Jewish Home LA - 5-19-16

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The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Lake ood&La ‫בית‬ ‫מדרש‬ ‫גבוה‬

A C o n t i n u i n g To r a h P a r t n e r s h i p

,‫יישר כח לידידינו בלאס אנגלס‬ ‫ מחזיק תורה ומוקיר רבנן‬,”‫יושב ראש וועד ה”גוברנרס‬ On behalf of the 7,000 talmidei chachomim of Beth Medrash Govoha, we express profound ‫ הכרת הטוב‬to

Mr. & Mrs. shloMo Yehuda rechnitz Chairman, BMG Board of Governors and Member, Board of Trustees

for hosting the Lakewood-LA Shabbos His love for Torah and care for talmidei chachomim are sources of strength to the entire Yeshiva Special thanks to him and to his Aishes Chayil for hosting the Rosh HaYeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler ‫ שליט”א‬and the Rebbetzin, at their home with regal hospitality and warm personal friendship

· · ·

Profound thanks to all in the vibrant Los Angeles community for participating in Beth Medrash Govoha’s Shabbos of Chizuk & Community Breakfast · · ·

We extend heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to

Mr. & Mrs. Meir levin Member, BMG Board of Trustees, and ‫ מיסד‬of the largest learning bais medrash in the world, Bais Yitzchok, in memory of his father, Rav Yitzchok Levin ‫ז”ל‬

The Levins hosted the beautiful breakfast that allowed the LA Kehilla to connect to the Roshei Yeshiva in a warm, intimate setting Warmest thanks to their dynamic breakfast co-hosts,

Mr. & Mrs. roBert MillMan · · · Special thanks to

Mr. & Mrs. Berel Weiss for graciously hosting a melava malka at their home with their legendary standards of ‫הכנסת אורחים‬

· · · Heartfelt thanks to

Mr. & Mrs. tzvi eilat raBBi & Mrs. Moshe choPP And with great appreciation to the LA members of BMG’s Board of Trustees and Board of Governors:

duvi Blonder · david hager · Michael Kest · Meir levin henrY Manoucheri · raPhY nissel · r’ dov osina shloMo Yehuda rechnitz · Berel Weiss · zevi WolMarK

dynagrafik845.352.1266 845.352.1266 dynagrafik

for hosting the Shabbos visit of HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Neuman ‫שליט”א‬


The Week In News CONTENTS


Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6


Reaching Their Hearts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 MAHARAL ON PIRKEI AVOS: The Rebbe to All of Us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 The Ketchup Escapade - Judging Favorably. . . . . 25


Local Team Creates Graphic Version of Navi. . . . . 24 Is Cash a Relic of the Past?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Copenhagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Dor Yeshorim’s Legacy: Healing hearts, one family at a time: A TWO PART SERIES. . . . . . . . 36 Ask the Attorney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Ask Dr. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

NEWS Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32




Dear Readers, We humans are always counting: Counting the days till graduation, camp, a pay raise, and all the wonderful things we look forward to. At first glance it seems Sefiras Haomer, the counting of the omer is the same; we are counting the days till Shavuos and matan Torah, the giving of the Torah. In truth, however, counting in Judaism is very different than the typical lead-up to an event. The usual way of counting is counting down. For example, we might announce, “There are only three weeks left till we go to New York!” as if to say: the real place I should be is in New York, and since I’m not there yet, I’m going to count down to the day I will be. In yiddishkeit we count up. We introduce the daily shir shel yom, “Hayom yom rishon b’Shabbos… Hayom yom Sheni – Today is the first day of Shabbos… Today is the second day of Shabbos.” In the case of Sefiras Haomer, we say, “Today is fifth day of the omer,” “Today is the tenth day,” and so on. The focus is

MAY 19,we’re 2016 | Thedoing Jewish Home always on what now in order to realize the goal. The end result isn’t something we escape into; it’s a goal born of our focus on creating meaningful days right now. When we count 49 days and climb the ladder of self-improvement, we are then given the 50th day, Shavuos, as a gift. The same can be said about our focus on the future redemption. It isn’t a given day we know about in advance, and we count down as an escape route. Rather, it’s a beautiful building being built brick by brick, at times with the sweat of our brow, until its majesty stands tall for everyone to see. Of course, we’re entitled to beseech our Father in Heaven that He accept the building as is and put an end to all pain and suffering. We may not be perfect, but we’re certainly ready. May we have a rejuvenating Shabbos and an inspirational Lag B’Omer, 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

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Bnei Akiva Event at Beth Jacob: Mourning Losses and Celebrating Israel Independence Day Tova Abady

Beth Jacob once again opened its doors to the community on Wednesday, May 11th to observe Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut. Thanks to a heartfelt and uplifting program by Bnei Akiva, those in the jam-packed synagogue enjoyed a pro-

gram including four outstanding children’s choirs – belonging to the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, the Gindi Maimonides Academy, Yeshivat Yavneh, and the Bnei Akiva Valley. There was a vibrant atmosphere of achdus between all those pres-

ent to connect with Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael. Rabbi Menachem Hecht, executive director of Bnei Akiva Los Angeles expressed great pride in the achievements of the organization stating, “Though doz-

ens of shlichut families, through multiple iterations of the West Coast Moshava overnight camp, through hundreds of Bnei Akiva members who have made aliyah, through literally thousands of L.A. high school students who have learned activism, leadership and love of Israel by serving as Bnei Akiva madrichim, we hold true to our motto established by Meir Bar Ilan two decades before the state of Israel was established, that the nation of Israel belongs in, and belongs to, our homeland.” Commemorating Yom HaZicharon, the sound of the siren blast heard in Israel pierced the room and everyone stood silently to honor the fallen and those slain by hostile enemies. A short film was shown about four of the wonderful Jews who were killed by terrorists, and who left the world a better place with their chessed and beautiful spirit, Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin; Hadar Cohen; and Dafna Meir, zt”l, hy”d. The shofar was then blown, the flag raised, and tears turned into cheers to celebrate Israel’s 68th birthday. The miracle of the ingathering of Ethiopian Jews back home to Israel was depicted in the video presentation, “Israel is Home: The Ethiopian Aliyah.” The keynote address was given by Eden Malese, a bat ami working at the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, who explained, “Ethiopian Jews dreamt of Eretz Yisrael for thousands of years.” Ms. Malese, who is of Ethiopian descent, continued, “The Israel they [her forefathers] dreamed of was the land described in the Torah, a land flowing with milk and honey.” Also, she said, her family believed “Jerusalem was made of gold with a beit hamikdash and they believed korbanot were still sacrificed.” Yet Eden’s grandfather said that despite any difficulties or surprises it was worth everything to come because “there is nothing like living and speaking as a Jew among Jews.” Eden said her being here in the U.S. and teaching in Los Angeles 31 years after her family made aliyah was “proof that the dream has come true.” She announced (to much applause) that Bnei Akiva has opened in Ethiopia to help with the transition to life in Israel. The memorable speech by Eden was followed by a moving performance by the Bnei Akiva Valley Choir of the song “Jerusalem” in the Ethiopian language, Amharic, conducted by Avi Rodan. Rabbi Hecht invited to community to reach out to Bnei Akiva to involve their families. He said that the western region in Los Angeles is experiencing a true renaissance. Bnei Akiva amazingly charges

TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Photos: Lew Groner

no fees or tuitions, relying solely on donations. He thanked their amazing shlichim, the Rodans and the Fridmans. Avi Rodan later led everyone in the Tefilla Haggiga. He and his wife Dorit are Bnei Akiva shilchim in the Valley, and Eyal and Toby Fridman are shlichim in the City. Both couples helped to plan the Yom Haatzmaut program. They are loved by their students and have made a tremendous positive impact in the U.S. Two amazing cantors, Nati Baram of Beverly Hills synagogue and Arik Wollheim of Beth Jacob, assisted the choirs practicing, conducting, and, as always, added their amazing talent and love for the Jewish people. The evening events culminated with dancing and more celebration plus a typical Israeli barbeque in the social hall.

Yom Yerushalayim Shabbaton presents

Rabbi Doron Perez

Chief Executive of the World Mizrachi movement. Renowned speaker, Rabbi, educator, author, and organization builder. Having reinvigorated the Mizrachi movement in South Africa and now living in Israel, he is the driving force behind the reinvigoration of the Mizrachi Movement worldwide.

Sponsored by World Mizrachi and the Agatstein Family

June 3rd-5th

Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel

Director of Global Development for World Mizrachi and one of Israel's premier media personalities, featured on Fox News, CNN, BBC & Al Jazeera to voice his opinion on Israel and the Middle East

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner

Israeli activist attorney and undisputed leader of the fight against Palestinian and Islamic terrorist organizations in the courtroom, with an MBA from Manchester University is founding head of the Shurat HaDin organization

Rabbi Yishai Fleisher

International Spokesman for the Jewish Community of Hebron, pioneer in English Talk Radio in Israel and has been featured on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Xinhua, MTV, Fox and Israeli TV

Rabbi Mike Feuer

Educational Director of Bet Midrash Sulam Yaakov, faculty member of the Pardes

Institute of Jewish Studies


Friday June 3rd - Speaking at local schools Shabbat Day June 4th - Shabbat Morning Drasha Beth Jacob—Rabbi Yishai Fleisher Beverly Hills Synagogue—Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel Mogen David—Rabbi Mike Feuer Yavneh/Hancock Park—Rabbi Doron Perez Young Israel of Century City—Mrs. Nitzana Darshan-Leitner

Shabbat Afternoon June 4th Panel Discussion at Young Israel of Century City

YOM YERUSHALAYIM, Sunday June 5th 8am Community-wide Davening Tefilla Chagigit at Beth Jacob followed by breakfast and a short inspirational film


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Building on the Past, Looking towards the Future: Upcoming Annual Breakfast at Congregation Bais Naftoli Yehudis Litvak On Sunday, May 29, Congregation Bais Naftoli in Hancock Park will hold its 24th Annual Breakfast. Like every year, many dignitaries and elected officials have been invited to attend the event. In fact, one of the honorees is the recently-retired Sheriff Lee Baca, whose 49 years of service will be acknowledged and appreciated at the breakfast. But, along with remembering the past, Bais Naftoli is looking towards the future. Its two other honorees represent the new generation of Orthodox Jewish leadership. Bais Naftoli boasts a diverse congregation, unique in this day and age. Several generations daven side by side in the shul. Originally founded by Holocaust survivors, Bais Naftoli grew and expanded over the years, and now includes young families as well. This year’s honorees, Dr. Shlomo Frankel and Lavie Klein, represent the new generation of leadership. “[Holocaust survivors] groomed my generation, second generation Holocaust survivors, to become leaders,” says Mr. Andrew Friedman, President of Congrega-

L-R Lavie Klein, Rabbi Yoel Gold, Dr. Arnold Ross, Sheriff Lee Baca, Commissioner Andrew Friedman, Dr. Shlomo Frankel

tion Bais Naftoli. “Now it’s time to honor the third generation – individuals who have given of themselves and have shown that they are capable of assuming the man-

tle and lead the Orthodox Jewish community in the decades ahead.” Dr. Shlomo Frankel is a dually-trained orthodontist and board-certified pediatric dentist who grew up in Los Angeles. After he completed his training and moved back to L.A., he joined Bais Naftoli. “I never looked anywhere else,” he says. “It’s the perfect balance for someone involved in Judaism: Torah learning, world-class cantor leading the services, children’s program, and the shul functions as a very public face of the Jewish community.” Bais Naftoli is where the local congressmen and other officials come on Jewish holidays, or to hear the shofar on Rosh Hashana, explains Dr. Frankel. “I am proud and humbled to receive the honor,” he says. “It’s a tremendous responsibility to carry on the chinuch and values we were brought up with, with a unique L.A. touch.” Lavie Klein is a CPA who grew up davening at Bais Naftoli. “I had my bar mitzvah here,” he says, “then my aufruf, then my son’s bris. Four generations of my family daven together here.” Mr. Klein feels that the intergenerational congregation has much to offer to its younger members. “The Holocaust survivors give us a lot of chizuk,” he says. “People in their late eighties and nineties never miss davening. It’s their most important part of the day. We have a lot to learn from them.” The rabbi of Bais Naftoli, Rabbi Yoel Gold, shares Mr. Klein’s sentiments. He originally joined the congregation in order to connect with the Holocaust survivors. It was only a year later, after the previous rabbi retired, that Rabbi Gold was hired as the shul’s rabbi. “It’s been a tremen-

dous experience,” he says. “I learned more from my congregants than I can ever teach them.” Bais Naftoli is known for its community outreach to elected officials. Dr. Arnie Ross, a podiatrist and a member of Bais Naftali who serves as Master of Ceremonies at the annual breakfast, considers it extremely valuable to maintain the connection to the political world of Los Angeles and California. Over the years, the breakfast had been attended by many elected and appointed officials. This year’s honoree, retired Sheriff Baca, hasn’t missed a single annual breakfast at Bais Naftoli. He first encountered the Jewish community growing up in Boyle Heights. In 7th grade, he had a Jewish English teacher, Esther Landman. “English became my strongest subject because of this teacher,” says Sheriff Baca. He appreciates the importance of education in Judaism. Sheriff Baca visited Israel four times and met with the current police chief each time, as well as with Ariel Sharon when he had been Prime Minister. “I know the conditions of Israel’s safety and security,” he says, reminiscing about his experience rushing to a bunker in a private home in Ashdod during a rocket attack. “During his 49 years in law enforcement [Sheriff Baca] demonstrated his love and devotion to the Jewish community,” says Mr. Friedman. “Whether by allowing Chanuka candles for Jewish inmates, or by sending helicopters to find a kollel member who needed immediate help to survive, Lee Baca was always there.” The members of Bais Naftoli will be showing appreciation to Sheriff Baca at the upcoming breakfast.

