic process and then apply it to contemporary issues faced by our communities today. Third, a drastic increase in the number of our students who commit to continuing their Torah learning beyond Shalhevet by applying to yeshivot and seminaries in Israel. Spreading Impact
Rabbi Sholom D. Langsam CM, NREMT
(216) FOR-BRIS 367-2747 firstname.lastname@example.org www.certifiedmohel.com 434 N Alta Vista Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036
We recognize that our approach must be spread beyond the walls of Shalhevet High School, and so we’re not just transforming Judaic studies for our students. We’re leading an effort to integrate our curriculum as the basis of a digitally interconnected network of Jewish educators
who share training, resources and methodologies; in doing so, this project will also revolutionize the experience of teaching Judaic studies for educators throughout the country. To be sure, there will be resistance to this project, be it institutional or pedagogical; we offer a revolutionary idea to tackle an age-old problem, and resistance must therefore be expected. Yet we believe that the digitization of this project will allow us to harness educational technology to transform the way Jewish ideas are shared in the classroom. A digitized curriculum – published in e-book or App format for iPads – opens the door to vast educational opportunities in two separate ways. The first is through the student experience. Web resources, dictionaries, rabbinic biographies and related materials are now literally at the students’ fingertips, interwoven into the digital fabric of the core curriculum materials. At an entirely separate level, however, the digitization of this project allows for an unprecedented level of teacher support and collaboration that can transform Jewish education throughout the country. A teacher in Memphis can upload a lesson plan that is immediately accessible to a practitioner in Los Angeles. A new unit authored in New York can be viewed and adapted by other educators throughout the country. At the center of this network lay conferences, training seminars, networking and shared innovation for educators throughout the country. By empowering educators to develop and then share curriculum materials through our digitized platform, we envision the development of a cohort of expert practitioners who can play leadership roles in training new recruits, exploring new materials and presenting innovative methods and experiences at conferences and seminars built around the curriculum. And so our long term student outcomes are even more ambitious. By creating a truly effective nation-wide Judaic studies high school experience, we can directly impact communities and institutions, yeshivot, Hillel houses, synagogues and schools around the world. Preparing legions of students for the challenges to faith and practice that they will encounter throughout their lives will guarantee that our future rabbis, teachers, lay leaders, board members and parents will have the tools to communicate and celebrate the vibrancy of Jewish tradition in a modern world. Rabbi David Stein is a Judaic Studies faculty member at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, CA and is a co-creator of the curriculum. Noam Weissman is the Director of Judaic Studies at Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, CA and is a co-creator of the curriculum.
and the Israelites intended to soon enter the Land of Israel and establish a kingdom and a civilization, it makes sense to establish the rules of civil law and procedure at the outset simply to maintain order and harmony among the people. But for lo these many years, we Jews have lived under the authority of others and we have a basic principle in Jewish law: Dina de’malchuta, dina—“The law of the land [meaning, the governmental authorities] is the law.” This means that, unless the laws of the ruling authorities demand or countenance idolatry, murder, or licentiousness (adultery)—infractions for which a Jew must be prepared to sacrifice his or her life rather than commit— their laws take precedence over the laws and procedures of Halakhah. (In that one case that came before the Boston Beth Din, the litigant we ruled against took the other party to civil court anyway. Fortunately—but quite coincidentally—the civil court upheld our ruling.) So, to put it plainly, with so much of our legal and juridical lives being determined in the courts “of the land”—in U.S. civil courts, why all this emphasis and investigation of Rabbinic civil law? Why is it not the case that the Halakhah of civil cases is studied with the same middling frequency and moderate intensity as the laws regarding the sacrifices and procedures of the Temple? Some may argue that this state of affairs is unfortunate, and the Temple service should be more carefully studied than it is, but such is not the case. Why aren’t the laws of the Sanhedrin and the procedures regarding witnesses, for example, studied just as much and as often as the portions of the Talmud that deal with sacrifices or the Temple service? Strangely enough, the economic disaster of 2008, which threw the entire world into near-collapse, might offer an answer to this question—why, indeed, not only rabbinic scholars, but the world at large could benefit from a great deal more study of the Rabbinic laws and values regarding economic crime and damages. For one of the great ironies of the financial meltdown of 2008 is that many of the actions committed by the financial community that were so harmful—to individuals and to the world economy as a whole—were not, strictly speaking, unlawful; that’s why it has proven so difficult to prosecute many of the “culprits.” The reason for this is simple: many of the actions committed, once forbidden by the U.S. law and by S.E.C. regulations, became legal and permitted in the wake of “deregulation.” This led many of the individuals whose actions were so harmful to believe that “deregulation” was also a
license that allowrd them to feel “de-principled”—the absence of a law or regulation that specifically forbade behavior that had once been a crime was interpreted by some of the financial community to mean these actions were permitted and even sanctioned. To take one egregious example, witnesses who testified to the Senate Finance Committee investigating instances in which brokers promoted stocks and investments they privately believed to be unlikely to be beneficial to their clients (i.e., “dogs”), insisted again and again that they were not in violation of any laws. Some insisted they had no moral qualms about their seemingly duplicitous behavior, and pointed to the rating agencies, who kept bestowing on these deeply troubled investments high ratings, virtually right to the day they failed, and knowing full well that these companies were in deep trouble. In their case, regulations that demanded there be consistency between what they believed and what they reported were eliminated. Their defense was that their ratings were “mere opinions” that required no support or documentation, thus absolving the agencies of any responsibility to those who acted on their ratings—and lost their savings. From a Halakhic (Jewish Law) point of view, such behavior is a gross violation of several injunctions, but most significantly, of Lifnei iver lo sitein michshol—“Before a blind person shalt thou not place a stumbling block” (Lev. 19:14). The Talmudic discussion (BM 75b; Psahcim 22b; AZ 16b) points out that literally placing an obstruction in the path of a blind person is a classic case of tort, and thus does not require this verse to be prohibited. The verse is interpreted, therefore, to mean, giving someone bad advice, even when it is offered by someone who means well and believes what he is advising is beneficial. This means that we are responsible for the advice we give others—Halakhically as well as, we suggest, morally, even if we mean well. The old “If someone told you to jump off the Empire State Building” defense, which was offered as a defense by those who rated AIGFS, for example, with a respectable AA rating two days before the company collapsed, is plainly rejected in Halakhah. People thus have to be careful what advice they give, and are in large measure responsible for the consequences suffered or incurred by those who take that advice (so be careful what you say!). More importantly, however, there is a recognition by the Rabbis that, since no legal code, no matter how exhaustive, can cover every possible situation, there
must still be a way of exercising moral judgment and responsibility when a new situation arises. Western tradition makes such cases, where no specific and clear statement of the law prohibits particular behavior, inactionable by virtue of the abhorrence felt for ex post facto legislation. Actions performed before a law was entered on the books are not covered by those later laws, and thus cannot be deemed illegal or punishable. But such is not the case in Halakhah: A decision on a specific case that rules the actions of a person to be in violation of the law may still be condemned as unlawful and even criminal, even if the mechanism for punishment may not be extant (by virtue of the absence of written statute). But how? Here we have Nachmanides coming to the rescue. In his commentary on the verse (Deut. 6:18)—Ve-asita ha-yashar ve’hatov be-einei Hashem: “Thou shalt do that which is right and good in the eyes of the Lord”—Nachmanides takes issue with those commentaries (like Rashi) who believe this verse urges arbitration and compromise in favor of definitive judgment. He says this verse contains the idea that, since the laws as they appear in the Torah, the Oral Law, and in the Rabbinic literature, cannot possibly cover every conceivable situation. It is thus the principle of this verse that people and society are obliged to use the codes and the laws to derive the values that are promoted as being right and correct “in the Eyes of G-d,” and act on them. The mere revulsion that the questioners of those Congressional committees exhibited (shared no less by the gallery and viewers of the televisedhearings), makes it clear that moral values were being trampled when brokers advised clients to invest in stocks they new were headed for failure. This view may introduce a large area of uncertainty, but Nachmanides would council that, as moral agents, there are times when we should know that some course of action is wrong, even in the absence of a statute, and that in such cases, it is right and incumbent on us to err on the side of caution. Such an attitude and approach to public financial safety would have averted a great deal of the problems—and the pain—that the fiscal crisis of 2008 caused. Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz is the Director of Student Success and a member of the faculty of Touro College Los Angeles. He earned smichah from Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik at Yeshiva University and served as rabbi of Cong. Beth Israel of Malden, Massachuetts, and on the Va’ad Beth Din of Massachusetts.
May 2, 2013
The place of the economic laws in the Halakhic codes is one of the hallmarks of Jewish learning and has been developed to an immense degree over the centuries. One need only examine the shelves of virtually any Beth Medrash or the library of any Rabbi or student of the Talmud to see this. The volumes of the Mishneh Torah, for example, the code of Maimonides, that deal with these laws—the laws of torts (Nezikin); the laws regarding sales and transactions (Kinyan); the rules of litigation and trials (Mishpatim); and the laws of justice and public order (Shoftim)—these are four volumes within Maiminides’ code—a work consisting of 14 volumes in all. These matters take up even more than that 30-percent when one considers the volumes upon volumes of commentaries that have been written on these sections and on the tractates of the Talmud on which they are based. In virtually every library of this kind that I’ve ever seen, the volumes on these matters—civil law—are the most worn and most used on the shelves. Two questions arise from this observation: first of all, why is this area given so important a place in the corpus of Jewish learning? When we think of the spiritual content of Judaism—the part of Jewish life and practice that leaps first to mind are the Holidays—Shabbat and the Festivals—and along side that might be the laws of Kashruth; the rules of daily prayer and personal observance in the home. In the nine years I sat on a Beth Din (in Boston), I dealt with scores of divorces, many cases involving Kashruth and conversion, a fair number of cases involving cemetery plots—and exactly one case that could be considered civil litigation. Yet, the volumes in my set of Mishneh Torah that deal with civil law are worn just like everyone else’s who spends any time studying Talmud and Jewish law. The commentaries on the Torah voice this puzzle by asking why the portion in which the Ten Commandments appears—Parshas Yisro in the Book of Exodus—is followed by a long portion that deals with careless neighbors, uncovered ditches, unattended oxen and the like. The Revelation at Sinai, containing as it does the most profound and intimate encounter of the People of Israel with the Almighty, might, one would have supposed, be followed by rules of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, or the laws of the land or of purity and defilement. But, no, it is followed by Parshas Mishpatim, the laws of buying and selling, lending and borrowing, finding and safeguarding, and the like. Why? One might have answered that, Moses
By Rabbi Harold Rabinowitz
The Jewish Home
When Ethics Will Have to Do
May 2, 2013
How Touro is Building a Stronger Jewish Los Angeles
Dean Esther Lowy gives the scoop on how Touro is helping to keep LA’s finest out close to home long with her hopes to help build a strong, local educational community
The Jewish Home
By Rachel Wizenfeld Esther Lowy, a mathematician who taught at UCLA as well as other colleges before getting her MBA, had watched her eldest five children head East to attend Touro college in New York, wishing there was a way to keep them nearby. So when Dr. Bernard Lander approached her about the possibility of running a new branch of Touro in Los Angeles, Lowy was thrilled. Now maybe her three remaining children could stay in LA! When Dr. Lowy began as dean in 2005, the school had just 30 students; today they have 80 full-time undergraduate students and approximately fifty additional students who take classes during the summer or part-time throughout the year. Men and women take classes separately but at the same campus. Having a Touro campus in Los Angeles is critical to guarantee that the young population thrives locally, says Dr. Lowy. “The fact that we’re the second largest Jewish population in America and we didn’t have an accredited Jewish college until now is remarkable.” Without a local option, high school graduates are forced to go East for a Jewish college, and only a small percentage return. “If you go to the East coast, you meet someone there, you find the real estate is less expensive, and a lot decide not to come back,” she says. Currently only two majors are offered at Touro LA – business and psychology, as well as all the necessary health sciences prerequisites for a student to go on to graduate school in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and speech, occupational and physical therapy. Those majors were chosen because they allow students to go into almost any field that they would want, according to Dr. Lowy. However if a core of people would approach her with a specific request for a new major or program offering, she would be open to expanding. “We’re boutique in nature,” she says, which enables them to customize and create classes. One such class is Diversity, an inter-departmental class that covers both the economics of diversity and the psychology of diversity. Other classes, like leadership, entrepreneurship and consumer behavior, also include psychological and business perspectives and can be used as class credit for either major. Dr. Lowy says she is currently working on an honors program that would give guaranteed
admission to Touro’s graduate schools of health sciences, including medicine, osteopathy, pharmacy and all the therapies. While Touro students already get preferential admission to these schools, this honors program would guarantee admission. This would be especially attractive to students in LA since two of Touro’s schools of osteopathy are out West – one in Nevada and one in Vallejo, CA. The Vallejo school includes a college of pharmacy and the Nevada school includes graduate health programs in nursing and occupational and physical therapy. Another draw of attending Touro is the low tuition, especially when compared with Yeshiva University (approaching $50,000 for resident students) or even locally, UCLA ($14,000 for California residents.) While full tuition is $16,000, rarely does a Touro LA student pay that amount, according to Dr. Lowy; if a student is not eligible for state and federal aid, Touro has generous need-based and merit-based scholarships, and about 70% of students who don’t qualify for some type of government or state financial aid receive a private grant from Touro itself, ranging from $1,000-7,500 a year. “The reality is that most people fall into middle class,” says Dr. Lowy. “We realize the demographics of our families - they are big families sending a lot of kids to yeshiva and we take that into account. We give tremendous financial assistance to those that don’t get government assistance.” How are they able to offer such generous scholarships? According to Dr. Lowy, Touro is primarily committed to its mission-based, or religious schools, which include the undergraduate schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Florida and LA that most people in the frum community associate with Touro. While these schools are usually in a money-losing position, due to the demographics of people who go there and the generous scholarships given, Touro also has some very financially successful programs, such as pharmacy, medicine and the therapies, which run at a surplus. Touro takes that surplus and pours it into the religious schools, allowing substantial financial aid. The school’s small size is a real benefit to students, according to Leora Dahan, 22, who attended Touro LA for four years and is graduating this June.
