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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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u o Y h t i W s y a t It S APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

r a e Y l l A

Once-A-Year Eis Ratzon

Erev Pesach For the promise written by Hagaon Hamekubal Harav Shimshon of Ostropoli zt”l

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The Week In News CONTENTS

COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

JEWISH THOUGHT

Nine Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in honor of his birthday on Yud Aleph Nissan. . . . . . 17 Blind Date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 At the Seder: Know Who You Are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, Shlita, Attends Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Siyum on Chelek Aleph of Mishnah Berurah. . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Bricks We Carry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Mystery Of The Maharal And The Fifth Cup Of Wine At Seder Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

FEATURE

Big Chol Hamoed Fun on a Tiny Budget. . . . . . . . . 30

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Centerfold. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

LIFESTYLES

Choosing Life: Book Review and Conversation with Miriam Peretz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Ask Dr. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Rhythm of the Soul: TJH Speaks With Lazer Lloyd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

NEWS

Global. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 National. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

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Dear Readers, We’re told that the generation which will usher in the final redemption will experience a wave of teshuva, a return to Hashem unlike anything experienced in previous generations. Similarly the Rambam writes, “Hivticha torah shebisof golusan Yisroel osin Teshuvah umiyad hein nigalin – The Torah guarantees that at the end of their exile the Yidden will do teshuva, and they will be immediately redeemed.” The grand finale will be preceded by a return of the Jewish people to their Father in Heaven. Today it’s the norm to meet people who did not know what a siddur or a Shabbos table looks like until later on in life, and yet they left their comfort zones and little by little became complete shomrei torah umitzvos. Each has their own story, and at times encountered great hardship. Teshuva obviously also exists for those brought up keeping Shabbos and eating kosher. Indeed, in a certain sense, it’s harder to return to the creator and keep Torah & mitzvos lishmah – for the sake of heaven – when one was brought up doing so than if introduced to it later on. When there are warm memories of singing “Sholom Aleichem” Friday night or swaying over a Chumash in elementary school, there’s a real challenge in finding G-d in it all vs treating a Torah way of life as merely a beautiful societal and cultural tradition. Here too though we are witnessing a return to Hashem and His commandments. One can easily find friends, relatives, and even ourselves becoming more meticulous about a certain mitzvah, spending more

APRIL 2016 | The Jewish Home Peotime and effort in20, performing it right. ple who were “cool” and “with it” are suddenly becoming serious about the way they keep the halachos of the Shulchan Aruch. Certainly as we return to our Creator, He is “returning to us”, “remembering” our challenges, pain, and the distance between us. Although Hashem must find a lot of nachas in the Yidden’s avodah in these final days of golus, surely Hashem will be mivater on this enjoyment and show us the light of olam haba so that we too can appreciate our accomplishments. This Tuesday, Yud Aleph Nissan, was the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s birthday (1902). The Rebbe, a private person in the extreme, exhibited mesiras nefesh by entering the public leadership position of Rebbe so that he could lead the Jews of our generation in returning to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, and ultimately to our true inner selves. He taught us that every Jew, by performing even one mitzvah is returning to Hashem. And every Jew, even if his days are filled with mitzvos, should return to Hashem. For our inner soul is one with Him. The Rebbe’s lifelong dream was for the world to experience the G-dly redemption of the Jewish people. Let us continue doing everything we can to make it a reality, ending this dark and confusing exile – this time for good. May us, our families and communities experience a truly chag kasher v’sameach,

Shalom

T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM


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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Filling Boxes to Fill the Void Had you taken a peek inside the doors of Hama​sg​er 4, in Jerusalem, on a recent night you would have seen a wave of activity. The minds and hands of scores of volunteers worked together at the facility to pack, haul, and load over 15,000 boxes of nutritious Pesach food. Welcome to the Tov V’chesed warehouse, a singular hive from where 37,000 children are fed annually. “14 year s a go, I started out by feeding 200 loc al families. With the help of so many kin dhearted Yidden, we’re now feeding tho usands of children all across Israel,” says Tov V’Chesed founder Rabbi Yaakov Eliezer Shisha. “I try to fulfill my childhoo d p romise – made in the throes of shame that poverty brings – by feeding these kids with dignity.” Indeed, eac h package that leaves the Tov V’Chesed premises is delivered to the recipient’s door, sparing them the humiliation of claiming their food in public. Though t his fourteenth distribution was an epic accomplishment, a small episode in the midst of the action jolted everyone b ack to a very harsh reality: As the volu nte ers finished a bountiful meal during a mu ch-needed lunch break, they noticed how young neighborhood children began to gather the leftovers to bring home to their families. The paradox of the situation was stark: inside, 40,000 pounds

of matzah and chicken were being distributed, while outside, poverty was still not cured.​ Employees at the Tov V’Chesed offices attest to the rise in poverty as they sort through the endless amount of applications pouring in: desperate families are still begging for food for Pesach!​You can join the hundred s who have already made a difference and contributed by visiting www. tovvche s ed.com to make you r generous donation today.


TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Beverly Hills Synagogue’s Solidarity Concert For Israel

tion of Hanesha ma Lach arranged by conduct or Dr. Mordechai Sobol combining his own music with the music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Baram a lso delighted the crowd singing the theme from “Exodus.” ID Chie f Cantor Abramson sang “B ring Him Home,” from “Les Mi serable” with new meaning of how families in Israel pray and wait for the safe return of their loved ones. Abramson joined together with IDF cho ir members Netanel Ben Gihat, Noam Maimon, Itzik Dalia, Ariel Kadosh, Roi Shema, Yehonathan Finish, Nitai Cohen and Yossi Mark, to sing a moving arrangement by conductor Sob el of “Eretz Tzvi” and prayer for the IDF.  The song “Eretz Tzvi” (land of the deer,) was composed for the film “Operation Thunderbolt” about the IDF rescue at Entebbe led by Yoni Netanyahu. Other s elections from the concert included an incredible duet by Abramson and Baram of Hineni Kan, the IDF Rabbinate choir s inging Matanot K’tanot about the beautiful small gifts we should appreciate such as families together waiting for Shabbat, and Shabechi Yerushalayim. Another highlight was the introduction by Kaufler of special guest American attorney Elan Carr. Among Elan Carr’s heroic achievements was leading an anti terrorism team in Iran and conducting Chanukah and Shabbat services in the presidential palace of Saddam Hussein. To culminate a truly memorable event, all of the performers came onstage for “Avinu Shebashamayim” and a “Peace in Jerusalem Medley” with the audience singing and clapping along. The reason for the concert was summed up by the Rabbi of the Beverly Hills Synagogue Pini Dunner, “There’s nothing more important in the current atmosphere of negative attitudes towards Israel than to show our solidarity with both the state of Israel, with every Jew in Israel, and who supports Israel.”

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An exuberant audience gave two standing ova t ions at Beverly Hills Synagogue (YIBH) at their second annual Israel Solidarity concert held Wednesday April 13th. This year, the concert was sold out and the banquet area had to be opened to accommodate more people wanting a ticket. Philip K aufler, synagogue president, aptly described the evening that combined the talent of the IDF Rabbinate Choir and twelve m usicians from the United States Army Band, and two amazing Cantors, as “exciting, exhilarating and emotional.” The idea to unite two great allies in a musical extravaganza was conceived of by his w ife Janice Kaufler. She spoke to Rabbi K a linsky who in turn approached Rabbi David Becker who overcame many hurdles to bring this alliance together for a historic event. Becker e xpressed great pride in the U.S. ar m y performers based at La Alameda wh o he said could have been occupied w ith many endeavors, but instead chose to inspire, and join together with the IDF for this special evening of unity. Also attending and showing their support for the event were chaplains from throughout the country of all denominations. Singing solo, duets, and combining with th e IDF and U.S. Army performers were IDF Chief Cantor Lieutenant Colonel Shai Abramson and beloved Beverly Hills Synagogue Cantor Netanel Baram. According to Israeli news service Arutz Sheva, Abramson’s angelic voice was discovered by IDF chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi who heard him singing a prayer. Major General Stern then approached him to audition and the rest, as they say, is history. Abramson remembers hearing beautiful chazzanut and zemirot at home. His father was the cantor at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue and for years managed the Israeli Chamber orchestra. Baram e x plained his friendship with Abramso n began eight years ago when they both had the z’hut to perform at the re-dedication of the Hurva Synagogue in Yerushalayim. Both cantors have extraordinary vocal talent that resulted in an uplifting and soul stirring evening of song. Nati Ba r am sang an exquisite rendi-

Photos: Barry Novack

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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Kollel Chatzos Q & A Shoshana Bernstein

Rabbi Nechemye Hoffman is the founder and Director of Kollel Chatzos. A young, married father of three, he started the first kollel in 2011 with just 14 members and a dream. Four years later there are four locations and the power and zechus of supporting limud hatorah, especially at chatzos, is reverberating across the globe. What is Kollel Chatzos? Every night at a little past midnight, close to 100 young talmidei chachomim in Brooklyn, Monsey, Monroe, and Meron leave home to learn in Kollel throughout the night. People are shocked when they see the yungerleit running in to shul at that time, with tallis and tefillin in hand. It’s inspiring to see such excitement for learning when everyone else is going to sleep! Recently, a wealthy man happened to be standing outside the shul when one of the cars pulled up. He wondered out loud what they were doing and was so moved, he gave $50 to each kollel member right then and there. What differentiates Kollel Chatzos from other organizations of the same name? We are the only kollel in Eretz Yisroel with regular, young kollel members learning the standard range of Torah. Walk in to any of our locations at 3 am, and you’ll think you stepped in to a normal, vibrant day kollel. In America we are the only Kollel Chatzos and the only kollel learning throughout the night. Describe a night in Kollel Chatzos. The members are picked up (since it is the middle of the night, we provide transportation) and Kollel begins promptly at 12:45 am with maariv. Then they settle in to learn. Some chazer what they learned during the day, some learn b’chavrusa. Others participate in Dirshu; Maggidei Shiur prepare, and there is a dayan who reviews shailos and learns Shulchan Oruch. Many say tikun chatzos. Each member has a list of names specific to their kollel to keep in mind while they learn. At some point he takes out the paper and recites the names, often with tears. We keep the lists relatively small, and these exemplary talmidei chachomim develop a strong spiritual connection to the names they daven for; if a name is taken off the list, they notice. They learn until daybreak and daven shacharis at netz. There is something very special about a davening that comes after an entire night of being immersed in Torah! Then the members head home to eat

breakfast and help with the family and sleep for a couple of hours. By 10 am, they are back in their regular day kollel. So they learn day and night?! Yes. They get home from day kollel, eat supper and help with the kids, go to sleep at about 8:30 pm for four hours and then wake up and head to Kollel Chatzos for the night. It is an intense way of life, but the kollel members who commit to it can’t imagine anything else. In fact, there’s a huge waiting list in each city. What type of person signs up for Kollel Chatzos? Yungerleit ages 25-30; deeply commit-

we give out bonus coupons, and before Shavuos we give a bag filled with milchig items and a beautiful letter thanking the wives. How did the Kollel get started? When I was a bochur learning in the Mir, I was zoche to get to know a tremendous talmid chochom and mechaber seforim who shared with me that it is a life-changing experience to learn the Zohar. I went to Meron for Lag b’Omer and bought myself a small set of Zohar and found it very inspiring. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai states over and over that chatzos halaila is such a special time to learn, so I decided to try. I davened maariv in the

ted to learning Torah; they must be learning during the day, as well. When someone applies we meet with him and ask, “What is your plan for learning, and what is your plan for your home life? When will you sleep?” They must be able to sleep for four hours before they come. When someone is accepted, he is committed for one zman. For most kollel members, there is definitely an adjustment period, but then it becomes a way of life. What about the wives? The application actually requires the wife’s signature stating that she agrees and supports this decision, just like for Hatzolah members. Some wives even add that it is a zechus and an honor. During the year we plan support groups for the women, and inspirational speakers; before Pesach

first minyan in yeshiva, went to sleep and woke up at 12 am. I had the key to a bais medrash in Meah Shearim; I let myself in and learned, alone, the whole night. Then I got married and settled in Monroe with a regular day kollel schedule, but I really missed the chatzos halaila learning and always talked about it. About a year and a half after I got married, my wife urged me to use our chasunah savings to open a kollel. I went to various gedolim for haskama and put a small ad in the classifieds. I started two weeks later with 14 people. How did one small kollel grow into four locations and a world-renowned source for the zechusim of limud hatorah? The kollel started after Pesach and by

the summer, I was running out of money. I happened to mention the kollel to a new father, and he reached into his wallet and gave me $30. He told me, “I can’t stay up the whole night before the bris to learn. Please have the kollel learn in zechus of my baby.” The Rashash brings an incredible chiddush: if someone cannot stay up to learn the night of his baby’s vachnacht, he can ask someone else to learn on his behalf, and it is as if he himself learned for his baby the entire night. I realized that this was a potential way to help support the kollel while providing new fathers an avenue to have a shmira and a zechus for their baby. We started advertising and more people signed up for the zechus of having the kollel learn throughout the night. It grew from there. What do you think appeals to people most? When people hear the power and zechus of supporting the kollel, and the yeshuos it brings, they realize that there is definitely a koach to supporting Torah being learned b’chatzos halailah. There have always been those who feel a deep connection to segulos and yeshuos. Now people across the board are recognizing the tremendous zechus in helping ensure there is never a moment without Torah being learned, especially during the night. When you consider the time difference between the Kollel Chatzos locations in America and Eretz Yisroel, it means that in essence Torah is being learned non-stop from 6 pm to 6 am. Add this Torah learning to the rest of Torah being learned during the day throughout the world, and Torah is being learned 24 hours a day. You give people the opportunity to become a partner with Kollel Chatzos. Where does the money go? Exclusively to the kollel members and to administrative costs to help administer and raise funds for the kollelim. Without the money raised, we would not be able to pay the kollel members and the families would not have the ability to live this elevated and exceptional life of Torah. The more money raised, the more I can give each kollel member and the more locations I can open. What is your vision for the future? A kollel chatzos in every city with enough money to include as many kollel members as possible. And ultimately, that each kollel chatzos should be a full day kollel, as well.


