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The Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home


CONTENTS

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

COMMUNITY

Community Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

JEWISH THOUGHT

On Losing A Friend. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 MAHARAL ON PIRKEI AVOS: The Shareholders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Truth about Challah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

FEATURE

Mass Execution: The Decimation of Greek Jewry during the Holocaust. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

HUMOR & ENTERTAINMENT Quotes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

LIFESTYLES Travel Guide: Perth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Ask Dr. T. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

NEWS Israel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 That’s Odd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

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Dear Readers, Ah…the taste of freedom. Beautiful, sweet, and exhilarating. Like a return to our natural selves, free from external pressures and distractions. Free to be who we are. Wouldn’t it be splendid if we’d experienced the ultimate freedom already this Pesach? We’re told that a great calamity befell the students of Rabbi Akiva because they didn’t show the proper respect for one another. Ahavas yisroel they had; it was respecting one another which was lacking. One can have a strong love for their fellow Jew, yet not have the proper respect for them. In fact, at times it’s the love itself which may fuel disrespect: “it’s because of my care and concern that I want the best way of life for them”. And if they have a different style, nusach, or minhag than how can I accept that?! Respecting our fellow Jew means exactly that: respecting their differences and accepting that perhaps what’s right for me isn’t for them. Or, better: maybe we can even learn from the area of yiddishkeit they do emphasize. This is especially important as we witness the ugly face of Anti-Semitism raring its head once again. In a twisted way it reminds us that the haters see us as one people and that they got right. A

fault here, a deficiency but who The Weekthere, In News are we? One people. As a parent there is nothing more rewarding than watching children play together and rejoice in the success of the other. Let us resolve to do the same for our Father in heaven. The next time we have the urge to speak loshon hara, or to relate a juicy experience, let’s simply switch gears and find something nice or uplifting to say. If you notice something nice about someone, take the time and say it their spouse. Sometimes a simple compliment can go a long way. If at times it seems jealousy and divisiveness are too overwhelming to resist, we need only look to the survivors of the Holocaust who have shown us the infinite reservoir of inner strength we posses. Surely we can win over our own negative traits, as well. The stronger we become as a people, the more prepared we will be for the great day of the ingathering of the exiles promised us so long ago. The survivors didn’t give up their faith, neither should we. May we have a peaceful Shabbos of Jewish unity,

Shalom

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

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Chai4ever Pesach Event Turns Illness and Despair into Happiness “I wanted to thank you, even though it’s hard to thank you enough for such an awesome day! Unlimited rides and games is every kid’s dream and that dream became a reality today!! Cancer adds a lot of worries to life but one thing I didn’t have to worry about was planning a fun chol hamoed trip. I didn’t even have to worry about taking enough food. You took care of everything and it was absolutely amazing!! It was a day we will all always remember. Thank you,”I wanted to thank you even though it’s hard to thank you enough for such an awesome day! Unlimited rides and games is every kid’s dream and that dream became a reality today!! Cancer adds a lot of worries to life but one thing I didn’t have to worry about was planning a fun Chol Hamoed trip. I didn’t even have to worry about taking enough food. You took care of everything and it was absolutely amazing!! It was a day we will all always remember. Thank you.”I wanted to thank you even though it’s hard to thank you enough for such an awesome day! Unlimited rides and games is every kid’s dream and that dream became a reality today!! Cancer adds a lot of worries to life but one thing I didn’t have to worry about was planning a fun Chol Hamoed trip. I didn’t even have to worry about taking enough food. You took care of everything and it was absolutely amazing!! It was a day we will all always remember. Thank you.”I wanted to thank you even though it’s hard to thank you enough for such an awesome day! Unlimited rides and games is every kid’s dream and that dream became a reality today!! Cancer adds a lot of worries to life but one thing I didn’t have to worry about was planning a fun Chol Hamoed trip. I didn’t even have to worry about taking enough food. You took care of everything and it was absolutely amazing!! It was a day we will all always remember. Thank you.” writes Rivka L. about Chai4ever’s Chol Hamoed Pesach Day of Fun and Adventure at The Funplex

in Mount Laurel, NJ, on Wednesday, April 27. There was fun for children of all ages, with many indoor and outdoor attractions including a roller coaster, go-karts, laser

tag, bowling, unlimited arcade games, and much more. With over 1000 children and parents, you might think there would be chaos, but Chai4ever’s devoted volunteers seemed to be everywhere all at once, juggling multiple tasks to make sure every child had the absolute best time. Serving snacks, helping kids with rides, giving out souvenir T-shirts – and always with enthusiastic smiles. “I was surprised to realize how stressed out I had been,” said Dovid, a cancer patient and father of four. “Once I saw how competent and caring the volunteers were, I relaxed, and all of a sudden it was like a thousand-pound weight rolled off my shoulders. There was nothing left for me to deal with – you thought of everything!” Food is always a challenge on chol hamoed outings, particularly on Pesach, but Chai4ever rose to the challenge. “My kids are very picky,” mused Avi W., “so we packed some food. But it ended up staying in the car, unneeded. As soon as we walked in to the Funplex, we saw mountains of chips and cookies, bowls of fresh fruit, mounds of candies, and platters

of tuna and lox. There were hot dogs for those who wanted meat, cheese snacks for those who didn’t, and all kinds of drinks. My kids even got to-go bags to fill with snacks for the ride home!” The day ended on a high note – literally! – with a rocking concert by Boruch Sholom and Yehuda Green. Spirited singing and dancing were the perfect conclusion to an exhilarating day. Seriously ill parents danced and swayed to the music, holding their children tightly, and the volunteers made sure to keep everyone’s spirits soaring. Rabbi Shmuel Zaks, Executive Vice President and Founder of Chai4ever, explained why he and his staff expend so much time and effort putting together these grand events. “Pesach is a difficult time for anyone,” he said, “but when you consider the stress families with a seriously ill parent suffer on a constant basis, you realize that they and their children need a chance to relax, enjoy, and celebrate. We are determined to make their yom tov as joyful as possible, and with the help of Hashem, our generous benefactors, and dedicated volunteers and staff, we were able to give them a chol hamoed trip to remember.” Chavi P. emphatically agreed. “I was always the ‘planner’ in my family. When the symptoms of my multiple sclerosis worsened, I couldn’t muster the focus necessary to work out the details. My children were very disappointed, but I just couldn’t do it. Chai4ever was a lifesaver! They took care of everything – snacks, rides, supper and all. Just look at how happy my kids are!” The chol hamoed extravaganza was the cherry on top of Chai4ever’s wide array of programs aimed at helping families with a sick mother or father. “We carefully assessed each family’s situation and needs,” explained Rabbi Zaks, “and devised a tailor-made solution to ensure they could have a normal yom tov.” Their staff and

volunteers have had an extraordinarily busy few weeks, ensuring their families’ homes are made free not only of chometz, but also of stress and anxiety. Homes and cars were cleaned, hundreds of meals were prepared, packaged, and delivered, and groceries, clothing and shoes were carefully selected and purchased. For families who simply could not remain at home, respite retreats at Pesach hotels for all or part of yom tov were arranged. They even bought personalized afikoman gifts for each Chai4ever child, to make sure they all experienced their own simchas yom tov. Chaim Z. was diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly before Chanukah. “At first, we managed somehow,” he relates, “but things kept getting more and more difficult. By the time Purim had passed, we felt we had hit rock bottom. My children were downcast, and I had no idea how we were going to make even the most simple Pesach preparations. Then we got in touch with Chai4ever. Our social worker calmed our fears, and assured us that everything would be taken care of. Sure enough, they took care of all the cleaning, cooking, and shopping. Their Big Brothers and Sisters took my children out to play, so my wife and I could get some rest. They made our yom tov more than just manageable – they made it joyous! And the chol hamoed outing was the icing on the cake. From the moment we arrived, my kids had an absolute blast! I can’t describe how much better I feel knowing that my children had a fun chol hamoed trip.” One precocious eight-year-old poignantly summed up the event in as ringing an endorsement of success as anyone could hope for: “I haven’t had this much fun since Mommy got sick!” The exhausted but elated faces all around suggest that she is not alone in this sentiment. For more information about Chai4ever, visit www.chai4ever.org, e-mail info@ chai4ever.org, or call (646) 519-2190.

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MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

Laniado Hospital, West Side Campus

BRINGING AWARENESS of the Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel

1st Laniado Hospital Weekend in the Valley community May 20th - 22nd

Evening Garden Reception, Sunday, May 22nd, 6:00 P.M Rubenstein Home, 5050 Bluebell Ave. , Valley Village, CA 91607 Guest Speaker: Rabbi Pini Dunner, Spiritual Leader of the Beverly Hills Synagogue Co-Hosts: Irving and Linda Rubenstein, Dr. Robert and Agy Reich Levine

RSVP or information: 818-219-3207 or online: valleyreception.eventbrite.com

Board Co-Chairmen: Sol Teichman, Joseph Kornwasser & Sol Goldner Director: Urie Lieberman

LANIADO WEST COAST FRIENDS

SANZ MEDICAL CENTER

EVERY patient matters. EVERY minute counts.