Originally from Montreal, Dahan moved to Pico-Robertson four years ago with her family after attending seminary and says that at Touro she was welcomed with open arms. “It’s like a family…we all know each other, and it really helps all the students stay motivated to do well. The staff and teachers are always there for the students.” Another benefit of attending Touro is the ease of transferring to another location, says Lowy. In cases where a woman gets married and moves to Lakewood or Israel, or alternatively someone moves to LA before graduating, he or she can easily transfer to another Touro location. Flexibility is one of the greatest things about Touro, asserts Lowy. “Look at the women. Some women decide they’re finished with their education for a while and start families. They can come back 5-10 years later with a good underlying degree. We also work with women who are coming back to school and we work around their schedules with their children. We understand what it means to be a religious woman or religious young man, and we’re highly committed to having people finish their BAs.” Another unique Touro LA offering, that of Dr. Lowy’s own design, is its remedial math center. As a mathematician teaching at UCLA years ago, Dr. Lowy was approached to work on a project about overcoming math anxiety. While doing research she realized that most people have capability in math, but at some point they lock their brains, whether it comes from having a bad teacher or some internal discouragement. “This is my passion,” she says. “It’s very easy to teach advanced algebra or calculus to a math major. But to have someone who has never understood math, you have to explain it in five different ways, and finally after one example they’ll see it.” Besides growing the school, Lowy hopes to build more partnerships within the community, in addition to what she’s already done through organizing symposiums, offering teacher enrichment courses and coordinating college classes in local high schools. “[Touro] should be a depository of all the Jewish educational opportunities here,” she says. “Don’t we want an organization that can work with our local teachers?”
In the past they’ve held two classes for teacher enrichment for teachers in the local day schools, and they also work with local high schools to offer courses for college credit to 11th and 12th grades, either by working with a qualified teacher on staff or by utilizing a Touro faculty member. At MBY, a local Yeshiva boys high school, the students can earn 12 college credits in their senior year, including credits for calculus and English composition 1 and 2. Touro is possibly working with Bnos Devora, a high school for girls, to create a similar arrangement for next year. Since Touro will also give up to 48 credits for Judaic studies learning, which many students can earn while studying in Israel, pairing the Judaic studies credits with credits from high school gives students a significant amount of college under their belt before they even walk through the door. In October Touro is planning a symposium on Jewish business ethics – dina d’malchuta dina – examining the intersection of local law and Jewish law, which will be open to the entire community. Touro also recently launched a crisis intervention hotline where psychology students, after undergoing a 10-week training program, man a phone line for other students or young people in crisis mode. Partnering with the community is one area that Dr. Lowy would like to strengthen; in addition to programming and working with the schools, she hopes to hire someone to work on making partnerships with local businesses for internship and employment opportunities for Touro grads. “We’re a wonderful source of employees for the community,” she says. This is an area which Dahan, the Touro senior, would also like to see established. She says that some type of internship placement coordination would be helpful for many of the students. After attending Touro LA for four years, which is longer than most students – most finish after two to three years due to heavier course loads or coming in with credit – Dahan says she was very satisfied with her experience. “In terms of academics, the environment helps you thrive. It’s an environment of desiring success.”
The Jewish Home May 2, 2013
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
Setting the Stage Sells Your Home By Michelle Hirsch The age-old observation that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” certainly applies when it comes to attracting buyers to a for-sale home. Making a good first impression can mean the difference between receiving serious offers for your home or being subjected to months of “lookie-loos” dropping by but never buying. How can you ensure that your home will make the best impression possible? Here are some tips for savvy home sellers: 1. Focus on curb appeal. The outside of your house can be the source of a very good first impression. Keep the grass well-watered and mowed. Have your trees trimmed. Cut back overgrowth. Plant some blooming flowers. Store toys, bicycles, rollerskates, gardening equipment and the like out of sight. Have at least the front of your house and the trim painted, if necessary. Sweep the
porch and the front walkway. After dark, turn on your front porch light and any other exterior lighting. 2. Clear out the clutter. A lot of home buyers out there cannot see past someone else’s “treasures” or better labeled as clutter! Buyers may have a hard time buying a home they can’t see. If your home has too much furniture, overflowing closets, crowded kitchen and bathroom countertops or lots of family photos or collectibles on display, potential buyers won’t be able to see your home. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. Fill up your garage or rent some off-site storage space if that’s what it takes to clear out your home. If your home is overcrowded with stuff then potential buyers may feel that there would be no way for them to fit their own belongings. 3. Use your nose. Many people are oblivious to scents, but others are extremely sensitive to offensive odors. To eliminate bad smells, bathe
4. Make all necessary repairs. Buyers expect everything in their new home to operate safely and properly. Picky buyers definitely will notice-and likely magnify -- minor maintenance problems you’ve ignored for months or even years. Leaky faucets, burned-out light bulbs, painted-shut or broken windows, inoperable appliances and the like should be fixed before you put your home on the market. These repairs may seem small, but left undone they can lead buyers to question whether you’ve taken good
care of your home.
YULA Boys High School is proud to welcome
5. Introduce lifestyle accessories and make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible. Set the dining room table with your best dishes. Put out your only-forcompany towels. Make up the spare bed. Hang some fresh curtains. Put some logs in the fireplace. Use your imagination, and if you don’t have an imagination don’t worry, that is what I am here for!! Having my own staging company allows me to truly be a full service agent for my clients. 6. Get a buyer’s-eye view. Walk up to your home and pretend you’ve never seen it before. What do you notice? How do you feel about what you see? Does the home seem inviting? Wellmaintained? Would you want to buy this home? Your answer should be an enthusiastic yes! Always look at your home from the buyer’s point of view. Be objective and be honest.
OFFICE: 310.341.4393 CEL: 310.658.1288 FAX: 310077339247 EMAIL:MEIRRMEIRKROLL.COM WWW.MEIRKROLL.COM DRE#01864039
May 2, 2013
your pets, freshen the cat litter box frequently, shampoo your carpets, dry clean your drapes, and empty trash cans. Place open boxes of baking soda in smell-prone areas, and refrain from cooking fish or strong-smelling foods. Introduce pleasing smells by placing flowers or potpourri in your home and using air fresheners. Baking fresh cookies or some other fragrant treat is another common tactic.
25 The Jewish Home
Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys High School
Rabbi Dov Emerson
as Incoming Head of School to our school, our community, and our family. We look forward to an exciting and vibrant future! 9760 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 • www.YULABoys.org • 310.203.3180
The Jewish Home May 2, 2013 26
The Jewish Home May 2, 2013
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
to love your fellow man... Asher Naghi, YULA Loving your friend as you love yourself: This is a quintessential concept in the Torah. Hillel Ha’Zaken, as the famous parable goes, used this concept to encapsulate the entirety of the Torah. In fact, half of the axiomatic Aseret Ha’Dibrot– the ten commandants – focuses on the laws of Ben Adam Le’chavero – between man and his fellow. The connection between man and his fellow, according to Rav Joseph B. Solovetchik, is twofold: Humans create community simply for utilitarian, physical purposes; yet more importantly, we come together with others and with God in a redemptive, spiritual community. I would like to follow this bifurcation of the “human relationship” in describing what love for my fellow means to me. Loving Your Fellow Physically Respect. All else stems from this fundamental pillar of Judaism. To respect is to live and thrive; to lose respect is to fade away into the pages of time. If we respect others, than we can respect our own beliefs and our own culture, but if we lose our respect for others, we degrade our Judaism. “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.” Without respect we lose what is at the essence of the Jewish persona – caring. At our roots we posses a compassion for our fellow Jew; no matter our position, even if we are in the depths of darkness, another Jew will lift us out. Respect for ourselves also encompasses being truthful with one another. Ethical behavior, therefore, is essential to our relationships. Not only is it the moral path, but it is the pragmatic path as well. At times, it seems as if both the short and long-term future bodes well only if the immoral, unethical, immediate path is taken. Yet even when you are not caught, the lack of ethics takes a toll on you. As the Sefer Ha’chinuch articulates many times, “An individual is affected by his actions.” Even if you committed the act regretfully or unconsciously, the action becomes part of you. Every man and woman must take precautions to distance themselves from immoral acts. As the Talmud says in Makot, “On the path that a person wants to go, he will be helped…” (10b). Therefore, to see Jews attempting to steal and gain the upper hand immorally, and to see the nation commanded by God “Do not steal,” destroying the love between man and his friend, destroying the respect for Jews around the world, and destroying our very essence, could not be more harmful to our character as well as our image. Yet physical love and respect does not comprise all of Ben Adam Le’chaviro’s meaning. Loving Your Fellow Spiritually An empathetic man, as I mentioned, is the exemplary Jew. A prime,
common, relevant example of Jewish spiritual empathy is prayer. In Halacha, as many commentators note, the word Teffilah refers to the Amida, the apex of our daily prayers. Inhabiting most of the Amida are Bakashot – requests – for knowledge, forgiveness, healing, livelihood. Yet quite peculiarly, when we make our requests of God, we ask in the plural; in other words, we pray for each other. Jews are not meant to be selfish; we are not selfish: we love our fellow man. The sense of community that we create through the inclusive “we” not only uses prayer to ask of God, we also make commitments to God. Prayer is a time to grow, and through our personal reflections, we create a better physical and spiritual society. Thus, it is within this spiritual society that we help one another grow. Our caring nature tells us to teach our friend and to learn from him. The spiritual Ve’Ahavta Le’rayecha Ka’Mocha – loving your fellow like yourself – is encircled by the concept of using one another to improve. The Jewish obsession with character forces us to always climb the ladder of improvement. As the adage goes, “Derech Eretz Kadma La’torah” and as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch stressed, Torah must come with good character. If we plateau and believe we can sustain our positive traits, we are sadly mistaken. Even though our need to improve is clear, some do not, in fact, grow. Therefore, each and every one of us must take a stand; we must love one another and look to our character and our relationships to nurture and develop a Jewish people who will be a light unto the nations for perpetuity. _________________________
Margo Feuer, Shalhevet
The commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself is a cardinal principle of Jewish ethics and thought. From the beginning of Jewish education, rabbis and teachers successfully embed this aphorism in our hearts and minds as a staple of Jewish ideals. In this one, quick line Judaism seems to present a utopian vision for a world filled with the utmost care and concern for others. As wonderful as it may sound, however, its naiveté is apparent. Throughout history mankind has failed to live up to such a standard and it is difficult to see any significant change in sight. In an existence replete with injustice, selfishness, and moral relativism, how can we best interpret and connect with the ambitious ideals of ?ךומכ ךערל תבהאו Part of the human makeup is that we are all hard wired for self interest. Though altruism may be an ideal that humanity shares, our desire for a accom-
plishment and growth makes it nearly impossible to truly embody the goal of loving thy neighbor as thyself. In fact, as the famous adage in Pirke Avot proves: “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me.” As Jews, then, there seems to be a very challenging and perpetual struggle between selflessness and selfishness. Somewhere in this tension, I believe, lies a beautiful resolution that opens our eyes to a new window of perspective. Though the proverb literally translates as loving others as you love yourself, its utility and proper translation may need an adjustment. One could even claim that putting another’s interest before yours is psychologically unhealthy and ultimately unproductive. What Jewish ethics demands from its adherents is to engage mankind with intense empathy and understanding. So often disagreement and discord stem from our inability or unwillingness to understand divergent perspectives and this stubbornness leads to violence and hate. I believe the Jewish model, articulated through the lofty goal of “loving thy neighbor as yourself” desires to resolve these typical acts of man’s hubris. Judaism wants to resolve this. Vi’ahavta l’reacha kamocha does not mean to suggest that I should not be my best advocate, it rather demands a universal fraternity that allows our differences to coexist in a world governed by justice and peace. Rather than judgment and belittlement being our operative modes of communication, empathy and communication would reign supreme. This is definitely a world that I would enjoy.