TheHappenings Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

very high-end kosher food, even during Pesach. The restaurant will be closed two days before yom tov, beginning Wednesday evening, in preparation for the holiday. The menu for the Pesach holiday includes mouth-watering entrees including his signature braised beef, chicken, lamb, and one of his many international specialties, Korean-style ribs.

Chef Katsuji’s "Mexikosher" Tova Abady

“Kashrut has made me a better chef, a better father, a better husband, and a better person,” says celebrated Los Angeles chef, Katsuji Tanabe. Since 2011, Tanabe has been chef-partner at Mexikosher, the first authentic kosher Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. Although Tanabe himself is not Jewish, he has made a commitment never to compromise in the preparation of kosher food. He also appreciates closing on Shabbat to spend quality time with his wife and children. Chef Tanabe grew up in a heavily populated Jewish neighborhood in Mexico City where an Orthodox Jew lived next door to him. The chef enjoyed his relationship with the Jewish community in Mexico and now appreciates his warm relationship with our community in Los Angeles. Chef Tanabe uses only healthy spices and seasonings that are fresh, all natural, and dairy free. The spices sold at Mexikosher are gluten-free and non-GMO, with no preservatives. Tanabe has taken international cuisine to new levels and therefore it came as no surprise when Tanabe acquired the prestigious honor of being named the winner of the Food Network’s competition show “Chopped.”  He has also served as a contestant, judge, and mentor on other popular cooking shows. These are remarkable accomplishments, particularly because the half-Mexican (on his mother’s side), half-Japanese

(on his father’s) chef came to the U.S. at the age of nineteen with only five dollars. Chef Tanabe was determined to make the American Dream come true. He attended the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, and got a job at acclaimed nonkosher restaurants Bastide and Mastro’s steakhouse. He was then offered a job at Shiloh’s steakhouse, but had no idea it was kosher. After learning about kashrut from Kehilla, the certification agency, he recreated the entire menu, and Shiloh’s became one of the top kosher restaurants in Los Angeles. A new chapter in Tanabe’s successful career began in 2011, when he brought his culinary expertise and inventiveness (delighting kosher connoisseurs) to his new restaurant, Mexikosher. In fact, one patron at his restaurant who was a baal teshuva said the food was so amazing that he hadn’t tasted a dish like that in twenty years. He apparently couldn’t believe it was kosher so he called the supervising kashrut agency at the time, (Kehilla), and they came in to observe and assure him that the incredible creation was, in fact, perfectly kosher.   In addition to dining at the restaurant, Mexikosher offers two options for catering. One is their famous taco bar, and the other is offering the unique tastes from countries around the world. Chef Katsuji gives back to the community, serving as a personal mentor and celebrity representative for Jewish Big Brothers & Big Sisters,

Chef Katsuji shared with us this amazing creation. Korean Short Ribs 10 Miami short ribs  1/2 cup peeled ginger  4 cloves garlic  3 red jalapeños  1 cup sugar  1 cup lime  1 bunch cilantro  1small pear  1 cup cottonseed oil 1/4 cup salt  Mix all the ingredients in the blender  Marinate the ribs for 5 hrs.  Grill over charcoal  Serve with fresh lime and cilantro

Los Angeles, where he happily offers his time and expertise in teaching healthy eating and cooking alternatives. Thanks to Chef Katsuji, Jewish Angelenos and tourists now have access to

All of the entrees are non-gebrokts and contain no kitniyos or matzoh. Mexikosher is currently under the supervision of the RCC. The portions are generous, the food incomparable, and the prices are the lowest in the area for dining out on Pesach. Mexikosher will open for business on chol hamoed. Chef Tanabe will be there at the restaurant and even serving customers.

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Norman's Kosher for Pesach Yogurts Pass the Ultimate Taste Test Kosher for Pesach yogurts taste delicious and are high quality just like year-round Rutherford, NJ – Norman’s Dairy has done it again! Conducting a taste test between their kosher for Pesach and year-round yogurts, Norman’s has proven yet again that their kosher for Pesach yogurts taste delicious and are high quality just like their year-round products. The majority of tasters expressed their surprise that the kosher for Pesach yogurts tasted so good while being strictly kosher for Pesach. “During the year we are committed to using the freshest ingredients of the highest quality, ensuring not only an au-

thentic flavor but also that our yogurts taste delicious as well. Why should Pesach be any different?” says a Norman’s spokesman. “We believe that just because a product is kosher for Pesach does not mean that the taste or quality of the product should be compromised. We have developed a great tasting yogurt for Pesach that we are proud to put the Norman’s name to.” All Norman’s yogurts are produced in their very own state-of-the-art cholov yisroel factory, fostering innovation and allowing vigilant quality control.

“Unlike those who rent out space at non-kosher factories and need to kasher every time they produce, Pesach is the only time of year that Norman’s needs to kasher. This ensures that our yogurts meet the highest kashrus standards possible.” Norman’s yogurts make a great Pesach breakfast option, delicious snack, or the perfect chol hamoed picnic basket filler. Their Pesach line features Greek Original as well as Greek Light, and Creamy Blends that are available in Strawberry, Vanilla, and Coffee flavors.

Customers can also get their Norman’s traditional yogurt fix with the non-fat Taste yogurt line in Vanilla, Strawberry, and Café Latte flavors; 80 Lite’s Plain, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Coffee; and Norman’s low-fat yogurt available in Strawberry, French Vanilla, and Cappuccino. Their Yummy Swiss Strawberry 6-pack will also line supermarket shelves. For further details about all Norman’s delectable products and delicious recipes, check out www.normansdairy. com.

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APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home


APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Nine Teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe in honor of his birthday on Yud Aleph Nissan

‫ובכן ויהי בחצי הלילה‬

Rabbi Sholom Kesselman KOLLEL MERON

‫ח„ר יע˜ב ‡בינו‬

One of the greatest contributions the Rebbe gave us is the way in which he taught us to think and approach life. Below is a short list of the ones which have impacted me most: • You are capable of infinitely more than you think. Attempt the impossible and it will become possible.

• A setback is G-d’s way of telling you: “you’re ready for something greater.” Don’t resent it; embrace it. • The less it’s about you, the happier you’ll be. The opposite of happiness is self-centeredness.

• There is nothing you can ever do to make G-d stop loving you. He’s not letting go; why should you.

• Our grandparents proved loyal to G-d in face of oppression. We must prove so in face of freedom / affluence.

• Touch one person and see the chain reaction as they touch the next. Affect one individual-change the world.

• You carry the ultimate responsibility for realizing G-d’s purpose in creation. Stop trying to pass the buck.

• Everything matters. Even a single thought is highly significant to G-d; never underestimate their impact.

• Don’t accept being in exile. Never get comfortable with it and never stop demanding redemption.

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Torah Musings The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Blind Date Sarah Pachter

My husband and I went on a blind date. Well, this was actually our second blind date – I am not referring to our first one, when we met in 2005. Imagine the following scene: You are sitting in a restaurant and have just placed your order with the waitress. After a few minutes, you hear the footsteps of your server approaching. The next thing you know, she bumps into you, poking your eye with the glass. Water splashes on your face. Rather than feeling upset at the waitress, you feel compassion for her and apologize profusely for being in her way. You even feel gratitude towards your server for trying her best. No, you are not trying to impress your date. And yes, you behavior sounds angelic and even impossible – unless, of course, the server is blind and you are sitting in a simulated blind restaurant. As my husband and I stood in the lounge waiting for our server to escort us into the seating area, the manager of the facility ran through a few quick rules. We had to shut off our cell phones entirely. We were not even able to put the phone on vibrate mode as that might still cause a small light to flash, thereby ruining the entire experience. Before we went with our server, he cautioned that if the darkness was too overwhelming, we should let our server know, and they would escort us back out to the fully lit lounge so that we could recoup. I did not understand what he meant, but I politely gave him a “smile and nod.” I saw no reason to expect that I would not feel fine. After we confirmed that we were ready to enter, our blind server came to greet us, then take us into a completely dark sitting area. As we walked in, the darkness immediately shocked our senses. We had to walk in a train-like formation, each person holding onto the other. We were suddenly acutely aware of every sound in the room. Never before had we paid attention to how the fabric of the tablecloth felt; never before had surrounding voices felt so distinct. It was amazing to truly understand how much we rely on each of our senses.

In order to safely seat us, our server brought one hand of mine to the chair and the other hand to the table. I did not want her to leave me just yet. I wanted to get more comfortable with my unknown surroundings. In order to find the second glass of water that she brought to the table, she placed the glass at the corner of the table and slowly guided my hand towards the glass. Bringing the glass to my lips to take a sip was another challenge. Throughout the night, I repeatedly tried to visually escape the room and find light but there was none. It was complete darkness. I began to feel dizzy and even short of breath. The all-consuming black refused to let up. As a person with visual abilities, my closest experience to such complete darkness is while I sleep. During waking hours, I rarely experience pure darkness. Even at night time, I benefit from light given off by modern technology: street lamps, traffic lights, billboards, etc. Sighted people never experience total darkness. My husband and I learned that night from our waitress that those who are entirely blind do not even see the color black. Most possess no visual receptors, so they experience nothing at all. We left the restaurant humbled and grateful. That night enabled me to formulate the difference between talking about an event on one hand and experiencing it on the other. Merely talking about an event is superficial at best. One of my favorite quotes that is posted on the wall of my children’s school says: “More than people remember what you teach or say, they remember how you made them feel.” The holiday of Passover is all about feeling and remembering. There is an age old custom of acting out the Exodus from Egypt. The point of this custom is to remind us of the miracles that G-d performed for the Jewish people at that time. When we internalize this experience, we will develop a great sense of appreciation for all that G-d does for us in our daily lives. However, it is very difficult to relate to the Ten Plagues in the 21st century. Fortunately, this “blind date” gave me a taste of the plague of darkness. In turn, my level

of gratitude towards G-d increased. Every night at dinner with my children, I try to discuss something that we are grateful for. I’m sure that in the past, I have mentioned eyesight. Merely saying that I am grateful for sight pales in comparison to experiencing life without sight, even for only a short period of time. It is the element of experience that Passover comes to teach us every year. Each Jew relives the Exodus at the seder table on the night of Passover. We do this by not only talking about it, but by involving as many

senses as possible. It is hard to pay attention and feel connected to “The Experience” throughout the entire seder. If we can try to connect to one part and feel the depth of the experience, it will be a springboard to improving our sense of gratitude for all that we have in our lives. This is the road to our own personal exodus. May we all merit complete salvation, communally and personally, speedily in our days!

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

A young boy sat with his father in Auschwitz, reciting what they could remember of the haggadah on the seder night. As they sat in the world’s most dismal corner, during the darkest of times, their minds were elsewhere. Imagine them holding a seder in Auschwitz, a father and son hiding, shuddering from hunger, fright and exhaustion. As they attempted to recall the memories of sedorim in years past, at home, with the atmosphere festive, beautiful faces of gathered family around the decorated table, the emaciated boy with his scarecrow of a father commemorated the redemption. The boy asked the four questions of Mah Nishtanah and, when he was done, asked a fifth. “Tatte leben ich vil dir fregin… I have one more question. Will we be alive next year, me and you, so that I can ask you the questions again?” The father turned to the boy and said, “Look all around us. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. There is no way to know what our fate is. But one thing I do know, my dear son: Whether or not we will live until next Pesach, you can be sure that next year there will be boys all around the world asking their fathers the ‘Mah Nishtanah.’” The accompanying image signifies that message. A three-year-old boy points with excitement at a page in a haggadah printed 387 years ago. As you look at the image, imagine all the sedorim that haggadah was present at. Think of all the years of joy and happiness and also those of deprivation, pogroms, sadness, and the Holocaust. And think that all those 387 years, no matter what was going on, boys were asking their fathers the “Mah Nishtanah.” And 387 years later, Jewish boys the world over are still asking the “Mah Nishtanah” and their fathers are providing answers to their questions. Everyone, on their own level, eagerly awaits this yom tov of geulah, Pesach. We

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

At the Seder: Know Who You Are await Eliyohu Hanovi’s appearance on this night and his announcement of Moshiach’s arrival. We feel blessed to welcome him as the children gauge how much wine he really drank from his regal cup. We sit resplendent at the seder, rejoicing in our exit from servitude, and every year we celebrate again with feelings of joy and gratitude. And just as we do in our homes of plenty, without fear of blood libels or pogroms, the father in Auschwitz was explaining to his son that they were links in a glorious chain stretching back to the time our nation was formed – Arami oveid avi, and Avodim hoyinu – when the Jews were slaves in Mitzrayim. That same nation of downtrodden Jews was lifted and charged with a mandate at Har Sinai. We were all there as Hashem proclaimed, “Anochi,” and, “Lo yihiyeh lecha.” We rose from pitiful and exhausted castaways to embraced members of Hashem’s nation, and no matter what happens, that chain will continue extending, link by link, forever. Parents charge their children and pass on to them the torch of the eternal flame that will illuminate the world until the final day of golus, when the world will burst forth with the light of the ohr chodosh. We recite in the haggadah, “Bechol dor vador,” reminding us that it is a generational thing. We say, “Bechol dor vador chayov adam liros es atzmo ke’ilu hu yotzah miMitzrayim – In every generation, everyone must see themselves as if they were redeemed from Mitzrayim.” We then say, “Bechol dor vador omdim oleinu lechaloseinu – In every generation, the nations of the world attempt to annihilate us, but Hashem saves us from their plots.” We are stating that the plot of the Mitzriyim was not a one-time thing. What transpired then has been repeated many times. In fact, in each generation, nations seek our demise and therefore, in each generation we must view ourselves as if we were redeemed, because, in fact, we were.