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

Double Celebration at Congregation Kol Yakov Yehuda Yehudis Litvak

Kol Yakov Yehuda, the junior congregation under the auspices of Congregation Levi Yitzchok of Hancock Park, celebrated the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s birthday on the 11th of Nissan. The celebration consisted

of two parts: a meaningful trip to Israel for its leaders and a Mitzvah Tank Parade for the whole community. Congregation Kol Yakov Yehuda was founded by Rabbi Mendel Duchman, who

remains its spiritual leader and the only adult present during services. Everything else, as its motto proclaims, is done “for the kids by the kids.” Each year, the children elect a presidium, consisting of a

president, a vice-president, and a secretary of state. The presidium members sit at the front of the shul and conduct the services. At the end of the school year, a raffle is conducted, and one of the children wins an exciting trip. This year, Congregation Kol Yakov Yehuda celebrates its “bar mitzvah” – its thirteenth year. Incidentally, the members of its presidium are celebrating their own bar mitzvahs. In honor of the bar mitzvahs, Rabbi Duchman took all three of the presidium members on a special trip to Eretz Yisrael, where they participated in a group bar mitzvah celebration for Israeli orphan boys. The bar mitzvah celebration, held at the Kosel, is organized every year by Colel Chabad and attended by Israeli chief rabbis, government officials, and other dignitaries. The Kol Yakov Yehuda presidium – Levi Cohen, Yechezkel Pinson, and Mendel Raeburn – enjoyed a packed itinerary throughout their stay in Israel. They arrived on Thursday night, April 12th, and went to Chevron and then to Kever Rachel, where they had an opportunity to daven at the kevarim of our avos and imahos. They then traveled to Yerushalayim, where they also visited the grave of Chaya Shpalter, a member of Kol Yakov Yehuda who passed away last year. On Friday, the boys toured Yerushalayim with a special focus on places mentioned in Tanach. Seeing with their own eyes the places they learned about was very powerful for the boys. They also visited over 12 shuls in Yerushalayim, where they observed the goings on and spoke to each of the rabbis, learning about leadership. On Friday night, the group ate their Shabbos meal at the Colel Chabad building overlooking the Kosel. There they met Rabbi Sholom Duchman, the director of Colel Chabad, and Mr. Yossi Popeck and his family, one of the sponsors of the orphan bar mitzvah program. On Sunday, they visited the Masada and the Dead Sea. And Monday, April 18th, was devoted to the orphan bar mitzvah ceremony. The program began at the Kosel, where each of the bar mitzvah boys received an aliyah to the Torah. Thousands of people were in attendance as each boy was escorted to the Torah under a chupah, with musicians playing live music. The Los Angeles boys also received aliyos, and the Israeli chief rabbis met the celebrants there. After the ceremony, the boys attended a large reception for the orphan bar mitzvah boys and participated in the celebration. “They really connected to the kids,”


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

says Rabbi Duchman. They met a boy who was born a month after his father’s passing and was named after his father. The Los Angeles boys danced together with him and brought much joy to his simcha. At the reception, the Kol Yakov Yehuda presidium presented the bar mitzvah boys with 150 bar mitzvah messages from Los Angeles, written by the members of Kol Yakov Yehuda, as well as the students of Cheder Menachem. Throughout the trip, the boys proudly wore their Kol Yakov Yehuda medals. “They knew they were there for a mitzvah,” says Rabbi Duchman. “They are the future leaders…” He adds, “Normally, children are empowered by adults, but there, I was em-

powered by the children, watching how proud they were and how they took their responsibilities seriously.” When he returned to Los Angeles with the three bar mitzvah boys on Tuesday morning, April 19th, they travelled straight from the airport to the local celebration of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s birthday – the Mitzvah Tank Parade. The parade, attended by approximately 300 children, consisted of a large truck and 11 RVs, all decorated with pictures of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and inspirational messages, such as, “Let’s welcome mashiach with acts of goodness and kindness!” The event began with a rally at Cheder Menachem, attended by both girls and

boys. Then the children boarded the Mitzvah Tanks and headed down La Cienega Ave. This year, in addition to its regular Mitzvah Tanks, the parade included a special Mitzvah Tank just for girls. The parade was accompanied by over twenty police escorts. Storekeepers came out and passerby stopped to watch the parade. The Mitzvah Tanks stopped on every block and gave out matzah and pamphlets about Pesach. The parade concluded at the Ralph’s parking lot on 3rd Street and La Brea Ave. From there, the attendees split up into groups and headed to eleven different communities throughout Los Angeles, where they also distributed matzah and educational pamphlets.

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TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

LAMOTH’s Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Event The Honorable Mayor, Eric Garcetti: “We have survived and we are strong.” Tova Abady

On Sunday, May 1st, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) hosted its annual Yom HaShoah commemoration in Pan Pacific Park. Survivors and community members attended the event, held in a tent adjacent to the museum. Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the crowd, among others. “[T]oday is part of tradition in Los Angeles to show our heart and our connection [to the Holocaust],” Mayor Garcetti said later in an interview exclusive to The Jewish Home – L.A. “Most importantly, to honor those who still live amongst us – those are our grandparents, our brothers and sisters, our aunts, uncles, and

great-grandparents. Each year that we are here with survivors, it reminds us that we must take on what they do, and that is to remind people that this is real, we have survived, and we are strong. This is a reflection of L.A.’s heart… “L.A. is a great Jewish city,” the mayor added. “People came here when they were really in need. I love how we tie that to what’s going on in the world. Of course, I will always be here. I was the first Jewish mayor elected, which has such a resonance for me. I wouldn’t be here if my fathers hadn’t survived. But we are all here, and part of this wonderful city.” Following the anthems for the U.S.

and Israel, Samara Hutman, Executive Director of LAMOTH, took the stage. Ms. Hutman has been the executive director for the past three years, and clearly she has a strong emotional attachment to the survivors as evidenced by her outpouring of love to each individual and family member. This is equally true of Beth Kean, President of LAMOTH, who recognized three generations of her family present at the event. Her grandparents Rose and Arnold Rakoszynski were survivors. She noted that thousands of students with diverse backgrounds come through their doors and that “LAMOTH is stronger than ever and will never stray from their mission.” The success of LAMOTH is largely due to the generosity of Jona Goldrich and attorney E. Randall Schoenberg. Mr. Schoenberg was board president for ten years and recently stepped down. He was responsible for solidifying the lease for the building with the city. He also famously fought the government of Austria, successfully recovering a famous painting by Gustav Klimt for Marie Altmann. Schoenberg’s heroic actions were portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the film “Woman in Gold.” He donated his entire proceeds from the film to the museum. Mr. Goldrich’s daughter, Melinda, has followed in her father’s footsteps. “My father always thought that it was very important to have Holocaust remembrance opportunities everywhere in the United States, especially in Los Angeles where there were at one time many survivors, many who aren’t alive anymore, and survivor families…I am very proud of him, and I now take note of the family foundation which focuses on Holocaust education and other type of Jewish education, and support of the Jewish community in Los Angeles and worldwide really.” Consul General of Israel David Siegal spoke, as well. Mr. Siegal will soon be leaving L.A. after five years of dedicated service to the community. He began by commenting that it is interesting that Yom HaShoah follows Pesach. The fact that they are so close together reminds us of our ongoing struggles. Mr. Siegal stated, “Every person who

was murdered was an entire universe lost forever. We honor their memories and their legacies.” Paying homage to the great contributions of survivors, Mr. Siegal said that there are only 150,000 survivors left in Israel out of more than half a million that came to the Jewish State in its inception. He added, “Never in history has there been a group of immigrants who came from the depths of depravity and made such tremendous contributions in science, museums, art, history and technology. Even in the ghettos and concentration camps, Jews held onto their tradition at great peril.” Mr. Siegal related the story of survivor Motke Blum. Mr. Blum was born in Romania. He escaped from a Nazi forced labor camp as a teenager after four years of imprisonment. When he feared death, he said Shema Yisrael and prayed for an angel or a white dove. He credits his painting with helping to save his life. He says that the angel still visits him in his paintings or sends the dove. Mr. Blum took refuge in pre-state Israel in 1944 and is now a highly-regarded painter and artist living in Yerushalayim. He is turning 91 this week of Yom HaShoah. His art – which includes an eclectic mix of images, including a clown, a shtetl, and a ship – is shown around the world and currently is on display at LAMOTH. Two other survivors present spoke about what the event meant to them. Mr. Tomas Kovar stated, “I enjoy working with the kids because if we won’t be around, they have to carry our memories.” Mrs. Eva Brettler said that she was grateful to be part of the event, adding, “I want to thank Hashem for the energy, and Hashem gives you the honor dor v’dor to participate.” Mrs. Brettler has spoken about her experiences at Ohr Eliyahu and the Steven Wise School. Also among the survivors present at the event was Mrs. Frieda Berger, who is well known for her philanthropy and chesed in the community. The program concluded with Adam Yaron singing a beautiful rendition of “Mishlehu,” music by Matti Caspi and lyrics by Ehud Manor.


TheHappenings Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

In the Spirit of Jewish Unity: Israel Festival to Take Place on May 15th at Rancho Park Yehudis Litvak

The eighth annual Israel Independence Day Festival will take place on Sunday, May 15th, at Rancho Park in Cheviot Hills. This year’s festival includes a Torah Pavilion, a siyum on Seder Moed, and other events and activities of special interest to the Orthodox community. The event is organized by the Israeli American Council (IAC), with participation of many Jewish organizations throughout the Greater Los Angeles. It attracts thousands of people – Jews of all stripes, as well as non-Jewish supporters of the State of Israel. The organizers are making a special effort to include the Orthodox community and to ensure that all the attendees feel comfortable at the event. A few years ago, Mr. Nati Saidoff, a board member of IAC, approached Rabbi Boruch Sufrin, head of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and asked what could be done to attract the Orthodox segment of the Los Angeles Jewish community. Rabbi Sufrin saw two challenges to Orthodox involvement: kashrus and timing of the event. Since IAC usually holds the event on the Sunday nearest to Yom Haaztmaut, Israeli Independence Day, it often falls during sefiras haomer, when we are prohibited to listen to live music and attend large celebrations. Rabbi Sufrin told Mr. Saidoff that if the IAC was willing to address these areas then they would garner support of the Orthodox community. Mr. Saidoff and the IAC agreed to these requirements. “It took the better part of six months to convince the kosher vendors and caterers to provide enough food for 15, 000 people,” says Rabbi Sufrin. But the efforts paid off, and for past few years the food at the festival has been strictly kosher. The timing issue was also resolved in previous years by holding the festival on or after Lag B’omer. But this year, because it is a leap year, Lag B’omer falls very late in the year. Rancho Park, the location of the festival, is not available that late in the school year because they begin preparing for summer camp. Besides, the Jewish schools are planning graduations and end of year parties at that time. The only dates available for the Israel Festival are before Lag B’omer. The IAC leadership found themselves in a quandary. On the one hand, the festival is an important community event. On the other hand, they didn’t want to exclude

the Orthodox community. Mr. Saidoff contacted the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, and asked him what to do. Rabbi Lau acknowledged the importance of the Israel Festival and, after ascertaining that no other dates were possible, ruled that this year it would be permissible to hold the festival before Lag B’omer, on condition that some Torah content would be added to the official program.

the Torah Pavilion, such as making tzedakah boxes, tie-dye kippas, and decorating mezuza cases. Besides the Torah Pavilion, the festival also offers many other family-friendly activities. This year’s theme is the mosaic of Jewish cultures, and the booths will feature Jewish life in various Jewish communities, such as Moroccan henna tattoos, Persian tea, Yemenite décor, Polish art, and African hair braiding. Most importantly, the goal of the festival is Jewish unity. Rabbi Sufrin describes the previous years’ accomplishments as “breaking boundaries between communi-

ties.” The focus on unity is even greater this year than the previous years. Previously, each organization provided its members with its own T-shirt. This year, the IAC is providing the same T-shirt for everyone. “It creates a true sense of unity,” says Rabbi Sufrin. “There is no competing against each other.” The shared Torah learning of Seder Moed adds another dimension to the unity experienced by the festival’s attendees. “It’s a beautiful opportunity,” says Carri Garelick of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. “One tent, one T-shirt, all walking together.”