Judy Leserman, Valley Torah High School “Excuse me ma’am, would you like to save dying and starving children?” he asked me in a casual tone, clipboard in hand. “Not really,” I replied with the same nonchalance. “Ma’am, do you care about civil rights?” urged another. “Nope,” I returned as I continued through the crowded entrance to the farmer’s market on that lovely southern California spring day. What seemed at the time to be a humorous exchange on my way to get some organic produce later hit me as the most bleak and supreme example of what Modern poets label “the human condition.” Considering my apathy, I couldn’t have been more worried for the state of my own morality.
After all the years of a Frum education, after all the hours of doing chesed, I feared that all I had to show for it was a carefree attitude towards the destitute, or rather, those advocating on their behalf. Did I miss the chance to “love your fellow as yourself?” In the end, I decided to harbor no qualms over my relative indifference to the plights abroad. I do not believe that they are unworthy causes, but I also cannot expect myself to feel the pain of those I do not nor ever will know. To sincerely ache over the woes of distant strangers is unnatural. It is mentioned in the Gemara that “the poor of your city take precedence.” The mercies of humanity are generally aroused when the subject of our love is close, both physically and emotionally. To pretend that I had developed sympathy on the spot would be a lie, and to act upon that fake sympathy would be haughty. Signing a petition because I was approached with guilt-inducing inquiries in public would not make me a great humanitarian, but a slave to ego and the expectations of others. This side of charity is just too disengaged and too easy to be considered something as complex as love. True love comes in the form of action; the warm fuzzy feeling is a byproduct. There is something about setting the family dinner table for the millionth time, about complimenting an insecure friend on her lovely smile, about including a lonely acquaintance in an outing that satisfies our innate drive to give in a way that a passing donation cannot. Whereas a kind act creates love, the artificial love that petition-pushers expect conjectures that we act because the love and compassion is already within us, only waiting for an outlet. The act of loving our fellow man stems from privacy, dignity, and respect for every person we encounter. It does not involve shame, expectations, or social norms. Love is not an extracurricular to add to a college application or a trendy gala to dress up for that will grant our lives purpose, but a tangible way of enriching our relationships with family, friends, and the people who are featured at various moments of our lives. The importance of ahavas chinam, freely given love, is especially significant as we draw closer to the summer and a time of mourning the Beis Hamikdash. The Second Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, not because the Jews failed to send their monthly checks to the starving Roman youth, but because the Jews did not treat each other with love and respect. This far into our galus, exile, we cannot afford to go about our lives being merely charitable, but we must also make it a priority to treat each other to acts that lead to love.
The Jewish Home May 2, 2013
Kidding! Submitted by Allison Daniels
An American tourist was riding in a taxi in Israel. As the taxi approached a red light, the tourist was shocked to see the driver drive straight through without even slowing down. Surprised as he was, he didn’t say anything feeling himself a “guest” and not wanting to make waves. The trip continued without event until the next intersection. This time the light was green and, to the American’s dismay, the cab driver brought the vehicle to a grinding halt. Unable to contain his astonishment, he turns to the driver. “Listen,” he says, “when you went through the red light, I didn’t say anything. But why on earth are you stopping at a green light?” The Israeli driver looks at him as if the American was deranged: “Are you crazy?!” he shouts. “The other guy has a red light! Do you want to get us both killed?”
Submitted by Noah Neiman There are four houses on a road on a yishuv. They are made from these materials: straw, wood, brick and glass. Mrs. Sherman’s house is somewhere to the left of the wooden one and the third one along is brick. Mrs. Ulman owns a straw home and Mr. Tessler does not live at either end, but lives somewhere to the right of the glass house. Mr. Wein lives in the fourth house. The first bungalow is not made from straw. Who lives where, and what is their home made from?
Match the quote to the person who said it. 5. “You ought to let the Jews have Jerusalem; it was they who made it famous.”
2. “I flew on an EL AL airplane. The signs read: ‘No smoking.’’ Fasten seat belts.’ ‘Eat, eat, look how bad you look!”
6. “The Old City of Jerusalem is in our hands.”
bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!”
around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”
eb attoG uoY
!gniddiK sleinaD nosillA yb dettimbuS
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8877 m nn HOME e m o h EWISH h s i w eJJ HE e hTT 23110022 ,, 42 2y aMAY
1. “The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.”
Answer on next page
4-H 5-A 6-G 7-I
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You Gotta be
Matches 1- F 2-D 3-C
31 79 79
3. When do bus passengers say, “Rrreeegggaaa Naahhaaagg”? a. When the bus driver starts driving the bus while a woman is stepping off the back exit while carrying a double stroller, sixteen bags of groceries and 4 knapsacks. b. When the bus driver drives too fast. c. When people on the bus want the driver to put on Jamaican music. d. When there is a suspicious package on the bus. 4. Who made Yerushalayim the capital of Israel? a. Shmuel Hanavi b. Shaul Hamelech c. Dovid Hamelech d. Shlomo Hamelech
9. Yerushalayim is closest to which body of water? a. Red Sea b. Dead Sea c. Mediterranean Sea d. Pacific Ocean
6. After whom are the streets in Geula named? a. Famous generals b. Amoraim (Famous Talmudic scholars) c. Founding Members of the Hagana d. Neviim (Prophets)
Answers 1. C 2. B- During the 1948 Independence War, Jordan captured what is commonly referred to as “East Jerusalem,” which encompasses the Old City. Israel miraculously recaptured it in the Six Day War in 1967. 3. A 4. C 5. D 6. D 7. B 8. F - If you really want me to like you, bring me back an aish tannur when you go on your next trip to Israel. 9. B
7. Which of these is not a neighborhood in Yerushalayim? a. Ramat Shlomo b. Ramat Gan c. Neve Shannon d. Talbiah 8. Where is the first place the Centerfold Commissioner goes in Israel, after the Kosel? a. To Massov or H’lo Teiman
(for shwarma) b. To Ben Yaakov (for a falafel) c. To Hadar Geula (For pareve chulent) d. To Fro-Yo (for ice cream) e. To Machaneh Yehuda (For marzipan) f. All of the above (after completing the above steps, repeat)
Wisdom key 7-9 correct: You know so much about everything, you must be a cab driver (that’s a compliment, see list below). 3-5 correct: You are like a shwarma in America—good but not the real deal. 0-3 correct: Join me as I strum my guitar, “Jerusalem if I forget thee...”
What Every Taxi Driver in Yerushalayim Thinks He Is around traffic-“Tov, bo nelech derech achorai”
Stock broker –“Yesh li harbeh stock bi-epple”
Photographer- “Yesh li harbeh temunot babayit... Hayita b’B&H?”
Meteorologist –“Lo yored geshem halayla”
Psychologist- “Aich hachayim chabibi?”
IDF general- “Yiyeh Milchama...ma ani ya’aseh?”
Expert on California “Garti b’Calyforneye lifnei esrim shanah...ken, ken...
Expert on getting
GOT FUNNY? Let the Commissioner decide. Send your stuff to email@example.com
hayiti B’Hollyvood... ani v’Arrison Ford chaveirim tovim” The Baba Sali - “Hashem yaazor lecha...ten li teep gadol bevakasha” Shadchan - “Lamah atta lo nassoi? Yesh li shidduch tov b’shvilcha” The Prime Minister “Eich ossim shalom? Ani rotzeh! Aval ha’Aravim rotzim rak laharog otanu...ma yasseh!” (Spits sunflower seeds out of window)
Answer to riddle: From left to right: #1—Mrs. Sherman—glass house #2—Mrs. Ulman—straw house #3—Mr. Tessler—brick house #4—Mr. Wein—wood house
Political pundit –“Habaya im Obama…”
May 2, 2013
2. In which war did Israel capture the Old City? a. War of Independence b. Six Day War c. Yom Kippur War d. Lebanon War
5. Which animal is on the emblem of the seal of Jerusalem as a symbol that Hashem gave us the Land of Israel? a. Eagle b. Deer c. Dove d. Lion
The Jewish Home
1. If you are in Har-Nof and want to go to the Kosel, which bus do you take? a. #1 b. #37 c. #2 d. #10
2012 TThHE e JJeEWISH w i s h hHOME o m e nn MAY m ay 224,, 2013
O’ Yerushalayim Trivia
h Jewish e JJEWISH e w i sHome h HOME h o m e May m ay 2013 TTHE nn MAY 2 42, ,2012 The 2, 2013
90 88 32
Compiled by Nate Davis
“Say What?” After being named the unhappiest and the fattest state in the country, West Virginia has now been named the most stressed-out state. Researchers aren’t sure why, but they think it might have something to do with being called sad and fat. - Jimmy Fallon Listen, the president has kept every promise that he made. What I was saying at the time was, I was asked how the president was doing, I said, he’s doing a good job, he’s kept his word. And so everybody knows that I have about 95 percent level disagreement with Barack Obama on issues of principle and philosophy. But the fact is we have a job to do. And what people expect from people they elect is to do their job. - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on MSNBC, when asked about GOP criticism of his kind words for President Obama in the immediate aftermath of Sandy
Turn in your arms. The government will take care of you. - Text of a controversial Colorado billboard depicting Native Americans, thus playing on their historical plight and the current gun debate
If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions? - Question posed in a controversial Tennessee high school human geography textbook At the George W. Bush Library Dedication I remember how steadfast and steady he was for eight years. My George is a man who when someone needs a hand offers them his arms. - Laura Bush
41, it is awesome that you are here today. - Former-President George W. Bush addressing his father, the 41st president There was a time in my life when I wasn’t likely to be found at a library, much less founding one. - Ibid. I’m glad to be here. G-d bless America and thank you very much. - George Bush Sr. to the audience Too long? - Ibid to his son, George W. Bush
The founder of the 99 Cent Stores died. The family asked in lieu of flowers, donations be made to everyone who shops at the 99 Cent Store. - Conan O’Brien
I’d rather that [the money] go to the One Fund Boston. To buy me a new boat is a wonderful thing, I don’t want that really. I would wish that they donate it to the One Fund Boston. They lost limbs. I lost a boat. I’ve got a canoe in the garage. - Dave Henneberry on WCVBTV explaining why he will not take the money that was raised to replace his boat after it was destroyed when the one of the Boston murderers hid in it
The Defendant called 911 two separate times to report a theft. Upon police arrival, the Defendant advised that she lost money during an [illegal] drug transaction. The Defendant then wanted police to attempt to obtain the money she paid for drugs. - Description in a Florida Criminal Complaint explaining why Katrina Tisdale was arrested The Tim Tebow era lasted about 16 games. The Jets fired him. He was so angry he picked up his helmet and he threw it. It went about 10 yards. - David Letterman
Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. - The Politico
According to a new study, fatty foods can boost your memory. Eating junk food can make your memory better. There was a similar study done five years ago. It was April 17, 2008, at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday. I remember it was drizzling. I had a dark suit with a yellow tie. I remember it like it was yesterday. - Jay Leno One of my favorite poets is Seamus Heaney. I know the congressman thinks I always quote Irish poets because I’m Irish. That’s not the reason I do it. I quote Irish poets because they’re the best poets and that’s the reason why. And the Collier family knows that, right? But all kidding aside... - VP Joe Biden at the funeral of slain MIT officer Sean Collier Two twisted, perverted, cowardly knock-off jihadists. - Ibid, describing the Boston bombers
Imagine, Mr. Speaker, a world without balloons. Today, the House has chosen to just simply float above it all. Too often lately, this body has sat deflated, but not for a lack of hot air. - Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) discussing the negative impact of sequester on the National Helium Reserve
There’s a new iPhone app that tells women where they can buy Michelle Obama’s clothes. Not only that, there’s another app that tells men where they can buy Hillary Clinton’s clothes. - Jimmy Fallon
“[Former Obama Senior Advisor] David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace, since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.” “Now, look, I get it. These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be. Time passes. You get a little gray.” “The History Channel is not here. I guess they were embarrassed. They actually thought the comparison was not fair — to Satan.” “Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? You’ve got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. I mean, that’s Oprah money. You could buy an island and call it ‘Nobama’ for that kind of money. Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn’t have taken it, but I’d have thought about it.” “I’m taking my charm offensive on the road — a Texas barbeque with Ted Cruz, a Kentucky bluegrass concert with Rand Paul, and a book-burning with Michele Bachmann.” “I’m also hard at work on plans for the Obama Library. And some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I’d rather keep it in the United States.” Conan O’Brien “It’s an honor to share this stage with the president. When you think about it, the president and I are a lot alike. We both went to Harvard. We both have two children and we both told Joe Biden we didn’t have extra tickets for tonight’s event.”