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News


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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Power of Lag B’Omer – Kollel Chatzos Nighttime Learning Captures the True Essence of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai As Lag B’Omer approaches, hundreds of thousands of people are preparing to gather in the storied hills of ancient Meron to celebrate the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. There they will dance, sing, light fires, and cut little boys’ hair, partaking in the joyous and uplifting traditions of the day. Tucked away in building #56 on a quiet street, behind the doors of unit #9, in the shul of Rabbi Naftali Friedman (special Lag B’Omer location), the talmidei chachomim of Kollel Chatzos, Meron will be celebrating Lag B’Omer with the ultimate fulfillment of the essence of Rabbi Shimon: Torah learning throughout the night. Unlike the thousands who have traveled to the kever of Rabbi Shimon for just this one night, the members of Kollel Chatzos gather every midnight throughout the year at the kever in Meron (as well as in three locations in the United States). As the rest of the world sleeps, they immerse themselves in vibrant Torah learning, bringing zechusim and yeshuos to klal yisroel. “In the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai states over and over, more than 130 times, that chatzos halaila is such a special

time to learn,” explains Rabbi Nechemye Hoffman, Founder and Director of Kollel Chatzos. “Between the Kollel Chatzos locations in the United States and the one in Meron, Torah is being learned 24 hours a day.” As a bochur learning in Eretz Yisroel, Rabbi Hoffman visited Meron on Lag B’Omer and left with a small set of Zohar. The numerous references to the tremendous gadlus of learning Torah through the night kindled something within him and he began waking at midnight to study Torah. Once back in the United States, he married and settled in upstate New York with a regular day kollel schedule. Yet he sorely missed his nighttime learning, and with the support and encouragement of his wife, he founded the first Kollel Chatzos. Four years later, each location has a waiting list. There have always been those who feel a deep connection to segulos and yeshuos, and Lag B’Omer at the kever of the holy Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai has long been revered as a source of powerful potential brachah. But for anyone with a true understanding of the immense tzidkus of Rabbi Shimon, and the brilliant light of Torah he brought to the world, there can be no

greater way to mark his yahrtzeit than by immersing in Torah learning. Rabbi Shimon Halperin, Rosh Kollel of Kollel Chatzos Meron, expounds, “People come to Meron from across the country and across the world. At the kever there is a huge commotion with dancing, davening, tehillim, singing and upsherin going on. The Kollel Chatzos talmidei chachamim, who are sitting quietly and learning the entire night, they are truly connected with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, fulfilling his holy will.” As more and more people across the globe reach out to support the nighttime Torah learning of Kollel Chatzos, the recognition is growing of the enormous brachah inherent in supporting continuous, 24-hour-a-day Torah learning. Kollel Chatzos partners continuously share their amazing stories of yeshuos, refuos, and besuros tovos that came to fruition after they began supporting the nighttime Torah learning of the Kollel. “When people hear the power and zechus of supporting Kollel Chatzos, and the yeshuos it brings, they realize that there is definitely a koach to supporting Torah being learned b’chatzos halailah,” shares Rabbi Hoffman. You can reach the ultimate level of

Being Mispallel for their supporters at Kever Rashbi

brachah this Lag B’Omer and throughout the year by supporting the nighttime learning of Kollel Chatzos in Meron as well as Brooklyn, Monsey, and Monroe. Contact Kollel Chatzos today for special Lag B’Omer partnership options. 1-855-CHATZOS (242-8967) or 1-718887-9114 46 main St. #104 Monsey NY 10952, www.chatzos. org

Local AMIT Chapter Honors Sylvia Gross On Thursday, May 12, AMIT Children L.A. brought together, for the first time ever, its President's Circle and Chai Society Members for an Appreciation Dinner at La Gondola. The organization presented Ms. Sylvia Gross with a lifetime achievement award for her continuous dedication to the AMIT students in Israel since 1972. The Baran/Spiwak family sponsored the evening to honor Sylvia’s hard work. On hand to present the award was AMIT’s New National President, Debbie Moed, who flew in from New York. Founded in 1925, AMIT now cares for more than 32,000 children and young people in 110 schools, youth villages, child care facilities, and other programs throughout Israel. The organization offers services in 29 Israeli cities, communities, and development towns, with some 70 percent of their students coming from severely dysfunctional homes, struggling immigrant families, or families at or below poverty level. AMIT is Israel’s only government-recognized network of religious Jewish education which incorpo-

rates academic and technological studies. AMIT ensures that all its students receive an excellent education, a deep understanding and appreciation for their Jewish heritage, and the kind of nurturing and special attention that will enable them to become productive members of Israeli society. AMIT's President's Circle and Chai Society is comprised of annual major gift donors. Its members are rapidly growing in Los Angeles. 40 people attended last Thursday's event. Ms. Gross, the dinner's honoree, says, "Keeping busy and helping others is what's kept me feeling good. The children of Israel represent the future of the Jewish people, and I'm proud to have done my part through AMIT Children."

Sylvia Gross, surrounded by her family, receiving the lifetime achievement award Keyvan Shahrouz Photography

n o r e M The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


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MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


KNOWS OUR FIRST NAME Our kollel talmidei chachamim toil in Torah with mesiras nefeshat chatzos on Reb Shimon's kever 6 nights a week.

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Israel American Council Independence Day Celebration Tova Abady

On Sunday, May 13th, L.A.’s Israel Independence Day festival was celebrated in Rancho Park. Many exciting activities enhanced the day. There were also abundant opportunities to do chessed and enjoy food from glatt kosher vendors. The festival began with marchers from local Jewish schools singing songs around the corner from the park, in front of the Museum of Tolerance. Once inside the park, celebrants could attend a siyum led by YULA and Shalhevet students in the Torah Pavilion, daven minchah, and learn about mishnayos pertaining to Eretz Yisrael with Bnei Akiva.

cars were built. Belgium has the largest amount remaining, while only a few rare Sabras remain in the United States. At the festival were two examples, the Sabra Station Wagon (the only one known to exist) and the Sussita FW2. To connect with this project, visit the Facebook page www. SussitaProject/. On the main stage, Broadway and Yiddish theatre veteran Mike Burstyn was the MC. He introduced the Machol Lohet Dance Troup, The Jewish Children’s Community Children’s Choir with guest cantors Nati Baram and Marcus Feldman, rapper DJ Gilad, DJ Aviel, and DJ River, and

Bikur Cholim partnered with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (assisted by Friends of Magen David Adom) to hold a blood drive. They also teamed up with City of Hope’s “Be A Match” program to sign up anyone interested in becoming part of the bone marrow registry. Rabbi Heshy Ten, President of Bikur Cholim, explained, “We want to celebrate Israel by doing a mitzvah. It’s a tremendous kiddush Hashem. And it’s something quantifiable, doing something for the greater good while recognizing the independence of the state of Israel.” Kosher food selections included hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, chicken, falafel, containers of fruit, corn on the cob, and more. One of the tens of vendors, Sadaf, unveiled a new line of products that will soon be available in stores, including saffron and many types of healthy oil cooking sprays such as grapeseed. Maimon’s from Israel displayed an array of products for bakers, as well. Among the other participants were Friends of the IDF, Americans For A Safe Israel (represented by President and Mayoral candidate, YJ Draiman), Hatzolah, the Board of Jewish Education, Nefesh B’Nefesh, and Jerusalem U. Rabbi Yellin, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Jerusalem U, explained that the organization uses film to bring awareness of Israeli issues, distributing them through the internet, social media, television, and in partnership with syna-

the main performer Rita, a native Persian, now a popular singer in Israel. At one point during the performances, there was an impressive flyover by the Tiger Squadron. Several speakers also took the stage. Miri Shepher – the co-creator of Life Alert – gave a powerful speech. She said, “We love Israel am echad, lev echad.” Mrs. Shepher, the philanthropist behind the IAC Shepher Community Center in Woodland Hills, continued, “Our next generation is losing their connection with Judaism, and that’s why being here is more important than ever before.” She then praised Consul General David Siegal. Saying his departure is bittersweet, she hoped LA would be his home away from home. Consul General Siegal asked if anyone could have imagined we would go from near annihilation to a sovereign nation. Nati and Debbie Saidoff are the chief contributors to IAC, without which the festival would not be possible. Nati is also an IAC board member. When called to the mic, Nati said, “Yes to love, no to Anti-Semitism. Yes to inclusion, no to boycott.” He added that not enough people know the truth about the Middle East. He introduced State Assembly members Richard Bloom and Travis Allen, who are taking an anti-BDS bill to the State Assembly which states that California will not do business with any company that supports the BDS.

gogues, schools and Jewish organizations. The films they have produced include “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front,” “Crossing the Line” (about Anti-Semitism on campus), and their newest, “Mekonen: the Journey of an African Jew.” Another fascinating exhibit displayed the Sussita Project. According to Shlomo Fattal, who founded this project, many

companies chose to avoid selling to Israel after financial and political pressure from Muslim nations long before the BDS movement. Due to the Arab embargo, Itzhak Shubinsky began Autocars in the 1950s. It was Israel’s first car manufacturer. His goal was to import cars to the United States. The company lasted two and a half decades. Three hundred and seventy five


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Bringing Awareness of the Laniado Hospital in Valley Communities Irving and Linda Rubenstein, Dr. Robert and Agy Reich Levine, and Urie Lieberman – Director of the West Coast Friends of Laniado Hospital – have united to prepare a first-time event which they hope will bring awareness of the Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel, to the communities of the Valley. The “Bringing Awareness of the Laniado Hospital” Evening Garden Reception will, IY”H, take place on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at the Rubenstein home, located at 5050 Bluebell Avenue in Valley Village. The reception will begin at 6 pm, and a program will follow at 7 pm. Rabbi Pini Dunner, the exciting spiritual leader of The Beverly Hills Synagogue (formerly Young Israel of North Beverly Hills), is the guest speaker at the reception. The rabbi will share with us the historic legacy of the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, of blessed and saintly memory. The Rebbe was the founder of Laniado Hospital, and Rabbi Dunner will detail the special role that the Rebbe filled during the establishment of the State of Israel. Dr. Aryeh Simmonds, Head of the Neonatology Department at Laniado, one of the leading facilities of its kind in Israel, will represent Laniado Hospital. He is also scheduled to speak at Sharey Zedek Congregation in the Valley on Shabbat Parshat Emor and at Valley Torah High School on

the Friday preceding the event. Tali Moore, Pre-Med student and UCLA Regents Scholarship student, will describe at the Evening Garden Reception her experience at Laniado Hospital in the Pre-Med Summer Internship Program for students from the West Coast. A video on Laniado Hospital and the urgent need for an underground and missile-safe dialysis center will be presented. This is in conjunction with the ongoing Los Angeles – Laniado Partnership Project to complete the building of this special facility. Dr.Meir Zohar, Director of the Dialysis Center at Laniado Hospital, emphasizes, “It takes at least 5 minutes to detach a dialysis patient from a dialysis machine, while one has only 90 seconds to take shelter once a missile warning siren goes off.” During the last outbreak of hostilities in Gaza, missiles flew north of Netanya. It is needless to point out the critical importance of the underground dialysis center for Laniado, being the only hospital medical center for the 500,000 residents of Netanya and its environs. A missile-safe dialysis center at Laniado will treat and care for 160 patients a week, out of harm’s way, and it will serve as a regional emergency center, in the event, G-d forbid, of a new outbreak of hostilities. Sol Goldner, Co-Chairman of the Board of Governors, will deliver summary remarks at the event.

Laniado Hospital serves as a university hospital teaching facility, affiliated with the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Medical Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa. Laniado is an important medical center for the region with almost 700 births per month, 82,000 emergency room referrals, and 186,000 hospital admissions per year. Due to the unfortunate circumstances forced upon us, Laniado Hospital has acquired world-class expertise in management of mass casualty events, noted for handling the infamous Park Hotel Massacre, 13 years ago, on the night of Passover seder, and treating over a thousand injured from terrorist attacks. Laniado Hospital’s most recent achievements were made public last week on national television by the Ministry of Health. The Emergency Trauma Center at Laniado Hospital was placed high among the leading hospitals in Israel for its speed and efficacy in receiving patients and for the level of respect and compassion demonstrated towards patients waiting for care. A group of dedicated individuals joined the Rubensteins and Levines in setting up an active planning committee. Committed meeting members include Irving and Linda Rubenstein and Dr. Robert and Agy Reich Levine, Co-Hosts of the Evening Garden Reception and Edi Boxstein, Ed-

Laniado Hospital is ahead of all Israeli hospitals, carrying out hip fracture surgery for the elderly in the shortest waiting period. Israel’s Ministry of Health study found that Laniado’s Orthopedics Department, headed by Dr. Claude Picard, performed hip fracture surgery within 48 hours of hospitalization, 98% of the time; the highest indicator for any Israeli medical center. Dr. Picard added, “Our motivation for compassion and professionalism derives its source from the legacy of the founder of Laniado Hospital, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, of saintly memory, who set out to build a hospital in Israel where every human being would be cared for in dignity… Laniado Hospital is in fact a living testament of its legacy founder." "We have a duty to those elderly citizens who helped build the State of Israel," added Chaim Hammerman, CEO of Laniado Hospital.