Providing Innovative Solutions for teens at-risk, their families and communities. Rabbi Sufrin and his colleagues sprang into action. On Rabbi Lau’s suggestion, they decided to include Torah learning and a siyum on Seder Moed in the festival’s program. This year’s festival will feature an Ohel Torah, a Torah Pavilion where the attendees will be able to participate in learning Torah, regardless of their background. The Israel Festival will begin at 10:15 am with a community-wide Walk for Israel, organized by Stand With Us, an international non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Israel. By 11 am the attendees will return to Rancho Park and will be able to participate in various activities offered throughout the day. The Torah Pavilion will hold the siyum at 11:45 am. The siyum will celebrate the completion of Seder Moed, which was divided and distributed among different schools and shuls prior to the event. It will be led by students from YULA and Shalhevet high schools. After the siyum, the IAC will host a light lunch for everyone who participated in the learning. Additional learning opportunities will be available at the Torah Pavilion throughout the day, with source sheets provided. At 1:30 pm mincha will be held at the Torah Pavilion. In addition to Ohel Torah, other booths at the festival will host activities related to

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Living with In theNews Times The Week

By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

On Losing A Friend

Publisher of the Yated Ne’eman

It was after havdolah following the first days of yom tov. The grape juice formed a small purple pool in its dish, the atmosphere light and joyous as we discussed chol hamoed plans. Should we go to the park or the zoo? My heart pulled me to Manhattan, because I had a different sort of trip in mind. In Manhattan, I could visit my friend, Reb Aron Stefansky, who lay in the hospital. Our deliberations were interrupted by a text message from his family: He was niftar on the first day of Pesach. Suddenly, it was eerily quiet. Everyone sat around the table with sad eyes. No words were exchanged. We were all lost in thought. Then the memories came rushing in, along with recollections of our dear family friend. I keep on hearing his voice. Reb Aron! We knew he was sick, but he was doing well before a sudden setback sent him to the hospital again after Purim for a procedure. He was back home for Shabbos Hagadol, and when we visited him then, he seemed to be doing well. Then another setback, another procedure. He was in the hospital one final time before passing away the first day of yom tov. And now he’s gone. Were you to ask me, as I mourn his loss, to sum up what made him so special, I can think of one thing that encompasses all others: He was a dear friend, a yedid ne’eman. Not just to me, but to so many others. He was a reliable and steady friend to the people he cared about, including friends, rabbeim, talmidei chachomim, yeshivos, kollelim, chesed organizations, and local schools. He was always giving and raising needed funds. He understood struggle and financial hardship, because he grew up without much money. When Hashem blessed him with success, he channeled that brochah toward worthy causes. And never did hachzokas haTorah replace limud haTorah, as he started each day with his cher-

ished chavrusashaft with Rav Yeruchim Olshin. Like so many others, he learned at Yeshivas Brisk, under Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Soloveitchik, but for him, it wasn’t just a passing experience. Even after returning home, he never really left the yeshiva. His mind was always there. He never stopped helping his rebbi and the yeshiva. Only a person who worked lesheim shomayim, without thought of personal honor or prestige, could have merited such a major part in building a yeshiva that is a bastion of emes and authenticity, with no chanifah or social climbing. It wasn’t only Brisk and it wasn’t only Rav Soloveitchik to whom he was dedicated. He was close to and supportive of many yeshivos and roshei yeshiva, giving what they needed to survive and flourish. For him, supporting them was part of his life. His entire being was thrust into the causes he was involved in. He thought about them, cared about them, and was never meisiach daas from them. There was a time when people spoke about the meaning and necessity of friendship, yedidus. In the mussar yeshivos of Lita, they understood that a good friend was a spiritual acquisition. It called for real selflessness and generosity. Friendship, they understood, is far more than a social convenience. When marauding Arabs tore through the holy yeshiva in Chevron in 1929, they killed many budding talmidei chachomim and injured others. One talmid lay there after being attacked, bloody and battered, and with his final breaths he pulled his injured friend close. “The resho’im are checking who’s dead and they’re looking for signs of life so that they can finish the job. Lie still, and before I die, I will bleed on you,” the first bochur suggested. “Then they will assume that you are dead, too. This way, they will pass you by and you will live.” The Chevroner talmid pressed himself to his friend, pouring blood on him. Then

his soul left him. The second bochur survived. This provides us with a new p’shat in the hallowed words, ‟Bedomayich chayi – By your blood you shall live.” The Chevroner talmidim would retell this story, evidence that yedidus and dibbuk chaveirim are intrinsic to the baal mussar, how a talmid of the Slabodka approach, even in what he knew was his final moment, used the time not to recite vidui or krias shema, but to cause his yedid to live. We are all connected. A friend is someone who understands that and sees himself as belonging to his fellow man. We all need friends who understand us, who bleed for us when we need help, and who celebrate our simchos with us. We need friends who appreciate us, who support us when we are down and advise us how to get up. We need friends we grew up with, who we can be open with and count on. Loneliness is very difficult and very sad. Rav Moshe Shapiro examined the root of the word “yedid,” which the Torah utilizes for friendship. He says that the word is composed of the repetition of the word “yad,” which means hand. Rav Shapiro explained that the word “yad” is repeated twice to form the word that denotes friendship, because man’s two hands signify conflicting actions. The right hand draws close, yemin mekarev, while the left hand pushes away, semol docheh. A person requires intelligence to be able to judge a situation and know when it is time for closeness and when to stand apart. For a yedid, however, there is no downtime. A friend is never pushed away. There is no richuk; there is only kiruv. With yad and yad again, both hands join together to maintain the friendship. The martyred Chevroner talmid lived that reality until his demise. He was neither overwhelmed nor confused or panicked as he lay dying, because he was a friend, and part of being a friend is being aware of

your role and what friendship entails. Rav Yitzchok Hutner, one of the great transmitters of the glory of Slabodka and Chevron, would speak to his talmidim about the responsibility that comes with friendship. He once asked a talmid to get involved with a friend who was in spiritual crisis. The talmid told him that he had tried to help the fellow, but his efforts were in vain. Rav Hutner wrote him a letter. “You say that you are powerless to help... Are there no more tears left in your eyes? Thankfully, we still believe in the power of a perek of tehillim when it is recited with a broken heart...” Friendship is constant. There is no such thing as powerless. Reb Aron Stefansky was such a yedid. He never stopped giving, with both hands outstretched, both hands extended, both hands giving money, time, and heart. Aron started out selling antique seforim and manuscripts, a passion he developed as an outgrowth of his yedidus with his rebbi, Rav Yitzchok Perman, shlit”a. Though I had little money, he would beg me to buy classic letters he had come across. He didn’t do it for the money. He did it for the love. The first letter I bought following his many pleas was a classic, he said. It was heilig. “How can you not want to have it?” he asked. He was right, of course. It was the letter that Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz wrote to his talmid, Rav Shlomo Heiman, expressing his love for him in a most beautiful manner. Rav Shlomo so treasured the letter that he kept it in his tallis bag. Aron was my friend and wanted me to have it. I paid for it over time, $25 a month. The second letter he sold me was also a classic, touching one. Initially, I didn’t appreciate it. He could have easily sold it to someone else, but he wanted me to have it. It was a beautiful letter that Rav Elchonon Wasserman wrote about the Chofetz Chaim. “You must have it,” he said. Again, I paid him $25 a month for that letter. I went on to buy more letters, each one was precious to him. He was devoted to his rabbeim, to Torah, to the past generations, to history, to authenticity, to what is really beautiful, to aristocracy in Torah and to chesed. Seforim and letters weren’t just a way to make a living. They were his life-long passion. A couple years ago, he called me about a certain sefer. “I’m not a seforim collector,” I protested. “You don’t have to be a collector to have this sefer,” he said. “It’s gorgeous.