“I’d like to acknowledge that earlier this evening there was some confusion with the seating chart. For a moment, someone accidentally sat Governor Chris Christie with the Republicans. That was awkward, and I apologize.” To President Obama: “I have a question, and I think some of you also have this question. It’s been several months since you were reelected, sir, so I’m curious, why are you still sending everyone five emails a day asking for more money? You won. Do you have a gambling problem we don’t know about?” “The President is hard at work creating jobs. Since he was first elected, the number of popes has doubled, and the number of Tonight Show hosts has tripled.” “Of course, probably the biggest story that people in this room covered this year was the Republican failure to recapture the White House. Hard to believe the Republicans didn’t fare better in the election with the support of celebrities like Ted Nugent and Meatloaf. I guess they overestimated the number of voters who still drive carpeted vans.” “The demographics of this country have been rapidly changing over the past two decades and I look forward to hosting this event 18 years from now. Then my opening line will be ‘Buenos noches …. President e Mario Lopez.” “Tonight’s entrees were halibut and filet mignon – or, as CNN’s John King reported it, lasagna and couscous.”
The Internet celebrated a major milestone yesterday. It’s the eighth anniversary of the very first video uploaded to YouTube. YouTube was founded in 2005 by a small group of visionaries who asked the question, “What if nobody in America ever got anything done ever again?” - Jimmy Kimmel
NBC sportscaster Al Michaels got arrested over the weekend for DUI. His blood alcohol level was .08. And of course, NBC was ecstatic. .08 is the highest number anybody on this network has gotten in years. - Jay Leno
I don’t see any elements of Stalinism here. Stalinism is linked to the cult of personality, massive legal violations, repressions and labor camps. There is nothing like that in Russia and I hope there never will be again, but this does not mean that we should not have order and discipline. - Russian President Vladimir Putin rejecting comparisons with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin during his annual televised questionand-answer session with citizens
Run! - Former President George W. Bush encouraging his brother Jeb to run for president We’ve had enough Bushes. - Former first lady Barbara Bush weighing in
May 2, 2013
Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented – by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows – transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights. - Attorney General Eric Holder speaking at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
President Obama “I know CNN has taken some knocks lately but the fact is, I admire their commitment to covering all sides of the story, just in case one of them happens to be accurate.”
You know what the worst job in America is? It’s a newspaper reporter. I guess the pollsters forgot to ask the guy who cleans the toilets at Dodger Stadium how things are going for him. - Jimmy Kimmel
The Jewish Home
- President Obama, when asked by a reporter if he is a “lame duck” president
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENCE DINNER
TThHEe JJeEWISH w i s h hHOME o m e n MAY m ay2 24 , 2013 2012
Maybe I should just pack up and go home… Golly. As Mark Twain said, the rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point.
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
Global Sarkozy Gives Obamas $40K in Gifts
Turns out one of the perks of being the president of the U.S. is that wealthy diplomats from around the world shower you with lavish gifts. Last year, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, gave the Obamas more than $40,000 worth of gifts. The US State Department recently released a list of presents that the Obamas received. It includes a designer Hermes golf bag valued at $7,750 and Baccarat crystal statuettes. This over-the-top gift-giving habit suggests that Sarkozy presided over one of the most spendthrift presidencies in French history. The couple is often criticized for their lifestyle; Bruni reportedly spends more than $1,000 a day on flowers, and the couple had a bread-making oven installed in their official plane. Sarkozy has been accused of accepting millions of euros worth of illegal cash from Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oreal heiress and France’s richest woman, and deposed Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. The former French leader is currently working with a team of lawyers to deal with several criminal inquiries that could potentially lead him to prison. The total amount the Sarkozys spent on gifts for the First Family was $41,675.71 in 2012; I wonder how taxpayers feel about that. Of course, the gifts were accepted by the Obamas. Rejecting the gifts would “cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government,” said an American government spokesman.
Carlos Slim, the King of Phones Paying too much for your cell phone bill? Switch carriers or maybe the government can help… There’s a federal program called Lifeline phone service that provides wireless service to the unemployed or poor. Users get a free phone with 250 free minutes
of calling per month with their “Obama phone.” With unemployment at 9.4 percent and one in six Americans living in poverty, the number of phones being distributed is rapidly rising and someone is profiting from it. Ironically, it’s the world’s richest man, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who’s making a mint off of this.
Slim owns Mexico’s biggest phone company America Movil SAB, which offers mobile service in 17 Latin American countries and the U.S. Its TracFone unit is the largest recipient under the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program, taking in $451.7 million, or 28 percent, of payments in 2011, the last year for which records are available. The $2.2 billion mobile-phone subsidy for the poor is being criticized by Congressional Republicans. “It’s not fair that people save and work and pay for phones from whatever funds they have, and other people get them for free,” Representative Tim Griffin, an Arkansas Republican who wants to eliminate the mobile subsidy, said in an interview. “It’s not fair the biggest beneficiary of this is Carlos Slim, the billionaire owner of TracFone.” “It doesn’t matter who owns the company,” Jose Fuentes, a spokesman for Miami-based TracFone, said in an interview. “Tim Griffin needs to focus on finding jobs, not trying to focus on a valuable program.” Wondering if you qualify? Do you get other free stuff from your “big brother?” Medicaid? Food stamps? Section 8 housing? School lunch? Energy assistance? If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be able to cut out your current Verizon bill.
When Is a Handshake Not Just a Handshake? They say that a lot can be learned about a person from the way he shakes another’s hand. Deductions about a person’s personality, beliefs, and feelings can all be perceived through his handshake. A recent photograph of Microsoft founder Bill Gates shaking hands with South Korea President Park Geun-hye was analyzed for this very reason. Last Monday, Gates, 57, met with the deputy and extended his hand to greet her. Except he only extended one hand and in Korean
culture, a one-handed handshake is notably casual. Only friends of the same or younger age greet each other this way. Bill Gates’ other hand was thrust into his pants pocket which is considered rude and indirectly expresses superiority. South Koreans did not take this unintentional gesture lightly. “Perhaps it was his all-American style but an open jacket with hand in pocket? That was way too casual. It was very regretful,” said Chung Jin-suk, secretary general at the Korean National Assembly.
A rep for Gates declined to comment on the handshake and the White House has made no remark about the incident, although this casual handshake quickly became political. “I don’t know if that was ignorance or just plain disrespect,” Cho Park, a Korean student studying in New York, said. “It was pretty rude of him. The thing is I’m not sure if it is rude in Western culture.” This isn’t the first time Gates’ greetings have been analyzed. Previously Gates met with two other South Korean presidents: Kim Dae-jung and Lee Myung-Bak. In 2002, he reportedly gave the proper, respectful handshake with both hands to the late Kim but was accused of giving an “improper” shake to President Lee in 2008. Of course there are select South Korean media outlets that are speculating that the interaction was intentional and intended to show his political preference, respect for the opposition leader Kim but disrespect for the ruling party leaders Lee and Park. However, most reasonable sources agree that the mistake was probably most likely due to ignorance. “Cultural difference or bad manners?” the Joongang Ilbo, a Korean newspaper, wrote. “A disrespectful handshake or a casual friendly handshake?” DongAh Ilbo, another Korean newspaper, said in its photo caption. “It’s a head of state we’re talking about,” said Rick Yoon, a brand retailer in Seoul. “And she’s a lady. This is not just a Korean thing. It’s an international protocol. Maybe it was intentional. Otherwise, he has a very strange habit.” Gates was visiting South Korea on a three-day visit to promote his start-up, Ter-
raPower, which is developing next-generation nuclear reactors. For the future, Mr. Gates, in South Korea, the older person initiates a handshake. Grasping the right arm with the left hand when shaking hands shows a sign of respect.
Netherlands Crowns New King
The streets of Amsterdam were orange on Monday in preparation for the royal ceremony crowning Crown Prince Willem-Alexander as king. Queen Beatrix, 75, who was crowned in 1980, abdicated the throne and took on the title of Princess Beatrix. She ruled for 33 years. Willem-Alexander, 46, her son, officially began his reign as king. Princess Catharina-Amalia, 9, his daughter, became crown princess. Queen Beatrix addressed the nation for the last time as head of state on Monday evening and then hosted a reception at the Rijksmuseum. The country was celebrating as well, as most Dutch were not working on Monday in anticipation of this event. More than a million spectators joined in the ceremony wearing bright orange. Orange snacks, flags and accessories were sold nation-wide. Shopkeepers hung up orange streamers along with orange flower displays. Royal guests from eighteen countries joined in the ceremony including Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and the Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.
Poisoning Schoolgirls in Afghanistan Schoolgirls in Afghanistan are up against a violent and evil group: the Taliban. In a school in the far north of Afghanistan, as many as 74 schoolgirls became ill after smelling an unidentified gas. They are currently being examined for poisoning. It is not uncommon for poisoning suspicions to be dismissed as false alarms but
The Jewish Home May 2, 2013
if it proves to be accurate, this won’t be the first time that schoolchildren were harmed by radicals who oppose female education.
The Jewish Home
May 2, 2013
Local officials said the girls became ill after smelling gas at their school in Takhar province’s capital, Taluqan. The city is about 250 kilometers north of the country’s capital, Kabul. The students were taken to the provincial hospital. The head of the hospital, Dr. Jamil Frotan, confirmed that many were released immediately after being treated but several remained in critical condition well into Sunday evening. “We have already sent samples of their blood to the Ministry of Public Health and it will soon become clear what the reason for their illness was,” Frotan said. Sulaiman Moradi, the governor’s spokesman, blamed “enemies of the government and the country” for the mass illness and said the aim was to stop girls from attending school. No group or person has claimed responsibility for the incident yet. There were four poisoning attacks reported last year between May and June in Takhar, prompting local officials to order principals to stay in school late into the day to watch the grounds and forcing staff to constantly search the grounds for any suspicious objects and to test the water for contaminants. After the Taliban was overturned in 2001, females have returned to the education system in Afghanistan but they continue to be harassed and terrorized. Takhar has been a breeding ground for militancy and criminal activity since 2009, with groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan inflicting terror. Afghan women have won back basic rights in education, voting and employment but concerns are rising as Western forces prepare to leave the country and the government negotiates peace talks with the Taliban.
Taliban Issues Vow of Violence The Taliban in Afghanistan has vowed to start a new campaign of mass suicide attacks on foreign military bases and diplomatic areas, as well as damaging “insider
attacks,” as part of a new spring offensive this year. The Taliban spokesmen announced the vow of violence via email. Although there was no immediate reaction to the Taliban’s statement from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), they will most likely be concerned by the warning. The coalition is in the final stages of a fight against the Taliban-led insurgency that began in late 2001. Previous similar announcements were generally followed by bursts of violence. After announcing their spring offensive last year, the Taliban launched a large attack in Kabul involving suicide bombers and an 18-hour firefight targeting Western embassies, ISAF headquarters and the Afghan parliament. The spring season has become known as the traditional “fighting season.” This year is particularly important, with ISAF increasing the rate at which it hands security responsibility to Afghan forces before the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of 2014. The Taliban statement said this year’s offensive, named after Khalid bin Waleed, one of the companions of the Islamic prophet Mohammad, will involve “special military tactics” similar to those carried out previously. “Collective martyrdom operations on bases of foreign invaders, their diplomatic centers and military airbases will be even further structured while every possible tactic will be utilized in order to detain or inflict heavy casualties on the foreign transgressors,” the statement said. Insider attacks, also known as “green on blue” attacks, involve Afghan police or soldiers turning their guns on their ISAF trainers and counterparts. The number of such attacks has increased considerably since last year and its effect has caused tension between Kabul and foreign forces. The Taliban put a date on their terrorism; the spring offensive was coordinated to begin on April 28 to coincide with a national holiday to mark the overthrow of the Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, the statement said. The group marked the start of their offensive by claiming responsibility for an early-morning attack on Saturday in the eastern part of the country that killed at least three police officers.
The Black Eye of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign aimed at combating domestic abuse. The ad campaign is striking. It shows a Saudi woman in a typical veil. Only her eyes are revealed and one is a black eye, a symbol of her abuse. Underneath the photo are the words, “Some things can’t be covered;
fighting women’s abuse together.” The campaign aims to provide legal protection for women and children who are victims of abuse and is trying to encourage Saudis to report cases of domestic abuse.
But the campaign has elicited mixed reactions from Saudis. In Saudi Arabia, women are still not permitted to drive by themselves. Most official tasks are required to be done by men. Women need permission to leave the country and divorced women often lose custody of their children. “Everyone knows it happens,” said Umm Mohammed, a shopkeeper in Souk Al Owais, a bustling market in central Riyadh, referring to abuse. “If they’re telling us about something we don’t know, that’s one thing. But what if we already know? Then what? Are they going to help these women?” She continued, “Insha’Allah (G-d willing), it will help, but that’s only for physical abuse. Who will care about the psychological and emotional abuse that women like me suffer? Women here have so many problems and domestic abuse is just one of them.” It’s hard to change a country’s culture and Saudi Arabia’s culture does not smile down upon women. Just a few months ago, a Saudi cleric abused and murdered his five-year-old daughter but was not sentenced to death for his crimes. His story made international headlines but other stories about battered wives and children do not garner extra attention. Princess Ameerah al-Taweel, a passionate women’s rights advocate and the Vice Chairwoman of the Board of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, sees the campaign as an important step in the right direction. “The main issue when it comes to abused women in Saudi is lack of knowledge. Some women who accept being abused don’t know their rights in Islam, and a lot of women who are suffering from abuse, don’t know their rights in our legal system, that they can report their case and they will be protected by the government,” said al-Taweel. It’s a step in the right direction.