Dr. Claude Picard, Director of Orthopedics

Rabbi Pini Dunner, Guest Speaker at Evening Garden Reception

Sanz Rebbe Shlita accompanied by Sol Teichman, Co- Chairman of Board of West Coast Friends during visit at Emek School

Valley planning commitee meeting

win Grusd, Victor and Mazal Hadad, Johnny and Miriam Istrin, Dr. Ben and Tammy Lesin, Dr. Josh and Doris Levy, Dr. Yaelle Gabay Messinger, and Limor Moore. In recognition of the special event a Valley Rabbinical Board was also established including: Rabbi David Adatto, Rabbi Joshua Bittan, Rabbi Zvi Block, Rabbi Aryeh Davidowitz, Rabbi David Edelstein,Rabbi Amram Gabay, Rabbi Dovid Horowitz, Rabbi Yisroel Majeski, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenberg, Rabbi Aharon Rubenstein, Rabbi Mordechai Shifman, Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger, and Rabbi Yakov Vann. Local doctors added their support of Laniado Hospital by forming a Valley Medical Advisory Board. Amongst its members are: Dr. David Boxstein, Dr. George Fischmann, Dr. Bruce Greenfield, Dr. Victor Gura, Dr. Ben Lesin, Dr. Robert Levine, Dr. Josh Levy, Dr. Lisa Lintz, Dr. Adam Mamelak, and Dr. Yaelle Gabay Messinger. Those wishing to attend this event may register online at valleyreception. or call 818-219-3207.

Photos: Bart Bartholomew/Courtesy SWC


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Mourning the Six Million at Beth Jacob and the Museum of Tolerance Tova Abady

The Los Angeles Jewish community continued to commemorate Yom HaShoah – which took place on Wednesday evening, May 5, through Thursday, May 6 – with programs at Beth Jacob Synagogue and at the Museum of Tolerance. Rabbi Topp told the large crowd in attendance at Beth Jacob Wednesday night, “There is no Hebrew word for history. In our Hebrew language,” said Rabbi Topp, “we only have a word for memory and that is zachor.” He continued, “History is a combination of ‘his’ and ‘story.’ It’s a detached narrative. It makes no demands on us in the present, but in Judaism, we are never detached, it’s our story.” Rabbi Adir Posy, associate rabbi at Beth Jacob, called six survivors and relatives to the stage to each light a candle for the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. The Harkham Hillel Academy Choir

under Director Katherine Simon, sang “Hatikva,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” and other selections explained by three of the young, talented choir members. Eliyah Horwatt introduced “Keli Keli,” music by David Zahavi and lyrics by Jewish heroine, Hannah Senesh. Ms. Senesh died by a firing squad at just 23 years old, al kiddush Hashem, when she refused to turn over any information to the Nazis. The next musical selection was “K’shehalev Boche,” introduced by Sarit Hadad, and “Ani Maamin,” introduced by Aharon Topp. Beth Jacob’s Cantor Arik Wollheim joined the children and conducted. The keynote speaker was Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik, great-nephew of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, a key figure in Modern Orthodoxy. He spoke about his admiration for Menachem Begin, who was born in Brest-Litovsk, Lithuania (also known as Brisk). Rav Meir Soloveichik recounted, “In 1972, a eulogy was convened for the Jews of Brisk by their descendents 30 years after the destruction of their city by the Nazis. I was overcome by the sheer love that one can feel radiating from his words for the Jews of Brisk. Who among us, cannot see ourselves as partners to the Beis HaLevi and to Rabbi Chaim Brisk as if we were with them for our entire lives. It’s a remarkable statement.” He suggested

that the method to continue for us to partner with these gedolim is through Torah and mitzvos. The Museum Of Tolerance and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual Holocaust program took place Thursday mid-morning. Director of the Museum of Tolerance Liebe Geft began by stating the theme for Yom HaShoah this year was “the struggle to maintain the human spirit during the Shoah.” Ms. Geft continued, “Even under the harshest conditions Jews exercised creativity, wrote, prayed, issued religious rulings, and secretly observed their holidays.” Some of that creativity is being displayed in the new exhibit at MOT, The Vedem Underground, which commenced immediately following the program with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It features the remarkable underground magazine of the Terezin ghetto put together by brave teenage boys. The Vedem exhibit was created by Rina Taraseisky, Danny King, and creative director Michael Murphy. Ms. Taraseiskey spoke about her family’s history: “In November 1941, my paternal grandfather, Ovsey Taraseiskey, started an underground resistance group while a prisoner in Lithuania’s Kovno Ghetto. In 1944, my paternal grandmother Rosa Lurie joined the Russian army after spending two years in a cave dug beneath a Lithuanian potato field, and in 1970, my maternal grandmother Fanya Taraseiskey participated in a demonstration at Moscow’s Central Post Office against the Communist regime’s Anti-Semitism and the government’s refusal to give her a visa to emigrate to Israel. So,” said Ms. Taraseiskey, “I guess you can say resistance runs in my family.” The Honorable Pavol Sepelak, Consul General of the Czech Republic (where Terezin was located) spoke about the heroic boys. The boys were aged 12-15 and


wrote/edited the magazine themselves in extraordinarily dangerous conditions, trying to hold onto whatever modicum of a normal life they could. Most of the boys were later taken to Auschwitz and murdered in the gas chambers. A survivor who currently lives in Florida discovered their work and saved it for future generations. Consul General Sepelak told the audience that although it was hoped that the world had learned from this catastrophic genocide, they did not, and Anti-Semitism flourishes. Everywhere he goes, he hears the mantra, “Never Again.” He cautioned, “Appeasement to evil cannot be tolerated. The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” Israeli Consul General David Siegal informed the audience that Hamas fired rockets and mortars into southern Israel in the midst of a Holocaust memorial as the IDF discovered yet another terrorist tunnel dug into Israel from Gaza several hundred yards from a kibbutz. Siegal spoke about how once again Jews are targeted because of who they are. “Iran with its nuclear weapon program calls for Israel’s destruction and continues to deny that the Holocaust ever occurred.” He said that survivors polled express deep anxiety about the prospect of another holocaust. Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, spoke about how the survivors had courage to keep going, to smile, to remarry, to have families, and to deliver the following message to their enemies: “Long after you have all been deposited in the dust pins of history the Jewish people, will still be sitting at their seder table, be singing the same songs of our ancestors.” Finally many people headed upstairs to participate in the Butterfly Project (name inspired by the poem by Anne Frank. As a memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered in the Holocaust, 1.5 million handmade ceramic butterflies will be painted by people around the world, one for each child who perished. The Butterfly Project was created by talented artist Cheryl Rattner Price and Jan Landau, a teacher. So far, 10 percent of the project is complete. Every person who wants to participate can log onto to get involved.



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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Reaching Their Hearts

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

I recently read an article that discussed which pursuit helped a person acquire longer term happiness: the purchase of something longed for, or a vacation. The writer theorized that if you crave some object, then once you buy it, the longing ends, and you become accustomed to it. You then cease deriving happiness when using that item. Someone dreams of buying a BMW and saves up money for the German car. After craving for years, he finally buys the vehicle. From that day on, his urge now satisfied, he ceases to derive enjoyment from having that car and begins desiring something else. According to this reasoning, the accumulation of things doesn’t bring happiness. A vacation, however, leaves a person with great memories. Even after returning to the daily grind, he derives pleasure from reminiscing about places visited and enjoyed. Months after returning from the vacation, when suffering the stresses of life, reviewing pictures of deserted beaches and beautiful sunsets transports one to those magical days when one felt relaxed and free. The Torah provides us with a similar gift. The last of the Pesach dishes have long been put away, children are back in school, and the routine of life takes over once again. In this week’s parsha of Emor, we are given snapshots of the most glorious days of the year. As we learn the parshah, we hear echoes of the call of the shofar, sense the awe of Yom Kippur, and smell the soft fragrance of the esrog. We are reminded of the escape Pesach provides us, the chance to rise above the ordinary, and how the process of bringing the Omer allows us to refine ourselves in preparation for kabbolas haTorah. We experience the joys, relive the holiness with which the special days infuse us, and are reminded once again of our exalted status and potential for greatness. Yomim tovim grant us joy, infuse us with energy,

and enable us to go about the mundane period until the next yom tov. My friend, Mr. Julius Klugman z”l, would go to Eretz Yisroel every year for Sukkos. He would always bring with him a question for the gedolim of Eretz Yisroel. One year, the American visitor wondered how the Torah can command a person to be b’simchah on Sukkos. Is there a button we can push to experience joy? He posed the question to Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach. “I don’t understand the question,” the rosh yeshiva replied. “How can a person say the words ‘Atah vechartanu mikol ho’amim’ and not feel joyous?” Rav Shach was expressing an essential truth. We have the best system possible – a calendar, lifestyle and value system designed to produce happy, fulfilled people. Yomim tovim are highlights of a year filled with special moments, experiences that bring out the wonder of creation and the uniqueness of our role in the world. Examine the world. Appreciate the infinite genius in the workings of even one small organ of the human body. Look at the animal kingdom and all the different animals and how each was formed and lives. Look at the world of insects, millions of tiny species, and their distinct lives. Look at the sea, and fishes of all sizes, and ponder how they got there. Examine the growth pattern of grass, trees, and flowers, and you will quickly conclude that there is no way that all this happened by itself. Someone created them and placed them where they are. Someone fashioned them in a way that each living thing can complete its life span productively on its level. Above them are man and Am Yisroel. We were given a Torah by the Creator. The Torah is the guide to the best form of life, one that is fulfilling, meaningful and happy. Why, then, do we see people in our own camp who seemingly lack that joy? Why do we see listless, lethargic people in shul and other places? Why is it that there is a phenomenon of young men and wom-

en who seem completely overwhelmed by what’s expected of them and veer off the path? It’s a painful question that begs a communal cheshbon hanefesh. Last week, I purchased the newly-released Shnos Dor Vador Volume Two about Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. The book quotes him relating the medrash (Bamidbar 18:22) which tells a story about a traveler headed from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel who witnessed two birds fighting. After one bird killed the other, it headed to the woods and returned with a blade of grass, which it placed upon the beak of the dead bird. The dead bird immediately came to life. The spectator was amazed. Here, before him, was the coveted key of techias hameisim, the means to return the dead back to life. He bent down and picked up the blade of grass that had fallen off the newly living bird and set out to resurrect the dead. On the way, he saw a dead lion at the side of the road and gleefully touched the grass to its face. The lion rose to life and then seized the blade of grass and swallowed it. A moment earlier, the weed had potential to change the world. Now it was gone. Rav Elyashiv suggested that the man should have hurried to the kevorim of the gedolei Yisroel, the giants who had breathed life into our people in previous generations, and returned chiyus to the world. He should have used the blade of grass to change the course of history. Instead, this fool used the most precious and potent tool to awaken a dead predator. Rav Elyashiv would apply the lesson of this medrash. Every one of us carries the potion of life and the ability to transcend time and space. By using each moment to create eternity, we elevate every minute. Instead, unfortunately, some people ignore the power they hold, wasting time and creating destruction rather than new life. The lesson requires every one of us to engage in soul-searching. We have the best

system in the world, a framework for living with meaning and depth, but apparently we aren’t always using it correctly. Torah is the elixir of life, a good life, a happy life, and we should be producing happy, radiant, fulfilled generations. Of course, in most cases we are, but there seem to be too many exceptions. The Torah calls for a specific and precise way of living, to be sure, and it’s not ours to pick and choose. Yet, should we not be doing more to transmit its message with mercy and genuine understanding of the people we’re trying to reach? The Torah is referred to by Chazal as Rachmana, The Merciful, and its agents must exude that rachmanus; that total empathy and compassion, to others. Last week, Klal Yisroel and the world of chinuch lost a giant, Rav Moshe Rabinowitz zt”l, who served as a menahel and mashgiach for many years. What was so special about him can be gleaned from something that an Oorah Kiruv Rechokim head shared with me. He spoke of the time Rav Rabinowitz participated in a weekend for parents of Oorah’s camp, The Zone. At a panel discussion, in response to a question, Rav Rabinowitz said that only once in his decades in chinuch did he expel a student from school. As he was relating this, he began to cry softly to himself. One of the parents in the crowd whose children were enrolled in public school was greatly moved. Witnessing how remembering the expelled student overwhelmed Rav Rabinowitz, the parent went over to the Oorah head and said, “If that is the care and concern of a rabbi in a yeshiva, I’m going to enroll my kids in yeshiva.” Rav Yisroel Belsky was the rov of Camp Agudah. Friday was an especially busy day. In addition to the shailos that followed him wherever he went, people who went up to the Catskills for Shabbos and wanted to speak to him would seek him out on Fridays for all types of personal discussions. Of course, there were the regular shiurim he delivered and everything else he did. Thus, by the time Shabbos arrived, he was exhausted. After maariv, he would join his family for the first part of the meal. Then he would join his beloved masmidim in the dining room, singing meaningful songs and sharing divrei Torah until late into the night. Every week, on his way to the masmidim in the campers’ dining room, he would make a detour and first go to the table on the side where the waiters sat. He understood that their job required them to work hard during the meal and their seudos

Living with In theNews Times The Week

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Shabbos were often sacrificed. Without much time to eat, let alone enjoy a spirited seudah, they grabbed a few bites here and there in between serving the campers. Rav Belsky got it. That’s why he made it a point to join them for a few minutes. Not too long, for they had jobs, but not too short, because it was Shabbos for them as well. A quick question, an interesting discussion, a lively niggun or two, and then the giant moved on. Rav Belsky dealt with brilliant and complex shailos in hilchos Shabbos. He knew the masechta and all its commentaries. But he also felt the heart of the waiters and their Shabbos. We want children and adults to appreciate Shabbos and view it as a state of mind and an opportunity for climbing and resting, growing and happiness, and shirah and Torah, as well as a day with many halachos that empower you to be a better and more complete person. The BMW won’t do that for you, even if you’re wearing a cool shirt and pants when you drive it. Shabbos will. Yom tov will. Every day lived properly will. In Pirkei Avos (1:15)., Shammai tells us, “Asei Torascha keva, emor me’at va’asei harbei, vehevei mekabel ess kol ho’odom b’seiver ponim yafos.” Rav Chaim Friedlander shared a question from his rebbi, Rav Eliyohu Eliezer Dessler. Shammai and his approach are always associated with middas hadin. The first two ideas quoted in the mishnah – to set a fixed time for Torah learning and to speak little and do much – seem to reflect that attitude.