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It’s historic. It’s something you will learn from and treasure.” I was stubborn. “Listen,” he insisted. “You’re my friend and I want you to have it. At no cost to you, I am going to have it expertly rebound with a gorgeous cover. You’ll take it, and you will thank me later.” I took it and I thanked him. Aron was a real friend. He was caring. He rejoiced when others celebrated simchos and achieved success. When there was a gap that needed to be filled, he was there. When gedolei Yisroel were attacked, he was impacted and did all he could to restore their honor. He didn’t just talk about such occurrences. He deeply cared and got involved. The last time I visited him in the hospital, Rav Yisroel Aharon Schapira, rosh kollel of Bais Medrash Taharos in Yerushalayim, was there as well. Before he left, Aron told him that he wanted to give him money for the yungeleit for yom tov. He emphasized that this was an extra donation, besides what he was already giving. “I want you to promise me that they will get this money for yom tov,” he repeated. “I am a choleh. I need zechusim.” He was optimistic about the future, but he knew that he needed zechusim, and the biggest zechus is to support talmidei chachomim. His son drove in from Lakewood to see his father, but Aron didn’t have time for small talk. He needed zechusim. From his hospital bed, he was raising money for Yeshivas Brisk for yom tov. As soon as his son walked into the room, he sent him to pick up a check and bring it to someone who would get it to Rav Avrohom Yehoshua Soloveitchik in time to distribute the money to yungeleit for yom tov. His wants and desires were based on

Torah. His ambitions and hashkofos were from the Torah, and as he lay in bed with medicines and food trickling intravenously into his body, his active mind raced, thinking of what he could do to help yungeleit. Rav Chaim Volozhiner writes in Ruach Chaim, his peirush on Pirkei Avos (1:1), that when a person intends to do a mitzvah, a mark is made in Heaven and a light of holiness, ohr makif meihakedushah, hovers over him and enables him to complete his desire and fulfill that mitzvah, and he sits as if in Gan Eden, enveloped in holiness. When the mitzvah has been completed, the person is strengthened, but the light returns to Gan Eden, where it awaits the arrival of that neshomah. As one who constantly thought about how he can help talmidei chachomim and mosdos haTorah, Aron earned tremendous zechusim, whose benefits he now enjoys until techias hameisim. At the time of one of my visits, he had not eaten in a few weeks and had no appetite, but he insisted that I eat something. I protested that I wasn’t hungry, but he would hear none of it. There was an orange on the window sill, courtesy of Bikur Cholim, so I picked it up and began eating it. As he watched me eat it, he derived such pleasure and a smile broke out on his face. He told his wife that he so enjoyed watching me eat the orange that for the first time in two weeks, he had an appetite to eat. That is a real friend. Too weak to eat, with no appetite, he derived so much pleasure just from watching his friend eat that it was contagious and he wished to eat as well. Perhaps this offers an understanding of Moshe Rabbeinu’s parting brochah to shevet Binyomin: “Yedid Hashem yishkon lavetach.” Since you are a “yedid” of Hashem, you will live peacefully. One

who possesses that middah of yedid, lives serenely, because he always has someone to turn to. He is never alone. Binyomin, as a yedid Hashem, epitomized that middah and its benefits. In this week’s parshah, we read about the avodah of Aharon Hakohein. The Torah speaks extensively about Aharon’s heart and the choshen mishpot that rested upon it. The heart of Aharon was pure, devoid of jealousy, and filled with joy for others. The Gerrer Rebbe once remarked that the kohanim performed their avodah barefoot, because it was necessary for them to feel every small pebble and stone on the Bais Hamikdosh floor, figuratively experiencing the problems of the people and feeling their pain as they sought atonement for them and offered their korbanos. Aharon Hakohein, the oheiv es habriyos, understood the suffering of the people. This made him an efficient shliach, able to stem mageifos and trouble. As Rav Simcha Zissel walked down the main road into Kelm, his face was lined with pain. He explained that the road was constructed by political prisoners, who were forced to lay the pavement in blistering heat and freezing cold weather. He wondered how people could calmly walk down the street going about their business and not feel the pain of those who suffered tremendously in constructing that very road. Those who learn and live Torah develop sensitivity and compassion. Raised in a home of Torah royalty, Reb Aron Stefansky toiled in Torah and supported Torah. He thus carried the pain of others on his heart. Bezos yavo Aharon el hakodesh. With this, he returns to the holiness of Heaven, with his acts of tzedakah, chesed, his Torah

and tefillah, his goodness and caring. His family has lost a devoted husband, father, son, and brother. And many have lost a good friend. We are entering the period of the year devoted to the avodah of friendship. Chazal (Yevamos 62b) teach that Rabi Akiva’s 24,000 talmidim died during the period of Sefirah because they did not display proper respect towards each other. They failed to appreciate the positive attributes of others and thus didn’t view other talmidim as yedidim deserving of care and dedication. They viewed them as mere acquaintances. We are meant to emerge from Pesach more humble, having absorbed the taste and lessons of the matzah, devoid of ego, subsisting on the baked mixture of water and flour for eight days. The period between Pesach and Shavuos is a time designed for working on humility and respect for others. It’s a time to make true friends, to work on the friendships we have, and to use them to do good things. People who harness the power of friendship and work together can achieve great things. We need to join together with our friends and build. We need to look at the people around us and see their maalos. We need to be noheig kavod zeh bazeh and thus empower them and ourselves to look ahead and strive for positive achievements. Hevei mitalmidov shel Aharon. Let us emulate Aron by caring about other people and fighting for truth, justice and Torah. Every one of us can make a genuine difference if we care to. When enough compassionate people team up, they can change the world and bring geulah l’olam.

MAHARAL ON PIRKEI AVOS: The Shareholders Rabbi Pinchos Gruman, Rav of Kesher Torah The following is read as a prologue to each of the six chapters of Pirkei Avos. All of Yisroel has a share in the World to Come as it says: And your people are all righteous (tzadikkim); they shall inherit the land forever; they are the branch of My planting, my handiwork in which to take pride. (Artscroll translation) Exhorts Maharal: Take this maxim literally! Everyone of Israel is to get a share in Olam Haba – the World to Come. This share is not a reward for doing mitzvos, but simply acquired by being a Jew. Olam Haba is his birthright. Consider, argues Maharal, the Talmud states in Sanhedrin 110b: “It was

taught: When does a Jewish minor come to Olam Haba (i.e. how old must the minor be at death in order to enter the World to Come)? R’ Chiya and R’ Shimon bar Rebbe dispute this matter: one says, from the moment of birth, and one says from the moment of speech...” You see, concludes Maharal, that solely by the virtue of being born a Jew who is “the branch of My planting,” the child receives a stake in Olam Haba. However, Maharal quotes Rambam, who disagrees with his (Maharal’s) view. As we conclude learning each of the six chapters of Pirkei Avos, we recite the following epilogue: “R’ Hakashiya says: The Holy One Blessed be He wished to

confirm merit upon Yisroel; therefore, He gave Torah and mitzvos in abundance.” There are some – states Maharal – that question this mishnah. In the language of Maharal: “And I saw some asked (Rambam in his explanation of the mishnah, Ba’al Haikrim 3:29): would it not be more logical if Hashem wanted to merit klal yisroel to give them less mitzvos rather than more? A multitude of mitzvos invites the likely possibilities of violations. Might the merit run the risk of becoming a demerit?” Maharal quotes Rambam saying that it is a basic Torah belief that once a man performs a mitzvah purely for its own sake, without diluting it with any thoughts of possible personal benefit, he will achieve

Olam Haba. This is what the mishnah meant when it said: “He gave them Torah and mitzvos in abundance.” For once there is an abundance of Torah and mitzvos, it is virtually impossible for at least one of the mitzvos not to be performed purely for its own sake. Then this is the one mitzvah that will obtain him a share in the World to Come. This is the merit of having an abundance of mitzvos. Even according to Rambam, the maxim, “All of Yisroel has a share in Olam Haba,” is a categorical statement. For all of Yisroel has an abundance of mitzvos from which at least one will grant him a pass into Olam Haba.

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The Truth about Challah Sarah Pachter

Each week, I look forward to spending Shabbat with my family and friends. One of my favorite parts of the Shabbat preparations is making challah. Truth be told, I have never tasted my challah. At the age of 18, I discovered that I have a gluten allergy. I am reminded of one positive aspect of this allergy every year at Passover. During the holiday, we embark on a week-long marathon of not eating bread. For most Jews, Passover feels like “bread restriction.” But for me, with my allergy, Passover is an eating fest! All doors open wide for me as most menu items at restaurants in business for the holiday are gluten-free. However, for the most part, being gluten-free is challenging. Week after week, people ask me why I go through the trouble of making challah that I cannot even

enjoy. I always give them my standard answer: “I like doing the mitzvah of hafrashat challah – separating the dough before baking.” Contrary to popular belief, the term challah does not refer to the actual loaves of bread but rather to the act of separating a portion of the dough. While nowadays we simply separate the dough and burn it (or dispose of it in a dignified fashion under the guidance of a rabbi), during the Temple period, this dough would have been given to Kohanim (members of the priestly family). I did not fully understand the depth behind the mitzvah…until I did some research. Unbeknownst to me, this mitzvah is quintessential to Judaism at large. Not only is it one of the three main mitzvot giv-

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en to women, but the Midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 15) teaches us that challah is one of the three things for which G-d created the world. Many mitzvot are derived from one word or even one letter in the Torah. Yet, this mitzvah has five whole sentences devoted to it (Parshat Shelach 15: 17-21)! What makes challah so important in Hashem’s eyes? Bread is a staple food, and therefore represents our sustenance. In our society, money truly controls much of our actions. People are are willing to work long, hard hours, even overtime, for money. As a nation, we are willing to trade just about anything for pieces of paper. Initially, in the 1800s, U.S. money was backed by gold and silver. However, that is no longer the case. Money today is merely pieces of paper, or plastic, even numbers on a screen transferring from one account to another. In truth, money is powerful and valuable because it represents potential. And the secret to tapping into our potential can be found in the mitzvah of hafrashat challah. G-d does not tell us to set aside half of the dough, or even a quarter – just a small piece, about the size of a ping-pong ball. It is noteworthy to point out that it is only a tiny quantity. Who we are, and who we become, is not made by the huge decisions in our lives. It is rather, the small decisions that are truly impactful and lasting. Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller discusses this very point. During World War II, Jews would knock on the home of a gentile begging to hide them and their family. The gentile would open the door, see a trembling Jewish family before them, and had moments to decide whether or not to take them in. That enormous decision was not made right then on the spot, but rather years prior. Every time that gentile gave their seat to a pregnant woman, or smiled at a stranger, they strengthened their overall trait of kindness. All of these acts flexed and built their spiritual kindness muscles. It is no wonder that when the time came for them to take in a Jewish family knocking on their door, that they did not vacillate at all. After the war, these righteous gentiles were interviewed. People asked them, “How did you gather the strength to hide these Jewish families?”   They replied as though the answer was clear, easy, and obvious. “How could we not?” The BIG decision was formed by their lifelong smaller decisions, creating the

type of person who could say yes to such a request. So, too, we all slowly transform through the choices we make in our daily lives. One can not go to the gym and pick up 100 lbs to begin bench-pressing with ease. Rather, the ability to become strong is a process. It comes from the numerous times you pick up smaller increments of weight. And only after mastering 1 lb, 2 lb, and 5 lbs, does the body become strong enough to pick up 100 lbs. Who we are today and who we become tomorrow is determined by the small choices that we make. The world was created for this tiny piece of challah precisely because the whole world was created for us to reach our potential. Challah shows us how. It is not about being big. It is about making the right decisions when it comes to the small choices. It is when you have a choice to give a small amount of tzedaka. Or to pick up litter on the ground. Or to stand up for the elderly. It is not something you will even notice, but week after week of elevating something small in ourselves, we become the type of person we always wanted to be.   Practically speaking, why do these tiny, incremental changes work? In 1948, during the war between Israel and Egypt, almost every plane that entered into Egyptian territory was shot down. On an emergency mission, Rabbi Shmuelevitz flew there and back despite the danger involved. After buckling up, he peered through the window as they took off. He realized they were flying through the air only 50 feet above ground level! This height is precisely what enabled them to land safely. This plane travelled below the radar screen, and therefore went undetected over Egyptian soil.   The radar system is exactly how the yetzer hara tries to stop us from soaring spiritually. We all have a yetzer hara and it is his job to prevent us from succeeding. If we take a small step, the yetzer hara does not even view it as a threat because it doesn’t register on his “radar screen.” With baby steps you can still fly spiritually. You will simply fly undetected! When we try to take too much upon ourselves, the yetzer hara intervenes, and we can end up crashing. The small choices we take go unnoticed both by the yetzer hara and ourselves. Only when we look back do we realize how far we have flown.  Move in small steps. That is the key to big spiritual and physical success!