Chinese Citizens Enraged at Officials’ Extravagance Zhang Aihua was caught red-handed. An outraged mob of citizen journalists
stormed his private elaborate party. Tables were laden with extravagant delicacies, rare fish, and imported wine. But, Aihua got on a table, picked up a loudspeaker, and begged for forgiveness. As the Communist party boss of an industrial zone in Taizhou City, in the southeast of Jiangsu province in China, Zhang probably knew that this exposure of extravagance would cost him his job. “I was wrong tonight. Please forgive me. I’ll do anything if you let me go,” he implored. His pleas were disregarded, and on Monday, he was fired. He is the latest victim of president Xi Jinping’s frugality and anti-corruption initiative, an effort fuelled by the frustrated public who is determined to expose the country’s severe wealth gap using mobile phone cameras and microblogs. “I was outside and saw a lot of people, so [I] rushed up to see what the commotion was,” said Jia Hongwei, a web forum administrator in Taizhou who captured the video at the industrial park’s “entertainment center” where Zhang was hosting at least 20 colleagues and investors around three overflowing tables.
The video shows a lively crowd pouring through narrow hallways and raging past a small group of helpless police officers in white safety helmets. The camera zooms in on plates of mostly-eaten expensive fish and top-shelf bottles of alcohol. The video ends when Jia left the party gone wrong at about 8pm. Three hours later, a friend sent him a photo of Zhang kneeling on the table, his face visibly anguished, and a loudspeaker in his right hand. Jia posted the video along with picture on Sina Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging service. Taizhou officials began investigating Zhang over the weekend. Locals reported regularly seeing a steady flow of luxury cars going and coming out of the complex which alerted them of the extravagance within. The details of this particular event were leaked by an anonymous insider. Reportedly, Zhang singlehandedly paid for the meal, which was estimated to cost well over $1,000, which is way over
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Italy is known for its chewy pasta, crunchy cannolis and crispy pizza. But unless something changes quickly, Italians may have to live without their pizza sometime soon. According to the Italian business group, FIPE, there is a shortage of 6,000 “pizzaiuloi,” pizza-makers. Despite the worst unemployment rate in two decades, Italians are reluctant to work as pizza-makers. That position is now held mainly by immigrants, mostly from Egypt. “The Italian mindset is that being a pizza-maker is humiliating. It is a manual labor job,” said Alessandro Rossi, owner of a pizzeria in Rome. Interestingly, most pizza made in the United States is done by immigrants from Latin America. No longer are Italians the kings of the pie.
Israel Terror Escalates On Tuesday, an Israeli air strike killed a “key terror figure” responsible for firing rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. According to the IDF, Hithem Ziad Ibrahim Masshal, 24, was a resident of Shati Refugee Camp. “Mashhal acted in different Jihad Salafi terror organizations and over the past few years has been a key terror figure, specializing in weapons and working with all of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip,” an IDF statement read.
This type of the attack has not occurred in almost a year, but that is not solace to the victim’s family and neighbors.
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Absolut Tel Aviv
parking in rear Tel Aviv has joined the list of cities that have their own special edition Absolut Vodka bottle. The Absolut Tel Aviv bottle is being released as part of the Absolut Blank series designed by artist Nir Peled, who uses the professional name Pilpeled. Pilpeled joins a long and distinguished list of artists from all over the world who have designed posters and other items for the Swedish vodka brand, including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring. The bottle, which is being released in a limited edition of 150,000 units, commemorates Tel Aviv’s ficus tree boulevards. “To understand Tel Aviv, one must
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An Israeli was killed in a terror attack at the Tapuah junction in the West Bank on Tuesday morning. The Palestinian terrorist came up behind Evyatar Borovsky at the hitchhiking spot at the junction and then fatally stabbed him in the chest. Officials are investigating if the terrorist acted alone. Evyatar was 32-years-old and a father of five. He was a native of Kfar Chassidim and moved to Yitzhar five years ago. He served on the security team there. He was pronounced dead at the scene and border police shot and wounded his attacker.
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the spending limit on official banquets imposed by central authorities last year. Since Xi launched his anti-corruption campaign in November, many officials have been dismissed for malfeasance, sales of luxury goods have plummeted nationwide, and high-end restaurants have reported dismal returns. But it seems that all that has accomplished thus far is that lavish banquets have moved underground.
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May 2, 2013
walk its streets,” Pilpeled says of the bottle he created, as part of an initiative of the Tempo beverage company’s alcohol division and in cooperation with the Allenby Concept House owned by Srulik Einhorn and Guy Assif. “I designed a sort of a two-sided setting with a window offering a peek into a Tel Aviv boulevard at night. In general, this city has so much energy that you get your inspiration by just feeling what you’re surrounded by,” Peled adds. Absolut is known for its bold and special ad campaigns, which are considered a milestone in the history of global advertising in general and alcohol advertising in particular. In the past few years, the company has been releasing limited editions every year in different flavors and designs as a tribute to world cities including Brooklyn, Vancouver, and Istanbul. The special bottles are collected by tens of thousands of collectors around the world. L’chaim!
Israeli Company Named Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer Earlier this week, the Israeli “smart water” network and software management firm Whitewater was named a 2013 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer at a ceremony in New York. Whitewater received the award at the sixth annual Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, along with what Bloomberg describes as nine other “game-changing companies in the field of clean energy technology and innovation.” “It is truly an honor to have been selected by such an esteemed panel of experts,” said Issey Ende, CEO of Whitewater Technologies. “Our mission has been and continues to be, to enable operational efficiency gains in the water sector by improving decision-making through analyt-
ics and optimization, system integration, and workflow management.” One of Whitewater’s technologies is the BlueBox system, which helps utilities to understand how operational changes, consumption patterns and aging infrastructure affect their ability to provide clean and reliable drinking water to their customers. The tool is able to optimize water disinfection programs and improve filter and energy efficiency by providing decision support. A second key Whitewater technology is the WaterWall solution, a smart water network management system that serves as a “middleware platform” for utilities – performing data integration, data entry capture, real-time correlation, automation and geographic information system awareness and reporting. This is the fourth year of the New Energy Pioneer awards, and the winners were selected from more than 200 candidates from around the globe, according to their innovativeness, momentum and potential global outreach. “Tough times make for good entrepreneurs, and this is definitely what we are seeing in this year’s New Energy Pioneers,” said Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. There were nine other winners: Florida-based Advantix Systems, California-based BuildingIQ, California-based D.light Design, Vermont-based Draker Energy, Belgium-based EcoNation, Florida-based Ecosphere Technologies, Massachusetts- based Harvest Power, Massachusetts-based Joule Unlimited and Virginia-based Opower.
Israel Suspects Iran Behind Drone Launched from Lebanon Israel believes that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was responsible for the unmanned drone launched from Lebanon
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that was shot down in Israeli airspace on Thursday. The United States has begged Israel not to retaliate in response to the alleged incursion. “The Israeli military command doesn’t treat drones launched from Lebanon lightly, since their goal may be not only taking pictures, but also an assassination of senior officials, military or political,” an unnamed Western diplomat is quoted as saying in Nahar newspaper, a Lebanese publication. The Israeli prime minister was traveling across northern Israel when the drone was seen above the sea on Thursday, 10km west of the port city Haifa. Netanyahu’s helicopter was forced to land and was grounded until the Israeli Air Force had secured Israeli air space. Initial media reports assumed the drone had been launched by Hezbollah. In October last year, the Lebanese militant group victoriously claimed responsibility for successfully piloting an unmanned drone in the skies above the Israeli Negev for more than half an hour before it was downed. Iran’s involvement in this cross-border incident and Washington’s pleas for restraint may explain Benjamin Netanyahu’s hesitation to threaten retaliation for the incursion. The Israeli prime minister said only that he has taken “the attempt to breach our borders very seriously.” He has not been specific about what the exact repercussions will be.
Heat Waves Cause Fires Across the Country As a result of a heat wave that plagued the country, fires broke out across Israel last weekend. The first fire broke out in Rosh Ha’ayin in an industrial compound. According to the firefighters, the structure in which the fire originated is in danger of collapsing. 20 firefighting teams have been called to the scene, and rescue forces instructed residents of the area to remain indoors. Five teams of firefighters were on the scene of a fire that broke out on Mount Sansan in the Elah Valley, south of Bet Shemesh. The Jerusalem Fire Department said that there was no danger to area settlements. Three teams of firefighters were at the scene of a briar patch fire that broke out in Holon; they were attempting to extinguish the flames. In Rishon Lezion, firefighters overcame two fires: one near the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research and the second near the Superland amusement park. Earlier Saturday, two tourists sustained burns in a fire at Ben Shemen Forest and were taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical
Center for treatment. Firefighter planes were called to the scene of a fire near Yavne’el in the north, even as firefighters were called to the scene of a briar patch fire in Haifa’s Kababir neighborhood. Firefighters overcame the flames within a short time, and no injuries or damage were reported. Another fire erupted north of the Kinneret, near Moshav Almagor, where residents who live nearby were evacuated as a precaution, but police allowed them to return to their homes within the hour. Once firefighters overcame the fires in the north, Spokesman of the Upper Galilee and Golan Fire Department, Nathan Ben Shimon, said: “Things are looking better. Two additional teams arrived at the scene.” According to Shimon, dozens of dunams caught fire, and flames almost reached residential areas. Fire departments have been prepared for fires nationwide, due to the expected heat wave, peaks of which were reported to have reached 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Turkey Awards Israeli Company An Israeli company has been awarded with a prize for an innovative project during a technological parks convention in Istanbul by the Turkey’s industry minister. The company, Adam Elktronik, is based in the GOSB Teknopark, an industrial park built by Israeli businessman and philanthropist Stef Wertheimer in Turkey. The Turkish minister promised to send a team from his office to visit Wertheimer’s industrial parks in Israel. The GOSB Teknopark was built at a total investment of $10 million according to the model of the Tefen industrial park in northern Israel, and includes an art gallery. The Istanbul ceremony was attended by the director of Wertheimer’s industrial parks, Arieh Dahan.
National Keeping Money Under the Mattress Many Americans are saving money but not in the traditional way. These people don’t have bank accounts or investments; they stash their cash. You may be assuming that they obviously have something to hide but a new study reveals that that’s not necessarily the case. According to census data compiled by the FDIC, about 8% of America’s 115 million households are not linked with a checking or savings account. Among mi-
The top five states with the highest top income tax rates begins with California with a top income tax rate of 13.3%, sales tax of 7.5%, and property tax per capita of $1,450. Next up is Hawaii with a top income tax rate of 11%, sales tax at 4%, and property tax per capita of $1,028. Oregon has the third highest income tax rate with a top income tax rate of 9.9% and property tax per capita at $1,292. Lucky shoppers still enjoy not paying state or local sales tax. Iowa is at number four with a top income tax rate of 8.98%, sales tax of 6% and property tax per capita at $1,367. Surprisingly, New Jersey is the fifth highest income tax rate at 8.97%, with sales tax at 7%, and property tax per capita at $2,819.
Wasting Your Life in Traffic in L.A.
Paying Too Much Tax in New Jersey April 15 is when most Americans file their taxes. When you look at the bottom line on your tax form, do you sometimes wish there was some better place to go where you can save more of your money instead of donating it to Uncle Sam? Well, if you’re interested in traveling around the U.S., you may have better luck in other states—although I would suggest you avoid California. There are 35 state governments in the United States where a single party fully
Congrats Los Angeles! You win the award for the worst city for traffic in the country. Hey, New Yorkers, before you
do your little victory dance, be aware that one of our highways is the worst road for traffic in the country, according to a new study. According to the sixth annual Traffic Scoreboard from the INRIX traffic information service, drivers in New York City lost 50 hours stuck in traffic in 2012 which ranked fifth on the worst cities list. Los Angeles drivers lost 59 hours last year— that’s almost two-and-a-half days a year! Overall, traffic congestion was down 22 percent in 2012, but drivers and analysts expect it to quickly rise again for 2013. Believe it or not, the worst road for traffic last year was the Cross Bronx Expressway (New York: I-95 SB) where it is estimated that drivers waste over six days each year sitting on this highway. The second worst road is the San Diego Freeway (L.A.: I-405 SB) which is consistently jammed in both directions. The 405 is LA’s worst freeway; the 8.1mile stretch can take over 50 minutes on Tuesday mornings, the worst day and time of the week. Before you ask, I’ll inform you that, yes, the Van Wyck Expressway graced the list at number three. Commuters on the I-678 SB crawl at about 10 m.p.h. on Thursdays between 4-5 p.m. It can take nearly 40 minutes to travel 6 miles. The Santa Monica Freeway and the Riverside Freeway of L.A. were on the list accompanied by The Long Island Expressway and of course, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway of New York. Other cities that made it to the “worse” traffic list were Honolulu, Hawaii; San Francisco, California; Austin, Texas; Bridgeport, Connecticut; San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington; and Boston.