So when we sing “Vehi She’omdah,” we celebrate those generational victories that took place in every generation, going back to Avrohom Avinu and his travails, and until the modern day, when the Arabs, Iran, and others who seek our annihilation are neutralized. We don’t just sing for our own good days or for the victories that took place in our generation. We sing for them all, going back to the beginning, because we are not just individuals. We are not just families. We are not just the people around our table. We are all part of something much bigger than us and our times. We are part of a large movement that stretches back thousands of years. During the seder, our essence shines as we perceive how big we really are. On this night, we leap past our homes, past our barriers, past Auschwitz and the endless stream of ghettos, prisons, cellars, and dungeons in which we have found ourselves. On this night, we leap past everything that was erected to hold us back and keep us down, and as we rise, we tap into our essence. We eat bread that hasn’t risen, because we have. The posuk (Bereishis 26) relates that Yaakov Avinu brought two goats to his father, Yitzchok, as he asked him for his eternal blessing. Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer (Chapter 32), cited by Rashi (Bereishis ibid.), asks why Yitzchok required two whole goats for his meal, explaining that the story transpired on the eve of the seder, and one goat was for the korban Pesach while the second was for matamim. The Baal Haturim and others explain that matamim refers to the korban chagigah. Thus, the two goats were for the two korbanos that are brought on Erev Pesach. The Vilna Gaon adds that the bread Yaakov brought for Yitzchok was matzoh and the wine was for the arba kosos. The Gaon ties the song of “Chad Gadya” to this early seder. He explains that “Chad Gadya” is a story of two goats, which is why we recite the words “Chad

Gadya” twice. They refer to the two goats that Yaakov brought to his father,. Our sedorim hearken back to the seder of Yitzchok and Yaakov, and we sing this song to remind us that we are part of something larger than us. We are links in a chain stretching through the ages back to Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov. If we listen to that message, we will be blessed, as Yaakov was, with all the good this world has to offer. The Rambam writes that it is a mitzvas asei to tell the story of our departure from Mitzrayim on the first night of Pesach. He states (Hilchos Chometz Umatzah 7:1) that this mitzvah is derived from the posuk (Shemos 13:3) which says, “Zachor es hayom hazeh asher yotzasa miMtzrayim – Remember this day that you left Mitzrayim.” How do we know that this posuk is referring to the night of the 15th of Nissan? Because the posuk states (Shemos 13:8), “Vehigadeta levincha bayom hahu leimor baavor zeh – And you shall tell your son, ‘On that night…’” Which night is it? The night when you have pesach, matzah, and maror placed in front of you. The Rambam adds that even if you do not have a child, and even if you are in the company of great Torah scholars, you are still obligated to discuss the redemption from Mitzrayim. We can explain that although the Torah delivers this mitzvah in verses pertaining to a father-son discussion, the talk must take place no matter who is there, even if it is people who are well-versed in what transpired and do not need to be taught the story or the halachos of Pesach. This is part of the obligation to realize that the seder we are sitting at is not merely for us and our families, but to remind us of who we are, where we come from, and what our mission is. The famed Yerushalmi maggid, Rav Shalom Schwadron zt”l, would speak every Friday evening at the Zichron Moshe shul in Yerushalayim. As in times of old, hundreds would come from all over to sit in the shul and bask in the glow of the famed darshan. His performance was the talk of town. One minute the audience would be rolling from laughter and the next they would be overcome with emotion, puddles of tears forming on the wellworn stone floors of the historic shul. One day, the Brisker Rov passed Rav Schwadron on the street. He said hello and inquired about his welfare. Then he asked him what he spoke about the past Shabbos in Zichron Moshe. Rav Shalom told him the topic. “Was there a big crowd?” the rov


Living with In theNews Times The Week

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

asked. “Oh, yes,” said Rav Shwadron. “Huge. There were like five to six hundred people there.” “And tell me,” asked the rov, “was Rav Shalom also there?” Rav Schwadron would repeat the story and marvel at how brilliantly the Brisker Rov had rebuked him. We talk to others, and we become animated. We set people on the path, but we forget to pay attention to our message. At the seder, we don’t only speak to our children, spouse, and guests. We must also remember to speak to ourselves and pay heed to what we are saying. It was this night that emboldened our forefathers wherever they were, injecting the kedoshim of the Inquisition, and the concentration camps, and the churban habayis, and all other catastrophes, small and colossal, with an awareness that they would persevere, because the am hanetzach has a past and a future. A wise woman gave my son advice this past Shabbos. She said, “Always know who you are.” So many of us are lost and thrashed about because we don’t know who we are. We don’t understand our greatness, giving up on ourselves before we even have a chance to get anywhere in life.

Sadly, you see such children everywhere in our world, empty and vacuous as they chase thrills and seek enjoyment while their goal escapes them. There is no joy in idle pursuits. There is no happiness in running from who you are. Life has many challenges. Those who remember who they are, where they come from, and what they are all about are able to persist and realize their missions. So how do we reach those children and how do we bring them back? What do we

say to them? How do we express to them the hopes and dreams we brought them up with? How do we let them know that even though they may not believe in themselves, we believe in them? The answer is through Torah. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s not. Love them and show them that you love them. Speak to

them on their level, in a voice they can understand and with words they can accept. Communicate. That is what the seder is all about. We have a question-and-answer discussion about supremacy and grandeur, but also about being in the dumps and climbing out. The children question and the parents respond. At the seder, we recite the Mishnah that states, “Kineged arba bonim dibra Torah.” The Torah speaks to all types of kids: the smart ones, the wicked ones, the dimwitted ones, and even the ones who are clueless. And for each one, there is a proper answer, which speaks to that child in a way that he can grasp and understand. For each, there is a response that leads him to be able to answer the question of who he is. We, adults, though fortunate to live in safety and comfort, sometimes forget who we are. At the seder, we announce to our children and ourselves what we represent, who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. If we feel it, they will feel it, too, carrying that torch for generations to come, until the great day. Leshanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim habenuyah. When the town of Chust was overtaken by the Nazis, the rov, Rav Yehoshua Grunwald was given one last opportunity

to speak. It was on the first day of Pesach that he faced his people for one final time. He stood in front of them and quoted the words in the haggadah, “Hoshata hacha leshanah habaa barah d’Yisroel.” We proclaim, “This year we are here. Next year we will be in Eretz Yisroel. Why do we say Hoshata hacha; is it not obvious that we are here? We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t here. The Chuster Rov cried out to his people, “Hashata hacha! Hashata hacha!” yes, we are saying something, we are proclaiming that we are still here. The Haggadah reminds us that we are still here. Despite all that has come over us, we are still here. Despite all that has come over us, we are still Hashem’s nation, still holding on. If we focus on that message, then soon we will be “b’arah d’Yisroel.” If enough of us know who we are, how we got here and where we are going, by next year we will be in Eretz Yisroel, geulim. May Eliyohu arrive speedily and bring with him the neshamos of our departed loved ones, the boys and girls, the men and women, who faithfully sang “Vehi She’omdah” as they awaited the arrival of the final redemption.

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hand, American oak will release fewer tannins, yet add more distinctive nuances to the wine. The French oak that is usually used for the making of wine ageing barrels come from 120-150 year-old trees growing in one of five forests in France. While the effects of the oak in the wine also depend on the level of toast that is applied to the barrel, wines that are aged in French oak typically feature more subtle aromas of coffee and spices. American oak barrels are made from White Oak trees averaging 80-100 years old. American oak barrels have a tighter grain which minimizes evaporation of wine from the barrel; it also makes the barrels heavier than French oak and impacts the flavor profile of the wines, creating richer and distinctive notes of sweet vanilla and dill. So which type of barrel wins this battle? The French or the American oak? Well, it’s up to you to decide whether there’s one or two winners here, as both wines are excellent yet different, each with its own character. L’chaim, cheers!

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Dirshu The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, Shlita, Attends Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Siyum on Chelek Aleph of Mishnah Berurah Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Nesius Gathers in Bnei Brak to Mark Milestone Chaim Gold

“There was so much kedusha in that room, so much tahara! So many venerated senior gedolei yisrael were there for one reason only – to celebrate limud halacha and to further encourage klal yisrael to learn daily halacha. Without a doubt, however, the climax was the entrance of the venerated senior rosh yeshiva of our generation, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, who despite his age and weakness pushed himself to attend and even deliver divrei bracha in order to impress upon klal yisrael the importance of learning daily halacha.” These were the words of Dirshu’s senior hanhala member, Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein when describing the unique maamad of kavod haTorah that marked the siyum of chelek aleph of the Mishnah Berurah in the second machzor of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program. The siyum, held in Rav Shteinman’s apartment building, was attended by the nesius of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. They included, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponovezh Yeshiva, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, HaGaon HaRav Yisrael Hager, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Shimon Baadani, shlita,

Rosh Yeshivat Torah V’Chaim, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Kamenitz, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponovezh Yeshiva, the Alexander Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron, the Modzhitzer Rebbe, shlita, and the Seret-Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita. The Boyaner Rebbe, shlita, was unable to attend, but he sent an emissary, the Rosh Yeshiva of Boyan, HaGaon HaRav Tzvi Rabinowitz, shlita. The event was also attended by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita. Rav Shteinman’s Bracha The Nesius of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha was established just over a year ago in advance of the beginning of the second machzor. There are two separate nesius, one in Eretz Yisrael and the other in America comprised of Gedolei Yisrael representing the entire cross-section of Torah Jewry. The nesius serves as the leading body and guide for Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and Dirshu looks to them for direction and inspiration on all matters related to the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha.

When the revered rosh yeshiva, Rav Shteinman, entered the room accompanied by his grandson, Rabbi Dovid Shapira, all of the senior gedolim rose in deference. There was a reverent hush in the room as the chairmen of the event, HaGaon HaRav Yehuda Aryeh Dunner, shlita, Rav of Beis Medrash Divrei Shir in Bnei Brak asked Rav Shteinman to deliver words of bracha. In his short but telling remarks that offered insight into the great importance of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha in Rav Shteinman’s eyes, he said, “From Tzion the Torah comes forth and the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Through the learning of halacha we will all merit the geulah shelaima, bimheira b’yameinu!” The Pivotal Importance of Learning Halacha Daily The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha was established by the Gedolei Yisrael among them, the posek hador, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, who encouraged Dirshu to undertake establishing what would become a new Daf HaYomi in klal yisrael. The rosh yeshiva, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman remarked at the founding of

the nesius about a year ago, “The foundation of a Jew is to conduct himself in accordance with the four orders of Shulchan Aruch. Nevertheless, the very fact that the Chofetz Chaim wrote the Sefer Mishnah Berurah on the chelek of Orach Chaim (and according to those who maintain that it was his intention to write on all four orders, the fact that he chose to start with Orach Chaim) shows that one must learn halacha daily. Orach Chaim is unique in that it outlines the daily halachos that every Jew must know. This is the chelek that a person must live with every day of his life. Thus he must learn it every day of his life.” Rav Shteinman concluded with the bracha, “Hashem Yisborach should help us, that in the zechus of learning Torah every day, may we merit the coming of Moshiach Bimheira B’yameinu!” In addition, at a previous Daf HaYomi B’Halacha event several years earlier, Rav Shteinman almost prophetically said, “When Rav Meir Shapiro introduced the concept of learning a ‘Daf Yomi,’ many skeptics predicted, “How will everyone be able to learn the difficult masechtos covering areas of Torah that are not relevant in our times, such as seder Kodshim, learned in the past by only the greatest talmidei chachamim? Today, however, everyone knows how mistaken those skeptics turned out to be! Today we realize that because of Daf Yomi, all Jews have the opportunity to become Shas Yidden.” Similarly, with Daf HaYomi B’Halacha all the naysayers will be proven to be mistaken…” The event was opened by Rav Dunner who began, “We have gathered here today at the home of the Rosh Yeshiva in honor of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. Anyone with any familiarity of the situation in our communities can see what a colossal, revolutionary transformation the learning of daily halacha has made in the minds of yungeleit and bachurim the world over.


The Week In News Dirshu

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

It has given them a newfound cheshek in learning halacha and a deep desire to know and understand halacha. All of Klal Yisrael is indebted to Dirshu and its Nasi both for creating a comprehensive program and for publishing a Mishnah Berurah with Biurim and Musafim from the great poskim of our time that enables every Jew to be able to derive the practical halacha in the most user friendly of ways.” The Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Shlita: Learning Halacha Every Day Transforms the Entire Day! The Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita was then asked to deliver short remarks. The Rebbe cited the Gemara at the end of Masechta Niddah that, “‘Kol hashoneh halachos b’chol yom muvtach lo shehu ben Olam Haba’ah – He who learns halachos every day is assured a place in the world to come.’ B’chol yom means every day and the simple meaning,” explained the Rebbe, “is that if he learns halacha every day he is guaranteed a place in Olam Haba’ah.” The Rebbe added, “I think we can say that the words ‘b’chol yom’ can also mean ‘throughout the day’. When a person learns halacha daily, his entire day, everything he does, wherever he walks, is one long manifestation of learning and fulfilling halacha,” concluded the Rebbe. HaGaon HaRav Shimon Baadani, Shlita: Daily Halacha An Antidote to Tzaros HaGaon HaRav Shimon Baadani, when called upon to speak, said, in his deep humility, that he was embarrassed to speak in front of the leading gedolim and ziknei hador. He then brought proof from pesukim that specifically when the world is in a terrible situation, when Jewish blood is being spilled and so many want to ruin the Jewish Nation, the solution to neutralize the middas hadin and invoke middas hara-

chamim is to learn halacha. Rav Badani cited the well-known Gemara (Megillah 28), “We learned in the beis medrash of Eliyahu that one who learns halacha every day is assured a place in Olam Haba’ah, as it says, ‘Halichos olam Lo [the ways of the world are His]’ – do not read the word halichos, but rather halachos.” Rav Badani explained that the passuk, “Halichos olam Lo [the ways of the world are His],” is mentioned in Sefer Chabakuk, where the navi discusses terrible punishments. “The preceding words are, ‘Everlasting mountains were smashed, eternal hills were laid low, for the ways of the world are His.’ How,” Rav Badani asked, “do the words of ‘halichos olam lo’ come into this description of Hashem’s judgment?” He answered, “Perhaps we can say that Chazal derived from this passuk [that one who learns halacha daily is assured a place in Olam Haba’ah] that even when we are plagued by great tzaros, great travail and suffering, the antidote is to learn halacha every day.” A Remarkable Sight! One of the most remarkable aspects of the maamad was the great honor and deference that the gedolim had for each other. The elderly sages stood up for their counterparts as each one entered despite the physical frailty of some of them. Rav Dovid Hofstedter: The Combined Power of Individual and Community Led by Ziknei Hador Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu opened his remarks by saying, “The hakoras hatov that Dirshu has to the gedolei hador zt”l and yblc”h, shlita, who established Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is incalculable.” Rav Dovid continued this theme by pointing out that in the passuk about the korban Pesach the Torah tells us that