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the zechus of torah

Revel.

Raizel was already in the shidduchim arena for quite a while, yet there was no suitable boy in sight. In addition, she was struggling with unemployment and was unable to find an appropriate position. Her father turned to the Talmidei Chachamim of Kollel Chatzos, who learn throughout the night with tremendous a er a bleak devotion, to storm the stretch on gates of shamayim on her behalf. He firmly the shidduch believed that in the great front, Raizel merit of supporting got engaged! their learning, his daughter would be helped. Aer a while, a mediocre job was offered for Raizel, which she was not too enthusiastic about, for various reasons. However, as it was be er than being wholly unemployed, as was her status at that point, she accepted. Although there was no great improvement just yet, they remained steady fast knowing that the zchus of Limud Torah will surely stand by. And then, aer a bleak stretch on the shidduch front, Raizel got engaged! To whom? To the u er surprise of all the Chasson was the son of her boss! He had been extremely impressed by the great job she was doing, in addition to her refine and sterling character. Therefore, he decided that she would make a perfect wife for his son. Before long, the l’chaim was announced.

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Mass Execution The Decimation of Greek Jewry during the Holocaust By R. Hunter

The deportation of the Jews of Ioannina

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p until the Holocaust, Greece had a thriving Jewish community dating back to the time of the expulsion from ancient Israel. Salonika was known as the Jerusalem of the Balkans and had a Jewish majority in Ottoman times. During Ottoman rule, the Jews of Greece thrived and coexisted peacefully with their neighbors for the most part. Under Ottoman control, Jews would experience a golden age that rivaled Muslim Spain. The Greek Jewish community consisted of two groups: the Sephardic Jews, who were heirs of the Golden Age of Muslim Spain, and Romaniot Jews, who were Hellenized and lived in the area for over 2,000

years. However, this rich and ancient Jewish community dating back to antiquity was wiped out during the Holocaust. In comparison to other nations occupied by the Nazis during the Holocaust, Greece lost the largest percentage of its Jewish population. A larger percentage of Greek Jews were selected to die at the death camps than that of any of the other Jewish communities; no less than 87 percent of the Greek Jewish community were killed. Most of them were murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Only between 8,000 and 10,000 Greek Jews managed to survive the Holocaust, thus serving as the remnants of what was once a flourishing Jewish community.

Jews from Macedonia who were rounded up and assembled in the Tobacco Monopoly transit camp before deportation to the Treblinka killing center

There are many reasons why a larger percentage of Greek Jews perished in the Holocaust than Jews in other Nazi occupied countries. They had a much longer journey to travel in the cattle cars to the concentration camps than the other Jews did. As a result, when the Greek Jews arrived in Poland, a greater percentage had died during the journey and if they survived did not appear fit to work slave labor as far as the Nazis were concerned. Another factor leading to their deaths was the language gap. Since they didn’t speak any of the surrounding languages, their chances of successful escape attempts were virtually non-existent and they could be killed on site for

not understanding German orders. Another factor that one should take into consideration is that Greek Jewish men were more likely to be assigned to be Sonkercommando than other Jews, since they were usually strong and able-bodied because they worked in the ports in Greece. At Auschwitz, Treblinka, Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno and Sobibor the Nazis established the Sonderkommando, groups of Jewish male prisoners picked for their youth and relative good health whose job was to dispose of corpses from the gas chambers or crematoria. Some did the work to delay their own deaths; some thought they could protect friends and family. The

men were forced into this position, with the only alternative being death in the gas chambers or being shot on the spot by an SS guard. These Jews were executed every three to four months to ensure that there would be no witnesses to the Nazis’ Final Solution.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRECIAN JEWRY There were Greek Jews before there were any Greek Christians. This is so because there were Jewish communities in Greece even before the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. They lived in Sparta, Samos, Rhodes, Cos, Delos, Crete, Aigina, Argos, and elsewhere.


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A Greek Jewish couple with compulsory yellow stars on their clothing. Salonika, Greece, between February and June 1943

There is archeological evidence that synagogues existed in Athens, Corinth, Salonica, and Veria. In the 11th century, Benjamin of Tudela found many prosperous Jewish communities in Greece. Around 1400, the Turks occupied Greece. Hungarian Jews came to Greece to avoid the persecutions following the Black Death. In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled the Jews of Spain.

money they needed and they recalled Columbus. Soon Portugal expelled its Jews and many came to Greece. They were quickly followed by Italian Jews expelled from Sicily and Apulia, and in 1648 Jewish refugees arrived escaping the Cossack massacres. The Turkish sultan remarked, “They tell me that the Christian rulers are wise. But how can they be wise if they expel the Jews who enrich

SS troops advance into Greece

of Greece. They introduced printing, the textile industry, and international trade.

THE GOLDEN COINS Yossi Genis, born in 1942, is today a youngish, 73-year-old Holocaust survivor; he has lived in Israel since 1949, surrounded by his children and grandchildren who live nearby. Yossi’s first memories of the Holocaust are very much

“I didn’t want to be a Jew – as a child I was told many stories that the Jews were devils – so I took this revelation traumatically. I remember the shock till today.”

They left behind their fortunes, which financed the expeditions of Columbus. The royal couple initially rejected Columbus’ proposal to find a route to the Indies because they thought that they did not have enough money to finance his voyage. But their new treasurer, a Jew who converted to Christianity, persuaded them that they had all the

me?” Regardless of their place of origin, upon their arrival in Greece, the Jews were assimilated into one of two traditions. In cities like Salonica or Veria, they became Sephardim, speaking Ladino. In cities like loannina or Arta they became Byzantine or Romaniot Jews, speaking Greek. The Spanish Jews contributed greatly to the development

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childhood memories, but first a brief family portrait. Yossi’s parents came originally from an area known as Yanina in northern Greece. This area is known for having Jews that lived for tens of generations dating back to the period of the 2nd Temple. His family lived in a small town in northern Greece called Kavala (rhymes and reminds of

the word Kabbalah) which is located close to Salonika. The city of Salonika had such a large and influential Jewish community that on every Sabbath the city and its famous port would be virtually shut down. The family moved to Athens prior to World War II, and within a relatively short time his father had a thriving shoe business employing many workers. In 1942, the Nazis conducted mass deportations of the Jews of Salonika and immediately moved on to the city of Athens. Little was known of what awaited the Jews of Athens. The Chief Rabbi tried to delay the inevitable by giving the Nazis lists of Jews that were no longer alive, giving the Jewish community a few more days to attempt to flee. Yossi’s father had a Christian employee who worked as his foreman. This loyal employee was always grateful to Yossi’s father for taking him on and teaching him the skills of the business. Upon hearing of the expected deportations, the foreman allowed Yossi and his entire family to hide in

his home so that they could prepare for their escape from the city. The family liquidated all that could be sold and Yossi’s mother clandestinely purchased 40 gold coins, helping them to pay for housing and food as they fled to an area in the mountainous area of Greece known as Agrafa (meaning “unknown/unregistered”), the area being so desolate and remote that little, if any, records existed of the small hamlets and villages and of who lived there. Yossi’s family moved from village to village over a three year period until liberation approached. When the war ended, only one gold coin remained.

◊ ◊ ◊

The last remaining coin

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29, 2015 | The Jewish Home 54 The OCTOBER Feature Week In News

RJ: Can you share your first memory from the period of the War? YG: Well, interestingly, my first memory was when I was told that I am a Jew. When my family fled Athens, we, the children, were all given alias Christian names and my name was Yanni. As the war ended, all of a sudden I was told that my name is Yossi and that I am a Jew. I didn’t want to be a Jew – as a child I was told many stories that the Jews were devils – so I took this revelation traumatically. I remember the shock till today. The 40 gold coins your family used for their survival during the War reminds me of the

40 year journey of the nation of Israel in the Sinai Desert until entering the Promised Land. Do you see any connection? The gold coins are a very important aspect of my family history. My mother decided that she would not spend more than one gold coin per month. But allocating a specific amount and sticking to it was not easy. You could imagine a family with three children, unexpected expenses, always on the run, paying for housing and food with no money coming in, never knowing when the war would end. And then one day, the war ended, and one gold coin remained. My mother put the coin away for safekeep-

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ing. Years later in Israel, when the first grandson was born, my mother asked her grandson what he wanted for a gift. He told her that he wanted the gold coin that

for each grandchild a similar coin to give them on their bar/bat mitzvah. After she passed away, we, the children, made sure that each grandchild born was

ers and sister must be very close with such a unique tradition. As you know, little is left of Grecian Jewry. Outside of my own family, most if

“By remaining Jews – strong Jews – and remaining faithful to our religion, to Am Yisroel, only then can the Jewish nation be strong.”

remained from their Holocaust years of fleeing. My mother of blessed memory was so touched that not only did she give him the coin for safekeeping but afterwards, when other grandchildren were born, she purchased

given a similar gold coin for safekeeping and of course the story of the gold coin is recited and embedded in the memories of all the grandchildren. You and your broth-

not all of my extended family did not survive the War. My family was the lucky few, so naturally we are all very close till today. Outside of a distant cousin, we have no one left except the five brothers and sisters. My


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mother over the years when she was with us shared many stories of the period of the war with many details about how we endured and survived. The story of the gold coins always was a favorite story for us as children and for the grandchildren as well.

manufacturer in Greece. My family kept in contact with him over the years, and after he passed away, my brothers and I have been in contact with his children including visiting Greece as their guests. Their father was recognized as a Righteous Gentile after the war.