National Teacher of the Year Gives Students More than Just a Daily Lesson “Welcome back to another day in paradise,” says Jeff Charbonneau to his students at Zillah High School in Washington State each day. The high school science teacher was named the National Teacher of the Year for devising a unique way for his students to graduate from their small, rural high school with college credits and setting them up for success after they graduate. Mr. Charbonneau was honored by President Barack Obama personally on Tuesday afternoon, along with all of the other 2013 state teacher winners. National Teachers of the Year are selected by the Council of Chief State School Officers, a nonprofit panel of educators that chooses the finalists from the 2013 state teachers of the year in all 50
states and the District of Columbia. Nominations for state teachers can be submitted by students, teachers, principals, and administrators; teachers then must submit applications to the panel. Charbonneau, 35, teaches challenging subjects—chemistry, physics, engineering and architecture—in Zillah, a city of barely 3,000 residents in Washington’s Yakima Valley. He relies on interactive learning to give over his science lessons. The educator founded a statewide robotics competition and helped create an ecology program where students go on hiking excursions that can last up for up to two weeks.
“I fight a stigma,” Charbonneau wrote in his application for the Washington State Teacher of the Year, which he was awarded back in September. “Students hear the words ‘quantum mechanics’ and instantly think ‘too hard’ and ‘no way.’ It is my job to convince them that they are smart enough, that they can do anything.” By acquiring adjunct faculty status with several local universities, Charbonneau is authorized to award his students college credit through their high school science classes. Since he began offering the college credit program two years ago, enrollment in his courses has jumped. “Over 60 students in this coming year’s junior class – a class of just over 100 students – have signed up to take chemistry. About 26 of the coming year’s seniors – a class of just over 80 students – will take physics,” Charbonneau wrote in his application. After seeing the program’s effectiveness and student interest, many other teachers created their courses to give college credit. Now students have the opportunity to take a broad range of subjects to get credit before they graduate. There are currently about 18 credited classes at the high school of 400 students. Zillah’s guidance counselor, John Griffin, said, “That’s pretty neat for a small high school. Most of our students want to take the challenge if they can. Some of them are a little bit leery because they don’t the confidence yet in themselves. That’s something you develop in high school. But we have such great teachers that work those programs, like Jeff Charbonneau, and they help soothe
May 2, 2013
In a generation where the financial world is heavily dependent on easily accessible banking, these individuals often encounter issues. First off, if they ever want to finance a car or get a mortgage, they have zero credit. If they want to secure an apartment, they are forced to get a fee-based money order. Without credit cards, they must turn to triple-digit interest rate payday loans for emergencies. It can also become a challenge to save money when one is dealing only with cash. A savings account creates an “out of sight, out of mind” illusion that often helps consumers save for the future. Jennifer Tescher, CEO of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, says that the importance of participating in the financial system has stretched far beyond the appealing concept of interest; saving is the core concept of consumer banking. Tescher coined the term “unbanked” to refer to this segment of the population. “A bank account in a way has become like a passport or a driver’s license,” said Tesch. “It’s a kind of access device.” All-cash households can also become a target for criminal activity. Their money is not protected from thieves or natural disasters.
controls both the executive and legislative branches. In states where there’s a mix of the two parties, taxpayers can expect instability as Republicans and Democrats seek to make their mark on state tax codes, says Steven Roll, a state tax analyst with Bloomberg BNA. Property tax statistics are derived from a Tax Foundation analysis of fiscal year 2010 U.S. Census data. If no income tax, sales tax, estate tax or inheritance tax is noted, it’s because it is not levied in that state. Seven states have no income tax. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., have estate taxes, and eight states have inheritance taxes.
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norities, the percentage is even greater: more than 20% of African-Americans and Hispanics don’t have a bank account. There are various reasons why people choose to live all-cash lives but the basic attitude is why pay money to get money? Many banks have a monthly banking fee; some banks charge $6 to cash checks, and many ATMs charge to withdraw cash.
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May 2, 2013
that anxiety.” Kudos to you, Mr. Charbonneau, for preparing your students for their future.
Opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library
Top state, federal, and foreign diplomats joined former-President George W. Bush for the opening of his library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, last week. President Barack Obama and former presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter attended the dedication to mark the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Although Obama has been an open critic of the Bush administration, he put their political differences aside when addressing the crowd. He praised his prede-
cessor, George W. Bush, as a “good man” who should be commended for his resolve in trying to keep the country safe after the 9/11 attacks, and for his foresight in leading the fight for immigration reform. He recognized Bush’s “compassion,” “generosity” and “personality,” and said, “To know the man is to like the man.” Obama recalled the letter he found in his desk from George W. Bush upon arriving in the Oval Office in 2009 offering his successor advice. “He knew I would come to learn what he had learned,” Obama said. “Being president above all is a humbling job. There are moments when you make mistakes. There are times when you wish you could turn back the clock.” But, Obama noted, “We love this country and we do our best.” Former-Presidents Clinton and Carter offered similar praise of Bush; they both commended Bush’s efforts to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa. Many agreed that Bill Clinton’s remarks seemed the most sincere. He spoke warmly of Bush and talked about how close he had gotten to the Bush family after he defeated George H.W. Bush. He joked of being “the black sheep son” and said his mother had told him not to speak too long at the event, turning to acknowledge former First Lady Barbara Bush, who giggled in response.
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In a bittersweet moment, George H.W. Bush briefly addressed the crowd, thanking them for coming. The elder Bush was hospitalized in December, and the family worried he might not make it to see his son unveil his presidential library. George W. Bush became emotional when addressing the crowd of more than 8,000 supporters and former staffers. He praised his father for “teaching me how to be a president, but first teaching me how to be a man,” and said it was the first time in history that father and son presidents had attended the opening of each other’s libraries. He also applauded his ex-staffers, “History is going to show I served with great people.” He then gave a shout-out to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is barely mentioned in the library’s exhibits, telling him, “I’m proud to call you a friend.” Perhaps the best line of the night was when Bush joked, “There was a time in my life when I wasn’t likely to be found in a library, much less founding one.”
Faith Healing Couple Loses Another Child We believe in prayer and we believe in miracles but we also believe in medical care. Herbert and Catherine Schaible don’t believe in the latter. The couple is suffering the loss of their second child after reportedly not treating his illness with medication or medical advice. The Schaibles associate themselves with fundamentalist Christians who believe in the power of prayer ahead of modern medicine. The faith-healing couple is currently serving a 10 year court-ordered probation for the death of another child, 2-year-old Kent Schaible who died in 2009. Last week, Philadelphia Police spokeswoman Jillian Russell confirmed the death of the 8-month-old Schaible baby boy. The infant had been having chronic stomach problems and breathing difficulties for several days. At a hearing on Monday, Philadelphia Judge Benjamin Lerner said the Schaibles violated the most important condition of their probation: to seek medical care for their remaining children. Authorities have yet to file criminal charges in the death of the second child because they can only file a charge once the cause of death is known. An official cause of death is pending an autopsy, according to police. In 2010, a jury convicted the couple of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in Kent’s death from pneumonia. Instead of serving jail time, the two were put on probation and were required to arrange medical examinations for each of their children, to immediately consult with a doctor when a child became sick, and to
follow the doctor’s treatment recommendations. Pennsylvania law dictates that parents have a legal duty to protect their children’s health and safety, although the law does not specify if or when medical care must be sought. When asked for comment outside his Rhawnhurst home Friday, Herbert Schaible, 44, told NBC10’s Chris Cato, “We don’t want to talk.” The Schaibles have seven other children.
New York Still Major Target for Terrorist Activity In a chilling new release, New Yorkers learned that the terrorists who carried out the deadly Boston Marathon bombing were en route to Manhattan when they were intercepted by Watertown police. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said they had plans to set off additional explosives in Times Square but their plans unraveled when the Mercedes they hijacked needed more gasoline to make it all the way to New York. When the pair stopped to fill up the vehicle, the driver of the car who had been hijacked escaped and alerted Watertown police. This was the beginning of a violent late-night car chase which ended with a gunfight in the suburbs of Watertown that left the older terrorist dead. Kelly said investigators learned of the alleged Times Square plan while questioning the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in his hospital bed in Boston. Tsarnaev has been recovering from his wounds there since being captured on Friday night after an all-day manhunt that shut down much of Boston.
“Questioning of Dzhokhar revealed that he and his brother decided spontaneously on Times Square as a target,” Kelly told a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “They would drive to Times Square that same night. That plan, however, fell apart when they realized that
America has 83,000 new citizens who were able to avoid the lengthy citizenship process. In 2002, then-President George W. Bush gave an executive order that immigrants who voluntarily join the military will be awarded rapid naturalization. This wartime edict was a huge motivator for green-card holders hoping to bypass the five-year residency rule and the fee. Some critics are concerned that the initiative will become permanent and inject the armed forces with an increased security risk. “The thing I’m concerned about is not what’s happening now in the military but what could happen if the Pentagon and politicians get too enamored of this idea of non-citizens joining the military,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington, D.C., that advocates tighter immigration policies.
another building, just a few blocks from Ground Zero. “If you see how confined this space is, and you realize the chaos that existed on this street, I think it’s understandable. It’s not that surprising,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said of the fact that it was not discovered until now. “It’s very, very confined and no construction work went on, or no clean up went on in this 18-inch space between the two buildings” after the attacks. Even so, investigators are considering all possibilities, including whether the part was intentionally placed between the two buildings. “We are also looking into a possibility it was lowered by a rope,” Kelly said, adding that a piece of rope appeared to be intertwined with the part. National Transportation Safety Board investigators will determine whether the part is from either United Airlines Flight 175 or American Airlines Flight 11. Police have said the part includes “a clearly visible Boeing identification number.” On Saturday, the NYPD said police investigators had been in touch with Boeing, which confirmed the part is from one of its 767 aircraft. Both flights that hit the World Trade Center towers were 767s. “The NYPD is securing the location as it would a crime scene, documenting it photographically,” a police statement said. “The office of the chief medical examiner will do an in-depth examination of the site to see if there are, in fact, human remains there,” Kelly said.
More than 10 percent of such naturalization ceremonies have taken place in 28 countries abroad, including 3,412 in Iraq, 2,102 in Japan and 1,134 in South Korea, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which administers the process. All military candidates must pass brief civics and English language tests and then
Blue Diamond Costs $9.6 Million
5-Year-Old Joins Mensa It’s pretty unusual to be one of the youngest members of Mensa. But a Gus Dorman, a 5-year-old boy from Collinsville, Ill., has been invited to join the High IQ society and he has earned his stripes in a pretty unusual manner—learning to read in the bathroom.
Debris Related to 9/11 Discovered It’s been over a decade since the World Trade Center towers were destroyed, killing thousands of innocent people. Yet, last week on Friday, the NYPD announced that they found a piece they believe belonged to one of the aircrafts that crashed into the building on September 11, 2001. The piece of debris was found behind the site of an Islamic community center near Ground Zero. Investigators are examining the part. It appears to be a wing piece that became wedged between 51 Park Place, the site of a controversial community center, and
up. In about a week’s time, he had memorized everything on it. He’s just always been very clever.” In addition to reading at an exceptionally early age, Gus has also memorized every element on the periodic table, along with every country in the world and all 50 U.S. states. “They teach me stuff I already know,” Gus said when asked about his kindergarten experience. His parents agreed, saying Gus has been struggling at school because the coursework is simply too easy for him. “He’s so far advanced, he is bored and he gets into trouble,” Rob Dorman said. “He thinks he’s a bad kid but he just needs to be challenged.” Last month, the Dormans decided to get their son’s IQ formally tested. His tests showed an IQ score of 147, meaning he qualified for membership in Mensa, which requires an IQ of 130 for individuals of any age to join. Mensa is the world’s oldest and largest high-IQ society. It describes its goals as being “to identify and to foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity; to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence; and to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.” Mensa has more than 100,000 members in more than 100 countries. And I thought that my child was smart.