Moshe summoned the ziknei yisrael and told them about the commandment to bring a korban Pesach. Why did Moshe specifically tell that to the zekeinim? In Parshas Shemini where the Torah talks of the chanukas hamishkan the Torah also says that commandment was given to the zekainim. What is the significance of the elders? Rav Hofstedter answered, “The medrash teaches us that Yisrael is analogized to a bird. Just like a bird cannot fly without wings, so too Bnei Yisrael cannot elevate themselves without the Zekeinim. The chanukas hamishkan is a time when the Shechina rests on klal yisrael. The Torah is teaching us that the Shechina cannot be present without the zekeinim. Similarly, the korban Pesach signified the geirus of klal yisrael, the conversion of klal yisrael to the people of Hashem. They rose from the 49th level of impurity to become the people of Hashem! Such a transformation, such an undertaking can only be done with the zekeinim.” Rav Dovid went on to explain how the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is a combination of the power of the individual who undertakes to learn halacha daily, day in and day out and the collective tzibbur who undertake learning in one program together. This combined power of individual and tzibbur guided by the ziknei hador is the ultimate antidote to free ourselves from the tumah all around us and to bring Hashem and kedusha into our lives! “As Yidden seeking to improve in our service of Hashem,” Rav Dovid stressed, “we must take this lesson learned from the synthesis of community and individual to heart and apply it to our own lives. As ovdei Hashem we must constantly seek to challenge ourselves, to incorporate more ruchniyus, more Torah learning, more mitzvos and enhanced knowledge of halacha into our lives. At the same time, the ultimate way to accomplish these goals is by

attaching ourselves to the wider community or to a worldwide movement or initiative. In this way we become energized from being attached to something greater than ourselves, to something that unifies all of klal yisrael while engaging in individual accomplishment in order to reach those goals.” Halacha Every Day to Combat the Yetzer Hara Every Day Rav Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s Director of Public Affairs related, “The fact that the most senior gedolim, who are so overwhelmed with obligations and often such minimal physical strength took the time to come to the home of Rav Shteinman to be mechazek the Yidden who are learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and to encourage every member of klal yisrael who has not yet joined to come aboard and bring Hashem into their lives every day – is the greatest testament to the importance that they attach to this newer, exceptionally vital Daf Yomi.” Perhaps the words of Rav Shteinman that he wrote in a letter in advance of Dirshu’s Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah, 2013, are most prescient at this time. He wrote, “It is therefore proper that every single person set aside time every day to learn halachah, and especially the halachos that are of practical relevance, every day and every Shabbos. This daily learning session of practical halacha should not be less than a half-hour…. “A person must strengthen himself in learning halacha every day, because the yetzer hara comes every day. Countless times each day the yetzer hara tries to pull a person away from Hashem. The only antidote is to strengthen limud haTorah and limud halacha!”

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The Week In News Holiday Series

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Bricks We Carry Rabbi Hershy Z. Ten President, Bikur Cholim

As we sit down at the seder, we find ourselves immersed with symbolism of slavery, suffering, freedom, and the Exodus. We are mandated to recall the days when the korban Pesach was eaten with one’s family together with matzah and maror, as they spoke well into the morning hours on the events that surrounded yitziyas Mitzrayim. For millennia, the institution of the seder has incorporated imagery in the haggadah text and the activities at the seder; most notably, this symbolism is seen in the four kosos of wine, matzah, maror, and the zeroah. Over time, additions by our Sages were included in the seder and on the ka’arah; from the char-

oses, karpas, and beitzah, and even the practice of walking around the table to commemorate the journey of the Jewish people. Everything at the seder represents a facet of Jewish life from the past, present, and future. For many years I wondered about a specific item on the ka’arah that seemed superfluous: the charoses. The Mishnah in Pesachim (114a) records the use of charoses as an integral part of the seder stating, “…they bring before him matzah, chazeres, charoses…even though charoses is not a mitzvah. Rabbi Eliezer b’rebi Tzadok says charoses is a mitzvah.” The Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 116a) offers

two explanations as to why charoses is a mitzvah: One is given by Rebbi Yochanan, who explains that the charoses serves to remind us of the clay and mortar used by our ancestors when they were slaves in Mitzrayim to build the cities of Par’oh. The charoses plays such an integral role in the seder that generations of Sages have stipulated recipes and ingredients, and each family, region, and lineage has their own customs in its preparation. The Torah describes early on in sefer Shemos the role of mortar and bricks in the life of bondage while in Mitzrayim. “Vayemareru es chayeihem ba’avodah kashah, bechomer uvilvenim uvechol avodah basadeh eis kol avodasam asher avdu vahem befarech. – They embittered their lives with hard work, with mortar and with bricks, and with every labor of the field; all the labor they performed was crushing labor.” (Shemos 1:14) This posuk is used by Rabban Gamliel and is recorded in the haggadah to explain the purpose of the maror. It would appear that Rabban Gamliel is of the opinion that the maror is all-encompassing and speaks to the pain, suffering, humiliation, and loss experienced in Mitzrayim. That being said, why did the Sages see it necessary to create a food mixture such as charoses to be symbolic of the cement and clay used to form bricks? Doesn’t the maror include the symbolism of chomer uvilvenim – mortar and bricks? I would like to offer an answer to this question that I believe speaks to the heart of many. At the beginning of parshas Shemos the Torah teaches us, “…vayiven arey miskenos le-Par’oh…. – And they built treasure cities for Par’oh…” (Shemos 1:11) These treasure metropolises represented the wealth of Par’oh and the Egyptian dynasties. More so, these cities also represented the lost treasures of Jewish parents; their innocent children who were crushed and became part of the building materials used in the construction. After Moshe rises to a leadership role he approaches Par’oh with the demand,“… koh-amar Hashem Elokei yisrael shalach es ami…. – So said Hashem, the G-d of Yisrael, send out my people…” (Shemos 5:1). Par’oh responded harshly to this request by denying the Jews straw for their

bricks, demanding that they maintain their production quota, and increasing the labor and burden upon them. Moshe then turns to Hakodosh Baruch Hu and asks, “… Adonai lamah hare’osah la’am hazeh lamah zeh shlachtani? – My Lord, why have You harmed these people, why have You sent me?” (Shemos 5:22) The Midrash (Shemos Rabbah 5:27) describes Moshe’s conversation with Hashem in greater detail, “…mah ichpas lach b’osan hanusnim tachas habinyan.” Moshe asks the Ribono Shel Olam, “Do you care about the children buried under the buildings?” Meaning, what about the innocent lives that became part of the clay and mortar, forever cemented with and in between the bricks? What about those who were lost and have become mere memories to their parents? Moshe is asking Hashem the question that crosses the mind of every man and woman of every generation: Why is it that tzadik ve ra lo, rasha ve tov lo? Why do bad things happen to good people? The Ribono Shel Olam never answers Moshe Rabbeinu’s question; in fact, this question has never been answered in all of Jewish history. Yet despite Moshe not receiving an answer, he continued to lead the Jewish people out of Mitzrayim and throughout their 40 years in the desert. The families who lost innocent loved ones stayed the course in their emunah and bitachon , experienced the geulah, kriyas Yam Suf, and matan Torah, while carrying the silent burden of an unexplained tragedy. The charoses is not superfluous to the maror, rather it has unique purpose. It is a reminder of lost treasures of Jewish parents whose children became part of the brick and mortar. It is a reminder that their memories are not forgotten, but honored. It is a reminder of the unanswered question of why the innocent suffer. The charoses is a testament that yitziyas Mitzrayim happened without this question being answered, and that our future redemption will come without it being answered as well. May this year’s Pesach ease the burden of this unanswered question, and may we never lose sight that the geulah sheleima is within our reach.


The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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The Week In News

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Review TheBook Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Choosing Life:

Book Review and Conversation with Miriam Peretz Miriam’s Song: The Story of Miriam Peretz By Smadar Shir; Translated by Jessica Setbon

Gefen Publishing

398 pp.

Reviewed by Devorah Talia Gordon

Miriam with (L-R) Avichai, Elyasaf and Eliraz

can I get up?’ There are two ways. One, is to be in my home, to cry, sleep, and think G-d isn’t good, the government is not good. This is one way.” But Miriam’s youngest child, Bat-El, was eight years old, and she wanted to go to school that day. She asked her mother to make her a sandwich. This small decision was a pivotal moment for Miriam. “In this minute I understood I must choose what [kind of] life I want. I want to continue to make sandwiches… you can’t imagine how hard it was to make this simple sandwich.” Seven years later, Miriam’s husband Eliezer died at the young age of 56. Miriam explains that although Eliezer was physically ill, her husband never accepted Uriel’s death, and “died of a broken heart.” Eliraz, her second son, had always dreamed of being in combat. He was a born leader who “radiated vitality.” Miriam writes, “I wanted to believe that death would never touch him.” But on March 26, 2010, Major Eliraz Peretz, a husband and father of four, was killed by Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip. Once again, Miriam found the strength to continue to “make sandwiches.” Miriam said, “I understood what Shlomit [her daughter-in-law] will feel. It was difficult that my husband wasn’t with me, now I was alone. But I have grandchildren, I have something to live for. I have my daughter-in-law…I thought, ‘If she sees me continue, then she will continue.’” Pictures of Eliraz and Shlomit with their four young children, as well as Uriel,

Eliezer, and the entire Peretz family, draw the reader even more deeply into “Miriam’s Song.” Especially heart-wrenching are later pictures, starkly missing the two young men and their father. The book closes with personal essays by Uriel and Eliraz’s four siblings, and an essay by Shlomit. Today, Miriam has chosen to live a life of purpose, both for her immediate family, and for klal Yisrael. She travels almost daily to IDF bases all over Israel to encourage soldiers, as well as traveling abroad. Known as “the mother of the boys,” she visits bereaved families to give them chizuk. And although it is she who strengthens and encourages the soldiers and families, she said, “I strengthen them and they strengthen me….And I tell them, you choose every day, which kind of life you want to live, from our moments of crisis and darkness we can grow.” The amount of information in this book is astounding, including copies of handwritten notes by Eliraz, a chapter on

the life and death of Miriam’s brother with Down’s syndrome, and myriad details of Miriam and her family. Although interesting, some of the chapters could have been edited or taken out altogether, as they detracted from the main story of the lives and deaths of Miriam’s sons, and her journey of growth and emunah. Miriam Peretz’s story runs parallel to that of Miriam HaNaviah, but it differs in once essential way: Miriam HaNeviah sang her song at the miraculous splitting of the sea. “My song doesn’t come from a miracle,” Miriam said. “When I go [the two meters] from one grave to the other, I am drowning in the pain. It’s easy to love G-d when you have miracles, but not when you have suffering.” Yet Miriam Peretz keeps singing her glorious song of faith, and anyone who reads her story will be equally inspired to pick up her tambourine and join in the song.

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One might assume Miriam’s Song: The Story of Miriam Peretz, written by acclaimed author Smadar Shir and recently released in English, would be almost impossible to read. The Israeli bestseller tells the life story of Miriam Peretz who – within the span of 12 years – lost two sons and was widowed. Despite such tragedy, Miriam Peretz is “unwilling to become a symbol of grief,” but has instead become a national symbol of resilience. It is this resilience that makes her book and life a story of hope. In conversation with Miriam, I asked her why she decided to have this book written about her life. Her timely answer was as follows: “Eliraz was killed on Shabbat haGadol, just a few days before Pesach. On Pesach we have the big mitzvah of higgadeta l’vincha. You must tell your children…I understood that Eliraz can’t tell his children, but as a grandmother I must tell them where we come from. I didn’t think it would become famous. But people tell me it gives them courage.” To understand Miriam’s journey, her memoir goes into great detail, beginning with her childhood in Casablanca and immigration to Israel. Her family was impoverished, but Miriam remained optimistic; she enjoyed visiting her friends’ “dream houses” (with real washing machines and private bathrooms), but was satisfied to return to her family’s simple hut. “Though my mother couldn’t read, she stood by the mezuzah, prayed without a prayer book. She loved G-d…and had emunah peshutah. I saw my parents didn’t ask questions about G-d, they thanked G-d for all they had. This is the family I grew up in….I looked for the good you can see in each moment.” Such idealism served Miriam well; she earned a university degree and became an educator, teaching Judaic studies to secular children, and eventually rose to school principal. Her love of the Land of Israel was shared by her husband, Eliezer, and the two instilled in their children that “to be a fighter is a privilege, and honor, and a mitzvah.” This value motivated her first son Uriel so much so that he dreamed of becoming the first Moroccan chief of staff. But in 1998, First Lieutenant Uriel Peretz of the Golani Special Forces Unit was killed by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. In response to her first loss, Miriam recalled, “After the shiva, I thought, ‘How