Do you have contact with this distant cousin? Yes, he also has a story worth sharing during the war. My cousin as a young kid was very muscular and gravitated towards boxing. During the war he was taken by the Nazis and used as a boxer for entertainment purposes. The Nazis used to conduct boxing matches for entertainment and parties and he was one of the boxers. He was very good and strong, enabling him to outlast other contenders and survive the war. Today he lives in Israel.

He sounds like a wonderful person. As a Sephardic survivor of the Holocaust, do you feel that you have been given equal attention for what is known by many as mainly an Ashkenazi experience? The Jews of Greece who survived the war number only a few thousand. When many of them moved to Israel, they tended to settle in the area of the Tel AvivYaffo because of their likelihood of finding work at the port. The Recanati Family build a beautiful Bet Knesset in that area of Tel Aviv to commemorate the Jewish communities of Greece. Once a year my generation that survived the Holocaust meets to commemorate our families and all of our former communities that didn’t survive the war. I always attend these gatherings. As you know, we

Whatever became of the Christian foreman who hid you and your family? It turned out that during the war he saved other Jewish families as well. After the war he became of very successful and wealthy shoe

are not many, so we tend to stick together, most of the Grecian Jews still live in this area until today. There is also an organization that represents Grecian Jewry but that’s about all of it. I have always known that I am “Samech Tet” (pure Sephardi), and I have always been proud of this identity. Do you ever speak about your experience to the younger generation? During the ‘90s, between 1994 and 1997, I was sent as a shliach to be the principal of a Jewish school in Panama. I don’t know if you know but Panama had at the time a total Jewish population of 6,000. All of the community’s 1,200 children studied in one of two schools, the Albert Einstein school and the more religious Hebrew Academy. The Panama Jewish community provided for all of the community’s needs to maintain a Jewish way of life including ensuring that future generations do not assimilate. On Holocaust Remembrance Day I would gather all of the children and share with them my own personal history during the Holocaust so that they

never forget and that they should always be on guard. I always emphasized that the Holocaust came out of nowhere and that we as Jews must be vigilant that it never, G-d forbid, happens again. By remaining Jews – strong Jews – and remaining faithful to our religion, to Am Yisroel, only then can the Jewish nation be strong.

◊ ◊ ◊ In all, only 8,000 Greek Jews decided not to obey the Germans. With the help mainly of the naval branch of the Greek resistance, ELAN, 1,500 Jews crossed the Aegean and eventually went to Palestine. There was collaboration between the resistance movement of the Hagana in Israel and EAM-ELAN. The British also operated similar boats, but they did not accept Jews unless there were vacancies. Most of the Jews who saved themselves in Greece found safety in the free mountains, while more than 650 became partisans. The BBC could have helped, but it did not. The daily BBC news, which the resistance and partisan forces were distributing, never mentioned anything about the

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murder of the Jews of Europe or gave any warning for the Greek Jews. The Allied nations with their silence helped the Germans in the slaughter of the Jews of Greece. I remain amazed at the resilience and inner strength that emanates from Yossi as he speaks and revives so many painful memories that are a part of him and define his own personal identity as a Holocaust survivor. Each survivor has a story; each person who was able to walk away from the inferno that raged in Europe has their own story of the 40 coins. They all have their own miracle to impart and to inspire; they all saw the Hand of G-d leading them to survival. I conclude with a poem by Yitzhak Katznelson, z”l, which was written a few days before he was murdered by the Germans. Sure enough, the nations did not interfere, nor did they protest, Nor shake their heads, nor did they warn the murderers. Never a murmur. It was as if the leaders of the nations Were afraid that the killings might stop.

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Travel Guide: Perth Aaron Feigenbaum As Western Australia’s largest city, Perth has a laid-back culture that sets it apart from its eastern neighbors such as Sydney and Melbourne. Once derided as a mere outpost in the boring expanse known as the Outback, Perth has now fully established itself as a world-class destination. In fact, Perth is more like an oasis since it’s one of the most isolated major cities in the world. Don’t let that deter you. This highly liveable city enjoys a near year-round Mediterranean climate, has a relatively low population, little smog, and has an exciting combination of big-city attractions and outdoors fun. With long, wide streets and diverse cultural attractions, exploring the city is both easy and rewarding. Take a stroll through the huge Kings Park in the middle of the city; visit the many fine art galleries and museums; go biking on scenic Rottnest Island; drive just outside the city to visit some of Australia’s best sandy beaches and picturesque fishing villages. In short, if you want to see the best of what Australia has to offer without the hassles of crowds, noise, and pollution, then Perth is one of

bolstering the new city’s economy. A railway system was quickly established, and new buildings and infrastructure popped up all over the place. In 1897, Perth got Fremantle Harbor and became Western Australia’s main port of call for ships. Western Australia, along with the rest of the Australian states, incorporated into the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Perth served as an air and submarine base in WWII for Australian, American, and Dutch forces. The city rose to global fame when John Glenn, orbiting around earth in 1962, called it “The City of Lights.” Perth today is one of Australia’s most diverse and fastest growing cities. It has a strong economy and is rated as the 9th most liveable city in the world by the Global Liveability Index. Attractions Kings Park: One of the world’s largest inner city parks, Kings Park is an oasis of greenery and excellent views in a city full of skyscrapers. Kings Park is perched atop Mount Eliza, which makes it ideal for views of the skyline and Swan River.

Kings Park

nearby Fraser Street. Perth Mint: Established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint, the Perth Mint is now where Australia’s gold bars and commemorative coins are struck. Visitors to the Mint are in store for some real treats including a chance to see the world’s largest coin, the gigantic Australian Kangaroo One Tonne Gold Coin (valued at around $40 million USD). You can also see an amazing collection of gold nuggets, the most notable of which is Newmont’s Normandy Nugget which at about 51 pounds is the world’s second largest of its kind. There’s also a behind the scenes look at gold being poured to make a bar, a recreation of a miner’s camp from the Australian Gold Rush days, a display of the most valuable Australian commemorative coins, and the chance to hold over $500,000 Australian dollars worth of gold bullion. Western Australian Museum: This huge museum has an extensive collection relating to Western Australia’s culture, history, geology, and environment. The highlights include the dinosaur exhibit, display of Aboriginal artifacts and beautiful butterfly garden. Also of note is a preserved, extremely rare megamouth shark, only five of which have ever been found in the wild. Hurry to visit this museum, because it’ll be closed for renovations starting in June. Scitech: Perth’s premier science muse-

Maritime Museum

escapees. Guides are on hand to bring to life some of the prison’s most fascinating stories such as Moondyne Joe’s multiple escapes. Ex-prisoners and former prison guards are often on hand to share first-hand accounts of life in Fremantle. The museum collects the artifacts and recorded histories of Fremantle’s workers and prisoners. For a look at Fremantle’s spookier side, consider the Torchlight Tour, which takes place at night and focuses on purported hauntings at the prison. For the truly brave (and non-claustrophobic), the Tunnel Tour takes visitors abseiling below the prison and into a boat that travels through dimly-lit subterranean waterways. The much smaller original prison nearby, the Round House, is Western Australia’s oldest standing building. Shipwreck Gallery: Also located in Fremantle, the Shipwreck Galleries is arguably Australia’s best marine archaeology collection. Hear exciting tales of mutiny, survival, and disaster. Learn about the Indian Ocean spice trade and the history of naval exploration in Australia. The museum stores hundreds of relics from ships wrecked along Western Australia’s coastline. Perhaps the most famous item in their collection is original pieces from the 17th century Dutch ship Batavia, which ran aground off Western Australia after a mutiny.

Rottnest Island

your best bets. History Before European colonization, Perth was home to the Aboriginal Noongar people, who consisted of four main groups. Their culture and economy were based on the local rivers and Indian Ocean. The region was visited by Dutch and French explorers in the 18th and 17th centuries, but it wasn’t until the arrival of British explorer James Stirling in 1829 that a permanent European settlement – known as the Swan River Colony after the local river – was established. The British dispossessed the Noongar of their land and subjected them to often harsh colonial rule, so conflict between the two peoples occurred frequently. Like in other parts of Australia, convict labor was brought in to help develop the fledgling colony. In fact, almost 10,000 convicts were brought from Great Britain between 1850 and 1868 alone. In 1856, Perth got its official seal of approval as a city from Queen Victoria. Gold discoveries in the nearby Kargoolie region led Perth’s population to boom,

Yanchep National Park

Shipwreck Museum

Yanchep National Park

The park is a popular place for hiking, biking, and picnicking. One of the most popular, yet strenuous, hikes in the park is the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, which leads to a memorial commemorating Australian troops who fought against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea. The highlight of the park is the Botanic Garden, which contains over 13,000 plant species native to Western Australia. The Garden holds a month-long festival every September to promote the region’s wildflowers. The festival includes music, workshops, exhibitions, and more. At the highest point of the park lies a double-helix shaped staircase that’s meant to resemble DNA. If you’re interested in checking out an Aboriginal art gallery, it can be found at a store on

um has many fascinating things to see and do. Some of these include getting a taste of what it takes to become an astronaut, a planetarium show about the mysteries of the cosmos, and hands-on investigational science activities for students in the CSIRO Lab. Fremantle Prison: Built by convicts in 1850 and located in the nearby suburb of Fremantle, this is the largest prison in Australia and was used continuously as a place of incarceration for almost 140 years. It was shut down in 1991 and later declared Western Australia’s only World Heritage Site. Fremantle is notorious for its maltreatment of prisoners in the 1800s (including using flogging and irons to punish them) but is equally famous for its