“He started reading when he was 18-months-old,” Rob Dorman said about his son, Gus, whom he found perusing a paper in the bathroom. “He was sitting on the potty reading a newspaper. I noticed that he liked to look at maps so I put one
A rare, sparkling blue diamond weighing 5.30 carats netted more than five times its estimated price at auction, bringing in nearly $9.6 million and setting a new price-per-carat record. “We are delighted with the price it has made,” Jean Ghika, director of Bonhams Fine Jewelry, which held the sale in London, said. “It was a sensational stone which charmed everyone who viewed it prior to the sale.” The 5.30-carat diamond – a little smaller than the diameter of a dime –was made into a “Trombino” ring by famed Italian jewelry designer Bulgari in 1965. It’s a cushion-shaped, fancy deep-blue diamond, set horizontally and framed by brilliant-cut and baguette-cut white diamonds. (In gemstone terms, “fancy” means that the color is very intense.) The winning bid came
May 2, 2013
Joining the Army as a Pass to Citizenship
undergo background checks for serious criminal histories or possible affiliations with terrorist groups. In addition, there a “limited” number of non-citizens without green cards that are in this country on a temporary visa or under refugee or asylum status that are naturalized through military service each year. They are recruited for specific language or medical skills. The numbers of people who take that path are held to the low thousands annually, USCIS reports. “I feel like I’m living the American dream,” said Oumama Kabli, 19, who was naturalized on April 15 during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Born to a Moroccan mother and raised in Canada, she moved with her mom to Virginia to finish high school and attend college. She’s now an Army National Guard private with plans to enter officer training. (Only U.S. citizens are eligible to become commissioned officers.) A Muslim, Kabli believes “it’s an advantage for the Army to have people familiar with the religion or the culture” when troops deploy to predominantly Muslim nations. Kabli’s Moroccan stepfather took a similar path in 2004. “I actually left [Army] basic training, got my naturalization on Friday and was on the plane to Iraq on Saturday morning,” said Youssef Mandour, 31, who worked as a translator, reaching the rank of sergeant. He pulled a second tour of Iraq from 2009 to 2011, working on reconstruction efforts for the State Department. “Citizenship meant everything. At that point, I was ready to die for my new country,” added Mandour, who arrived from Morocco on a tourist visa at age 17. Today, he owns a defense contracting company in Virginia. “I’m so proud of Oumama. By making her a U.S. citizen it’s going to create that diversity we’re missing in Iraq and Afghanistan. She will be more received by [Muslim] nations than the normal officers from, say, Alabama.” The White House can issue another executive order to end the current naturalization-through-service program.
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the vehicle that they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station,” Kelly said. At the time, the men still had six explosive devices, including a pressure-cooker bomb, the same kind used at the marathon, and six pipe bombs, Kelly said. This revelation wasn’t a huge shock; New York has been on heightened alert ever since the September 11th attacks. Officials said the Tsarnaev brothers’ alleged impromptu plan showed America’s most populous city remain a magnet for those who want to strike at the United States. Times Square was the target of an attempted car bombing in May 2010. A Pakistan-born U.S. citizen was arrested, admitted to the plot and is serving a life prison term. Remember, if you see something, say something.
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May 2, 2013
from Graff Diamonds, an international jewelry house on Bond Street in London. The gem gets its unique color from natural traces of the element boron mixing with the carbon atoms in the stone. Since boron conducts some electricity, blue diamonds look even bluer when they are warm. Less than one percent of all diamonds mined are blue. “Blue diamonds, especially those over five carats, are extremely rare to see on the market and continue to be highly sought-after,” Ghika said. “We are honored to have handled the sale of such a unique gem.” People in the packed salesroom competed for the rare gem while collectors and experts called in their bids on the auction house’s 25 phone lines. The ring was expected to go for about $1.6 million; instead it went for close to $9.6 million, or $1.8 million per carat. The previous old record was $1.68 million per carat. While rare and gorgeous, this isn’t the biggest or most-famous blue diamond out there. That honor belongs to the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, a deep blue jewel that was purchased by King Louis XIV of France in 1668. It was stolen during the French Revolution, and reappeared in London in 1812; an American mining heiress, Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, bought it and had it made into a necklace, accenting it with 16 white diamonds and hanging it on a chain set with 45 more white diamonds. It is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
A Step Back into Time Do you want to know what life was like 100 years ago? Do you want to hear voices of the past? Well, it may be time to take a trip to Oklahoma, where visitors are able to step back into time and connect with life in the past decade.
A time capsule that was buried exactly a hundred years ago was dug up this week in Oklahoma City. It was known as the city’s Century Chest. The artifacts inside the copper chest were remarkably well intact. Credit for that goes to the Ladies Aide
Society, the group that buried the capsule a century ago. The group buried the chest in double concrete walls and under 12 inches of concrete. The chest was full of treasures. Among the finds: a newspaper from the day the capsule was buried (April 22, 1913); a dress; a telephone; a flag; a pen used by President William McKinley; a camera; and a pair of women’s shoes that still had their shine. Perhaps most remarkable was a phonograph record featuring voices of citizens from the era. The project was the brainchild of Virginia Sohlberg. Her great-granddaughter, Virginia Eason Weinmann, was especially moved by a book that contained family photos and poetry. Experts from the Oklahoma Historical Society worked to make sure the objects were handled with care. All of the items will be displayed at the Oklahoma History Center.
Belief in G-d: The Best Anti-Depressant Belief in G-d may improve treatment for those suffering with depression, according to a new study. Faith in a higher being has been found to significantly improve treatment for people suffering with a psychiatric illness, according to research carried out by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Researchers followed 159 patients over the course of a year at the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital program at McLean to investigate the relationship between a patient’s level of belief in G-d, expectations for treatment and actual treatment outcomes. Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in G-d as well as their expectations for treatment outcome on a five-point scale. Levels of depression, wellbeing, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program. The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, concluded, “Our work suggests that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without.” Belief was associated with not only improved psychological wellbeing, but a decrease in depression and intention to self-harm, explained David Rosmarin, McLean Hospital clinician and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical. He added: “I hope that this work will lead to larger studies and increased funding in order to help as many people as possible.”
Car with Wings
Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz and Smart, traces its heritage to the very
invention of the gasoline-powered car and an empire built over a century around engineering excellence and designs of beauty. On the other side of the spectrum, Smart will now build you a tiny two-seat car with fake wings, for about $43,000. First shown at the Los Angeles auto show last year, the Smart Forjeremy concept was a joint project with fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Since the wing is his trademark symbol, Scott modified a Smart ForTwo by sticking a pair on its back, along with swaddling the interior in leather.
Scott explained his design when asked about the unusual look of the car, “I wanted to design something out of the ordinary, something that expressed my dreams and fantasies and that transferred my fashion ideas to automotive design. I see myself driving this car and can well imagine my friends and cool people all over the world loving the unique design of this Smart.” The production version can be bought with either the regular Smart 102-hp engine or one of two electric drivetrains for European customers at an additional charge; there’s no indication it will fly across the Atlantic. While it keeps the leather-trimmed interior of the concept, unlike the original, the wings do not also act as brake lights. What will they think of next…a car with feathers and a beak?
Woman Calls Ambulance for Free Ride Audrey Ferguson seems to have mixed up the numbers for EMS and the local taxi service. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office says the 51-year-old woman of the Dorchester community has called EMS at least 100 times in the last seven years. Officials say just about every time, she requested to be taken to a hospital. Investigators believe that Ferguson was faking illness, just to get a free ride to downtown Charleston. “She’ll have a vague medical complaint, for instance, abdominal pain,” said Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren. “She has medical complaints that are legitimate, and so until she’s been evaluated and determined not to be sick we have to assume she is.”
Eventually, medics saw a disturbing pattern and grew suspicious. Allegedly, Ferguson never got treated at the hospital; she told hospital officials she was okay and left. “We transport her to one of the area hospitals and then oftentimes before we can get our paperwork completed, she’s signed out from the hospital and gone on to do other things,” said Warren. But on April 2, Ferguson’s free rides came to an end. A Dorchester County deputy was waiting at Trident Medical Center to greet the ambulance carrying Ferguson. According to an incident report, the deputy overheard the woman calling her son for a ride. He also heard her tell a nurse that she was feeling fine and that she was leaving. She left alright! In handcuffs. She was taken to the Dorchester County jail. On the way to jail, Ferguson told a deputy why she called for an ambulance so many times. Clearly without getting advice from a lawyer, Ferguson admitted that she didn’t have a car and this was the only way she had to get around and that her Medicaid paid for it. Except who pays for Medicaid? Taxpayers. Each ambulance ride costs $425, plus mileage. All her rides added up to more than $400K. Warren says taxpayers should be angry. “Absolutely, and that’s part of the investigation that’s ongoing with the sheriff’s office,” he said. Aside from the money aspect, there is another concern. “That truck from Harleyville is tied up responding to this situation where we appear to have abuse of the system, that may delay our response to someone that has a more significant or more pressing need and it concerns me.” Ferguson is charged with unlawful use of 911 and filing a false police report. The investigation is continuing. There’s no such a thing as a free ride.
$100 Bill Gets a Facelift Everyone’s favorite bill has a new face (not literally)! Ben Franklin still graces the new $100 bill but the US Federal Reserve announced that it has redesigned $100 bills. The new version will go into circulation on October
These PJs Tell Bedtime Stories Juan Murdoch is a father of six and is tired of telling bedtime stories. So he came up with the idea of the stories telling themselves. The Idaho realtor came with an concept for Smart PJs. Each pair of jammas has 47 unique dot patterns that triggers a story or an animal lesson when scanned with a smartphone or Tablet. Once Murdoch came up with the idea, he enlisted a developer. The pair first tried scanning QR codes — those square bricks of black and white that can direct your smartphone to a website — on the pajamas, but they don’t show up well on fabric. So the team “started from scratch,” creating a dot pattern system reminiscent of Braille, that could be scanned much more easily. When the first samples arrived, Murdoch’s own children ages 6 to 18 got to experiment. “And when I saw that they actually worked, I was as blown away as they were.” The kids debuted the clever product during show-and-tell, and “pajama day at school was a fun day,” he said. The Smart PJs cost $25 and the app is free. The app is easy to use and designed
By design, there are no tables of contents in these apps. As they play, the kids don’t know which story or animal will pop up. “It’s the element of surprise there that makes it fun,” Murdoch told me. Sounds like fun to me. Sweet dreams and good night.
80-Year-Old Drinks a Diamond It was supposed to be a relaxing day with friends with good food and drink to benefit a local charity. But Miriam Tucker, 80, got more than she bargained for when she was sipping her champagne. The Tampa, Florida, resident paid $20 for a glass of champagne at a Tampa Woman’s Club charity fashion show on April 20. A local jeweler dropped a tiny cubic zirconia into hundreds of flutes except one, which got a gleaming, 1.03-carat round diamond, donated to lure more funds for a children’s advocacy agency. Tucker took a big gulp of the champagne…and the precious stone. Never imagining it was the real diamond, she quickly dismissed the incident. After no one else claimed the diamond, she headed off for an X-ray, which revealed nothing. But just two days later, Tucker went for her scheduled colonoscopy. When she awoke from that procedure, she heard the good news: she was in good health and she was the proud owner of a shimmering diamond worth $5,000. Tucker is not interested in 15 minutes of fame; she said she is avoiding the media surge and the endless jokes that are sure to come with it. She was woken up at 7 a.m. on Friday by a phone call from Fox News. She told them to call back later. She declined an invitation from David Letterman’s crew to fly to New York to tell the tale of her elusive diamond. Tucker was surprised by the commotion her swallowing act has generated. “My daughter Googled my name and like 18 things came up,” she said.
Boston Magazine Honors Victims and City
Boston Magazine pays tribute to its city with a moving and stunningly simple photograph on the cover of its May edition. The image features 120 running shoes, all worn in the Boston Marathon, shaped in a heart around the headline: “We Will Finish the Race.” The idea behind the photo was to find a way to honor the bombing victims and the entire city for its response to the tragedy, said John Wolfson, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “Every single shoe contributed a tiny little bit to the overall effect, but collectively, you have something powerful,” he said. “If you remove just one shoe, it diminished the picture in some small way. You need every one of those shoes. And I really feel strongly that that’s what happened here in the city. Every person here pulled together.” Just days before the tragedy the magazine’s staff was scheduled to print the magazine’s next issue, the entire team of writers realized that the cover story planned would need to be replaced. An employee suggested the idea of collecting shoes from runners in the race, and the magazine’s art and design directors came up with final idea. Inside, the magazine features 15 of the dozens of interviews the staff conducted with marathon runners. Each interview is accompanied by a picture of the runner’s shoes. The back cover of the magazine features the same shoe pattern as the front cover, but shows the soles of the shoes instead. Wolfson said the biggest challenge was finding all those shoes within a matter of days. “We scrambled, we used social media, we had everyone on staff calling everyone they could think of — friends, family members who ran,” he said. “We did everything we could possibly do.” Early editions of the magazine will hit newsstands Friday but the magazine will officially be released Tuesday. Wolfson said he was overwhelmed by the response on Thursday when the magazine posted a picture of its cover on Facebook and via
Twitter. “This would make a great poster!” wrote one fan on Facebook, where the image received more than 8,000 likes and 7,000 shares within hours of being posted. Wolfson said that was the plan anyway, with all the profits going to charity. “We hoped to announce that later, because we didn’t want to presume this would resonate the way it has,” he said. “But we’ve been overwhelmed by the response.” What a beautiful way to honor and pay tribute to the heroes of Boston.