However, the last teaching quoted seems to be out of place with the positions of Shammai. How does greeting everyone we meet fit with an outlook of middas hadin? Rav Dessler explained that Shammai is teaching that greeting people with warmth, enthusiasm and respect is not only a matter of common courtesy. It is, in fact, a din, an obligation, because just as a suit or watch has an actual value, and paying a shopkeeper less than their value can be considered stealing, a person also has value and deserves to be greeted as someone special. Because everyone is special and to miss that is to steal. We cannot realistically expect our precious and significant mesorah to have an effect on our children and students if we don’t realize who they are and what their needs are. If the message isn’t penetrating, it is not necessarily the fault of the recipient, nor can it be blamed every time on ADHD, defiance, poor work ethic or focus issues. We have to face the truth that sometimes it may be a problem in approach. We have to own up to the truth and quit sweeping the problems under the rug. Our Torah is a toras chaim. It is life-giving, personality-enhancing and happiness-inducing. We teach with happiness. We reach out to our youth and touch their sweet neshamos with love and joy. We teach them positively, allowing them to express themselves and helping them appreciate the brachos and kedushah that every day of yom tov, Shabbos, and chol bring. We bring the next generation under

the kanfei haShechinah, reaching them on their individual level, as the posuk (Mishlei 22:6) of “Chanoch lenaar al pi darko,” teaches. Children are not cut out from cookie-cutters. Each one is different and special and can best be reached by appreciating that fact. Every child wants to be loved and find favor in the eyes of others. Every child wants to fit in and gain acceptance among his peers. Every child wants his rebbi to like him and have a rebbi he can like. Every child has a way to be reached. Shammai’s teaching is an echo of that posuk. Rav Yitzchok Yeruchom Diskin, son of the fiery angel Rav Yehoshua Leib, assumed his father’s role as head of Yerushalayim’s orphanage. At the time, the Holy City had its share, rachamana litzlan, of orphans whose parents had perished in famine or war. Rav Yitzchok Yeruchom would frequently visit the facility, learning and chatting with the children. One day, as he walked in, he suddenly started to cry. He explained that since a tailor sits among bolts of cloth, it is likely that he will step on expensive fabrics when he walks around the shop. A carpenter will casually walk over expensive wood. A bookbinder who works painstakingly on seforim might step on holy pages if he is not careful. “But I,” concluded the rov, “work with these kinderlach. I am surrounded by these pure yesomim. How can I be sure that I am not stepping on them as I do my work?”

Our society is blessed with large families and burgeoning mosdos. Children are everywhere. We have to ensure that we don’t become too casual in our encounters. If you take the time to shmooze with any teen at risk, you’d be struck by the unmistakable chein and sincerity in their eyes, the desperate longing to be good, and the inner call that they are forced to silence through all sorts of horrible addictions. They aren’t bad, that’s for sure. So what went wrong? How has the nation gifted with yomim tovim and simchah, with Torah and mitzvos, with tefillin and lulav, allowed its children to wander? How has a nation who says “Atah vechartanu,” forgotten its uniqueness? I don’t have the answers, but the way out starts with acknowledging the question. Hear the message of the parshah. Hear who we are and what we can become, and use the reminder to do our jobs better, with more heart and more compassion. Rabbeim and moros are the heroes of our nation. We need to provide them with the tools they need to be adept enough to perform their holy tasks with maximum strength and love as they would like to. We need to support them morally and financially so that they have the stamina they need to help fix errors brought on by others and keep everyone on track. Let us all try to be positive and upbeat and remember who we are, where we come from and where we are headed, so that we realize the posuk of “vechol bonayich limudei Hashem,” with nachas and simchah.

Pirkei Avos


The Rebbe to All of Us Rabbi Pinchos Gruman, Rav of Kesher Torah

Pirkei Avos starts with, “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and trans-

ferred it to Yehoshua.” Moshe obviously received the Torah from Hashem on Sinai and not from the Mountain Sinai itself. Also, assuming that the mishnah means from Hashem, why does it not say on Sinai instead of saying from Sinai? Says Maharal: had the mishnah stated, “Moshe received the Torah from Hashem,” it would have implied an exclusive relationship between Hashem and Moshe. A rebbe and his talmid are locked in a unique and personal relationship. Maharal bases this thesis on Gemara Eruvin 47b. Man cannot learn Torah, and succeed, just from anyone. A teacher and student do not always “click.” This being so, when it does “click,” there must be

some spark that ignites and connects the giver/rebbe and the receiver/talmid in a dynamic like we see in Parshas Vayigash (Bereishis 44:31): “nafsho kshura bnafsho – and his soul (Yaakov’s) is bound with his soul (Binyamin’s).” Students of certain yeshivos can be recognized as such. Pre-war students in Europe could be recognized by their speech, carriage and style in learning. You could easily recognize a Mirrer or a Brisker in that era. Similarly, certain chassidim are recognizable as, say, Lubavitcher chassidim or Gerer. Their relationships with their Rebbe stamp them with certain personalities. They are locked into an exclusive relationship with their Rebbe. Is the

reverse also true? Continues Maharal: Moshe was perfectly fit to be the rebbi of Yehoshua; Yehoshua was perfectly fit to be his talmid. As we see in Parshas Ki Sisa (Shemos 33: 11) “...and his servant [Moshe’s], Yehoshua ben Nun, a lad, would not depart from within the tent.” Yehoshua was perfectly fit to be Moshe’s talmid. There was an exclusive bond between the two men. The same cannot be said of Hashem and Moshe. Hashem is G-d of everyone and everything. As such, he bestows knowledge to each and every one. Hashem is not locked in any exclusive relationship – be it Moshe or anyone else. Hashem is a Rebbe to us all.



The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News


The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home



Check The Box Thats Appropriate To Your Situation


N’T ALLOW REASONS YOU DID : GO OUT WITH HIM O T R E T H G U A D R YOU Wears wrong type of hat Wrong type of yarmulke Yarmulke too big Yarmulke too small Car is not leased Drives his parents car shul Doesn’t daven in the right Davens too quickly Davens too slowly Went to the wrong Yeshiva

Not yeshivish enough Too yeshivish Didn’t learn in Israel Learned too long in Israel Went to college Didn’t go to college college Went to the wrong type of No family “yichus” Too much family “yichus”

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Wrong type of friends Doesn’t have friends Wears colored socks Wears white socks

Wears no socks Too litvish Not “heimish” enough Too chasiddish Wears a gartel Doesn’t wear a gartel Gartel is too thick Parents too “schmaltzy” ugh Parents not “schmaltzy” eno Wont do FLOP Will only do FLOP is Doesn’t know what FLOP Too tall Too short Not good looking enough Too good looking Listens to English music

sic Doesn’t listen to English mu Is tone deaf knife Eats pizza with a fork and k & knife Doesn’t eat pizza with a for fork & knife Doesn’t know how to use a Went to the wrong camp Wasn’t color war general l Was losing color war genera k wee the Family uses china during shabbos Family uses paper goods on (GASP!) summer Parents don’t have winterized home in catskills r home in Parents don’t have summe Monsey Mother works full time Mother doesn’t work Wants to learn in Kollel lel Doesn’t want to learn in kol ney mo no Parents have ney Parents have too much mo ney Parents think they have mo tch wa of e typ ng Wears the wro Doesn’t wear a watch Wears a watch on shabbos Cant tell time Wears his tzitzis out Wears his tzitzis in Wears blue strings on tzitzis Wears thick glasses Doesnt wear glasses lish Glasses frames are too sty Squints when he learns Has a beard Has no beard Has a trimmed beard Cant grow a beard Parents are divorced Sibling is divorced Has older unmarried sibling


The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


Shidduch “Challenge” Too tall Too short Not pretty enough Too pretty Too thin Went to wrong sc hool Family not yesh ivish enough Family too yesh ivish Father wears wr ong type of hat Siblings wear wr ong type of yarm ulke Didn’t go to Isra el Went to the wron g seminary Didn’t go to sem inary Went to college Didn’t go to colle ge You wanna mar ry a speech ther apist? No family Yichus Too much family Yichus Wrong type of fr iends Not enough friend s Not litvish Too litvish Not heimish Too heimish Not chasidish Too Chasidish Parents too schm altzy Parents not schm altzy enough Parents have no money Parents have too much money Parents not willi ng to support Listens to English music Doesn’t listen to English music Eats pizza in a pi zza shop Wouldn’t step fo ot into a pizza sh op Wont eat pizza Didn’t go to cam p

Went to the wron g camp Wants a kollel bo y Wants a learning boy Wants a working/ learning/kollel bo y Wants a hat wear er Doesn’t want a ha t wearer Wants a straw ha t wearer Doesn’t know th e difference betw een Borsalino and St etson Not Tzniusdik en ough Too Tzniusdik Wears colorful cl othes Clothes are too dr abby Skirts too long Skirts too short Wears no makeu p Wears too much makeup Wants to wear a fall Wont wear a fall Will only wear a fall in the fall Goes to shul on sh abbos Doesn’t go to sh ul on shabbos. Talks too much Doesn’t talk enou gh Not “outgoing” Too “outgoing” Too many siblin gs Not enough siblin gs Has unmarried siblings Parents are divo rced Parents should be divorced Wears expensive jewelry Wears inexpensiv e jewelry Wears no jewelry Wants a 3 carrot Kallah ring Only eats 3 carr ots a day (see “too thin”)

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The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News



Feature The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Local Team Creates Graphic Version of Navi Rebecca Klempner

When I visited The Mitzvah Store just before Pesach, the cover of Navi Illustrated, a new comic book series, caught my eye. I purchased the first issue – “Gideon, Part I” – for my children, but found myself drawn in, as well. Curious as to the series’ back-story, I approached Navi Illustrators creators to learn a bit more about the books.

an inspiration for this new endeavor. When Rabbi Guidry and Mr. Mermelstein made the decision to create Navi Illustrated, they used a popular freelancing database to find an illustrator, eventually contracting with Aidan Kelly. Guidry and Mermelstein have never met Mr. Kelly in person, but Rabbi Guidry sends him scripts to work from for each edition, and they are

Both native Angelenos, Rabbi Ari Guidry and Shlomo Mermelstein have known each other for years. Mr. Mermelstein attends Young Israel of Los Angeles, and while a real estate investor, he additionally teaches a shiur in Kesher Torah. Rabbi Guidry attends Shaarei Torah and the Los Angeles Kollel and teaches adults and children a whole range of topics. Rabbi Guidry previously produced a graphic novel series called Benny PI, in which a Jewish teen helps the local police solve crimes. Those fast-paced comic books included many moral and halachic concepts. Rabbi Guidry self-published them through Detroit Street Productions. Even before that, he produced CDs that narrated certain chapters of Navi in the style of old-time radio programs. Rabbi Avigdor Miller encouraged that project, and Rabbi Guidry considers Rav Miller as

very pleased with the results thus far. As a reader, I can attest that the illustrations are dramatic and really bring the tale of Gideon to life. I asked Mr. Mermelstein first why the team chose Navi as their subject – as opposed to the weekly Torah portions, stories from Kesuvim, or aggadah. “In day school and yeshivos, Navi is often overlooked. Understandably, they want to concentrate on Gemarah and halachah. However, we felt if we could produce a graphic novel that one could read at their leisure, and give them information that would enable them to answer most of the questions that are written at the back of the chapter, we basically filled in some of the educational gap. “Everyone understands that Navi is important, but how important is the real question…Our children are taught that To-

rah is important, but if they have no grasp of our roots as a nation, which can only be acquired by living and learning every aspect of Torah, [it] will result [in] a great negative impact.” The team does plan to eventually cover Kesuvim. Inside their copy of “Gideon – Part I,” readers will find the original Hebrew text, an English translation, and then additional storytelling based on midrashim. These elements are subtly color-coded to keep them straight. When I asked the writers why they decided to include the original text, rather than relying entirely on retelling as a few similar authors have done in the past, Mr. Mermelstein explained that he felt that he had a special responsibility in transmitting our mesorah. “The origi-

the reader remembers of what they read. The two writers have devoted hundreds of hours of research to this project. Each issue is vetted by a Navi expert in Lakewood and copyedited by three editors in L.A. Then, Guidry and Mermelstein send proofs to local students and teachers for feedback. All that effort has paid off. Rabbi Guidy explains, “Although, it has only been [thus far] physically distributed in the Los Angeles community, without any national advertisement, we have sales via word of mouth throughout the United States, Canada, and even England…Many [readers] are anxious to get the next chapter. All enjoy the artwork…As someone [told us], ‘The maps are outstanding…it’s worth buying the book just for that.’”

nal text is so powerful that leaving it out would just be a shame. As far as using the commentaries and midrashim, it is utterly impossible to have any meaningful grasp of Tanach without Torah she baal peh.” Rabbi Guidry agrees, “Unless someone is going to invest many, hours of research, it is extremely difficult to understand what is going on in the storyline. We have made it very easy for anyone to read. Everyone should remember, this is only an introduction to the world of Nach, and that there is so much more to learn.” He adds, “Secondly, this is an excellent way for a father (or mother) to read a terrific, and exciting Navi story together with their younger children, truly fulfilling the mitzvah of ‘Veshinantem Levanecha – and you shall teach your children… (Devarim 6:7)’” The initial issue also includes colorful maps, sources, and a quiz to test how much

Rabbi Guidry says that while parents generally purchase Navi Illustrated for their children, like me, many parents are picking the issues up after their children finish with them. “The father picks it up, reads the story, and says sheepishly, ‘This is really terrific… I never knew this story, and I learned something new.’” The writing team of Navi Illustrated invites readers who want to offer their own feedback to contact them via their website, To obtain issues of Navi Illustrated in Los Angeles, visit your local Jewish bookstore. Additionally, kosher markets will carry it. Elsewhere in the U.S., you can buy copies via Amazon, or to download an ebook, visit Apple iBooks. All those links can be found on, as well as links to download the audio versions of Navi mentioned above.