HMAS Ovens and Maritime Museum: The Ovens is a vintage Cold War-era Australian submarine docked in Fremantle harbor. Guided tours reveal details about what life was like living in such cramped conditions. Plus, you can hear firsthand accounts from navy veterans of what kind of missions the submarine was engaged in (mostly patrols, search and rescue, refueling etc.). The Maritime Museum next door is the perfect place to learn about Western Australia’s storied naval past. Their most famous display piece is the yacht Jon Sanders used to circumnavigate the world in 1987. A special exhibit currently running at the museum discusses the Australian navy in WWI and includes the story of AE1, Australia’s first submarine, which


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disappeared off New Guinea in 1914 and has never been found. Aquarium of Western Australia: This aquarium highlights some of coastal Western Australia’s most unique sea life in a fun and educational way. It’s split into five areas, each representing five distinct marine environments along the coast. Perhaps the most interesting of these is the Shipwreck Coast, which features a huge underwater tunnel and many different species of sharks, rays, turtles, octopi and fish. Also of note are the Coral Reef (one of the world’s largest living coral reef exhibits) and the DangerZone, where venomous marine life such as stonefish, the blue ringed octopus and sea snakes can be seen. Perth Observatory: Located in the eastern suburb of Bickley, this observatory is the oldest one in Western Australia and has been involved in important astronomical discoveries. Visitors can learn about the history of the observatory, check out some cool astrophotography and artwork and, at night, gaze up at the stars through the observatory’s powerful telescope. Day trips: Just a short ferry ride from Perth’s harbor lies the beautiful Rottnest Island. The island has been a favorite with tourists and locals alike for its many beaches, sparkling coral reefs, bike and hiking paths, exotic wildlife (including the loveable quokka) and the quaint shops in Thomson Bay. Guided tours inform visitors about the island’s history from its convict days to hosting an artillery battery and internment camp in WWII to the present. There are many old colonial buildings still standing such as the holiday cottages built by Perth’s Governor in the 19th century. Ascend to the top of Wadjemup Light-

Namburg National Park

house, one of Australia’s oldest, for amazing views of the island and ocean. Yanchep National Park is the best place to see Australian wildlife in its natural habitat. The kangaroos and koalas are especially a hit with tourists. Additionally, there are limestone caves, displays of Aboriginal culture, trails and a golf course. Nambung National Park is famous for its unusual limestone pinnacles. Thousands of them stick out of the ground and they are one of Western Australia’s most recognizable landmarks. The part of the Indian Ocean adjacent to the park is often frequented by whales, and the park itself has a huge variety of desert wildlife. Daven and Eat There are a couple of Orthodox shuls in Perth, including Chabad of Western Australia (chabadwa.org), the Dianella Shule (dianellashule.com), and Perth Hebrew Congregation (theperthshule.asn.au). As far as kosher food goes, there are no kosher restaurants in Perth but there is the Kosher Food Centre located in Menora, home to the majority of Perth’s Jewish population. Additionally, Wellington Village IGA Market in nearby Morley and several kosher caterers. Visit http:// chabadwa.org/?q=moving-to-perth for more details. Getting There and Around Tickets from LAX to Perth currently start at around $1100 per person round trip. In terms of getting around, Perth has some of Australia’s best cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. Perth’s public transport system is fairly reliable with bus, ferry, and train routes to most major destinations. Taxis and Uber are are also available. For day trips, renting a car is your best bet.

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The Parenting Week In News

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Proactive Parenting Sara Teichman, Psy D

Dear Dr T., My parents have just offered to take our ten-yearold daughter to Israel this summer. She would love to go and we feel that this is a real opportunity for her. My husband and I are concerned, however, that it would not be fair to send her because her 12-yearold brother cannot go. His yeshiva is on the eleven month schedule, so he is in school at the time that my parents are going. What do you think? Is it right for us to let her have this opportunity when her brother does not? Won’t this just cause unnecessary jealousy and bad feelings? Sincerely, Mindy K. Dear Mindy, Your question is an excellent one, and one that is actually fairly common. Do you buy new shoes for two children when only one outgrows her pair? And, do you let your very immature son drive at 16 like his super-mature older brother? Even people who are confident and comfortable in their role as parents often get stuck when a situation arises that lends itself to the perception that we favor one child over the other. Thus, in our determination to be fair and have our children see us that way, we sometimes decide to hold back a child so his sibling won’t be jealous. Whether this application of “fair” is appropriate and beneficial is the question. I think we can all agree that it is a parent’s responsibility to do what is in the best interest of each individual child. Every child deserves to have his needs and wants met, even though this may complicate family dynamics. How to accomplish this without causing jealousy or ill will in the family is a complex question. That is a skill the parent needs to develop, not the child, and the parent may need to work hard to figure out an effective strategy. No child should have to sacrifice his wants and needs in the service others. We simply don’t hold back one child for the sake of the other. When you think about it, fair and equal

are not the same thing. While equal means the same, fair means giving each child what he needs. Despite our child’s protestations to the contrary, different people do need different things. A 12-year-old may bike to school; a seven-year-old would not. A two-year-old needs his mom to put him to bed; a 14-year-old does not. Not only are we different in age and gender, but we all have different wants and needs. One child may need stylish clothing to keep up with her peers, while another could care less. While one child may need homework

help – or even a tutor – another may be fine on his own. Again, the challenge is not to do the same thing (equal) for every child, but rather to operate in such a way that shows that you have each child’s best interest at heart (fair). As always, the time to explain your understanding of fair is before a situation arises. The proactive parent establishes a certain atmosphere in the home that lends itself to the understanding that we are all different and need different things. Furthermore, we demonstrate that life is dynamic and ever-changing. What is called for in one time and place simply doesn’t apply in another. Children can learn to tolerate different treatment as long as they feel safe in the knowledge that they will “get theirs.” When we try to make things equal, it often backfires because it sets up expectations in the child that everyone could and should get the same treatment. Such unrealistic expectations are the enemy of happiness, because they often lead to disappointment. All too often, when fantasy-driven expectations are allowed to develop in childhood, they may have a negative effect way into adulthood. It is quite painful when that child – now adult – realizes that the world does not operate according to his needs. Yom tov was a misery for Shoshi, married two years. This Pesach it was her turn to go to her parents, but her mother couldn’t accommodate her because her older sister Alti was returning from Israel with her family and moving in until she found a place to live. Outrageous! How can Shoshi be expected to miss her “turn?” Especially when Alti used to come every single yom tov when she first

got married! Shoshi railed all yom tov at the unfairness of things. She was really angry at her sister – and her mother, too. She could not enjoy her in-laws’ hospitality or the chol hamoed trips because of the injustice of it all. It is a gift, whenever and wherever possible, to help our children see that life is not a zero-sum game where when someone gains, someone else loses. As parents, we want to model, in word and deed, an interest in our own portion, rather than looking at that of others. We need to teach our children to deal with what is in their lives and avoid comparisons with others. As a wise man once said, “The only time to look at someone else’s plate is to check if he has enough.” It may very well be a struggle for your son to see his sister’s good fortune. But your wishing to save him pain is not a reason to deny your daughter. By not buying into his “It’s not fair!” and encouraging him to take the long range perspective that life holds different promises for us all, you help him develop realistic and healthy attitudes and expectations about his life an future. Book Nook: Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child by Dr. Robert Brooks. Dr. Brooks is a noted child psychologist and speaker who teaches parents how to develop self-esteem and resilience in their children. Sara Teichman, Psy. D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles and Clinical Director of ETTA, L.A.’s largest Jewish agency for adults with special needs. To submit a question or comment, email DrT@jewishhomela.com.


The Week In News

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France Declined Israel’s Offer of Anti-Terrorist Technology

If there is one thing that Israel can brag about it’s their ability, skill, and intelligence when dealing with terrorists. Unfortunately, circumstances have forced Israel to excel in this area. Yet French security officials rejected an Israeli company’s offer of terrorist-tracking software before the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks. Perhaps had they not been so prejudiced against the Jewish State they could have saved hundreds of lives. The offer of data-mining technology would have allowed French authorities to “connect all the dots” in the Islamist extremist community. The software analyzes and matches up fragmented intelligence reports from across various national and international databases, providing counterterrorism officials with current information on potential threats. It was presented to the Directorate-General for Internal Security, France’s main intelligence agency. The overture was rejected due to an anti-Israel boycott in many European regions. “French authorities liked it, but the official came back and said there was a higher-level instruction not to buy Israeli technology,” a well-placed Israeli counterterror specialist familiar with the technology and the company behind it said. “The discussion just stopped.” Despite the rejection of their overtures, Israel has promised to put differences aside and help the world battle terror. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a pledge to work closely with Europe on improving security in the wake of the Brussels attacks. “In Paris or Brussels or San Bernardino or Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, terror must be condemned equally and it must be fought

equally,” Netanyahu said. “Israel stands ready to cooperate with all the nations in this great struggle.” The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been long debated in the international community. Human rights groups constantly denounce Israel for allegedly repressing and harshly retaliating against Palestinian aggression, while Israel insists and often proves that they are simply acting in self-defense to protect its people.

Murderer Wants Peace Prize Meet the newest candidate being put forth to receive a Nobel Peace Prize by the Palestinian Authority and Fatah: Marwan Barghouti, who founded al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and is called “the Palestinian Mandela,” is serving five life sentences for

murder. Barghouti’s killings include a 2002 attack at a Tel Aviv seafood market in which three civilians were killed. While in prison, he has toyed with running for president and polls suggest he would win if it were up to the voters. “Barghouti’s candidacy is essentially a call to recognize the legitimacy of the prisoners’ struggle ... and also a response to the claims and Israeli terms that do not recognize the legitimacy of their strug-

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gle, and treat them as ‘terrorists and criminals,’” Issa Karake, head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, said earlier this month.