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The Week In News Feature

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Big Chol Hamoed Fun on a Tiny Budget Rebecca Klempner For many families, chol hamoed outings bust budgets nearly as badly as the actual Pesach expenses themselves. Not only that, but following a particularly extravagant excursion, kids may expect you to top yourself the next time yom tov rolls around! The good news is that Southern California provides plenty of opportunities for outings that offer just as much fun at a fraction of the cost of Disneyland or Universal Studios. All of the following suggestions will set you back for less than $50 for a family of six, and many cost nothing more than gas and picnic food. Here, first, are some general rules: Consider the ages and attention spans of your family members. Do any family members have a hobby or special interest? Cars, animals, art, gardens, trains, and hiking are all subjects around which you can plan outings. Always pack plenty of kosher l’pesach food and water – more than you ever expect to need. Also, consider packing spare clothes and towels, even when you think you will be far away from water. On longer drives, audiobooks can make the journey as memorable as the destination. Many audiobooks can be found

at public libraries, even downloadable to your phone via an app! If you do decide to splurge on a more expensive trip, yearly memberships to the zoo, museums, and the like often cost less than buying individual tickets for each family member, especially if you might return over the summer or during Sukkos vacation. Take in a View With its diverse landscape, California offers opportunities to admire the variety and splendor of Hashem’s creation. Close by: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook – Many people use these hillside stairs – located at 6300 Hetzler Road in Culver City – for exercise, but some don’t realize that a stroller-friendly hiking trail crisscrosses the steps. The slope is covered in native plants, and (harmless) lizards often skitter by. At the top, you’ll find restrooms, places to picnic, and an amazing view of L.A., capturing everything from Downtown to the Pacific. There’s a visitor center, as well, with scientific and historic explanations of the site. Street parking can be tricky, but free. There is also parking on the grounds of the park for $6, but it’s at the top of the

hill, not the bottom. http://www.parks. ca.gov/?page_id=22790 Greystone Mansion – Prefer a romantic stroll? Head into Beverly Hills to visit picturesque Greystone Mansion. The manor house – which has served for many movie shoots over the years – is surrounded by terraced gardens, fountains, and stunning views. Parking is free, and there are public restrooms, but there is no picnic area. Occasionally, the grounds are closed for filming, so you may want to call ahead. The number is on the website. http://www. greystonemansion.org/ Farther: Mt. Pinos – Do you love the mountains? Do you want to escape the city’s noise? An hour and a half drive north into the Grapevine will get you to Mt. Pinos, deep inside the Los Padres National Forest. While during the winter the area is well-known for its snow, during the spring and summer, the area bursts into bloom. Astronomy fanatics flock to the peak for stargazing, as well. Drive to the highest parking lot, Nordic Base. A hike through pine forest will lead you to the summit. Along the way, you’ll pass through fragrant wildflower glades and take in

El Pueblo de los Angeles

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

breathtaking views. You’ll need a National Parks’ Adventure parking pass in order to park legally. Buy one at the ranger station in Lockwood Valley or in any BIG 5 Sporting Goods store. $5 will get you a day pass; $30, a year pass. There are plentiful picnic areas, as well as primitive restrooms in the campground. Make sure your vehicle is prepared for mountain driving. http:// www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/ Point Fermin – Choosing the best view of the Pacific Ocean is a challenge, but if you are taking the whole family, a good place to start would be Point Fermin, in San Pedro. While the cliffs just north, along the edge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, are quieter, Point Fermin offers easy access to parking, rest rooms, a nifty lighthouse to tour and explore, a playground, and fantastic kite flying on the slope above the park, which houses the Korean Friendship Bell. The lighthouse can be toured on some days of the week – and it includes a fun dress-up area for the kids. http://www. pointferminlighthouse.org/ Malibu Lagoon – Another great place to admire the Pacific is Malibu Lagoon, located where Malibu Creek dumps into the ocean. Surfers enjoy Surfrider Beach, but

Greystone Mansion

Rancho los Alamitos


The Week In News Feature

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

most visitors will find water temperatures too cold at this time of year. However, this beach offers other treats: cheap parking, port-a-potties, and a stroller-friendly trail with signage explaining the local wildlife. The picnic area is clean, and hundreds – if not thousands – of birds flock over the lagoon. Species include both common varieties and exotic ones. Adjacent, you’ll find Adamson House and the adjoining Malibu Lagoon Museum, which you can tour to learn more about locally made arts-andcrafts period tile work and about the local Chumash Indians. Those two museums charge a small fee, and hours are somewhat limited, so check the Adamson House website if you want to include them in your plans. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_ id=835 http://www.adamsonhouse.org/ Historic L.A. All around L.A., you can find places to learn about our state’s heritage, the Chumash and Tongva Indians, and Spanish and other non-native settlers of California. Most of these destinations are best enjoyed by adults and children 5 years old and up. Rancho los Alamitos – A historic home and ranch where fabulous docents explain

about the ranchero period of California history. Recent renovation makes this site even more fun and informative, with a short film and animal exhibits. Admission and parking are free, but donations are welcome. http://www.rancholosalamitos. com/ Rancho los Cerritos – Another rancho in Long Beach, this one offers amazing insights into everyday ranch life. The docents often dress in period clothing. You will also learn about the native Tongva tribe. Ask to visit the gardens and play old-fashioned children’s games! A small donation is requested, and parking is free. http://www.rancholoscerritos.org/ El Pueblo de los Angeles – Many Angelenos spend decades of their lives in L.A. without ever checking out the place where the city started out. Ignore the touristy marketplace (unless you like touristy stuff!) and focus instead on the Avila Adobe, the Chinese American Museum, the old firehouse, and the newly restored America Tropical mural. Some sites charge a small fee, others are free. If you are traveling with five people or less, take public transit to avoid nasty Downtown parking fees. The closest Metro stop is Union Station, almost directly across the street. http://

www.elpueblo.lacity.org/index.htm The Banning Museum – The Banning Museum in Wilmington is located in a renovated Victorian Era mansion. Phineas Banning and his offspring lived in this house during the period during which they established the Port of Los Angeles. The collection contains antique furniture and clothing from multiple generations. There are gardens surrounding the home, as well as other, historical exhibits. http://www. thebanningmuseum.org/ More Free Museums: If you’d like a museum experience, but don’t want to pay hefty fees, there are a number of free museums in L.A. County. While parking costs about $10 at Exposition Park, you can visit the California Science Center with just a small donation (remember that this is not a good destination for any Kohanim in your group). The Rose Garden in the center of the park should be lovely and fragrant at this time of year. Just a drop further is the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, which you could pair with a trip to Point Fermin (mentioned above). They request a donation, but parking is free. Both Getty locations charge only $15

per vehicle for parking but charge nothing for admission. LACMA is free for children and one adult per child when they sign up for NEXTGEN. The Broad Museum is free, although travelling Downtown might cost you either in Metro fare or parking. In case contemporary art scares you, there is a highly-praised audio tour available tailored to kids and voiced by Levar Burton. Also, the security guards double as docents and have extensive knowledge about each piece in the collection. Those who like their art mingled with a bit of anthropology will enjoy the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Campus parking does cost a small amount. Be sure to get a map of the university – there’s also a wonderful sculpture garden to visit. The Griffith Observatory is free unless you see the planetarium show. Be careful with parking, there – on a busy day you might have to park far down the hill. The Skirball will be free that Thursday, as well. Regardless of your chol hamoed plans, may you have fun! And a chag kasher v’sameach!

Malibu Lagoon

The Banning Museum

Mt. Pinos

Point Fermin Lighthouse Cliffs

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Quotes The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

You have to have your wallet for security reasons. I’m the governor. And I had to have money. I had to buy something to eat. You have to have identification. - Embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) responding to the disclosure that he once had his wallet delivered to him via state helicopter

Greece has put into place its new plan of deporting unwanted migrants. The plan was the brainchild of new Greek minister “Adonis Trumpadopoulos.” - Conan O’Brien

Sen. Lindsey Graham said in an interview last week that if he can support Ted Cruz, anybody can do it. You know it’s bad when your best endorsement sounds like a bad diet plan. - Jimmy Fallon

What’s something you always have with you? – Host of a hip hop radio show to Hillary Clinton during an interview

Hot sauce. – Clinton’s response

After being surpassed by a Chinese company, Walmart is no longer the largest retailer in the world. But don’t worry, Walmart still has the largest customers. – Conan O’Brien

House Speaker Paul Ryan this afternoon issued a formal statement ruling himself out as a potential replacement candidate if there is a contested Republican convention. And you know things are bad in the Republican Party when people who aren’t even running are dropping out of the race. - Seth Myers

A man in New Orleans could be facing a life sentence for stealing $31 worth of candy from a drugstore. This is due to Louisiana’s repeat offender law… I feel for this guy. That has got to be a tough conversation once you’re in prison. “Yeah, I’m in for armed robbery and arson, what about you?” “Oh, you know, the new peanut butter Twix.” - James Corden

I chose to have this festive Cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights to send a clear message: The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israeli hands. - Prime Minister Netanyahu, after holding a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights

MORE QUOTES


The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

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Quotes The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

I think it’s fine that all these young students have been so enthusiastic for her opponent, and it sounds so good – just shoot every third person on Wall Street and everything will be fine. - Bill Clinton, at a rally for his wife, poking fun at Sanders’ supporters

Bernie Sanders said today that none of the ideas he’s proposed in his campaign are radical or unrealistic other than, of course, the idea of a 74-year-old Jewish president with a $2 haircut. – Seth Myers

So, the world doesn’t have Angus MacDonald to kick around anymore. I’m gone! ... I bit the dust. So I guess I’m off to the promised land, eh? The promised land! Imagine! So anyway, I think I was a pretty nice guy, despite being a former punk and despite what some people would say about me. What did they know about me anyway? I loved my family and cared for them through good times and bad; I did my best. I had some serious health problems the last few years, but survived them (up till now anyway) with the help of my wife, Brenda; my granddaughter, Nicole; my sweetheart little dog, Scarlett; and my rescue kitten, Dolly. - Angus Brian MacDonald of Nova Scotia who penned his own obituary before he died last Friday at the age of 67

A new iPhone feature has been developed that will interpret and describe Facebook photos to blind people, finally doing away with the one good thing about being blind. –Seth Myers

The IRS has introduced new technology allowing you to pay your taxes at a 7-Eleven. So just imagine: You can now declare your earnings from 2015 while eating a hot dog from 2005. - Conan O’Brien

I saw something in the news, so I copied it. I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera. - FBI Director James Comey during a speech at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, explaining why he places a piece of tape over his laptop computer’s webcam

Bernie Sanders this morning joined the Verizon workers picket line here in New York. It’s a perfect match, because Bernie always talks like he’s getting bad reception. - Seth Myers

Last night, CNN hosted a town hall with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, and at one point he complained that the rules of the election are stacked against him “by the establishment.” You gotta give it to Trump. He’s the only man who could inherit millions of dollars, have his name on buildings, and still go, “Life is totally unfair!” – Jimmy Fallon

I don’t feel any differently than I did when I was 20. I am truly so lucky. - Elena Griffing, 90, who just celebrated her 70th year working for Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in San Francisco

More than 11.5 million documents called the “Panama Papers” just leaked, and they link Vladimir Putin to $2 billion held in secret offshore accounts. If confirmed, it could be the least bad thing Putin’s ever done. – Jimmy Fallon

MORE QUOTES

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Jewish The WeekHistory In News By Rabbi Pini Dunner Rav of Young Israel North Beverly Hills

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Jewish History

The Mystery Of The Maharal And The Fifth Cup Of Wine At Seder Night: A Story Of Confused Tradition & Literary Forgery One of the most prominent rabbis in sixteenth century Europe was R. Yehuda Loewe (1527-1609), the Chief Rabbi of Prague usually referred to as the ‘Maharal of Prague’. His numerous works on Torah were famous even during his lifetime, and after his death his many students continued to propagate the Maharal’s deep and insightful ideas, until they became the fundamental theology underpinning the essence of Jewish life in Europe. His influence continued to grow with each century that passed, and it continues to grow to this day. So imagine the joy and excitement surrounding the publication of his ‘Haggada shel Pesach’ in Warsaw, Poland, at the beginning of the twentieth century. Apparently, based on a long lost manuscript that had lain undiscovered in an obscure French library, the publisher claimed it had been composed by the Maharal’s son-in-law, R. Yitzchak Katz of Nikolsburg, who recorded material taught to him by the Maharal during his lifetime, and it also included information about the Maharal’s customs during the Seder itself, as observed by R. Katz. The most stunning information contained in this new Hagada was that the Maharal had included a fifth cup of wine at his Seder, a cup that only he drank, and over which he recited a special proclamation. Maharal aficionados began to introduce this practice into their own Pesach Seders, and the revelation of this fifth cup custom that had been practiced by such a prominent rabbinic authority generated great excitement across the rabbinic world. One of the enduring mysteries of Seder night is the confusion over the need for a fifth cup of wine. All of us are familiar with the requirement to drink four cups of wine at the Seder, based on a Talmudic explanation that matches each cup of wine with an expression of redemption in the Exodus narrative (Shemot Chapter 6, 6 & 7). We are also familiar with a fifth cup of wine at the Seder, known as the ‘Cup of Eliyahu’. This is a solitary cup of wine poured towards the end of the Seder, but not drunk by anyone. Some have the custom to pour

the wine in this cup back into the bottle after the Seder, while others use this cup of wine for Kiddush the following day. So what are the origins of this ‘fifth cup’ custom? Why would we pour a cup of wine that no one is going to drink? Why is it known as the ‘Cup of Eliyahu’? The Mishna at the beginning of the tenth chapter of Pesachim instructs us to ensure that no member of the community is without four cups of wine at the Seder, even if it means we have to use charitable funds to pay for their wine. Later on in the chapter we are informed exactly when to drink the four cups, with the fourth one coinciding with the conclusion of Hallel. The Gemara adds a piece of information that is quite mystifying: ‘Rabbi Tarfon says that the fourth cup coincides with the end of Hallel, and one says Hallel Haggadol’ (Hallel Hagadol is a chapter of Tehillim consisting of thirty-six lines of praise to God, all ending ‘ki le’olam chasdo’ – ‘His kindness is eternal.’) Although the text of the Gemara we have does not mention a fifth cup, both Rashi and Tosafot assert that the text of the Gemara must be amended not to include reference to a fifth cup, as it is not possible that Rabbi Tarfon would mandate a fifth cup of wine at the Seder. Tosafot also mentions an opinion that permits anyone who ‘needs’ to drink a further cup of wine to do so. Evidently these early medieval rabbis had conflicting Gemara texts in front of them, and based on their own knowledge and experience of Seder customs they concluded that the text they had access to which mentioned five cups must be wrong. Meanwhile, R. Yitzchak Alfasi, who preceded both Rashi and Tosafot and was the author of the authoritative halachic distillation of Talmud known as ‘Rif’, clearly had quite a different view. His version of the Gemara clearly states that R. Tarfon mandated a fifth cup over which one should recite ‘Hallel Hagadol’. R. Alfasi was not alone. The Rambam mentions a fifth cup, although he says it isn’t mandatory. The Rambam’s greatest critic was the French rabbi, R. Avraham ben David of Posquières (also known as ‘Ravad’). On this occasion he utterly concurs with his bête noir, confirming that R.