Indian Grandfather Sells Grandson on Facebook People sometimes do crazy things but fortunately, they are stopped in time. A man in India has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell his newborn grandson on Facebook for drug money. Feroz Khan, 47, made arrangements on the social networking website with a local businessman and recruited two hospital workers to kidnap the baby just hours after he was born. The baby’s mother, Noori, had complained that her father was planning to sell her child. Police intervened and rescued the baby from Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi and returned him to his mother. “All three people who conspired to sell the child have been arrested and we will be interrogating the businessman who paid the money to buy the baby,” said Satish Malhotra, a police officer in Ludhiana, northern India. Police commissioner Ishwar Singh said Gurpreet had a Facebook friend whose wife had fertility problems. The gang settled on a price of Rs 45,000, about $830. Nurse Sunita Rani was found to have about $380 (Rs 20,500), while Khan had about $440 (Rs 24,000). The station house officer at the Basti Jodhewa police station said Khan had arranged to sell the baby to fund his drug habit.
Man Kills 33,700 Chickens A Maryland man was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail and three years of probation upon his release, for killing 33,700 chickens. Joshua Shelton, 21, turned off power to a chicken house and caused the death of thousands of chickens. The loss of power deprived the chickens of food, water and cooling fans. More than 21,000 chickens survived but over 33,000 were killed. Last August, Shelton was found lying in the power control shed at a Delmar farm. He told an investigator he didn’t recall entering the shed, according to charging documents but he apologized in court. This is completely cuckoo.
May 2, 2013
Nearly 80% of all US currency is denominated in $100 bills. There were more than 820 million Ben Franklins out in the world at the end of 2012, making it the most popular bank note, by value, among the world’s major currencies. A large portion of hundreds are held outside the United States, often shipped abroad by the Fed in pallets worth $64 million each. The bills are popular among traffickers of drugs and weapons and are also used in unstable economies as a reliable store of value. The new $100 bills have stronger security features designed to thwart counterfeiters. Franklin’s collar is now decorated with “The United States of America” in tiny lettering, and another ghostly visage of him appears when the bill is held up to light. Franklin is one of only two people on a US bank note who was never president of the country. Hey, where can I get some of those?
for kids to use themselves. Murdoch said, “Kids have a patience level of about 10 seconds. If something doesn’t happen on an iPad or phone within a few seconds, they’re onto something else.” He added, “The nice thing about these is they’re instant.”
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8, 2013. The rollout, originally planned for 2010, was delayed by production issues with the blue ribbon that’s threaded through the note.
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May 2, 2013
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45 by Shiffy Friedman ©
After a group therapy session at The Place, the facilitator, Rifka, approaches Lisa with an offer she claims Lisa won’t refuse. Davie Stein The silence falls on my ears with a thud. I feel it was just me in the room and the thought makes the abandoned chocolates melt into my hand, dirtying its every finger, but I don’t care. “Tuvia,” I yell this time. I walk over to the window, breathless. Our tiny room was never so airless before, not even when we had our first fight (I can’t remember over what). Using both hands, I yank the window open, hanging my head over the sill. I gulp down long, deep breaths as I stare into the courtyard below, barren and dead. Just three nights ago, on Tuesday, Tuvia and I invited some friends over for a midnight barbecue. We made the place come alive. As the music blasted and the flames charred our steaks, we marveled at how the grey concrete glistened in the moonlight as if tiny sediments of diamonds were planted within. But now, all is dull, lifeless. When I look upward, I catch a glimpse of a lone bird flapping its wings across the greying sky. The world is a lonely place and I feel forced to trek it on my own. With a start, I make my way towards Tuvia. Can it be that I lost him? Can it be that the one person I trusted had abandoned me, that he left me for the dogs? “Tuvia, you can’t do this to me,” a desperate voice cries. I kneel down beside his husky frame with a sigh. When I realize suddenly that there’s slow and steady motion in Tuvia’s torso, a surge of energy from my helpless innards races into my hand. I slap Tuvia across the face. And then, in a miraculous moment, Tuvia’s eyelids flutter. The kind of flutter that follows a long, fitful sleep. This is the sweetest sight I’ve ever seen. “Tuvia,” I cry. “Tuvia, tell me you’re alive!” Tuvia stirs slightly. I have an urge to slap him again, to whisk up a rage so deep he’ll scream until he goes dumb. Then I’ll know, no doubt, that the life in Tuvia, my trusty friend, ls kicking, reverberating through his entire being. “Should I help you off the floor?” I ask, willing him to answer. Tuvia rubs his eyes. I try again. “What’s going on here?
Spill the beans, buddy.” I have no idea what got into Tuvia, why he chose the floor over his bed. “Give me a hand,” he suddenly says, raising his hand into the air. I help him onto his bed. It’s relieving to see him wince when I squeeze his hand too tightly. “Now,” I say, bringing my brows together, “You’ve got to fill me in on the details. What happened while I wasn’t here? This was no regular sleep, brother.” “Come on, I’m not your child,” he answers. This is so unlike Tuvia. With him, it’s like this: either he’ll tell me the full truth, he won’t spare me a single detail, or he won’t talk at all. Getting away with an answer is just not his style. He stirs uncomfortably in his bed. When I don’t say anything, he continues, “Don’t ask me any questions, please.” “Can I ask you if you want a cup of water?” I laugh. “I’m good,” he says. But I’m suspecting he’s not. His words make me think. They make me think hard. When everything falls into place in my head, I’m hit so hard I have to sit onto my bed. Then, I take a leap. Ever so slowly, I ask, “Tuvia, does this have something to do with the medicine chest?” And before Tuvia replies, before he bothers to think of a lousy excuse, the answer is clear to me. Today, Tuvia crossed the threshold. For the very first time, he tried my stuff. From today and on, we’re in this together. *** Lisa Stein Marcus Rifka squares her shoulders. “For this,” she looks me into the eye, “you’ll need to prove yourself. It is an offer that very few are able to fulfill. Very satisfying, but I can’t say it’s easy.” At once, I know that whatever mysterious proposition she’s going to offer, I will accept. It’s a drive from within, almost a spirit, that wills me to nod my head. I’ll prove myself. “Want to hear more?” Rifka asks, the twinkle in her eye still very alive. “Yes.” I wonder why my hands are cold. I’ve proven myself before, haven’t I? “So this is the story.” I watch Rifka relax into her chair, her frame leaning back, away from the stiff position she took a mere few moments ago. I see that I clutched my hands so tightly my knuckles are white when I release them. “I’m ready,” I offer. “You know how successful we’ve been here, at The Place, Lisa.” I nod, wondering where this little talk is headed.
“But until now, we’ve only focused on helping adults. There’s a large population out there that is still aching; their silent voices are begging for a program like this one. The teens. The board at The Place would love to start a program for them, to help them before they grow up to be wounded adults. We want to save them earlier.” “How brilliant.” “Yes, yes, I don’t know why we haven’t thought of this before.” Crystal images of my turbulent adolescence emerge to the fore of my mind. They wouldn’t make a pretty movie. I sigh. “I wish there would’ve been such a program when I was in that stage.” “We can’t change the past, Lisa,” Rifka reminds me softly, “but, like I often say, the future is in our hands.” “How exactly?” I ask. “So here’s where you come in to the picture,” Rifka bends forward. “We’re looking for a suitable candidate to facilitate the program, someone who’s been there, someone who’s grown from her experiences, someone who’s come as close as possible to the Magical Place.” As she speaks, I feel my heart turn to butter inside. Rifka’s words are a balm to my soul, the words I’ve been thirsting for all these years. I’ve finally made it, Rifka is telling me. “You, Lisa, fit the bill,” she continues, her countenance aglow. “Th…thank you,” I stammer, suddenly shy. The room takes on humanlike qualities as I feel myself dance. “But there’s one more requirement for this virtuous position, the hardest one of all.” “What is it?” I ask, startled. I straighten my back as the color in my cheeks returns rapidly. Perhaps the blow would come now, the final blow that would bring me plummeting down so hard I’d be pinned to the ground forever. “The candidate we end up appointing will have to prove herself first by showing us how she’d healed an entire family of their abusive past. All the children, one by one.” I purse my lips tightly together. Only someone like me knows what a tough call this is. “An entire family?” I ask. “Yes, Lisa, an entire family. The appointed woman must bring all the children in the family as close as she can to the Magical Place. That would be our proof that she’s the one.” I think so long and hard my head starts to hurt. I want this job. I want it desperately. This is more than a desire; it is a deep, deep need. At this moment, I know that I’d do anything in the world to attain it. It would be the final proof, the distinguished, untainted seal to my name
May 2, 2013
Recap: Davie, who lives with a close friend Tuvia, comes home from his sister Becca’s baby’s kiddush to find Tuvia sprawled on their bedroom floor.
I’d craved for since ever. And it would give me a chance to do what I’d always wanted, to give those broken teens what I’d never had. “Not an easy call,” I say. “Where do I start?” I think of my clients at the practice. On which family can I spread my hands like magic and heal them all, one by shattered one? It’ll be hard, no doubt, but I made up my mind. This is the job I need. “Lisa, the members of the board plan to launch the teen division in September. That gives us about five months. During this time, we’ll be looking at more than one candidate so we can choose the most suited one for this noble job.” I feel my heart drop. So this is not about me. This is about several others as well. I’m just one, just one candidate in this seemingly impossible quest. “So I’m not the only one?” I ask, unbelieving. And I already thought this was mine for the taking! “Right now, no,” Rifka shakes her head slowly. “But I have faith in you, Lisa. I have a feeling that in the end, you’ll emerge the winner.” I laugh inside, a mix of mockery and ill defeat. I feel that I lost the race even before we’d headed out as I picture the other runners bouncing effortlessly ahead, through the finish line. Why will I win? What are my credentials? I don’t even know of a family I can work with, let alone heal. But I need this. It seems that Rifka detects my agitation because after several minutes of uneasy silence, she says, “Lisa, I can help. I’ll think of a family you can work with. I’ll get you started because I know how much this means to you. I know how much you want to help others and I want you to emerge a champion.” “Believe me,” I say, “You don’t know how much I want this. Nobody does, only I.” The words emerge too fast. I hate the way they sound. Rifka’s hands cup her mouth. “I hear,” she says softly. “I’ll make it happen,” I reassure her. “I’ll make it happen, no doubt.” There’s work to do, a long road stretching into the distance. I stand up from the plastic folding chair and smooth out my skirt. When I step outside into the night, I feel the weight of this new responsibility on my shoulders. It’s a good kind of pressure, though, a very welcome kind, indeed. I can’t wait to share the excitement with Nathan. I know he’ll be so proud. It’s still before midnight so perhaps we can even drive over to the ice cream store and share a doublefudge pecan sundae with cookie crumbs. The offer alone is reason to celebrate, I think. After I sit into the car, I turn my phone on. “Three new messages,” reads the screen. I love the “new messages” signal. It’s a pocket filled with surprises. When I read the first message, a short one from mom, the exciting offer shrivels to a tiny speck in the distance. The fury, now buried under layers of better stuff, reemerges from its dormant state. This time, I’m angrier than ever before. This time, I promise I won’t forgive.
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Shiffy Friedman is a Jerusalem-based freelance writer. Her works have been published widely, primarily in Ami Magazine. She would love to hear feedback on her writing. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
46 May 2, 2013
Dulce de Leche Liqueur Cheesecake
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Esther Stine Crust
10 oz chocolate chip cookies 6 Tbsp butter 1/4 cup Lavie Dulce de Leche Liqueur 2 whipped cream cheese 1 container cream cheese 1 small sour cream 1 cup sugar 2 Tbsp vanilla sugar 4 eggs 3/4 cup Lavie Dulce de Leche Liqueur 2 heaping Tbsp cornstarch 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup Lavie Dulce de Leche Liqueur 3 cups confectioner’s sugar (or more)
Courtesy of: HappyHeartsWine.com
Blend cookies and mix with soﬅened butter and liqueur. Press crumbs into 2 9” pans. Freeze for 10 min. Blend all ingredients with an immersion blender. Pour batter over crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Freeze right away to prevent cake from caving in.
Mix Liqueur with confectioner’s sugar and drizzle onto cakes with a fork.
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The YULA Drama Society Boys' Division Proudly Presents
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Thursday, May 2nd 2013 at 7:30 PM Saturday, May 4th 2013 at 9:45 PM Sunday, May 5th 2013 at 7:30 PM The Rubin Auditorium The Gindi Campus 1619 South Robertson Boulevard Los Angeles Complimentary Valet Parking Available
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Newly adapted produced and directed by OURIEL HAZAN FOR ADVANCE TICKETS AND INFORMATION CALL
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