The West Bank-ruling Fatah considers Barghouti’s arrest an “abduction,” and has suggested he should have enjoyed diplomatic immunity because he was previously a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament. “The Palestinian Authority has claimed for years that they have a right under international law, confirmed by a UN resolution, to kill Israeli civilians in all places and at all times,” said Itamar Marcus, of Palestinian Media Watch. “Accordingly, those Palestinians who have killed Israelis are said to have done something positive and heroic. Palestinian murderers

of Israeli civilians are presented as heroes and role models.” Marcus noted that the victims of the murders Barghouti, 57, was convicted of ordering would not help make his case to the Nobel committee. The PA and Fatah have recruited many of their leaders to campaign for Barghouti. “We, the Palestinian people, support this initiative, and we think this initiative carries several messages ... a judicial message, which is a response to the Israeli claims accusing the prisoners of being terrorists and criminals,” Karake said.

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Syria Releases Israeli “Spy” On Monday, Bargas Awidat, an Israeli Druze student held in Syria for the past 12 years, was abruptly released from prison and made his way back to Israel. In 2002 Awidat travelled to Syria to study dentistry. In 2004, however, he disappeared without a trace, leaving his family and Israeli authorities searching for clues. In 2010 it was finally confirmed that Syria was holding him prisoner in the Al Adra prison complex in Damascus. Awidat, now 47, was accused of working as an Israeli spy, a claim he denies. The Druze student had been snatched from his dorm room by Syrian secret police before being summarily tried and convicted of spying. He was given a life sentence. Since the Syrian civil war erupted, however, Assad has worked to appease the Druze population, many of whom have pivoted away from his murderous regime. Awidat’s sudden release from prison may be linked to the regime’s desire to repair strained relations with the Druze.

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The Chicken Tradition

You know what Reb Tevye says, “It’s tradition!” And Mike Hovak agrees. Mike and his wife Angela have been married for 15 years. And for 15 years they’ve been doing the same thing to celebrate their nuptials: eating Kentucky Fried Chicken. That may seem mundane to most of us living in New York, but the Hovaks live in Yellowknife in the UK and KFC is hard to come by. So how did this tradition start? Well, it began at the couple’s wedding reception in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, 15 years ago. Mike hadn’t wanted to get married in Kugluktuk. He wanted to get married at a talent show where he figured they would win first place.


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The prize? Plane tickets on a fun journey. But wife Angela wasn’t too excited to tie the knot at the talent show and so she offered Mike something tasty instead: “I let him have his KFC,” she said. “We had to order it from Yellowknife, and at that time they could sell KFC frozen,” she related. They ordered 500 pieces. “Everybody that was invited to the wedding was more excited about the KFC than our wedding.” Such good friends they have. Every year, the couple celebrates with the crispy chicken on their anniversary. But this year, the tasty tradition became a little more tough. The local KFC restaurant in the capital closed down, and Mike – without hesitation – drove 700 kilometers to the town of High Level, picked up 15 buckets of chicken and then drove the 700 kilometers back, all in one day. The cost? According to Mike, 1,400 kilometers worth of gas, plus the purchase of 15 buckets of chicken and popcorn chicken came to about $600. But was it worth it? “Every penny,” Mike insists. “We have to keep traditions alive. Fifteen years. Why stop now?” Tevye would surely agree, although he would make sure to bring a shochet along.

got hold of 240 works overall, fake versions of works by renowned South American artists, ready to be sold complete with fake certification. The show’s curator, Mario Naranjo, says that some of the forgeries are really good. They are worth $600,000 overall, though, a fraction of the market, but an important example for raising awareness of art fraud. Some of the works have been faked in minute detail, with the forgers even adding holes to make the canvas look moth-eaten. “This kind of crime makes millions of dollars. It is considered the biggest racket in the world after arms and drug-trafficking,” Naranjo said. The exhibition runs until mid-May at the finance ministry in Buenos Aires, after which the works will be returned to the court handling the case against the forgers and eventually destroyed. Seems like these criminals may need to have a change of art – I mean, heart.

Starbucks is serving designer ice cubes. A spokesman for Starbucks has fired back at the lawsuit. “Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any ‘iced’ beverage,” the spokesperson stated, adding that the company would remake any beverage if a customer is unsatisfied. Pincus says she represents every person who has purchased a cold drink from Starbucks over the last ten years. So truthfully $5 million isn’t a whole latte much.

What’s in a Name?

Starbucks on Thin Ice Not-So-State of the Art

Oh, those art critics. They stand around, staring at paintings, tilting their heads, moving forward and backward entranced by works of art. But how much do they really know about art? A new gallery in Buenos Aires will set art critics’ heads spinning. The paintings there may look like works of great artists – but are actually rip offs. One painting is very telling. It is supposed to be a masterpiece by the late Argentine painter Antonio Berni, but the main figure’s head is cut off by the frame. Hmm, sure doesn’t seem like you need an art degree to figure that one out. The 40 canvases on display at the exhibition in the Argentine capital were seized in a raid organized by cross-border police agency Interpol on a band of forgers. Police

It was bound to happen, Mr. Schultz. Customers were going to realize that spending $7 on their favorite Iced Skinny Caramel Macchiato Blended Coffee with Chai and Mocha and Crème was a little over the top. But wait! It seems that consumers aren’t mad about the exorbitant prices they’re shelling out at Starbucks nationwide; they’re just upset that they’ve got too little drink and way too much ice. Stacy Pincus is one mad coffee drinker. She’s suing the chain for $5 million and is accusing them of packing almost half of their cold beverages with ice as a means of skimping on serving actual coffee to customers. According to Pincus, when ordering a 24-ounce “Venti,” a customer only receives 14 ounces of actual coffee, and ice takes up the remaining 10. And that ice is gonna cost you. Consider that hot beverages cost less than iced ones – seems that

There are some things that children are just not old enough to do: drive cars, vote, cross the street by themselves, remember to brush their teeth. It seems that they are not yet at the right age to discern right from wrong. Perhaps school officials would be wise to consider that when renaming schools. Recently, a schoolboard in Austin, Texas, voted to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School. Instead of proposing a new moniker, they sought the community’s input. They probably now regret that decision. The top nomination for the school’s new name is really great – I mean, it will make the school great again. The community chose to name the institution Donald J. Trump Elementary. Other nominations for the new name include Adolph Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance, Bleeding Heart Liberal Elementary, Boaty McBoatface Elementary School, Hypothetical Perfect Person Memorial Elementary School, and Schoolie McSchoolface. Also, Schooly McSchoolerson. Well, they can all get an A for effort. Thankfully, the schoolboard wisely just asked for recommendations for the new name. The board members will have the final say. And will probably not choose any of those suggested above. Democracy at its finest.

Belly Button Beer

If you love beer, you may not want to read on. The 7 Cent Brewery in Victoria, Australia, has announced that they’ll be using yeast from a very interesting location in their newest batch of beers. The 2016 Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular next month in Melbourne and Sydney will see the debut of Belly Button Beer, which is brewed using belly button fluff from brewers. “Perhaps the first beer in the world fermented from yeast captured from the brewer’s belly button fluff; there will be a little bit of 7 Cent in every glass,” the brewery boasted in a blog post. “Some say why? We say why not?” It wasn’t easy finding the right belly button fuzz. The brewery said the team created several trial batches using yeast collected from different brewers until they found the one with “the best character.” Doug Bremner, co-founder of 7 Cent, said great care was taken to ensure the yeast strains were sterile. “It’s perfectly safe,” he insists. “Yeast is yeast – this beer is no different to any other beer out there.” The “completely unique yeast strain” give the beer a unique flavor, which the brewery said “exhibits qualities of Belgian beer with the key characteristics being spiciness, clove and light banana esters.” “The orange zest and coriander seeds were used to help complement the yeast and a calculated amount of Riwaka and Mosaic hops were added to increase the citrus qualities and give it a refreshing hop kick,” the brewers wrote. “Four different grains were also used to add both body and complexity including: barley, wheat, oats and rye.” Looking to imbibe a Belly Button Beer in your town? The beverage may become more widely available if there’s a demand for the product. For now, though, there is a brewery in Oregon that has created a beer using yeast collected from a brewer’s beard. This type of news makes me want to keep Pesach all year round.

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Quotes The Week In News

MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

Here’s a Jew from Brooklyn who never even saw a gentile till he was 28. Obviously, this man has a very, very big sickness. There’s something about being Jewish that makes him self-conscious and nervous. And he has to prove to himself and to the country that he doesn’t favor Israel in any way. He’s so determined that he’ll tell any lie about Israel that he can think of to say to you: “Do you see that? This is proof that I don’t play for Israel. The fact that I want every Israeli to drop dead for me to prove a point doesn’t matter. If they all get wiped out, it’s not my business. The main thing is that I’m not favoring Israel.” – Jackie Mason, on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio

I really wish I had a twin, and that twin had eaten broccoli his entire life. I know I would have been happier, and I think the odds are I would have lived longer. - Warren Buffett defending his lifelong sweet tooth at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting last week

If either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president, and one of them is very likely to be, I think Berkshire will continue to do fine.

Bernie Sanders … doesn’t even know what’s going on and doesn’t care. Because to him Israel getting wiped out is no problem. Climate change is the only problem. To him, the most important thing in the world is climate change. If Israel gave up their country but they fought for climate change, he would love Israel. In ten minutes, they would be his favorite country. - Ibid

- Ibid., commenting on the 2016 presidential race

The NFL Draft started last night and the Los Angeles Rams used the first pick to select quarterback Jared Goff. He’s a college student who just got a job worth over $20 million, or as he put it, “I no longer support Bernie Sanders!” - Jimmy Fallon

Earlier today, despite losing five primaries, Ted Cruz stunned everybody by announcing his vice presidential candidate is Carly Fiorina. This means Fiorina is now just a heartbeat away from never being president. – Conan O’Brien

In my family there was no Jewish blood, which I accept with regret. I would like to be a part of the Chosen People but I am not. - Former Polish president Lech Walesa in a Facebook posting

Bernie Sanders said it’s a great idea to have a woman as vice president. John McCain was like, “Is it?!” – Seth Myers

MORE QUOTES


MAY 5, 2016 | The Jewish Home

The Week In News

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