Tarfon obligates a fifth cup to match up with a fifth expression of redemption in the Exodus narrative – ‘veheiveiti’ – ‘and I shall bring you to the land that I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’. Similarly, Rabbeinu Asher ben Yechiel (known as ‘Rosh’) dismisses the claim that the Talmud text talking about a fifth cup is wrong, as it is clear R. Tarfon considered a fifth cup obligatory, even if contemporary practice had reduced it to a voluntary custom. Later rabbinic authorities understood this confused picture to have been a result of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. All Seders during the Temple period had included five cups of wine, not just four, allowing Jews to commemorate all five expressions of redemption. But once the enduring reality of the Second Temple’s destruction sunk in, the custom to drink a fifth cup of wine lost its shine, and then slowly receded into the background. After all, how could one celebrate Jewish dominion over the Land of Israel if that dominion no longer existed, and Jews had been dispersed across a far-flung diaspora? And yet, despite this depressing reality, the custom to drink a symbolic fifth cup of wine prevailed in at least some communities as a hopeful reminder of a future return to the Land of Israel under Messianic leadership. Rashi and Tosafot either did not have this custom, or believed it to be misconceived. R. Alfasi, Rambam, Ravad, and the Rosh may have had this custom, or at least they felt it was too important to be dismissed completely. Then, at some point during the late medieval period, the custom of drinking a fifth cup of wine morphed into pouring a fifth cup of wine not drunk by anyone, which became known as the ‘Cup of Elijah’, probably a reference to the traditional idea that Eliyahu Hanavi would be the first person to inform us of the Messiah’s arrival, and of the Jews’ imminent return to the Land of Israel. Step in Rabbi Yehuda Yudel Rosenberg of Warsaw. R. Rosenberg was a fascinating individual, a rabbinic scholar who claimed to be descended from the Maharal. Born in 1859, in a town called Skaryszew, Poland, he was recognized as a genius at a very young age. Married at seventeen, he was appointed rabbi of a town called Tarlow

Rabbi Yehuda Yudel Rosenberg, self-styled ‘Tarla Rebbe’ of Warsaw, who later moved to Canada, where he lived mainly in Montreal. In 1905, R. Rosenberg published the ‘Maharal Haggadah’, based on the ‘discovery’ of a long lost manuscript in the ‘Royal Library of Metz’

The title page of the 'Maharal Hagada'. The controversial inclusion of the custom to drink a fifth cup of wine was welcomed by some, and rejected by others

at the age of twenty-five, and later styled himself as the ‘Tarla Rebbe’, although there was no Tarlow dynasty, and he never ran a Hasidic court. From Tarlow he moved to Lublin where he served as a dayyan on the Beit Din of R. Shneur Zalman Fradkin, a Hasid of Chabad and author of the acclaimed halachic work Torat Chesed. Although he was an exceptional scholar, R. Rosenberg attracted criticism for his fondness of Russian literature, and eventually moved to Warsaw, where he opened a tiny synagogue and acted as a community dayyan, resolving local disputes and answering halachic questions for payment. But clearly this did not provide him with sufficient income to look after his family, so in 1902 he published a book on the Talmudic tractate Nedarim, an unusually complex volume that


Jewish The WeekHistory In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

is unaided by Rashi’s commentary. This excellently written book was welcomed by Talmud scholars and yeshiva students, and it continues to be utilized by those studying Nedarim to this day. Perhaps sales were slow and R. Rosenberg needed more money, or perhaps R. Rosenberg was not content with the publication of an ordinary book that would be lost in a sea of other similar publications. So in 1905 he published the Maharal Haggada. On the title page he asserted that this was the first time it had ever been published, and claimed it was based on an old manuscript originally held at the Royal Library in Metz, a small town on the border of France and Germany which was home to a well-established centuries-old Jewish community. In his foreword to the Haggada, R. Rosenberg wrote how it had been extremely difficult for him to bring the manuscript to print, particularly because the current owner had refused to part with it under any circumstances. As a result of these difficulties he did not include what he claimed was a long and rambling introduction by its author, the Maharal’s son-in-law, R. Yitzchak Katz, but had instead focused on the Haggada commentary itself. Below R. Rosenberg’s foreword was a letter addressed to him written by a man called Chaim Scharfstein, and dated 15 Av 5664 (July 27, 1904). Scharfstein wrote that he was sending R. Rosenberg an accurate handwritten copy of the original manuscript previously held in the Royal Library, assuring him that no one else would get a copy besides for him, as agreed between them. We will return to the Haggada in a moment, but first let us focus on the Chaim Scharfstein manuscript collection, which in the years after 1905 would play a significant role in R. Rosenberg’s literary output. In 1909 R. Rosenberg published another book based on the R. Katz manuscripts from Metz, this time about the Maharal’s creation of a ‘Golem’, the mythical and powerful humanoid creature animated by kabbalistic formulae, who was used by the Maharal to protect the Jewish community of Prague against the evil conspiracies and dastardly scheming of local anti-Semites. The Maharal Golem myth first emerged in 1837, when a German-Jewish poet and author called Berthold Auerbach wrote a fictional account of what must have been an ancient oral legend that described a series of stories involving the Golem of Prague. In the years that followed Auerbach’s version a number of similar accounts were published, all of them folklore-style literature that made no claim of authenticity. R. Rosenberg’s book was quite different. The title page described how the stories contained in his book had been recorded in writing by R. Katz – the same R. Katz who had recorded the Maharal’s commentary on the Haggada. And just like the Haggada manuscript had lain undiscovered in the Royal Library of Metz, so too had the Golem manuscript. The title

page went on to claim that the Metz library had been destroyed during some unnamed war a century earlier, and as a result many Jewish manuscripts had made their way into the possession of wealthier members of the local Jewish community. The 1909 publication was very popularly received, and was followed in 1913 by another publication: ‘The High Priest’s Choshen Mishpat’. This book was apparently based on an autographed copy of a manuscript written by R. Manoach Hendel, a well-known student of the Maharal who died in 1612. The manuscript was purported to be an attempt to catalogue the whereabouts of sacred utensils that may have survived the destruction of the Temple in Jerrusalem by the Romans in 70A.D. Included in the manuscript was an incredible story that R. Hendel said he had heard from the Maharal himself, about his involvement in the recovery of the twelve precious stones which had been a part of the Choshen Mishpat – the bejeweled breastplate worn by the Temple’s High Priest, and originally worn by the very first High Priest, Aaron Hakohen, brother of Moshe Rabbeinu. Evidently the twelve precious jewels of the Choshen Mishpat had somehow made their way to England, where they were kept at the ‘Belmore Street Museum’ in London. In the year 1590, the Maharal discovered they had been stolen and went to London to locate them so that they could be returned to the museum for safekeeping. Once in London he pretended to be an antique collector, and in that guise met someone called Captain Wilson, who, as it turned out, was the thief who had stolen the Jewels. The Maharal offered to buy the stones from Wilson and they agreed on a price. They also agreed that the actual transaction would take place two weeks later to give the Maharal enough time to come up with the astronomical amount of money he needed to buy them. But the transaction never happened. During the proscribed two weeks the Maharal fomented such mayhem for Wilson through the medium of kabbalistic miracles, that once the two weeks were up a spooked Wilson agreed to give up the stones for nothing, and they were returned to the museum. The problem with this riveting story was that it had nothing to do with the Maharal, nor with R. Manoach Hendel, nor, indeed, with R. Yehuda Yudel Rosenberg. Because it was written and published in 1899 by the famous nineteenth century British author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as a short story titled ‘The Jew’s Breastplate’. R. Rosenberg must have been familiar with the story in a Russian translation, and been pretty certain that no one who read his Hebrew version, and later on his Yiddish version, would be remotely familiar with this obscure British piece of fiction. He was so convinced of this that he never even bothered to change any of the names used by Arthur Conan Doyle in the original version! The only thing that changed

in R. Rosenberg’s version was the main character in the story, who was no longer the first-person narrator, but instead was the Maharal. As it turns out, the entire backdrop to these manuscripts is fiction. There was never a Royal Library in Metz. Neither R. Yitzchak Katz nor R. Manoach Hendel left us with any manuscript material relating to the Maharal in the form claimed by R. Rosenberg. Even Chaim Scharfstein was a fictional creation, produced by R. Rosenberg to generate the impression that his Maharal material was authentic. Whether the Maharal ever created a Golem is a question for scholars to debate, but it is certainly the case that R. Rosenberg’s stories about the mythical man-beast were fanciful creations of his literary imagination, and bear no relationship with what may have really happened. In 1913, shortly after publishing his Choshen Mishpat forgery, R. Rosenberg moved from Poland to Toronto, Canada. In 1919 he moved to Montreal, where he became one of the most prominent rabbis in the city. For the remainder of his life – he died in 1935 - he regularly published books on Jewish subjects, although he never again published any Maharal related material. It is unclear whether R. Rosenberg believed his fictional Maharal stories would be taken seriously. It is certainly the case,

however, that the Haggada was taken seriously, something R. Rosenberg was certainly aware of during his lifetime. But at no time after he published it did R. Rosenberg ever disavow himself of its authenticity, nor admit that his claim it was based on a manuscript was nothing more than a hoax. Much of the material in the Maharal Haggada can be found in existing Maharal commentary on the Torah; R. Rosenberg simply adapted it for Seder night. But anything that cannot be sourced elsewhere in the Maharal’s reliable body of work must be dismissed as fantasy. Which means that the Maharal never drank a fifth cup of wine at the Seder, and that Rosenberg’s claim to the contrary was fake, concocted by him to generate wider interest in his new publication, and no doubt to boost sales. The fact remains that an ancient tradition existed to drink a fifth cup of wine at the Pesach Seder. The loss of our Temple in Jerusalem resulted in the abandonment of this custom, and it eventually disappeared completely, replaced with the custom of the ‘Cup of Eliyahu.’ Let us hope and pray that we can soon drink a fifth cup of wine at Seder night again, a thought to bear in mind when we say this year at the Seder – ‘Leshana Haba Bi-Yerushalayim’ – ‘next year in Jerusalem!’

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The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News

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The Parenting Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., We are worried about our seventeen year-old son, a good boy who lives in the dorm of his yeshiva. He is very frum, and particularly scrupulous and meticulous in his mitzvah observance. He is well known in his yeshiva for being the last to finish davening and for being honest – to a fault. So, what’s the catch? Well, with Pesach approaching, his frumkeit has become more intense. He keeps calling home with questions. ‟Do you know how to check for insects in the marror?” “Don’t you think we should throw out our toaster oven rather than clean/sell it?” “We need to buy all our products with only this one hechsher.” At this point, we are worn down by what feels like harassment and are not looking forward to his coming home. Do you think his behavior is normal or do you share our concerns? Saralee Dear Saralee, Your question is a very important one and deserving of a response beyond the scope of this column. The issue you present can be anything from typical adolescent behavior to the beginnings of a severe OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). While looking at context (Do all his friends do this?) and behavior (Does he exhibit any that are new? Different? Strange?)

may provide you with some clarification, if this intensity persists or worsens, a good mental health screening is in order. In my response here I will try to help you understand your son and suggest some ways to deal with him. The teen years are often a time of great passion, and many a teen goes a bit overboard in his effort to grow. His boundless energy and enthusiasm may go unchecked.

Things matter: everything is black and white. Some teens focus on grades, others on their appearance. Some concentrate on relationships, and some on religion. Extremes, chumros, anxieties – these are some of the ways that the intensity manifests itself. So, a teen in this stage may daven for lengthy periods or stay up all night learning. All this could be a stage. And, in fact, he and his chevra may be in silent competition about who is ‟the most.” If this is the case here, hopefully the staff members of the yeshiva are aware of what’s going on and are monitoring it closely. The teenage years can also be a time of great idealism for some. It is a time when teens feel their power, believing that they know best how to fix the world. They have not yet been worn down by life, and they take every detail seriously. While we adults may sometimes console ourselves with “That’s the best I can do,” to the young, idealistic teen, such acceptance is impossible. With their youth comes energy and strength, and they may firmly believe that perfection is a possible.. So, while we are realistic about what we can or cannot do, the teen who is idealistic feels that he must give his ultimate to everything he does, no matter how insignificant. Hence, his emphasis on each point in frumkeit – both his and yours. Despite your discomfort here, all this may simply bespeak his clumsy – yet very sincere – desire to grow in yiddishkeit. Sometimes extreme religiosity is a form of unconscious rebellion. Just as some teens rebel by doing less than what’s expected, some do the opposite and actually do more. It really is two sides of the same coin: both types of teens are challenging authority and taking the law into their own hands. In both cases, the teens are saying, “Don’t tell me what to do! I will do as little – or as much – as I want.”While all these scenarios are not that unusual – albeit very unpleasant – they may pass and/or resolve themselves. However, because some forms of mental illness begin in the late teens or early 20s, it is critical to rule out the possibility that the kind of obsessive behavior you describe is not an early warning sign of illness. So, how can you determine if your son’s behavior is serious, or just irritating? Initially, I would recommend a conservative, ‟wait and see” approach – unless the symptoms are increasingly alarming. So, to start: • Observe carefully. Any changes in behavior in other areas? Can your son interact with family members? Does he have a sense of humor? Does he seem anxious, angry, or depressed? Use your responses as a yardstick to measure the severity here.