Torah Musings The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Ketchup Escapade Judging Favorably Sarah Pachter

My precocious, headstrong preschooler (or, as we like to say, “threenager”), Nava, has recently been asking for ketchup to accompany every morsel of food she eats. Not only does she require it on foods typically eaten with ketchup, like hot dogs and french fries, but also with more unusual examples – like cucumbers. (For fear of churning stomachs, I’ll spare you from her other concoctions.) One evening at dinner, I brought her a plate with a hot dog and bun laced with her usual ketchup. Rather than showing appreciation or even indifference, she cried out in an exasperated voice, “I don’t want the ketchup! Eeew!” I was shocked and frustrated by her reaction. Her needs and wants felt like a moving target. Since my whole family eats dinner together, I had other children to feed simultaneously. I remained calm as she asked (read: demanded) me to wipe the ketchup off, and – just to be certain there was not a trace left – to wash the hot dog. She also requested a fresh bun, because G-d forbid she should see any leftover ketchup markings. I quickly performed damage control and in no time her hot dog was as good as new. Dinner continued and as the meal progressed, I bet you can’t guess what she asked me for... “Wait! What?” I thought. “After she made a stink about not wanting the ketchup?!?” Apparently, she had wanted the ketchup only on her plate, not touching any of her food. (Because that would just be silly, right?) Yet, by the end of dinner, she was meekly asking if I could help her put ketchup on her second hot dog. If that is not full circle, I don’t know what is. Although at times I do get outwardly frustrated, this time I managed to remember that she is just a child with developing tastes. In fact, her behavior reminded me of an experience I had when I was pregnant... I was at a restaurant, and I ordered minestrone soup. With my pregnancy-induced heightened tastebuds, the soup was the best I had ever eaten. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I insisted on having it

the next night, as well. Yet, less than 24 hours later, I had a sip of the exact same soup and almost spit it out because it tasted so horrible to me. I even asked the chef if he had made a mistake, and he assured me that he had used the same recipe for the past eleven years. This memory of my own vacillating taste buds helped me control my annoyance towards my daughter. Parenting is a 24/7 job that tests our limits and patience like nothing else. Sometimes the lesson in moments like this is just that parenting can be frustrating. But there is a secondary lesson to be gleaned this time: When we do something wrong or annoying, we make all sorts of excuses. Judging ourselves in a favorable way comes naturally; it is extending benefit of the doubt to others that is a challenge. On another occasion, I was going about my routine while my then nine-month-old was crawling and exploring on the floor. I walked towards the closet and saw a paper hanger cover and hanger from the dry cleaner’s lying sloppily in my baby’s path. I started to fume. I thought, “How could my husband just leave a dangerous hanger on the floor like that? Doesn’t he know our baby could get hurt?” Then I realized that it was my dry-cleaning wrapper and hanger. I had left it there. Suddenly, every excuse came to mind: I was in a rush; I didn’t realize; I needed to attend to the crying baby, etc. When it came to judging myself, I was extremely generous, but unfortunately I did not extend the same courtesy to my husband. One way to help ourselves judge others as we would ourselves is to think of the following quote from Rabbi Zalmen Mindell: “If I were you, I would be you.” What he means is this: If I were your age – with your personality, experiences, life, and income – I would be doing exactly what you are doing right now. This type of benefit of the doubt helps tremendously. Judging favorably is not about making up unrealistic excuses: “She is late because an elephant was crossing the street and blocking traffic.” It has to be believable. The best way to make it believable is to connect current events to something that once happened to us. The next time that you are in a position where you have done something for which

others could easily judge you, take mental notice of what your reason was. (For example: I left the dry cleaning hanger on the floor because the baby was crying and I had to run to her.) Then take that excuse, file it in your mind, and extend that excuse to someone else, almost like “paying it forward.” This applies to even the most mundane of situations, such as a simple text. Suppose you intended to text someone back – you even wrote up the response, but didn’t have the chance to press send. Or perhaps you thought you sent it, but your finger missed the send button. Days later you realize the text never went through. The next time someone doesn’t re-

spond to you, remember your personal excuse from the previous experience. When you are late because of factors like traffic, a hard time picking out clothing, or a child needing something as you were on our way out, you should also file that reason and use it with regard to someone else. With those excuses in mind, it becomes easier to judge your friend with favor. This type of dan lekaf zechut helps tremendously. It is the only way that I was able to to remain calm with my daughter during the ketchup episode. Because I remembered my own erratic tastebuds during the experience with the minestrone soup, I was able to judge her as I would myself.



Feature In News OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 52 The Week

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Is Cash a Relic of the Past? The Pros and Cons of a Cashless Society By Nachum Soroka


uick, who is Satoshi Nakamoto? If you can’t answer that question, you may be living under a technological rock. But then again, that question has been something that has not failed to stump the world’s biggest eggheads and investigative sleuths for the past seven-plus years and counting. Nakamoto, the pseudonym for the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, has been able to keep his or her identity unknown despite the fact that he or she is responsible for the creation of nearly a billion dollars of currency and had been the subject of countless articles and documentaries. This month, an Australian computer programmer, Craig Wright, was the most recent individual to have his claim of being the real Satoshi blown apart by the millions of Bit-

coin enthusiasts worldwide. The mystery of Nakamoto has taken on a search-forthe-Titanic-like intensity in recent years. Publications from the geeky (Wired) to the financially oriented (The Economist) have been continuously following the Bitcoin story, posing topics like, “Who is most likely Satoshi?” But, aside from being another nerdy tech project that should excite the same types who frequent Star Trek conventions, why should Bitcoin attract so much attention from the mainstream? The answer may not lie in the Bitcoin currency per se; it may have to do with the technology that made Bitcoin unique (the “Blockchain”). And it most definitely has to do with the fact that Bitcoin has shown the world that a cashless economy, which runs com-

pletely on digital currency, is not something one can only read about in the sci-fi section of the local library, but is readily attainable and functional right here and now. In fact, there are certain European countries that have completely switched over to being cashless. First, the Blockchain technology. If you think about it, digital currency is something that should have been around for a while already. We live in a time when print media is obsolete (except for the gem you are holding now), CD players are relics of the boring nineties, and even supposed advanced forms of payment like credit cards have had their plastic ancestors replaced by smartphone apps. In a few years, we may all be driven around town in self-driving cars, have

our groceries delivered by drone, and celebrate Pesach on the moon, but for some reason, the five dollar bill in one’s wallet looks awfully similar to one from the era of the Model T. (Only then, Henry Ford paid his workers five dollars a day; today a Ford factory worker can make over $200 per day.) So what has taken Silicon Valley so long to create the iDollar? While technology may create more efficient paths to do things than the old school way in most cases, in some instances, such as currency, it leads to larger problems, such as the risk of counterfeiting. A talented hacker can duplicate most digital files and there’s no guaranteeing that once he pays someone with a digital dollar stored on his home computer he doesn’t keep that dollar’s digital code and

use it again. In order for a digital currency to become trustworthy and accepted by the public it must be absolutely “duplicate proof.” Enter the Blockchain, or a running ledger of every Bitcoin transaction for every single Bitcoin in currency. The Blockchain serves as a kind of verification system that the Bitcoin one claims to be in possession of is really still his and hasn’t been passed on to someone else last week. The ledger is open to the Bitcoin community at large to see and every time a Bitcoin transaction is completed, it must be verified by complex algorithms computed by other members of the Bitcoin network to guarantee the transaction’s authenticity. On a basic level, the Blockchain may be analogous to the property deed recording system used in soci-

Feature The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

ety for thousands of years. There really is nothing new under the sun. So much for the wonky stuff, but the invention of the Blockchain concept by Bitcoin’s creator has everyone from Palo Alto to Wall Street rushing to seize the idea and create the Next Big Thing. Nine of the world’s biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, have joined together to utilize the Blockchain concept to recreate the way (actual) money is sent all over the world. Blockchain may replace actual stock exchanges like the Nasdaq of NYSE. Or, like the previously mentioned analogy, it may be used as a global property ownership recording system. No longer would one need to pay hefty title recording fees when purchasing a home. The friendly nerds who enjoy writing Blockchain will do it for free. Put simply, Blockchain technology stands to replace anything in society that currently requires a third-party intermediary. Blockchain is as big as it is disruptive. Bitcoin may bear the promise of being the currency of the future for the tech, libertarian crowd (after all it is a currency created by the people, for the

people, uncontrolled by and unhinged from any sort of government), but on a lesser level, certain countries are moving to an economy that requires little use of actual cold, hard cash, albeit still based on the country’s sovereign currency. Already over fifty percent of

majority of consumers no longer pay with cash, then it would be highly uneconomical for stores to carry cash registers. Businesses would also quickly embrace a payment regime which would eliminate the possibility of employee theft and the nuisance of handling and

benefits through government-issued debit cards and not having to cash full checks monthly. Paradoxically, many proponents of a cashless society laud the magic circle created by keeping cash out of the hands of the poor. True, they concede, the peo-

The Blockchain may be analogous to the property deed recording system used in society for thousands of years. There really is nothing new under the sun.

transactions in the U.S. are completed using credit and debit cards and internet sales are expected to make up 60% of U.S. retail activity this year. Apps like Apple and Android Pay make going wallet-less a breeze for consumers. Peer-topeer payment apps which combine social media and e-commerce such as Venmo continue to gain popularity, particularly with teens and millennials. It seems that it is only a matter of time that the use of cash will fall by the wayside, even if it is not done deliberately. If the great

transporting paper money. Indeed, some European countries, such as Denmark and Scandinavia, no longer require their retailers to accept cash as forms of payment. While such rules may inadvertently discriminate against the poorer members of society – many of whom do not have actual bank accounts at all and rely on old fashioned paper currency –societies are moving towards bringing the lesser privileged into the fray. The U.S. recently revamped its welfare program to give members the option of receiving their

ple who stand to lose most by having little or no function for cash are the poor and under-banked, but less cash in poorer neighborhoods also would mean less burglaries and violence, which in turn would make less cash available for petty criminals to purchase drugs or gang members to buy guns. Critics of a broad societal move to a digital economy, particularly one that is sanctioned by the government, fear that people would lose the benefit of cash’s smaller transactional footprint. If all transactions


were to occur through digital means, then there is no way to ensure that the government won’t be watching us every time we purchase a gallon of milk or a latte macchiato. While that may be still be true today whenever one uses a credit or debit card, one still has the option of using cash for payment when all else fails. There have already been documented cases of people being denied medical care and other essential services when their electronic payment processing vendors denied them access to their accounts because they were marked as “high risk” by government agencies. Should it be up to an FDIC template to decide whether one can have access to his or her money at any time? The first paper bills appeared during the Tang Dynasty in China 1400 years ago. It took a few hundred years for the trend to catch on there and another five hundred years to spread throughout Europe. American Express was formed in the 1850s, and the first actual charge card was introduced in the 1940s. Currency has been around since the early days of history and has evolved slowly ever since. Is a new revolution around the corner?



Dirshu The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Gedolei Yisrael Attend Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Siyumim Throughout Eretz Yisrael Chaim Gold

“A person who learns gemara with Tosafos for three hours a day but does not learn practical halachah has not fulfilled his obligation of talmud Torah. The obligation to learn Torah must include halacha l’maaseh!” Those were the powerful words of HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, as quoted by his close talmid, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Yekusiel Efrati, at Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha siyum on Chelek Aleph of the Mishnah Berurah held on Motzoei Shabbos Parshas Kedoshim in Kiryat Sefer. The siyum, held at the Heichal Haneginah Hall in Kiryat Sefer and attended by more than 1500 people, was one of many major gatherings held in Eretz Yisrael in honor of the milestone of finishing Chelek Aleph of Mishnah Berurah. In addition to Rav Efrati, the siyum was also addressed by HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Kiryas Melech of Bnei Brak, and HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, Rav of Western Bnei Brak and a talmid muvhak of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, Nasi of Dirshu. Milestone siyumim were similarly held at the main Vizhnitzer Beis Medrash, where the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rav Yisroel Hager, shlita, addressed more than 1500 Chassidim; in Kehillas Hamasmidim where HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim, spoke; at the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Beis Medrash, where the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe, shlita, attended and addressed the crowd; and in the Vizhnitz Monsey Beis Medrash of Eretz Yisrael where the Rebbe’s son HaGaon HaRav Boruch Shimshon Hager, shlita, addressed the crowd. Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern Highlights Rav Wosner’s Role in Dirshu Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern described the special place his rebbi muvhak, Rav Shmuel Wosner had in his heart for Dirshu and the deep personal bond that he shared with Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter. When referring to Rav Dovid, Rav Wosner would always quote the passuk, “And Hashem was with him.” He referred to Dirshu as the largest yeshiva in the entire world. Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter gave a comprehensive address. He opened his remarks by pointing out the profound simchah that is gripping Yidden throughout the world at this pivotal accomplishment of finishing Chelek Aleph of Mishnah Berurah by learning one page of Mishnah Berurah daily. He said, “From Yerushalay-

Harav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel delivering divrei bracha