• Check with the yeshiva staff. Is he waking up on time, eating, keeping regular hours? If he is managing to keep it all together, you can take a much more relaxed approach. • Spend time with your son. Talk to him, listen, go out together. Get a feel for him and where he is at. Do you sense any major changes? Can he let go and enjoy the ‘everyday’? • Avoid being reactive. This is not chutzpah, an emergency (though it may be serious), or an attack on you and everything you stand for. This is an ongoing situation that is not necessarily aimed at you. • Be respectful. Try to understand, not just discount, what your son is saying. Enter into his world and see things through his eyes. He may be reacting to peer pressure (‟Who’s the frummest of us all?”) and going overboard to win the admiration of his friends. Maybe his thinking is still immature, unfocused, and confused – or perhaps this is his misguided attempt to become sincerely devout. • Trust your own judgment. At the end of the day, you are the parent. You know your child best. If you continue to feel uncomfortable or worried about your son’s behavior, you need to take those feelings seriously and act on them. Consult with a professional. The difference between ‟normal” and ‟abnormal” is one of degree. We all feel sad and worried sometimes, but that does not mean that we have depression or anxiety. A good rule of thumb is that when symptoms interfere with daily living – because of their intensity or degree – it is a sign of illness. But, if your son is otherwise functioning well, managing his emotions, and maintaining his relationships, there is far, far less reason to be concerned. So, despite your worries, stay cool. Observe, interact, and weigh and measure the choices. Consult with others, discuss with your spouse. And, while you hope and daven for a simple explanation for your son’s issues, be ready and armed with courage if you have to take the next step. The Book Nook: The Parenting Partnership by Dr. Meir Wikler is a series of questions and answers on basic parenting issues. Dr Wikler – a Brooklyn psychotherapist, writer, and lecturer – provides comprehensive and insightful replies to the many issues that beset parents today. Sara Teichman, Psy D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


The Week In News

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Tensions Rising over Saudi Role in 9/11

Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets if Congress passes any bill that would hold the Saudi Kingdom responsible for any role in the 9/11 terror attacks. The Obama administration has lob-

Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable. Most of these efforts have been ineffective, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts. The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits. 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

7.8 Quake Devastates Ecuador A devastating earthquake hit the Pacific coast of Ecuador this past weekend, killing hundreds and wounding thousands of people. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck the Andean nation of 16 million people, causing panic as far away as the highland capital Quito and destroying buildings, bridges

and roads. President Rafael Correa rushed home from a trip to Italy to supervise the emergency. “The immediate priority is to rescue people in the rubble,” he declared. Coastal areas nearest the epicenter were hit hardest. Authorities said there were more than 160 aftershocks, mainly in the Pedernales area. A state of emergency was declared in six provinces. The quake has piled pain on the economy of OPEC’s smallest member, already reeling from low oil prices, with economic growth this year projected at near-zero.

For the rescue operations, 10,000 troops and 3,500 policemen have been deployed. $600 million in credit from multilateral lenders was immediately activated for the emergency, the government said. The government called the disaster the worst quake in the country since 1979. In that disaster, 600 people were killed and 20,000 injured, according to the U.S. Geo-

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bied Congress to block the bill’s passage, and many officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation. Saudi Arabia said it would have to sell $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts. While many economists believe such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy, it is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi officials have fervently denied any role in the Sept. 11 plot. The special commission that investigated the origins of the attack found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” However, critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot. Those conclusions have never been released publicly.

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The Week In News

logical Survey. The U.S. State Department is working to confirm reports of Americans injured in the quake, although it had no reports of any U.S. citizens killed. The Ecuadorean quake followed two large and deadly quakes that struck Japan since Thursday. Both countries are located on the seismically active “Ring of Fire” that circles the Pacific, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey, large quakes separated by such distances would probably not be related.

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

and was passing the Talpiot neighborhood in the southern end of the capital. The blast set a second bus and a taxi nearby on fire. Pictures from the scene showed a city bus engulfed in flames and a second intercity bus nearby also on fire on the busy Moshe Baram street. The street separates Talpiot from the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa and is near the seam between the capital’s eastern and western sides.

Earlier in the day, Israeli officials revealed the army had found a concrete-lined tunnel stretching hundreds of meters from Gaza into Israel, reminiscent of dozens of tunnels destroyed by the army during a 50day war with Hamas-led fighters in 2014 launched in part to thwart the underground passages.

No Jeans in North Korea

A few months ago, it was revealed that North Koreans had to cut their hair like their Supreme Leader. Now, they have to dress like him as well. The regime has banned piercings and jeans as part of a crackdown on Western culture ahead of its annual workers conference, The Telegraph reported on Sunday. The ban reportedly targets the North Hamgyong and Yanggang provinces which border China, where citizens are believed to have easier access to information and trends from the outside world. Rimjin-gang, a North Korean news website which uncovered the ban, also reported that “inspection units” of teenagers who have pledged loyalty to Kim are prowling the streets to enforce the dress code. “They target supposed capitalist tendencies such as length of skirts, the shape of shoes, T-shirts, hairstyles, and clothes,” The Telegraph quoted the website as saying. The regime has been known to send those guilty of “anti-socialist” behavior to labor camps.

Bus Explodes in Jerusalem On Monday afternoon, a number 12 bus exploded in Jerusalem, injuring 21 people. Thankfully, no one was killed in the attack. The bus was empty at the time

Although details are still emerging about the attack, police say that a small explosive device was placed at the back of the vehicle, under a seat and above the gas tank. The placement of the device explains why a relatively small bomb was able to cause such a large and immediate explosion. As of Tuesday, police say that it seems that the device was made by a professional, as opposed to a pipe bomb. There have been instances of people making pipe bombs, but this incident seems to be on another level. The identity of the attacker is still being investigated, although it is likely that he is an individual who was critically wounded in his lower body in the blast. It is also possible that the device was stashed under the seat by someone who then got off the bus. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. The capital and other areas of Israel saw dozens of bus bombings, many claimed by Hamas, during the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2004, though the attacks have subsided in later years.

Tunnel Detection Lauded On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the IDF for what he called a breakthrough in tunnel detection, hours after the army announced it had located a tunnel meant for attacking Israel reaching from the southern part of the Strip into Israeli territory. Netanyahu said Israel’s tunnel-finding system was the only one of its kind in the world, though he gave no details on the technology that led to Israeli troops uncovering the passage. “In recent days, the State of Israel has achieved a world breakthrough in its efforts to locate tunnels,” he said. “That doesn’t exist anywhere else. We checked the entire world.”

Speaking to reporters in his Jerusalem office, Netanyahu warned Hamas against trying to harm Israeli citizens and vowed that Jerusalem will continue to invest heavily in mechanisms to detect tunnels dug from Gaza into Israel. “The government is investing a fortune in thwarting the threat of tunnels. This is an ongoing effort; it does not end overnight; we are investing in it and will continue to invest steadily and firmly,” he said. “Israel will respond forcefully to any attempt by Hamas to attack its soldiers and attack its citizens,” Netanyahu declared. “I’m sure that Hamas understands this very well.” The tunnel was detected about a week and a half ago and has since been “neutralized,” an army spokesperson said Monday, but would not elaborate on whether it was destroyed or merely sealed off. Its exact location has not yet been revealed. Israeli residents near Gaza had complained of hearing digging under their homes in recent months, setting off searches for the tunnels, and Netanyahu and other officials said Israel was working on a secret “solution” to the issue. According to the prime minister, the IDF was acting “around the clock” to ensure their security and their ability to live a life without rocket threats, another offensive weapon employed by Hamas and other Gazan terror groups in recent years.

Golan Forever Ours

Prime Minister Netanyahu declared on Sunday that the Golan Heights will forever remain a part of Israel, a signal to Russia and the United States that the strategic plateau should be excluded from any deal on

Syria’s future. Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day War and officially annexed it in 1981 in a move that has not won international recognition. “In the 19 years the Golan was under Syrian occupation, it was used for bunkers, barbed wire fences, landmines, and aggression. It was used for war. In the 49 years it has been under Israeli rule, it has been used for agriculture, tourism, economic initiatives, construction. It is being used for peace,” Netanyahu said during a special government meeting in the Golan Heights. “I chose to hold this special government meeting in the Golan Heights to send a clear message. The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israel’s hands,” the prime minister reiterated. The Golan’s population, he said, was growing every year, with some 50,000 people currently residing there and “thousands of families that are supposed to join them in the coming years.”  Netanyahu vowed to keep supporting and strengthening the residents of the Golan, its towns and cities, industry, agriculture, and more. “Including decisions we’ll make in this government meeting,” he added.  The prime minister urged the international community “to recognize finally that the Golan will remain permanently under Israeli sovereignty.” The Golan was an integral part of the Land of Israel in ancient times, “as evidenced by the dozens of ancient synagogues around us,” and that the Golan is also an integral part of Israel in current times.  He spoke of the war and destruction on the Syrian Golan, saying he told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that he “doubted Syria will ever return to what it once was.”  The prime minister said he told Kerry that Israel would not pose objections to any diplomatic agreement in Syria so long as it does not compromise the State of Israel’s security. “Meaning, at the end of the day, Iran, Hezbollah and ISIS forces must be expelled from Syrian territory.” Meanwhile, pro-Assad press published a message on behalf of the “Syrian residents of the occupied Golan,” which said, “The visit of the racist and fascist Netanyahu government will not change the position of the perseverant Golan residents.”  The Syrian Foreign Ministry also sent two letters to the UN Secretary General condemning the Israeli cabinet meeting. The letter said, “Syria condemns in the strongest terms the holding of a provocative meeting of the occupation government in the occupied Syrian Golan. Syria emphasizes that the meeting is null and void. Syria calls on the UN and the UN Security Council to intervene immediately and to condemn the irresponsible meeting, and demand that the meeting that took place on Syrian soil not happen again.” 


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APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Too Much Poverty in the Jewish State Pakistan May Be Linked to 2009 CIA Attack With all of its medical, defense, and technological advantages, Israel still has a huge problem of child poverty. Among the world’s 41 most developed countries, Israel was ranked last by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in child inequality. The report cited Israel’s 27.5 percent rate of child poverty as the highest among the countries ranked, surpassing even Mexico and Chile. The report, titled, “Fairness for Children: A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries,” documents inequalities in child well-being among the countries of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Four key domains of child well-being – income, education, health and life satisfaction – were all examined to determine the final scores. The report focuses on how far children at the bottom 10% are allowed to fall behind the average child in each nation. “Understanding the differences among countries in how far the most disadvantaged children fall behind their average peers can provide some insight into the conditions or interventions that may help to reduce the gaps,” said Dr. Sarah Cook, director of UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Center in Florence, Italy. In terms of income inequality, Israel ranked 37 out of 41 countries – meaning that the household income of a child at the bottom 10th percentile is 64.58% lower than that of the average child. In education, Israel also ranked among the bottom countries with both the highest achievement gaps as well as a large proportion of 15-year-old students who achieved below proficiency in reading, math and science literacy. Israel ranked last in health inequality, whereby the health score of children at the bottom of the distribution is 38.9% lower than that of the average child. In addition, Israel also had a high rate of children, some 30%, who reported one or more health symptom every day. Many members of the Knesset have come out with social and economic plans in response to the report.

people were injured. It was the most lethal attack against the CIA in the 15-year Afghanistan war and possibly since the 1983 embassy bombing in Beirut. A U.S. intelligence official described the information as a “raw, unverified and uncorroborated report” that clashes with the general consensus of the attack as primarily an al-Qaeda plot, and not one that involved the Haqqani network.

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

Although the information is uncorroborated, recently declassified documents suggest Pakistan’s intelligence service paid a U.S.-designated terrorist organization $200,000 to carry out one of the deadliest attacks against the CIA in the spy agency’s history. In 2009, a suicide bombing at Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, killed seven CIA employees. After tricking the CIA into believing that he would lead them to Ayman al-Zawahiri, then al-Qaeda’s second-in- command, a double agent blew himself up inside the base. A newly released document dated January 10, 2010 says the head of the Haqqani network, a Taliban-allied group the U.S. considers terrorists, held two meetings with senior officials of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence the month of the bombing. “They first discussed funding for operations in Khost province” and “funds were later provided to tribal elders in Khost province for their support of the Haqqani network,” the cable says. At the second meeting, Pakistani intelligence officials gave “direction to the Haqqanis to expedite attack preparations and lethality in Afghanistan.” A heavily redacted document dated February 6, 2010 indicates that network leader Siraj Haqqani and another individual were provided $200,000, it says, “to enable the attack on Chapman.” The document refers to several individuals involved in the plot, including an Afghan border commander, “to enable a suicide mission by an unnamed Jordanian national.” The Jordanian would have been Humam al-Balawi, the supposed al-Qaeda turncoat whom the CIA codenamed “Wolf.” As the CIA ushered him on to its base on December 30, 2009, al-Balawi detonated a suicide bomb. A Jordanian intelligence official and an Afghan driver also died, while six

Got a sweet tooth? You may be in more trouble than you think. New research strongly recommends, based on scientific evidence, that a sugar addition be treated like drug abuse. Researchers discovered that drugs used to treat nicotine addiction could be used to treat sugar addiction as well. Previous research had compared sugar addiction to gambling. Research published in 2014 in an Edinburgh University study stated that sugar addiction is not a biochemical dependency, a contradiction to this research, but it’s more of a psychological dependency. This recent study, conducted by Australia’s Queensland University (QUT), compared the effects of sugar to those of cocaine and other drugs. The study concluded that, “like other drugs of abuse, withdrawal from chronic sucrose exposure can result in an imbalance in dopamine levels and be as difficult as going ‘cold turkey’ from them.”

Neuroscientist Professor Selena Bartlett from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation said, “The latest World Health Organization figures tell us 1.9 billion people worldwide are overweight, with 600 million considered obese. Excess sugar consumption has been proven to contribute directly to weight gain. It has also been shown to repeatedly elevate dopamine levels which control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers in a way that is similar to many drugs of abuse including tobacco, cocaine and morphine. After longterm consumption, this leads to the opposite – a reduction in dopamine levels. This leads to higher consumption of sugar to get the same level of reward.” She continued, “We have also found that as well as an increased risk of weight

gain, animals that maintain high sugar consumption and binge eating into adulthood may also face neurological and psychiatric consequences affecting mood and motivation. Our study found that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs like varenicline, a prescription medication trading as Champix which treats nicotine addiction, can work the same way when it comes to sugar cravings.” A quick replacement to sugar like Equal or Splenda is not the answer! The study also analyzed the effects of artificial sweeteners. “Interestingly, our study also found that artificial sweeteners such as saccharin could produce effects similar to those we obtained with table sugar, highlighting the importance of reevaluating our relationship with sweetened food per se,” said Masroor Shariff, another scientist involved in the study.