Siyum in Kehillas Hamasmidim

im to Monsey, from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Paris, France to Gateshead, England and from Melbourne, Australia to Providence, Rhode Island Yidden are celebrating a tremendous accomplishment that is a testament to the eternal nature of Klal Yisroel!” Rav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein: “Halacha L’maaseh Offers Clarity that Infuses the Learner With Simchas HaTorah” The climax of the event in Kiryat Sefer was the moving address of Rav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kiryas Melech. Rav Borenstein pointed out that learning halachah l’maaseh offers a clarity that infuses the learner with simchas haTorah. When a person has simchah, that simchah brings him to dveikus in Torah and a love of Torah that serve as a catalyst for increased kabbolas ol malchus shomayim and kabbolas ol mitzvos. Rav Borenstein explained that learning Chelek Aleph of Mishnah Berurah is truly a manifestation of kabbolas ol malchus shomayim. One learns the halachos of the morning brachos, tzitzis,

tefillin, and then the halachos of kriyas shema and tefillah, all of which are halachos that depict how a person is constantly cognizant of Hashem’s presence in his life throughout the day! The Vizhnitzer Rebbe and 1,500 Chassidim Celebrate Siyum on Chelek Aleph One of the most heartwarming siyumim was the siyum in the main Vizhnitzer Beis Medrash in Kiryat Vizhnitz, Bnei Brak attended and addressed by the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita. Over 1,500 Vizhnitzer Chassidim from all over Eretz Yisroel converged on the beis medrash for the event. In his remarks, the Rebbe said that every chossid should have a pocket copy of the Mishnah Berurah in his tefillin or tallis bag so that he can constantly reference the Mishnah Berurah when faced with a halachic question. The Rebbe encouraged all the chassidim to join the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. In fact, the greatest testament to the Rebbe’s deep bond with the program is the fact that his own son, HaRav Yaakov Mordechai Hager, shlita, delivers a daily one hour shiur on Daf HaYomi B’Halacha

in the main Vizhnitzer Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak. Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel Addresses Kehillas Hamasmidim Siyum The Kehillas Hamasmidim, led by Rav Aryeh Leib Minzburg, also encouraged all of its affiliated battei medrash to learn Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. Their siyum merited to hear divrei chizuk from HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim. Rav Finkel could not stop expressing his admiration at how the entire kehillah joined the program and merited finishing Chelek Aleph. Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Rebbe: “Everyone Who Has A Connection To This Beis Medrash Should Learn The Daily Mishnah Berurah” The Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Community similarly held a beautiful siyum in their main beis medrash in Yerushalayim. At the siyum the Rebbe said that it is an eitzah tova, a good idea, that everyone who has a connection to this beis medrash should learn the daily Mishnah Berurah. The Vizhnitz Monsey Kehilla of Eretz Yisrael also held a siyum led by their Rav, HaRav Baruch Shimshon Hager, shlita, son of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey and son-in-law of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rav Yisroel Hager of Bnei Brak. Rav Hager encouraged all Chassidim to join the program. During Rav Hofstedter’s visit to Eretz Yisrael to celebrate the siyumim he paid a visit to the Belzer Rebbe, shlita. The Belzer Rebbe conversed with Rav Hofstedter at length about Dirshu’s worldwide activities and expressed his deep admiration and brachah for the worldwide harbotzas haTorah which is to Dirshu’s credit. The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Revolution in South Africa The siyumim were not limited to Eretz Yisrael. One of the most beautiful, heartwarming siyumim was the siyum held in Johannesburg. The festive occasion celebrated the community’s embrace of the program and each participant received a soft cover Mishnah Berurah on the first part of Chelek Beis as well as a Daf HaYomi B’Halacha calendar. The pure joy on the faces of those in the community who – for the first time in their lives – had the experience of completing an entire Chelek of Mishnah Berurah was palpable throughout the hall. In fact, one participant said, “I never knew how much my life could change simply from attending a daily, half hour shiur!” That thought is being echoed by people across the entire Jewish world.

The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

How is ISIS like Israel? Hezbollah Makes Comparison A Picture of the Nation

A new economic report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies was released this week. The report, titled “A Picture of the Nation 2016,” found, among other things, that although women are more educated in Israel, men still earn more than women. The report also showed that wages have not increased to keep up with rising food prices, and students are migrating away from research universities and religious schools. Men still earn more than women in all segments of the population, except in the charedi and Arab communities, the report found. Among charedim, there is a significant wage gap in favor of women, who are far more likely to have a degree, which is also the case among employed Arab women, though in that community the men all work regardless of their education level. In general, women are better educated with more of them finishing a bachelor’s degree across all segments of society, although among the Arab population there is a particularly low level of academic education with only about 18% of men and 20% of women gaining a degree. Secular Jews have the highest rates of academic education, with 51% of men and 59% of women having a bachelor’s degree. The academic education gender gap is especially wide among charedim, where about 26% of women have a bachelor’s degree, about twice the number for men. Employment rates in Israel are rising, including among charedim. Recent figures show that among 25-51-year-old charedi men, around 52% are employed, a change from the traditional vocation of exclusively Jewish religious studies. One bittersweet finding was the huge technological advancements that Israel has seen lately. Although very impressive, the advance of technology threatens the future of the workforce. According to Taub estimates, about 1 million Israelis work at jobs that could become computerized in the next 20 years.

The same term that Palestinians reserve for describing the formation of the State of Israel in 1948 is now being used by Hezbollah to describe ISIS’s Middle East agenda. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, said that ISIS is carrying out a new “Nakba” in the Middle East. He also accused the United States of creating ISIS and allowing them to rule over the region. Speaking on Yom Haatzmaut, Nasrallah said that a “similar Nakba” was taking place in the region at the hands of the Islamic State, which controls swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and is infamous for the wan-


ton killing of male members of non-Sunni minority groups and the enslaving of their women and girls. The difference “between the current Nakba and the one of 1948,” Nasrallah added, was that “there are groups that currently exist that will stand in the way of this new Nakba,” in reference to Hezbollah, a Shiite group whose members have been fighting alongside Iranian forces and Assad’s military since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011. The U.S. “and its regional allies have brought takfiri [non-believers] and barbaric terrorist groups aimed at destroying the


The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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spirit and will of the resistance,” said the Hezbollah leader. “Islamic State is a means to achieve U.S. goals, as demonstrated through the return of American troops in Iraq,” he asserted. “The West does not have a problem with Muslims, but with the movements and people who reject Israeli occupation of Palestine. They have a problem with all those who reject foreign hegemony in the region,” he said. Nasrallah claimed the West was now “paying the price” for ISIS “as we have seen in Paris and Brussels,” in reference to the coordinated terror attacks in the French capital last November that claimed 130 lives and the attacks in the Belgian capital in March which killed over 30 people.

Ancient Trove Discovered Beneath the Sand A shipwreck from 1,600 years ago has been discovered on the seabed off of Caesarea. The Roman-era seaport was hiding a huge underwater treasure of bronze and silver. While the artifacts discovered may not have been worth that much 1,600 years ago, the Israel Antiques Authority called the find

the most extensive underwater discovery in 30 years. Pieces brought to the surface included many fully intact bronze lamps, fragments of three life-size bronze cast statues, objects fashioned in the shape of animals such as a whale, and a bronze faucet in the form of a wild boar with a swan on its head. Fragment of jars the crew had used to store drinking water were also found.

Experts believe the finds came from a large merchant ship carrying metal slated for reuse when it ran into a storm near the harbor and smashed into the seawall and rocks. “A preliminary study of the iron anchors suggests there was an attempt to stop the drifting vessel before it reached shore by casting anchors into the sea; however, these broke – evidence of the power of the waves and the wind which the ship was caught up in,” the statement said. Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra’anan of Ra’anana were diving at the site of the ancient harbor in the Caesarea National Park before Pesach when they noticed that shifting sand had exposed the remains of a ship

The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

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Try it today in our pre-sliced, new resealable packages or ask for it at your local deli counter.

CONSUMER: Coupon may not be transferred, sold, auctioned, altered or copied. Limit one coupon per item purchased. Offer void if these conditions are violated. RETAILER: To redeem this coupon, mail to CMS Dep’t. #23254, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., 1 Fawcett Drive, Del Rio, TX 78840. We will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8¢ handling provided it is redeemed by a consumer at the time of purchase on the brand specified. Coupons not properly redeemed will be void and held. Reproduction of this coupon is expressly prohibited. (Any other use constitutes fraud.) Cash Value .001¢. Void where taxed or restricted. LIMIT ONE COUPON PER ITEM PURCHASED. © 2016 Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc.

** Federal regulations prohibit the use of added growth hormones in poultry. *** Meets Empire® Kosher’s humane policy of raising in a stress-free envirnoment. ‡ Except those naturally occuring.



The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home


and its contents. The pair immediately contacted the IAA, which sent down archaeologists to take a look. To their delight, the team spotted “iron anchors, remains of wooden anchors and items that were used in the construction and running of the sailing vessel,” the authority said. The ship is said to be from the Late Roman Period or 3rd-4th century CE. In the weeks following the discovery by Ra’anan and Feinstein, IAA divers along with volunteers carried out an underwater salvage survey and by using specialized equipment were able to find and recover many items from the cargo. The bronze statues are particularly rare; slated to be melted down, they instead sank and were preserved by the seawater. Also discovered were two lumps, together weighing 20 kilograms, composed of thousands of coins with the markings of Constantine the Great that had retained the shape of the long disintegrated pottery vessel in which they were being transported.

First Time Parents at 70

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




They should be celebrating their retirement. Instead, they are celebrating the birth of their firstborn. On April 19, an Indian couple in their 70s welcomed a bouncing baby boy into their home. “I can live happily now. My life is complete,” Daljinder Kaur, the ecstatic firsttime mother, enthused. The 72-year-old has been married to her 79-year-old husband, Mohinder Singh Gill, for 47 years. Thanks to modern technology, they are now able to fill their home with laughter and joy – and the cries of a baby screaming throughout the night. Once verified, Kaur would be the world’s oldest mother. The record is being held by Maria del Carmen Bousada Lara, who was 66 when she gave birth to twin boys in Barcelona in 2006. Interestingly, the couple is not just beating the odds when it comes to giving birth; they have both surpassed the average life expectancy in Punjab, where the average man there lives only to about 70 years old. Women generally live to around 72. But not everyone has been extending their congratulations to the couple. Many have pointed out that although it may be medically possible for older women to give birth, ethically it may not be the right thing to do. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai has pointed out, “The question is not about technicalities, it’s about ethics. Our responsibility to the patient.” And to the baby as well. Who is going to give him piggyback rides when he gets older?

A Mind of its Own She wears her brains on her sleeve. When Carnegie Mellon University’s Marlene Behrmann, professor of cognitive neuroscience, learned she was to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences – and the first female scientist from the university to earn the honor – she used her brains to come up with a memorable outfit to wear to the ceremony in Washington, D.C. Behrmann enlisted Sophie Hood, designer and adjunct professor, and programmer Matt Mukerjee to create her “brain dress.” A nod to brain activation, the garment features multicolored LED lights that illuminate in response to positive and negative voice tones. “I’ve been meaning to do something like this for a while,” Ms. Behrmann says. The induction ceremony seemed like the perfect opportunity. Behrmann took a high-resolution scan of her own brain and then had it printed onto a fabric for her dress. But that was not all. She didn’t just want the dress to look like the brain – it had to act like it too. Through lots of trial and error, the team figured out how to wire the dress with clusters of LED lights in shades of blue, red and yellow that respond at random to voices detected via a microphone in the dress. These particular colors are part of the standard convention for studying brain response to stimuli, Ms. Behrmann says. For instance, hot colors are used in experiments to denote the parts of the brain that do respond to stimuli, whereas cool colors reflect the opposite. “We wanted to make the lights look as though they were in the folds of the brain,” she says.

So what did people say when they saw the brainy professor in her cerebral clothing? “The responses were actually pretty different,” she admits. The event in Washington, D.C., attracted scientists from a range of fields, some of whom didn’t quite grasp the intent behind the brain dress. (“There’s something wrong with your dress” and “You’re blinking!” were among some of the puzzled reactions she received.) Those familiar with brain science, however, gave the garment two thumbs up, she says. Meanwhile, back at home in Pittsburgh, “everybody gets it.”

The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

“It reflects the intersection of art and science,” she says. Sadly, the brain dress may not see too many events since it can never be washed or worn in the rain. Even so, Behrman has taken out a copyright on it. After all, who wouldn’t want a dress that looks like a brain?

Where’s the Power of the Pen?

Despite the white-haired man representing the company, Quaker Oats is a forward thinking corporation. And handwritten notes, although they are praised by your parents when writing thank you cards, are apparently not part of their modern creed. William Smith found out the hard way that Quaker has embraced the future and left the past far behind. The senior citizen has been eating oatmeal every morning of his life. When the 80-year-old Massachusetts man recently saw a Quaker Oats “best recipe” contest, he was quick to mail in his favorite: oats topped with brown sugar, pineapple and coconut flakes. “I have been using your product since 1946,” he wrote in his letter along with his recipe. “I am 80 years old.” But Smith’s “Hawaiian Special” recipe, which he wrote by hand on a piece of paper, was rejected and returned to him a few days later – with a letter accompanying it. Quaker quickly wrote back – but not to tell him he won. “Please be advised that your letter, with attachment, does not constitute a valid entry into the Contest in accordance with the Official Rules available at,” wrote a representative for PepsiCo, which owns Quaker Oats Company. “The submissions are accepted through either the contest application on Quaker’s website, select retailer websites, Twitter, or Facebook during the submission period,” the letter read. “We will not accept entries via alternative methods of entry.” Smith, who doesn’t own a computer, finds this t-oat-ally discouraging. “I realize times have changed but I’m sure the man on the Quaker Oats box doesn’t recognize a computer either,” he quipped. “I think it’s age discrimination but I would never force the issue,” he added. “When you reach a certain age, you have to let things go.” Perhaps it’s time to start eating something else for breakfast. Waffles, anyone?

Brrr…Bison Question: what do you do when a bison is cold? It’s not a trick question or a Laffy Taffy joke, but some people don’t seem to have the right answer. This week, two tourists took a bison calf for a ride in an SUV during a visit to

Yellowstone National Park. After pulling into a ranger station on Monday, rangers noticed something strange in the car. The man and son, who were visiting from another country, brought the young animal into their car because they were concerned it was cold. “They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Karen Richardson, a visitor to the park, related. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”

Richardson, of Victor, Idaho, was on a field trip with a group of fifth graders and other parents. She snapped a photo of the animal in the SUV and posted it on Facebook, with the caption, “Dear tourists: the bison calf is not cold and it is not lost. PUT IT BACK.” That, my friends, is the answer to the question.



Travel The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Travel Guide: Copenhagen Aaron Feigenbaum The Danish capital of Copenhagen, situated on Zealand Island, is undoubtedly one of northern Europe’s best places to visit. Its unique combination of culture, shopping, history and charming architecture have made the city a hit with travelers around the world. Copenhagen has a decidedly relaxed approach to life. There are no skyscrapers, few

Coppenhagen's Great Synagogue

cars, and one of the world’s strongest commitments to eco-friendly living. Quaint cafe-lined roads are often packed with strollers

tion of Absalon’s fortress in 1369 by the Hanseatic League of merchants. The fortress was replaced by Copenhagen Castle in 1376 and was occupied in 1416 by King Erik of Pomerania, thus cementing Copenhagen’s role as Denmark’s capital. With the Renaissance vision of King Christian IV, Copenhagen reached its full

Danish Jewish Museum

glory in the early 17th century. Christian IV built some of the city’s most notable landmarks including several castles, the Run-

Kronborg Castle

and bicyclers. Colorful brick buildings and small wooden sail ships dot the harborside while the iconic Little Mermaid statue looks longingly out into the ocean. One of the best ways to tour Copenhagen is by boat on the city’s beautiful canals. An extremely popular attraction is Tivoli Gardens, one of Europe’s greatest and most picturesque amusement parks, as well as the majestic Amalienborg Castle, home to the Danish royal family. For shopping in Copenhagen, there’s no better place than the car-free Strøget district, which offers a huge variety of high-end fashion and souvenirs. If you have extra time on your trip, then you’ll discover that Zealand Island has far more than just Copenhagen to explore. There are tons of quaint fishing villages, pristine beaches, the Kronberg Castle of Hamlet fame, Viking history and so much more. In sum, Copenhagen’s blend of modernity and tradition, as well as its incredibly high standard of living and world-class attractions, have cemented its position as a tourist destination par excellence. History The city of Copenhagen was founded in 1167 by Bishop Absalon of Roskilde, who was given control of the city by King Valdemar I. The bishop constructed a fortress on Slotsholmen Island in Copenhagen Harbor. The fortress has since been replaced by Christiansborg Palace, the seat of Denmark’s government. Copenhagen gradually became a major economic power in Europe until the destruc-

structure were developed. Anti-government protesters in 1971 built the anarchist commune of Christiania on the site of a former military base. Copenhagen today is one of Europe’s most forward-thinking cities, with a plan to become carbon-neutral by 2025. It is extremely welcoming to tourists and easy to get around. Tourists to Copenhagen number in the millions per year and continue to increase every year. Attractions Nyhavn: This scenic harbor front is known for its colorful buildings, cobblestone roads, live music, cozy cafes, charming sailboats, and beautiful sunset views. Many of the buildings have housed famous artists and writers, including Hans Christian Andersen, author of children’s stories such as “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Some of the historic ships docked on the harbor can be toured at the Veteran Ship and Museum Harbor. Nyhavn is a favorite with both locals and tourists for stroll-


detårn observatory, and Europe’s first stock exchange.

Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen experienced a dramatic reversal of fortune when it was struck hard by the bubonic plague in 1711. This reduced its population by 60,000 (one-third). The city was further devastated when it was bombed by the British in 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars. In the century that followed, Copenhagen rebounded and became a major center for arts, culture, and liberal politics. The city, as well as the rest of Denmark, once again experienced dark times when the Nazis invaded in 1940. However, the miraculous rescue of nearly all Denmark’s Jews showed that the traditional Danish values of tolerance and generosity had not been forgotten. After the war, much of the city was redeveloped in the “Finger Plan.” New apartment complexes, green spaces, and tourist infra-

some of Denmark’s most priceless treasures: the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia, both located in special vault. The castle gives visitors an intimate look at what life was like for the rulers of Denmark throughout the centuries and includes intricate artistic pieces such as tapestries depicting the wars between Denmark and Sweden, portraits of the royal family, and life-like silver lions. Just outside the castle building, visitors can witness the daily changing of the guard and take a stroll through the castle’s well-manicured garden. National Museum of Denmark: This huge museum covers thousands of years of Danish history and includes such famous Viking artifacts as the Trundholm sun chariot and the medieval Kingittorsuaq Runestone that was found in Greenland. Perhaps the most famous artifact though is the Golden Horns of Galleus. These national treasures are not only exquisite works of art but have also provided key insights into understanding Proto-Norse (the precursor to the VIking language). The museum also has an extensive Viking coin collection, exhibits about modern life in Denmark, and natural science and art collections. The Children’s Museum lets kids experience how Danes ate, played, worked, and dressed throughout the ages.

Frederiksborg Castle

ing, and it is perhaps the most photographed area in Copenhagen.

Rosenborg Castle

Tivoli Gardens: Opened in 1843, Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and served as the inspiration to Walt Disney to build Disneyland. The park has a huge number of things to do including riding rollercoasters, seeing a show at the Pantomime Theatre, watching fireworks, and attending concerts by international symphony orchestras and popular musicians at the concert hall. The best time to go is at night, when the park is bathed in a dazzling array of lights that make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a children’s fantasy book. This charming wonderland is undoubtedly one of the main highlights of a trip to Copenhagen. Rosenborg Castle: Located in the beautiful King’s Garden, Rosenborg was built in the 1600s by Denmark’s most famous monarch, King Christian IV. The castle houses

The Round Tower: Known as the Rundetaarn in Danish, this 17th century tower

Viking Ship Museum

has been a defining feature of the Copenhagen skyline since it was built by King Christian IV in 1642. The king built the tower in honor of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who made numerous contributions to his field. Visitors can ascend to the top of the tower and out onto the circular platform for excellent views of the city. Inside the tower is a hall which used to be a research library but is now houses exhibits in art, science, and history. Interestingly, the exterior facade of the tower has an inscription of the four Hebrew letters that make up Hashem’s name. Christiansborg Palace: This grand building houses the Danish Parliament, Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s office, and the Royal Reception Rooms, which are used for visits by foreign heads of state. Walking tours lead visitors through luxuriously decorated rooms such as the Throne Room,

Travel The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Banquet Hall, Queen’s Library, and the Great Hall, where an impressive collection of the Queen’s tapestries are on display. Beneath the palace lie the ruins of Bishop Absalon’s 12th century palace, which can also be toured. Danish Jewish Museum: Celebrating over 400 years Jewish life in Denmark, this museum has a huge amount of artifacts and stories that explore what life has been like for Denmark’s Jews and how integrated into Danish society. The themes of the museum are inclusiveness and recognizing the unique contributions Jews have made to Denmark. The unusual interior architecture, designed by famed Polish-Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, is centered on the themes of mitzvah and the rescue of the Danish Jews in WWII. The museum has guided tours, films, events, and a reading room for further learning. Day trips: One of the most popular places to go just outside Copenhagen is Kronborg Castle a.k.a. Elsinore from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Guided tours take you through the castle’s rich history as well as the subterranean catacombs of mythical figure Holger the Dane. According to legend, Holger is supposed to rise from his rock throne to defend Denmark in its time of need. Live performances of Shakespeare’s plays take place here every summer. The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, a 35 minute drive from Copenhagen, showcases five Viking ships discovered at the bottom of the Roskilde fjord. A video tells of the painstaking process reassembling the ship fragments for the display. On nearby Museum Island, craftspeople work to recreate Viking ships; several of their replicas are moored in the harbor. And if you want to ride on a Viking ship, then note that 50-minute rides are offered three times a day. The original Legoland, located in Billund on the main Danish peninsula, is one of Denmark’s most popular attractions. The park has some extremely impressive Lego models and tons of rides that both adults and kids are sure to love. Take the Lego Inside Tour for a glimpse inside the nearby Lego


factory and learn the fascinating history of Denmark’s most famous product. Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, located on a picturesque lake just north of Copenhagen, served as the royal residence for King Christian IV in the early 1600s and by King Frederik II before him in the late 1500s. The castle suffered severe damage in a fire in 1859 but has since been reconstructed. The castle’s Museum of National History contains an extensive collection by famous Danish artists. The castle’s magnificent baroque garden is perfect for an afternoon’s stroll. A point of interest in the garden is King Frederik II’s Bath House Palace, which is still occasionally used by the Royal Family. The island of Bornholm, known as the “Pearl of the Baltic,” is the perfect place to unwind and explore the nature, culture, and history of rural Denmark. It’s famous as the sunniest place in Denmark and is a very popular summer vacation spot for Danes. Bornholm is perfect for biking and taking in the scenery on its long sandy beaches. Also check out the many charming fishing villages, the Bornholm Museum in the main city of Rønne, and the ruins of the 13th century fortress Hammershus. Bornholm can be reached by a 1.5 hour, fast ferry ride from Ystad, Sweden or a half-hour flight directly from Copenhagen. Daven and Eat The main shul of Copenhagen’s Jewish community is the Great Synagogue, which was tragically the target of terrorists last year. Yet despite being shaken, this historic shul remains open both for davening and for guided tours. Another option is Chabad (more info at and Machizkei Hadas ( Kosher options in Copenhagen are limited, but kosher food can be obtained through the Chabad website (or calling them at (45)3316 1850/2873 7678). There is also a hotel, the Villa Strand, which serves kosher meals upon request in July and August ( Lastly there is the Copenhagen Kosher market in the eastern suburb of Østerbro (, as well as various kosher items carried by local super-

markets. Getting There and Around Flights from LAX to Copenhagen currently start at around $730 per person round trip. Copenhagen’s public transportation system is one of the best rated in the world, but the city is really designed for walking and biking. In fact, many downtown streets are

pedestrian-only. The city runs an extremely popular free bike rental program for visitors. The preferred method for getting around the island of Zealand is by train. Copenhagen is connected to Sweden via the Øresund Bridge, allowing easy access to Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, and beyond.



Health The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Dor Yeshorim’s Legacy: Healing hearts, one family at a time A TWO PART SERIES DNA is one of the most beautifully complex units in the entire universe, an inexplicable wonder that is so perfect that, in studying its makeup, one can’t help but come to the realization and belief in HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s creation and dominance over the world. The DNA alphabet is comprised of only four letters, A, C, T and G. It’s an alphabet that seems so simple, yet each human genome is composed of roughly three million base pairs of these letters. DNA is what houses a person’s genes. These genes are the blueprints to produce the proteins that guide the body to grow, develop, and work properly. When one minute detail is changed in the DNA, a genetic mutation occurs. While all of us possess harmless genetic mutations, if both father and mother possess a disease-causing genetic mutation, it can be passed on to a child, predisposing him to a fatal recessive genetic disease. Yet, just because one is a carrier of a disease-causing genetic mutation, does not mean they have to live in fear of bringing a precious child into this world with a recessive genetic disease. It’s when both the male and female possess the same disease-causing mutation that a child can potentially be affected. Only one out of every one hundred couples is found to be incompatible. Then, there is a one-in-four chance that their child will be born, rachmana l’tzlan, with a debilitating genetic disease. And that’s where Dor Yeshorim steps in. By testing young adults for genetic diseases before they begin the shidduch process, Dor Yeshorim prevents couples that are incompatible from meeting, saving them from tormenting pain and anguish later on. Not too long ago, genetic diseases were, r”l, a common occurrence among our community. Each year, hundreds of children were born, and nebach niftar, from fatal genetic diseases. Rabbi Yosef Ekstein, the founder of Dor Yeshorim, lost four children to the dreaded Tay-Sachs disease. “After my first child was born, everything seemed fine,” he related. “But every day there was another deterioration, another step down. Back then, many children were niftar without ever knowing the cause. In our case, it took two years, going from doctor to doctor, until we got the diagnosis: Tay-Sachs.” Although children born with TaySachs appear healthy at birth, they lack a

vital enzyme, Hexosaminidase-A, which cleans protein buildup in the brain. Without hexosaminidase-A, these children progressively lose brain function, become blind, deaf, mentally retarded, paralyzed, and usually pass away before age five. Rabbi Ekstein transformed his personal tragedy of losing four children – going through the unimaginable, watching them all suffer and die before they reached four years old, with nothing possible to pre-