The Canine Cafeteria This food is for the dogs – for real. For some people, their puppies are part of the family. They walk them daily, sleep with them in their beds, take them on trips and even bring them to get their fur shampooed and fluffed before the holidays.

Now, it seems, that dogs can’t just eat scraps from the dinner table. The Seattle Barkery is a canine-centric food truck that caters to dogs and their owners. Ben and Dawn Ford, the husband-andwife team behind the truck, have been parking their 1968 Chevy Step Van outside dog parks, farmer’s markets, and dog-friendly breweries around the city for the past 10 months Their menu includes items both people and dogs can enjoy, like pumpkin pretzels, peanut butter-banana cookies, and mini cheesy doughnuts. Other offerings, like their air-fried chicken feet and duck necks,

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Revel. are perhaps better left for the canines. All the treats are homemade and, as Dawn relates, “aren’t filled with ingredients you can’t pronounce.” Think that the food industry is going to the dogs? This is not the first canine cafeteria. Fido to Go in Chicago serves up fare like bacon cheeseburger-flavored frozen yogurt, and Milo’s Kitchen Mobile Treat Truck includes a play area and doggie selfie station for their four-legged patrons in San Francisco. Seems like every dog has its day – I mean, its fillet.

The Noodle Nuptials

Wood Grilled Rib Eye mustard demi | fried yukon gold potatoes sous vide abalone mushrooms | roasted pearl onions

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There is nothing funny about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They take themselves very seriously. This week, though, they were all smiles, as the first legally recognized marriage was held in the church in New Zealand. The religion now boasts that it’s heading towards acceptance as a real religion. Those who follow the Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster call themselves pastafarians, wear colanders on their heads, revere pirates, and believe the world was created by a giant deity made of spaghetti. But while they have a love of pasta-based puns and celebrate holidays such as “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” followers insist their religion is no joke. New Zealand officials agree, giving Wellington-based pastafarian Karen Martyn the legal right to conduct marriages last month after ruling the church was based on genuine philosophical convictions. Martyn conducted her inaugural wedding as an ordained “ministeroni” on Saturday, when Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young became the first couple in the world to “tie the noodly knot” in a legally recognized ceremony.

23 The wedding took place on a charter vessel decorated as a pirate ship at the South Island town of Akaroa, with guests

dressed in costume. Ricketts, a filmmaker who discovered pastafarianism while making a documentary about religion, said he knew some people may not take the marriage seriously. “That’s kind of what attracted us to it,” he told AFP. “We were never planning to get married and have a conventional wedding but this allowed us to do it in a way that we’re comfortable... Our families are 100 percent behind us.” Maybe they’ll be naming their first child Marinara.

Sleepy Delivery It seemed like a dream. He fell asleep in Tennessee and then woke up in Texas. But then he realized that it was real. A FedEx Express hub worker was loading cargo onto an aircraft in Memphis when he nodded off at 4am. After napping for a while, he awoke midflight and tried to alert pilots by knocking on the cabin door. The pilots spoke with him via telephone and he sat in a jump seat until the plane landed. Finally, the plane landed, and the worker found himself in another state – and it was not the state of happiness.

What’s in a Name?

Congratulations! It’s a boy and a girl – twins! But just because they’re your children, doesn’t mean you should subject them to a life with a terrible name. Thankfully, there are judges with some common sense that can intervene. Last week, a British court ruled that a woman from Wales cannot name her baby daughter Cyanide. The woman, whose name ironically cannot be published for legal reasons, has infant twins and wants to name her son Preacher and her daughter Cyanide, saying the poison is a “lovely, pretty name” with


APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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positive associations because it helped kill Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ym”sh. But as “pretty” as that association is, local officials objected, and a family court judge ruled against the mother in September, saying she was not acting to secure her children’s welfare. She challenged the ruling, saying it was her right to choose her children’s names. But three Court of Appeal judges upheld the earlier decision in a judgment published last Thursday. One of the justices, Eleanor King, said it was “one of those rare cases” in which judges should intervene. “It is hard to see how ... the twin girl could regard being named after this deadly poison as other than a complete rejection of her by her birth mother,” she pointed out. The woman has a history of drug abuse and mental health problems. Her children have been placed in foster care.

In Trust We Trust

It’s a fresh concept and it seems to be working. Residents of Bengaluru, India, have been seeing something slightly different recently. Unguarded refrigerators have begun popping up around the city, and passersby are invited to open them up and take what they like. There is no place to insert their rupees before selecting their food item, though. Nor is there a person with his or her hand out. Customers are encouraged to use the honor system to deposit their payment in the box attached to the refrigerator. “Trust Shops” are trust-based coolers from the food company iD Fresh Food. Customers can grab an item from behind the unlocked glass door and deposit their payment in the box attached. Don’t have cash right now? No problem. Just come back later to pay for your food. The foods available from the unmanned stands include preservative-free offerings like chapatis, parottas, and idli-dosa batter. iD Fresh Food has already set up 17 Trust Shop locations throughout Bengaluru, mostly in office buildings, apartment complexes, and the “software parks” that are common to the tech hub. It seems that trust works. Most apartment installations have reported payment rates around 90 percent, with some days reaching 100 percent.  In addition to targeting adult buyers, the company also wants to expand the stores

to schools and colleges to spread the value of trust to student customers. The business plans to launch in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Mumbai in the near future.  Don’t think that trust only works in India. After a coffee shop in Valley City, North Dakota, swapped out their baristas for a system based on trust, they earned back 15 percent more revenue than they

asked for. Panera Cares, a nonprofit “paywhat-you-want” cafe from Panera Bread, has been operating under the honor system since 2010. Seems like honor is not a goner in today’s world.

Make a Hamburglar Happy Last month, a man was caught on security footage breaking into a closed Five

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Guys burger restaurant and cooking up food for himself on the grill. The “D.C. Hamburglar,” as he has been dubbed, is now wanted by a restaurant – but not for punishment.

If the criminal with a craving turns himself in, he’ll find there’s a pot of ground chuck at the end of the rainbow: free burgers for a year after he’s paid his debt to society. “As you may be aware, there is a

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

gentleman who broke in and made himself a burger at another restaurant brand last month in the D.C. area and is still at large,” John Eucalitto, president of Wayback Burgers, said in a statement. “To that gentleman, I’d like to say that we all make mistakes – from committing this illegal act to your choice of burgers. I strongly encourage you to do the right thing and turn yourself in right away.” Seems like eating the wrong burger may just be a crime in some people’s eyes. “After you take accountability for your actions, Wayback Burgers will give you free burgers for one year. It’s not too late to turn it around based on what you did.” Does it include fries as well?

A Bag of Air

I’d say this is all a bunch of hot air. A sandwich bag purporting to contain air from Kobe Bryant’s last game as well as the NBA star’s autograph was listed for nearly $4,600 on eBay. User cardemon_huskers2015 created an eBay listing on Sunday for the bag

of air and the listing ended just hours later “because the item is no longer available.” It was unclear whether the bag sold for its $4,599.99 asking price, although I know for sure that whoever purchased it is just an airhead. The bag bears Bryant’s purported signature along with an explanation that the air was from Bryant’s final game with the Los Angeles Lakers on April 13 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. He scored 60 points during the game. The seller said Bryant’s autograph “looks authentic,” although he admitted the bag was purchased “from a guy off of Craigslist.” At least one other bag claiming to contain air from Bryant’s final game was posted sans autograph on eBay, but the auction site quickly removed the listing. And then it just vanished into thin air.


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The Week In News Interview

APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Rhythm of the Soul TJH Speaks With Lazer Lloyd By Tzvi Dear

Internationally renowned guitarist Lazer Lloyd started out as an unaffiliated Jewish virtuoso in the nightclubs of Connecticut. After a chance encounter on the streets of Manhattan, he ended up in Israel studying Torah…and playing music. As the lead guitar player in beloved jam band Reva L’Sheva and now in his solo career, Lazer has awed audiences – from left wing chilonim to right wing chareidim – throughout Israel and internationally. His style ranges from folk to blues to rock and beyond, but his musical mission is simply to bring pure joy to all those that click play on his CDs. Lazer, I know you didn’t grow up religious. What made you decide to be chozer b’teshuva? I didn’t grow up frum at all and I was doing some demos for Atlantic Records while I was living in Manhattan. I would see a homeless beggar in Central Park every day and I used to give him a few dollars to buy some food. We got to talking one time and he told me that he’s Jewish and prays every morning. And I was really intrigued by that. So we agreed that I’d meet him the next day at the synagogue at 39th and 6th. There was a rabbi there, Rabbi Mormon, and he asked me what I do. I told him I play guitar and we started hanging out. He saw a long-haired hippie. The next thing I know, two weeks later, he arranges a concert

with me and Shlomo Carlebach. I was blown away by Reb Shlomo – the way he told the stories and sang the songs. And Shlomo liked the way I played and told me that we have to play together in Israel. That was a month before he died. And he hooked me up with a yeshiva in Israel and said, “I’m coming soon, you go hang out and I’ll be there.” I had already started learning some Torah with Rabbi Mormon and he convinced me. He said go learn some Torah there, Shlomo will come, and you will play some concerts with him. I don’t know why, but I ended up going. Where did you go? They got me to stay for free in

this yeshiva near Yerushalayim. When I got there I said, “Listen, I’m not cutting my hair and I play guitar every day.” The rabbi said, “OK, we got a room for you, don’t worry.” I came down to the classes and I was certain that I was going to be able to convince them that this whole thing is ridiculous after a few minutes. But by the time I got through the first Rashi, I knew this was the real deal. Did you stay in touch with Reb Shlomo at that point? Yes. I would go to Modiin and I called him and he told me he is coming after the holidays. Then one day the rabbi came in and said, “You’re not going to be playing with Shlomo. He passed away.” I was devastated. So what did you do then? Shlomo had given me some names of his students who were musicians and I was in touch with the guys. But even before that, the person who really helped me out the most was Avi Piamenta. He’s definitely the world’s greatest flute player. Totally. He’s also a super mensch and he took me under his wings and I started playing with him. And then I started playing with Chaim Dovid. Did you ever play with Yosi Piamenta z”l? Yes, we jammed. It’s hard to be

original these days, but Yosii managed to totally come up with an original style of playing. He was able to combine the whole Middle Eastern and Hendrix thing. What style do you play? I do a lot of blues, but I’m unorthodox in my playing. How many hours do you play a day? I mean, I do a lot of praying and Torah study but I try to get some guitar playing in. I love music because it connects to the soul, but when I started learning Chassidus...let’s just say my guitar was crying because that’s when I really connected to the real soul food. But, you know, the Torah and davening inspires the music. So, I do a lot of songwriting. Before you started learning Torah how long would you play every day? For years I played ten hours a day. I majored in music in college. And even before that, I was married to my guitar. Is there an amount of time that it takes to become an expert at guitar? For each person it’s different. I know kids that they could put in tons of hours and it just doesn’t work for them, and I know other people who

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than you? Yes. We joke about it because he’s very leftist. But the truth is, it’s not my place to say who is religious or not because only G-d knows that. But, they were an unbelievable band and they were way ahead of their time.

just pick the thing up and it’s like, Wow! The songs you write now, are they based on spirituality? Well, if you write about what’s going on with yourself, that’s spirituality. But I also don’t like when people preach in their songs, so there’s no preaching in my music. I just kind of talk about my own journeys, suffering and things that I deal with. But there’s a lot of fun songs. I have a song called “Rocking in the Holy Land,” about my journey to Israel. Do people realize you’re Jewish at these festivals or do they just think you fell off of the ZZ Top bus? Ha ha. I got my tzitzis hanging out and my beard. You know, some of the festivals use it to market the festival, because it stands out – you know a Jewish blues player with a big beard. You must meet a lot of unaffili-

ated Jews at these festivals. Of course, all the time. Last summer in Illinois this guy came over to me and was pouring his heart out about how he just got divorced and he used to be religious and wants to get reconnected. Things like that happen all of the time. What’s the music scene in Israel like nowadays? There is unbelievable amount of

musical talent in Israel. My career has blossomed there. I’m playing 4 to 5 nights a week in Israel. I’ve been blessed; I do acoustic shows, electric shows, so it’s been really good. Do you listen to Kaveret? Are you kidding?! I play with the guitar player Ephraim Shania sometimes. He’s probably very different

Do you ever throw in Carlebach songs when playing for left wing audiences in Israel? Yes, I try to show them the other side. It’s in fashion today for the left wing in Israel to talk [negatively] about the Jewish people and that bothers me a lot. Do you do a lot of international touring these days? Sure. I’m going to be in South Africa, Germany, Canada, and Brazil. Nice. When you come to New York, you gotta do a Five Towns show. Absolutely.


APRIL 20, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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THE CHOSEN ONE.

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Kaspare Cohn Hospital, Angelino Heights, 1902

The generation of Jews who left Egypt gained their freedom. Jewish physicians in our generation did the same. Cedars-Sinai dates back to a tiny house in Angelino Heights over 100 years ago where it cared for the sick and needy in our Jewish community. It grew because of the community’s need—and because Jewish physicians weren’t allowed to practice at most of the city’s other hospitals. This same prejudice resulted in the creation of Jewish medical centers across the country. With messages of equality, compassion, and excellence, a limited number still exist today. And while the fight for Jewish physicians to practice their medicine freely has been won, new battles have emerged against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and brain tumors—the modern day plagues against which we fight to free the world. This Passover, Cedars-Sinai wishes you a happy, healthy, and meaningful celebration of what it means to be free.

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