Genetic Reserch at the Israeli Headquarters

Diligently processing the hundreds of specimens of a recent school screening

US Headqurters. Thousands of called are processed from all over the world

vent it – into a resolution that he would do whatever it takes until no other yiddishe family would have to undergo the same agony that he experienced – a promise that he lives with and strive to fill until this very day. With that, he founded Dor Yeshorim, throwing his heart and soul into doing everything he humanly possibly could to safeguard the health of future generations. At first, his efforts were met with resistance. Many people believed that genetic screening went against halachah, and also were afraid of being stigmatized, but Rabbi Ekstein determinedly fought an up-

hill battle. With the strong encouragement and support of gedolei haposkim and rabbanim, he prevailed. Since Dor Yeshorim’s founding, just over 32 years ago, this organization has become the inaugural part of every shidduch in Klal Yisroel. It has rightfully gained acclaim as the best application of preventative medicine and the elimination of many diseases that once plagued our community. Dor Yeshorim can count over 4600 families that have already been spared from giving birth to children affected with genetic diseases due to its tremendous, lifesaving work. It is also the cause for the complete closure of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center Tay-Sachs ward, one of the largest Tay-Sachs departments worldwide, because children are no longer born with Tay-Sachs. Under the guidance of rabbanim and gedolei hador across the spectrum, including Rav Moshe Feinstein, z”tl, HoRav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner, z”tl, and HoRav Ovadia Yosef, z”tl, Rabbi Ekstein and Dor Yeshorim became – and are to this day – the authority in pioneering genetic research and prevention. Dor Yeshorim has become the standard among Klal Yisroel’s shidduch protocol, testing young adults before beginning the shidduch process to ensure compatibility. Since its inception, over 415,000 individuals have joined its programs. Throughout all its work, Dor Yeshorim does not forget who they do it for: individual members of Klal Yisroel, our precious families, our future. Dor Yeshorim takes responsibility to screen each person in the most confidential manner to reduce the fear and stigma associated with being a Carrier. At the stipulation of Gedolei Yisroel, Dor Yeshorim does not reveal carrier status, and only identifies testees by a unique, nine-digit identification number. Meticulously coordinating every detail months in advance, Dor Yeshorim sends a team of trained phlebotomists to more than 400 schools in 11 countries across the globe. Yet, its premarital genetic screening program for young adults is only the smallest tip of the iceberg of the tremendous work Dor Yeshorim does. Dor Yeshorim constantly spearheads ongoing genetic research and countless initiatives to protect Klal Yisroel from even more pain and suffering. They find previously unknown genetic diseases, identify their mutations and run frequency studies to determine how these diseases affect our

families. This often leads to the addition of another disease to its comprehensive testing panel, preventing more tragedies from pervading Klal Yisroel. As the ambassadors of the health of our future, Dor Yeshorim offers its genetic screening programs globally and shares its vast knowledge and expertise with genetic experts throughout the world. They constantly invest time, effort and funds to ensure they offer the most reliable and sophisticated genetic screening methods so they can continue to protect our communities. Dor Yeshorim conducts its world class operation with the utmost integrity and accuracy, using multiple internal and external quality control factors to ensure the verity of its research and testing. Each piece of information is entered into Dor Yeshorim’s database by two separate individuals, and then compared to confirm precision. In addition to using high-tech advanced computer systems to ascertain results, Dor Yeshorim’s staff manually verifies the data before responding to a compatibility inquiry. Unfortunately, many families in our community have children born with rare and previously unidentified genetic disease. They turn to Dor Yeshorim, the go-to resource in making sure these families are not forgotten and assisting them throughout every step of the way with all their needs. Dor Yeshorim gathers DNA samples from each family member, collaborating with genetic experts to conduct costly and advanced research to identify the specific genetic mutation causing the disease. They then develop a familial-based screening process and put measures in place to ensure the genetic disease does not transfer to the next generation. Aside from assisting with the technical genetic aspects, Dor Yeshorim feels the pain of each family and does everything in its power to ease their anguish as they undergo difficult and uncertain times. A steadfast support throughout all the turmoil, Dor Yeshorim explains to the families what they may expect and provides the genetic guidance they so desperately need. Yet, it counsel extends even further. Because of Dor Yeshorim’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of genetics, families with general questions regarding genetic disease reach out to them for answers. Dor Yeshorim also counsels young couples who have been found to be

Health The Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

incompatible. With much siyata d’shmaya, Dor Yeshorim has experienced tremendous growth over the past 32 years. In fact, this year alone, it has handled more than 23,000 compatibility requests and screened 25,588 individuals. While Dor Yeshorim was originally founded assisting those of Ashkenazic descent, in its mission to prevent untold suffering and vanquish genetic disease from Jewish families worldwide, this lifesaving organization spread its wings, conducting groundbreaking research to be able to provide genetic testing and support for the Sephardic communities, as well.

It’s no accident that Dor Yeshorim has had such a global forceful impact upon Jewish life today. It does everything in its power to prevent as much pain and illness as humanly possible. Its success is due to its accessibility and affordability for everyone. In striving to make the test available for all, Dor Yeshorim’s nominal testing fees are only a fraction of the price of what it actually costs. Dor Yeshorim employs a full-time operation with over 20 team members at its Brooklyn headquarters and an additional 30 at its Israeli headquarters, overseeing its global operations and fielding tens of thousands of compatibility requests each

year. It also has a network of representatives and phlebotomists who conduct screenings all over the world, and a team of researchers and lab specialists who deal with constantly evolving genetic research. Dor Yeshorim heavily relies on and only exists because of individual donors who share their vision and mission. Dor Yeshorim knows that the greatest brachah a person can receive is “dor yeshorim u’mevorach,” to produce future healthy generations. The reason all of Klal Yisroel can gaze lovingly into the smiling faces of healthy children and walk their sons and daughters down to the chuppah with the peace of mind knowing they did

the right hishtadlus for their future generations, is because Dor Yeshorim was there to make it happen. Dor Yeshorim is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of Jewish genetic diseases, conducting screenings at locations all over the world, spearheading groundbreaking genetic research and assisting families that have children that are affected with rare genetic diseases. For more information about Dor Yeshorim’s programs, please contact them at: (718) 384-6060, email or visit their website at www.

Ask the Attorney

Preventing Los Angeles Pedestrian Accidents Michael Rubinstein Esq. In the days before Pesach, my office received several calls about pedestrians who were struck by turning cars while lawfully crossing at a marked crosswalk. A yeshiva bochur was hit by a car in my neighborhood on Erev Pesach while returning home from an errand. And last week, the Los Angeles Police Department reported that collisions between cars and pedestrians are on the rise, both in the Valley and the City. What can be done to prevent pedestrian accidents? It turns out, both drivers and pedestrians can help prevent these tragedies. For Drivers… Look Before You Turn! This is probably the most common scenario involving pedestrians hit by cars. A driver preparing to turn left at a green light sees no oncoming cars, and begins negotiating the turn before checking the adjacent crosswalk. Big mistake! Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way, and this includes pedestrians who are crossing at the crosswalk. Looking at the crosswalk before you begin to turn is one easy way to prevent pedestrian collisions. Drivers should also make sure the crosswalk is clear of bicyclists, who travel faster than pedestrians and might appear in the crosswalk more quickly. Sunrise and Sunset Pedestrian collisions are also common early in the morning when the sun is rising, as well as in the evening when it’s setting. The sun’s rays can be blinding at those times! But there is no “the sun was in my eyes” defense to a driver hitting a pedestrian. Instead, drivers are expected to drive reasonably under all circumstances, including when the sun impacts visibility. If visibility is an issue, drive slower and exercise more caution, especially at intersec-

tions where pedestrians might be crossing. Parking Lots & Alleyways Parking lots are ground zero for pedestrian collisions. Finding a parking spot at Ralphs or Trader Joe’s on Erev Shabbos can be stressful, and the competition to find a spot can lead to taking shortcuts. Pedestrians might not be paying full attention either (more on this below). Drive slowly and be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially those who are shopping with children. Look over your shoulder when backing out of a space instead of relying exclusively on your backup camera. When exiting an alleyway, be extra cautious where the alley meets the sidewalk. For Pedestrians… Head up, Phone Down! Believe it or not, texting and constant phone use don’t only plague drivers. We’re all addicted to our phones, but this bad habit can have terrible consequences for pedestrians at a crosswalk or in the parking lot. Keep your head up when you’re walking. Stay alert for cars backing out of parking spaces in the parking lot. Don’t check your phone while crossing at the crosswalk – wait until you’ve successfully crossed. Always remain alert to your surroundings. Cross Only at an Intersection It’s tempting to save time by crossing that busy street instead of taking the extra one or two minutes to walk to the corner and cross there. But what if a car makes a quick right turn and steps on it, not expecting to see a pedestrian? Be Extra Alert at Crosswalks that Don’t Have Stop Lights In Los Angeles, these types of pedestrian crossings are very common, especially near schools like Bais Yaakov and Yavneh. Pedestrians have the right of way,

but that’s not going to ensure that an inattentive driver respects this right. Wait for a break in traffic before beginning to cross these crosswalks, and cross one lane at a time. Be Visible At Night

countdown clock. Other times, a pedestrian might attempt this maneuver with leisure and ease, seemingly oblivious that he or she is now holding up traffic stopped at the light once it turns green. The Vehicle Code makes it illegal for

Seventy-five percent of teenage pedestrian deaths occur at night, R”L. If you’re crossing at night, use your iPhone or Android’s flashlight function to signal your location to oncoming drivers. Don’t be afraid to use your voice either. If you suspect an oncoming driver cannot see you, you’re probably right. If your son is riding his bike to or from yeshiva at night, he must turn on his lights! Cross only when the crossing light is green! We’ve all been stopped at a light, only to notice a pedestrian dashing across the intersection with two seconds to go on the

a pedestrian to enter a crosswalk on a yellow light. Obviously, it’s also illegal to enter a crosswalk on a red light. Please don’t risk it by entering the crosswalk when the red hand is blinking or solid. Wait for the next light, even if it means eating up two more minutes of your time. Michael Rubinstein is a Los Angeles-based personal injury and accident attorney. You can find more pedestrian and other tips at his website, He may be reached by calling 213-293-6075.



Quotes The Parenting Week In News

MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Proactive Parenting: Tantrums Sara Teichman, Psy D

Though I have read many books about disciplining children and have tried to incorporate their ideas, somehow my kids still have tantrums. While obviously the number of tantrums they throw decreases as they grow older, I do not want to wait for my children to grow up to get a handle on this. Do you have any advice to offer? Bracha Dear Bracha, Tantrums, especially in public, are no fun. Even in private, they frustrate us and make us wonder what has happened to the child we love. They cause us to question our parenting skills. It’s not surprising, then, that parents point to tantrums as one of their greatest challenges. Common wisdom holds that if you ig-

nore tantrums, they will go away. This is based on the behavioral principles of reinforcement and extinction, which say that that which is not reinforced will be extinguished. A common example of this principle in operation is a teacher calling on the student who raises her hand, but not on the one who calls out. When the absence of reinforcement for negative behavior

is maintained long enough, the caller out learns to stop the undesirable behavior. However, while ignoring the tantrum is sound advice for some kinds of tantrums, it is actually inappropriate for another kind. Let me explain. There are two kinds of tantrums. One is a deliberate decision on the part of the child to manipulate his parent. But the other is when the child is so upset and overwhelmed by his feelings that he is just unable to manage his behavior. While ignoring is an excellent strategy for the deliberate tantrum, it is inappropriate for the child who loses control and cannot self-regulate. Just as you would not ignore a child with a headache, you do not want to ignore a child who is experiencing emotional pain. Let’s look at the first kind of tantrum. This is when your child decides to throw a fit in order to manipulate, intimidate, or embarrass you into giving her what she wants. Though your child may look like she is out of control, she is actually able to stop on a dime as soon as she gets what she wants. This is the give-me-threesnacks-or-I-won’t-go-to-school, or the buy-me-that-toy-right-now-or-you’ll-behumiliated-in-public kind of tantrum. Because this behavior is a deliberate choice on the child’s part, it must end, and your child must learn another (healthier) bag of tricks. However, the child throwing this kind of tantrum will not be motivated to change her behavior on her own. Why should she when she knows that by tantrumming she will get her way? This is where there is a need for discipline, for firm boundaries, and a clear discussion about what is, or is not, appropriate behavior. Non-negotiable rules like “one snack per day,” or “only children who co-operate can come shopping with me,” are strategies to minimize this type of tantrum. Should your child spring a tantrum, consequences like having no snack or having to leave the store immediately should reinforce the idea that tantrums do not work with you anymore. Discipline works best when parents set up a consistent environment so that the child knows what to expect and there are no surprises. This includes giving choices, picking battles, and having realistic expectations. The second kind of tantrum is totally different. This is when your child is so overwhelmed by his feelings, so upset, that he literally cannot control his emotions and has a meltdown. A typical example of this is a toddler who is allowed to get so hungry that he throws his food and refuses to eat. Alternatively, it can be a child so overtired that he is cranky, contrary, and impossible to please. Perhaps it is an older child so stressed out and overwhelmed by

homework that he becomes hysterical and knocks his books and papers to the floor. These tantrums are not so much a discipline issue as a parent’s failure to be proactive. The proactive parent knows her child’s triggers (homework, late nights, shopping excursions, etc.) and looks out for them – or better yet, avoids them altogether. Because tantrums are often the result of the child being hungry, tired, bored, frustrated, or over-stimulated, the proactive parent is on top of things and makes sure – to the greatest possible extent – that none of these exigencies occur. In short, the best way to deal with this kind of tantrum is to prevent it from happening. And, conversely, the worst way to deal with it is to be reactive, a result of our just not knowing what to do. Being reactive means yelling or threatening the child with a disproportionate consequence that you’ll never keep. Any parent who has threatened his child with no nosh, video, or family trips for the rest of his life knows exactly what I mean. When we are reactive, we respond to the situation without having really thought it through. In this second type of tantrum, where the child is dysregulated and unable to cope, different strategies are needed. Disciplining someone for something they cannot do (manage their emotions) is not effective or fair. Nor will ignoring be effective, because this type of tantrum is a result of pain. Until the child learns to manage his emotional pain, no amount of discipline or ignoring will stop his raw explosion of feelings. Rather, you want to help the child calm down by being nurturing and supportive. This would include using a soothing voice or touch to help your child regain control of himself. When holding your child, it’s always good to assure him that you will not let him hurt himself, property, or others. Though tantrums are most often associated with children, the truth is that most of us have the occasional meltdown. By understanding the difference between the two types of tantrums, and by learning to prevent them by being proactive, not reactive - we can learn to manage this ugly beast more effectively. The Book Nook: A Principal’s Principles by Rabbi Binyamin Ginsberg contains encouraging messages for parents from a noted mechanech and Hamodia columnist. As a rebbe, principal and consultant, Rabbi Ginsberg guides parents and teachers in effective ways to raise our children with understanding and respect. 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

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MAY 19, 2016 | The Jewish Home



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